Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reasons Why Your Husband or Son Use Pornography, Part 4

In answer to a recent comment on an earlier post, I do believe that a wife can contribute to her husband's feelings of low self-esteem, more so than any other person. Very much so. And I do believe that her disdain or coldness towards her husband can open a door to temptation for him. However, there is a fundamental principle here that we cannot set aside. As Thomas S. Monson said at our last conference: "If we make the wrong choice, we have no one to blame but ourselves."

To me this means that, even though we may blame our bad choices on others, no one is responsible for our choices except ourselves. Blaming others for our choices is a classic self-deception. In fact, when we nurture a blaming attitude, it opens us up to temptation and sin and is often the fuel behind bad choices. It is subtle, but it is real.

Most youth, for example, get caught up in a web of blame, usually of their parents, before they get caught in the web of sin. Blame of others is the doorway to rationalization of sin. The truth is, as Pres. Monson said, we cannot lay the responsibility for our choices at any other door but our own. When we rationalize that someone else has hurt us or ignored us or whatever, and then we sin as a result, we have allowed ourselves to be deceived.

We can't blame another unless we first judge them. And we can't judge them unless we disdain them. And we won't disdain them unless we have first been blinded by pride. And we cannot be blinded by pride without first accepting a falsehood as true, without willfully taking pleasure in sin of some sort.

When pride is present, the Spirit is absent. And the Spirit will be absent only if we set aside faith and the truth in favor of some sort of self-deception or illicit gratification, which may be as simple as being defensive, telling a lie, however innocent, or intentionally misleading another to protect our egos.

This is the chain that I see most often leading up to the rationalization of sin. If you recognize the start of the chain, you will be more likely to avoid reaching the end of it.

If you choose to indulge in pornography because you blame another for mistreating you, you have allowed Satan to deceive you.

The first step to recovery, I believe, is looking at ourselves straight in the mirror and taking full responsibility for our actions.

But this does not mean that a wife does not need to repent of her poor behavior toward her husband. No. It just means that we cannot claim that such behaviors are or ever can be named as the cause of our sin.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think I am the anonymous poster that you wrote this 4th part for. It seems like you are encouraging me to stop blaming my wife for my (luckily past) pornography issues and instead look in the mirror and man up for my actions.

Your comments are spot on and I agree, but I fear my main point is being looked past and instead you are reaching out to me to take responsibilty for MY actions and not blame my wife.

My point was more to encourage wifes to attempt to have a good intimate relationship with their husbands. I have heard of relationships that had this and still the man views pornography. Maybe that is more the norm, but I do feel there are some marriages that would have a MUCH less chance of pornography if the husband actually felt he was loved by his wife.

I think back of the quote that President Kimball made of, "most divorces start with issues of sex. They don't tell most anybody that is where the conflict started" (sorry I don't have the exact reference handy).

At the same time I do realize there is another HUGE issue with making a blank statement the opposite - that of telling ALL women that have a husband using porn that it is there fault. That just is not the case (my point I guess is the absolutness of your opening blanket statement). I don't think either extream fits ALL cases.

To use a lame example, you can't force someone to steal food, but if you starve someone the chances of them being willing to steal GREATLY increases.

I do want to thank you for these great blog entries. Do keep it up even if you keep getting "defiant sinners" like me posting comments :-)

Mike Fitzgerald said...

Dear @Anonymous, I can completely understand your situation. I have dealt with this situation in counseling. I am sorry if I overlooked any of your points. I will respond more fully in my next blog post. Thank you for your patience.