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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

She's Concerned About The Pornography In His Past

Dear Bro Jo,

So I've got another question for you.

Your previous advice really helped, and I thought I would ask about another thing that is troubling me.

My Fiancé’s parents divorced when he was very young.

His dad was a devout Latter Day Saint but his mom was not.

Because he was with his dad on the weekends his still went to Church most weeks but didn't get much support from his mom.

He battled with a lot of word of wisdom problems in high school, and then also had a problem with pornography.

When he was 20 he got everything resolved with the bishop and went on a mission.

Since his mission he has not had a problem with any of those things which is awesome.

He has not viewed pornography for 7 years, but about 6 months ago he had a problem with masturbation for a short time but quickly got it resolved.

I knew that he had a problem with that in the past, but also knew that he got everything resolved so I didn't worry too much about it.

However, now that we're engaged I’ve been thinking more about it.

He talks with a psychologist/family friend every once in a while and yesterday I walked in when he was finishing up skyping with him.

After they hung up I asked what they were talking about and he got a little uncomfortable.

Because he is the most honest person ever (many times too honest with me) he told me exactly what he was talking about.

He told me that even though he hadn’t viewed pornography for 7 years, the effects of it are still there.

He said something about how it changes the way you view women, and he really wants to overcome that so he can view me exactly how he wants to.

I don't really get this.

I don't really understand how it effects how he views me.

Does he look at me like he looked at porn?

My biggest question is, what exactly does pornography do?

Why is it still a problem even though he doesn't look at it?

There is one more problem.

 Remember how I said he is too honest?

Well here is another example of that.

He told me he was also talking to the psychologist about how he still recognizes attractive girls.

He said he wants to get to the point where I am the only girl who will sexually arouse him.

For some reason this really worried me.

Is that weird that he still notices other attractive girls?

Where do you draw the line between noticing other pretty women, and thinking about sexual things with them?

I know that he would NEVER cheat, because he is so loyal and so honest and I know how much he truly loves me.

But when he says things like this I get nervous.

Should I be worried?

- Confused.

Dear Confused,

Your fiancé is a pretty smart man.


While addiction of any kind, certainly including pornography, is a reason Not To Marry (see the list!), no, I don't think you should be worried with this guy.

His honesty, while I agree is a little TOO honest, is a rare and admirable trait, and his willingness to share very real and personal concerns with you will pay huge dividends as you continue through this life together. 

Pornography is an addiction, and like any addiction it's always a concern for the addict that wants to stay clean and sober.

Without getting too deep into the physiology (which I've discussed many times in the blog), like an alcoholic who knows he can never take another drink of alcohol lest he wander down a very dark if all-too-familiar path, the pornography addict needs to stay out of the path of temptation.

Sister Jo is the only woman I want to be intimate with, but I'm still a guy. I still notice attractive women. 

That's not an excuse, it's an acknowledgement of physiological fact.

My brain is wired that way; as are all guy's.

But, to quote a couple movies, "you're not a man if you don't look once, you're not a missionary if you look twice" and "I can go to a museum and notice a beautiful work of art, but that doesn't mean I'm going to take it off the wall and take it home". 

Now, to be candid, I think the noticing women thing mellows out with age.

When I was 19 I noticed ALL 19 year old girls and was "turned on" by most if not all of them.

Now that I'm in my 40's I see girls that young as "nice kids"; frankly, that age group just doesn't do anything for me anymore.

Heck, they're the age of my children!

I know not all old guys are that way, but I suspect most are.

I personally think your fiancé needs to someday realize that he'll always notice other paintings in the museum, and that it's okay to lust after your wife on some level.

But for now I understand and respect his focus on helping himself to be pure, and I absolutely admire what seems to be his sincere desire to only be attracted to you and to cherish you above all other women.

Those things, little sister, are why you've picked a Good Man.

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

It is natural for a man to look at a beautiful woman but it is not good to linger and let his mind wander after he is married. I still see attractive people I just do not desire to have a relationship with them. It is good he wants to continue to improve himself and love you. It would be wise to study the effects of pornography because his burden will soon be yours to help bear. I suggest you hold all the computer passcodes and that you make sure you install a strong filter. This will protect him and you. Only add monitoring software if you see evidence of a problem. Encourage him to continue counselling with his friend but expect more honest conversations and be willing to come up with solutions together. Pornagraphy is a plague of our day but it does not need to be a death sentence or relationship breaker. Always believe and hope for the best in your fiance. An eternal marriage is a process not a single day on the calendar you celebrate every year:)

Frank Pellett said...

One of the things I've worked up to do is whenever I do notice a beautiful woman, by myself or with my spouse, I use it to remind me of how much more beautiful I find my wife. This can be particularly enjoyable when we're together, as I can give her the look she knows means that I find her more attractive than that woman, sometimes even causing a slight blush, because she knows I mean it.