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.

9 thoughts on “Help! My “Christian” Husband Secretly Watches Porn

  1. My dear sister,
    This is truly tortuous.
    My personal experience says ask for STD checks and ensure you have no unpleasant gifts from your husband. Secondly, sometimes the answer to the prayers for your marriage is to leave.
    Lastly, this is not about you or anything you have to learn. You may have to forgive and let go but I don’t believe God put you in this situation to learn something. You wandered into something inadvertently believing the best in someone. They lied.
    God will however turn all things to good. Seek some trauma counselling and do not consider marriage counselling while he is still hiding things from you.

    • Jo, I think you are beyond wrong. Did you not read the article? Do you not trust God to take control of the sin and lies in this woman’s life? I think you are a fool to discourage her from marriage counseling. Her husband seems to be struggling, and seems to want to stop. Why else would he confess his discretions to her? I say let God glorify himself in this relationship. Marriage was not designed to make us happy, but to make us holy.

  2. I full identify with the women in these blogs. I found out my Christian husband was secretly watching porn approximately 18 months ago and I was devastated. What made it worse that we had already spent much time, anguish and heartache struggling with his son’s addiction to porn. His son lived with us for 6 years before he moved in with friends of ours, due to his constant emotional abuse of me. His son has been addicted since he was 9 years old and is now 15. I thought once he left that things were on the up and up. But a few months later discovered that my Christian husband was also watching porn. He had been lying to me, going onto dating websites, taking secret photos to show his new ‘friends’ and watching stuff that made me feel degraded. I am from a strong Christian and church background, my parents have counselled for many years and all my family attend church, with one married to a pastor. I had very high moral standards and was proud that I was a virgin when I married at the age of 45. . What hurt me the most was the lying and the promises that he never kept. Once I realised how addicted he was I knew that it was the end of us fostering children or doing other children’s work from our home. I cant take the risk that they or their parents find what he has been doing.. There were many times I rang my mother up in tears wanting to leave him but I never have. My parents have been fantastic and given us full support and help. The huge break through came when my husband admitted to our senior pastor about his struggle. At no time was he judged or made to feel terrible about his addiction. Instead our pastor has been mentoring him and keeping him accountable though have said that he is not to be alone with any of the church children and he cant be in a leadership position. I am in leadership in church with responsibility for the 3-5 year olds and the church leadership continue to allow me to be in the position without judgement.. It has been a painful, difficult journey but I am determined not to let the devil destroy our marriage. In every other way my husband loves the Lord, he regularily puts on worship music and sings to the Lord, he has been a wonderful support during my recent injury (a broken rib) and gave up his son to save our marriage. He loves church, attend men’s prayer group and enjoys helping me in Children’s Church. However very few people know about his addiction because we know many people will judge.. Yes it would have been easy to leave him but the Christian life is not meant to be easy. God restores all things and he is in the process of restoring my husband. He has restored me and healed me and I am much more at peace. I don’t like it and my husband knows how much I hate it, but we are working together with the Lord, our pastor and my parents. We will come through.

    • Hi Maureen. I’m glad to hear that your husband is working at his recovery. I think that is the real key to whether a marriage survives this issue: will the addict take responsibility for his recovery, and do the long-term work that is required? One thing you didn’t mention here is what kind of support you’ve gotten for yourself in this? I’m asking, because I often find that so much effort and attention is put into the husband’s recovery that many many times the wife is left on her own to work things out. Given the kind of trauma that women often suffer in relationships like this, and given the emotional abuse you mentioned, I hope you’ve been able to find a good therapist to help you work through those various issues. Blessings, Kay

  3. This is a big question I have. At the time of the discovery I was pregnant and I felt extremely unsafe to the point of loosing my mind with claustrophobia and a feeling of being trapped. I have been pregnant before and to trust the dad is an absolute must for me, the pregnancies were normal before.
    Since the discovery of porn and the birth of that baby I have felt extremely unsafe, and I want another baby but not with an addict. He is my husband though, and an addict, working on it but still.
    I got pregnant and lost a baby since and I felt panicked from beginning to end, I feel I cannot afford to be weak and vulnerable and in need (pregnant) because I have to be strong and ready for the worst, in case. Plus I feel like it is not good for children to have a sex addict dad.
    To me this is not a marriage, when you can’t trust enough to have a baby.
    However we get along well and he is working on it.
    I know we desire a baby but the trust is broken: part of it is still there, but the trust in him to the point of having a baby with him is not there.
    I would like to know if there are women out there who had babies after the discovery and good pregnancies (mentally and spiritually). I never came across an example yet.
    To trust to the point of having a baby after the discovery is to me the biggest challenge and when I do, I know it will mean we have a marriage again because I really trust him, and the child will grow up with both parents, etc…
    Help?
    Inspirations?

    • Hi Mary.

      It’s really, really important that you get help and support in recovery. It is very, very common for women to meet the clinical criteria for PTSD when their marriages are threatend by porn, and I wonder if you are experiencing that kind of normal reaction to this very difficult situation. It’s great that your husband is working on his side of things, but as you’re discovering, your level of anxiety interferes with your ability to move forward in life. Before you try for another child, I would suggest that you find a counselor who is experienced in the treatment of trauma and work on healing for yourself. Once you are feeling safer within yourself, I think you will feel more equipped to make the important decisions you’re considering here.

      Also, I think you might appreciate this article on restoring trust during the recovery process. If you get along well, and he really is working on the problem, then you may find it’s worthwhile to work on the restoration of trust. Every situation is different, and you are the best judge of what’s happening with you. I would never, ever encourage a woman to stay in a relationship where she is being abused or mistreated in any way. However, restoration of the relationship and the trust absolutely is possible; I saw it happen in my own marriage.

      If you are both interested in working on the marriage, I would suggest you look at the research of John Gottman. His book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, is the best resource out there for working on the real, positive steps toward a healthy relationship. You can do this work DURING recovery, as long as your husband really is doing his part! You don’t have to wait for perfect sobriety to strengthen your relationship.

      Peace to you, Kay

  4. Thank you that’s very helpful. My experience is that I went to a christian psychiatrist who thought I should take a pill because I was the depressed one (you don’t get depressed for that, I am just a depressed person and the husband is not depressed, although what he does is not great)… no mention of therapy, and the pill should help the moods in case of getting pregnant.
    I didn’t listen to him, took the pill but tried to look for more and to not get pregnant. It just seemed wrong to me.
    I found another psychiatrist, who gave me really great therapy as well. On that central point (central for me) of porn addiction though, he thinks my beliefs are the cause of my sadness and fear. If I change my beliefs about it and look at it from a different angle (everybody does it and it doesn’t have to be bad for the relationship), then I will not react with fear and sadness.
    This issue is still central for me and my beliefs are what they are and I can’t change them and get better. Now am scared of trusting and being vulnerable (like in pregnancy), but I am stronger in myself. I feel I didn’t find help for that one important issue. I still get panic attacks (and they started at the time of discovery).
    I know how to manage them thanks to therapy.
    I don’t know who to turn to really to fix that part of anxiety, but will read and inform myself and my husband.
    Thanks for everything.

    • Hi Mary. I’m encouraged to hear that you’ve kept working to find help that works for you! It’s interesting that you were told to just change your belief system and you’ll be fine… Hmm. While I do think that purity culture in the church has done a great deal of harm when it comes to how we think about sex–and I do think that purity culture causes shame and guilt around sex that drives the porn machine even harder–it’s also true that non-religious professionals are seeing the harm that porn does. The Gottman Institute used to suggest some light porn use to get your engine going, and just recently they came out against porn. Even Time magazine recently dedicated their entire issue to the harm caused by porn! When porn is a substitute for relationship, and if your husband becomes caught up in the objectification of women that’s so common in porn, then YES porn harms your relationship in real ways, and no amount of re-thinking on your part is going to stop that! Many, many women will meet the criteria for PTSD in situations like this, and I’m glad you’ve gotten help with the panic attacks. You might appreciate the new online resource, Bloom, which takes a trauma-informed approach to recovery for wives, and an attachment approach for marriage recovery. There are forums, classes, and other resources that you might find helpful. Peace to you, Kay

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