Escapism is defined by Google, as the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.
I did this.
The reality of my marriage was one that I didn’t like and didn’t want to accept. By our third year of marriage, I was ready to escape any way that I could. I desired to numb the emotional pain that flared up because of unmet expectations of marriage and unmet expectations of how I thought God would and should bless our marriage.
Our relationship was falling apart and I didn’t know how to fix it.
My heart was fragile. And instead of turning to God in my despair…I isolated myself from Him.
This is when I experienced and gave my heart over to escapism. I wanted to escape the pain of my marriage and so I dived into a habit of seeking entertainment to fulfill me. (I mention in detail my struggle with this in Chapter 19 titled Fantasyland of my book The Unveiled Wife.)
This is what I have learned about escapism…
The problem with escaping reality and seeking to be distracted is that while I was distracted with temporary stimulation, my reality worsened. As I spent time enveloped in fantasyland with books and movies, I avoided and neglected my marriage. The stress and source of pain in our marriage intensified. So when I came back to reality, I had all the more reason to quickly go back to fantasyland. A vicious cycle started that grew momentum faster than I could handle. With that momentum, also grew hatred for my situation. I didn’t want to be a wife anymore.
People can escape into different types of entertainment, including:
- Video Games
- Online gaming
This article isn’t to tell you to stop watching movies because it is wrong to do. In fact, the only thing I listed that I would say is absolutely wrong to participate in would be pornography. But it is the motivation to which you engage in these things that can be the reason doing them can contribute devastation in your marriage relationship.
If you are using these forms of entertainment to avoid or neglect your reality, there is a problem.
Based on my experience, if you are escaping into fantasy to distract you from confronting marital issues you are contributing to a vicious cycle that will destroy your marriage.
I know reality can be difficult. I know that there is real pain in marriage. But I also know that if you avoid reality, it will mount up against you. Please be stronger than this. Be brave. Confront the issues and be an advocate of reconciliation in your marriage. It may take time. It will require intentional communication and a willingness to work through your issues. But it will be incredibly worth it.
Then, enjoy entertainment with moderation. Yet, under no circumstance allow yourself freedom to indulge in pornography. Read more of my struggle with it here: 9 Things That Helped Me Overcome Pornography
So how does a person evaluate their life to know whether or not they are escaping reality that is leading them to avoidance or neglect?
I would say if you made it this far in the article you already know if you do this. You may even know the very thing that you escape to. I want to encourage you to first pray and ask God to give you the strength to stop escaping and confront your fears. Repent of doing this and commit to avoid that source of entertainment for a while until you feel healthy again. Ask Him to help you communicate your concerns with your spouse. Ask Him for the courage to initiate reconciliation in your marriage.
God was the one who pointed this out in my heart and He is the one who walked me through healing, giving me the strength and wisdom to face the reality of my marriage and walk boldly into transformation and victory.
If you feel like there might be other ways people can escape into fantasyland and they are not listed above please leave a comment to help others know to be aware.