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30 DAY PORN FREE CHALLENGE

30 DAYS OF ADVICE TO HELP YOU STAY PORN FREE

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5 Things You Must Do if Your Spouse is Hooked on Porn

by Forest Benedict on January 23rd, 2017 in Men, Women, Spouses

xxxchurch - 5 Things You Must Do if Your Spouse is Hooked on PornA husband’s compulsive pornography use is rarely disclosed voluntarily. Most men addicted to pornography experience deep shame and hide their choices, but despite well-crafted, guilt-ridden lies that mask their behavior, the truth emerges. Regardless how the wife finds out about the pornography addiction, the discovery is devastating for everyone involved.

After this discovery, wives often feel caught in a whirlwind of disillusionment, distress, and relational damage. In the bewildering moments that follow such a traumatic event, women rightfully ask themselves, what do I do now?

Here are 5 guidelines for moving forward:

1. Get Support. Wives in this situation often feel isolated and alone. Some of them may have a trustworthy friend, but their husband may resent them for sharing such personal information. Finding a supportive group in a confidential setting is fundamental. Finding a group that sees the wives’ experience as “trauma,” not a “codependency” issue, will be essential.

2. Avoid Minimizing. Many people in our culture shrug off the use of pornography as “normal” male behavior. While the “temptation” to view pornography is normal, its excessive use is not. Regardless of moral reasons to avoid pornography, porn is highly addictive and excessive viewing has negative effects on the brain.

Recovery from pornography addiction can be more difficult than from drug or alcohol addictions. Pornography addiction is serious. The trauma that wives experience is also serious. 

346x396-recover-inline23. Go Easier On Yourself. Self-compassion is an effective tool for those suffering from trauma and emotional pain. Evidence has shown self-compassion to decrease anxiety and depression.

Practicing self-compassion through self-care is essential for women suffering from such betrayal.

4. Avoid Shaming Language. Though left feeling disgusted and hurt by their husband’s addiction, it is important women avoid language that degrades.

Since addiction is fueled by shame, belittling words only make the situation worse.

5. Seek Knowledgeable Help. Depending on the depth and duration of the addiction, men can find help from a support group (like X3groups), therapy with a skilled clinician, or even in-patient or outpatient programs.

Wives often want their husbands to “get fixed,” while neglecting their own relational wounds. Finding help that is knowledgeable in both addiction and trauma is necessary in order for both partners to heal.

While these 5 guidelines won’t solve everything, they will provide a framework to help you move forward as you recover from the devastating discovery. Also, check out Recover.org for more resources.

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  • __S.K.

    Is this based on experience?

    • It is based on experience helping addicts and their partners.

      • __S.K.

        Thanks.

  • 8lifegr8

    It’s about 25 years ago now that my husband came to me a totally broken man and confessed his addiction to pornography. God immediately filled my heart with love for him and his struggles. I’m not saying it doesn’t hurt – it hurts immensely. Several times through the years he’s found himself back there again, but each and every time I do find out and we begin again. I still always go through some intense pain and sadness each time, but if I relate it to my food addiction and how we are both just looking for something to fill an emptiness inside that can only ever be filled with Jesus, I can relate to him and cannot condemn him in any way at all. I know it has nothing to do with me when he slips, it has to do with the condition of his own heart and relationship with God, and linked to some hurtful things in his past. As does my issue with food. We are coming on 28 years now, and have learned so much about ourselves, our relationship with each other and especially our relationship with God. I love my husband with all my heart and together we reach for what God intended for us – His purity, His food…. Him!

    • What an awesome testimony! It sounds like you’ve experienced the trauma many partners experience yet have still been able to respond in grace and understanding to your husband’s choices. That’s a hard balance.

    • Ren

      I am a husband struggling with this addiction. I had 13 1/2 months sobor and I failed while working at church. I know, the worst place for anything of that nature to happen. Due to this circumstance, I have been out of the house since September 25, 2014. I miss my wife and 3 boys and wish I could be there to hold and love on them, but I know I can’t go home till I am well again. God has a plan for this separation and as long as I put in the foot work, blood sweat and tears toward making my recovery stick and earning the right to be a part of that family again, God the father will continue to bless me in all that needs to be done.if you are a husband or wife or a single person, I am here to tell you. Pornography is not an easy thing to recover from, it is harder on families than alcohol or drug addiction, worse than physical or verbal abuse to our spouse. Pornography kills marriages an ruins relationships. Please give this program a try. You won’t ever be disappointed. I promise. I love you all in Jesus Christ’s Name. Ren.

      • Marty Klein

        You’ve done your (extraordinarily harsh) penance. Go home to your family where you belong. Your over-involvement with porn is tiny compared to the needs that each of you has for the other. If you were feeling less shame and hopelessness, you’d realize how much your kids would rather you live with them than without them. Don’t let people who demonize porn keep you away from loving your kids–or, for that matter, your wife.
        What’s much sadder than people over-involved with porn? People who think they have to tear up their lives, and their family’s lives, while they sort things out.

  • M.P.

    I remember when my husband shared this with me early in our marriage. Out of the blue I asked him if he was involved with pornography… and after a hesitation, he answered honestly. He was devastated and sure I’d leave him. The thing was, I had my own broken past with a different sexual addiction. Who was I to condemn? I wrapped him up and we cried together. I DID share, in our brokenness, how it made me feel… that when he viewed those images, I knew he would have something in his mind that I could never live up to and that hurt me. That struck a chord with him. He sought accountability and help and has stayed free for many years. But not on his own strength, and not without support. In God’s precious way, He used my OWN sin and freedom to give me grace and compassion for my husband’s. This is THE only reason I’m grateful for my personal experience and the way God worked in my heart through it. But whatever our sexual past, if we approach our spouse as sinners as well, we have a lot more grace to give. I applaud you for writing this and encouraging wives in how to be a support.

  • Grace

    My husband is amazing, we met late after dissapointments in love life, I was in my late twenties and he in his late thirties, we got married a year later, we took premerital counceling and are part of a good comunity, and one years and eight months was like a dream, we get along very well and enjoy each others company… untill I walked on him watching porn… it totally broke me… it did hurt like hell… I did not condemn, I know better, I was treated better by my Father and by my husband since I am not an angel… and every sin is simply sin in the eyes of God… but working through this is not easy, we are getting help and working things out and talking a lot about it…
    What I am trying to say is it really hurts your wife even he did not tell me I knew something was wrong, it interfears with your spiritual life, with all your emotions, with your sex life…
    I know that God heals but guys it just breaks her heart so much every time you glance at other girl, virtual or real…she gave you her heart to watch over it… to keep her safe and loved…
    I just wanted to let someone know how it feels…

  • barbara

    The porn user has to want help. You can stand beside them but you cannot change them. Sometimes you can only save yourself.

  • Mike Senigo

    I’d like to recommend a different first step, Prayer. Pray first. Matthew 6:33 and 1Timothy 2:1

  • Hope

    Your article says, “excessive viewing has negative effects”.Why would you say “excessive”??? Viewing period has negative effects! !!

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