LDS Sources to Help and Comfort Women Impacted by Pornography


 Jill C. Manning, PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist stated, “The following three concepts, among many others, have been helpful for women to incorporate into their healing and decision-making process:”

1. Clarify the Motivation. “In many cases, pornography use is more about seeking an escape or mood-altering effect than it is about sex itself. Although pornography use often starts out as a youthful curiosity about sex, in most cases it develops into a way of escaping certain emotions and stressors. Looking at pornography can even be used to self-medicate depression and anxiety and to self-soothe loneliness or poor self-esteem. Understanding this can help cut through the faulty belief that being more sexual with a pornography user will reduce consumption, or that if someone is using pornography, his or her spouse must not be sexually available or attractive. In addition, understanding the non-sexual motivations behind pornography use can help a woman understand that her partner would have likely turned to pornography regardless of whom he married and that his pornography use is not a commentary on her attractiveness (even though it feels like an attack). Erroneous assumptions about the motivations around pornography use not only promote misplaced blame and shame, but also detract from holding the consumer responsible for choosing to deal with life's problems in maladaptive and harmful ways.”
2. Beware of Comparing Reality to Fantasy. “Many women will tell me they feel insecure and intimidated when they compare themselves to the pornography stars their husband lusts after. There are two issues here: (1) the destabilizing hurt caused by a husband's infidelity and (2) the dynamic of comparing oneself to someone who has prostituted herself in a pornographic scene. Let's look at the second part of this assumption. Many women believe they don't measure up to what their husband is neurotically and narcissistically seeking out because they think the porn stars represent a sexual ideal. This is one of the biggest lies pornography invites women to believe. Most pornography stars have histories of sexual abuse, drug use or addiction, mental health problems, failed relationships, cosmetic surgery, and/or sexually transmitted diseases. In short, the only thing that is modeled in pornography is sexual brokenness and spiritual disconnection. Men who recover from a pornography habit also come to this realization and ironically begin to “see” the beauty of their spouse as what they desire and need.”
3. Ignore Comments That Invalidate the Seriousness of This Problem, and Seek Out People Who Understand the Issue. “When a woman takes the risk to share this marital problem with a trusted friend or family member, it is not uncommon for her to encounter statements such as, ‘Boys will be boys,’ ‘All guys are into porn,’ or ‘At least he isn't cheating on you.’ Comments such as these not only demoralize and invalidate, but they also reflect a lack of understanding about the addictive potential this habit has and the impact pornography use has on relationships. Pornography use represents a serious breach of the marital bond and pulls sexual energy away from an intimate relationship. It is important to ignore comments that dismiss or invalidate the seriousness of this issue and to actively seek out the opinions and support of individuals who understand this issue well. As a woman sifts through the constraining and erroneous beliefs that compound the pain associated with a spouse's pornography use, she is better able to make healthy decisions and take steps that will facilitate healing. Although it is troubling to consider that an increasing number of women are facing this issue in their marriage, it is reassuring to know there are also a growing number of resources to support women and families dealing with this issue. With our continued support, the Lighted Candle Society will not only be able to help women get the support they need, but also be able to continue its unique fight against the pornography industry at large.”


For further information and resources regarding the impact of pornography: click here