Monday, February 28, 2011

someone's got to say it

I've had this post stewing in my head for a long time now. I'm still not sure exactly what I want to say or how to go about saying it, so we'll see how it goes.

porn sucks

i was talking to to friend this weekend who is (for the second time) dealing with a husband who has a pornography problem. her first marriage ended in divorce because of porn & some more severe problems that stemmed from it. Unfortunately, I have a bit of experience with the crapfest of worthlessness that a wife feels when her husband regularly views porn. it isn't fun. I cannot fathom how it must feel to this friend of mine to be dealing with it again in her new marriage. bless her heart. and bless his too, because he really is trying. they are in therapy, group, couples and individual and some of the statistics she shared with me made me want to cry. Pornography is chemically & physically more addictive than crack. Easier to get, too. Apparently an estimated 60% of LDS men have pornography issues. And that's within a church/culture that is quite clear on their stand on the subject.
that's the LDS church's stand. it befuddles me that the world at large doesn't believe that porn is even a problem at all. that it's normal & to be expected. (my jaw is permanently on the ground at this thought)
As I listened to my friend I was overcome by gratitude for a husband who is freakishly vigilant about that whole shun/run thing. Seriously. He's had me set the parental controls on our TV so high that you can hardly watch That 70s Show without a password. If I go out of town, I have strict orders to take the laptop with me. My fitness magazines and most catalogues are not welcome in our house. They go straight from the mailbox to my locker at the gym or the outside garbage can (respectively). Probably 2 or 3 nights a week we talk about a situation or picture or video that Matt saw that he wished he hadn't. Most are harmless & unintentional, but he (correctly & thankfully) feels that by checking in with me & being open about it he will be less tempted.
I'm so so so so so grateful for & in awe of the fact that a man this noble & cautious is mine. Talking to my friend, hearing how heartbreaking her struggles are, and knowing all too well how the tip of that iceberg feels, I couldn't help but wonder if this is one of those things, like depression, that we are shooting ourselves in the feet by not talking more openly about. Sure, we talk about how bad it is, but do we talk about how we avoid it? About how we overcome it? How destructive it is on a personal level?
I'm sure that my dinky little blog isn't the ideal place to begin a discussion like this, but I'm interested. At first I kind of thought that Matt was obnoxiously diligent, just his anxiety acting up or something. But after talking in depth with him over the years, I realize how extremely prevalent this is, and how easy it is for these good men of ours to slip up & start sliding down an extremely slippery slope. Are you doing things in your marriage to be proactive in this area? And what about my son? How do I shelter him from the crap that is going to be so in his face from the second he can see past his own toes? Oh gosh. Don't even get me started on that panic attack waiting to happen.
Honestly it makes me want to have a very small family, I simply cannot comprehend how I can be IN my kids lives enough if I have even one more. I want to know every friend, every friend's parents, I want to screen every TV show, every commercial. Of course I know that isn't possible, or even healthy. I've got to teach them right & at some point they will be in a situation where they have to decide for themselves, but oh my goodness, I am petrified about it sometimes.
please tell me I'm not alone.

p.s. after rereading this in the light of day, I feel that I need to clarify that when I said that I had experience being a wife of a dude who likes his porn, I was not in any way referring to Matt. If you didn't know, I was once married to another guy, a not so great one.


Melissa said...

It's funny you should be talking about this as I just posted something similar on my blog.
I've known people to work through this addiction.
It's not all doom and gloom.
What they needed was a good, honest, support system and to have the determination to change.
It's possible and has to be taken one day at a time.
Having passwords on your comp. help.
My mate said that if you put one of those keyboard tracer things on that is awesome.
I have another friend who is an expert on this subject and I went one of her seminars.
Very interesting to say the least.
If you want her info. let me know.
I've blogged it before.
I just truly believe we shouldn't hold too much of a judgmental stance on this and more of a supportive one.
I've seen zero people change from feeling judged and a huge amount change through love, support and persistence.
I know this is something women can struggle with as well but I also think as women we need to be on these men's side.
Example you ask?
Sure here's one.
Wear decent clothing.
Men like women's bodies, it's how it is, they like boobs, bums, tummy's legs, you name it.
So why, why, why, do good women go around exposing these things infront of other people's husbands and teenage boys?
It baffles me.
Someone asked me if when I'm down to my goal weight I'll finally wear a bikini?
I laughed and said 'Absolutely not'
"Why not"
Was the question that was asked of me and I said the following...
'Because no matter how good my body gets I'd never do that to someone else's husband or to a bunch of teenage boys, it's simply not fair, if they see a good body, they can help but look, and it's not helping, why would I ever make my mate and her husband feel like crap by walking around the pools in a BIKINI? Why would I EVER do that? The only reason I can think of wearing a bikini is to show off my great body to the world and that screams low self esteem to can disagree if you like but my body is for me and my husband, no one else, if I'm sure of myself I don't have to prove it by wearing tight clothes and skimpy swim suits which make others look and men uncomfortable.
There's one women, we can do to help these struggling men.
They have enough with the posters, movies, magazines and other crap than US waltzing around in immoral clothing.

Janae said...

I couldn't agree more. I have seen this issue hurt so many people (men and women) and destroy marriages. It is such a serious issue that often gets swept under the rug. And the numbers are shocking - but not really all that surprising given the amount of media readily available for young boys and men alike. I think we should be proactive in setting measure to try to prevent it, and then as Melissa said, when it has become an issue for someone, be supportive. we can't change the world, but we can try to protect our homes, make a stand, and support those around us when they fall victim to this evil that is maliciously thrown upon us. And I totally agree with Melissa that we women need to watch our clothing. i see so many nice LDS women who dress nice and modest on Sundays and on a daily basis but then make exceptions for exercising and swimming. Short shorts and nothing up top but a sports bra are not necessary to workout. And I agree with Melissa on bikinis. Even if I had a rockin' body I wouldn't be caught dead in one in front of anyone but my own husband.
It reminds me of a poor teenage boy I once knew who was struggling so much with this issue. He truly tried everything to control it. Got rid of his phone, wouldn't go near a computer unless it was right in front of his parents, asked his parents to take away the TV in his room. but you know what kept getting him in trouble? girls. Girls at the park, at school, at the mall - with their bodies being paraded in front of this poor boy who was trying so hard to control his thoughts. It makes me tear up just thinking about him and how hard his struggle has been.
I could got on and on but I've got a feverish little one asking me for a drink and needing some more medicine.

Jessica nan said...

Someone visited my blog from your tiers of joy blog :) So I thought I'd do the right thing and visit right back ! Beautiful Cakes!

aly goolay said...

I thoroughly enjoy reading you blog because you talk about real every day stuff and not just cliche surface stuff. I need to blog more about the real stuff.
Thanks for this.

Anonymous said...

As a man, I agree and disagree with some of these points. I think if you have been married for some time we can all agree men and women look at sexuality different. It is just how it is. The problem is society tries to shape female sexuality into something it is not. That is where porn comes in. It preys upon mens greatest weaknesses. The girls in porn never have a headache. They never say no. They only want to satisfy the mens most carnal desires. They are willing to do anything and they do it all with a smile on their face. It is not REAL. But it is so EASY.

I am not condoning porn in anyway. I think as men grow and mature, they can see through this. It is just one of Satan's tools to attack the family. I think more than anything, you need to be open in your relationships. I will be honest. The majority of mormon men I know, are not happy in their marriages. Couples need to be honest in expressing and communicating their needs. Men like to have sex. It is just how it is. If they find resistance from their spouse, they will seek it elsewhere.

Celeste said...

hey you nonny mouse! first, i cannot believe i have a male reader person. secondly i totally agree. i want to write an entire post about my feelings on the subject, but my friend already wrote the best post ever about it, so to know how i feel (or try to feel most of the time) go to here:

I firmly believe that it should be required reading for all of womankind. hell, all of humankind.