Wives: You Are Not to Blame for Your Husband’s Porn Addiction

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Are wives to blame if their husbands use pornography?

One of the things we’ve been talking about on the blog lately is that you are not to blame if your spouse has an affair. You may have contributed to serious marriage problems. You may even have been the biggest cause of a rift in your marriage. But no one can make another person have an affair, and the choice to have that affair is still on them. Repenting of that affair is necessary before you can start to address marriage problems.

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There’s another issue, though, that pops up a lot when we’re talking about who is to blame for sin, and it’s the topic of porn use.

I was helping another author work on a marriage book recently, and he asked me to take a look at a few chapters. In those chapters he had several stories of men who had turned to pornography because they were so sexually frustrated because their wives wouldn’t have sex. The author was warning women how much men need sex, and how much of a temptation porn will be if their husbands aren’t kept sexually satisfied.

Now, this does have a grain of truth. When we do not make love with relative frequency, we can make our husbands feel rejected, unloved, and unwanted. And that can make the temptation to turn to porn a lot stronger because turning to us for sex is more difficult.

However (and this is a big however), in most marriages, that’s not the dynamic that’s at play when it comes to pornography, for these reasons:

Most porn use pre-dates the marriage.

What he said may have been true for couples in their late 40s and 50s. But for most younger couples, internet porn use predated the marriage. Most guys who use porn do not start AFTER they’re married. They started before. So to say to a wife that she’s causing her husband’s porn use simply doesn’t always line up with reality. How could she cause something that started 11 years before he even met her?

Porn use programs a man to find his wife inadequate

And that porn use rewired their brain so that what was attractive was an image or a video, rather than a relationship. It wouldn’t matter if she were the #1 supermodel in the world; she’s not pornography, and so she’s not enough for him. Porn also rewires the brain to want DIFFERENT, not just more, so what becomes arousing is always different stimuli. No matter how hard we try, we can’t be different. And finally, porn use makes sex into a self-focused physical thing, not a relational, mutual experience focused on both intimacy and pleasure. In essence, she becomes his sex toy.

If this is how he has trained himself to think of sex, then she can’t compete, and she can’t be responsible for his porn use.

In many marriages where porn use is frequent, the problem is the husband rejecting sex, not the wife

Additionally, porn use is one of the biggest reasons for men’s libidos to fall. It also is one of the biggest contributors to erectile dysfunction. Porn robs a man of normal sexual desire for his wife, and channels it all into porn. I frequently hear, for instance, of husbands who will masturbate frequently in the shower, but reject sex with their wives.

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Porn use often channels a husband’s sexual preferences in weird, dangerous, or degrading directions

Sometimes the reason that women turn down husbands who want sex when they watch porn is that husbands end up wanting sex that is entirely one-sided. Frequently they demand oral sex but reject intercourse, or they want things that wives consider very degrading. When women hear the message that you are causing your husband’s porn use by rejecting sex, but the sex that he wants is selfish and perverted, that’s a very harmful message.

A better message is this one: Work on developing a healthy view of sex together, and then pursue it!

All of us can have sexual issues. Maybe he used porn a lot and has to retrain his brain to find the relationship and intimacy exciting. Maybe she feels a lot of shame about sex and has been withholding sex for a long time. Whatever it may be, they can work together for a healthy sex life.

However, like recovery from an affair, it must start with the porn use ending. A healthy sex life is built on intimacy and trust. You can’t have either if he’s watching porn. Even if she’s been withholding sex, and even if she’s left him feeling neglected, you cannot build a healthy sex life until he is dedicated to quitting porn. And turning to porn is still a sin that she did not cause. It was his own choice, and it needs to stop–even if she also has things that she needs to fix.

Here are 4 steps you must take if your husband uses porn.

To the husbands: I understand if you’re frustrated, but the porn needs to stop

If you’re the husband in the situation, and you do really want a great sex life with your wife, and you’re just really frustrated, I do hear you. I know what a lonely place that can be. But you can’t build a great sex life on the back of pornography. It needs to stop first. She won’t feel safe, and sex won’t feel intimate, and you won’t be able to be fully vulnerable with her when pornography is in the picture.

I highly recommend getting Covenant Eyes for screen accountability. It filters out porn, taking away that temptation that you feel when pornography is only a split second mouse click away. You can install it on all of your computers and devices, and it can protect your children, too. Remember that kids are first exposed to porn, on average, at age 11. This needs to stop before porn wraps its tentacles around your kids, too!

And when you click using my link, or use the code TLHV, you get your first month free, so you can test it out. Your marriage, and your family, can experience real freedom from porn.

Find freedom from porn!

Your marriage, and your thought life, do not need to be held captive to pornography.

There is freedom.

Beat porn–together!

I want to find freedom!

Even if you do that, though, it doesn’t mean your sex life will automatically get better.

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You have to rebuild, and a lot of that includes two things: understanding what sex is supposed to look like (since porn warps everything!), and figuring out how to communicate and talk through this better together. I’d recommend working through 31 Days to Great Sex, which helps you build a sex life from the ground up, one step at a time, focusing on intimacy, affection, as well as the physical aspects of sex.

No blaming. Just solutions–and a whole lot of fun!

Let’s try it!

That’s really a better message to give to women if you want to encourage them to commit themselves to great sex. It’s much healthier than just, “if you don’t have sex he’ll watch porn!”

When we were discussing if you were to blame if he cheated, a commenter left a link to a wonderful letter to wives of porn users.

I thought it was very helpful, and very hopeful, and I think it brings healing to women whose husbands have been using porn. It says the things that we all need to hear: that it is not our fault; that they have broken covenants; that it has been a terrible betrayal.

I want to point you to it today, because I know many of you need to read it:

From An Open Letter to Wives of Porn Addicts by Jay Pyatt

On behalf of myself and the other husbands addicted to porn, I am sorry. We have given your place to another and it is wrong. You knew some men struggle with this; you just didn’t think it would be your man. There are no justifications for our actions. We try to justify, but these are only excuses.

I am sorry we’ve blamed you for our addiction. Instead of owning our actions, we have gotten defensive and angry. In time we may realize how far away this is from the truth. You’re not to blame. It is not your fault. We chose to turn away from you and God to follow the lust of our hearts.

I know this is painful for you. The person who stood before many people and professed his faithful love at the altar has betrayed your marriage through porn, lust, and lying. You did nothing to deserve this behavior, no matter what he tells you. We lied, thinking we were protecting you from a situation we couldn’t handle on our own. Always thinking we’d get clean, we just needed a little more time. But the lies still hurt and the problem still grew–and damaged–like a cancer.

Porn is not harmless. It seriously damages a person’s sexual arousal cycle, sexual response cycle, and libido. It has affected so many men, and now it’s affecting so many women, too. Let’s start speaking more loudly about the harm it does, rather than considering it an inevitable response to sexual frustration. And maybe then we can have healthier conversations about it!

What do you think? Do we talk about porn in a healthy way? What’s a better way to tackle it? If you’re a wife of a porn user (or the husband of a porn user), what message do you need to hear? Let’s talk in the comments!

 

Article culled from tolovehonourandvaccum

 

Photo Credit:Good House keeping

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