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How Do I Bring Up His Porn Use?

by Kristina Croft on July 31st, 2013 in Spouses

how do i bring up his porn use blogpost

How do you bring up his porn use?

With self-control, evidence, and love.

Easy to say, hard to do. When you think (or KNOW) that your husband is looking at pornography, you get this really sick feeling in the pit of your stomach and fear consumes you. And as you try to put your case together before you confront him, you start out feeling hurt and confused, but as you obsess over the situation you become enraged and your emotions become overwhelming. At least that was my experience.

Before our big crisis of truth, my husband had been “caught” a couple times when I found evidence on our computer of questionable search items. Things that were hurtful to me but were pretty easy for him to explain away. I confronted him in a crying rage and it was a very emotionally driven interchange.  Not much came of it except a pounding headache, swollen eyes, and worldly sorrow from my husband as he promised he was a changed man; that it would never happen again. Of course, he wasn’t fully repentant at those times and he made promises he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) keep.

Then came our big crisis of truth. That moment when there is undeniable evidence and there’s no way he could explain it away. The moment when you’re alone and your husband is at work or in my case at the court playing ball, when you have plenty of time to consider the situation and make a plan of attack.

I was done with this crying game and him being “sorry” and explaining or justifying what he had done.
I was tired of his lies.
So I decided that I would attempt this final interchange with more self-control, with evidence, and in love.

I made copies of emails and history reports (because his go to move in the past was to wipe-out the computer immediately so that I couldn’t find any more evidence) and then I spent about 45 minutes praying and worshipping God. I know, sounds crazy. But I knew that I was not going to give up on my husband and I was going to fight. Not fight him, but fight FOR him. So I did. When he came home that night I was calm (don’t be fooled, I had that loud-sobbing-hyperventilating-cry before he came home!) and I was ready. As he sat on the couch I told him what I knew. At first he lied and denied but then I had all the evidence right there. He couldn’t deny that.  I kept my composure for the most part. I had tears in my eyes and a quiver in my voice, he knew I was hurting. But I was not in a fit of rage, run by my emotions. I was self-controlled and was able to articulate my feelings, thoughts, and plans with him much more clearly than I ever had before.

I told him that I was done with this. I would no longer be part of a marriage where I played second place to pornography. Where our children were ignored and our family was destroyed because of his choices. I told him that I wasn’t sure if I would stay with him this time, even if he was “sorry” and that I was going to consider divorce. We had always made a promise to each other and to God that we would never divorce, no matter what, that we would always work through whatever the circumstance was. But this night I wasn’t sure if I could. And I told him that. When he saw that I was composed, serious, and thinking clearly as I told him these things, it was like his eyes were opened. He had been so blinded by his sin that he was never able to see how much it hurt me. And in the past when we’d have those raging fights where I became this crying, screaming, monster, it was easy for him to right it all off on being “emotional” or “needy”. But this time was different and he knew it. He immediately called a pastor friend of ours and the change began THAT NIGHT. It was incredible to watch God work so quickly. My husband repented of his sexual sins and has been over 3 years sober since then.

Now, am I saying that he was repentant because I had evidence and self-control when I confronted him? No. Obviously it is the Holy Spirit’s job to bring a man to repentance, not mine. But I will say that the way I handled the situation helped him come to that moment where the Holy Spirit was able to open his eyes and let him see where his life was headed. That there was going to be nothing left for him but a cold computer screen and an empty house. My husband changed drastically in just a few short weeks as he repented to Jesus of all the sexual sins he’d been hiding for so many years and he began pursuing counseling, accountability, and support. After he repented I saw a huge change in his demeanor towards our children, he became a more present and active father. His attitude towards me changed. He began to pursue me and find a deeper love for me as he kept his eyes and heart only for me. And it rocked our marriage, but in a good way.  Sure that first year of sobriety was difficult as we worked through the intense pain and insecurity that accompany sexual betrayal. But he remained repentant and our marriage was transformed.

That is what worked for me. It may not work for you, but I can only go by my own experience and by Scripture. Believe it or not, God gives us the ability to have self-control even in the most difficult situations. “…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). This word fear here is not fear like “ahhh I’m so scared!” but more like being timid. God didn’t give us a timid spirit but gives us boldness, to act and speak in power and love and self-control. In Timothy , this verse is referring to the Apostle Paul telling young Timothy not to be timid when it comes to church discipline and calling people on their sin. Not to be timid in rebuking false teachers and false doctrine. So in your case, as a wife who need to confront her husband with a porn issue, the Apostle Paul would say, “Don’t be timid. God is with you; He has given you power, love, and self-control to confront the problem. Don’t be timid!” In any case, I hope that you would take time to pray and ask the Lord to help you as you confront your husband about his porn use. It’s definitely not an easy task and you will need help. But it’s not impossible. The Lord can help you and will give you everything you need to fight for your husband.

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