It was by chance that Aisha discovered her husband’s secret. She always wondered why he was very touchy about her using his laptop or mobile. Passwords were constantly changed; he would always be right behind her when she had to use his mobile, and quickly take it from her hands when she was finished.
One time Jamal had left his mobile on the kitchen counter while going to answer the door (he was meeting with an important client in his home office), and Aisha picked it up to look through his apps out of curiosity. That’s when she found what felt like a stab in the back. Pornography apps—lots of them—cluttered Jamal’s mobile!
Aisha felt her heart thumping in her chest and beads of sweat broke out on her face. Finding it difficult to breathe, Aisha forced herself to walk to the nearest chair and fell in a slump. At that moment, Jamal entered the kitchen asking if Aisha had seen his mobile. He took one look at Aisha’s face and saw that something was seriously wrong.
Jamal looked at his mobile on the counter and then looked at Aisha. Somehow he understood what had transpired. He explained to Aisha that he had to get back with his client and if she needed him to let him know. He grabbed his mobile and hurried out of the kitchen.
Aisha didn’t know whether to cry or scream out. Now Aisha understood why Jamal always seemed to be in a distracted state, not fully there, especially when they were intimate. Aisha told herself that it was because Jamal was a workaholic and was consumed by his work. She had been trying several tactics to get his attention: purchasing a new wardrobe of enticing clothing, going to the salon to update her hairstyle, cooking special meals and sweets that Jamal liked. All of it for nothing! She felt anger, hurt, sadness, betrayal and rejection. How could she ever trust Jamal again? Even worse, she slowly felt herself losing the respect she had for him.
The Marriage Destroyer
If you think the above scenario is an exception, and for the most part it only happens to non-Muslims, then you are wrong. Pornography is ravaging marriages everywhere. It is like a silent death knell to a marriage. It is silent, because for most married Muslim men it is a secret that they try to hide from their spouses.
Whether it is hidden or out in the open, those who are engaged in viewing pornography are actually wrecking their chances of having normal and fulfilling intimate relations with their spouses. That is because pornography changes the wiring of the brain.
According to Canadian neuroscientist Mohamed Ghilan:
“As the images are displayed on the screen, an arousal takes place and the dopaminergic system is triggered just like it would be by drugs such as cocaine. The newly formed connections in the brain from watching pornographic images become greatly reinforced by the massive amounts of dopamine being released. Rather than going into short term memory, where these images can be forgotten after the screen is turned off, the dopamine reinforcement ensures they are moved into the long-term memory stores where they can be stuck in replay mode in the person’s mind. The troublesome fact about this is that the more something is recalled, the more it solidifies in the brain…The sequence of events in the brain is quite disturbingly simple. Synaptic plasticity works to form new connections as a result of watching pornography, and newly learned memories are stored. Since the experience is an arousing one, dopamine release results in very strong reinforcement of those new connections. Now that the scenes are in long-term memory, two consequences take place: 1) since the very same system stimulated by cocaine is being triggered by pornography, addiction is developed; and 2) the man will often attempt to create his own re-enactments with his wife, which leads to a great disappointment.”
To Get Help
For someone addicted to pornography, there are serious consequences if it is left to fester. If you have been told that it is harmless, you should know that you have been lied to. Nor will it help to improve marriage relations. It will destroy your marriage and rob you of having a sound, loving and meaningful relationship with your wife. Your wife will lose her respect for you, and you will never find satisfaction in your marriage. Is that the way you want to live your life?
To save your marriage, one of the first things you should do is to get the knowledge you need in order to understand what constitutes a successful Islamic marriage. You also need to address your addiction. One place you can turn to is a site called PurifyYourGaze.
For help with the knowledge part, you can go to Qibla. The Successful Islamic Marriage is a course taught by Ustadha Hedaya Hartford. You will learn how to avoid destructive habits, how to establish good communication, and find ways of dealing with problems and conflict resolution. These skills are all needed in order to repair the damage done by a marriage that has been ravaged by pornography.