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Rescuing Your Marriage from Pornography (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
November 16, 2021 5:00 am

Rescuing Your Marriage from Pornography (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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November 16, 2021 5:00 am

Rosie Makinney examines the damaging impact of porn on marriage and explains how couples can protect themselves against it. (Part 1 of 2)

Get Rosie Makinney's book "Fight for Love: How to Take Your Marriage Back from Porn" for your donation of any amount! And when you give today, your support will be DOUBLED to Give Families Hope!

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I know the pain related prayer on Jim Daly this season. Help us give families hope and when you get to the your donation will be double donated today and Focus on the Family were going to address an evil that destroys far too many marriages and families. It's a sensitive serious topic and it's not appropriate for younger children. Someone told me if I left my husband and she would stop using porn confronted in. He said he was done. We tried to get help again and again and again. I was devastated when I discovered that my daughter was to list websites. He chose porn over me. He will always choose porn over me. John those comments represent the heartbreak we hear from so many couples today here Focus on the Family we receive about 2000 responses a day from people of all different types in nature, but certainly this topical pornography is one of the leaders pornography is an unwelcome guest any marriage because it will destroy that marriage and it all has complicating aspects to destroys intimacy.

It widens secrecy. It makes you not trust one another and that is horrific in a marriage. Porn is a poison that destroys anyone who uses that we need to think about that. The data is astonishing to me and that's why recovering John, when you look at the number of both men and women who are using porn today, it is catastrophic in here Focus on the Family we want you to have the best marriage you could possibly have.

And if you're in that camp were using pornography. That is not healthy for your marriage general here to help give us a call.

Talk it through. Bring light to that dark part of your your life, your soul are numbers 800 the letter a in the word family 800-232-6459 or click the link in the show notes for help in a course. As I said, you know, pornography is gender-neutral, but far more menus pornography than women on day two, were going to talk about the use by women, but don't feel like were excluding women from that discussion but most of the conversation will be geared toward wives whose husbands are using pornography and we have a great guest who is going to be with us to talk about this issue. Her name is Rosie McKinney. She's written a wonderful book fight for love and her own experiences going to explain the path forward for couples were caught in this travesty Rosie, welcome to Focus on the Family, thank you for having me accept the great honesty now. I noticed that accent so you're from England I'm from England from Yorkshire Yorkshire just love saying that they are very proud and about you living on the last 13 years or so in the US in California on the centralized and tell me about your family and I might has been mock and we have to boys who are now nine and 11 and I'm attempting to school and let's start with the question we received from a woman the listener to Focus on the Family and then I want to respond to this. She said my husband cannot go one day without looking up in our graffiti.

I told him it's an addiction any needs help.

He refuses to get any help because he is ashamed that I don't want it in my marriage or our family. We have teenagers and I'm afraid they'll find it and think it's all right this could be the end of our marriage. If we can't find a solution. Do you have any suggestions now. This came to us. Course we responded. But how would you respond to that.

I think festival I went validate that Mike's instincts and tell her that she is on listening very well to a heavy space telling her and that this is a problem if he can't go a day without looking at this this is as she rightly said, this is an addiction and she recognizes that I'm she's wanted him to help. It sounds like I'm but he's refusing to get help and she's worried that marriage may end. As a result of this like it got progressively less and she's probably right.

However, I do have great hope because I had to get to the point. My she's actually reaching out to you guys I would suspect that she's been in pain for burial time and she felt isolated and ashamed and hopeless and helpless and she's probably true might many many things to fight for this marriage already. I would from all the lights I flipped with in the mines in my community I would say that she's probably trying to think she's had like just be most sexual with him just be more graceful with and be more forgiving creates a loving environment so he doesn't need to. He doesn't feel like he has to do this. She's probably trying again and again.

Going against horizon intuition against horizon feelings and what I would say to Hattie's. You have done the one thing that actually works because the problem as far as I see is that she needs husband to get into recovery, but she doesn't have to do that because he went reach out for help right and this is one can say now is so simple and it makes so much sense but yet for some reason we not quite guessing that gets today's what is the reason that most married men into recovery unit. Did I suddenly feel convicted one day some maybe a small minority. What actually gets guys into that therapist's office is that wife forcing the issue not accommodating but forcing the full thing and there was something tremendously painful about a wife being brought to place of desperation pain when she has to.

This issue and say my whole hops my whole passion is to tell women that they don't have to write you do not have to wait to the old marriage is on the edge of the divorce you on the verge of a nervous breakdown. You can actually take proactive action right now you know all suspect that theissue in your marriage. There are things you can do now to help bring him to repentance isn't you and bring him to repentance its following God is by being obedient to God. And that's where I get tremendously excited because he thought he provided down for us in the Scripture we just have to look at what it says right and in that respect. I mean, that's part of your story will unfold that today and tomorrow I want to talk at that higher kind of elevation give us the statistical information what does it look like in culture with the church and outside the church. Okay well with very fortunate in that Josh McDowell date six study quite recently I spent like $300,000 to get the data that we so desperately need. And he found out that elf guys who evangelical guys who regularly attend church, 79% of regularly using that same unit seems on believable. It is shocking. That's everybody that's married and single that's married and single a break it down a little bit married guys, it's 55%.

That's over half of marriages are struggling with this. And these are people who are going to church regularly, not just the general constituency. What is that number look like for the general population is not that similar little behind. It's no different.

So 78% of men in general and in the church and then about 55% of married men use it and define regularly at least once a month at least once a month and this actually actually going to a website or something such as seeing a movie that's a little risqué catches you off guard deliberately seeking out hearing material for the purposes of arousal deliberately to edit such a hard subject such a difficult subject and one of the things that people will begin to justifies is it that bad is just a little assistance. It helps me it entices a little arousal in her marriage and it's it's healthy, you can hear the explanation there, and you've heard that from people speak to the wider damage that we open the broadcast with you know the impact to a marriage because of pornography that so many studies now quit talking hundreds of studies that prove the penalty fee damages relationship. It's like I use the analogy of the Snow Queen no okay is that it's a fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson and he that an evil troll who creates and Mira and the Mira shift is any day throughout the world and gets into people's eyes when they look through this, Mira. That's now lodged in the eye, they only see the fat and ugly in people and this is what he does it puts this pornographic lens so you will no longer able to seal spouse in the way that you want state in the way that God intended you to.

You will be more dissatisfied with that appearance with the sexual performance and also just general decision-making. Is this pornographic lens and that's what we women need to we need to have it validated because we know we know something's changed. We know that.

I know that we file on on a gut level and it doesn't matter what we try to make any difference what this term that is used many people. I don't believe understand when we talk about objectifying women. That's what you're describing that the decay become less than your partner less than your wife loves you and you begin to see them in only in ways that they can satisfy you except we know that what you watch affects how you think about things we have done the marketing industry. We know the effects it's the same with pornography and not watching to consensual adults having sex you are watching something that is highly violent, misogynistic, degrading, humiliating. That's what pornography is and for those of us who grew up before the Internet and haven't been exposed to a comes as a big shock that watching what I'm not connecting to graphic detail course wants is very very common and ubiquitous in most of the penalty for its highly shocking and highly dehumanizing is what you all being exposed to annual brain is been conditioned to be aroused by what you watching and that's what I want – is the brain science. It was the next question I have for you, and fight for love your your wonderful tough book you describe that brain science related pornography. Explain how porn can essentially hijack the pleasure center of your brain fascinating and 197. Thanks.

It was like so many light bulbs went on in my head and help me see my husband is not that my vestry any more than I like, who needed help. He really needed help. I understood what was happening in his brain what had happened in his brain. I had compassion I didn't have before. Excuse what he did but it helps. So basically the reward center of your brain gets hijacked, said the reward center is basically a biological way of maintaining a survival. So whenever we do an activity that is also my phone like eating having sex. Then I'll bring produces chemicals that promote happy chemicals okay. The witches are weak and it says that was an advantageous behavior.

Let's repeat that.

Unfortunately, no coffee, it can be hijacked. We can be hijacked by artificial stimulus that actually is a school-based supernormal stimulus which means that we can be conditioned to actually preferred these false images and the thing that's difference between normal intimate sexual relation and counsel with your spouse and Pinocchio say is that in this one.

When you're when you have sex with your spouse that an off switch.

Just like when you have too much faith is an off switch meeting to answer the bedroom after the dining room get back with your life pornography.

There is no off switch so that's the addictive factor that is no off switch so you can literally binge for days because all you need. The anything you need to do to keep this deadening searching is to click on something novel, something need something more stimulating emotional can meet up Nancy another hit and this is how people get so addicted because your brain when we do repeat activity. We create neural pathways and that helps us to think like a denture try bank account that was coming in your brain when you watching say is that you'll and illustrating these neural pathways connecting Prussia and activity of pornography and the high photography. Nothing else really counts. This is why you see people who are addicted just not interested in that hope is anymore film and what doesn't your dissatisfied with your spouse hanging out with your kids just irritates you everything in life becomes lackluster because nothing else can come right is that you relate in the book, people addicted to pornography are similar to head trauma patients describe that analogy is interesting in the fact that as a condition called high-paying front cavity getting two ways you get it from heavy porn use head on collision and this basically impacts the functionality of your prefrontal cortex, which is you'll decision-making parts of your brain. It helps you way consequences and make good decisions. She brings you great actually shrinks your grandma so you know why something to me. He knows I hate this unit. How can he keep doing this. It's damaging our relationship is breaking my Hans is ripping the family about why White County stop and the point is, his brain is been hijacked in so many ways but he's never able to feel happy. He needs this drug his drug is no longer effective. And he's got this condition wet his brain is no longer connecting very well in the decision-making pots and he's not able to reach out because he can't override the cravings and the cravings are coming because the brain has now been sensitized all these pornographic cues outback pornographic. You that's highly pleasurable.

I need to do that decision-making part of my brain is no longer functioning is truly a spiral. I say let's not terrify women and make them feel hopeless, but to make them understand that waiting for your guy to reach out for help is probably not a good strategy right my whole point.

However, there are two people in March, when to become one okay you all the functioning part of the brain. Okay, what is affecting him is affecting you is not just his problem. It's your problem you can effect change. You can be the catalyst you can join with them line in the sand and reached down and grabbed him out of the slope as he called it Rosie.

Let's get in your story because I think will be very instructive for the listeners of yours. You and Mark met described in them. What took place rather quickly, even on your honeymoon that gave you concern so I when I met Mark I had already priced becoming a Christian pride meeting. I had already been in a long-term relationship with an unrepentant phone at eight so I don't need on this journey and I knew that nothing I did was going to work so I had that experience so I'm not looking long and he confesses that this is been a problem in the past and in my naivety. I like he's confessed.

He said he's worked on this in the past. He doesn't want. Thanks, Michael, one of the guys you know this is not gonna be an issue to get married and everything is gonna be fine and then from the honeymoon omelette. It's very clear that this is not gonna be okay and something rose up in me online. No, I'm not doing this again. I know that there is nothing I can do that is going to make this better.

He needs help he needs help and so I said to him I I love you and I love us too much, but you need help because you cannot photography or you can have. Maybe you cannot have both. And the only reason I was able to do that because I had great self-esteem. What I knew I was talking about. I didn't know any of the brain chemistry and was the right thing to do. Only because I had the prior experience than in your situation. Mark responded well.

He wanted to get help, I believe, so that was a good response. Not everybody will get that response so I can speak to your experience of how favorably Mark responded and then maybe contrasts with other women that you counseled were their husbands of said is not my problem is your problem I mean something potentially and even though he responded well.

He wasn't happy about it and he was telling crazy attic brain and it was really hot. It's Brady really, really, how to stand for and that is why you need to be educated. You need support you need people around you to validate the trauma that you're going through and have been through in order for you to stand up. I mean that's the whole whole biblical thing isn't just stand stand yet Rosie I'm thinking of that first you know, I'm sure that wife has that inclination that sixth sense that something is not right or it's blatantly obvious, like in your case, you knew it because you have experienced that before many women I would think then begin go over their options in their own mind of their own heart. Is this marriage worth it.

You know, as he violated the marriage vow, those are valid questions people may have different theological understandings of what they're able to do but speak to that immediate response and what you went through personally as part of your restorative approach. Okay parts of the problem. I think the spouse or the prana of someone who is addicted to pornography is that you are second-guessing yourself all the time because you here in the wealth pornography is healthy for relationships is beneficial on its empowering and liberating the women and then you could maybe get to the church and they say well you can help him with his temptations. If you make yourself more sexually available. Even though you hot guy doesn't feel right. I don't want to do that I simply don't want to do things that he wants me to do all he's been effecting me for months that can't be the issue. Also, confused, and you look at your options so is one option it's like well I'm gonna compete with the coffee I am going to be. I'm going to fulfill all his sexual fantasies. I'm going to be available on all okay I'm going to be totally graceful about this whole thing.

I understand that you know this is a ubiquitous temptation and that he does and I'm going to be.

I'm just going to give him and I'm gonna dig into that and I'm going to just rely on my face and this is hot and that suffering is part of being a Christian and I just got to put up with it almost like accepting the healthy way to go know all the other way is, I just need to get over myself. I need to get over myself and then I'll be able to field placed him.

He's the thing you know to be okay with fate, a because it's demonic and be because the Holy Spirit is never going to let you be okay with being brought into your relationship. The idea is not to just accommodate it out of your marriage. When I would think you're the third option is to not excuse the poor news or your your husband in the way that were describing it today again next time we'll talk about women who are using porn as well. So don't don't rightist.

It's only one-sided that we get it, but in that context, I want you to drill into that in these last moments that I have the idea that you know again don't be overwhelmed by the justification of its use. Stand firm and what you feel the Lord saying to your heart exactly, but that takes a lot of strength. It takes a tremendous amount of strength and you did it. So what were those things that you did right here at the end it really got what I would advocate that women take offense stamps of zero-tolerance through education and support you join a great case that we talked about husbands, he won't get into recovery, that's okay, the answer is not to stay in horribly deteriorating relationship to stay stagnant and intimately delete or leave. There is option C if you want to help you help your betrayal trauma is real you to help you get strength and you learn how to set boundaries and the Scripture is clear that to help husband is being disobedient what you submit to the way you keep yourself peel and then he will be put in a place of reverential by your fuel behavior is how we get convicted, you know, my wife is making it pretty helpless that she's not play with this conviction stop attending attending attending she's pulling a boundaries. She said he needs to see that. But you can't fake it. So you have to edify yourself. You have to educate yourself. You have to surround yourself with women who have full and succeeded in, let me just end with base, you know, fighting for the marriage that you had, minus the progress that you're fighting for something you something beyond your greatest expectations.

Because something is not the problem. Pornography is the solution to an intimacy disorder that that's what you're pointing for you not fighting to just get no coffee you'll fighting for this new level of vulnerability, honesty, authenticity never had before and six meeting that's really exciting. Rose want to make sure right at the end were giving that hope which you talked about from the moment you walked in the door. Here Focus on the Family is that I want to be about. Hope you and Mark just so we are clear for the listeners and the viewers you are married and having a you know a good journey now and that's really important to remember in one of the things that I've seen with our hope restored marriage intensive's and other things is if you can get through this is a couple level of intimacy that you share is really unique. It's special because there's nowhere to hide you the stuff is out on the table and you know me as fully as I can be known. My warts and everything and I'm sure that's the experience, you and Marcus had now and it's in some ways very free as it is the best gift I never thought I wanted the worst best shift.

I like that make sense.

It's not just you don't have to take my word for it.

I can't.

We now have a community of many many other women who have full full amount is full, really hot.

And this is my just didn't survive because I want to put this out by that that sometimes guys do remain unrepentant, but those women half-full the best families and they full that mental health and they fall for that few chest and they now wake up in the morning with hope and they wake up able to smile and off again because if you are in a relationship with a porn addict you not doing a lot of laughing and smiling and you feel horribly alone. I want to know that's a whole army of women out that you want to give back and once enough on you and you can do this porn free marriage is possible and its banks a because both of you on now naked and unashamed. Both of you. That's wonderfully said rose. What a tremendous kickoff to this discussion will come back next time and continue because are so much more to cover and I want I want to make sure that people understand her heart here. It's easy to find criticism and I can't believe you're talking about the subject. But you know the Christian community by large we've given this over to the world to define hate our God, our Creator, define what it is to have healthy intimacy, physical intimacy within the context of marriage that's our definition and were not ashamed of it and we need to become healthier in the body of Christ, and were letting these things seep in and crush us to where we have no witness to the world and that's unfortunate and we can change we can do a better job fight for love your wonderful resource. As difficult as it is. It's a great book and we want to make available to you. If you make a gift of any amount of focus will send it to you is our way of saying thank you. If you cannot afford it. I mean if you can afford it. Get a hold of us to trust others will do their part in ministry with us to get this out to you and I think it's one of the most important discussions we can have one the most important resources we could provide, especially given the statistics Rosie mentioned earlier in this is men in the church and we have got to do a better job if we want healthy households if we want healthy families starts with leadership, with men doing the right things to get a hold of us is not about beating you over the brow getting healthier. Contact us today to schedule a time to talk to counselor or to get a copy of this book fight for love to donate. As you can. Her number is 800 K in the work-family 800-232-6459 four. Click the link in the show's rose again thank you and what's come back next time. Great and on behalf of Jim Daly, and the entire team here at Focus on the Family.

Thanks for joining us today on John Fuller inviting you back next time. As we continue the conversation and once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. I was shocked when she gave me the divorce papers. I was so done I have reached my breaking point. I was desperate for a shred of hope. So I called the hope restored team at Focus on the Family they they listen to me and they asked about what was happening in my marriage. They encouraged me and my wife to attend one of their marriage intensive's for couples in crisis and they prayed with us.

They help me believe that my marriage could be saved agreed to go but was skeptical that anything could help us but the whole environment was so safe and nonjudgmental.

I felt my heart open up as we work with the counselors. Both of us still have work to do in her marriage but for the first time in a long time we have hope again Focus on the Family's hope restored marriage intensive program has helped thousands of couples who thought that their marriage was over. Find out which program is right for you and hope

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