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Husband Uses PornToday’s guest post is from Mike Genung, who unpacks 5 action steps for you in dealing with a hard reality.

It hit the fan today.

Your husband confessed that he’s addicted to pornography. You’re sick to your stomach, furious, and deeply hurt. Perhaps you assume his problem is about you: “I must not be enough for him; what am I doing wrong? Maybe I’m not good enough in bed… how can I compare to the twenty-year olds he’s lusting after?”

You bite hard on doubt, fear and insecurity: It must be true; what else could it be? I’m the only one he’s having sex with and he’s looking elsewhere; I must be the problem. Maybe if I was a better wife, or prettier he wouldn’t do that anymore.

You ask him what you need to change to fix his problem, and he quietly says “It’s not about you.”

“Then what is the problem?” you ask.

In your husband’s place, allow me to unpack what’s going on.

1. Men are wired differently than women. Where many women need emotional connection to warm up to sex, men are physically geared for it. This means when you’re walking on the street you may not give the slightest thought to the hunk that just passed by, while his lust-meter just shot up because a young co-ed entered his field of vision. The sexually explicit imagery found in pornography has a powerful effect on him, and, if he continues to indulge in it, can draw him into an addictive cycle of binge, shame, and binge again to “fix” the shame.

2. He’s addicted to a sin that will never satisfy. Every time he acts out with porn it leaves him emptier and more miserable than before, with an ever increasing desire for “more and better.” You could have a perfect body with the perfect personality and it wouldn’t satisfy or resolve his lust-craving.

In spite of your husband’s problem, the truth is that you are the right, and only woman for him because God put you two together. You and your husband are the perfect match; your weaknesses compliment his strengths, and visa-versa. The problem is that he’s in bondage to sin and is not caring for his wife as God called him to.

3. Lust warps a man’s character and twists him emotionally into a blind, sex and self-obsessed fool; I know because I was in bondage to it for many years. In such a state, it’s going to be difficult for him to grasp the truth. He won’t understand how valuable you are to him and that you’re his best friend and gift from God, just as I didn’t see that my wife Michelle was when I was in that place. Sexual sin causes emotional blindness; your husband is in a dark pit from which he may not know the way out.

4. You can’t fix your husband. Wives can’t remove sin from their husband’s hearts; that’s God’s work. If you go on a “campaign to fix my husband,” the chances are high it will blow up in your face. This is because sexual sin is very shaming; when a man is pushed into getting help – as opposed to wanting and reaching out for it on his own – he will withdraw into his shell which will make him more prone to slips. Lust breeds in isolation.

By now you may be asking “then what should I do?”

Here are 5 action steps to consider:

1. Explain to your husband that you are his bride and your expectation is that he will reserve sex only for the two of you. Don’t allow him to justify his behavior, which many men (including Christians) try to do. Re-iterate the standards God set in His word if you have to.

2. Instead of trying to control him, put the ball on his court by asking him what he’s going to do to get help. If he hedges, politely refuse to let him off the hook. He needs to take action to break free, which can include going to an accountability group, books, counseling, porn blocking software, or shutting off the cable TV service. Freedom from bondage to sexual sin never happens on its own. If he says he’s going to take action but doesn’t follow through, be prepared to set consequences. If he doesn’t take action it means he’s choosing his sin of adultery (which porn is) over you. You can’t control your husband, but you can set boundaries and define what is acceptable behavior in your marriage.

3. Ask him how you can help. Try to position your relationship so you’re fighting with him, not against him. Pray for and with him daily. Although it may feel like it, your husband is not your enemy. Fighting together against the true enemy will make a positive difference in your marriage.

4. Express your feelings to him. What he does hurts you, deeply; he needs to understand that his actions have a profound impact on you. If you need to, go to marriage counseling together so you can talk through the thorny issues in a safe environment. Sometimes the safety of working through hot button issues with a counselor is needed to navigate the road to healing.


5. Take care of yourself. Eat right, and exercise. Spend time with God every day, and allow Him to minister to you. Meet weekly with a close, safe friend you can trust, or a counselor so you can express your feelings to someone outside of the marriage and get support. Don’t try to go this alone; stuffing your feelings is one of the worst things you can do.

The good news is that God heals marriages; I know because mine is one of them.

There is hope. My prayer is that the Lord will set your husband free and provide healing to your heart.

Mike Genung struggled with sexual addiction for 20 years before God set him free in 1999. He is the founder of Blazing Grace, a ministry to the sexually broken and their spouses, and the author of The Road to Grace; Finding True Freedom from the Bondage of Sexual Addiction, available at www.roadtograce.net.

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