Frequently Asked Questions.
My husband and I have been married for only three years. Last year he confessed that he struggled greatly with porn, and that was the reason our sex life was almost nonexistent. Since then, he has done pretty well at not watching it anymore, but his sex drive is gone, at least as far as I’m concerned. It’s still there for him, but I do not arouse him hardly at all because he is so used to the ease and variety of porn. He loves me deeply, and we are truly best friends, but he is not turned on by me. My heart is broken. I am young, attractive, and definitely have needs, not to mention we want to have children and that’s pretty impossible unless you have sex. I’m desperate for physical affection! My mind starts straying to other men and I’m horribly depressed. What can we do to get his libido back? We are in this for the long haul, willing to do anything to repair thiS, we just don’t know what to do…
There are plenty of other questions from wives that have been answered in this section that you may want to read through that may encourage you but it sounds like you both need to seek out the advice and wisdom of a professional counselor. It is not unusual for a man who has become so dependant on porn for gratification to find it more difficult when an actual effort has to be made on his part with regards to intercourse… its going to take time but if he is truly starving himself from the porn and masturbation his appetite for his bride should return. Again- I am not a professional so you may want to seek the advice of one.
Best wishes to you both! I commend your commitment!
My husband and I have only been married four months. We didn’t date terribly long before that but we have known one another for several years. We have a very strong marriage however I’ve struggled with my weight and acceptance of myself. He knows these insecurities and we have gone through a Christian ministry which helped us both a lot. We have sex a couple times a week sometimes more and he tells me often how much he loves me. He is a new Christian and I knew that most of his adulthood he had looked at porn (he is 29 now). He was specifically attracted to “gang bang” porn because of the control of it he says. He never had a cell phone and we don’t have internet but he used to have a DVD or two that he watched before we were married which he got rid of on his own. However he recently got a smart phone and I caught him looking at porn several timesin the day along with nude photos … most of it was stuff he looked at while we were together hanging out and I didn’t realize he was looking at that stuff. His reaction was “it is just porn, it isn’t like I’m going to sleep with these people.” To me I feel cheated on. As if I weren’t enough. I’ve since read plenty of christian articles on the subject and I realize it really has little to nothing to do with me. He doesn’t quite see why it is a problem until I sent him some articled on it and he then said he didn’t realize it had such an effect on marriage. He has since apologized and reached out to our associate pastor for help and they are working on his accountability. I’m very thankful he chose to do that. However I am so hurt and afraid that this won’t stop. I fear this will open doors to adultery in physical ways. I do not want to nag him about it or punish him. I want to encourage him to move past it but I feel that if I let my guard down and forgive, he will think it is play to just continue. It has only been a couple of days and I am really struggling. I am trying not to be irrational but I feel my trust in him is broken. We are also expecting a baby in July and perhaps that is making this harder for me. I dont know how to be more attractive for him or how to be confident as his wife. I just don’t know how to deal here!
Before I begin I want to let you know I am a woman on team here. I am also a wife who has been where you are. I preface with this so that you know I am not some guy answering your concerns from a male perspective because I think some of what I am going to say may be really hard for you to hear. But I want you to know if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t be here giving myself to help you and others like you and me. Did I say I’ve been there?
First, I want to say that I am deeply sorry you are going through this in your marriage. It is not an easy road to walk with someone bound by sexual sin.
You shared that you knew your husband struggled with this all of his life which means two things. 1. That God showed it to you before you chose to marry him. 2. Your husband trusted you enough to be honest with you about his lifelong battle.
You shared that you have struggled with your weight and accepting yourself. That tells me two things. 1. Your husband knew this but loved you regardless and married you anyway- so clearly your issue doesn’t make him see you any differently. 2. Your own self image and insecurity issues are magnifying your husband’s battle and you are in turn making it more about you than about him (even though you’ve read otherwise).
You said you are having regular sex- several times a week and that your husband tells you he loves you often. This tells me that your husband is still turning to you and not just to himself for self-fulfillment. I’m not sure if you are aware but the majority of women we hear from who have husband’s struggling with porn addiction tell us that they rarely have sex because their husbands are ‘spending themselves’ elsewhere.
You also mentioned that your husband is a new believer and once you shared with him articles about how porn hurts marriages he actually received it- apologized and was willing to go straight to a pastor and get some help and accountability. Incredible. I hope you praised God and your husband over and over again for this because women wait for years and sometimes don’t ever see this happen with their husbands.
Here is the part I really want to address:
You said “However I am so hurt and afraid that this won’t stop. I fear this will open doors to adultery in physical ways. I do not want to nag him about it or punish him. I want to encourage him to move past it but I feel that if I let my guard down and forgive, he will think it is play to just continue. It has only been a couple of days and I am really struggling. I am trying not to be irrational but I feel my trust in him is broken.“
I undertand trust and intimacy being broken by what is seemingly defiling the marriage bed (on your husband’s part). I’m not giving him a free pass or making any excuses for him but I am going to tell you as a sister in Christ that focusing on fear and all the “what if this happens” is going to destroy your marriage JUST as much as his porn use.
We wives often don’t see our own selfishness and our own sin. We make it all about our feelings, our being betrayed, our broken trust etc. When what if we turned that around and offered forgiveness where forgiveness was sought? What if we handed our hearts and our pain over to to Jesus and left it- truly left it at the cross trusting God with it, with the outcome, with purifying our hearts in the process. What if we instead went to battle spiritually for our husband’s seeing this for what it really is? Our men are BOMBARDED everywhere they go! If it is not some woman dressed inappropriately at church, it is the magazines laying all over the place in the doctors office or where he takes his car for an oil change or the store he goes to buy a new pair of jeans, slacks or underwear. The television commercials today are raunchy let alone regular cable television— there is no where for them to escape the mental images displayed EVERYWHERE. What if we prayed for their eyes, for their minds? What if we prayed for their purpose and their destiny? What if we chose to speak life and believe God for them?
Lastly- I want to compare your weight problem to your husband’s addiction to porn. I know I might get bashed for that but I’m going there… you know why? Because I struggle with my weight too!! I know the battle in everyday choices! You can’t escape food– it is the center of most social gatherings- there are more poor choices on menus when eating out than there are good ones- it is a fight everyday to take the time to do the right thing (eat the right way) then it is to grab something quick and easy that tastes good. Guess what? Your husband is fighting the same battle but it is with porn. Sound far fetched? I really don’t think it is. I bet he feels just as guilty and as bad after he consumes it as you do after you consume something that you know is going to defeat your desires to get healthy! So let’s choose mercy. For our husbands and for ourselves.
There is a great book that I think can really help you. It is called “An Affiar of the Mind” by Laurie Hall. Please also check out the resources we have for the spouse as well as the community of women at Partners for Purity.
You’ve got a new life coming into the world soon. Be joyful. Be excited. Don’t let the enemy rob you of the joy in this season. Your husband sounds like a really good guy who is taking the right steps. If he slips up along the way try to show mercy. God can help you.
I wish you the best.
My husband andI have been married almost 2 years and we have been together for 3. Last month on March 8 he cheated on me with a female acquaintance of ours. We had been having problems before then. 2 days later he confessed to me what he had done. He cried out to God and begged His forgiveness as well as mine. God commands us to forgive and after many nights in quiet prayer I forgave my husband and the woman he slept with. My husband has always been addicted to porn and it has always been an issue with us. After he cheated on me I believed the addiction to porn would go away since my husband said he broken over his sin. Sadly, I was wrong. I asked him late last week of he has been watching porn and after lying to me the first time he admitted that he had been watching it. I asked him when he started again and he claimed a week ago. My husband does not have a smart phone. He has a little tiny prepaid flip phone. But he does have a tablet. I asked him if I needed to pass lock my phone so that he does not have readily access to my wifi hotspot. He shrugged and said “I don’t know”. I asked him if he thought reading scripture every time he got the urge to watch porn would help. He shrugged and said “I don’t know”. I’m extremely hurt and upset that he would go back to the porn after cheating on me. I’m not sure what to do to help him with his addiction because it seems like he doesn’t want to stop watching it. It’s hurtful, degrading to me, and a slap in the face after cheating on me. Am I over reacting to this? How do I help him over come this addicrion? What am I supposed to do?
Sadly sex addiction (sexual strongholds) don’t usually just go away. There is a process of repentance that we find in the scriptures. Your husband should be bearing the fruit of repentance and that just is not evident. It is in my opinion that there is nothing you can do to get him to care about his own condition— you can’t ultimatum it, you can’t wish it for him, you can’t push him towards it, you can’t find freedom for him. He has to want it himself and he has to want it more than he wants the pleasure of the sin. You have your answer with his ” I don’t know” responses.
There is a lot of help available to him IF HE wants it. There is help available to you whether your husband ever steps up to the plate or not. XXXchurch has an entire section devoted to the spouse.
I would also recommend a book called Boundaries and Boundaries in Marriage if you haven’t read them. These books will help you not take on your husband’s stuff. I remember the lightbulb going off for me when the author asked “Is your helping him really helping him (as in to change for the better) or is it harming him (allowing him to stay where he is because you do all the work and take on all the consequences).