About the author, Chris McKenna

Chris is the Covenant Eyes Educational Resource Manager. Chris has a BA in Accountancy and Spanish from Western Michigan University. After 12 years in business advising with Ernst & Young, God led Chris to a full-time student ministry role. He started protectyoungeyes.com in 2015  as a ministry to equip and educate parents and teens on the latest gadgets, apps, and how to use the Internet well, which led him to Covenant Eyes. God works in unexpected ways!

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Overcome Porn: The 40 Day E-mail Challenge

Parenting the Internet Generation Ebook Cover

Find freedom with Overcome Porn: The 40 Day E-mail Challenge, a step-by-step action plan designed to help put porn behind you forever.

28 thoughts on “Dear Porn Addict, This Is Your Wife

  1. As the spouse of an addict in recovery, this is absolutely true. However, it is MUCH BETTER to know than to keep it in darkness where it thrives and grows. Recovery can’t happen in secret. Please tell your spouse. It is harder when it is discovered. I know first hand. Still, recovery is not only possible, it is happening in my life. Thanks for the great article!

  2. Well, we gave my husband’s CE protected phone to my daughter b/c she moved out of state and she gave him an unprotected phone she just used for internet and she said promise me you’ll give it to mom. To back up a little, we’ve been separated in the home for 2 years now and this is his fifth relapse. I found out about the phone about two weeks after he got it. I finally got CE back on it and just got an email that he tried to look up three porn sites 2 during work.

    I know the last month we got into two wicked fights. He’s still sleeping in the other room. He said he’d go to Celebrate Recovery and get a sponsor and I’d work things out but he doesn’t go and has no inclination to work on his own recovery. I’ve backed off as of two years ago.

    I told him I’ll just stay married to him until our youngest is 18 b/c I’m just done. I don’t think I can ever love or trust him against b/c as soon as he gets a chance, he goes back to it. He said something about the wifi not working at work and I wonder if he got into trouble or they blocked him IDK.

    He has a government job and could’ve gotten fired and he has a full time job with bennies.

    He won’t got to CR unless I go and when I confront him about it he just picks a fight. I don’t think he’s really repented in his heart.

    I don’t even want to confront him tonight. I just want to file for separation and be done with it. Most of them don’t quit and that’s what I was told by a PA sponsor and 2 separate Celebrate Recovery meetings.

    • And the I first found out at Christmas time 2006. He’s ruined all holidays and the last straw was my birthday. I does OK with CE on there, but he hasn’t gone to CR but a handful of times in over 2 years.

      I can’t always go b/c I have fibromyalgia.

      One guy said by the time a guy is forced to go to CR, the wife has filed for separation.

    • I’m so sorry, Anne. What a painful reality.

      Whatever your husband chooses, I hope you’ll choose health and healing for yourself. So many women meet the clinical criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in situations like this. Find a counselor just for you who can help you process emotions and live within healthy boundaries. You might also appreciate the online site Bloom, which offers all kinds of support for women recovering from marriage betrayal.

      Peace and healing to you, Kay

    • Dear Anne. I know the pain you are feeling. I realized that after 30 years of marriage my husband has struggled with this since before we met. After I found out we too lived apart in our house. I did not want a divorce, but could not be with him, right? He was never faithful to me. He cheated with those other women. Then he almost lost his job over this and realized he had to do something. He started Celebrate Recovery. He is a changed man. He has had relapses, but he repents and starts over. Because of the changes I see in him I went to CR and by the pwer of the Holy Spirit I am a new person too. We are working side by side as CR leaders now. It has changed our marriage. The damage was done to our romantic life, don’t know if that will ever come back, but everthing else is new. So I say all this to give you hope that change is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. But hear this: your husband has to be the one to decide it’s time to change. You can’t force him. Pray for his heart to soften, and for him to realize he needs to change. Pray pray pray. God bless you.

  3. Before any sexual sin is exposed, the husband often engages his wife sexually in disinterested lust. She feels like a sex object. Once exposed, she finds herself living in the nightmare of betrayal. The horror is that deceitful hearts, with the aid of technology, have brought sexual into the home. Previously, it existed outside the home.

    • That’s not always true. My husband doesn’t have any interest in sex b/c he gets his jollies off of porn. Any sex the last fourteen years is always initiated by me.

  4. I identify with the comments of these wives. The other problem with porn users is that they lose the ability to empathize, or never had it in the first place. My husband doesn’t get the pain, if I bring it up ( even something like this article) he turns into the victim and accuses me of being unforgiving.

    • True repentance always leads to a husband entering the pain with the strength of new found spiritual leadership, and striving to be spiriually and sexually mature. Anything less, at its best, is just behavior modification and spiritually, relationally and sexually unsatisfying. Real change is internal, but eternally is a shift from false intimacy to real intimacy.

    • I’m calling an attorney tomorrow to ask about separation and how much it costs in my state.

      I’m DONE.

      He’s already messed up one child. She’s got an eating disorder and is living on the streets with a drug and alki problem with a BF who is in jail. And I stayed for the kids. My son was crying yesterday that his dad never praises him.

      They become emotional and sexually anorexic. I bared my anger and soul tonight and asked him why does he do it? And he got up and said he’s tired and has to go get wood for tonight. He said he’d sleep in the van if we separate. Fine with me good luck, it’s going to be 25 tonight.

      It’s just not worth staying IMO. Most of men (and women do it too) don’t change. I’m not going to hold his hand and say here is a list you HAVE to do to stay married to me. I already told him verbally. I had my daughter sign a contract to stay in our home and she kept doing drugs and lying to me right to my face.

    • I can so relate to the “my husband doesn’t get he pain”. My husband has multiple times accused me of not forgiving
      because I have not forgotten the times I have caught him. He never ever confessed on his own. I always had to catch him or find out and then ask. He never denied but never came clean on his own accord. The betrayal is hard and the hurt runs deep.. Been married 25 yrs and 23 of those he has actively searched out porn via internet and tv/movies.
      He would have periods of faithfulness, I would build up trust in him only to be let down again and again.
      Now I do not trust him and not sure if I can, makes it hard to build a relationship. I try but it seems so superficial, like a business kind of relationship instead of intimate.

    • Anne – please don’t lump men and women together by saying that people don’t change. People do change and refusing to believe that sells short the awesome power of God.

  5. The Bible says he who says he has no sin is a lie. True enough pornography is revealed through usage of porn sites etc. However, we all have things we struggle with unless Jesus is commenting somewhere on here. If we had a celebrate recovery for pride, for telling lies, for anger, for jealousy, for covetousness, for attitudes, for envy, for greed, gluttony etc. Maybe we could see that none of us are perfect and just as the CR counselor said “they never change”….well I guess neither will any of us bc we will never escape this flesh until we are dead.

    • The CR counselor (who went to jail for child porn) didn’t say “they never change” he said that my husband was blessed that I was willing to go with him b/c usually by that time, the wife has filed for separation.

      The leader of my group was divorced b/c her x watched porn and still does. She said statistically, the odds aren’t in our favor.

      Most of the women in my group whose hubby’s were porn addicts didn’t stop and they divorced.

      I’ve given my husband ten years to quit and change. And I finally caught him AGAIN, this time at my birthday in 2014 and separated from him and said I’d be willing to stay if he did the hard work of going through CR and serious recovery.

      Now he has a hard time talking about it.

      The sins you listed aren’t adultery which is in the 10 commandments. His porn habit has devastated me and I’ve read articles that once the marriage is destroyed, Satan starts in on the children. Even though he has CE on his puter/phones, he’s an emotional and sexual anorexic so I’M STILL BEING HURT.

      It’s a good thing we live in the state of grace b/c in the OT, adulterers were stoned…in public. That’s how serious God takes the sin of adultery.

      And each time I catch him, I go through the whole cycle of PTSD, insomnia, crying, hurt, anger….I can see my life with him not changing and I don’t want to wake up in 2026 and have wasted another 10 years.

      He’s depressed, tired and cranky and not open to REAL recovery and that’s what makes me hold back my heart.

      I’ve warned him not to look at porn again and he did. I have to follow through on my threat.

    • Hi Anne,

      What a very sad situation to live with for so long. It breaks my heart to hear of the trauma that you’ve suffered. I agree with you that there’s so much more to recovery than “not looking at porn.” The ability to connect emotionally in marriage is really what matters more than anything. As you’ve noted, he’s not happy either. I’m wondering if you both have counselors who are helping you to process your emotions and work on good emotional health beyond “not looking at porn?” Whatever your husband ends up choosing, I hope you’ve got good support for your own healing.

      Peace to you both,
      Kay

  6. So first he lies to my daughter and doesn’t give me the phone right away. That’s two people he lied too. Then he uses it for weeks before I find out. Then he’s reluctant to let the phone go and erases his history. So I get CE on the phone and he forgets and looks up five thing of porn before they are blocked.

    He doesn’t even bring it up. FIVE relapses in 2 years and no real work on recovery.

    Why should I open my heart after he’s hurt me time and time again?

  7. Well, here’s an update. I’ve moved him out of my room permanently (yes, I’ve waffled and let him sleep in here) and told him next week when he has time off to move ALL of his clothes out.

    He think “recovery” is just not looking up porn. I clearly laid out my boundaries of CR and a sponsor FOR life. And he hasn’t done CR but a few times.

    After talking to him tonight he just got up and said I’m tired and I’m going to bed. OK then.

    • I’m so sorry, Anne. Recovery is really hard work, and men in our culture are taught not to know about their emotions (Be a man!), much less feel them (big boys don’t cry!). Men are also taught that it’s inevitable that they will act out (boys will be boys). Add on top of that a church culture that surrounds sexuality with shame and it’s a perfect storm. Surfing For God is a book that he might find helpful, if he’s willing to read something.

      The best marriage book I know of is The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman. It gets past the “not looking at porn” into the real work of marriage. Based on the best research out there, it’s well worth reading for every married couple.

      Peace to you, Kay

  8. Thanks Kay for the recommendations, but I feel like I always have to remind him to read our books together or pray together. I’d like to see him lead the way.

    I’ve/we’ve tried therapy and I had one therapist who told me to just “move on” from the porn.

    He said he’ll go back to CR but I already told him two years ago what my boundaries were. I didn’t write them out, but it was clearly understood what he had to do.

    He’s a total stranger. He used to listen to me and praise the kids. The youngest two get hurt b/c he’s always telling my homeless 19 yo who is prolly still smoking pot and drinking that he’s proud of her. My son whose love language is words of praise cries over this.

    He’s constantly on the go now. And I’ve noticed that he drank a WHOLE bottle of wine in two months and he never drinks. We just bought it one day b/c I was sick. I hate alcohol.

    I’ve printed out articles, bought books/tapes …etc. I’ve decided to let the toxic person go and give my attention to myself. He’s responsible for his recovery like you said.

    Lately, I’ve just been so angry and saying words I never use. I fight depression constantly.

    He’s like a robot with this emotions. He doesn’t hug, kiss me or the kids anymore and that wasn’t him pre-porn.

    Just like I had to let go and let my daughter end up homeless b/c of drug use, it might come to that. For now, financially, I’m stuck.

    Anne

    • It’s so sad to see the devastation that porn causes to relationships. Whatever he chooses, YOU choose to be well! Peace to you, Kay

    • I’m very sorry to hear about the devestation that has happened in your family. I was *that guy* wrecking havoc in my marriage. What it took for me was years of counseling and healing from the inside out. Porn was just one symptom of the true cancerous disease eating away at my heart and soul. Praise God that He is the best surgeon around! Thank God that he didn’t answer my simplistic prayer of immediate, overnight healing. God knew that would never last. And He knew that the level of invasive surgery necessary would kill me. Instead, He took my hand and we went deep, into the many, many deep, dark pains that drove my learned coping mechanisms like porn. I experienced God’s deep Love and Grace. The kind of Love and Grace that false gods (and even my wife) can never provide. And I learned that I had valid needs but I was totally taking those needs to the completely wrong places. This led me to trust. Which led me to risk being vulnerable. Which led me to seek Life by connecting with God and others. Perfection is no longer the unattainable bar. But why look at porn when my valid needs are now being met in God-led ways? There’s a reason why more people don’t attempt this level of healing. But I stand witness that it can be done. And it all starts with Christ.

  9. As a recovering porn addict, I can tell you men have no clue what we’re doing to our relationships and future relationships. We have no clue because we’re completely blinded by our selfishness. I’ve learned over time how to see my wife through God’s eyes. This takes two things: A willingness to change and consistency. As I went to various men’s groups, I let Jesus work on my heart. He can change things around.
    Today I see my wife as my girlfriend, partner, teammate, wife and lover. Am I still selfish, of course! But now I KNOW that and I’m aware of it. I like my new self and how I see my wife. She’s amazing! What’s even better is I see all the time how God will love me through her and there’s no imaginary woman, fantasy or website that can come close to this amazing love.

  10. As a man celebrating five years of sobriety from a thirty year old struggle I can say it worth it guys. I promise, there IS freedom. You just have to want it.

    Reading comments like the ones in the post break my heart everytime…now that I’m clean and fully understand the devastation porn has on love, intimacy, trust and everything in life. We men must become men of integrity!!

  11. I have read all of the comments above. Some ask the question – Why? I can’t speak for others, but let me tell you why I succumbed.

    I was brought up in a nominal Christian home (my mother would be horrified if she knew I said that!). I credit my salvation to my maternal grandmother, who I have been told prayed for everyone in the family every day till her death in 1981.

    All through my life I have been bullied. If it wasn’t my father, who often disciplined me and my brothers violently, and only stopped when he was exhausted, it was uncles and aunts always keeping a controlling eye on us and telling us what to do. There was never (and I mean never!) any love expressed. Discipline was always in anger.

    There were the school bullies as well.

    After being in the Baptist denomination in Australia for the first 22 years of my life, I joined an independent Baptist church. The senior pastor can only be described as a manipulative, controlling bully. Although the teaching at the church is very good, the standard was such that you could never satisfy him. No one ever measured up. He trumpets the Biblical model for restoring relationships, but is too proud to acknowledge when he himself has offended others. That is another story altogether.

    For about 20 years whilst in this church, my oldest brother was also in the same church. He was yet another bully. Frequently, the best word I can use to describe my brother’s “exhortations” for me to live a godly life would be “ferocious”. He was yet another person whose expectations of me were unattainable, and I was always, always beneath just about everyone in his estimation.

    At 31 years old, one day I just gave up in my heart. I even said the the Lord, “Lord, I am going to watch nudity”. That was the beginning of my big, long spiral fall. At first it was just pictures. But then it progressed to videos and got progressively more depraved. Proverbs 27:20 says, Hell and destruction are never full, so the eyes of man are never satisfied. I have proven that verse to be true in my own life.

    After 25 years in the aforementioned church, including 20 years as the church secretary, the final straw came when a man touted for the position of church elder bullied and intimidated me because I opposed his appointment to the position because I didn’t think he was suitable. He subsequently said to me that he had considered opposing my reappointment as church secretary. Read into that what you will. At this point I became so demoralised that I just blurted it all out at church one evening. I now have no ministry, no testimony, and no hope. I hate life, and I say that to myself many times everyday.

    I don’t justify my actions, and as with many who have stated above the impact on wife and family, my wife and four grown children are living with the perpetual fallout of what I have done. I know that the Lord has a purpose for my life, but all I see is blackness. I feel like the leaders of the church are like the lawyers of Jesus’ time who laid heavy burdens on people and would not lift one finger to help. The church is supposed to be known for its love. How I wish that were true in practice.

    I realise I have been a bit long-winded, but I hope that helps answer some questions as to why so many people fall into this insidious snare of Satan. Maybe the Lord will use this to cause many in the church to resolve to demonstrate love and understanding on a consistent and determined basis.

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