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.

39 thoughts on “How Do I Keep My Husband from Looking at Pornography?

  1. “2. Do not become his porn police.
    His recovery demands accountability. However, he needs accountability people other than you.
    Early on Mona and I had a clear understanding of my boundaries. If I crossed certain boundaries I needed to be truthful and tell her. However, if I told her every time I struggled or was feeling tempted it would have been damaging to her. I had a counselor, a group of men I met with weekly, and two other men who were available to me on a daily basis. If Mona had been in this role then every time I struggled or failed she would have been re-traumatized.”

    This is not true at all, if my husband makes mistakes or fails he tells me right away. There is no room lies in our marriage. Not all women are emotional wrecks that can not hold their husbands accountable. When we said our vows, I said “for better or worse” that means doing my part if we are going through the “worse” parts. I have been “clean” for 3 years and he has been for 17 months.

    • You bring up a great point, Rebekah! The wives should determine how much the husbands tell them…for some women, more information is better, and for others, more information may be incredibly damaging. Dr. Doug Weiss wrote a great e-magazine article about this issue.

      In either case, though, we still strongly recommend man-to-man accountability, not just husband-to-wife.

    • I don’t think they meant don’t tell your wives. But the wife isn’t an authority to the husband. So the point is that they husband needs another man to be accountable to. Also, for most women if they knew to the depths their husbands are tempted and struggle it would tear them apart. That is why it is better to have another person to go to. Of course your husband shouldn’t lie to you. But you probably don’t “NEED” to know everything your husband struggles with. You just may want to know.
      Another point is that a man can feel like his wife is taking leadership if he is constantly having to be accountable to her and answer to her.

    • Also, our choice to not hold my husband accountable isn’t because i’m an emotional wreck. Quite the opposite. I know that because of this fallen world women will try to control everything and every situation. So i know that my husband should be accountable to another man that has more authority than me. Also, its a dangerous thing to have your husband accountable to you, it can cause a wedge and push him out of the leadership role. Which i feel is far from Gods design. My husband doesn’t have to justify his actions to me. I am to trust him. I also trust the leaders and elders at our church. Does he need to ask forgiveness when he stumbles and repent? Yes. But he is held accountable to the leaders in our church and to God.
      Ya know, now that i think of it.. we are ALL emotional wrecks. Sin will do that to you. To everyone.

    • My point was not that if I make a mistake or have a fall that I would not tell my wife. I consistently tell her when I have crossed a boundary we have agreed upon. However, it is not her job to be following me around and policing my actions. Men need other men to hold them accountable and when they blow it they do need to tell their wives. I think you missed my point.

  2. It is no secret that addiction to pornography is rampant and a serious problem. I’ve struggled with it for decades and was first exposed to it as a child. I have done a twelve step course for sexual addiction in the past, read books and tried good old will power. I can truly say that until I became consistent in my morning devotion time (I had a partner over the phone) and asking God to baptize me each morning in the Holy Spirit I had received little relief. Jesus has given me the victory in this area just as he did 5 years ago over drugs and alcohol. One of the fruits of the spirit is self control. Read Luke 11: 9-13, and DAILY ask for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I wasn’t specifically asking for victory over porn or anything, the fruit of the spirit gave me the self control which almost effortlessly changed me. Thank-you Jesus! P.S. The devotional we did can be found at http://www.40daysdevotional.com

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, inviting the Holy Spirit each morning sounds like one of the first steps in this process of recovery, but it can be forgotten in the daily rush that we live in. I need Gods help.

  3. My husband has quit viewing porn but only by shutting down all facets of intimacy in our marriage. He won’t seek out counseling or an accountability partner. He says there isn’t anyone available to help him.I know he’s hurting, and me “policing him” clearly is not the answer. All I’ve managed to do in that respect is isolate myself from everyone. I truly do not know how to deal with this anymore. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • @Lynn – Thanks for stopping by to share some of your story with us. It is hard to help someone who refuses to find help. What sort of conversation have you had with him regarding the lack of intimacy in your marriage? Is this something he acknowledges as a problem?

  4. Thank you for asking. When he first told me he quit viewing porn, I felt hopeful, it took a couple of months but I could see that he was serious. Now, six months out from his decision, things seems worse than ever. He relates his lack of physical intimacy to work and stress. Without question just the stuff everyone is dealing with, bills and the economy, that is certainly an issue. However, I think we both are aware that he is dealing with the physical effects of years of viewing. He doesn’t acknowledge it as a problem. He tells me that the fact that he’s given up viewing should be enough for me. I can only push the conversation so far before he becomes angry and shuts me out. This just stirs up a lot of fear and paranoid thinking in me. I finally sat down with a friend from church this past week and told her what was going on and that did help some. I’m thinking the only option to keep my own mental health intact is to move forward with some counseling on my own. Which is very difficult, because I really would prefer that it were both of us moving in the same direction. Quite honestly I feel as cheated now as I have felt when he was viewing porn.

    • @Lynn – Thanks for your raw honesty about this stuff. You said, “He tells me that the fact that he’s given up viewing should be enough for me.” This is very “normal” for people who’ve experienced addiction. It’s easy to become myopic: the person is only focused on ridding themselves of the bad behavior. They aren’t even able to think about what life looks like on the other side of the addiction (other than NOT looking at porn anymore).

      My first recommendation would be for you to suggestion him taking some time away from work (an extended weekend, holiday, vacation, etc.) in order to spend some quality time together. If stress is his reason (or excuse) for lack of intimacy, then see about removing that from the picture for a time and see if it helps him open up.

      Second, when you talk about the lack of intimacy, try to focus him on the end goal. Ask him to come up with a proactive solution. In other words, the conversation could go something like this: “I want to be close to you, and I know you don’t feel up to it. But whatever the reason is, I want to find a way to make it work. I want to know if you feel the same way I do: Do you want to make love more? And if so, what do you think we should do to make that happen?” If he asks you why you want to know, ask him, “I think most guys would love it if their wife told them: I want to have more sex. Don’t you this so? Which would you rather have: a life where you feel too stressed to enjoy sex, or a life where you felt less stress and had more sex?” These sort of questions might help him see past his excuses.

      You are right for seeking out counseling and I do hope he decides he wants to join you.

    • Mona and I would also encourage you to seek counseling and support for yourself. You cannot control him and make him find support but that does not mean you do not need it and deserve it. If it is affordable for you I would recommend finding a woman counselor in your area who has experience in dealing with sexual betrayal.

    • I would not waist any more time> He is a pig and will always be a pig. You can do better without him and maybe withourt any man.. That stuf f just belittles us and is an unending battle ! Even if he claims he stopped, he is prob lying!! Been there, done it hope u have better luck than me

  5. Good morning,

    I apologize in advance if this is long. I have been suffering with my porn addiction since I was a child. Some things happened to me and that door opened. It has been a secret shame that I have carried with me all of my life and no one, other than my Jesus knows about it. I was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit in 2004. For more than three years it was not even a thought anymore. I was single and it seemed effortless. Then one day out of the blue BAM the urge hit and I submitted to it. I was devastated because I had been delivered, so I thought from it for years. It hit and lasted for about a week, to which I prayed and fasted and continued to acknowledge the Lord and then it went away. It happens like that and I am noticing the pattern and I do thank the Lord for revealing to me the pattern so I know how to combat it, but my issue now is I was married two years ago. And I was doing good. One day I went online to search youtube and when I typed in you..a pornagraphic website popped up in the history and I knew that it was not me. I instantly knew it was my husband because we are the only two in our apartment.

    I was devastated because it made me feel low, cheated on and not desired by my husband. I thought maybe it was a mistake but when I went into the history and viewed for the past week, it was full of all kinds of websites. I never confronted him and he still doesn’t know that I know because I guess I just never wanted to admit to him that I too am addicted and I felt like a hypocrite. Just this week I have submitted to it twice and this morning I finally said I’m sick of this and need help and began googling, which led me here. I’m currently 5 months pregnant and am terrified that this same spirit will be passed to my unborn baby and that will destroy me because I know what goes on with this addiction. I NEED HELP and I don’t know what to do or how to start that conversation with my husband. I just feel so lost and unsaved.

    I want to break this cycle. I want this to end with me and my husband and go no further down our lineage. I don’t really even know what else to say. I do have my best friend to which I can be accountable and know she will keep it to herself because we are each others confidants, and although she has admitted some shameful and sinful things to me, I just can’t seem to bring myself to tell her so that I can have that accountability.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am dealing with enough being pregnant, working full time, going to school full time, and feeling like I am putting on a happy face at church when sometimes I just want to curl into a ball in a corner somewhere.

    Be blessed,
    Miesha

    • Miesha, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your story.

      First, let me say that I am so sorry you are dealing with this mixture of issues. We regularly speak to wives who feel cheated on by their porn-viewing husbands. And we also occasionally talk to women who struggle themselves. But you are dealing with both of these at the same time, and I can’t imaging how hard that is for you.

      Second, understand that many people struggle with pornography and many do not tell their spouses how bad they are struggling. It is a secret shame they carry within them. Your feelings of shame are very natural because you are wondering how others might view you if they knew. Perhaps your husband is dealing with the same shame. In a way, the fact that you can identify with his temptations could make confronting him and confessing to him a very positive experience for both of you. Many wives feel hurt by their husband’s use of porn, but not many can identify with the strength of the temptation. You can.

      Third, make sure you have your facts straight. If there is any doubt that your husband is guilty, don’t come to him “guns blazing.” If you aren’t positive he is guilty of looking at porn, then don’t approach him as if you are positive.

      Fourth, don’t assume his use of porn is parallel to yours in every way. He might be babbling in porn. He might be hit with periodic temptations. He might have a full-blown addiction. You don’t know at this point. When you do talk to him, don’t project your own experience on to him as if his problem looks just like yours.

      If you want to cut the power of this sin, the key is to confess it to others. Start, perhaps, with your accountability partner. Next time you see her in a private setting (or if you are talking over the phone), start the conversation with something like this. “I really appreciate our relationship because I feel you have been able to come to me with your secrets. I want to be able to come to you with mine, but I’m very afraid. I’m afraid because I have a secret and I feel so shameful about it, I have never been able to tell anyone. I want to tell you right now if you are willing.” This will pre-frame the whole discussion for her.

      I do believe you should talk to your husband at some point soon. He needs to know. Just as you feel wronged by his use of porn, your use of porn has wronged him. The good news is that where sin has increased, grace overflows! Yes, he might be hurt when you confess to him. Yes, you might feel hurt when he confesses to you. But you have to get this sin out into the open so you can help one another deal with it.

      Perhaps you can start a conversation with your husband this way: “I have something to say to you that is very important, but I’m terrified about what you’ll think. First, I need to ask you a straightforward question. Do you ever get tempted to look at pornography on the Internet?” See what he says about that, then say something like this: “I have a confession to make to you. I have struggled with looking at porn since I was young. It is something I thought I had overcome, but recently it has been particularly difficult to say no to. I need to tell you this because by watching pornography I have wronged you. I am so sorry. I need your forgiveness, and I understand if you don’t even feel like you can forgive me right now. The point is I don’t want this to be a secret anymore for me. I want to break free from this habit and I’m willing to do whatever you want to regain your trust.”

      Confession is the beginning of the journey. After this, there are many helpful resources that can help both you and him to fight this temptation at the root.

      I recommend you take a look at some of our free resources:

      1. Women and Porn Addiction: A Christian Response (webinar for women)

      2. Hope After Porn (e-book for wives)

      3. Hooked: A Christian Response to Porn Addiction (webinar for men and women who struggle)

      4. Your Brain on Porn (e-book for men and women who feel addicted)

  6. I have two suggestions:
    1. Stop eating at McDonalds, loose some weight, and have some self respect
    2. Have sex with him.

    He’s looking at other naked women because he doesn’t want to look at you, or because he doesn’t get a chance to look at you.

    Unreal.

    • @Andy – It’s amazing that you would assume women in this position are all insecure, frigid wives who have let themselves go physically. If the testimonies of comments on this blog and the stories we’ve heard time and time again from women are any indication, the opposite is often true. Often the man enters the marriage already addicted to porn. Often wives are confused by his attraction to porn, especially when they are so eager to please their husbands. The fact is, no woman can compete for the attention of a man addicted to fantasy. If he can get is jollies any time he wants and custom-tailor his fantasy experience to include whoever he wants, however many women he wants, in whatever positions he wants, no real-life, flesh-and-blood woman can compete with this kind of digital harem.

      To be sure, some women are sexually inattentive and lack self-respect. Yes, some women are guilty of being downright terrible to their husbands. But a woman who does this is responsible for her shortcomings, not his. No woman, no matter how odious, makes her man commit visual adultery. If a wife sins against her husband in some way, let her account for it. But let her account for her sins alone. He is still responsible for his unfaithfulness.

  7. There are a lot of rigid philosophies that seem to have grown up around Christian porn recovery. I wonder sometimes where the biblical roots are? What does God say about sex? I especially would like to hear from the moderators how I Cor 7:2-5 fits into this discussion

    “But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

    To me it seems to say that marriage sex is one aspect of Gods provision against temptation.
    If a spouse deprives thier mate God seems to be saying they are going to experience temptation. Temptation to do what? Cheat, look at porn, or fantasize in ones own mind without the aid of outside visual material. I know that Gods grace at work inside us is another aspect of self control, but one cannot ignore that God seems to be saying that a person who is married should not have to feel deprived. What then is the standard of deprivation. Who decides how much sex is enough to feel satisfied?

    Supression is not the answer to porn addiction. Just because a person cant watch porn does not mean they cannot visualize it. I was fantasizing long before the internet came around and I had no access to printed porn or videos.

    Sexual urges can run amok when a person has been given bad messages about sex. Sex is bad and dirty is one. The other is sex is free and easy. Also supression of sexual desire is like a person on a diet trying to starve themselves. You have to have food to lose weight. You have to have sex to stay healthy.

    I fear that there is a backlash of asceticism among the Christian porn recovery movement. To tell women they have no responsibility to help thier husbands deal with thier sexual problems by way of sexual provision is misleading. There are men who fell into porn because they were deprived. I didnt say all. I said some. If you think that is not possible then reread the passage above.

    To have a discussion about porn absent a thourough declaration of what a sexually healthy and vigorous marriage is in Gods eyes is to leave us without all of Gods provision for the struggle.

    • 1 Corintians 7:2-5 does fit nicely into this discussion. You are absolutely correct that marriage sex is one aspect of Gods provision against temptation. When a wife or husband deprives o their spouse they are sinning against them. Of course, the offended spouse should never sin in return by lusting after others.

      Suppression is not the answer, correct. The Bible tells us we only overcome sinful urges when they are trumped by holy longings (Galatians 5).

      You are also right that people can have poor ideas of sex, believing the lies that sex is wicked or that sex is free and easy. I find nothing really objectionable about what you’re saying here. This is really part of the message of this whole blog.

  8. I read the article a little while ago, thought about it and just read it again. You have some new and interesting comments, some appreciable and some troubling. While I appreciate your spirit of sensitivity to both, the addicted and the betrayed, I’m also troubled by some of the vocabulary which I have found so prevailing among the church. I wonder if we really think about what we say?
    I very much agree with your first three main points: 1. It’s not her job, he must own his own recovery. If the change is never inward (for the person involved -whichever spouse) all the outward control, however skillfully enacted, will be only that. 2. Don’t become “porn police”. I agree. All the “policing” in the world is never enough, feeds resentment, and can always be gotten around. Porn is not the problem, but one possible manifestation of a bigger problem, sexual immorality. Sexual immorality is not a quantity issue but a quality issue; if one is unfaithful, the sidewalk or the restaurant or church is sufficient environment. 3. More sex; not the solution. I agree. I also appreciate the comments on 1Cor.7 by both Mark and Luke. Paul gives, here and elsewhere, a healthy description of the Christian standard for sexual intimacy. I read once that the, “Christian ethic of faithfulness to one’s spouse provides the security and safety that in turn provides for intimacy unparalleled elsewhere. If that is compromised, trust is broken and one partner feels unsafe and unprotected, then fear and self-protection become dominant and true intimacy impossible.” Saying one can have intimacy without fidelity is like saying Don Juan truly loved women.
    So in the main I agree but now for what troubles me. In the movement from what she should not do to what she should you seem to contradict yourself. Help him set the boundaries sounds like a good plan but seems to put her back in control; and what if those boundaries are not agreeable to both and who controls the crossing line? Computer accountability with him not holding the passwords also sounds like a good plan but if she is not to be the “police” who does hold them? Outside help, counseling and accountability also sound great! “Go it alone” is definitely a trap but finding people who won’t just add insult to injury even among the “professionals” becomes the challenge. New fights about what the person said begin to dwarf the original issue. And, I’m very troubled by the idea that our pastors are so unprepared and ill equipped that meeting once a week with the pastor for this very spiritual as well as physical issue, can’t be recommended or trusted. Restoring emotional, physical and spiritual intimacy also sound not only good but necessary if a marriage is to be real and not just the pretense of a marriage, but again working for intimacy without fidelity or trust, unity without commitment, seems like holding out that carrot that can never be reached. I’ve also been very troubled by the language we use that creates inevitable failure. When or “every time” (it’s Hugh Heffner that teaches that true fidelity is impossible, not scripture – Jude 24 among many) I struggle or fail (fail is a nice generic word – do we mean commit adultery with our eyes or hearts as Jesus said? Mth 6:28) I don’t tell my wife because it only re-wounds or re-traumatizes her (sounds generous but does it really not wound her to know in general that you are not faithful even if she doesn’t know specifically when or with whom? And, rather than counseling not to be immoral or deceitful, who originally was it that came up with the idea that adding deceit to immorality would help any one?1Pet.3:8-4:11) Paul says that these things result in death, so does Proverbs. I also read that the sexually immoral have no inheritance in the kingdom of God, are under judgement of God, one on whom the wrath of God is coming in Colossians, and in Rev. will be in the outer darkness with the sorcerers, etc. and not in the New City. Two of the most troubling things that I have come across is that, one, although these verses would seem to describe a person who is not saved, actually saying that a sexually immoral person does not need to be condemned, they need to be saved is very condemnable; and, two, that even though Jesus is the one who unites love of him with obedience to him, he “seems” able to do little to empower it. Failure on some level is inevitable, expectation of fidelity is jealous and unforgiving and not even Jesus can be expected to help us out with this, or so it seems.
    I do hope in my language you can tell that this is not an academic issue but a personal one. I “found out” six years ago, we’ve been married thirty years last week and my husband is the leader in a local parachurch ministry. We’ve fought about what words like repentance, forgiveness, humility and grace really mean. Ironically the ministry is an addiction recovery ministry. Today we are worse off than at the beginning and on the verge of collapse. I began by saying that I thought what Jesus means by, “If the Son sets you free you will be free indeed”; is that if it is the Son who really set you free then you will be really free. Because I believe and continue to maintain that a person who is described as” trapped, captive to Satan and sin, blind and in darkness” is not saved; that fidelity is faithfulness with zero other sexual intimacy partners on whatever level and that fidelity without compromise is the only acceptable standard (withstanding all the “sinless perfectionist” accusations); and because I won’t agree that a godly response for a christian wife of a man in ministry, now that I know about it, would be to “go silent” and just pray for him (accomplice?) I’m well informed that I am the one wrecking my marriage. Although my husband won’t fight the permissive, inevitable failure responses and tell them that he is “done” with sexual immorality, etc., and that as Peter says, “we have spent ‘enough’ time in the past doing what the Pagans do” he will tell me he is done with me (of course unless I agree to the “go silent” about it). The sad thing for me is that I wonder if there is ever going to be anyone brave enough to love the sexually immoral enough to tell them that they are not saved but that there really is a Jesus who really is powerful enough to set them free not only from the penalty of sin but also the sin itself. If my husband and the others (esp. the leaders of the church) can’t even stand up to Satan and fight this and win what will we do if we ever face real persecution in life or death situations? What would we have done in Rome when all it took to deny our faith in Christ was a pinch of incense?

  9. Kathy – I appreciate your response on so many different levels. Some of the thoughts are difficult to follow – like Peter said about Paul’s writings. However, what I can understand is that you are hurting and in a painful place. It is also clear that you have a good knowledge of the Word so here are some of my thoughts.

    If your husband is indeed involved in leading a para church ministry involving recovery from addiction and yet is still acting out in sexual sin then the last thing I would tell you to do it to keep silent. There are appropriate steps that need to be taken to inform those under whom he is serving about what is really going on. As a leader of a sexual addiction recovery ministry at my church (www.180men.org) if I were to break my boundaries and fail to maintain purity I would expect there to be serious repercussions both at home and in the church. For me that means – no adultery, no porn, no masturbation and the daily walk of doing the things I need to do so that I am dealing with the daily temptations that every man faces. I am daily accountable to one of my leaders, weekly accountable to the 180 Leaders and regularly accountable to sharing with my wife how my sobriety has been.

    The issue as to who holds the passwords can be settled between each couple. Some guys it is their wives. Others have their accountability partners keep them. The important thing is that the struggling addict is not the holder of the passwords. Along this line though my wife is not my “porn police” she is my wife and I need to be open and honest with her at all times. She has the right to ask me any question and I have the responsibility to answer honestly. That is the foundation for rebuilding trust and having real intimacy.

    Lastly, I think you were trying to make a case, based on John 8:38 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” that any true believer cannot be addicted to any sinful behavior. Their addiction shows that they have not been set free so they must not really know Jesus. Jesus has set me free from the penalty of my sin. He paid the price once for all and through faith in Him we are set free from sin’s penalty. In heaven we will be set free from the presence of sin. Until then sin is present in the world, the flesh and the Devil. I cannot escape it’s presence but I can experience the power of God to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the desires of the flesh.

    Even Paul cried out “Wretched man that I am who will free me from this body of death?” He struggled to stop coveting and the more he tried the more he failed. Most scholars agree that Paul is describing himself in Romans 7 – as a believer – who is trying to stop sinning in his own power. Notice there is no mention of the Spirit in the last part of Romans 7.

    Addiction to any sin is not conclusive evidence that someone does not know Jesus and is not a Christian. It could be evidence that they are not a believer but I would have to know more about them and their struggle. For 8 years I struggled with a sexual addiction while being a pastor in a conservative evangelical church.

    I know all this theology does not help the pain you are in. If your husband is open to help I would be glad to communicate with him. My contact information is on our ministry website … http://www.180men.org.

  10. Kath & John-I have been dealing with my husband and his problem for the last year and a half. We have been married almost 28 years. He has been into pron for about 37 years. He has grown up in a Christian home and we have gone to church while we have been married. My husband does not like to say it is an addiction and that it is not a problem. He also does not like to use the words sin and Satan. He likes the word ‘worldly’. I get so fed up this word game. He has been going to a chaplian for over a year and started seeing a counsellor that deals with men about 6 months ago.
    Last week he decided we needed to negotiate things like computer use, money, extra with a third party. Sounds good but we have done these things before and it becomes a game of how he can be more sneeky. I feel an additude change is needed towards me before we can negotiate. I have spent the last year + trying to get my life right with the Lord asking Him to forgive me for I have done wrong.(I know when you are in a hurtful relationship you hurt other.) I know I can only control what I do and I have to answer to God for what I do, not for what my husband does.
    I would like to make comment on Andy remarks. My husband uses comment like I perfer tall skinny women, when I am only 5 foot 2 and I guess your face is ok. I can not compete with tall skinny women that are 30 years younger then me and not real. I could not even compete 30 years ago when I was 17 and dating him.
    I have been seeing a christain consellor since before I knew what the problem was. John I want to know if it is common for men to like to play this word games with sin & Satan extra.

    • Ruth,

      Thank you for your response and your questions. I am sure there is a significant degree of frustration that has built up over the years and this is a problem that is not easily solved.

      It sounds to me like your husband has not come to the point where he is broken over his sin and condition. Not wanting to admit that there is a “problem” or an “addiction” would indicate that. If it has been part of his life for 37 years then he is clearly in denial or does not want to leave this behavior that has been a very effective way of dealing with the pain and brokenness in his life.

      I agree that before there can be successful negotiations on things like computer use and and money there needs to be a recommitment to his marriage, to you and to living in purity before God.

  11. John,
    Thanks for your comments and again your manner. You sound like a nice person and I can picture having tea and scones and talks with you and Mona; maybe someday in heaven along with Jesus to answer all questions :).
    Your comments do raise more questions for me, esp. about penalty, presence, power and escape, as well as my “case” that any true believer cannot be addicted to sin. I don’t believe I’m trying to make a case but that Jesus and the apostles have already made it and we have simply not believed it, not really.
    If it is just me then I am wondering how do you read and how would you speak to such passages as: 1 John 3:1-10, 1 Peter 4:1-3, Titus 2:11-15, James 4:4 (doesn’t sound very gentle), and Rev. 1:5 (now that sounds hopeful)? All these verses seem to be talking about life now, on earth in our mortal bodies not someday when we die and go to heaven.
    We all seem to like the idea of being saved absolutely from the penalty of sin and that someday we’ll be saved from its presence in heaven, but being saved from the power of sin is optional. Have we forgotten that sin comes from Satan and that he desires our total destruction but that Jesus has already conquered (and made us more than conquerors) the devil, the flesh and the world? On “cannot escape”, what does Paul mean by 1 Cor 10:13 “He will provide the way of escape”, and 2 Tim. 2:26 “escape from the snare of the devil”? I’m also wondering what an apostle means when he says, “He has rescued you from the dominion of darkness and brought you into the kingdom of the Son He loves”? About Romans 7 I know there are big debates but mostly it seems to me that we forget that Ch. 7 is sandwiched between Chapters 5, 6 and 8. If Paul was speaking about a sinful Christian life from which we cannot escape till we die, why did he say within 6:12-18, “you have been set free from sin” and in 8:2, “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”? Are we free or not? Calling a person free who is still a slave just sounds delusional and doesn’t sound like we have much to offer a lost world that has real trouble. If I’m going to witness to lost people I need to know that I’m telling them the truth, that they should turn to a Jesus who can really help and that offers real hope.

    • Kathy,

      Let’s look at this in another way. All the passages you mentioned and many more in the New Testament are written to believers. All of them are urging these believers to not live in sin and to not give in to the temptations that come from the world, the flesh and the devil. IF what Christ accomplished on the cross has completely set us free from the penalty and power of sin … why are the writers writing these passages?

      I do believe that the power to live in freedom from the power of sin is available to all believers. However, these passages are there because we do not always choose Christ over sin. Romans 6 is the perfect example. Paul is telling them they are free in Christ to choose their master. However the possibility of choosing to sin is always there and when we choose to sin we are in danger of becoming enslaved to sin again.

      When we are tempted God does provide an escape … but the one being tempted must choose to take that escape. We have been transferred from the dominion of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of His Son. Yet we are not fully in heaven yet and in this world and because of our flesh there is a battle going on daily. The Spirit battles against the flesh and the flesh against the Spirit. If we are not being filled with the Spirit and walking in the Spirit we will be defeated and fall back into sin.

      Also, why would Paul command us to put on the full armor of God everyday so that we can stand against the powers of darkness … if there is not a battle because Christ has already defeated Satan?

      The law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death. There are eternal never changing repercussions to that fact. However, it does not take away the present struggles with the flesh that still remains in us.

      Witness to people because they can receive forgiveness for all their sins, they can receive eternal life and God will enter into them by the Spirit to help them until we reach heaven.

      Hope this helps

  12. Thanks John. How long should someone wait before giving up hope? My husband has been seeing a christain chaplin (who had been addicted to porn that now counsels) for almost a year and half and a christain counselor for six mounths(he deals with mens issues). Things seem to be worse, not better.

    • That is a hard question for me to answer. If he is seeking help by meeting with these counselors that is a good thing. If they are not helping him with his issues then perhaps they are not good at dealing in this area or he is not doing what they want him to do. God knows everything about your situation so I would ask Him to bring into the light anything what needs to be revealed and see how the Lord directs you. Hopefully, also you are getting the support that you need. Do the work you need to to for yourself and place Him in the Lord’s hands.

  13. The Christian culture continues to miss the mark and exasperate the problem, Case in point- You say don’t 3. It’s not your job to provide sex as a deterrent to porn and masturbation. Then you say do 3. Begin working on the two of you experiencing true intimacy.

    It would seen contrary to 1 Corinthians 7:5 your assumption is that He is 100% guilty because she is clearly not failing to fulfill her vows. Paul says if that were the case she would be giving her husband over to Satan to tempt. Imagine a cat playing with a mouse and you have an idea of the defrauded husband’s plight. But you say to wives don’t save your husband from such, after all it is all him.

    The assumption is feminist bias. Of course she should provide enough quality and quantity of sex to satisfy him and keep his heart at home – enough is determined by him. He must do the same for her. If he is deprived, he is defrauded and “true intimacy” is not possible. Further if she has taken control of the bed it is a power play on the relationship and is the antithesis of submission. The proverbs call her a contentious wife and he in the face of such a relationship he would rather sleep on the roof. The fact is God made two one, a porn issue is not just his issue, it is their issue. Her contribution to the problem is not a social stigma like his so he bears more shame. Even if he came to the marriage with a porn issue, they are now one and she has a roll in sanctifying her husband with a meek and quite spirit. (Meaning she put his needs above hers and does not fret and worry) If she judges him and shuts him off , it will drive to hide his shame, and not to cover it in the blood of Jesus. If however, she cares tenderly for him and his love of Christ together they can overcome the temptation. Replacing her sin of controlling for his sin is death. Increasing his shame is poison.

    There is much said about how hurt a wife is when there is porn in the relationship, she is allowed to express it and in some circles considered a heroine for her pain. It may be that he is deeply hurt also, but he is a wimp and a cad if he were to say so. Let’s face it, in the church setting he is blamed and she is a saint. Both are violating vows, one in his mind and with his eyes the other with the destruction of her love, beauty and sex. He is told to crucify himself as did Christ for His bride, yet she is encouraged to rebel against her husband and to use sex for her gain. When have the pulpits spoke of how a man thinks about sex as a communication of love and intimacy; a woman’s respect as essential for his well-being or for the married man sexual release is a need approaching the level of sleep. Rarely, but it is not unusual to hear how women need to be understood, romanced and catered to by their insensitive husbands. The movie Fireproof is typical of the modern christian ethos. A contemptuous wife gets all her demands as a defrauded husband submits to her will. Message: if men will just repent and do what women want they won’t end up in divorce court.

    Christ died for His bride, but He never gives up his headship to her, something that the good-girl feminism of the church has not yet discovered. If a wife is hurt by her husbands “betrayal” the first thing a Christian counselor should do is tell her to look for the log in her eye. Most of the time she has also betrayed her husband. The repentance must keep God’s authority structures for the family firmly in place, any power plays are yet more betrayals.

    • Lee,

      In answering the questions I was asked to write on – “How do I keep my husband from looking at porn?” My wife and I wrote together out of our 7 years of recovering from my porn addiction. Certainly, Paul’s message in 1 Corinthians 7 is important for each person in the marriage to follow. However, when there has been sexual betrayal by one spouse there is considerable damage brought into the relationship that needs to be address.

      In the book “Your Sexually Addicted Spouse” one learns that after sexual betrayal the spouse who has been sinned against suffers the same symptoms as those who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They are devastated by their husbands actions. This cannot be minimized and both of them expect to jump back into sexual intimacy as if nothing has happened. The porn addict will not just stop and return to a godly and pure life just because his spouse is willing to have more sex. She will be betraying her own healing to try and fulfill that role if the issues are not addressed.

      It can take years to rebuild the relationship and re-establish trust so that the couple can begin to develop true intimacy with one another. The intimacy I am talking is not just sexual intimacy … but emotional and spiritual intimacy as well. Without true emotional and spiritual intimacy being re-established then the sex can just be the husband using his wife instead of loving her.

      Sex does not heal the wounds and pain of the train wreck that has happened. Commanding one to give themselves to their spouse for sex so that they do not act out is abusing what God has intended for sex. Men do not need to have sex like they need to have sleep. If that were true then what do you say to a single man?

  14. I’m not sure were to begin. my husband and i have been married 8 yrs , a lot of ups and downs . but this one ,well i new he had( past tense) had a problem looking up stuff online and for years he did not, but sense the job change i find it everywhere, our laptop, his Facebook, our phones. i have tried many thing in our bedroom to help but it did not seam to so i stopped trying. now its become this taboo . i am not to talk to him about, or talk to anyone about, not friend ,are pastier. and well i don’t.. i think this is safe here,sense you don’t know him. i just don’t know what to do anymore. i love him so much. but this man this is destroying me inside.. i feel not good enough. he don’t touch me unless i come on to him now.. i just don’t know.. please help.

    • Marcy – Thanks for reaching out. It sounds like you are in a very painful place. The first step for any man’s recovery is that he has to want to break free from using pornography. If he is a believer then he will be under the conviction of the Spirit. But if he does not want to stop then there is little you can do except create some consequences if his behavior continues.

      You have to set some boundaries for yourself and get support for yourself. Many women draw a line and tell their husbands that if they do not change they will have to move out and separate for a period of time. If they refuse then they move out themselves and take their children. Tell him that you cannot go on like this and make an appointment with a counselor or your pastor.

      If you would like you can send an email to me at doyel53@gmail.com and I will forward it to my wife. She works with many women who are in your position and will help you develop a plan.

  15. I caught my husband watching YouTube videos of women in very provocative positions and clothing while he was taking a shower, I confronted him and told him to tell me the truth and not what he thought I wanted to hear, so he lied to me about how it started, then I found out he was watching it longer, so I confronted him, he told me another lie, I told him I wanted to know the truth, and he told me that he had been watching those videos, and that he had also been watching pornography since February or march (when we bought a new computer) of this year. I remember scanning our old computer and finding pictures of women, it turns out he had been watching those YouTube videos since June of 2012. He says he doesn’t remember the date he started looking for video or Pictures but that he would stop and try to get straight with God, but sometimes months will pass, and he would fall back. I so lost and confused, I feel like there is something I’m looking, i need to find something maybe the details of when it started, ow, where, when..etc I don’t know if he is an addict?? sometimes I love him, some days I hate him. He said that he would never do it again, he would never hurt me, we got intimate from the day I found out, but I don’t know if I should be getting intimate. Since those days that I found out he has been trying to help me around the house, he bought me flowers and asked for my forgiveness, he arrange for a day just the two of us no kids, he tells me that its good that we are intimate because he needs me, and he wants to feel closer to me. But I’m just so long, I still need to scan our old computer to see if I can get anymore info as to when this started. I just don’t know where to head. I don’t trust him, anything he says, how he feels. I see him talking to the neighbor and I think the worst. He is going to talk to the co-pastor of our church, who said he will help him and us, but I don’t know if he’s doing enough,is he an addict? Does he need to make more action. I’m so lost. He is my first boyfriend, high school sweet heart, my only love, my husband, the father of my kids, this is so hard for me, I still cry and have nightmares almos everyday, about finding more stuff on the computer. Please any advice will be appreciated!!!

    • Hi Anonymous 7,

      I’m so sorry to hear about what your husband has been doing. Your “need to know” is a very common feeling after trust has been broken. You desperately want to get back to a place of trust, before all this came to light, and the only way to do that is for you to see a track record of trustworthy behavior. You need to see him making changes that protect his life from viewing porn and protect his heart from straying into fantasy.

      You are right to want to look on the computer for more pornography. For one, you need to protect your children, and you don’t want them to stumble on anything recorded on the computer or a history log that could lead them into porn. As part of your protecting computers in your home, make sure you take an inventory of things so nothing more is accessed. You don’t have to hide from your husband that you are doing this. Be open about it. Install protective software to block and monitor how the computer is used. Make sure anything on the computer is erased. In the mean time, get a feel for how big this problem has been, how long it has been going on.

      If you husband protests, just tell him, “I want to trust you again. By monitoring the computer you are giving me information to build my trust.”

      Intimacy is important to your marriage right now. If you feel this is a full-blown addiction, then wait for a counselor or pastor to tell you otherwise about your sex life. You can forge a strong bond with your husband through sex, and this helps him to channel is desire for intimacy toward you and not toward fantasy women.

      You do need more of a step-by-step guide to know what to do, so I recommend you watch this video series by Brad Hambrick about this very issue.

  16. Thank you for the wise advice. I feel like I’m in a roller coaster ride, some days I can love him, and days like today where i feel like a hypocrite, and really question if I really do love him or do I just say it so I won’t hurt him? I am numb to feelings, at least to love. I can for sure say I do feel anger, betrayed, devalued, sad, mad, and so many more it overshadows the good feelings. I feel like something is always questioning me if I really do love him, every time I say “I love you.” and sometimes I feel like I say it but not mean it. I feel like a punching bag, receiving all the punches. Why should I give him a chance, that chance could be the one chance to get hurt again. We have tried, but those days like today that I just feel overwhelmed and I begin to cry because im hurt and honestly wonder why I’m still in this relationship, he just tells me how he now feels down, and I’m left with all the responsibilities (3 kids) and he just buries his face and goes to sleep. I feel like on the good days he is up and willing to help, but when we have those bad days, he just wants to hide and come back when things are better. It’s heart breaking, when I never resort to other images or even friends when I felt alone, and he did, and now I have to suck it up,and move on. Extremely sad and disappointed, he was not the man I thought I married.

    • Hello again, Anonymous. That hypocritical feeling (“do I love him or not”) is also very common for women in your position. Who can blame you? Your heart has been ripped apart by what he’s done. It isn’t just about the porn. It is about the overall patterns of his life.

      Please watch those videos I linked to and let me know what you think about them.

  17. Is this something i should encourage my husband to watch! I am currently sleeping in a separate room, I kind of feel like i need to keep a distance from him, but at the same time I feel that by watching and educating myself with this videos, he is not getting all this material that is important, he has only spoken to our co-pastor and had one meeting since I found out (a month ago). I’m torn, a part of me wants to help him and part of me says he should find his own solutions, find his way, to see how much he really wants to change. I don’t feel he’s doing enough. I’m just so confused and don’t know for sure if I want this marriage to work. It’s like 50% of me wants to get away, and 50% wants it to work. I’ve watched the first and second part of the videos, and I guess I am willing to stay in the house, without the need to make a too quick of a decision, I want want to regret reacting while I’m still hurt, at least for the sake of the kids.

    • I think your husband could benefit greatly from these videos, as long as he approaches them with an open mind. The companion videos, False Intimacy, is specifically for men who are like him.

      As far as your involvement is concerned, you’ll need to play it by ear. He may be very open to receiving help from you. He may not. You might approach the situation this way. Say, “I’m going to be watching these videos called ‘True Betrayal.’ I hope it will really help me to understand what I need to do right now. If you want to watch these just so you know what advice I’m receiving, you can. If you want, there is also a companion series by the same individual called ‘False Love.’ I understand if you don’t want to watch these. There are a lot of resources out there to help men overcome these habits. This is one of them. I’m not telling you you should watch this, but you can, knowing it will compliment what I’m watching.”

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