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.

25 thoughts on “6 Common Myths Wives of Porn Users Believe

  1. This is such a wonderful article! You can read the same information over and over again, but some people just have a knack for making it relatable and informative at the same time.

    I especially loved your emphasis on love and the fact that it is selfish for a wife to expect her husband to change for her. A hard truth in the beginning, but one that must be realized. It truly is a (painful but also beautiful) blessing to be able to help someone that you love so much. And growing in faith together is one of the greatest experiences a married couple can have together.

    God Bless you and your marriage!

  2. I suspect my husband is into some internet fantasies. He shuts the computer off every time I go closer to him. He even looks around to make sure no one is watching. I also found emails that he has been flirting with different women who he connects with on LinkedIn. I am devastated! I knew he had physical flirtation with women, but I didn’t know the extent of his addiction. I am praying for God to deliver my husband for Himself. Thank you so much for your encouraging article, I trust that God will set him free.

  3. I agree that they’re all myths except the 6th one. My husband quit porn several years ago. But, I still have misgivings and twinges and pangs of mistrust. I am not sure why but… I feel as though I will never completely trust him again. You see, I trusted him unconditionally, throughout our marriage… with the wide-eyed innocence of a child…that is until he hurt me and broke trust with me. I will never be that all-trusting wife again. Nor do I want to be, for fear of being hurt again. If our marriage vows had remained unblemished, then that deeply innocent, true love, and trust that I had for my husband, would have remained one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. I don’t see how I can ever even remotely regain that kind of trust again. So far, it has not been in my power, to rebuild a completely trusting relationship again, without having some sort of cynicism floating around in my brain. Has anyone else encountered this hurdle in rebuilding your marriage? If yes, how did you handle it? What specific methods did you use to regain the lost trust, and feel confident again in trusting your husband? I would truly love to know, and would appreciate any and all advice. My thoughts to all of you who are struggling through these issues too.

    • Forgiveness is free. Trust is earned. Trust is earned by trustworthy behavior over time.

      So the first answer is: to earn your trust, he has to be trustworthy over time. He has to build a record of trustworthy behavior. His life should be an open book to you. He should never shame you, downplay your emotions, or ignore your concerns. He should be working overtime to make sure that his choices and behaviors are above board, and you’re privy to it all.

      That’s behavioral trust.

      The second answer is: he has to learn how to turn toward you emotionally, rather than turning toward porn. Here’s an article I wrote a while back, and it includes a helpful little video clip from reknowned marriage expert Dr. John Gottman.

      What Gottman talks about is emotional trust, and it really is the heart of the marriage. Too much recovery focuses solely on “sobriety” and behavioral trust–that’s just the first step. The next, bigger, harder step is emotional trust.

      If your husband seems open and able in the area of emotional trust, then I’d suggest that you go through Gottmans’ book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work together as a way to deepen the emotional trust in the relationship. There are also Gottman Certified therapists who can help, if you’re finding it hard to work things out on our own.

      Peace to you,
      Kay

    • Your comments are spot on for my wife and how she feels about me. We have been married nearly 50 years, and for most of that time she trusted me just as you described your trust. Once all of my horrible sin was brought to light and we have both worked very hard and diligently on repairing the damage, she has, on more than one occasion, repeated the same doubts you described about ever regaining trust in me. We have built the trust chain one link at a time, then I my behaviors may fail and several of those links are lost. Nonetheless, we continue to work on it. Her doubts about ever regaining the trust she once had have lessened only slightly. Time will tell if our work with a counselor will ever remove enough roadblocks to restore that trust, or even a significant portion of it. Don’t feel alone. You are not alone. I wish you well with your attempts to re-establish trust.

    • My wife feels the same way. As a result, we’ve been in a 6+ year sexless marriage. I quit porn cold turkey, which was very difficult with zero marital sex, Unfortunately, I’ve been flirting a bit with it lately. It’s been excruciatingly difficult…we haven’t even slept in the same bed for several years. Be careful where you go with this “no trust” stuff…

    • Echoing “Another Sinner’s” sentiments, but from a more fortunate angle…my wife’s rebuilt trust has been one of the most powerful weapons in my battle against lust and porn for the past few years. I blew it big time, for a long time, and only quit because I was found out and thoroughly shamed. But after quitting, the trust my wife so graciously reinvested has been the single strongest source of victory in my life. (Yes, I realize that’s not necessarily ideal, but that’s the state of things atm.) My wife’s choice to trust me again has put me so deeply in her debt that the thought of letting her down is painful enough to stop temptation in its tracks. Please don’t take the possibility of earning that trust back away from your husband. He needs it desperately.

    • Jeanie, I can relate wholeheartedly with you. My husband has been trustworthy for 4 years now but the tinges of mistrust still attack me. I feel I need to periodically ‘remind’ him that one more setback will ruin us and the wonderful relationship we’ve built after 20 yrs of marriage. I think men are bombarded with attitudes from the public that it’s ‘no big deal’ to watch porn, that ‘everybody does it’. I think trust hinges on whether the person who broke the trust actually ‘gets’ how devastating it was to the spouse they hurt.
      I counter my twinges by telling my husband that sometimes I need to talk about the problem (without being accusatory) and that he needs to understand there is no magic time frame in rebuilding trust. I also explain to him that I don’t want anything to jepardize our newfound closeness. Anger is remembered pain and I don’t want to be an angry person.
      I’m sure he’s not crazy about being reminded of his shame but understands now that it’s what I need. Just stay calm and try not to put him on the defensive. He obviously loves you and wants to make you trust again. Concentrate on the good things. I’ve had to talk to myself many times telling myself not to let my imagination run away with me. I do think it’s just not in all of our DNA to ‘forget’. On a good note I’ve concentrated on taking care of myself more and it has really helped. Much luck to you (and myself).

    • I am having these same concerns. I am just becoming aware of my husband’s addiction after 8 years of marriage. This has apparently been going on since before I was ever in the picture. But I too, trusted him with every fiber of my being. Now, I feel like every happy moment we’ve experienced has all been a lie, or at least deeply misconstrued. I thought our marriage was absolutely wonderful. I never had a moment of doubt or mistrust. Now I seem to be consumed by it. He has openly admitted how wrong, how ashamed and how truly sorry he is. He is committed to beating this addiction. Or so he says. But how do I believe him? I want to. I want to help him beat this. I just don’t know how! I feel so helpless! And I am consumed with now trying to keep tabs and track of every thing he does, every website he visits, every search, everything! And to be quite honest, it’s just impossible because if he wants it bad enough, he can always find a way! The only hope I have that this will truly be in the past is to TRUST HIM! HA! I really need help in knowing how to cope with this! Not just for me, but so that I can help him and not drive him further away or even back to it. Any advice from anyone who’s been there will be GREATLY appreciated!

    • Hey Raven,

      I’m glad your husband wants to pursue recovery. Most people need outside help to do that: a therapist, a group (like Pure Desire or SA), some friends to help hold them accountable. You shouldn’t have to keep track of everything, because he should have a team of friends and accountability partners who can help him do that.

      Trust is something that you give to someone who is trustworthy. The only way to know if someone is trustworthy is by their behavior over time. So he’s got some work to do, if he wants to be trustworthy again! He has to work on emotional AND behavioral trust issues.

      Meanwhile, find a counselor just for you, someone who will help you process emotions, deal with the trauma, and build healthy boundaries. Look for a support group for yourself. And check out the online resources at Bloom for Women.

      Be wise and be well!

      Kay

    • As a wife of a pastor that has dealt with a porn addiction, I understand the emotions your wife is going through, however to leave behind an investment that is marriage is only giving the enemy what he wants. I am praying for a fighting spirit for your household. God has not given up on the situation and I pray your wife will not either.

  4. Thank you for the article. As a husband who has felt the keen shame of knowing I have hurt my wife through my addiction I appreciated these insights. My marriage and my family is in great danger. My precious wife will not forgive me and she is pushing heavily and with great speed for divorce. She is avoiding all of the sources we have had who would counsel reconciliation and restoration. On the face there appears to be nothing I can do, say, or change to convince her to stay with me. Prayers from any believer willing to lift up strangers who need them are appreciated.

  5. My husband has been addicted to porn since before I knew him 25 years ago. I never put it together that he was an actual addiction until he got an iPad and I found hours worth of porn on it from only one day of him downloading videos. Then he started joining dating/hook up websites, started seeking out women on Craigslist and texting prostitutes. He says he isn’t an addict, he’s never physically acted out with another women so he’s not committing adultery. He’s been removed from our church because he refused church discipline after over a year of them trying to help him. He’s spent money sending a woman money in hopes of her coming to be with him, all while I was going through radiation treatments for breast cancer.

    He’s mad at me for looking at his devices and blames me for many things that he says is causing him to act out like this. I just feel at the end of my rope with this. I’ve told him to get help with a therapist or counselor. Praying he will seek out one and be open to receiving help.

  6. How do I move on and keep our marriage intact if I can’t even trust him to be alone for an hour?
    I don’t want to live with him right now.

  7. I am having problems with Eric my husband. Found Porn on his computer 2 yrs ago when I was trying to get a food handler permit online. Said he quit, forgave him trusted him again, then 6 months ago he had an ipod touch loaded with porn movies, I saw it with my own eyes. and his other devices. Today he said I had not seen that, tried to make me crazy that I did not see it, and I did. Said he doesn’t do it anymore since he knows it hurts me. Just 5 days ago I found a flash drive sitting on his desk. I looked and it is a port star called Nikki, triple z size boobs. It was so discouraging. I need to see a counselor soon. I think it does not affect me as I cant do anything about it.
    He is very IT smart. so anything I do to find it, he will know how to hide it. as I am not as computer savvy,.

    He has done Porn for 33 yrs now age 60, I though aging would take care of it. Him being 60 woudl have less desire.
    help

  8. I agree with the statement “it’s not your fault.” We are always responsible for our own actions.

    But, the Bible does warn us in Corinthians not to deprive each other from sex because of our weakness. In my case, once child 1 came, my wife lost interest entirely. We would go weeks and weeks without sex.And, because of this, it created issues and stress between us. Sex became something that was better off not talking about. So, when I turned to porn because I wrongly felt entitled for release, it was still my fault, but my wife was not utterly devoid of responsibility.

    The Lord has blessed us, brought us closer and we are learning to battle together but this took a long time.

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