This series started in my mind with the title ‘How to improve your marriage’ or something like that; a vaguely condescending name that evokes images of ivory towers and glass houses. Then I realized I’m not a licensed family therapist and can’t give you advice on how to improve your marriage. What I can do is tell you the four things my wife and I did to improve our marriage over the past year.
The series starts where our marriage-improvement efforts started: getting rid of pornography. To be honest, getting rid of pornography didn’t start as an effort to improve our marriage; it started as a way for me to regain my sanity. However, my marriage has benefitted greatly and this is the best marriage advice I can give anyone.
For The Husbands
I suspect all married men who currently use pornography began using it long before they were married. Some men think that marriage will ‘cure’ them because they incorrectly identify their problem as a lack of sex. If my suspicions are correct, men, you’ve never been with your wife without the shadow of pornography hovering over your marriage bed. Even if you’ve managed to ‘white knuckle’ a few months at a time it’s not the same. You literally have no idea what it’s like to be married without pornography. Let me tell you: it’s awesome. When I stopped using pornography I was free to love my wife and her alone. I stopped comparing her to artificial women and impossible standards and our sex life was finally satisfying. Sex stopped being something we ‘did’ and become another way for my wife and I to communicate and grow closer.
For The Wives
If you are a married woman and you visit chat rooms or read erotic fiction, you need to get rid of your porn too. It’s the same thing as your husband’s ‘hardcore’ pornography and it will do equal damage to your relationship. If you are not using pornography but your husband is (or you suspect that he is) you need to confront him. This goes for non-Christians too: Your inter-personal relationship, intimacy, sex life, everything will improve dramatically once pornography is out of your lives for good. (My wife said to quote her on this: “We make love more often, and it’s better. I feel better knowing I’m the only woman in your head.”…there you go!)
My wife has been firm, but also loving, patient, and kind while I work through my pornography addiction. Google “pornography addiction” for more help and resources on that subject.
If you’ve got any questions on this subject, let me know. I’d love to help!