Matt Fradd

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What your husband has grown accustomed to is synthetic, industrial, and commercial sex—he has trained his brain for novelty, convenience, and variety, and no one woman can satisfy that kind of craving Shutterstock

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It’s not your fault your husband watches porn

Matt Fradd Matt Fradd

By far, one of the most common myths that women believe when they find out that their husband is looking at porn is this:

“I am to blame. I must be the source of the problem. If I was only prettier, or more adventurous in bed, if I was only not so nagging or needy or angry, he wouldn’t be so drawn to these perfect women online.”

Let me use an analogy to show you why this is false.

The Gypsy Moth

Back in the 1860s, Americans made the mistake of bringing the gypsy moth from Europe to Boston. Within 10 years, swarms of gypsy moths were devastating the forests and continued doing so for over a century. Attempts to eradicate this moth failed, but then in the 1960s scientists devised a new strategy. Biologists knew that the male gypsy moth found the female by following her scent—her pheromones.

Scientists developed massive quantities of a synthetic version of this pheromone and then scattered small pellets of it from the air. The effect was overpowering for the males. They either became confused and didn’t know which direction to turn to find the female, or they became desensitized to the lower levels of pheromones naturally given out by the female.

Pornography has the similar effect on the male brain. Surrounded by powerful doses of synthetic sex, men find themselves confused about where to turn for real connection or are unmotivated to do so. The book Porn and Your Husband addresses this problem:

“Pornography rewires the brain, training [your husband] to desire the hormonal rush from porn instead of sex with you. The chemical vasopressin, which is released during the sexual act, bonds the man to his sexual partner. With repeated pornography use, he is bonding himself to images on a screen.”

It Isn't Your Fault

It isn’t your fault that you aren’t hundreds of online, 2-dimensional women. It isn’t your fault that you aren’t as clickable and customizable as digital images. It isn’t your fault that sex with you doesn’t look like a scripted, heavily edited film performed by sex athletes.

My friend Luke Gilkerson, the Educational Resource Manager at Covenant Eyes, has an illustration he often uses with hurting wives:

"Compare the enjoyment of a fine candlelight dinner to a sub-par, all-you-can-eat buffet with food that’s been under the warmers for five hours. If a person chooses the buffet over the candlelight dinner, it is not because the food is actually better. It is because at the buffet he gets variety, volume, novelty, and convenience. This is what draws men to porn over pursuing an intimate relationship with their wives: they want a variety of women, they want to binge, they want novel fantasy experiences, and they don’t want the inconvenience of coordinating with another person’s sexual desires and wants. It is sexual gluttony at its worst."

Gilkerson clarifies that he doesn’t want us to stretch the analogy in the wrong direction: women are not “pieces of meat” or a commodity to be consumed.

The analogy is about the mentality of men: do they see their sexuality as a means of intimacy or do they treat it as a need for which women perform a valuable service? The man who prefers the cheap buffet over the candlelight dinner is evidence of his warped mentality, not evidence that the candlelight dinner is flawed.

What your husband has grown accustomed to is synthetic, industrial, and commercial sex—he has trained his brain for novelty, convenience, and variety, and no one woman can satisfy that kind of craving.

What Now?

If you’re coming to terms with your husband’s porn use and you just don’t know what to do next, I strongly encourage you to download the free guide, Porn and Your Husband.

I'd also highly recommend you listening to my interview with Jacy Boyack. Jacy has a full time ministry dedicated to reaching out to women who are suffering, in some cases legitimate trauma, due to their significant other's porn addiction.



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Matt Fradd

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Matt Fradd works for Covenant Eyes and is the author of the book Delivered: True Stories of Men and Women Who Turned From Porn to Purity. A popular speaker and Catholic apologist, he has addressed tens of thousands of people around the world and appeared on EWTN, ABC, and the BBC. Matt is also the founder of this website, ThePornEffect.com, which is dedicated to helping men and women break free from the vice of pornography. He lives in North Georgia, with his wife Cameron and their four children.