How has the porn issue been handled in your home? How has it affected you?

    How did finding out your spouse looked at porn affect you, how did you react/respond?  Or, how did your spouse react/respond when they found out you were looking at porn?  What about finding out your child has looked or struggled, is there a different kind of reaction/response to them?

    This is a very real and very common issue and problem.  I believe we all have heard that it’s no longer a “man’s problem”, and if you haven’t, come out from under that rock 😉  Statistics also show that first exposure to porn is 8 years old.

    I have heard stories from all sides of the spectrum, and I personally have a hard time relating to those who are absolutely devastated and can’t seem to move past it.  But I know that’s real and seems fairly common, and I would like to have better understanding of it, so that I can help those in my life who have that kind of reaction.

    For those who were on the receiving end of a reaction/response, how did your spouse’s (or parents’) reaction/response affect you?   

    Does a show of grace and understanding give a feel like it’s okay, and therefore “permits” you to continue to do it, or at least not work as hard to not do it?

     

    Under the stars Asked on December 15, 2019 in Pornography .
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    8 Answer(s)

      In our early marriage, we viewed pornography together as a part of foreplay. We did so in full agreement; Mrs. Youngbear found pornography to be as erotic as me. We even bought it together. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit convicted us and by God’s grace our eyes were opened to the sin of pornographic use in our marriage bed. We claimed I Corinthians 10:13 ’No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it’ and I John 1:9 ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’

      A few months later, I foolishly bought and tucked away a Hustler magazine in my underwear drawer. Mrs. Youngbear found it and lovingly, yet firmly confronted me. She told me that pornography would not be in our house. I immediately confessed my wrongdoing.

      Thankfully, neither our foolishly mutual use nor my slip in use has affected our relationship. We forgave ourselves, she forgave me, and we forgot (no harbored ill effect) it.

      Have I slipped in this online, Internet-age? Yes, I humbly admit. I have been forgiven and Mrs. Oldbear has been told. My wrong behavior has never been fueled by her grace. To the contrary, our understanding of our sin nature and God’s strength, protection, and grace trumps our permissive will and misuse of unconditional forgiveness. In fact, she inspires (in attitude and action 😍🔥 ) me to avoid pornography.

      Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on December 16, 2019.
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        During my affair pornography was used…and when I was younger…but it really doesn’t have a hold on me. My struggle is keeping my eyes on MY prize in public. DW knows all my sins and while I can say she wasn’t happy, that was the least of her concerns while dealing with all the other sins I had committed against her. She does have access to anything I have electronically anytime she wants.

        On the floor Answered on December 16, 2019.
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          I think it matters why porn is being used. In my case I was medicating loneliness and seeking a feeling of being wanted. I probably wouldn’t have been able to express that as a teen or into my 20s. It’s only by revelation by the Holy Spirit that I’ve been able to understand why porn has/had its effect on me.

          Because I was using porn to fill a legitimate need for connection, responses of being caught ultimately led to me laying low for a bit and being more careful. I’m not proud to admit that. I certainly felt conviction and shame, and vowed to do better, pray more, etc, but satan knows how to push all the right buttons to lure me back. It wasn’t until I reached my breaking point and learned more about how God wired sex in men for emotional connection that I was able to understand why porn was such a strong issue for me.

          California King Answered on December 17, 2019.
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            My husband confessed to it earlier in our married (I don’t remember if I caught him or if he felt guilty and confessed) I think I naively assumed that because he said he wouldn’t do it again that was the end of it.  I also think I didn’t want to delve to deeply into it because I felt partially responsible as I was a gatekeeper/refuser.  I didn’t really understand the effect porn can have and I thought he was just using it to get what I wasn’t giving him.  I  figured that was the end of things and as far as I know it pretty much was for a while.  I kind of put my head in the sand and didn’t really think about it or ask him about it much for a long time until recently a friend of mine sought prayer and support for her husband’s porn use.  It prompted me to have a conversation with dh about it and he confessed that he did occasionally struggle with it usually as a way of medicating during times of high stress.  My first feelings were anger, I felt like he was choosing porn over me as now I am always willing and available (and he is fully aware of that) and often I have the higher drive.  I also felt betrayed because it took me asking for him to confess.  I wouldn’t say I was devastated though and I think this time I reacted much better than I did the first time.  Dh did not want to talk about it with me very much, I think because he felt ashamed and like he’d let me down.  Thankfully he took decisive steps to address it, confessing to and asking another man at church to keep him accountable (they meet regularly) and installing software on his phone.  I also talked to a friend from church to process and get advice instead of just dealing with it alone which I think helped tremendously.  My friend has encouraged me to continue to talk to dh about it and check in with him (I think as I have a tendency to just want to assume everything is fine and dh has a tendency to try to shield me from when he’s  anxious or stressed so it doesn’t impact me).  He does struggle to talk about it with me and I struggle to bring it up because I don’t want to  seem like I’m nagging or not trusting him.  I’m still trying to find a balance of when to ask and how to bring it up gracefully.

            On the floor Answered on December 17, 2019.

            Thanks for sharing! This thing called life, and always working at finding the right balances can be difficult, can’t it? I often relate to so much of what you say and who you are.

            I don’t do a lot of asking of my husband either. I realize that it’s because I assume he will operate as I operate. I am fairly independent, when I struggle, I face it head on and I wrestle with it and I deal with it. I do fairly well without the “help” of others. If I need help, I will ask for it. I guess expect my husband to do the same thing.

            on December 17, 2019.

            Yes, balance is difficult especially for someone who can tend toward overthinking, when you say you wrestle with things I often feel the same way, literally wrestling, I used the same verbiage to my husband the other day.   I often relate to much of what you share too, and I think I do tend to assume my husband thinks, feels, and operates the same way I do despite repeated evidence to the contrary 😉

            on December 17, 2019.
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              I meant to respond to this earlier,  and never got around to it.

              “For those who were on the receiving end of a reaction/response, how did your spouse’s (or parents’) reaction/response affect you?
              Does a show of grace and understanding give a feel like it’s okay, and therefore “permits” you to continue to do it, or at least not work as hard to not do it?”

              In my own history of porn use addiction,  That showing of grace was just the opposite.  I really did not expect grace when I repented and confessed,  and the way my wife responded motivated me to do better.  I had seen the anger in the past, and it never made a dent in my heart.  I could just use that, along with the contempt I felt, to justify further porn use.  When I was met with grace instead of condemnation, it empowered me and strengthened my resolve.  I can’t say what would have happened had it gone the other way,  but if the past was evidence,  I probably would have found myself struggling, even if I “chose” not to.

              On the floor Answered on December 17, 2019.
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                I feel like the family who ate the one bag of lettuce in the recall that didn’t have E. coli in it. (Praise God for His mercy and grace!)

                A cousin and I found some “interesting” magazines when I was at a very curious (and young) age and while I did satisfy my curiosity (mostly; as previously discussed, there is a bias against showing male detail), and the forbidden-ness of it gave me a thrill, I did not become addicted. AFAIK, DH may have seen some here and there in some other boy’s possession, but never had any of his own or became addicted. (We grew up pre-internet, Praise God!!) A neighbor girl once flashed her naked chest at him, but he says he was unimpressed.

                As a married couple we have looked at some together; we got a movie early on as a date night “treat”; even the shopping trip to the naughty store was a trilling and titillating experience because we had never been “free” to do that before. But we both felt dirty afterward. It was as if by bringing that cheap imitation into our experience together, we had tainted our own pure love experience. Unfortunately, we are sometimes forgetful, and actually tried it again years later (having stuffed it in a closet because we weren’t wise enough to just get rid of it the first time) with the same results. I don’t know if we disposed of it that time or put it back in the closet. Now I can think of several ideas for complete and anonymous destruction and disposal, but at the time, none probably came to mind–we have had that problem with other things we were embarrassed to have discovered in our trash. (I need to make that a question, because sometimes that happens: a toy is not preferred and just taking up space or it stops working, etc.)

                Since we have gotten smart phones, there have been times we looked at some pictures or gifs on a phone together in bed as a way of jump starting our arousal when we are theoretically in the mood but not really there. About twice it became a brief (like, 2-3 times in a row) habit which we stopped because–again–it just felt dirty; as if it contaminated our time together. During one of those times, we were having trouble prioritizing sex and I fell into looking at it by myself a few times when he had gone to sleep. That was one of the things that prompted me to say, “we need to not do that anymore”. That, and realizing that even though we didn’t click on them, search results often brought up offerings of teens that reminded us too much of our daughter.

                That actually kind of was like getting the E. coli in that it made us so sick we never want to see it again.  It’s a good “cure”–imagine someone becoming aroused by your daughter doing whatever it is that is arousing you. Total mood killer!

                BTW, we would have never searched out porn on our smart phones, if for no other reason than the fear of digitally contaminating our devices–getting a virus, allowing a porn site to collect cookies, etc. The way we found the pictures we looked at was from a simple, innocent search on a topic we were looking up for information…and there they were: dirty pictures. This is why I say we are so very blessed, because we have been so close to the edge of that abyss but haven’t fallen but the abyss keeps getting bigger and bigger. The enemy really is a roaring lion, prowling around and seeking whom he can destroy. Thank God he has defeated our enemy!

                Under the stars Answered on December 19, 2019.
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                  Thank you Oldbear for sharing honestly.

                  We had a similar thing where we viewed it together on a couple of different occasions in the beginning of our marriage, and ashamedly, it was at my suggestion.

                  I have never been one to take his struggle and usage personal or as a total betrayal to me. I believe part of the reason is because before we were even married, we were totally open and honest about all our sexual experience, including struggles and sins like porn. When he would fall into it, it was never a shock. Plus I know I have my own sexual temptations and struggles.

                  We have a child who fell into it, confessed it before we knew what was going on (4+ years ago), and he’s had a desire to be free, but struggles. He even desired an old school cell phone to keep temptation at bay while in high school. But, since he graduated, he did move to a smart phone, set up accountability on it, with his dad as the accountability partner, and it seems it doesn’t bother him to continue to look at inappropriate things…. of course I am sure it is tempering what he looks at and it could be much worse, but it feels like he knows his dad will understand and show grace, so “what’s the big deal?”

                  Under the stars Answered on December 16, 2019.
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                    Thanks, Duchess, for sharing your story and how you and your DH have dealt with and are dealing with the temptation of pornography. It seems to me that it’s  more ‘common to us’ (I Co. 10:13) – the temptation, that is – than most Christians  would care to be honest.

                    SC’s OP and your answer reminded me that in Romans, Paul drives home the point (chapter 7 and 8) that Satan is the author of guilt and the Holy Spirit convicts us.

                    Guilt paralyzes and defeats us. We can’t stand up against guilt (I did it once and ‘worm that I am’ I’ll do it, again!) This is particularly true when we are at a vulnerable moment – lonely, disheartened, shame-ridden, etc. Guilt can fuel a return to habitual sin, and pornography is an enticing, habitual sin.

                    Praise the Lord! (as Paul wrote in Romans 8) we have forgiveness (redemption and grace) from sin through Jesus Christ and freedom (protection and conviction) from temptation  through the Holy Spirit.

                    Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on December 19, 2019.
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