Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Ambush of Internet Sex: The Hurt

“In the past three months, I have turned into a bitter, unforgiving woman.  I want to divorce him at times, but I don't want to do that to my children.  The fact that he can't promise he will never do it again hurts. The fact that I have caught him in it so many times hurts. I don't know if I can ever trust him again and I really don't know how to continue in the marriage. 
             Am I wrong to think that a husband should never view porn but only take pleasure in his wife?”                          
                                                                                                             ~ “Jordan

“I feel betrayed every time he slips and turns to pornography.  I must
not be enough for him.  I must not be the wife he really wants or needs.  These are the thoughts that run through my head when we are intimate…I am not enough.
            Internet pornography has put a muted feeling on our intimate relationship because I don't feel fully loved or respected.  I feel hurt by past actions.  I have forgiven my husband and I love him very, very much.  I just wish it was a deeper love that pornography didn't touch.”
                                                                            ~ “Amanda”

 “Early in our marriage, I found a link on our computer.  I was completely naive about Internet pornography.  I was devastated.  I was ready to leave him.” 
                                                                            ~ “Amber”

“He thought I was having an affair. I let him believe I was. It was easier than admitting the truth. For one whole week we both spent the time crying and often screaming at each other because I wouldn't give him the details of my 'affair.'  
            One day it just got too much for me and I broke down in a heap on the floor and told him everything.”
                                                                            ~ “Sharon,” a female addict

(All of the names have been changed.)

Can you feel the pain?  Doesn’t it put a knot in your stomach?

Without downplaying the hurt caused by alcohol or drug addicts in a home, I want to suggest that an additional pain comes from internet sex addiction.  Alcoholics and druggies often cause physical, emotional, psychological, and even sexual abuse.  But sex addicts traumatize their loved ones, especially their spouses, with one more form of injury—betrayal from infidelity. 

The truth is, a man or woman never has to leave the confines of his or her home to commit adultery, because Jesus sees adultery as an action of the heart:

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matt. 5:28)
The sin of adultery harms just about everyone involved.

It eats away at the adulterer because of guilt.  Read how Amanda describes what her husband goes through:

“It is a horrible struggle for him in which sometimes he conquers and sometimes he fails. It tears him apart and yet, it is there when he feels defeated.  [There is] now a guilt with it because he knows it is not the right thing to be doing...yet at times it has a strong hold over him.”

The sin of adultery also harms the ones with whom the adulterer has the affair—whether it’s a cyber affair or one which leads to an actual physical encounter.  That person often feels used, even though he or she was willing to participate. 

But there’s another aspect to this, especially when you consider a Christian who commits adultery.  Every time that Christian connects illicitly with another person, it’s as if he or she is saying to that person, “I know that I can tell you about the One who can change your life, but sorry, I want to use you to satisfy my own sensual selfishness, even if that means it drives you farther away from ever knowing Him.”

And then there’s the one who’s the most hurt of all—your spouse.  As years pass while an addict of any substance is being healed, harmful words to a spouse from drunken fits of rage may fade.  Resentment toward a crack-head spouse who neglected and perhaps even stole from your own child may be forgiven.  But the memory of the one they love—YOU—being in a mental bed with another person will need a powerful dose of the grace of God to bring mending to their broken heart.

Internet sex addiction profoundly injures the ones you least want injured.  The betrayal of infidelity is not just about your misdirected appetite for sensuality; it breeds lies, deception, and a level of distrust that for many can take a lifetime to heal.  Yes, God can heal, but some forms of healing in the hearts of the ones you love may take years, if ever at all.

I know all this sounds very depressing.  That’s because it is.  Every time someone engages in internet sex, all of this is on the line.  Now you tell me—is it worth it?

Sin has a funny way of causing complacency.  At first, our hands may sweat.  Our pulse may race.  But after the first deed is done, sure, we feel guilt if we’re a Christian, but something in us gets comfortable in that guilt. 

Take for example the recent words of Alyssa Bustamante, the 18-year-old who was just sentenced for the murder of her nine-year-old neighbor when she was 15:

“It was ahmazing. As soon as you get over the 'ohmygawd I can't do this' feeling, it's pretty enjoyable.”

But now look how “enjoyable” it is.  She was convulsing in tears in the courtroom, telling the family she would gladly give her own life to bring the victim back.  And she faces life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years. 

Hebrews 11:25 mentions the “pleasures of sin for a season.”  Alyssa’s season has run out.  It’s only a matter of time before an internet sex addict’s season comes to an end.  And then what?  The addict wakes up one day in a cold sweat as the memory of his newly broken family jars him to consciousness. 

“What have I done?” he asks.  “What have I done?”


  1. Thank you for posting this. Cheating (sexually) comes in many forms and can be done by both the husband and the wife and both deserve to be "the only one".

  2. Bullseye here brother - like any addiction - the excuse that "I'm only hurting myself" just doesn't cut it...the addict hurts those around them more than they hurt themselves.

    good words - aus and co.

  3. My husband doesn't think there is anything wrong with internet sex, watching porn, etc. There have been many times I have caught him chatting with other women on line in a manner that a married person should not be speaking to someone else. He truly sees nothing wrong with these things. I would love to leave him, but then I leave my children with a man who watches porn. He doesn't care if they are asleep in the next room. Things have gotten better, but often having sex with him is not enjoyable. Not only because I dont' feel like I'm enough, but I feel like I'm supposed to be some girl in a porn movie. This is how he acts and the way he talks to me makes me ill. I would love to throw away all of his porn, but he will just buy more.

  4. I understand what Anonymous means. My ex-husband thought porn, internet sex, chatting/flirting online with other women was all okay. When we were intimate(which was not often), I felt like I needed to be some porn star and that no matter what, I was not good enough, pretty enough. skinny enough...just not a good enough person, period. I begged and begged him to stop, but he wouldn't. I found swinger sites, lingerie sites and he had even bought various lingerie that was not intended for me. I could not handle it.. my self-confidence has never been the same, and truthfully, I distrust all men. I did leave him, but it wasn't an easy decision to come to and we all have paid a very high price for it. Having said that, there is peace in our home and I don't have to worry about my kids finding trash on the computer. And I talk with them about it and the horrible affects that pornography and etc. has on individuals and families.

    I'm glad that you are doing a series on this. The church has had its head buried in the sand far too long on the issues people are facing everyday.


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