The following post is from a friend that asked that i keep his story anonymous:
When my wife and I were dating, we talked a lot about purity. We were always teetering on the edge of our convictions—we were in love and both of us had past struggles with purity, and so keeping our hands to ourselves was hard. During one of our conversations, my future wife told me that her father struggled with pornography use, and she shared how painful that discovery had been in her life. She also shared that, as difficult as it was, that she really wanted to be able to trust me and respect me to be pure—both now, and later—if God led us to marriage.
I started to realize that, even as we were dating, that I was training myself toward a disciplined life. Every time we were together, I could either be working towards honoring her and honoring God, or I could serve my own selfish desires. I started to do a better job of keeping us pure and setting good boundaries when we were together, but I was still struggling in my time alone, both with looking at porn every once in a while and with masturbation. I thought that once we were married, that having sex with my wife would take away the desire/”need” to masturbate and look at pornography, but I soon learned that wasn’t true.
When my future wife and I became engaged, I began meeting with a man in my church who was a few years ahead of me. One morning, he asked me how I was doing in my walk towards purity. I told him about how pure my future wife and I were being in our time together, but he wanted to know how I was doing—in my thought life and in my private life. He started to help me understand that when I did in my alone time mattered—both to God and to my future wife. He asked me to think about what she would think if she saw me looking at those other women online and masturbating to them. He also shared that the habits that I formed then would spillover into my married life. Just because I could have married sex didn’t mean that I would stop struggling with pornography. He also told me that those images and all of the porn that I was looking at would undoubtedly come into my mind and life in marriage, and when married life was tough, that I would be more likely to use porn as an escape if I kept allowing porn to be a part of my single life.
For the sake of my future wife, I decided to take some more radical steps towards purity. I decided that I would only go online if I were in the common space at my group house. My computer literally never came into my bedroom with me. I told the guys that I was going to shower with the door open. I also stopped watching R-movies, and I met more regularly with the men in my life that I could open up to and that I really respected.
Now, as a married man, I have continued to strive to honor my wife. I love her and I want to honor God with my sex life. For the most part, I can honestly say that I am thankful for how far God has brought me, but I can still do more and do better. I did fall once during our first year of marriage. I don’t even know why it happened, but it did. My wife was out of town with friends, and I was flipping through the TV, and a Girls Gone Wild infomercial was on. It was late and I watched it and I masturbated to it. I felt ashamed, and I called my accountability partner the next morning. That night, we went out to dinner. He prayed with me, and I decided not to tell my wife. One evening, a month later, my wife asked me how I was doing in my personal walk towards purity. Somehow, it ended coming out that I had fallen. I will never forget the look on her face. I realized that I broke her heart and that I let her down, just like her father did. She said she felt as though she weren’t good enough, and she knew she could never compete with the girls that I had seen that night, or the girls that I had seen for so many years before.
I never want to break her heart again in that way, and I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of her father. Now, we have the vast majority of our TV channels locked or blocked. We have filters on all of our Internet-enabled devices. When I see any questionable ads or content, I make a practice of looking away. I try my best to channel all of my love and desire towards my wife, because I love her and she is worth it. The momentary pleasure of porn is ultimately poisoning in the long run.