I, Andrew, Take You, Porn, To Be My Wife

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By Andrew Bauman

Pornography use is not merely dependence but intimate relationship. Giving up pornography is not like learning to eat less chocolate or going to the gym more often. It’s more like betraying a lover who you have been committed to your entire adolescent and adult life. Not only a lover who you have been committed to, but a lover who has been even more loyal to you. Porn has always been there for you when no one else was. She soothed and rocked you when you were fearful. She held you when you were lonely, brought you relief when you were heartbroken. Porn has been so good to you. You feel indebted to her for how she has rescued you. The last thing you want is to leave such a sweet refuge and such a blameless lover.

But this sweet haven from harsh reality has now become your prison. Your vow to porn must be broken. This is one divorce that cannot come too soon but must come kindly. We must kindly disavow our commitment to porn, grieve its loss in our lives, and recommit to learning how to do relationship without dependence and obsession.

As you read the marriage ceremony to pornography below, what is evoked in you? Are you aware of how real your relational commitment is to porn? When did you make your vow? Is your relationship to porn something you are willing to grieve and release?

The Marriage Vows to Pornography

Minister: Porn, will you have this man to be your husband; to live together with him in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful unto him as long as you both shall live?

Porn: I will.

Minister: Andrew, will you have porn to be your wife; to live together with her in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful unto her as long as you both shall live?

Andrew: I will.

Andrew faces the bride and takes her right hand in his, then says:

Andrew: In the name of God, I, Andrew take you, Porn, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.

They drop hands. Porn then takes his right hand in hers and says:

Porn: In the name of God, I, Porn, take you, Andrew, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.

Disavowing Marriage to Pornography

Take deep breaths as you prepare to speak aloud. Whenever you are ready to read and ponder the new vow below. Let the words marinate within you. After a few readings, consider reciting the words below out loud with conviction, kindness, and authority?

Andrew: In the name of God, I, Andrew, give myself permission to leave you, Porn. I first want to thank you for being there for me when others were not, for holding me for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, and loving me until death. But now, since I am dying with you in my life, I must break my pledge to you. I must choose a non-addicted life and grow apart from you. I will miss you, but I will no longer choose you. I bless you, and now I must say goodbye. I now release myself from my commitment to you.

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Andrew J. Bauman is a licensed mental health counselor with a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. He and his wife, Christy, run Collective Hope Counseling in Seattle, Washington, and Andrew is the author of The Psychology of Porn, Floating Away, Stumbling Toward Wholeness and (with Christy) A Brave Lament. His Healing Change website can be found at this link. He is the author of several books, including The Psychology of Porn, Stumbling Toward Wholeness, A Brave Lament, and Floating Away: A Book to Help Children Understand Addiction.