I Prefer Porn to My Wife | About Islam
Home > Ask the Counselor > Addictions > I Prefer Porn to My Wife

I Prefer Porn to My Wife

Questioner

R

Reply Date

Jul 25, 2017

Question

As-Salamu `Alaykum. May Allah reward you for your efforts. I am in need of counsel, and I pray to Allah that you are able to help me. I'll be brief although my problems are complex. I am a married man not sufficiently attracted to my wife. At times, I am not even able to perform due to my relative lack of excitement. My wife is young and beautiful; however, I am diseased. That leads to my second problem. I am addicted to porn. Each time I make tawbah (repentance) and think I've stopped, I end up going back. The urges are uncontrollable. As a result of excessive porn viewing over many years, I've become attracted to a very specific type of woman and female body. My wife -- and most other women -- do not fit the bill. This is a tragedy, of course, partly because my life with my wife is not satisfying, and partly because it puts me at risk of committing zina (which I've been more and more tempted to do). Third, my problems with porn have caused me to have very bad thoughts. I feel I am a massive hypocrite. I pray and call people to Allah, yet I commit these horrible, disgusting sins and even feel that I am very capable of committing zina -- a crime punishable by death in Islam. I am a hypocrite. I am plagued by extremes. At times, I make (what feels like) sincere tawbah, and I am overwhelmed with love towards Allah and fear for Hell. It is common for me to be overcome with tears at these times. These are great moments. However, most of the time my heart feels dead, and I don't feel very attached to prayer and other acts. Fourth, although I am knowledgeable about Islam, I have become confused about why Allah has not answered my prayers to cure me of my diseased heart, give me fear of Him, and put these problems behind me. I've made these du`aa', supplications, hundreds and hundreds of times over several years -- including crying on Mount Arafat during Hajj, pilgrimage, -- yet my problems persist. What can I do about my problem of not being very attracted to my wife? I find myself attracted to women I see at work and in the streets who come close to fitting my very specific criteria. (I should point out that my wife is just great otherwise.) What can I do about my disgusting porn habit? I've tried counseling and even meetings for addicts, but nothing worked. Finally, what can I do to avoid being plagued constantly with thoughts of hypocrisy and doubts about why Allah hasn't answered my prayers? Please help. Thank you.

Counselor

Answer


I Prefer Porn to My Wife

In this counseling answer:

Sometimes, in order to reach heaven, we have to walk through hell first so that we can appreciate the gift that awaits us at the end of the journey. The counselor, thus, encourages the brother to do everything he can to make porn inaccessible. He also encourages him to seek professional help for his addiction and strengthen his relationship with Allah (swt).


As-Salamu ‘Alaykum,

I am saddened by the seriousness of your problem and the fact that you have allowed something like pornography to control your life. The Prophet (saw) said about addictions that those with addictions in this life will be resurrected as idol worshippers. This is a serious problem that you have, no doubt.

You have opened the door to pornography and now you cannot close it. Pornography has become a major problem among the men in our community, and we are getting questions in reference to it by the dozen. Porn watching destroys marriages, families, and the lives of those indulging in it. On the surface, it appears harmless because of our ignorance of psychology and how images – especially those of sex – get imprinted in our minds and create a suggestive effect on our nafs (soul/self), stimulating a desire for something that is, of course, illicit.

For example, David Morgan (in Marriott, 2003), consultant clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who counsels men with a history of sexual violence states: “The more time you spend in this fantasy world, the more difficult it becomes to make the transition to reality.” Pornography has, thus, created an entire another world for you – a fantasy world – that is so strong and powerful that it now has you hearing the whisperings to go out and commit zina! So much for “harmless” pornography! As I said, you have opened a door and let a monster into your life. Now, you have to decide – really decide – if you are going to allow that monster to destroy your life, or if you are going to get control of it once and for all.

From what you wrote, brother, there is clearly something missing in your life that you feel pornography is able to fill. There are intimacy and love that is missing, and you are trying to fill the void with soul-less pornography. I think you will find that the more you view it, however, the more you become addicted to it, and that hole in your heart you are trying so hard to fill is actually growing bigger. Your emptiness increases, your despair widens, your lack of control over your life runs amok. You have even mentioned in your question this emptiness that you feel most of the time. That’s because you can never fill the need for real intimacy/love with porn! If your nafs have their way, and you finally give into your desires to commit zina (may Allah protect you from that!), I assure you that it will not be what you thought it would be. Gratification through meaningless sex is not going to help. It will not make that emptiness go away, and you will be right back where you started, having committed a capital crime according to the law of God.

Is that really what you want? All because you want to live out a fantasy that exists only in your mind and is not going to make your emptiness go away? You are being ruled – literally – by a mind filled with illusion. You are living an illusion being taken away from your wife and your life by an illusion. Doesn’t that make you feel angry? Embarrassed? Ashamed? Well, it should! 48084434.cached

You need to find love – true love – which is and can only be the love of Allah (swt). When the love of Allah (swt) is achieved then all one can feel is love; the hole is filled, and there is never any need for resorting to vices for a “quick fix”. Do you feel like that? Do you feel like a drug addict? Well, that is what drug addicts do – they seek quick fixes to deal with the feeling of separation resulting from the big hole they have inside. Addiction is just a means for covering up the deep pain we feel inside. That is what you have to address in the long term if you are ever going to really get past this addiction to porn.

In the meantime, however, you need to do everything you can to make porn inaccessible.

If you view it at home on the Internet, get rid of your Internet. Whatever means you use, get rid of it. Make it really hard for you to access it. That’s one.

Number two is going out and seeking not just any counselor, but a counselor of the heart. Go out and do all you can to find someone who can help you find your heart and teach you how to make Allah (swt) the center of your world. Only Allah (swt) can fill this hole inside of you, but you need to know how to do it. There a very good website called “Purify Your Gaze” run by Muslims who help other Muslims of porn addiction. You may want to seek help from them.

You have let the monster in, and now you need to do something drastic before you destroy yourself, your marriage, and God knows what else. Perhaps when you accept the fact that you need to make some major sacrifices to deal with this problem, then you will see the answer to your du’aa’ you have been asking for. Allah (swt) rewards sincerity, remember. Ikhlas is a prerequisite for the answering of our prayers. Ikhlas translates into “struggle” and “sacrifice”. Think of the drug addict or alcoholic when they go into rehab. They must first go through a period of detox. Go see how that experience is described – nothing less than a living hell. That is the kind of sacrifice that is required to overcome such addictions.

Sometimes, in order to reach heaven, we have to walk through hell first so that we can appreciate the gift that awaits us at the end of the journey. We cannot expect Allah (swt) to answer our prayers before we have made a sincere commitment to change. Remember, it is only when our hearts have changed that Allah (swt) will change our condition. So get to work on your heart and what you need to purify it, to clean it of the idols inside that are taking the form of pornography, and to keep you away from a full life in Islam.

And Allah (swt) Knows best,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides. 

 




About Abdul-Lateef Abdullah

Abdul-Lateef Abdullah, an American convert to Islam, obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science & Economics at the University of Delaware, his Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University, and recently completed his Ph.D. from the Institute for Community & Peace Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, in the field of Youth Studies.

He has worked as a Program Assistant for the Academy for Educational Development (Washington, D.C.); a Social Worker at the Montefiore Medical Center (Bronx, New York); and the Director of Documentation and Evaluation at Community IMPACT! (Washington, D.C.). He has also worked with the the Taqwa Gayong Academy (New Jersey, U.S.A./Penang, Malaysia) for troubled youth, both Muslim and non-Muslim. As a recent (1999) convert to Islam, he spends much time writing about his experiences as a Muslim-American convert. 

Add Comment


find out more!