Broken Cistern | The Porn Problem – a frank conversation
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The Porn Problem – a frank conversation


Vaughan Robert

This week I’ve had a solid mindset to battle the topic of Porn. Although not the primary killer of my marriage, it’s certainly a major player. This book by Vaughan Roberts has been incredibly helpful to expose the problem for what it is and I can trace back some of our issues back to my exposure and addiction to Porn.

Porn is strangling

He talks about how Porn is so damaging in that it leads to guilt. “You feel bad about what you have done and what you keep doing, but you don’t feel able to talk about it with others. And you may not even feel you can be real with God, so there is also a damaging distance in your relationship.” This shame has been real in my relationship, where I feel so sinful I can’t even confess to my wife, and more importantly God! The sexual sin in our marriage had a strong grip, and in a sense we’ve been powerless to shake it off (without pastoral & spiritual intervention).

Vaughan Roberts then paints a healthy picture of what the Garden of Eden was like: a perfect union between two people that God designed. Adam and Eve had complete intimacy without fear or guilt. “Whatever is not of faith is sin.” And when I think about my wive’s damaged conscience, the deafening silence after sex or the fear from her having to give in –> my heart breaks. We both long for complete intimacy without regret, we both want that in a marriage. God’s blueprint for marriage is relational.

Porn can never satisfy us. Our sexual desires are not just a longing for physical sensation. We are yearning for a deep union with another person, not just physically, but at every level of our being.

Chapter 2: Sex and God’s Design

Porn cannot satisfy

This is so true about our own sex life. When I think about the past few years, it’s been so void. We both feel so empty. We both crave a closer union. From our early dating days, all of our conversation, activities and focus was on the physical intimacy. We didn’t really know each other. And that’s not sustainable for a marriage. There was no union socially (or spiritually). I deeply regret that. I don’t know my wife. A pornified marriage I created resulted in me being unrelational, selfish and demeaning.

Porn is selfish

Roberts explains in chapter 3 that Porn is “an entirely selfish activity which is all about me: my fantasies, my appetites. I’m in control. I can get exactly what I want, when I want it.”

If you view sex [in marriage] as a personal gratification… then that sex will be bad in both senses of the word: poor quality and ungodly.

Tim Chester, Captured by a Better Vision

With this selfish mindset, my vision was totally warped. Every time I focused on my wife, it was purely visual just on her body… not her. I didn’t look at her whole person. I was simply a consumer. For this reason I regret to say that this has affected her! It’s probably destroyed her self-esteem.

This is backed up by research that young people have been programmed by Porn when it came to sex. According to this study, women felt “pressured to play out the ‘scripts’ their male partners had learned from porn. They felt badgered into having sex in uncomfortable positions, faking sexual responses and consenting to unpleasant or painful acts.” (Fight The New Drug, 2017)

I wish I could say that I don’t fit that description, but I do. And that is horrific. I’d do anything to revert, go back in time and live differently. I’m ashamed of what I’ve done. And there’s so much damage to repair.

Porn will separate

The very thing people crave is intimacy, however Porn simply ruins current & future marriages. It pulls couples apart, and ours is no exception. I had so much secrecy in all this. As a result, my wife had the following emotions: feeling rejected, angry, humiliated, losing trust, jealously and feeling inadequate.

The pathways connecting arousal to things like seeing, touching and cuddling with a partner aren’t getting used. Pretty soon natural turn-ons aren’t enough, and many porn consumers find they can’t get aroused by anything but porn.

Fight the New Drug, May 2017

Porn has hardwired my brain to push away the natural. It doesn’t show any beauty or joy in human love or commitment. It distorts anything worthwhile like the happiness of two people being united together in one flesh, according to God’s plan.

That’s only chapter 3. I am so broken. There is so much wrong in my heart. God, heal me!


Vaughan Robert