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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Surviving Porn 1 - Facing Evil

Fifty Shades Of Gray has done one positive thing, and that is to open up the conversation on the threat and exploitation inherent in pornography, and how to fight it.

Today we'll talk about the situation every wife dreads...discovering that her husband is viewing pornography. (and we'll look at the reverse, as well...but female use of pornography has some distinct differences.)

(You can find the second part of this series, Surviving Porn 2 - Killing Evil, here.)

The vast majority of pornographic material used today is viewed over the Internet. Numbers are hard to verify, but it;'s said that up to 30% of all websites are pornographic in nature.

So the stuff is out there, it's easily accessible...and with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, it's private. Gone are the days when you might find a stash of Playboy magazines in the woodshed.

Today, it's in the air around you.

So, what do you do, when it comes as a surprise, or a verification of a long-held suspicion...that the man you have chosen as a life partner is using pornography?

How do you deal with the heartbreak, and how do you move forward?

First and foremost...it's not about you.

The vast majority of men who use pornography start in adolescence, partly through peer pressure and partly as a wrong but understandable manifestation of an excess of hormones.

If that were all it were, the situation would be simpler, as testosterone levels peak around the age of eighteen and diminish from there. The problem would go away of its own accord...withering from boredom, as it were.

Unfortunately, this isn't simple. The use of pornography causes chemical changes in the brain related to serotonin levels), that demand new and "bigger" levels of arousal. Dropping levels of testosterone cause something of an overcompensation, accentuating the process. It's a vicious cycle.

It's like the high that a drug user's chasing, with more and more potent...and more lethal...drugs.

So, to the second point...

Use of pornography is an addiction...and addictions are disease.

Make no mistake...it's also a choice, but the ability to choose well is compromised by the forces of addiction.

To fight a disease, you need three things -
  • A recognition that a problem exists
  • Professional help
  • A consistent following of the programme of treatment
And to prevent a relapse, resistance must be built up.

Next time we'll talk about the disease-fighting strategy.

12 comments:

  1. I agree, it has opened up conversation and that is for sure a step in the right direction. Thanks for such a realistic view of this topic.

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    1. Thank you...it took a lot of thought to reach the decision to talk about this, but it is important.

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  2. You're wading into this ugly area with plenty of wisdom and courage, Andrew. And I, for one, am thankful that you're redeeming this mess with a perspective that's godly and sane.

    In those moments where you wonder why you're still here, be reminded that you are an influencer, man. And you're doing one heck of a job.

    Great work.

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    1. Linda, thank you so very, very much. Truly.

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  3. Thanks for linking up and you are right, it has opened the door for conversation. May we have those tough conversations with the knowledge that God has every conversation and topic in the palm of his hand.

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    1. Amen - thank you for this perspective!

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  4. Andrew, I completely and whole-heartedly second what Linda said above. If you ever have to stop and think why you might still be here, read your blog. Look at the gift you are giving to the world. Read all the beautiful marriage advice you are giving to couples who need it. Don't for one minute think that you have nothing left to give; not to the world, and especially not to your wonderful wife. You may think you don't have anything left to give because of your physical limitations and the pain you are in (and I can absolutely understand this on some levels), but powerful words, time, glances, a soft touch...these take a moment, but live in a woman's memory and heart for a lifetime. Don't ever think you are not enough. This post on pornography, which is such an awful subject to cover, is a great example of the Andrew we all love. To the point, thorough, and exactly what the world needs to hear right now.

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    1. Kim, reading your comment left me in tears...partly because things have gotten physically tougher lately, and writing, which was once effortless, now requires an expenditure of energy that I sometimes wonder if I still have.

      I will be here, writing this, for as long as I yet draw breath, and your words and prayers have strengthened me.

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  5. Thank you for tackling this one head on, my friend! You are here for a purpose. Never doubt that!

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    1. Thank you so much...the encouragement I received in the comments on this post came at exactly the right time.

      God's surely listening!

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  6. So true, Andrew. It's a sad reality that many choose to ignore and downplay. I did see years ago Dr. Oz sharing on his show how pornography changes the brain and diminishes desire, which floored me because most secular voices in the media don't touch that position with a ten-foot pole! I think we are heading for a very sick society with the easy access of internet porn and the "you have no right to judge my life and choices" culture that we live in. I hate to think what my sons will experience as grown men in our modern-day but corrupt and crumbling society. Thanks for speaking into this controversial subject.

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    1. Thanks, Beth...I fear for our future, as well. If we teach kids by example that it's OK to ignore the consequences of our moral choices, on the besis of "individual freedom", we're in deep, deep trouble.

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