Porn and Your Husband

Did you catch your husband watching porn? Learn the answers to common questions, tips to productive conversations, steps to setting boundaries, and how to determine the next steps for your marriage.

15 thoughts on “Should my wife be my accountability partner? The experts give their answer

  1. Our experience has been that it has worked for my wife to receive my accountability reports. We don’t sit down and do a Q & A as in an accountability check-in type atmosphere. At the same time, the level we get at is how I’m feeling and overall how are things going.

    My wife wants the reports because for her, it helps build trust and she sees a daily example of my effort to stay pure. She also gets to experience the victory too.

    Developing good accountability partners has been a long road and full of hard work, but it’s worth it.

    I can’t imagine that going through a weekly gestapo interrogation of a husband’s activities is going to help a recovering wife.

    • @J – I agree. It all depends on what sort of “accountability” relationship you envision having with your wife. Receiving Internet reports is one thing. Doing a soul-searching Q&A is another.

    • @J – I found this quote from Focus on the Family’s PureIntimacy article, “How to Develop Effective Accountability.” Thought you might like it:

      The spouses of partners who struggle with sexual sin and addiction are severely stressed, and should not serve as their partner’s primary accountability relationship. Often, based on their discovery, they struggle with invasive or compulsive images of their spouses acting out, and additional information will only harm them further. Equally important, the addict has only one spouse and her role must be safeguarded. Accountability partners can be found elsewhere. Both spouses and the accountability partners need to understand that the partners stand in proxy for the spouse during times of disclosure, serving the marriage as well as both husband and wife.”

  2. We have not yet signed up for Covenant Eyes, I am on here looking it over. There are two things I wanted to say about this article though. As J mentioned, I feel like I want to know where my husband has been so that I can rebuild that trust that I have lost, but, on the other hand, when he does go to some questionable places, with me as the only person he is accountable to, I hear, “I am REALL sorry, I shouldn’t have gone there.” Which is true, but if he had someone else to be accountable too, it might not be as “easy” for him.

    • @Sabrina – Thanks for your comment. You are right. Joe Dallas mentions this at the beginning of the podcast: “I don’t personally believe in a wife being a husband’s accountability partner, but I do believe a husband is accountable to his wife—and that’s not a contradiction in terms.” Mark Laaser mentions it as well: “The husband is accountable to the wife to stay sexually pure, but I don’t think the wife should be a part of his network such that she’s engaged at the same level other men are going to be.”

      Their point is that a man should, of course, be open with his wife about his struggles and make every effort to show his progress, but he needs a network of men who will do the hard work of accountability. This is key: real accountability is engaging. Healthy accountability is encouraging and compassionate, but not passive or enabling. It is aggressive against sin, but not legalistic or condemning. Accountability is about finding real brotherhood.

      You are right to want to encourage him in his fight, but ideally he needs other men around him who will be his regular encouragement. One of our videos mentions this: a woman can really be relieved knowing other men are receiving her husband’s Accountability Report, knowing they are going through it with a fine-toothed comb, knowing they are helping him be a man of integrity.

  3. @ Luke,
    Good post. I like that part about the accountability partner standing in proxy of the wife. That’s huge. That also lines up with what I’ve read and heard through counseling about how disclosure works as well.

  4. I find it sad that women are expected to be perfect. Sit and wait and pray as our husbands decide everyday, whether or not they will be walking pure. They can keep their secrets as long as they talk to a guy and we have to sit and wait to see if they want to be honest with us or not. If they want to hide it, they can. Yet the wife is expected to pray, put aside bitterness and resentment and all other feelings that her husbands sexual sin caused in the first place.

    How about if the wife had an issue? What if the wife had an addiction to flirting, partying and making out with guys? Would you then tell the guy to stick by her, give her space as she “tries” to overcome her temptations? Could she tell her husband part of the story as long as she tells a girlfriend the rest of the story? I’m thinking no. The pastor or church or family would call he an adulteress woman and expect that she immediately stop this behavior or else he is free to leave.

    All these books and articles on how men struggle and need support and patience from wives as they attempt to live lives of purity and all these other books on how a wife can forgive and heal to be a perfect helpmate for her porn addict, chronic masterbating husband. Both spectrums are always to serve and care for men. Even the women’s books talk about how to be better wives for our porn addict husbands. “Be sexually and visually generous while he attempts to be pure and when he falls, keep offering your body, eventually he might get it together. You just stay pure and perfect and work on being a better wife. Remember being angry causes bitterness and makes you a bad wife.”

    Double standards.

    • I hear you. I’m not sure what double standard you see in his post, per se, but the double standard is out there for sure.

      We wrote an e-book for wives about this very issue. I believe it is a terrible mistake to tell women that quiet, prayerful submission is her only course of action in these situations. She should confront her husband about these matters. You might want to check out the book, Porn and Your Husband: A Recovery Guide for Wives.

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