A Manly Dilemma
Being a man means that I will often be misunderstood…it also means that I will often misunderstand myself. This post should help bring clarity to the wives who struggle to deal with their husbands and to the husbands who struggle to deal with themselves.
A while ago, I wrote a blog on a very personal topic. I was nervous about putting this type of personal content out onto the internet but I took the risk for the sole purpose of creating awareness and helping others who may not have the courage to speak on the issues of their heart. This post will follow the same structure…except, I am pushing the gas just a tad bit further. If you can’t tell from the title…this post will touch on a very popular yet controversial topic; porn. Before I dive in, allow me to do two things. First I want to remind you that my vice has been loneliness and it was something that I had struggled with since my childhood. If you recall from the aforementioned post, I became accustom to hiding within myself and would often take my frustration with God out on my wife. But there is more…I also developed a habit that kept me occupied during my visits to the lonely island of my soul. That habit led me to write this letter to God on 4/15/08 at 12:19am.
My Letter To God
As you know, my flesh is so weak right now. I blew it…after all of this time, I blew it. I sit back trying to see where I went wrong. I know that my biggest problem is being inconsistent. I lose my motivation and get lazy. Dad, please help me. Please… At this point I don’t feel guilty…To tell You the truth, I kind of expected this to happen. I know You aren’t mad at me, however I do feel that I have disappointed You…yet again. If You don’t help me Father, I don’t feel that I can bounce back. Now I truly see what Paul meant when he wrote that he was the lowest of all sinners. I feel myself drifting to that level. I just can’t get right. It most definitely has to be by Your grace. Sorry Dad for turning my back on You and disappointing You. I love You. I do. Right now, I truly need You to come rescue me. I am encased in darkness and I need Your light. Please! I am desperate for Your salvation and deliverance. Make me feel full again and wipe away my iniquity. I give You permission. I know You hear the cries of my heart…with love,
This letter was written about 10 minutes after I had slipped into the internet rabbit hole that resulted in me watching pornography. Yes…porn. Oh, and don’t act like it has not happened to you. Most will fall victim to this trap. This was not my first time however…I had wrestled with this giant since about the age of 13. No one knew though, I hid it well. Most people do. Due to my seemingly incurable loneliness; I used porn as a method of coping. It clouded out the silence…kept me from having empty images running through my head. It also promised me something. It promised me that while watching…I could be connected to someone. It promised me intimacy. Not physical…but psychological. All I had to do was lend my imagination to the naked woman on the computer screen and for that moment…the loneliness did not exist.
I’d imagine that most men use porn for different reasons. However, if we factor down those reasons, you would be surprised to find that most men escape to pornography. That’s right, porn becomes a safe haven…a place for men to gather to rid themselves from the weight of the world. A place to go to silence out the silence…a place to feel masculine. For men, watching porn isn’t just about sexual gratification…it is also about the psychological connection with a fictitious perfection. It is about the connection with a false reality where everything goes our way. A place where a man’s domination sexually over a women subconsciously equals our physical domination over our own lives. There, we can take our anger out…be as aggressive as we want and have as many victories as we want. There…in that fantasy, everything goes our way.
Most husbands struggle as much with being accepted as they do with accepting themselves. We fumble through life and hide any sign of weakness. We literally have no one to talk to about our inner most struggles. We feel that our wives won’t know how to handle the emotions of a man, other men will reject us if we open up too much and God reminds us of our own fathers…strict, overly masculine and distant. So as a result, we turn inward. I know I did. At least by turning inward no one could hurt, mismanage or reject my emotions. Loneliness became my pleasure…and porn my best friend.
The Danger With Relationships
The reason why husbands struggle in their marriages, and why there may seem to be a lack of good men out there is because we hide ourselves behind our inadequacies. We don’t trust that our marriage will bring us the same security that we have on our islands. Albeit we are lonely, we still have the lure of fictitious perfection, a false promise that says at least in that world, we can and will control everything. Men are hard-wired to desire control. Not control for manipulation…but control for stability and security. If we can’t control life, we escape it. If we can’t control loneliness, we embrace it. If we can’t control our marriages…we avoid them. We marry at our own pace, we love only when it is convenient…and safe. Knowing this is crucial for change.
Husbands, you are not alone…no matter how lonely you feel. I had to face that harsh reality…I still face that reality. If you are serious about adding value to your marriage, you have to become brave enough to be willing to leave the lonely island of your soul. You have to reintegrate back into a world where everything is not promised to be perfect, stable and controllable. You have to accept the fact that your issues may be too heavy for most women…but not all women. Having a wife who won’t let you hide behind your penis in the bedroom is crucial to your future success and the overall stability of your marriage.
Wives, take the time to understand the present condition of your husband. Your empathy will help guide him off of his island. Your nurturance will soften the blows of a harsh and unruly reality. This is not a plea to lower the bar…you must keep it raised high. Don’t let him hide behind his libido or his smooth sayings. Don’t let his narrated story of a happy ending move you into lethargic bliss. Take the time to challenge him without demeaning him. His honest participation is key if you want your marriage to look like the one that you always dreamed about.
What we Can Do To Help
We will also position ourselves to give you more than just a good quote and a “feel good” post. We commit ourselves to giving you an experience. We will make sure to give you information that is lived and not just learned from a book. We will continue to be transparent and vulnerable so that we can model what you should be doing to better your experience in your marriage. Also, we have developed tons of great resources to help you along the way. If you are a husband looking for healing or a wife looking to ease your marriage frustrations, here at Mend Our Marriage we have tools to accommodate your current position.
Also, I invite you to join our Mastering Marriage 7 Day Email Prayer Challenge by subscribing below. By doing so, you will have access to our email list where you will receive 7 specific prayers for you to pray over your marriage over the next 7 days plus tons of free resources and tools just like this article that can help enhance your marriage.