Pornography is an illegitimate method of fulfilling a legitimate need and the legitimate need isn’t what we think it is. Pornography isn’t about sex because the need isn’t that shallow. The legitimate need is a need for intimacy. The connection, fulfillment, satisfaction and depth of intimacy gets hijacked by the perverted shortcut of pornography.
There is an epidemic surrounding the use of pornography and it’s much more destructive than many realize. The darkness of isolated dives into depraved imaginations brings shame and further isolation. The secrecy surrounding and perceived rejection from the double life of pornography damages legitimate relationship and frustrates God’s intention for transparent connection.
Once the cycle begins, the downward spiral is inviting. The release of chemicals in the brain consistent with the release that occurs from cocaine use provides a short-term high. As the short-term thrill gives way to lasting shame, the trap is set. That brief euphoric escape requires increasing stimulus to supersede the familiarity that comes with previous experience. In other words, what used to be exciting has to be enhanced to cause the same stir. Dark gets darker.
The escape, however, isn’t into sex because it isn’t sex. It really doesn’t have much of anything to do with sex. It’s an escape from a lack of intimacy that feels like pain, emptiness, disconnection, isolation and frustration. It’s triggered by things such as stress, lack of control, emotional immaturity and other limitations of the soul remedied with a shortcut of the flesh.
This is a critical realization for married couples wanting to walk out of a grip of pornography. If the wife holds onto the hurt of a lie, she won’t be able to partner with her husband who may be willing to break the cycle. The lie that many wives would believe is that they are rejected or found inadequate physically. The reality of an emotional and spiritual void that may have nothing to do with her is the real driver.
Here is the good news; when a married couple is impacted by pornography, the reality is that both husband and wife actually want the same thing. They both want legitimate emotional and spiritual connection for the fulfillment of satisfaction that comes with intimate relationship. The disconnect isn’t her fault; it’s his problem (in cases where it’s the man jammed up in pornography which are still the majority).
With agreement regarding the problem and avoidance of the hurt that comes with the accusation of perceived rejection, the two can agree. He can be honest about when and if he is tempted to isolate and escape. She can support without ownership of the cause to the effect. While it’s still difficult and dark, the clarity of a target facilities hope for healing.