Marriage After Porn Addiction: How We Hold Each Other Accountable

Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of the Purpose in Purity podcast! This is the third episode of the “Embracing Purity in Marriage” series. Today’s episode features a topic that is difficult for many people to talk about: addiction to pornography. Join Gerald and Nia as they talk about their struggles with porn addiction, its impact on their marriage, and how they seek accountability for this issue.

Q: Prior to marriage, was porn a struggle for you?

Emotionally, Physically, & Mentally
For Nia, pornography provided some sort of emotional support as well as a physical release for her sexual urges. Though there are some who wouldn’t consider watching porn an addiction, Nia concludes that without the help of the Holy Spirit, she would not have been able to give up porn. Prior to becoming a Christian, pornography was an addiction for her. After being born again, she struggled less with the desire to watch porn because of the work God was doing in her heart. Gerald also struggled with porn before marriage. He concurs that pornography is an addiction, alluding to studies that show that pornography, like alcohol and other substances, can trigger responses in the brain that cause you to seek after it.

But that’s in the past, right? Once you get married, your struggle with porn is over, isn’t it?

Q: Did you think that porn would still be a problem after you got married?

“I didn’t think it was gonna be an issue, but that just goes to show my limited understanding of what the actual problem was.”

Gerald thought that his sexual urges and desire to watch porn stemmed from unmet physical needs. It was primarily a “physical” issue, something he could control if he were diligent enough. He believed that once he got married, his physical needs would be met and he wouldn’t have the issue any longer.

Nia viewed porn as a way to keep her from physically engaging in sex with another person until she got married. Similar to Gerald, she watched porn to meet her physical needs, so to speak. She thought that once she got married, she’d no longer need porn because her physical needs were being met.

“We don’t realize how much porn affects us mentally. It changes the way we think about sex and our desires toward sex.”

On Porn After Marriage

While Nia has not watched porn since being married, there have been times that she wished to do so. Sometimes the desire to watch porn would result from something she watched that was “questionable.” Sometimes it was because she felt stressed out or ill or uncomfortable in some way. Sometimes the desire comes unbidden, a relic of her past experiences tempting her with a former sin. Whatever the reason, Nia has the same response — she seeks out her husband to confess and asks him to pray for her in that area.

Gerald has watched porn since being married. Watching porn was an old habit and because he had never been held accountable for it before, he thought he could get away with it. The first time he watched porn after marriage, he didn’t tell Nia until over a year later. It hurt her. It was a breach of trust. But from there, Gerald and Nia reached out to their spiritual mentors for guidance. The road toward reconciliation was cleared and they walked it together.

Important Takeaways

There are two major reasons why Gerald, who was not used to being held accountable for his porn addiction, began to seek accountability.

  • God. God has not allowed Gerald to hide his sin, prompting him to repent, confess his sin, and to reach out for help.
  • Marriage. It hurt Gerald to know that he hurt his wife. The protection and preservation of both Nia and his marriage was important for him. Thus, he sought to become more transparent with his wife and more willing to seek accountability.

Q: What are some of the things that have helped you move forward?

  • Communication
  • Honesty
  • Transparency
  • Accountability

It seems easy when it’s in black and white, but these are hard conversations to have. If you’re struggling with sexual sin, you must commit to being open and honest about your struggles and where you are spiritually with your spouse. Additionally, you must be willing and intentional about seeking accountability. Talk to your spiritual advisor(s) or someone you trust who can minister to you and walk with you through this time. If there are things around you that trigger you, make your spouse and your accountability partners aware of them. If possible, remove them from your sphere of influence.

If you’re the offended party, be open and willing to listen and have that conversation. It’s a hard pill to swallow, the betrayal you feel at learning your spouse has been watching porn. You can be upset, but you can’t allow your anger to shut down the line of communication. This is a sin problem. Be compassionate and, together, cultivate a level of communication where you both feel comfortable talking through your struggles.

Lastly, if you’re currently struggling with porn addiction and you have not confessed, pray and seek forgiveness from the Lord. Then prayerfully seek a time to confess to your spouse and work on the situation from there.

Leave A Comment

What did you think of this episode of Embracing Purity in Marriage? Are there any questions you want answered? Any topics you want to hear discussed? Leave a comment below or email me at Hello@TitaniaPaige.com or TitaniaPaige@LifeBeforeEternity.com. See you in the next episode!

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