I believe one of Satan’s most successful schemes to destroy marriages and families is….pornography. Glancing once or twice at porn might seem relatively harmless, but it can rapidly become an addiction. Once a person becomes addicted, they find they need to move to progressively more perverse types of porn in order to achieve the same arousal. Then, even perverse porn no longer gives the same satisfaction and they often end up acting out in real life situations, sometimes ending up with prostitutes or same-sex encounters. Marriages are torn apart in the process. Plus, of course, your husband looking at another woman’s naked body is not okay with God! Jesus says in Matthew 5:28, “If anyone looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
We can’t be ignorant to this pornography epidemic in America. Even among Christians, HUGE numbers of both men and women are ensnared by habitual porn use. In fact, a survey of pastors done back in 2001 revealed that almost 40% say pornography is a struggle for them! As wives, we need to be alert to the signs that our husbands could be addicted to pornography. Here are some common signs of habitual porn use:
- Your husband no longer seems interested in having sex with you
- Your man is becoming rough during sex or wants you to engage in perverse sexual acts
- Your husband seems to be on the internet a lot, especially when you are out of the room
- Your husband is very secretive and seems to be avoiding straight answers about activities
If your husband shows some or most of these signs, you may need to lovingly address the possibility of a pornography problem with him. Keep in mind your husband is not the enemy, and if you make him feel like he is your enemy, he won’t feel safe to discuss this problem with you. Be gentle, loving, and respectful, but DO address this issue. Take action to fight for your marriage!
If your husband has an addiction or often engages in some kind of destructive or sinful behavior, you have 2 choices. Choice # 1: You can wring your hands in despair and do nothing…which means that his disturbing behavior will likely continue, and your heart will slowly grow cold toward your husband. Choice #2: You can courageously talk to your husband and request him to change his behavior (or get help in changing his behavior). From personal experience, I highly recommend choice #2!
Here are 3 keys that are especially important if you choose to address this issue with your husband.
- Be very specific about what you’re asking your husband to do in order to change his behavior. For instance, if he has a drinking or pornography problem, he will almost certainly need help in disentangling himself from this addiction. So search out helpful 12-step programs or reputable counselors in your area ahead of time and tell him that in order for you guys to keep moving forward in your marriage, you need him to attend a specific number of sessions over a specific period of time. I would certainly recommend that he attend some kind of program/counselor at least once a week for at least 6 months. Addictions and other sinful patterns are hard to break. He will need sustained help.
- Expect your husband to be unhappy about this request! Many husbands will try to blame you or other circumstances for their personal problems. Many husbands will also attend a program or see a counselor for one or two sessions and then say “it isn’t helping me”. That’s usually just an excuse. Don’t accept that answer, unless they are willing to try a different program or counselor right away.
- Balance your request with words of hope and encouragement. Proverbs 18:21 says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”. Remember, you’re asking your husband to do some very hard work, so speak life-giving words to him. Tell him that you see good qualities in him, and that you will do anything you can to help him on his journey to break free from addiction
In case you weren’t yet aware, pornography is a gigantic cancer that is rapidly destroying marriages and entire families. Hundreds of millions of men regularly view pornography (and many women too), and even among Christian men, the problem is rampant. Goodness, even a majority of pastors admit to struggling with temptations to view porn. Back in 2001, a survey found that 54% of pastors had viewed pornography in the past year. I’m sure the numbers are much higher these days.
Why is pornography such a big deal? Well, marriage counselors will tell you, and I will tell you from counseling many women in crisis in their marriages, that pornography usage almost always escalates into something truly horrific. When a man starts viewing pornography, he almost always progresses to more and more perverse pornography as he chases that “buzz” from viewing something sexually arousing. Unfortunately, in many cases, the man can no longer get his “fix” from pornography and ends up committing sexual acts outside of marriage. In either case, the marriage is often destroyed and families are torn apart.
What are some signs of a possible porn problem for your husband? Some common signs include no longer being interested in sex with you, coming to bed after you or exiting the bedroom in the middle of the night, and requesting increasingly perverse or odd sex acts from you. If you notice some of these signs, it may be time to have a serious talk with your husband. However, don’t approach him as an enemy. Approach him in love, as his helper. Remember, in Genesis 2:18, God says “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him.” Approach your husband kindly but firmly, and let him know you want to help him tackle this problem that could harm both him and your family.