Pornography is a dangerous substance that is readily available at the click of a button.
You, as a leader of your family, must protect against porn at all costs. It has torn families apart and left them crippled with pain and grief. You must be constantly vigilant. Pretending that nothing is wrong will only lead to further heartache.
My hope for this article is to inform you on what you can be looking for if you suspect pornography has come into your home. The last thing I want is for you to become suspicious and accusatory of your spouse or children, but maybe if you see these signs, you can stop an addiction before it even starts.
If you are concerned that someone you love is struggling with pornography, there are a few ways to tell.
Almost every form of pornography is abusive and aggressive in some way. According to a 2010 study, 88 percent of all pornography is physically aggressive. Within that same study, they found that 49 percent of pornography is verbally aggressive (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20980228).
When watching porn, it can convince your brain that acts of aggression are desirable in the bedroom. This aggression can also trickle into everyday life as well. If you watch as your family member becomes less patient and angrier, make note of it. Do not brush it off as nothing because, if nothing else, it suggests that your loved one is struggling with something hurtful.
Lack of Intimacy
Maybe you have experienced the following. It’s the end of a long day and all you want to do is spend some quality time with your partner. You snuggle up next to him only for him to push you away. He tells you something along the line of “I’m too tired” or “I’m not in the mood.” As your special someone falls asleep, you’re left feeling unhappy, uncomfortable and unloved.
In some cases, if your spouse is actively participating in pornography, he will not want to be sexually active with you because he already satisfied himself with a computer. In other cases, your intimate time together may not feel intimate at all. You may notice changes that you can’t quite put to words, but you know that something has changed.
With children, they may become more and more irritated with suggestions that they spend time with the family. You may notice that your family member is becoming more secluded, locking themselves in their room or office and reacting with irritation when you try to get them to come out. While seclusion doesn’t always mean that your loved one is addicted to pornography, a porn addict does usually prefer isolation for a good portion of the day.
There are a few more signs that may suggest that a family member has a problem with pornography. One tell-tale sign is if your loved one is being secretive and/or lying to you. Also, if your spouse begins to compare you to other women or speak in ways that make you feel badly about yourself, it can be a sign of a problem. With children, they may start speaking disrespectfully about women or treating the women in their lives poorly, where they never used to do so.
If you have witnessed these signs in your spouse or child, talk to them about it. Have an open and honest conversation about how you are feeling and what you have noticed. You may find that they aren’t participating in pornography, but perhaps they are stressed about work, school or some other concern.
If however, through this conversation, they confess to watching porn, be patient and kind. As said in last week’s post, it is better that they are honest with you about an addiction than if they were to hide it from you. If your loved one knows that he/she can talk to you openly about it, then you will have a real chance for healing. Conversely, if they fear your judgment or anger, they will continue to fall deeper and deeper into their addiction.
Pornography preys on strong family bonds and ruins lives. Do not brush these signs away preferring to believe that everything is fine. As mentioned earlier, all of these signs point to a problem with your loved one, even if it isn’t pornography, and any help that you can give them will only strengthen your relationship.
Pray to God for His loving direction and powerful protection. Seek help from your bishop or other church leaders. You are the first line of defense, and you are not alone.