About the author, Sherry Allchin

Sherry Allchin has been in some form of ministry for nearly fifty years, first as the wife of a youth pastor, then as a mother of three and a Christian school teacher. After her husband’s doctorate in Biblical Counseling, the family moved to the Chicago area in 1989 to develop Biblical Counseling Center. She completed her M.A. in Biblical Counseling and has been counseling individuals and families for over twenty years. Their adult children and seven grandchildren serve the Lord across the country. Sherry is a member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. Her passion is helping others to grow in their faith and to make life count for eternity!

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Porn and Your Husband

Porn and Your Husband 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.

51 thoughts on “7 Steps After You Discover Your Husband Looks at Other Women Online

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    • I’m sorry but I truly believe this is just something men and women will never get peace with. My husband was looking at naked girls online since college and I gave hm love, support, and Godly grace throughout and yet I just caught him looking at half naked ladies AGAIN online. And I wasn’t even looking for it. So that being said, sexual images/videos are everywhere and temptation is everywhere. Just be ready to deal with it the next time they slip up and pray for peace. Dear God I am.

    • Hey Carissa. Well, it’s a tough problem to be sure! Sexual images are absolutely everywhere these days. However, I think it is possible to get to a healthy place with this issue, when people are willing to take responsibility for themselves and do the work. We don’t have to accept unhealthy behavior as normal, either in ourselves or other people. You might like to check out our free download, Hope After Porn, in which several women talk about the road to recovery in their marriages. Have a look and let me know what you think! Kay

    • I’ve caught my husband looking at porn several times as well as pictures of different girls doing scandalous things probably on a weekly to bi-weekly basis. The thing is that he doesn’t know that I know he looks at the previously mentioned content and I have tried to confront him about it but he denies denies denies. I’m getting tired of living this way, what is the best way to confront/ask him about it? What should I do if he lies?

    • I would say, try to avoid the whole confront/deny dynamic. If you’re able to collect some evidence, that could be helpful. As calmly as you can, say that you’ve found these things a number of times, and show the evidence you’ve discovered. Be ready with the plan of action you would like to see implemented: installing Covenant Eyes, getting accountability in place, etc. You might try saying something like, “However this gets into our house, by accident or on purpose, it’s not healthy for our marriage and we need to work together to keep it out.”

    • My husband and I will be married 5 years in September. I knew about this issue with porn while we were dating, but I never thought he would bring this into our marriage. I found him browsing pictures of women on Facebook our first week of marriage. I would forgive him, and then every so often look through his phone to find porn in the history. He would also have women friends he would chat with on Facebook, but the messages would be deleted when I got to them. a few months ago, I found covenant eyes, and approached him about enabling it on his phone. He didn’t want to. I told him that he had to tell me every time he “messed up” if he wasn’t going to have some accountability. I was hurting and depressed, waiting for the next slip up. The first time he told me was in a text message that I found when I first woke up. He said, “I messed up last night, and I have repented before God, I love you and I’m sorry.” I then fell the floor crying, and I wanted to cut my wrists. I have small children, so I thought better of it and just went to him, asleep in bed, and told him I was leaving for a while, and he would have to watch the kids. I went to the park and screamed and cried and walked around by the river. I knew we needed counseling at that moment. I also knew I couldn’t risk hurting myself over this, and I wanted him to leave. When I came back, I wanted to talk about it, and I was crying and yelling, and he was defensive. I told him at that moment that he needed to go stay with his friends for a while. He then got scared and softened his tone. We stopped talking and I took the kids to a birthday party, then dropped them off with their grandma because I was in no condition to care for them. When I came home my husband was shaking and his voice was cracking, and he held my hand and told me that he would install an app called “secure teen”. He has had this app since May. I had the password and was able to log in to see if he trying to look at porn. I did not tell him this. And I wrestled with God about it, because I felt that I shouldn’t be snooping. Well, I went ahead and looked on Friday. I saw that he has been browsing Craigslist casual encounters w4w (women for women) to see naked pictures of women, because Secure Teen wouldn’t block that. I didn’t say anything, but I put craigslist.org on the blocked list so he couldn’t see that anymore. Friday night we went to bed, and he said he wasn’t tired, and he would go watch a movie. I went to sleep. Saturday morning I checked Secure Teen and saw that the same time he left me in bed, he went to look at Craigslist, but it was blocked. I went to him and told him that I did block it for him. And I was upset that as soon as he left me in bed, he went to look at girls on Craigslist. He was defensive and made me tell him the password to uninstall the app from his phone. I told him that my trust is shattered and I want him to leave. But he wouldn’t go. And I broke down crying. He said no man can deal with this, and most men look at porn, and it’s his personal struggle and I have nothing to do with it. He said that if my trust is broken, then that is between me and God. I only hurt myself when I look through his things. He said he is trying to stop but it is something he will always deal with and I need to accept that and stop trying to control him. He said he is not a child and will not be monitored as such. I kept crying and ended up apologizing to him like I always do. But now I’m left in a turmoil of pain. I have no way of knowing if he is looking at porn with the web open to him. He does not feel like he needs to rebuild my trust. He isn’t sorry because he doesn’t think it’s cheating. He thinks it is only an offense to God and not me. He doesn’t think it affects our marriage. I tell him that I always know when he is looking at porn because I can feel the distance. i don’t know if he is thinking of me when we have sex, or those girls he looks at. I also feel that God wants me not to snoop, and God wants me to trust my husband and pray for him. How can I trust him? I don’t understand? I need help and healing and I’m all alone. My heart has been broken. When I am with him when he is home, I am happy. But if I have to leave the house (he falls when he is left alone at home) or when he goes to work, I am a wreck. I am obsessing about this and he seems fine. I don’t know what to do.

    • Erica, I am so sorry for the pain you’re enduring right now. First of all, it sounds like you’ve taken more responsibility for his porn habit than he has; if he’s really going to recover, he has to take responsibility for himself. Right now it sounds like he’s justified all this in his own mind so that he doesn’t have to deal with it.

      I think what you say here about feeling that God wants you not to snoop is probably a healthy way to go. Turn your attention away from his behavior, and take responsibility for yourself instead. Consider what healthy boundaries will look like for you, and stick to them.

      I want you to know that it’s normal to feel bad when something like this happens in a marriage. In fact, many women meet the criteria for PTSD in a situation like this, and it sounds like you’re experiencing some of that, with the anxiety when he’s away from you. It does impact women! Greatly! This is not what we agreed to in marriage, and the vows to love, honor, and cherish are being constantly broken by behavior that rips the emotional intimacy out of the marriage. It’s normal to feel badly about this.

      The way you can take responsibility for yourself in this is, first of all, find help to deal with your emotional pain. Find a safe place to process this. A personal counselor could help. A group might be another good place: Celebrate Recovery, S Anon, Pure Desire, xxxChurch–those are all places to check for support.

      The second really important thing is to consider your boundaries. Here’s an article on boundaries. You might also appreciate our free download, Hope After Porn.

      Finally, let me say that trust is earned by trustworthy behavior. In this particular situation, I think it would be unwise to trust that your husband is not looking at porn. I think he’s told you clearly that he’s going to keep on doing that right now. I think the person you CAN trust in this is God. Whatever happens with your husband, whatever choices he makes, God loves you and provides healing for you, no matter what.

      Reach out for help today! Start working on your own healing, regardless of what your husband chooses to do. Blessings, Kay

  1. what if the husband repeatedly goes into rages when the wife CALMLY asks questions or confronts? My husband refuses to listen to me, he goes on a defensive attack and screams at me he doesn;t have a problem its my perspective or my imagination, that I’m crazy. He is a text book abuser and has everyone fooled, even his so called accountability group…….tells everyone I’m abusive…to him if I ask him to see his emails or his phone I am being controlling. I go to a domestic violence support grouup and see a therapist who has met my husband….she says he is a master manipulator, I hear from other women the things thier abusers do and its all the same crazy stuff. my husbnad agreeed to install CE onto his phone when he bought it, now he refuses. I want out. I want to get away from this insanity but have no money. please pray from me.

    • I will pray for you, Lauralee. Your husband does sound like a master manipulator.

      Do you have evidence that he’s looking at porn? What does he do when you confront him with what you know and how you know?

    • I was with my ex for 11 years. Filed for devorce 4 times. He always promised to get help so I would come home. It never happened. Finally I took my two children and left with what I could fit in my car. I went to a women’s shelter and stayed with family. Things got worse but I prayed to god and listened to his words every day. Two years later, I bought my first house, my first new car, and the kids have supervised visits with dad. God says he will do the fighting. All we have to do is show up to the fight and know that God is with us. I had nothing when I left. I now have more than when I was married and not just money. Stepping out on faith alone is hard but so worth it.
      I’m not suggesting divorce. My preacher suggested that I leave and tell him to get help and finish all the steps before talking to me about coming home. He couldn’t do it. He chose his sin. He soon started seeing other women and therefor had commited adultery. That’s when I filed for devorce. Stand your ground. Think of your children and be their spiritual leader that their father isn’t being. Maybe he will chose his family unlike my ex. God bless.

    • I just read your comments and wondered how things were going for you? It feels awful to feel trapped.

    • Nicole, I am so sorry that he chooses to behave that way, but you are not responsible for his abusive behavior. I hope you know that! I always encourage women in these situations to seek support. Most communities have shelters and support systems for women who are being abused, and I encourage you to take advantage of those resources in your area. Blessings and prayers, Kay

  2. What about when he says he is sorry, and then he goes right back to it? The first time I learned he was watching, I felt sad for him and supported him and did all the things the above article says to do. Five years ago, the second time I learned he was watching, I was crushed, thinking we’d worked through it, but I worked hard to forgive him, and I worked harder to make myself a better wife so he wouldn’t be so tempted by the porn movies. He was encouraging at first, saying he thought our marriage was sweeter than ever, but over time, his interest in me faded again. Then I learned he was back to watching the porn. That time I was deeply hurt and felt harshly betrayed. It’s been two years now since that last discovery. My trust is shattered, and I’m struggling with depression. I’m afraid to let myself ever believe that he isn’t watching and fantasizing about other women, no matter what he says, because I don’t want to experience that hurt ever again. What do I do? He was watching movies on adult cable channels when he is away from home, so no filter will work for his accountability. All I have is his word, and I can’t bring myself to trust that. I feel like a hateful wife when I reread all I’m supposed to be doing to support him, which only brings on more depression. How do we get through this? We’ll have been married 20 years next June, and we have three daughters. I don’t want to model how to be a bad wife to them.

    • Andrea, thanks for your comment.

      I am so sorry to hear about what your husband is putting you through.

      First and foremost, I think it would be best to meet with someone who can give you face-to-face counsel and advice. He needs to be spoken to like man and told to guard his heart and his marriage, and that’s a word that should come from another man, preferably a spiritual mentor. You need support and encouragement to remain strong in your marriage, learning how to regain trust of him.

      I highly recommend you watch these videos by Brad Hambrick, a biblical counselor who has a lot to say about this topic. It will give you a context for where to do next.

  3. Lauralee i feel like my story is similar i confront my hisband and he is complete denial hell always have explanations or just laugh it off which infuriates me because im broken i feel betrayed .the worst part is that i have no control over my marriage he is a.manipulater and controls this.marriage i dont want him to touch me i want to be respected and he doesant take me seriously he always s gets what he wantsi feel used we have two small childrren that always see us arguing and i want out but he laughs because he knows that ive never worked he feels in control but seeing otherwomen online isnt just the problem we have no xcommunication he expects me to tell him evthing ,give him what he wants when he wants and with him.its xompletly the opposite he even has password on his phone im ready to get out i cant remember the last time ive actually felt happy i have an unhealthy relationship and my children are suffering with it i need help ive prayed to god to give , me an awnser but thisman doesn’t want to.change he sees nothing wrong with him although he apologizes but he doent know what sorry is. I am very young and deserve so much better thanliving in tjis jail of a.marriage so sorry for a long comment i hope somebody is.kind to read it and help me out thank you

    • Sounds like you need a lot of support right now. Are there people in your life you can talk about this face to face? Have you considered talking to a counselor?

      What your husband is doing to you is deplorable. To manipulate and emotionally abuse a woman is perhaps one of the ugliest common sins of our era. Your husband should be ashamed of himself.

      If you liked this post, I highly recommend you read the others Ella has written for us. They address some of your concerns head-on.

  4. I really feel for all you women who commented. My husband does the same thing, and when I try to talk to him about it calmly and respectfully, he flies into a rage and screams for hours, and blames me. It really makes me sad. I’ve been praying for a long time for God to help me leave him for good.

    • I really feel for all u woman. I am to going through this painful journey with my husband. Just this week I found out he posts sex ads on craigslist. Do u know how humiliating that makes me feel. We have been married almost a year and as much as I want to believe he is going to quit with the porn and the ads I don’t know if I can take the constant pain of hurt every time I catch him. Especially when I found his ad with convenant eyes program on his phone. He tells me this has been his problem his whole life and that the reason he is doing the ads is to get the same feeling that he gets when he watches porn. How would he feel if I was looking for sexual activity with another man I’m sure I would be the worst person ever. I really hope I have the patience and the support to help. It’s so hard all I can do is cry when he isn’t around.

    • Hey Alicia, I’m so sorry for the pain you’re going through. Like you, I don’t like the sound of those ads on Craigslist. That sounds to me like his behavior is escalating, which he explains really well: he’s been doing this a long time, and he needs more risky behavior to get the same high he got before from porn. That is a very classic compulsive, addicted pattern. Here’s the thing. HE HAS TO GET HELP FOR HIMSELF. He has to filter his internet, get into a program, have accountability. That can’t be your job. Your job is to have good boundaries, and to let him have the consequences of his choices. We hope and pray that he makes good choices, but we can’t force those on him. Have you read our free download, Hope After Porn? Four women share their stories of what boundaries looked like in their marriages. I think that might be helpful as you consider a way ahead. Let me know what you think! Kay

  5. I am going through the same thing as other mentioned before me. We were on vacation of all places when my husband had his phone open sending a vacation landscape picture to one of his coworkers. Harmless…but after he hit send his phone reverted back to his photo album and lo and behold was a thin young flat bellied lady with her bra and panties on. I never ever look at his phone, nor go through it, after less than one year of marriage why would I? I trusted him. So, after asking him over and over he still lied to my face saying he didnt know how the picture got there, didnt know who she was, thought someone at his job picked up his phone and played a joke on him. My gut told me that this was a big fat lie so I took his phone for the first time and hit all the app buttons and found a new email he had set up with many sent messages on craigslist of NSA and offered one lady 200 to have her all night. He sent a naked picture of his penis to them all too. Who even knows when you “talk” to women on craigslist if they are really women anyway??? I was so upset with grief I slept in my mom’s hotel room with my 13 year old daughter as we were all on vacation together. I bought him a plane ticket home and told him not to go to my house (it was my house before we married he still owns his own home but not living there). I couldnt eat for 2 days and cried my eyes out. I calmly sat him down and asked why the lies, why did he do this and his answer was it was just for fantasy. When does fantasy cross over to become reality? Why do I have to be ok with this might I ask??? Well, he texted me constantly after he arrived home by plane. Begging forgiveness, on his knees begging, pleading, promising he would never do it again. Why did he do it in the first place? Isnt my body good enough, my love good enough, my heart and soul to this man? And we havent been married a year yet. So, I turned to God and prayed and cried and thanked him for revealing this to me even if it had to be during a vacation we planned months ago together. I thanked him for showing me what my husband was doing even if my husband didnt penetrate another woman he did cheat on me. Offering money, keeping photos, sending photos of his penis were just sickening to me. WE DIDNT EVEN DO NAKED PHOTOS WITH ONE ANOTHER!!! So, was it God’s will for us to be together? Yes, it was. So I had to forgive him. Forgive my husband who I don’t know if I will ever trust again. I can tell you that he has been doing the dishes, cleaning, laundry, mowing yard, pulling weeds, taking me to dinner, turning off the tv at night so we can cuddle, sending me flowers twice, cards, jewelry, everything to bribe me to forgive him. Things he didnt do before were many of these things. He always played stupid games on his cell phone at night while we laid in bed and he watched tv all the time after work. Now he puts his phone up, no games, no tv and he even cooked me dinner last night. I appreciate all he is doing to repair our marriage but I wonder if he will go back to his old ways and am hesitant to ever trust him. He was always home after work, he said he just did it at work (emailing strangers to talk dirty and see pictures). He is a mechanic so how do you have time to do this on your phone when you are working on cars? Well, I forgave him but the memory of that lady in her panties haunts me. I will never look like that but am pretty and smart and sexy. Why couldnt that have been enough for him? There is hope to those of you who decide to forgive…I do feel our marriage is stronger, I have his attention for now and he is running on a treadmill to keep me. This has made me aware that most men cheat and you have to decide how you are going to deal with it. Divorce him or forgive him. Even if you decide to divorce him I suggest highly in forgiving him as it will grant you a peace with it I cannot describe. Yes, it is wrong but move on if you cannot deal with what was done to you. You are the only one who can decide if staying is worth it or not. I will pray for all of you and hope my story will help you.

  6. I have been married for 9 years aND have constantly found my husband looking at porn texting other girls, even found a ad on Craigslist once for some one to have sex with him, although he claims a friend put up the ad as a prank, I have never fully believed that since the words in the ad sounded like him and how would his friend now his personal email address and be replying to the ad. I even once found an email to another girl saying he wanted to be with her, but he stated that was a mistake aND didn’t knowant what he was thinking when he said it. This is all through out our marriage aND now we have two kids, I still catch him looking at other women and going on the chive and instagram looking at images. He says he will never stop looking at other women because he is a man and that’s what men do, all men do it so if I can’t deal go marry a priest. I just feel so worthless, I do everything a wife should and I’m still not good enough, he has to look at other women too. I believe cheating in your mind can be just as bad as the physical kind because of the emotional damage it can create. I pray that everything works out, but I just feel like my husband is settling for me since he feels he can’t have these super models so he just imagines that I’m them. I feel this will always be a struggle in our marriage and I pray for the strength to make it through…

    • Hi Jessica,

      What your husband is doing to you is awful—common, yes, but still awful. Yes, “that’s what men do,” but they don’t have to. I hope the above article was helpful to you, but if you’re looking for more information, this free e-book might a great help to you in this situation.

    • All I can say is what you look like doesn’t matter a bit. I have been 5’6″ and about 115 lbs since I was a freshman in high school. I could be one of those girls in undie magazines. but eeewww. I’m not the type of girl to wear tons of make-up or wear little jean shorts. I would say my “sex appeal” is a bit conservative. I was raised in a catholic environment, and understand lady like behavior more than the average woman in 2014. But what other women do can’t be stopped. They will wear short skirts and too much lipstick and too much temptation. They will pose and take horrible pictures for every man to look at. Yay!
      I am turning 30 in December and I already I feel like I can never compete with these, lack of a better word, tramps. I have spent the past 15 years keeping my body in shape, and being reserved. I had a 4 year relationship straight out of high school, but he found another girl. I had another 4 year relationship right after that. He became extremely abusive, then I came home unexpected and found three purses on our bed (one with overnight clothes, one with personal stuff, and the other with bath products). There was perfume on the counter in my bathroom. Needless to say, but my heart was pounding out of my chest. THEN, I get involved in another relationship, almost made it 4 years, but he also found another woman. They all found porn, I found videos, pictures, all the needed proof.
      Just last night, my new boyfriend who seemed kinda geeky, turned out to be a horrible offender. His brand new phone he got yesterday ALREADY had a direct link to “dallas adult entertainment” which featured women with ads out offering “body rubs.” I went blank.
      My sister told me I AM ONE OF THE HOTTEST CHICKS SHE KNOWS AND ANYONE WHO WANTS SOMETHING ELSE IS CRAZY. Coming from her, it was an honest compliment, because she has always said she was jealous of me being tiny.
      Men are gross. Being a man does not make it okay to be so disrespectful. We are women and deserve to be treated with more class. We are not live in porn dolls for fantasies.
      To the women who take the pictures, shame on you. And to the men who look at them, big shame on you.

    • Hey Alison, I think you’re absolutely right–it doesn’t matter how beautiful you are, that’s not what the problem is here! Unfortunately, pornography is so incredibly prevalent these days that hardly anybody isn’t impacted by it. I think we pretty much have to assume that guys ARE looking at porn, and then look for the signs that THEY are willing to deal with it. I wish that we didn’t have to deal with it, but this is how the world is right now.

      One of the things that we KNOW happens when guys look at porn is they do start to be more susceptible to cheating and acting out. Again, that’s not about how you look, that’s about the process of addiction.

      The good news is, guys CAN stop. They CAN get better. They have to do the work, though, and that takes time and a lot of effort on their part.

      Meanwhile, you’re left with a lot of hurt and anger at how your trust has been abused. I’m so, so sorry that you’re having to deal with this, and I WISH our culture, especially our church culture, was more open and supportive to everyone involved. I’m glad you found us here!

      I wrote an article for girlfriends just a couple of months ago. I don’t know if any of that will help you in your next relationship, but I hope so! Please let me know if there’s anything else we can do to be a support to you.

  7. I have done something awful which I feel makes me as bad as my husband. He doesn’t work so I get up early, put in a day at the office, come home to work in another business at home, keep house, pay the bills etc. I get really tired and in truth I’m not well. Of course my husband is not tired – he has all day to do what he wants but doesn’t do much to help out. When I go to bed I’m tired out and I can’t remember when I had a day off to myself to relax.

    Anyway, recently he has either stopped coming to bed with me or comes but then gets up again. This means I leave him sleeping in every morning when I go to work which I am coming to resent and then of course he is not tired at night because he has not been up so early. A few times I have got up and gone to his study to find him looking at porn or quickly shutting something down when I walk in. I became suspicious and so I put some keylogger software on our computer. I feel bad about this but I was fearful of what he was doing when I wasn’t there.

    It seems he is not actually meeting anyone but he is chatting on a number of websites in a sexual way. It has also revealed some things about him I didn’t know he was into.

    I felt I needed to know the truth but now I have found it in this way I feel it places me in the wrong and I don’t know how to confront him. The fact that I bought the computer, pay for the electricity that runs it and pays for everything else in his life made me feel like I had some right to know what was going on – not to mention that we are married and the promises her made to me.

    I have tried having a conversation that if he worked, even part time, did things in the house while I was out etc I would not be so tired and would have more time to spend with him, but he just got angry, made an effort for a day and then went back to the computer.

    I love him and want my marriage but I am not prepared to have him spend his energies on other women and not me.

    • Hi Juliet,

      It would be easy for anyone to minimize what you’ve done in the light of the greater offense your husband has been committing. Make no mistake: his is most certainly the greater offense. What he’s doing to you and to your marriage is deplorable. At the same time, you are sensitive to your own shortcomings in the matter, and I don’t want to tell you to ignore your conscience.

      I would approach him this way. “I’ve walked in on you while you were looking at porn on the computer, so I installed a keylogger to see about the extent of what you’ve been doing online. I know that probably upsets you because I’ve spied on you, and I should have asked you what you were doing before trying to snoop around, so I’m sorry that I handled this poorly. If you want to talk about the issue of privacy in our marriage some time, we can talk about that later. But right now I want to talk about what I’ve seen in your behavior online that has disturbed me…”

      If he wants to make it about you spying on him, then I would say this: “You are right that I shouldn’t spy on you. That’s why I intend to leave all the devices in our home monitored with your full knowledge. The last thing I want to do is snoop, and the last thing our marriage needs is me keeping a secret from you. And it is precisely because I think these kinds of secrets are a bad thing that I’m worried about what you’re doing online. Your private conversations online that you’re intentionally keeping from me offend me in ways I cannot even describe…”

      If he protests you monitoring him, say this: “I understand you want your privacy online, but at the cost of my trust? I know what you look at online and your insistence that you be allowed unmonitored time online only deepens the distrust that you’ve earned. I want to trust you again. I want our marriage to thrive. But to do that, you need to earn the trust that you’ve lost.”

      These are, of course, just my thoughts and just the beginning of the conversation. There are a whole host of other issues at play here: (1) the fact that he’s basically trampling all over your vows by watching porn, (2) the fact that he doesn’t have a job and is lazy, and (3) that he insists on you picking up all the slack around your house. These all need to be addressed as well.

  8. I also have a husband who looks at other women online. We have been dealing with this for over 8 years now. I suspect longer. The first few times I caught him, he swore he would never do it again. I prayed that was true. However, I found a series of exchanges between he and another woman whom he had never met, a Craigslist ad, and a few other things, and everything was so explicit. I felt so defeated, dirty, and unloved. He sought help, but I feel now, that that was only because I caught him. I thought I had forgiven him. I figured, God has forgiven me for the multitude of things I’ve done. Who am I, not to offer my husband that forgiveness? Just a few weeks ago, I found that he has been looking again at images online. How do I know when enough is enough already? We have three children and I couldn’t bear to see our family broken apart, but I also am tired of the hurt and disappointment, and feel so broken. I’m not sure I can go through this again. It is truly heartbreaking.

    • Oh, Renee, I’m so sorry for the pain you’ve been living with for so long. I think your situation has a number of complicating factors–like all situations!

      One of the first things that stands out to me is your husband’s ongoing struggle. I wonder what kind of support he’s getting? Addiction is a tough thing to beat, and willpower is generally not enough. Here’s an article with some practical suggestions and spiritual principles as well that might help him. I think that even with the best intentions, recovery from addiction is a long road. It’s primarily his road, too. He has to take responsibility for it.

      The second issue I see here is the question of boundaries: when is enough, enough? That’s such a personal call, and everybody handles that differently. There’s a book I really like, a free download, called Hope After Porn, that you might want to check out. It’s four different women sharing their stories of boundaries in their marriages.

      The third issue you raise is forgiveness. We forgive freely, like you said, because God has forgiven us. Forgiveness is free. But TRUST is EARNED. And it’s earned by trustworthy behavior over time. You can forgive AND have boundaries!

      You’re right, Renee. This is heartbreaking. May the great Healer of your heart hold you close today, as you walk this road. Thanks for letting us walk with you.

  9. Thank you so much for your reply. I sit here in tears because after 18 years of marriage, I feel like it’s all been one big lie. I pray that sharing this with him will help and I am grateful to you for your help~

    • We know that the truth sets us free–but it scares the heck out of us first. It’s so disorienting to find out that there are these huge things you don’t know! But no matter what, God’s got you. That’s the thing that never, ever changes. I absolutely believe there’s hope. Not in particular outcomes, but in the Love that never lets us go.

  10. I caught my husband of 18 years watching porn videos,naked pics of women, vaginas sent on whattsapp,romantic messages sent to one woman.he claims these are sent by male friends Itemized phone bills show he phones @least 3 same women every other day( a coworker& widows). I found an empty condom packet in his car & he claimed he was masturbating. ive always known him to be a christian. He phones these women even after midnight. When away he phones them and they chat for minutes. What can i do. I feel so angry,empty,no intimacy. He is in deep debts. So he often says thats why he is always aloof here @ home. when i talk to him& tell him im stressed he says i need to change the way i think coz he loves me & has never cheated on me. How can i trust him? He locks his phone. He doesnt chat with me on whattapp but chats with so many women on email& whattsapp. Pls help. There are three kids here. He doesnt want us to go for counselling. Recently in church he preached about davids sin & admonished us that we need to repent like david. I asked myself if this was what he does wonderd why he had chosen that text when im there

    • Hi Sibo. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. There are a lot of red flags waving frantically here. I know that deciding what to do in a situation like this is scary and confusing. I wonder if you’ve seen the free download here, Hope After Porn? It’s stories from four different women about how they handled those decisions and what the process looked like for them. Here’s the link to another article that talks about what kinds of boundaries are reasonable to have. Trust is a big question, I know. And here is what I would say: TRUST IS A GIFT WE GIVE TO TRUSTWORTHY PEOPLE. It sounds like your husband is not trustworthy right now. I think the “repent like David” sermon may have been just what God wanted you to hear, because it gives a picture of what real repentance looks like: CHANGE! Repentance doesn’t just mean saying “I’m sorry, please trust me.” Repentance means turning away from all the bad choices and making new good choices. It really is possible to change. It takes a lot of hard work, but it’s possible. If your husband is interested in that, here’s an article that might help get him started. It sounds to me like you could use some local support while you’re going through this. If you’d like to look into counseling, the American Association of Christian Counselors has counselors throughout the country. You can search for help in your area here. I hope those resources help you think through all this. Please let us know if you have more questions.

  11. Hi, I feel for all of these women here and I pray that we all find the peace and the comfort we need to get through all this and for God to work in us as well as our husbands. My husband and I got saved 6yrs ago and we married a yr after we got saved God really changed us so much the words cannot explain. 2yrs ago I found my husband going on escort websites and he was also looking at innapropriate youtube videos of women in panties, or big boobs, etc. I felt shattered, I was mortified, and hurt I didn’t know how to confront him, I held it in for months while I conitnued checking his internet searches through google etc and everyday it made me crazy! it got to the point where I would consume all my time and energy at work checking up on him, his internet searches, his phone records etc. I was a basket case, my job productivity fell & I was more and more distant from him, everyday I got up to go to work my stomach was in knots thinking of what he was going to look at that day. I finally said enough was enough I had to confront him, I counseld with my pastor and told him everything and he helped me get through with scriptures prayers and how to approach him etc, well when I approached my husband all I said was “is there something you need to tell me have you been doing anything you shouldn’t be doing?” please be honest with me! & he right away spilled the beans and confessed nothing ever happened with any escort he was just “browsing” and apologized, blamed it on his back injury and my lack of trust etc. he asked for forgivness and said he would come to me if he ever felt a certain way or needed prayer. Well, from that day on I knew that if I didn’t “Let go and Let God” I would be consumed and proabably end up in a nut house bc it was just too much for me to handle, i finally surrendered it all to God fell on my knees and prayed & asked God to take this burden from me, I pray every day and also did the 31 days of prayer for my husband, it’s been almost a yr that I haven’t looked at his search history or his youtube acct. although sometimes in teh back of my mind I have that fear, I quickly pray and ask God to rid me of that anxiety and fear and his Love is always there to help me through. I don’t know if my husbands still looking at videos, or searching for escorts & at times I want to check to see if he has, or sometimes I get negative thoughts in my mind but that’s when I say the Bible says God will never leave me or forsake me so he’s Got this! I need to let go and let God! ever since this happend I got so much closer to God and he’s helped me change to be the helpmeet for my husband. Continue praying for me and I will do the same for you all. A good book to read also is “created to be his helpmeet” God bless you all.

  12. I am blessed to have come across this. I recently found that my husband was not just watching porn which I had known about previously but looking at women’s ads online. When I confronted him he was entirely apologetic and starts he will never look at porn again, that he never meant to hurt me. I want to forgive him and trust that he means what he is saying but also feel that maybe he is confessing and apologizing since he was caught red handed. I’m lost and with no clue where to go from here.

    • Hey Desiree. Well, I’m glad he was apologetic and says he doesn’t want to look at porn and doesn’t want to hurt you. But, I think he probably has a fair amount of work to do if he really wants to make that happen: practical steps like monitoring/filtering devices, and personal steps like accountability. He might do well to join a group like Celebrate Recovery; actually, that might be helpful to both of you. As you think through where to go from here, you might find this list of articles helpful. And you might also appreciate our free download, Hope After Porn, where a number of women talk about their experiences in similar circumstances. I also like Henry Cloud and John Townsend’s book, Boundaries in Marriage. Have a look at those things and let me know if they help at all. If you find you need more support, you might want to look for a counselor in your area. I think the American Association of Christian Counselors is a great place to begin that search. Blessings, Kay

  13. I feel kinda bad to even complain because my situation is not that bad but I still need guidance to deal with it. I found a hooters swimsuit calendar on my husbands desk at work and when he saw I discovered it he said I see you found that… I said yeah it’s ok. He said no I know you don’t like it. I said no it doesn’t bother me u prob need a stress reliever since u have to deal with angry customers and uncooperative co workers all the time. He said I don’t look at that stuff, so & so put it on my desk and I told him he was going to get me in trouble. That was the end of that conversation. So next day he said I told so & so you got so mad & almost slapped me. Then I told him what u really said… So I said something like that’s what he told his wife that you put it onHis desk. Then my hubby reiterated and said I don’t care anything about looking at those women. Ok so two weeks later he wanted sex, he said I need a stress reliever, I said u got one on ur desk at work. I guess i prob shouldn’t have said that. But I did, and he no I put that in the back of the file cabinet. Basically he says for the chance when he might stick a pic on a box for when someone opens it for a shock and a laugh like the old stale biscuit in his desk someone left. But he did mention he may look at it once in a while. So I said I thought u said u didn’t. So now I’m starting to sound jealous (because I am and it does hurt). But then he said he didnt really want to look at stuff like that because ive shown him how it affects women in a negative way. So now I don’t know that to do. Because he is having the right heart about it but still his it and may look once in a while. Why does that still hurt so much? I wish I really didn’t care. It’s not a actual porn or at least not hardcore. He is not trying to talk to women. Should I let it go? Yes I should… but then why should I have sex with him anymore? I’m not the fantasy. What good does me having sex with him do? For me it’s too painful. Thank you.

    • Well, Cindy, it sounds to me like the issue isn’t really the calendar. To me, it sounds like the relationship is where the problems are. There’s a lot of emotional dishonesty in this story: it’s okay, it’s not okay, lying about your response to it. And then, after you’ve said it’s okay, you won’t have sex with him. It sounds like you really were upset.

      It’s perfectly fine for you to feel how you feel about this. My concern is that the two of you aren’t able to be honest with each other about it. Why is that?

      And sex is just a stress-reliever in your relationship? That’s another concern. Best-case scenario, sex is an expression of the intimacy between two people who love each other.

      I think you guys need to figure out what’s really going on here, and I would suggest finding a counselor near you to help you work through this.

      Blessings, Kay

  14. Kay, if I were to be honest and say “hey that really hurts,” then I am likely going to be labeled the nagging jealous wife, which is unattractive and will only push him to look more often & as a, well, stress reliever from having to deal with the nagging jealous wife. And besides, we had the honest conversation of how it makes me feel a couple times in the past after seeing his collection of playboy, yet he still has that old collection but I don’t know if he looks, doesn’t seem to but is a hoarder… & now has the new stuff, what good will putting my heart out there to be vulnerable do? And for background, I had the same basic experience when I was 19 (im 41 now) finding my bf’s porn magazines and I was so upset and cried. He promised to throw them away. A few months later I found them again and the exact same one because he said here is that magazine you found before. And then looking at it globally so many men look at porn without a second thought, yet they still love their woman. So I’ve learned that men can’t or just don’t give that stuff up. Somehow I have to learn how to forgive my husband. He does love me and he has expressed his perspective on it has changed since our original conversations about it. He says he realizes how disrespectful it is to women and doesn’t want to be that way. He says if someone shows him a dirty pic and he tells them he has better at home or he might tell them they don’t need to be looking at that at work. He tries to encourage a professional, respectful atmosphere. He has tried to reassure me but unfortunately I’m a bottomless pit of doubt. I just wonder what I’m supposed to do, if anything at all. I don’t understand how if he does look at the calendar how he can then still want me. I feel if he looks then there is no way he can possibly want me or love me. Maybe he can love me like a friend but that’s got to be it. And if he wants me it can’t possibly be as much as his favorite sexy pin up girl. I don’t think I should say anything to him. If i start talking about it i will want to get inside his head and ask too many personal questions. I better let go since we already had the discussion in the past. I know, go to counseling. We do need that and I want to. At the moment, I deal with it by trying to keep it light. For instance I have said in the past if you look at another girls boobs then I have to show someone mine because you gave your attention to someone else therefore to even it out I need to get someone else’s attention. He laughed. And then yesterday I told him oh by the way you go ahead and look at your calendar girls because today at work a man told me my hair was beautiful so it’s all good now. And he laughed which I was glad because I don’t want to treat him bad about it. We have more important things to worry about. But we do still need counseling because we aren’t connected and we don’t have chemistry and we might have sex once a month. We have only been married a year and a half. That’s not right and it’s sad but that’s the way it is. I know you can’t solve all our problems but thank you for listening.

    • Wow, it makes me sad that you’re afraid to express your pain in your marriage. I hope that relationship can become a safe place for you at some point! Yes, counseling :) Blessings, Kay

  15. We are both first time married and not planning to got pregnant on our honeymoon. We never have had chemistry but we feel God brought us together.

  16. Thank you so much for writing this. It has really given me peace and a sense of where we are as a couple. I am so glad that you have included scripture for each section, many articles do not. God’s word is the only thing that I can trust to be 100% true. God bless you.

  17. I need your advises. We’ve been married for 14 years and we have two sons.The first time I found out that he was watching this porn movies I confronted him but as always he tells me that ” it’s a man thing”. I leave it that way for so many years though the pain I felt of knowing every time he is watching it is a great betrayal. Instead I gave him love and understanding. Until one day I found out a more painful than those porn movies. Things got worse, He took videos using his mobile phone with those girls unaware in public areas such as malls and public transport. I have the evidence but I chose to keep it to myself. I confronted him and he acknowledge of doing it but no reason of why he did it. I am really now in pain and struggling with depression. I can’t bring myself to trust him again. please help me.

    • Hi Natasha. I’m really sorry for the pain you’re experiencing in your marriage. It is concerning that he’s moved on to filming people in public places. That to me would indicate an escalation in his habit, and a need for more risky behavior on his part. If you suspect that he is involved in criminal activities at any point, you can consult with local law enforcement about ways to proceed.

      It sounds like confronting him has not be successful so far, and that’s very sad. I think under the current circumstances that you describe, it would be very unwise to trust him.

      I want to suggest that you get some help for yourself, as you process through your emotions and decide what do to. A personal counselor could be really helpful. There are groups like Celebrate Recovery that can help, too. Sometimes I’ve even had wives who’ve gone to AlAnon, because that’s what they could find in their area–and it’s been quite helpful. Reach out for help. Blessings, Kay

  18. I would love some advise ….
    I’m recently married. I’m struggling with my husband’s love of “Chive.” I woke up in the middle of the night lying next to me scrolling through the Chive feeds. Most feeds have at least 1 picture of half naked women in them. This is the second time I woke up next to him seeing him scrolling through pictures. The last time was within this last year, & he was pausing to enlarge & get a closer look of he big breasted ladies. Later I found that he saved pics of women to his phone. Since i spoke to him about it the first time, he says that he no longer saves pics to his phone. Each time this happened, I felt a sinking sick feeling in my gut, a racing heart ….& absolutely crushed. He has told me over & over that he doesn’t look at Chive for the girls, that it’s for the funny pics & videos.
    He shared with me a different time that in his previous marriage he was addicted to porn. He sought counseling, and hasn’t watched porn since.
    He is extremely private with his phone and laptop. I don’t have passcode a to either. As I really don’t want to ‘check up on him,’ I really feel uncomfortable with him being so private. I’ve readily shared my passwords when I’ve needed him to check something for me, without a second thought. He finds it strange that I’m so open.
    I’ve shared with him the way it makes me feel when he looks at Chive or if he looked at any other ‘adults’ only site. He feels I’m trying to control him & states, “you said when we met that you weren’t that kind of woman. That you didn’t care what I looked at.” I told him that I didn’t know that it would bother me or make me feel physically ill and so sad.
    I’m feeling so stuck, because he becomes so defensive. I feel a lack of trust in this department. I don’t know if it’s unfair, as I’ve never seen him using porn sites, ect. Although, this makes me feel just the same.

    I want a healthy relationship. :(

    • You want a healthy relationship. Good for you!!!!!

      Your husband just may not know what that looks like. That doesn’t mean he can’t learn, but it will be up to him to take responsibility for himself and make that effort.

      It actually sounds to me that he may be kind of a ‘dry drunk.’ Maybe he’s not looking at what he defines as porn, but it sounds to me like he’s got some work to do on underlying issues, because he’s still got the defense mechanisms and some of the behaviors in place. (I just wrote an article about defense mechanisms on my own blog, which you might find helpful.)

      I think it’s really courageous of you to have these conversations with him. Keep thinking about your boundaries, what you really want in your life, and keep expressing those things to him. Ask him what he really wants out of the relationship, too.

      If you haven’t read Dr. John Gottman’s Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, I’d highly recommend that. It comes at the problem of marital intimacy from a bit of a different perspective that I think men find less intimidating than “tell me what’s on your heart.”

      I think a lot of guys really don’t know what they can have. They don’t understand what emotional intimacy really is, or how soul-nourishing it can be. They’re taught to avoid emotions many times, and porn just reinforces that way of thinking and living. It takes a lot of work to get healthy. It’s so much more than not looking at porn, but I think a lot of times guys don’t feel very competent in emotional areas, because of the way we socialize men in our culture. Sex is pretty much what they’re allowed to do…

      Hang in there, and let me know if those things help. Kay

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