This is an open and anonymous letter that we’ve received at MenAgainstPorn. We believe this is a message that must be heard by everyone. Please, share this with your friends and family and encourage others to join this worthy cause!
I Fight Too
To the man who stole my husband’s innocence,
You didn’t physically harm him.
You didn’t physically introduce him to the world of sexuality.
You didn’t touch him inappropriately.
You didn’t intentionally steal from his mind. I know.
But the truth is, you did.
For many years I have had nothing but compassion for you. I know your story didn’t just happen. I know that somewhere along the way you were a victim. I also know that only now, as a mature adult, have you recognised the need and found the willingness to face your greatest battle – your addiction to pornography. You have much to be proud of because you have fought and you continue to fight.
Still, I need to tell you that you are not the only victim in this struggle that you fight daily.
I have stood beside your wife as she cried the tears of a lifetime’s worth of hurt. Standing in my kitchen she explained that she knew she could have walked away but she didn’t because she never felt God calling her to. Her strength to stay with you despite her emotional pain is honestly honourable.
She refuses to give up on you; you are blessed to be loved by her.
Unfortunately, I know how she feels. You stole my husband’s innocence.
He was a child.
He was exposed to pornography within your home despite your ‘efforts’ to cover your tracks. As I write this, I process the enormity of your failure to protect his mind.
Suddenly, I understand why I have never seen the look of complete passion and desire for me in my husband’s eyes.
He has seen it all before.
Suddenly, I understand why I need to initiate most intimate moments with him Because what I have to offer is nothing compared to what you made available to him.
The difference, though, is that what I offer is real.
What you offered, while exciting, was fake.
He is a man who chose to fight this battle before you did.
He didn’t want to be you.
He isn’t you.
He wanted to hold his wife close to his heart and love her without confusion or blemish. He does a great job, but he can’t do this completely. He loves me more than I had ever anticipated someone could, yes.
But there is a small part of him that I can’t undo.
This is the part that you are responsible for.
I blame you for not being the father he needed. I blame you for stealing something from him that I too have to live with. I blame you because I can’t experience the freedom of a normal, happy and healthy sex life without thoughts of not being enough. Many times, I even question if I am a repulsive human being.
Why else would he squirm when I touch him?
Why else would he shy away from compliments or comments of desire?
You’ve confused him and I blame you.
Marriage is supposed to be a place of exploration – of one’s self, of spirituality, and of sexuality. I’ve had some truly beautiful moments with your son but intimacy has always been and may always be a struggle.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve googled ‘husband not interested in sex’. This has become my secret. Generally, it is the woman who is less interested in sex. But I struggle with not understanding why the opposite is true in our relationship. I feel rejected. For years now, I have wondered, ‘What is it about me?’ I see things more clearly now and I have decided to free myself of this burden. I now embrace whatever sexual activity I’m invited to explore and I understand that my husband’s innocence was taken.
I’m no saint. I had partners before your son. Perhaps the remembrance of those relationships is the only way I’ve kept myself sane some days. To know that I was once wanted in a sexual way is somewhat reassuring. But in those relationships, I wasn’t wanted for the person I am. I was wanted more for the fun that was shared. When your son doesn’t want me, I now know, it’s not me.
Sadly, it’s what you did to him as a child.
But, I forgive you.
My relationship with your son hasn’t been without hurt.
On two occasions, I’ve found evidence that inappropriate websites had been viewed. Additionally, your son has confided in me that he was tempted to go elsewhere for a bit of ‘stress relief’ too. God knows how much I hate those ‘massage parlours’. He broke me completely when he told me about that. Why was it okay for a stranger to touch him when I have to defend myself when I simply rub his back? A great comfort for me at that point in our marriage was that I had begun feeling sexy and confident. I still don’t know what brought about the change in my self-confidence, but I look back at photos of myself at around that time and I see someone who felt good. I had confidence in myself regardless of his ability to see me that way.
My point is this: our marriage hasn’t been perfect but it’s been good. Really good.
Much of our expression of love has been tainted though. For the first time in our marriage I am freeing myself of the sadness and the self-imposed responsibility I have carried. I can see that this is bigger than me.
I can see that I have a man who was broken as a little boy because you didn’t protect him.
I forgive you. But I need you to know, you are not the only one who fights this battle.