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.
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.
DON'T EVEN GO THERE.
OR EVEN CLOSE TO THERE.
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.