1. Show him you’re someone he can talk to about it. Regardless of where your man lands on the visual temptation spectrum, a calm conversation is the starting point. But many men are hesitant to talk, since they are convinced their wives will never understand – or, worse, will be hurt. So no matter what you’re hearing: be calm. If you don’t think he’s got a major issue, then just asking what life is like today, and showing him you want to hear what he shares, can be a great way to start. On the other hand, if you think there may be a significant issue requiring outside help, think and pray through the potential tracks of the conversation (what he might say, how you might respond) beforehand, so you can remain composed during the conversation.
2. Give him intimate visuals – of you! Whether he’s told you or not, your husband likes looking at you in all your glory. (As one man recently asked, essentially, “How can I convince my wife to let me see her body, instead of hiding behind a towel?”) After all, remember that this is when God designed your man’s visual nature to be activated! The whole problem is that his visual brain today is being stimulated in public by images he was never supposed to see. So give him those private memories that he is designed to see! Many men overcome temptation simply by calling to mind those memories of their wives. You may be surprised to find out how far being a flirt (and, ahem, being willing to have the lights on!) will go.
3. Be aware of potential temptation triggers. Because most women don’t have visual brains in quite the same way, we don’t realize just how much of an obstacle course our magazine subscriptions, catalogues, cable channels and unfiltered computers can present to an honorable husband – or a son! As I was doing my research for Through A Man’s Eyes, I discovered that, for example, having catalogs from places like Victoria’s Secret or Boston Proper delivered to the house and sitting out on the island can tempt a man who doesn’t want that temptation. So examine your home environment, eliminate some triggers, and ask about others. (“Would it help if we blocked some cable channels…?”)
4. If he’s got a bad habit, expect him to work hard to change it—and actively support him in doing so. No matter how supportive a wife is or isn’t, ultimately a man is completely responsible for his choices. Many men are very successful at fighting off the temptation to watch porn, while others feel a compulsion that seems almost impossible to fight. And yet, those same men usually want to honor God and want to honor their wives. If your man has anything from a bad habit to an actual addiction, make it clear that you expect him to get help – and that you’ll support him through the whole process. The actions above are a good start.
Do you want Shaunti to share life-changing truths – including helping women understand men – at your event, church service or network? Inquire about Shaunti speaking, here.
Shaunti Feldhahn is the best-selling author of eye-opening, research-based books about men, women and relationships, including For Women Only, For Men Only, the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage, and her newest book, Through A Man’s Eyes. A Harvard-trained social researcher and popular speaker, her ﬁndings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show, Focus on the Family, and the New York Times. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.