One of the most common mistakes I see couples make is when they start to use something like pornography, or even an affair, to stimulate their sexual desire for their spouse. I have seen, heard or read self-help and fiction Books, movies, pundits and alleged experts all tout this idea. There are new popular books that even Christians think they can “use” in this way, but I will wait on my friend’s book and not go into detail here until it is done – she is the expert. There are a couple of problems with this, in my experience beyond the immorality of engaging with battle for overcoming porn. By problems, I mean, it doesn’t work.
One is connected to the illicit, erotic, intimate conversation. They are two different things (illicit and intimate) and they don’t mix. They are mutually exclusive. I can purchase a cheap counterfeit Rolex with my $100 or I can save toward the real thing with my $100, but I cannot do both. If I choose one, I stifle the other by definition (the same reason cohabitation does not lead to successful marriages).
However, the other problem is the addictive nature of the feelings created by the alternative stimulant. What the person is doing is trying the USE the addictive and exciting feelings for their own purposes, but those feelings will not be enslaved, as any addict can tell you. They are happy to start out the relationship in the role of servant… but they will not stay there.
They are untamable, if you will. Like a wild animal brought into a home as a pet. I had a friend who for a short time, had a pet wolf. A real wolf. When he was around and dominant she seemed tame enough. However, the rule was that family members could not turn their back on her. She seemed tame, but the truth was that she was wired to seek out a more dominant role in the family system (“pack”).
If the moment presented itself, she would have hurt or maybe even killed a family member in order to move up rank toward being in charge. That is a big part of what it means to be a wolf.
Those emotions are never tamed… and they are never content to stay in the role of servant. They wait until you feel safe and in control and turn your back… and then suddenly you are serving them instead.
The stimulation of pornography and fantasy can be the same. No one can tame it.
Tying a rope around a Tiger’s neck does not mean that you have tamed or that you control it – all you have accomplished is giving yourself an illusion of control while binding yourself to something that is lethal and imminently deadly. It is only a matter of time before it turns and tears you apart.
Maybe you used to trigger desire for your mate through the words or pictures, but suddenly you are engaging with your spouse and desiring the fantasy… or worse – avoiding your spouse in an effort to find the quick burst of adrenaline that comes with the stimulant. Now the teacher is the student; the master is now the slave.
This is an articles meant to be read in coordination with the articles on pornography.
As someone who has been tempted by the lusts of the flesh since childhood, I attest to the dangers of trying to tame lusts in an effort to serve us. They NEVER cooperate long term. Eventually, they take over and we find ourselves enslaved and entangled.
Is it any surprise that sexual temptations are the ones we are instructed to flee?
You’re not alone and we would love to join you as you take steps toward a stronger, healthier future.
I believe we all need a safe place to explore the issues that may be preventing us from experiencing a full and satisfying life. My greatest reward as a therapist is helping my clients examine ways to make the changes in their lives that will allow them to look forward to the future with hope. I am a bilingual (Spanish-English) LPC.
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