Pornography’s Unexplained Side Affects And How God Asks Us To Handle It
Now and then I post questions that come in and I respond as best as I can with wisdom and understanding. I will always ask God what to say, prior to my responding, because I rarely know what the person needs to hear on any particular subject. When this question came in I knew this had to be answered publicly because this problem is so wide spread.
“Kellie I believe my husband is addicted to porn. I catch him on the internet looking at it and I’m utterly appalled. He won’t love me the way he use to and although I want to talk with him about it, I feel repulsed by him. I just don’t know how to bring it up!! I think we need help, but I don’t know who to talk to. Please can you advise me?!”
First, I admire your bravery for allowing me to bring this issue out into the public eye. Most women completely understand what you’re experiencing, including myself, but are too afraid to confront their loved one about it. I completely understand the feelings of disappointment and shock over discovering someone you care about being addicted to porn or has a sexual addiction of some kind. Disappointments like that can often lead to anger because pornography has debilitating effects on relationships, but that’s not all it affects.
I want to describe what happens to a man as he first becomes engaged in pornography and then eventually addicted. I think it will help to understand this addiction from a physical health perspective so you can then, base your discussion and decisions around an educated perspective.
Men who start out viewing porn usually do so out of personal voids, unworthiness, someone introduced it to them or sometimes they say, “It was there on my sidebar and I just clicked on it!” They don’t set out to intentionally hurt themselves or others by viewing it. They were simply lured by the temptation of it just like you might be lured to gossip initially. After a while, if the mind isn’t guarded, it becomes a way of life!
For those who are subject to the luring, they stand a greater chance of becoming addicted to it (whether internet or offline) and have begun discovering side affects that they aren’t sure how to handle. This frightens them, and rightly so, since there is a growing list of side effects with long term usage. Believe it or not there is now a HUGE demand for solid scientific information to validate and cure these side affects by the addicts themselves.
Some of the most perplexing and unexpected side effects include;
- social anxiety
- inability to stop
- obsessive-compulsive behavior
- escalation to more extreme material
- concentration difficulties
- sexual performance problems
- radical changes in sexual tastes
- non-stop sexual fantasies
Gary Wilson is a physiology teacher with a particular interest in the latest neuroscience discoveries of the effects of internet porn. He discovered that there are neurochemical reasons why overstimulating Internet use of porn has unexpected effects on the brain. Gary created a website called, “YourBrainOnPorn.com”, which now serves as a tool where men (both young and old) can go for help. (Reference: Gary Wilson’s TEDx Talk to listen Click Here)
There are websites popping up all over the globe for men, and women, who want out of the porn addiction and/or sex industry. This is great news for everyone as this interferes with the industry’s perpetual growth.
I would encourage you to talk to your husband about it armed with this information. Most men don’t understand the implications or long term pain it can cause but just like smoking a cigarette, even though they know its bad for them, they don’t know how to quit once addicted. There are also websites for wives of addicted husbands, and if you feel the need to find support for yourself, you might start with a site called CovenantEyes.com.
Unexplained Side Affects And How God Asks Us To Handle It
Now that I’ve shared what happens to the physiology of a man that becomes addicted, lets understand it from a spiritual and emotional perspective.
When a man is addicted to sex, or pornography, they cannot connect to others on an emotional level. They have hidden their emotions and just like a switch they shut off to their feelings, and the feelings of others, so they never have to be accountable to anyone while doing something that will eventually be exposed. God says, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.
In other words, we’ll all be called out on our stuff eventually.
We can derive an accurate conclusion from scriptures that the issue of pornography is not new and has affected humankind for centuries. Here are a few scriptural references;
- Matt. 5:27-28, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
- 1 Cor. 6:18, “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.”
- Col. 3:5, “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”
As you can see, the Bible tells us to be sexually pure. This is why Jesus tells us to guard our minds. It is our minds that control the direction of our soul.
Now before you, or anyone reading this starts to feel condemned – understand that no human can judge another – only God can. Since that is the case, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or feels about what your husband is doing. What matters is that he knows he is loved and that he can be freed from the addiction if he chooses. If he chooses not to be freed from it, then he will suffer the consequences just like the rest of us do when we’re being sinful.
Put away fear and pour on LOVE…
Years ago, our happy little girl was sent pornography through her very first email account via a school account. We had no idea. It wasn’t until two years later that I found pornography on her laptop. That’s when I found out about it. She had become fully addicted. This explained her sudden decision to be socially introverted and her often irrational guilt-driven behaviors made more sense. I knew something had gone awry but I didn’t know what.
When I first discovered this, my initial reaction was righteous anger. Upon seeing her computer screen I was filled with fear. Although I wanted to get it out into the open and ‘fix’ the situation, I honestly didn’t have a clue what to do, or say.
Interestingly enough, God had other plans…
As I put my hand on the door knob to do so, I heard God’s spirit say, “No.”
I jumped back as if I had been shot with a bolt of lightening. I started to argue, fuss and fight while telling him that she was my little girl and this isn’t right and she’ll ruin her life, etc, etc….but God had other plans.
“Say nothing.” Was what I heard.
“WHAT!??” That was the most incredulous thing I’d ever heard! “You can’t be serious!”
That’s when I heard, “Love her more.”
Although it was sooooo hard to think straight in that moment, I remember wondering what loving her would look like now that my eyes had been opened. Could I love her the same or should I be loving her differently? I wasn’t sure. I did nothing for the next few days but pray and ask God for clearer understanding on how I was to love her more. From that day forward I began to realize that “nothing” wasn’t going to erase the damage that had already been done to her pure sweet mind. And talking to her about it, in my very upset state of mind, could have done much more permanent damage to her heart. That’s when I knew all I could do was obey God, love her more and wait to see the outcome.
Three days later…
She came to me sobbing, three days later, and shared her entire burden of the past few years. Although I had no idea how long it had been, I already knew her pain and could empathize with her rather than be hurt, fearful or upset. God had worked on me to prepare myself to be who she needed me to be in that moment.
I didn’t need to say one single word. I simply held her while she sobbed and comforted her, but then she did one of the bravest things I’d ever seen anyone do. She looked me in the eye and asked me to hold her accountable to staying away from pornography, and to help her ask God to forgive her. What an incredibly brave thing to do. What an amazing example she was to me that day about cleaning up sins of the past, and asking for someone to hold us accountable for those things that we fall short in.
Now I share this story with you because I think its important to understand that you’re not alone. Millions of men, women and children, experience the affects of pornography and addictions every single day. The truth about addictions is that it is a covering over of a feeling of unworthiness. God knew that about my daughter which is why he simply asked me to love her more.
So listen to that still small voice before you speak to your husband and find out what God says you should do. One day you may be able to help another wife with your story and understand what you’ve needed to learn about yourself through this experience.
I would also recommend that you both work together on this, as if it were an important project, where the outcome will be better than you ever expected it to be. Bring to it a sense of excitement that you ABSOLUTELY CAN unlock the chains that have kept him locked up no matter how long its been. If you would prefer to do this privately I have a homestudy course you might be interested in that you can find here. It won’t refer to pornography on the site, nor does it appear to be for men, but this course will unlock in you both the freedom to love who you are and be the incredible human beings you are meant to be. ==> Day of Love; Healing and Restoring YOU
So my beautiful friend, take heart for there is plenty of help for you both, and plenty of successful people who have been where you are, including me.