In today’s video, Tonia entered the scene! By the time she and Brandon started dating, Brandon had already developed a bit of a reputation for his porn use and his sexual activity. But since he was honest when she asked him point-blank about it, Tonia figured she could work through his porn use. By the time they became married, she armed herself with a very basic understanding of pornography addiction, but she also made a very common mistake: she assumed that if she was sexually active enough, Brandon wouldn’t need porn anymore. In fact, the opposite became true. The more she gave, the more he took, and the more she felt like she was being used.
Husbands: if this is part of your story and you want to begin to turn the tide in the right direction as you continue through this series, part of the solution begins by clicking here to implement a life of accountability with a trusted friend: https://rb.gy/gb9zkn
Wives: Tonia’s experience of learning about Brandon’s porn use may be different from yours. Many wives discover it by accident, and some are even traumatized by the discovery. One counselor conducted a study of the spouses in her care and found that approximately 70% of them fit the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. These symptoms included hypervigilance (actively looking for triggers), nightmares, trouble thinking, depression, and anxiety, among others.
Her response may also differ from yours, though she followed a fairly common teaching. In The Great Sex Rescue, Sheila Gregoire reports in depth about the damage caused by common marriage books, which imply—or even state directly—that it’s the wife’s responsibility to keep her husband from looking at porn (as if self-control were not a virtue for him to develop). She also reports that women who believe it’s their responsibility to keep their husbands from looking at porn are less happy in their marriages—they’re 18% less likely to report feeling sexually satisfied themselves. This was Tonia’s experience. Even though she actively wanted to have sex, the more Brandon used her, the less satisfied she felt… in both sex and in her marriage.
Wives, today you’re going to be the primary talker. Husbands, it’s your job to listen. Don’t react defensively, and don’t talk over her. Wives, if he does, get up and leave the room until you can both come back to the conversation.
1) How did you respond when you first found out about your husband’s porn use in the moment? How did you feel then?
2) How did you respond long-term? Did you try to replace his porn or blame yourself? How do you feel now?
3) Read 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7 together. Whose responsibility is it to avoid sexual immorality? What does Paul say in verse six about people who take advantage sexually of their brothers and sisters in Christ (and yes, that includes your spouse)?
1 Thessalonians 4:3-7
For this is God’s will, your sanctification: that you keep away from sexual immorality, that each of you knows how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not with lustful passions, like the Gentiles, who don’t know God. This means one must not transgress against and take advantage of a brother or sister in this manner, because the Lord is an avenger of all these offenses, as we also previously told and warned you. For God has not called us to impurity but to live in holiness.