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Christian Life

4 Lies You Believe When Your Husband Watches Porn

I wish I didn’t have to write this post.

 

I wish I didn’t have to write about something affecting countless marriages (and countless relationships headed toward marriage). Pornography is accepted in our culture and even encouraged as a way to “connect” sexually. But for the wife of a porn user, “connection” is the last thing being achieved. For her, porn serves as a slap in the face of her sexuality, vulnerability, and even her identity.

 

Porn is not acceptable behavior for Christians; in fact, the Greek word in the Bible for ALL sexual perversion is porneia, the very word from which we get “pornography”. Porn is a perversion of God’s design. It demeans both the viewer and the people being viewed. It wrecks relationships, destroys intimacy, and breaks trust.

 

Most of us know the problems with porn, but don’t know what to do when our spouse watches it. In this short post, I want to discuss four lies and their correlated truths. Then I’ll share some resources if you are someone married to a porn addict.

 

Lie: Porn Use is Normal

Truth: Porn Use is a Form of Sexual Perversion

 

Porn use is common, but it’s not “normal”. It’s not how things should be. While it may be rare to meet a man (or woman!) who hasn’t been exposed to porn, that doesn’t mean we should accept porn use as an unchangeable fact of life. Organizations like Fight the New Drug work overtime to save people from the bondage of porn – both the users and the people being used. Porn use is not normal.

 

This is proven myriad of ways but two in particular are persuasive: The effects of porn on the human brain, and the Scriptural outline for married sex. According to Genesis 1-2, sexuality was designed for oneness and intimacy. Oneness cannot be achieved when there is another person in the relationship. Further, Jesus Himself stated that adultery – unfaithfulness to the marriage bed – doesn’t start with a one night stand. It starts with the posture of your heart and the lust of your eyes (Matt. 5:27-30).

 

Lie: My Husband’s Sin is a Reflection on Me

Truth: My Husband’s Sin Affects Me, but Does Not Own Me

 

We can answer the lie, “porn is normal” with the truth of science and Scripture. But this second lie is harder to overcome. It’s the lie we believe in the privacy of our own minds: If I was thinner, more beautiful, not as tired, not as hormonal… my husband wouldn’t be addicted. But the sins of your spouse are NOT a reflection on you. They affect you, but they do not own you.

 

James 1:14-15 says, But each one  when by his own evil desires he is lured away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” A porn addicted spouse is addicted because he has been led astray by his own desire. That desire, when followed and fulfilled, leads to the death of spiritual growth, the death of peace, and even the death of a good relationship. One thing is clear: This desire is the individual’s responsibility. Their spouse does not answer for the individual’s sin.

 

Lie: If I Change Myself, I Can Be Enough for Him

Truth: Boundaries are a Necessary Part of Spiritual Growth

 

The third lie is closely tied to the second: If I change into what he wants, he won’t need porn anymore. But this is not how porn works. Porn affects the brain and spirit in profound ways, and attempting to become “the fantasy” is an endless pursuit that brings only pain. If you are married to someone struggling with porn, becoming what he wants only covers up the issue. It doesn’t deal with the root cause.

 

The issue here is spiritual weakness, lack of godly support and accountability, and in some cases, a hardened heart toward sin. Sexual problems are never just sexual. They are SPIRITUAL. To solve a sexual addiction you must treat it on all levels, not simply give the person more of the sexual fix they’re looking for. So for the wife of a porn user, boundaries are necessary – both for your protection and for your spouse’s spiritual growth.

 

Lie: There is No Hope for a Porn-Affected Marriage

Truth: There is ALWAYS Hope for the People of God

 

The last lie is the saddest, but it also leads us to hope. It is a lie that porn-affected marriages must always end in heartbreak or separation. The truth? There is ALWAYS HOPE. There is hope for repentance and even restoration. Not all marriages or relationships end this way; but in relationships where the porn user is repentant, ready to turn to God and do whatever it takes to make changes, healing is possible! But it always starts with a heart that wants MORE. Not more porn. Not more sex. More of God and HIs holiness.

 

For more reading, resources, and a free ebook for wives of porn users, see this list of articles and options on Covenant Eyes’ website.

 

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