How porn affects your marriage

I am filled with righteous indignation today, and frankly, I’m on the war path!  I keep on discovering more and more marriages that are slowly being destroyed due to pornography. The stories women tell me often reveal very similar downward spirals. Their husband’s use of porn has evolved into online sex chat rooms, actual encounters with other women, or even sex crimes.  Then there’s a whole other group of women who feel unloved because their husbands rarely, if ever, want to make love to them anymore.  The reason?  Their husbands are busy satisfying their sexual needs with pornography and masturbation.

I say ENOUGH!  It’s time that women everywhere step up with courage and dignity and declare war on pornography!  Ephesians 5, verse 3 says “among you there must not even be hint of sexual immorality” and in verse 11, God instructs us “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”   It’s time that all women adopt a zero tolerance standard for pornography use by their men (and themselves as well). I’m NOT saying to declare war on your husband. He is not the enemy.  However, we can no longer wring our hands in defeat and stand by helplessly as our marriages and families crumble. 

What should you do if your husband is viewing pornography?  Respectfully, but firmly, tell him you will not tolerate that anymore.  Ask him if he’s willing to do whatever it takes to stop.  If he says yes, then work with him to find help.  There are some great programs out there.  For instance, in the Bellingham, WA area, men are being helped at Band of Brothers For Christ and another group called Prodigals.  If your husband refuses to sincerely seek help or continues looking at porn, then you may have to establish a firm boundary in the relationship.  You may even have to separate for a time.  Take a stand, ladies!  If you don’t, you and your marriage will likely end up being destroyed.

4 marriage myths you must know

  1. Our romanticized culture has led many Christian women to believe that they need to find their one true “soul mate” who will make them happy for the rest of their life, with little hard work on their part.  Not true!  I don’t see this concept anywhere in the Bible.  In fact, the Bible makes it clear that we are supposed to be more concerned with loving others than finding someone who makes us happy.  Philippian 2:3-4 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourself. Each of you should look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others.”

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I believe it’s important for you to realize the following ideas about marriage are actually 3 more myths:

  • Your husband is supposed to be your source of happiness.  (Actually, God is the only one who can provide perfect love, security and comfort)
  • Happy couples never have conflict.  (If you never disagree on anything, one or both of you is likely burying the issue and allowing resentment to grow)
  • If you find the “right” guy, a wonderful marriage will just happen.  (Actually, a good marriage takes planning, intentionality and effort)

Watch out for this scheme from hell!

I’m outing him.  I’m exposing one of Satan’s main strategies for tripping up wives and potentially destroying their marriages.  I can speak from experience because I got caught in this scheme.  Ugh.  Here it is.  The enemy will subtly lure you into a “friendship” with a man other than your husband.  It will start very innocently.  It may evolve very slowly.  But here’s what I know.  Once you start sharing your feelings, your troubles, and your hopes with a man, you start emotionally bonding with that man.   Once a man starts sharing his burdens and his feelings with you, you start to bond with that man.  Now you’re in treacherous water, and it’s only a matter of time before you get sucked into an actual affair.

I know some of you don’t believe me, but trust me, this has happened to countless women, including wonderful Christian ladies.  It happened to me at the end of my first marriage.  I never would have believed it could happen to me!  For me, it took over 10 years for Satan to build a strong enough emotional bond with the man for me to be ensnared, but apparently the devil is pretty patient.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Refuse to spend time alone with another man, even at a public location.  Refuse to discuss your marriage or your husband with another man, unless it’s a pastor or counselor.   God instructs us in 1 Peter 5:8 to “be self-controlled and alert because the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour“.  Be smart.  Be alert to this scheme from the pit of hell!

Avoiding landmines in blended families

Pretty much anyone who has entered the arena of blended families and step-parenting knows that it is like trying to walk across a field of landmines.  Typically, the biggest problem is that the step-parent thinks the step-child should love and respect them just like they would their biological parent.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way.

Here’s the best piece of advice I ever heard on this subject.  As the step-parent, take the time (perhaps years!) to sow nothing but love into the relationship with your new stepchild.  Resist the desire to step in as disciplinarian and let the biological parent handle that.  As a couple, talk with your spouse behind closed doors about how “situations” and discipline should be handled, but then let the biological parent actually carry it out.

The idea of sowing love into a person before expecting that person to love you in return is actually similar to our relationship with Jesus.  The Bible says “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).  We need to model this as step-parents.  Your step-child needs to see you demonstrate love for a sustained period of time before believing you actually have their best interests at heart.  This may truly take years, especially if the child is over the age of about 5 when you first enter the new marriage.  Be patient.

Satan’s scheme to destroy marriages

Let’s not be ignorant.  Satan is dead-set on destroying your marriage and killing your joy.  Jesus explains in John 10:10 that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy.  Furthermore, Jesus reveals in John 8:44 that one of Satan’s favorite schemes to destroy you entails lying to you. 

He will try to plant lies in your mind such as this:  Your husband doesn’t love you. You deserve a different husband.  You are not loveable.  You will never be happy with your husband.  You better not challenge any sinful behavior by your husband because if you do, he will leave you and you won’t be able to take care of yourself.  Do any of these lies sound familiar?

Thankfully, Jesus also tells us the way to stand against the enemy’s plans to destroy us and our marriages.  It’s a four-part recipe.  First, ask God to reveal lies of the enemy that you’ve been buying!  When negative, critical, or fearful thoughts enter my head, I try to remember to pause and ask myself, “Does this sound like something God would say, or is this a lie of the enemy?”

The next 2 steps are found in Revelation 12:11 which says “They triumphed over him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.”  So, proclaim Jesus’ shed blood on the cross as sufficient to overcome the enemy’s plans!  Also, tell others about how God has answered your prayers or displayed his power in your life in the past.  This serves to remind both us and our listeners that Jesus’ power over the enemy is enough to defeat him! 

Finally, Jesus tells us in Luke 10:19 that we get to take authority over the enemy in Jesus’ name!  Meditate on this verse which says “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”  Do you need to start taking authority over the devil in your home?  One way to do that is by commanding all evil spirits to leave your home “in the name of Jesus” and then asking God to fill your home with the Holy Spirit and surround your home with His angels.

Are you cooperating with the devil?

Your enemy has plans to blow-up your marriage.  The Bible says in John 10:10 that Satan is out to “steal, kill, and destroy“, so make no mistake.  The devil is working diligently to take down both you and your husband.  He may relentlessly tempt your husband to view pornography, and your husband may cave into the temptation.  Your heart will definitely be bruised if your husband falls into that trap.  But Satan wants more than that.  The enemy will relentlessly tempt you to treat your husband with scorn and disgust so that your marriage implodes.

This is where you have a choice.  You can cooperate with the devil and give in to his temptations.  You can allow him to have the victory.  You can align yourself with his evil plans and watch your marriage get flushed down the toilet.  Or you can refuse to cooperate with the devil.  Even when your husband does something that seriously disappoints you, you can tell your husband that you are still “for him”…that you believe he has a good heart…that you are not giving up on him.

A friend of mine recently found out that her husband had slipped up and viewed porn after over a year of being free from pornography.  Of course, she was devastated, but she chose wisely in that moment.  She chose to speak words of life to her husband.  I’d love to share the text she sent me shortly after his confession:  “So thankful he was honest.  Still hurts.  But the enemy will not win!  My marriage is worth fighting for”.  What a fantastic attitude!  She refused to cooperate with the devil.  How about you?