Another Porn issue

Hi everyone,

I’m here to ask people’s advice on the use of porn by my husband. When we met I was not a practising catholic and in fact it was meeting him, a cradle catholic, that led me to find my own faith. 6 years later and we are happily married with a two year old and hopefully more on the way soon :slight_smile:

The problem is that when we met my husband was very complacent about his faith and as a part of that regularly watched porn for self gratification. I’m rather ashamed to admit that this didn’t bother me at all at the time. however - that was a long time ago and I am now far more grounded in my faith and he is too. Despite this I know he still watches porn and since we don’t use contraception he tends to use it during times of abstinence.

Now I know how awful porn really is I don’t like that he watches it - but he finds it hard to understand why my opinion has changed so much and he is open about the fact he doesn’t want to stop. I think he finds it difficult sometimes to accept that I am quite different to the person he met 6 years ago and am now far more ‘religious’ that he is.

He did suggest giving it up for lent - which to me sounds like a step in the right direction - but I don;t know what else to do really to encourage him to stop…

Advice (without judgement!) would be most welcome - and God bless you for reading this,

S

If he is watching it on your computer, move the computer out in the open where everyone else is. I also think that you might want to install filters and some people have passwords that would only allow one person to access the computer. If you were the one with the password, he would have to go through you first.

I think giving up the computer for Lent would be a good step in the right direction for him. I hope this works out for you :slight_smile:

If, as you say, he is now “more grounded in his faith”, but still “doesn’t understand why your opinion has changed so much” and is “open about the fact he doesn’t want to stop”, I can only assume he doesn’t realize what the church teaches about porn.

2354 *Pornography *consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.

Catechism of the Catholic Church. (emphasis mine)

In other words, he is putting his immortal soul in great jeopardy, and may not be aware of it.

Either he doesn’t understand what the church teaches or doesn’t think it is a big deal. You would be surprised how many good practicing Catholic men don’t realize that watching porn is a mortal sin. I meet with group of about 20 - 25 guys every Saturday morning, and to a man, when I told them that viewing porn was gravely sinful, told me I was wrong. When I pointed out the provision in the Catechism, they were shocked.

Of course “knowing” it is wrong, and quitting are two very different things. Porn, when viewed over time, effects the same part of a man’s brain as cocaine. It truly is adictive. He needs to first recognize that it is a “big deal” and second, have a firm purpose of amendment to give it up. For good. Not just for lent.

Don’t forget, we are in a spiritual battle. Bind satan & pray fervently for your husband,
God bless you!

I disagree. For two reasons: (1) I feel like the husband needs to make a decision for himself. Any amount of bullying or manipulation would be disrespectful to his own dignity. (2) If the husband is really addicted to porn, being out in the open might not stop him from looking at it. It’s unlikely he’d look at it in front of his wife, but possible he might look at it in front of young children – of course, some of this depends on his character and level of addiction. But I don’t like making the children unsafe, as a method of treating his porn habit.

Mind you, if he decided for himself that putting the computer in public would help, I would probably encourage that decision. (And I definitely think he should decide to install filters!) But I think there’s a real danger here in the wife becoming the moral authority in the household, which undermines the husband’s self-worth and masculine identity.

MrsSED1983, I can tell you right now that “The Church says this is wrong” is not going to convince your husband. He needs to see negative consequences of his porn use in his own life. He needs to see that it undermines his intimacy with you, that it gobbles up his time, that it causes him to think about women in denigrating ways. He needs to understand that porn stars have dysfunctional lives, and that he is indirectly contributing to that dysfunction.

I’ll pray for you!

Check our this website pornnomore.com/ it’s Catholic based and is a great resource.

Prodigal, I said nothing about manipulating or bullying him.

He told his wife he was willing to try giving it up for Lent. What I suggested was only a means for his wife to help encourage, not manipulate him.

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I read:

If he is watching it on your computer, move the computer out in the open where everyone else is.

This sounded like advice to move the computer, whether he wanted to or not. As opposed to making a suggestion to him.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a suggestion. But I think moving the computer unilaterally would be bullying.

Thank you everyone for your replies I really appreciate all of your time in answering - I think the problem is he just doesn’t think it’s a big deal. His faith is certainly growing and is more grounded than when we met - but I think he’s really at the beginning of that journey and doesn’t feel ‘convinced’ that porn is a problem.

Prodigal Son I think your points were particularly helpful - he needs to see it is wrong for ‘us’ rather than wrong ‘just’ in the eyes of the church perhaps… And MomS - you’re right too - he most certainly is addicted.

I think ths needs to be his choice, putting filters/passwords etc would definitely make me the ‘moral police’ and I don;t want to go there (although that might help during lent if he does choose to not use it) - I want to somehow guide him without being pushy… I just don;t really know how!

ps - there is absolutely no risk of him ever watching it in front of children. He is fully aware it is something that is meant for adult viewing and he is a marvellous and loving father who would never put his child at danger - moral or otherwise. He doesn’t even allow our son to watch PG movies until he has checked the content first!

I would recommend reminding him that Jesus says a man who lusts in his heart has already committed adultery.

Also, as a man who has struggled with lust, of which pornography is a manifestation, I would recommend reminding yourself that your body is not your own, but your husband’s and that the man should have the final decision regarding matters if no consensus can be had between the two. You might know this already but I just wanted to point this out as these two issues are I would say the number one issues of frustration for most men in a marriage that can entice them to lusting out of frustration. Paz.

Don’t be fooled, your children are at great risk due to his porn use. Deep down he knows this, that is why he screens what the kids watch.

If he is willing to give it up for lent that is great, but challenge him to stop now. At the end of lent maybe talk about it some more. I would back off during lent and see what happens. He will either break free and come out of the porn fog or realize how hard it is to stop and that he needs help.

Perhaps share this with your husband if he is open to it, that he might understand the beauty in the woman he has. For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back; sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides.

And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman.

For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no woman can rival.

Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover; no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity.

In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself…After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the little dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison.”

  • C.S. Lewis, Personal Letter From Lewis to Keith Masson (found in The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume 3)Courtesy of Matt Fradd’s blog.You may also consider sharing with him some of the chemical harms when engaging in such acts. Chemicals such as dopamine or oxycontin are released which cause attachments to the source of stimulation. This is ordered to fortify a marriage, but when abused, addicts a person to impersonal images.

Resources:
National Catholic Register
Dr. Darkmoon

I disagree and as you don’t know my husband or me I feel this is quite an assumption. Please keep unhelpful comments to yourself. The second part of your sentence doesn’t even make sense. He screen kids movies because he knows porn is risky? what?

Anyway - porn is bad full stop and what I was looking for is helpful suggestions about how to guide my husband onto the right track without being pushy. Thanks to all those that have done that!

Marco Polo that is a particularly insightful extract thank you.

I did not mean to offend you, so I will elaborate a little. I don’t mean that he will turn into a child molester(although child molesters are a subset of porn users). Porn users often if not always slip up and get caught. Down the road if one of your children catches your husband, they will have a much lessor opinion of him. Long time porn users also have trouble looking women in the face and older children and their friends notice this too.

Ah ok - thank you for clarifying that, they are fair comments - funnily enough he told me he found his dad’s porn collection once which really bothered him. Hid dad was a strict catholic (although clearly not without sin himself). I wonder if that incident has left it’s mark.

I agree with this.

My father watched and looked at pornography and I did walk in on it. I’m sure it was never his intention that I see it, but over time a kind of complacency and false security that “I won’t get caught” can develop. In our case there was a computer and TV in a home office/den type room. I went in to ask my father something and I can’t ever unsee what I saw.

It’s definitely affected my perception of him - especially when my mother blamed my brother in his teen years for spyware, etc on the computer from downloaded porn. My brother fessed up, but who knows how much of it was actually from my dad? The fact that I even wondered that bothers me a great deal.

I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing this as I have as a wife also. It can be very detrimental to a marriage and a family, but you’re definitely not alone. There are far too many of us wives out there who are hurt because of this sin that is so blatantly rampant in our society. I’ve found that a loving, caring conversation with my husband about how it affects me and our marriage can go a long way towards helping - both him and me. We all change as the years go by - that’s very normal. It’s also nothing you need to apologize for when it concerns the Church’s teachings on porn, but we’re all sinners, unfortunately, just in many different ways. He won’t stop viewing it until he decides he wants to - that’s for sure. But you can try to help him gently along that way without becoming the morality police. Speaking with your Priest or a Christian/Catholic counselor can also help. If he won’t join you, it can help you yourself to go alone. That helped me tremendously. I’ve also found that daily prayer for my husband to break free of the addiction can help. Our Lord, Our Blessed Mother, St. Monica, and St. Michael the Archangel are all amazing assets in this regard. There’s also a support group here at CAF titled, “Women Suffering Because of Unchastity,” which deals specifically with the hurt we as wives are feeling as a result of this. You or any other wife reading this may wish to join to obtain more suggestions and/or support (see top tool bar under “Groups”). The group has helped me immensely through the years.
I would also add that a man’s viewing of porn can definitely affect his children - in ways you might not expect. It appears that at least one of our children discovered part of their father’s hidden stash years ago and is now battling their own war against the addiction. A child can quickly decide if Dad does it, it can’t be that bad. They can also notice the way their father treats their mother when under the addiction. In our case it sadly was often a case of emotional abuse and major put-downs on an almost-daily basis. Women, even wives, can become merely objects for their own pleasure to men when they view porn. A child can grow up to become that same type of spouse in their own marriage just by witnessing it - even if the child isn’t aware of the porn use by the father.
I hope some of this info helps a bit. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers.

I think he needs to really understand how degrading this stuff is. And in too many cases it is directly related to human bondage, human trafficking, child sexual abuse and other horrible crimes. To watch any of it is to support these crimes and people that commit them.

Maybe you can search for literature that explains this on line. He really needs to see the harm this stuff causes.

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