Hope After Porn

Parenting the Internet Generation 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.

40 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Wives of Porn Addicts

  1. Thank you Jay. For your boldness to confront your sins and share hope with us. For saying words I always wanted to hear but never did. For giving validity top all the wives who dream of hearing these words that they are possible and THIS is what repentance looks like. Thank you.

    • Amy,
      I know in some ways this may feel like “too little, too late”. But I wanted to offer some words of healing. There is not enough being done to help our spouses heal and I am grateful that Covenant Eyes gave me the opportunity to send this out.

    • Thank you soooo ok very much for this. I can’t even explain to you how much these words meant as I read them.

  2. Wow!!!! This article hit spot on! After my addiction was first brought to the light, it took me years before I was ready to really repent. I did the justifying, excusing, blaming, and lying game. I made my wife feel like she was crazy, and she took a beating from others who she reached out for help who judged her and blamed her for being part of the problem. Thankfully, I was practically dragged into professional counseling which opened up my eyes to my denial and which helped to release my shame so I could move forward. Also, thankfully, the counseling program we went to (with Affair recovery) knew not to blame the spouse and guided us to build empathy, safety, and intimacy back into the relationship. Our marriage is flourishing after 3 years of hard work, so know that there is hope!

    • I am really glad you and your spouse found healing. It is possible, but can be very hard depending on the approach.

      As you said, there are well meaning people who do more damage to the spouse and the situation. My wife, Lori, does work to help the spouse as well. Her site is a good place to start: pornpainhealed.com.

      Thanks for your comment and willingness to share.

  3. Wow, thank you so very much. You have no idea what a breath of fresh air that is in the crazy making messages from the addict AND the recovery counselors and books. I might just print it and read it daily to help keep my sanity. Thanks!

    • I’m going through this he has been caught once again third time and promise this time conversing with these women of what he wants to do with and to them we’ve been married 26 years and every time he calls me stupid for being upset because all guys do it … I’m completely confused and heart broken thinking about letting him suffer a bit by leaving……

  4. I really appreciate the time and effort you took to write this article. It is filled with an incredible amount of truth for the betrayed. Unfortunately I went through so much of what you described. Two things that were very difficult for me to deal with was the lying that distorts your reality and causes you to doubt your own reality and who you are. And the other are the flaming arrows of friends and family while your hit with one of the most painful betrayals in life. You can see how easy it would be for some women to pretend it’s not happening and not seek help when they are faced with taking so many hits for trying to face this cancer head on. I was thankful for the encouragement I received when I finally reached out for help from people who truly got it and understand. It was affirming to just have the courage to make the call be acknowledged. So much to work through and many people to forgive. I’ve learned so much and am thankful for all the ways God has worked in my life, marriage and family. He is more powerful and bigger than porn!!!

  5. Thank you so much for completely understanding how I feel. I didn’t get that from my husband. I got the blame. Am still getting the blame and don’t know what to do but your letter has given me hope. And that is something else I never had before now so thank you

    • Wow, I am touched by the impact this had on you. I hope you will get to read my response. You are not to blame for his actions, no matter how convincing he sounds. Please reach out to me or my wife, Lori, and we will equip you for what you are going through.

  6. Thank for your confirmation, Jay. Yes, Pain that Hurts and Changes us

    Does one need to go daily to a prostitution, just because it’s next to his house? — Porn pop-up Pest?? Why infected & addicted, instead of Immunity? — How far is it from off-line to live (cam/ real)? from addiction to STD? — just 1 click far? or just 1 thought far (~1/1000sec)? — Healthy mind, healthy body — What ever reason/ justifying, black & black (cheating & lying/rage scenes) won’t make white:

    – It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe/ situation, that lures him to evil ways – Buddha
    – When a deep injury is done to us, we never heal until we forgive (and move on) – N. Mandela
    – Be the change you wish to see in the world – M.Gandhi

  7. THANK YOU for giving me a tiny bit of hope in the darkness. It’s been over a year since I found out (this time) and there is so much more that I don’t know that he hid and lied about through the years and he still won’t call a counselor or read the 10 books I bought about this. There is always an excuse, yet he ALWAYS found time for them, or should I say him. Even not coming home to help with children when I was only sleeping 3 hours a day acting as a single mother while he “traveled/worked” or when I was pre laboring with our baby and supposed to be bed resting. The health of me or his children didn’t compare to them. They were always more important! We can’t even turn on the tv, walk in a grocery store or go to the park and watch our children play their sport without being triggered. Yet they act as if nothing is wrong and there is no problem any more. While most of us can’t go to a meeting or read a help book without it swaying to his side giving glorious details as to why he couldn’t control his lust for them. Esencially telling us why they are so much better than us. Why this is really jist our fault. The world seems to look at us like we arr the problem, he’s just a man. There is no escape for us. I know, it’s been almost 20 years since he became an adult and gained access to the adult world. I was there the entire time, just not worth it. However we are the real adults, the real women that raise the families (the ones having to teach our little boys how to be real men since our husbands can’t lead by example or teach them) the women that hide and clean up your messes without so much as a glimmer of respect. Just resentment and blame. Thank you for acknowledging us. No matter how much we give (everything and then some) our men always want more. Men are no longer the men we saw in the generations before us. They are objectifying cowards, pathetic leaders, instant gratification seeking selfish little boys. They say it’s because they can’t deal with what life has thrown their way and they need to escape. Well if we can deal with life, work, family etc. and all their mess without ever getting an escape from it then it should be easy for them. We chose to stay and deal. It is a CHOICE to make, they just always choose them. I fear for all our daughters that already deal with the little boys watching porn in our public classrooms. Being compared to fake digitally enhanced objects instead of being seen for their own Godly beauty. Begging parents for vaginoplasties and breast augmentation because they think something is wrong with them. All because porn is teaching the next generations of men that “that” is beautiful. No wonder the super bug STD’s and ED have come into play, maybe it’s God’s way of survival of the fittest. Maybe he is weeding out the sinners, since they can’t seem to help themselves. They can’t choose to be a part of a real life because reality isn’t good enough to them. I thought my generation had it rough from the “curiosity of the internet” as I was told. Now with the instant gratification only a second away or a new downloaded App I’m afraid all hope is lost. I pray for a better future but over the last 20 years I’ve just seen it getting worse. Thank you for listening as this is the first time I’ve spoken up (sorry it was so long) and been heard. Thank you for reminding us that they broke their vow. For admitting that we are the ones damaged and left behind. Thank you for acknowledging us as the ones being mistreated and disrespected since the world doesn’t. We need to change that for the next generations sake.

  8. I can remember the first time I discovered his issue. I worked full time and was trying to finish my nursing degree during night classes, in 1991. During those years the men would circulate VHS tapes I sat down exhausted from work , college and raising an infant and toddler…the red light on the VCR was on then I pulled out the tape and discovered His issue. Decades went by the hurts continued the pain became unbearable and eventually bitterness turned to hate then abuse. We divorced at 24 years yet I never forgave myself I carried all the pain and blame. There were months of no affection and a horrible night of abuse led me to my own issues…. and I left. I hit rock bottom my pain was so severe I wanted to take responsibility for it all. God was calling me and I opened my Bible It took months for God to heal me I forgave my husband and begged him to allow our family a second chance with God. We remarried on our 25th anniversary. Unfortunately his Issues still crept in. Now I just discovered he’s had problems for 5 years with ED of which I again thought it was my fault we hardly ever was intimate. Yet the few times we were he’s been borrowing viagra from friends. After God entered into my life I realized these truly are His issues not mine. I’m free of self inflicting pain caused by others. I forgive him but I no longer have to forgive me… it was his issues from the time he was a teenager and the consequences are ours to overcome.

    • I am so sorry to hear this for you. And why are you still blaming yourself? Please get out of what is an mentally abusive relationship. He borrows viagra?. That’s because porn addiction leads to ED. Get out !your now blaming yourself again, I’m so sad for you. Forgiveness is a must for you, but keeping him around is NOT.

  9. Thank you, very insightful. It helps to know that it’s normal for there to be blame and mention of an unsatisfied sex life. It is going to be extremely hard moving forward after a comment that has hurt and embarrassed me deeply.

    • I am so sorry for the painful comment you received. I have made some myself, eventually my wife worked through them.

      You don’t have to go through this alone. Lori, taught me what she needed and helps other women to find the same path. Please reach out to her. lori@pornpainhealed.com. Watch her interview on the Covenant Eyes Facebook page. She was interview back on March 1, 2017.

  10. My son is a porn addict. Where can I get help/info to deal with it as a mother. He is going to a support group but I need help to deal with my emotions and how his addiction and behaviour is affecting me. It is painful in a different way.

  11. I have been so broken.Like hard to breath.
    My husband is a pastor.
    He has deeply hurt me.
    The Lord directed me to his cell phone around 4 am.
    He had a deleted his history. Then I asked myself why??
    I woke him.Four days of pulling it out if him.
    I am wounded. I am emotionally raw.
    He chose these videos and images for weeks at a time.And got caught.
    He a month later said he knows after all these years he was never born again.All out friends and family are shocked by his porn.Its as if mother Teresa would do this…too much to digest.
    I’ve fallen into God’s arms for his mercy and grace. I’m worn and vulnerable. I believe I’m disgusting and can’t even look at myself, for feeling shame and guilt. Even if he did this.
    The eyes I called beautiful, that I once trusted.Now knowledge if them on countess porn.Is an image of his eyes fixated on beautiful perfect bodies. I will never compare.Suddenly I feel embarrassed of even my good traits. And ashamed of ever feeling beautiful. Because I was NEVER enough…

    • I am so, so sorry, Jeanette. There are so very many men in ministry with these same habits, and so many women suffering these same feelings. I say that not to minimize what you’re experiencing, but to confirm with you that you are NOT alone. And also to thank you for being courageous enough to write these words, because so many women in your situation feel trapped into silence by the ministry and the church. Thank you for speaking the truth.

      I want you to find a counselor, just for you. Someone who can help you process these emotions and create healthy boundaries. You might look for a group in your area for further support. And there are wonderful online resources at Bloom for Women that should be helpful as you recover and heal.

      I hope that as the shock wears off, you will realize that you are the precious, valuable, beloved image-bearer that you’ve always been. Your husband may not have been able to see that all the time, but God does. He sees you, he knows you, he loves you, and that love will never let you go. You are enough, just as you are. That has always been true and always will be true. Breathe through this pain, and find the truth again: you are loved, you are safe, you are chosen. Nothing separates you from Love. Nothing. Not even this pain. Love is here for you, every minute.

      Peace to you,
      Kay

  12. My husband was doing so much better. As far as I know, he hadn’t “slipped” in months and I had hoped beyond hope that it was over. He’s just gotten a new job and is away from us until our 4th child is born and we can all move to a different state together. Just found out he’s been lying to me and his accountability partner about his continued addiction. I’m going through this grieving process all over again. After nine years of marriage, part of me just wants to call it quits. I’m so broken-hearted….again.

  13. Jay, You are a hero to the men to help them see the excuses, and lies, and the deceit, listened too from the enemy, and then the covering up, trying to palm it off as nothing. You have done something most women need; validation of the betrayal they have encountered. Well done for writing this letter. I am not a married man, so this doesn’t apply to me in relationship with a partner, but does give me a perspective of preparedness, of which I will have no excuse once I do find a wife. This does, however, apply in my relationship with Heavenly Father. What excuses, lies, deceit and cover-ups do we put forth?

    I would challenge, with respect, any woman who reads my comment, not just Jay, to write a letter that mirrors this of women who have betrayed men because of their addiction to porn. We seem to somehow always make this a one-sided situation, and I believe the honesty of women needs to come forth.

    Men have copped a lot of attack, and yes men have been wrong, but let’s be real here and see this from the other side; the side of men having been betrayed.

    I have this one question: Why do women get caught in the trap of porn? What is the real excuse?

    Thankyou for reading. Shane

  14. This comment will not make it past moderation. My link to the Bas Rjiksen video was entirely apropos. Since you obviously have no interest in different points of view but only in statements that reinforce what the writer says, I will infer from that a complete lack of reasonableness on the part of you and your editorial staff. No comments will be made in the future. I will leave your hermetically sealed intellectual bubble intact. I consider the open letter gratuitous moral grandstanding, white nighting, and virtue signaling. Behavioristic accountability methods either work for both men and women or work for neither. Do not advocate accountability unless you are willing to set up groups for women as well. Otherwise, it is misandrist hypocrisy.

    • Mitch, my apologies for not addressing your comment sooner. You left 24 hours between your original post and this one where you express distrust in our moderation process, which isn’t very much time, but nonetheless, I hope you will see my comment about the Bas Rijksen video. I thought his insights were informative and helpful. I appreciate you sharing it. Covenant Eyes fully recognizes that there are women who struggle with porn addiction. Our lack of resources for women who struggle is not implying that we don’t appreciate the fact that women struggle, any more than Garnier’s use of women in their shampoo commercials implies that men don’t need to wash their hair. Jay’s particular speciality is working with addicted and post-addicted men. Dirty Girls Ministry is a wonderful resource for porn addicted women. I hope this information is helpful for you and you feel willing to continue commenting on our content.

      Peace, Chris

  15. I have spent four years now battling finding out how to get over what my husband’s porn addiction cost me personally, as well as our marriage. The devastation, intense pain and lonely despair it has caused me has, at times, made me seriously believe suicide would be a better answer than being alive being so disappointing in so many ways to my husband and family now while recovering from this type of betrayal.

    I have read countless articles trying to both “self-help” and send information to my husband in hopes that he would sincerely “get the message” and become the man I need him to be now for me. Nothing has worked. No conversation has worked long-term. Sometimes, not even the same day. And, nothing has quite hit the nail on the head of being able to explain how I truly feel now as a person after his betrayal. Until now…

    Thank you, Jay, for all you wrote herein. THANK YOU. While, I wish it was my husband who said all of this- every last word exactly, it was at least stated at one point by someone who is truly remorseful and isn’t afraid to state or show that to the entire world if need be. I have tremendous respect for that.

    I am not sure that after seeing every behavior, and hearing every one of the words you mentioned happens with this above in my own husband – and believe me, even more than you stated, that he is truly remorseful as I am still going through all these with him to this day four years later. I feel like I need to let him go so I don’t go through this anymore with someone who will still make excuses to be like this to me. I stayed because I vowed to love him in good and bad, and I feel like if I leave I would just be protecting myself from further pain instead of honoring my vow to love him unconditionally. But, it is so so hard. And, I truly am on my last straw with trying. I have no esteem and strength left. None. I feel beyond worthless now.

    Your words here though have made me feel like at least there is somebody out there who gets me and what I am going through with such precision it brought me to tears. Some were tears of shame of who I am now and that there are people out there who know people like me exist. Some tears were for hope that someone truly understands and doesn’t think I’m crazy, or immature, or vindictive or only acting hurt but not really hurt, whiny, or impossible to please for how who and how I am and what I want now. Mostly, I wept with gratitude.

    I feel like I deserve a husband like you. But, I live with someone who makes me feel I don’t (often even says I don’t). I’m not sure what to do about it. But, your words make me KNOW it’s not impossible for a man to feel like this for his wife and have this kind of insight and attitude for himself as well as her, too. SO…….

    Thank you! Thank you more than I can ever possibly say. GOD has truly blessed you. And, I see it and appreciate it in you immensely.

    • Stephani, I hope you’ll find a counselor just for you, someone who can help you process your emotions and think about healthy boundaries. As you’ve learned, there’s no way to change another person; the only person we can be responsible for is ourselves. No matter what your husband chooses, no matter what happens in the relationship, or if the marriage even survives, YOU can choose to be healthy and well. Peace to you, Kay

    • Stephani,
      I am sorry you are going through this. Please reach out to me or my wife Lori here we have been working with several couples since this article posted. Some of the men were resistant at first but after working with Lori, the wives convinced the husbands to reach out to me. Not sure if this will work every time, but Lori is great at helping in this situation.

  16. I think you’re over reacting because of your lies.
    No ome belongs to someone, we are free to come and go.
    Oh, yes, but what about family?
    No lies first, family after.

    Dont get me wrong, its a heatful letter, but its for liers.
    Sexual desires are part of you, some have less and some have more.
    No judgement there.

    Commitment to love and respect is all we need, love all and respect different genders and habbits,

    If you desire with truthfulnes and respect there is no suffering, just acceptance.
    Please lets grow.

    Thank you and good night.

  17. Wow. I broke up with the true love of my life over 25 years ago because of his porn addiction & the deceit that went with it. He could look me right in the eyes & lie to me. Destroyed me inside. I felt like I wasn’t enough & never could be. I went on to marry a guy whom I didn’t love anywhere near as deeply, but figured I’d never be good enough to get anyone that I did. It’s THAT damaging to a woman. Feels like being cheated on with multiple women…like ANY woman was better (I saw the pictures he looked at, & the range of their physical appearance was unbelievable). Now I’m more than 2 decades into a marriage where I’m disrespected & devalued in many other ways. Can’t help but think it has a lot to do with how devalued I felt after the end of the porn addict relationship. Now I feel too old to hope for better, incredibly depressed & downtrodden. I always wonder if I should’ve stuck it out, but your article & the comments of those above lead me to believe that I probably never would’ve won. I guess I made the right choice to leave, but I can honestly say that porn destroyed my adult life.

  18. my husband chose porn and internet affairs over his marriage. lied and denied to the end. he also fits every description i’ve seen of malignant narcissism. i was a baby Christian when we married and didn’t know how unequally yoked we really were. he hid behind being a pk. sometimes i still feel old, ugly, unlovable, and somehow deserving of mistreatment even though i know these are lies of the enemy and don’t come from God.

    • I am so, so sorry for the pain you’ve suffered. I’m also extremely grateful that you’ve been able to recognize the realities, as painful as they are, and I’m glad that you’re out of that toxic situation. Thank you for being so courageous, and thank you for sharing your story with us here. I pray that your roots will continue to grow down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love, and that you’ll know how long, how high, how wide, and how deep that love is for you, so that you’ll be filled full of every goodness, overflowing with justice and mercy into the lives of those around you. Peace to you, Kay

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