Archive | January 2013

Throwback Thursdays: What Do I Do About My Husband’s Porn Problem?

Awhile ago we received an email from a wife who wanted some support in her marriage. She has been growing in her sexual relationship with her husband and has been trying new things, but all the while she didn’t realize that he was involving himself with pornography. Things seemed to improve for a while, but then he started using pornography again and doesn’t see why there is anything wrong with it. At one point they were enjoying some private erotic videotaping, but she is starting to feel bad about those times:

I am wondering. I am finding that I don’t like making these movies. I feel like he is trying to turn me into a type of porn girl. I find I am getting angry. Something about him, I don’t like. I just don’t know exactly why I don’t like it. I just feel sick. I feel like the feeling you get when you watch a porn movie. Sadly, now, I don’t know how to tell him.

This is a multi-layered problem. To begin with, most likely the photography sessions are about him trying to make you into his fantasy and not about celebrating who you already are and that is why you are feeling uncomfortable. Now, there is nothing wrong with enjoying some fantasy, but if he can not enjoy you without it then it has grown to an unhealthy level.

Similarly, he is viewing you now on every level through the lens of pornography. That anyone could believe that we can separate sexual images into compartments and save the porn ones just for porn and the marriage ones just for marriage is a great deception. The only way we can be free from those images and memories is that God would cleanse them from us. It requires us to come to Him in humility so if a person is still living in their sin without acknowledging it for what it truly is, you should not be convinced by any promises that their pornography doesn’t affect you or your relationship.

My recommendation is that if your husband is living in the sin of pornography you not be afraid of sounding like a “nag” by dealing with the issue. That doesn’t mean you talk about it constantly, but if something needs to be discussed, don’t be afraid to talk about it. On the other hand, I have another friend who reached a certain point that she was done talking and needed her husband to want to deal with it. The point is that she didn’t stop talking about it because she was afraid. It was because she needed to see that it was important to her husband. And while she waited for him to initiate a conversation about it, they did not have sex.

I recently wrote an article on Living with a Refuser and in it I mentioned that there are limited situations where I believe it is appropriate to withhold sex in a marriage. A spouse who is living in sexual sin falls into this category. While I don’t think a husband who occasionally gives in to temptation to look at porn should automatically be refused sex, I do think that it is appropriate to consider it when they are viewing it regularly without repentance or accountability.

These are the steps I would take if my husband had a pornography addiction that he was not dealing with.

1. PRAY PRAY PRAY. And get other trusted mentors to pray with you. Be selective about who you ask to support you, but it is reasonable to need someone to stand with you. He needs a heart change if he thinks there is nothing wrong with looking at porn. God is the only one who can change him. When God changes his heart, his behavior with follow. Ask God for wisdom. Ask God to open his eyes to see this sin as He does. And guard your heart against bitterness. Connect deeply to the heart of God and find your identity in Him.

2. Be clear with him about why it is damaging to me and our relationship. While the porn problem isn’t about you, it does most certainly affect you. He would have the problem with or without you, but the influence of pornography on his sexual relationship with you is going to cause pain and keep the two of you from experiencing all that God has for you. Tell him that, your own feelings aside, his problem keeps him from being able to receive what God has for him in his relationship with Jesus. Don’t be afraid to talk about it.

3. Tell a godly man in his life about the problem. Talk to a pastor or other godly man because your voice can not be the only voice he hears that tells him he needs to get free from this. This is not a betrayal. Your husband is the one who is not honoring his vows to you.

Note: These next steps may not work unless the man has had a heart change and wants to be free from pornography’s grasp on him. They will only be band-aid solutions until that time.

4. Require him to get into accountability relationships. He needs men who will mentor him to live with sexual integrity. These men and your husband will need to be willing to ask and answer tough questions and meet on a regular basis.

5. Have a filter installed on the computer.There are a variety of different filters you could opt to use, but one of the ones I liked the best in my brief research is Covenant Eyes. It will not only block out pornographic images on websites, but it also keeps a log of the web history which can be emailed to an accountability partner. A free filter that some people are using is K9. You might consider that one too.

So much of our culture screams at men that it is normal to look at porn. The truth is that it robs us from experiencing a more exciting sexual relationship in our marriage. It is a very common battle for Christian men to try to break free from pornography’s grasp on them. I pray that the women who read our blog who are married to such men, that today you would have greater strength, greater peace and that your husband would have a greater breakthrough. Love ya sisters!

original article

Best…Husband…Ever….

Wives can’t change their husbands, but wives can and do have a tremendous influence on their husbands. How can you make that influence positive?
Men respond positively to praise.

One of the most common complaints men make in my office is: “Dr. Chapman, in my work I am respected. People come to me for advice. But at home, all I get is criticism.” What she considers suggestions, he reads as criticism. Her efforts to stimulate growth have backfired.

 The fastest way to influence a husband is to give him praise. Praise him for effort, not perfection. You may be asking, But if I praise him for mediocrity, will it not stifle growth? The answer is a resounding “No.” Your praise urges him on to greater accomplishments.

 My challenge is to look for things your husband is doing right and praise him. Praise him in private, praise him in front of the children, praise him in front of your parents and his parents, praise him in front of his peers. Then stand back and watch him go for the gold.

Requests are more productive than demands. 

None of us like to be controlled, and demands are efforts at controlling. “If you don’t mow the grass this afternoon, then I’m going to mow it.” I wouldn’t make that demand unless you want to be the permanent lawn mower. It is far more effective to say, “Do you know what would really make me happy?” Wait until he asks, “What?” Then say, “If you could find time this afternoon to mow the grass. You always do such a great job.”

Let me illustrate by applying the principle to you. How do you feel when your husband says “I haven’t had an apple pie since the baby was born. I don’t guess I’m going to get any more apple pies for eighteen years”?  Now, doesn’t that motivate you? But what if he says, “You know what I’d really like to have? One of your apple pies. You make the best apple pies in the world. Sometime when you get a chance, I’d really love one of your apple pies. Chances are he’ll have an apple pie before the week is over. Requests are more productive than demands.

Love is a two way street. 
If a wife wants to enhance her husband’s ability to give her emotional love, perhaps her greatest influence will be in loving him. In my book, The 5 Love Languages, I talk about the importance of discovering your husband’s primary love language – the thing that really makes him feel loved: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, physical touch, or acts of service. Once you discover it, pour it on. Husbands are drawn to wives who are meeting their emotional need for love.

Can you do it, even if he is not loving you. God did. He loved us when we were unlovely. But that’s God. I’m me. I know, but you are God’s child and He can empower you to love an unlovely spouse. I’ve seen it many times. A wife chooses to speak her husband’s love language, even though she doesn’t feel loved by him. He warms up and in time begins expressing her love language. Can emotional love be re-born in a marriage? You bet. But someone must begin the process. Why not you?

Defensiveness reveals the inner self.
A wife says, “Why does my husband get so defensive? All I have to do is mention that the grass needs mowing and he goes ballistic.”

This husband is revealing his self-esteem hot spot. Some experience in his past has tied his sense of self worth to mowing the grass. Your mention of the grass translates “She thinks I’m not doing my job. I work like crazy, and now she is on my case about the grass.” He sees it as a negative statement about his worth.

I know you didn’t mean it that way. That’s why I suggesting you observe his defensiveness, so that you can learn what is going on inside of him. We don’t know these emotional hot spots until we touch one. It would be a good idea to make a list of all your husband’s defensive reactions. Note what you said and did and how he responded. This insight will help you discover another way to discuss the topic that will be less threatening to his self-esteem.

Both husbands and wives hold a tremendous influence on their spouse. However, it is up to you whether your influence is positive.

From Dr. Gary Chapman’s Love Language Moments

Monday Mission #4

This week’s Monday’s mission is truly a romantic one. If you choose to accept this mission, use candles during Love Making. Candles can add such wonderful warmth to a room and is a very romantic way to connect with your spouse.