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How a man’s porn addiction impacts the woman he loves

Porn addiction for a man can start at a very young age…a strategically bad time to start especially when a boy’s brain and cognitive functioning is in development and when they are forming basic understanding of sexuality.

Most men grew up without a father figure or without a solid guide to help him navigate the extremely challenging terrain of becoming a man and understanding the role and responsibilities that come with that…

Although I don’t know what it’s like to be a man, I write this blog article today because it is been an issue and passion from my heart for many years…from all my school research as well as countless conversations I’ve had with women about this topic. Single women, married women. Divorced women. Although I don’t speak for all women, I know I speak for many.

Behind the relationships these women have had or still have with their man…was a genuine love. Not just by the woman, but definitely by the man.

But something got in the way…

 

 

A message for you

In this article, I articulate informatively to men (yes, I will speak in first person) on how their porn addiction can be utterly destructive to the woman he loves. With statistics saying that more than 70% of men from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month…I know there’s a lot of you that I’m speaking to. (Please note: I’m speaking to men who identify with the Christian faith and want change)

The message may seem somewhat direct but I urge you to read on…there is a message of hope. Life does not have to be this way.

(Perfection is not required. Surrender to God, on the other hand, is…)

This message also very much pertains to single men that have not met “the one” yet. If you have any vague inkling of a desire to ever be married and have a family one day, this is for you.

 

 

How a Man’s Porn Addiction Hurts the Woman He Loves

1. Do you know that you are cheating on her?

I know there is an ongoing debate on whether or not pornography is considered a harmless or not as harmful form of “sexual release” that does not constitute adultery. However, I firmly believe that the bible would consider porn as fornication. Here’s the proof:

Matt 5:27-28 (AMP) “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Jesus told His disciples in the Sermon of the Mount that “whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality” commits sin (Matt 5:32 and Matt 19:1-9). In that case, “sexual immorality” is the only grounds for divorce.

The word translated as “sexual immorality” in the New King James Version of Matt 5:32 and Matt 19:1-9 is the Greek word porneia. The King James Translation uses the word “fornication” each time this Greek word porneia is found.

Conclusion?

I’m not advocating divorce but if you know that marriage is a covenant and if porn is considered fornication and grounds for divorce, pornography cannot be an option.  

 

2. Do you know that you are causing her to create a direct comparison between her and that image?

“If you really thought I was beautiful to you, why would you look at that?”

No doubt, it is extremely natural for a man’s porn addiction to breed incredible amounts of inadequacy and insecurity in the woman.

Although when you tease it out, it is clear that it has nothing to do with her beauty or identity because the addiction started way longer before the two may of met and it is an addiction (where the man’s body works against the man- more on this in my article, “When you keep doing what you hate“), based on my first point— it feels like being cheated on because indeed, another woman (or should I say, women) is involved. Therefore it is easy for a woman to start compare.

This is based on many conversations I’ve had with other women– I know love and lust can be different things but….don’t be surprised if it makes her question your love for her.

 

3.Do you know that you are opening the door to spiritual darkness – which makes it unsafe for her?

For those from a Christian based, biblical worldview, no doubt there is a spiritual realm. It says in John 10:10 that the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy.

And boy, does porn do the trick!

Porn is the weapon of choice by our spiritual enemy to absolutely destroy a man’s manhood and the image of God they are to reflect. Not only that, but when we open the door to Him…He doesn’t stop at the doorway. He wants to get into all of your life and destroy it all!

Not only will it open the door wide open to destroy your marriage (the hurt, rejection, abandonment, insecurity, fear, inadequacy, depression in the woman that goes with my point #2 above) but so much more…don’t be surprised if it brings anger, sickness, discouragement, and destruction to other parts of your life…your finances, your career, your ministry…

If you are married, you have become ‘one’ with her which means…what you open up spiritually, you make your wife very vulnerable to attack as well.

As Pastor Mark Driscoll in his famous sermon, “Marriage and Men” says– how can you hurt God’s daughter (His daughter) and expect God to bless you while you’re doing it?

The dark supernatural spirit behind pornography contributes to how hard it is to break free from this….it’s really no joke and something not to play with.

Proverbs 6:27-28, 32: “Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals and his feet not be burned?

But whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks heart and understanding (moral principle and prudence); he who does it is destroying his own life.”

 

4. Do you know that porn will always make violence and sexual abuse easier?

Although many try to make a distinction between sex trafficking/sexual abuse/violence towards woman and something ‘private’ like a porn addiction, hate to break to you but …they’re all the same.

Not only are they one in the same to God, they are the one in the same based on tried and true empirical research:

For example, in the article “The Impact of Internet Pornography on Marriage and the Family: A Review of the Research ” in the journal Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, author Manning says:

“Recurrent exposure to common, non-violent, and widely available pornography included: desire for more divergent and bizarre types of pornography, increased heartlessness towards women, trivialization of rape, distilled warped views about sexuality, diminishment of the importance of monogamy, lowered satisfaction with sexual life with partner,  qualms about the significance of marriage, lessened desire to have children, sexual deviance, sexual perpetration, and rape myth acceptance.”

When a man is watching hours of sexual violence and explicit porn, it’s going to make it much easier to act out on the things he sees in real life.

It absolutely does insensitize a man to do things that he normally would not do.

….This can also means, it makes it easier to have an affair.

 

5. Do you know you are feeding something that will never be satiated, something that will only grow?

Similar to other addictions, tolerance is built with sexual online addiction with the rising need for greater amounts to attain the former mood modification effects, leading to more time online.

I like what Josh Harris has to say in his book, “Sex is not the problem (Lust is)” about how lust is never created to be satiated. It will always want more.

This simply means that feeding it “just one last time,” isn’t even going to give you the relief and comfort you’re looking for. And the ‘sick cycle’ and hurt continues…

 

6. Do you know that as a man, everything you do is generational?

Another fact to shoot holes in the argument that porn is a ‘private’ activity that doesn’t hurt anyone…

As a man, you will pass your last name on and you were created to lead your wife and family.

Everything you do is literally shaping that legacy.

No doubt, God does look to the man to be responsible:

More on this in my article “When Men Leave“:

“Fathers play a critical role. They are to cultivate a ‘healthy and whole’ spouse and children. They contribute to their well being through physical, spiritual and emotional provision. They are to protect. 

They are to lead. Through godly character that reflects Father God and gentle strength, they lead their family into the future. Into God’s will. They are to speak words of life to build up their spouse, their sons, their daughters. Telling them who they are in Christ.

They are pastors-- pastoring their family and representing God to their family.

But they are also priests.

They will present their families to God one day. They will be held accountability for everything they did and didn’t do.

Let’s not go into the submission debate about why the man is the head of the house, etc. No, men were created for special leadership in their family. They have a role that others shouldn’t play. Not that women cannot lead their families, and they do in other ways, but men are the ones with the primary accountability before God. It’s a heavy calling.”

 

Is there hope?

In my article “When Men Leave,” I conclude with a plea:

“Please know that…we cannot do this without you.

We are supposed to be prepared for eternity and walking in our calling…under your leadership.

We will take on your last name and we will follow you.

So much of our identity and our emotional wholeness comes from how you play your role.

We need you and we desire you to step up. Do not leave.

And with that, we respectfully honor you. Honor the great responsibility that you have as a man of God.

We recognize that this isn’t easy. We recognize that it will take all that you’ve got…and more, with the Grace and ability from God.

We need you to do your best.

We honor who God created you to be. We love you.”

Please know that God wouldn’t call you to such a high bar, if it wasn’t possible

 

Getting help

If any of this article resonated with you, I urge you to get help. Here’s a few things you can do:

1. Get to know your Father God

This is step #0! If you don’t have a relationship with God, the end of the story may end up being very sad for you…

Surely it is through knowing God that you have the power to overcome the power of sin, because He already did it for you on the Cross!

Check out my series on Father Wounds to learn more…

2. Get to the root. Know your ‘triggers.’ It’s never about sex.

Just like Josh Harris says, sex is really not the problem. I would even dare to say lust isn’t either.

At the core of lust, is a deep desire to get the void filled. It’s easy to think that porn can fill that intimacy but it only creates a bigger void because it isn’t with someone real.

Hurt people hurt other people.

I highly recommend counseling (check out my article “Emotional Health Check“) to help you tease out the root issue. Maybe it was your parent’s divorce. Maybe it was abandonment by your father. Maybe it’s the inability to deal with your emotions….insecurity and stress… (more on this in my article “The Breeding Ground of Addiction“)

3. Stop doing things alone. Break the shame.

Porn can be extremely isolating. It isolates you from your spouse and community but also from your relationship with God.

It is a hidden life of shame that can eat you from the inside out. (More on breaking the shame in my article “You’re just not good enough” and sexual healing in my article, “White as Snow: Sexual Healing“)

Take a step of courage knowing you aren’t alone. Find the accountability you need. (For example, through a ministry like Pure Desire)

4. Educate yourself.

Learning more about what porn is doing to you and others you love means effectively fighting it.

Resources I recommend include: XXX Church, Article series by Christian St. Jacques called “Sexual DeEvolution,” and Dr. Shirley Glass’ book on affairs, “Not Just Friends” (great resource that can apply to restoring trust with your significant other)

5. You don’t have to be perfect.

Perfection is not required but surrender to God and your active effort to get help, is.

This is not meant to condemn but if this is an active addiction in your life– don’t walk, run.

Do this for the woman you love and do this for your legacy. Do this for God.

Let’s break this ‘sick cycle’ together!

 

 

Heart Check

1) How has your porn addiction or tendency to turn to porn in hard times impacted your relationships, your spiritual life, and your marriage/family (if you have one)? Be specific.

2) Which part in the above blog article resonated the most to you or provided you new revelation?

3) What steps are you going to take to amend any broken relationship, repent, and/or get help?

 

 

  • Your article was , I feel God inspired. It was so informative as it relates our nature as men. I would say that I’m in that 20 or 30% of men who are not into porn as stated in the article. I have never been a picture or film guy when it comes to wanting to see a woman. The lustful intent has always been toward a real live women in whatever circle I traveled. Thank God thru my relationship with His Son Jesus Christ, I have power to overcome the lusting that may try to occur by looking at any women that may appeal to me. Been married to my wife for going on 38 years, and I have my Gods grace never cheated on her. I have lusted after another woman in my mind, yes! Did I repent to God, yes! Did I try to pursue the lust, no! If you consider that porn, then i’m guilty. Again, I was never a man that looked at pictures or watched movies of porn, I was addicted to the real thing, up close and personal. Thank God for deliverance and Salvation and the power to overcome temptation, amen.

    Jferrich

    October 17, 2012

  • It should be by Gods grace. (Spell check).

    Jferrich

    October 17, 2012

  • It irritates me to no end that you think that women don’t watch porn. And perhaps you should clarify how you are using the word “addiction” from the start because it appears that you think all porn watching is detrimental, and use of the word addiction seems to be used only for affect.

    Rina Liddle

    October 17, 2012

  • Thank you both for your generosity in commenting! I’m happy that we’re starting a dialogue. To address your comment specifically, Rina– (first of all, thank you for taking the time to read)– I certainly have researched into women and their habit with porn. Certainly prevalent. That being said, it simply wasn’t the scope of this article.
    (Perhaps a good topic for another article! Thanks for your idea)

    As for the “addiction”- I won’t go into the nuances of what addiction is but I do come from a biblical perspective and yes, I believe any porn watching is detrimental. It sounds like we differ in our opinion about that.

    renee

    October 17, 2012

  • Profound! This article is incredible on so many levels!!

    Josh

    October 21, 2012

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