Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Plague Among Us

Normally I try to make my posts light-hearted and somewhat humorous as an outlet for my creative side during the dog-days of child-rearing...however, today I'd like to discuss something I don't consider much of a laughing matter: pornography.

I belong to a small message board of Latter-day Saint (LDS) mothers, and recently, there was a thread about the level of concern pornography was for us as wife and mothers. I was absolutely s.h.o.c.k.e.d. to learn that over half of the women polled replied that pornography was of little to no worry to them. These women, all of which are members of the LDS church and know our leaders' great level of concern regarding pornography, simply didn't believe the issue will touch them and their family. I am telling you now...pornography is an issue I strongly believe affects everyone to some degree, whether it is your son, husband, friend, brother-in-law, cousin, or co-worker.

There are 40 million adults who regularly visit Internet pornography websites in the United Sates alone. The largest consumer of Internet pornography is 35 - 49 age group; those are not hormonal adolescents, but men and women with spouses and families. The industry is expanding at an alarming rate: in 1988 there were 1,300 hardcore pornography titles released in the U.S.; in 2005 there were 13,588, and the numbers continue to rise. When I searched the subject of pornography on, I brought up 831 results. Eight hundred and thirty-one. To say the brethren are concerned about pornography is a serious understatement.

Pornography is absolutely devasting to a marriage It takes what is beautiful and sacred and turns it into filth and evil. Pornography degrades sex. It dehumanizes the participants and those who witness it. The sexual side of the marriage is no longer just between the man and wife, but the man, wife, and playboy bunny he's been "seeing" on the side. It hurts wives. It bewilders children. It destroys families and marriages.

One of my biggest concerns is the apathy towards pornography and masturbation that is evident in today's society. Time and time again I have attended classes and read articles that inform me both things are normal and even natural. That as a mother and wife, I should not attempt to prevent and disallow these things, but that I should accept them or even embrace them. When readers and students ask how to counsel our children and help our husbands avoid pornography, we find no help, instead are accused of being narrow-minded and over-protective.

Our children are at high risk. The amount of pornography available is increasingly rising and our children's access to it, whether they're actively seeking it or not. The average age of a child's first internet exposure to pornography is 11 years old. As of 2002, 9 out of 10 children aged between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed pornography on the internet, in most cases unintentionally. If you don't talk to and protect your children from pornography, who will?

I'm not going to claim I'm not telling you this to alarm you, because I am. I want you to be alarmed. I want you to go to great lengths to protect your families from this plague. This is an imminent danger that we need to address now.

While we can't guarantee that our husbands and children won't be exposed to pornography or seek it out themselves, we can protect our homes from it to the best of our ability. Keep your computer in an open area in your home and, if possible, filter it. Put uplifting messages around it. Talk to your children about what they're looking at on the internet and the dangers that lurk there. Keep talking with them about it. Ask your husband if he's being true to you, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Continue to ask him. Send a picture of your family with him when he's away on business. Help your family avoid the traps. I know these seem like silly, little things, but they will add up and hopefully, protect your family. You can't make the decisions for them, they have their free agency, but you can provide them with a loving, spiritual haven to come home to, giving them a reason and helping them find the ability to stay clean.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Women Seek Revenge

Anyone heard this story? A married man in Wisconsin was cheating on his wife with at least five other women. The wife found out and instead of getting upset with the women she called them and let the know what was happening - that her husband was a scumbag. She recruited three of the women to help her plot revenge. One of them lured the man to a hotel, convinced him to be tied to the bed and blindfolded for a "massage" then texted the other women to let them know all was ready. They then abused, superglued a sensitive part of the man's body to his thigh, and took off with his cell phone, car and keys. The man and offending appendage are alright, however, all four women are being charged with sexual degradation and the man has become the victim. (For the complete story click here). Is this right?

I know I laughed when I first heard the story, felt a little pity for the man, and then got to thinking. This man not only betrayed and conned over five women, he broke a legally binding contract with his wife. My understanding is that when a man and woman are legally joined together in matrimony they essentially sign an understanding stating that they will be faithful to each other. While this may not show up specifically on the Marriage License it is exchanged in the vows they make to each other. How come, when these vows are broken, there are no legal actions to be taken short of divorce?

My question is this: if a man or woman cheat on each other in the bonds of marriage should there be legal action taken? At the very least the couple should enter counseling, or the offending party should take some kind of "control your hormones" course, kind of like anger management. When there is spousal abuse the law can step in, so why not step-in when there is infidelity (which could arguably be a form of abuse)? What do you think?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Let me give you a few pointers, my Dear

Dear Husband,

It seems that our daily lunch hour phone calls are a little lacking, leaving both of us unsatisfied. I'm here to give you a few kindly suggestions. Let me remind you how today's conversation went:

You: Hello Honey, how's your day going?
Me: Fine. *sigh* I just seem to be having such a hard time getting things's your day been?
You: Um...nothing much going on. Just, you know, the usual. How 'bout you?
Me: I don't know...the kids have been pretty rough.
[uncomfortable pause]
You: else? If not...I guess I'll go...

And that was about all of that. Your desire to quickly get off the phone was oh-so-obvious. I realize you don't like to discuss the unpleasantness of potty training a 2 year old and disciplining a snotty 3 year old and juggling a crying infant, but my dear, welcome to my life. I'm not sure what you expect me to tell you when you call me-regale you with the joys of motherhood and quirky, yet adorable, things our darling, rosy-cheeked children do? Sorry, dearest, but not today.

Let's review that phone call again, this time possibly making a few small tweaks along the way.

You: Hello Honey, how's your day going?
Me: Fine. *sigh* I just seem to be having such a hard time getting things's your day been?
You: It's been ok, although obviously not as rough as your day has been, from the sounds of it. What's the problem?
Me: Well...Toddler keeps taking her pants and diaper off, all while pinching Infant. Preschooler, for some reason, decided it's ok to show all of our neighbors his bare bum while he ran around the yard. [can you tell my kids prefer nudity? they do. it's odd.] Infant is also teething, which makes her naps nearly non-existent. etc. etc. etc.
You: I'm so, so sorry, darling, most beautiful and wonderful wife. You must be so stressed! [yes, real men do use exclamation points] What can I do to make things easier?
Me: Oh, it's ok. That's just life.
You: No, I think you need a break. How about I take the kids off your hands for a while tonight and you can get whatever you need to done/curl up with a good book/finish that craft that's collecting dust. Or, if you'd prefer we can go window shopping for a couch/to NY & Co and buy you a dress/out to dinner [insert any other fabulous suggestion here]. What do you think?
Me:'re probably right. A break/take-out/diamond jewelery usually does a lot of good. Thanks honey, you're so great.

Ahhh, can you feel the love and happiness all around? Now, my dear, consider yourself taught.

Your Loving Wife

Please tell me I'm not the only one whose husband doesn't have a clue what to say on the phone when I'm having a rough day.