Don't read this! You probably won't like it!
Where do we begin?
For me, the defining moment of realizing the problem is when I hurt the one I love the most. I don't mean that I just hurt her feelings or upset her. I mean that I hurt her down to the very center of her being. If you've ever seen the kids movie 'Monsters Inc' by Pixar, I found that a particular scence kind of sums it up. During the movie, the lead 'scarer', Scully, befriends a little human girl and goes to extraordinary lengths to protect her and care for her. He even gets banished from his own kind. In spite of all that, towards the end of the movie, he is pressed into performing a 'scare'. He finally obliges and to his horror and dismay, he frightens the very child he is trying to protect from the other monsters. He looks up and sees on video monitors, paused images of himself as the monster. More importantly, he sees the paused images of the child he was protecting, terrified by his actions. He is mortified. He never saw himself as the problem until he saw the results of it on the one he loved.
I did that. I was a monster that felt like he was better than the other monsters, or at least, not as bad as. Until I saw the real pain it caused the one I loved. I had seen a warning of it in the beginning of our relationship, but because my love for her wasn't as deep, all I saw was anger. What a fool I was for not digging deeper! I apologized and threw away the porn material I had and promised I wouldn't do it again. I thought I meant it, but I hadn't really thought about why I did it in the first place. That was another mistake that allowed the seed to stay.
Who's to blame?
First place to start is myself. Through exposure at a young age and a 'follow the crowd' mindset, I developed all the tools to justify looking at pornography. I allowed the seed in and I allowed it to stay even though it didn't feel right. I was raised by a single mother who instilled in me a strong sense of morals and values. My first few exposures made me feel incredibly guilty, but I was embarrassed to say so around my "friends". As a pre-teen, erections were a regular occurence and it seemed like the darn thing always came up. It didn't even have to be for reasons of arousal. As I aged, the frequency of erections changed, and I found that porn could bring it back. Enter into a loveless marriage that gave me ample excuses, compounded by an always ready supply of media, and I could slip easily into a lie that, "this is just what guys do". That's what I heard and what I wanted to believe. It was easier than dealing with the real issues. I eventually divorced the marriage, but not the porn. So as time went by, I was lucky enough to find this crazy beautiful, incredibly sexy and intellectually stimulating woman that made my heart melt. This felt like the answer I had been looking for all my life.
What went wrong?
My beautiful encounter became my wife. She caused me to want to do everything right by her. She thought I was too good to be true, and I desperately wanted to show her that I was all she needed. We had struggles, but we had a solid love and trust that was continually growing. She became pregnant, and we were excited. Remember the problem I hadn't really dealt with? Porn? Yeah, it came back. Why? Didn't I have everything I always wanted? Yes, and I was afraid I might loose it.
Here's the foolish trail of thoughts of an insecure man:
My beautiful wife is 8 years younger than me. She had been courted by young men that were still prime and viral on a constant basis. I was reaching an age were I found that my erections were not as strong, frequent or consistent. I felt that if she noticed a serious decline, she might be swayed to adultery and I would lose her. She was pregnant and we had sex less often, but even though we would go up to a 2 weeks without sex, I wouldn't have erections unless we worked on it together. I thought that looking at porn might help to revive things a little. I read that maintaining blood flow might help to keep things going. Are we noticing that I am missing the one thing I should be doing? Talking to my wife.
What would I have learned if I had talked? A lot
After my wife discovered that I had been viewing porn images again, we nearly ended in divorce. A lot of people in this day and age might think that this is a bit extreme, I say they aren't facing the truth. My precious soul mate had been telling me what the monster looked like and how they had abused her, but I never looked at myself.
Let me tell you the story of a pretty girl. Most people think that it must be great to be the pretty girl with a slender figure, but they don't see the dark side. You see, the pretty girl isn't seen for her beauty of her brains, she's wanted as sexual prey. Look at tv and movies. Think about how the pretty girl is portrayed, she's sexual. She exposes her body so that she can be seen and desired. What is the outcome of that desire? Respect? No, I'm afraid it's not that nice. You see, they don't want to see how smart you are or what your dreams are. They don't want your thoughts or ideas. They just want to know what you feel like sexually. In their minds, they are sure the pretty girl they see in the media or the porn must feel great, just look at they way they act. "Act" being a keyword. Some people take out these feelings on children.
This happened to be the case with my wife. She remembers a man at the babysitters house that would watch porn and then want to touch her or have her touch him. This caused a lot of confusion and mixed emotions. She knew it wasn't love or friendship. Why would he do this?
As she gets older, it continues to happen. She sees a connection. That if men watch nudity, then they expect the pretty girl to be their outlet. Everywhere she goes, young and old, men mostly treat her as something they want to gain sexually. She is sickened by this behavior, but is told by everyone, even her own family, that it's okay and she's overreacting. The sad fact is that it's under-reacting.
The answer really is simple
First, I had to accept that I was the problem and look at why I would do this. I had nurtured fears and insecurities that had helped me to tell myself justifications for looking at images other than my wife. It was time to deal with those things. My wife assured me that she loved me, no matter what. She helped me to understand that men have a very different view of what women want from sex and what they expect from a man. By being over concerned about myself, I lost sight of her. I was creating insecurities in my mind that worked against me sexually. When I let go and let myself become fully comfortable with her, I became more comfortable with me. She is all I need to be all I need to be. By pouring myself into her and allowing myself to fully trust her, the things I worried about seemed to fade away. I am a better person and a far better husband for it.
So what do we do in a society like ours? For me, I've found that it's as simple as truly loving my wife. After all, if I truly love her, then I'll think of her before I act. If I truly love her, I'll actively safeguard her heart and our marriage by treating it like the most important thing in my life. If I truly love her, I'll respect her well-being and self image by not allowing our home and our lives to be surrounded by painted, over-sexualized, scantily dressed images of women as portrayed by all forms of media. If I truly love her, I'll want to build her up and treat her like she's special and there is no one and nothing in this world that I find more desirable than her.
That's one part, but what about the men and women in our society as a whole? Isn't it contradicting to have a Victoria's Secret commercial that shows girls how they "should" look and then a commercial telling us to let our girls feel beautiful about themselves no matter what they look like? Our young girls, our daughters are being conditioned to believe that If they don't present themselves in a certain way, they aren't desirable! What a shame!
Love, respect and integrity should be our foundations. Our families should be the full focus of our energies. Let's truly make our world a better place by honoring our wives and daughters, and ourselves, by removing these lies and corruption from our homes. Grab them and hold them close, they'll love you for it!