Today I’m continuing to unpack another way we can let our spouses control us with – “Choosing to have an affair or to look at pornography because you believe you’ve been deprived of ‘whatever’ in your marriage.”
I have a sneaking suspicion that the spouses who need this message the most are not going to be the ones reading it. In fact, if you’re the spouse who has been impacted by this type of offense, you’re probably going to be tempted to either get your spouse to read this or use some of what I’m going to say here to bolster your own point of view.
Then let me caution you with one word … DON’T!
Otherwise, you’ll be trying to control your spouse, just like your spouse has been trying to take control of his/her feelings of “dissatisfaction in marriage” by seeking out some intruder to meet that need. #willnotwork
Thankfully, this has never been a problem for my husband. In fact, he has even gone to the extreme of making himself accountable in this area with a coworker and me through the Covenant Eyes’ accountability system. His coworker and I get a weekly report about where his online presence has gone that will give him a passing grade if his searches are all above board. And it will warn me if he should go to sites that might have a “mature” rating.*
Even though I’ve not experienced my husband pursuing an affair or pornography, I can speak to the temptations that I have had. Although, I’ve not had an affair or sought out pornography, I have been tempted with attractions to those of the opposite sex during my marriage. And I’d venture to say that you probably have too at one time or another. But even if you haven’t been tempted, don’t ever feel that you are immune to that occurring at some point in your marriage.
That’s especially true if your marriage is messy, weak, dysfunctional or going through a trial of some kind. And who hasn’t experienced some of that in this fallen world?
Here’s what I would say to those who have allowed themselves to not only be tempted, but have indulged these kinds of outlets …
Realize it is fantasy-based.
Certainly pornography is based in fantasy where the voyeur gets to control what he/she sees, does and feels. That’s often the enticement about pornography—sole control—especially for those who’ve been sexually-victimized or feel sexually inadequate.
But the same goes for adultery. You are only encountering your paramour in the context of secrecy and excitement. The day-to-day stresses of life do not invade that kind of relationship. Real-life struggles are only reserved for your mate, who probably gets an unfair comparison (in your head) to the blissful unions you have with your lover.
Realize it is an illegitimate way to meet a legitimate need.
In other words, it won’t work!
You will always suffer major losses by trying to do life/relationships in this way. God wired us to live our lives according to His law and Word, and when we go against that, we experience nothing short of disaster.
It is a red flag and warning bell that should be dealt with legitimately and immediately!
That means coming clean with yourself, God and your spouse. If you wait until your spouse finds out, you will suffer even greater fall-out. But if you are willing to confess and ask your spouse to work with you towards healing in your marriage with the help of God and a good counselor, then you can experience a satisfaction that is deeper and more lasting than any momentary affair or illegitimate orgasm.
What other “realities” would you say are true and often missed when affairs or pornography are pursued?
How have you proactively dealt with the temptation to give in to opposite sex attractions while in marriage?
*Be aware that if you use the Covenant Eyes system, sometimes your spouse may visit a site that is rated as “Mature” but that does not mean it has inappropriate sexual content. It may simply be a site that talks about how to overcome sexual addiction or how to have satisfying sex in marriage, etc. Those types of sites are grouped in and flagged by Covenant Eyes because it cannot possibly discriminate on every website containing sexual or mature content.
My husband is the Pastor of Care and Recovery at our church, so there are occasions when he seeks to read articles on sexual matters for ministry purposes that come under this category, but each time I am made aware of which sites and articles he has read—keeping everything above board.
If you or your spouse are struggling with these addictions, I would encourage you to utilize the accountability and resources offered through Covenant Eyes.
Linking up with – Mommy Moments, Weekend Whispers, Making Your Home Sing, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Faith ‘n Friends, Word of God Speak, Sharing His Beauty, Spiritual Sundays, Words with Winter, Sitting Among Friends, Family, Friendship and Faith, DanceWithJesusFriday and Playdates with God