Relationships

The Sneaky Mistress Wrecking Your Marriage

Opinions will differ. Some women will be flabbergasted at the thought, but many others are more accepting. The majority see it as an innocent substitution for when they cannot please their spouse, or perhaps even a great way to spice up their sex life. Some couples watch it together, while other women just see it as something men will do regardless. As if men are animals without control over their own sexual restraint. I recently saw this overwhelming acceptance of porn played out on a social media discussion and it saddened me so much. I realized it broke my heart because I once used to feel the same way.

I said as much to my spouse when he couldn’t understand why women didn’t see a problem with porn. I had in front of me a rare man, a lover of Jesus, who understood that pornography was demeaning to men and women alike, so I had to explain the way I used to think to him.

I used to not see a problem with porn. In fact, in all honesty, I enjoyed it. I used to watch it with my ex-husband, and porn was just a normal part of our relationship. As a wife, I wanted to keep my man happy, and if that meant being cool with strip clubs and nudie flicks then that was what I did. I thought that was normal. I thought it was healthy. I thought it was good for my marriage. But I was wrong.

The eyes are windows to the soul, so when you allow images to enter your heart that shouldn’t be there you will be negatively affected. You might not realize it at first, but eventually it wreaks havoc on your relationship. It’s poison. It’s a fantasy that you can never emulate, not that I’m sure why any of us would want to.

Pornography gives you a false sense of sex. It takes out the love and makes it all about physical pleasure, and that’s not what marriage is at all. Porn doesn’t allow real people with real problems that must be worked out. It doesn’t deal with body image issues postpartum, but instead creates an unrealistic body ideal. Porn wrecks self esteem of the watcher.

Pornography makes sex a game. It often depicts women being used and abused for the pleasure of a man like they are less than human. It’s animalistic in nature, makes it appear like women enjoy being weak and violated, and it’s no wonder it creates a false opinion of what women want and how they should be treated. Porn destroys healthy sexual relationships in marriage by trying to twist them into something they were never meant to be.

Pornography is an outlet for sexual pleasure. It’s an easy way for men and women alike to self-satisfy without the messy (to mean, it requires) work of a real sexual encounter with their mate. I’ll be blatantly honest at this point for the purposes of this post. Neither myself nor my husband masturbate. When we want sexual satisfaction we find it with each other. Even when we’re tired or we’re not in the mood individually we will get there for the other. There’s no time or need for another sexual outlet in our relationship. We’ve got that base covered just fine. Porn takes the place of healthy, frequent sex in marriage.

Pornography is real. I think the biggest lie we tell ourselves is that porn isn’t cheating because it’s not real people who are a real threat. It’s just a movie, or just a magazine, but what we forget is behind that camera there’s real people having real sex. They’re getting paid to have sex on screen to give you sexual pleasure. So how is that much different than prostitution? How can a wife get mad at their husband for messaging a woman on Facebook, but not bat an eye when he ejaculates over the image of a real woman being sodomized on the TV screen? Don’t for a minute think that he’s not picturing her face when he later has sex with you. Just being honest.

Because here’s the truth about porn. It seeps inside your mind and changes how you view intimacy. It changes how you are sexually excited, and it creates a wedge between a husband and wife even if they aren’t immediately aware. It’s a gateway drug to infidelity, and it’s a substitution for intimacy in your own home. It’s a lie that twists the perception of the viewer and tries to diminish its participation in the destruction of so many lives.

Have you ever wondered about the people on the screen? Or is it easier to imagine they aren’t real? Sadly they are real people with real hurts that cause them to make the choices they do. Some are victims of child abuse, sex trafficking, or other atrocities you don’t even want to fathom. They are real people being violated and humiliated for your viewing pleasure. Imagine if that was your daughter on that screen? Or your son? If you wouldn’t want to watch your own child in a porn then why do you not have a problem watching someone else’s child on the TV?

I don’t say any of this from a pedestal, but rather from a regrettable place. I’ve been there, done that, and told myself there was really no harm. I told myself it was fun, and I told myself it was helping my marriage rather than admitting the truth that it was killing it. One factor (among many) in the dissolution of my first marriage was an acceptance of pornography in our lives. I never want my words to be received as condemning, but rather me trying to pass along the things I’ve learned along the way.

Last night, I explained to my current husband that women were different than men. Sex for men is more physical, while sex for women is more emotional. Often times women will accept pornography into their marriage because they think it’s a nice additive to the sexual relationship. They like the fantasy, and their husbands like it all. Many women think porn is just something you do in your relationship, like buying lingerie to spice things up. What we don’t see is that porn is a sneaky mistress we let inside our marriages that steals our husbands’ hearts.

Laugh all you want, and say that I’m taking it too seriously, but perhaps consider this. You are worthy. While I share from experience, mostly I share from a place of love. Because you are worthwhile, and you are special and precious. And you are all your husband needs. Or you should be! When God saw Adam was lonely He created Eve. He didn’t create Eve and a good DVD. Eve was enough, and so are you. There shouldn’t be room in your marriage bed for any other woman, even the one you think is “fake” on the television. Women should be demanding complete monogamy and faithfulness in their marriages because we deserve it. We tell ourselves porn isn’t competing with us or taking away from our marriages, but that is the biggest lie out there. Porn is destroying marriages, the lives of the people on the screen, and the minds and ideals of anyone who views it. It’s the most accepted form of spiritual death out there, and sadly most wives are okay with it. It’s the sneaky mistress we open the door for and invite inside on a regular basis, and until we lock the door to it, our marriages will continue to suffer.

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Brie Gowen
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Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.

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