Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I'd Rather He Cheat: PORN KILLS LOVE


Why?

I was asked, when the LDS church considers physical affairs adultery, don't they consider "pornography" adultery?

Both involve lust outside of wedding vows. Both infringe upon the law of chastity. Both DESTROY marriage. Normally, if a Mormon has an affair on their spouse in the physical sense, they face the necessary disciplinary action. When someone is engaging in pornography, it seems they face a lesser verdict. So the question remains, why?

I've experienced both in a marriage. I've had a spouse physically cheat on me and I've had a spouse addicted to pornography. I'm going to come out and say this: PORNOGRAPHY IS WORSE THAN A PHYSICAL AFFAIR.

Sure, this is an opinion. It isn't doctrine and it has no real hard religious evidence. I'm not a therapist. I'm just a girl whose lived through it. I'm a volunteer and public speaker for the Addiction Recovery Program. This combined with my life's experiences is my "qualification" to discuss this. Having said that, these are still opinions and do not reflect the beliefs of Mormon doctrine.

I'm going to say this: I would rather him cheat.
Porn is evil.

For starters, pornography involves ONE human. 
Isn't that better, you ask?
In my experience, turning sex into a one-sided game makes the individual extremely selfish. They're no longer concerned with pleasing another human being, nor are they concerned with "who" they're having sex with. The act of love-making vanishes and is replaced by an egotistical self-centered rendez-vous. When my ex husband was cheating on me, we were still intimate and the act of sex remained a two-way agreement. When his pornogrpahy addiction expounded, all hell broke loose.

Next, pornography isn't real. The sex isn't real. The bodies, the sounds, the actions aren't real.
When someone becomes so involved in porn, their entire perception of sex changes. They now think that the "porn" is real life. When they can't et it in a physical sexual encounter with their spouse, they are no longer satisfied by sex. They can phaycially lose an erection and arousal because they aren't stimulated by a true, human, flesh-and-bone body. No matter how much the their spouse loves them and desires intimacy, the porn-addicted individual cannot perform.

If you think a man's brain is rewired by porn, the wife of this man also faces brain rewiring: her view on men, and marriage, is corrupted. She will stop believing good men exist. That means she won't treat herself like she deserves one. How then will she raise good children, boys into good men and girls into virtuous women?
Men aren't the only ones struck with the porn impulse. Numbers of female addicts are growing. Both genders in recovery agree: porn is addictive. It is a drug. It needs to be taken as seriously as meth.

"I'm not religious."
How many times have you heard "Porn saved my marriage." ??
"But I enjoy porn as much as my husband."
That doesn't make it okay.
"But it's so stimulating!"
So are drugs, murder and rape.
"I'm not threatened by porn because im great in the bedroom."
Good for you. It's still morally wrong in the eyes of God.

Where do you draw the line on morality?
Our world is blended with morals and increasingly slack Christians who pick and choose what to believe in based on what is convenient. They need room for their pleasures.
The bible states that lust is a sin. Even if you watch porn as a couple and have sex together, the lust was inspired by someone outside the marriage. That is adultery of the heart.

Another way porn kills love is expectations have blown up to unrealistic proportions.
For a man, he is viewing a woman on porn like that is how a woman is supposed to look and act. The actress's body has probably been massively altered by surgery. The actions she performs and the reactions it generates are fake. She is an ACTRESS. The man is an ACTOR. Porn stars are employees of an entertainment industry. Being paid. For a woman watching porn, the size of the man and his actions are also exaggerated. When comparing your marriage and marital love-life to porn, the affected individual suddenly sees their spouse as unfit, undesirable, unattractive, and even a turn off. When you focus so much on this sex, and your lack of satisfaction because of porn, you notice all of your spouses flaws instead of their good qualities. This drives them to more porn.

At least they're just at home, in the bathroom watching a screen, not out there contracting a venerable disease. Right?
It is sick and twisted, but I would rather him cheat. In fact, they're both cheating in my eyes. One is not worse than the other, just like having ten affairs is not worse than having one.

Lastly, watching porn invites the spirit of Devils into one's heart and home. I have watched a good man slowly fall into the bondage of the devil, and start to exasperate his addictions in the form of sexual abuse. There is such thing as abusing the powers of sex, EVEN WITHIN a marriage. Porn changes the way the individual views the act of sex, turns them into a horribly selfish machine who can only react to the visuals they have trained their body to recognize, they aren't concerned about pleasing their spouse which then leads to a very unhappy and sexually frustrated companion, and it can potentially lead to verbal and physical abuse. Not to mention utter spiritual destruction. By all means, so does a physical affair. I find them both abominable.

There is a reason sex was created and that it "feels good." There's are a reason God intended it to be special and between unified couples, married couples, not between a person and a screen of fake images. These images will, particularly for a woman, dissolve her self-esteem and demolish her joy in love-making. She will never feel like she can match up to these "actresses" and watching her husband's dissatisfied behavior will kill her love. Porn kills love.

And no one, either man or woman, should feel like they have to live up to these IMPOSSIBLE and immoral standards. Sex is a contact sport. It is not meant to be a one-man act of pleasure. Selfishness is the epitome of the devil. It will cut into the home, tear apart a marriage, and hurt little children. Especially if abuse is the outcome.

Not always do porn addicts turn into horrible individuals and not always is the spouse SO adversely affected. Of course every situation is different. Some couples claim to enjoy watching porn together. Usually they are so desensitized by that point that they can't achieve arousal without watching porn, but then they engage in sex together. Is this wrong? Is this breaking the law of chastity?

I am not qualified to answer that.

My feelings are just opinions based on my experiences. My experience with porn is that it is far worse and far more painful than a physical affair. Trying to get clean from a porn addiction is a nightmare. If I had a spouse physically cheat on me, at least I would know it was not quite as selfish, that he was having sex with a real life woman who most likely had an average body, average love-making skills, and she would snap at him about being a slob too. That's the cold hard truth. In my opinion. 

If I had it my way, people who participated in porn would face the same disciplinary action in the Mormon church as those having physical affairs. The victim in the marriage may never recover and probably carry these pains for the rest of their life. It doesn't just go away. And the selfish individual must undergo not only addiction recovery, but a fierce personality adjustment to return to the Christlike, selfless spouse that their partner needs them to be. The problem with porn is the images never leave the mind. How does one recover? How does the victim heal? How do they learn to enjoy love-making, establish trust, and care about one another?

The answer is probably time. Forgiveness, yes. And time. Lots of time.
Today, a person can simply click a button on their phone and find porn.
Even social media sites like Instagram and Facebook allow full nudity in their pictures. YouTube is the devil's playground. Anything goes. This is not the 30's and people are not just loyal Christians anymore. It doesn't matter if someone calls themselves a "Mormon". No one is exempt from this infestation on the most sacred part of humanity: marriage.

I wish I had some magical answer. Some cure all. I don't. I can't even say avoid technology! It's everywhere. I can't say, "Don't go to the movies!" Because even animaged characters in Disney films are aexualized.

The choice to try and stay as pure as possible and abide by the law of chastity has to be a DAILY one, and it has to be as important as oxygen. 
People of the Mormon faith in particular should be wise and use caution. No good comes from believing you are above error. 

Obviously, the best way to prepare for a good, chaste marriage is to start young in avoiding pornography. Since that isn't entirely realistic in our day and age, being open and seeking help at every corner is the next best option. Always be honest. Lying about it will make everything worse. It will magnify any marital problems and pretty soon a couple will be so disconnected they aren't even sure which way to turn. Sadly, CHILDREN pay the price for this.

God crates us and blessed us with physical bodies and appetites. He warned us to "bridle our passions." He knew what would happen in the earthly life and what hardships we would face. He lovingly gave us guidelines and boundaries to help prevent pain. There is nothing more parental than a Christian "rule". Humans give their children plenty of rules, because they KNOW better. God knows better.

Luckily for us, he has provided a way to repent. However, bear in mind the consequences of your actions don't ever get erased. Think of the 2,000 stripling warriors. Heleman's army. Why did these 2,000 young boys have to go to war and fight? Because of the sins of their fathers. Their fathers had sinned and buried their weapons, refusing to take arms against their enemies. Later, their families were threatened by the incursion of a wicked army. Heleman encouraged them to abide by their covenants with God, but then their young sons had go fight in their place. Imagine the sorrow these father's must have felt. The fear.

The atonement not only takes care of the sinner, but it gives comfort to the trodden. If you've been hurt by pornography, if you suffer feelings of inadequacy, if you lack intimacy because of a torn relationship, my heart goes out to you. Know YOU ARE ENOUGH. God made you just the way you are. He never expects you to be more, to be an "actress". He loves you and the right partner will, too. You're beautiful enough. You're body is pleasing enough. Your ambitions in the bedroom are enough. You do NOT have to take abuse. Seek help, from a church leader, and from the Lord if you're struggling. There are Addiction Recovery Meetings for addicts AS WELL AS family members. I volunteer for the LDS Addiction Recovery Program and I testify it CHANGES LIVES. Don't give up hope. And always, ALWAYS, react with love...even when it seems impossible. Love is not the same thing as sex...but love must be present in the home, especially for children.

I anticipate some will disagree with me. That's okay. I'm not demanding everyone take my side. I just wanted to share my thoughts and lend support to anyone who has gone through this.

It is my wish that people stop supporting the pornography industry. That they take more control of their love-life. Sex can be immensely satisfying. Yes, between two people FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. You have a whole lifetime to practice, discuss, explore. Think of the possibilities? Don't let porn be one of them.

By Brittany