Marriage

The Wikipedia Effect

There have been several questions this week asking about what we thought of watching porn with your spouse.  In addition, we had a brief exchange yesterday about how pornography might be rooted in insecurity and our desire for some sort of affirmation as well as pure selfishness. Today’s question is this…What effect does pornography, whether shared by the spouses or hidden have on the intimacy in a marriage relationship? Before I answer let me again clarify that I am not a psychologist and my answers are based upon my own journey and those I interact with on the same journey. Back in the day growing up, we had a set of Encyclopedia Britannica.  It was an expensive, massive set of books that sat on our bookshelf waiting to give us in a moment’s notice static, unchangeable, unchallengeable expertise in defining or explaining anything we might want to learn whether it be the origin of a primitive culture to what causes a volcano to erupt.  This set of books was a picture of the way our world thought  in the modern era. Today, we live in a post modern or Wikipedia world.  Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia where you can find information on anything or anyone.  Unlike the Britannica set, however, it is not static.  It evolves.  You see, Wikipedia is not written by experts but by anyone who wishes to add, edit, delete, or completely redefine something.  It morphs, evolves, changes over time because the inputs are constantly changing. God has not been silent on the issue of sex.  Just spend a little time in the Song of Solomon and you’ll see clearly that it was His idea and it was a really,  really good idea.  The truth, intent, desire, and will of God however is absolute.  It doesn’t change.  We who have introduced pornography into our lives, minds, and marriages have departed from that which was a part of the original plan and the Wikipedia effect takes place in our minds.  You see, every time we look at that image, watch those videos with or without our spouse, or gratify ourselves while watching or thinking something impure, we are actively and constantly redefining in our mind what sex is and what arouses us.  We have by our own choice departed from that which is simple, pure, Godly, and enjoyable for that which is complicated, confusing, shallow, and guilt inducing. I did not look forward to intimacy with my wife during the first nine years of our marriage.   Because I was struggling with a pornography addiction, it was never simple for me.  My mind was a mess.  I had so reprogrammed my brain about what was arousing and pleasing that I could hardly be with my wife and mentally be focused on her.  It was stressful, obligatory, and everything other than what I believe God intended. And it had absolutely nothing to do with my wife’s desire and availability to me physically, contrary to the opinions of many. We have been married for 16 years and I will say that its only in the last four years that we are truly beginning to experience what God intended for our intimacy.  It is AWESOME!!!  Let me say it again.  Nothing compares to the real thing.  It is worth every minute I have spent in accountability conversations, every dollar I have spent on accountability software for my computers, and every moment I have to pray when I start getting tempted to walk down that road again. If you find yourself deep in the relativistic mire of a self-indulgent addiction, it’s going to take a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of honesty.  You must detox from the porn and give your spouse 100% of your sexual attention and energy.  I find that not everyone is up to the task or has the pain tolerance to endure the hard work but trust me, it is worth it.

23 thoughts on “The Wikipedia Effect”

  1. Chris, these posts have been very enlightening and thought-provoking. Thanks for sharing. Know that the low number of comments is because it is uncomfortable. Not like blog posts where you can quickly respond with “thanks for the recipe! Chocolate sure is yummy!” Know what I’m saying?

  2. my husband is ‘recovering’ from porn addiction & my struggle that I have is that I Feel like I am the substatute. like for example if he’s watching me get undressed or dressed he wants to be there..I know as husband & wife that shouldn’t be a problem but but it is..any sugestions? is this normal?

  3. I would like to say that porn comes in many forms. The thing I had access to as I was younger to and I think goes unchecked is reading material. You basic novel.

    It’s easy to sit down with adult literature that is touted as mystery or sci fi (both of which I really like oddly enough) and suddenly being in the middle of the most graphic sex scene. And let me tell ya, my mind is very creative.

    It has the same effect (for me anyway); it’s just a seemingly softer gentler porn.

  4. First of all, for those of you having trouble seeing todays post in Internet Explorer, the problem has been resolved. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Anonymous…
    i dont think you should be put in a position that you are uncomfortable with. On the other hand, the fact that your husband wants to see you in this way can be a great thing if he is genuinely trying to reprogram his brain to where you are the sole object of his sexual attention…kinda like the old song…”cause I only have eyes for you.”
    If i had to guess though, i would say you feel uncomfortable with it because there isnt a deep sense of trust in your relationship due to the exposure of his struggle. Trust is so hard to build, but should be something we all strive for with our spouses as no intimacy is possible without it. Its going to take time, lots of honest conversations, and lots of prayer.

    Anon…
    you are so dead on with erotic literature. Our minds are often much more graphic and creative than the images or videos we see. Either way, we are changing our definition of what sex and intimacy is. I metored a guy once through this and he use to say, “if i want to look at porn, i dont have to turn on the tv, go online, or purchase a magazine. All i have to do is close my eyes.”

    Good stuff everyone, keep the thoughts coming.

  5. Isn’t this the question of “everything is allowed, not everything is worship”, or something like that? “Take a little wine for your stomach’s sake” and all that? Is there such a thing as a little porn?
    The world has a slightly twisted view of this. Porn is only acceptable if it’s made by adults, even if those “adults” are only 18 years old.
    Maybe there can be such a thing as alien porn. Made by aliens for married only aliens, of married aliens, approved by the board of alien content approval…or something like that. They could ask, WWJD if He was on the board? I know. I’m leaving the “context” argument out completely. (grin)

  6. I always worry about how porn will effect the way my son treats a girlfriend/wife. I also worry that if my daughter gets sucked into it that she will believe that that kind of love is all there is and is normal. In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to worry about our children seeing trash like porn but we also know this world is not perfect.

    I have always wondered how much porn watching it would take to erase the example that Craig has shown on how to treat a woman. How much until Ryan would laugh at his dad for being loving, kind and caring to me, when he has seen the female exploitation of women in porn.

    We have had an incident where Ryan looked at porn. This was a couple years ago and a big wake up call. He is watched like a hawk now. Not allowed online without supervision. We have regular talks about what is and isn’t appropriate actions towards women.

    The one thing that had the most effect on him was we made him sit and look at all of it again with me sitting by his side. He was so embarrassed to have me see what he had seen that we haven’t had any futher cases.

  7. I feel like I have foot in mouth disease today. Porn as an addiction isn’t funny. No addiction is a laughing matter to those involved in the pain addictions cause. I’ve often thought that the lack of something we feel as necessary is the cause of any addiction. As the person seeks to fill that lack with anything that satisfies, only to feel that satisfaction become a well worn groove of the inescapable slide into a deeper abyss.

  8. Give me your thoughts…
    Andy Tilly spoke a few weeks ago about lies guys believe at our Wednesday night student experience, he said the #1 that guys believe is that the woman they are with defines their status or gives them worth. I had never thought of it in those terms, but had thought about the deception that some men believe that the static pictures that they are looking at are “celebrating” this guy that they don’t know, haven’t met, haven’t been disappointed by, haven’t had to pick up their underware for, etc. Coupled with what Andy said, it makes sense, but where did that begin?? What are your thoughts on that??

  9. Great post. I am currently struggling with a porn addiction and am praying to God to break the chains and show me the way back home. He led me to this post. Please pray that I can restore the proper God focus toward my wife and marriage.

  10. For me it started very young. Looking at the underware and swim suit adds in the sales paper. The so called novels that had explicit contents. I was around 8 or 9 getting aroused watching women seemingly having some type of sensual pleasure while they were bitten by vampires & the camera focusing on the cleavage & stuff. You see what I’m saying is this stuff didn’t start yesterday it’s a time released progressive assignment from satan. He wants our minds to focus on these things to create high places in our minds therefore causing us to continually commit idolatry.Because sex & porn is our focus & the fruit of the flesh is the engine driving this thing. Because as a man or woman thinks so are they. So we’ve got to starve it out and not feed it, by transforming ourselves with the WORD & prayer and applying 2 Cor. 5:17 everyday. I could go on & on because I had to live it but God’s Grace is much more abounding. We can do all things through Christ because He gives us the strength & wisdom to do so when we call on him. P.S.Jesus also delivered me from 9yrs. of crack addition so I know what Jesus can do for us all who trust in Him!!

  11. interesting Idid not make the association with insecurity. My husband is addicted and this has has a huge effect on our marriage and sex life. Seeking advice from addicted men on how to help my husband through this and save my marriage.

  12. Thanks for all your posts about pornography problems and for telling your story. Would you be interested in writing up a guest post for the Covenant Eyes blog? Please email me and let me know.

  13. Hi Cindy,

    My question has nothing to do with the above discussion, but i need to speak to someone, who can judge me and still tell me the truth, I hope you can.

    i have been married for about 2 and half years, i am having issues with my husband, he wants us to save money becuase of the credit crunch, i quite appreciate that, we have a joint account and we both work, he earns 3times what i earn, i went out and bought a pair of office shoes which i believe i need or maybe not,without telling him about it, he saw the bank statement and then got really angry and said some nasty words to me, like i make his life miserable, all his friends say don’t trust a woman and that it looks like they are right, he said really hurtful words to me.

    Secondly, I have a mobile phone contract ending soon and I want to continue the contract so that i can get a new phone and still pay what I pay monthly, my husband said he wants the bill less than half, when we argued he said i should leave him alone in peace and he did not speak to me for 2days.
    Every time we argue I go and apologize to him and say I am sorry even when I am not, I can’t stand him being angry with me, the last time we argued he said I shouldn’t beg him and i should call him for the whole day, I feel really bad and my self esteem is soo low right now, my husband is a lovely man and very straightforward, I know I tend to over spend at time but I believe I have been good, but when he talks to me like a piece of shit or when he gets angry he says anything it really makes me sad, I am not a very spiritaul person neither is he, but I am huting really bad.

    What do I do to make things right?

    Help

  14. I found your website from my daily devotional in my e-mail. What an amazing story!!!! How awesome that you both stuck it out and decided to trust in God without knowing what was coming in the future. Surely it was difficult and as you state you still have days that you deal with the consequences……but 10-20-30 years from now…your perspective and life will be a testimony of what is worth pursuing……. God, love, forgiveness and family.

    Thought to share this website: http://www.laughyourway.com/

    Mark Gungor is a pastor and gifted speaker. He speaks on marriage and some of the issues of the male and female perspectives. I think you will find this very interesting and helpful.

    Thanks for sharing your story and allowing God to heal your hearts and marriage (for the better)!!!

    God Bless.

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