Why We Porn-Proofed Our Marriage (Before It Began)

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Like many millennials who grew up with easy access to the internet, my husband Eric and I were both exposed to pornography at relatively young ages.  Although we wouldn’t meet until years later, we both sort of stumbled upon internet porn without even meaning to in middle school.  As young teenagers dealing with all of the questions and curiosity that puberty brings, we both found ourselves taken in for a while.

I don’t remember the first time my random searches on the internet led me to a porn site, but I do remember the mixed feelings of excitement and revulsion that came every time I came across the images.  Sex was fascinating to me, of course. But I also had an immediate and unavoidable feeling that what I was seeing was an invasion of someone’s privacy, trivializing something that was meant to be personal and sacred.  My parents never talked to me about the dangers of pornography, but I somehow just knew that spending time looking at those images was not good for me.  Seeing the details of other people’s sex lives just didn’t line up with the ideal of a long-term, monogamous marriage that I hoped to have one day.

I wish I could say that I never looked at pornography again. But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. I would go back to the site I accidentally found every now and then out of curiosity, but I couldn’t get past the feeling of depravity that I experienced. That sense of wrong soon overpowered the sense of excitement.  I still had more than my fair share of sexual immorality in my real life, but for some reason pornography became pretty easy to refuse.

That wasn’t exactly the case for my husband Eric, though.  He had the same mixed feelings about pornography as I did, but it was a harder temptation for him to manage.  It gradually became clear that he wasn’t going to just naturally lose interest over time. If anything, his interest was only growing into more consumption. Yet he watched guys he knew who used porn and noticed that they didn’t treat their girlfriends (or any girls, for that matter) very respectfully. He never wanted to look at a woman and see her body rather than her heart.

Finally, he took it upon himself to take action in two major ways.  He started by moving his computer out of his bedroom and into the family room where his parents and sister could clearly see what sites he was viewing. Then, he asked  a close friend to help keep him accountable.  From time to time, the friend would ask Eric if he had looked at pornography lately, and Eric had to answer honestly.  Over time, these two  steps helped Eric stop viewing pornography entirely.

By the time we met and began dating, we knew we had done the right thing in rooting it out of our lives early on. We considered how many couples’ relationships had been destroyed by the devastating effects of pornography as we began preparing for marriage: avoidance of emotional intimacy, sex addictions, eating disorders, low self esteem, and even impotence. We are thankful that we porn-proofed our marriage years before it began.

 

Editor’s Note: I Believe in Love recommends Covenant Eyes or Fight the New Drug if you think that you or someone you care about is struggling with a pornography addiction.

 

Shannon

Shannon is a wife and mother of two boys who spends her time hosing mud off children, scrubbing sticky furniture, and rushing to the ER to have nails extracted from small intestines. Shannon lives in Iowa and blogs at We, A Great Parade (http://www.agreatparade.com/).She is part of I Believe in Love because she believes in the beauty of humanity.
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