A few days ago I received an email from a reader of this site, a woman who was responding to some of the articles I’ve written on the subject of pornography. She shared a poem, a bit of free verse she had written in the midst of her husband’s addiction. I wish I could say it was the only email I’ve received from such a woman. Sadly it’s not; not by a long shot. That same day I received another email from another woman looking for resources for dealing with the wife’s response to a husband’s sin (rather a gap in the available literature right now, I think).
Anyway, I thought I would share this poem. It’s a little bit graphic, but only so far as it needs to be. I think it’s particularly heartbreaking in drawing out the clear connection between pornography and violence. And it’s just a realistic look at how so many men are damaging and destroying their wives and families. It’s reality.
So here it is, “I Looked For Love in Your Eyes.”
I saved my best for you.
Other girls may have given themselves away,
But I believed in the dream.
A husband, a wife, united as one forever.
Nervous, first time, needing assurance of your love,
I looked for it in your eyes
Mere inches from mine.
But what I saw made my soul run and hide.
Gone was the tenderness I’d come to know
I saw a stranger, cold and hard
Distant, evil, revolting.
I looked for love in your eyes
And my soul wept.
Who am I that you cannot make love to me?
Why do I feel as if I’m not even here?
I don’t matter.
I’m a prop in a filthy play.
Not an object of tender devotion.
Where are you?
But the hardness in your eyes does not.
You think I’m cold
But how can I warm to eyes that are making hate to someone else
Instead of making love to me?
I know where you are.
I’ve seen the pictures.
I know now what it takes to turn you on.
Women…people like me
Tortured, humiliated, hated, used
Images burned into your brain.
How could you think they would not show in your eyes?
Did you ever imagine,
The first time you picked up a dirty picture
That you were dooming all intimacy between us
Shipwrecking your marriage
Breaking the heart of a wife you wouldn’t meet for many years?
If it stopped here, I could bear it.
But you brought the evil into our home
And our little boys found it.
Six and eight years old.
I heard them laughing, I found them ogling.
Hands bound, mouth gagged.
Fisheye photo, contorting reality
Distorting the woman into exaggerated breasts.
The haunted eyes, windows of a tormented soul
Warped by the lens into the background,
Because souls don’t matter, only bodies do
To men who consume them.
My little boys
Laughing and ogling the sexual torture
Of a woman, a woman like me.
Someone like me.
An image burned into their brains.
Will their wives’ souls have to run and hide like mine does?
When does it end?
I can tell you this. It has not ended in your soul.
It has eaten you up. It is cancer.
Do you think you can feed on a diet of hatred
And come out of your locked room to love?
You say the words, but love has no meaning in your mouth
When hatred rules in your heart.
Your cruelty has eaten up every vestige of the man
I thought I was marrying.
Did you ever dream it would so consume you
That your wife and children would live in fear of your rage?
That is what you have become
Feeding your soul on poison.
I’ve never used porn.
But it has devastated my marriage, my family, my world.
Was it worth it?