home
RSS
What porn did to a marriage
February 22nd, 2011
06:00 AM ET

What porn did to a marriage

The blog begins with a startling confession:

Hi, my name is John, and I was a sex addict. I’m also a believer in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and am married to an amazing and beautiful woman of God.

Church leaders have long struggled talking about sex, much less pornography. But Relevant magazine made a daring move this month when it printed a blogger’s confession about how his addiction to pornography affected his marriage.

The blogger is John Buckingham, and he is an English teacher, Relevant says. Buckingham said in the story that his addiction to pornography started when he was 12. He thought it would end after his girlfriend accepted his marriage proposal in early 2010.

Yet four months after getting married, Buckingham says he succumbed. He started watching pornography again. Burdened by guilt, Buckingham said he told his wife what he had done.

She was devastated. All the love and trust and intimacy we had worked so hard to build for the last four months was called into question and our marriage was shaken to its very core. I feared it wouldn't stand, and I wouldn't have blamed her in the least for walking out altogether. She had every right to do so.

She didn’t, and as Buckingham suggests later in his article, he didn’t give up either. He says he talked with other Christian men about their struggles but felt that they were using “softening rhetoric” (“I messed up;’ “I stumbled”) to minimize what they were doing.

He writes:

The sin of lust isn’t just a mistake, a mess-up or a problem…it is no less than an act of sin that is reprehensible to God and nothing short of honestly confessing and repenting of that sins is good enough for God.

Rachel Buckingham, John's wife, writes a follow-up blog explaining how she felt after hearing her husband's confession.

I no longer felt safe or loved. I was suddenly bombarded with lies—he doesn't find me attractive; it's my fault he strayed; I'm not beautiful; I'm not sexy; I am a horrible wife; I'm a failure; he is stuck with me; he doesn't love me ...

Buckingham writes more about his struggle. I’ll leave it to readers to decide if they think he has overcome his addiction.

But his confession left me with two questions:

Is pornography now such a pervasive problem in the church that leaders need to talk more openly about?

And can people of faith like Buckingham actually learn how to overcome their struggles while living in a sexually-charged culture where lurid images are just a mouse-click away?

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Faith • Sex • Sexuality

soundoff (1,043 Responses)
  1. J

    Get out with this article. Are these people kidding and is CNN kidding with even posting it? Sorry to paint the stereotype but I imagine this guy speaking in a Jerry Springer style hillbilly accent while confessing all of his sins to his wife...wait what sins? These people should be sent to crazy camp.

    February 22, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  2. Jay

    Willard, you are hilarious. Where do you get your ideas from? "And so the wonderful christians wage war on non christians and enslave people of color, destroying cultures different from their own." Dude, did you get this from a comic book? Or did you really mean Nazis or something else? Think you live in a fantasy world.

    February 22, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • OcTears

      Jay,

      All other religions have been attacked or wiped out by Christians. How many other religions went on crusades, multiple times. Christians persecuted and even enslaved other non-christians which can be found in history books from England, Europe, and Asia. Nazis were a Christian group who believed in God so dont bring them up. Fantasy world is someone who stil thinks Santa Claus delivers presents and that for some mysterious reason a God that looks like man created all the Cosmos. Dude, you need more schooling.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  3. lance corporal

    the problem is NOT the po rn, the problem is this idiotic church telling them se xualtiy is a bad thing, is there negative po rn, sure, like everything else(books, movies, music etc), can you watch too much po rn, sure, you can also eat too much ice cream and get fat and unhealthy, doesn't make ice cream bad does it? why not share the po rn with your wife? or realize that even if you need to get off more than she does it in no way effects your love, your married, you don't OWN each other and if a religion is making you feel bad for no good reason.... it is a false religion

    February 22, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  4. Scot

    Two troubling sentences from that article; "The sin of lust." and "I no longer felt safe..."

    February 22, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • OcTears

      Without lust humans would not be able to reproduce. Humans lot in life is to reproduce insuring the future expansion of our race. We like to think that we are all individuals, but in reality we all contribute to the one human race. The era of missionary style only has ended for the good.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  5. Liz

    It wouldn't be as appealing to watch if it weren't viewed as such a forbidden fruit. In my experience, moderately religious or secular people don't get themselves addicted to drugs or behaviors. Living an ascetic life and holding yourself to that expectation will only lead to failures, spectacular ones at that.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  6. IO

    This is absolutel insanity. Religion is at the center of all the problems in the world today and throughout our history. For all you Christian nut jobs, how about them crusades? All religions, as others have commented, are built to control the masses. Question authority, think for yourself and you might realize that what you spew is nothing but religion's lies to keep you under "their" control.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • OcTears

      I dont know any other religion that has made itself fat with wealth throughout the centuries from others sufferings. Humans do not need some made up God to be good people. Its all in our hearts spiritually, not religiously.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • A member of a U.S. special operations force killed one of the pirates with a knife as he went inside of the yacht I am an Orthodox Christian Jew

      Religion is the only hope for a world gone insane. To blame the worlds problems on Religion instead of human error, greed and corruption, and warmongering, is indeed naive.

      God loves you and we should love our fellow man

      February 22, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  7. jpm

    with whats written, how could we not want to pray for each other. I you don't believe I'm happy to pray for you

    February 22, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • OcTears

      None of your hocus pocus on me. Just give me an ordinary American apple pie my friend.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  8. Kikii

    Pronographyharms.com

    February 22, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  9. maya puskovic

    This article should had been called "What religion did to our marriage"

    February 22, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Tim

      bravo!

      February 22, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • J

      Best response, EVER!

      February 22, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • OcTears

      or, what did religions do to this world!!!!!

      February 22, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • I am an Orthodox Christian Jew

      OcTears, try harder.

      God loves you despite your lack of humor, tact, and timing.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  10. Kikii

    Will not one of you actually go to a website and learn??? http://www.pronharms.com

    February 22, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  11. Drew

    I bet if he had shown his wife what he was watching, she would like it also. Maybe even try it.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  12. Drew

    She was devestated? Nice support for your husband, lady. For better or for worse, right?

    February 22, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  13. Willard Scott Jones

    So he's looking at dirty pictures? Oh My! Are we all 12 again. Its no biggie – unless he spends 12 hours a day at it! Whats wrong with looking? I'm sorry but all you born agains need to start using your brains. If this is the worst we face, then we ar ein one helluva good shape! These church nuts are the biggest purveyors of hate and prejudice. Mind your own business people!

    February 22, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  14. Decide4Yourself

    GOD is a concept, by which we measure our pain

    February 22, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Oh Really?

      You STOLE that quote.....LOL! Quote Stealer!!!!!

      February 22, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  15. elo

    add one more 'b' to bible and it becomes exactly what it its....

    BIBBLE

    February 22, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  16. christian

    I agree "Christianity" does not own marriage. However, It was ordained by God when he created man and woman in the beginning. It is man whom has corrupted the marriage. Marriage is a covenant between a man and a women not easily broken. the papers do not make you married. the law does not make you married. Marriage is when man and women become one flesh. Jesus told the samaritan woman at the well she had five husbands and she was never "married by law". Before one should condemn the Christian's view of marriage, one should read the bible and find out how God and Christ instructed us on marriage. don't take some ones word for it. Read if for yourself.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • tommas

      Yeah, so why did and do people get married without the god of abraham (or zoroaster I should say)? How small minded could a person be?

      February 22, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • OcTears

      Funny how people still believe in an ancient religion that stole all of its rituals from older religions. Man and women were not made in the Garden of Eden period, facts are facts just like the world is not round unlike what christians use to think back then. Maybe opening your minds to the real world and reading other material instead of the bible which has been rewritten over and over again by who knows will give you a better idea of our world and universe. "Religion is the opium of the masses" Marx.

      February 22, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Sheep

      LOL!
      Disclaimer: The grace of God approves of this message.

      Yep, Christ and God wrote the Bible AND they wrote it through all of their prophets and apostles so a church of THEIR appointed followers could literally rewrite, reorder, and "translate" Christ and God's Bible.

      What the hell, bible thumpers...What the hell...

      February 22, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Damien

      If man corrupted marriage, what else has man corrupted that is Christian? The Commandments? The Seven Deadly Sins? The Bible itself? Humans can corrupt just about anything, so how is it possible that a book that spans over 2000 years has not been corrupted in some form or fashion?

      February 22, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • I am an Orthodox Christian Jew

      You plebs. I'm praying for all of your souls as I write this. And I want you to know that even through your harsh words, I still love you all and that God still loves you all. For what is Christianity, if not forgiving.

      These poor people, this poor marriage. Sin corrupts even the most holy of promises. She is a strong woman of God to stand by her husband amidst all of his transgressions and abuses. Like Jonah and the whale, adversity is a fruit of challlenge. As was Jonah, life is not always what it seems and we are oh so constantly challenged.

      I pray for the Buckkinghams.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • sanemind

      So, you still have immaginary friends, believe in talking snakes that walk upright, wizards with staves that part seas, etc...
      You need to see a neurologist as you may have Christophrenia. This is a very serious, intellectually stagnating condition.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • I am an Orthodox Christian Jew

      And you have no sense of humor or power of observation

      February 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
  17. rizzo

    Wait, you only started building trust and intimacy after you got married? I think I've found your problem, you're emotionally stunted.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Damien

      lol That is an excellent point Rizzo.

      February 22, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  18. Carl LaFong

    These two wimps sound like a real-life Ned and Maude Flanders.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • sparky

      carl lafong... he's a railroad man, gets up early in the morning...

      February 22, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Ras137

      LOL...perfect.

      February 22, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Carl LaFong

      Nice going, Sparky. Nice to see that someone recognized the reference.

      February 22, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  19. Scott

    Femminism hit like 50 years ago... I think its time women grew up enough to understand "guys like to look at girls", if you're so insecure that you can't handle that... there is NO hope you'll ever be able to pick up your big girl panties and make a marriage work.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • BigDog

      if i could like this comment just like on facebook you would have a lot of "likes" right now.

      February 22, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Oh Really?

      Insecure? Because a married woman who does ALL the dirty work is hurt by her HUSBAND ogling OTHER women that supposedly makes her insecure??? You MUST be joking! Hahahaaaaaaaaaa...............men shouldn't talk AT ALL! NOTHING is more fragile than a MAN'S EGO, and YOU know it! LMAO! Men are just lucky women are more sensitive to feelings, because most of us could have you crybabies cowering in a corner in about two seconds. Believe it.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • YammaYamma

      If women were not concerned about their looks so much they would not spend so much time in front of the mirror. Face it, women are good for only a few things and none of them include making money that MAN makes.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • YammaYamma

      Oh Really? is a woman. You can tell by the grammar and the use of "LOL" and "hahahahaha" and many periods. Let's get pac-man in there to clean those up. Get back into the kitchen and make a sandwich before I tell everyone about your moles down there.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Frogist

      I'll believe every word of what you chauvanists have to ssay when you say it to your mother's face. Till then you're just punk ass repressed mama's boys. BTW good luck finding any woman who will put up with your crap.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  20. bronzestick

    Ya – Just as guns harm and knives harm and harsh words harm. I think I need to go to http://www.anything can harmyou.com to find more awareness on how to cope with our world. Life is about learning how to deal with the world and trying to fix the world instead of ourselves, in relation to the world is misguided at best

    February 22, 2011 at 11:36 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.