Episode 140 - Families Are Being Torn Apart By Pornography Use

May 09, 2022

 *NOTE - This is a transcript of our conversation and may be more difficult to follow than the interview. 


So, we got an email about a podcast we did and I'm going to actually release the entire podcast as a bonus on Wednesday so you can listen to it. 

We did an interview with Heather Rackum at The LDS Life Coaches Podcast and it was a fantastic. I thought it was that fantastic podcast.

The point of the podcast was to change the conversation around pornography to help people, change the way that we start addressing it at, even at the very basic level in our priests and deacons and teachers quorums and the young women's classes so that we are not doing a lot of beating people up about it.

We got an email about this and we just want to share that email with you. Then Darcy and I want to have a conversation about what this email says and how we can maybe help, if we were having this conversation with this woman who sent the email, including how we would probably address it with her.

I think it's a really important topic and it is important to have this conversation about the hurt and the difficulty and the struggle that has gone on for people like this particular woman. So, the email we received was as follows:

“I listened to the podcast number 69 about changing the narrative around pornography.

AND IT WAS VERY TRIGGERING FOR ME. My marriage ended due to pornography use and I strongly believe that it does ruin people. Do we approach drug use as,  “you can choose?” or do we approach it as something to run away from? Porn is no different than illegal drugs and should be viewed as something to always stay away.

Yes, repentance and the atonement play a part in recovery for both, but the seriousness behind porn use is just as serious as drug use. Families are being torn apart due to porn. And I couldn't finish listening to the podcast because I was triggered maybe a warning of its triggers to those sensitive to the topic.”

So I want to start by simply acknowledging the pain and the difficulty that any woman and any man, because this isn't just women, but anyone who feels betrayed or  lost or in a sense destroyed by. The pornography viewing of their partner. I think that that is real and it's visceral. And there's no saying that that's not real it because that's that person's experience.

And it is a deep and difficult experience for most people who, who go through it. I know for you, I think it was very difficult. Do you want to kind of share how, what your thoughts are on that? I completely agree with what you were saying. And I too want to just reiterate that the pain that the spouse feels when they find out their spouse has been viewing pornography, or even when they find out that their spouse has viewed pornography again is real and it's painful and it hurts, it's horrible.

Right? Like it, it really is super upsetting. And that was how it was for me for a lot of years until I kind of changed the way that I approached it. Yeah. And I know, I, you know, I don't know, maybe, maybe a trigger warning would be appropriate, but I also fully recognize that if we can't have these conversations yet, maybe it's just, you know, maybe it trigger warnings necessary because then you know, if you're not ready for the conversation of how to change the narrative, then.

You know, maybe you'll want to not listen to that episode. So maybe a trigger warning would've been appropriate there. I don't know. Um, but I want to kind of go maybe line by line on this and just touch on a couple of points that that this woman conveyed to us.  the first point I want to talk about is my, my marriage ended due to pornography use and I strongly believe that it does ruin people.

This is an interesting idea. Well, I, I guess the thing that comes to mind for me is that it does ruin people. And I think anytime we speak in absolutes, no matter what that absolute is always never does. Um, I don't know. Yeah, whatever those absolutes are that. Almost always. It's not true. Yeah. It's really hard to find an absolute where it's absolutely true.

Yeah. Because I, I mean, I guess I would really push back on that is at what point does it ruin people? Does it ruin people at one minute a month? Does it ruin people at two minutes a month? Is it, you know what I'm saying? What's the line. Yeah. Because very few things in life ruin all people. Yeah. No matter the, the severity yeah.

Of what's what's occurring. I wish, you know, we could have this conversation with this person and I'm, we're going to, I'm going to try and be as as even handed as possible. And I think there is some sense that, you know, if you're engaging in pornography and you're not trying, and you're, you're unwilling to change.

If that's the agreement that you have in your marriage. Then, you know, there, there might be some rumination there. Um, there might be some sense that this person is doing something that is beyond what you might call normal pornography viewing. And I don't know what that, you know, that's a, that's a really nebulous term.

I'm not going to try and define it too deeply, but. You know, if they're viewing things that are amoral, you know, and just going further down that rabbit hole in terms of things that would not be acceptable in real life in very specific ways, then that might also be somewhat difficult to, you know, to continue.

You know, we had that one client where his particular type of pornography was stuff that was recorded without the person knowing. And when his wife found that out, it was harder for her because she had to process through that. And that was a little bit more difficult because she found it more violating than maybe consensual pornography filming.

We don't know the particular circumstances of this couple, but I don’t think it's really in absolute terms, ruining everything I can see on one hand that it might feel as though someone's ruined if it's excessive.

And I think if we look at most things in life, if we do them excessively, even if they're good things, I, I think if you look at exercising, exercising is amazing. There's so many health benefits both physically, mentally. All of the things, right. But if done in excess, you can really be hurting your body.

It can become obsessive and it can, it can actually cause more harm, you know, to your mental wellbeing. Right. So I think anything done to excess can cause severe problems. And so I think maybe what this woman is saying, that when she says it does ruin people, is. Maybe more along the lines of, yes, it can affect people.

It can have negative consequences, right? Just like all things in life. But when we, you know, kind of do a blanket statement of all pornography ruins all people, you know, I, I, that's really hard to get to for me. Well, and as a statistical matter, you know, you have something like 80% of all men and 65% of all women in the United States viewing pornography sometime in the last.

So that's the reality from a statistical perspective are 80% of all men and 65% of all women are they ruined. And I, I think that's just a hard, like you said, that's a hard place to get to, and that's not to say again, that's not to say that there's not real pain and there's not real hurt when this comes out in the conversation and, and that they're not.

Is for sure not going to be severe consequences. Sure. Totally. From B and pornography. Well, and I think part of it is like, you know, my marriage ended due to pornography use and I, I don't know, again, we don't know this particular woman's circumstance in the aggregate, the people we have dealt with.  and all of the people we know personally, personally, like on a, on a friendship basis.

Right. Um, My, you know, the, my sense, my, my, my feeling is if your, if your marriage is ending, it's not just because of pornography. Mm-hmm, , it's, it's really hard for me to say, this is the one thing that caused all of the other problems and made it so that I was no longer willing to participate in a marriage.

Yeah. And I think that that's, I think that's a really fine reading of it. I, I also think culturally, you know, when we've talked about. It is it's. I don't want to say it's the acceptable reason, but it is a, it's a pretty well viewed reason for ending a marriage. Mm-hmm, , it's a pretty like, you know, if, if he has a porn problem and you get divorced saying he had the porn problem, and that's the reason we got divorced culturally within the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints.

And maybe even within Christian circles in a more broad context. That is a much, much more. Acceptable answer then just, I don't like him. He doesn't talk to me nicely. He's just kind of a jerk. Yeah. Also fully recognizing that you don't actually need a reason to get a divorce. So, you know, just I want to, I want to be really clear if you choose to get a divorce, that's not something that I'm saying, Hey, don't get a divorce unless it's a good enough reason.

I'm just acknowledging that. Oftentimes we utilize pornography as a really simple scape goat. In the context of a really complicated process and situation, we very rarely have ever hear anybody say, I haven't grown up enough to be able to manage this relationship in a, in a reasonable and articulate way.

And I'm, I'm expecting him to care me. And, and again, I'm not saying that that's this particular person's issue or anything like that. What I am saying is that more often than not, we are expecting a lot out of a partner that they're not able to give. We're not able to give them what they expect. And so that's really, usually the reason why I think most marriages dissolve is because, you know, we're relying on our partner to, to fill something in us.

Yes. And make us feel. Okay. Make us feel enough, make us feel a, feel something more than what we currently feel on our own. Yes. And, and that is where the hurt all is. I, I would say 90%, you know, between you and I, the hurt was for me, it was, she doesn't love me enough to fill my needs, which is a really just detrimental.

It was a to, that was a terrible meaning frame for me to bring to the, to the relationship because I never found. um, that you could ever meet my needs. There was no amount of you loving me or wanting to have sex with me that could fill my needs. Mm-hmm where I think for you, it was, I was never able to.

Assuage your anxiety. Mm-hmm you had so much anxiety around all the things that went on in our lives that were not, you know, normal things, totally fine things, but just the anxiety for you. I could never solve that for you. And you had to solve that for yourself. Well, and, and no amount of you telling me that I was enough or that my body was perfect or my body was beautiful or any of that was enough to make me feel like I was enough.

It wasn't until I started to truly believe. That I was enough. W with just how I am versus relying on Zach to make me feel like I'm enough. Yeah, I, yeah, exactly. Now, so yes, your marriage ended. I think that is a, a, an, an identifiable fact, whether it was entirely and solely due to pornography use, you know, maybe that's true.

And I'm certainly open to that as a, as a possibility. But I think if you look deeper, that is one reason and it was. It's the most socially acceptable reason to say I'm no longer married, especially in a culture like ours, where we have a strong marriage culture and that, and, and that's a really important thing.

And, and if you break that you have to have a really, really powerful reason. I I'll be honest with you. I think that there is a sense that she's invested in this reasoning, because if it was because of porn, then. I have to, I have very little responsibility in that. And, and this is again, not knowing this person.

So allowing for that and recognizing that I could be totally wrong and her story could be exactly what she says here. It's, it's less likely. And again, going back to our own experience between us and, and with the people that we actually know and, and all of our friends and family and people that who, who have gone through this trial themselves, Being invested in that reason means that if I continue the story, that this is evil and it will destroy you.

And it's the reason it, my, my marriage ended, I don't have a lot of introspection required of me. Mm-hmm and I think that's, I think that's a fair supposition, although it may not be the actual reality of this conversation. So we're trying to just kind of address this. As best we can without having that person here and, and being as fair to that person as possible.

Okay. So the next line that she says is, do we approach drug use as you can choose, or do we approach it from approach it as something to run away from? This is a really great question. And I think it's an honest question, because from one perspective, you know, I grew up in the eighties and did, did you, did you remember the.

 t-shirts and all of that. And it was just like just say no, just say no. And what was the, the, the, the fried egg thing. This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. Do you remember that one? Any questions? Any questions? Right. so all of that, like, yeah, we should run away from this thing and we should never experiment with it.

And if you do, it's going to destroy your life and that's also possibly true, but I can almost guarantee you that, you know, someone who has smoked. and I can also almost guarantee you that their life was not ruined. Um, you know, I, I went to high school in the, on the north side of Chicago. There were lots of drugs available.

Let's just say that lots of drugs available in my high school. If anybody, you know, from my high school is listening to this, they will, you know, chime in on, on the reviews and let people know. The truth is I doubt anybody. I was like the only Mormon. So no, one's no one in my, from my high school is listening to this, but the truth is yes, drugs can create.

Extraordinary difficulty in, in lives. And absolutely you can become addicted.  there is an, you know, the reality is, is that drugs are a chemical and pornography is not well. And I, I don't remember where I heard this and I could be totally making this up, but I think that they have changed the way that they approach this.

Now in high schools, they don't do like the dare programs. They just, they definitely don't do that anymore. And the really like fear base, like where they come in and they like. Reenact like a drunk driving thing. Right. And like people get killed and like it's like super scary and horrible and people are crying.

Um, I, I vaguely remember that from high school and I, if I remember correctly, they don't do that anymore because they found that it wasn't as effective. Yeah. As they hoped it would be fear is less often effective than you might want it to be. I think the other thing to note here. , you know, she says you can choose, right.

We don't approach drug use says, quote, you can choose except for have the agency. Right? Exactly. Agency is the primary function. Who was I talking to? I was talking to somebody, our neighbor. Oh yeah. And I was like, you know, like agency is the thing. It's not just like part of the thing. It's not somewhat, it's the thing that we're doing here.

So being aware that you can choose. is, is not only, you know, kind of the purpose of our existence from a, from a certain perspective, but it's also, it's also the most true thing. And, and I think it's interesting because you know, what I'm kind of thinking about right now is I would bet that this person one, she didn't finish listening to.

Podcast yeah. Interview. But I, I can imagine that she must feel as though that we think that pornography is good and okay. And you, you know what I'm saying? Because, right. But the truth is, is that we're like, no, we're not okay with pornography. Yeah. We are against pornography. We don't use pornography in our marriage and.

literally help people stop looking at pornography as a job. And so I think that when people hear us talk, they get like kind of scared or get triggered because they think we're saying that it's good. But what we're really saying is that we need to change the way we talk about this so that more people can really find healing instead of continuing the same old, same old shame cycle.

That keeps us stuck in pornography. And so when she's like, you can choose. You know, we don't use that approach with drugs. We say run away. And, and I think if we just keep saying, yep, run away from pornography. I guess everyone that's listening to this. I would love for you to tell us how well how's that worked that has worked for you, just telling yourself to run away and stay away from it.

Yeah. And. And the truth of the matter is, is that it, it, it's probably not working because if it was working, yeah. We wouldn't be able to support our family. Yeah. Well, and I think that the truth is that if you don't have agency, you can't say no to this. And I think, I don't know if we've ever talked about this on the podcast, but one of my favorite examples of this is for wives, for wives who can't say no to their husband, that what does that.

It really means that they can never say yes, like if, if it, you know, in a sexual encounter with your husband, if you have to say yes, if you're required to say yes, you're not allowed to say no, because he'll go P or yeah. Get grumpy or retaliate in some way, whether it's like, I'm not going to help with the kids then, because you didn't have sex with me then.

Can you ever really say yes. Can you ever actually choose him? Mm-hmm and that's the, I think you know, the flip side of the saying, you, you always have to say no to pornography because if you don't say no, it will destroy you. Um, and that puts you in a position to where you can't really say no, which kind of screws with your brain, because you're you, because strangely you're saying yes.

To this thing that you're supposed to say no to. So this might be kind of a tangent, but I love tangents. Yeah. So what came to mind was I was having this conversation with my really good friend about missionaries and sending missionaries out on missions. And, you know, I was saying that one of our friends really feels like you should go no matter what, you know, Absolutely go on a mission.

And so my one friend has a few kids that have gone on missions and she's had some that have gone on missions and that, and got married in the temple and they're no longer in the church. And then she has a son that went on a mission later and he is doing so much better. Um, but he very much. Made that choice.

And not that her older boys didn't make a choice because she was like, I couldn't have made them go, but he, but her third son was very intentional about how, and when he decided to go on his mission, you know, he didn't do it right at 19 or 18, I guess is the age now. Yeah. And it was for him too. Yeah. But it was more.

you know, he went later and he, he really thought hard about it and he, he really chose in, even though it wasn't on like the normal path that most missionaries take. And so what makes me think of that is that sometimes when we can actually choose for ourself what it is that we really want, we're more invested in it.

Yeah. And so if, if I. if I can honestly choose to look at porn that, which is the truth you can, but then it goes a step further of is this really what I want in my life? Do I really want to go on this mission or do I really want to choose to look at pornography? Right? That's to me where the power comes and you know, it's exactly the same with sex.

Right? Do I really want to choose this? Do I really want to. Be invested in my partner. Do I, am I free in this Jennifer Finlayson type five talks about it as freedom. Mm-hmm, creating a, a sense of freedom for your partner so that they can really choose you. And, and that's something that we had worked on for many years.

And I, you know, I think that that's paid dividends. Um, and this isn't, again, this isn't to say that you should choose porn.  it is simply I think an acknowledgement of the much more re real. Situation that if you are viewing pornography, you are choosing it. It's entirely up to you and you can choose is the truth.

And I think that's the way that we've tried to talk about talk to our kids about pornography, but also about their relationships, about what they wear in terms of modesty about drugs. If my kids CA you know, Xander CA Xander's been a been an interesting kid and, you know, he at 17 has been given opportunities around drugs that I was offered when I was a kid.

And we have just tried to be like, well, you know, who do you want to. what is it that you're choosing and how is that going to help you live the life that you want in the long run? Because you know, on, in, in very real terms, if we are controlling our children's lives, they will one, I think eventually rebel and two, they will feel as though we did them a disservice.

And I don't think that that's a valuable process. And in, in terms of a spousal relationship, when you controlled me, that was not an effective strategy. Mm-hmm so the idea that we can say, you know, you just always have to never choose this and you don't really have a choice. That's that's a, again, that's a tough, that's a tough argument to make, from my perspective, as a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, where agency is the primary focus of our theology.

 and, and it's, I think behind the atonement, And I think, you know, this might be an interesting thing to share with you guys and maybe Zach would rather I not share it, but I'll edit, edit it out. edit. Yeah. No, but you know, there's times when I leave and, and Zach will say, you know, if I, if I need to look at pornography, is that okay?

And I'll be like, I guess that's really what you need to do. Yeah. You are more than welcome. . Yeah. And I mean, that probably hasn't happened for a while, but it, I think when it does occur, it's, it's it's an acknowledgement for me that this is totally my choice. Well, yeah. And whatever happens is totally my choice and it's not about, well, and me, I'm trying to placate you or solve for something.

It's it's because this is what I'm choosing and, and for on my side, it's like, yeah, it's acknowledging that I really can't control what Zach does. Yeah. So. it's almost like me saying, yeah, you have agency right now. Would I be happy about it? No, not at all, but it is an acknowledgement of, yeah. That's who you want to be and that's the choice you're going to make then.

So be it right. You're going to have to deal with those consequences. It's more about, I don't, I, I feel like it's more about me taking. Ownership of what I have control over and him taking ownership of what he has over and being totally real about it. Well, and, and I think, and Zach's never told me this and I'm just psychoanalyzing it, but thanks for reading my mind.

Yes but I think on some levels it's like, okay, like this isn't me being like super sneaky, right? Yeah. Because I think there's that element of, oh, you know, why the cats away the mice will play. Yes, totally. um, situation and, and instead it's like, yep, no, I'm going to be real about that. I'm going to tell you what's happening.

Yeah. I'm, I'm, I'm leaving. Okay. If you want to play, go for it. Yeah. But I don't think that's what you want to do. Right. But I, but I love you. And I think that's a really good acknowledgement again, of that idea that something that I can't say yes to, I can never really say no to and vice versa. And for anyone that's listening to me, I would not like that.

I would not like it if he chose to look at porn and I would not. Yeah. And we would have a conversation about it. Yeah. It would not be something that I would be like, oh yeah, go for it. Do whatever you want. I don't care because that's not how I feel about it. But I, I guess when, when I spent so many years trying to control what he was doing and trying to create the outcome that I wanted and the, and the behavior that I wanted him to exhibit.

I was miserable. Yeah. And I, and I don't think either of us were moving forward. I was miserable too. Absolutely. um, I, I want to go on to this next point that she tries to make, or that she offers. Um, and again, acknowledging. The, this is obviously a very painful subject for her. And I hope, you know, anyone who is listening to this who's been divorced and who has struggled through this.

And for whom pornography is a significant component of your separation and divorce or even staying together that I take nothing from that. And I fully acknowledge that it is not an easy conversation to have. Um, but I also recognize, and, and this is kind of the, the work that Darcy and I have done and tried to do for and with other people is that there's value in moving forward past this.

And I think we'll touch on that here in a minute, but I want to, I want to talk about this repentance.  she says, so she says, yes, repentance and, and UTO play a part in recovery for both.  and I think she's referring to both drugs and pornography here, but the seriousness behind porn use is just as serious as drug use.

And then she says families are being torn apart due to porn. And I couldn't finish listening to the podcast because I was too triggered. , we're not, we're not necessarily denying that there aren't families being torn apart by pornography. Well, I think, well, I, I would say that families aren't torn apart by pornography families are are torn apart by the choices of people.

So, you know, our family could have ended because you wanted to walk. Because I, you know, I, in your eyes was either irredeemable or not moving forward or whatever, or because you just weren't willing to do the work that you weren't willing to put in the time. Right. And the effort to figure it out. Yeah.

That you, if you were just like, Nope, this is who I want to be. I just want to look at porn all the time and I don't care that would've been a very different conversation. And so maybe in this woman's situation, that was her husband. Yeah. And that's, I think that's entirely possible, but I also think. um, porn, isn't wandering around tearing families apart.

Like there's not a roving band of pornographers going about from house to house and tearing people apart. And there are a lot of people for whom pornography. Isn't an issue. Mm-hmm and they're not like, well, because you look at porn, I have, you know, our family is torn apart. Some people are just like, okay.

Um, I really don't appreciate that you do that, but I also. Fully recognize that you have agency? Well, they probably wouldn't say it this way, but you know, people, especially outside the church, they're like, you know, Bob looked at porn again. Um, you know, you don't get to sleep in my bed tonight, but it, it's not the end of a relationship because of it.

So, and I think, I think part of, part of this sentence or part of this last part here is that it's yes, the atonement and repentance play a part in recovery. Um, , but I, that seems to me to be a throwaway comment. When in reality, the atonement and repentance are, again, they're a major component of the point mm-hmm and, you know, fortunately the atonement is not just for the person who's been painfully abused.

By someone it's also for the person who is struggling now, you and I, we have a very clear.  point around, you know, if your partner is hitting you or punching you or abusing you verbally and is, you know, is not even a good person.  and you're just staying with him because you're like, well, I have to forgive him because of the atonement.

That's not how that works. I have to forgive him 77 times, times seven, I times, 70, whatever, whatever. Yeah. That's no, we don't like, we're not espousing that you stay with someone who ISN. um, isn't doing their part. You know, Darcy often says I was a good guy. I was doing everything except I had this thing.

Mm-hmm . And so just being aware of that and being willing to say, you know, the atonement is the point repentance is the point that's, that's why we get to change. Um, and maybe porn is as serious as drug use. I don't know. Um, I, I think that most sins are, are really very similar in the sense that they separate us from God.

And our goal is to come back to our heavenly father, not to be away from him. So, you know, whether porn is as serious as this sin or that sin, whether you know, you've committed adultery in your heart means that you should be excommunicated. I don't know any of that. What I do know is. I don't think that pornography is tearing apart families.

I think that people are choosing to separate from each other because it's a difficult subject and it's not an easy one. I, I fully recognize that, but I also don't feel like I don't feel like we can blanket again. Blanket statement pornography is destroying lives and tearing apart families. I think that I think that.

The interaction around pornography can often be very vitriolic, but it's not just that well, and I think, you know, if you can compare porn use is just as serious as drug use, even with drugs. There are different levels of drug use. There's people who use medical marijuana. Is that how serious is that?

Versus, you know, like I know I'm being here. Well, the first presidency, just put out a statement, maybe not a statement, but in the here, it might not have just in, I don't it's in handbook. I don't know how it is. But it says, if you have a prescription for medical marijuana, use it. Yep. Use it exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Right. And so, you know, we could say that that is, well, let's just go there. Caffeine. Caffeine could be considered a, a drug. It is a drug. It's a stimulant. Yeah, totally. So at what point is caffeine drinking? The same seriousness as, as pornography or, yeah. You know, I, I think it's really hard when we start to try and compare sins on seriousness and, and, and just levels of, is this the worst sin ever sin?

Yeah. Yeah. I, I, and you've talked about this where you're like, I, I get it, you know, I think we all want to categorize things in our lives. That's how that's, that's how our brain works, but I also think. , it's not necessarily a valuable resource to say this is just as bad as it's much more valuable. I think to look at the person, deal with what's going on with them directly and love them through the process of their healing.

And, and I'm not saying that this the writer of this email didn't try to do that. I, I fully again recognize that I don't know this person. I think it's much more valuable to believe that, you know, we want to help and love our partner and work through the, the struggle with them than it is to believe and, and convey to other people.

Porn is tearing apart. Families like, think about, think about that 14, you know, that if you go into young men's or young women, and they are listening to a conversation about pornography. They're being taught a lesson about pornography and you have all these kids in there. What percentage of them do you think has seen pornography?

I would bet almost a hundred percent. Yeah, I would. I would almost guarantee you it's about a hundred percent. I don't know, but I, I would, I would bet my left shoe from every pair of shoes I ever own. By the time those kids graduate high school, they are going to have been exposed to pornography at some level and probably in a habitual way.

Well, I know, I mean, just statistically, if you, we have four kids in the youth program, I know for certain that three of them have come across pornography. Yeah. Whether by accident or by choice. And so, I mean, there you go. And the other one, so you're standing there in front of these young men and young women, and you're saying to them, pornography, tears apart, families.

what are they going to believe about themselves? Mm-hmm what is it that they're, and that this was actually kind of the point of the, of the episode. And again, I'm going to post that episode on Wednesday for you guys, all to listen to, but the point of the episode was let's change the conversation in a way that allows us to talk about it openly instead of from a position of shame.

And I'll help people go through the process of doing the. To resolve this for themselves, rather than telling them, if you don't run away from this, it's going to tear apart your family, it's going to ruin you. And that sort of hyperbole, because you know, the truth is if, again, if you look at like 80% of men and 65% of all women in the United States in a self reported survey, those people aren't ruined.

at that same level and those people aren't torn apart at that same level. Mm-hmm so so on the, in, in, in some perspective, from, from a certain perspective, when we tell our children, this will destroy you, or this will destroy your family, or will ruin you or will ruin your family. Um, we, they will find us to be UN.

and that's, that's not something I'm looking to, to create mm-hmm because what they will find is that all of their friends, you know, are probably looking at porn, they will pro or so I think you have two sides of that. They will either think everybody's looking at porn, because they talk about it with their friends.

Or they will think I'm the only one and I'm a loser and I'm broken and I'm shameful and I'm never going to succeed. I'm the scum of the earth. And, and you put, right, so you put them in the, in a deep, dark hole and once they, and, and if they go into that deep dark hole, if they're paying attention, they're going to find out that.

They look at porn a lot more yeah, because they're trying to feel better. Right. But once they find out, oh, actually lots of people view pornography, like, you know, just the Google search on the statistics, lots of people view pornography. Then they will go back. They will go to that other category of, oh, everybody's doing this then.

And, and my friends and my F friends, families aren't destroyed. So maybe my parents are liar. Maybe the church is lying to me that this will destroy me. And so now you have a totally different animal on your hands and that's, I, that's not a conversation I would like to have. And it's, I don't think it's a truthful conversation to have to say that this is, and, and that doesn't mean again, that doesn't mean that if you are a wife or you are a husband and your partner is viewing pornography and you find out, or they tell you that doesn't mean that it won't be a painful conversation.

it doesn't mean that your brain won't go and say, oh, this means I'm not enough. Like, like happened for you. Mm-hmm but it does mean now I have to grow up. I, now I have to go into that conversation and I have to be as adult as possible. And I have to be willing to sus this out. I have to work through this with my partner in a way that we can grow through it rather than run from it.

Um, and, and I think a lot of it is. Once again, goes back to this. Isn't okay for us. We're not okay with pornography. We're just seeing that the narrative that we've had for all these years is not creating the outcomes that we are hoping to create. And I think if you looked at, say obesity in the United States, I don't know what the statistics are, but it's pretty bad.

Right. And. We know how bad obesity is. We know that obesity leads to heart disease, heart disease, diabetes, and early death and heart, you know, all of the things yet. And we know sugar's bad for us and we know, right. We know all of these things. But when, when we hear those things, it doesn't make us go, oh yeah.

We sh you know, we're all going to be skinny now. It doesn't work that way. And so it's, it's the same line with pornography, just knowing and hearing, oh, it's bad. It's more like, instead of saying, oh yeah, obesity. This is all the things that's going to happen if you're obese and, and this is what you need to change, it's it's going to destroy your health.

Yeah. It's more about, okay, what is it that I do want. What are my health goals and why mm-hmm, not just because of what I'm scared of, but because of what I really truly want deep down inside and knowing these, those things and knowing what I truly want is going to be more effective to getting me to where I want to be than just all the threats of what might happen.

So just remember. What we do for a living is help people not look at pornography. . Yeah. So, yeah. And I, especially, if you think, Hey, these guys are saying that we have a choice, we can choose to look at porn. Yeah. Um, we're we're not saying that because we want people to look at porn. We, we are actually saying that because we want people to own their decision and realize that.

I am choosing this. I can also choose not to do right to do this because unless you, unless, and until you can choose not to, or sorry to choose it, then you, it's very hard. It's very difficult. And I would say nearly impossible in the long run to choose not to do it unless you can choose it. It's really hard not to choose it.

Mm-hmm because you, you lose your capacity, you lose your agency in a sense. I hope I hope we've treated this. Kindly, if you are the person who wrote this email or somebody like them or somebody like them, and you're listening to this podcast, just realize that we are trying to offer a slightly different way of viewing things and dealing with things.

Not because we think that pornography's okay and that you should look at pornography. It's all about that. We do have. And that the way that we get to where we want to be is by choosing to be the person that we want to be. Yeah. I, I love that. And I think that if we, if we really want to succeed at this, it's gotta be a partnership.

It's gotta be you and me together. Moving forward. So often you and I, we talk about this. I work with a lot of men and, and I work with not as many women. Yeah. yeah. You know, she'll have a one, maybe one conversation with a, a wife and it will change their entire perspective. You know, her one conversation is worth five of my of my coaching sessions, but I also think there are a lot of wives out there who very much believe this is his problem.

Yeah, and this, and he needs to solve it. And when he solved it, then we'll all be okay. And I will just say that I felt that same way. Yeah. Felt that same way for a lot of years. And to be clear, that doesn't mean that what you choose as the spouse means that's okay for him to choose pornography. That's not what I'm saying at all.

Yes, but just being aware that you are part of an environment and that environment can sometimes. Lead lead your partner to make choices that they wouldn't be proud of. So, and that again, not to say that it's your fault. Absolutely not. It's not your fault, whatever your partner is choosing, that's their choice.

And by the that's a two-way street, if Darcy eats all of the chocolate cake in the house I don't chocolate every single day. Yeah. That's why it's a good example. Right. But if she eats all that chocolate cake and I wanted some then is her choice about me. Probably not very much her choice was about her and that's, and that's really important to recognize.

I, I truly, I truly hope that whoever this person is can find a way to move past this narrative for themselves because this narrative is going to, I think, keep you unhappy for a very long. I know we were very unhappy with this narrative, and that's not to say that, you know, this hasn't necessarily been a valuable narrative for you to get you through some very difficult parts of your life, but it might be time to move past that.

If, if you really truly. Find it so difficult to listen to a conversation about pornography, without feeling the fight or flight response and the anxiety inducing, you know, reality around it for you. It, it's probably a good time to start saying, how is this serving me? What about this is helping me be the person that I want to be.

And that's a great conversation to have with Darcy, because she will help you get to a place. you find a narrative that serves you and doesn't make you feel as though the entire world is going to come down on your head because your partner feud pornography. . Yeah. And then, yeah, she's like shaking her. She's nodding her head and I'm like, you gotta say words.

all right. You guys, we love you. We're so grateful for the opportunity that we have to do this podcast every week. I'm grateful that Darcy came on today. Because I know she was tired and it's mother's day and  she, she did a lot today, so we love you guys. Thank you so much for we'd love it. If you would leave a review.

Yes. If you won't listen to me, listen to Darcy, leave. It takes like five seconds. Leave a review on iTunes and, and it will help us immensely. We know that there are thousands of people who listen to this podcast every single week. And we, we would love for you to share your experience of this podcast.

Thank you so much. And even if it's terrible, even if you're like this podcast, Then I want to ask, why are you listening? Yeah, just stop listening. Yeah. All right. You've my friends have a great day. Have a great week. We'll talk to you next week. Bye 




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