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Why Marriage Won't Fix Your Porn Problem

08-08-2019

COMMENTARY 

Pornography viewers are experts at finding excuses to justify their porn usage.

"I can stop whenever I want to," "I'm not hurting anyone," and "It's just a harmless video" are common defenses.  Many single guys believe that marriage will expunge the need to view pornography.  But that assumption is not correct.

Bobby Angel, a California campus minister and theology teacher, said, "The problem is that there is no superpower in that wedding ring that will magically imbue you with the discipline (and the freedom) to renounce pornography; your ring is not forged in the fires of self-mastery. There's no switch thrown on your wedding day that will make you impervious to temptations. Nor will your spouse magically satisfy all the illicit sexual fantasies that porn trains your brain to expect. Marriage will not cure your porn problem; your porn problem will undermine your marriage."

Not What They Imagined

Brandon D. Smith, the author of Rooted: Theology for Growing Christians, recalled, "What I did not anticipate was how my porn addiction would affect my marriage. I assumed marriage would fix my desire for porn and erase the memories. I bought the lie that sex was going to be what I had seen in the movies I'd watched for years. I assumed sex within marriage one day would step right in and replace my desires. It didn't."

Author Luke Gilkerson wrote about John, a man who saw porn for the first time when he was 10-years-old. 

John said, "So when you're 12 and 13 and you're not married, you think when you become married, that this whole habit you've created for yourself will just go away because now you'll have a sex partner. But the problem is, it's not actually a sexual experience, it's a fantasy experience that your body gets trained for. So now, the reality of the marriage isn't the fantasy."

Joel Hesch, the founder of Proven Men Ministries, offered an explanation in the Porn Phenomenon research conducted by the Barna Group.  

"Patterns developed as a single carry over into marriage," he explained. "I personally know how defeating it is to get married and then realize that the addiction is growing."

Be Aware Of Your Triggers

The problem is not the unlimited supply of sex that is available.  You need to know what your emotional triggers are that cause you to seek pornography for sexual satisfaction.

Dr. Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S, the founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute, explains that triggers are catalysts that make someone need something to make them feel better. There can be many types of triggers, both internal and external. These include emotional or physical discomfort, depression, anxiety, family issues, loneliness, financial problems, boredom, stress, hunger, anger or any other form of discomfort.

Dr. Peter Kleponis, a Licensed Clinical Therapist, gives examples of triggers. 

"A trigger is a person, place, thing, emotion, or experience that can easily lead one into viewing pornography," he said. "Some triggers can be easy to identify, such as a day at the beach with young girls running around in bikinis. They can also include things such as pop-up ads on the internet, television commercials during sports games, lingerie catalogs, sexual scenes in cable/satellite television shows or PG, PG-13 or R-rated movies, men's lifestyle magazines, etc."

He added, "In addition, for some men, just the sight of a computer, television, cell phone, tablet, etc. could be a sexual trigger, especially if those devices are used to access sexual media. Even memories of past pornography viewed can be triggers."

Being aware of your own triggers is a big step in your battle to overcome pornography.

Take Ownership Of Your Addiction

Marriage is a beautiful gift from God.  However, it is not a wife's responsibility to deal with your porn use – you must be accountable for it.

Marriage will not help you stop viewing porn.  As Bobby Angel said, "You bring into your marriage who you are, and that includes your daily habits and behaviors…We need to have cultivated discipline and mastery of self before we take our marital vows, not after. For love of your family and love of God, root out pornography now to save your marriage before it even starts."

Author Tiffany Dawn wrote: "Getting married doesn't purge away lust. It might mask it for a little while, during the "honeymoon stage," but lust is a battle that doesn't just go away. It is something we work through with God over time, and if you haven't begun the process of surrendering it before marriage, it will rear its ugly head right back up again after vows have been said."

Brandon D. Smith said, "You cannot change your past, but Christ can offer you a new life and a better future. Chase Him. Cling to Him. Let Him be your standard of character, and flee the temptation to fix your eyes on anything other than Him."

Men Are Finding Freedom & Healing Their Marriages

There is a movement of more than one million men who are finding freedom from pornography. They are using a cinematic small group study called the Conquer Series which provides biblical strategies to help renew the mind and find lasting freedom.

Bryan S. shares, "I am now over 19 months 100% clean of porn, sexual addiction, and lust in general.  God rescued and redeemed me on November 2017, but not until I had utterly destroyed my wife and our life.  But God, in His mercy, let everything come to the surface so we could see how He could work a series of miracles."

His wife added, "I have to admit, 19 months ago, it would have been hard for me to see this as the final outcome.  But God truly is a miracle worker and has blessed us with the marriage we never thought we would have!"

If you're single, start the process of healing now so you can approach marriage as a man who has already dealt with this.  Your future wife will adore you for it.  If you're married, start the process of healing so that you can bring restoration and healing to your family.

Learn more about the Conquer Series at ConquerSeries.com

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