Pornography Addiction: What Can a Wife Do?
by Angie Lewis
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Don't give up on your marriage! Porn addiction doesn't have to mean the end to marriage. In fact, it is time to nurture your marriage with the tender loving care it so needs and deserves. You can actually learn from this and have a better marriage over it. I encourage you to put forth every effort to reinforce the bonds of trust and love that may have been broken between you and your husband.
The moral outcome of a husband viewing pornography does not only affect him but the wife as well. A wife may feel unloved, invalidated, and sexually unattractive. "Why doesn't he want sex with me anymore? Why does he look at all those gorgeous naked women? What's wrong with me?"
Nothing at all is wrong with you! This problem has NOTHING to do with you. It is your husband's problem. Don't make yourself feel victimized by this issue in your marriage. Your husband is looking at porn and acting out sexually because of an underlying problem within his inner awareness that is still haunting him. He may not even be aware of it himself.
Most likely your husbands porn addiction is caused by something unpleasant that happened to him in his childhood that is manifesting itself within his mind. He may be feeling anguish over his past and for a temporary "feel better" fix your husband is acting out his emotional pain and feelings of grief through the use of porn. It makes him feel better emotionally and mentally.
The "fix" for your marriage is to figure out what the underlying cause of your husbands emotional suffering is so you can find ways in which to make him feel better about himself through upright and moral objectives rather than through the use of lustful imagery. This mission can be accomplished with the help of God and with your loving support.
Is your husband trying to quit his addiction? Is he willing to repent for his actions and seek God for a healthy spiritual mind? If he is ready and willing to make the effort to work on himself and the marriage then he needs your support now more than ever!
You should make every effort to help him through this demoralizing time in his life. Be strong for him but guide him through it so he will not feel alone in this endeavor. Don't blame yourself for this happening in your marriage. Have the faith to know that you both can overcome this marital issue in your marriage with the help of God on your side!
Your husband's self esteem is probably at its all time low right now because of what the addiction has done to him mentally and spiritually. The battle for him is he really thinks he cannot stop looking at porn. He thinks he NEEDS it. It's like an alcoholic who thinks he really NEEDS a drink. The thought of not having that drink (fix) is terrifying. I know this, I was there. As with any addiction there is an underlying emotional battle waging war within the addicted person.
Don't expect anything from him in the bedroom for while. Realize that the addiction has messed up his arousal department for a short time. But don't worry because it won’t last long. Do not demean or poke fun over this or you will make things worse for him. It is not because he doesn't find you attractive or that he doesn't love you. Remember, this is your husbands problem, not yours.
Let your husband tell you when he is ready for sexual intercourse. In the meantime, the best way to be supportive in this area is to be patient and loving.
1. Try to help your husband to open up to you and find out what the underlying reason for the addiction is. Be open and honest by communicating your feelings properly and carefully. Be gentle and sweet instead of blaming and accusatory. This will only shut him down.
An alcoholic is addicted to alcohol and the symptoms are drinking. A sexually addicted person is addicted to sex and the symptoms are the acting out part of it. As with the alcoholic, there is an underlying problem that causes the alcoholic to drink and or the sexually addicted person to act out in lustful ways.
2. Remove everything in the home that would be sexually tempting and or invite sexual visual stimuli. Put a filter on the computer or stow it away in a closet temporarily until your husband feels he doesn't need to act out sexually.
3. Reinforce your husband's self worth everyday. Do things together that would help him to get his mind off of lustful stimuli and sexual imagery. Encourage him and give him hope. Search for success stories on the Internet and print them out for your husband to read. Let him know that he is not alone. Your husband and you can conquer porn addiction together WITH the help of God.
4. This is the most important aspect of recovery, after recognizing the underlying cause; seek out God's will for your troubles. Study, learn, and research the bible together. Read out loud to each other different passages. Move yourselves closer to having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and He will help your husband from being tempted.
Blessed is the man who preserves under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that god promised to those who love him. James 1:12
You can still love and support your husband. Tell him you love him but that you don't like the addiction in him. This gets him to see that he is a separate person from the sexual addiction, and that he doesn’t NEED it.
Some men are still in denial that there is even a problem, but when you separate the addict from the person, he understands that the addiction is NOT really who he is or who he can become. He is a child of God; therefore the addiction comes from satan. He needs to fight it, that's all!
5. When the time comes and your husband is ready to have intercourse do not have high expectations. Take things slow and expect to be let down. If he cannot get an erection or hold an erection for very long let your husband know that you understand and it's okay. Eventually when there is no pressure to perform your husband will surprise you.
Angie Lewis is the author of two marriage books. The first, Journey on the Roads Less Traveled is a book about love, life, addiction and marriage.
The Second, Love The Man You Married is an informative and biblically centered book tackling such issues as adultery and learning to completely forgive your spouse.
For more information on these books, visit Angie's marriage ministry at http://www.heavenministries.com and while you're there, sign up for the monthly marriage newsletter.
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