Media:Porn - What's the harm?
Here are a few tips for how to help your husband break free from his addiction, so that you can enjoy the marriage you deserve.
The first thing to do is to pray. Offer Masses for him. Pray rosaries for him. Fast for him. This is not simply an intellectual battle, as if mere argumentation will sway his mind. It’s a spiritual war over his soul and the existence of your marriage and family. To fail to see this spiritual reality is to miss the core issue. Therefore, I would even suggest you contact any local convents of nuns, and ask them to pray for your husband and for your marriage.
Step number two is to talk to him about it, if you have not already. You could even write him a long letter, if you feel that it would give you a better chance to get all your thoughts across. Because men have an innate pride, we never like to be told that we’re in the wrong, especially when we clearly are. Therefore, refrain from finger wagging and name calling, pointing out his disordered lust and shameful hobby.
Instead, tell him how it makes you feel as his wife. Tell him how important it is to you that you feel secure in his love. For you to be physically intimate with him requires great vulnerability and trust. But when you know he’s spending his free time imagining such intimacies with other women, you feel that it damages your ability to be close to him. It diminishes your desire to be close to him because you feel like he hasn’t fully given himself to you without reservation. When you promised to be true and faithful to one another, let him know that you want to be true to him with your body as well as with your heart and your imagination. If you think it would be helpful, you could ask him how he would feel if you stayed up late at night looking at impure images of other men.
Some women whose husbands are hooked on porn feel as if they’re not attractive enough for their husbands, and that’s why the men have turned elsewhere for excitement. However, realize that even the most perfectly airbrushed pornographic model is not enough for him, either. That’s why he goes from one image to the next. He has robbed himself of the ability to be captivated by any woman, regardless of how she looks. Don’t try to compete with these women, because they can’t even win his attention for more than a few seconds. You have a natural desire to want to be attractive to him, but ultimately you want to win his heart and his soul, not his lustful stares.
Most men who are hooked on pornography feel a deep shame about their habit. But they’re not sure how to break free. If he expresses an openness to breaking free, here are some things you might suggest to him: First, suggest that he go to the sacrament of reconciliation, not only in order to remove the guilt of his sin, but to obtain graces to overcome the temptations in the future. Secondly, get a filter installed on the computer. www.filterreview.com and www.seenoevilonline.com are good places to start. Third, let him know that you want to help him and encourage him to win this battle. One way you can do this is by assuring him of your prayers, and also holding him accountable by keeping an eye on the history files on your computer. If you feel as if he’s deleting the history files to cover his tracks, you can install a piece of spy equipment known as a “keyboard logger” that can record the last million or more keystrokes on your computer. You can also purchase him a copy of Pure in Heart, which is a retreat on CD for men to help them break free from pornography and lust.
Do not allow him to make you feel that you are a prude for asking him to be faithful to you with his eyes and his imagination. You want the whole person or nothing. Therefore, if he is obstinate in refusing to admit the immorality of his behavior, seek marital counseling. You may be able to find a good counselor in your area at www.catholictherapists.com. Or, you can receive counseling over the phone at www.exceptionalmarriages.com. There may even be support groups for men in your area. Ask your pastor or call your diocese about this.
If he refuses to admit his problem or seek help, persevere in prayer. But also let him know that he needs to choose which kind of woman will be in his life (you or them), because he can’t have both.