How One Man Explains the Temptation towards Porn–and How to Fight It

by | Apr 8, 2020 | Pornography, Uncategorized | 35 comments

How One Man Explains a Porn Temptation, and how it's not the wife's fault
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How do men who have recovered from a porn addiction see that porn addiction in retrospect?

As I unpack from my vacation, I’m happy to have a post to share with you this week from Hugh Houston, who has written the book Jesus is Better than Porn. I know so many wives struggle with their husband’s porn use, and I thought it may be helpful to hear from a guy who has owned his addiction and taken responsibility, and who explains his motivations and what went through his mind.

Here’s Hugh:

How one man explains a porn temptation, and how to fight it

If only I had never looked at those Playboy magazines at my cousin’s house. 

That day some of those images were burned into my brain. I still remember the rush I felt as the adrenalin pulsed through my body.

Was it an addiction at first sight? I can’t say. I just know that in spite of the fact that I had been taught differently, from then on, I began to seek out opportunities to take another peek and feel that same rush. Sadly this compulsive cycle went on for years.

Like many guys I believed that when I got married my problem would be solved. I have a wonderful wife and we have always had a good sex life, but sadly that did not prevent my mind from seeking excitement in other places.

I’m sorry to say that sincere Bible teachers sometimes place the blame on the wife for her husband’s problem with lust or adultery. While it is the spouse’s place to love his or her mate and to seek to please them, they cannot be held responsible for the urges and desires in their partner’s heart.

In order to live with myself while I continued to give in to my impure desires I minimized, justified, and rationalized my totally irrational behavior. In my own dark, confused, and self-justifying mind, what I was looking at didn’t even qualify as pornography. My excuse was, I had only been looking at pictures of women without their clothes on. Didn’t God make women beautiful? Wasn’t God the one who designed men to be attracted to the opposite sex? What I was doing wasn’t really so bad, was it?

Later, when I finally worked up the courage to confess my sin to my wife, she saw things much differently. She said that I had betrayed her with hundreds, if not thousands of women. It felt as if I had invited these women into our home and had sexual relations with them. It made her feel unloved, unworthy and rejected. I had never even stopped to consider such an idea, but when she said it, I knew that she was right.

I was once proud of the fact that I had never spent a dime to purchase porn, but in reality, I was afraid of getting caught. My wife observed that I was trying to present myself as the “good guy porn addict” when I was in reality just a tight-fisted porn addict.

When my wife didn’t seem to have as much time for poor little me as I thought she should, I could always find comfort from those ladies who looked so welcoming and affirming in those touched up photos. My head was filled with lie after lie. Here’s the truth: sin will take you further than you want to go, cost you more than you want to pay, and keep you longer than you want to stay.

Find freedom from porn!

Your marriage, and your thought life, do not need to be held captive to pornography.

There is freedom. 

Beat porn–together!

In a testimonial at the end of his book, “Pure Desire”, author Ted Roberts described the lunacy of the person involved in pornography with these telling words: “I was involved in compulsive behavior. I was the producer, director, and star of my own self-absorbed, self-destructive disaster movie.”

One evening I found my wife crying and she said:

“Every time you made a decision to look at pornography, you made a decision to hurt me. You chose them over me and were rejecting me. Every time you looked at porn it was like you were slapping me in the face or kicking me in the stomach. I trusted you too much. I was totally unprepared for this. I think that’s why it cuts so deeply.”

All I could do at that moment was to sigh and say I’m sorry. If only I had taken action sooner. If only I had not been so selfish, foolish, and afraid to tell someone or ask for help.

For my wife, my porn use was all very personal.

In her mind, I rejected her for women who were more beautiful and sexier than her. This is both true and false. Yes, my choice hurt her and in making that choice I was turning my back on her to look at other women. But I did not do what I did because she is not beautiful enough or lacks sex appeal. After all, men who are married to actresses and fashion models also struggle with addiction to pornography. When looking at pornography, the first picture of the first woman is never enough. There is an insatiable desire to look at another and then another. There is no such thing as perfection and no such thing as satisfaction. There is only an unending search for the next high, the next rush and the next thrill.

The Bible explains how temptations work in James 1:13-15:

James 1:13-15

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

It is so easy to rationalize, minimize, and justify our actions. How convenient to say: “The devil made me do it.” Or “I only did it because my wife let me down once again”. Or to rationalize that all men have this weakness and even when I try to resist, it’s just no use. The Bible is like a mirror placing us face to face with reality. The plain and simple truth is: God is not to blame, and my wife is not to blame. I did it because I wanted to.

When I told my wife one day that I looked at those pictures of naked ladies out of boredom, she saw right through me. She said: “Why didn’t you decide to look at pictures of horses or sunsets or race cars?”

Several years ago, I attended a class on sin and temptation where the speaker referred to desire as the “grandfather of death”. What insight! Why was I sick and tired of being sick and tired? I had given in to my desires.

Willard wrote this in the Renovation of the Heart (p.122):

“Feelings are, with a few exceptions, good servants. But they are disastrous masters.”

Romans 6:23

I had placed my feelings and my desires on the throne of my heart. What cruel masters they are! I let my feelings rule my life and my life was a wreck as a result. Desires which are out of control will quickly lead to sin, and the wages of sin is death 

The apostle Paul described this devastating problem in 1 Timothy 6:9-10. Here Paul talks about the longing to be rich, but the same could be said of all of our carnal appetites:

1 Timothy 6:9-10

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

​This is exactly what happened to me regarding lust and porn. These harmful cravings plunged me into ruin and destruction. The love of those pictures pierced my soul with many griefs. I fell into the trap of foolish and harmful desires and reaped a myriad of noxious consequences.

Sin is crouching at my door. It desires to have me. I must master it.

A friend of mine often says there is always a fixed amount of time between the thought or desire and the action. We must wage the battle during this window of time.

In the past, when I would give in to my weakness, the amount of time between the thought and the fall would be minimal and I did nothing to stop it. I felt powerless.

Now, as soon as the desire or thought pops into my head I work to “master the thought”. I move to eliminate it immediately. I know that otherwise, I will end up dominated by it. So I work to act quickly and decisively. This is essential in order to find a new life.

What makes a temptation tempting? I’ve mulled this over in my head over years. Why am I not tempted to smoke a cigarette or to drink a beer? I see those things and I don’t give them a second thought. Some people struggle for years to give up these habits. The difference lies in the desire. I am only tempted by the things I desire. I believe we create, or at least we permit, our own temptations.

If this is the case, then the key to victory in this battle against sin and temptation is to attack our desires.

It is essential to work at changing or controlling our desires. Today I can’t tell you I’m no longer tempted in the area of lust, but the degree to which I am tempted has diminished dramatically. God created us as beings with many capacities.

Change is not easy, as you already know from your own experience. How many people sign up at a gym in January with a determination to get in shape, but by March have already lost their drive?

The Bible tells us that God always provides a way out when we are tempted to sin:

1 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.

Change is possible.

Sin comes along and offers what looks enticing. And like a fish looking at the worm in the water, we can’t see the hook that lies underneath. Through prayer and by focusing on what we know to be true and right, over time we will see the worm and think about the hook and all of the pain it will bring. By intentionally focusing our thoughts on good things, our desire for what is wrong will diminish and no longer run rampant, dominating our minds. One of the greatest blessings I’ve gained now that I’ve found this new freedom is to have a clear head, with clean thoughts.

Hugh Houston has been a missionary for the last 35 years and has been married for 40 years. Hugh and his wife have four adult children. They love talking to people about Jesus and the new life he offers.  Hugh has written a book called “Jesus is Better Than Porn” which tells the story of his journey out of pornography.

Click here to check out his book!

Hugh Houston

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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35 Comments

  1. Worried

    Thanks for sharing your story Hugh.
    This breaks my heart. I am a single Christian woman who has been praying and waiting for a husband for years and I can’t tell you how much I am concerned that I may never be blessed with a porn free husband. My dream is to marry a virgin who has never even looked at porn and I’m not Amish. I want that because I can give it and I believe it’s Gods design. I like the idea of learning together. I can’t even begin to express how revolting pornography is, the abuse the lack of empathy, intimacy etc I never thought after all these years of waiting that now so many single Christian woman who aren’t and have never been into porn now have to deal with this. I wish I could envision a life of singleness but I’m not sure, maybe it would be better though? I don’t want to experience the devastation of my husband lying to me, comparing my body, thinking/lusting after other women he’s seen and bringing them into our marriage. How humiliating, how horrible. I pray this isn’t my future, but from reading this blog and other Christian sites it appears this is how men are especially now with the internet. Why don’t they fight it harder? Why aren’t leaders and Pastors more forceful in their objection to the human depravity & trafficking porn is? I always feel there are to many excuses. Most men would be viewing hard core acts, what that must do to their brains, their empathy, their view of women truly scares me.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Hi, Worried! It is tragic. It is stealing so much from us. It is a real scourge. There’s no doubt about it.
      I’d just say that I have known so many men to have gotten over pornography. And remember that so many get started when they’re just 11 or 12 or 13. They don’t understand what they’re seeing. They’re just starting to have sexual feelings, and their brain isn’t mature enough to be able to resist in the same way. When you hear of a guy in his 20s who has been battling porn, just have sympathy for the young teen in him that didn’t want to get started.
      And also remember that in the early church, many of the first Christians were saved out of very terrible lifestyles, too. I think we forget how awful Roman society was. And yet they were saved out of that. Our purity is based on what Jesus did with his body; it’s not based on what we have always done.
      I’m not saying you can’t find a man who hasn’t used porn. I’m just saying that it’s the condition of the heart and the relationship with Jesus that matters most. And Jesus can wash clean what was dirty before.

      Reply
      • Worried

        Thanks Shelia, yes that is true.
        I do grieve for the men too and I hate how the world (cultures, internet, ease of access) is set up for them to fail. I grieve that their prayers are hindered when they look at such things and they lose all authority to ever lead the women they are taking advantage of to the Lord.
        Your blog and podcast is SO encouraging though and gives me hope.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          I’m glad!

          Reply
        • Hugh Houston

          Worried,
          I am now doing what I can in an effort to help younger guys avoid some of the mistakes I made. We have to speak out. This sin grows in darkness. Only the LIGHT can offer us freedom.
          Of course this is not the only sin Christians need to fight in the 21st century. How many people are caught up in materialism? Consumed by what other’s will think of them? Overwhelmed with anxiety and worry? Filled with resentment and anger?
          Every follower of Jesus needs to be transformed into HIS likeness. This is our life-long project. Thankfully HE is with us and will help us when we seek to walk in His footsteps.
          Blessings,
          Hugh Houston

          Reply
          • Worried

            Keep up the good work Hugh!

    • AJ

      As a man now in my forties I was a kid in mid 80’s long before the internet. I was first exposed to porn by accident when I was nine years old. I found a “magazine” stashed in a hollow tree in the woods behind my house. It was obviously placed there by another neighborhood kid who was hiding it from his parents. In speaking with other men, many of us were exposed to porn at very early ages. Many before we even knew what sex was. There is a lot of evil in this world and it is impossible to not be exposed to it. As Sheila said purity comes from what Jesus has done.

      Reply
    • Tory

      @Worried, there are good guys out there. I was a virgin and I married a virgin man and neither of us had viewed porn prior to the marriage. So it’s possible. Here is what stacked the odds in our favor though: we got married very young, at 21. Also, the year was 2004, so neither of us had smartphones, and the internet was not what it is today. Throughout our marriage, both of us unfortunately used porn on several occasions. It’s just too easy. It’s right there at your fingertips. The first time you look at porn, it’s this unbelievable fear of doing something forbidden that you know is wrong. But then… nothing happens. You don’t accidentally download thousands of viruses on your device that out you as a sick pervert. So you do it again, and again. I’m not sure what my point is to you; you might marry that pure Christian virgin who has never seen porn, like I did, but that doesn’t mean it will never become a struggle later in life. Or, you might marry someone who had a checkered past, but who has since turned his life to the Lord and moved away from his sin. I think it is interesting to note that about 40% of porn consumers are women, so it is not exclusively a male problem.

      Reply
  2. Nathan

    Hello worried.
    I hear you, and I can tell one story that may offer you some hope.
    I came to this site because just over a year ago, a good friend of mine was caught by his wife watching porn. He had been doing that for years, and his wife was devastated. They asked me and Mrs Nathan for help, and while I’m not really a therapist or anything, we did our best. It’s been a year now, and he’s almost completely porn free. It was a struggle, and there was some backsliding, but he did the two most important things early on. He owned what he did (took responsibility himself and didn’t blame anybody else) and acknowledged the hurt that he caused.
    It’s been a tough journey in many ways, but he’s nearly at the top of the mountain. And if he can do it, I guarantee others can as well!
    So here’s hoping and praying that you find a good man to be with. In this day and age, you may not be able to find a virgin who’s never looked at porn, but I’m sure that you can find somebody who’s good nonetheless

    Reply
    • Madeline

      “..you may not be able to find a virgin who’s never looked at porn, but I’m sure that you can find somebody who’s good nonetheless.”
      I really like this. I do believe in having high standards and being wise (we’ve all experienced or at least heard the ‘I ignored all the red flags’ stories); but that’s not about clinging to hard and fast rules. If we weed out everyone with something unpleasant in their past, we risk losing out on some really amazing people. Besides how many of us have a perfectly clean record with nothing in our history that some would find objectionable? I think the key is finding someone who is willing to work on bettering themselves and accept healing from their past trauma.

      Reply
    • Worried

      Thanks Nathan I hope so too! I’ve learnt from reading & listening to Sheila and others that I am definitely going to be having the ‘porn talk’ before my marriage so there isn’t any nasty surprises and I won’t be marrying a man until he is free, I’d honestly rather be single. I wonder if many people esp women in the future are going to choose or find themselves single because of the rise and ease of internet porn.

      Reply
  3. Wife ready to walk out the door

    Hugh,
    Can you please share some of how/when your wife forgave you, how you regained her trust, and repaired your marriage?
    Thank you and God bless.

    Reply
    • Hugh Houston

      Wife ready to walk out the door,
      None of this is easy and none of this comes quickly. Healing requires time.
      On my part I needed to work on my recovery. And I also needed to be humble, know that I was at fault and be patient with my wife.
      She needed help and in our case probably did not get as much help as she needed. About five months after I confessed to her we met a kind, knowledgeable Christian counselor who told my wife that forgiveness comes in steps. That night my wife spoke the words “I forgive you” to me for the first time. But it still took a year or two to work through all of the pain and hurt. My wife still does not like to talk about all of this very much 14 years after the fact. But she trusts me now. She is happy to have me beside her. We know each other on a much deeper level now than ever before. We know we are together because each of us chooses to be and wants to be and is willing to work to stay that way.
      I hope I did not ramble too much.
      I say there is HOPE. But in addition to prayer and help from the LORD, each partner has to be willing to work at recovery and a new life.

      Reply
  4. Debi Schuhow

    I’m so proud of Hugh and his wife. Getting to the other side of this had to be very difficult and messy.
    What I want to share as I read this:
    It struck me that this thought pattern is the trap, whatever the addiction is. And there is a narrow window, but a window of grace, to reject all of those thoughts, and turn to Jesus for help.
    I think the devil traps us with self pity more than anything.
    Just my two cents….

    Reply
  5. Arwen

    Well done for overcoming this. Well done for taking FULL responsibility for your own sin. The temptation will lessen the longer you avoid it. I’m a woman who was addicted to porn when two other women introduced it to me when i was 16-17 years old. I have been free going on 3 years now. I really understand the struggle men have in this area as i have a very male oriented mind and tend to think & fee like them a lot. So don’t take it lightly when i say, well done, because I KNOW the struggle is unbelievably hard!

    Reply
    • Hugh Houston

      Thank you, Arwen!
      I can see you understand. It’s not rational. One man who helped me get out of the compulsive cycle of porn said there is no rational explanation for irrational behavior.
      Not long after I confessed to my wife she said I had to choose, either my “porn girlfriends” or her. I told her that even if she chose to leave me, I still was not going to continue looking at porn. It was a prison. It tormented me. Porn promises joy but sucks the life out of a person and leaves them in a deep, dark, lonely hole.
      May the Lord use us to help set the captives free!

      Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Amen, Arwen! Well done indeed, all round. I just love hearing stories of people who have come out on the other side! It is possible!

      Reply
  6. Flo

    Hello Hugh,
    Do you feel that there might be a correlation between porn and anxiety? Were you more anxious when you were looking at porn? And if yes, do you know which came first, the porn or the anxiety?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  7. Hugh Houston

    Fio,
    I am not a psychologist. As far as I understand it just about all addictions come from the same places and serve the same function. We try to “medicate” our pain or fill the empty spot in our souls with something.
    Part of recovery is looking at our emptiness and desire for love, acceptance, value and intimacy and then to find legitimate, real ways to meet those needs. Porn or a bottle will only make matters worse.

    Reply
    • Amy Cottrell

      Thanks for sharing. I am wondering what you felt was ‘missing’ that you had to ‘medicate’ and not reach out to your partner when you truly needed to? Why was she not a safe place for you to land? You chose to love and cherish her when you took a vow of marriage. Instead, you made the decision to devastate and betray your union.

      Reply
      • Doug

        Amy,
        I can’t speak for Hugh, but it is pretty easy for me to answer from my own experience. It may be that his answer woyld be similar, or it may be completely different.
        There is a lot said in this site about women not feeling safe about one thing or another and how that influences thoughts, feelings, and actions. As a man I have heard that so often that it seems to be the one size fits all answer to many issues in relationships, and honestly, it sometimes feels like that answer is overused.
        The thing is, men can think, feel, or act a certain way for the same reason. Sometimes, it is based on current reality, and sometimes it is just a ghost from the past that you don’t even know has power over you. In my own case, I carried abandonment issues from my childhood, so in some ways, nobody could truly be a safe place for me.

        Reply
  8. Anon This Time

    Thoughts for guys trying to rebuild your marriage after porn discovery – Hugh, would love your take on this.
    If your wife is willing to work on recovery/rebuilding, then at some point you might want to ASK HER about her feelings and the experience.
    I loved the part where Hugh had decided to give up porn regardless of whether his wife stayed or left. That’s an important part and I think the first priority.
    The wife will need outside help processing trauma – essentially deciding to heal her heart whether or not her husband repents/the marriage is restored.
    But once each individual has made progress on their own, it’s time to come together on the relationship, and that means actually restoring transparency.
    My husband and I are in a good place after dealing with this issue and I have hope we will continue to move forward, but there are some parts of my heart that I guard against him. This impacts our sex life and emotional intimacy. It also impacts our spiritual growth because I don’t feel safe enough to be iron sharpening iron. I was hoping we could use our journey to help and encourage other couples, but I still can’t actually talk about it because I feel he doesn’t want to hear it or the stress and shame will trigger or hurt his healing process.
    When you are strong enough, invite your wife share her hurt WITH YOU.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m so glad you’re on this journey! I know it’s a hard one, and it definitely does take time. I recognize that it’s hard to be transparent and open when things are still really fragile. It likely won’t be like this forever. I’ll say a prayer for you!

      Reply
  9. Despairing

    Thank you for this article. Several years back, my husband (who was exposed to porn prior to his teen years) confessed that he had looked at porn on his smartphone. I told him that I forgave him, but it was really hard to let go of. Several months back, I gave in to suspicion, and looked at the browsing history on his phone. There were dozens of visits related to porn…I was devastated! Around the same time, I came across Sheila’s article about the effects of porn. I told him what I had found, and printed off Sheila’s articles, in order that he could have easy access to what I had read. He was initially very resistant to acknowledging that there was anything more to it than just gaining sexual relief. As time went on, he changed his mind, and began to see it as more dangerous. He even went as far as calling to seek help from a counselor. No follow-up to that, sadly, and no further attempts at getting help. He is often very angry with me for not being more willing, and uses Bible verses about the wife submitting to prove his point. I notice in myself, a distance that is impossible to bridge. I feel so lonely, and so much as though I’m violating my body and mind when I engage with him. Pray on our behalf that he and I can both be led down the path of healing.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Despairing, I’m so sorry! If he is the one in sin, and he is using Bible verses about submission to you, that is spiritual manipulation and even abuse. You do not have to enable sin. Please read 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage, which can show how to enact boundaries when we need to when our spouse is doing something wrong. I’m so sorry you’re going through this!

      Reply
  10. Bill Johnson

    Thanks Hugh, it takes tremendous courage to expose yourself like this. I can only imagine how hard it was to write this piece…
    Sheila, maybe you can help with this: I read the piece 3 times to find the puzzle piece I’m missing, but I simply can not understand why wives are affected the way they seem to be. Not that they are affected, but the WAY they are affected. It seems to be a fairly universal reaction. I”m trying to, want to, but I just don’t get it. It seems to be the reaction even of wives in control of a sexless marriage. To me it seems like the pinnacle of hypocrisy in so many cases. Not so much, “this is how I really feel,” but more like, “this is how I think I’m SUPPOSED to feel, so that’s what I’ll say.”

    Reply
    • Broken

      Bill, a year ago I discovered my husbands 27 year porn habit. To say this has been utterly devastating is an understatement. To discover that the fidelity I thought that identified our marriage did not actually exist. My husband had been unfaithful in his mind and with his body (through masturbation) with 1,000s of women. He imagined himself taking and possessing their bodies. I was completely in the dark. Add to the fact he lied and hid this from me for decades. He had a secret life that didn’t involve me. Betrayal like this hits at the core of who you are as a person. I wish you could see the trauma that this has created in my life. I wish you could witness the hours and hours of pain filled conversations we have had. Please be gentle as you try and understand this pain even though it seems foreign to you. It is very real. If you look into betrayal trauma you may get an understanding of the heart wrenching pain I’m trying to describe.

      Reply
    • Matilda

      Bill, it might also help you to know that woman know that much of porn depicts sex acts of brutality and violence towards women and also has a focus on younger teens etc A wife may think, is that how he sees me? Does he want to do that to me? Does he hate woman so much that he thinks anal
      Sex is ok? It’s not just the looking at other women, it’s the depravity, and it’s the opposite of the love and intimacy women crave with their husbands in marriage.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Exactly!

        Reply
  11. Nathan

    > > It seems to be the reaction even of wives in control of a sexless marriage.
    Bill, in the first place, you’re describing a very rare situation. That is to say, the wife stops wanting sex, and the husband, in desperation, turns to porn.
    Now, in this (rare) situation, let’s say that the wife is angry and hurt and betrayed at the husbands porn use, but sees no problem at all with her creating a sexless marriage (even if it happened before the porn use). In that rare case, yes, I would say that the wife is being hypocritical here, but only a small amount, since porn use is worse than just not wanting to have sex.
    Porn use, like other forms of infidelity, is a fundamental betrayal of the marriage itself. This is why women feel the way they do over porn use, even if there is no sex in the marriage, and even if that’s the woman’s choice. Porn is still wrong, even if the wife is also doing something wrong. Two wrongs don’t make a right or cancel each other out.
    This marriage has two separate issues. Porn use and a sexless relationship. The porn use should be dealt with first, even if it came AFTER the end of a sexual relationship. Then the issues of the sexless marriage should be dealt with.

    Reply
    • Nathan

      Caveat: I’m assuming that the husband did nothing to cause the sexless marriage. That is, he cared about his wife, made her a priority, attended to her needs, etc.

      Reply
  12. Jo

    Sheila,
    Thank you so much for braving the hush-hush stigma around pornography to bring it into the light of conversation.
    My fiancé and I are a month from marriage (shoutout to the Coronavirus for its addition to our plans lol). To give a little context, I directly suffered from knowing my dad and brother looked at porn as I was growing up; I also know that’s something my fiancé has battled. A few months ago, he shocked me by confessing a recent episode with porn–when I had thought he’d left it behind a year and a half ago. (I know it’s not an easy or flawless recovery process.)
    Recently, we were watching a young adult movie that slipped in an unexpected sex scene. We had a conversation afterwards where I realized that I’m still holding onto the shock and hurt–despite forgiving him, I still don’t trust the temptation of porn. I wish there was some sort of protocol–do I ask him not to watch? Do we avoid all romance movies just in case of another incident?
    Love keeps no record of wrongs. But, in my hurt, I am. We are both active Christians, but this hurt is so close to my heart that I don’t know how to trust to get past it.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Jo, I get it! That is hard. I think what helps is having complete openness with him (no problem with using his phone or going on his computer), and also that you know he has guys in his life who are going to ask him hard questions. Make sure that he has those kinds of friendships and that he’s talking to someone about it. I do have some elements in my Honeymoon Prep Course about porn and how to make sure that you’re moving forward well before you’re married, and that may be helpful for you, too!

      Reply
      • Worried

        I like the idea of each spouse checking each other’s phone and internet history each day and turning the wifi off at night. I think that is what I’d like in my future marriage.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          I actually don’t check my husband’s phone. No need to, really. But I pick it up and use it all the time if mine is low on battery, and he uses mine. That’s the key, really. Are your devices interchangeable, or does someone freak out?

          Reply

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