Caught With Porn

July 18, 2014

in Uncategorized

I asked my wonderful wife to write this based on a discussion we had. Enjoy… 

Paul and I often discuss marriage related topics. Porn comes up fairly often and one day he asked me, “How would you respond if you found out I was looking at porn?”

I laughed. That’s so not likely to happen, but then I realized he really wanted to know. My answer goes something like this.

Man caught looking at porn © Scott Griessel | Dreamstime.com

I would start by giving him a hug. I’d tell him that I believe in him and that this is just one more problem we will face and deal with. Life is like that.

While this would certainly a painful situation to face, I think I would major on the positives. He chose to come clean with me. He’s being vulnerable with me. He wants to fix a problem in our marriage. He’s willing to work at this.

In the long run I would encourage him to get some kind of accountability and we’d spend time talking about his life – what he’s hungry for and why he chose to feed that hunger with porn. I’d do what I could to help him look for ways to legitimately feed his hungers. (Porn isn’t always just about sexual hunger. A lot of guys turn to porn when they’re tired, lonely, bored, etc.)

I don’t want y’all to think I wouldn’t be bothered by it personally. No doubt I would have (more than?) a few private fussy moments with God. Problems of any kind suck and porn use can be a hard pattern to break. I would probably have a moment or two being rattled that I might not be enough for Paul sexually, though I think I could set it down (over the years I’ve figured out that what people say and do is really more about them, than it is me).

While sexual problems feel more personal, a problem is a problem is a problem. I’d handle it like anything else we would face in life. Pray. Think it through. Try a few things. Reevaluate. Pray some more. Keep working on it until we feel we have dealt with the real issues and have a lifestyle that is healthy and whole (with a few safeguards in place just to keep an eye on that weak spot).

My favorite resource: False Intimacy by Dr. Harry Schaumburg (paperback or Kindle)

The subtitle is Understanding the Struggle of Sexual Addiction. This is an insightful book that can help you understand the mechanics of porn use and how to walk toward restoration. It includes a chapter on porn proofing your kids.

I (Paul) realise some of the above is based on relationship factors Lori and I have developed which not all couples have. That not withstanding, what she outlines would make it much easier for a man to be honest about and deal with his problem.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I have a great XX!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

IntimacySeeker July 21, 2014 at 5:35 am

I’ve been thinking about this since reading it the other day. I believe I would employ some Al-Anon methodology: “I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, I can’t cure it.” In other words, I would intentionally detach myself from the porn. THEN, I would able to effectively support my husband. A thoughtful response is usually (perhaps always?) better than an emotional reaction.

Lori, you mention a few private, fussy moments with God. With a relationship as well developed as yours and Paul’s, are you not free to have a few fussy moments with him (Paul)? If intimacy means sharing everything without judgment, do we ever get to a point in our marriage when we don’t have to be so !@#$%^&* careful and can freely express our emotions?

Walking on eggshells takes a lot of energy. Just sayin’ :)

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Lori Byerly July 21, 2014 at 11:50 am

This is more about my personality. I’m a slow processor and an introvert. It’s just better for me if I take the time to fuss it out with God. I do eventually get around to talking with Paul about what’s going on with me. And, given the hypothetical situation, I think it would be important for him to hear it as a part of the process of stopping the porn use.
Lori Byerly recently posted…Keep On Keepin’ OnMy Profile

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IntimacySeeker July 21, 2014 at 11:54 am

Helpful and encouraging, thanks.

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Lisa August 3, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Just out of curiosity, you say you would be ok because he came out with it and was honest with you, what if you had seen him watching or perhaps internet histoy showed he watched porn, but he had not told you about it? And what if he continues to watch porn? I have experienced this once or twice in previous relationships (thankfully my current husband once knowing how I feel about somehing, tries not to do anyhig that makes me feel bad ie watch porn etc) I know in my previous relationships that I didnt handle it well, this was before I found God, and was just curious as to how you would hypothetically handle it in your current situation :)

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Lori Byerly August 5, 2014 at 10:35 am

If I caught him watching porn, I’d handle it fairly similarly. It’s a problem that we need to work on together, accountability, etc.

The process of dealing with issues is messy. I wouldn’t expect perfection, just commitment to the journey of building our marriage and dealing with this sin/wound.

If he looked at porn again, it depends on if he looked in a weak moment or if he had chosen to look at porn as a lifestyle choice.

Weak moments I understand. As I said, it’s a process.

If he was going to keep it up intentionally that would probably spell the end of our relationship (though I’d push for counseling to see if that would change his mind). I know that sounds a bit hard, but it’s the same as ongoing affairs. Either you are committed to the marriage relationship or you are not.
Lori Byerly recently posted…A Change of SeasonsMy Profile

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Paul Byerly August 6, 2014 at 10:20 am

The last paragraph is important, because I would know she meant it. Many men feel they can have their porn and their marriage too, and many of them are right. Knowing you can only have one, and being forced to choose, can help a man do what is right. Of course his wife has to be reasonable about weak moments versus lifestyle choice, and he has to think he can have a good sex life with his wife in the future.
Paul Byerly recently posted…Be Happier, and Help Her do the SameMy Profile

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