“Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it.”
~ Thomas Jefferson
Do you remember the first time you realized that you loved your husband or boyfriend? Do you find yourself often visiting that special moment in your mind? Perhaps reminiscing about the better times. Sometimes those memories are the only things we have to remind us of how we knew them to be…before porn.
Because of their addiction, we want to hold on to those memories for dear life. Those memories of the good times, when you first met them, or when you knew you first loved them, you cherish…especially now. When you see a transformation in your husband or boyfriend, to the point that you don’t even recognize him anymore due to their addiction, there is such a sense of loss that sometimes can take years to overcome and truly grieve through.
How Porn Makes a Woman Feel
The thought of losing someone to a porn addiction is crippling and feels like the most severe emotional pain that could exist, especially if it results in the complete loss of the relationship. We know the detrimental effects of porn because of its chemical nature and effect on the brain and on one’s actions, demeanor, and behavior and because you’ve probably felt it in the way that your husband or boyfriend treats you even without knowing the scientific evidence of its impact.
Because of their personal guilt and shame they feel due to their addiction, you’ve probably experienced them attempting to shift any blame onto you, while getting frequently angry. Have you noticed that they withdraw from family activities or in spending time with you, or retreat from church, and social activities – things they once were involved in?
You and I, the wives and girlfriends, know without a doubt that it changes our loved ones as we experience the pain of porn firsthand. In fact, husbands report loving their wives less after long periods of looking at women depicted in porn. Wives and girlfriends develop deep, deep wounds and they begin to feel inadequate. They don’t just feel discomfort, but the distress level can be so high that it can lead to clinical treatment for trauma, eating disorders, and severe depression. It’s not just “temporarily feeling sad” about a husband/boyfriend’s addiction—it’s a blow to the core of who that woman is, that could lead to years of depression and much more.
Many women might even say that it’s worse than actual infidelity, because there isn’t one “real” person that they are having an affair with, it’s many intangible women and they don’t know what they are up against. Many times, porn addicts do not comprehend the downward spiral that they are causing their wives or girlfriends to enter into by their actions.
When It’s Not The Fairytale
I never thought I could love someone as much as I loved my boyfriend, who I met through a mutual friend. I fervently prayed for almost five years, every single day. I prayed that if it was God’s will, that a relationship would come into being. And after five years it happened. God answered that prayer. I thought: finally, this must be God’s plan coming together because it seemed so perfect.
My life already revolved around him. He was my everything. We talked about getting married. That relationship was what I looked forward to during much chaos and major decisions that were taking place at that time. He was my joy and being able to love him is what made each day for me.
My boyfriend became like my own personal drug and there wasn’t a day that went by in that relationship that I didn’t thank God that we were together and thank Him for answering prayer. When we make someone so important and critical to our lives, though, we raise them to the status of idol, and God warns us of this.
How Porn Killed Our Love
The really sad thing about porn is that it takes genuine love and it kills it. The addict doesn’t have to be in an intimate relationship, because they get “filled” by porn due to the dopamine highs they get from watching it. It removes any closeness and intimacy in a relationship, and replaces it with lust and distance, ultimately changing the addict due to the chemical nature.
I was so naïve. I had no idea the power that porn possessed, until finally, one day it killed my relationship forever. I had no idea I was up against the Devil’s chosen baby: pornography, and how serious it really was. My boyfriend distanced himself from the relationship, from me; instead of visiting, he preferred to stay at home and watch porn and would come up with excuses as to why. He blamed porn pop-ups on others who used the computer, and pushed me out of his life ultimately, until I finally heard the words, “I don’t love you anymore.”
Girls Against Porn
He gave me the vision of starting Girls Against Porn (GAP) to help other women who were going through the same thing I did. Girls Against Porn have joined initiatives with other partnering organizations and friends. Because of these initiatives, most of the airlines are filtering their Internet services, a porn club was halted from being developed on a college campus, we came close to preventing a former Playboy lawyer from receiving a DOJ appointment, and with over 11,000 e-mails and calls from the public, we’ve send a strong message to Apple to restrict pornography related apps. It has been a challenge, but such a rewarding one.
- – - -
This post is by Tiffany Leeper. Tiffany is the Founder of Girls Against Porn, an action coalition for women and those against pornography.