Pornography and Marriage. A woman's perspective

Recently, a woman reached out to me and asked that I share her story.

Afraid that someday her children may come across this article in the internet abyss... she also asked that she be left anonymous. Her initials are J.S.

It's Powerful.

I believe her voice needs to be heard.

I understand and empathize with every word she wrote, and I hope it sheds some light for families, marriages, and relationships that are experiencing the ripple effect of Pornography.

It's not about blame or right or wrong or sin- it's simply the questions that a woman asks herself when her partner is looking elsewhere to satisfy his "needs."

It's important that ALL of us in relationships make our life decisions and choices with our partners in mind. The question "Does this make my relationship stronger or not?" is something we ALL should consider.

When it's NOT about being right or wrong- but simply about whether or not it is creating a strong bond and the partnership of your dreams or if it isn't- then make decisions accordingly.

Thank you J.S. for having the courage to reach out to me.

What does it feel like to be married to a man who participates in pornography?


Pornography is a joke in media. References to it in modern day sitcoms make it seem normal and funny- the goofy friend or teen who is addicted is a guaranteed audience laugh.

But it doesn't feel funny when you're in a relationship with it. It feels like not being enough.

These are simply my remembrances.

I'm not sure if I'll share this.

But today- as I ran on my jog along a dirt path and circled the community park alone on an early Saturday morning- around and around- the memories were haunting me and I found myself alone again. Stalled- standing still upon the gravel. Not a soul in sight as the birds chirped in the distance and the echo of someones lawn mower was carried my way with the light breeze.

And I bent over and cried.

I remember what it feels like to cook and clean and live. To jog every day, to dedicate your life to a partnership and give everything you are as a woman to a man, and try to be everything you think a woman should be- and it isn't enough.

What it feels like to spend day after day cleaning the toilets, changing the diapers, caring for the home and family and lie in the arms of your husband at night and know that all you give- all you are- isn't enough.

The images are what he wants.

I am not the illusion. I am not the image of the body you see. My body was utilized to create  new life- my breasts aren't the ones you look at and admire- the ones that entice you. Mine are drooped now. My stomach is striped, my thighs are speckled with cellulite. I am not the image you see. And I question why I am not enough? I see myself and know that I am not what the media says is beautiful.

While I am the one building a life and dreams with you- it is her- the image that you pursue and fantasize and desire.

When your work is challenging and I pick up the slack around the house, I wash your clothes and clean your room and house and bed- (in addition to my own career.) When we hold hands on our walks or watching the kids play at the park and we glance at each other and laugh- I remember- it is her- the image that turns you on. Not me. Not the real person. Not the tangible one you can touch- feel and be felt by.

I have held you when you cried. I have seen the vulnerable sides of you that no one has. I have seen your rage- forgiven your words when we've fought, nursed you when you are sick, and you still reach out for HER- the image.

I awoke one night- alone- our bed empty. With ripe and swollen pregnancy, I got out of bed to search for you- to see if YOU were alright.

I found you. With Her- the image.
I remember hitting your chest- betrayed- I pounded on your torso until- in my pregnant and hormonal tirade- I fainted from the exhaust.

I held our baby, rocking in the chair that your grandmother rocked you- our child nourished from my breast as my thumb skimmed over their tiny soft bare toes- and in the room next to me- you were watching Her- the image.

I, was with you. YOU. ALL of you. I am here. I am yours. But you are not mine. YOU are with HER-the image. She is not with you- she is lifeless, soul-less. You don't know her and you don't want to- she's an image to use to gratify yourself with- YOU are with her. She is not with you. I am with you and you turn away.

I don't look like her.

I have a soul and feelings. You have seen my triumphs and failures. I share my greatest desires and fears with you. I share ALL that I am, I own, my life with you. I share everything with you.

And; I share YOU with Her.

When we lie together, my heart and body open; bringing YOU into the deepest parts of me and I look into your eyes- I wonder "Is he seeing me? Or is he seeing her?" "Is this making love? Is it different? Am I an object too?"

I wondered if all women are objects to you.

I wondered if my daughter is safe with you.

I wondered how far the extent of women being objects to you goes?

When you are late from work, I wonder where you are, who you are with.

I wonder if it's truly a betrayal or if I'm making it up. If  this is just "what guys do."

I see the images and videos on the computer you forgot to cover up and I see the bodies there, the orgies or distorted contortions and ask "Is just one woman enough? Am I enough?"

I see their bodies. I see their painted nails and lace and wigs. I look in the mirror and ask "If this face, this normal body, this hair, these eyes, this skin- is boring?"

I see the the close up videos of their genitalia with no face or expression to see and wonder "Is this what my value is?" If I am worth nothing more than simply being access for your sexual pleasure- what is my purpose? What am I to him?

It feels alone.

It feels futile.

                                                                 Alone Dr. Jill Carnahan

The statistics say that where pornography is prevalent- sexual crimes against the community goes down.
So, while collectively- human trafficking rises, coerced, addicted, controlled women, children, boys, and men are on the screen- being used as objects... at least the people next door are safe.

I wonder- is this the best way?

Human slavery/ sexual exploitation is higher than it's every been in all time in all history- but at least our tiny community is ok.

I know I didn't have the self esteem to survive it.
I know I didn't find the answers.
I know that I still don't know if I am enough.

But I know how I felt.

I know what happened to the trust in myself.
I know what happened to the trust in my relationship and every other relationship since the day I left you.

I wish partners could understand.

This is simply MY story. Not anything else. Simply my perspective. Nothing more.




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