Two anons asked:
– Hi! I enjoy reading your blog and I know you have battled a porn addiction. I have a few questions. How do you feel about people who are battling against a porn addiction while dating? Do you think that person could have a genuinely Christ-centered, Godly and healthy relationship? Or is it bound to fail? Would it be okay for the guy to take a break so he figures things out for himself? What is the role of the girl in this? Is she able to do anything at all?
– I’m engaged to someone who claims to be Christian but I’m starting to feel as though he is not. We agree on almost everything except for the issue on whether watching porn is okay … He just wants me to be okay with it, that way he doesn’t feel guilty. So my question is, is watching porn wrong? …What biblical evidence is there that I can give him? I really pray that he would want to change but if not I don’t think I can marry someone with this problem.
If you would’ve asked me this question a few years ago, I would’ve said:
“What are you thinking, ladies? Dump that dude right now! Any man who can’t give up something for you ain’t no man at all.”
To some degree, I still agree with this. If it’s not serious or you just started dating, then please do NOT feel obligated to stay. You deserve better. If you’re looking for an excuse to stay with this guy because he’s cute in the face or you’re afraid to be alone: then you already know that won’t be enough down the line.
But in my growing compassion for people, I know how difficult it is to defeat porn in an over-sexualized culture. I know how screwed up we are to think that “porn is the norm.”
As much as I sound like a cranky old man, today sex is like shaking hands and human trafficking is barely blinked at. This is our world now: a culture of deep apathy that is unavoidably ingrained.
While this doesn’t absolve any man’s destructive behavior, it does give me more of a heart to work with them and resolve the root issues. It helps explain why men shrug it off.
Maybe you’ve been told to dump the guy on the spot, and that could be good advice — but battling porn is a lifelong struggle for all men today. It’s unrealistic to think you’ll meet some guy who has never struggled with it.
I also know how hard it is to just break up with someone if you’re engaged or it’s very serious. Certainly we should never be afraid to break off a relationship that is abusive or a deadbeat, but porn is something you both could overcome together with patience and persistence. It’s not always a deal-breaker.
While you might find the perfect porn-less guy, I think we can realistically say: Every woman will now have to openly, honestly, aggressively talk about lust with their future husbands in an era where porn is so freely available. This has to be a daily truthful dialogue where the man must be able to freely express himself without shame or a fear of retaliation.
But first, let’s talk about what will happen if the guy says, “I just want you to be okay with my porn.”