101 responses

  1. Heidi
    December 5, 2012

    I loved all that you had to say and I very much agree with it. This has been something my husband and I have had to struggle with since the very beginning. My husband has had a porn addiction since he was a young teenager. Before we got married he told me of his problem; he and I both naively assumed that it was a problem that would go away once he was having sex with me (we were both virgins when we married). Unfortunately, neither of us understood the nature of an addiction and that it wasn’t about just meeting sexual needs. There were some rough years at the beginning. Eventually we were able to work with a counselor that helped us understand more of what was really going on(and it helped me a ton to learn that it wasn’t my shortcomings in the bedroom that caused him to turn to porn).

    May I add one more piece of advice? Please be patient with the process, especially if your husband is repentant and truly trying to change. It may take a long time for him to finally be free of the addiction. My husband loves Christ and has been seeking spiritual help (as well as help from trusted others) to overcome this, but it is still a very, very long process. Things are much better now (12 years later) but there are still occasional slip ups. However, there are no secrets anymore and we are fighting this battle together. That has made all the difference.

    • Sheila
      December 5, 2012

      Thank you so much for your comment, Heidi! You raised such a good point, and it’s one that I’ve seen time and time again: most Christian men involved in porn feel deep and abiding shame and WANT to quit–they just have a very hard time quitting. Not all men, of course. Some deny the problem, or admit the porn use but don’t think it’s wrong.

      So, yes, often it is a very long process, especially for men who have been using porn since the early teens when they first started experiencing sexual feelings. Once you get over that grief, it is so important that if your husband is repentant you try to get on the same page and attack the porn together, not attack him as a person. So true!

  2. Scarlett
    December 5, 2012

    Can someone advise me on how to find all the comments on the posts each day? Sometimes I click and find a huge list, other times I click the same link (through the daily email) and nothing shows up? Or 1 post? I’m technologically challenged!

    • Sheila
      December 5, 2012

      Scarlett, I don’t know what to tell you. If you’re getting the blog by email, if you click on the title of the blog post in the email it should bring you to the original post. Then if you scroll down you should see the comments. You just click on them and that should open them all up, if they’re not open already.

      If you’re at the main blog site, and not at an individual post, the comments won’t show unless you click on the word “comments” at the bottom of the post. But if you’re at an individual post they should all be there, if that makes any sense.

      The way to tell if you’re at an individual post or the main blog site are whether there’s more than one post on the page. If there’s only post, you’re at the single blog post and the comments should be there. If there is more than one post, you’re at the main site (http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com) and you’ll have to click on the word “comments”! I hope that helps, because I’m not entirely sure what the problem is. I hope I covered it! If I didn’t, just clarify what you’re asking and I’ll try again.

  3. Christie Martin
    December 5, 2012

    Thank you so much for tackling this topic. It is a courageous act to even bring it up!
    Christie Martin recently posted…Wifey Wednesday: Fasting and PrayingMy Profile

    • Sheila
      December 5, 2012

      You’re welcome, Christie. I’ve just seen so many women devastated by it that we need to start talking about it more.

  4. Beth
    December 5, 2012

    My hubby doesn’t have this problem, but I know it’s quite an epidemic in our nation. I’m so glad you’re addressing it here, Sheila. I love your statement, “what God is going to make out of the pieces will be different from what you started with, but that doesn’t mean it won’t also be beautiful.” It is a painful breaking, but I believe God pours His grace into that brokenness in amazing ways. I’ve experienced it in my marriage for other sin issues. Thanks again for this timely and informative post! Nice to be linking for the first time!

    • Sheila
      December 5, 2012

      Glad you’re here, Beth!

  5. Paul H. Byerly
    December 5, 2012

    Sheila – I want to thank you for this series, and for making me aware of Vicki’s book.

    I talk with a lot of men, and there is a huge amount of denial about porn. Those who use it deny it’s a problem, those who once used it deny it has changed how they think about sex, and most refuse to see how big and deep the problem is. I even see a lot of denial from women – I think they don’t want to see how bad it is or admit that it has changed their husband as much as it has.
    Paul H. Byerly recently posted…Let me help you with that sin …My Profile

    • Sheila
      December 5, 2012

      I think we’re only starting to understand the deep problems porn brings. It’s not just with a guy’s sex life or sexual performance; it’s everything about who he is. It’s a deep, deep problem and we really need to take it seriously. Thanks for your encouragement, Paul!

  6. Dawn
    December 5, 2012

    This blog post from Desiring God is a good resource on the pornography issue: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/why-pornography-robs-a-man-of-his-humanness
    Dawn recently posted…True Leadership and SubmissionMy Profile

    • Sheila
      December 5, 2012

      Thanks for that, Dawn!

  7. Jeannie Williams
    December 5, 2012

    My husband says he is no longer interested in sex and last time I tried he just didn’t get hard. I found 3 porn dvd’s he had hidden. I hid a video camera before I left for work and caught him master bating to a dvd. I want to throw away those dvd’s, without asking him. Is this wrong of me? He didn’t ask me to bring them in.

    • Sheila
      December 5, 2012

      Jeannie, I wouldn’t necessarily throw the away. I would first get a couple around you who can support you in this. Then I would put the DVDs in the middle of the dining room table and say, “we are going to talk about this”. And say, “this is wrecking our marriage and our intimacy, and it has to stop.” And then ask him to talk to that couple or counselor with you.

      Just make sure you have someone to support you through this first. And pray lots! I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It’s so, so ugly. But God has done amazing things in marriages, and He can work in yours, too.

      • Jim
        October 15, 2014

        That is messed up! Blind side him with his friends around? Cold, bro

      • Sheila
        October 15, 2014

        I wasn’t saying confront him with the couple there; I was saying talk to a mentor or friend first, and get people in place that you both can talk to, so that when you do confront him there’s a plan of how you will deal with it. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

        But if you confront him and he ignores it, or diminishes it, then, yes, sometimes an intervention with others is also necessary as a second or third step.

  8. Erin
    December 5, 2012

    My husband grew up in a Chriatian household, he was the youngest of three brothers in the house. He started using porn from a very young age. The parents would occasionally find the porn (magazines and VHS back in the day) and it was a slap on the wrist. He and his brothers have all struggled with porn use into their marriages. My husband and I are proudly on the better end of it.

    My question is we have two sons, with today’s technology what should I do to ensure porn doesnt become a struggle in their lives? I can explain until I’m blue in the face what effects it will have on their future wives and marriages. Any ideas?

    • Muriel
      December 6, 2012

      I’d love to hear some input on this as well. We’re expecting our first boy in March and I’d love to get some advise early on on what we can do to prevent this from becoming a problem in his life and later on in his marriage.

    • Sheila
      December 6, 2012

      Great question! I think I’ll put this up as a Reader Question of the Week this week, because it needs wider viewing.

      Quick answers: computers in common places, not in their rooms. Shared computers, or at least shared passwords, if possible. Get parental controls.

      I think it’s unrealistic to hope that they won’t see anything at all–although we can pray hard. But you can stop it from becoming a habit if you make sure that computers are common things.

      Another idea I’ve seen parents with: the wifi gets turned off at 9 pm, or maybe 10, so that teens (and adults!) can’t be on the internet mindlessly at night.

      So those are a few thoughts. I’ll put it up on Saturday, though, and see what other people say!

      • Debbie
        December 6, 2012

        I would also add that these same measures need to be taken with our daughters. There has been a continuing rise in young women’s use of porn also.

      • Stephanie
        December 8, 2012

        Amen to that! Girls are just as easily sucked in by porn. I think anything we are saying to our son’s about keeping their hears pure is just as important to tell our daughters. It doesn’t just change the way males think, it changes the HUMAN brain. We need to protect our children in general.

  9. April
    December 5, 2012

    We have been married for 15 years and in 2006 I found out my husbands addiction. I found out late, when it progressed to sex addiction. He started the porn addiction earlier & I was oblivious. Maybe it was having babies back to back & moving to a new state. What I can say is that God is amazing & awesome! All of your advice and Vickie’ s advice is spot on. I researched endlessly on the topic, we got help & it was hard! He wasn’t very willing so I stayed on my course. He did go to the pastor with me for some sessions however I sought counseling for myself, set boundaries and prayed like crazy. I had prayer partners & a support group. Found this blog during that time. It took years, but today I love my husband MORE than before & feel connected to him even more than in 1997 when we married. The more I grew in my walk, leaving old things behind taking responsibility for myself & my life & I knew God had better for me. I grew stronger! My husband reached out for help and I began to forgive. It isn’t easy BUT your marriage can survive! We are a true testimony to that.

    • Sheila
      December 6, 2012

      That’s beautiful, April. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure you encouraged many women with that.

  10. Anonymous
    December 6, 2012

    It was exactly a year ago that I discovered my husband’s porn addiction. It went beyond viewing and masturbating–he had hidden cameras in our bedroom & bathroom and was using me to make porn. There are whole websites devoted to men “sharing” their wives and apparently I was quite the star. Betrayal doesn’t even begin to describe it. By the grace of God and without any real research on our part, we seem to have done everything right. My husband has completely repented, gone public with our pastors, and has done his best to surround himself with men who will hold him accountable. We have installed filters, our internet router times off at night, we’ve changed our habits so we go to bed at the same time (being alone late at night is not good for him). Because of job situations, abandoning the internet or sharing a computer or phone is not an option for us. The trust issue is what takes time. Any time there is even a slight movement back into old routines, I get nervous. If he’s not explicit with how he uses his time and what he did during the day, I get nervous. If he’s on his computer a lot in the evening, I get nervous (he’s technologically savvy enough that he could get around the internet controls if he wanted to. There just isn’t a filter strong enough for tech-savvy guys out there). The only way I know of to rebuild our trust is time, prayer, and the grace of God…but mostly time. Fortunately, he gets that. I must add as a side note, too, that I was surprised at the willingness of people to lay the blame for my husband’s porn addiction exclusively at my feet. They quickly assumed that I was a sexually frigid prude, or emotionally unstable, or somehow not adequate for my husband’s needs…therefore his seeking out porn was somehow a little bit justified. Even though no one actually verbalized that, I received multiple insinuations in that direction (and yes, this was coming from a church and Christian environment). I do hope such assumptions stem from the aforementioned ignorance to pornography and the nature of an addiction to it. Honestly, the assumptions that my husband’s addiction was all my fault was just about as painful as the results of the addiction itself. During the first three months after I discovered my husband’s addiction, I listened to a specific Christian music CD over and over. One of the songs had this bridge: “You made very star and taught it how to shine/You knew my name before there was time/ All this is just part of your glorious design/ Hallelujah!” In my heart, I knew (and know) that, like people before me said, this messy yucky part of our marriage will be part of God’s glorious design of triumph, restoration, healing, and hope. After all, isn’t God about taking icky things are making them beautiful? Of course, that doesn’t mean any of this was pleasant or easy and I would never choose to walk this road. But I am thankful that God is so good and strengthened me so I could forgive (slowly), and so my husband and I can restore our marriage (again, slowly and sometimes painfully). We are not all the way “there” yet, but I think we are walking the right road and I am confident that if we both keep our eyes and hearts on Jesus we will get to where we want to be.

    • Sheila
      December 6, 2012

      Thank you for that wonderful comment! I’m so glad that you’re on the path to restoration, and you’re right–it does take time, and a lot of prayer.

      I just want to say that I believe that this is very common, this attitude that “it has to be her fault”. I’ve seen it in the comments section of this blog so many times. While, of course, some women may aggravate the problem, that is not what I have seen in real life relationships on the whole. Many men, especially, begin a porn addiction long before the wedding. And even if the sex is great in marriage, that addiction is hard to break.

      When little boys start seeing porn at 13 or 14, it’s going to affect their marriage. And we need to do everything we can to protect our boys, and our girls, from this stuff earlier so that it DOESN’T become a factor in so many marriages.

  11. jsr
    December 6, 2012

    How about handling a wife’s dissociation problem. While lust/masturbation with porn is sinful and destructive, it seems to me that dissociating is worse. At least the man is thinking sinful thoughts APART from his wife. The wife, however, is doing the same WITH her husband. She is defiling the marriage bed more directly and, probably, more toxically. I know I would rather have a wife with a strong libido who sought some satisfaction through erotica/porn when I wasn’t available enough and even became addicted than a wife who fantasized about other people while actually having sex with me.

    • Sheila
      December 6, 2012

      I absolutely agree, and I’ve written about this, too. You can find that post here. I also write about it at length in The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. This is a HUGE problem for many women because sex is so much in our heads. If we need fantasy to be aroused, it can completely wreck intimacy. But there is hope at finding that intimacy again, for both men and women, and it starts with being real about the problem.

      Thanks for that comment!

      • Anonymous
        December 6, 2012

        Can I add something as a wife in recovery on this very issue? I don’t think it’s helpful to say things like it’s “worse” or “more toxic” than pornography. If this wife doesn’t think it’s a problem, then perhaps that might get her attention, but if she already feels bad about it, it’s not going to help. The last time this issue was mentioned on this blog, I was told I was committing adultery in my heart. That cut my already fragile heart in half and made me physically ill.

        What did help was my husband’s response when I told him about the post. He said that he understood why I would be upset, and it was ok to feel sick about it. If nothing ever changed, he still loved me and accepted me for exactly who I am. He was here to support me and work with me on the problem in whatever way I thought would be helpful. He still wanted to be with me inside and outside the bedroom. When he said that, relief flooded over my soul and I realized that it was going to be ok and we would figure it out together. There is power in unconditional love.

        Another thing that he has done that has really helped is really listen to me about things of everyday life. Before, if something seemingly trivial was bugging me, I didn’t always mention it because he would say things like “Oh I really don’t want you to feel that way”, which didn’t help. Now, he validates how I feel. When we went to see the new James Bond movie, the character of the woman who was trapped in the sex traffic ring really bothered me. It also upset me that Bond had promised to help her and then when she died he seemed to not care at all. Before, I would have just buried those thoughts because “it’s just a movie”. This time, I told my husband about it and he affirmed me and it led to a whole discussion about the topic. How did this help with dissociation? Because I talked to him about it, the thoughts didn’t follow me into the bedroom as they would have before and I no longer needed to dissociate in order to escape all the things going around in my head.

        My husband has also made sure not to do things that really turn me off. He makes sure his mouth is always minty fresh when he comes in the door so that I can jump him without being grossed out. If he does any type of physical work in the evening at home, he showers before coming to bed.

        I also just finished reading The Sexual Healing Journey by Wendy Maltz (not a Christian book, but still very helpful). This book is for survivors of sexual abuse. I still have trouble calling my experiences abuse for reasons I won’t get into, but the chapter on automatic reactions was extremely helpful for me. It used to be that as soon as my husband touched me, I was “gone” to a different world before I even understood what was happening. Reading that chapter helped me understand why that happens and how to stop it. Now, it’s not an automatic reaction any more. I still dissociate to orgasm, and I’m working on that. There was a tip in the book from an abuse survivor who said that she would fantasize to get over the hump and then pull herself back into the moment once she knew she was there. Each time, she was able to pull herself back a little bit earlier. That technique has really been working for me. Last night, I was only gone for maybe 15-30 *seconds* in a 45 minute encounter. That’s huge progress from being gone the entire time.

        Now that the automatic reaction has stopped, I’ve been able to use the techniques in Sheila’s book and blog posts to focus on the present. I haven’t totally beat this yet, but it’s going much better.

        I’m so sorry this is so long… jsr I hope that you find it helpful for you and your wife. This issue is huge and it’s not an easy fix. White-knuckling it and sexual pleasure aren’t exactly compatible. Your wife is definitely not alone.

      • Love my wife
        December 6, 2012

        Yes, but no one here is saying about a wife that is disaccosiating for the husband to involve others, seperate, etc. Nobody is saying on here the romance novels etc is just as serious… Please don’t get me wrong porn is an aweful thing and a sin and should be avoided at all costs. And yes, some just have the sickness and it doesn’t matter what the wife does but you wives are kidding yourselves if you don’t think you heavily influence it for a large number of men. I know it’s not popular to say….but it’s true. As a man who has struggled thru the years and has counseled other men there are many who just get hooked but many go there because we are hurt, lonely, tired of jumping through hoops to just be shot down.
        I’m not saying it’s right for a man to turn there but we are not having a practical real life discussion by saying “it’s not our fault!”. Sometimes, in some marriages you are right. And sometimes in some marriages you are not.
        My wife suffered from hormonal issues for years, I won’t go into the specifics but it was severe, very severe touching every aspect of our lives. Now that she has gotten that under control, I’m not even tempted 9 days out of 10. And resist the other day because I have a good thing now and don’t want to hurt her. But when you are hurt, downright have your heart torn out of you hurt which is what a husband is whose wife isn’t interested in him or turns him down regularly you are pushing your husband in the direction.
        It’s recommended on this blog that once a week sex is good, let me tell you for any man in his 20’s or 30’s (or beyond? I don’t know yet), that’s a starvation diet. Doesn’t matter if you had a kid six months ago and am tired…you think he’s not tired and his own set of struggles?
        Again I want to reiterate that I am a Christian man, who believes in the teachings of Christ. I love my wife more than anything in this world and would gladly die for her. I just don’t think you as women are giving enough weight to your responsiblty in this battle.

        I really am not trying to place blame or put anyone down. I want to see victory for this in every marriage on here, but that will not be done if we don’t honestly look at this in both a biblical and real life down to earth practical way. I appreciate the blogs here and what you are trying to accomplish but you are not looking at it from a male point of view. Everytime a wife doesn’t want to have sex we tell the husband they need to work on the relationship, but everytime the husband turns to using porn we tell the husband it’s his fault. I’m sorry, it his fault for looking, but 30-50% of the time he has been driven to the point where it’s an easy decision, the wrong decision but nevertheless the decision that most human, sinful creatures will make. This needs to be addressed much more in these blog posts.

      • Sheila
        December 6, 2012

        I absolutely believe romance novels can be dangerous, too, and I’ve written about them at length (and about erotica!). So I do agree with you there.

        I’m not quite sure, though, where I ever said that once a week was a good amount of sex. That’s certainly not what I teach! If I inadvertently made it sound that way in some post, I am sorry.

      • Love my wife
        December 6, 2012

        Sheila, Thank you for your reply. First, I need to apolagize….as soon as I read your reply I realized that’s over at Hot, Holy, Humorous as to the once a week. Again, I want to thank you for what you are doing & trying to accomplish here (same at HHH)…I really appreciate it. I know these blogs are for women, but I like to read as it helps me to understand my wife….get inside her female brain because by her own admission she has a tough time expressing herself sometimes.

        Again, I appreciate it but I want to make sure we are treating the men struggling with this the same as you’re readers want to be treated with their struggles. Do you think looking at porn is any more of a sin than disrespecting your husband? I can guarantee most wives reading this disrespect their husband in some way several times a week (even the best of wives, as the best of husbands have their shortfalls just the same)…do we need to take you in front of the pastor, church, etc? Rush you down to get an accountability partner? I want to be the first to say that their are times when that needs to be done with man struggling with porn, a long standing addiction where he has shown again and again he doesn’t care about the sin or you. Even times when he realizes he can’t give it up without that. But there is WAY to much generalization in these last few blogs. A great many men could stop tomorrow, maybe with the occasional slip up, but pretty much cold turkey if he was put in a marriage that was healthy and with a healthy sex life in that marriage. Some of the great men of the Bible had many outlets for their sexual needs (think of David) as they had many wives. As fallen creatures (yes the ideal at creation was one man and one woman no doubt, but you do know there is no where in the Bible where it says a man can only have one wife, unless he is in church leadership) men generally have a higher sex drive than their wive (I say generally…don’t want to say this is always the case) yet in this day and age where this false feminism is preached many men aren’t getting what they need emotionally or physically from their wife, regular involved enthuastic sex & respect.

        Again, I want to say it is a sin. It is wrong. It has no place in a man’s life or marriage. However, many men turn to this cheap, false thing called porn because we love our wife enough not to leave her or to physically cheat on her but we are literally dying inside from hurt, loneliness, etc. It’s wrong but at times feels like all we have to turn to and it’s so easy to find…it’s everywhere. My wife suffered from PMDD, which is like PMS x 1,000- so I know how strong hormones can be. A man’s hormones are just as strong and sex is literally hard wired into us, it’s incredibly strong…we already make folks wait later and later to get married and then kids come along and screw with a wife’s hormones, etc. It’s like the guys who try to play by the rules are the ones who even have to walk the harder road. All I am saying is this, if you want to keep your husband from this problem or heal him from this problem you are not going to accomplish that without understanding men. It’s who we are. Sex is in our brains, it’s held close to our head and close to our hearts.

        So in conclusion the two points I want to make sure I communicate are: 1) if you want success make sure you are giving regular, enthuastic sex to your husband & if you have not been don’t be easy on him but don’t go to hard on him….love him back to you because that’s where most men want to be (not all though) 2) Please give him the same grace, mercy and love you want for your shortcomings. Believe it or not you hurt us just as badly as us looking at this garbage…do you want us to consider seperation, drag you in front of the church, etc….please take it seriously but for the men mentioned above that want to be with you, and are just settling because you aren’t there or maybe they are just stumbling and sinning treat them as you want to be treated. But again, for the serious cases do the above but I’m afraid some of the women reading this have husbands who aren’t in deep, who aren’t addicted and these Christian women who don’t have any idea are blowing it out of proportion due to not knowing enough on the subject, hurt, etc. Trust me, in my time in the full-time ministry I went as far as having the elders of the church pray over a man and dare I say casting out a demon for men/man having this addiction….what I’m saying is I don’t take this lightly but it’s way more simple and way more complicated than what has been presented in these past couple blog posts…but I still appreciate you tackling it. THANK YOU.

      • Julie
        December 8, 2012

        @Love my wife: Are you for real? Did I read that right in saying that some men (if they’re not in “too deep”) can just give up porn cold turkey? Maybe…if they’ve hardly looked but the stats say that many men first saw porn around age 11…so in my husband’s case that’s over 3 decades of viewing porn which is why he is now in counselling, has an accountability partner, attends SA meetings and is working on getting free from this addiction. Maybe you don’t know much about this type of addiction but maybe you need to do some research.

        I’ve spent months trying to believe that my husband’s addiction is not my fault…something not easy for a person who already had self esteem issues to begin with…yet reading your response has not helped at all.

        I wouldn’t say my husband’s addiction is any worse than any sin I’ve committed, but this addiction has affected our marriage, our family and had things gotten out of control it could also have affected our finances and his job.

        You have just proven why couples need to see a counsellor who is trained and knowledgeable about sex addiction because there are too many people who are quick to blame the wife. Trust me…we already feel guilty enough already..we’re just as broken (if not more) as our husbands are.

      • Love my wife
        December 8, 2012

        Julie,
        First, I am sorry for all the pain that porn has caused in your life. I think in my posts I stay again and again it’s wrong. I know it’s tough (I do it too) but try to read my post not thru your own hurt, situation. I say “some” guys, 30-50% would not be viewing or could quit if they had a wife that loved and gave to them sexually. I don’t know you, or what your relationship is with your husband but assuming you are presenting yourself accurately and are a wife who does do that then your husband falls into the 50-70% I was not talking about and at least half my post was not directed to you.

        I’m sorry you feel my comments are out of line. This is something I have struggled with in my life after a friend and my father, yes my father, introduced me to porn in my teenage years. I was saved a couple years later, and was considered a very strong and on fire Christian and had success on and off…a woman will never believe the hormones running thru a teenage male body. After college I was a fulltime minister for a few years, but my wife’s struggles with PMDD just about destroyed my faith, self esteem, etc. and I choose to leave the ministry. But I have been to Bible college and had many men and even couples come to me on this issue for counseling over the years. during our first thirteen years of marriage, the amount of health my wife had at any given point effected how much she could love me and my success with this problem did in fact come and go with how much my wife could love me. I know that sounds bad, but please understand that my wives condition was severe…very severe. For many men, yes we turn to porn even though most of us know it’s a cheap imitiation and wrong when we are hurt, lonely, etc. Again, some just turn there because they are selfish, some because they are addicted…but not all, some of us just turn there after months and months (years and years) of lonliness and hurt. That part of my post was directed to those marriages, wives…as each situation/marriage is unique.

        I’m glad to hear your husband is working on getting free, but please understand…we aren’t ever free of this. It’s something we will struggle with day in, day out until we die. That doesn’t mean we physically go and view it, but the urges and sometimes the thoughts….I wish I could tell you otherwise but I suspect the number that ever beat the urges and thoughts are somewhere in the 5-20% range. Doesn’t mean we don’t love our wives with all of our hearts it just means it’s something that we choose that day and every day to not do because we love God and love our wife.

        Again,

  12. April
    December 6, 2012

    Thanks or the reply!
    We also have 3 boys and I am extremely diligent about this idea of porn when i comes tonthem, because of what has happened in our marriage. Interestingly enough, my husband is as well and I believe it is because of what he has experienced throughout his life.
    For the anonymous woman, stay strong! It took 3 years or so for us to get through this all. Remember this is a habit that started before you. Sheila I think we also need to recognize that many men suffered abuse, illicit sex acts and other traumatic episodes in their youth & young adulthood that attributes to their behavior. They need help. It is not our fault!
    Women, we just need to reclaim our sexuality and our sex in bed with our hubbies! That’s why I appreciate you Sheila.
    Ok, off my soapbox now.

  13. Anonymous
    December 6, 2012

    The post from the disassociating wife causes me to think that her problem is so similar to the effect of porn on a person. I discovered that my husband had a porn addiction 1 1/2 years ago, we have been to counseling and working to rebuild our marriage and it is a slow painstaking process based on constant prayer. But what we are learning is that we never had the intimacy I thought we had. We’ve been married 25 1/2 years and my husband has been putting up emotional walls to hide behind all this time. He grew up in a family who were unloving and clearly to this day put the older sibling on a pedastool and made it clear nothing he ever has done or will do will ever be enough to please them. His father died without a single time expressing the words I love you to my husband. Because of this he has hidden his real feelings and emotions to me, almost as if he thinks if I really knew him I wouldn’t love him. Therefore he turned to porn because it doesn’t require intimacy, and possible rejection. The result of all this has been a disassociation and fantasy during physical intimacy that made true intimacy impossible. Once it was addressed there was an inability to be aroused without it. The thing that has helped was after confession and repentance I had to give him unconditional love. And it was not easy at first. I argued with the Lord vehenamently about it, how could HE ask this of me after all I had been through? But just like usual, I just couldn’t see the big picture from my perspective. It’s a long hard road and I wish we were on the other side enough to say the Lord redeemed it all, but what I can say is the Lord is clearly working miracles for us and some day soon I will look back and say HE took our broken pieces and put them back together to make something even better than what we started with. Jesus loves us unconditionally and we have to offer that to our spouses to live the life God has planned for us.

    • Anonymous
      December 6, 2012

      I (the dissociating wife above) agree that the effects are similar to porn in so many ways. Part of the problem for me did start from pornography, but not my own use – I have never looked at any porn at all in my life by my own choice. It was all over my house when I was a child. My father had pictures & calendars on the walls and stacks of magazines lying everywhere. At least he had the decency to hide the videos in the back of the closet, but everything else was out in the open. Dissociating does block true intimacy as does porn and I think they both require repentance and some brain re-training to relearn sexual arousal and release without them. That last part is what we’re still working on.

      Where I think it differs from porn is that it’s not an outward behaviour. Love my wife above is saying that people don’t tell husbands of dissociating wives to bring others in and that makes sense on one level because you can put all the safeguards in place that you want – like having no media exposure at all (which I did for a while and it didn’t help)… but if the problem is in your head, the accountability partner idea doesn’t work quite the same. That being said, if I were reading romance novels (which I definitely am not), I think it would be totally appropriate to have an accountability partner for that behaviour.

  14. April
    December 6, 2012

    “Love My Wife” has made very legitimate points. Points my husband made & I think all wives should take heed and hear. I still stand by the “it’s not our fault” line though. Pornography use can and often leads to sex outside of the marriage (affairs, cyber sex, soliciting prostitues) and each person has to take their own responsibility for their own actions despite what they are not getting from their spouse (wives in this case) bottom line.

    Really, we need heavy prayer and communion with God. He can & will heal. The sad thing is that poronography is available. Sex is made for good & has been so distorted, for centuries.
    April recently posted…Reflections During The UnpackingMy Profile

  15. HHA
    December 11, 2012

    http://site.themarriagebed.com/problems/sin/porn-limits-sex

    “A word to wives

    You have a part to play in your husband’s noise to signal issue. Given the world we live in, there is no way any man can avoid all sexual noise. This means a good strong visual sexual signal from you is a great help. Your husband wants and needs to see you partially dressed, dressed with a few buttons open (and bending over for his enjoyment), and fully naked. He needs to see you flashing, teasing, and tantalizing him with your body. I know, I know, you don’t like to do this because you are overweight, or your breasts are too small, or your belly button is ugly or your labia are uneven, or your butt is all wrong. I understand that the world makes it very difficult for a woman to have a good body image, and that’s just another intrusion into a couple’s sex life. You have been lied to, just as he has been lied to.

    You have things none of the noise has – you are his loving wife, his willing sex partner, the woman with whom he has great sex. These things multiply the effect of your signal more than you can imagine. I once heard someone say he does not look at porn for the same reason he does not look at travel brochures – why look at someplace you are not going to go. Every man knows he’s not going to “go” to where the noise is – but he is going to be with you, and that makes what you show him far more powerful than the noise can ever be. Give him a good strong signal and he will find it easier to ignore the noise.”

    • Debbie
      December 11, 2012

      Please understand that your perspective isn’t the reality for all wives. Statisticly speaking, men who are addicted to porn became addicted BEFORE they were married, many in there preteen years. Also, porn use is frequently the cause of, rather than the result of, sexual dysfunction in marriage. For about 20%(and growing fyi) it is the husband who is refusing to be physically intimate.

      For myself, I’m one of those 20%. My husband has refused sex for over 11 years and ALL physical affection for more than two years. And no I don’t belittle him, or refuse to “give him a strong visual signal”. He does however tell me repeatedly that “your just uninspiring honey”, that is if he doesn’t laugh like he’s watching a Lauryl and Hardy Movie. I through out the lingerie after he laughed until I was in tears, then he got about 5 inches from my face and screamed “YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN YOU LOOK RIDICULOUS”. After days of pretending I didn’t exist, he suddenly came in yelling. Demanding that I appologize to him for overreacting. Apparently tears were out of line. I started seeking outside help when I discovered his videos of women beating each other up(what he watches as porn) And I’ve been told that my husband’s responses are part of his overall pattern of abuse. AND that his abusiveness is NOT something I should be taking responsiblity for.

      • Sheila
        December 11, 2012

        Bravo, Debbie! I’m so glad that you’re getting outside help. Nothing ever gets better if we keep it secret. And you SHOULD NOT be treated like that.

        I completely agree–in the vast majority of cases of porn use that I have heard about and that people have written to me about, the porn use started BEFORE marriage. So I think we need to get out of the “blame the wives” game.

      • Love my wife
        December 13, 2012

        Sheila,
        I’m not trying to play “blame the wives game”…I know there are folks here who have an agenda or are too hurt to see past that hurt and I do not deny your statistics that a large percentage of the addictions started before marriage. However, I think in at least a big enough percentage of marriages that it needs to be mentioned where a wife, is either not interested in sex or emasculates her husband on a regular basis plays a part (you as woman probably don’t feel it’s as large of part as I do as a man…but that is why I am posting to give you a different perspective) in a husband turning to porn. You might not like it the way it sounds, it might be only accurate 25-50% of the time BUT it is a reality. And if in fact our hope is to have restoration/healing/purity in these marriages 1/4-1/2 of the women who discover this better at least ask the question…or the fix/healing is short term at best. Again, I’m not on here to be a porn advicate…I’m 180 degrees the other way and I’m not on here to bash wives (but please understand many of the wives posting about their husbands come extremely close to bashing if not over the line) but if you’ve got a man that needs sex 4 times a week and would be willing to settle for 2-3 but he’s getting 1-to once a month…in reality he’s going somewhere else. Does that suck? Yes…but’s it’s reality and trust me it sucks just as bad for that man whose wife is not loving him the way he needs. He feels just as betrayed, lonely, hurt, etc as these wives who are discovering the porn use. I’ll shut up now, it’s my last post but I think this has been a VERY one sided, very female point of view post and comment section and believe me you aren’t going to find success in a men’s problem going at it from such a female viewpoint 100%- and again THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO THOSE MARRIAGES WHERE THE WIFE IS LOVING OR IF HE IS A TRUE ADDICT (AND SOME OF THE POSTERS HUSBANDS WERE DEFINETLY 100% OFF THE DEEP END ADDICTS).

      • Jim
        September 14, 2013

        @ Love my wife – it looks I am the first to reply to your comment directly. Excellent comments from a male perspective. Important to hear from men regarding this post.
        “that a large percentage of the addictions started before marriage” – I agree this is often how it really is.
        And yes, porn addictions are bad for the person(s) involved directly and for the marriage, on various levels.
        It would be helpful if these marriage blogs, especially the ones which are directed to women, would acknowledge that (most) males have a strong sex drive AND that the sexual need of men begins much earlier than the day of the wedding. It is not sinful and not anti-marriage to state such a basic truth.
        It is definitely wrong and sinful that males (and females) start using porn. The Marriage Bed webpage discusses this topic in depth, and presents the Biblical guidelines for males to express their sexuality prior to marriage. I mention this topic to give insight about singles as they approach marriage.
        None of this constitutes an anti-marriage philosophy. If you have questions, contact the author and/or the creators of The Marriage Bed webpage.
        http://site.themarriagebed.com/sexuality/masturbation-overview/teens-and-masturbation
        I refer you to the last section “The Biblical Boundaries.”

  16. April
    December 11, 2012

    HHA,
    That was good!! Thanks for sharing and reminding us to do this.
    April recently posted…Reflections During The UnpackingMy Profile

  17. hw
    January 10, 2013

    I found out my husband had been using porn within the first year of our marriage, he got help from our pastor and all was well… Fast forward to two weeks before our seventh anniversary and he tells me not only has he been looking at porn again, but he had been on a dating web site and cheated on me the day before. I had no idea that this was going on, I knew he was withdrawing from me, but not sure why. This happened a little over 5 months ago, and although I am still in shock over it all, I am so happy to report that we are both on the road to healing in and through my Savior Jesus Christ. I could not have made it this far without him. Realizing that this was much more than a simple desire to watch and get excited and that it was a real addiction had helped us both. Although time will tell where we will go from here, I am thankful in a way for how much I have grown because of it. I pray every day that one day this might become easier for both of us.

  18. zweep
    June 27, 2013

    I appreciate this article. I am mulling over how to reconfront my husband this time. I’ve done the tears. I’ve done the cold clinical confrontation. I’ve done the angry confrontation. Nothing changes because he won’t get accountable and he always says its the last time and I always believe him.
    My problem is that we are both in ministry, and although I know this only compounds the urgency with which this problem deserves to be handled, I can’t get past all the what ifs of what could happen if this comes out.Job termination, needing to change housing or possibly even return to our home country. We are missionaries. We are practically alone on the field. There are children who would have no caregivers.
    And I can’t decide when to confront him this, before he preaches to our pastors group tomorrow? The day after, when we have several hundred teenagers arriving for an event? Sunday after church? I know in my heart that God is the one to deal with all the what ifs but it is hard when there is such a weight of responsibility.
    Sadly, in some ways I care more about the children in our care then the state of our marriage, or so it would

  19. zweep
    June 27, 2013

    *or so it would seem since my mind dwells there more than on what is going on or not going on between us.
    Porn makes this wonderful, fun, talented, extroverted, anointed man into a gloomy, unkind, withdrawn person. I believe his exposure to it at a young age via his uncle plus the loss of his father and two brothers make him vulnerable to a cycle of shame secrecy and grief. But he never tells me, he waits to be caught.
    We are in a high stress and strong spiritual warfare environment, and I am sometimes harsh and overmanage things. I also do not feel as sexually motivated since discovering the porn issue less than a year into out marriage while pregnant and already feeling vulnerable about the changes in my body and in our marriage. Add exhaustion from the environment we live and work in. Nevertheless I don’t think that those are justifications for what is biblically equated with adultery.

  20. aimee
    September 17, 2013

    Ive been married 12 years. I found out 8 years into marriage my husband had been using porn all tbat time. He refuses to stop. He says if I met his needs like he needs constantly he wouldnt have to use porn. He isnt sorry. Its destroying me. I feel so dirty and disgusted.my marriage is crumbling. Im devastated. :(

    • Sheila
      September 17, 2013

      Hi Aimee, I’m so, so sorry! So many women are going through this, and it’s horrible. I really, really encourage you to do something about it. Tell someone. Force him to get accountability. If you do nothing, it will not get better and it will destroy your marriage. I pray that you’ll find the help you need,
      Sheila.

  21. Rapunzel
    September 19, 2013

    Hi..I have this different issue regarding my husband’s addiction to porn. Here’s what I did: I blocked all the pornsites he visited, installed 2 webblockers & used openDNS..but he really tries to search, I can always track his browsing history, since we use only one laptop, he’s not so techy unlike me so he couldn’t undo anything..my problem is, he will open up the topic every now & then..he gets mad at me, throw foul words at me, even threaten me that he will smash my laptop if I WILL NOT UNDO all what I have done..how do I deal with this issue? I cannot talk to him about it when he’s not drunk..(NOTE: he picks fight with me about it when he’s drunk & often gets drunk just to pick fight)

    Don’t know what else I can do..

    • Sheila
      September 19, 2013

      Rapunzel, that’s so sad. I’m really sorry. I’d recommend bringing in some help–seeing a counselor, or talking to a mentor couple. It sounds like your husband has a real issue and is not treating you well or treating you safely. I would definitely talk to someone about how to proceed. And I would make it very clear to your husband that he can’t have both–he can’t have pornography and a marriage. Most pastors are quite used to dealing with this problem at this point, so if you talk to a pastor he may be able to help. But I am sorry. It sounds so stressful, and I hope your husband understands what he is missing in you.

  22. Ashley Sexton
    September 25, 2013

    My husband was caught looking at porn because i was using his phone and found out. He denied it over and over, then after I told him I would rather you tell me the truth then lie and me find out the hard way, finally he admitted it and we talked and he swore never again… well since then over the years i have caught him and he lies then tells the truth after I beg him… I ask him why and he can’t come up with an answer! I don’t know how to believe him anymore. i feel lost and just emotionally drained. I have zero self confidence and I don’t ever feel like I will be good enough.. How do I get through this I have no family or friends… please help i have lost so much sleep and all i want is to be able to trust him again and not worry all the time.

    • Sheila
      September 25, 2013

      Ashley, I’m so sorry. I know how alone you feel, and how difficult this is. I’d seriously recommend getting some outside help. Go to a church and ask to speak to a counselor. Talk to a counselor elsewhere. It doesn’t matter. Find an older couple that you can talk these things through with. But this does need to be dealt with. It won’t go away on its own, and he needs to be confronted. I’ve got more about that here, from a guy’s point of view. Hope that helps!

      I’ve said a prayer for you.

  23. Mary
    October 7, 2013

    I am heartbroken. I knew my husband looked at porn before we married. It was a constant issue, but he assured me he would stop looking. For the first three months of our marriage I never caught him. Not once. Then one day it was right there in his history on his phone. It was like someone had punched me in the gut. After I saw that, it was a weekly thing for me to find it again and again and again. About two months after I found it, we got into a pretty big fight about a different subject. He went to shower after we decided to just not talk for awhile and he looked at it again. Only this time he left it on his phone. He didn’t even try to hide it. When I confronted him the next day(he had fallen asleep by the time I found out) he said he left it on purpose so I would find it and it would hurt me. HE MEANT TO HURT ME WITH PORN! I was so devastated that I told him it was me or porn. After about two weeks he said he was done for good. My parents have always been our go to people and they were great on this topic because they had dealt with the same thing. We talked to them, got advice, and my dad talked to my husband 1 in 1 about it for awhile. We also told his mom about it. She had known he had looked at it since he was 12 or 13. In fact she had arguments with her husband, his step dad, about not talking to him about it because he would grow out of it. She still thinks it’s not a big deal. When she found out how I reacted she immediately told him I didn’t care about him. That he was definitely not first in my life. That hurt. It hurt me for him that his mother was so lost that she couldn’t even see that her son was hurting and addicted(which he admitted before we got married). Since our ultimatum, I haven’t seen any porn on his phone and he took down his computer. I just still do not trust him. It’s only been 4 months since then, but I don’t feel like I should be this caught up on it. All smartphones now a days have a way to privatize browsing and I’m constantly worried that’s what he’s doing. Because it has been on private browsing before. He claimed it was because he got on a website, reddit.com, that I don’t like. I had found out he had looked at porn from a link on that website awhile back. He said he got on it to look at comments and reviews of a tv series we watched together. Even that hurt that he’d hide that from me. This was probably three weeks ago. I had a low self esteem before I met him and finding out that he looked at other women made it even worse. It got so bad that I would cry during sex. I wouldn’t let him know I cried because I didn’t want to ruin it for him, but I let him know the next day. My question is, how do I deal with this? I will cry about it and hurt so bad. I feel like I can’t talk to him because we’ve talked about it so much and all he ever says is he’s sorry. That I’m good enough and it had nothing to do with me. While I know this is true, it still makes me feel awful and ugly! I’ve seen some of the girls he looked at and my body does not compare. It breaks my heart every single day. I just cannot get over it.. Help me to learn to deal with this. Surely if one women could deal with it for fourth five years I can learn to trust again.

    • Sheila
      October 7, 2013

      Hi Mary,

      I’m so sorry that you’re going through this! It’s such a common problem, but I know it does really hurt.

      I’d recommend reading this post by a guy who used to use porn about the best steps to take. You really do have to set some boundaries and potentially even tell a counselor or something, since it doesn’t really sound like your in-laws are supporting you.

      You are right–a marriage can’t have porn in it, and it is a big deal. I’ll pray that you get the help that you need, and also that you’ll find an older woman who can stand alongside you and talk to you so you won’t feel so alone.

  24. Anonymous
    October 7, 2013

    I am at wit’s end here. I knew of my husband’s problem before we got married, but was assured it was just a thing of the past. Now it has been going on (still after 5 years of marriage) and I’m going to lose it. He used to be accountable to me and tell me he had a problem with porn that particular day, but considering this problem kept repeating itself, we got counseling from our pastor. He adviced my husband never to tell me anything unless I specifically ask. Well, after a busy day watching my 3 kids, making meals, doing laundry and cleaning the house, I don’t always remember to ask him. I don’t want to ask him in front of the kids either. He does have an accountability partner, but I am left entirely out of their discussions (if they have any). What do I do? He works as a computer technician so he understands all that technology inside out. He was accountable and used ‘SafeEyes’ on the computer, but he knows how to skip all that accountability and cheat. HELP!

    • Sheila
      October 7, 2013

      Hi Anonymous,

      I’m so sorry that you’re going through this! I know it’s really rough. To an extent I agree with your pastor: your husband shouldn’t really be telling you everything and anything, because that just causes stress. But on the other hand, I don’t think that this is really a good situation UNLESS you also have good rapport and understanding with the accountability partner, that the accountability partner IS talking to your husband regularly, is challenging him about whether or not he gets around the computer SafeEyes, etc., and that the accountability partner will tell you if your husband ever really falls majorly so that the marriage is at stake.

      In other words, you can’t be left out of the loop entirely. No, you don’t need to know the specifics of everytime your husband is tempted. But you need to know with assurance that someone is really holding your husband accountable, and that someone will tell you if things ever got so bad that action really needed to be taken.

      So I think sitting down with your husband and the accountability partner and working out an agreement so that you know that someone is talking to your husband, and you know that if things ever deteriorate, you’ll be informed. That seems far healthier to me.

      And then, in the meantime, really try to work on your friendship with your husband so that you can have fun together and laugh together, and so that this doesn’t start becoming the huge giant in your relationship.

      I really hope that helps! I’ve said a prayer for you.

  25. Tristan
    October 8, 2013

    Thank you for this… I have been married for 12 years. My husband said from the beginning (14 years ago) that he doesn’t watch porn and doesn’t need it, unless of course I wanted to watch it with him. Well, I’ve had sexual issues on and off in our marriage from having the children, I thought watching it with him would help me, it didn’t. It’s awful and I don’t understand why people watch it! Anyways, about 6 years ago I found a porn site on his phone and asked him about it, he said our older son used his phone and probably downloaded it. I believed him, I had no reason not to. I have found dirty pictures here and there on the computer but we always traced it to a mutual friend who is no longer our friend. I never thought about it again until a couple of days ago, I was looking something up on his phone (we are very open with our phones, email, passwords, Facebook, etc) and there was the same website, in incognito mode! Then I saw something was downloaded (8/24/13), and porn was searched also! So, now I’m pretty ticked off… he says he didn’t do it and maybe it was our older son again, but he wasn’t here then. I gave him plenty of chances to tell me the truth (although I was annoyed at him looking, being lied to about it makes you wonder what else he’s lying about now). He claimed he doesn’t know how it got there. With all the evidence, I knew he was lying but decided to wait it out and hope he would come clean. Then today I go on the PS3 to watch a movie and lo and behold, there is the same website staring right at me! Along with some other gross ones! I took a picture of it and sent it to him, first, after several attempts at denial, he finally admits that only the phone from the other day is his and he didn’t want admit it because he was ashamed, embarrassed, and afraid that I’ll leave him. He also says the others aren’t his and he only chose that site because he heard it from before. He said he only did it (and it’s a stupid 30 second mistake that he really regrets and doesn’t want to lose me over) to try to get turned on to make himself last longer for me, because I have sexual issues. He doesn’t. I don’t think he has a problem… I think he just enjoys looking every now and then but knows how I feel about it so he hides it. He promised he won’t do it again and swears the others are not his, I just don’t know what to believe now. I’m still in love with him after all this time… we enjoy each other’s company. We are always around each other, other than him going to work. Our love-making has gotten much better in the last month, I don’t believe he fantasizes about other women either because he stares me in the eyes and makes sure I’m satisfied. I don’t want to leave him. Especially, if it honestly is just a small mistake. How do I go about mending this? How do we build back the trust? I don’t want to be some un-trusting, nagging, bitter wife that will push him away. Where do I go from here? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
    I’m sorry for all of you who have had to deal with this. :(

  26. Anonymous
    October 24, 2013

    Thank you so much for this post. I am currently going through this issue with my husband.

    We are newlyweds, only three months into our marriage. Only a month before our wedding I found out about his addiction to porn. I was heart broken. He cried and cried and begged me to forgive him and promised me he was disgusted with what he was doing and that he would stop. He told me that he had only been struggling with this for a few months. I am now finding out that it has been at least two years that this has been going on.

    I am hurt. I feel betrayed and unloved. All of his attention is going to the girls on the internet, in pictures, and girls we see in public.This pain is so much that I don’t even want to be married anymore.

    What do you do when he doesn’t seem like he wants to change?

  27. Amber
    November 6, 2013

    I have been reading your blog posts ever since I found out about my husbands porn addiction two months ago. We have only been married five months and I when I found out I was devastated. I had seen some stuff on our computer and even physically saw him watching and pleasuring himself a few times but he didn’t know about it. He would get up in the mornings before me and sneak into our living room and watch it while i was still sleeping or take his phone in the bathroom and do it there. i was so hurt by the fact that he would rather pleasure himself by looking at other women than having sex with his more than willing young wife lying next to him. One night I was so disgusted that I went and slept on the couch after he had fell asleep, in the morning I went into our room to put my pillow away and walked in on him in our bed doing it on his phone. We had a coming out and he told me that he had been watching it for over 10 years and admitted to being addicted to it. I cried and asked what I was doing wrong, I was truly just so surprised that this was coming from him.I just turned 19, my husband is 8 years older than me and I was a virgin when I married him. It was a very big deal that I stayed pure until marriage for both of us. He had sex with 3 girls before me and was ashamed of that and wanted to do it “right” with me. Although learning about those 3 girls were hard, I still forgave him. I just couldn’t believe that he would be so supportive of me staying pure and then turn around and throw this porn addiction at me. I had never looked at porn before him and now i was pulling it up all over our computers history. He said that he was sorry and had been trying to stop and that he needed my help. I told him that I was there for him and that if he ever felt tempted that he could tell me. I forgave him and we moved on but a few weeks after this I went out of town for a couple days and when I came back I knew he was back at it. I confronted him and we went through this whole thing again. This time I put parental controls on his iphone. The next weekend he was flipping through channels on my parents tv and kept going back to a bad sex show on hbo, he admitted this to me and I forgave him again. And then just this past weekend as I was taking a shower and getting ready for our anniversary dinner he started to watch porn and pleasure himself and I secretly saw him from the cracked bathroom door. I couldnt contain my hurt feelings and he knew I was upset about something so he admitted it. i He only admits to being tempted when he thinks somethings off. I didnt talk to him for the rest of the night or the next day. How could he on our anniversary when he knew how special this was for me and he knew that we would have sex that night? He was just going to go ahead and pleasure himself and leave me in need? It was just plain selfish. I was emotionally done at this point. My mom had known since the first fight and I knew i could trust in her because she is literally my best friend. I told her that I might need to stay a couple days with her because I just didnt think that my husband was getting the point that I wasnt going to stay with him if he continued on this path. When we finally had it out that Sunday night he didnt have anything to say for himself, he hardened and just sat there as I cried and asked for answers and suggestions as to what we should do about the situation. I told him that we might need a break, that porn was ruining our marriage and that I had no trust in him, that eventually this would lead to divorce. After an hour i was fed up and grabbed my bag and coat and got up to leave and told him that we were going to take a break. this was his turning point. He started crying and actually started to talk to me and said that he would still love me if i did it to him, he asked me if knowing that he had this addiction before we married, if it would have changed my mind and I said yes. I believe that he should of. In the end we made up and are back on the road to fixing this, but i find that i still cant trust him and i am so anxious and stressed anytime i leave him alone anywhere. your supposed to be able to trust your husband and im hurt by the fact that I cant. i cant stop thinking about this side of him and its ruining me. I think what is so surprising and strange to me is that we have a really great sex life, i mean amazing even. I dress up for him, try different positions, role play, foreplay, quickies. I am 95% of the time the one that initiates and very often I just pleasure him and ask for nothing in return. And this fact hurts me because i feel that i am the one in the relationship who truly desires the other person, I initiate the sex and sometimes when I do I get turned down and he throws excuses at me like hes tired or sore or needs to get in bed early. It hurts my feelings so bad because my husband is turning me down for sex when the whole time I thought men were supposed to be the more sexually driven. And its not that I’m some chunky plain wife either, not to sound proud, but i do try my best to be beautiful for him. I have long blonde hair, always wear makeup, always dress nice, a good body, even better than average. So the thing is, I still dont understand why I keep having self conscious issues and trust issues and the inability to forgive so fast, even though I know its an addiction and that its truly not me. But if he loved me enough then wouldnt you think he would quit? Im so let down by all this and so haunted by the fact that my husband isnt the person i thought i married. being a young wife is hard, i feel inadequate and i feel like all of my hardships and efforts are being overlooked. I’m just praying that God will get us through this and keep me strong, the pain is unreal.

  28. Christina
    November 24, 2013

    I don’t want to discount anyone’s opinions, but I think LoveMyWife’s comments are more along the line of rationalizations. Even wives that give their husbands plenty of enthusiastic sex can have marriages affected by porn or any other type of sexual problem. The hard lesson that many of us don’t want to learn is in 1 Corinthians 13. Loving someone isn’t about what you get out of the relationship EVER. Your spouse comes first, period. So saying that when wives don’t meet needs and disrespect their husbands they are the ones at fault for their husbands turning to porn is just a boatload of garbage. A real man would look at the situation and love his wife like Christ loved the church—-lay down his life (aka needs & wants) for her. That is Biblical. And just because there are examples of men having multiple wives and concubines in the Bible does NOT mean this is the pattern we are to take after in our lives. God set the pattern in the beginning with one man and one woman. And another thing to consider, when we reduce our marriages to exchanges of favors that is harlotry. Like I said, it is a very hard lesson, but one that Christ would have us learn: 1 Cor. 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

    • Kim
      December 27, 2013

      I agree with Cristina completely. God calls us to live with sacrificial love for each other. Which means to give fully, and to go without too. The marriagebed site that has been provided by posters above is very frustrating because sites such as that one, say that the bible does not say the word porn or masturbation and so it is up to us to decide, but isn’t lust the same as both? One typically does not masturbate without some lustful thought. And one CLEARLY is having lustful thoughts while looking at porn, and is lust not addressed so clearly in Matthew? I see this often, and I feel like the bible is sometimes being used, even by pastors, to say what one wants in order to justify actions. I just don’t see how one is not lusting when looking at porn. Can someone please address that for me?

  29. Nora79
    December 17, 2013

    Thank you for posting this, I found my husbands porn on his phone this morning. We have been married for 2 years and I have had a Concern about him doing porn for about 8 months now, I found some stuff on his phone about 6 mo ago and he said it wasn’t his and one of his school buddies must have been playing a prank on him, I have also asked him a # of times if he did it when he was a teenager (most teens do) so I was surprised when he said no, I knew what I found today was his cause the stuff he was looking at were things (sexual things) he has been trying to convince me to do over the last year or so stuff that I assume coupled married for several years do, but being a married virgin I wasn’t comfortable with any weird stuff yet. I tried to stay calm but almost more hurtful that the porn is how many times he has lied to me about it, i feel like I am not a good enough wife for him not wanting to tell me.. He told me this morning its been a problem since he wa 13… Part of the reason he didn’t seek help is cause e dad found out hen he was about 15 and refused to talk about it/help him with it. His parents didnt give him “the talk” either which I think it’s extremely neglectful as a parent cause obviously he is gonna find out some way and how my husband found out led to his addiction.. I love my husband so much and want to help him but this time last year I found out that he had smoked pot a number of times and that upset me and when we got through it and I forgave him I asked if there were any other struggles he has been having and he said that was it. I am so hurt that he lied about it, but as you said many men hate it, that exactly how he described it, he said he thinks it’s disgusting that he does it and hates it, he doesn’t masterbate (or so he says) its still so hard for me to grasp though, I mean I doubt everything that comes out of his mouth and I feel so embarrassed, I feel like I’m not good enough or skinny enough or daring enough in the bedroom. I thought he was just a not sex craved person cause throughout our marriage I was the one who initiated or asked for sex probably 80% of the time… On top of this I am pregnant and nursing an 11 mo old so my emotions are already wacked. Anyways, this was a helpful article cause I do want to help him but I am going to need help as well.

    • Kim
      December 27, 2013

      Nora,
      I am really sorry this is happening and I truly empathize with your feelings and pain. When I was going through it, I tried to “be strong” and get through it without talking to someone, but I would offer a suggestion to all women to not do what I did. When I finally did go to someone to talk about it, it helped so much to talk through it. As you said, you will need help too and you deserve to make you and your kids the priority. I still struggle with having to build my esteem and self-worth back up, but hopefully if you address it sooner than I did, you can feel better sooner and figure out how to deal with it and to discuss it with him. Please know that you’re not alone.

      • April Holbert
        February 18, 2014

        Nora, My heart hurts for you this morning. I just found this site today. I have dealt with porn in my marriage as well. My husband started using it as a child, and has never dealt with his issues, even when confronted over and over again. Yes, you will both need help. Find a counselor in your area who deals with sex addiction. It is possible to overcome this. I know that Jesus sees you today, and that he cares. He can heal your broken heart. And He can heal mine. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself time to grieve, no matter who wants you to just “get over it”. That is the selfish response I have had, even from my own church. It hurts. It hurts badly. It’s real, and it’s ok. You are going to get through it, and you will not die. But deal with it, don’t act like it’s not there. You are not alone.

  30. linda
    February 9, 2014

    No where here do you point out that women in porn (filmed prostitution) are abused, beaten, tortured in porn. They are enslaved, trafficked and sold by pimps, managers, boyfriends and yes their husbands. Many are made addicts to keep them controllable. Sure, you are hurt because he was unfaithful to you but how can you be with a man again, who gets off on the sickening abuse that is porn? Do you think those women want to be serially raped and smile, pretending? Do you think they want men to ejaculate on their faces? How about fellating 30 men a day for the camera? This is what your men are getting off on. It’s not just pictures of naked women. It’s women being abused for your man’s orgasm. Your husband or boyfriend has groomed his orgasm to torture women.

  31. Nora79
    February 18, 2014

    Thank you guys, my husband and I are doing much better, the only way he could describe this addiction is that it was enslaving him and he was too embarrassed to seek help. Now that it is out in the open and he has seen how much it hurt me he feels really bad and is battling this with every bit of strength, we watched a marriage series called real marriage by mark Driscoll at marshill church in Seattle, the series is free to watch online, it helped us SOOO much! Please encourage your husband to watch this with you. Linda, I understand your concern but you have to realize that we shouldn’t all divorce out husbands because of this issue, if your husband truly loves you and is a good person give him a chance, something that really bother my husband is my attitude problem and pessimistic nature, it my sin that I struggle with and would be broken up if he left me cause I just can’t seem to get my attitude completely on check. I understand that porn is a little different, but my disrespectful attitude hurts him like his porn using hurts me. We must forgive each other, if we are bitter and break ties with every person who has hurt us we would be alone. I have to chosen to take this time to work on my issue since he is working through something similarly hard, ladies if your husband won’t stop even though you have asked and asked, try this tactic, look into your life and see what you can change FOR HIM, not something easy, something he knows will take time and effort, he will not feel so alone in this battle. This has certainly helped my husband.

  32. april
    March 12, 2014

    Hi i need some help for my husband it’s been five years now i’ve been dealing this he is addicted to porn at first year of marriage when i found out when i caught him watching he denied it to death and lead to big argument.I thought over the years i will get used to it but i can’t because for 5 yrs we never had sex well atleast we tried it but he can’t for medical reason…i love my husband if i dont i leaved him long time ago because he can’t make me happy sexually but his porn addiction hurts me soooo bad that sometimes i just want to die my point is if he can’t have sex with me lets make it fair dont pleasure and enjoy your self while im busting my butt working to make money and when i found out deny it to death..i asked him why….he kept watching porn.lying to me and hurting me he just stood up there and proud of it seems he is not affected by my feelings even i cried till i almost lost my breath..i asked for divorce but all he said go back to your country and divorce is a lot easier is this how to fix this?pls help me i can’t take it anymore.

  33. Crhis
    April 5, 2014

    I got in a fight with my wife. We have a beautiful story with GOD’s grace and have 3 beautiful children. I told her my porn problem. She is hurt and has told me she wants nothing to do with me. I have told my friends and my pastor. No one seems to care. I really messed up. Pornography and the instant satisfaction can destroy something you build up over a lifetime. Pray for me, I’m weak right now and don’t know where to turn. Thank you for these tips on this blog.

    • Sheila
      April 5, 2014

      I said a prayer for you, Chris. I’m so glad that you came clean; I’ll pray that you get some help, and that you are able to reconcile with your wife. Just keep communicating, keep owning up to the problem, and don’t force things. Wait on God’s timing. He has to prepare her heart.

  34. gaby
    May 15, 2014

    Dear Sheila thank you for posting this article. I have been married for a year to a nice man.Since the very beginning I knew he would never hurt me, I saw him as an almost flawless person kind and honest my best friend. I wasnt experienced in sex when we married and he claims he wasnt either so we began our adventure together learning with time. I always thought I was the liability, because of my personality im impulsive and outgoing I say what I think. I always thought I was the one likely to screw our marriage. I changed so much for him and for myself, I became a better version of myself thanks to him, to his advices and support. I quit partying drinking and smoking I even gave up some dodgy friendships. I am better without those things now. A couple of months ago I noticed change in him he would barely look at me never complemented me or gave me any presents or cuddles, he wpuld expect me to clean and cook and wash his clothes. I am 23 and he is 28 and I consider myself beautiful, men constantly look at me (not that I want that attention) even some classmate asked me out when he didnt know I was married. I obviously declined. Because to me the thought of someone else touching me was repulsive. I had a feeling something was wrong and accidentally saw his e-mails. Found many subscriptions to porn sites. Im latin and hes british so most sites were to see latin women. I felt devastated the world crumbled in front of me. I had never felt like this before, then I thought about him cheating… the latter would be nothing like him he would never do that to me. But sadly I couldn’t say so anymore. After a couple of days apart I came back to our flat and tried to talk he explained that he had never had sex before me that he was a very insecure person that he had problems to talk to people and that this addiction is a product of this social interaction issues and boredom. He said it wasn’t me bla bla… then I went to his emails again the day after and found some sites about latin women in our city, he claims its spam but truth is I dont know if I should believe it. Guess a part of me wanted to deny it because I love him so much. He has contacted the church he decided to download convenant eye and prays at night. I kind of always prayed to God that I wanted him to be more religious as I am but it never happened. I dont know if this is a signal that this needed to happen for him to meet God. Im also scared that he’s using His name to convince me to forgive him. Should I believe him? What can I do I feel lost..

  35. Uknown
    June 6, 2014

    I have to be honest, I’m not really sure I agree with how people handle this issue of porn nowadays. I mean I think patience and forgiveness are necessary but I also think that walking away from a marriage with this issue is ok. To me if the person keeps engaging in it and it’s a problem then I consider it adultery, especially if it affects a marriage. Adultery is biblical grounds for divorce. I think if more women stood up for leaving their spouse over this issue then it wouldn’t continue to be an issue. My husband was looking at it 5 years ago. We went to counseling and to be honest I’ve forgiven him but the bond between us is broken. Our marriage bed was defiled by it because I just don’t feel the same. It breaks the bond between a husband and wife. I’ve prayed about it and I’m at peace knowing that it’s ok for me to leave because of the adulterous behavior. It’s not fair to either of us for me to stay since I feel this way. Not everyone feels like me I know, but if you feel strongly in your heart that you want to leave, I think you should if it’s affected your marriage like it has mine. I believe it is adultery and adultery is grounds for divorce.

  36. Sarah
    June 8, 2014

    I have just discovered my husband has been using a porn site. Our marriage has been struggling the last year or two, and he has also turned away from God and has other issues going on. I am at a loss right now what to do.

  37. Meg
    June 23, 2014

    My husband and I have been married for 8 years, and his viewing of pornography has been an ongoing battle in our home. Today, I am simply broken over it. I feel unattractive, unloved, and unwanted. He told me today that I am the one with the problem and that I am selfish because I do not want him viewing the pornography. I know that it is a huge problem now because there is absolutely nothing going on in our bedroom (not my choice), yet he’ll take his iPad into the bathroom even in the middle of the day to gratify himself. He is not in the least ashamed about it. He says he won’t stop viewing it, so I am at a loss of what to do. It feels like the largest betrayal. I am somewhat eased by knowing I am not the only one going through this. I am also having such a hard time not serving him with papers and walking away. At this point, I just don’t know what to do, because his heart has been completely hardened to how this is affecting our marriage. Thank you for posting this article, because this day and age, so many people simply say, “Get over it, it’s normal, and you’re selfish not to allow him an outlet.”

    • Sheila
      June 23, 2014

      You are absolutely not selfish! Your husband is hurting himself and hurting his marriage, and unless you draw a boundary, it will only get worse. I’d encourage you to read this article on the top 10 effects of porn on men’s sex lives, and maybe get him to read it, too. And then seek some counseling on what to do next. This won’t get better unless you put your foot down. It really won’t. If he is a Christian it may be easier because you can have someone from your church help you do an intervention and hold him accountable, but if he’s not, then I’m not sure what to suggest. But this will only get worse.

    • SMLS
      September 29, 2014

      I left (separated now) but you must know what God wants YOU to do. I have friends who’ve gone through infidelity/adultery but knew that God had called them to stay in the marriage. Great healing came from their obedience. When your husband goes to gratify himself pray for him the entire time he is in there. Daily pray for him, fast for him, be in the Word, worship the Lord and grow in your relationship with the Lord. God is able to do great things in the most desperate of circumstances.

  38. Rms
    July 4, 2014

    Meg, this is not going to be easy to hear and your not going want to hear it but his actions are telling you his answer. You need to realize that and pull yourself up by your bootstraps be the beautiful, confident, sexy, intelligent women you are and more forward with your life and y’all’s life. So therefore you stay and live your life without regards to him, exactly what he is doing you or leave and live your life. He has abandoned you and y’all’s life together. My experience has been that they only wake up when you leave. Your in my prayers.

  39. Daniel Smith
    July 20, 2014

    I’ve been browsing your site. I like a lot of the content but there are a lot of assumptions in your various “X Ways to Do Y” posts particularly when dealing with men, getting into their heads, trying to identify their motivations, etc.

    For example, what if the reason the man has turned to porn or masturbation or both (they are NOT the same) is because the wife isn’t living up to her end of the marriage contract? What if the man turned to this out of desperation after years of dissatisfaction, coldness, or even adultery on the woman’s part? I’m not saying the husband isn’t at fault, but sometimes the wife is at fault too. Often, both are guilty at some level.

    And so the wife posts in the comments here about her “unfaithful” husband. Did it ever occur to anyone that the wife might get the wrong impression that she is blameless in the whole affair and that the sole responsibility for whatever shape the marriage is in is the man’s responsibility? I wonder how often that actually happens because I see no safeguards against it.

    Perhaps I’m a little sore on that particular aspect of your site (having been wrongly accused and mistreated by women in my past), but it’s an important point. There are admonitions in the bible that declare guilt and identify parties that are in the wrong. Yet on this site I only ever see men treated in this way. So your site comes across as biased. Granted, this site is intended for women but I think my criticism stands. No matter how well-intentioned the information, I find it difficult to use because of this apparent plank-in-the-eye hypocrisy.

    Can you explain or respond? This is an old post so I will understand if this goes unanswered.

    • kim
      July 20, 2014

      I don’t think anyone would disagree with you. In that case the woman definitely is wrong too. Infidelity can permanently hurt a relationship. I think women such as myself who have commented on this post are not those kinds of women. We are women who have put everything into our marriages and in my case my husband said that I had to accept porn no matter what because it’s what he wanted in addition to me.

  40. Broken.
    August 1, 2014

    Sheila,
    I am wondering if you have any advice on how to address this situation with in your marriage if you are married to a “non believer” . My husband has had this issue since childhood. He also sufferers from insomnia and claims this is how he release to fall asleep. I can understand the biology behind that. But I have asked to be made a part of his sleep routine. As an effort to some what weed out the porn and insert myself to fulfill his needs. He makes excuses and continue with the porn. We don’t have the same veiw of this issue but I have stated my problems with it. He can’t seem to respect the fact that it hurts me . Im dealing with a very logical man. He has emotional issues and is immature. So talking about this when its not happening does t really happen. I walk in on it at night in the living room. It is so difficult not to react out of anger when that’s what’s in your face when you get up at 4am to use the bathroom. Im rambling now,but much original question is how do I address this with my husband when he doesnt see it as wrong? Thanks for listening.

  41. Betsy
    August 23, 2014

    I was wondering if you know someone good to get counselling from? My husband just stopped at an Adult bookstore this week. I am devastated, he promised me so often he wouldn’t do it again.

  42. Tori
    September 4, 2014

    I’m 21 years old and my husband is 22. I’ve woken up numerous times to my husband watching porn or looking at nude photos of girls online. Most of the time I freeze, and can’t say anything so I don’t know why but I just go back to sleep. It kills me. I struggled with anerexia as a teenager so I have no self esteem. I’m not big but I’m not small. I have curves in places id rather not. He looks at girls who are size 2 and that kills me because I will never be that size again. It makes me feel like I’m not what he wanted in life and that I’m not pretty enough for him anymore. I’ve tried telling him but it’s no use. He tells me I’m the most attractive girl to him and he never wants anyone else, if so why does he need to watch and look at girls online. I just don’t understand it.

  43. sabk
    September 6, 2014

    I found out that my husband had been going to live porn websites for years. I had a suspicion and told him that I hope he didn’t because to me that was cheating. I have to say that I try not to complain to my husband, so for me to say something to him was a big deal, and I did it nicely. I even compromised and dealt with the “regular” porn, but really didn’t like the live interaction. To my disappointment, he continued going to live web sites, having live web sexual experiences with women. When I found out I was devastated, I couldn’t believe that the man I thought I knew would do this to me. I wanted to leave him but then I found out I was pregnant, (which was a blessing since he didn’t want to be intimate with me). So now I struggle, my daughter is the best thing to have ever happen to me, how do I raise her right when all I do when I look at her father is feel disappointed? I need help!

  44. SMLS
    September 29, 2014

    When is the “long process”, long enough? My husband has been viewing porn and masterbating for 10 of the 12 years of our marriage (that’s at least when I became aware of it). We are now separated. Been through the counseling, accountability, restrictions, etc. One of the things not mentioned, or at least I have not noticed, is when you have very little to no communication with your husband. I felt like I was his roommate and not his wife. We had very little intimate communication. He would not pray with me, go for walks…spend time knowing me. It seemed the brunt of the responsibility for change was on my shoulders. I have attempted to be sexually available(not always) which is very difficult when your husband does not even care to discuss life with you, to share his thoughts, concerns, desires, dreams, etc. Life got to a point where I simply accepted my situation. I continued to be as good of a wife as I could be under the circumstances. I felt very alone but my Lord filled me with Himself. That is what kept me “progressing” and believing the best.
    The porn did get more hard core. The final line was crossed when my 8 year old daughter found an erotic book on the kindle. I was tired of the apologies and promises that held little value. The lies and denying left little trust. I felt empty, scared and broken because I never thought my marriage would end up this way. It’s been a 1 1/2 since I left. In this separation there was initially a full throttle retaliation, then attack on all my shortcomings, somewhat of an apology and acknowledgement, a request to return, etc. We still have not spoken about anything of substance that has happened in our marriage or what led us to this point. Much detail is obviously left out. It is a very sad state of affairs.
    I know I was part of the problem… I enabled him. I didn’t stand up to him when I should have. I let him have his way. I let him take and be selfish at the expense of others. I let him degrade me and the children. I made excuses for him. There is a time when we have to stand in our husbands life. A time to confront. I know I didn’t for fear I would not be the Prov. 31 woman. I was afraid to not win him without a word. To be his helpmeet ended up meaning his doormat. I know many of us women can be controlling, overbearing, demanding, emotional, nagging. I’ve had my moments. Only the Holy Spirit can keep all these things in check. We must learn to confront biblically, not attack. Not a lot of talk of this.
    I disagree with the person that said men can NEVER be free from pornography. That is a lie from the pit of hell. You are then saying God’s grace is not sufficient. That His death on the cross held no power to free us from every sin that can so easily beset us. He has given us victory through his shed blood. He is able to deliver us! Your comment sounded so hopeless…hopelessness is not the character of my God, nor a condition he intended for us to live in. I understand there is a great struggle. I am not exempt from struggle. The enemy seeks to destroy my life as well. But don’t shipwreck people faith by your comments.
    BOTH parties are responsible for the condition of their marriage. Both are culpable to varying degrees and in different areas. If both parties acknowledge this and desire for Christ to heal the marriage, there is promise. God can do great things in this situation. Yet, often, there is a one sided attempt to change, a one sided attempt to admit, a one sided repentance, a one sided commitment. Pray church. That is all I know to do.

  45. Jessie
    October 10, 2014

    My husband & I have been married for almost 11 years. We have 3 boys. I discovered my husband watching porn several years ago, he apologized & promised that he wouldn’t do it again. He said he was looking for ways to massage me that led him to the porn sites. I was totally heart-broken but I learned to forgive him. Few years after, I caught him again. He apologized & said he wouldn’t do it again. I told him if I caught him again, I would have told his parents. Of course, this happened few years later. From then on, I don’t even want to find out because I don’t know what to do. My husband is a super private person so I have nobody (but stranger) I could tell to. Of course, my trust for him is totally out of the door. Then, he complained about not having sex. My reason is: when we have sex, I feel like I have to perform like a porn star in order for him to finish his business. So, this becomes a “chicken first or egg first” thing. He said I don’t give him sex so he goes to porn. Last time when I asked to talk about it, he said he’s tired but again we do have very busy schedule with 3 young boys. Right now, I don’t know how much he is addicted to porn or where does he view them (he has some time alone in the morning). What if the boys see him doing it? I am afraid that if I open this up to people we know (like church), I don’t know what he will do.

    • Sheila
      October 10, 2014

      Hi Jessie, this is such a hard thing to go through! It sounds like you’re really struggling.

      I don’t have much to say other than what I already said in the post, but let me reiterate one thing: things don’t get better by ignoring them, and this rarely gets better unless you shine some light on it and confront it. Sin likes to grow in the dark, where no one is watching. I think you need to confront it and find a way to build trust and build your realtionship again with real honesty. Maybe if you find a church or a counselor that you can talk to about this who can pray with you and help you find the strength from God to confront him?

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