It may seem simpler to keep quiet and rationalize away any secrets you may be holding. How is that impacting your marriage? Pornography is one way the enemy likes to weasel his way into a marriage creating a divide between husband and wife. While women have been known to view and become addicted to porn, statistics show that men are much more susceptible to this temptation. It’s as easy as a click of a button; it’s readily available and accessible, and just as easy to keep it private and secretive. Pornography is destructive to not only the addict but to their relationships. It can have a negative impact on a marriage. It’s a detrimental addiction that can’t be salvaged by simply saying, “I’m sorry,” even if there is true remorse behind those words. In fact to put it more into perspective, here are some ways a pornography addiction affects a marriage.
True Intimacy is lost
To be truly intimate with someone includes being fully known and fully knowing that person. The true beauty of intimacy is found in a marriage between husband and wife through a deep emotional and physical connection. However, this intimacy becomes clouded when secrets come into play. How can a person be fully known when that person is trying to hide a piece of their heart? Great marital sex only happens when two people in love connect passionately at the highest form of physical intimacy. This includes vulnerability and completely giving yourself to that person. It’s being passionate towards your spouse, and your spouse alone. It’s being present and engaged. Pornography can destroy this! It can break the bond between a married couple leaving the user more emotionally detached from their spouse.
Marriage is to be built on an unwavering foundation of trust. When a husband remains trustworthy he enables his wife to find security in his love and commitment to her. When that trust gets broken the pain permeates every part of the marriage. Pornography is equal to cheating on your spouse. When a man is viewing another woman, whether he believes it or not, he is bringing that other woman into the marriage. Just an image alone that has come between a relationship can create the feeling of having to compete. Therefore the longer the addiction continues the more trust will diminish and erode any foundation the marriage was built on. It is for this reason that Jesus says, “anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away” (Matt. 5:28-29a). Jesus warns against the dangers of choosing to open yourself up to sexual sin and how devastating lust can really be.
The counterfeit seems more glamorous
Porn is designed to be captivating and stimulating. It’s entertainment that is performed by actors. Simply put: It’s not real life! However, the enemy wants you to believe that what you see is how it’s supposed to be even though it’s a lie. When you fill your mind with these false images you’ll naturally transfer those expectations to the marital bed. The unrealistic and counterfeit glamor ultimately leads to disappointment for the husband and destroyed self-esteem for the wife. Division starts to take root, the couple’s sex life lessens and they become less satisfied with the relationship. Then to fill the void the addict seeks to find the eluding high he once had that led him deeper and further into the addiction. However, like every sin, it’s only a temporary satisfaction that leaves a person feeling empty.
When secrets are revealed and a wife finds out that her husband has been indulging in pornography it can wreak havoc on her self-esteem and self-worth. She may begin comparing herself to the women her husband is viewing and begin to feel like she’s not good enough. She may question herself and wonder how she can compete with an image younger and more beautiful than she is. This way of thinking can result in her believing herself to be sexually undesirable, worthless, and stupid. These negative thoughts bombarding her will eventually dictate how she interacts with her husband. On the other hand, while she is struggling to find her value, he may be grabbing at whatever he can to cast blame to cover up the deep shame he’s feeling. Therefore no matter how you shake it pornography produces low self-esteem, shame, emptiness, and results in division.
Pornography can cause a massive wedge between husband and wife. However, the good news is, is that we serve a redeeming God who has and can restore the worst of sinners. Through Him, healing can take place in the addict’s mind and in their marriages. Even though it won’t happen overnight there is hope through the power of Jesus. Don’t allow another day to go by without reaching out and asking for help.