About the author, Ella Hutchinson

Ella Hutchinson is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Clinical Sexual Addiction Specialist, Certified Clinical Partner Specialist, and Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. Ella served three years on the board of the Association for Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists (APSATS). She helped write the curriculum used by APSATS that trains clinicians in the Multidimensional Partner Trauma Model developed by Barbara Steffens. She is currently a board member of the International Association for Certified Clinical Sex Addiction Specialists. Ella and her husband, Jeff, work together helping couples find healing from sexual addiction.

View all posts by Ella Hutchinson →

Porn and Your Husband

Parenting the Internet Generation Ebook Cover

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.

91 thoughts on “7 Questions Wives of Porn Addicts Often Ask (Part 3 of 3)

  1. The scripture says (Matthew 5:28), “But I say to you that everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

    The way I see it, people who look at pornography (and especially those who are addicted to it like my ex-husband) are committing adultery. The only question is, from a Christian perspective, is looking at porn grounds for divorce?

    I’m not saying that every Christian woman who catches her husband looking at pornographic material should instantly file for divorce, just that is an interesting point to ponder.

    • A few verses down Jesus speaks about divorce.
      Matthew 5:32 (NIV)
      It is key to note the fact that Jesus doesn’t use the word “adultery” as a reason for divorce.
      He uses “marital unfaithfulness” here; followed by the word “adultery” again in the same sentence for the sin a husband will cause his wife to commit if he should divorce her for any other reason.
      I think there is a good reason Jesus uses different words here… and there are many concordances you can read to help you understand the difference. We must remember that God hates divorce Malachi 2:16, and the context here enforces this sentiment.

    • I have been dealing with a husband that is severely addicted to porn he is really sick it’s sad. I have exposed him to the pastor did the counseling he always cries he confesses that he is an addict but its a continual cycle that never stops. Im now Im that bitter and cold woman just ready to leave selfesteem up and down emotions stay a wreck I just ask Jesus what direction do I go in starting over is scary but staying is hatred building that keeps building.

    • Hi Susan. I’m so sorry for the pain you’re suffering in your marriage. It sounds like you’ve taken the necessary steps to help him get help, and yet he’s not able to make healthy choices. That has a really terrible impact on you, which is really common for wives in this situation. Many, many women will meet the clinical criteria for PTSD in circumstances like this. I would encourage you to find a counselor, just for you, someone who’s experienced in helping women deal with traumatice situations. I do not think that marriage therapy is appropriate when he is not willing to take responsibility for himself. I think you need support to process your emotions, heal from the trauma, and to choose healthy boundaries for yourself.

      Here and here are a couple of articles about boundaries. Here is Luke Gilkerson’s article about when divorce becomes a necessary reality in cases of sexual addiction. I’m not saying you’re required to be divorced, but I am saying that you are NOT required to stay and be traumatized in a marriage when your husband doesn’t take responsibility for himself. God does not intend for you to be a victim of abuse. As much as your husband has a choice to refuse his addiction, you have the option to refuse abuse.

      You will not be able to force your husband to get healthy: that is a choice he must make for himself. What you can do, however, is be healthy yourself.

      Peace to you, Kay

  2. Personally, I believe looking at porn is marital infidelity. But I also believe God wants us to do whatever we can, within reason, to help our husbands stop acting out and work on recovery. After a time, when it is obvious by his behavior that he refuses, I believe we can divorce them because they have abandoned us for their addiction.

    • That exactly how i feel abandoned! Its beenothing but a rollercoaster ride and its happened so many times all i have left is anger i even left him last year and i even had a miscarriage and it wasnt enough for him to stop

    • If you look up the word Jesus used in the Greek it was ‘fornication.’ Jesus said fornication (sex with a person you are not married to) is the only grounds for divorce. But, the Bible also says if your spouse leaves, let him leave. You are not under bandage in such situations.

  3. I have only been married a little over a year, and am in complete shock that I found porn in my husband’s facebook activity log. His behavior toward me changed drastically 7 months ago. Physical, verbal & emotional abuse became normal for us. Sex only happened 4 times last month, because I couldn’t sleep with someone I wasn’t able to trust to be nice the next day. I thought I was the problem. I’ve been incredibly depressed, and withdrew from friends and family, feeling that maybe I’m just toxic. He would say during fights that I’m psycho, and I push everyone away. I began to believe him. The only thing I never understood was why the Lord let me see a demon enter our bedroom from his side of the bed one night. I have been frustrated with God for letting something so terrifying happen & not showing me why. I found a porn site on his phone, and he said it was “accidental.” I talked to an older woman in church about seeing the demon, and was convinced then that he had done something to let that spirit in our home. I confronted him lovingly and listed different things the Lord had shown me, and asked if he was involved in something that was opening doors to that spirit. He denied everything. One night after a fight, the demon sat on the couch beside him while I was away. He recounted this to me, absolutely terrified, and still didn’t tell me that he knew exactly what the spirit was. I’ve been terrified of my own home, and haven’t slept in months. Finally, two days ago I found multiple porn searches on his facebook & everything came full circle. I was honestly happy I’m not crazy. I know the Lord was letting me feel things & see things in order to show me what was happening. I confronted him as peacefully as I could, and asked him every question racing through my mind. According to him, porn use is a new thing, and the porn he is/was viewing hasn’t become more hardcore. My issue is that he pleasured himself while viewing it. I couldn’t help but completely breakdown when he admitted to it. I never thought he could use his body with someone or something besides me, and I really feel that he violated the covenant of our marriage by doing so. I have so many questions, and know of no one who has successfully navigated this situation in their marriage. Who can I talk to? Does he need counseling if I feel (and can back up) that he came clean completely? I am so overwhelmed!

    • I have navigated and continue to – so many ups and downs! If you want to talk I would be happy to give you my email address, then my phone number.

    • I have been married to a porn addict for 21 years. It is a wild rollercoaster ride with cycles of peace followed by angery outbursts that result in exteme verbal abuse and personal attacks on my character. Things have recently escalated to the point of him blaming me for not meeting his needs and him actually threatening divorce. UNBELIEVABLE! He has no grounds to even think about leaving me and refuses to get help for this problem. Nothing satisfies this man and I am struggling with loving him as my Savior would want me too and setting appropriate boundries. Loving those who don’t love us is very hard! Like Katie, a demon revealed itself to me a few weeks ago. It was hovering over my husband staring at me as he slept in our bed. How does one carry on being wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove when the pain is almost unbearable?

    • Katie, I am so sorry. My heart feels for you as I’m going through it as well. I saw that you posted awhile ago… How is your marriage? What steps did you take?

    • I have been going through this with my husband for over 4 years now. I have had a miscarriage, I have left, threatened to divorce… you name it. There is nothing more hallow feeling that this. Complete emptiness, loneliness, anger, etc…
      It’s comforting to know that I am not alone in the world. It’s so hard… and his behavior aside from the porn is turning abusive both mentally and physically. I had to call the police on him 4 nights ago for hurting our child!!!!!! Had to put my foot down. He is now living with his brother and facing felony charges!!!! Then come to find out that he has not sought help yet… but his porn is right there with him.
      Porn is like a gateway drug. At least from my experience.
      When is enough ENOUGH? Help!!!!!
      :-(

    • Emily, I am so, so sorry for what you’ve been going through these past few years and I’m so sorry to hear that your husband’s behavior has escalated into abuse. Can I just say that I am also so, so proud of your courage in reporting him to the police and pressing charges? Enough is enough, and you have drawn a great boundary here.

      Whatever happens with your husband, I want to encourage you to seek support for yourself now. Your experiences have been traumatic, and the loss you’re going through is enormous. I’d suggest that you find a counselor in your area to work with; you might find a support group on abuse recovery through a women’s shelter; many churches have Celebrate Recovery and Divorce Care groups, if you need those.

      You and your children are valuable people, and you need the support of other people who know that and will walk with you through this. Blessings, Kay

    • Iam going thru the same thing.difference is that my husband denies everything.he says he used to watch it but not anymore.history on phone proves he is lying.i dont know how to handle it or what to do.my friends tell me not to worry
      Its not lile he is cheating but to me it feels like ut.iam just as lost

    • I think it’s important for you to consider what healthy boundaries will look like for you in your relationship. Are you willing to live with lies? Are you willing to live with someone who hides his sexual behavior from you? I think you have to answer those questions honestly for yourself, and decide what you’d like this relationship to be like. If that’s not the life you want, then I think you’ve got to take responsibility for that, and have those conversations with him. Choose times when you’re not upset about it, just able to express clearly what you’d like the relationship to look like. Give him the opportunity to talk about what he’s choosing and why. See if you can come to some agreements that work for both of you.

      Here’s an article about trust that you might like to read and discuss together if he’s willing. And here and here are a couple of articles on boundaries that might help you consider what works for you.

      Blessings, Kay

  4. I wish I had time to respond to every one of these stories. My heart breaks when I read each of you sharing your struggles and your pain. I have addressed just about every one of the issues mentioned in these commments in this blog or other articles I have written. Please visit my website where I have a list of articles I have written about being the wife of a sex addict. http://www.comfortchristiancounseling.com/partners_of_sex_addicts/articles

    • In the aftermath of two years of intense marriage counseling, I believed my husband and I worked thru all our unresolved marital issues and had arrived at the best place we’d ever been together. Months afterwards, he got involved with internet pornography and threw it all away. I was totally unaware of his secret life for 1.5 years, until I stumbled upon his disgusting journal outlining his porn use, the lust he felt for women at work and his admission of being on the verge of having an affair. I never felt more blind-sided, betrayed, unwanted, devastated and ugly in my life! At my strong insistence, he sought counsel from our pastor, who recommended a few books and videos, offering him counseling and recommending getting an accountability partner from within our church. My husband wouldn’t follow thru on the treatment plan suggested, insisting his fantasies and porn usage was over. Within a few short months, he broke his promises to me and his behavior and attitudes towards me drastically changed – he became a deceptive, belligerent, hateful person towards me (when nobody else was around to witness it), and every other month he expressed his desire that we separate, yet would never leave! (He couldn’t handle the guilt!) Uncertain of his porn activity during this time, I downloaded stealth spyware into his computer, only to discover more porn! When he wouldn’t make a choice between the porn or me, I threw him out. That night he checked into a hotel, watching 60 porn videos in 4 hours, which truly opened my eyes to the extent of his problem! However, not yet ready to follow thru with consequences, I took him back four days later when he said he was willing to change. But things grew continuously worse and within months of learning about the spyware I’d installed, he justified needing to rebuild his computer back to the original factory settings (in order to be rid of the spyware). He refused to seek professional help, in his mind his only problem was a wife who tried holding him accountable. Every time I approached my husband about his behavior or the state of our marriage, I faced verbal and emotional abuse, blame games, shame, silent treatments, threats of separation, and being told that I was crazy and belonged in a mental ward. After two years of this, I was on rejection overload. My husband had transformed into someone I no longer knew, trusted or respected. When he wasn’t in denial of having a problem, his attempts to change were half-hearted and he refused to seek professional help.
      I was told he no longer loved me, and tired of the threats of separation, our marriage of 31 years ended in divorce. His addiction to porn was also accompanied by demonic activity in our bedroom, and among other things, one night I felt a demon crawl across my body shortly after climbing into bed. Thankfully all that stopped when my husband moved out! Prior to our divorce, I read a very helpful book by Vicki Tiede, called “Healing Your Broken Heart When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography”. It is filled with women’s stories, Scripture verses, and it brought great healing and comfort. I highly recommend it for anyone married to a porn addict!

    • We have been married 15 years. I caught him looking at the porn one year after marriage. He probably continued on, but he didn’t admit it again for 13 more years. I don’t know the extent, he won’t admit it. He is a preacher, we were teaching a class. I was devastated. I am ready to leave mostly because of the dishonesty and lies not just the porn addiction.

    • I’m so sorry, Renay. I agree with you, the dishonesty is devastating to the emotional heart of the relationship. It sounds like he’s not ready to move toward recovery, which is so sad. You might appreciate some of the articles we’ve published about boundaries: here, here, and here.

      I hope you’ll find a counselor who can help you process your emotions and decide what’s healthy for you in the days ahead. A support group can be a big help, and you might also like to look at the resources available at Bloom.

      Whatever your husband chooses, you can choose to be healthy and whole.

      Peace to you,
      Kay

  5. I have been married for 10 years now but in my case, I have never refused him sex, its the other way round. I have told him not to hide it from me that he’s watching it but still. Help please!

    • Valery, that’s common. The honest truth is that, because you’re one woman, you can never live up to the variation available through porn. You may want to read this blog post for more information.

    • I have also been with a porn addict for 10 years! (Married 4). For the first 8 years i would initiate sex. I got so tired of begging that i gave up. I’m only 30, but often go more than a month without intimacy. He also lies about it. Even when i catch him!
      I told him i wanted a divorce this morning, and now he’s reached out for help. After 10 years and my wasted youth, i feel done!

    • Hi Tina, Oh, your story is all too familiar. In marriage therapy, there’s a “thing”–a real “thing”–called “the walkaway wife.” Exactly what you’ve described here. There’s been a problem for years and years, which you’ve tried to address in various ways. Nothing works. Finally you say you’re done, and he says he’ll get help. Which is great! We hope he does! But many, many wives find themselves just over it already, years ago. I hope you’ll feel supported here to create the boundaries that are right for you in this situation. I don’t know if you’ve looked at the free download we’ve got here, called Hope After Porn? It’s four different women telling their stories of boundaries and healing in their marriages. I don’t think there’s one right way to handle these things, just a lot of pain and hard choices. And, I believe, redemption, when God heals us, even when our circumstances are nothing like what we’d hoped for. I’m glad you found us here, and I hope we can be an encouragement to you!

    • PLEASE help me I have none to talk to about his porn addiction and we have been married 23 years please email me a number of a wive to talk to PLease

    • Hi Beverly. It’s so hard to feel alone in this, I know! I think the very best thing is local support. It would be ideal if you have trustworthy friends or family to support you in this? A pastor who could give you help? Other resources are out there too. Let me give you a few places to check. Pure Desire has groups for spouses in some places. xxxChurch has online support groups. Celebrate Recovery meets in many, many churches nation-wide, although they are not porn-specific. I think you would also do well to meet with a counselor in your area. You can check into that at American Association of Christian Counselors. I’m also wondering if you have read Hope After Porn? That might give you some guidance as you process through what to do next. Of course you can always write to us here at the blog, and it’s perfectly fine to do that anonymously. Let me know if those resources help! Kay

  6. I have been in a realtionship with my current boy firend for the last 4 years . He is in early fifties and I am in mid forties .We live in diffrent cities and meet up once a week , He is the most kind ,nice and selfless person I have ever met and my best friend too . He loves me to bits . I am his first girl friend who lasted more than 3 months and he only had very few and brief relationships .
    At early stages of our relationship I found out that he is addicted to porn and he confessed that was his way to get satisfied . Things have never been changed and he is pretty open about it .He hardly get excited when we are together . I have never been able to sexually satisfy him . There were occaasional sexual unions time to time ( once in few months ) only if I initiate it and they never go much far .
    I am a reasonbly attractive woman with a normal sexual appetite and I know I have no fault on my side . I have nver ever morned or compalined about it . I have not yet discussed about it . I didnt want to hurt or embarrasse him . But he wants to move things forward , moving together and get married eventually .
    I am just wondering , whether I will be able to carry on like this for the rest of my life or Should I talk anout this openly . Some times I feel incompeteant and humiliated For the last few years I hardly had any sexual urge and I feel like all of a sudden I have aged .I am a socialble woman and I get attention where ever I go and some times I secretly enjoy the male attention . I don’t want to be disloyal to my boyfriend but I fear sometimes it could happen .
    Should I wak away without hurting his feelings .. or should I talk this openly or Just continue as it is …as there is no immidiate danger of anything …

    • First, go read The Porn Circuit. It will give you a better understanding of what porn is doing to him. After that, I’d talk to him about his porn use and ask him to stop for the sake of his health and the relationship. He may need time to adapt to the idea, and you may want to show him The Porn Circuit as well. In the end, if he’s unwilling to give up porn, you should walk away.

    • Run for your life!!!!! Re-read your post and see you already have your own answer. It will only get worse and not better.

  7. I found out about my husbands porn addiction after we had been married for two years. After he lied about it repeatedly and I was still innocent enough to believe him. We’ve been married for 16 years now. I found out last year that he went to strip clubs, before we were married and after we were married and had children. He says he doesn’t go anymore but I don’t believe him. I have reached my breaking point. I’ve tried to keep going all these years for the sake of our children but I can not even pretend anymore.

    • What hurt just about as much as the infidelity is the lying and the deceit. It is terrible what your husband done to you and your marriage.

      Thanks for sharing some of your story. I really encourage you to look around this blog a bit and read some the stories and the professional advice from the counselors who’ve written here, but probably the most important thing you can do is talk to someone in person who has experience counseling women about this topic. These are good resources to start with. You also might want to read, “7 Tips for Wives of Sex Addicts: Looking for a Good Therapist.”

      Have you talked to your husband about what he can do to rebuild trust again? Does he know how little you trust him because of his lying? Change is possible as long as your husband becomes willing to do whatever it takes to regain your trust, but he first has to know how you feel.

    • I’ve been thru hell aswell, it’s been 9 years of hell for me through out our whole marriage he was looking at porn and there were times where I would get over it , but now I feel like I can’t move on with him. I’m so upset and I feel so lost:(((.

    • I’m so sorry. It really is so traumatic to live in a marriage like this. The damage done to spouses is so often overlooked. It sounds to me like you’d really benefit from some support. A counselor just for you, perhaps a support group. The online resource, Bloom, has wonderful forums, classes, and other resources. He can make choices about himself, and so can you! Whatever he chooses, remember that you can choose to be healthy and well. Peace to you, Kay

  8. I told my husband how I feel and asked him to go to counseling with me. He refuses.
    He says he doesn’t smoke, gamble, drink, run around, or cheat on me and I should put up with his porn because he’s been looking at porn since he was a child. He also said that I don’t give him enough sex so he is justified getting it somewhere else.
    I am thankful for my husband and all the good things he does for me and the kids. I love him, but this hurts me a lot. He makes me feel guilty for even questioning him. Is it helpful to go to counseling without him?

    • It could be very helpful, yes, if he is willing to go. It would be helpful if the counselor did more than help him understand your point of view, however. I would hope a counselor could also demonstrate to your husband why this issue isn’t a small matter or something that should be dismissed. He vowed to “forsake all others” when he married you, and he is breaking that vow. Regardless of how he feels about porn, he should consider that vow and his love for you in all of this. Women want to know their husbands have “eye for only them,” and he needs to get this.

  9. I am not sure what to do, I have had no where to turn for advice or support, I have been seeking it for a while now. My husband and I have been together for 4 years, married for 3. I found out about his porn usage the same month we got married. For 3 very long years I have kept this huge secret that has ruined our marriage. I feel very aggravated, lost, hopeless, used, humiliated, disrespected and hurt among other things. I have known it was an addiction for at least 2 years even when he wouldn’t admit to it or admit to looking at porn at all. He always says he isn’t doing anything, he doesn’t know how that got on his phone or someone hacked his Facebook account. I have tried talking it out like something is wrong with our marriage or me causing him to do it, tryed to spice up the bedroom (i wasnt happy in there either but that made the addiction worse), and I threatened to leave almost 2 years ago. He promised to stop but I don’t believe he ever tried, just hid it better. I found stuff here and there but it is always in the back of my mind. Over the last year I have told him he has a problem and he needed help and that I would be here for him for support and we would get through this. He just shrugs it off always saying he isn’t doing anything. I have become very bitter and angry toward him. I have been lied to so many times about porn that I have no trust for him anymore. He will tell me I am beautiful or he is lucky to have me ( some kind of compliment) and all I can thunk and usually say is if that were true we wouldn’t be on the verge of divorce right now. I can’t even stand for him to touch me anymore, I feel dirty and like I am taking part in his sin. We use to have sex every day at least 1 time, but for the last 7 or 8 months it has been no more than 5 times a month, only 1 time this month. I refuse to be used when he has all those women on the side. Close to 2 weeks ago, He sort of admitted to having an addiction to porn but said he had done really good and hadn’t looked at it in over a month because he knew it was hurting me and he was sorry for everything and he just wanted our marriage to get better. I told him that I couldnt handle one more lie, and I would have to leave him. That was progress. Well a week later I find a porn site from Facebook on his phone in his browser history, he was on it 2 days after that discussion. I told him right then I was leaving, he instantly denied it of course, begged me not to go. He deleted his Facebook account and got the service cut off to his phone. I told him he had to get help in order for me to stay. He promised he would and said he would ask his dad (our pastor) to pray for him. Well Sunday he actually did get his dad and the rest of our church to pray for him there (without telling anybody of the addiction). I am not sure if he really means all this or if he will be back to the sane old ways tomorrow night at work, just on someone else’s phone? I’m not sure what to do next of where to go from here. Will I ever be able to trust him again if this time is real?

    • It sounds like your husband could have reached a breaking point, but as with all addictions, too often we want to claim that our breaking point was all we needed. We’re delivered now (so we tell ourselves).

      Obviously, I don’t know your husband’s situation from your brief comments. But from what you tell me, he’s probably not out of the woods. He has some hard work to do. I don’t say this to discourage you, but to brace you for the days ahead. He needs help from someone who can help him unearth why he is acting this way. There’s more to overcoming this than sheer willpower or putting a few blockades in place. Perhaps he would really benefit from reading some of our e-books about this subject, like The Porn Circuit or Your Brain on Porn.

      I’m glad he deleted some of his access to pornography. Now is the best time for him to remove more access points. What often happens is a man will gain some momentum, he will have a track record of victory, and then in his confidence he’ll give himself too much freedom. “I’m just going to go check my e-mail. I won’t be tempted.” Then it will happen. He needs to do something radical to distance himself from this while he is still broken over it.

      Then the hard work of rebuilding your trust begins. I highly recommend you look into getting Porn and Your Husband, another free e-book on our site. You can also download these free chapters from some of Dr. Doug Weiss’ books. They address the position you are in right now.

      I believe there is hope for your husband because with Christ there is always hope. Christ is much bigger than your husband’s problem. He is also much bigger than your pain. There’s no time like the present to lean on Him like you’ve never done before. Surround yourself with others who can speak truth to you when you don’t know what to believe anymore. Find trusted friends who will fight for your sanity and your marriage with you. The hurt you are feeling right now is normal and justified, so find others who will give you great sympathy and support.

  10. It’s 5 months since I discovered my lovely christian husband had been looking at videos on line of people having sex. I’m so ignorant of the whole thing – is that what they call HARD porn? The trouble is we have been married for 40 years(!) and after leaving his job, for the last 5 he has been a pastor of a small church. He says it only went on for about 3 weeks, that he is not addicted and me finding out was a wake up call. He resigned immediately but gave them 5 months notice and we are about to move back to our old church. I have so many questions and can’t talk to anyone. I have only told one friend at our old church but haven’t been able to talk to her about it . It’s just good to know that she is praying for me. You seem to have so much support for this kind of thing in America but I’m in a different country and don’t really know where to go for the expert help I need. Is it possible for a man to just dabble with this type of thing for a short time or do u think that he has been doing it in the past before we came here as I suspect but he won’t admit? He probably tried to stop when we came here but maybe succumbed again 6 months ago. I’m desperate to talk to someone. I will insist on Covenant Eyes being put on his computer when we move if I can but he says he is not addicted and doesn’t need it. I’m a little bit scared in posting this incase someone recognises our situation and finds out. I keep praying to God for peace of mind.

    • Hi Jen. You should most definitely talk to someone you can trust to be both supportive to you and give you sage advice. You need someone in your corner helping you. Reach out to others. The problem is far more common than you think, so you might be surprised who can identify with you. Don’t give up until you have the support you need. Start within a local church and see what you find. If there’s kickback from others, arm yourself with information. This is something the church at large should be addressing because it is a hidden cancer in our midst.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. It is impossible to say how far back his problem goes. It might be an occasional thing. It might be an addiction. Either way, it is wise for him to have roadblocks in place and to get some men around him who can help him. All men need accountability: it is not a last resort; it is a lifestyle. It is the way God meant for his children to live.

  11. I don’t know what to do. My fiance is addicted to pornography. He has been since he was a teenager and he has been very open about it since before we started dating actually. He is the love of my life. He is the sweetest, kindest, hardest working man. He is a good man, a wonderful son and the most thoughtful, loving and caring fiance. The good thing is that I know how hard he has been working to get better and stop looking at pornography. He would go weeks without looking, but then would mess up and look again. Each and every time he does, it rips my heart out. I am warring with myself because I know of what an amazing man I have been blessed with, but I don’t know if I should choose to marry him. People keep telling me to not marry him and at least put off the wedding which we have been planning for and already set a date for. I keep seeing that the majority of the time, men need to be shaken up before they really make a change. Do I need to put off the wedding? Do I need to just suck it up and realize that he is working hard and he will have it under control? I feel helpless, isolated and feel like I can turn to no one other than Papa God. And not that He is not enough… but it would be nice to talk to someone about it… I don’t know what to do…

    • It is hard for anyone online to give you real timely advice without knowing more of this situation, but based on what you’ve said here, I would postpone the wedding. It sounds like the habit is deeply ingrained in his mind, and for his own sake and the sake of his future marriage, he needs to break the hold this thing has on him.

      The frustration he might feel could be great. He loves you and wants to consummate that love through sex. He probably just wants to get to the wedding night and begin a life with you, knowing that intimacy in marriage could really help him with this persistent sexual immorality. In one sense, he would be right. A lot of guys get marriage and never look at porn again: sex in marriage is the last nail in the porn-coffin. In another sense, he needs to be aware that sex in marriage only satisfies his sex drive, not his “sin drive.” Lust is not cured because sex is happening.

      I suggest the following: Tell him you want him to do two things. First, get into an accountability relationships with a mature believer who can help to disciple him through this problem. Perhaps they can work through a good book or resource together about this subject (there are many good ones out there). The man can hold him to task about his commitments and talk to him about the deeper reasons he might be rushing to porn. Second, tell him he needs to no look at porn for X months (the “X” should be determined by you and the one discipling him). If he, as a single man, can establish this habit of accountability, mentoring, and righteous habits now, he will have a much more successful marriage.

    • Don’t marry him! It will hurt now but in the long run you will be saving yourself a lifetime of heartache!

  12. This really hit home with me and my situation. My husband spends hours every day looking at porn and masturbating. He still occasionally wants to have sex , but it is difficult for me to want him. Several types of porn he enjoys is disgusts me. He has quit on his own accord before, but was right back to justifying his habit within a week. It has gotten to the point that I no longer enjoy or desire sex with him. Most of the advice online, including this website is God heavy, which is not easy for me to take. (I am an atheist.)

    • Hi Carrie. It is true our writers write from a Christian perspective because that is exactly what they are…Christians. As you might expect, it would be forced and not authentic to ask them to write from an atheistic perspective.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. Have you had an opportunity to talk to someone face-to-face about this problem? Do you have anyone you can lean on for support and advice about what you need to do?

  13. Hello,
    My husband and i have been married for 23 years. I divorced him because of his porn addiction. But remarried him two years later because he said he was healed of this. Of course I believed him. He also is a preacher, has been one for over 20 years. His addiction started when he was a teen. I didn’t find out about this problem until I found a black binder filled with cut outs of women in their underwear. We had only been married three years. He never got help. He said that he didn’t need it. Ten years passed and I found out that he was still evolved in it. He again refused to get help. Still preaching and teaching to people in the middle of this horrible acts.
    I feel so lost I wanted so to believe him. I wanted so for this to be over and never arise again. It took all of me to get up enough nerve to talk to him about this because he makes me feel like i am making more out of it then what it is. In God’s word this is wrong. We have no sex life. I beg him to sleep with me hoping that some how I can fulfill his needs. Sometimes the sex is OK, but I cringe because i feel like he’s thinking of the images of other women when he’s with me. We have a dysfunctional sex life because of his pron. Yesterday i walked in his study and there he was watching naked women on his computer. He immediately said” I don’t know what this is and blamed it on our 24 year old son. I could tell by his actions he was guilty. This morning i looked on his laptop to see where he had been. I found movies on his netflix account. Soft pron, but pron! It took me years to build up respect for him again. I know what it feels like to be numb inside. My heart aches because i dread where this is going.
    I can’t talk to anyone about this because I told everyone that he was healed. I was advised not to remarry him, but I did. I feel so stupid. A few years ago i told our old Pastor and he made my husband step down. I tried to tell our present Pastor about this and my husband told everyone that I made it up. Of course they believed him. All but the pastors wife. He is still doing this and I don’t know what to do. Please help me. This man should not be allowed to preach to anyone anywhere.

    • What your husband is doing to you is treacherous. To commit pornographic adultery against you is terrible enough. But to call you a liar to the faces of people in your congregation only adds insult to injury.

      I might approach your pastor again and ask him, “What would make you believe he is looking at pornography?” Some pastors take very seriously the command in 1 Timothy 5:19, “Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses.” Some pastors might not want to bring shame on someone needlessly, so you may need to bring more witnesses to testify about his sin.

      What evidence do you have that he looks at pornography? Do you have a record of what he’s seen online? Do you have any physical evidence?

      I personally think your husband needs to be outed. His sins should be exposed for the sake of the church he serves and for your sake.

  14. My fiance has been masturbating to porn before we met and before didn’t seem too much of an issue cuz we were still in the honeymoon stage but four years later I’ve been fed up with it for the last two years.. makes me sick to my stomach like I’m not pretty enough for him.. I feel as its cheating but is it really? He is amazing guy to me and our daughter but recently I found out he was doing it in the other room when I’m home.. he said he supposedly dropped hints for me to come to the room but all he eve r wants is oral… he says oral or porn so he can go to sleep.. when I said it was hurtful that he did it when I was in the other room he told me to grow up that I’m being immature.. he says he can do whatever he wants with his body. He’s says it’s normal and I shouldn’t be a baby and feel “hurt” about it.. I don’t know what to do anymore I feel disguisted with him . I feel everyone he goes to bed he’s going to watch it. I’ve recently told him I don’t care if he does just not if I’m there cuz that’s the purpose of me being there but in all reality I’m not comfortable with it.

    • Hi Katilyn. What your fiance is doing feels like cheating because, in many ways, it is. Unfaithfulness comes in degrees: it isn’t black and white. There are men who sneak around with other women: they are unfaithful in the fullest extent. Then there are men who harbor fantasies in their minds of other women: these men are unfaithful in heart and mind. You should be his standard of beauty.

      His attitude is sadly common. He believes his body is his own, but part of what it means to love another person is to lose yourself for them. It is about serving them, not yourself. Even when he wants “sex,” he only wants you to pleasure him. Years of masturbation to porn have trained his mind to equate release with “getting off,” not intimacy with another person. Real lovemaking takes effort, patience, and romance.

      I would definitely make your desires known to him.

  15. Like many others, I feel lost as well. I certainly don’t want to talk to anyone about this issue, but I know it would probably be for the best to speak with a couselor. I have been married to my husband for 16 years, with 4 great children, and have known about his addiction to porn for most of it. Asked him to stop and of course he doesn’t. He has been acting a little different the past year or so, but we had already been dealing with other marital issues and I thought that was the reason. Unfortunately, this morning, I checked his computer and found that he had been chatting with another woman IN DETAIL about what he wanted to do with her and her body and what she wanted to do with his body. He created a “blog” on a porn site and there was my lingerie picture (no face) as his profile picture. There were men and women of all ages making comments about all the intimate pictures I had taken for him as a gift. Very tasteful but he used them and posted them to this site. I feel dirty, ashamed, lost, angry, and sad that I had absolutely no idea it was this bad. But he has definitely been pulling away for about a year now. I have set boundaries as of this morning and told him to choose between porn or his family. Told him he needed to make better choices and his first choice was to make an appointment for us to speak with a counselor. He is willing to do this…but I’m not sure that I can ever recover from this. We have been through hell this past year and it just keeps getting worse. I’m tired…I guess it would be different if I thought our sex life wasn’t amazing, but we still have sex at least 3 times a week after 17 years together. I just don’t understand it and I am afraid I never will. Is there anyone that can offer some kind of peace of mind for me? I don’t want to be reliving this mess 5 years from now and regretting that I didn’t leave. Thank you for your advice…always appreciated.

    • Hi Bridgette,

      I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this. I know you must be feeling so betrayed right now.

      First, let me offer you some hope. Men do recover from these things. Marriages do recover. I know many, many couples who thought they would never recover and now they are in thriving marriages.

      However, that recovery came at a price. It takes work. He has to be willing to work at this. At this point you are still at the beginning of this process. I know you’ve been putting up with it for 16 years, but it sounds like this is the first time you’ve really put up a boundary with your husband around the matter. I would first see how he reacts and then go from there.

      Boundaries are a key point for you right now. (Read this article about boundaries.) He need to know how you plan to protect yourself and your family if he chooses to lie, sneak around, look at porn, and chat with women. You need to make very clear to him what trustworthy behavior really looks like and what will help you to trust him again. (Read this article about rebuilding trust.) If you stick to your boundaries and if he knows exactly what rebuilds your trust, you will know much, much sooner whether he is really willing to do the hard work.

  16. Me and my husband have been together for 10 years and he is a porn addict i have known about it for a long time and have dealt with it until i found out he had been going on chat rooms and talking nasty to girls and i even found messages on his facebook that was the breaking point we have argued about this going on 3 years now i will threaten to leave and he will stop for awhile he no longer talks to girls but he still downloads hundreds of pics on his phone. The only thing i dont understand is he does not masturbate to them he says he gets no pleasure from them so i dont understand why he has to download them he is still very much attracted to me and we have a great sex life. He knows he has a problem and admits he does. So i just dont know what to do anymore

    • I find that hard to believe that he derives no pleasure from them, but then, if he’s telling the truth he should have no problem getting rid of it (i.e. this should call him on his bluff).

      Not knowing more of your situation I recommend you take a look at this book. It’s free and it addresses your situation specifically.

  17. Help I think he has crossed the line to porn addict he stole my credit card to call a porn line he looks at porn everyday and has gone on Craigslist to get girls to send dirty pics to him

  18. So my partner of 3 years has a porn addiction that he genuinely wants to overcome. We are both Christians and I understand its like a disease that is hard to get rid off….but the damage it is doing to me is crazy…it shatters my gentle spirit. I’m a good independent woman that will go above and beyond for my loved ones and he knows that. Before him I never had insecurities because I always got a lot of unwanted attention and love, I was never bitter or jealous towards other women, but over a few heartbreaks I developed slight trust issues. I always know when he had watched porn because I can feel the difference and see a change in his personality- I am gifted with strong discernment.

    My question is- is this a reflection on me as a partner? Should I be questioning myself cos God knows I’m trying to be his everything! I know my value as a woman and he’s never been with a girl like me. Why do guys always go back to porn despite having a GOOD WOMAN beside them? I know he’ll never cheat on me physically- but the fact he lusts and desires other women that look nothing like me hurts more because despite all that- he treats me like he loves me. This is one of the main flaws in our relationship..

    He stopped for about 3-4months and then boom he slips right back into it…I just dont get it…how can a guy STILL desire porn even though he deeply loves his woman! What do men want?! I’ve given him alot of chances and try my best to encourage him to rely on God and his apologies are heartfelt sincere….

    • Is porn a reflection of you as a partner? No.

      It doesn’t matter what you look like or how nice you are, you can’t overcome porn. Trying to be “his everything” so that he won’t want porn is just not possible!

      He will need to do some hard work, if he wants to stop using porn. Here’s an article he can read for some ideas on how to get started on the road to recovery. And you’ll have to decide what your boundaries need to be in this. Check out this article and let me know what you think. Kay

  19. I too am suffering and when he has no data on phone, he always wants oral and nothing more but at work it is free WiFi so I know in the mornings and night’s there isn’t any intimacy… sometimes for months and we never kiss unless his drunk and that is the only time he wants to get down with me and even then he HAS TO GET ME TO GET MY TOYS OUT..I feel like slapping his face with them…I don’t want toys ,I want him but even then it doesn’t happen… all his porn of young women and he says he women who are thin need a hamburger.. lol..NOT…. he still has thin women in porn… but he has a thing for big breasts… I dote on him that why he is with me …CONVENIENCE AND NOTHING MORE. HE SAYS HE WANTS TO Marry me but I know too I cannot live a life of unfulfilled love and know we arnt meant to be together… I have been told I am insercure and all women should be shot at birth! He has become verbal and I now fight back with words he doesn’t know what it like for me , I think he does but he doesn’t care..I HAVE confronted him and still he does it! I just ignore it at times but I know I can’t go on like it for my happiness in the future.. he is ADDICTED AND ADMITS HE HAS BEEN FOR YEARS..SO THAT TELLS ME WHATS MY FUTURE I JUST NEED COURAGE TO SAY GOODBYE, I HATE AND I AM SCARED OF NASTY CONFRONTATIONS. I FEEL FOR WOMEN WHO LOVE THEIR PARTNERS BUT IN THE END LONELINESS WILL BE THEIR ONLY HAPPINESS THAT WILL BE THEIR TRUTH AND I DONT TRUST MEN NOW…RATHER BE ON MY OWN… CYBER WORLD OF PORN OUT GREW LOVE AND COMMITMENT AND PARTNERSHIP… THE WORLD IS SEX SEX SEX AND WE HAVE BECOME A LONELY WORLD OF EMPTINESS AND OUR MEN LIVING A FANTASY WORLD OF SICK PRERVERTED WORLD… CRUSHING THE REAL WORLD AND I am over trying to please and have to put my future first…there is no future with A ADDICTED PORN ADDICIT. the world has to wake up… lonely miserable crutch touches , wake up…one day you will roll over only to find the woman you love is no longer there , to no fault of hers only your ADDICTION.

    • Hi Caroline, I am so, so sorry for the pain you’re experiencing in your relationship. I agree with you that the lack of emotional intimacy you’re experiencing now is not a good basis for marriage. And you’re right, your confronting the problem is not enough. He has to WANT a real relationship with you, and he has to do his part in that. I think as long as he’s wrapped up in porn to this extent, he just doesn’t have the capacity to be emotionally available for you. All his attention is focused on that false world. It’s really sad!

      I think you do need to consider what’s healthy for you at this point. What do you want in your life? And what boundaries are appropriate for you, when there’s a bunch of stuff going on that you don’t want?

      Boundaries won’t “force” your partner to do what you want, but they will define what you want and what you are prepared to do. Sometimes a separation is actually the healthiest thing you can do, both for yourself and for the relationship. I don’t know if you’ve read our free download, Hope After Porn? And a while back, I wrote an article about what healthy boundaries might look like in relationships, as well.

      For me, the main things would be, can your partner see the impact of his choices on you, care about how his choices impact you, and then work toward choices that are more healthy for the relationship? If your partner can’t see, doesn’t care, and refuses to work, then that leaves you with a pretty clear picture of what it looks like to stay in the relationship.

      I don’t personally expect someone to leave a porn problem of epic proportions behind immediately. I’ve read (and I think it’s a reality) that it takes 5 years to really get past a serious porn habit. There will be slip ups and relapses and falling down and getting back up along the way, but I think it can be done! BUT–it’s a lot of work, and the person with the addiction has to DO THE WORK.

      If that person isn’t willing to work, then you’ve got serious thinking to do about your boundaries. (You might want to talk to a counselor as you work through this: American Association of Christian Counselors.)

      Let me know if that helps at all. Blessings, Kay

  20. Here is something I want you all to understand. I am a porn addict and will tell you this from experience… This hurts me more than anyone can understand, I have tried to quit so many times because of the pains it causes me, I have been to counseling and found it to only further induce the monster inside of me. I can’t know for sure, but deep down I believe your husband’s want to quit even more than n you want them to. They might not show it on the outside, but this demon is so much harder to conquer than anything they (as I) have faced before.

    If you want to give upon your husbands then by all means spare yourself from any more pain, just know that we hurt inside so very much as well…

  21. I was a virgin on my wedding day, as was my husband, at least, so he says. We built our marriage on the foundation of purity and faith in God. But he had secrets that he never told me, about his addiction to pornography. I didn’t find out until we were married 3 years, and I felt my world crumble when I found that terrible stuff. He isn’t only watching normal heterosexual intercourse, it is worse stuff, and that is devastating to me. It is between lesbians, which is homosexual and detestable to me. Then it taught him to put things in his anus, so I doubt his own sexuality, meaning, is he not gay? How can I know…? All these questions about his sexual orientation are so painful to me, without also being religious and wanting total freedom from any sexual deviancy. I offered myself pure on my wedding day, I saved that gift just for my husband, and I feel it is thrown back at me with pornography, lies and deception. I have been faithful, married now 9 years, and never looking at other men. My rage is turning my heart so against my husband, who cannot seem to change himself, and, although I love him so much, all I want to do is leave him now. I would rather be alone than feel so helpless and undesired and unloved in my marriage, feeling like a warm body for him to take his sexual fantasies out on, rather than a precious gift from God, a wife who loves, honors, and adores only one man– her husband. For my whole life, only him, I have dedicated myself to only him. I want now to just leave and never look back, but then, I am a homeschool mom of 2 children, and I don’t want to destroy the children over HIS problem… I feel like I could never share custody of the children, I need to be with them every single day… It only builds MORE resentment in me, as I feel like I am trapped by the love I have for my children. Now I made him move into my daughter’s bedroom, and she sleeps with me, but for how long do I go on before enough is enough?!

    • Hey Rachel. I am so sorry for the pain you’ve been living with for so long. And I’m glad you’re reaching out for help. Good for you!

      I think in a lot of ways, purity culture unfortunately did not prepare either young men or young women for the reality of today’s world. I think the hope was that if we said “purity purity purity” then we could just avoid the sexual temptation of the world and be safe. However, this didn’t happen! It just created a world of silence and shame around sexuality. And now, nobody knows how to get past “purity” and into redemption.

      It requires a big change in your thinking and his thinking as well as a lot of emotional and spiritual healing!

      I wonder if you’ve read Jen and Craig Ferguson’s book, Pure Eyes, Clean Heart? Here’s a youtube video that you can watch to get an idea of what they talk about.

      I would suggest that you find a counselor for yourself, someone who can help you work through your pain and anger, and help you think about what’s next.

      Also, if your husband is willing to work on his issues, he might find a Pure Desire group in your area to be helpful. xxxChurch has online groups, which are less than ideal but at least available everywhere. Celebrate Recovery is less specific to porn, but available in lots of areas.

      I think if you BOTH want the marriage to survive, recover, and thrive, that is absolutely possible! That’s my own story. My husband recovered (with a lot of hard work!) and our marriage is BETTER now than is was before porn was ever in the picture. Here’s an article I wrote recently that you might want to look at, about being on the same team in recovery.

      Have a look at those things and let me know what you think! Kay

  22. I have been married to my husband for 2 years. While I am a practising Catholic, my husband is not very religious and considers himself to be agnostic. I discovered his porn and masturbation lifestyle when we were dating, and threatened to dump him. He became very upset and swore to stop because he loved me. Everything worked out well after that, and I believe he kept his promise until after we were married. He had an inguinal hernia when we married, which made intimacy too painful for him. Six months after the wedding, I accidentally found his Google search history on his phone, which included porn. We fought and made up. Promises were made and boundaries were set, but he found ways to break them or find a way around them with his phone. I saw the reflection of a porn site in his glasses a few months ago. I was even more upset because I was pregnant. Once again he made promises, but I am very paranoid. We now have a 2 month old daughter, and I want us to raise her in a loving and healthy household. With my husband’s porn use I now wonder if I should have left him the first time. I feel beyond hurt and betrayed, especially because he is aware of sexual abuse and even rape I experienced in the past. His porn use only worsens my damaged self worth, and his parents paint him as a victim because of the “boys will be boys” argument. However, his parents’ marriage is falling apart, and I have even had to report his father for sexual harassment at work. I do not want my husband to become like that. I understand how easy it can be to fall into this kind of addiction, especially in today’s culture. But I don’t understand how he can continually hurt me, again and again. He once said that he does not feel adequate for me because even though his hernia was repaired recently, he still finds sex painful. He has also gained a lot of weight, and although I assure him that he is still very attractive to me, it doesn’t seem to help. I truly love him, and even when he is feeding his addiction my husband tries to be very loving and considerate. He has also become a very doting father. But porn has definitely had a negative impact on our marriage and I fear to see how much worse it will become. I can’t work outside the home and now with the baby I feel even more stuck should I need to take a drastic measure with my husband. I find myself becoming paranoid and suspicious, even to the point of hysteria when he uses his phone for long periods of time. PTSD may be affecting me because of past trauma. I would try counseling, but we live in a rural area and I am worried that our limited options would include people who encourage porn and masturbation lifestyles. I wonder if his addiction is made worse by his ADHD, because he is also addicted to video games when not in a porn phase. I simply do not know where to turn for help. I love him and this can’t go on forever.

    • Wow, I’m so sorry! I would say that it’s past time for both of you to reach out for help. Here’s a link to the American Association of Christian Counselors website, where you may be able to find someone reasonably close by. If there are counselors in your area, but you’re not sure how they’d handle this issue, I would put in a call and do a short phone interview. Find out if you’ve got a decent option available.

      xxxChurch has online groups available for both addicts and spouses.

      I would encourage you to read Boundaries in Marriage, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. And there are more articles for wives here on our blog.

      You might also appreciate our free download, Hope After Porn, in which several women talk about the boundaries they were able to use in recovery with their husbands.

      I hope that helps! Blessings, Kay

  23. I have been with my husband for 3 years now actually married for one year. We have a two year old daughter together. He is a self admitted porn addict but doesn’t want help nor thinks he really needs it. I feel I am to blame for allowing it to go on because I gained weight with our daughter and knew he didn’t find me physically attractive anymore. I wanted intimaticy with him and knew porn would be about the only thing that would arouse him enough to have sex with me. Now I am telling him how I truly feel and he doesn’t want to hear it. He says I am over reacting and why would I have a problem with it now when I didn’t before. Truth is I always had a problem with it and have told him even back then. He tells me I shouldn’t have a problem with it because it prepares him to want me. I feel very degraded and undesired by him. I want to work things out but feel he’ll never stop nor change. He keeps telling me that is who he is and I am not accepting who he is. I am losing all hope that he will ever change. I know it’s only a matter of time before he physically cheats on me. I know what needs to be done but don’t have the strength to do it yet. I know he loves me and his daughter but we aren’t enough to make him want to change. I just needed to get this out there because I have no one to talk too about it. I don’t want to embarrass him or myself. I don’t know how to explain this when our marriage does fail. I don’t want to come off as being malicious to him because I do really love him. I just can’t trust him and my feelings are turning cold towards him but not in a hurtful way. Lastly I don’t want my child exposed to the mess in any way shape or form.

    • Hey Shelley. I am so sorry for the pain you’re experiencing right now. One of the things I really appreciate about what you’ve said here is the way you’ve taken responsibility for your own choices in the past to encourage/allow the porn use. You can look back and see that you felt unattractive, wanted his attention, and you were willing to use porn to get that attention. In retrospect, that wasn’t the healthiest choice. The good thing is, you see that now! And you’re working on creating better boundaries in your relationship. You’re saying what you like and don’t like. That is enormously important. Things that we did before, we don’t want to do anymore. It’s good to change when we see that our old ways aren’t working! We all change and grow, and hopefully we become healthier as time goes on. It sounds like you’re ready for that, but your husband may not be right now.

      Here are a few resources you might appreciate at this point: an article on boundaries, our free download Hope After Porn, and the book, Boundaries in Marriage.

      You might also really appreciate a support group like Celebrate Recovery, xxxChurch, S Anon or even Al Anon.

    • Shelly, I want to tell you from a man who has been where you husband is that he is full of it! First, let me tell you that your weight should not matter in the least. My addiction caused an enormous amount of pain to my wife and she gained alot of weight because of the emotional damage I caused her. In my growth in facing what I have done and learning about what true authentic intimacy is ( see http://www.roadtopurity.com/understanding-intimacy.html) and Christ changing my heart, I now love her for her, not what I see. My wife probably weighs 75lbs more now than when I was engaging in my addictive behavior but I love her more now (75lbs later) than I did then.
      Your husband saying “accept me for who I am” is crap. God did not make him to be a porn addict. This is NOT who he is. It is a learned behavior to facilitate avoiding inner emotional pain from past. It is an escape. He needs help. One thing I learned is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to battle this alone. Christ did not carry his cross alone, so how can we expect to carry ours alone! An attempt to do so puts us above Christ. – Really bad place to be. You husband my seriously benefit from reading my book “From one addict to another by Dann Aungst” If you wish, you can contact me though my website http://www.roadtopurity.com and I would be happy to send you a free copy.

    • Dann, thank you for speaking up here and being a voice for personal responsibility to men, and freedom for women. You’ve given a lot of hope here for both parties. Blessings! Kay

  24. Been in a relationship with my boyfriend for three years now. Been a rough road with many breakups. The reason is he’s addicted to porn. The last breakup lasted for four months. He’s back now saying he never realized how deeply Porn has affected his life and how he’s very sorry for hurting me. Says he doesn’t want to make any more empty promises, he wants to show me this time. Quite naturally, I’m very skeptical. He actually admitted to being with another woman but said it’s all part of the addiction. While, I know this is true, it is still very hurtful nonetheless. Also, recovery for him is going to take a long time at which I would be subject to who knows how much more pain and heartache. I’ve read so many stories on here and none of which have a happy ending. He’s talking about marriage yet again. Although, he says he wants to show me and I agree that he should, this is going to be a long road, and my gut is telling me to cut it off for good. But that conflicts with what I believe abiut hanging in there with someone you love. I do know this.. Would absolutely not marry him with this issue. Any advice?

    • I believe in change. I really do. And while there are lot of difficult stories told here, we do also hear stories of marriages that recover and grow and thrive after porn addiction.

      However.

      We cannot change another person. No matter how much we love them, our love never ever trumps their free will. All the bad choices, including infidelity, that your boyfriend has made during your relationship is a really sad demonstration of this.

      Could he recover? Yes. Absolutely.

      Is that up to you and your love? No.

      You would need far longer than a few months to know for sure if he’s really on the right track this time, no matter how nicely he talks about it at this point. And, if you’ve invested three years of your life already, do you really want to keep waiting to see if he’s going to do better or not? I think you can’t ignore those questions, tough as they may be.

      After all you’ve been through these past few years, I think your gut is probably very well informed at this point! Please don’t ignore your gut.

  25. Hello, I’ve been with my husband 8 years, and from the start he has been masturbating to photos. Videos of girls that are not me, Every time i confronted him he would lie his face off, eventually you start noticing the lies… i have threatened to leave many times, and you know for a bout 3 year there i really thought he had changed, but im beging to think i was just being stupid and blind, His new thing is to masturbate in bed next to me… This has caused me to not sleep at night its messed up my sleeping i feel disgusted by him, i try to see his heart but all i see is a monster, when we make love, he wont make an effort with me as i do with him, I make sure he is pleased but i could fake an orgasum and he wouldnt give a crap… Please give me some advice..

    • Hi there. Well, it sounds his behavior is escalating. What happens when you talk to him about this new behavior? What happens when you talk to him about your experience of him during sex? Are you able to have those conversations?

      My other question would be this: what’s the emotional connection like in your marriage? Are you able to talk with each other about what you’re thinking and feeling? Is there a sense that you know and care for one another?

      You might like to read The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman. This is the very best research in the world about successful marriages–and guess what? Not one of the seven principles is about sex, although I do think that our sex lives can often be a metaphor for the rest of our intimate lives together.

      I think you also need to consider your boundaries. Here and here are some articles to help you think through that. And here’s a link to our free download, Hope After Porn, where several women talk about their process in recovery.

      Ultimately, we can only be responsible for ourselves. Whatever your husband chooses, you choose health and healing. You might want to find a counselor just for you, to help you process emotions and build healthy boundaries. Groups can be great support, too: Celebrate Recovery, Pure Desire, xxxChurch, S Anon. Make sure you’re getting the support you need in this so that you can make good choices for yourself.

      Blessings, Kay

  26. My husband has been addicted to porn for many years now. Not only that he asks me to do the sickest things you can imagine.When I refuse he says everybody does it and he becomes verbally and emotionally abusive. I can’t go on like this any longer. I feel like I’m loosing my mind. He thinks what he’s doing is perfectly ok and I’m a prude

    • Hi Jean. I am so sorry for the pain you’ve been feeling in this relationship, and for the boundary-crossing behavior that is so difficult to deal with. You might appreciate these two articles on boundaries, here and here. And you may be interested in this article about when pornography use becomes grounds for separation and/or divorce.

      Certainly, when you’re feeling like you’re losing your mind and you’re not allowed to have healthy boundaries for yourself, it’s time for some serious evaluation. You might want to find a counselor to help you process your emotions and decide what needs to happen to keep you emotionally healthy and well.

      Blessings, Kay

  27. Just venting a little here since this is all so new and shocking. I’ve been with my husband of 14 years for 20 years total, more than half my life. And it’s all been a lie. A lie!! How do I manage to let out some pain to deal with it but not get avalanched by all of it? And who am I, anyway? How could I not see when I have high standards of honesty, or I thought I did. I’m terrified of the full disclosure scheduled for tomorrow.
    I have to say, the blogs here have been such a comfort as I read and think and pray. Thank you!

  28. I am in almost the same boat Katie was/ is in back in 2013.. We dated for 2 years and I knew about the addiction- I was a virgin and wanted to wait until marriage. But, sometimes it would get so escalated to both of us that we would go to separate rooms to relieve the tension. Now that I look back at this it was me encouraging his actions but I didn’t know that he was watching porn while doing it. At the time he was so in tune with the Lord and we went to church every Sunday and he worked night shift as a security officer so he had plenty of time to study the word and pray. He said that when he felt like he was struggling that he would talk to someone at his church and made promises to me that he was going to be finished with it when we were married because we would be able to have sex regularly and I say sex because we’ve not once made, what I think to be love, in a marital bed. It feels like just an act and its all about him. Sometimes I get into it and I want it to be about him but more often than not I don’t feel satisfied or like I’ve been cherished once it’s over. I thought it was just me because romance novels and pride and prejudice giving me unrealistic expectations. However, I have seen that there can be marital bliss but that it’s just very absent in ours. I tried to be his accountability but soon learned that it would hurt my feelings over and over. He gets irrate when I expose his lies- he’s not a terrible person and has never abused me verbally or physically just neglected me in many ways. I wanted to go to marriage counseling but after hours of research I think he needs help before WE need help! No one is perfect but I count this as cheating on me and he has been offered help but gets angry when I bring it up. I feel like his parents need to know because they are always so willing to be there for us and his other is a Christian. One day a few weeks ago I asked him if his parents knew and he said yeah but when I said we need to talk to them about it he freaked out so I think he is lying. We live near Atlanta and need help finding a group and sex/ porn addict therapist

    • Hi Bethany. I’m so sorry for the pain you’re experiencing. It’s such a sad lie that marital sex will solve a guy’s porn problem, as you’ve found! It sounds like you’ve done a lot of thinking about this. I agree with you 100% that he has to work on HIS problems before you can work on the marriage. Let me point you to a few resources that should help you on the next steps.

      First of all, here’s the CSAT directory where he can find a certified sex addiction therapist for himself.

      Second, here’s the American Association of Christian Counselors link where you can find a therapist for yourself. Look for someone who’s familiar with trauma and marital recovery for women.

      Third, the online resource Bloom, where there are forums for you, and classes you can both take on marital recovery.

      Fourth, here’s the Pure Desire page where you may be able to find a group in your area. There are many other recovery groups as well, which you may be able to find either by just googling “marriage recovery group” or “porn recovery group”–or you may ask his CSAT for a recommendation.

      All the best to you, Kay

  29. Wow! I’ve been having this argument with my spouse for the last 2-3 years. We’ve been together for almost 5. When I first started dating him I found he had some Nudy mags, a couple naked pictures of girls on his phone or tablet. But as time went on, we were having less and less sex. He’s diabetic and kept saying his drive isn’t as big, it was him. But the truth was he’s obsessed with boobs, the bigger the better. Or better yet moms with big boobs. I myself have an average size chest. He always made me feel beautiful, he seemed to be so into me until he had me.

    But 3 years ago I started to notice a pattern, he would leave for work after me and take ten minutes to surf porn and jerk off. Or he would get home before me and do the same, sometimes within minutes of me getting home. I even came home and caught him hiding his phone because I interrupted his session. I took all the magazines, hid them and he still continues to need his porn so much so he’s willing to use the data on his phone up when our internet at home us dead. It’s always the same, busty moms.

    I have threatened that our relationship would end if he didn’t stop, but he says I’m crazy, every guy does it. Well when your guy can only climax in one position which us typically his get off on his own position it affects me. I recently had surgery, and found he had actually went out and bought more magazines so he could satisfy his own needs during my recovery. It’s like every time I find them, he sneaks more in, like an alcoholic needing a fix.

    I offer oral, I offer myself to him all the time. Almost never have I turned him down. But my sex life has gotten worse and worse. He sees nothing wrong in what he is doing, and from what I’m reading he may never. I don’t think I can live like this for the rest of my life. I love this man so very much, but he is breaking me! He is making me feel worthless! I don’t feel attractive. and yet I know I’m am, but I can’t feel it. I feel like he cheats on me every time, because it’s his preferred choice of sex, self pleasure. It’s just scarey to give that ultimatum to leave to some you love so very much knowing with your whole heart, he won’t pick you! :(

    • Hey there. Interestingly enough, you’re having the exact experience that relationship experts at The Gottman Institute have discovered to be very common these days. When one person in the relationship turns to porn instead of turning toward the relationship, it’s devastating to the intimacy of the relationship. And that’s why TGI came out against porn earlier this year: it’s terrible for relationships. Whatever we think of the morality of porn, this is what happens in real life: relationships are destroyed. It’s sad! Sad for you, but also sad for him because he’s left with nothing but an illusion. Peace to you, Kay

    • Kay I am not married but have been in a relationship for 15 months. About 5 months ago I found out why we haven’t had much of a sex life. He is an Extreme porn addict. When I first caught him, he was so embarrassed and said I was the first person ever to catch him. He said he has been addicted for 30 yrs. Well I asked him to quit numerous times only to catch him again and again. But finding the porn he is looking at could put him in prison for a VERY long time. I knkw i can leave at any time but love him dearly. Reading all these articles gives me hope but also makes me think there is no chance. Can anyone help? I am so alone and lost and afraid…for me but more for him!

    • Sarah,

      If he is looking at child pornography, I urge you to call your local law enforcement immediately. When the abuse of children is in play, our first and foremost responsibility is to protect those children from harm. No matter how much you love someone, you cannot allow the abuse of children to continue without consequence. Call your local police immediately.

      Thank you,
      Kay

  30. I recently got engaged to a man who I had known was struggling with porn addiction. He told me st the beginning of the relationship that he used o be addicted but was now clean. Throughout the relationship, I would ask him about how he wasn’t doing and he would always say good and he hadn’t watched it. This went on for a year. On Halloween of this year, I found out he had never stopped and was continuing to watch porn. I was crushed. Completely devasted. I considered leaving him right there, but decided to see if me and his family could get him help. He confessed, said it was that confession he needed, and ended up getting saved later that week. He claims he’s a changed man and that he hasn’t had any urges. He got rid of his smart phone and now only has a flipphone without internet access to prove himself. Likewise, he confessed to his parents and offers to go to counseling. I’m still broke over the lust, lies, and betrayal. It does count as infidelity, to me personally. I’m still trying to trust him again and learn how to love myself. My self esteeem is completely down the drain and my depression – which existed before – is worse than ever. I hope anyone else who has a partner addicted to porn finds peace and healing. I know it’s what I need.

    • Hi Chelsey,

      I’m so sorry for the pain you’re feeling right now. I hope you’ve got a good counselor who can help you process your emotions and create healthy boundaries for yourself. You might also appreciate the online community, Bloom.

      Trust is something that we only give to trustworthy people. Your fiance will need to show you, by his trustworthy behavior over time, that you are wise to trust him. You might also be interested in knowing what relationship expert John Gottman says about building trust: it goes beyond “not looking at porn!” Here’s an article about building trust.

      Hope that helps as you move forward,
      Kay

  31. Kay,

    Thanks so much for your kind words and advice! I totally agree that it’s all about trust. I will certainly look into Bloom and the article. Again, thank you!

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