About the author, Ella Hutchinson

Ella is a Licensed Professional Counselor and and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) who is passionate about advocating for partners of sex addicts by helping them to find their voice. She served for three years as a founding board member of the Association for Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists (APSATS). Today, she proudly serves on the board of directors for the organization, Certified Sex Addiction Specialists-International (CSASI). Ella and her husband, Jeff, work together helping couples whose marriages have been invaded by sexual addiction.

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Porn and Your Husband

Parenting the Internet Generation Ebook Cover

Did you catch your husband watching porn? Learn the answers to common questions, tips to productive conversations, steps to setting boundaries, and how to determine the next steps for your marriage.

14 thoughts on “How Long Will It Take My Spouse to Heal from My Betrayal?

  1. It is encouraging to hear this from the wife’s side (the one who was hurt by betrayal). This article describes my situation exactly (I am the betrayer). I need to read this article every day, because I need to be reminded every day of the hope that I still need to cling to, and that this CAN get better.


    • Bob, I too am a betrayer and doing my part to help my wife heal is really important. This article is great and I’m glad I came across it. Praying that my wife is healed and restored is my everyday prayer and for me to be set free from this bondage I’ve been in for years. I ask that the Lord see us and our Wife’s through what can be very difficult. Amen.

  2. That article is really good…however, there are two things missing. The betrayer has to decide to seek the humbleness of repentance, not only from God but also the spouse. If total repentance is not there then repair is only a band aid.
    As well, you can have access to all the devices they own, have access to all the email accounts you are aware of, the reality is that there is potential for other emails, secret apps, hidden numbers, all of which you may never know about and the game and betrayal continues. There are no guarantees, manipulation is an addicts best pawn.

  3. I think a man needs to evaluate if the relationship is worth the effort. Sometimes is a sunken cost and you should move on. There is no point in kicking a dead horse and many times the damage is beyond repair and for some people forgiveness is impossible. I think that many times is better to confess, ask for forgiveness, regardless of the answer, go through recovery and healing and move on to freedom. In many circumstances spouses use the betrayal as an excuse to exact passive aggressive actions or undermining acts and comments, which does not help in the recovery process. Many times is just better to cut your losses and go through recovery unshackled by the dead weight of a relationship beyond repair. If not careful a man can use this punishing relationship as a form of penance and self punishment. Don’t fall into that trap, it will hinder your healing process and recovery. If, after you have recovered and are healed you are still interested in your spouse, then explore the possibilities of working it out. If not, let it go and move on.

    There are relationships that are not salvageable.

    I can understand if some may feel that I am overly callous or unrepentant, that is not the case, we should not confuse the facts of the addiction, the recovery and the relationship. Each one must be evaluated on its merits. A recovered and truly healed man has changed, is a new person, is different, as such, he may realize that the new self is not compatible with the spouse and his new outlook in life and belief system is not compatible with those of the spouse and that the attitude of the spouse may actually be a detriment to his new found freedom. If this is the case move on… that relationship will destroy you.

  4. I appreciate the statement about “the discovery of his addiction”. It didn’t start when ones spouse discovers it, it took for the most, many years to build up to the point that they are willing to risk their marriage for their addiction. It’s been about 5 years since the discovery of my spouse’s betrayal, and I still don’t trust him. At first he was willing to do,whatever he had to do to win my trust. We both took an online course, but I found that the women’s study made me feel like I was the one to blame. I hadn’t met his needs the way I should have, I had not been obedient enough to his desires. Though I tried everything to fulfill,his every fantasy, which I think only led to more of his desire for the unnatural.

    • I don’t know what online course you took, but it sounds like they framed porn as purely a sexual problem for the wife to solve. Wow, what a nightmare and how absolutely the opposite of helpful. I hope you didn’t waste too much money on that?

      You might appreciate the Facebook Live talk that Dan and I did the other day as an alternate view on what needs to happen in recovery. Short story: he needs to learn to deal with himself in healthy ways, and you need help for the trauma of marriage betrayal.

      I always want wives to find a therapist of their own, a group for themselves, and to check out the online resources at Bloom.

      Rather than taking responsibility for your husband’s choices (something you now know never works!!!) you can consider your own boundaries: here, here, and here are some articles.

      Peace and healing to you,

    • Oh my gosh that is far from the truth. If you are in a group that is making you feel that way, leave it immediately. You are in no way shape or form responsible for his actions. He made a conscience decision to do the things he did!

  5. I am a single guy never been married, saturday it will be 3 years since I looked at porn. If I should happen to get married when and how should I bring up my struggle with porn? I make no bones about it I am still tempted and I do some things and dont do other things to stay away from porn. This is stuff that needs to be discussed before I get married but when? And how much is too much? And how much is too little?

    • Hi, well, bringing it up as a part of being open about who you are, with a future spouse is a good step. Only you’ll know when that is. If you marry in a church, then chances are the pre-marital counseling (if it’s worthwhile) will lead toward these kinds of conversations. That’s one way. But, the rest is going to have to be up to you, a little at a time, allowing her to know as much as she wants. Some women just need to know that it happened and know that there are proper barriers in place to stop it from happening again. Others might want to know more. I’m sorry that I’m not much help, but there are a lot of variables!

      Best to you!

  6. Funny I saw this article the same day I asked myself; “how does a man’s use of porn affect his wife, how does she experience it all, maybe that would be good to know more about”. Thank you! Truly impactful for the quality of a marriage.

  7. I’m four years sober of a lifelong addiction to pornography. My last acting out almost cost me my marriage when I had an online affair, nothing physical ever happened. Four years later, my wife is still hurting but seems to refuse to get any help beyond me “fixing what I did.” I feel like I’ve been patient and supportive. I’ve encouraged her to find a spousal support meeting that goes along with the 12-step program provided through the church for recovering addicts, yet she refuses to go saying she gets nothing out of them. I’ve encouraged her to seek therapy for her Betrayal Trauma (like PTSD), but she says I’m pawning off my responsibilities to fix our marriage. I’m not the same man I was before, and I don’t know what else to do after becoming who I think is a righteous, trustworthy man. Where do my responsibilities end, and her begin, in this healing process?

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