Marriage in God's Hands

Abuse, Addiction, Affairs

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Mike and Gayle Tucker


Series Code: MGH

Program Code: MGH000089A

00:19 Welcome to Marriage in God's Hand.
00:21 We're Mike and Gayle Tucker
00:22 from Faith for Today television,
00:24 the host of Lifestyle magazine and Mad about Marriage.
00:27 And we've been talking about married life today
00:30 and how to make this work.
00:32 But, you know there are some issues in marriage
00:35 that are pretty destructive.
00:38 They kind of overshadow a lot of the other problems,
00:41 because these are the big things.
00:43 These are major things and in this presentation,
00:46 it's not really a fun presentation,
00:48 'cause there's not much fun about it.
00:50 But I think it's important,
00:51 because it is important to look at some of those major issues
00:54 that are destroying families today.
00:58 One of them... God, I heard you take a breath.
00:59 No, it's... Go ahead, go ahead.
01:00 One of them is pornography.
01:03 It's a growing problem, is pervasive in America today.
01:08 And the other is addiction.
01:11 And another is infidelity.
01:14 And another is abuse.
01:16 Those are four big issues that are not fun to talk about,
01:18 but I think we need to talk about them.
01:20 We do need to.
01:21 There are not the only big issues
01:22 that are destroying marriages, but they are certainly huge.
01:25 And we used to think of them as being issues
01:28 that people outside the Christian community
01:31 would experience.
01:32 But we were insulated from such things within the church.
01:35 It's never been true
01:37 and at least now we're aware that it's not true.
01:40 I think we are becoming more aware
01:42 more and we're more willing to admit
01:45 that maybe the Christian community
01:47 has some of the same problems.
01:49 Statistically speaking,
01:50 they are finding that these are happening
01:53 at about the same level that they do in secular society,
01:56 which is a sad commentary.
01:58 It is a sad commentary.
01:59 But we-- if we'll open our eyes,
02:00 they are not things that we cannot manage
02:03 through God's help.
02:05 That's right.
02:06 Well, let's start with pornography.
02:09 This is a huge issue within the church
02:12 and outside of the church.
02:14 It is a major business on the internet.
02:17 It is bigger than the NBA,
02:19 National Basketball Association,
02:21 the NFL, and major league baseball,
02:24 and hockey combined.
02:26 All of those combined. All of those combined.
02:28 It does more business on the internet
02:30 than all of those industries combined.
02:33 So you mean the amount of money that's made on internet
02:36 is more than the amount of money
02:37 made by those leagues.
02:38 Spent and made.
02:40 Wow!
02:41 On the internet, on pornography.
02:43 So that's how big this is.
02:44 Major purchasers of pornography tend to be men aged 16 to 26,
02:50 that's the primary target age.
02:53 However, older men have a problem with it.
02:55 Women will have a problem with it as well.
02:57 It's something we don't talk about as much.
02:59 But the bottom line
03:01 is this absolutely positively destroys marriages.
03:05 It does.
03:06 We talked to a psychologist recently,
03:07 who told us that she believes
03:09 that pornography is one of the major issues
03:12 that is destroying marriages today.
03:14 She said we close our eyes to it.
03:16 We say "Oh, it doesn't make any difference."
03:18 But some of the damage that's done,
03:20 it damages your spouse.
03:22 Yeah.
03:23 Because it robs your spouse of time,
03:25 and attention, and energy
03:26 that should belong only to that person.
03:29 And it also destroys marital satisfaction.
03:31 You know, there was a study done in Indiana University
03:34 that showed that just six hours
03:37 of viewing soft-core pornography,
03:39 not hardcore, six hours was enough
03:41 to destroy or begin to minimize
03:44 the satisfaction with his or her spouse,
03:47 the viewer's satisfaction with his or her spouse.
03:50 Just six hours
03:51 soft-core,
03:53 already has that detrimental effect on the marriage.
03:56 And that's not very much.
03:57 No, it's not.
03:59 Viewers of pornography
04:00 can spend tens of hours every week on it.
04:04 It's an amazing fact that how much they can consume.
04:08 It also changes your attitude toward the opposite sex.
04:12 It reduces them from people to a commodity, to be consumed.
04:18 They're an object to be consumed,
04:20 rather than a human being, a person.
04:22 Yeah.
04:23 So it also lessens one's sensitivity
04:25 to violence against the opposite sex.
04:29 If I'm watching television
04:31 and happened to be watching something
04:32 other than a religious channel
04:34 and I'm flipping through,
04:35 if I see, portrayed on television,
04:38 an act of violence by a man against a woman,
04:40 I can't watch it.
04:41 It drives me crazy.
04:43 I want to stop it, but it's television.
04:44 You can't do that.
04:45 So I just have to change the channel.
04:47 But a viewer of pornography becomes desensitized to that.
04:50 And they find themselves able to watch almost anything
04:53 and it doesn't bother them at all.
04:55 It just changes your attitude.
04:56 Another thing that happens
04:58 is that it impacts your level
04:59 of commitment to a relationship.
05:01 And there was this study that was done recently
05:05 at Florida State University.
05:07 And it was interesting, some of the things they found.
05:09 Because they decided that they wanted to study
05:11 the level of commitment of people who view pornography.
05:14 So they took a group of students
05:17 and these students
05:18 all are in monogamous heterosexual relationships,
05:25 and they were all viewers of pornography.
05:27 So they had a relationship
05:29 and they were viewers of pornography.
05:30 They divided them into two groups
05:32 and they told them that they were gonna be
05:33 part of the study on self control.
05:36 They asked one group to refrain for three weeks
05:39 from viewing any kind of nudity or pornography.
05:42 They asked the other group to refrain for three weeks
05:45 from eating their favorite food.
05:47 And at the end of that time,
05:49 they measured the level of commitment
05:51 in each of those groups to their own relationship.
05:55 What they found was the group who had left off pornography
05:59 for three weeks had an increase in their level of commitment
06:03 to the relationship.
06:05 They found that had their level of commitment
06:07 to their relationship had elevated
06:09 in just three weeks of living off pornography.
06:11 Just three weeks? Just three weeks.
06:12 Now the group that left off their favorite food
06:14 but continued with pornography,
06:16 they had no change in their level of commitment.
06:18 Ah, so it didn't help them in the relationship
06:21 to quit eating favorite food.
06:22 It didn't. But then they followed that up.
06:24 They said, well, does this really
06:25 translate into infidelity then?
06:27 And so they-- To make a long story short,
06:29 they did another study with 240 people.
06:32 What they discovered was that
06:34 as levels of pornography viewing went up,
06:38 the level of commitment to the relationship went down,
06:41 and the level of infidelity went up.
06:43 Goes up as well.
06:45 So there is a direct correlation
06:46 between pornography and infidelity,
06:48 and a direct correlation between pornography
06:52 and commitment to a relationship.
06:53 So if you want your marriage to be strong,
06:56 you can't sit there and say "Well, this is all right.
06:59 It's, you know, it's just...
07:00 it doesn't mean I don't love my spouse.
07:02 It just means that, you know,
07:04 this is just something I do on the side.
07:05 It's okay." No.
07:07 It's going to impact the way that you see your spouse.
07:10 It's gonna make you decide
07:11 to start looking for alternatives.
07:12 Right.
07:14 Well, I want to leave this-- Just a moment ago,
07:15 to another big problem but the other thing
07:18 that I think it is important for us to mention
07:19 is that this puts children at risk.
07:22 Absolutely.
07:24 The truth is that the younger a child
07:26 is when they are first exposed to pornography,
07:28 the more damaging effects
07:29 it has upon that child, long term.
07:32 And most people
07:33 with a very serious addiction to pornography
07:37 would tell you that they had their first exposure
07:40 when they found dad's stash, either a stack of magazines
07:43 or something on the computer
07:45 or a video some place that he had,
07:47 and they began to watch that.
07:48 And that that's where that journey began.
07:51 And the younger they are when they first see that,
07:54 the more damaging the long term effects.
07:55 If it's in your home in any way, shape or form,
07:59 they're gonna find it.
08:01 That's right.
08:02 And so you're better off protecting your children
08:03 from this by not having it around, just don't do it.
08:06 Don't do it.
08:07 Find the way out of it. Talk to someone.
08:10 Get some accountability with a counselor, with a group.
08:13 There are a lot of resources on the internet.
08:15 Begin to deal with this issue,
08:17 because it is tremendously destructive.
08:19 And everything improves when you quit.
08:21 Everything
08:22 Commitment improves, fidelity improves, your attitude.
08:24 You even have less depression
08:26 when you're not viewing pornography.
08:27 Studies show that as well.
08:29 We could go on and on.
08:30 But let's move on to another topic.
08:32 All right, let's talk little bit about infidelity,
08:35 which is a very sad fact in America today.
08:40 Infidelity is defined as an emotional
08:43 or physical attachment outside of marriage.
08:47 It doesn't always look the same.
08:51 It can be emotional or physical.
08:53 It can also be...
08:55 Both emotional and physical.
08:57 That's right. I'll get this out any minute.
08:58 So it can either be just emotional or just physical
09:00 or both emotional and physical.
09:02 By the way, as a counselor who has helped couples
09:04 who recover from infidelity,
09:05 a purely physical relationship is easier to recover
09:08 from than a purely emotional relationship is.
09:11 Interesting.
09:13 And the most difficult to recover
09:14 from is that which is both emotional and physical.
09:17 However, I've seen couples
09:19 of all three types of affairs recover.
09:22 So I know that it is doable by God's grace.
09:25 That's right.
09:26 Well, let's talk a little bit about infidelity.
09:29 What's the damage of that?
09:31 First of all, I think the huge damage is that it is a lie.
09:34 And it's a lie not just to your spouse,
09:37 although, obviously, it's a lie to your spouse,
09:39 because you promised that you would be true
09:41 to that person only.
09:42 And then that's not what's happening.
09:44 So it's a lie to your spouse, but it also a lie to yourself,
09:47 isn't it? Um-hmm.
09:49 It's a lie to yourself, because people think "Oh! Man,
09:52 now that I'm in this relationship,
09:54 I realize I've never really loved anyone like this before.
09:58 It's a euphoric kind of feeling.
10:00 This is awesome."
10:01 And what's really going on
10:03 is that there is an adrenaline rush
10:05 from getting away with something.
10:07 It's not better than anything you've ever had in your life.
10:09 It's different and it's an exciting thing
10:12 for the moment.
10:13 Hmm-mm.
10:14 So there... It's a lie to yourself.
10:16 But it's also a lie to the third party.
10:17 Because it implies to the third party,
10:19 if only my spouse was not in the way,
10:21 then what we have, it would be wonderful.
10:23 It would last for ever.
10:24 That's a lie as well. And here's how we know.
10:27 They did a study among 4,200 business men
10:29 who had an extra-marital affair.
10:31 Of those 4,200, only 3% ever married the third party.
10:35 Wow!
10:36 And of the three percent who married the third party,
10:38 75% of those marriages ended in divorce.
10:41 Hmm.
10:43 So it's a lie to the third party.
10:44 It's not better than anything that you've ever had.
10:46 There's an addiction to an adrenaline rush.
10:48 In fact, then addiction to that,
10:50 the third party, that it tells you a lie
10:53 about the nature of the relationship
10:55 and the strength of the experience.
10:57 So infidelity is a lie to your spouse,
11:00 to yourself, and to the third party.
11:02 So everybody is just being duped in this.
11:03 That's right.
11:05 Yeah, it's a horrible thing.
11:06 It also breaks trust. Hmm-mm.
11:08 And one of the most important components
11:11 of a marriage relationship is trust.
11:13 You have to able to trust the other person.
11:15 It has to be the foundation in the relationship.
11:18 How can you, you know, give your body and your life
11:21 and everything else to the other person
11:23 without being able to trust them?
11:25 Exactly... It's a broken trust.
11:27 What people need to understand though
11:28 is that trust can be rebuilt.
11:31 It can. It's a long process.
11:33 But it can be rebuilt. It's not a hopeless situation.
11:35 And you and I, both seen couples be able to do that,
11:38 to have made the decision to make the break.
11:41 And by the way, when it's time to make the break,
11:43 and it is the time now.
11:45 If you're doing this, it is the time now.
11:47 Yeah. Let's just end that discussion.
11:49 When you make the break,
11:51 there can be no contact with that third party,
11:53 because you have an addiction.
11:54 They may have become your drug of choice.
11:56 And every new contact with them after you stop the affair,
12:00 you have to start the recovery process,
12:02 the withdrawal process all over again.
12:04 Just like an alcoholic would have to do.
12:06 Absolutely.
12:07 You can only say one day sober,
12:09 because I relapsed and had a drink yesterday,
12:11 so I've been one day sober.
12:13 Basically, it's the same thing with this affair.
12:15 You have to break up all contact.
12:17 You have to admit what you have done
12:18 and a confession is not saying "Well, yes, I did this.
12:22 But if you've been more attentive,
12:23 I would not have been at risk."
12:24 That's a rational decision, not an admission.
12:27 The confession says it doesn't matter what you did.
12:29 What I did was wrong and I apologize.
12:32 Please forgive me for that.
12:34 So you apologize and then you rebuild trust.
12:36 You ask, you give, you receive forgiveness,
12:39 you rebuild trust, you fix the preexisting problems
12:42 that were in the marriage, and then you restore that trust
12:46 and you find a new purpose for your...
12:47 Absolutely.
12:48 And rebuilding trust is something that can be done.
12:50 Yes.
12:52 You have to kind of submit yourself
12:53 to that and say I'm gonna love my spouse
12:56 to check up on me,
12:57 I'm gonna do whatever we have to do,
12:58 if I have to move to a different town,
13:00 whatever it is, I'm gonna rebuild that trust.
13:02 And you can be happier than you were before.
13:04 But couples that we've seen through this process
13:06 will tell you, in fact, they told us to tell everyone,
13:09 it's worth the work.
13:11 If you do the work, it's worth it.
13:13 Well, that's enough on that topic.
13:15 We're gonna take a break.
13:17 We will be back with more right after this.


Revised 2016-06-09