Every day, after I've spent hours of caring for my children, helping with homework, reading, bathing, cooking, and feeling totally exhausted, my husband pitches in to help me put the kids to bed and clean up the kitchen. As soon as the kitchen is clean, he jumps on the computer and starts reading about sports and looking at soft porn.
The realization happened slowly for me. I noticed that he was looking at these pictures and sometimes would have me come and look and he’d say, “Do you want to look like that?” or “Do you think her boobs are real?”
I laughed it off. What else could I do? These were pictures that you can see on billboards on the freeway, in magazines, on TV—it wasn't pornography, was it?
But I didn't like the way it made me feel, to know that my husband was looking at these women, admiring them and comparing them to me. To know that in some cases, he was probably thinking about them, lusting after them when his mind was quiet.
I installed filters on my computer, but they didn't block those images because a picture of an actress at the Oscars isn't pornography, is it? Even if you could see her entire naked body through her sheer dress.
I started to wonder how many women felt the same way I did. Had all of them come to accept that their husband would be looking at pictures of other women scantily clad in string bikinis because their husband said it wasn't the same as pornography? Had they voiced their objection, only to hear that it didn't matter if he looked at something for two minutes—it wasn't like those guys who were addicted and spending hours every day looking at pornography.
Then my husband started encouraging me to dress immodestly, telling me it didn't matter if my cleavage showed, insisting that I wear a bikini to the hotel pool so that he could “show me off.” It was weak of me to comply, but as women I think we are always worried that if we don't keep our men satisfied they will go somewhere else. Isn't that what we're taught? I wonder what would happen if 10% of men had that same fear about their wives—that if they didn't treat them right 100% of the time they would never get sex.
I constantly worry about fulfilling my husband's sexual needs in hopes that I will be enough. Sadly, I've learned that I will never be enough.
Pornography leads to so many other problems. My husband told me he wasn’t thinking of those images after he saw them. Did I believe him?
I didn't. I knew that the mind is a powerful stage and it was easy for things to get out of control. When I voiced my objections again to my husband, he told me it was the same as me swearing. I do make a lot of mistakes, but do my mistakes make it okay for someone else to commit adultery in their mind? Do my mistakes make it okay for anyone to sin, whatever it may be?
No, we all have our free agency. If you bring up a problem that someone has, it is never acceptable for them to blame you for the mistakes/sins you make in an attempt to justify their actions.
As I questioned whether I was blowing things out of proportion as my husband indicated, a scripture came to mind.
From 3 Nephi 12: 27-29
27 Behold, it is written by them of old time, that thou shalt not commit aadultery;
28 But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman, to alust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart.
29 Behold, I give unto you a commandment, that ye suffer anone of these things to enter into your bheart;
My heart hurts as I imagine what kinds of things play out on the stage of my husband's mind. And what hurts most is that he thinks it is okay just because the standards of the world are so low.
Every day, I struggle to maintain my patience and show love to my children despite how incredibly difficult it can be. I know that I need the Spirit in my life to help me to get through each day. I know that if I make wrong decisions that the Spirit cannot dwell within me.
I asked myself, can the Spirit be in our home when the priesthood holder of the home is looking at the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model?
I think that we have a responsibility as women, as daughters of God, to make a stand against this behavior. We have to say, “Enough is enough!”
Every moment of every day we are faced with thousands of choices. A split-second decision makes the difference between whether we will have the Spirit accompany us throughout the day or not. Every day we have the chance to repent, be better, work harder to become more Christlike.
After many conversations and heartfelt prayer, my husband agreed that what he was doing was not right and he agreed to stop looking at those images and sites that had those images readily available in advertisements, etc.
If you have a problem with pornography in your home, what has helped to eradicate it?
Have you allowed other's justifications to make you complacent toward this vile sin even though you were never comfortable with it?
I urge you to stand tall and set boundaries now so that you may have the Spirit in your home.