An Open Letter to Wives of Porn Addicts

open letter to wives of porn addicts

On behalf of myself and the other husbands addicted to porn, I am sorry. We have given your place to another and it is wrong. You knew some men struggle with this; you just didn’t think it would be your man. There are no justifications for our actions. We try to justify, but these are only excuses.

I am sorry we’ve blamed you for our addiction. Instead of owning our actions, we have gotten defensive and angry. In time we may realize how far away this is from the truth. You’re not to blame. It is not your fault. We chose to turn away from you and God to follow the lust of our hearts.

I know this is painful for you. The person who stood before many people and professed his faithful love at the altar has betrayed your marriage through porn, lust, and lying. You did nothing to deserve this behavior, no matter what he tells you.
We lied, thinking we were protecting you from a situation we couldn’t handle on our own. Always thinking we’d get clean, we just needed a little more time. But the lies still hurt and the problem still grew–and damaged–like a cancer.

I am so sorry for how you found out. Maybe it was expected, but you really didn’t think it was this bad. And when he told you, or more likely, when you found out–he turned it back on you. He started talking about your sex life or your appearance or something else—anything else—to distract you from his sins.

Even our confession is a double-edged sword. We feel better, but you feel worse, because now you know. Our burden is lifted, and we act as if we did something great in telling you. However, you just got buried by our garbage.

You are shattered and bleeding from a thousand cuts—and then we ask, “What’s wrong.” We are blind to the pain we caused you. How many times have you stood by us when we were hurting? Why can’t we do the same for you?

And while you try to recover from this, we get impatient.

  • Why are we still talking about this?
  • Why don’t you trust me?
  • When are you going to let me off the hook?
  • How much am I going to have to suffer?
  • Aren’t you over that yet? I said I was sorry.

It hasn’t even been a week, or a month, but we want you get to over it, because we are still concerned with our image. We don’t like looking bad. We tell you to see the good in us and stop focusing on the parts we don’t like. And if you don’t get over it according to our time table we make subtle threats as if to say, “If you don’t get over this soon, I may have to turn to other women again.”

We have abused you through our actions. We have made you doubt who you are. We have turned your reality upside down and made it all seem like your fault.

If any other man had treated my wife the way I did, I would have hurt him—I would have hurt him badly. But I did disastrous things to cover my sin and protect my image.

In the midst of this, you feel like you should have known. The questions haunt you: “How could I not know? What did I miss?” You are being crushed under a weight of questions and self-doubts with little hope of relief.

In some ways, it is even crazier than before we confessed. So we give the ultimate slap in the face, “I guess I shouldn’t have told you!” again making you wrong for your reaction, proving we’ve missed the whole point of confession—of healthy love.

And when you take the risk to ask us how we are doing in our sobriety, we get more defensive and impatient. You don’t know if you have a right to ask. You are being told, “You just have to trust me,” even though we haven’t done anything to rebuild your trust.

And you shouldn’t trust us. Our actions have shown you in big bold letters, “We are not safe.

Yet many of you carry the weight alone, afraid to tell anyone what you’re going through. “What will they think?” and “How will they treat me?” loom over you like a black cloud.

We’ve done things no one would believe if you told them. Or will they just stare at you, with a hand covering their mouth, thinking:

  • How can you stand it?
  • Why did you stay?
  • Are you that stupid?
  • What’s wrong with you?

And you really don’t know why you are staying. Sane people wouldn’t stay to deal with the insanity of contradicting confessions and denials.

I also want to apologize for those other people who have told you, “It’s no big deal. All guys watch porn,” or “Boys will be boys!” It is a big deal. We made you a promise. We told you we would have no one other than you. But we did, maybe in the physical form of an affair or just through our lust over women in porn.

It may be difficult for you to hear my apology over all the voices telling you it is your fault. I know my wife heard it from pastors, counselors, and therapists how she should have more sex with me or have more faith in God. They never sat with her in the pain of my betrayal. Even though they were well-meaning, many of them had no idea how to respond without blaming her indirectly. I am so very sorry. We have become a tool in the hand of the enemy to destroy you, our marriage, and our family. We thought we were better men than this, but the truth is we are selfish beyond reason. You deserve to be treated so much better.

I am sorry for how long this process will take. It will take years to undo this damage, and you will continue to have doubts. It’s not fair. At times, you will feel like all of the cards are stacked against you. Many of the resources available to you will tell you how you’re co-(something), another way of saying you’re to blame.

You will work really hard to fix things, to heal yourself. It will feel like pushing a boulder up hill: really difficult work with the constant fear it will roll over you on the way back down.

I cannot apologize enough for what we’ve put you through. We lied to you. We gave into our lust and replaced you in our hearts. We dumped all of our sins on top of you. We blamed you for our actions. You, our beloved brides, are victims of terrible betrayals. My words aren’t nearly enough to express the sorrow I have for our actions–our choices.

I am sorry. I am so sorry for what we have done.


Jay Pyatt is a Certified BraveHearts Sexual Integrity Mentor. He wants men to get free from porn, live a bigger life, rebuild trust, and have great relationships. Read his blog Porn Is Killing Me. Jay and his awesome wife, Lori, live in Kalamazoo, Michigan.