Indian Life Newspaper -

Husbands Who Watch Porn

12 Ways to Reassure Your Wife

 

Last updated 8/21/2014 at 9:58pm



When a woman discovers her husband has been watching porn behind her back, it can feel absolutely devastating. It is a traumatic discovery in the truest sense of the word—the wife undergoes terrible trauma. These women often begin to doubt themselves, caught in the immense insecurity of feeling the need to compete with her husband’s secret world of fantasy. She feels trapped in a relationship where her husband professes commitment to her yet seems incapable or unwilling to put porn behind him.

Women in this situation are, not surprisingly, angry, lonely, exhausted, and despairing.

Men, if this describes your wife, what can you do to reassure her of your love and devotion, despite the fact that you haven’t gotten to the bottom of your pornographic obsession yet?

1. Call your sin what it is

Don’t wimp out and merely admit to a “struggle” with lust. Yes, you are struggling, but you are doing far more: you are giving in to that struggle and losing the battle.

Call out both your actions and the nature of those actions. “I look at pornography,” is a good place to start, but there’s more to it than this. “I have sinned against Creator God and against you by looking at pornography. We promised to ‘forsake all others’ when we got married, and I have broken that vow through my lust and selfishness. I have deeply wronged you.” Don’t discount the importance of these words.

2. Acknowledge that you know but don’t fully know your sin’s impact

She should hear you say—yes, out loud with words—that you know your sins have impacted her and your marriage. Tell her, “I know I have crippled your trust in me. I know you probably won’t believe what I say, at least for a while, and I don’t blame you. I know you may not feel like being nice to me, and you may not even feel safe with me, and again, I don’t blame you.” She needs to know that you get that she is in pain.

At the same time, she should also hear you say that you can’t really comprehend her pain. Say to her, “I am the one who hurt you, so I won’t pretend to really understand how difficult this is for you, but I want to understand it better.” Promise her that you will listen to her—uninterrupted—and let her vent her unfiltered shock, fear, confusion, and anger. Then really listen to her and resist the urge to be defensive.

3. Drop your excuses

There might be many factors that play into your porn habits. Perhaps you were exposed to porn when you were very young. Perhaps you received very little sexual education from your parents and explored porn as a way to learn. Perhaps you believe your habits have escalated to something like an addiction, and you feel hopelessly out of control.

Your wife should hear these things, but she should also know that you don’t for a minute treat them as excuses. Regardless of how outside forces or biological factors have played a role in your life, you are responsible for your own actions. If you feel enslaved to porn, remind your wife that it is nonetheless a slavery you have chosen.

4. Remind your wife she is not to blame.

It is common for women to feel as if the problem (at least partially) rests with them. If they had only been thinner, bustier, more sexually adventurous, or more sexually available, you wouldn’t have gone down this path of fantasy. You must remind your wife that this is a lie.

Some men go so far as to blame their wives for their porn problems. If this is you, grow up and take responsibility for yourself. You are not merely a helpless victim of your sexual passions (or at least you shouldn’t be).

It is not uncommon to find men married to truly stunning women—by whatever cultural standard of beauty you choose—who still rush after porn. Why? Because these men have trained themselves to prefer commodities and industrialized sex over real intimacy.

Compare the enjoyment of a fine steak dinner to a sub-par, all-you-can-eat buffet with food that’s been under the warmers for five hours. If a person chooses the buffet over the steak dinner, it is not because the food is actually better. It is because at the buffet they get variety, volume, novelty, and convenience. This is what draws men to porn over pursuing an intimate relationship with their wives: they want a variety of women, they want to binge, they want novel fantasy experiences, and they don’t want the inconvenience of coordinating with another person’s sexual desires and wants. It is sexual gluttony at its worst.

Please don’t stretch the analogy in a wrong direction. I’m not, of course, saying that women are “pieces of meat” or a commodity to be consumed. I’m speaking to the mentality of the man. It is not the steak’s fault that it isn’t a buffet line. It’s the man’s fault that he prefers the novelty, variety, and volume of the questionable buffet food over something that is truly wholesome and delightful. The porn lover has trained himself to believe that sex should be something on-tap and made-to-order. He has bought into Burger King® sex: he prefers it his way, right away. The problem is with him, not his wife.

5. Purge all access points to porn

Make sure you do everything in your power to close the doors of temptation and let your wife know what you are doing.

This is important for two reasons. First, it is an important way to check your pride. It is easy to feel like you are treating yourself like a child, like all the safeguards she wants you put in place are a bit overboard. But remember, the exact opposite is true. It takes a mature man to acknowledge where he is weak. By purging your life of potential access points, you are taking responsibility for yourself and your marriage.

Second, it shows your wife exactly what she needs to see: that you are taking this seriously; that you love her more than your iPhone, more than unmonitored time online, more than your route to work that passes the porno shop, more than your private e-mail account, more than your secluded life where no one knows the real you or the real temptations you face.

6. Find man-to-man accountability

The sin of pornography has thrived in the darkness of secrecy, and it will be killed in the light of accountability.

An accountability relationship is a relationship where you specifically discuss the details of your deepest sins and weaknesses, and you receive help, encouragement, and challenge. As men, we need to get this from other men. This is wise for several reasons. First, discussing these matters with a woman can too easily lead to sexually inappropriate behavior and thoughts. Second, another man will be more likely to understand the nuances of your struggle. Third, another man will be more likely to see past your pretenses and, to be frank, not take any crap from you.

Your wife needs to see you pursuing these kinds of friendships. Find men that both you and your wife trust to give you solid personal, spiritual, and practical advice.

7. Change your relationship to technology

Chances are, if you have a dysfunctional relationship with porn (i.e. if you use it at all), then you probably also have a dysfunctional relationship with technology.

One way we misuse technology is to use it as a vehicle to create a private life of fantasy. It is easy to hide ourselves within technology, spending hours indulging our fantasies because we believe no one will know.

We have to change our mentality about this. We must instead take the attitude that what we do online impacts our lives offline. Get accountability software on your computers, phones, and tablets, and make sure others you trust get Accountability Reports about the places you go online. It will help you to think twice about where you go online and what you do.

Another way we misuse technology is we get into the habit of always being plugged in. We take our laptops and e-readers to bed with us and then we wonder why our sex lives aren’t want they could be. We are glued to Facebook and Google+ and wonder why our face-to-face conversations are lacking.

For the sake of your marriage, set limits around your use of technology. Use it purposefully. Don’t waste hours online—especially when romance with your wife is so needed right now. Replace your time online with quality time with her.

8. Don’t have a secret recovery life

It is easy for men who have been in the habit of secrecy with porn to develop a habit of secrecy when it comes to their recovery from porn. Don’t do this.

As you make your plan for distancing yourself from porn and becoming a new man, make sure your wife knows some of the important details. In order for her to ever trust you again, she needs to know what you intend to do and she needs to see you doing it.

Tell her what your triggers have been in the past and how you plan to deal with them. Tell her about the books you are reading. Tell her about the advice your pastors, mentors, or counselors are telling you, and tell her how you are living out that advice. Tell her who is holding you accountable for your lifestyle and actions. Tell her what you are learning through your study of the Word of God and prayer. Don’t cut her out.

Should your wife be your “accountability partner”? That depends on what you mean by accountability partner. If you mean she becomes one of the people that you are honest with about the specific ways you are failing or succeeding to maintain sexual integrity, then yes. If you mean that she becomes the one who asks you the hard questions about your lustful thoughts, the one who probes your motives, the one who exclusively challenges you to live up to the man you want to be, then no. This only puts your wife in a mothering role, and neither she nor you wants this.

9. Support her desire to seek advice and help

Encourage your wife to talk to someone else about her feelings of hurt, betrayal, and confusion. Some men, in an effort to save their precious reputations, dissuade their wives from talking to anyone or getting help. The opposite should be true: you should be your wife’s biggest supporter when it comes to her getting outside help.

Often women don’t want or feel they need any help—after all, you’re the one with the problem, right? Wrong. Your problem has spilled over into her life and caused her great trauma. No one should have to face that kind of trauma alone.

There are many places your wife can find help and support:

• She could subscribe to our blog (specifically our category of articles about rebuilding marriage).

• She could read any number of great books like Porn and Your Husband: A Recovery Guide for Wives (free), When Your Husband Is Addicted to Pornography, Your Sexually Addicted Spouse, Undefiled: Redemption from Sexual Sin, Restoration for Broken Relationships, or Living with Your Husband’s Secret Wars.

• She could find a professional Christian counselor in her area, or a counselor trained to help wives of porn addicts.

• She could find an encouraging friend and together they could watch the True Betrayal videos.

10. Pursue non-sexual and (in time) sexual intimacy

Wives vary in their responses when it comes to knowing their husbands have a porn problem. Your wife may find the idea of sex with you repulsive, unsure of whether you are just using her as a warm body as you replay pornographic scenes in your mind. Your wife might react in the opposite way: sex helps to reassure her that things are still okay. Either response is very natural.

Regardless of the status of your sexual relationship, you should pursue romance with your wife in non-sexual ways. Porn unfortunately trains us to desire sex without emotional engagement, trains us to approach sex with a consumer mentality. To counteract this, you should pursue emotional engagement and spiritual intimacy with your wife and let sex be the overflow. Show non-sexual affection: cuddle, hug, kiss. Be vulnerable: have heart-to-heart conversations about your memories, dreams, and hopes. Spend quality time together. Find ways to serve her. Surprise her with romantic gestures.

When it comes to reigniting sexual passion in your marriage, it is helpful for both of you to realize that the big O of sex is not orgasm: it is oneness. There are two separate pleasure systems in our brains: one for exciting and another for satisfying pleasure. Where porn only activates the exciting pleasure system, it leaves the satisfying system starving for the real thing. This is what intimate sex provides: fulfillment, peace, and a feeling of being bonded to another person. This is something your wife can give you (and you can give her) that porn can never give.

11. Be ridiculously patient with her

For a man who’s been wrestling with porn his whole life, when his wife finds out the severity of it, it is one more (big) painful reminder to him about just how much this sin has stolen from him. For the wife, this discovery is more than that: it can be earth-shattering for some women.

By now, you are quite used to dealing with your porn problem. To her, this is something altogether new that has made her question reality itself. She might feel not unlike Truman Burbank in the movie The Truman Show or Neo in The Matrix: the world as she knows it now seems unreal to her. She might be questioning everything she ever believed about her marriage and about you.

Be patient. Don’t expect her to “be over this” because the secret is out. She has plenty of healing and adjusting to do as she rebuilds her trust in you.

12. Get close to Christ

Remember the big picture here: this is ultimately not just about getting rid of some nasty habit in your life. It is about becoming the kind of man God wants you to be and that your wife wants you to be. Don’t waste this season of your life with a small vision for change. God wants you to become a man of principle, a man of love and devotion, a man who sacrifices for others, a man who has eyes for only one woman. God wants you to become a man who is close to Him, a man who fulfills his ultimate destiny in life, which is to glorify and enjoy Him.

Can you kick porn to the curb without relying on God? Sure. Thousands have done so. But they do so only trading this vice for another that is more socially respectable and less easy to see. Like Bob Dylan wisely said, “You’re gonna have to serve somebody.” So use what motivation you have to quit porn, go to God in prayer, and ask Him to turn this into a quest to grow close to Him. You will be eternally glad that you did. So will your wife.

Luke Gilkerson, Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality, IntoxicatedOnLife.com

For more resources or to read our blog, please go to: http://www.covenanteyes.com

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019