About the author, Kay Bruner

Kay Bruner has been married to Andy for over 25 years. For 20 of those years she served with him at Wycliffe Bible Translators, working in the Solomon Islands preparing a New Testament translation into the Arosi language. They have four children and two poodly rescue dogs. They live in the Dallas area where Andy works for SIL International, Wycliffe’s sister organization. Kay is a Licensed Professional Counselor with Rapha Christian Counseling. She is the author of As Soon As I Fell: A Memoir. You can read more of her articles at kaybruner.com.

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Hope After Porn

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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.

19 thoughts on “5 Things I Always Say to Porn-Shocked Wives

  1. Kay,
    Thanks for the great article. I sent it to my wife.
    Is there any basic advice you would give me as a husband as far as how I can encourage her?

    And I always appreciate the great comments you have on other posts. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks, Andrew! I think the best thing you can do is listen to her and pay attention to how she feels. Not just about the porn stuff, but all the time. I know that’s hard work, but it pays off big time. I wrote an article a while back about building that kind of emotional trust. It includes a short video from the world’s foremost marriage expert, Dr. John Gottman, that’s incredibly enlightening. If you want to do your marriage a world of good in general, check out his book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. It’s the very best research out there on how successful, happy couples make that happen.

  2. Hi Kay,

    Like your articles but I want you to write one for me that says “girls stop tempting and using sex to get what you want”. Nothing you say is wrong in your articles but the reality is that constantly bashing men will change nothing. Absolutely nothing because you don’t address women. There are billions upon billions of nude pictures and movies of women out on the net. Hundreds of nude selfie sites were women are taking pictures of themselves and posting them for free. That is millions upon millions of vain girls that do nothing but tempt. So telling me I need to be pure is just nonsense when women throw sex in my face constantly. There is a biological component to all of this you know. The sexual drive region of the brain is 2.5 times larger in men than it is in woman. I can send you the research on this. Women flaunting sex is like a crack dealer flaunting crack in front of a crack addict. Now unless God got it wrong with creating humans then we must account for this massive differences in brains. Women must take responsibility and frankly no women are taking responsibility. This is why CovenantEyes will always be in business (lucky for you guys). But if you really want to help out the porn issue —- ADDRESS what WOMEN do. Because right now they are getting a free pass in our society.

    Steven

    • Steven, I’m really sorry, but I won’t be able to take you up on that.

      What you’re doing here is blaming women, blaming biology, and blaming God for your choices. The world is a broken place, and we can’t make it exactly the way you want. Unfortunately, this is one of the lies porn tells you: you can have it any way you want. But the truth is, you can’t make 3 billion people behave exactly the way you want. And even if you could, guess what? You’d still have the pain in your heart that drives this need for porn.

      You’re going to have to figure out what to do in this terrible, imperfect, awful world with that pain.

      What we each do with our temptation and our pain is our own personal responsibility. As long as we’re stuck in blaming others, we’re going to stay stuck in unhealthy habits and bad relationships that may make us feel good for a minute but kill our hearts in the long run.

      The good news is, there is plenty of grace and mercy and help and healing. It’s just never, ever found in blaming other people. And you won’t ever find me writing an article that says so.

      Blessings, Kay

    • Genesis 3. Adam blamed God and woman. You and you only will give account before Jesus.
      The argument It’s that woman that you made won’t hold up. It may be demonic level temptation, or you lack of taking responsibility for your actions.

  3. Kay,

    I am disappointed in your response because you ignored facts. Facts that any of your readers can easily see for themselves and research for themselves.

    a) There are billions of nude pictures made by millions upon millions of women — that IS vanity and using sex.
    b) There is substantial difference in a man and woman’s brain — there IS a biological component.
    c) Women do flaunt and use sex — I can list plenty of websites, tv shows, and advertisements that show this.
    d) God did make us did he not?
    e) Women do have a responsibility to not do born do they not?

    Since you are so fond of telling me what I did — let me tell you what you just did and encourage you to reexamine the shallowness of your faith. What you did here was pass the buck the way Christians usually do. You do not address facts, but cling to some pie in the sky notions and disregard legitimate statements. Now, if you want to claim there is a God and that he is all knowing and perfect, you MUST address the biological differences he made in men and women. You must also deal with the female responsibility in all of this and you must hold women biblically accountable. Again, I and all your readers can see the hypocrisy in your response. It is easily seen and a mouse click away.

    Kay, this is why Christianity is failing in America. The hypocrisy. Again, I challenge you to write an article that holds women biblically accountable. If you don’t, then your entire faith is a sham. Your faith is just convenient for you and you ignore all female responsibility in this. Would you like me to send you the vast amounts of research on the differences between men and women? Would you like me to point you to website after website where women flaunt sex? Would you like me to send list after list of shows?

    Sorry, the old Christian cop outs are not sufficient on this one. Either hold both sexes accountable in the Christian faith or hold none because what you are doing right now is utter hypocrisy. It is not faith. It is just wishful thinking and you are cherry picking the bible to suit your preconceived agenda.

    • Of course human beings, male and female, are out in the world every day making bad choices. That is what human beings do: Christians, non-Christians, everybody.

      Our only course of action is to take responsibility for our own choices. Nobody else causes us to make bad choices. We do that for ourselves. Until we are willing to face that reality, and deal with the pain our bad choices have caused to ourselves and others, we will continue to blame others and be stuck in our bad choices. That is a choice we can continue to make, for as long as we choose.

    • Dear mr. Steven,

      Please consider the following facts, from the stance of researching;

      a) using sex is lust, which is forbidden, it is hurtful, it is love of oneself, egoism within group, always destructive. pictures are forbidden as well, please see the 3rd Commandment, we’d redirect our attention most often in direction of making ourselves God instead of Acknowledging Him.

      b) Thanks for confirming Gods Word true as it exists as long as time exists, there are indeed significant differences between men and women, as the Bible so eloquently describes us. Please let me remind you that men will have power over women (one of those biological differences indeed), which still both physically as socially as economically as emotionally is not just true to this day, against whoever and whatever that wants different, very easily proven. We also see that rather men instead of women are warned through say the Ten Commandments (men shall not look in vein to women), confirming not just again another biological difference, also easily proven to this day a difference about men having more to do with these sexual lusts, women rather care, why Luther said ‘the most beautiful thing in this world is a woman with God in her heart’. We also see this in various other places, another example ‘one of the four riddles in this world, is how a man treats a virgin’. So yea, long before you and your so called science has confirmed it, the Bible told us all these biological difference already.

      c) Who said women don’t have lusts at all? The Bible?
      Jeremiah 3:9 “And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.”
      Ruth 3:11 “And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. ”

      Many thanks confirming the very old Scriptures True.

      d) God did indeed make us, thanks for confirming the Bible again! We see this geneologically confirmed, as our dna suggest we evolve from one pair, women really have one rib less, as the Bible told us about womens seeds (eggs) thousands of years before we found out in I believe the eighteenth century if I’m right. It could have been the nineteenth century as well. You call this an accident? Would you realize that our regular science has never produced something likewise that cannot be refuted? Most often science is refuted within the century. We’re talking about thousands of years here, besides those people writing the Bible back then were from human perspective much less developed as the ‘science’ in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, no?

      e) To not do born? Are you allright? Everybody has responsibility. Besides, do you realize how the constitution is based from the Bible? Do you realize how we have fought for centuries before getting such a constitution and none of our solutions worked as well as this thousands of years old suggestions? Do you realize that we still enjoy freedom of religion because nobody can really discover for others whether God exists or not TO THIS DAY? Even Einstein confirmed that. Besides, thousands of years before your Copernicus existed, this same Bible told us about a spherical earth already.

      So yea, pity that I see a whole lot of hypocrisy, I don’t think you are born with the responsibility of that brain of yours to spew assumptions just like that.

      Thanks for considering, I’d like to welcome some of your real research and true arguments.

  4. Steven,
    You say that telling you to be pure is nonsense when sex is thrown in your face. Well then, how is it that many men are pure? I know many trusted men that are faithful to their spouses in the area of sexual purity that live in the same world that you and I live in. They seem to be able to do it. You need to be mentored by men that are on the path of sexual purity. That is what I am doing. And if you have a body of believers around you, you can share openly and honestly with these trusted men. They will help you to take responsibility and focus your life on Christ.

    I would have to say that if all the porn sites and sexually explicit material went away, and if there was only one porn site on the internet instead of the million+ porn sites there currently are, I am guessing that you and many other men would find it and look at it. You need to be honest about this. As it says in James 1:13-15 says, a man is tempted when he is dragged away by his own evil desire. Then when it conceives he sins. You and I chose to sin. And you and I have the power, through Christ, to overcome sin. If you think this is unrealistic then you need to have your mind transformed, because you are believing lies told by the enemy.

    • Steven is mixing up who is doing the flaunting. This article is for the betrayed wife, who did not post nudie pix. He also mixes up the animalistic urges and the civilized brain’s instruction. Just because I have a hand doesn’t mean I am allowed to murder someone for their gold. Finally, he needs to look up the definition of hypocrisy, which is a person saying one thing and doing another. I don’t see how this applies to anything written here.

      Steven is angry at God and Christians, and I urge him to understand there are very wonderful Christians who behave in kind and moral ways because of the only commandments Jesus gave: Love God with all your heart. Love others as you do yourself. All the other crap ascribed to Christianity comes from the various religions glomming on to the teachings of a most kind and loving man who had the spirit of God in Him.

  5. Steven, I think you have point. I think many ordinary women do not embrace modesty the way we ought to. We do have a responsibility in that area. I was thinking about getting a two piece swimsuit this summer before I get “too old”. I see most women do it and thought I should too. But then I started thinking of how awful I felt seeing my husband stare at women at the beach. I don’t want to be the woman who tempts men to lust. I might feel great and sexy in that suit but if causes a man to lust then I should refrain.

    This is an example of how I need to be pure, considering others before myself and fulfilling the responsibility that God has given me. Likewise, each person must choose for himself or herself if they will do the same. We can’t change other people, we can’t change the world, but we can have the courage to choose to be responsible for ourselves.

    You can find purity even with the world against you. God is for you, and He is patient.

  6. STEVEN,
    Having been a part of recovery programs attended by MEN and WOMEN I can tell you that woman struggle with this topic also, and many of them are trying to heal from the consequences of their own actions AND/OR the actions of others. Have you ever thought that maybe the women that are on those sites or behaving in unhealthy ways are actually in the same boat? Sex addicts or struggling in this area? They deserve grace and forgiveness just as much as you do. I hope you find healing. Women are not the problem. That’s the easy way out.
    Although, I too would like to see more material written about some of the points you bring up, but
    NOT to pin the blame on anyone… to shed more light and understand.

    • Also… I’m not sure what your experience has been, but I have also experienced some very unhealthy, hurtful, unsafe, and hypocritical people and situations in church. I felt my spouses part was minimized, my feelings invalidated, and opinions dismissed. I struggled with trust, betrayal, anger, and pain… But in time I moved on and forward in my own recovery.
      I learned the hard way that I’m responsible for being and finding SAFE PEOPLE and BOUNDARIES.
      I hope you

    • There are absolutely unhealthy, hurtful, unsafe, and hypocritical situations and people within the church. I’m so glad you were able to get past those painful things, and move forward anyway. That is really all any of us can do with our stuff: take responsibility, have good boundaries. Thanks for sharing.

  7. As a 67 year man I have realized I was addicted to porn. I was exposed to porn at a young age, probably 10 or 11 years old. Sex was something I equated with what I deserved, required to live, a reward for me. I was a selfish person, a person that could justify almost anything that lead to my sexual gratification. I was wrong and I am asking God to forgive me. Sex is ” NOT ” life.

    • Bill, it always makes me so sad to hear a story like yours. I feel like you got robbed, at a very young age, of the joy of connection and emotional intimacy. Sex can be a really wonderful part of a great relationship, but when sex is all you have, it’s a poor substitute. I’m just sorry that you lost so much of your life to that. I hope you’re finding help and support as you recover? I think groups can be a great place to work on real relationships: Celebrate Recovery, Pure Desire, SAA. I believe that there is healing for all of us, hope for all of us, redemption for all of us, and very often we find those things in community with one another. Blessings, Kay

  8. Thank you for publishing so many facts, texts about so many real problems, that very potentially teach your visitors about very important reality.

    This is very different than relative useless entertainment news e.g. telling us how any celebrity joins his/her toilet. I’m absolutely impressed by such effort to quality.

    Very, very helpful contributions.

    I’d like to offer you my views in addition to this text;

    at point 3 to my concern you forgot a third possibility of how people can react, it is called ‘acceptance’. Relief is figuring as if the problem is already over, while not taking in account that spouse is absolutely not relieved, as long as spouse is not, it is love for oneself without actually having solved the problem.

    Blame can be two ways. The way you eloquently described is trying to verdict others, this is not so good, sinners, sick people who need a doctor, don’t often blame others. The other way is blaming oneself, I don’t believe so many people can really do that. And the ones that can, would have been protected from heavier sins such as the one sin against the own body, adultery.

    Acceptance, of ones wrongdoing, that it now is not even half past solved and this sudden big problem delivers priority above initially (before discovery) set priorities, in far most occasions, and demands acceptance, in order to Trust. Acceptance does not mean that one does not need to work according to best ability.

    Then I really feel the need to address the following sentence;

    “What we know for sure, though, is that Love never lets us go.”

    Which is absolutely true, once we have gotten Love. Would we have it, we would have been protected against the heavier sins such as this one against the body, proving a different situation. That doesn’t mean that we can still hope and be crushed below the Law, in order to find ourselves completely and utterly powerless, to such extends that we cannot do anything but be brought to embrace He who is standing there with open arms for a long, long time already. Until this moment we are blind while seeing, deaf while hearing. So that we finally really learned that we are sinners, for its the person thats brought to realize that he is a true sinner and sick and in desperate need of a doctor. Those other people feel the reality of sin, though in the bottom of their hearts ‘nobody wanted, not even one’. See, we cannot set ourselves free, we would make ourselves God, we need to be set Free. Hence, Jesus would not have been necessary otherwise. Besides, there is no acceptance of person since His introduction of Mercy bond.

    Thank you very much.

  9. Kay, thanks for your post. I thought it was well written and was especially glad to see you bring up the issue of relational trauma in spouses and their need for recovery, too. However, as a recovering sex addict myself and sexual integrity mentor who’s spent over 4,500 hours over the past 6 years personally guiding SA men to freedom, I’ve worked with a lot of men who I believe make up a 3rd category of men who get caught. I guess you could call them “repentant.” These are men who look at first like your “relief” men in their response to getting caught. The major difference is that they’re willing to acknowledge they have a problem and want to get help. Very seldom do I ever meet a man who responds to being caught with a sense of relief, but then immediately claims that he’s healed by virtue of his being found out. Most often, the problem these repentant men face isn’t so much that they minimize the severity of their problem (although I’ve worked with a ton of these men, too, but I wouldn’t say that they’re truly repentant – they’re just sorry they got caught). The problem repentant men run into is their lack of clarity as to the actual depth and breadth of their problem and it’s underlying root causes. They’ve avoided deep introspection for so long that they simply underestimate the severity of their problem and the damage it’s done to themselves and their loved ones, especially their spouse and children. So while I agree with you that there are a lot of men who are immediately relieved once caught and will often dump a whole litany of their past sexual sins onto their spouse in immediate disclosure with the selfish intention of feeling better themselves, I know from first hand experience that there is a group of men who know they have a problem and really do want to get well. If that wasn’t the case, then I wouldn’t be here today.

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