I got these related letters from a husband and wife in response to the Aug. 12 column called "Dirty Minds." A reader named "Not Following You to Hell" defended the Bible's strictures against lustful thoughts. I answered that lust is inevitable, so we should "stop feeling guilty about our normal urges while exercising as much self-control as we need to."
These letters take the side of "Not Following You to Hell." Anybody want to write in and defend my point of view?
Dear Tell All: "Not Following You to Hell's" comments reminded me that at least there are a few men out there who understand women enough to recognize how deeply affected we are when our husbands/partners/boyfriends look lustfully at other women.
My own marriage of 25-plus years is going through a crisis right now because of my husband's addiction to pornography. "Not Following" got it exactly right - I do not feel loved, I do not feel valued. I feel shocked and hurt, and the trust I had in him has been seriously affected.
So I was very disappointed in Isthmus when I saw the ad on the back page of the current issue of a woman advertising underwear. It's very painful for me to be reminded that this is the type of image my husband was looking at - and it is difficult for him to be subjected to these images because he is trying very hard to get pornography out of his life. We are trying to heal our marriage and go forward, but continually seeing images of scantily dressed women in newspapers, television, Internet, etc., is making it much more difficult for us to do so.
Trying to Heal
Dear Tell All: I am the husband of Trying to Heal, and everything she said is true. My indulgence in lustful thoughts via Internet porn seriously damaged our marriage. I did not see the harm in what I was doing, especially to her.
You are playing with fire by entertaining lustful thoughts, especially if they are fed via pornography. No dose of this is safe. You will be led deeper and deeper, and its effects on your life go way beyond the time spent engaged in this behavior. Your relationship with others will suffer, and eventually your sex life as well. Stop while you can. Control your "normal urges" and channel this energy into worthy endeavors.
A Self-Inflicted-Wounded Husband