(That direct enough for you?)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28
I was asked recently by a woman this question:
Should I stay married to man who is addicted to porn and won’t get help?
You will get a different answer depending on whom you ask. Many will say yes and many will say no. They’ll say yes because according to the verse above, looking at pornography is “committing adultery in the heart”. But, many will say no, because the actual physical “act” of sexual intercourse has not happened.
What do I say?
I believe that when your spouse is living steeped in a sin like pornography, alcoholism, drug addiction and others that you have to first and foremost pray for them. That’s our best line of defense. Secondly, I believe that if you don’t say anything, you are enabling them to remain in that lifestyle. So, my advice in a situation like this is to confront your spouse in love, state that you will not stay in this toxic situation and that they need to seek help. If nothing changes and you choose to separate, do so with the intentions to reconcile. That doesn’t mean you will and that your marriage will be saved, but I believe that separation is valid and acceptable with the intent to see the marriage restored.
This is simply my opinion based upon my knowledge of the Word, my intimate relationship with Jesus and my personal experiences. Ultimately, when making a decision, you must go before the Lord and ask Him what He is calling YOU to do. You have to live with your decision and it’s consequences.
You can imagine my surprise when my husband, Chris, told me that his addiction to pornography
wasn’t about sex. He said that he didn’t even really consider himself a sex addict. He said it wasn’t the sex that he was addicted to.
He was addicted to having his need met in a counterfeit way. And pornography
happen to provide that outlet for him.
Because his need was to be validated as a human being. He desperately wanted to know he was good enough. There was a gaping chasm in his heart and spirit that made him believe he was nothing. So he went to the wrong source in an attempt to be validated. This caused the cycle to begin.
Thankfully, he remembered who he was
and learned how to find his identity in Christ not in superficial and sinful interactions.
Maybe your issue is similar. Or maybe not. You may struggle with alcohol or drugs or food or movies or shopping or TV or traveling or whatever. You may use these things to get fulfillment.
I heard someone say the other day that all addictions are a disorder of worship…a running to the wrong things for fulfillment.
What is it for you? What wrong things are you running to in order to get fulfillment?
Well, I knew he had a struggle with pornography. I just didn’t know how bad it was.
This is the response I give when I am asked if I knew that my husband was addicted to pornography. Chris told me bits and pieces about his struggle but it seemed
as if he had it under control. He had some men in his life to whom he was accountable and that helped me not to give it much thought. He appeared
to be doing fine with a slip up here and there.
And quite frankly, I could deal with a slip up here and there. The problem was that “here and there” really was a regular, weekly occurrence that he hid so well.
I really had no idea. I was completely shocked to learn how bad it was.
I wrote in my book, Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken
, that I wondered if his struggle would have subsided or gone away altogether if I’d been skinnier or prettier or even a little naughtier in the bedroom. Would that have made my husband want me and not them? Those are the thoughts that plagued me after his confession. I often found myself asking, “Was this my fault in any way?”
Thankfully, with a little heart surgery from the Creator of the universe and a lot of communication with Chris, those fleeting thoughts disappeared. I don’t take responsibility for Chris’ sin. I don’t blame myself in any way for his addiction. I know it wasn’t about what I did or didn’t do. I did not withhold myself from him and honestly tried to meet his needs in the sexual arena. But his mind was warped. It had been reprogrammed to see the scantily dressed women online as something to arouse him. And since I represented purity to him, my efforts to please him fell short.
This is the cold, hard truth of what pornography will do in a marriage. You think you are just getting aroused but what is happening is that your mind is becoming a hard drive storing a bazillion gigabytes of pictures and videos that will do nothing but damage your marriage bed.
Has pornography affected your marriage? If so, how?