Hope After Porn

Hope After Porn Ebook Cover

Porn use (and even adultery) doesn't always mean that a marriage is over. Get this free e-book to read how four betrayed wives found healing for themselves and for their marriages.

27 thoughts on “Shattered: A Letter to Wives After the Betrayal of Pornography

  1. Thank you so much!! You don’t know what it meant to me to hear a story of someone else who is actually living on the side of victory. We are only 13 months out, but praise God we are on the side of victory.
    Again, thank you for the encouragement!

    • You are the reason I write! I know God has placed a desire in my heart to encourage other women. I feel like I am walking this journey to complete healing and victory with you and the other wives out there. Yes, Praise God for victory in HIM!!
      Blessings,
      Jenny

  2. Hi. I want to tell you that your article on the betrayal of porn was outstanding. I have been so angry and upset over so much in my life…since the summer of 2008. My husband has had so many job issues, etc. Then “guarding” his computer…actually once lying down on it when he thought I was on to something.
    The lies, the deceit..the never ending “That’s not mine”. When I show him a printed out porno youtube page with all the filth on it. IT IS CHEATING. I recently found once again in his history not only porn..but a free adult website where he can visit–get this–any woman in the world online in their homes…these ladies are all nude ladies who have web cams from home and want to have sex chats. What the heck huh? I mean really now. PORN IS AN addiction and is a mental illness. My husband used to be darling and so nice…he has been abusive over the past two years…due to major debt/joblessness/and then I find him (snuck home at times during the day) masturbating to porn or to a pretty woman on our tv set! The addiction is the demonic something or another…..it is so creepy. I compare it to an alcoholic ……….but WORSE. It is so insidious/ie. hidden. The perfect looking dad, four beautiful kids…wearing a polo shirt and taking his sons to scouts then all sickly during the day when everyone is gone. Actually it is quite sad.
    I have been trying to reach out to God….then get this……….suddenly he goes to church more and twists and turns everything on me. I think he has no only online cheated on me but in real life. He is SO not the man I married. I need to leave him …..but I am finding it very hard as he tries hard to turn it on me. Not the porn…ha…he denies…denies…ahhhh the DENIAL IN and of ITSELF is part of the major part of this disease PORNO!! Denial. Denial. It is so sad.
    He will call me and “unfit” mom……and once even was in a psychotic moment (he will deny forever) saying “your endangering our children”…I was working full time cuz he was on a frigging computer all day long………..and he in a delusional moment accuses me of endangering my children as I was getting my coffee in the kitchen and he was on his “lock down” computer. (oh sickening…locking everything..how does he even live with himself?) I had to call in sick to my job cuz he was nutso. He then jumped up and called the police on me! I quickly grabbed my cute boys and beelined outta the house! Far away…………….he actually–yes–my porn addict called the cops on ME! I am a professional MD and work in the healthfield. I think to myself I must be losing it. Geesh how long can this go on? Why did I not leave after him doing this? I went back….and over the past 4 yrs. no job…then a job…………then computer B.S. UGH THE LIES. It is all maddening.
    So tonite I was stressed and somehow stumbled upon this wonderful ariticle of “hope”. I go to alanon and another support group for the mentally ill. My husband has even jumped outta bed grabbing himself saying “your trying to rape me!” I was so scared…later I figure was he seeing a prostitute from a website in me? What was going on? It is all INSANITY. I know that it can and WILL get worse ladies so be careful.
    Yes…trust in God as I think that (and my beautiful kids) is all I have left. I don’t care anymore about ‘things” in my home……my husband can barely hold a job due to his illness that he denies……..it is life altering and extremely sad. pray. pray and then more. Slowly but surely turning to God and “letting go” and “letting God” help me is happening…but it is ultra hard! They do say if your relationship with God is intact that is all you need. Of course health too but God can help you with your life if you let him.
    Thank you to Jenny Sullivan for helping me and for giving me a little extra hope. Some mornings I could barely get outta bed……for my job…the put downs from my husband and me doing everything wrong………the lies………..the phone sex stuff/porno……….all so secretive and debilitating and all blamed on me! But he never admits it which could make one smash their head against a wall…..the guy I once “married” UGH.
    Keep the faith ladies, pray and then pray some more. I no longer desire my husband as he keeps lying that he is not looking at other women. 22 and 24 yrs. old..having web cam sex …and chatting …..it is so betraying and screw the guy who says “all men do it”!!!
    Hope nobody gets to the abuse point/delusional point. Becuz you must go…………..on your terms though. Bless all of you.

  3. I’m losing my hope because I thought we were on the side of victory and found stuff again. How will I ever know if he is truly free? How will i ever know if he is being truthful and faithful? I read the stories of hope and can’t help but be cynical. I’ve been here before. My husband is ashamed and pursuing help and he has never been abusive to me or our babies.He has admitted things to me he never did before. But he did all of this last time. I feel stupid for staying with him. I feel like I’m setting myself up for a lifetime of heartache. I love him and I have compassion for his struggles but I don’t know how I will ever heal if the wound keeps getting reopened.

    • Hi Gwen,

      Your pain is understandable, and your distrust is also very normal. I’m so sorry to hear about this situation you’re facing right now.

      These sort of setbacks can be very disheartening, but keep in mind that a setback does not mean progress wasn’t made. Progress for your husband does not mean never sinning again. This is the case with every issue in our lives. Progress for your husband should be marked by:
      – Your husband hating his sin more
      – Your husband seeking forgiveness and reconciliation more quickly
      – Your husband saying no to temptations more readily
      – Your husband pursuing openness, transparency, and accountability

      Sometimes this progress is hard to see in the light of a recent failure, I know. It is also doesn’t take away the devastation of the failure for you: you don’t see all the times he has a choice in front of him and he chooses not to indulge. You don’t see every time he turns away from the temptation. What others see are his failures, and this is disheartening for you and him alike.

      That said, the main issue for you is knowing what you need to do for your own sanity and for your marriage. I highly, highly recommend you find a counselor or group you can speak to about these matters. If you haven’t already, please seek out support for yourself: people you can speak with to get wisdom and emotional support. I also think you’d benefit greatly from this free video series by counselor Brad Hambrick about sexual betrayal. He walks spouses through steps of personal recovery like no one else I’ve ever seen. It is fantastic.

      I pray you find the support you need, Gwen. My prayers are with you. Please write back and let me know how things are going.

    • Gwen,

      I had to re-check your name on your letter, because I thought it was mine! We have exact stories. We have been on this side of victory several times before, only to hit bottom and barely pull ourselves up again. I was trying to be very careful when I wrote words like “standing in victory”. We are only in victory because of the precious blood that our savior shed for us on the cross!

      We take a big risk. By standing with our husbands, choosing to love and ultimately choosing to forgive, we open ourselves up to being hurt again. There is only one way on this earth that I could do such a thing; it’s with the full armor of God. Is it easy?? No!! Satan continues to shoot his fiery darts my way. On days that I’m feeling weak, those darts begin to penetrate. But then I remember,
      Ephesians 6:12
      “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
      I am not fighting against my husband. I am not fighting against pornography. I am not fighting against my self-worth, or my dignity as a woman. I am fighting against satan!! Please remember that.

      I have a very special place in my heart for you. I am going to remember you in my prayers often.

      Heavenly Father, I pray for my sister-in-Christ, Gwen. Saturate her with your peace. Give her love and forgiveness for her husband that is only found in You. Heal your precious daughter! She needs you now. You promise to be with the broken-hearted. We thank you for your promise. In Jesus name, Amen!

      Love in Christ,
      Jenny

    • Thank you Luke….I guess sometimes I feel like I don’t know what I’m dealing with. My hope is that it is merely a set back but then fear and doubt creeps up inside of me and I feel like maybe none of what we went through last time was real. I see where he did not follow up. I see where there were “holes” in his recovery plan. I know that I took control of some things that he needed to resolve to do on his own. So now knowing what I know about this sin it is no wonder we are here again. But I am really struggling with what hope looks like. The video series you recommended is spot on! And so practical! I’ve only watched the first one but will faithfully go through all of them and I’ve asked my husband to do the companion series as well. Jenny, thank you for your prayers. They mean so much to me coming from an understanding heart. I struggle to be encouraged by your words though because this is a path I do not want to walk. I can forgive. I know God can heal me and I know I need to model my Savior and offer grace no matter how many times its needed. But I”m not God, I’m human and I don’t want this for my family….for the rest of my life. That just doesn’t spell victory for me. We went to a celebrate recovery meeting the other night and while I think it was great for him it was one of the lowest points for me because I was told there is hope but the hope looked like your story. One lady had been repeatedly hurt for going on 7 years. I’m confused how that is hope.

    • Hi Gwen,

      First of all, I would say that your question about what real hope consists of is a great question. To answer you, I would say that our ultimate hope for freedom from all the pains of sin is the Christ returns. Paul writes that, with eager hope, all of creation longs for the day when we will be free from death and decay. We believers also groan, looking forward to that day. We wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children (Romans 8). When it feels like you can’t take the pain of sin anymore, this is a cue to turn your pain into fervent prayer and set your eyes on things above.

      That said, we do receive foretastes of our ultimate freedom. God can and does heal marriages that are harmed by sin. Not every marriage recovers for the same reason that many Christians continue to sin: we haven’t arrived at our final home yet. That said, the hope you have is found in the character of God who has promised He will make all things right.

      Continue to work through that video series. As you do, I highly recommend you find one other person to watch the videos with you (or at least watch them on her own and then talk to you about them). I will be very helpful to talk to others as you learn these truths. I recommend the same for your husband.

  4. This article was so helpful to me, still after eight years of the same lies deceit and denial I feel as though I have zero esteem and zero faith in myself, I do not like who I have become and I never even married this man and now wont. He lies tells me to leave to go do errands just so he can fix his need with piles of porn on his computer and even has several lingerie sites that I have seen him maturbating to, he constantly tells me to stay off his computer and that I can not snoop, he may be right but every time I do I just hurt myself by finding more and more. My heart says after one marriage to abuse for most of my life this is worse as I feel betrayed and lied to and it only gets worse not to mention that he claims to love my ten year old but I wonder if she ever stumbled upon this what would it do to her. I have rented an apartment and because of my own insecurities feel like it is taking me way to long to just hold my head up save my self from years of more porn and deceit and just go. It is like he tells me he loves me but when he is around me I do not feel attractive I feel insecure and before I had so much pride in myself. I know this is my choosing for not loving myself enough to realize there is nothing I can do to change this it is an addiction just like his drinking and pot and before that in his younger years it was cocaine, Please help me before I loose everything to someone who has no chance of changing he does not think it is an issue.

    • Hi cynthia,

      It is good for you to get some distance from him so you can think clearly about this. What does he think about your desire for him not to look at porn? Does he realize that he is losing you and his daughter? Does that matter to him?

  5. Tonight at 1am I sit and read you letter to us with tears in my eyes. I lost the fight in me with my husband. Don’t get me wrong he is trying! I could relate to the living in hopelessness and despair and feeling ugly and sickening throughout our whole marriage. I actually feel numb and he hasn’t done anything . HE just recently got a new electronic that has covenant eyes on it and I just started to feel distanced and numb within minutes. So I cant see now and your right you do feel trapped! I cry out to God… and he is faithful and loves me this I know. I just need someone to love me with out fear of betrayal. Im not sure if I can handle this again……Im not sure if I want to hear another word of advice on what a wife is to do. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    • No advice, just love! There is only one who will love us unconditionally and will never, ever, fail us. We will hurt and fail each other. But Christ never will! I am so sorry you feel hopeless. I am sorry you have been hurt. This is a hard battle to fight, but I pray you don’t give up. We’re on this journey together, sweet woman!
      Love,
      Jenny

  6. I’m struggling today because all trust has been lost in my marriage. We have only been married five months. My husband swore to me that he would never ever look at that stuff again and I caught him doing it again after just a month. I’m in therapy now and don’t know if the trust can be rebuilt. I struggle every day, hourly and minutely what he is looking at. Going anywhere in public causes me to go in panic mode. I just don’t know what to do. I am just so broken…..

    • Hi Damaris,

      Your reactions are actually very normal. Many women suffer from acute trauma when they learn about their husbands using porn (trauma some psychologists say is similar to PTSD).

      First, I want to offer you hope. There is hope for your husband and there is hope for your marriage. There is hope for your own heart being able to trust him again. Yes, it will take work on his part and your part, but that is true of any hurdle in marriage.

      Second, your husband may need help overcoming this temptation in his life. Many men need help. After years of training their brain to respond sexually to digital women, it is a habit (even an addiction) that doesn’t die easily. Your husband needs to take ownership of this problem, recognize it as a sin against God and against you, and turn from it. He needs to take this seriously as he would other kinds in infidelity.

      You would really benefit from reading Porn and Your Husband, a free e-book on our website.

  7. I told my husband after I caught him in 2006 at 2nd relapse and I caught him the first time, it’s either porn or me. That made my husband stand up and take notice. I was NOT going to stay married to someone who was committing adultery b/c porn WILL lead to physical adultery and even worse.

    1. My husband will never be able to use the computer alone again.

    2. We are going to go to a support group for wives of sex addicts and sex addicts. It’s called Northstar Ministries.

    Blazing Graze has a lot of good articles. We also bought Mike Genung’s book. He was a sexual addict for 20 years.

  8. I need help. i have beeb married to my husband for a few months now. its always been hard. he called children services on me and i forgave him even though the allegations were false. even though he was talking to another married woman that hated her husband and was supposed to be my friend. they had a “thing” however far im unsure but always excused, denied, and forgotten. i don’t forget. I pray to God every day for hours upon relentless hours. When will this end. I used to feel so much closer to God my husband is beautiful on the outside, but hideous on the inside. I can’t stand being married to him, but I love him so much. He makes me feel so sick. Im tired of trying and he wants to put it all behind him. im in love with my kids so much, but he only pays care and attention to the thing in his pants. He’s nice to me when he wants to get something from me, but doesn’t work, masturbates, cant keep his eyeballs in his head, LET ALONE ON ME! Im sick and tired. Tired of loving a man that just lies. He lies to me, my friends, people in the community, he slanders me like its his job and has no remorse to prove for it. Show for it? Show for it. I’m tired. I hate crying. God please help us all. PLEASE!!!! :. ( </3

    • Hi Lost – It is so sad to hear about men like your husband who don’t realize how much damage they are causing. What man, when he is young, says to himself, “I want to grow up to be a terrible lover, selfishly taking from my wife what I can get, and enslaved to lust”? No one. Men like this need to wake up.

      Have you been able to talk to someone about this problem? Someone you can talk with face to face?

  9. I don’t know what to do. I met my husband a year ago, I was only seventeen. One night he came to me and said “I just want to be open with you and let you know about a problem I used to have. I used to be addicted to porn and have overcome it and I will never ever betray you and watch it again.” and after 3 months of dating found out I Was pregnant. So we were married. Then a month after I had the baby I find porn on our computer. First he lied and said it must have been my brother. But then he admitted he DID watch it once when we were first married, but didn’t go through with it all the way. Said he stopped himself out of love for me…. So I said I could forgive him. A couple days later he confesses that he did not stop himself but it was just once. Again, I said I am very hurt but will do all I can to make this work…. Then about 3 days after that he comes home from work unexpectedly and says “I’m leaving. I’ve lied to you. I have a problem and I’ve watched porn every day our whole marriage.” I am just so heartbroken… I feel like I wasn’t enough for him. How could he be so selfish? I worked 40 hour weeks when I was 8 and a half months pregnant while he sat at home and watched porn? I still made myself available to him, yet he still watched it. and I feel so stupid for trusting him. I don’t know how to ever trust him again especially because he had first told me he would never watch it again and then hid it for so long… and then lied multiple times before he actually told me the truth.

    • Hi Bay,

      This is awful. I am so sorry to hear about this trial in your life. The picture you paint of the situation sounds very typical. Men who are racked with guilt about porn often will confess “little truths” to friends or their spouse just to relieve their conscience, often in the process telling more lies to cover the seriousness of the problem. Then the guilt from the lying, compounded on the guilt of watching porn, only devastates more. With each “little confession,” more lies are told to minimize the blow. This is the pattern of the addict.

      You are still young in your marriage, but your husband has been into porn for much longer. Perhaps years. He shares the struggle of many, many men. The good news is that he still feels some measure of guilt about the porn and about lying to you. This is at least a place for him to start.

      Does he want to change? Does he want to stop looking at porn, despite his draw towards it? Does he want to kill the control this sin has on his life?

      As for being “enough” for him: the truth is, no woman is “enough” for a man who has trained his brain to respond to digital porn stars. He conditioned his mind to love solo-sex, so sex with you or anyone wouldn’t have been “enough” for him. Porn is a fantasy experience that caters entirely to a man’s selfishness. In the fantasy, the man’s desires are all that matter. The women in the porn are only props. Compare this to real-life sex which is an act of both receiving and giving pleasure. Another way in which wives aren’t “enough” for porn addicted husbands is that they are only one woman. A man who loves porn will often spend hours, searching through hundreds of images, and will condition his mind for variety and novelty. One woman cannot compete with this. If Hollywood actresses and models (who meet our culture’s standards of sexiness) can’t maintain the the affections of their porn addicted husbands, then the problem cannot be with how you look or how you act in bed. The problem is with him and how he has trained his mind sexually. Your availability to him is not the source of the problem.

      There is hope for him, however. He has to want to change. For him, I recommend he get together with a good friend who wants to help and they watch the False Love series put out by counselor Brad Hambrick. It is excellent and will really help your husband to find hope. I also recommend you watch the companion series, True Betrayal. They are free and online to watch right now.

  10. After 26 yrs of marriage. 2 grown beautiful adult married children. I now face this! I have a chronic disease called Crohns. He was caught red handed after my first major surgery. He Swore promised ….lies all lies. He never stopped I don’t believe. I feel betrayed, a waste. And in jo way can compete with the whores on porn. He says or admits it’s bc of my disease, & his “selfish desires” when I physically am unable Due to a flare. It does nothing but infuriates me more. As I suffer you cheat with a porn star in the next room. Dishonesty & disgust fill my heart at what else is unknown. I really need a break to clear my head. But he refuses to let me go. I will have to leave or flee. He will not leave me to think. I feel so brutely broken. I am also a victim of sexual incest from 4-15 yrs old. I am so scared. I feel like I did as a kid. I have been violated. My life is not what I thought it was. I was anovercomer a survivor. I feel no victory of past abuse. I feel abused all over again. Very similiar. Do I throw my marriage away bc he can’t be free from reaccurances of his Porn?

  11. How? How do you overcome the issue of trust? I have to prepare myself for him to come home, to touch me, I have panic attacks, and I no longer want to feel him touching me. I had to set specific days of the week to be intimate so that I would know when it was coming and could mentally prepare myself, and he “needs” it a lot or else he goes right back to porn. I don’t want to be here anymore, I don’t want to be with him anymore, but when I said “for better or worse” I meant it. I honestly don’t know how to love him anymore. It’s one betrayal after another. I can relate to what you said about not being able to breathe, I feel like I just can’t breathe. I believe God’s word, I know He’s here with me and I feel His comfort. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Is it okay to tell my husband that I would rather abstain for awhile until….I don’t even know when. Sorry I’m not looking for sympathy or attention, and it’s taken me months to even consider posting my feelings, but your letter shook me because it’s how I feel now. Thank you for sharing.

    • I am not a certified counselor, so I am choosing my words carefully. The first thing that stuck out to me was when you said “he needs it or he will go right back to porn”. That tells me that he is not making the choice to live righteously and give up his addiction. I want to share with you what my pastor and several counselors have told me. You have the right to make a list of non-negotiables for your husband. For instance, some of mine where;
      -you must have an accountability partner that meets with you regularly,
      – You must have covenant eyes on all of your devices that access the internet.
      – You must have personal Bible study time and continue to grow in Christ.
      These are just a few of my “non-negotiables”. My pastor told me that if my husband refused to meet these or if he broke these again, I had to be prepared to leave. Not divorce, but separate from my husband.

      I would say that you definitely need to talk to a pastor or counselor that can stand beside you and walk you through this extremely difficult time. You can’t do it alone! I also really recommend that you begin watching a free video series entitled, “True Betrayal”. http://www.bradhambrick.com/truebetrayal/
      This is a great series that is bringing me comfort and continued healing. I pray this for you. I am sorry that you are going through this. Remember, one day at a time. You don’t have to wake up tomorrow morning and be expected to not loose your breath.
      My heart is with you, dear woman. Keep looking to God for your strength and comfort.
      Blessings,
      Jenny Sullivan

  12. Jenny,
    Thank you so much for writing this blessing and encouragement. It has been 8 months since we installed covenant eyes on all of our devices. Just now are we starting to deal with the emotional toil that porn has had on our marriage. We talk and cry together as we work through the crap that has tainted what once were beautiful memories of our first year of marriage. We have a long road ahead. I needed a reminder that Christ is sufficient, and I need to lay my burdens down. This blog gives me hope.

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