Help! My “Christian” Husband Secretly Watches Porn

Recently we received this comment from one of our readers:

Hi. This is hard for me, as I have never posted something like this before..but here goes.

I have been married since Aug 2009, and my husband has been watching porn since. He actually told me before we got married and said it was in the past, and so I decided to trust him. I am completely devastated. I have found out he has been watching and contacting other girls (real and far away fantasy ones) over and over again. I try to forgive him, but his “reformed cleanness” never lasts more than a single month.

And now, the worst part (for this kind of situation) is I’m pregnant. I never imagined living this kind of marriage with a child! My own father had this horrible addiction, with many other issues, and it tore me and my family to pieces. I have seen first-hand what it can do. And now my husband has the same problem! I experienced a lot of pain as a child and teenager,dealing with a lot of warped family issues, and God miraculously healed my broken heart. He gave me joy, life, and hope for my own life and future.

But then why, how could He let me marry this “Christian” man?

But I don’t think I love my husband enough anymore to endure more pain. It’s too much. I can’t raise a child with a man who is not willing to be a man. He has apologized every time after he is caught. I usually feel it before I find proof on the computer. I do not want to feel this way anymore. I don’t want to feel trapped now, especially because of the baby.

You’ve taken the first step

I’m so glad that you’ve finally reached out and asked for help. This is the beginning, you know: seeing yourself write it down, reading it, saying it out loud.

I wonder if you’re like me: not wanting anyone to know the shortcomings of your marriage and the fact that you’ve married a man with the kind of flaws you don’t discuss with others. I lived under this dark blanket of fear for 8 years, it is a very lonely existence, so I’m excited that you’ve taken this first step.

My mistake was not telling anyone. If I could go back and do one thing differently, it would be to tell the world, allow others to help me, and pray that God would give me the faith to trust Him. I believe that God wanted to unveil the guilt and shame in my husband’s life, but because of my own pride of what others might think of me (or of my husband), I continued to hide inside the cloak of our secrets. As a child, I was used to having secrets and knowing how to keep them, what was one more?

Ephesians 5:8-14 is a great Scripture to meditate on. I love the way it ends, “…For light is capable of showing everything for what it really is. It is even possible for light to turn the thing it shines upon into light also.” My life story is a living testimony that this scripture is true…amazingly true.

His honesty is good, his addiction is real

I know this may seem strange, but the fact that he shared this with you prior to your marriage is huge, in my opinion.

He didn’t (and probably still doesn’t) understand that this is an addiction. I believe that he wanted out then, and he wants out now. The problem is that he is not equipped to defeat his sexual addiction alone within the privacy of his own home.

I want you to pray that he Lord will help you appreciate your husband’s attempt to be real and open and honest with you prior to marriage. When I married my husband, I had no idea that he had been using pornography since he was 12 years old. After being married four years and accidentally discovering thousands of sites on his computer, I remember feeling like someone had shot me in the stomach.

I haven’t experienced a physical addiction. So, in my mind I felt like my husband should just be able to stop. I used many things as reward or punishment in order to “help him” modify his behavior. Let me assure you none of them worked (and I’m a really creative person and I hatched many plans and schemes over those eight years before admitting defeat).

It’s not about behavior modification; it’s about heart transformation. I took it very personally that my husband wasn’t willing or able to cease and desist this disgusting and degrading ritual. He knew what kind of childhood I had endured, what kind of father I had growing up, yet he continued to participate.

It wasn’t until I was educated that this was a true addiction, and that it was bigger than both of us, that my expectations started to change. My unattainable expectations mixed with his shame and guilt of not meeting those expectations put our marriage on a roller coaster of fear, resentment, disappointment, and anger.

What your husband meant for evil, God meant for good

First, congratulations on your pregnancy! Second, you are asking a great question.

I’ve asked myself and screamed the question at God a million times. Why? Why? Why?

Here’s what I’ve come to understand. What if God took an abused, tortured, fearful little girl and paired her with a man whose very DNA carried the sin that would force her to run into God’s arms? What if God was more interested in healing that little girl and drawing her near to Him than He was with her perfect marriage or her personal image? What if the God of all Creation knew that the little girl would desire to make her husband into her savior, but adored her enough to knock the man off his pedestal and replace him with the God of the Angel Armies?

God wants to work on us, my friend. Those fears and resentments that we harbor, the abandonment and rejection that we’ve faced as children…that’s the stuff He wants to free us from. Should we question the means He uses to get our attention? Genesis 50:20 is a good Scripture to pray through on this topic of how God can change our hearts through the sin of others.

You can take practical steps

God will lead you through all the decisions that need to be made. One suggestion I would give you is to seek professional counseling from a Christian counselor who specializes in sexual addiction. Also, seek out a recovery program in your area that will help you walk through your past.

Our pasts stole our childhoods: don’t give it the power to steal your present and your future. Continue to reach out, talk to your family, talk to your husband’s family.

Be careful not to throw him under the bus, because long after you’ve forgiven him, and this time in your life is a dark, distant memory, it may be difficult for others to follow suit. Stay respectful toward him, but have boundaries.

Most of all, work through your anger with the Lord.

God has brought you to this place for a reason. Seek that reason with all your mind, will and emotion. He will meet you there. The temptation will be to reject the pain and run from it. I’ve been running from the pain of the realization of my own sinfulness and imperfection. It seems better to just endure the pain of sin and avoid the light altogether, but that is not His best for us (Philippians 1:6).

I pray that you meet your Savior like you’ve never met him before through this trial, and allow his all consuming fire heal you in places that will change you forever. You’re not alone.