How to Deal with a Husband’s Pornography Use: A Man’s Perspective

How to Deal with a Husband's Porn Use
Yesterday I asked the question, “Is Porn Cheating”? That was an interesting discussion, but one comment that really stood out with me was left by a Christian man who had been addicted to porn and had emerged on the other side. I’d like to post that comment pretty much in its entirety here, because it’s so good and I want to make sure that you all see it. Then I’ll add my own thoughts to the end. So here we go:

I have been a Christian since I was 8 and grew up in a good Christian home but pornography can get to anyone. I am a Christian husband that struggled with pornography. I could have been considered an occasional user. I could go days and even weeks without any issues, but eventually that temptation came back. Let me first say to the wives, this is hurting your husband more than you will ever know, especially if they are trying to be a strong and obedient follower of Christ. Also know, it is NOT your fault for him using. It is their sin and their responsibility. They are defiling themselves and the marriage bed by using it. As a Christian, I was so ashamed and embarrassed by the fact that I was caught up in pornography. I tried to hide it and this was the worst thing that I could have done. I didn’t feel like a good man or a good Christian. I hated the fact that I could not stop and I felt so disgusted with myself that I was using that junk. I have been going through a separation and now divorce for nearly 2 years now and I took over a year to figure out what was wrong with me. I had family, friends, pastors, a good Christian counselors, and an accountability partner by my side. Once this sin was in the open, the desire to use pornography slowly just disappeared.

The biggest thing I learned was that as a man, I had no clue what intimacy was.
As a man, I saw intimacy and sex as the same thing. This is false and a complete lie from Satan. Sex cannot meet the man’s need for intimacy. I can see how there are so many men that were never taught what true intimacy is, and I believe this is the responsibility of a father to teach their sons. My relationship with my father was a huge barrier my entire life until this occurred. I thought getting married and having sex with my wife would resolve all my issues, when in fact, it made it worse. When my expectations were not met, I turned to pornography instead of opening up to my wife. I didn’t know how to open up to her, I didn’t know how to be intimate with her, and I didn’t know how to be her best friend. I thought a man holds things in and deals with it himself, another lie from Satan. That is not a man. More importantly, I didn’t know how to have an intimate relationship with Christ. This is where it all starts.

Before a man can be a good husband and strong man, he has to learn how to be intimate with God. I read dozens of books and studied the bible to figure out what it takes to be a man of God, a Godly husband, and a Godly father. This changed my life forever. Only God can give me strength to be a man and overcome my failures. I am only strong in Him. A man that uses pornography or any addiction is weak and he needs to be broken. He needs to humble himself to God to get back on the path to righteousness.

Women, take this advice. Help your husbands become the man he is called to be. In this situation, love has to be tough. Do not let him become a selfish and immature man that is out for his own desires. If he will not stop using for you, tell someone immediately no matter how upset he may become. Do not think of it as hurting him, believe me, you are helping him more than you will ever know. Tell a close friend of his to confront him, or tell a pastor to confront him. He needs help. Now that I am free from the bondage of pornography, I feel unbelievable. With pornography, I felt like I was a little boy trapped in a cage trying to become a man. Without pornography, I am free to give everything to God. I am free to love God with all my heart, soul, and mind. I am free to love others and be the sacrificial man I am called to be. I want to love my wife and sacrifice everything for her more than anything, but I have lost her. I have three children that I can give freely too and love with everything I have. I have not lost them and praise God for that.

I promise you, if your husband is truly a Christian who wants to be obedient, he will thank you down the road for speaking up and stopping the sin that is in his life. Remember, pornography is a purely selfish act to meet his own needs. He is not thinking of your needs, his families needs, or anybody else needs. A man is to sacrifice everything for his wife and family. Pornography is the complete opposite. Pornography destroys a man’s heart and mind. He ends up living in a fantasy world. Wives, save your husbands before they are in to deep and they end up in a world they cannot get out of. Thank God, I never got to that point.

That’s the voice of a Christian man who has truly found healing from porn because He turned to God. I hope that this can give women encouragement that healing for their own situation can also come. But let me highlight a few key things:

1. A Husband’s Porn Use Is Not About You

As I said yesterday, over and over again, when men break the porn habit, they will say that it wasn’t because of their wives that they turned to porn. It’s not because you’re not beautiful enough, or not sexy enough. Of course, if you never have sex with your husband, he may turn to porn because he’s frustrated (though this is still wrong). But that’s the minority of the cases. In most cases, it’s because something was broken inside of him.

So if you find out that your husband is involved in porn, know that you don’t have to compete. You don’t have to try kinkier things, or buy racy lingerie, or become a size 2. Even if you did, that wouldn’t solve the problem. It is something that has sucked him in, and the way out is not by you competing or changing. It’s just by healing from God.

I know you feel so angry, and so used, and so degraded, and so rejected. But, as much as possible, try to transfer your anger onto the porn industry and not on your husband. I’ve known men who have been sucked in as children. They saw it inadvertently, or they were shown it by a friend. And they found the images exciting, so they kept seeking them out. Picture your own son at 9 or 10 being exposed to it. You wouldn’t be angry at him; you would be horrified. And the problem is that once they’re exposed, it’s so hard to stop.

Many of these guys have been on that road for that long. They want to stop. They don’t like the dirty feeling they have, either. I know what they’re doing is wrong, but if you can become their ally in helping them stop and in upholding them in prayer, rather than attacking them, I think you’ll find you can get through this together much better.

2. A Husband’s Porn Use Can’t Be Ignored

If your husband is using porn, you cannot ignore it. It won’t just go away.  All the people that I have talked to who have been healed of porn were healed because they sought outside help (or their wives forced it on them). One woman who commented yesterday, and whose story I know, called her brothers who came over, had a stern talking to with the husband, and then announced that they were disconnecting the satellite and the internet. The man had been addicted to porn since he was 8, and this was the beginning of healing. He was a Christian just like this commenter was, and he felt so terrible about it.

So confront your husband about it, and if he won’t stop, seek out a mentor (just one!) who is wise whom you can talk to about next steps. But I firmly believe that in most cases, those next steps likely include asking a good friend of his to confront him, or asking a pastor to confront him. I’d go with the friend first, before the pastor, because you don’t want to endanger his relationship at the church. But as this commenter says, “tell someone immediately no matter how upset he may become.” Do not let the admonition to be submissive keep you from confronting sin, or make you enable sin. It won’t get better on its own.

3. Healing from Porn Use Needs Forgiveness

The other thing that stands out to me in this comment is that this man came to a genuine place of healing and forgiveness, and has found wholeness, and yet his wife has left him anyway. I find that heartbreaking.

I know another couple where something similar happened. The husband had been involved in porn, and had also had some one night stands. But he had been going to counselling, and he had been working at things. But the wife had been walking through these problems for so many years, and she was tired. And one day she met another man who made her feel alive again.

So she left her husband. She claimed she had grounds–he had committed adultery, and he had used porn. The problem, though, was that these things had been in the past. Even the porn use, if he had slipped, was getting better and he was seeking help. So she had stayed with him through the worst, but as he was getting counselling and getting better she chose to leave.

This is actually quite common. During the worst times the wife is so downtrodden and so depressed that she doesn’t have the energy or self-esteem to leave. But as the counselling progresses, and she starts to get healing, and he starts to get better so that she’s not just focused on survival mode anymore, she often leaves.

So let me say very clearly: you cannot claim a past sin that has been dealt with is grounds to leave your husband. If he has confessed his sin and is trying to work towards God, then you can’t just up and leave.

This is a really touchy subject, because I don’t want people to take what I said yesterday that “sometimes you have to separate” to mean that anyone can just divorce because of this. Lots of women want out, and they see this as justification. It’s not. Sometimes you have to separate if life has become unbearable just to protect yourself and the kids and to jolt him into seeking healing. And if that separation doesn’t work, and he chooses to stay away from you, I think there are times divorce may be okay. But this is the vast minority of cases, and this is NEVER the case if the man is seeking healing.

The Christian story is beautiful not because people can be holy in Christ, but because Christ can take vessels that are filthy and dirty and redeem them so that they become the most beautiful and the most useful. It is often those who have gone through the most who are the most anointed by the Spirit. When Christ heals in a big way, there is little else more beautiful in this world. Do you not want to be a part of that?

My commenters’ kids must be hurting so much. When you leave your husband, the kids bear the brunt of it. Please don’t do that to them lightly. And if your husband is seeking healing, support him in that. Do not let your anger at him or your fear or your shame make you break up a family. The most dangerous time for you will be when your husband seeks healing, because up until then God had you and the devil had your husband. The devil isn’t going to be happy, and he’s going to turn to you. You’ve come so far as a couple already. Don’t let the devil win.

So please, when healing is happening, work through your own issues so that you can forgive your husband and rebuild. I know that healing isn’t present for everyone, and my heart aches for those of you who so long for it. But I pray that you will listen to these commenters’ words, shed light on your husband’s problem, and then see what God can do. And even if God never heals your husband, remember that He can still heal you.

The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex has a whole section on how to reclaim your sex life after a porn addiction–and lots of stories of people who have come through to the other side! Check it out here.

Comments

  1. My heart is breaking as I read this… at the end of December my husband reluctantly let me see his goals for 2012. One of them was to stop lusting and another was to have sex at least once a week. I had known that lustful thoughts was something he struggled with, but I thought it was getting better. As I read that, my world fell (again) and I just wanted to run away.

    We have been married just under 3 years and it’s been tough from the get go. It was clear in the beginning that my sex drive seemed to be higher than his. I want to kiss and hug and touch ALL of the time. Him, not so much. I’ve tried to do my part by working hard at keeping myself healthy and fit, yet I’ve lost something in the last few years. I want to have confidence again… After reading some of your postings and the comments, I have started to act and not just talk, but to no avail. I wore something sexy, but comfortable for him when he got home… he just looked at me, almost with disgust, and said ‘what are you wearing THAT for?’ I took so much for me to put that outfit on. I prayed about it all day, asking God to take my thoughts that were not from him. I want to be obedient and I so want my husband to want me. After his reaction, I tried so hard to fight back the tears that all I could think to say was “to be comfortable.”

    Now, all I can think about is that the bottom has finally fallen out. All I want to do is leave. Start over. Get away from him. Please pray for us tonight, as I am going to control him (again) for the first time this year. Also, please pray with me to find someone to tell to hold him accountable.

    • Becca, I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. I can see how unloved you must feel. I guess the good thing is that your husband is aware of the problem and is trying to move forward, too. That’s positive! I think finding a mentor for him is a really good idea, but it may be good for you to find someone older that you can talk to, too, to keep yourself grounded. You’ve obviously got a lot of self-esteem issues happening that are related to your marriage, and it’s important to have someone holding us to the truth, and not letting us believe lies about ourselves.

      I’ll pray for you tonight.

      • Thank you so very much for your prayers. My husband and I had a great conversation last night. He openly shared struggles I wasn’t aware of, dispelled some lies I was believing, and we have come up with a plan to move forward. I know that this will be a journey, but I am thankful we will take it together.

        • Becca, that’s wonderful! I’m so glad. I think the fact that your husband was actually wanting to make change for 2012 was a very good sign, and if you were able to talk about it, that’s wonderful. Just keep working on your friendship. If you can spend time together and laugh together, doing just about anything, than you can usually manage to navigate problems together and figure out the bedroom together, too.

          • Hi Becca
            I know some time has gone past since this was first posted ,I am wondering how the relationship is now?
            I was dissapointed when I read Sheila’s comments about having self esteem issues.It makes it like that you have the issue and if if your self estenn was better your husband would be more attracted to you.There is a strong probability that there is nothing wrong with your self esteem and anyone in this type of relationship would suffer somewhat.Hopefully you havent suffered anymore or at least hung around to figure it out.Remember this is someone else’s self esteem issues and while we can try and help,at the end of the day,we cant nmake that person do anything-but we do have control over ourselves and that is one thing we cant see diminish.All the best.

          • Anonymous says:

            Sheila, I find your post written from a guy who was addicted to porn, then lost his wife, quite upsetting. I have been married for 16 years and 3 years ago my husband finally confessed he had been addicted for thirteen years of our marriage, actually, since the age of 12. I had found something on the computer 10 years before he confessed. For those 10 years, I was lied to, yelled at, screamed at, blamed for being unforgiving, having no redemption, that it was just once and I had no redemption. He made out I was crazy and that I had an ‘over-active imagination’. And he lied to me, right to my face for 10 years. Having been through it, I can completely understand why that guy’s wife left. Broken trust, lies and deceit, pornography. I also have a chronic illness that I’d had in remission but the stress of my husband’s addiction caused a relapse. Please don’t give this guy all the pity. His wife had a right to leave. Also, you say people can’t up and leave for adultery ‘in the past’. Where in the bible does it say this? Yes…they can. If I committed adultery 10 minutes before my husband found out…that would be ‘in the past’. Sorry this guy lost his wife, but please don’t blame her. I have stayed with my husband because I have a daughter that needs care, and due to my health, I am unable to support her and myself. I think your post ‘downplays’ the severity of this on wives. Please don’t pity the husband. Us wives have been through enough.

    • I’m not sure anyone will actually see this, but I am dying to talk to Christian women who are going through the same thing I am going through. I can’t talk to the women we go to church with. I am ashamed. I don’t want them to look at my husband differently….
      In 2003, I woke up in the middle of the night and caught my husband watching a late night tv show that had scantily clad women, with his pants around his ankles. My world collapsed. He told me it was my fault. That I didn’t make myself sexually available often enough. So, I reeeeeally tried to change that and he promised he wouldn’t do it again.
      We have had a few rounds where I was sure he was doing it again, but he promised me… Time and time again. He was just tired, I didn’t have the right underwear on, etc.
      Well, mid October, I found evidence that he couldn’t dispute. He tried, but I knew the truth. He has since admitted that he never really stopped. He claims that it isn’t porn, because he only watches things on youtube where the girls are wearing bikinis or lingerie. He says that for a while, he was doing it 2 or 3 times a day. Every chance he got.
      He hasn’t watched anything in over 2 months now. He says he loves me and wants to be married to me, that he finds me attractive… But, his desire is GONE. The only way he can ‘finish’, is manually. While I am proud of him for not giving in to temptation, I need him to try to repair what he has broken in me, too. I’ve tried to tell him. And, I have been researching things on the internet… Most of them say that loss of sex drive after quitting porn is totally ‘normal’, for lack of a better word.
      I love him so much. I have loved him since I was 15 (32 now). I just want to be close to him. I’m not sure how to get past this, though. :(

      • KC, I just found out that my husband has been viewing women on youtube and it just made my heart sick.

        I confronted him on it and he admitted it. I told him how that made me feel and that although he is sorry I told him he needs to repent of his behavior to God. It’s not enough to be sorry in my opinion…repentance is about doing a 180 and turning your back on it.

        We have now discussed and agreed about him not using the internet alone and I’ve changed settings on youtube and our computer to keep certain material unavailable.

        I really think there are few keys to seeing healing happen: open honest communication, a new dedication to being in relationship with God through prayer and bible reading, accountability, prayer for your husband and your marriage. I realize more and more that I cannot change my husband only God can. I can’t make my husband read his bible or pray but I can ask God to give him a desire for God.
        I’m saying a prayer for you and your marriage today.

        • Thanks for the response. It’s been about 5 months since everything blew up, now. My husband hasn’t viewed anything in the last 5 months, but he still struggles with the images left in his brain, and lingering (for lack of a better word) on the covers of magazines in the store he works at, and even with ‘checking out’ women who come into the store. I feel like we are still in the process of healing, and I am beginning to wonder if we will ever be completely healed… His loss of sensation has really had an effect in our bedroom. It’s hard not to take that personally, but I know that he is still healing… as am I. The biggest change for the better has been communication! It is soooo important to talk with our spouses. And, don’t leave anything out… The good, bad and ugly. I’ll be praying for your marriage, too. Keep praying for mine! We need it!

          • Rochelle says:

            Hi. I was wondering if you perhaps can tell me what is the time frame for restoring ” sensation” to the bedroom. My husband has been struggling with the issue repeatedly over the last 3-4 years and he has sworn to not watching porn again since April last year. Problem is that he still unable to perform and i am so worried that he never really stopped. Or maybe i am just being paranoid.

          • Rochelle, that’s really quite common. What I’d suggest is that you start some exercises to restore intimacy. Spend lots of time having baths together, being naked together, talking together, even praying together if you can. And then spend time just touching. What happens is that he has a hard time experiencing arousal without the stimulation of porn, even if he’s not using porn anymore. You have to retrain the brain to find intimacy with a person sexy again, and it takes some exercises. I’ll be working on an ebook this summer to hopefully launch in the fall about how to go through this process. If you don’t want to miss it, sign up for my marriage newsletter here and you’ll be notified when it’s ready! Best wishes,
            Sheila.

        • Hi guys, I have been reading through some of he comments here and I felt I had to write. I too am a Christian and about 18 months ago, I found out that my husband was addicted to porn. When I find out, we had been married for seven years. I had no idea, apart from the fact that he struggled with intimacy and I out this down to abuse and neglect in childhood. I still think that has something to do with it, but the fact is, he struggles with intimacy. I also have a much higher sex drive than him.
          Well I found out that all throng our dating days, marriage and engagement he had been looking at this stuff. I was completely devastated. In fact, there are no words. I just can’t describe it. I confronted him and (I had found porn before and my parents had found his porn on their computer.) so I told him I was going to the church elders as he hadn’t stopped even though this was the 4th time I had caught him.
          So after meetings with our church elders and some counselling, we are on the road to recovery. Thank God for his mercy. It has been beyond hard, I couldn’t have survived it without God. Honestly. I would have left him, I nearly did. (Nearly as in, I had my stuff packed and was ready to go and God said to me, ‘Don’t you believe I can heal this man?’ ) so I cried my eyes out for two hours, unpacked my bags and prayed. This has brought me closer to God than I have ever been. And my relationship with Him as been strong (not perfect) since.
          What I want to say is, this is a hard situation. But God can heal your spouse. Trust Him. From someone who has been there. I feel your hurt. I know how it feels. I really do. Pray and ask God to help. We are not there yet, but we are on the way. Please don’t give up.

          • PS sorry for he spelling mistakes. I type really fast and the iPad doesn’t like it!!!!!

          • LearnedTheTruth says:

            Gina,
            Wow! As I read your comment, for a moment I thought I had wrote it and changed my name! Unbelievable how close your story (although short) resembles mine to a tee. I’m thankful to God for allowing me to “happen” upon this site and blog at 3:00 a.m. today.
            The short story is that after 20 years of marriage and what I thought was a very good relationship, my husband shut down. We had met at church, I was divorced after a 15 yr marriage and 3 children. We hit it off and dated for 2 years before he proposed. We were both so happy and talked about things that could effect our marriage and agreed to things such as never going into a bar without the other one (even tho we didn’t frequent those type places but wanted to cover all the possibilities that could happen) but we never once covered the “porn” aspect. After he started shutting down and saying things to me such as “I just don’t feel anything, I don’t get erections anymore” etc, we chalked it up to his sleep deprivation from sleep apnea, financial stress and just the daily stresses of life. We still had sex now and then, and to the best of my recollection, never went more than 3 weeks without it. Yes, I was postmenopausal and he is much younger than I am, I still very much enjoyed it once we got started, it was just getting started :) After a couple of years like that, he totally shut down and became very agitated and seemed to just glare at me when I would speak to him. I suddenly didn’t know who this man was that I was married to. I confronted him one day about his feelings and ask him if he loved me and he said yes of course, I asked if he was in love with me and he just sat there with big tears in his eyes in silence and said “I don’t know.” I thought I would throw up right there in the car on the side of the road. I was devastated to say the least. I became hurt and angry and just wanted to RUN. But where? I packed my suitcase and was going to leave at least for a few days and he went crazy begging me not to, to give him time to figure it out. We went to counseling for a while to no avail,his reasons when I asked him what I had done to cause this were “just all kinds of things” “you rejected me for months at a time” (this is so untrue) “You made me feel so lonely and worthless, like I thought I married this wonderful woman but after you rejected me, I felt like maybe you weren’t such a good wife after all” things like that…it was all my fault! I have read every book I could find that had to do with love, marriage, respect for my husband etc. It wasn’t until he finally started opening up a bit and getting things off his chest, that he mentioned that he had even had to watch porn because I had rejected him that I started researching this new information and that is where I found the complete description of my husband. He hasn’t touch me in over a year and a half, He has recently started hugging me goodbye and he might hold my hand for 10 seconds but that’s about it…but for that I am grateful and thankful. God is working in his heart and life, Because of what I’ve been through and the pouring out of my heart to God, I have to say that I am thankful for this journey because I now have a closer walk with the Lord than I have ever had. I have found material for him to read and he is reading it a little at a time. My problem now is, I have fought and fought to save my marriage and figure out what I could change about myself to make it better only to find out that this is NOT my doing and not my fault. I need prayer to be able to hang in here and not have an attitude and hold on to this hurt but to let it go and let God heal our relationship with both Him and between the two of us.

          • Praying for you! That certainly is so, so hard, and the porn use ISN’T your fault. I’d just really encourage you to hold your husband accountable and make sure he talks to someone like a pastor, a counselor, or even a friend, and gets some accountability. Porn addictions rarely get defeated without some help.

  2. I found it interesting how that man’s comment indicated how much viewing pornography hurts the man, in regards to their inner struggles with shame, ebarrassment, guilt, etc. We often focus on the wives’ pain (which I know first hand is very real!), but fail to relate with the pain that the viewer is experiencing. I know my husband’s story is almost a carbon copy of this man’s comment. I also agree that it is very important to seek help. Viewing pornography is like a mushroom that keeps growing in the darkness. It needs to be brought into the light, but not for the reasons of shedding a bad light on our husbands, but in the hopes of healing and restoration. Our Christian counsellor was an amazing help to us as was our family and pastors. Another essential healing tool were the online courses (for viewers and for spouses) from http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com. God is a God of healing and it’s wonderful when as Sheila said, those who have been redeemed become the most beautiful and the most useful. Praise the Lord for healing, forgiveness and restoration!
    Anna Vos recently posted…Wifey WednesdayMy Profile

    • So true, Anna. I think there’s a misunderstanding of submission that says that we have to put up with him using pornography. I think that’s enabling. In a marriage, your relationship should point people to Christ, not away from Christ. If what you’re doing is helping your husband to move further away from Christ, there’s a problem. And if you’re enabling his porn by covering for him, or by having sex after he’s become aroused by porn, then you’re cementing his heart into a dark world. I agree; we need light on the problem. That DOESN’T MEAN, of course, that we tell everyone we know. I’d choose one, or at most two, godly, wise people who can keep their mouths shut to help you. But we need to recruit that help! Thanks for your comment and for coming back to the blog. And thanks for all you and Paul are doing together.

    • I’ve never written on this site before so I don’t know who I am replying to, but when I read this my heart broke all over again. I too along with so many other wives, discovered my husband’s porn usage around Christmas time and I’m just recently have been able to shed tears about it. Before I would have violent physical reactions to certain thoughts, sexual images that I would see out in public, and then when I would see men on their “smart ” phones (which is where he did most of his viewing)I would almost fall to the ground, vomit or just crumble inside. I have lost 25 lbs in the last 4 months since I have no appetite. These reactions, I’ve learned, are likened to post traumatic stress disorder type reactions. I’m trying to get past this, but there are so many issues, lies, directions that I need to address that I don’t know where to start my healing process. I go to sites that offer help, but it just triggers more pain and it debilitates me. I am of no use at work or at home. I am a Christian, but I feel so weak and immature because I cannot seem to get my act together regarding the deep emotional pain this has caused. I can’t even begin to “help” my husband I am so upset with him. I don’t understand why this hurts so incredibly bad. I feel betrayed in the deepest way, insulted and lied to by the man I love. But then I learn that this is all “normal” and that God created men to be stimulated visually by beautiful women even when they are not their wives. Are we really supposed to be OK with that and accept it and actually pray for our husband’s? I’m just so angry! Why do they want their wives to be these “godly women” but they get to be stimulated, entertained by, the naughty women in porn on the side???!!!! Of course they don’t want US to be that way, but that is what turns them on. I don’t get it and it’s not fair. then I end up getting very angry with God for creating men with these desires for women OTHER THAN THEIR WIVES! ugh! Help.

      • We are living in a fallen world where Satan still has much power, yet we want to build Godly relationships within such a world. In order to succeed, we need to be ready to combat all that Satan my throw our way. If we want to build a God-centered family, we have to create inner unity with God but also help our spouse to unite with God internally. Love, forgiveness and patience are necessary in the process of assisting our spouses.
        Tossa recently posted…cheonjutongil: Assuming the goodness of others allows us to love unconditionally. See others as God’s children allows us to feel compassion for their pain.My Profile

      • I am in the same boat. Ive DONE what counsellors said ‘dont’ make any hasty decisions right now to leave cause your emotions are gonna be really out there’… so I stayed.. for a year and a half!!!!! Now I find out like 1/3 more of what he’d actually done. He’s very repentant – and i believe he’s sorry. But i am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ANGRYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ive TRIED. Ive WAITED. He’s given me reason to believe he hasn’t done it since… but YES im scared of the future. My heart cannot take another blow. We’ve been through so much pain! I don’t want to wait another 10 years freaked out of what he may be doing AGAIN behind my back. I feel like I could walk with him through this if he was just a christian brother, but he’s my husband. Ive given him my heart. It’s way way different.

        • Sara, I know you’re angry and you’re heartbroken and you’re scared. The only things I can tell you is that leaving will likely not make those things better. You’ll suspect the next guy, too, and you’ll add all kinds of other issues to your problems. If he’s really repentant, and he really wants to get your marriage better, then perhaps he’d agree to talk to someone with you. It may be good for both of you to seek counselling so you can work through your anger. The thing about leaving is that the anger will still be there. You still have to deal with it. You’ve been hurt. He did horrible things to you. But at some point you need to figure out how to get beyond that for your sake and your kids’ sakes. I truly believe that God can help you through that, but it certainly isn’t easy. It’s just that leaving, in the end, is likely harder!

          I can also tell you that I’ve spoken to so many women whose husbands have had affairs, and broken trust horribly, and they have managed to pull back together. So it can be done, with God’s help. But you can’t do it alone!

          • Though I haven’t yet divorced my husband, I just can’t imagine how to ever get over my Hs porn addiction. I don’t feel good in his presence, much less nude. When he compliments me, it only feels like placation, so I don’t like it…at all. I managed to get through thirty years of marriage with him, though I never felt fully comfortable with him when I first found he was using porn. I never felt fully confident sexually again. I never felt cherished again. I recently found that he has been indulging again. When I was younger, it was easier to digest. Now that I’m older, there is no way I can perceive having any kind of sexual connection with him, though I still have sexual feelings that I feel I must ignore. He has literally thousands of images to call on, and none of them I’m sure are of women my age. I feel like I have to abstain from sex entirely, just because he had to have his thrills. That, creates resentment too.

        • Hi Sara,
          I wanna pray for you. I totally understand. I really do. You are in no way alone. Have you got someone you can talk to whenever you need, a friend or someone?

      • I hear you. This is my first day on here after dealing with pornography for 12 years on and off. I also feel broken inside. When I fear that my husband has looked at pornography I vomit and get panic attacks. I do not know what to do. I have tried to make myself ok with the idea of him doing this. I used to get irate and scream and throw things hoping he would see my pain. Now all I do is ball up in a ball and cry. I have noticed myself cursing God because this is mostly what I pray about, to no avail. However, we need to remember that God is not the reason for this Satan is. If we get mad, get mad at Satan. I have learned not to pray that God refrains my husband from pornography. I now pray that he gives me strength to recover. Please read the Serenity Prayer and keep it on hand. Hopefully this prayer does wonders for you. It has gotten me through years of pain.

      • I feel exactly like Shelly G. The worst part is I’ve been married for 29 years & everything was good until we got digital cable & the internet 2 years ago. That is when my husband began watching porn behind my back, and our all around relationship plummeted. One night I discovered my husband viewing & let’s say enjoying it IMMENSELY, and the images in my head ever since, are like a cancer growing in my mind. I really believe he is not viewing anymore, and he really is making very sincere efforts to make amends to me. However, much as I try, I can’t forgive him. I really feel as though he cheated on me with porn, and I can’t get passed it. I really want to forgive him, but I fear our marriage is going to end over this. Lately, I’ve been thinking in a way that I never thought in our very long marriage. My thoughts have turned to how to NOT love my husband anymore. And, I feel terrible & guilty about this. I have never allowed the thought of another man to enter the picture. I don’t think I would ever want another man. But, I’m also beginning to think that maybe I don’t want my husband either. I just can’t take the pain of feeling betrayed by him.. It follows me wherever I go day & night, even in my dreams. I don’t eat right, can’t sleep, can barely work (and don’t even want to go to work), and just can’t function normally in general. The worst part is, I want to HURT him, emotionally, the way he hurt me, because I know he cannot fathom the pain I am experiencing. With all of these awful feelings I am having, I just don’t know what to do, and I’m beginning to think that leaving him may be the answer, because I know he would be shocked & I know it would hurt him. Am I terrible? I don’t know.

        • Sandy, I’m so sorry you feel this way and that you’re so hurt! I know the betrayal is so difficult, and many, many women are in exactly the same boat.

          Can I recommend a few things to see if you can get over the hump? First, it really sounds like you could use someone in real life to talk to who understands. Try to find a female mentor to share with who won’t blab about your husband’s issues to everyone she knows, and who will also work towards helping rebuild the marriage (not someone who will just say, “the pig! You should dump him!”). Find someone who is honestly invested in everyone’s best interests.

          It really sounds like you could use some support and someone to lean on.

          I also don’t know if you have kids, but I’d just say that, as difficult as this is, your kids really need you to work this out. You said that your husband has stopped, and that he feels badly about it. That’s wonderful. You’re miles ahead of wives who have husbands who don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. This is a good thing.

          And if he does feel badly, then at some point you’re going to have to forgive him, because it sounds like you’re torturing yourself in holding on to the anger. You can’t eat and you can’t sleep. That’s not healthy. And it’s hurting everyone involved. And hurting him won’t really solve the problem.

          I think that what you want–what we all really want–is an intimate relationship where we feel so close to someone and we feel like they genuinely accept and love us. You can’t get to that while you’re angry. And if you leave him, you lessen your chances for finding it with someone else, and you add a whole other layer of guilt and dysfunction on top of everything else.

          Your husband did something wrong that seriously hurt you. But it’s now in your court about whether you’re going to let that hurt define you and your relationship, or whether you’re going to be able to move past it and forgive him and rebuild the relationship. There’s really nothing your husband can do at this point. It’s your decision.

          That’s hard, I know, and that’s why I really think you need another woman to talk with and pray with who can help you through this. Sometimes when we’re only in our own heads things become so BIG. When we talk them out, they become more manageable. And when we pray them out with another person, God steps in and does amazing things.

          I hope that helps, and I wish you all the best,
          Sheila.

          • Hi Sheila, Thank you for replying to me. Sometimes it’s comforting just to know that someone cares & understands. Perhaps I should give you a little more info about my situation. Initially, when I discovered my husband’s porn use, I couldn’t believe he would do that to me because this is a 2nd marriage for both of us. Both of our first spouses were cheaters, and before my present husband & I married we had long talks about what were deal breakers, & that included porn. We agreed that it was cheating, so he knew & understood my position on this. Also, when I discovered his porn use, he would not even give me the respect of validating my feelings. His comments were, “C’mon, it’s no big deal”, “At least I didn’t really cheat”, and things like “Stop overreacting. You are ridiculous. ” He continued this humiliating tirade for about 4 months. When I started looking up articles that said porn is cheating, he told me, “Stop getting such stupid ideas off the internet; it’s filling your head with air”. It was only when I started to demean him as a Christian man, that he began to relent. The thing is, he only feels bad about hurting me. He really doesn’t see anything wrong with porn. In fact, just 2 weeks ago he told me that he wished I would watch porn with him. Apparently he hasn’t changed his latest views on porn, & that’s why I’m where I’m at.

          • Hi Sandy,

            A reader just emailed me this comment to your comment. She didn’t want to post it herself because she wants to remain anonymous, but she wants to pass this along to you:

            Don’t leave your husband or stop loving him. I am in the same boat as you, but I’m discovering some wonderful resources that are helping me understand his struggle, helping me to forgive and not blame myself.

            God wants you in this marriage; Satan does not.

            The books that are helping me include:
            For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and some others.
            Feel free to email me if you want to support one another.

          • Hi Sheila, Thank you so much for forwarding me the advice from a reader. I wish I could email, but unfortunately, I use a shared email, not personal or private. It has been 2 months since I last commented, and I now feel in a slightly better place. I am no longer contemplating leaving my husband. I am putting all of my efforts into forgiving him. I have read many books and articles, including the one recommended by your reader. In fact, I read anything I can get my hands on, and they have all helped. But, I think what helped also is, I had 2 very close male friends who I had been friends with since we were in elementary school. I was always able to talk to them about anything, and with my husband’s approval, I got their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on the subject. They had both watched porn (a bit) in their younger years, but not since they were married, and yet, they were able to give me a perspective on viewing porn that actually helped me. One thing about my husband’s porn viewing that bothered me immensely, was thinking that the only reason he didn’t cheat on me in real life was because he was a master of fantasy cheating. Meaning, he would replace the onscreen man with himself and imagine that he was the man having sex with that onscreen woman. It made me feel that he purposely imagined himself cheating on me with that onscreen woman, to prevent himself from real cheating. I even told my husband that the only reason he didn’t cheat on me in real life was because he had perfected the fantasy cheat, and was now the “Master of Fantasy Cheating”. My husband has always been a quiet sort of guy, but when I would say that he would respond with, “No.It wasn’t like that at all. You have it all wrong. ” So, I would say “Well, explain it to me”. He would always tell me that he loved me, would never cheat on me, and would never imagine himself cheating on me. So, I would ask, “Then what do you imagine, if you don’t imagine yourself cheating on me”. My husband’s response, “Just sex and nothing more”. Well, I was lost and to be honest had no idea what he was talking about, until I talked to my 2 male friends who were better able to explain exactly what my husband meant. Through my male friends, I learned that my husband was not pretending to have sex with the onscreen women. It was just the image of two people having sex that excited him and that is all. My husband even told me that the onscreen people never even had faces, they were just an abstract sexual image in his mind. He told me, but I didn’t listen and worse I didn’t want to believe him. Now I do, after talking to my friends and hearing the same things coming from them. In a strange way, I think I wanted to be a victim. I’m not saying I enjoyed my position, but at the time it was easier than trying to understand where my husband was coming from, because he made me so angry and so hurt. But I no longer feel the need to be a victim and I really think I have a better understanding of the whole issue. Now I’m not saying that I’m completely healed. I’m not.I still have some awful feelings at times. But,I do feel that I am getting better. And I do think my 2 best male friends helped me. Sadly, they both (yes, both),passed away shortly after helping me. One had a chronic illness but seemed to be doing okay, but then, he took a sudden turn for the worse, and that was it. The other died of a sudden heart attack. I am devastated, but I feel honored that they spent their last days helping me. How can I not listen to their advice? Also, it was a wake up call to how frail life is. My friend’s wives both lost their husbands. I have mine, and I want to love him the best that I can. I really do know that my husband is sorry for hurting me. Yesterday, he hugged me out of the blue and said, “I have never felt closer to you than I feel now, and my love for you is stronger than it’s ever been. I have learned a lesson in life, and I will never hurt you like that again. Please forgive me and allow me to love you the best that I know how”. How can I not try to forgive him. I have to. I love my husband dearly. Thank you again, Sheila and reader. My prayers are with all who need them. Sandy.

          • Wow, that is wonderful that God sent those men your way, but so, so sad that their lives ended so early. I’m glad they were able to give you a different perspective.

            What they said is EXACTLY what I have heard from men, too. It really isn’t like the men would cheat if given the chance; they just find it arousing. And when men say, “it has nothing to do with you”, or “I really only want you”, they mean it.

            The problem is that porn still is very dangerous. It reprograms their arousal instinct, and it can easily make men quite selfish, impatient, and passive. It isn’t a good thing, and it is wrong.

            But I’m glad you’re on the road to healing! That’s wonderful, and thanks for sharing,
            Sheila.

          • Hi again Sheila, I hope I didn’t give the impression that I’m now okay with porn,. I just learned a man’s perspective that helped me to understand that my husband was not watching porn , because he really wanted to cheat on me in real life, and used porn as a preventive. I am not okay with porn under any circumstances. Let me be clear. I fully understand the dangers of porn. And, I saw the frightening changes that were taking place in my own husband. Initially, he denied that he was changed at all. However, as he began to heal, he was able to look back at his behaviors, and was appalled. He was appalled at the selfish, impatient, and to be honest, downright nasty man he had become. He was always such a sensitive man. Whenever I cried, he would hug me and feel sad too. During the porn time, he wanted nothing to do with me if I was sad. He even gave me dirty looks if I cried, like he was annoyed with me. He looked at other women in public like he was a predator; it made me sick. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to set myself back. I just wanted to make the point that my husband’s brain was completely rewired. He was not the same man at all when he was in the clutches of porn. He is now coming back to the loving man that I married, and is really doing nothing to give me cause for concern. I would be able to tell immediately if my husband slipped back into the porn brain. The porn brain is a damaged brain. You can’t talk to the porn brain. You can’t reason with the porn brain. You can’t love the porn brain either, because the porn brain is not the real him. You can love your husband though, and do whatever you can do to help him to rid himself of the horrible porn monster that is chewing on his brain and spitting all of his good assets into the garbage, while simultaneously replacing your husband’s assets with the mindset and personality of the devil himself. That is what I saw in my husband. I gave him a true ultimatum about the porn. It was me or porn. He chose me and I supported him in his quest to be free of porn’s clutches. He is basically a good man, and he wanted to change. I helped him through it, but then I got stuck on the fact that I thought he pretended to cheat on me with porn to prevent real cheating. And, I kept telling him that he was only faithful in real life, not because he loved me, but because he had become the “Master of Fantasy Cheating”. I was getting really sarcastic, and realized that my brain was now being affected and I needed help. My guy friends taught me that it was the imagery and not the women, and in my case, it helped a lot, because they better explained what my husband had been trying to tell me, and I finally got it and was able to put the most painful part to rest. I hope I explained better. There is nothing good about porn. Thanks again. Sandy
            Sandy recently posted…Why Your Husband Won’t Meet Your NeedsMy Profile

          • Ok, girls, I’m in the “husband uses porn” club too. I am thinking seriously about just giving up. This can’t be living. I am so depressed and DEAD anyhow. We are Christians and NOBODY would believe me if I told them. I have nobody except Christ and for some reason, He has kept me from going through with what I am thinking would relieve my hurt entirely. The only thing I am positive of is that He loves me (Christ). What are the books you are talking about.

          • Jane, I’m so sorry that you’re going through this! And you are not alone. I think, though, that you are making yourself alone, when God doesn’t want you to be. You say that nobody would believe you; I’m pretty sure that’s not true. Pastors hear it all, believe me. And they know that about 2/3 of men really struggle with porn. They know that this is a huge issue. It’s a lie that you’re believing that you’re on your own; you’re not.

            You need to tell someone. Find a Christian mentor you can tell, or tell some deacons and ask them to confront your husband and sit down with him. This can’t go on. Remember when Elijah thought he was the only prophet left in 1 Kings 18, and God told him there were thousands more, Elijah just didn’t know about them? That’s how I picture you. You think you’re alone, but there are so many more out there in a similar position, or who at least understand and would help you. The devil likes to keep us thinking that we’re alone because then we get helpless and hopeless.

            Yes, Christ is with you. But Christ also put you in a community, and you need to lean on that community right now.

            As for books, try these: An Affair of the Mind, or Living with Your Husband’s Secret Wars.

            I pray that you’ll get some help around you!

          • See, I think this is all a bunch of bogus hogwash. You put most of the responsibility on the wife to understand and love her husband because he’s wounded. Nope. He made choices. I don’t have to feel sorry for him. I have to forgive him but I surely don’t have to stay married to him. You are doing more damage than good making the women to blame for his crap.

          • To the last anonymous person, I just think there’s a huge difference between someone who has turned the corner and repented and is moving forward and someone who is still involved in sin. And I’m not blaming the wife at all. He definitely made his choice. I’m sorry that you thought I was saying that.

            Here’s what I am saying: when a guy has used porn, there is so, so much hurt and heartache. He has wounded you deeply. If he then turns away from it and wants to change, then I think it’s best to give him a chance. There’s been so much pain already; the best thing to do would be to find a route through the pain, rather than creating more pain. Divorce always causes pain, especially when there are children involved, and God does such a good job at the reconciliation and transformation business.

            Again, this is only if he has changed; if he hasn’t, then you need to confront it and deal with it, and sometimes a separation is absolutely necessary. But I would rather people avoid pain when they can.

        • Dear Sheila, I just read my post from 2 yrs ago. I actually thought my husband had quit porn. I really believed in him still. Well, to make a long story short, he had not quit. He only became more secretive, like so many have done. Well, here is what happened since. I thought he had quit. He wasn’t doing it at home anymore. I checked and checked & always found nothing. Yes, he did stop at home. He stopped at home and started watching it at work….in broad daylight with tons of people around. Then he would take the image to the bathroom to finish. I know, it makes me sick. He began imagining himself with women we know, even a lovely fantasy about his ex-wife who was very cruel to him during their marriage. It goes on & on but I only wanted to touch on this part. I became so ill by the things I learned from him, that I became physically ill. I ended up in the hospital with an infection turned septic shock, nearly died..I was brought back by CPR. I was on life support & remained in a coma for many days. Well obviously I came out of it and here I am. I know everything because he told me everything. He said almost losing me was the biggest wake up call any man could have. He really seems different now. But now, I don’t want to trust him, plain & simple. Not sure what to do at this point. It’s crazy I know, but true. I don’t know what will happen to us in the end. We are both 60 yrs old now. We have been married a long time & I think that part makes the pain of this so much worse.

          • I’m so sorry, Sandy. I’m so glad that you overcame the near death illness, but I know how much you must be hurting. All I can say is that people DO recover from porn. They DO turn their backs on it. And your husband can recover, too, if he has accountability and if he runs after God. He really can. You can rebuild your marriage. Just take it slowly, make sure both of you get the help you need, and chase after God. It really can get better.

      • “Why do they want their wives to be these “godly women” but they get to be stimulated, entertained by, the naughty women in porn on the side???!!!! Of course they don’t want US to be that way, but that is what turns them on. I don’t get it and it’s not fair. ” – It is the classic Madonna/Whore syndrome. If a woman is good then she is not sexual and if a woman is sexual then she is bad. Don’t add to it by calling those women in porn as naughty. Think of them as sexually molested little girls who are messed up and (wrongly) trying to take control of their sexuality by doing porn. They are being taken advantage of and used. Maybe if men were more aware of the sexual abuse and drugs and despair women in porn have, then those women would be less sexy. They are humans with souls created in God’s image as well.

        • Very true! That’s why I can’t equate the evil of porn with the evil of erotica. Women may be tempted more towards erotica (I’m speaking in generalities here, so there are exceptions) and men to porn, but I still think porn is worse because it involves the degradation and abuse of actual people. Both do tremendous harm in the marriage, but porn hurts far more. We need to steer clear of both, but we also need to be very sensitive to those who are really hurt by the porn industry.

          • thank you so much for mentioning the ones in the industry that are hurting. I think of the women and I think of the children..I heard tons of them get HIV and drug addicted. etc. I want to be part of a group that helps all involved.

      • I really appreciate you being so transparent! I feel exactly the same way as you. I do not know how to heal from this and the worst part for me is that I feel angry at God for creating men this way. I am healthy in most areas of my life but cannot seem to get a grip on this. It hurts so bad.

        • Elizabeth, I’m so sorry that you’re in the throes of this! I know that God can get you through, but it is still so, so difficult.

          I just want to say, though, that I don’t think God created men like this. This is really sin’s perversion of the way God made men. Yes, God made men to appreciate the female form, and that isn’t a bad thing. But it was sin that perverted it. You’re right to be angry–but let’s be angry at the porn, and the porn industry, and all those who keep talking about porn as if it’s perfectly fine, when it’s really disgusting and dangerous.

          I really hope and pray that you have someone you can talk to while you’re walking through this, because we aren’t meant to walk through it alone! I’ll pray for a special friendship for you.

  3. All I can say is bravo. You can tell how much this man has grown in his relationship with Christ. The information was amazing. Sometimes as females we tend to forget there is another side. I also liked how he said this isn’t just for addiction to porn, but for all addictions. So many ofour men are attacked with addictions and need God’s guidance to be free of them. Thank you Sheila for sharing this.
    Michelle recently posted…Wednesday’s Vocie – NigeriaMy Profile

  4. If someone is sinlge is it accepted as okay as far as the church goes but just in a relationship (where it is seen as cheating) that it is unacceptable?

    • Nope! It’s wrong regardless because we should not be lusting after anyone who is not a spouse. We’re just speaking directly in this post about marriage, that’s all.

  5. James Poteet says:

    I couldn’t agree more with every word of this post. When I got healing from pornography and confessed it to my wife, one of the first things she said to me was that she knew about it. I was stunned and a little hurt. It shows that she, and I would guess most women, don’t have a good idea as to the man’s fight against that bondage. I hated it and wanted to quit and failed so many times. I would have loved to have an ally in that fight. If she had done what this post suggests, I could have been free years ago. If you’re a wife reading this, please try to see past hour own very real hurts to the man trapped in chains stronger than iron and in all love DO SOMETHING! It is nearly impossible for a man to break free of this on his own, he needs you. Find someone he’ll listen to and tell them.

    • Wow, thank you so much, James! Those are great words for the women reading this. I’m glad you came out on the other side.

    • but what if he doesn’t listen to you, gets angry and defensive, and even blames me for it?

      • Respond in love, and give her time to heal, humbly accept her anger, because you have hurt her directly. Find support from healthy men, especially ones who have overcome this addiction, and never stop praying for your wife.

        We need to take responsibility for the damage we have caused. If you do that, in the long run, you will gain respect from your wife.

      • Hello Wanda I understand what you are going through and I ask the same question? What if he doesn’t think its wrong and gets angry every time I bring it up? It all started with me finding emails to different women from a website. They were talking back and forth about sex. I told him he needed to stop and he understands the emails were cheating. My husband says he has stopped doing that but he won’t give up porn. One minute he says he doesn’t do it another he says he likes it and he is not going to stop. He tells me I don’t love him or trust him and he may need to leave but then he says he doesn’t want to leave and loves me with all his heart. I am so confused about this.

    • Seriously??? OHMYGOSH!!! I don’t expect my husband to get me over my sin. Newsflash. It’s not all about YOU. You sinned against YOUR WIFE!!! What about her?

      • Yeah ???? I agree that this part of it should never be ignored.

        A wife’s support is a huge help, but the husband can never forget the damage he has caused. A guy should never expect help from his wife, but he should be humbled and grateful if it’s offered because it is not required of her.

        • I would say that I helped my husband, not because I condoned what he did it because it was okay, not even because he required it of me. I did it because God told me I was to be part if his healing. I did it because God required it of me. :)

  6. First of all I want to say thank you for this blog, but even more thank you for this post.
    My husband has a different sort of addiction that affects our entire family. And as I reading this post God replaced the word pornography with addiction, therefore, speaking to me and my family.
    I know my husband loves God but he struggles daily with his addiction, and unforgiveness in his heart towards others that have done him wrong, and more so, unforgiveness of his self and some things he did in the past. This spirit of unforgiveness is a self-replenishing fuel that feeds his addiction. He can’t forgive himself, so he turns to his addiction, then he has more guilt to deal with, that he can’t forgive, thus spirally even further.
    Knowing who to turn to, to begin the progress of Christ restoring him, has been a real struggle. But hopefully this post has encouraged me to seek help from someone he will respect and that will hold him accountable. And it has encouraged me to continue to seek help for myself to grow too as he will grow and change, and I will have forgive him as he heals.
    Please pray for us, as we embark on this long road of recovery. And may God’s blessings pour out on everyone who reads this.

    • LJ, thanks for your comment. I received an email today from a man commenting on this post who said basically that the course for dealing with sin in a marriage should be the Matthew principle: you talk to the person, and if that doesn’t work, you bring someone else in. For some reason we think this applies to everything but marriage, but it should apply to marriage, too. So I think you’re right to seek counsel. God bless!

  7. “And even if God never heals your husband, remember that He can still heal you”

    I have to continue to believe that this is true because it’s been well over a year now since I divorced my ex who was a porn addict and only now am I able to forgive him for what he did to me. I’m not saying that this addiction was the sole reason we got divorced but it was the biggest reason. The hardest part for me to let go of this the fact that he brought this stuff into our home computer we shared together because he used to erase his browser’s history. Thankfully I found a service that circumvented his attempts to fool me but I still have trouble with this deceiving me, even to this day.

    • I’m sorry that you’ve gone through that. A marriage breaking apart is truly a ripping of the soul. I’m glad that you’re slowly finding healing.

  8. before I say what I really want to say, let me say this- when anyone in a relationship uses porn, cheats, emotionally cheats, whatever- it is that person’s own fault an not the fault of the partner. That individual made a sucky choice. That said- do not underestimate the role the partner plays in the cheating/porn use. There’s a myriad of reasons a person may choose to use porn or cheat, but by and far the number one reason that I see again and again, and that I personally understand as a husband, is because the partner is not meeting the intimacy/sexual needs of the person. True, you can have intimacy without sex, and you can have sex without intimacy, but don’t fool yourself, the two are inextricably linked together. Its amazing to me that people dont seem to get this. If lack of intimacy is an issue, its a good bet that there’s also a lack of sex as well. Typically speaking, the quantity and quality of one is reflected in the other. The answer to all this seems simple to me- porn/cheating is almost always a result of lack of intimacy, intimacy and sex are linked. By far, sex is easier thing to do. Start there. In short- what I am tryin to say is whatever side of the issue you did yourself on, don’t give your spouse a reason to look at porn, a reason to cheat. The problem of course comes when the person with the lower sex drive doesn’t understand how vital this is, or doesn’t even really care. As cold as it may sound, i believe that the one with lower sex drive has the greater responsibility for protecting their loved one from the slippery slope of porn/cheating. And again, the contradictory nature of this, the one who chooses porn, who chooses to cheat, is 100% responsible for their choice.

    • Jim, Thank you for what you posted. I had a period where I wasn’t interested in sex and my husband turned to porn. When I find out, I was devastated. It felt like I had been cheated on. I vowed to myself that I will never be the reason that happens again. We have had a lot of eye opening conversations and i now know what he needs and I just pray that I can give it to him.

      I am afraid he will turn to porn again, but I am trying to have faith. I know I wasn’t doing all I could for him (Yes, I know this is not a good excuse.).

    • i see what your saying, but this is definately not the case with me. I thought sex 2-4 times at least a week was great. But my husband was still doing porn. I couldda been doing it every day and he still would have been doing porn.

      • Sara, you’re right. You’re not responsible for him doing porn. So don’t even think it! Could withholding sex drive a man to porn? Yes, perhaps. But in the surveys I took I didn’t see a correlation. The men who used porn were as likely to be having sex frequently as those who didn’t. I think it can be a contributing factor, but the truth is it’s very complex and in many cases it isn’t caused by lack of sex at all (although it can lead to that).

    • Once a man is addicted to porn, the relationship with the wife suffers. It is very possible that she is starving for sex and physical affection while he is crouched over the computer, viewing porn.

  9. FatherOf4 says:

    I have mixed feelings regarding this post and yesterday’s post. I firmly believe using pornography is wrong, not for the potential lust issue, but because it violates the instruction in I Corinthians 6:18. Accountability and filters are only as good as the pornography user wants them to be and neither of them will influence the thought life. A change in perspective is needed, not just better protection. Thankfully, I found My Chains Are Gone during my struggle. And I highly recommend the contents therein.
    One other thought – I didn’t see the causes for pornography use addressed. At least in my own life, it wasn’t about lust. I never wanted to engage in any sexual activity with the actresses or actors depicted. Most of the time, I sought significance – “Here are attractive women Seductive, Enthusiastic, and eXperimentally availible for me and therefore, I’m important” Other times – I struggled with another emotional issue and used the shame of porn use to mask the pain of the original issue. A few times were for educational purposes – how can I do action x better, or how do we get into this position? For each of the reasons have very little to do with lust, but the first two reasons failed according to their own purpose. The significance was fake and temporary, the pain of the other issue resurfaced. As for the educational, while I learned something, it reinforced an invalid response to other’s sin.
    Thanks for addressing the internal pain/shame of men.

    • Lust does not mean that you want to be with the actresses you see on the screen. Lust means you are sexually excited by looking at a women other than your wife, or sexually excited by viewing a women on a video screen,which is also other than your wife. And then, when you are turned on to the point of orgasm, during your lusting, you have committed adultery/or infidelity. So you see, for you, it was all about lust, so please don’t try to rationalize it with some sort of educational format. If you are going to view porn, than at least see it for what it is….LUST.
      Sandy recently posted…Wifey Wednesday: When Mr. Clean Marries Mrs. MessyMy Profile

      • FatherOf4 says:

        Nope, sorry. It wasn’t about lust. It seems the open-ended definition of “lust” – becoming sexually excited by someone who is not one’s spouse has a few issues. Adam, upon first meeting Eve, is excited, yet the two are not yet spouses (According to the definition provided above, this is the first sin.) Husbands are often sexually excited by their wives and were even when they were dating. This idea condemns and convicts many husbands (and wives) of a sin in which they may not even be convicted. I was excited to be sexually involved with my wife once we were married (yes, we did wait). Am I now guilty of lust, since she wasn’t my wife? Should a man be sexually ambivalent towards his future wife to avoid sin and if so, why get married in the first place (I Cor 7)? There is no condemnation of those who choose to get married in order to appropriately deal with their passion, which there should be, if it is sin.

        Biblically lust is the same as coveting. One gets the idea that lust/coveting treats the object desired with disdain without regard for the current owner (ie use it and toss it aside. – which we see with Amnon and Tamar.) It’s not coveting to say, “I like your car.” or even “I want your car and I’ll purchase it from you.” It becomes coveting when the thought moves to “I want your car and I will have it, by any means necessary.” So as long as one doesn’t desire the actors or actresses in the videos, it is not lust, this does not exclude other serious and sinful attitudes, though (pride, selfishness, greed, hatred, condescension, etc.) All of which are displayed in our active treason against the Almighty.)

        • I’d have to disagree with you there. When one is attracted to one’s fiancee (or girlfriend), and one is intending to wait, and one is trying to remain pure in thought, that’s fine. That’s just a temptation, and it’s not a big deal. But to seek out porn and watch it for the purpose of arousal (and there really is no other purpose) then that is lust and that is sin, pure and simple. Porn and masturbation tend to go together, and thus fantasy, too. It also has such detrimental effects on the guy and on the marriage relationship. I get very nervous when I hear people trying to say that “technically porn doesn’t fit this definition of sin”, because it has done so much evil in so many relationships. Christians who use it feel shame. And that shame comes from conviction from the Holy Spirit.

          You’re right that porn may fit other definitions of sin as well, but I can’t think of a better definition of lust than porn!

        • OTHER THAN YOUR WIFE!!!! Not before she became your wife. When you are MARRIED, and you look at OTHER WOMEN for sexual arousal, OTHER THAN YOUR WIFE, that is LUST my friend. Culminating the act with masturbation/ orgasm is INFIDELITY. We are talking about LUST/ PORN, how it applies to MARRIED men and women, and how it affects MARRIAGE, due to the LUST /INFIDELITY factor. The only reason a MARRIED MAN would view porn is to LUST OVER WOMEN WHO ARE NOT HIS WIFE! Like I said, stop deluding yourself! You are giving yourself permission to lust over women who are not your wife, by believing what you want to believe about yourself, the bible, and the world. Every man in the world could say the same thing that you’re saying. Does that mean his wife should say, “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you weren’t lusting.” Lust has nothing to do with wanting to be with the onscreen actors. Lust has everything to do with being sexually turned on by a woman who is not your wife. And, we are not talking about before you got married. We are talking about the MARRIED man that you are. Only the Devil would give you that perspective. Just like the Devil tells men that porn is a normal thing that men do. PORN/ LUST/ INFIDELITY….hand in hand, and all VERY WRONG!!!!

          • Perhaps you need to reread what I’ve written. In no way do I justify the use of pornography. In no way do I say it’s ok or permissible in it’s typical use. I just stated it wasn’t necessarily lust any more than watching soap operas (ie Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Gossip Girl, etc) or reading romance novels is lust, even though both have the same morals presented, just one has visually explicit sex and the other implicit or literary. Jesus makes no distinction between the relationship of the luster and the lustee, he just presents the common example of a man and a woman. I understand your definition of lust to be sexual excitement derived from a non-spouse – current or potential – to the point of orgasm. However, I’m unable to back this definition up from Scripture, and as such must reject it. If you can back up the definition, please reference your defense.
            Your definition presents many more conditions/grey areas which are not clarified. Nor does it address the alternative reasons for the use of pornography, some of which I presented above (Significance, Using shame as a mask, education). It does, however, allow the judgement of others, heaping more shame on them, and reinforcing the hopelessness of such entanglements (no different than seeing the habitual overeater, who, once condemned, returns to her food.)
            I noticed you used the term “VERY WRONG”. I have been unable to find in Scripture “levels” of sin. Is the lustful use of pornography worse than running a red light? pride? petty theft? gluttony? assault? hatred towards another? murder? Or are they all treason (punishable by death) against the Almighty?

          • Oh my dear God. My Bible is sitting next to me on the coffee table as always. But the only words in the Bible that matter to me concerning lust/ infidelity are Jesus’s in Matthew 3:12. “Ye have heard it said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath commited adultery with her already in his heart. In my heart, whenever a married man looks upon a naked woman (who is not his wife), because he finds her attractive, seductive, enthusiastic, and experimentally available for him (your words), is that not lust? And apparently Jesus is making no distinction between lust and infidelity, so the Bible says that lust is infidelity. A naked woman before you is a naked woman, whether she is in the flesh or on the screen, and looking upon her in a way that causes sexual arousal is lust. I guess we’re going to have to ask Jesus to come down and update the Bible to include the latest technology in his teachings, because you’re extremely technical, that’s for sure. I understand the issues you are dealing with, because my husband is living your nightmare as well. But, can’t you just feel things in your heart, and give up the long tirades of over analysis. “VERY WRONG” yes, those are my words, and you won’t find them in Scripture, but does it really matter? Running a red light is not in the Bible, but lust is definitely in the Bible. Apparently you aren’t ready to give up the lust you had in your heart, and see it for what it is. I don’t think anyone on this site would disagree with me, except you. Furthermore, your alternative reasons for using porn, makes me, and probably every wife on here, want to vomit. Positions or new ideas? Buy a medical sex manual. I wouldn’t want to do anything with my husband that he learned from porn. Nasty!
            Sandy recently posted…Why Honesty Matters: Encouragement for Those Beginning Your 31 Days…My Profile

          • I find it interesting although we both claim pornography use is wrong, you are insistent it is lust. Does it really matter? Does defining it as lust make the sin worse? Does defining it as lust now give the offended spouse an escape from the marriage? Does defining it as lust, with the judgement and condescension offered, love and encourage the porn user to return to the Cross? Does defining the use of porn as lust restore the marital relationship or does it now set new hurdles to cross and new requirements to meet? From what I have been presented here, I see a remarkable similarity to the story of the woman caught in adultery. Unfortunately, instead of emulating the one who crouched down to write in the dirt, too often we pick up stones.
            In my personal experience, this type of overwhelming failure, shame, and humiliation, is NOT going to encourage me or anyone to repentance, nor would I want to become vulnerable to my wife. I would now be fearful of her, confused in our relationship, and more likely to seek solace either searching for acceptance in the virtual arms of another in self pity (Why doesn’t my wife respect/love/accept me despite my faults and help me through this?) or masking the feeling of failures in my relationship with the shame and self condemnation found in the use of porn (I’m overwhelmed with my failure in my marriage. I am a fraud as a Christian, a man, a husband and father. I don’t know how to process these emotions. I do know how to process the feelings of shame from porn use. I’m scared of my wife. My church will judge me….) Classifying both of these as lust does nothing to restore the relationship, nor does it address the heart issue. If you want to continue to insist both of them are lust, fine. My point was, is, and will be, is porn use (and every other sin) is a heart issue, no worse or better than any one else’s heart issue. Each of these, from running a red light to being judgmental to murder, is an act of treason against a Holy God and makes us deserving of hell.

            (I am in no way advising the offended spouse not to feel hurt by the actions of the offending spouse. I am encouraging the offended spouse to offer grace and love to the offending spouse in order to find and remove the real heart issues.)

          • You are right that we both feel that porn is wrong. And, you are right that it doesn’t really matter if the sin of porn is lust or not. What I am struck by is why the word lust bothers you so much? And, I am also bothered by the reasons you give for porn viewing, and how those reasons allow you to dismiss lust as a reason. Three yrs ago, my husband of 30 yrs.,had prostate cancer, and treatment for it, The treatment caused him to have some functional problems. Around that time, we had purchased a computer and ordered digital cable as part of our service package for internet & TV. Lo and behold, one night I discovered my husband viewing porn, and then rediscovered the porn viewing many more times. He gave me a list of reasons for his viewing porn such as “I was trying to jump start things that aren’t working right”, “I thought it would help us”, and also some of the same reasons that you gave, such as positions, new ideas, etc. And you know what? I love my husband dearly, but I was finding that I was having an awful time forgiving him, and I needed to figure out why. I desperately wanted to forgive him. I knew he needed my help, and I wanted to give him the help he needed, but I couldn’t. As the offended spouse, I felt old, ugly, unloved, deceived, and I thought that our marriage vows, and our marriage were nothing but a lie. But what bothered me most of all was, I felt cheated on. Cheated on because I wasn’t good enough, and I wasn’t enough for him. All the reasons he gave me for his porn viewing did nothing to make me feel any better. I knew that he had to do more for me if he wanted me to be able to help him. It took 2 yrs for me to figure out what I needed from him. During those 2 yrs, I even considered leaving him, because I wasn’t feeling any better. How could I even begin to help my husband with his struggle if I couldn’t find the means to forgive him. And then, I realized what I needed from him. I needed him to admit to me that in addition to all of the reasons he gave me for porn viewing, that there was indeed a lust factor too. I needed him to tell me that he was getting sexually turned on by looking at other naked women instead of me, and that he was very sorry for doing that to me. I needed him to be vulnerable to me. After 2 yrs of every excuse that wasn’t lust, my husband finally opened the path to healing both of our hearts. My husband did not want to be with any of those on screen women; he would have run in the opposite direction if they came out of the screen. However, he did admit to being sexually turned on by looking at other naked women, instead of me. He admitted to lusting over naked women and their anatomy, not that he wanted to be with any of those women. In his shame, failure, and vulnerability, I saw my loving husband who needed my love and my help. I saw my husband as extremely vulnerable, and I had more love for him than I ever had before. He was finally able to give me what I needed to move on, and I was finally able to help him with his struggle. I didn’t mean to sound like I was trying to incite a mob mentality to cast stones at sinners. I am sorry, but you sounded smug and a bit arrogant, when you said, “Nope. It wasn’t about lust for me”. That really struck a nerve with me. I felt like I felt for 2 yrs all over again. I don’t know if you will understand what I’m telling you, but being vulnerable to your wife is not a bad thing if you really and truly love each other. My husband and I are still working through our issues, but we have more love and understanding for each other than we ever had before. His admission of lust made me finally feel like he was no longer hiding a secret world from me. We were together in the same world again, helping each other, and loving each other in the best way we can. My heart does go out to you. I don’t think you are deserving of hell, but you do sound misguided in some of the ways you are dealing with your issues, and maybe your spouse. I hope you find the most satisfying direction and real peace in your heart.
            Sandy recently posted…Is Your Bedroom Inviting?My Profile

          • Based on what you have said, I don’t believe your husband has/had a problem with lust (this does not excuse his sin). His being attracted to women is normal and God designed. I would argue your husband had his masculinity challenged by both the prostate cancer and the post treatment loss of functionality. His use of porn to potentially reaffirm his masculinity, is not about lust, but a desire to see some value in himself outside of the value God has already given him. This is not lust, but pride, no different than Adam and Eve in the garden. It’s the idea that “I would be God. I can determine my own worth. I am sufficient” which is antithetical to our Creator.
            The many times I have had my masculinity challenged (loss of employment, recovery from surgery, sickness, etc.), I’m much more susceptible to temptation (anger, pornography, working harder, speeding, etc.) to prove myself. In each of these episodes, my intrinsic value is dependent on my perception. I am the arbitrator of my value. The love given me from those around me and God is deserved. Choosing to continue in this path mocks the Cross and the Man who was on it.
            I’m delighted you and your husband are still working through your marriage and your salvation. What concerns me though, in your description, is why it took you 2 years to forgive him? As Psalm 53 indicates, his sin was primarily against God. Do we have a right to hold grudges for sins God has already forgiven? or does this, once again, elevate our status to being equal or higher than with God? (Mt 18:21+)
            Vulnerablility with my wife, my family, others and God is the only thing I have to give. I am just an average sinner, who, for some reason beyond my comprehension, was elected to be an adopted Child of God.

          • I understand that men are attracted to women and that this is God designed. I never had a problem with my husband looking at attractive women, and admiring them. For 25+ yrs, I never said a word about it. However, with the advent of pornography in his (our) life, came an obvious change in his methods of looking, & admiring other women. And with his new methods of looking, I did have a problem. He used to look, admire, and sometimes even make comments to me about a beautiful women. We would have discussions about the women. No problem there. But then the scene began to shift, and his whole demeanor, his whole being began to change. The looking turned into staring. The women became younger and younger, until they were usually 19 or 20, younger than our daughters. We have grand daughters nearly that age. That disturbed me. If we were at a beach, instead of simply admiring a bikini-clad woman, he would stare at certain areas of her body, hoping to catch a free shot. I would notice his breathing pattern changing. I would also notice what was happening to certain parts of his body. Obviously, he was becoming VERY sexually excited by what he saw, with me sitting in silence next to him. When I would try to bring him out of his sexual trance by speaking to him, he would ignore me, and continue. He would have never slept with any of these women, nor would he have wanted to, and I know that. So, does that mean I should say, “Oh well, what he’s doing is God designed, so I have to accept it”. Is that not lust, even though I know he would never have slept with any of those women? I had a hard time forgiving porn use because that’s what porn did to my husband, and I now felt dirty, violated, deceived, and cheated on. The pain of infidelity can last for many years, and though my husband never had a physical relationship with another women in the flesh, I felt like he had had some sort of fantasy relationship with many women, and the pain of that near killed me for those 2 yrs. The worst thing he said to me was, “I did it for us”. My husband gave me a million excuses for porn use. He gave me every excuse except, ” I enjoy being turned on sexually by other women”. The day he finally said that, was the day that I began to forgive him. And, the day he ceased using pornography, is the day he also ceased the endless staring at other women. He didn’t even realize he was doing it until he quit the porn. Porn changes a man’s brain, and the chemicals in their brain. I do believe that becoming sexually turned on by other women is the main reason why a married man would watch pornography, so why all the other excuses? I know I don’t need to hear them, nor do I want to. In fact, they make me extremely angry. So, since you have been elected to be an adopted Child of God, then please tell me, why is porn a sin at all? If men are only doing what they are designed to do by God, which is looking at attractive women, then why even call it a sin? Let’s call it a man’s belief in himself, as a man, instead of a sin. That way no married man will ever feel shame for watching porn again, and they can let their wives bear the full impact of the pain of their fantasy.
            Sandy recently posted…Aiming LowerMy Profile

          • “I enjoy getting turned on sexually …” This is true for all of us. This is the way God made us. I also enjoy eating cookies, drinking alcoholic beverages, driving fast, sleeping-in etc. The problem is not with the enjoyment, the problem is violating the limits which God has set in place. If I eat too many cookies on a continual basis, I get fat, have a greater risk for cavities, and begin to crave sugar. It “changes my brain.” If I drink too much alcohol, I’ll also have physiological and cerebral changes. The adrenaline rush of driving fast, or the laziness of sleeping in also affect the brain. Porn violates the design which God has set in place (husband – wife), this is why it is sin (not because I agree or disagree with it.) I (through Adam) was designed to worship God, when I choose to worship something else (in speech or deed), I violate God’s design and therefore, I sin.
            “My husband gave me a million excuses for porn use.” – That’s part of the problem. He’s giving excuses. He is/was justifying his actions based on his apparent needs. He (your husband) was/is usurping the position of judge as well as defense attorney. (Imagine if the judge and the defense attorney were the same individual – what kind of fair and just trial would take place.) The excuses are not much different than Adam gave God. Adam just didn’t attempt to place the blame of Eve, he also blamed God for giving him Eve. Adam confronted with his failure, refuses to accept it and blames the most plausible things available. (Notice God didn’t tell Adam – “Oh sorry, you’re right, it’s not your fault.”)
            With pornography and many other sexually based sins and failures, there is an extra social stigma. This provides extra impetus for defenses and excuses – not only am I confronted with my failure in righteousness, I’m also shamed in my social network (Hester Prynne – The Scarlet Letter). Are sexual sins more offensive to God than other sins?
            I have no idea to where you are going with the last bit. Just because one is a child of God, does not make sin not sin. What changed with my adoption is not the law, but who my Father/authority is (Romans 6).
            I’m getting the impression you were deeply hurt by your husband’s use of pornography and you are still harboring some of that hurt. This is understandable. I offer you my compassion. I know it is difficult, and this pain provides us some level of insight into our sins against our Creator (Luke 23:34). Once we begin to look through the eyes of our Father, we see things differently, we approach things differently, we forgive differently, we love differently (Hebrews 12:1,2).

  10. Caroline M says:

    So, I found this site a few months ago and have been “stalking” it ever since. I love the ideas on how to improve my relationship with my husband. But this week, I’ve been avoiding it. Because my husband chose to tell me last Saturday night, after 4.5 years of marriage, that he struggles with a pornography addiction, and my emotions have been in an uproar. It’s something he started with in high school; so combined with his willing confession and asking for help, I’m guessing we are a lot closer to healing than most other couples within the first week of discovering the problem. He actually directed me to a site, combatingpornography.org, that has a lot of help and counsel about what steps to take and how to take care of each other. (It is strongly church based, but most of what they have to offer applies to all similar cases.) There were a few articles that suggested questions to ask him, and we’ve had several good discussions since (although, taking out stock with Kleenex may have to be our next step…). Anyway, at this point I stll have things that I don’t understand, but he’s willing to work on it and I really want to do all I can to help. We are seeking counseling, partially because this has lead to depression for him as well. I’d rather do too much that too little.
    Anyway, all that to say, thank you for some coincidentally timely articles. Which might lead to some more good discussions at our house. Maybe with even less Kleenex. ;)

    • Caroline, I know this is so difficult for you right now, but just think of this from God’s perspective. Your husband has been in bondage for so long, and now he’s taking the first steps to healing. That’s so wonderful! And once he gets there, I think you’ll experience a level of intimacy with him you never had, and maybe even didn’t know was missing. So keep going–even if you do need a lot of Kleenex!

    • agreeing husband says:

      I am responding to Caroline because I want you to know that your husband took a HUGE step to overcoming his addiction. I wrote the above post that you read. You are involved now and you need to learn more about this so you can help him. Now that the sin is out, he can feel relief because you know and you did not reject him for it. That is the biggest fear of pornography: rejection. He likely feels dirty, embarrased, and less of a man because he was not able to control his addicition or overcome it. That is the most frustrating thing about it. I can remember sitting their belittling myself because I couldn’t stop looking at it. I hated myself so badly because I was not strong enough to stop it. He needs to learn that being a man is not being able to take care of things on his own. Being a man is humbling himself before Godand you. He needs to humble himself by saying, God, I cannot do this on my own. I am just a man and I need you, Lord to take my sin. Christ has already died and taken that sin, your husband needs to feel that it is gone now and move towards an new relationship with Him and you. You are a vital part to the healing process. Just let him know that no matter what, you are on his side and will not leave him for this. I guarantee that he is scared to be rejeced by you and others. Get a support system aound him of people who love him and accept him for who he is. Counseling is also a good option. The desires he has are created by God and he should not be embarrased by them, but he has to learn to set his desires onto you and only you. Then your relationship will flourish. I don’t want to go on and on, but I have some excellent books that he should look at to understand more about what pornography is doing to his mind and heart. These are books that I found to be very important in my way back from this addiction. You should also read some of these. “Affair of the Mind, by Lauri Hall,” “The Masculine Mandate, by Richard Phillips,” ” Sexual Detox, by Tim Challies,” “Every Man’s Battle (excellent book), and “Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas. I have one more book that was amazing and is for both of you. I have it at home and cannot remember the name of it. I can get that to you though. There are so many books out there, but your husband needs to first understand what God’s calling is for him as a Godly man and husband. He needs to see you differently and understand intimacy with you. Intimacy with God and you will be so powerful and he will eventually realize how gross pornography really is and Satan has perverted sex so badly. He has to learn this in his heart before he can stop the desire in his mind. Let me tell you also. I hate reading and I could not put most of these books down. God will give him the desire if he askes for it. God wants him to be a great man and he is a gret man in which Satan has attacked. I would love to help in anyway I can. I pray for healing in your marriage.

      • Again, Agreeing Husband, I so appreciate your perspective and your willingness to step out and help others. Thanks again for your encouragement for the women who read this blog!

      • Caroline M says:

        Yes, thank you! I’m looking into those books, as well as everything I can possibly do to make this easier. There is quite a bit of silver lining to this whole situation it seems…deeper intimacy with my spouse and my Heavenly Father? Yes, please! Your prayers on our behalf are greatly appreciated. Know they are returned in kind for you as well!

    • agreeing husband says:

      I have one more book for Caroline and her husband to read togehter if they choose. It is “Undefiled,” by Harry Schaumburg. This book is very tot he point and excellent.

      • Thank you! I think I’ll make a resource list that I’ll publish this weekend with your book suggestions.

        • My husband thinks that because I knew he watched porn when we were dating 14 years ago when neither of us were followers of Christ, that I’m still o.k. with it after having two children together. After confronting my husband about how it makes me feel knowing he watches porn, he thinks he’s not addicted because he only watches it occasionally and it does not affect our love making. Should I still find someone from church to help him (and risk humiliating him), or only if he agrees to needing help?

          • That’s really a tough one. I would certainly agree that he’s not addicted. That doesn’t mean, though, that he’s not engaging in something that really is sin. I’d continue to talk to him about it, and really pray about it. And then I think I’d seek counsel from one other woman, whom you know will not talk and will not spread this around, about what to do, because I just don’t know your situation. But I think seeking counsel from one person isn’t the same as gossip; and sometimes we just need another perspective. But yes, this is still definitely wrong, and yes, it still needs to be dealt with.

    • Caroline-
      I just wanted to encourage you a little, too. I have been married for 16 years, and I found only 4 months into the marriage of my husband’s addiction–I had absolutely no idea and I was devastated beyond words. I thought we were both strong Christians and porn was something only dirty old men used (again, this happened a long time ago–there was not internet). My husband did not disclose this to me, I found out on my own. I really wish it had been his disclosure, because I think that shows a desire to stop, to get help and healing–so I really respect what your husband did. In retrospect, I also wish I had gone to the pastors of our church at that time, because this sin needs to be exposed/brought into the light. Satan loves when our sins remain secret. My husband just continued to struggle for years, until I insisted that he go to an EVERY MAN’S BATTLE workshop (3 day intensives offered all over the country). He learned a lot there and our relationship has slowly improved dramatically, over the years.
      I also can recommend a book for you–but I don’t remember the author–called EVERY HEART RESTORED. You need to understand and be supported. Also ask him if there is anything that “triggers” his acting out. Set up “safeguards” for your marriage (filters on internet, no cable, etc).

      Anyway, I hope this helps a little. Please know you are not alone!! I will be praying for healing for both of you.
      In Christ,
      Ashley

  11. I actually really needed to read this. My husband and I have had a very similar issue arise since last week. I am trying to be “the wife I am suppose to be” however its very hard. I’m praying for grace and mercy for my heart and Im praying so many things for my husband. I love my husband and I know he loves me. Our marriage is wonderful, hes a wonderful father….. So I really needed( honestly needed) that mans comment that you posted into your post… I needed to read the “man” side of it. Thank you for your ability to post on these topics. Christians need marriage and sex advice and so many times that’s just the opposite of what we get… We may be Christians however we are human too!
    Again Thank You…
    Kayla Arrowood recently posted…Weekly Wrap Up 24My Profile

    • You’re so welcome, Kayla, and I pray that you and your husband together can even grow stronger as you work this through!

  12. Very long discussion, lot of things to learn, read it and learn some of them.

  13. Karen Love says:

    Hi…I need some help and advice. Pornography is always talked about as being sin. But what is porn? What about the gray areas? My husband thinks that hard core pornography is disgusting and wrong. Good! BUT he loves to look at pictures of beautiful naked women. I don’t know what to do. He does not try to hide it. I can go on his computer any time, and see where he has been looking at them online. I do realize that this is a delicate issue, so I try to handle it very carefully. I don’t want it to become a bigger problem or for him to start hiding things from me. This is something that goes back to adolescence for him, and he has no interest in stopping. We have talked about this issue. I do feel that it is harmful to our marriage! He justifies it by saying that he’s not lusting after them, that he doesn’t want to have sex with them. He never makes me feel like they are more beautiful than I am. I am young, and I feel very confident in my own body! I don’t know if I should just leave it alone (and pray for him) or do I need to take a bolder stand against this. What are your thoughts?

    • Karen, that’s a really tricky issue. I agree with you that this is wrong, and even if he says it’s not lust, why, then, is he looking at the women? Maybe it’s not to get aroused enough to masturbate, but he’s still looking on someone who isn’t his wife like that. I’d say keep your friendship really strong so that you build communication and you can really talk to him about this. And then it’s so important to belong to a church where you can each have mentors or accountability partners. My husband has a few guys he gets together with periodically, and they challenge each other to be better husbands. Guys do need to get together with other guys. Is there an older couple that you can ask to mentor you? Or some strong men that perhaps your husband can get to know? Sometimes this type of thing is better coming from another man. Express that you don’t like it, but then really try to get some support around both of you in your marriage so you can both be spurred on to be great spouses. I’m sorry there’s not a magic answer, but you’re right in that you don’t want him to hide it, and you don’t want him to progress to other things. But I do think that you’re right to be upset.

      • Thanks, Sheila, for taking the time to respond. I will keep praying for my husband. I know that we’ve grown alot sexually, and we will continue to get through this together! I can’t wait to get a copy of your book. I intend to read it, and then pass it on to a friend who’s getting married in the near future! I was a virgin when we got married, and I had NO CLUE about men or sex. The last 7 years have been VERY difficult for me. I feel like I have so much to learn. A lot books about sex are about healing from past sexual abuse or experiences. I can’t relate to that. I’ve read the first 47 pages of your book, and I feel like I even understand myself better. I’m so excited to read the rest!! Thank you for writing this book!!!

  14. God''s Bride says:

    I’ve been married to a Christian man for less than three years. After 6 months of marriage, I discovered my husband was posting to “married but looking” sites, and had been doing so only 3 months after we got married. Long story short, he confessed to sleeping with three women he met through those sites and telephone chatlines. At that point, we had a one year old daughter. He promised to stop, and did–for a few months. During that “good” period, we conceived our second child, which I am due to deliver in two months.

    However, over the course of the last five months, I again discovered that he resumed using chatlines–and is now in frequent contact with escorts. He does not know that I know about this most recent bout with this sinful pattern in his life. I have stopped sleeping with him, because, tTo top it all off, during a recent routine pap smear during this latest pregnancy, my results came back “abnormal,” which is often caused by an STD that could lead to cervical cancer down the road. I have been faithful to my husband, so I know I contracted it from him. The same day I told him, he was back on the chatlines a few hours later, despite expressing how sad he was about the test results, constantly repeating that I didn’t deserve to be treated this way. Yet he persists!

    I go back to the doctor next week for follow-up results on additional tests I had around this issue. I was going to use that day as the one to tell him that I can’t live with him (not divorce) until he straightens out this area of his life-with proof that he has stopped for good. I have a hard time believing my Lord and Savior wants me to sacrifice my life and take away these two innocent childrens’ mother in the name of sticking with my husband while he continues with this behavior.

    I have requested counseling (he refused), I sought the advice of a pastor (my husband lied to him), I have tried reading Christian marriage books with him (he doesn’t want to do that either). Every course of action I have tried or suggested has been shot down, and he persists–going to church and leading an otherwise “normal” life all the while.

    Any thoughts?

    • I am so, so sorry that you’re going through this, especially with two small children who desperately need an intact family. What a tragedy. But I just want to reiterate that if you do separate, it is not you who has broken up their intact family. It is your husband.

      I’d recommend two things: find a really godly woman mentor that you can go to who can pray with you through this, who knows you both in real life, and who can help you make some hard decisions. I’ll pray that such a woman comes forward.

      And second, one of the best books I have read for people in your situation is by James Dobson, called Love Must Be Tough. It’s meant for those in a marriage where you want to save it, but your husband is repeatedly doing things that threaten the marriage. It shows how to help him bear the consequences of his actions so he’s more likely to make a good choice. But it also helps you to find your peace in God so that you are strong, no matter what happens.

      It is such a profound tragedy that a man would do this to his family, and I am very sorry.

      • God's Bride says:

        Hi Sheila,

        Thanks for your quick response! Emotionally, I am “okay” now, in part to having read through “Love Must Be Tough” a couple of times. I have created some emotional distance between my husband and myself, and at this point, I realize that this is about my husband and the Lord, and not about me. Not to say I have been perfect in my role as a wife, but even my husband will be the first to tell you that I have done my best to be encouraging, supportive and longsuffering in our marriage. I have aimed to “do him good and not evil all the days of his life,” but unfortunately, my loving kindness has been repayed unexplicably with evil. I feel most upset for our daughter and daughter-in-utero. I waited until I was in my mid 30s to be sure I had chosen a Godly man to marry, and this is what I got for that! Still, I believe God has a plan, He is in control, and that He can still work this situation out for my good, and that of these little girls.

  15. roseym30 says:

    I did get some helpful info by reading these posts and comments, although my situation comes with a little bit of a twist — my hubby does not have a personal relationship with Jesus and therefore is not a committed Christian, but I know he uses pornography on a regular basis (meaning probably three times a week-ish). I am not sure of what my correct line of action should be here, I am not convinced that my husband thinks his behavior is wrong, which raises the question of is he feeling guilty about it and wanting to change at all? It would be great if I could get some feedback from others who may have ideas and/or even have personal experience with this situation. It does affect our marriage, whether he wants to believe it or not. Not that we don’t have plenty of other issues as well ….. please help if God lays it on your heart — any thoughts are appreciated :)

  16. Thanks for writing this … it’s interesting to see how much conversation has been generated from your writings! I have a blog of my own about sexual addiction and recovery, and have worked with men for over 6 years as a counselor and workshop teacher on this subject. Before that I was a pastor, and now I’m working part time as a pastor again, and doing the counseling work as my other side job. I mention all this because of the point I want to add to the conversation here: I find that many Christian people would like to hear more teaching on this subject in their churches. In some churches pornography and sex addiction is like the elephant in the room that nobody talks about. But trust me, most churches have been forced to face this question of “Is it ‘okay biblically’ for me to divorce my husband because he won’t give up pornography?”

    One trend that some churches have picked up on is to preach about the importance of healthy, godly sexuality in marriage, and encourage couples in the church to have sex more often. I’ve heard of a few churches that challenged couples to have sex every night for a month (or 40 days if they wanted to be Rick Warren-esque about it). I think this is a stupid and dangerous idea to preach from the pulpit … because there are a wide range of marital issues going on in peoples’ relationships in churches. In some marriages where there is resentment or especially abuse going on, you’re actually causing lots of hurt.

    It’s also misguided because it makes the source of the problem one of sexual frequency, and that’s rarely the case. If someone is addicted to sex, no amount of sex will be enough. And if someone is addicted to pornography, sex isn’t going to cure it. Pornographers know that porn creates desire for more porn. The common myth is that porn creates a desire for sex. In a narrow sense it does, because it stimulates sexual arousal. But at a deeper level, it creates a template for arousal and sexual satisfaction that is all about FANTASY and not reality. In reality, porn creates heightened desire for more porn, and lowered satisfaction levels with real, in-person sex. That’s so sad and ironic, and it’s doubly sad and frustrating when pastors, church leaders, and others put them together and treat them as the same issue.

  17. I really appreciate your post, and your whole blog! It’s so hard to get advice on things like this from a Christian perspective.

    I have a little issue though: My husband has been addicted since he was 5. And to the masturbation that comes along with it. He’s gotten much, much better over the years, but still can’t shake the addictions completely. He will often fail in one or the other (usually in masturbation more often than porn, but it still happens too) ever couple of weeks or so. Part of this was my fault because I wasn’t giving him sex as often as I should have, but I’ve gotten better about that. He always admits to me when he’s failed and given in, but it hasn’t eliminated the problem. I see how much it hurts him when he does fail, but I don’t know how to help him. But at the same time, I don’t want to humiliate him by telling our preacher, or his best friend, because we’ve only been in this town for about 6 months now, and they’re our only friends. And I don’t want to tell my step-dad because I don’t want my mom finding out. It’s really complicated.

    We’ve changed our computer set-up to where his is child-blocked, but I think this time he went on my un-blocked side, so I’m going to change the password for that. We don’t have TV, and the internet and netflix on the Wii is all password protected. I think this has helped, but obviously not enough. Well, looking back, when he couldn’t get on the computer at all unless I was home, he didn’t have porn issues, but he had the other.

    I just don’t know what to do! Any advice would be great.

    • Katie, that’s a tough one. The main thing, though, is that it is getting better, he does want to stop, and it seems as if God is really convicting him. Those are all really good signs that God is doing something in his life, although sometimes it takes time to get a complete victory.

      I’d suggest maybe that he see a counsellor and try to get at the root of the issues, which are likely pretty deep if he started when he was 5. And perhaps find someone who has a great prayer ministry who can help pray you through this. This isn’t the kind of victory you can win by just trying hard enough and believing it can happen. It can’t be done solely by your own will; you really need God. I don’t know if you can find someone like that in your area, but I’d focus on that as my primary thing to pray for, and ask your husband to pray for it, too.

      I hope that helps!

      • Thanks. I think I’m going to have to talk to him about doing that, because I went through his user history on the computer we have, and (at least for the past 3 days) he’s been using a proxy site that overrides the filter. I’m pretty hurt. But he is convicted, and I love him. Thanks for your advice!

  18. Desiree says:

    I was reading some of your posts and saw this one and it jumped out at me. I grew up with my grandparents in a christian home and was brought up completely different than my husband. My views on how marriage should be are based off of what I saw with my grandparents. My husband is not a christian and we actually have a rule where we are not allowed to discuss religion at all because he can get very mean and it turns into me crying and walking away. We started dating when I was 16. I went through a rebellious stage for a few years and did alot of things I am not proud of. But I came back to God and I am still working on my relationship with Him. We got married when I was 19 and we had our first son. He then left for the Army. When my son and I were able to finally go with him over a year ago is when I started suspecting he was watching porn. I didnt say anything to him for awhile because I was exactly positive about it. Until I caught him. He had gotten out of bed with me in the middle of the night to go do that. I was completely heartbroken and he made me feel that it was m fault. I was pregnant with our 2nd son at the time and that pregnancy was very rough on my body. Sex wasnt easy or fun for awhile. So i tried being more spontanious and giving it to him and just suffering through being terribly uncomfortable. But, no matter how hard I tried it seemed like the problem was getting worse. We are going on our 3rd marriage anniversary and the problem has only escalated. Several times have I sat him down and explained to him how it makes me feel. Unnattractive, he would rather look at other girls. Unwanted. Unloved, when no matter how many times we fought and he promised to stop and never did. He sees it as everyone looks at porn now, that it isnt uncommon for husbands to do it. But my heart breaks everytime I catch him or see it on the computer or his phone. I also recently found out that he cheated him at a gentlemens club when he went on a trip to Florida with his buddies. I feel like I am stuck in a marriage that I can never get out of. I took those vows and promised to love him forever and to work through our problems. I know he loves me, I feel it. But he has some problems that he refuses to fix. I know he is addicted to sex. I just cant come to terms with being ok with him doing that. He will never see it the way I do if he doesnt believe in God or see marriage the way I see it. I cant go the rest of ours lives suffering through this pain every single day.

    • Desiree, I’m so, so sorry for your pain. I can see so much regret and desperation in your comment. I’m sorry that I don’t have easy answers. I do believe that God can work a miracle in people’s hearts, and that also includes yours: He can give you peace and joy that you never thought possible. But I know that living in the day to day isn’t always easy. But you have two children to consider, and that makes the issue even more serious.

      I think the primary thing that I’d recommend is that you find a good Christian community. I know he doesn’t want to talk religion, but perhaps he wouldn’t fight you if you went to a women’s Bible study or to church. Find some women in real life who can come alongside you and pray and help you. Don’t tell everyone under the sun, but seek out a good women’s group and then ask God to show you who you can talk to who will be a good mentor and who will keep your confidentiality.

      I pray that God will give you someone wise in real life who can guide you through this and who can help pray with you and help you chart a course for your marriage.

      Finally, one more thing: it sounds like you both have built up quite a few things against each other. It sounds like a lot of your relationship is negative right now. I’m not trying to downplay the negative, but perhaps if you can spend more time on the positive, it would make the negative less important. So find things that you can do together. Take walks together. Watch sports together (even if you hate sports). Fix up the house together. It doesn’t matter what you do, but just spend time together to build that goodwill and friendship again.

      And one more thing: tell him absolutely no more with any prostitutes or gentlemen’s club type things. That’s dangerous. He could bring an STD home to you. And get tested! It’s wrong for a whole host of reasons, but it also has huge health consequences for you, and should never ever be tolerated.

  19. An anonymous reader just sent me this comment to post:

    I would like to offer a story of hope. Slow hope, but hope that ends well.

    In 2000, I discovered that my husband was using porn. To those who feel anger at being deceived, I understand: we had been married for more than 15 years and dated a few years before that, and he had never mentioned this once. And he had been using since adolescence. It’s no understatement to say I was livid. I screamed at him so hard my throat hurt afterwards.

    I chose to stay because he was willing to work on things, but after some time in counseling, I could see that he was only willing to go so deep, and no deeper. I told our counselor, “I want some reassurance that this is never going to happen again.” Bless his heart, he said, “I can’t promise you that. No one can promise you that.” I was devastated, but I searched my heart and decided to stay and do what I could, and pray that God would one day bring my husband to complete repentance. We dropped counseling after a while; finances were just too tight.

    In 2005, I caught him again – through God’s providence. I lovingly demanded (really, I did! God gave me the grace) that he go to an Every Man’s Battle conference and that we re-enter counseling.

    It was expensive and money was tight, but it was the best money we ever spent. He was really ready this time, and it turned his life around. I can verify what the original poster said about “this is hurting your husband more than you know.” My husband later told me that he was so miserable, he was hoping God would just kill him, because he felt so hopeless to change.

    It has not been 100% smooth sailing since then. He had a brief relapse a couple years later, and I seriously, seriously considered divorce. I was just so tired of hurting and trying and being hurt again. But I couldn’t convince myself that our kids would be better off with divorced parents, and so I stayed.

    I told a very few close friends who could handle the knowledge and keep it to themselves. I continued in counseling. I continued to pray for my husband’s healing. At some point (I don’t remember what, if anything, triggered it), he realized he didn’t really trust God and that he needed to change that. He dug into the scriptures earnestly for possibly the first time in his life. He continued going to a support group and to counseling.

    Fast-forward five years. My husband has grown up so much since he quit using. I can see the difference. It really is true that any addiction stunts the user’s emotional maturity, but it’s amazing how quickly they can regain lost ground once they give up the crutch, and if they are in scripture and good counseling. My husband is helping other guys move forward on the road to recovery. We have been able to help some good friends whose marriage is struggling. And we are better suited to help than our friends who have not had such struggles, because we can say to them, “I know what it feels like to think this will never get better, but I can tell you from experience, it can.”

    One word of caution I’d add, though… I agree with the advice to tell someone else, but be cautious in who you tell. Don’t run to someone who is just going to side with you and add fuel to the fire, or someone who will quickly hit the grapevine. Tell someone who is more mature than you, who will be as impartial as possible, who wants to save the marriage if at all possible, and whose confidentiality can be trusted. If the person you talk to dismisses the issue or tells you to just pray and trust, or to just work harder, keep looking; find someone else.

    My heart and my prayers go out to those of you who are in this valley. It’s dark and it’s frightening — I know! But God is able. Give Him time.

  20. I’m grateful to have found this site..l just discovered my husband’s porn habit and confronted him right away. I was so angry with him that I wanted to leave, but I knew that would be breaking my marriage vows so I stayed. He broke down, said it has been a 10 year addiction. I never noticed it before we were married since our intimacy was a lot stronger. But it all changed after I became pregnant, and then I really noticed that he had changed within the few months after our daughter was born. His emotions weren’t there, and it just looked like he was just going through the motions. I told him he needed professional help, to which he refused at first. We’re about to start marriage counseling again…we did it before we got married (since it was required) and said we’d never use pornography. I’m furious that he broke that promise when I caught him the first time….but it was so much worse when I caught him the second time. He lied about how many times a week he did it (I checked his history…almost every day). And he’d always do it in the morning while I was asleep. He never used to lock the bathroom doors or any doors, but I noticed that he started when I started waking up early too. He promises to change but I can’t trust him anymore or anything that he says. He put in his own measures to stop but I don’t think it’ll be enough and I don’t think I’ll ever know if he will fully recover from it. How does one ever know???

  21. I am so glad I ran across this blog, I have been very lost for the past couple of days. I just found out yesterday that my husband of little over a year has been addicted to porn since his dad passed away at age 13. I am the spouse in the family that handle most of our bills. One of our goals was to be debt free in 2 years, so when I ask my husband to see the statement balances. He then started putting off giving me his 2 log-ons for the two cards he was using. We had got into a serious argument on Sunday, so i decided to write him a supportive email about communicating with me. Well I guess he was feeling guilty, and decided to give me the information to log on. I looked at his credit card statement and saw quite a bit of charges to the same company. I then called and asked him what they were and he said that is what he needs to talk to me about. I immediately came home from work, but I new deep down what it was. Once he told me I of course got really upset and still am. I did not know what to do, he is my one and only and I have given everything of me to him. I did not know who to turn too, I began asking all the questions and with each and every answer, I began to feel like I was nothing. I have self-esteem issues as it is… We both cried and cried, we fortunately had someone that we felt we are able to talk too and he help enlighten me with the little that he new. I still don’t understand and still suffering with the “hangover” effect. I cry all the time and just am lost. He wants to get help immediately, and he is okay with parental controls on his computer. I cant fully take away his internet, since he is currently in school and is trying to finish in the next year. I am just scared of the future, what if he has a relapse will we make it through it again. With my job I travel M-F from the months of Sept-Dec. We already have odd schedules he works at night and me during the day. I am just worried that without me here to check up on him he will fall thru the cracks. How do I monitor his cell phone such as email and web. Once again our jobs we must have internet access and email access. With today being a holiday, all i need/want to do is talk to someone. I have never felt so empty. But one this I can say is that I love my husband and he is great to me, I am fortunate from what I have read and been told it had not affected his time with me intimately or when we hang out with families. I am very proud of him, but I am scared that he will always been considered a porn addict. Thank you Sheila for putting this out there and to the people who think this could NEVER happen to someone they love is not true, never once did I think I would be going through something like this.

    • KMC, I’m so sorry you’re going through this, but honestly, it is wonderful that your husband is so eager to be accountable and to get over this. If he’s been enslaved since he was 13, he probably feels horrible and WANTS to change. That’s great.

      I’d just recommend finding a different accountability partner for him other than you. And then just keep really working on your marriage! We all slip up. We all do terrible things. The only difference here is that his is visible. But he wants to put it behind him, and even if he slips up a few more times in the future, remember that this is not who he is. He doesn’t want to be the person who is addicted to porn, and it sounds like he’s committed to getting through this. God can change anybody, and God can be his strength. So that’s wonderful that he’s willing to change, and I pray that God will also give you the strength to eventually trust him again.

  22. Me and my fiance just had a incident, on my behalf were i had viewed porn….. My heart is wrecked and i can’t begin to encompass how she feels. I’ve been gettin ready to deploy to Afghanistan for the last couple of months and to be honest i’ve not ever felt so many emotions in my life (majority bad). One particular week i had failed Erin. I remember the circumstances surrounding the happening. I was feeling sad about leaving Erin, lost inside my unit finding my place to function or my role, and uncomfortable with myself inside the barracks “lifestyle”. I had been scrolling through my kindle and the option for nude women had come up a couple time, easy to say “no” to at first, but you know the temptation route. It starts with a picture, a picture that is transformed in your mind to an opportunity to feel good about yourself. After the first time i felt a little better but still somewhat out of my element, the second time two days later i felt like a dirt bag. I knew i had to find a better way to cope with my issues that wouldn’t hurt my future with this woman that i love very much, with everything in me. So I started sketching and drawing again. It was great. It was the time away from the chaos to collect myself put my anxieties and stresses on paper and would also make them easier to talk about because they were something tangible to have a conversation over instead of the “tougher” topic in the barracks of feeling and emotions. She discovered my faults last week after i had made the change and it has damaged us so much for the time we are in now. I hate everything that it has done to her. I don’t cry much but when i think about her pain it breaks me down so much that i have too. I know i have issues to work on, and i;m actively doing so, but more importantly how do i help rebuild the woman that i love. She wants to rebuild, and so do I. We haven’t had intimacy issues. I love everything about her, before this, her confidence, her body, her personality, her strong sense of self and sensitivity. I don’t want to lose the woman i fell in love with. I made a mistake. A big one.

    • to AFGH wit Luv: I hope she finds it in her heart to forgive you. read my earlier blog that states I feel like Shelly G & have been married for 29 years. I really want to forgive my husband. I have been trying desperately for 2 years. Unfortunately, cheating has always been a deal breaker for me, and I’m having a terrible time trying to get past this. And yes, porn is cheating. Getting off on another woman (even videos of porn stars), instead of the woman you love ,is a betrayal that causes just as much pain as the real thing. And, yes, you could lose the woman you love over this. After you are gone for awhile, her feelings for you could change drastically. I always wanted a man who would be faithful to me forever. I thought I had that man, & to learn that I don’t after 29 years of marriage, has completely destroyed my life. Would I marry a man who cheated on me with porn beforehand? Absolutely NOT! I hope things work out better for you. I hope she does have it in her heart to forgive you. Believe me when I tell you this. The pain is unbearable , and the reason it feels like cheating to women, is because it is. Don’t ever fool yourself into believing otherwise, or you will fail as a life partner.
      Sandy recently posted…Top Ten Hardest Things to Share after Saying “I do”My Profile

  23. I am not sure I know how to respond to this. My husband and I have been married for 16 yrs. The first time I was hurt with his porn issues was 2 mo into our marriage. I was sexually abused growing up and that hurt from my new husband was excruciating!! We have been dealing with this issue on and off for 16 yrs. I found where he was on the internet last night while me and my 3 boys were at church. What is bothering me, is I’m not as upset as I usually am. Its not excruciatingly painful, I don’t like not feeling this pain. It makes me feel like I don’t love him and I don’t care anymore. What is this? Is feeling this way normal?

    • Yes, I think it probably is. It sounds like you’ve emotionally distanced yourself a bit to protect yourself from being hurt, and that is a totally natural reaction. It isn’t healthy in the long run, but then, neither is his porn use! And if you can’t get over the porn use, you may have little choice.

      If he’s a Christian and would respond to a male mentor, I would tell someone and ask for help. But if he’s not a believer, there’s really very little you can do, except for pray for strength and joy for yourself (which could be what’s going on; maybe you’re not protecting yourself as much as God is protecting you), and for your husband to do what God wants. But I know it’s so, so hard.

  24. I worry about you telling Women that this is not grounds for divorce. Divorce is not against the bible. GOd permitted divorce and he commanded it. While my personal belief is that I want to work through this with my husband, I don’t deny adultery IS adultery and grounds for a divorce. So many times us Christians say, “in a biblical marriage, divorce is not an option.” but this thought is foolish and arrogant. Divorce IS an option in every marriage, but we must guard our marriages from the CAUSES of it. God hates the causes of divorce (see 2Corinth6:14-15, Matthew 19:8 and 5:32, 1Corinth 7:15, and 1Tim5:8.) And God hates the consequences of divorce. But God does not hate the concept of divorce (see Deut 34:1-4 where He REGULATEF it. Ezra 9:1-4, 10:10-11 where he REQUIREF it and Jeremiah 3:8 where he EXECUTED it.) where is your biblical basis to say: “this is never the case if the man is seeking healing.”? Where does it state in the Bible that if a man has committed adultery, If he asks for help then you must not divorce him? I worry about women being in such a fragile state and reading that and thinkin that this is what the Bible says so they must not get a divorce. I worry that they are looking for Christian advice, but not getting the Biblical background. I know the vows my husband and I took on our wedding day and I love him dearly. And while, for me, this pornography issue falls under “for better or for worse” I recognize this isn’t the case with everyone because in the vows are also “to forsake all others.” there are biblical reasons to divorce your husband. Women, please pray that God leads you in the path he wants you to take on this issue. Spend time in His word, because THAT is the truth. Turn to GOD in this time for only HE can provide the healing :) I will be praying for you all.

    • Jane, Jesus never commanded that we divorce in the case of adultery. It says that He PERMITTED it in the case of adultery. And speaking to thousands of couples yearly at marriage conferences who have rebuilt their marriages after adultery, I would say that Jesus’ biggest ministry is reconciliation, not destruction.

      God DOES hate divorce, because divorce is destructive to all. Yet He also permits it in certain circumstances. I am wondering how you square the lust vs. adultery and hatred vs. murder argument that I made. Do you think that everyone who hates should be thrown in prison for murder? Is hatred the same as murder? Because Jesus equated hatred with murder at the same time as He equated lust with adultery. Yet we are very cavalier about saying that ANY pornography is cause for divorce, yet we don’t believe that ANY hatred is murder.

      As I said in the post, I do believe that there are situations where a pornography addiction will lead to a separation and eventually a divorce. I just don’t think that’s the majority of the cases. So much depends on whether a husband is repentant and wants to change. It also depends on whether it is a full-blown habit or just something they turn to every once and a while. Splitting up a family because a guy watches a porn flick with friends periodically seems very extreme. Is the guy in the wrong? Absolutely. But kids need their father, and divorce is so, so destructive on children.

      God does hate divorce, and He does not demand it. He permits it in certain cases. And I think we need to be very, very careful in labelling any pornography use as grounds for divorce–or even worse, as an admonition that you MUST divorce, that’s all. Things are rarely black and white, and this is one that is very complicated. If a woman is feeling fragile about it, I highly recommend that she speak to a mentor and pray with someone else who can help give her perspective and practical help. There is so much help available today for the porn user that to say that one should divorce, I believe, is wrong. Some situations may certainly require that, but I do not believe the majority do.

  25. As a struggling mother of four kids and dealing with these same issues, what do you do when you love your husband so much, but he decides to leave in the end because he doesnt want the embarassmnent of getting help. As a christian, and raised in a strong christian family, I am totally opposed to such behavior. Years ago, when we first got married, I had to look up something on computer and the moment I hit the mouse a porn site was left on the screen. I was horrified and totally disgusted. I confronted my husband but he promised it was not him, he had never done that, and that was not his cup of tea. He blamed it on my, then 9 yr. old little boy, whom screamed and cryed because he was no longer able to play on the computer, and his television was locked on just about every channel, and he was not allowed to play video games anymore for a while. I hate my self for ever placing the blame on my child, whom is very well respected and popular with his coaches, peers, and families of his friends. My son is now 17 getting ready to graduate, with a 4.75 gpa and headed to Orthopedic school (Hopefully with lots of scholarships now that I am single and rasising 4 children on my on) and I cannot be more proud of whom he has become with all the untrue accusations he had placed by my husband. Just a few months back, my husband really had not been a part of us as he was when he first entered our lives. My two boys are with my first husband, whom also was very porn abusive, plenty of affairs, even getting another girl pregnant when I was pregnant with my first child, but I loved him and did what I had to do to keep our family together. That relaionship ended, due to physical abuse, and the threat of my boys being taken awary from me by social services, because of family and friends turning him in. As a christian, I did not want to break my vows, I loved him in sickness and was willing to help him, but he turned to drugs, and became very abusive and I was forced to leave my home, as well as him, and was threatened to be placed in a home where we would be kept safe. I by know means wanted any kind of life like that for my boys, so it took a lot of prayers and begging of the court system to continue to living somewhat a normal life. However, I did have to move every time he located us which was a pain but after a couple of years of going though this we were finally able to settle down and have a descent life. Today I still love my first husband and will continue to pray for his healing, but last I heard, he has become worse instead of better. To continue with my story, several years after my divorce I started seeing this wonderful guy, my husband now, became very close to him and married within the year. Thats when we bought our home together. Our relationship has been nothing like my first, he has been a decent father to three of my children that are not his paternaly, and I am so thankful for that. However, when he started backing down from us, I knew something was up. I hired a Forensic Investigator mostly just for piece of mind, I was totally not up for getting what returned to my by the investigator. I have learned that my husband has been having a sexting affair for several years now with a co worker whom he has to go out of town with on several occasions. The picures and wording of these text are so disgusting, and I do not understand how any one even her(a mother of 2 boys herself) could do such insane actions. My husband after being confronted, decided to leave by chosing his fantasy world over his family whom still loves him very much. After a couple of months, my husband decided to come back realizing he wanted to get help to keep his family together. It has been okay over the past couple of months but still a long recovery for my heart, especially after placing the blame on my older son. But just this week, my husband has been caught with several downloaded dirty videos on his smartphone. Once again, my husband has chose to leave, and live in his fantasy world over being with his family. This time he moved all of his stuff out. My guess he has no intentions of getting any help. My children and I are living in so much pain today. It hurts so bad to know I allowed him to destroy the minds of my four children again. He also already stated due to some of my accusations at him, he could not live with me. I know now he is not in love with me any more. That is just a given. But I have so much pain and need some encourgament for the sake of my children. He continues to hurt us by bringing sheriff’s over here to get his stuff and telling the sheriff I have made threats to him by saying I was going to get him for physical abuse etc. I dont think he realizes what he is doing to the kids by his actions. I love my husband and would never make any untruthful accusation against him as he has done my 17 year old son. I dont understand what kind of person he is and dont feel he wants to keep our family together by getting help. If he did, he would not have left. Right???? I believe he is most worried about his reputation and losing his job when this goes to court. I have choice to take him to court, I have four children, working a part time job, and enrolled in school full time to follow my dreams. But now I feel those dreams will be shattered once again, because I cannot raise my children, keep my home for them, continue through school without any funds. He has destoryed us, and he is perfectly happy with that. I think he is going to be even happier when we lose everything we have because he knows I have no money. All he has asked from us lately is to be able to come back and get a few things he has left. How can anyone be allowed to do this? I dont understand. When he brings the cops over, they treat me and my children like we are the criminals. It is so painful to deal with. Because he still owns half of the house the sherrif tells me they will come back anytime they want and he will get anything he wants. I am tired of going through the pain this week. He knows I have no money to take him to court, so he is doing everything he can to take advantage of that. At this point, every one is forgiveable, but this is way unforgettable. I know now I have to move on without him in my life as much as I love him. It takes two to make a marriage work, and he is not willing, but continues to make me feel as if everything happening is my fought. If there are any suggestions from any one in this forum, they will be greatly appreciated. The pain inside is becoming unbearable. If no one reads this, if anything, I do feel slightly better about be able to vent. Thank You for whomever started this forum. Rhonda

  26. Charlotte says:

    Thank you. I am just 24 hours in to the exposure of my husbands addiction. I am so thankful to have you confirm all of the things that my counselor has encouraged me to do. I am still so raw. Will you pray for us? I know many people are but it has been a blow I didn’t see coming from my christian husband who had denied for years and actually has been lying to me since before we were married about past sins. Oh god we all need His grace. I read the points the commenter had made and then your follow up. I found myself identifying with so many of the emotions, thoughts and truths that are bringing me hope to keep going.
    Sincerely,
    Charlotte

    • Charlotte, I’ve already said a prayer for you! I’m so glad you’re already speaking to a counselor; that’s a really good step. Just know that you are not alone. So many women have gone through this, and God has been big enough to see them through. You will grow through this; your marriage will grow through this. And in the end you will likely experience a better marriage because there is transparency finally, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now!

  27. HELP! My girlfriend, and now wife for 7 years has caught me again. I was introduced to pornography when I was only 10, and it’s hold upon me has been everlasting. Like many times before, I was caught, and I would promise the world to get back in her good graces. But this time, we have a 2-year old son, and I promised last time that I would leave if I ever did this again. & I just can’t. I’m lost, and desperate to regain any trust what-so-ever with my wife. I truly am enamored by her wit, beauty, charm, her skills as a mother, entrepreneur, etc. But I know I have hurt her, without even realizing just how much. Last time I started going to therapy and it did not seem to help as I had hoped. “Cold turkey” seemed to work for a while. But I also realized just how much materials I had amassed in the 29 years of being trapped by the devil. I remember being told as a child, that “the Lord and the Devil are fighting for each of our souls, and if the devil cannot capture your soul outright he will make to forget, why you are here.” I have lost my path since age 10, and only now, after possible losing my child to my selfishness. I understand, that not only did the Devil make me forget, He made me forget my son in many ways as well. The Devil cannot win. I LOVE my wife, our marriage, and our potential, and thanks to internet searching and a few minutes of reading everyone’s comments thus far. I am definitely striving to first ing to first fix my relationship with my self, my wife, my son and in the process with God. Thank you for listening, & good luck to every one else who has shared or is afraid to. The Devil is going to lose.

    • Richard, the fact that you WANT to win this battle means that you can win this battle. Romans 7 talks about Paul’s pull to do things that he didn’t want to do in the first place, and it sounds like that’s what you’re going through here. But here’s the thing: you can’t win this battle alone. We aren’t meant to win battles alone. James 5:16 says to confess your sins to another person, and I think that’s where you should start. I know you had therapy in the past, but I think you need more than therapy. You need someone to pray with who will hold you accountable. So try to find a male accountability partner, in the same way that alcoholics have an accountability partner. Most churches can help you with this.

      As for your promise to leave, you certainly do not have to honor that. If your wife kicks you out that’s different (and if she does, I would move heaven and earth to get help and reconcile), but you never have to keep a promise like that.

      I’d also get help for your wife through xxxchurch.com or other websites that deal with porn. She needs to know what you’re up against, and that she isn’t alone with her feelings, either.

      I wish you both all the best.

      • Hey I realize this is an old post, so Richard might not still be reading this, but hopefully my insight will help others.

        I had a 20 year porn addiction. And I only got healed after being confronted by both God and my girlfriend, by joining my church’s addiction group, by actively working the steps, by securing my devices, and by being brutally honest with my sponsor regularly. I now lead my churches addiction group, and have sponsored many men.

        So I read a post like Richard’s and I first relate to his struggle and that sinking feeling of being caught, but second, I recognize his BS. He made a comment that therapy didn’t really “work” for him. The impression that gives me is that he expected a magic cure, and not his need surrender daily to God, and the willingness to do whatever work he needed to cause the heart change needed. His therapist probably gave him things to do, and he probably didn’t do them, otherwise the therapy would’ve worked. And his mention of amassing a large amount of porn “materials” implies to me that he didn’t destroy these materials.

        So for any men who are addicted, or any wives dealing with an addicted husband, you need to recognize that a addict WILL NOT get long-term stable freedom from porn unless he is willing to start making hard choices like destroying/deleting all porn, securing all his devices, but much more importantly, getting into some program or therapy, and actually WORKING on the things they give him to do, including finding a sponsor/accountability partner. There are lots of people who come into our addiction program that don’t get recovery, not because our program isn’t good, but because they never actually work the program.

        Importantly, for both the addict and the spouse, there is also a need to remember that freedom takes time and patience, and a bucket-load of grace, because long-term habits need to be broken, and deep healing needs to happen. Recovery is hard, but living as an addict is much harder in the long-term.

        What I’m trying to get at is that there is hope for porn addicts, I am proof, but recovery has to be very intentional; there is no magic bullet, or magic prayer, that will instantly fix someone. So if you are a spouse of an addict, don’t accept claims that they never doing it again without real action behind it. They may have every intention of not using again, but without help they will fail again.

        My girlfriend helped me immensely by confronting me about the porn, but then asking me, “how can I help you?” that is the definition of grace. And it is grace that teaches us to say “no” to sin (Titus 2:11-14)

  28. I can vouch for the things the husband says in the original post: the misery the Christian husband is in while he struggles with porn and the life — almost a resurrection — that comes from exposure. 2 Peter 2:7-8 speaks of Lot as a righteous man who nevertheless “vexed his righteous soul” by continuing to live in Sodom. That has always seemed to me to be a good description of what a Christian is doing to himself with pornography.

    God bless the men who, once exposed (either voluntarily or involuntarily), genuinely work to get better. God bless the wives who forgive and become their husband’s ally in the fight. God bless you, Sheila, for handling the Word of God carefully and not making pornography use an automatic “get out of marriage free” card, though that is the easy answer in the face of the great (and understandable) hurt, anger, and fear that pornography use causes a wife.

    Unfortunately, my wife’s discovery of my pornography use essentially doomed our already struggling marriage, though it took about 10 years for the divorce to come. I mark the decline of our marriage from 1998, our 16th year, when we first started to feel significant financial pressure as a result of a failing new business I had started. From then on, it seemed that I couldn’t do anything right in her eyes, and she couldn’t “trust” me financially, as a father, etc. We had been married almost 19 years when she discovered porn on our computer because I had failed to clear the computer’s history. Like the husband you quoted in your post, I was a “binge” user — exposure and attraction to porn at an early age and a long-standing pattern of no porn use for months at a time, but then some stolen hours away from home or some time at home when my wife was gone overnight or something. Once she knew about it, however, it was such a relief for me, and it was surprisingly easy for me to stop. We went to counseling as a couple, I went to counseling individually, we installed Covenant Eyes monitoring software (which cannot be circumvented), and I was completely “clean” for two years. However, there was nothing “easy” about it for my wife. We didn’t have sex for three months. When we resumed, the previous porn use was always a hovering cloud. To my wife, the porn use was the same thing as adultery. When I accepted a job in another state (where my parents and siblings lived) 18 months later, unbeknownst to me she consulted with an attorney about whether she could keep the kids and not move without divorcing me. She was advised that the only legal means to do that was to divorce, and she wasn’t yet willing to do that, so she begrudgingly consented to the move. The relapse happened in the new home, almost exactly two years after the first disclosure (during a weekend when she was away and while our new internet access was just being established). I thought seriously about keeping the relapse hidden, in part because I knew how devastated she would be, but I knew if I did that I would be virtually guaranteeing that I’d be locked into the old pattern again. So the day she came back I sat her down and confessed to her. I also confessed to my accountability group and to my individual counselor. And I stayed clean after that, for 7 years. But it was almost as bad for her the second time. She made it clear that if it ever happened again, she would divorce me. We didn’t have sex again for another three months. When we resumed, it was infrequent (which had been our pattern, and a big issue between us, since at least 1994). In 2008, she filed for divorce the first time, primarily for financial and parenting reasons. I talked her out of it and we resumed fairly intensive marriage counseling, which helped for about a year before things deteriorated again. In mid-2010, she hired a divorce attorney on Friday, told our two oldest kids Sunday night (while I was asleep) that she was going to divorce me (I wouldn’t find out for another three weeks), refused to attend a marriage counseling session with me on Monday, and caught me in my second relapse on Tuesday. I was “acting out” in an inappropriate response to another argument we had had. She was (understandably) livid. I didn’t know it yet, but I had just guaranteed that there would be no reconciliation this time.

    She now contends that she had biblical grounds for divorce because I was “unfaithful” to her via the pornography. One week after the divorce was final, she was dating online. She “met” her choice three weeks later, met him in person for the first time 4 months after the divorce (he lives 400 miles away, so they have to visit on alternate weekends), and got engaged 7 months after the divorce. The wedding date hasn’t been set yet; we’re now 11 months out from the divorce. We have two adult kids who no longer have a home to return to; for the rest of their lives, they’ll have to decide whether to visit mom or visit dad when they have a break from school or work. We have two teens still at home; my wife has 75% custody of our special needs daughter (and plans to take her with her when she remarries and moves); I have 75% custody of our son. The pain, harm, expense, disruption, grief, and a million other negative consequences of the divorce are worse than you can imagine if you haven’t been through it.

    I hope the wives who read your post will learn from the husband’s description that you quoted and from my comment that their husbands (unless they’re just absolute cads) are grieved by their sin, don’t excuse their sin, and want very much to get out of it. I hope the wives realize that recovery, restoration, and reconciliation are very much possible if both spouses will work at it. And I hope they realize that if they give up on their husbands or on the relationship, the heartache that comes will actually be worse for all concerned than the heartache (which I know is real) that they’re feeling right now.

    • Wow thanks for sharing your story. It really gives me hope that my marriage can still be saved. May I ask was it harder not look at porn not having sex for 3 months straight? I have kicked my husband out over porn he wants to save the marriage and so do I only if he seeks help. I told him I will go to meetings with him I will be by his side. We have been married 12 years and it’s been 12 years of the same thing over and over saying he will never look at it again but this time he has to get help otherwise he won’t come back and we have 5 kids together. SO please say a prayer for me and my husband.
      Thanks in advance.

      • Helen, sorry to be slow getting back to you. To answer your question, the 3 months after the initial exposure weren’t difficult to begin with. I knew I had hurt her badly and in precisely that area of our lives. It started to get difficult the third month, but not because of the porn temptation, which really was essentially non-existent during that time and for quite a while after in the wake of the exposure. The difficulty was the lack of the intimacy and affirmation that comes with sex, and also because there was no timetable. It was basically “no sex until further notice,” and one night about 3 months later she surprised me and initiated. I wouldn’t recommend the open-ended approach. That can too easily be abused by the wife and become a punishment and a means of manipulation. Better, I think, to actually follow the biblical rule in 1 Cor. — agree together on a period of abstinence and make it a time of extra prayer (preferably together). I don’t know what an appropriate time period is, but I’m inclined to think 3 months is too long — again, not necessarily because of the porn temptation but because of the loss of relational intimacy.

        The second 3 month ban was harder. Given the efforts I’d made, the amount of time before the relapse, and my immediate, voluntary disclosure of the relapse, it felt to me like the doghouse period ought to be quite a bit shorter. But again it was an open-ended thing that just happened to end after 3 months, so all during that time I never knew how much longer it was going to be. A bad idea, I think.

        I’m sorry your battle has gone on as long as it has. I agree completely that you should insist that he get help — counseling, an accountability group or partner, and monitoring software. If he is a Christian and won’t voluntarily take those steps, I think it’s appropriate, even mandatory, that you go to your church leaders and get their help. If he refuses to abide by their insistence that he get help, it should become a church discipline matter. I hope your situation never goes this far, but if he continues to refuse to get help, then he’s disobeying the church and he’s essentially unrepentant. In that situation, with the blessing of your church leaders, I think you’d be justified in going further (if you choose to) and separating or divorcing. But only if the sequence goes as I’ve described. If he’s trying, and if he’s getting outside help, and if he does better but has an occasional (hopefully rare) relapse, I think you have to continue to work with him. And unless it’s financially impossible, you need counseling too to deal with his betrayal and to help with his recovery.

        Hope this helps. God bless you.

  29. Use of porn is indulgence, pure and simple. Stop indulging yourself. The problem is indulgence and narcissism and gross immaturity. You don’t murder people, do you? Do you lie? Do you steal? Do you beat people up? You keep yourself from doing those things. So, hey, you just don’t look at online porn or any other source of porn. You just don’t do it. Our society does not demand that people grow up. It coddles sin. Stop coddling this sin, people. I am really sick of hearing about this or that Christian man’s addiction to porn. As Christians, there are steps we can take to rid ourselves of sins, but we don’t take those steps. We stay in the situations… immoral movies and TV shows, drinking, going to nightclubs and bars, basically being a part of the unbelieving world’s culture. I heard a pastor saying that the men in his church have accountability partners, and that they have a filter on their own home computer so that he himself is not able to look at porn. This is a grown man and a pastor needing a filter on his computer to supply the self-control he is basically unwilling to exercise himself. It’s just ridiculous. Stop coddling this sin. Grow up.

    • Cindy: Please read Shaunti Feldhahn’s book for a better understanding of why it’s a struggle for many/most/all men that frequently is not overcome simply by a “just say no” approach. Remember that there is a chemical aspect to it (in the brain) that contributes to its being an addiction or addiction-like. At a minimum, it requires openness and accountability. And why begrudge a pastor, or any man, the hedges he puts up to protect himself and his family?

  30. Thank you so much for this post!! My husband was addicted to porn, and has been walking in redemption for over two years now. It’s only by God’s grace that our marriage was saved, as he had been addicted for many years. May God bless your ministry!!

  31. Hello I was wondering how you felt about having sex with your spouse after kicking him out over porn addiction? I don’t know if not having sex with him will make him want to look at porn more often.

  32. Love this article! I was just curious if anyone is out there trying to get porn off the internet? Or if that is even possible?

  33. As I read these comments about spouses being addictive to pornography breaks my heart. I was in the same position 4 months ago with my husband. When I found out, I thought there was no hope. We had just been married a year and being 24 years old I saw my world crumbling. I was ready to walk away from my marriage. My husband started his addiction at the age of 11 when his dad died. It took a lot of guts but when he told me he said he wanted to get help immediately. Most men or women think they break it on there own without getting the help they need or deny they even have a problem. I started to researching about porn addiction and i was surprised to see how many people struggle with it. We immediately started seeing a counselor and our relationship has changed but in a positive way. In a way we feel stronger then ever. I will admit at times I still get down if I start to think about it. But as my counselor told me, I need to be open with my husband when I am having a hard time as well. However, I am not his accountability partner. A couple of recommendations I would have to a wife going thru this don’t lose hope and try not to be angry with him if he is wanting and trying to get help. We have joined an amazing church and get one on one counseling along with marriage. I am proud to say he has not looked at porn in 4 months!

    • That’s wonderful, KMC! And I just want to reiterate what you said: we can’t be our husbands’ accountability partners. They need other guys, and that’s okay! So for all of you reading this, do what KMC and her husband did and get some outside help!

  34. porn just destroy our social value… ex: sunny leone is a porn star, she now become a part of bollywood, now i have to say ” what the hell is this “……….. isnt that inspiring our girl to do porn . why a pornstar is a star..why why , actually the fault is in ours because we treat them as a star, and famous person, so the fault is ours.

  35. My husband started watching porn at 8. Right before our wedding it came to light (with a few other related things) and I talked to him and marriage counselor. So he went to addictions couseling and after couseling for awhile we got married. I’ve really struggled with trust bc he didn’t do anything after a few months of marriage to “protect” himself or earn trust back (although i have no clue if he is watching porn or not, as he is very secretive and we are apart a lot bc of his job, but I always somehow end up running cross things he has bought/ views he knows hurts me and him, but I don’t think he feels that way.) anyways, we are two years later and both still struggling. He tells me all the time I’m too restrictive. (he thinks I shouldnt care if he watches movies with nudity, goes to strip clubs etc). I dont know what else to do, he doesn’t care anymore about God/church, if it hurts me, and always tells me he just wants freedom. I dont a divorce, but I don’t know what else to do. (couseling is not an option as he won’t go.) What are helpful options that don’t include me having just to ignore it?

  36. I just cried reading all of these postings.I am a christian woman who grew up in a christian home. I have lost a step father to his lust and porn, and he left my mother heart broken.I sworn I would never go through that. I thought it was just me that was going through all of this alone. I am married just 2 years now. We had this issue before we were married. He has made MANY promises to stop. Then I would catch himm while I was sleeping. Then we would argue. He would promise me he would stop, then I would hear in in the other room on his play-station. We would talk again, and I would get more angry. Then He would CRY and tell me how sorry he was/is , that he would NEVER do it again. I threatend to leave with our boys ( 9 years old and 6 months old ). He said he will seak help, that its not worth losing his family… But then I would hear it through our vents.. I would go down to the basement, catch him with no pants on, the TV off, and him trying to play asleep. I would ask him what he was doing, and he would lie and say sleeping. I would turn the TV on, and there it was.. SMACK in my face.. I could have died. We have gone to counseling, and our counselor told him that he needs to stop, and would follow up with him every two weeks.. After one appointment, our counselor asked him if he has been “looking” at porn, and he looked him right in the face and said NO! That same night, I caught him looking at it on his phone..This actually made me vomit. Now that our sessions are done, I have asked him is he still involved? He said no. Then last week, one morning while he was at work, I opened up my laptop, and SMACK again..porn from the night before. When I called him and asked him about it.. He lied..yet AGAIN. I am at my roaps end. Im so tired of the lies upon lies. I want to trust him, but how can I when he is lying to me and EVERYONE around us.. I dont think I can go on anymore. I have no strength, and I blame myself. I have put on 30 pounds, and my hair is falling out due to stress. I cave and try to please him sexually by doing “DIRTY” things. But I dont even want to be touched by him. I feel well..DIRTY! I love my huband, but I dont love our marriage. And I fear how he will raise our two boys..
    Please Pray for us. Please pray for me. I have wanted to walk/run away so many time.

    Signed..So Lost and alone.

  37. Hello Shiela,

    I have repeatedly caught my husband looking at porn and have confronted him about it. He doesn’t think he is addicted to it but I believe he is. I have reminded him that what he is doing, being a professing Believer, is a sin and not pleasing to the Lord and that it is extremely hurtful to me. I have pleaded with him in tears to no avail. He has never apologized for his actions and how he has hurt me and has made no promises to change or even try to stop. To try to make me feel better about it he has told me that it has nothing to do with me or how he views me. He has told me that he still thinks I’m attractive, that he loves me, and that he doesn’t look at it because he thinks I’m lacking in any way. So, in telling me this, he thinks that I shouldn’t have an issue with it and the fact that I do means that it’s my issue and something that I’m making too big of a deal of.
    It is just all twisted and disgusting logic to me. The negative impact it has had on me is tremendous.
    What should I do besides pray for him? I want to tell a pastor what is going on so that he can confront him but I’m not sure if I should do this without telling my husband first. I know that he will be very upset if I tell the pastor without telling him first but I know that if I tell my husband first he will do everything he can to talk me out of it.

    Your advice would be much appreciated!

    • That is so, so sad. I’m sorry that this is happening in your marriage. And believe me, it’s very common for men to say “it has nothing to do with you”, and they honestly mean it. To them it does have nothing to do with you.

      But you will still bear a lot of the repercussions. It ruins intimacy. It ruins their sex drive and their ability to perform. It steals something vital to you.

      I can’t tell you exactly what to do, but I can tell you that secrecy very rarely helps when sin is involved. I would pray that God would show you a mentor or someone else that you can trust to guide you through this. And I pray that God will reveal that person to you!

      • Thank you Sheila for your words of advice. I really appreciate it. I have had another talk with my husband about the porn issue. He now says that it is because we aren’t intimate enough. What a lie. I told him of some instances where I caught him looking at porn after we had been intimate and minutes before we were going to be intimate. He hesitated for a moment and then said that it’s because he probably needs more than what I am giving him. Needless to say, I was in disbelief. Our conversation ended with me telling him that I will have someone intervene if he doesn’t commit to stopping. He said that he will try to stop but cannot promise anything. It’s all very heartbreaking. He won’t even give me his computer password for Pete’s sake! He refuses to and says that there is no reason why I should access his computer and therefore there is no reason why he should give it to me.

        I haven’t caught him since our talk but I’m wondering if I should have someone intervene anyway. His mentality on porn just opens the door for him to do it again and again. He is just so blinded by his own sin.

    • Hi,
      Do you have someone who could confront him other than yourself? A church leader? God says if you confront a person about a sin and they don’t stop, you take it before someone else (or two or three). Someone needs to tell him of all he is really doing, there’s huge spiritual consequences for what he is doing. It will hurt him also, in a way he cannot see yet. Obviously it will also further hurt your marriage.

  38. I just found out today that my husband is severely addicted to porn. At first he just tried to convince me that it is on sporadically but after going through our cell phone bill I was blown away by over 4000 text and picture messages he had on his phone. He is literally looking at this stuff for hours and hours and talking to these women on his cell phone. He has been complaining how tired he has been and this is why. He has stated that he needs help and is willing to seek the help. I am very thankful for this but I am so disgusted and hurt. He wants me to hug on him and tell him its going to be OK and I believe that GOD can and will heal him and our marriage but I am afraid that the road will be very long and I just dont know how he will deal with that. After 26 years together he has been viewing porn for 15-20 years of that time. We have two children and dont want them to be hurt and I am praying that GOD can help me to be the best wife I can be with out the anger getting in the way. I just needed to vent and I am so very thankful that for the first time ever he wants help. He has denied it for so long and truth is so have I. I love him so much and just want him to get better so he can see what a wonderful man he is. The porn has made him cold toward his children and life in general. Praying God brings that sweet spirit back that I have missed for so long.

    • Lee, I’m so, so sorry. And what you are saying about being cold towards his children is very typical. Porn turns you away from normal relationships and makes you very self-focused. I know things seem so dark now, but ironically this is the best they’ve been in a long time! Even though everything is now hitting the fan, the truth is that it is now that light is being shone, and your husband is accepting responsibility and WANTS to change. That is a good thing!

      The road ahead will be a long one, and it will be difficult. He may slip up. You’ll find it hard to trust him again. But God CAN rebuild a marriage, and He CAN heal.

      Give yourself some time to grieve, but do not lose hope. When a man genuinely wants to change, you have already won most of the battle!

      My prayers for you,
      Sheila.

  39. I have confronted my husband SEVERAL times about is pornography use and looking at personal ads in Craigslist and backpage. He has lied and denied it. I don’t know what to do any more and am completely lost. He has almost no sex drive and I’m pretty sure he falls into the category of not knowing what intimacy is. I’m his 4th wife and we have only been married for about 6 months.

    I love him to death but I’m having trouble dealing with the CONSTANT rejection…. why look at those things when you have an able and willing wife…? I’m starting to lose interest in having sex now, when before, I was wanting it just about every day. He is on blood pressure medication and some pain medication for his back. Not sure if those are REALLY factors or just an excuse….

    I can use all the help and support I can get. Thank you.

    • I have been writing about pornography, adultery, and sexual addiction on my blog for a few years now. The sex drive thing, has to do with intensity over intimacy. He’s looking for the “release” and not the relationship. The more he looks at porn, etc. the more it will take for him to get arroused.

      I don’t know your situation, but it sounds like you need to have a heart to heart with your husband about this issue. But he also needs to know that you are willing to help him fight against this!

      If you have a chance, check out my blog where I share what has helped in our relationship. You might find it encouraging!

      Sincerely,
      A Mom & Wife who has lived through it and writes about it at Light in the Darkness
      http://lightmeetsdarkness.blogspot.com/
      Light in the Darkness recently posted…Why I Wasn’t Enough, Part 2My Profile

      • I have had a few heart to hearts with him already and he denies any use of pornography and gets VERY defensive. It really wouldn’t bother me near as much if he were more honest about. Why lie? You’ve been caught, there’s evidence, just admit. He’s also denying me of any intimacy which is selfish on his part. Had I known things would be like this, I probably wouldn’t have married him. I’ve told him I’d be here to help him through whatever he needs. As much as I love him, I can’t hold his hand all the time. I feel like I’m the only one putting in any effort. I’ve reached out verbally and even tried writing letters.

        He just doesn’t seem committed to me 100%. He’s cheated on me once, and had gone as far as contacting some women on Craigslist. God knows what he’s really done… And there’s really no way of me finding out. He’s really good at lying and covering up his tracks…

        I have reached out to this site because I am at a COMPLETE loss at this point. I have an appointment to see a counselor and I would like to bring him with me at some point. He’s got some serious issues he needs help with as well.

        Thank you for your help.

  40. Thank you for giving a Godly perspective. I’ve been searching the internet for advice, but honestly feel more and more depressed and far from a Godly-point-of-view the more I read. (…Even if it’s a Christian website about recovering from porn!) I’m not married but in a serious relationship with a Christian guy, who is addicted to porn. It started at a young age, and he confessed it to me a few months ago that he still struggles with it. He’s trying to quit, and is genuinely a great guy, but it makes it difficult to see our relationship clearly now. I’ve felt God telling me see my boyfriend and myself in Christ, as new creations with a living hope, and show my boyfriend love and grace in this struggle — not to say that means serious work on our relationship still or that either of us are treating porn as “acceptable.”
    What bothers me now though is that I can’t tell what issues are porn-related and what aren’t. My boyfriend withdraws the times he has had a “bad week” (watched porn) and becomes very “un-present” with me, like his head is somewhere else. He emotionally shuts off when that happens, and for a long time he withdrew physically too — at one point, he wouldn’t even kiss me. Then suddenly, he swung the other way around and now french kisses me, etc. (and gets really into it…), which doesn’t feel like “love” to me but lust. I don’t know what boundaries to set anymore, because I don’t like his lack of intimacy some days but when he swings the other way… that doesn’t feel like intimacy either. Getting him to open up and talk helps sometimes, and he becomes his normal sweet self usually after we talk through stuff. His family is VERY reserved and not open at all with each other (actually, the tend to attack each other emotionally), so I want to be able to help him feel safe with me to be intimate on an emotional level without pulling away from me. It’s hard, because I really do love and care about this guy, and I know he feels really bad when he looks at porn. He’s trying big time right now to seek God. We’ve known each other a long time, and he talks about marrying me one day, but with all of this stuff, I don’t know how to work on our relationship at this point, let alone think about getting married. He and I both talk about how to help him quit porn, but we’re not totally sure where to start, because he says he’s not even sure why he does it half the time, just that he really hates himself afterward.

    • Alanna, I would move very, very slowly in this relationship. It doesn’t sound like he’s ready to get married at all. I know that he says he wants to quit, but I would just ask–does he have an accountability partner? Is he talking to anyone about this other than you? Because studies have shown that very few men manage to quit on their own. They need a support system and accountability.

      I read a great book about this recently called The Road to Grace which talks about how to recover–both by putting systems in place, like accountability, so it doesn’t happen again, but then by addressing more of the heart issues about your family and your relationship with God which have contributed to this in the first place.

      I’d say that you need to take a step back from this relationship and encourage him to spend time working on himself. Then re-evaluate later on. But so many women come to this website in turmoil because their husbands use porn, and once you have married him, and have kids, if this hasn’t been dealt with life will be so, so difficult.

      I’m sorry to say that. But I do believe that it’s true. He very well may be a wonderful guy, but he has to deal with this before he can be in any kind of relationship.

      Blessings and prayers for you,
      Sheila.

  41. I am 54 years old and have been married for 3 years. I only recently discovered the porn addiction. He would hide it in the DVR under other names. I was devastated. I am attractive and a very sexual being so, I just could not understand the why for this. I take care of his every need or so I thought. There have been many secretive problems on his part throughout this relationship involving contact with other women ( he claimed just friends). He had been a bachelor for most of his life and in some ways believes it’s his right to have secrets and considers my need to know a violation of his privacy. We met on the internet several years ago. 2600 miles separated us. I flew back and forth for 1 1/2 years before permanently moving here. He is a wonderful husband otherwise. We laugh a lot and enjoy each others company. I love my life here but, I do not want this porn thing in my life. He said he is working on the addiction. I pray he is not lying to me and himself.

  42. Telling someone no matter how mad he gets per this advice didn’t serve me well at all. It did nothing but cause his family to be angry with me and not sympathetic at all. I was told to “get over it” because he is a victim of a previous divorce. It did not matter that I had a nervous breakdown because my mental pain wasn’t as bad as a relative who had gone through a nervous breakdown. I then enlisted the counseling of a pastor. Again, I was told to get over it bluntly or loose my marriage. The pastor put all the burden of dealing with this on me. Never once counseled my husband as to what the Bible says is his responsibility toward his wife. He told us that I was going to forgive him and never mention it again and if he did it again we would just keep forgiving it. Yet I was treated like the perpetrator if I mentioned the pain I was going through due to HIS actions. I was told I had to immediately “trust” him and he would then man up to meet that trust. All the while the pastor empowered him by saying how pitiful he was and made him the victim because I acted hurt! So needless to say I have NO sympathy on a man with a porn problem. I am a FAITHFUL wife. I build my husband up as a man constantly and he has even admitted what a perfect wife, how hot he thinks I am, and how good I am in every way I am to others. Every time, yes every time we are out people tell him what a hot wife he has yet I NEVER get a compliment from him. So all of you filthy men that have to look at porn and destroy your wife …”get over it!” My husband has stated that he NEVER has to worry about someone else being in his bed while he is at work. Something that he did have to worry about with his ex-wife. Yet, my looks, my faithfulness, my building him up as a man, my sexual prowess wasn’t enough. There is no dang excuses except men that do such should have to be chained to the nastiest, trashiest woman in town and have his manhood trashed publicly until he appreciates the good woman he has that he MADE A VOW TO. It’s time for such men to act like men and not apes in heat when they have everything at home that any man should need.

  43. I have been using porn for the past 10 years, primarily because my wife is no longer interested in sex, or any other form of intimacy. She says she is consumed by too many day to day issues and sees no point to getting intimate. Once every 2-3 weeks I’ll make another attempt to get her interest… lay down next to her on the couch while she watches Fox News or Nancy Grace on TV, I’ll stroke her hair, kiss her neck, and put my arms around her. She responds with “Please, cut it out”. In all other moments of the day she is the perfect wife. So my only recourse to satisfy my needs is through porn when she is out of the house. In this way it is not hurting our relationship, but keeping it together – as I do not even think of straying to find a ‘real person’ to satisfy my needs. I remain loyal to my wife and keep myself satisfied.

  44. My husband just completely stopped having sex with me. The last time we had sex was January 1, 2010. I caught him looking at filth twice. I am disgusted, hurt, disappointed and angry as hell. he admitted to me that he has been addicted to pornography long before he met me. I’m really totally done with this man. He refuses to talk about it and clams up. He is non-communicative, too quiet, and has secrets. I found text messages on his phone where he has been communicating with another woman, who I’m certain is also caught up in this filth. I want out! I hate being married! Our marriage is based on lies and deceit. I will NEVER ever trust another man.

  45. Charlotte Miller says:

    I am reading these posts and y heart ache is boundless. My husband of 7 yrs not only has a porn addication but has started ‘skyping’ with for lack of a bettter word or understanding on my part with prostititues on line. I came into the office 3 days ago with our 15 mos old and was confronted with a side by side profile of him and another woman. He has told me that if I want to stay married to him that I have to agree with his choices and that he wants to have sex like this and that I should not approach him. He has ran up our credit card blanaces around $14,000 dollars in pursuit of these women. I don’t know what to do. I am so embarrassed and ashamed I do not know who to talk to. I want to call his best friend but I know he will be verbally abusive and extrememely angry. I blocked with parental controls the computer from having access to anything online that he can view and he told me if I did not unlock it he would leave. I am so lost and heartbroken. I do not want my daughter to grow up in a broken home and recognize that if we divorce it will forever change the way she sees herself and the world. If you could offer any advice a prayer anything it would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Charlotte, I am so, so sorry for what your husband is doing to you. It is absolutely wrong, it is not your fault, and it cannot continue. He is violating his marriage vows, and if you let him do this it will only get worse.

      Two suggestions: first, read Love Must be Tough by James Dobson. It lays out what to do if a spouse is endangering the marriage and doesn’t seem to think that’s a problem. It helps you to not be a doormat but to actually do things which are more likely to bring the marriage back. Second, read this post on being a spouse not an enabler. God does not call us to enable sin, and that’s what your husband is asking you to do. I think your instincts about getting his friend involved are probably good ones, because shedding light on evil behavior is often necessary if we’re going to stop it.

      I’ve said a prayer for you, too. Remember: God is big enough to carry both you and your daughter through whatever your future may look like. You really are in His hands, and He will take care of you.

    • To me your choice is clear. You need to maintain healthy boundaries for yourself and your daughter. Either he needs to leave or you need to leave until he can stop his sinful and self-centered habit. He has broken his marriage vows to you. To stay with him would be self torture.

  46. Charlotte –

    I’m actually the odd one here in that I DON’T consider pornography wrong. However, what your husband is doing? That is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    You say that you don’t want your daughter to grow up in a broken home. But please ask yourself – do you want her to grow up in a home with a father who is verbally abusive, who puts the family in massive debt in order to have imaginary sex, and who resorts to threats and ultimatums to get his way and punish anyone who speaks up to him?

    He is doing something that he knows hurts you, and absolutely refuses to apologize, compromise, discuss it with you or even attempt to empathize with you. He is spending your family’s money – more than you can afford, I’m guessing, since he’s putting it on a credit card – to do so, money that could have gone towards bills, necessities, a rainy-day fund, a college fund for your daughter, etc. He is using threats of leaving you to keep you in line. From your description, he is also very controlling, and will react to any attempt to discuss the situation with an outside person with anger and verbal abuse – in fact, you honestly sound afraid of his reaction if you were to talk to his friend. Isolating you from a support structure is classic abuser behavior. All of this is. And believe me, it’s a terrible, harmful environment to be in, either as a wife or as a child. If things continue as they currently are, you will be doing your daughter no favors by staying just for the sake of avoiding a “broken home.”

    Right now, his threats are working because he’s banking on you believing that an abusive marriage is better than no marriage at all. That is 100% not true. If you really, truly think this marriage is worth saving, then yes, seek outside help – from a professional counselor, not just a friend – but first, in order for that to have any chance of making a difference, he has to understand that you WILL take steps to protect yourself and your daughter from the toxic environment he has created.

    He needs to understand it, but more importantly, so do you. The worst-case scenario here is NOT that he leaves you. The worst-case scenario is that he stays but doesn’t change his behavior.

    At this point, he has abused your trust so thoroughly that if you even want to give him a chance to win it back, you are a better woman than I. If he can actually be brought to understand the need to change, and if he actually wants to change and earn back your trust, well and good. But if you call his bluff and he decides that spending $14,000 on virtual prostitutes is more important to him than his wife and daughter, honestly, neither of you need a man like that in your lives.

  47. This is so helpful but I have one more question. If your husband doesn’t know that you know he is addicted how do you confront him? It’s not like it comes up in conversation. I found it on his cell phone. What should I do?

    • You just have to talk to him. I know it’s awkward. But you just have to bite the bullet and say, “I saw something that concerned me on your phone.” There’s no other way around it, really.

  48. Sad Wife says:

    At what point do you give up? My husband has had multiple affairs and views pornography. His first affair was when we were newlyweds and the most recent ended about three years ago (after continuing for five years). After I had concrete proof of his most recent affair, he vowed to change and really did make some significant changes. However, I have recently discovered that he is still viewing pornography. I’m feeling very hurt and betrayed–not just a sexual betrayal, but also a betrayal of the trust I’ve been trying to build for the last three years. If he’s being dishonest about this, what else is he being dishonest about? I don’t know how to know what to believe and what not to believe–not believing him when he is being honest is hurtful to him, but believing him when he’s being dishonest is hurtful to me.
    I’m reading here that pornography is hurtful and shameful to the man, but I feel like my husband justifies it and doesn’t think it’s wrong. How do I approach his heart for change? Or do I just finally realize that enough is enough and he doesn’t want to change.

    • I’m so sorry that you’re going through this! That’s just heartbreaking.

      I can’t tell you at one point you give up; I don’t know the whole story, and I don’t know him, and I think only God can tell you that. One really good book on the subject, though, is Love Must Be Tough.

      But that being said, it sounds like you could really use someone to walk beside you through this in real life. I’d really suggest finding a church where they offer counseling, or finding an older Christian mentor you can talk to who can pray with you, who does know both of you, and who can help you.

      Again, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I pray that he’ll realize how much harm he’s doing.

  49. Caitlynn says:

    Ok so I’m in the same boat. I was at work (9 months pregnant with my son who is now 6 months old) My husband was sitting at home. I come home after a long night of work. ( i was a waitress) got on MY computer and was surfing youtube I looked in the history trying to find a song i was listening to earlier. In the history is hundreds of videos of women dancing in just under-ware. I confronted him about it and he admitted it to me that he was watching it. I was so upset that all I could do was cry. Then because of the stress started going into labor. Luckily they stopped it but I ended up having my son the next week. Since then I get sick to my stomach thinking about it. He has since stopped viewing internet porn because I put locks on the computer. But now I can’t watch regular TV with him because all I see are half naked women and then I wonder if he’s looking at them in that way. I don’t know what to do I’m so sick over it that I cry just about every night. I want to make this work but I don’t know how to get passed this. I honestly want to throw up everytime we watch TV. Please help because this is wearing me down physically, mentally, and most importantly emotionally. I get panic attacks from it and every day I just want to scream at him. I want him to know that it eats me up everyday inside. ( I have self esteem issues to begin with because of past things with him) We can’t go to the movies because of all the sexual content. My husband wants to go see certain movies and then I think..Why because this actress is going to be naked? Please Help I’m at my last straw and have nothing left to grab for.

  50. Victimized says:

    I agree with most of what is said in this article. What I disagree with is that a woman should stay and support her husband when he’s seeking healing. It’s sounds manipulative because how can a woman really know if his efforts to give it up are sincere? Many porn viewers profess they will quit & say just about anything when they want to mend a relationship. But a persons behavior can’t be altered by someone else. The change and effort has to come from within. How much time does the porn user spend making amends to the person that is victimized by it? To subject the children to a marriage where this kind of behavior exists is not in keeping with good parenting. No mother should stay with a father that willfully exposes his child to porn by viewing it even if its in secret or trying to keep it under the radar. Life is a matter of choices and free will. If porn using husbands expect women to stay with them in recovery then maybe they need to work equally as diligently to quit relapsing just because its prevalent or easily available due to technology. Men please grow up & act like the leaders of the household that this world needs! We don’t need more single moms out there or broken relationships with children. Quit creating a climate in your lives that exposes you to media and then succumbing to temptations because of the exposure. Focus your energy on your wife or children over a fantasy in a porn! They are paid actresses. Just like you don’t want your wives comparing you to George Clooney, Brad Pitt & celebs or movie star types….in the same way, don’t compare your wives looks, performance in bed with that of a porn star.

  51. My fiancé has been looking at porn since he was a young teenager. We are not yet married, the wedding is in two months. I just recently realized that he is still struggling with this addiction. We are both Christians, I’m trying my hardest to be understanding, but quite frankly, I don’t understand how he can choose the 1,000 blonde, blue eyed huge boobs over me just because their more convenient. I have never felt this low, inadequate, or worthless in my entire life. I don’t think that’s how the love of your life is supposed to make you feel.
    I’m reaching out asking for some kind of encouragement, prayer, SOMEthing. I love him very much, but he is hurting me and seems to genuinely want to stop but has no faith in himself. I don’t understand why he can’t just stop. I have a hard time bringing it up with him because it’s s sensitive, and I always end up getting upset or just crying. Then he tunes me out because I’m like a broken record. Please help.

    • Abby, I am so, so sorry that this is happening.

      It sounds like your fiance has a genuine addiction, and this addiction WILL NOT get better just because you are married. On the contrary, what I have seen is that it gets worse. Stress is inevitable in a marriage, and what men who are addicted to porn do all too often is turn to the porn in moments of stress. Because stress is less prevalent when you’re just engaged, THIS should be the time when he’s able to put it aside. If he can’t, that’s a huge red flag to me.

      I know you want to marry him, and I’m not saying that you can’t. But perhaps two months is a little soon? What I’d do, I think, is sit down with a pastor/counselor and explain the situation, and tell your fiance that you won’t marry him UNTIL he’s been clean for a certain amount of time–say 6 months or something. I know that’s probably extremely inconvenient, but this is your life you’re talking about. And you should see the emails from young women that I get who married men addicted to porn.

      I wrote a post about should I marry someone addicted to porn right here. It may help.

      But truly, please sit down with someone in real life and hash all of this out–someone who will take your concerns seriously. Because they WILL NOT get better on their own.

      I’ve said a prayer for you,
      Sheila.

  52. My husband denies it even though I keep getting pop-ups and site links/emails in one of his email folders. He has a history of porn use but he keeps telling me he isn’t doing anything and this is all in my mind. He accuses me of finding what I “want” to find. I keep praying God will confirm the truth, and this stuff keeps coming up! He is emotionally and sexually distant, tells me my need to connect and be comforted and affirmed isn’t healthy. And I’m just exhausted.

  53. This really helped me to get a better understanding on pornography. My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years and I constantly catch him looking, signing up for new sites, looking for people in our area. Every time I get angry, I feel used. Its like he’s looking for something, or someone and that he’s never satisfied. Because I’m so hurt from his actions I refuse to have sex with him. Its been over a month since we last have. I just feel dirty knowing that he just got done looking at porn or he looks at it when we are done. Either way he’s going to look at it. He tells me he knows he has a problem but will not doing anything to help himself. I can only do so much before I just decide to give up.

  54. Sandria says:

    This has been an ongoing problem for 29 years, made worse by Internet, ipad, etc. satan is the prince of the air, and has these weak willed men in great bondage! I don’t have answers, only Christ. His neglect has financially destroyed us. Car repossessed, home threatened with foreclosure, neglect and verbal abuse, all because he is bound by sin. This is the awful consequence of leaven. Anyone of us are subject to its slavery. Stay strong in Christ ladies, run, and cry to Him. He hears, He answers, He alone can heal our broken hearts. Running away, and divorcing is not the answer. ‘The easy road is the one less likely you’ll see Jesus on.’

  55. Pray for me. It’s just not fair nothing ever gets resolved about this. I feel like my husband gets away and no one holds him accountable. To me this is adultery. I have tried to leave many times and when you say it’s not grounds for divorce you guilt me into staying in an unhappy marriage. I do not feel loved valued or cherished. I am staying and being the good obedient wife but I am angry! A lot of women are. I just hear excuse after excuse. If I saw him making effort to get help it would be different. But I still need counseling to deal with my anger so I can stay unhappily married. I am sick of being used for sex. I am a real person with feelings. I am more than what I look like. I have value! Stop making excuses and get help! I am so tired of this. You teach women to be codependent and put up with abuse. I have been abused and I wish God would help me!

    • Esther, I’m sorry you are in pain. I will try to be careful with your feelings, and deep wounds. I know how you feel, for I have walked, and am now still walking in the same path. Neglect is not something God takes lightly. He knows your frame. You say that your husband is getting away with his mistreatment of you, and that’s where your wrong. Though it may not be in our time, God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7-8. But if you are Christs, then we must adhere to His words, and pray for those that despitefully use you (Luke 6:28, Matthew 5:44). We cannot as believers conform to the worlds definition of happiness. Immerse yourself in the word of God. Do not allow those who have no faith to speak into you. Listen carefully to what The Lord is saying to you, and follow His directive, though it may be hard and painful. He will walk right along side you to hold you up and give you His grace to endure, until the said time of His moving on your behalf come. Sandy

  56. Lee-Ann says:

    I am struggeling so much at the moment with my husband and our sex life. We have been dating for 4 years and are now married for almost 3 months. Throughout our relationship, my husband (boyfriend at the time) had starting chatting to a girl that worked with him via e-mail. From there it went to smses and she would say he should drop me off somewhere and come see her. I caught it and it was mostly flirtatious messaging. I told him to end it and he did. 2 years later (5 months after he asked me to marry him) I found naked women of his phone doing things (some of them married). He had gone onto online dating sites and started chatting to a woman there, soon one wasn’t enough and he moved on to two and eventually ended up with 5. They would send my husband obscene pictures of themselves and my husband would do the same. I wanted to leave, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. I stayed and helped him. We are now married and again I found links to online dating sites and pornography downloads on his phone. I confronted him and he said he has not made contact with any women, it’s simply for the porn. I asked him to put an end to it and he has so far. I don’t snoop on my husbands phone at all, I only do this when he starts acting strange, this ussually is also followed by dreams that my husband is cheating on me. Needless to say, this has severely effected our sex life. I feel so inadequit, like I’m not what he wants in a sex partner. Those women are what he wants. Our marraige is so young and I am so afraid of losing my husband or eventually needing to leave for the sake of my self esteem. Because of this my libido is seriously deminished as well, but I never say no to sex for him. I am at a point that I am out of solutions. He knows I’ve told my mom and my friends. My mom has spoken to the both of us (counceled us, she was fair to both of us) but I can’t fix this I’m trying so hard and nothing is working.

  57. Paul Rogers says:

    To All Men and Women
    A man who is in Christ and Christ in him should first desire that he and his wife look to God for healing and fulfillment . To women the same. The secret agenda to getting married is that now I will find what I need and that will be the fix to my disease and diseases I have secretly fostered , including the ones I think are not sin. ( I have found this statement helpful. ” I am a sinner and I am also guilty perpetuating sin due to sins committed against me.” ie. hurting people hurt people.)
    In retrospect I think if both me and my wife had openly embraced that perspective and made that a daily goal with a willingness to risk exposing ourselves to each other then our marriage would be healthy. That would be the accountability partner we both need. Adam did not have a big brother to be accountable to nor did Eve have a big sister.
    Accountability groups are good but not best. It is a sign that one or the other is not willing to accept that both are in need and should be sleeping in a double bed in intensive care under God’s direction.

  58. My husband has been a porn addict since long before he met me. I found out about it while I was pregnant with our daughter 3.5 years ago. It has been a struggle for me (and him) since then. There have been numerous lies about his sexual behaviors. He has only purchased, watched, and masturbated to porn dvd’s. He has not advanced beyond that (praise God!). Anyway, a month and a half ago, I told him he had to go to counseling and I actually followed through with what I said. He has been going to individual and group sessions. About 3 weeks into counseling, I found a huge porn stash in the car (about 39 dvds). He told me those were the last of them and there were no more (but he tells me this every time I find them). So, he continued going to counseling. It has been about 3 weeks since that incident. This morning I find 6 more dvd’s in the car that he had hidden. I confronted him with them this morning. He tells me (again!) that they are old (how tired I am of hearing that!). He tells me that he purchased them about a week before his first counseling session. OK. Here’s the problems I have:1) He told me 3-4 weeks ago that those 39 were the “last” ones and there were no more. This was a lie. 2) He told me 2 weeks ago that he did not have any porn and had not purchased, watched, or masturbated to porn since he decided to do counseling. Also a lie. 3) He told me this morning that relapse is part of recovery. I don’t agree with that. I do believe that slip ups (slippage into old behaviors that are admitted rather quickly and honestly) are part of recovery. Relapse I believe indicates you are still in addict mode. He made it seem like his behavior should be excused because relapse is normal. I don’t like that. 4) He gets angry when confronted (another sign to me that he is not “recovering” but still in the addict cycle). 5) He gave me an apology because I told him I expected one at some point. He apologized, but it was not heartfelt at all. I went ahead and accepted the apology, but I don’t trust him and haven’t really forgiven him this time, since I don’t think he meant it.

    I have more of an issue with the lying, secrets, and being deceptive than the actual porn dvd’s (although I am certainly not OK with them!). I told him today that he needs to be honest with me. That if he had come to me and said, “Babe, there is something that I need to talk to you about. I have something to confess. Last week, I was really struggling with some sexual urges and I tried to ignore them, but I just wasn’t able to. I ended up driving to the place I purchase porn and I bought a few dvd’s. I am really sorry. I feel terrible. I promise I have not actually watched them. I know that I made a mistake. I am sorry. Please forgive me.”, I probably wouldn’t have such an issue. This kind of response tells me he is trying and is making progress and is honest and will readily admit to slip ups. But when he doesn’t tell me and lies about it and then gets angry in the confrontation, it tells me nothing is actually changing.

    Am I looking at this wrong? And should I apologize for being angry when I confronted him about the lies? Any help would be great! We do have an appointment with the therapist tomorrow, and I will address concerns with him, but ideas from others would be helpful. Thanks!

    • My husband has said similar things to me. I can’t begin to express the pain our situation has caused me, and the anguish of not feeling like an adequate, sexy enough partner for him. I’m sure many women have the same feelings. But what I’ve learned is that he needs my forgiveness and acceptance, regardless of him asking for it or not. I want an apology so badly, but he said if he apologizes he feels like a bad person. So one day I sat him down and told him that for the rest of our lives I would forgive him if he slipped. Slipped. Not lied to me or tried to hide it. I demanded honesty in return for this kind of respect I was willing to give him. As far as I know (and I do check now and then) he has been doing much better. I think it’s just the thought of knowing he is driving me to extremes that helped him want to do better. That, and I demanded counseling if it continued.
      The fact that your husband gets upset when he’s confronted shows he knows he is in the wrong. But it sounds to me like he needs something extreme to happen in order for him to change.

  59. Im a wife for.12 years 4 beautiful kids…however my husband has struggle w porn so much…..yea anfter year…month without looking from what he says but everytime he is exposed is becausi.catch him…he.forgets.to.erase it on his phone etc…it destroys me..it breaks me that i dont know how to overcome…time starts to heal God starts to heal, i forgive him i.beleive when he says NOMORE but than months go on and i catch him again…never does he.even.tell me that destroys me…that.breaks me again…dont know how to overcome this…the way i feel the way i live is miserable..but i choose to stay….its so hard…he plays video games to he falls aslee says he dosentnstruggle anymore but.dosebt show me anything about trust… He dosent have sex w me he says he dosent knw.what is wrong w him…howam i.suppose.to.beleive anything…a man who struggles w porn loves sex so why can i turn him on? So much

    • Ruth, I don’t think there is a quick fix for our husbands rebellion. What you are feeling is the sting of betrayal, and discouragement from not seeing total victory over this besetting sin. I know first hand the awful blows one incurs when we uncover yet more lies, and deceit. The only way I have been able to endure these 29 years (I choose to stay too), is pray, cry out to the Father, and take each wound, and each blow back to the cross. I don’t know how He does it, but something happens in the life of a saint when they cry out to God. Somehow when I rise from my knees, I’m able to go on. I’m able to breathe again, sing again, and do the next thing. There are no formulas Ruth, only a persistent doggedness in pursing Christ, and seeking the healing balm that enables us to stand. Stay faithful. Proverbs 31:23 “O love The Lord, all you His saints: for The Lord plentifully rewards the proud doer.”

    • Hi Ruth,

      I’m so sorry for this! I do think, though, that your husband isn’t going to get better UNLESS you force a crisis and insist that you seek counseling and that he gets an accountability partner. Having him apologize and promise, but not putting anything in place so that he has to follow through, is almost guaranteed to fail.

      And it’s quite normal for him not to want sex while he’s recovering from this, because the idea of what sex is has become really warped in his mind.

      So I’d suggest finding someone that you can talk to, too, and then insisting that you both sit down and talk to someone. Again, I’m sorry you’re going through this.

      Prayers and blessings,
      Sheila.

    • Ruth,

      Your husband is being a wimp and not doing what needs to be done to address his addiction. It is not loving to you and it is very harmful for him. There are steps he can take to get better and maybe you can show them to him. The steps he should take are:

      1. Repent to God
      2. Confess to you completely
      3. Join a Group
      4. Get Covenant Eyes for your computer

      I have a blog post on my site listed above that expands on these. There is serious harm that is being done by your husband and the legacy of pain he is leaving for you and your kids is devastating.

      There are also steps for you to take.

      1. Pray for him.
      2. Confront him
      3. Confront him with a man he respects
      4. Bring the issue to the church
      5. Keep confronting him.

      God bless you. I’m sorry you are going through this.

      Chi
      Chip recently posted…The Greatest!My Profile

  60. I just discovered my husband’s addiction on Thursday (4 days ago). I still feel the raw pain. The devastation. I’m physically sick and feel such despair. I don’t even fully believe my husband is a believer, so that is hard for me. He has agreed to counseling and is promising to never look again, but I don’t trust him right now. He has deprived me of the one thing I crave daily (sex) and sought satisfaction from videos instead of me when I truly want him and desire intimacy. How do I get over that??? I’ve spent months trying to figure out why my sex drive is higher than his, knowing it was porn, but having no proof so disregarding that intuition. I know in my heart this is not about me, but I can’t make myself believe that. I know this is a heart issue for him. I just feel so desperate, so unloveable, so undesirable, and worthless. I’ve never hurt this way in my life.

    • Hi Abby, I’m so sorry you’re going through this! I wish every man who uses porn could see your words and see how much this hurts their wives.

      I see some good things, though–he’s agreed to go to counseling. He’s agreed that it’s wrong. That’s wonderful! That means that you have something to build on. I’d encourage him to get some accountability, too, but it does sound like there’s a foundation of understanding there, and you can emerge from this. It just takes some time.

      Prayers and blessings,
      Sheila.

  61. Thank you for your article. The thing that I am dealing with that I don’t see here is when you confront your husband, but he is in denial, defensive, and most of all angry. How can you stay in your home with your kids and be supportive when he acts that way rather than getting help? At 9 months pregnant and self esteem already suffering, its more than I can handle.

  62. Reading this man’s testimony was amazing for me. My husband has been convincing me that he has to overcome this on his own and that I should not be involved at all. He says he knows what he is doing. So in trying to love him like Christ I have been trying to be strong and stick with him but his continuous lies and porn use are tearing me down. He gets angry at me so easily now.

    We have only been married for a little over 2 months. It really sucks that our newlywed bliss was over so quickly. Right after our honeymoon, I found out he was questioning his desire for a another woman before our wedding. Then when that started to settle down, I found his massive porn internet history. I tried to come to him lovingly and just ask if there is any struggle he was holding onto that he needed to share, but he said no. When I did confront him, he just got angry that I was invading his privacy (I’ve never been allowed on his computer or tablet) and always turned the blame on me. For the past month, every time I find him watching it again or ask him if he will get help, he tells me he can handle it and blames me for going back to it. I have been trying so hard to just focus on God, but I just feel so hopeless.

    This testimony has really urged me to speak with a pastor. I have been contemplating it for a while,but now I see how it will be for his good despite his anger.

    • Definitely speak with a pastor. You husband needs you to love him enough to press against his sin. Be firm and gentle, but most of all, be firm. Also, watch out for wimpy pastors. As much as 50% of pastors struggle with porn as well. Just saying to keep your eyes open.

      -Chip
      Chip recently posted…Recovery Resources: The Porn PathMy Profile

  63. Sheila,

    I appreciate your openness to discuss this issue. Much like the man who you quoted, I am a recovering porn addict. It’s strange to see how he says and feels so many things that I do. It also breaks my heart to see this gigantic comments section filled with ladies whose husbands are being unfaithful to them. The pain they feel is justified.

    About a month ago I fell into my porn addiction again for three days. It had been months since I had fallen before, but this time I decided it was time I go public with my addiction. I started blogging about it and named the blog Porn and the Christian Guy. It is at the website listed above.

    I mention this to say that I wrote an article specifically for women from a guy who has really struggled. It is called Porn and the Christian Guy: Part 5, My Husband is Looking at Porn, What Should I Do? I would hyperlink it but I don’t know how to in a comment.

    Pardon the blog promotion. I mean it to serve your readers because I make clear in the post three important points.

    1. This is not your fault. This is a darkness in his heart.
    2. You could never look good enough. There are plenty of beautiful women whose husbands STILL look at porn.
    3. It is not your responsibility to change him. Just to point him to Jesus.

    I also have some more practical help in the article as well.

    Ladies, I’m sorry for what you husbands have done to you. I am angry on your behalf, but I am angry as one who is guilty like your husbands. God has grace for you in this situation.

    Again, Sheila, thank you for speaking on a topic that is rampant and taboo. This is how healing starts: with a discussion.

    -Chip
    Chip recently posted…Recovery Resources: The Porn PathMy Profile

  64. I’m not in the mood to forgive him right now…it’s been eight years! Over and over again, I confront, he promises and apologizes, and it continues. It’s poisoning my love for him, it’s a growing weed of resentment and distrust. I’m not going to put up with it, and hope that it will pass, I’m not going to compete, i’m not going apologize for being upset, I’m not going to believe him anylonger until I see it. i’m disgusted and grossed out, i’m……soo…..angry!

    • Hi Aggie,

      I’m so sorry that you’re going through this! I know it’s so hard. But I don’t think you need to apologize for being upset, or even just forgive him right now. I think what you need to do is, like this post says, set up some boundaries so that it doesn’t happen again. By doing nothing it will not get better on its own; not in most cases. You really do need to tell someone, like a counselor, and lay down some boundaries. No one is saying you need to act like your marriage is hunky dorey when he’s still using porn. What we’re saying is that you have to take action.

      So rather than just being angry and fuming, I’d take some of that anger and find someone to talk to and someone who can help you draw those boundaries. Go to a church and ask if they have counselors you can talk to. Ask to talk to the pastor. Just do something. And I’ll pray that your husband really does have a true change of heart.

  65. I am thankful for resources like this, as the soonest counseling I can get isn’t for two weeks. I am a newlywed, and at the two-month mark, I found out about my husband’s porn viewing. I am very thankful he is not addicted, unless he uses his phone for that, but it is still very hard. Very late at night I found information of a drug addiction, talking to him I realized he has an alcohol addiction (which we were both in denial of), along with a text to his friend calling a co-worker cute…the one that had been flirting with him. The morning after I found his porn along with youtube and favorited images and videos. I am so hurt because we had talked about porn a handful of times in the past 4 years, and he said it only happened in high school. The night we talked about substance addictions I asked if there was any other secrets and he assured me there weren’t. Then finding out the next morning and confronting him right away. We talked about me not fitting his ideal, since (his use of) porn filters out certain types, such as him searching for large breasts, butts, blonde, etc. I told him I know he’s always wanted me to have larger breasts he didn’t say no, but that he likes me how I am. Then I find him searching specific names of women, having favorited images. Also he assured me there would be no strippers at his bachelor party because they disgust him, but today I found videos and images of strippers. When we go to movies he covers his eyes out of respect for me but also said if he were alone, he wouldn’t look because thats disgusting. I’m so tired of the lies. My self esteem is low and I fluctuate between feelings of anger, hurt, and numbness. I am further hurt because my sex drive is (was) higher, and especially as newlyweds he should be coming to me for that, not to crap on the computer. Does anyone have a book suggestion?

    • Nicole,

      I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. Your husband likely has a worse porn problem than you realize. He is making excuses, which is troubling. He seems more interested in getting you off his back than getting better.

      As to his argument that he prefers other women. Porn use, by it’s nature, always presses you to the next picture and the next. It is addictive and, like an addiction, you need a bigger and better high the next time.

      As hard as it is to believe, he wouldn’t be content with anyone. You couldn’t be lovely enough to prevent him from looking other places. His contentment is a choice he is making. He is choosing to be an addict and he is choosing to not be content with you.

      I run a blog for guys who are struggling with porn and the issue of contentment was the article today. I would encourage you to read it. It is Porn and the Christian Guy: Part and Commandment 10, Thou Shalt Not Covet.

      I’m sorry for what you are facing. The is grace for you, but there is a hard road ahead for you.

      -Chip

      P.S. You are beautiful. God made you that way.
      Chip recently posted…Porn and the Christian Guy: Part and Commandment 10, Thou Shalt Not CovetMy Profile

      • Thank you so much for your response. Yes, I found out the next day that he was addicted. The computer history showed extensive use in the months leading up to our wedding, and very few instances after, which gives me alittle bit of hope. As does his telling me that church the Sunday before, porn was brought up in the sermon and he told God he was sorry and would quit for good. So it’s strange that I found it 4 days later. We saw a counselor together and it helped, along with other discussions we are having. He has told me the truth about many other things so he is on a very good path right now. I am getting over this faster than I imagined and it can only be thanks to God. I am still very hurt, and feel slightly numb, but I want to get past these dreadful issues in our marriage for happier days, and I realize that I have the strength to try and be strong, try to erase all of the hurtful images out of my head, although that will take quite some time. Nevertheless, I am not going to let the women that choose to exploit our gender, his past, and something that he is working on destroy our relationship. I want to move forward. I am young and have much life to live. I love him and want to work through this and help him. Yes, I will NEVER understand why him going to porn is not “choosing it over me” when we are together, but I am praying that some day he will for the first time feel content with me.

  66. I am desperately seeking help. I feel scared, alone, and trapped. My husband and I have been together for 9 years, and we have three boys. I have confronted him in the past about sexual problems that I see. I’ve caught him masturbating to movies/porn. Six months ago when I confronted the problem, he promised me he would stop. 3 days ago I re-confronted him about the issue, and threatened him with a lie detector test to finally get honesty. He again admitted that he has been using porn the entire time. During our conversation I forced to know more, so I could realize the extent of the problem. I found out that he can not even stand in the presence of a woman without having filthy thoughts about her sexually even during a conversation and with me present. He has thought sexually about every female that I know, including my own mother, sister, and even grandmother. I am hurting sooo badly, and at times I have felt suicidal. I am a Christian and love my God and family. I know the suicidal thoughts are just as selfish as his pornography, so they have stopped. I woke up this morning to catch him masturbating again. The problem is so severe, and he feels so bad about it that he was attempting to ease his guilt by going as far as watching cartoon porn. His Uncle at the age of 7 exposed him to these magazines, and enslaved him to this behavior. I don’t believe I can go any further than I have, yet I want to help him because I love him. He is God’s child and I don’t want to see him this way. He has told me that he does not know what normal is, and that his friends talk about women and look at porn together, and that I am overly jealous for no reason to an extent, however admits he does have a problem with the extent. I don’t believe in porn, and am beginning to feel like I am the one with the problem (Jealousy) and that maybe I am not normal to feel the way I feel. I pray God will send me clarity?

    • Monica, I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. How awful.

      You’re right that the suicidal thoughts are horrible, and I pray that you’ll be able to keep them at bay.

      However, I truly don’t believe that your husband will get better unless you involve another person. He sounds like he has really warped his sexuality, starting with a sin that was committed on him when he was just a boy. It’s just so, so sad. But now he needs to be free, and you need to be free, and that won’t happen on its own. You say that you’re a Christian, but you didn’t mention whether or not he is. If he is, I’d really recommend talking to a pastor and asking him to talk to the two of you together. Or asking your pastor how you can get an accountability partner for your husband–a man to come alongside of him and help him deal with this. He also likely really needs to talk to a counselor.

      I have a post on that here: are you a spouse or an enabler? And I do think that sometimes we need some help.

      I pray that you will find someone who can help you through this.

      • Sheila is right. He is putting you in a terrible position and you, as a wife, are not equipped to handle this on your own. I firmly believe a wife should NOT be the accountability buddy for a porn addict. This is too personal for her and often the addict is too afraid to be really honest at first. You need to involve a third party. He will be resistant and may get angry, but that is because you are threatening something that is precious to him: his addiction.

        I want to address your point on feeling jealous. It is wholly appropriate for you to expect your husband to only have eyes for you. Just like the alcoholic who blames his wife for stressing him out and then he drinks, it is very common for the porn addict to blame his wife for not being pretty enough, not giving him enough sex, not giving him the sex he wants, etc. It is really sickening (as a recovering addict myself, it sickens me that I thought those things). His problem is really his problem. You may have your own sin involved too, but the lion share of this is his and his alone.

        I haven’t read the article Sheila sent you to, but I agree that you have a choice of whether to enable him to be a boy who shaves or to press him into being a man who cares for his wife and family. Get a pastor from your church to help.

        -Chip
        Chip recently posted…HIV, The Porn Industry, and the ChristianMy Profile

    • Hi Monica, I don’t think your being overly jealous. That is a technique used to place the blame on us, and to cause us to accept their sin. And that’s what it is, sin. All the counsel in the world cannot change a heart bent on sin. Only Christ’s power can break the bondage that holds these people captive. Call me narrow, but I’ve been in the faith along time, and have seen first hand the futility of trusting in the arm of flesh. Is there a formula? No. All I know is prayer, prayer, and more prayer. That through this time of great trial, and tribulation The Lord will use His word to strengthen, encourage, and grow you. Don’t bow, it’s not worth it. Let no man take your crown (Revelation 3:11). Stay close to your Lord, meditate on His word, fast, then do the next thing. Your identity is not in your husband, it is in Christ. Find your joy in Him, and don’t feel sorry for yourself. Think when he chooses these things over your love, the countless people who do this daily to our Lord, and the longsuffering love He has for them. This will be a daily battle, fight the good fight of faith, and remember who you belong to. Your the daughter of The King! P.S. Keep loving him, and interceding for him, your a missionary to him, and he needs you whether he knows it or not.

  67. I have to disagree that it is wrong for the woman to leave. I have forgiven my husband twice, and we have been to counseling over this twice. We went to a retired pastor. The problem has returned. I am leaving this time, and I truly believe i owe no one an apology. It makes me sick that men are given all the room in the world to be human and women are supposed to forever be the saints by their sides without having any needs, feelings, or weakness of their own. Count me out.

    • Emily, I think your missing the point. It’s not about just staying and doing a mousey wife duty grudgedly. It’s about remaining true to God, and respecting the covenant first established in the garden. It’s about love. Love bears all things, suffers long, and is kind, you know the rest. I think of my husband as a drowning man, who has no life savor. Do I just walk away because the water is too cold to jump in after him? I know your hurt, and feel rejected. We all are, but isn’t that why Christ died, to heal our broken hearts too? Don’t be so hasty is all I’m saying. I’ve run into more trouble when I run away, then when I wait for God to move. I’ll be praying that you find rest, and peace for your troubled heart, and that you simply ask The Lord what He would have you do in this time of difficulty in your life. It’s really not about us, but about our Lord. Oh what blessings come when we consider His will, and ways above ours. Sandy

  68. I couldn’t agree more. Women are human too and if we are expected to never have weaknesses and to never have needs then there is a view of women being super humans that needs to stop. I don’t believe man understand just how hurtful looking at porn is for women and how it makes us feel. Just a few examples of the consequences of porn would be inadequacy as a wife, unworthy to save sex for our bedroom, and an unattractive woman. I don’t see why people expect women to give their husbands a lifetime of forgiveness and putting up with this because porn cuts so much deeper then they realize. I think two chances is plenty, especially if he has sought professional help and spoken to pastors.

  69. Ladies, you are not a failure, or unattractive etc if your husband is caught in this. Satan will tell you these things but they are not true. Remember God’s voice and don’t listen to anything that is not of Him. God is for marriage, even if it has troubles like this. God wants you to seek refuge in Him. Don’t listen to any lies or deceit. God is present in all of this. You are beautiful in his eyes and no one can underestimate how much He loves you.
    God is well pleased with a woman who cultivates a Christ like beauty. That is beauty worth having. :)

  70. My husband has been battling an addiction to pornography since he was very young-a result of older siblings. I found out about this addiction during our dating of 5 years, and we prayed about it, were very open with one another, and even set up an internet blocker specifically made for this online integrity, X3 watch.com. I felt such a hurt I didn’t even think was possible; I’ve never been a self-confident personal physically, and I felt so betrayed. I believe the Lord truly healed me of this hurt and allowed me to show the love and forgiveness to my husband that he so desperately needed.

    All of this worked for a while, and he went for about a year without viewing. Yesterday at lunch we were talking about a spiritual list that women make in seeking for a husband; one of them was a man who is disciplined in living a life of integrity, Proverbs 5:8. He off-handedly muttered that he didn’t meet this particular ‘non-negotiable’. I put that to the back of my mind, but last night as we were going to bed I brought up the discussion at lunch. He said he was so embarrassed to tell me but had been praying that God would provide the opportunity for me to ask or find out. My husband has just started a traveling engineer position where he is gone M-F and works alone. The enemy has taken this vulnerable circumstance and used it for his doing. I know that my husband wants more than anything for this addiction to end, but he says the temptation is too great. This time around my heart isn’t hurting for me, it hurts for him because I know how sick and unworthy it makes him feel. How can I help him from so far away during the week??

    • That is such a tough situation, and I’m so encouraged that you can see porn as the enemy, not your husband, and that you want to help him! That’s great.

      I think especially for those who travel for work there’s more of an issue. Strict controls on computers can help; an accountability program on his laptop called Covenant Eyes can help. You can also often call ahead to hotels and ask them to deactivate the paid viewing they have in-room. Anything to remove the temptation.

      Yes, you still have to deal with the heart issue, but we are called to flee temptation, so anything we can do to resist temptation is worth doing, I think.

  71. I married my boyfriend knowing full well he had issues and struggles with pornography. Everything about him is wonderful except this one thing that he is struggling to shake off. The last time I found any kind of porn on any of his devices was a week before our wedding (yup, still married him!!) I love him very much and I want the best for him always. I pray for his struggle, that he has strength to over come it. I’ve been angry at him for it, and said some things I shouldn’t have but thought he needed to hear them.
    We have been married for 4 months now. Why am I having such a hard time trusting him? I WANT to trust him, because I know he is ashamed of it and trying to quit. And it’s SO tiring worrying about it all the time. He travels for work once in a while. Why do I have urges to look through his things and make sure he didn’t pack anything tempting? I look through his phone. And I worry about him at work because I know his co-workers are happy to show a quick porno on break time. Why am I constantly worrying and struggling with trusting him? I want to so badly! I know Satan also puts things in my mind.. but this is getting to be too much. I’ve caught him in hiding things/lying too many times, I think.
    What can I do? He doesn’t know I’m having this struggle. And quite frankly I think it would really upset him.

    • Abby,
      I think it is perfectly appropriate that you struggle in this area, because you found porn on his phone so recently. Unless he is in an accountability relationship with someone, and unless there are filters on the phones/computers, then it’s still going to be a huge temptation for him, and you have no assurance that he’s getting help. I think talking to him about setting up some boundaries and accountability is an excellent idea because it will help you not to worry and it will help him move forward away from the temptation.

      • Accountibility is a must. But first he has up recognise that he has a problem, that is the heart of the matter. He needs to understand what he is being accountable for. We have X3 Watch on everything.

      • How do I approach him about it without offending him? Because he wants me to trust him too. I’d like to think he understands why I’m hesitant and still struggle with it, but we don’t talk about it much. Once in awhile I’ll how him in a round about way how he is doing and he WILL be honest with me. But how do I bring it up to set boundaries without making him draw into a shell??

  72. I feel so blessed to have found this conversation amongst women that are going through what i am going through. Me and my boyfriend have been together for 3 years now, he is 25 and i am 23 . I first found him watching porn in our first apartment. He denied it and said it was his brother that had watched it. A couple of weeks later i asked to use his phone since i had the worst signal on my phone and saw all the porn he had been watching, again he blamed it on his brother. Finally i cought him again and he admitted he had a problem and he would stop. I never really worried about it until i started to see there was no stopping him. Now we have bought our first home and it seems like as the time goes by and i try to ignore it, it gets worse. We have had fights about it at night when I spontaniously wake up and catch him doing it. It makes me sick, it makes me angry,humiliated makes me feel like less of a woman, as if he is not attracted to me enough. He has even said that i am immature for fighting about it.I’ve never been the type to deny him sex. Our sex is great when it does happen. We usually have sex once a week and the rest of the days he watches porn(i check his history) So i know his excuses “i’m tired” or “i dont always want to have sex” are not true. Sometimes i feel like if i dont look for it i wont be so disgusted? I dont know how to deal with this issue. He once told me it made him feel bad but he never stops, and even told me his x-girlfriend confronted him about it too, so there is def. an issue. Obviously im not his wife so i am not forced to stay, but i want to fix this and someday be his wife. We have had very bad fights about this to a level it should have never reached. I guess i am just seeking advice. He wont admit he is an addict. He says he does not need help. I’ve told him many times how it makes me feel, but he just gets angry and doesen’t want to talk about it. How can i help him if he wont admit he is addicted to this? and how do i get him to understand that it is ruining our relationship that was so beautiful before i found out? i am very confused, but knowing now that he has this problem explains plenty of dates we went on where he was “too tired” to do anything.FYI my boyfriend is not a 2 round type of guy, so if we dont have sex im sure that one round has already been taken care of.

    • Mary, I’m sorry you’re in this position, but if I can be totally blunt, GET OUT! You have bought a house with a guy and given yourself to a guy who doesn’t love you enough to get rid of porn. He is not going to stop, because he has no incentive to stop. He has you even if he uses porn. He likes porn. He thinks there’s nothing wrong with it.

      If he were a Christian, I’d suggest bringing his pastor into the conversation, but he’s not, so you have no leverage. He doesn’t even think he’s wrong.

      You’re only 23. You’re still really young. Don’t waste years on a guy who makes you feel like this.

      And if he uses porn now–what’s going to happen if you have children with him? Do you want them exposed to this stuff?

      You are worth more than that. I know it’s hard, but get out, start over, and don’t settle for someone who does not treat you with respect and love you. If it’s this bad before you’re married, it will only be worse later. Don’t let yourself get trapped in that.

  73. We have been married for 5 months now, and he has been doing very well (as far as I know) with looking at porn. But I found on his Kindle book that are VERY erotic and sensual. Every chapter has 50 sex scenes in it. I don’t know how to explain that I feel it can lead back to porn use. Am I being overly sensitive about this? Should I just drop it? PLEASE help me, I don’t want it to be something else that I sweep under the rug because porn use is SO hurtful. Can reading these books lead to that? Or am I being ridiculous?

    Abby

    • Abby, erotica can be just as bad as porn because its purpose is to get you aroused using something OTHER than your spouse. It isn’t a healthy dynamic. I don’t think it’s a matter of erotica leading to porn as it is just erotica creating a fantasy life that detracts from real intimacy. It is definitely something to talk to him about.

  74. Hello I have been married to my husband four years. Every year around the time of our anniversary my husband “confesses” things to me that he did when we first got married. It hurts, it is new news to me but old to him. I find myself having a hard time getting over this years confession. He told me that he lusted after my 14 year old daughter (not his daughter). She no longer lives with us so she is not in danger. But I am hurt. And I have another daughter who is 11 (not his daughter). He says it only happened one time and that he was looking at her breasts one night while she was doing homework. He says he has had problems with lusting over other women. He did come out and tell me but it took him 4 years. I’ve been really angry with him and its like he doesn’t understand why I get mad about stuff, but it is the not really about what he forgot at the store its the underlining problem that is upsetting me. I have forgiven him but I’m not sure I want to stay with him after all of this. My daughter loves him. What do I do and how do I get over this?

    • Jennifer, that doesn’t sound like a safe situation, especially with your younger daughter still being in the house. I think that you should insist that he get both counseling and an accountability partner to deal with the lust issue, even if it’s not primarily directed at your daughter. It’s a heart issue and he needs to find a way to fight it. Unless he is working on it I don’t think I would trust him around my daughter.

      It’s great that he’s confessing to you; that likely means he wants to deal with it. See if you can talk to him about this, like this: “This is a problem we have and I want to help you deal with it.” Like it’s not that you’re mad at HIM–it’s a problem he has, and you can deal with it together.

      Hope that makes sense!

  75. Maybe someone can give me advice. My husband and I have a hard marriage…haven’t had the best sex life or communication. I knew about his porn viewing, but I guess I didn’t realize the depth of it. About 2 years ago he went to a weekend sex addiction program. He came back a different person- as far as being kind to me, patient, positive attitude, etc. I was mostly holding my breath to see how long that would last. I later found a journal entry that was bad to me, and he said it was mild compared to what he was. I guess I didn’t realize how bad he was. Our marriage didn’t improve a lot, but he was doing better with the porn and had some accountability partners. Fast forward to Sept and we went on vacation. We weren’t getting along at first and he eventually turned to porn on the laptop. I was unaware, but we got along the rest of the trip. I found out when we got home. Then I looked at his facebook acct and saw that he had been looking at different images for like the last year….sometimes every day or every few days. (I also realized how nice he was to me when he was “fulfilled” from the porn. It made me think that maybe a lot of our issues of getting along are related to his addiction.) He has had a ministry to help young guys, and I just didn’t think he should be doing that while this is going on. We talked to some counselors, and decided to take a break while we work on his addiction and our marriage.

    Once we started the break, I found out other things he was doing on the computer. I took away his laptop. He seemed discouraged about having to stop his ministry, and saying we took it away from him. Then he would tell me he wasn’t in the fight anymore, and was looking at stuff and renting movies and lying to me. I was at a loss. So in December, I gave him a choice- that he could get back in the fight, or he could have his laptop, facebook password, and do what he wanted. BUT, I wouldn’t have sex with him, I wouldn’t leave him alone with the kids, and we wouldn’t be in any ministry. I told him he didn’t have to answer me right away.

    Different things kept happening and I just couldn’t trust him. I have talked to a people about it. I have been lenient about an answer from him. He is saying he can’t make that choice. Then last week I caught him trying to look at stuff. I told him if he didn’t make a choice, could he at least tell me a STEP he is going to take? He told me he would call this guy who is the director of the weekend thing he went to in 2011.

    Well, he has been doing better a couple days this week, but I have been getting apathetic at times, and then mad/bitter at other times. So I was talking to him about making a decision or calling that guy. He says he is not ready to call that guy- but he has met with one of his accountability partner and been doing some other good things.

    He does not want to make a choice because he says if he says he is “in the fight” that may mean he goes a long time, or it may mean he looks at stuff for just a few seconds each day, even though he may be fighting it the whole rest of the day. And that isn’t “in the fight” to me. Even when he talks to his accountability partners, he may confess things, but isn’t necessarily held accountable to fix an area that is causing him to fall.

    I just don’t know my role. Is it really being “in the fight” if he looks at it every day or so for just a few minutes? I don’t want to make the wrong decision for my family. I don’t want to enable him, but I also don’t want to kick him out if that would be worse. I know this is between him and God, and I don’t want to be his mom and take over all his access. He actually is resentful when I do that. But where do I draw my lines?

    • Marie, that’s really a tough one.

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this!

      I think one of the problems is that you’re his main accountability partner, and that really doesn’t work. What you need is an accountability partner that you both can trust–someone who will come to you and let you know when your husband is falling (not just slipping, but falling). Saying “I’ll use it for just a few minutes everyday” isn’t really fighting against it. But still, people do slip. The key is whether they’re repentant and want to stop. An accountability partner that can be honest with you and let you know when you need to draw a line and say, “you can’t be alone with the kids” or whatever is really important.

      So I’d have a meeting with his accountability partner and see if he’s willing to let you know when things are bad, and if he’s willing to hold your husband’s feet to the fire.

      It’s quite likely that your husband also needs to see a counselor to get to the root of some of these issues.

      If your husband is willing to do that, and if he has an accountability partner you can trust, then you really just need to let it go. You can’t keep carrying this. But it sounds like you haven’t found that kind of accountability partner, so perhaps talking with a pastor and going over exactly what you need may be in order. I think setting up some boundaries about what you will do if you catch him looking at things is likely in order, too, and a counselor or pastor could potentially walk you through that, so that you are drawing boundaries. That’s really important.

      I guess, in short, I’d say you need more help. You can’t carry this alone. So keep asking and keep looking until you find someone who loves you and is willing to do the hard work with your husband.

      I hope that helps!

      • Thank you for your reply. This has been a really hard day. I am such a doubter about things and have a hard time holding my ground. It’s hard for me to know what is right and what to do. He will be mean to me, blame me, etc. and that just hurts all the more. But I don’t know if it’s connected to the addiction or a part of him.

        Thank you for taking the time to give me advice. I appreciate it!

        • Marie,

          Sheila’s right. You can’t be your husband’s accountability partner. As a man who is recovering from porn addiction, I feel strongly that it is way too much to ask a wife to keep her husband accountable. It is too personal for a wife. I think your husband needs other men who understand his struggle to hold him accountable. One important reason is that if one of the guys in my group blames his wife for his problem, several of us will push back hard. He is an addict protecting his addiction. He needs men who can call him out on it.

          The fact is that his addiction is part of him. He is not separate from it and he owns full responsibility for all of it. Marie, hear me on this. This behavior is not your fault. He is 100% responsible for his behavior.

          I know you are hurting and I’m sorry. Strongly encourage him to find some men who can support him. If he won’t do that, then he really isn’t serious about ending his addiction.

          -Chip

          • Thank you for your comment. I do not want to be his accountability partner. I want someone like Shelia said. I’m not sure that any of the guys he talks to would be willing to be that for us. But right now, when he doesn’t have that deeper accountability, I have had a hard time knowing my role. If it was just me, it would be different. But we have kids and his ministry. I don’t know where to set the boundaries. For instance, a church asked him to help fill in as the youth leader for a few months last year. I didn’t think he should do it- especially the kind of ministry (youth). But he did it. He says he will never be perfect and he can’t just stop living. But I feel like he should be in victory and have a track record before serving in this way. But do I just be the wife who goes along until it gets out of hand? Or do I set boundaries? Same for my children….I don’t think he would ever do anything to them. But if he continues down the road of seeing stuff, if it would lead to other things, at what point am I in danger if I leave him alone with them? Like I said, I don’t think he would do anything, but there’s a whole other side of him that isn’t trustworthy.

            These are the kinds of things that can be hard for me. And my biggest fear is in the future finding out that something has been going on behind my back for years.

            Thanks again for your comment and your concern. :)

  76. My heart has been broken for one year and a half. I told my husband that “I forgive you”, but I feel just as hurt as the day I found out every time I think about how he betrayed me. I don’t think I have any more strength to go on. He told me he has stopped viewing porn, but I can’t trust him, period. I was and still am a faithful wife to him since the day we got married, I give him sex all the time and am usually the initiator. But I can’t forget what he did to me. I feel like my case with his pornography viewing is very rare. What I mean by rare is he was watching porn the first month into our marriage. I found this out by confronting him about it one day because he was acting really weird. I had just asked him if he was okay and if we were okay, and our conversation ended up about him confessing about his addiction. My question is “Why was he viewing porn so early into our marriage even though he was getting sex on a regular basis?” I can’t help but blame myself because of how unattractive I am when naked, and if that is what turned him onto his addiction.

    • Mariana your how your body looks naked has nothing to do with it. I have felt that way before, and my body image continues to plummet when I remember what it was like for my husband to continually sexually reject me because of porn. He is the one with the problem. I do not think there is enough focus on what porn does to a woman’s self esteem. Here a Christian woman is, saving herself for marriage (which was me), thinking there would be this reward of a great sex life with an equally excited partner. I cannot even begin to describe the pain and disillusionment that followed what I got instead because of porn. I didn’t even found out the problem was porn until 5 years in. I really thought it was just me not being sexy. We are all beautiful just the way we are. What the man have been sucked into is the problem.

  77. As a husband, let me tell you it hurts. I have been a Christian since I was a kid. I loved Jesus, enjoyed fellowship, even was Ina discipleship in highscool, but I was unprepared for what lied ahead. I think the Church is changing, but I grew up in a church where it was preached that lust” is sin, it’s bad, don’t do it!”. I think it’s important that it’s taught and understood as a form of spiritual warfare. The “opponent” will hit you where you are weak. I became a victim in my twenties while I was in college, and working. The church I went to, was small and didn’t have much to offer for college age kids. I didn’t know where to go, and told myself I could fight my battle with will power, but I couldn’t. I felt so guilty, that I through Christ’s grace in his face, and essentially lost my relationship with Him for 10 yrs. I am just now coming out of the darkness. 2 months free! I was not free until I surrendered to Christ and decided to live for him again. God in a moment took the addiction away! I quit cold turkey! But understand the battle doesn’t stop there. I am back in church, and just started attending a devotional group, but I have days where I am paralyzed by guilt. I tell myself this is the “enemy” telli g me that I am forsaken, and unforgivable, and sometimes it’s hard not to believe it. My point is, if your husband is suffering with porn addiction, and is a Christian, he is hurting! Trust me. We re supposed to. We are ambassadors for Christ, and it still pains me that for a decade, I serve the wrong master.

  78. Like so many of you, I too was caught completely off guard by finding out about my husband’s porn addiction. We had been married 1 years, had 5 great kids & my by understanding had the perfect life & marriage. I caught him & he kept denying my accusations. He would slowly admit to small things over the course of time & my intense questioning. I really just wanted to KNOW the extent of things, the cause of things, etc. I would have so appreciated honesty in his answers rather than him changing responses each time & therefore leaving me to not trust or believe him….which is what made him mad. Well he got some counseling, had an accountability partner (for a while) & said all was well. I would ask periodically, pray for him, but from his perspective (to me anyway), he was “fixed”.

    Fast forward 13 years & again I discovered computer views of actual sex scenes (not just pictures as it was last time). I confronted him & again he denied it. Eventually little bits of (supposed) truth would eek out but I just don’t feel like he could or would ever tell me anything on his own. Or that he would truly answer my questions honestly & tell me where things are at for him. He also isn’t too interested in sex with me…..he says he has some peyonies disease which makes it difficult for him. I’m feeling like it’s that he’s not that aroused by me compared to what he has been viewing.

    We still have 2 kids at home & that’s good because otherwise I feel like i’d prefer to divorce & not have to face him & the issue every day. And the biggest thing for me is something that’s easily fixable……..honesty. I wish he’d just tell me the truth! Not all the nitty gritty details, but the truth about where he’s at, how he’s doing etc. AT least then I could actually believe him. Right now, I feel like every word out of his mouth is a lie….even if it’s not. How can I know anymore? We’re both believers & have been all of our married life, but now he’s saying he’s not sure if he is or not because of all of this. It’s actually really scary just not knowing that when I’ve been under the impression that he was a Christian. I think the fact that he can lie so well, so quickly & seem to have no guilt about it is most concerning & heartbreaking.

    I don’t know what to do. He is going to talk with a friend who used to be his accountability partners years ago. He also said that he “knows” that he can overcome it this time (as he said last time multiple times) I asked him “if it’s so easy, then why didn’t you after the last time…..he knew what was at stake then too).Is there a counseling agency from a reputable place where he can call into …..we live in a very liberal area where most of the counselors (that he saw last time) & churches take the attitude that “everyone has this struggle….it’s normal” & it doesn’t seem to actually help other than to tell him that it’s “normal”. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever encountered in my whole life. I actually feel like I wish I hadn’t married him in the first place, but from all the posts, it seems that no matter what man you pick they have issues with this. Were men always like this or is it just the ease of availability?

    Thanks for all the posts & answers. This has been a very helpful site.

  79. Hello, I’ve never wrote like this before. I read a bunch of comments. Sure made me cry. My husband has been looking at porn for 2 + years he says he isn’t. He was a Christian man but he has lost his faith I did too until recently. We had the best realationship we were best friends did everything together. Until one day he changed found out he was looking at porn. I can’t take it I have lost myself I can’t do my house work cook do things I use to love to do. My husband don’t really want me at all anymore maybe 2 or 3 times a month but he can look at porn and master bate but can’t have sex with me. My husband is also having health issues he has chronic lymes and something else going in. He tells me he don’t get sexually ergges anymore only sometimes. Then why can’t he turn to me when he does, but no heopens that phone or computer at work. I am so lost inside. I need my husband back he was my everything. He wasn’t just my husband he was my best friend. He is a good guy he’s funny smart. Wow is he hott! But what made him so beautiful inside and out is he had our Lord you could see that. Now he don’t he says he don’t want and can’t get close to God because everything is going wrong. I say yea it is but if you have God with you things will go better you will be able to handle things better. What’s sad I didn’t no the Lord before I met my husband he brought me to the Lord and now he has lost him and I’m the one preaching to him he has always told me porn distrours family. My husband has been a Christian man since he was a kid. But now he isn’t and looks at that crap. I am so full of hate and angry for him. I just want to punch him in the face. But I don’t that will only make things worse. I need prays to open my husbands heart again . Please

  80. I don’t even now where to start. I haven’t slept in 48 hours. My husband’s porn addiction is ripping me apart. He’s been addicted to porn for our entire 33 year marriage. There have been times I’ve confronted him and left him and had counseling but still it persists. He lies to me constantly. Recently we were given some precious money by my parents to help us move into a home after ours was wrongfully foreclosed and he went out and spent $400 for a laptop for himself JUST SO HE COULD LOOK AT PORN. I spent my youth trying to please him….different outfits….different scenarios to match what he was seeing. I was never enough. If I looked at him wrong or wore the wrong color outfit or spoke wrong he would get violent and abusive. It’s cyclical….I can see the effect of porn…it’s almost like an anger builds up in him when he uses it and God help me. We’ve been through so much and I was looking forward to enjoying our nearly retirement years. We have two beautiful daughters and four precious grandchildren who are the light of our lives. He lives for them and loves them dearly…Last night I used his new computer, which he insists he purchased just to watch movies. I knew it was a lie, The lying is so severe. I checked his history and discovered that now he’s watching live porn and talking with the women. He has a secret life but he vehemently denies it and won’t discuss it. I can like it or get out. No apology. He rarely touches me anymore and looking back I can see there was always an underlying resentment toward me, just below the surface. I am a Christian woman. I love the Lord and I love my husband but I’m so tired of taking the spiritual beatings for him. Last night I literally cried until my face hurt. How many years? He says he loves me but never shows it. He won’t travel with me, won’t spend time with me. I’ve lived my life alone. I’m tired. I’m struggling with illness and surgeries and fatigue and financial problems and have no money to relocate. I’ve read volumes on porn addiction and I understand the slavery and the hold it has on him. But every time I read anything about it the wife’s monumental task is to save him from it. I so seldom hear anything about how her soul is torn and battered and bleeding and she’s fighting the spiritual battles by herself. So what to do. I’m fairly young – 51 – worked all my life as professional – have been told all my life that I’m a beautiful woman – but I have no more resources to fight all these battles. I honestly prayed to the Lord to take me last night – that I just can’t do this any more. But I’m not going to give up. I’ll just have to strengthen my resolve. He does not love me enough to want to stop. I’m sorry I’m ranting. I’m exhausted from the fight. I want my marriage – I want the strong foundation for our children and grandchildren but I don’t know how much more I can take of being the rag under his feet. Again – sorry for the rant but thank you for your perspective.

    • Kelly,
      I have just said a prayer for you, I prayed that God would help heal your wounds and give you strength. <3

    • Kelly,

      I am sorry for what you are going through. It is super tough. Have you ever heard of Gateway to Freedom? http://www.gatewaymen.com/
      If you could get him to agree to go, it might really help him.

      Prayers for you,
      Kristina

    • Pick up a copy of ‘the emotionally destructive marriage’ by leslie vernick. It will help teach you how to build your “core” strength and help give you some options on how to start setting boundaries that may help heal your marriage. (And if nothing else will help you hopefully be able to get bit better yourself, despite his actions in the marriage or even if there was a different outcome. ) I wish I would have found this book earlier when I started dealing with the porn addiction and verbal abuse in my relationship.

      • Honestly I think men need to be accountable for their actions instead of given free passes. You’ve told him what he’s doing hurts you. You’ve tried to help. You’ve given him grace. But I personally believe their is a point that you’re being a doormat. Christian women are always told they are lucky to have husbands. It should be a whole lot more mutual than that. i personally think it is the enemy telling women to tolerate all this abuse. It is a free country. Get out. He can tell the pastor about his unrepentant porn addiction while he’s trying to condemn you for leaving.

  81. I feel so hurt. My husband and I have been married about 8 months. We have been together over three years. I knew before we got engaged that he was into pornography. I told him that if he wanted to be with me, that he would have to stop, and get help. He didn’t understand why I was so upset. I told him to me, porn is cheating. You are giving your sexual attention to another person, and this is wrong. He said that he would try to stop on his own, but that he would need time, as this was a life long habit. After that conversation, we had many talks about watching movies with nudity/intense sex scenes in them. He said “They’re just movies. It’s part of the story.” I asked him to respect my wishes and not watch those movies, or to at the very least look away. The whole “It’s part of the story” thing is just stupid. You can still make your point without showing nudity. It could be argued that porn is “just a movie”. But my point to him was this “It makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like it, and it makes me feel disrespected. So if I view it as cheating and it makes me feel disrespected, that should be all the reason you need from me.” This is something that he and I worked on together for over a year, and I thought we had been making real progress. So we got engaged and then married. Then, about a week ago, after having a conversation with a friend, who expressed her concern that he had not actually gone to counseling or sought help other than just trying on his own, I decided to have another talk. Now mind you, I had periodically asked him if he had been watching pornography or masturbating and he would always say “No. Stop being insecure.” Well, after this conversation with my friend, I asked him again. This time his answer was different. He said that he still used porn occasionally, but not as frequently as he used to. When I asked him why he lied, he said that he didn’t want to hurt me, but I told him the lie hurt more than anything. I asked him to go to counseling with me, and he said that he wasn’t sure he wanted to, that he could stop on his own, and that my problem was my own psychological problems and insecurities. I told him that I loved him and that I wanted to work on my issues, but he needs to work on his too. The problem is, every time I try to talk to him about it now, he says that I need to stop being “insecure.” I said to him “What do you expect? You have been lying to me. Don’t I have a right to feel insecure?” To which he said that I needed to stop being so emotional. I should also say that we hardly ever have sex, like maybe once every other week if that, because he says he has a low libido. Yet he has no problem with masturbating. It’s just very hurtful and frustrating. I feel like he is trying to make me out to be the bad guy. *sigh*

    • Go pick up a copy of “the emotionally destructive marriage” by leslie vernick. (It’s more about emotional abuse, but lying and addictions fall under the same category)

      From my expierence, since he won’t seek help, he is still into it possibly. (And if sex is so rare, it may be due to that fact) Has he been willing, on his own accord, to put filters in place?

      Ill add, try not to get caught up with trying to tell him what to do. But, do remain firm in telling him how it hurts you. (Without yelling or disrespect), the book helps on how to deal with situations where the spouses are doing things that are hurtful to the relationship.

    • Hi, I had just read your comment and wanted to reply as I sympathise. I posted in here a few months back as my husband is a recovering porn addict. I sincerely believe if it hadn’t been got our faith he still would be.
      Pornography does take away from your sex life, and while he says he has a low libido, he is either looking at porn because he feels emasculated by the fact he has a low libido or he is saying that because, as you say, his sexual attention is focused on the porn. Please let me stress, this doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. Sexual intimacy is only one facet of love. He does need to understand that if you decided to have an affair with a different mam every week, he would be upset sitting at home waiting for you to come back from your liaison. Porn is the same thing. Are you both Christians? He needs to understand your vulnerability and that you do feel insecure. And please know that you must never blame yourself for his addiction. It is his addiction and he must be accountable for it. It had nothing to do with the way you look, dress, etc. porn is an entirely selfish act, where the user is consumed with his or her own needs. So please do not feel that you are responsible in any way for this.

      • Thank you for your reply Gill. To answer your question, yes we are both Christians. For a long time I have felt that it was me not being attractive enough, but I have come to understand that no matter what I change about myself, it won’t change him. He is the one with the addiction, and the one that needs to change his behavior. I know that he loves me, and I love him, which is why I sincerely hope that he agrees to seek out help with me, or on his own.

        • My husband and I went to counselling with a Christian guy. Don’t get me wrong, my husband didn’t want to go. He had been caught out 4 times looking at porn and said he would stop but didn’t, even though he was still looking at it, I could see how it was damaging him. And me. And I told him it would hurt his relationship with God more than anything. So we went and eventually he opened up. It did us both so much good, I really recommend it. Men generally do to want to deal with things like this but the whole point of us being Christians is that we are saying we are weak. God told me to stick with him ( this was when I was literally about to leave him) and I was pacing up and down with tesarspouring down my cheeks, and God spoke to me. Pray. Pray pray pray. God will speak to you, through His word. I will pray for you too. I have honestly been where you are. :)

    • Hi Cassie,

      I’m so sorry that you’re going through this! I would agree that his low libido is very likely linked to his porn use. So porn is devastating your relationship in multiple ways, and simply must be dealt with. There is no other option.

      I would agree with the man who wrote this post who said that a guy won’t get better until you make an issue out of it and stop accepting it. Go to someone in authority, either a pastor or a friend, and ask them to confront your husband with you. Read this post on Are you a Spouse or an Enabler?

      What really disturbs me is that he has never been willing to talk to anyone or get help. If someone is serious about quitting, they get help. Twelve step programs, for instance, have as one of their core principles accountability and public confession. In the Bible, James 5:16 tells us to confess our faults to one another. If he is unwilling to do this, then he likely isn’t serious about changing. And that’s a big problem.

      I don’t think you can accept porn in a relationship, especially when it’s to this point where it’s wrecking your sex life as well. I hope the post that I liked helps you. The book Boundaries in Marriage also offers some helpful advice on how to set those boundaries and make things right.

      Blessings to you!

      • Thank you for the link. I found it helpful. I feel a little concerned with going to one of the elders at our church. It is a fairly small church and there have been problems in the past with certain members gossiping. I really don’t want the whole church finding out about our business. I have recently started counseling with a christian psychologist. I had been in counseling before, but I had to stop because I couldn’t afford it. Right around the time I started dating my husband, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, and I feel that he tries to use that to his advantage sometimes. Anyway, I am trying to get him to come to a counseling session with me at least once, so that he hears it from someone else that it is a problem. Another problem is that his best friend lives with us in our tiny 2 bedroom apartment. I have expressed that I would like him to move out several times, but I always get the response of “He’s family, I’m not kicking him out.” Having a roommate as a married couple makes it very hard to have private discussions/arguments, as well as having any private time at all. I understand that he is his best friend, but I am his WIFE. I should come before his friend. That may sound selfish, but I just want to be able to have alone time with my spouse, so that we can work on our issues in private. His friend is 32 years old, same age as him, and makes pretty good money. They just want to live together to be able to have “bro time” all the time. I thought when I agreed for us to all live together that it would be temporary, but now they are talking about us all buying a house together! I love him very much, and I know that he loves me, which is precisely why I want us to get help. Sorry, I know I kind of went a rant there, but I am just tired of being frustrated all the time. Thank you for your website and the response.

  82. What if they refuse to get help thinking the wife should help them and won’t trust the wife if the wife seeks help?

  83. Hello everyone, I need advice. I’ve been married for 6 years and although I was married very young our major issue throughout these six years has been my husband’s occasional porn use. I first caught him watching porn a couple of mo the into our marriage and at that point we were having issues with our intimacy. We weren’t intimate until we were married and I was so dissapointed when his sexual drive wasn’t what I expected. I later realized that those problems arose from the porn use. Well since then I’ve caught him watching porn about 6 maybe 7 times. Every time he promises he will stop and he does for a while but then falls back into it. Well about 6 months ago we had a big argument after I had caught him once more and he made the usual promises again. At that point I told him that If he really wanted to save our marriage he had 2 days to get a phone that wasn’t a smart phone because that’s usually where he views the porn. At that point he agreed but since then he’s only made excuses not to get a simple phone and yesterday while looking through his phone I found that he had cleared all the history from it which to me only meant one thing. So I confronted him but I didn’t tell him how I found out because he would’ve of realized it was just an assumption and would’ve denied everything I was “acussing” him of. So he admitted to it and I said I was done that I was leaving him. He said ok since last time he said if he didn’t stop he wouldn’t stop me from leaving him. Well today I’m planning to pack my things along with my kids things and leaving although I’m afraid he may go look for me and make promises to convince me that he will change. I have before asked him to look for help and he hasn’t done it. I don’t feel comfortable to look for help with our church friends and my pastor is my sister’s husband so I would be to embarrassed to go to him. Any advice? I don’t want to stay with him and make it seem like I’m just crying wolf because it will give him the understanding that I will continue to tolerate that.

    • Hi Eliza,

      I’m so sorry that you’re going through this, and I do think it’s good that you’ve set a boundary and you’re saying, “no more”.

      The only thing is I’m not quite sure why the church family is out of bounds for you. I understand that the pastor is in your family, but if you split up, they’re all going to know anyway. It’s not like you can keep it a secret. And if they are family, then they probably want to help you save the marriage.

      I’d find someone that he respects, and ask that person to do an intervention with you and say, “this stops here and now, or your marriage will be over.” Maybe it should be your pastor, but I don’t know the situation. But I think asking for help before actually moving out is likely better. Then you can go to him and say, “you get help and stay accountable to this person, or I will move out.” That’s usually a healthier route. I hope that helps! Prayers for you,
      Sheila.

  84. There's always hope? says:

    This has been a really rough week for me. On Monday morning of what was supposed to be our “family day” (we all had the day off together for once), my husband of 15 years (and partner for 23) divulged that he not only has a porn addiction, but that he has cheated on me 3 times in the last 3 years. The most recent time was last week Saturday after attending a party out of town with our 6-year-old daughter, apparently getting stinking drunk on 15 beers, and then making the choice to leave the party WITH OUR DAUGHTER and drive to a coworker’s house and have sex with her. Something about both of them being “lonely”. He claims she initiated it and that he was too drunk to know what he was doing (hmmm).

    I am still working on processing all my feelings and emotions, because shortly after his admission he said he thought he needed counseling and made an appointment for that afternoon. About an hour later, the counselor he saw called me and said she had convinced him to check into a psychiatric ward because he admitted to having suicidal ideations. He had a whole plan worked out and would have gone thru with it had he not had that appointment. So, being the one who always picks up the pieces and moves forward, I took him to the hospital for a 3 to 5 day stay.

    I am hurt. I am confused. We haven’t begun to address the whole porn addiction or the unfaithfulness and I just don’t know what to do. He has been diagnosed with a mood and anxiety disorder and the psychiatrist is trying to find the right balance of medications to even him out. The other day I did not feel angry or have feelings of animosity; today, I am feeling differently. I wish I had seen the signs. I wish I had paid attention to how our intimacy levels had fallen by the wayside.

    For the time being, I will continue to pray, educate myself, start going to counseling, and do my best to have a sense of normalcy in the interest of my daughter. She misses her daddy, but I don’t know how to explain all of this to her. I just keep reminding her that he loves her very much and will be home soon.

  85. Still Hurt says:

    I don’t really know where to start..
    The first time I caught my husband was three months after we got married. He got laid off from work, so he was home alone for 9+ hours a day. He’s pretty computer illiterate and I had all the content blocks turned on out of habit to avoid crude pop-up etc.. so he wasn’t able to get on porn sites.. Instead, he found his way to the Victoria’s Secret website. The kicker was the only way I found out was because he got up in the middle of the night and I woke up and came out to find him he shut the computer down really fast and said he couldn’t sleep so he was just playing Solitaire.. It sounded weird to me so I looked at the history and when that came up I was livid. I explained how I felt like he had cheated on me and how dare he bring another woman into OUR house – virtual or not – for his sexual needs. I can still feel the nausea and hurt.. I felt replaced. In all honesty, I still feel replaced and this was four years ago.. I can’t help but cry even as I type this.. It’s been a constant battle for four years and I’m tired.. We had to cut back financially because of his layoff, so the internet was canceled.. He got a job a few months later. I noticed my Victoria’s secret ads stopped showing up to the house not long after that.. I asked him about it and he said he didn’t know anything about it.. One day I decided to rearrange our bedroom and I found my missing ads.. Stuffed behind his dresser. I called immediately and had my subscription canceled. He didn’t have much to say about it when I confronted him.. Its been the same hide and seek game ever since..
    How can I trust him? He’s started turning the blame on me – I’m the bad guy for not trusting him.. But he has yet to give me a reason to trust him! I’m tired of this battle.. I’m tired if feeling replaced and inadequate..
    We both have a high sex drive and up until a year ago I thought our sex life was great, but now he’s “tired” all the time and I’m lucky if we have sex once a week..
    I tell him it’s not fair to me, but he doesn’t see it that way..
    How can I confront him on this when he doesn’t think it’s wrong??
    Sometimes I feel like I want to give up.. Just let him do it.. Whatever.. But I know it’ll just drive a bigger wedge between us.. But I’m tired.. I’m confused.. I’m so lost.. I’m hurt.. And with no repentance on his part I find it really hard to forgive..

  86. Hello I understand what a lot of you are going through. What do you do if your husband gets angry every time you bring it up and blames you for not trusting him? It all started when I found emails he was sending to women back and forth about sex from a certain website. He agreed that it was wrong to do it and that he was cheating but he still watches porn. He doesn’t agree that porn is wrong. One minute he says he has stopped the next he is saying I love it and I’m not giving it up! He gets mad at me for looking at his phone and says I have trust issues and that it’s going to cause him to leave if I don”t stop bringing it up. The next he is saying he doesn’t want to leave and he loves me with all his heart. We don’t have any children together but we do have kids from our other marriage. We have been together now for 8 yrs. and married for 2. I love him so very much. Im so confused.

  87. My husband of 31 years beat me for the first 15 yrs of our marriage. He quit doing this with counceling, prayer, and the strong possibility of me and the kids leaving. 3 years ago I caught him cheating with a woman online. He was planning a meeting place with her as I caught him on facebook. He felt bad for this and has stopped this relationship. At the same time he confessed to looking at porn. I thought he had stopped this until last month a found it on the computer. He asked me to get a porn blocker so he would stop. I got a free one and the trial ran out. He got on it again that very day. Im going to buy a good one today. He has blamed me all this time for the beatings, cheating and now porn. He says I dont give him what he needs so he has to go elsewhere. He will not go to counceling anymore. He says I dont change after the counceling and he is stuck with me and has to get his thrills on the computer now. How can I have sex with a man who is so sex driven? He is so selfish and we have a teenage son in the house. How can i have hope that things will get better if he is not willing to get help. He does not have friends that I can go to. He says he will go to get help when he wants to, not when I ask him to.

  88. Hi everyone, just been reading through some if the newer posts on here. I wanted to encourage you. Some of you are facing pain every day. I am praying for you. God is not oblivious to your pain, he sees it and he cares. I know what it is like to be so hurt by your husband’s porn usage. Seek out Godly people who can support you. Look after yourselves; find a woman who loves God deeply to talk to. I am still in this journey; I still get angry at my husband; I still have to forgive. But there is restoration; God is all about restoration. He sent His Son so we can be restored to Him. I had a moment of healing yesterday; so gracious of Him!! Praying and praying. :)

  89. And just one other thing…my husband, who spent so much time looking at those horrible images, came to the seaside with myself and other friends at the weekend. One friend was wearing a very low cut bikini. My husband averted his eyes and refused to look at her, even though there was a lot on show. I was so proud of him. A small victory, maybe, but it is progress. :)

  90. Thank you for your post. I enjoyed the thoughts as
    A wife whose husband told her how much he loved
    Porn. Yes he made a joke of it even showed me
    The different vagina like items he uses. I was disgusted
    Embarresed, ashamed and hurt. Though I enjoyed your post
    About how we as the woman should not feel guilty
    Or think it’s not because were beautiful enough, I highly
    Disagree on another point.
    That we should stick with them when they finally decide to get help
    And it’s not our right to leave them at that point. That clearly does not agree
    With gods principles. Pornography at any point is considered infidelity, adultry.
    The one ground god gives us the right to choose without guilt to stay or leave.
    You are right to say we are exhausted and it’s not till we find the strength again that his
    Addiction broke down to leave. You should never encourage woman to feel like because they
    Are now strong that means they have to live with his healing process and continue to feel
    The pain of knowing he’s still struggling with images and desires and most
    Times will for the rest of his life. It was the strength she lacked to leave before, god gave her strength back and it’s still her choice to leave without feeling guilt. The strength that she built back is either the strength to work it out or the strength to leave. It is up to her now at any point after she finds out if she feels
    She can’t emotionally handle what happened to leave. Just because he’s getting help doesn’t mean
    He won’t do it again or that she had to stay. She helped him to take the step to get help, but that doesn’t mean
    She has to walk thru it with him anymore. God gave her that right when she chooses to make it is up to her without guilt.
    I hope you will reconsider your thoughts.

  91. I just found out one month ago that my husband has been viewing porn on a regular basis for the last two years. He would probably still be viewing it if it weren’t for my teenage son sensing something was amiss with my husband. I was totally oblivious. Our sex life had been getting better and better despite my recent 10 month relapse of clinical depression and the surgical issues I had a year before that. My husband said I didn’t make him feel sexually attractive or desired because I didn’t initiate sex with him. He told me his viewing of porn was to see women making overt moves to initiate sex…he wanted someone who wouldn’t tell him “No”. He has admitted that it is not my fault and that he made the choice to view porn and not seek the help of his brother(s) in Christ. But, how do I get over the fact that he did this and masturbated from being turned on by looking at other women? He tells me that he only wants me and is only attracted to my body, but he was frustrated and needed to have his needs him feel sexually attractive or desired met. He admits his weakness and selfishness, but why do I still hurt so bad? I feel empty…like I’m dead inside. I so want to feel the warmth in his touch, but when he touches me I feel nothing. When I’m not around him and with my children, I’m fine, but as soon as I’m in his presence it all changes. I am committed to remain in my marriage because that is what God has called me to do, but this empty feeling scares me. I try to pray for him, but all I can do is cry out to God and ask Him to please take away the hurt and sadness that I feel. When does the healing to begin? When will I be able to feel for him again? Will I be able to feel for him again? How long does it take to get past this? I have been searching my heart for any ounce of love that I can feel for him, but I can’t find it? Is all of this natural to feel?

  92. Can there really be healing? On both ends? Can you truly stop this addiction?
    I am engaged to a man I wish to choose everyday and love with every fiber of my being. I had met him in September of 2013 and it has been nothing but a whirl wind of what love can do when blossomed. Has shown me respect, love, support and encouragement. Has even helped me pursue my dream and quit my old job that had left me feeling worthless. He has lived a life where he has had near to nothing to the point where he was sharing an room with a couple of other people in his family friends house. But he kept pushing at his dead end job and wanted to better himself. Wanted to better himself so he joined the Air Force to give himself and possibly me a wonderful life. Yet he was so humble and provided for me the best he could but what was amazing was how he gave me more love and support I had ever experienced. He left for Basic in the Air Force in February 2014 and that was the beginning of our long distance relationship. I have seen him in person twice since then. Once when he graduated from basic and again when he came home in August. Where he propose to me and I thought God had given me my companion for life. But one thing kept hurting us over and over. His porn addiction.

    At the beginning when he wanted me to know his true self I explained how I felt about it and he agreed his addiction was wrong and he worked at it. But then months later did it again…and in July again…and now just recently found out he has watched several times and felt so guilty came and confessed to me. He knew he needed to stop. That it was disgusting but had thought he could do it all on his own at first…and now I feel he does it cause of the distance. We talk every other day and make sure to not just talk but also watch TV together and other things. So why do I feel so heartbroken and unwanted? If it was to fantasy about me maybe this would be an easier pill to swallow…cause I am his fiance right? It has gotten to the point where I put my foot down for the last time and told him that this was it. That I deserve a wonderful relationship and more. That giving my heart and love to him felt all for nothing. That no matter how understanding I tried, the resources I gave him to help, the prayers nothing. It all seems for nothing. How can I marry a man who is doing this?

    I don’t want to end this engagement. I don’t want this to end but how can I keep going like this knowing that what if I am gone for the evening and worry that my husband will be masturbating to some girls with better breast than mine? I feel so unwanted and almost ashamed thinking if I was prettier I would have him. Maybe if I had sex before marriage maybe I could keep him from doing this still…even though we both don’t believe in that….but even I know that wouldn’t change a thing..
    This has affected us so much that I am so mad and so hurt that I have barely spoke to him, cause I can’t without crying, and he has sent me messages after messages of sorrys and forgive me. Even sent me a random bouquet of flowers that asked for my forgiveness again. Something he never done before besides birthday, Christmas, anniversary and his random acts of love..

    Should I give him one more chance? One more try at trust? Is this a red flag from God? Why would God let me go through finding a wonderful person with a horrible hurtful addiction and then maybe wanting me to break it off. Did I make a mistake? Does God hate me for choosing him and wanting to punish me with this pain? What should I do? All I can do is pray and pray and I can’t seem to hear or find the answers….

    • Hi Kate, thanks for sharing your story. I’m so sorry that you’re hurting so much, but I can totally understand it. You’re right; porn use is a big deal, and it does need to be dealt with. But it CAN be dealt with. I wrote more about that in this post about whether or not to marry a guy who uses porn. It may help you think through the issues a little more clearly because it’s written with women like you in mind, and it helps you sort out who is just struggling/needs help and who is too far gone to consider anything. I hope it helps!

      • Hey Kate, I am a man who is recovered from a pornography addiction, and I hope you read Sheila’s article that she put a link to. I agree with it 100% but would add 1 little thing:

        I would say that you need to let you fiancee know that he HAS to get into some kind of Christ-centered recovery program. there are many good groups – Celebrate Recovery, and Overcomers In Christ, etc. These both deal with all hurts, habits, and hang-ups including porn addiction.

        And I’d say that if he goes consistently, on his own without nagging, and starts to take recovery seriously, then he is still worth marrying, but if he doesn’t, then maybe it’s best to break it off.

        I only really dealt with my porn addiction after being confronted by both my girlfriend and God, and it was the best thing to happen to my life. You confronting him, is actually an act of tough love.

        • So well said, Isaac! Thank you. And I totally agree with you about a recovery/accountability group.

          • Just wondering why my response didn’t get added and someone else’s already did? (Maybe just a tech thing.) I want to make sure I’m following all the rules of course, but feel as a military wife, christian, and going through some of the same situation it would be okay for me to post what I did?

          • Hi Alex! No, there’s nothing wrong with your comment. It’s just that the first time someone comments it goes into moderation and I have to manually approve them. And I just saw it now.

        • Thank you all for your advice. Truly.
          My fiance and have been talking out all of our honest feelings and emotions
          It hard. To hear what he has done and what I still like I am not able to ever satisfy him especially now we are in a long distance relationship set to be married in August. But I even sent him the links to this blog and other resources and feels that he has been lying to himself for a long time. That he was getting better and was doing fine in our relationship when in reality it wasn’t. Now he feels he has hit rock bottom and wants to make a turn around. Making an appointment with the base Chaplin and (I hope it true) wiping his bookmarks and history with filters and even deleted some of his games with any sexual content. It hard to still truly believe that this could be it and he is truly turning around because I am so skeptical is that okay? Or am I being too cruel?

          I told him I still wish to choose him eveyday and even though I am greatly hurt and feel heartbroken still. I want to stay by his side and give him the resources he needs to get the spiritual healing he needs. He admitted that he been running away from God all his life and his past. Could abuse as a child make one go to porn? Could masturbation be used to replace something? That something I feel like he has done. It hard to want to stand by someone still even though they have broken your heart and you think the best is to break it off maybe I am crazy to think God telling me to just give him this one last chance to show him love through God. I just pray that this will end it once and for all. Had to tell him that I could not live with something like this in the marriage. What can long distance couples like me do to keep this up beside daily bible verses and prayer?

          • I hope this comes across as nice, but as a military wife myself. I want to tell you to be WISE. and use EXTREME, EXTREME caution.

            I know men can stop IF they 1.) get help on their own accord (this is sometimes done by you putting boundaries on yourself, if things happen..you CAN NOT CONTROL HIM. remember that. You can’t and won’t ever get him to change if he does not really want to. 2.) I agree with the PUBLIC accountability. A group would be great. 3.) You seeing him put measures on that can’t be gotten around easily. 4.) Sincere apology that has action changes. Openness and Honesty. Not making any excuses.

            My story was similar to yours. I got engaged to a man who decided to enter Navy Aviation. I discovered he had a porn addiction since he was 8 shortly before we got married. He also showed a lot of red flags and I called off the wedding and he went to addictions counseling for sexual addiction for 6 months and then we got married.

            His sexual addiction was NOT better as I found out months after we were married, and it was made EXTREMELY worse from the military environment. (Not all the men do “bad” things, but his aviation area…his groups have all been about binge drinking and Ive gone on many small trips to meet up with my husband and have gotten to witnesses many men drinking and trying or actually cheating on their wives…strip club trips and naked bars being apart of their “group outings” that are not mandatory..but you get looked down upon by a lot of the squadron if you don’t attend. The military environment is not for the weak. It is honorable, but is VERY hard of addiction and family life with trust and addiction issues. )

            There has also been a lot of verbal abuse stemming from the sexual addiction and to be honest it has been a VERY hard life dealing with the sexual addiction…and even harder with the added abuse after we got married. He is not a bad man, and he is very charming and has good qualities as well. BUT. when I read this…I felt the need to comment back just to caution you from a military wife of an aviator. (not exactly air force..but may be somewhat similar as he is aviation)

            I WISH someone would have sat me down and told me to walk away from the marriage (before we got married) when I was asking questions to myself and others if I should still marry him with the sexual addiction. If you have a BIG question, don’t do it. Give yourself more time. God will have someone else for you OR if he is the one you will feel COMPLETE peace about marrying him AFTER he has done AND shown LOMG TERM that he is committed and able to control his addiction. (especially is he was abused as a kid. He is MUCH more likely to be abusive himself, and heavy issues like those and added military stress can trigger a lot of that. )

            If your questing it to the point you need to ask people, don’t do it. Your not married yet. You don’t have kids together. Wait. If he wont wait for you and do the hard work to try and get help (and show long term improvement and openness and honesty and accountability….then you may end up more hurt, more torn, but next time marred and it is SO much harder at that point. Take it from someone who has watched someone “fake” get help three times now. (this time for verbal abuse and sexual addiction.)

            It may not be a bad idea for you to get in therapy as well to help yourself talk through it and not get caught up in emotions as you pray and weigh your decision.

          • Thank you for that, Alex. That’s so sad. Your counsel is really wise. I pray your husband is able to get over his addictions soon, too.

          • Hey Kate.

            You are not being cruel by being skeptical. I know you want you man to be completely done with porn, but truth is, it will be a process of recovery that could take some time, no one is instantly fixed just because they want to be, and he will very likely have some relapses. But like Sheila said in the article she linked to, there is a big difference between an occasional relapse, and someone not making a real attempt at recovery. So if he makes it sound like he is all perfect and not tempted in the slightest, he’s lying. On the other hand if he says he’s stayed away from porn, but he’s had to work hard for it, then I’d believe that.

            You mentioned that he deleted his history, got rid of some games, and is seeing a chaplain. Thats a good start, and it shows his care for you, but it’s not enough. Does he have any access to any kind of recovery/addictions group? Or barring that a good men’s group at a church? He needs to get around a group of men that are authentic and will call out a person’s BS and give them hope and strategies to improve. If he has access to any kind of group like that he should be going.

            And to answer your questions about child abuse or masturbation: That stuff definitely plays into a porn addiction. Without talking for too long, addiction is actually not his problem, it’s a symptom of his real problems. So if he was abused, certainly that’s a part of it. It’s not an excuse, but it’s a factor – it’s not an excuse because Christ offers healing for even abuse, and he needs to go to Christ instead of porn/masturbation to feel better.

            I think it was right for you to tell him you cannot live with something like this. And you can definitely pray for him, never stop doing that. And you can help him in some practical ways, especially if you do get married, by making sure whatever computers/devices you BOTH have are totally secured. There are lot’s of free/cheap porn blockers available, K9 web protection is one. Also, make sure to not have lingerie catalogues around, or woman’s magazines that have a lot of half-dressed women in them. Don’t pick movies that have sex scenes. But Probably the biggest help a mate can do for a porn addict is to acknowledge and appreciate the difficulty of the recovery when you see that they are making a real effort and making real sacrifices. It is difficult to change.

            Hope that helps. Be blessed.

  93. Please pray for my husbands addiction

  94. Hi. Is this web discussion still going on? I need advice please.

  95. I recently found out that my husband had been looking at porn on his phone. He said that pinterest sparked his interest and curiosity. He was also very mean and said that if I were better to him then he wouldnt have done it. The porn stars don’t talk and that’s what he likes, just a womans body or image of her body but no intimacy.

    I confronted him about this yesterday so the wounds are still fresh. I believe that I was very gentle when I confronted him, held his hands, talked calmly and even asked questions. He just exploded. Said it didn’t matter that he was doing it and he wont stop.

    I am scared. I don’t want to be in a marriage with porn. Is this a normal initial response for men? For men who respond this way, do they come around??

    I am very, very shocked by his reaction. He called me terrible names and said he will watch it every day if he wants to.

    What should i do? I am so tired. Feel like Im going to go crazy. I need to clear my head. Please help

    • SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME. I feel like I am going insane.

      • Hey Ali. I’ve been following this blog as I am a man whom Christ has set free from a porn addiction.

        My first thought for you is to read the articles Sheila has about this topic, there are 3 or 4 and they are all very good. Read them and do you best to do the things she says to do.

        But more importantly, there is an important question you need to answer: Do you and your husband have a relationship with Christ? Christ can offer you a comfort that no one else can. He will not take away all the problems, but He can comfort you and guide you. Also, it very much affects how to deal with this problem. Because without belief you don’t have a moral standard to draw upon. The unbelieving world thinks porn is okay, they don’t understand the terrible damage it does, as you are now experiencing.

        But to answer your question as best as I can: Some men will respond with defensiveness as they feel embarrassed that they got caught, and also, since it’s an addiction, they are afraid of going without it. If this is the case, and especially if he is a believer, in a few days, he should repent and come back to you humbly and apologetically. If he doesn’t then this may be more difficult.

        When I was confronted, I was embarrassed and saddened, and felt so terrible that I had hurt the woman I love, and God my Father. So I went into recovery, and though I’ve had relapses, I’ve spent most of the time since starting recovery sober. Freedom is possible.

        But you have to stick to your guns, and never accept his porn use. It is wrong, and nothing he says changes that. There are a hundred excuses he could use, but they are all just that.

        And if you are a part of a church, if you have another woman you can confide in who will keep a trust, you should talk to her about this and get prayer.

        I’ll be praying for you.

  96. I recently discovered my Husband of 5 months was looking at porn by accident. He has never hid his phone from me and I picked it up to share a picture with his Mother. There was a downloaded video from a very graphic porn site in his pics. I first want to say we have so far had what I thought a very healthy sex life. I felt so loved by this man. He is thoughtful, kind, a hard worker and he is a great Father to both his boys and mine (we have 2 each… A total of 4) the only thing that bothered me before discovering the porn was that he looks at other women a lot when we are out. Sometimes in a very lustful way. (Which now I think its because of the porn use that he does that) I was shocked and when I found it I went through his phone. I found really bad searches on his facebook where he had looked up dancers and models etc. I asked him about what I found and he said he had “occasionally” looked at porn. When I asked him if he had masturbated to porn since we had become in a committed relationship or even since we married he said yes. When I asked him how long he said not for a long time and not recently, I know he is lying to me because after I saw that on his phone and facebook I put a voice recorder in our bathroom. (Maybe not my best choice but I did) The second day it was recording while I was at work it recorded him masturbating to a video that was clearly a man “forcing” a woman. She was screaming and begging the man to stop on the video. I listened to my husband and it made me sick. I am devastated. I thought we had a healthy relationship. We are in church and I lead worship and he is an usher/deacon. Once I knew I feel like our whole life is a fraud. I did not record after that, and I have not told my husband.
    The biggest problem for me now is I can’t stop obsessing over it. I think about what he is doing and the possible reasons why constantly. It is tearing my confidence and faith apart, even though I am trying so hard to be loving to him and have told him I want to help him because to me he has cheated on me. I don’t know why I didn’t think to talk about porn use before our vows and I wish I had! I was cheated on by my ex-husband and I know that is part of my fears with this situation.
    I want to talk to our Pastor but I don’t know how?

  97. I just read the entry from the woman who just discovered this blog. I have been enrolled in an online course called United Front. it is offered through the website settingcaptivesfree.com. It has been so healing for me. I have a mentor that keeps in touch with me and prays for me daily. I do homework on the site at my own pace and it is full of scripture that offers true answers. There is a TON of info out there but this has been an answer to prayer for me. Maybe you can try it and possibly your husband could do the companion course The Way of Purity.

  98. Thanks so much for sharing that resource! I’m sure it will be very useful to others, too.

  99. Hi Sheila,

    I need your advise. I’ve have been married only for 2 months. After 2 weeks of being married I found out that my husband have been watching at naked picture of women and had downloaded naked picture of women on his cellphone. I was really hurt. I confronted him . He said he was going to stop and also he deleted the pictures from his cellphone. But I just found out that he’s still doing it. Not only that, when we go out he looks at other women not once but he always goes for a second look. So , I confronted him again, but this time he said he won’t delete the pictures and he doesn’t want to change. He knows his behavior is hurting me so much. I’ve lost my appetite and cry almost every day. He’s thinking about leaving me because he doesn’t want to keep hurting me. I’m also thinking about leaving him but I told him I was willing to give him a chance hoping that God will change his heart. He doesn’t want to go to counseling with me. But I’m not sure if I should stay with him. I can leave with this pain. I don’t know what else he may be hiding from me. I got to mention that he is not save.

  100. It’s been a month since I posted all the many problems I was having with my husband. I gave my husband a last chance and gave him an ultimatum , if he ever downloaded more naked pictures of women he was going to have to leave the house . Sure enough he did it again. I kept my word and asked him to leave. We’ve have been separated for one month. He knows now that he is very close to loosing me. Now he sees all the pain he’s caused me. He now wants to change and he is willing to go to counseling. He’s also enrolled to one of the Every Man’s Battle workshop. He said he wants to become a better man.
    I’m still in the process of healing, I was very close to filing for divorce. I know by the outcome of all this, I made the right decision. God want us to be happy and I know that my purpose in life is to serve and please God fist of all and not my husband. So I wasn’t going allow my husband to keep bringing the filthy stuff in to our home. I will make reference to Hebrew 12:5-7. I thank God for giving me strength and wisdom. I know it will take time for me to heal. Also it will take time, many counseling sessions and Gods help to restored my marriage. I’m still angry at my husband, I know his trying hard and he is also going through a lot of pain. But I told him before we start working on rebuilding our relationship he needs to gain my trust again. So I told him we will start our first counseling session after he’s done with the workshop. Hopefully that will help him gain sexually purity because that is the whole purpose of the Every Man’s Battle workshop.

  101. Giselle, I know this is such a hard time being separated, but having him go to the workshops and confronting his problems is so important! That’s the first step in true healing. I’ve said a prayer for you!

  102. Giselle, Please do NOT encourage him to go to Every Man’s Battle workshops. There is no hope there or in the man-made idea of “Bouncing your eyes.” It encourages behavior changes, but not heart changes. It continues to promote the objectification of women, failure of men, and a works-based Salvation. Please read some of the reviews on Amazon for the book (like “Behaviour Modification at the expense of Real Change, November 3, 2006″ – not mine)
    Instead encourage him to find out what is the distorted God-given desire which is displaying as pornography use.
    “The only way in which I can make real to myself … the heinousness of sin is to remember that every sin is the distortion of an energy breathed into us—an energy which, if not thus distorted, would have blossomed into one of those holy acts whereof “God did it” and “I did it” are both true descriptions. We poison the wine as He decants it into us; murder a melody He would play with us as the instrument.… Hence all sin, whatever else it is, is sacrilege.” – CS Lewis

  103. Thanks for that. I LOVE that Lewis quote. That’s what sin is; a distortion of the beauty that God designed. Porn is just that to the nth degree, but all sin does that.

  104. To Father Of4: I can no longer reply to your posts above, and don’t want to take over this blog, so this will be my last post in this vein. It was you who stated in earlier posts that everyone wanted to talk about lust as the only reason for watching porn, and that no one was mentioning other reasons, such as “learning new positions”, etc. You said for you, it wasn’t about lust. But now, you are saying that men make up other excuses to justify their behavior? What I have been trying to say all along is, married men watch porn to enjoy a sexual high with women who are not their spouse, thereby driving a wedge in their marital relationship. The other reasons for watching porn that you mentioned are secondary, and there is no need to even mention them. The main reason why married men watch porn (to enjoy some kind of sexual high, behind their wife’s back). is the only reason that matters, in trying to repair the marital intimacy that has been destroyed. Also, behavioral changes such as averting one’s eyes can be a beginning toward making heart changes, if one works on the heart in conjunction with the changes in behavior. The bible tells you to pluck out the offending eye, and if the other offends you to pluck it out too. I don’t believe the bible means to literally pluck out our eyes, but it does sound like the bible is telling us to look away, and not use our eyes in an offensive way. Averting ones eyes is a good start while working to change ones heart.
    Sandy recently posted…What Do You and Your Husband Have in Common?My Profile

  105. My husband had a very positive experience in going to Every Man’s Battle workshop. You are right, it is a heart thing, but understanding that you aren’t alone and getting practical tools to help you is a good thing. Every Man’s Battle is not the be all, end all. But it can be helpful if your husband’s heart is open to changing and needs some help and support. My husband also “bounces his eyes” and it works for him.

    I wouldn’t discourage people from using resources that could be helpful to them. It may not be right for everyone, but some men I know found it very helpful!

    Light in The Darkness
    http://lightmeetsdarkness.blogspot.com/
    Light in the Darkness recently posted…When Pornography Invades – Part 1My Profile

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. Any comment that espouses an anti-marriage philosophy (eg. porn, adultery, abuse and the like) will be deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are replying to another commenter, please be polite and don't assume you know everything about his or her situation. If you are constantly negative or a general troll, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Sheila Wray Gregoire owns the copyright to all comments and may publish them in whatever form she sees fit. She agrees to keep any publication of comments anonymous, even if you are not anonymous on this board.

Trackbacks

  1. […] because I thought of a better way to say something, but the jist is the same! And here’s the follow up post, including a long comment from a man who has found […]

  2. […] you. So if this is the issue, it must be addressed. I’ve written before on this topic, on how to recover from a pornography addiction. I think it will […]

  3. […] do not suppress things that must be addressed.Recently on my blog, I shared a two-part series on what to do if your husband uses pornography. One man who has found healing wrote to me and said, in effect,The model for conflict resolution in […]

  4. […] you have a problem with a husband who is involved in porn, see my series here. Or if you have a problem feeling that sex is positive, reread Monday’s post! And, of course, […]

  5. […] things are so big that we have to take action, like if he’s using porn, or if he never ever makes love to you, or if he’s violent. But other things, even if they […]

  6. […] he isn’t watching porn. Check his computer and his phone, and have a talk with him about it. This post provides some help in figuring out how to start confronting that […]

  7. […] event, you need to get others involved. (so glad Vicki said this! I wrote this, too, a while ago in this post, and it’s good to see we […]

  8. […] increase his drive towards you by doing much of anything until the porn use has stopped. In this post, a former porn user explains the steps to take to help your husband get off of porn. After he has […]

  9. […] “As much as possible, try to transfer your anger onto the porn industry and not on your husband.” Sheila Gregoire at ToLoveHonorandVacuum.com […]

  10. […] How to Deal with a Husband's Porn Use: A Former Porn User Explains Jan 12, 2012 … Is there hope for recovery from your husband's porn use? A man explains how he found healing from his porn addicti… Sheila […]

  11. […] How to Deal with a Husband's Porn Use: A Former Porn User Explains Jan 12, 2012 … Is there hope for recovery from your husband's porn use? A man explains how he found healing from his porn addicti… Sheila […]

  12. […] You are not a failure if your husband uses porn. […]

  13. […] often that means involving a third party. Here’s a response by a former porn addict on how he managed to quit–and advise for wives in that same […]

  14. […] in your husband’s life. If your husband is engaged in serious sin, and you put up with it and do not bring in a Christian mentor or an elder as we are instructed to do in Matthew 18, then you are also enabling your husband to […]

  15. […] I also want to say that God does set prisoners free. He sets people free who are enslaved to porn, or erotica, or fantasy, or alcohol, or gambling. He sets people free who are enslaved to wrong […]

  16. […] often that means involving a third party. Here’s a response by a former porn addict on how he managed to quit–and advise for wives in that same […]

Leave a Comment

*

CommentLuv badge