why we’re open about porn

This post was originally written and posted on http://www.thebeautifullychaoticlife.blogspot.com in September 2018.

I recently posted the following to my personal Facebook page:

“Husbands, one of the most healing things you can do for your wife following a confession of porn use is to encourage her to be open with others about your struggle. She needs your support to seek the help she deserves; to know that you are okay with her talking with whomever she trusts to share her burden. Don’t let your shame imprison your wife.”

I received a few messages from concerned friends asking me if sharing my husband’s struggle with pornography on such a public platform as social media is, in fact, shaming him. Their questions took me a bit by surprise. Joshua and I are both very open about our experience with porn, and I tend to assume that since we talk about it so much most of our friends know our story and know that neither of us mind talking about it. But, of course, not everyone does know. I hate the thought of people thinking that I would ever intentionally shame my husband, so I want to clarify that anything I ever have or ever will post about pornography or our personal experience is 100% supported by my husband. He reads everything I write and approves of everything I post.

I’ve been asked before why I am so open and blunt about our story. I think it makes people uncomfortable and nervous that I’m going to destroy my husband’s reputation. Joshua doesn’t use Facebook, so I realize that a lot of our long-distance friends only see me posting and might worry that I’ve lost all sense of discretion by sharing details of our marriage struggles.

Here’s the thing. Joshua is not concerned about his reputation. He’s concerned about the reputation of Christ. Shame no longer enslaves him because Christ has broken those chains. He glories in the fact that he is now free in Christ, and he wants to share how he found that freedom with as many people as possible. If shouting our story from the rooftop would bring hope to just one person struggling in a marriage damaged by porn, Joshua would gladly do so. I adore that about him. 

The post I shared was part of a project Joshua and I have been working on together. Without context, I can see how some might think it was a [not so passive] aggressive way of shaming Joshua. That was not at all my intent. My point was, rather, that Joshua has always encouraged me to be open about our story, and it is one of the greatest things he ever did to help me heal.

We’re open about porn because: 

  • At least 50% of men who claim to be Christians are addicted to porn.
  • Over 56% of divorce cases involve an obsessive use of pornography.
  • 1 in 3 adults who visit porn sites are women.
  • 17% of women describe themselves as being addicted to porn.
  • 24% of Smartphone users admit to having pornographic material on their phones.
  • 93% of boys and 62% of girls are exposed to pornography before the age of 18, with the average age of exposure being around 9 years old.
  • 43% of Americans now say that pornography is morally acceptable.
  • But, most of all, we’re open about porn because there is hope for healing.

Porn is a serious problem, and it doesn’t stop at the doors of the Church. There are thousands of people struggling in shame and secrecy. Keeping quiet about our journey helps no one. Isn’t that what we’re here for? To share how God brought us out of bondage to sin and redeemed us as His own? “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). That is why we share our story. Because it’s really a story about Christ.

If you are one of those struggling as a result of an addiction to pornography, please know that we are here to listen and help in any way we can. We’ve been there, and we get it. For more of our story, watch for our upcoming book “Beaten: Recovering from Your Husband’s Porn addiction.”

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