Intimacy in Marriage

Encouraging Christian Women toward Healthy Sexual Intimacy

Is Porn Destroying Sex in Your Marriage?

It is no surprise that pornography has a devastating effect on marriages. 

Stu Gray of Stupendous Marriage shares today  about the depth of that devastation and what a couple can do to heal from it and restore trust. Stu's post is part of my ongoing guest blog series on things that destroy sex in marriage.

Stu and his wife Lisa where some of the first marriage bloggers I connected with when I started blogging.  I am grateful for the solid encouragement and difference they are making in so many marriages.

Every couple fights. Some fights you remember, some you don’t. Some are funny two hours later, and some leave scars for months.

One of our funnies: I was flipping channels on TV.

Lisa sat down and said, "What's on TV?"

I replied, "Dust.”

That one we laugh about.

Another, not so funny was when I walked in to her crying, slouched at my computer.

“I saw what you’ve been looking at.”

That one nearly cost me my marriage.

Battling in a Porn Culture

healing from pornPorn is wreaking havoc on couples. Our culture is saturated with pornographic images. Every where you turn, you see another body part on display.

Porn is difficult to escape from, especially in a culture that glorifies sexual images that would have been considered ‘risqué’ only a generation ago.

There is no excuse for porn in marriage. There are too many people smarter than mebeginning to come out and say what a problem it is on many levels.

Simply: Whenever you bring someone else into your marriage (even if it's just pixels), that leads to problems.

The Crazy Things Porn Does

Porn creates problems on many levels, not just in a sex life. If you struggle with porn, you may notice that you become emotionally distant, have unexplained rage, objectify people, have a lessened respect for marriage and family, sexual dissatisfaction, erectile disfunction or premature ejaculation (for husbands).

Maybe it has led to financial problems, emotional issues, infidelity, increased distress in your marriage, or a desire for more graphic images or movies.

Get this though: Porn also creates issues for spouses who don’t look at it! Things like loneliness, depression, isolation, and anger pop up. Not to mention many feel they "can’t measure up” to porn “standards."

It’s sad what happens when the powerful gift of sex that God has given to married couples is abused in an ungodly way, isn’t it?

Get Over the Porn Hump. Forgive the Pun.

Let me encourage you, if porn is destroying your sex life, you CAN get past it, but it takes work from both spouses.

If you discover your spouse has a porn habit, be firm, yet loving, in regard to their struggle. Ask to see a real change of behavior and progress toward being porn free.

If there is no movement in that direction, or there is refusal, decisions need to be made about consequences for the struggling spouse. Unfortunately, many who have struggled with porn need to hit a metaphorical "wall" before changing directions.

Here are 5 Steps Back to Sexual Health in your marriage:

1. Get into a safe group.

The one who struggles with porn needs a place to be honest and deal with core pain they may not realize they have. Porn is a big problem, but it's just a symptom of other brokenness. That's what needs to be explored and healed.

I encourage the supportive spouse to get in a group too. Hurt feelings and anger don’t do well if they’re bottled up.  It helps to have safe people with whom you can be accountable and who can link arms and share the burden.

2. Clear your devices.

If porn is always accessible, behavior is never going to change. Get images and websites off your devices. This resets your brain and also indicates to your spouse that you are serious about standing for your marriage.

If filters are needed, get them. If passwords have to be shared, do it. If computers need to be placed in a common area, humble yourself and take that step.

3. Battle porn through prayer.

Remember that you are on the same team with your spouse. You are  …”not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world…and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Battle it together by praying with one another and leaning on God to bring health and reconciliation to your marriage.

4. Give up sex (for a season).

I know, this is a blog about sex. I’m not saying give it up forever! Perhaps several weeks. A person's mind and body have to readjust to a "new normal" without pornographic stimulation.

During this season, have some no sex dates where you work on communication and rebuild other areas of intimacy.

5. Rebuild trust.

If the hurt spouse needs reassurance, like checking in about your day, or where you have been on the internet, know that this season of building trust back is vital. Trust can be lost in an instant, yet takes time to earn once again.

What steps have you taken to battle porn in your marriage?

Stu Gray is a youth and family pastor in Middle Tennessee. He is the creator of StupendousMarriage.com, where he and his wife Lisa encourage challenge and inspire married couples!

Copyright 2015, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.

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September 9th, 2015 by