The following sentences are real phrases I’ve either seen written online or heard from a third-party source:
“Maybe if I lose some weight he’d pay more attention to me.”
“If my chest wasn’t so small my husband would find me more attractive.”
“I’m just not sexy enough. My husband’s pornography addiction is all my fault.”
Yes, these are real sentences. They are real thoughts and real feelings of women who have a husband involved in pornography addiction. And yes, this even includes Christian women.
I’m not sure why some wives are quick to place the blame on themselves. Regardless of the reason why, wives you need to understand that your husband’s pornography addiction is not your fault.
Before we talk about whose fault it really is, we need to understand this fact: wives, you can’t compete with the women that are in pornography.
You Can’t Compete
“Aren’t the women in pornography just regular women like me?” Yes they are, at least before the cameras start rolling. After the record button is pressed they become heavily made-up, paid actresses. Something that we often forget with pornography is that the people involved are not your typical couple sleeping together, they’re a couple of actors/actresses paid to do whatever they are told while the cameras roll on. While you run errands, work, take care of kids, etc, they’re making sure their bodies are fit for their next scene. Wives, you simply can’t compete, and you shouldn’t have to.
You also cannot compete with what women in the porn industry do on camera. These women are actresses. We forget that the smiling they’re doing and the enjoyment they are seemingly getting out of whatever act they’re performing is just that…an act. They’re just trying to earn money. Many women at the end of a session turn to drugs to soothe their severe pain…*pain your husband doesn’t see. All they see is a woman happy and willing to do everything and anything they are instructed to do. Wives, you can’t compete with that, and you shouldn’t have to.
The Bible spends a considerable amount of time talking about sex. Sex is to be enjoyed within marriage (Heb. 13:4). Sex is also described as not just a physical act, but one that connects bodies and souls together (Mt. 19:5-6). Wives, you shouldn’t have to compete with the unrealistic standards of looks and actions that take place within a porn video, and you definitely shouldn’t feel that your husband’s desire to watch those videos is your fault.
It’s Not About Your Looks
Many wives start to think that changing their appearance would keep their husband’s from turning to pornography for sexual gratification, but it doesn’t work that way. Not only does pornography set unrealistic, and perverted, standards of sex and appearance, it also changes your husband’s brain. His brain is literally being rewired to crave pornography. In other words, the more he watches porn, the more he wants to watch more porn.
This isn’t the only problem that occurs with porn consumption. Your husband’s watching of porn actually makes it difficult for him to be “turned on” by what ought to normally turn a guy on. You may not be unattractive or ugly, but you’re not enough for him, and this is a result of the porn he watches.
Porn has become so customized that you can literally search for just about anything you can imagine. Girls of any size, shape, height, race, etc. are at your fingertips and you have the power to pick out your favorite ones. After feasting his eyes on an endless buffet of women, you shouldn’t be surprised when one women that he’s seen naked dozens of times already doesn’t do it for him. Again, this is no fault of you or your looks, this is all about his brain and the new twisted way it functions. The longer he watches the porn the bigger his harem of women grows and pretty soon one woman isn’t enough for his pornography twisted mind.
Why do I write all of this? In an effort to deal with their husband’s porn usage I’ve heard some women (again this includes Christian women) give up and ignore their husband’s porn usage. I’ve heard of some wives who have even decided that the porn “isn’t that bad” and start watching it with their husband in an effort to be more pleasing to him. Sadly, I’ve even heard that some wives consider changing some of their body features through surgery in order to try and pull their husband from the depths of pornography addiction, but it won’t work. In fact, none of these “solutions” will work because the problem isn’t you, the problem is your husband.
It’s About Him
Whose fault is your husband’s porn addiction? His. Sometimes guys turn to pornography to relieve stress, escape reality, or feel pleasure instead of pain. In that way, porn is a band-aid “solution” to problems they may be having. At the end of the day, your husband, at least initially, chose to pursue pornography. What started out as something “small” branched out into something far more consuming, but rest assured that the blame doesn’t need to be placed on you, the fault of the addiction is on your husband.
Just because his addiction is not your fault that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some things you can do to help him overcome his addiction. We’ve already covered what won’t work (changing appearance, watching porn with him, etc.), so we’ll jump right into what you can do to help your husband get out of his pornography addiction.
First, as painful as it will be for the both of you, you can confront him about his sin. Guys who are involved in watching porn, even if they want to quit, are going to be very defensive when you try to breach this subject with them. Be patient, but firm. It will be painful for him to have it aired out in the open, but this step is necessary in the healing process.
Second, encourage him to open up to someone who can keep him accountable. Your elders or preacher might be a great place to start. If he has a guy friend he’s close to that would be a good option as well. As tempting as it might be, do not trust that he’ll stay away from the addiction on his own. He may have every intention of quitting pornography, but this is a lifelong battle, not something that can be conquered after a really good cry. Find someone who can join him on his journey of overcoming his porn habit.
Three, cultivate an atmosphere in your marriage where you can talk more openly about things like sex. Talk about likes and dislikes, frequency, etc. I understand that this might be really awkward (expect an article on that subject soon), but couples ought to be able to talk freely about sex, and in truth, more conversations about what the Bible says about sex might help keep a lot of guys away from porn.
There are so many more things I wish I could include in this article, but, for length’s sake, I’ll save them for another day. I’ll end with these remarks:
To any husbands reading this article, I know it’ll be tough to quit, but you need to know that your porn addiction is killing your wife, your marriage and your family. However, you are not alone. There are many men like you out there who have quit and begun healing the damage that pornography brings into marriages. If you want to quit and need someone to talk to, do not hesitate to get a hold of me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m not here to judge you, I just want to help you overcome.
To any wives reading this, please don’t buy the lie that your husband’s porn addiction is your fault. It’s not. Your husband doesn’t need someone who will feed his addiction by changing their appearance or playing along with his habit, he needs someone who will keep him accountable. Wives, your husband’s porn addiction isn’t your fault, but his recovery could be.