Lie #2: Pornography helps increase intimacy in marriage
For years, many in the field of psychology downplayed the negative effects of pornography, suggesting porn could be normal, even healthy. Many marriage counselors encouraged couples to accept porn use, some even recommending it in the hopes of increasing intimacy for couples who were struggling. However, in an open letter to readers in 2016, leading relationship researcher Dr. John Gottman corrected his previous recommendation and now stands by research that indicates porn is indeed destructive to intimacy.
The statistics fully support his findings. Psychology Today reported testimony from a 2004 Senate hearing where Dr. Jill Manning shared her findings that 56% of divorce cases involved one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.Another source, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, polled 350 divorce attorneys in 2003 where two thirds of them reported that the Internet played a significant role in the divorces, with excessive interest in online porn contributingto more than half of such cases.
The reason is that sex was intended to be between one man and one woman, within the safety and commitment of marriage, to keep them facing each other, working with each other, united in body, soul, and mind. Sex was God’s great gift for couples to enjoy each other and find both deep connection and satisfaction with each other. True intimacy involves both knowing and being fully known by another.
To the contrary, pornography steals intimacy and fosters dissatisfaction in couples. Cynical attitudes about love emerge, leading people to believe that the best sexual experiences can be attained without affection or love. For many, porn use becomes an easy means of escaping the challenges of marriage and prepares them to disinvest in their marriage.
In her book, Pornified, Pamela Paul notes that "Pornography gives men the false impression that sex and pleasure are entirely divorced from relationships." Porn creates an entirely self-centered sexual experience because it doesn't require that husbands be lovers of their wives. Gratification is quick, easy, always guaranteed. Intimacy is abandoned as a goal in favor of personal pleasure. It substitutes loving our mate for loving ourselves.
The truth: Porn use destroys marital intimacy and significantly increases the chances that your marriage will end. We must remove anything the enemy could use to get a foothold into our lives, our homes, our marriages, and our families. We must protect the very relationship we value most. God wants to heal marriages. He desires to restore and redeem everything that Satan has tried to destroy. He can bring more intimacy and satisfaction than we ever thought possible.
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