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Apr. 15th, 2012 at 11:12 am
Since I have become a member of the blogging world I have read many articles pertaining to modesty. Being raised in the church I was taught the belief that modesty starts at a young age. Beliefs like not allowing your 3 year old wear a sleeveless dress because she will, most assuredly, grow up to be a slut, or worse get pregnant. I bought into those beliefs and for the most part bought clothing that I felt or was taught was modest. Through the years I’ve come to understand that modesty isn’t ‘just’ about the clothing. Tracy M, a very popular blogger, wrote a most exceptional piece on modesty. I loved it and it opened my eyes as to what I was missing, and how I wasn’t including a persons actions to be modest. That post helped me let go of all the old beliefs about modesty and helped me embrace all my new ones.
Now, here’s the conundrum I’m having on modesty. Actually I think it goes deeper than modesty, but.. anyway a little background first. About 2 years into my marriage my husband confided in me that he was addicted to porn. We didn’t go to the bishop then because we thought we could handle it on our own.. plus, really, I had no idea what to do in a situation like that. I wasn’t mad at him, probably because I was new to marriage, sexuality and, well, porn too. We talked about ways that we could communicate about the problems he was having. We half-heartedly made some adjustments to our life style, and that was that. I would ask him through the years how he was doing with it and he would always say good. I don’t think I ever really believed the answers, but what was I to do? The addiction came up again and this time we handled it the way we should have 10 years ago. We went to the bishop, we are going to the 12 step program that the church has put out for people struggling with pornography addiction, and soon we will be starting therapy. We are saying our prayers, reading our scriptures, and this time we actually have a desire to be better people. We- because even though I didn’t look at the porn I totally had my own problems that needed some course correction.
We took our family to Disneyland over Easter break. Suppppper busy, but so much fun. The first day we were there I was amazed at how many young women were in booty shorts. In fact, that’s all I could see all day long is butt cheek hanging out, and it really started bothering me. I started mumbling under my breath to ‘go put some clothes on’. The second day I moved from the booty shorts to the low cut shirts that showed just enough of the breast/bra to make even me do a double take. Again, ‘go cover them things up’ After that it was the see through shirts, then the tight clothing, then the thong underneath the tight clothing, or the thong showing up top the tight jeans. Agh! Seriously, why was anyone even wearing clothes for how little that stuff covered the bodies of those women? It’s all I could see and all I could complain about and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why it was bothering me so much, until I turned to my husband and noticed what he was seeing, and then I just got pissed.
My thoughts went something like this ~ those freaking tramps dressing like whores, flaunting their ass cheeks right in my husbands face. How dare you! I’ll knock your blinking lights out. Go get some freaking clothes on. Really? Why did you even get dressed in the morning? I can see everything including your crotch. Damn, she looks really good? I don’t look that good. Why don’t I look that good? I should exercise more. I should lose more weight. Maybe I should get a boob job. Would he like my boobs perky? I want them back to how they were before these four kids made them drop clear to the ground. Is he looking at her? Did he see her bend over? Wow! She’s kind of hot. What does he think when he sees someone like her?
My thoughts continued like that for the rest of the week. On the ride home everything came into full focus. I love to drive and think. I actually do my best thinking/sorting/letting go/processing while I drive. I have nothing else to do but be with my thoughts and I enjoy it. I knew all of this was bothering me and I was trying to sort out why and what the connection was, we drove through Vegas and all I saw was billboard after billboard about gentlemen’s club this, peep show that, quick peep show, full nudey peep show, topless bar, and the pictures.. the pictures of women’s breasts, legs and butt made me writhe in my seat, and I knew he was looking. How could he not look? And then, that’s when I understood..
And the volcano erupted within my heart…
If my kids hadn’t been in the car I would have gone off on him for looking at the billboards. I would have filled his ears with my intolerance with the men who frequent those clubs, with women who choose to work in those places, on the advertisement companies that put the shiz up in the open for my husband who struggles with an addiction to porn, my three boys, and most especially my young and beautiful daughter to see. I would have given him and ear full on the porn multi-freaking-million dollar industry, the advertisement industry and him, for making ME feel less about myself than I should feel! The rage was so deep within me I couldn’t even say a thing. I couldn’t yell, I couldn’t even cry, so I just sat there in silence.
Tuesday evening I was sitting at the computer and happened upon the clip from MissRepresentation. I’ve seen it before and totally agreed with the information that was given. My sister was visiting and I pulled her over to the computer and said, “here, watch this.” After watching that clip, I found a link to Killing Us Softly 4 and we sat together watching and all the words I wanted to express to my husband, to the women walking around Disneyland, to the advertisement companies were all there in that 15 min clip. STOP sexualizing me!!! STOP treating me like an object that is to be bought, or won, and start treating me like a human being, like a woman, like a partner, like a friend.
There is a link, however small it maybe, that modesty in our clothing is a stepping stone to pornography. I was angry that those women wore the clothes they did. It’s a trigger for my husband. I was angry at my husband for making it a trigger. The thing is… it’s all of our faults. It is our fault women, and it is your fault men. We have allowed for this sexualization to happen for centuries and it won’t ever stop until we decide, in unity, to make it stop! When we decide to teach our children that every human being matters and have a desire to help our fellow man become all that they can become, male or female, then we’ve won.
My husband is a wonderful man, and I love him with all my heart. My purpose in writing this post is not to rat him out. I have had him read this many times to see if he is okay with me sharing such a personal struggle with thousands of people that we don’t even know. I know his sins have pained him, and I honor and respect him for taking the steps that he has taken to better his and our lives. There are thousands of couples out there who’s hearts are breaking, who’s lives won’t ever be the same, and who have no idea the steps to take in a situation such as or similar to mine/ours. I would urge you to seek help in whatever capacity you can, with whomever you feel most qualified, and to also know that you are not alone, both male and female, husband and wife. One day at a time, one step at a time, one second at a time…and with love!