11 thoughts on “Don’t Ignore Your Marriage After Sexual Addiction is Discovered

  1. I am damaged. My husband looks at other women and constantly denies it. He has a porn addiction and once blamed me for it.although he apologized and explained to me it is not my fault I will always feel that I am less than a woman and not what he wants. I was able to deal with all of this pain until I found out I was pregnant by him again. The emotional pain is unbearable. I tried talking to our pastor but I got the feeling that he just doesn’t understand my point of view. I feel alone and lost and just plain ugly.

  2. I too have caught my husband continue to look at pornography. The rejection is beyond horrible. Every time I have asked him if he is doing it he has gone so far as to swear on God to save himself. How do you trust someone who will do whatever it takes to save himself from confronting his sin??
    B, let me tell you that you are a beautiful woman of God. He hand picked you to be on this earth for a purpose. You and I both need to turn to God and lean on him for acceptance and truth. Hope things get better for you.

    • Thank you Ashley. You are right, I need to give this to God. My resentment is taking over and I am in a bad place. I don’t trust him at all and he has the audacity to be angry about it. He hurt me deeply and doesn’t seem to care. I am literally sitting here contemplating taking my daughter and my unborn child and leaving him today. I love God ,but I can’t understand why I have a husband with a porn addiction and a problem with looking at other women. I can’t go on like this for too much longer, I pray God speaks to me soon because this is too big for me to handle.

  3. Ashley i know just how you feel. My husband has a sex addiction and likes to call phone sex chat lines. I’ve found in his GPS addresses to cheap hotels. He admits after being caught to the chat lines but vehemetly refuses to admit to meeting at hotels with him. I truly believe he has but i have no hardcore proof. And his word nothing to me. I am a recovering opiate addict. I understand addiction and the cycle. I want to give him a chance in his counselling to get well before i make any decisions to leave. but it is so difficult laying next to him at night knowing what he has done and living with the constant suspicions. we have a child together and i really want to give our son a home with both parents. And that he has parents that get along at the very least.

  4. The truth in this post affirms exactly what I have been feeling. This whole idea of “you deal with your stuff and let him deal with his” seems ludicrous at times. For me, the most intense counseling for the couple is indeed for the coupleship to survive the initial crisis of disclosure. After the new reality has been stabilized for the couple, then individual counseling is imperative. I have felt so invalidated in the relational trauma that I have experienced in my marriage by much of the pioneers in the sex addiction recovery community.

  5. I feel conflicted about this because empathy is so often lacking until some recovery is gained. I have witnessed this in my husband and in the stories of many other couples. It just seems to me to do no good to expect a husband to reach out when he doesn’t seem ready or able. It only *adds* to the pain to expect something he is not yet able to give.

    The fruits of focusing more on our marriage have not been good, have not felt right to do.

    I just have to think that it may be different in different situations.

    That said, I am glad to see articles validating a wife’s point of view, so thank you for what you are writing. The trauma is real and is so often minimized. I have felt invalidated by my husband’s therapist and by his sponsor. It is refreshing to feel validated.

  6. Lily, you are right that it is different in different situations. However, I see several couples who both want marriage counseling and are being told they aren’t ready. I see addicts who are ready, but counselors who are brain washed by their archaic training tell them they aren’t because they haven’t reached a certain milestone or “task” in their treatment. Furthermore, how do we define ready? Will an addict ever be eager to do a disclosure? Can either party really ever be “ready” for such a painful but necessary step in order for there to be healing and recovery for both? There are indeed some who aren’t there and may never be. In these cases I believe it is unfair to instruct a wife to sit idly by and patiently wait for him to be ready, especially after all she has already been through. Instead, I tell wives they have choices and I will support them no matter what they choose. But there are many couples who are both willing and able to successfully work on their marriage who are being told they can’t. In my experience, if he is “ready” to take recovery seriously and his actions show that, he is no longer acting out, and he truly wants to stay married….he is as ready as he’ll ever be too work on his marriage, and with professional guidance and preparation (that does not need to take very long in most cases), to give his wife a full clinical disclosure.

  7. I am not sure we are in disagreement here on the basic principles. I fully and completely believe in women having and owning and making choices — not just sitting around doing nothing. I only share my experience that there has been a middle ground time where having parallel and individual healing processes has been *essential* to move us toward being able to work on our marriage. And I felt that decision guided by heaven. Had we tried to work on our marriage before he’d found some grounding and healing, and before I’d done the same, I think it could have ended our marriage. There was just too much baggage and too much trauma (the addiction was only a symptom of deeper spiritual self-worth issues, as is so often the case), and a deep need for us each to find some grounding and healing in God first, and for him to have some physiological healing via months of sobriety.

    I completely understand the value of having a husband give a full clinical disclosure up front. I think that is important. I have experienced having professionals not encourage that and it has not been helpful at all. Still, waiting until the lines of communication could be less cluttered by baggage may not always be a bad thing, in my opinion.

    “How do you know when he’s ready?” I think this is as much of a gut thing as anything. I think women can learn to discern and sense when there is some real recovery, because they live with their husbands every day and see the patterns. There is a real difference when some of that healing takes place.

    I imagine that once you get men to a three-day intensive, they may already have done some initial legwork and by definition be ready (or have a wife who is one step away from done). But perhaps for many there is some process before that. I think it’s important to leave room for that possibility and help wives trust their instincts as to whether they want to take some time to heal themselves from the trauma and observe and draw healthy boundaries that communicate that she chooses not to continue to live with the unhealthy dynamics that addiction and trauma bring to relationships.

  8. It’s been a year since I discovered I was married to a porn addict for 12 years. I have been through marriage and individual counseling this entire year. I stopped the marriage counseling after 10 sessions because I felt invalidated by the therapist and everything was about my husbands addiction. I wanted to escape and focus on myself. My husband relapsed after 6 months and it brought me right back to the very beginning. After a year I am still having nightmares from the videos and images my husband traded for a life with me. I now go through longer periods of feeling like I’m married again but it always comes back and haunts me, the feelings of inadequacy, severe sadness, abandonment, and resentment. I am still not sure I will stay in this marriage despite that my husband no longer engages in porn and is trying very hard to stay married. I feel numb and depressed even though things are better. Thank you Ella from the bottom of my heart for your articles. They have saved me when I feel no one will ever understand what I’ve been through in this secret life that I have to hide from the world.

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