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Has porn invaded your marriage? – Letter to a Hurting Wife

Last Updated: February 20, 2014

Ashley Weis

Ashley Weis is a wife and mother who has a pain-filled past that no longer haunts her. After discovering her husband’s pornography addiction she thought she’d never heal, much less have a “good” marriage again. God has shown her that without rain, beauty never grows. Now, with a beautiful marriage and a heart that knows the radiance of hope, Ashley reaches out to other women through books about recovering from pornography.

Dear Hurting Wife,

Healing after I found porn on my husband’s computer, honestly, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever endured. Everything you are feeling right now, and everything you felt when you found out, I felt.

My husband George stopped looking at porn, but I still couldn’t trust him. When he left the house alone, I felt like my lungs caved in. Every moment he was gone I imagined the worst scenarios: gorgeous, barely dressed girls walking around; his eyes taking in every detail of their bodies; his heart eating, and me wondering if he’d have more fun with a girl like that—a girl so different from me.

I knew George loved me. He didn’t love the women he looked at. They were in his fantasy land—separate from me. But I wanted to be enough for my husband. I hated that he needed a fantasy world where women looked and did everything he wanted—everything I didn’t do. I wanted to captivate him. I still want this. I want both his eyes and heart. I want to be enough. And I know you want the same.

Please know that I am with you. I have been where you are. I know the pain and anger, all of the tears soaked into your pillow, and the nights you’re too numb to cry. And many other women know what it feels like to be crushed by their husband’s sexual sin, too. We know what it’s like to feel like we’ll never measure up. And we’re not alone. We’re in this together.

Sometimes people tell us to get over it or get used to it. All men look. All men fantasize. As long as they come home to us, that’s all that matters. But this is so far from real love and pure desire, and it’s certainly not romantic.

I don’t know about you, but my wedding vows meant the world to me. When I realized my husband hid his affair with porn, those vows felt like lies. Everything did. It’s heartbreaking to fall in love, be broken to pieces, and then wonder if your love was ever real to begin with.

Sometimes I still wonder if our relationship was real: the love and romance in the beginning, and the wedding vows. Was it all fake? Was he looking at porn the night before we got married? Thoughts like this come and go still, but I don’t dwell on them anymore. I don’t want you to dwell on them either.

Let’s grow together. Let’s surpass these negative thoughts and feelings and let God transform our hearts. My life’s motto is Beauty after Rain. One of the reasons I picked that motto is because my most meaningful times in life, my deepest joys, have come after the most painful circumstances. God carves us, shapes us, and in the process we get cut by the sharpest blades.

George’s lies and lust sliced open wounds that already existed. He went deeper than anyone ever did. I remember crying in bed one night as George slept beside me. The only thing that ran through my head, over and over, was, “He ruined me.”

But porn didn’t ruin me. It didn’t ruin our marriage. I chose to stand up to the lies and say, “My marriage is worth fighting for.”

It’s been a difficult fight—a painful, bloody, but hopeful fight. But if there is one thing I know to be true, it’s that the devil hates marriage. And I wasn’t about to let him have his way.

My hope is that your smile will be genuine and your joy will be complete. I want you to feel what I feel, to know that you can overcome this. Your heart can heal. And you can be content in who God made you to be. You can discover the growth and beauty that comes after the rain.

If I were writing this on paper you would see splotches of smeared ink where my tears have landed. No, that’s not me trying to be poetic. It’s true. I still feel the pain. But listen to me: your heart is precious, and so is mine; through all of this I almost forgot that; but now I know, and I want you to know, too.

YOU are worth fighting for.

If you need someone to talk to, feel free to e-mail me, or leave an anonymous comment on this post. I’ll answer any questions or talk to anyone about this. When I went through this I didn’t have ANYONE to talk to about it. No one felt my pain. I feel your pain, and I’m here.

Hang in there,
Ashley

  • Comments on: Has porn invaded your marriage? – Letter to a Hurting Wife
    1. cassie on

      how many times have i said those words “i just want to be enough”. it’s funny that i don’t think that men understand that. thank you for your encouraging words! my husband has been winning, and it has been a tough journey, but worth the fight!

      Reply
      • K.M. on

        Brings me to tears to read. Spouses and even female friends tell me no big deal they all do it or that I’m insecure. I’m not at all insecure but I used those words exactly I just want to be enough. He’s enough for me I don’t go looking for other men’s bodies to look at. If he went out of his way to be sexy and please me and rock my world then I turned around a few hours later looking at men online I would think he would question whether he pleases me or not. U know what gets me hot is emotionally knowing I’m his world and I’m all he needs that’s what makes me want him everywhere so when he’s looking elsewhere to visualize other women when he has me it completely turns me off and takes away from the love and trust I felt we were building which in turn made me want more sex

    2. Michell on

      Oh how I wish I had your book right now! I am going through this right now. It has been under a week since the REbetrayal! My husband is finally getting help but I cried every sentence of your letter. I too want to be enough. To know that my husband if FULLY committed to just me and only me. I feel as if my whole marriage was a lie. If he really loved me and his kids he wouldn’t have done this repeatedly and secretly. I still have a ways to go before I can heal but your letter encouraged me a little. I want to fight for my marriage…..I can only pray for my husband right now. I did make him paint his nails pink so that he could openly feel the humiliation. Thank for you letter and I really wish I could read your book right now!

      Reply
    3. Ashley Weis on

      cassie — that’s so good to hear! it definitely is worth the fight!

      michell — i know exactly how you feel. especially feeling as though your marriage was a lie. oh, and if you email me (ashley@morethandesire.com) i will send you a free copy of the novel. the non-fiction book isn’t due out for a while, but you can read a lot of that info on my blog (http://www.morethandesire.com). i hope it helps! i pour my heart into helping women not go through that dark healing process alone. i had to do it alone and it wasn’t easy!

      Reply
      • Star on

        I am going through the same thing but worse & as I read your article it brings tears to my eyes , how can someone love you & watch you hurt like this & still do it again . Not real love

    4. Jennifer on

      Thank you, Ashley for the kind words. Deep down, I know I am beautiful and a child of God, worth so much and special. I believed my husband thought the same way about me until finding out about him watching porn and cheating on me with his eyes and heart. Just because he does not seem to cherish me the way God intended does not change the fact that I am beautiful, special, and precious. My spouse doesn’t have to know or appreciate that for it to be true. His sickness does not have to undermine my self esteem.

      Reply
    5. Ernie on

      I am a husband who allowed porn to invade my life at an early age. My wife found out about it in Feb after many years of hiding it from her. It has rocked my world and may end up costing me my career. My poor wife is so hurt and angry and scared and confused all at once. We are on a sad rollercoaster ride of emotions. The devil almost killed my soul forever. I have confessed my sins to my wife and to our minister and to God and begged forgiveness. The fault and sin is all mine. To see her in such pain hurts and frightens me more than I can describe. She is my angel and my life. We have 5 young kids. How could I have been so selfish and treacherous? What got into me? I feel like it was in another life that I did these things. I hate myself for what I am putting her through. Please, please tell me what I can to do to help her heal. All I want is for our marriage to heal and for her to know that I have truly repented and stopped this sin. Our hearts are broken. She too, feels like her life has been a lie. It has not been, although I am so confused as to how I could love her so deeply, yet still act in such a vile manner and hurt her. I love her so very very much. Please help us in any way you can.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        @Ernie – I hear your pain. It is a paradox for many guys: why do we feel such love for our wives and yet find ourselves so willing to be deceptive and unfaithful to them. You hit the nail on the head when you called your offense “selfish and treacherous.” The fact that you are now calling a spade a spade is encouraging. Like our father, Adam, many men today shift the blame. This is devilish pride.

        In a time of crisis, like this, it is good that you have brought the church (i.e. your minister) into the battle with you. Lean on the wisdom of spiritually mature men and women around you. This is key.

        Ask your wife what she needs to trust you again and be willing to do whatever it takes. She may not even know the answer to that question right now, and that’s OK. If you are both committed to making your marriage work, in time she will give you an answer. Right now, take initiative to remove all traces of secrecy from your life. You might benefit from listening to some of the stories on our blog. Chris and Cindy Beall’s story of his infidelity and their restoration is moving. Julianne Cusick’s message about her husband’s porn problem is very good. I also highly commend to you our interview with Joe Dallas on this question.

        My prayers are with you, Ernie. As God grants you repentance, I pray God also grants your wife the grace of forgiveness.

    6. Ernie on

      Thank you Luke. Ashley also responded and has forwarded my message to her husband, so I may receive his counsel as well. I long for the day when I do not see such sadness in her eyes and pain in her voice. To see a tear run down her cheek is murderous, knowing that I put it there. If God has to purify my heart in a cauldron of grief, let his will be done to me. I just pray that her suffering can end soon. she has done nothing to deserve this.

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    7. Jocelyn on

      After almost 10 years of marriage, I have given up. I am heading out the door. I wanted to be enough but I guess fantasy was stronger than Love.

      Reply
    8. shortcake on

      What if your husband is remorseful, but has never done anything to show you he really loves you? Actions speak louder than words right? What if he was carrying on with other real women online and then actually had them into my house? What if he continues to tell me that he can’t talk dirty to me and do the kind of stuff he wants from me because I’m a ‘church girl’ in his eyes? We’ve been separated for three years now, yet neither of us can file for divorce.

      Reply
      • aajj on

        Your husband is perverted and may be unable to have a real loving relationship. Don’t let him ruin your spirituality;.

    9. Jennifer on

      Shortcake, if he sees you as a ‘church girl’ and wont do the porn fantasy acts with you, I would take that as a complement and God’s grace toward you to not let you get deep in sin with your husband. If he physically cheated on you, I feel the Bible is clear you can divorce him, if you want to do so. Otherwise, you and he are free to work it out. Please don’t try to fulfill him in unclean ways. It will not help your marriage or build true, lasting, loving feelings; it would only bring regret.

      Reply
    10. Ashley Weis on

      @Jocelyn — I will be praying for your marriage and your heart.

      @shortcake — What a tough situation. Actions do speak louder than words and I’m so sorry your husband hasn’t shown you love. I agree with Jennifer’s thoughts about being considered a “church girl.” At least he’s not using as an object as he is other women. In a sense he’s saying that you stand out as something special to him, something that he doesn’t want to taint with that stuff. But at the same time … I can only imagine your pain and heartbreak over this. I’m so sorry that sexual sin has taken your marriage down this road of separation. I truly pray that your hearts will both be healed and that you will be together again, wondering how you were ever in this position to begin with. Sometimes words just aren’t enough to show encouragement through a time as tough as this … so know that my prayers are with you.

      Reply
    11. emmalane on

      My husband got caught back in November and lied when he was plainly busted. Then got mad. The thing is he continued and still does. I know he is ashamed I know he wants to be pure. He knows the scriptures, he believes them.

      He is at the point where he is talking to me a little and is owning up to it. He says we can take the computers out but this isn’t realistic . He runs a computer business, we also homeschool and rely a great deal on the internet.

      There isn’t a filter or anything that would work for us because he is incredibly capable with the computer.
      I feel so sick and disgusted, worthless and sad.

      Reply
    12. Raelyn on

      I just wish I could take all the women on this sight out to a dinner, buy them something special and tell them they are not alone, there is nothing wrong with them and they are beautiful and captivating.

      Porn is an ugly thing and it ruins relationships, breaks hearts and causes one to not trust anyone. I pray that men in all walks of life would be sickened by the lies that porn portrays. It is a sick lie of fake pleasure and an escape from true intimacy. It causes shame, guilt and loss of trust and intimacy. May God truly heal…

      Reply
    13. Bonnie on

      There are an awful lot of brave women on this site. I have been married for 8 years, my husband’s addiction has dogged all of them. He has never confessed, I have always caught him out. I thought when I discoverd his affair a few weeks after the birth of our first child he might be shocked into really seeking help. And we did search, our church was no help, they don’t really want to know. It took us nearly a year to find someone for him to talk to. But not me, I don’t get to talk to anybody, I get left to try to heal on my own. And now, over two years on and with councilling and the birth four months ago of our second child, nothing has changed! He has managed to loose his job because of this addiction and become addicted to smoking pot because HE is so stressed. He won’t talk to me, he continues to lie and keep secrets. I am at the end of my rope! My faith has almost completely eroded, I don’t believe he even considers God anymore. I am so angry, tired, hurt, numb, confused, heartbroken and I don’t know where to turn. I don’t think I should be here, but my babies need a roof over their heads. Where is God! This marriage was built on christian beliefs, my second, I thought with God on my side it would work. How coul I have been so wrong!
      It has been good to see that some people have overcome and I wish them every blessing, and how sad that some have not. Finally after so long being on my own it is nice to find others who feel as I do, and so I weep with relief. But I do not know what will happen to us. I apologise for my self pity, I will continue to be strong for my kids if nothing else. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply
      • aajj on

        It is probably best you learn to take care of yourself. You might be better alone. God will give you the strength to do what you need to do for the sake of your children. Your children are going to see him as a role model for husband and father.

    14. Jennifer on

      Bonnie, I am so sorry you are in so much pain. It’s good to know you now see you aren’t alone in this battle. Keep believing God loves you and cares for you, even if your husband does not show the character of Christ as a husband should. Love yourself enough to avoid pregnancy a third time, get a job if you can, and find supportive friends, a supportive church, and make yourself the best you can be. Live life like he is not there dragging you down. That’s how I have made it through as a stronger woman despite an unsupportive spouse. There is also a book called Boundaries, by Cloud and Townsend, that helped me a lot to find strength to know where my husband’s influence ends and I begin.

      Reply
    15. Bonnie on

      Dear Jennifer,
      Thankyou for the reply, while I appreciate your advice neither of my pregnancies have been mistakes, they were planned, the problem is that I believed my husband had changed or wanted to, I do not bring children into the situation lightly. Also, I have a job, it is the friends I lack perhaps, but do you not feel this subject is perhaps a little to difficult to share with some people. Who can you trust? I am a very private person and even though my last comments sounded so hopeless, I apologise, what if my husband wants to change! To share such details with others who may not understand is a big risk. We all have bad days where we feel unable to cope, I believe my last comments reveal that. You say make yourself the best you can be, well I want to be the woman God wants me to be, that has always been the desire of my heart, but I do not understand why this has happened when I have prayed, when I have asked Him for help, when I have begged with Him to show me the way. He is so silent either that or I can’t hear Him. I am part of the worship team in our church, but at present I do not sing, how, when I do not believe in the words. My husband , despite all that I have written, tells me that he wants to be different, although when I look it does not appear that way, surely I have to hope?

      Reply
    16. Jennifer on

      Bonnie, I am saying to bring a third child into this may hinder your ability to get out gracefully or to live independently if your husband leaves you. He has had an affair, and God does not put on us more than we can bear. He gives us the grace to bear hardship, or a way out. I feel scripture is plain in Matthew 5:32 that you are allowed out because of his affair, if it’s too much and you choose to do so. Positive friends may help buffer the pain, without you needing to share it with them. A different, positive church or joining a small group at church can keep you encouraged and help with balance. It can be draining to have home life so stressful and full of grief, so you need to find a way to keep your tank full. Working out at a gym, reading, attending a christian home group, and a positive church have kept me going in spite of my husband’s lies and mostly covert porn addiction. 2Timothy 2:12 states all will be persecuted who believe in Christ. Later in that chapter it says to keep believing the scriptures so we can be saved. There is hope in the Lord. He will be with you whatever you choose. Of course marriage is honorable, and that is why we fight and lose ourselves to make it better. There is no way we can hope to save our husbands, except by living right ourselves (1 Peter 3:1-2, 1Cor 7:16). I wanted to share these tools I have used with success to hopefully give you a positive direction, as well as comfort to know you are not alone today. God means for us to live one day at a time (Matthew 6:34). I pray you can see God working, even if it’s not with your spouse at this time.

      Reply
    17. Julia on

      Dear Ashley,

      Thank you for your words and sharing your story. I am so very sad; so low and feel utterly worthless. And, I feel a disgust toward all men, even the ones in my family.

      I first found him out about a year and a half ago and had the promises of it ending. Then this month, I unearthed his hidden stash. Here I was feeling so guilty because I was being devious for I went snooping and sneaking through his shop knowing …

      Now the light is on this dark secret and if he does it again, if his apologies and tears and promises are lies I will ask God to be my avenger. My heart is broken and I dread the long road to recovery.

      A very hard part is not having any one to share this burden with. I am glad that I found this page and find some inspiration to keep fighting for us…I’ve got too much in to this to give it up and…

      Reply
      • Mary on

        I’m so happy to have found this site. My heart has been breaking for over two weeks now. My husband thinks I need help because I’m crying all the time. He thinks I’m over reacting. At times I’m extremely angry. Other times I weep from a very deep place. I feel like nothing is what I thought it was. I have no way if knowing how often he’s been looking. I’m scared. I feel he is not who I thought he was. I want to trust him to never do it again but how can I trust him? He already told me he doesn’t do that and then I found out that he does. Why does he think it’s ok? Why is he not sad for hurting me so?

      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hi Mary, so sorry to hear how your husband has been treating you. He needs to get a clue.

        I wrote an article years ago called “Straight Talk to Husbands Who Watch Porn,” which deals with a number of the things you mentioned. You might want to read that article.

    18. Ashley Weis on

      Bonnie — God is not silent. He has not abandoned you. That is just as much of a lie as porn itself. Please don’t listen to that no matter how difficult it is to feel God right now. Your emotions are swirling and they have a good right to be. Your heart is broken. It’s going to be tough for you to feel anything right now, even God. Everything is going to feel numb and distant for a little while. But that doesn’t change the truth. God is with you. He loves you. And He’s the only thing that will get you through this time, regardless of your husband’s actions.

      I do not consider your first comments “self-pity.” I consider them your honest heart, your true feelings, your pain displayed on the screen. There’s nothing wrong with feeling pain about this. There’s nothing wrong with doubt and fear. You’re marriage is being severely attacked. Your heart is broken. It’s normal to feel some of these painful reactions. But it’s what you do with it that counts. Don’t let the lies overtake you. I know it’s easier said than done, believe me, I’ve been there. The stage you are in now is so very tough to get through. It often feels like you will never get through it and that death would be better. Sometimes I even wondered if I’d be better off if my husband died. What horrible thoughts! Now, I’m so thankful nothing like that happened.

      Hope is available to you, even though you can’t see it. The blue sky is always there, sometimes storms just hide it. Reach for it even when it’s not visible and eventually the clouds will roll back and you’ll feel again. You can find this even if your husband doesn’t. You can heal in your own heart even if your marriage disintegrates. Allow God to come into your heart and help you heal, even when you can’t feel Him. Draw near, even when you don’t feel like it. When you feel most numb, most abandoned, most unloved … get on your knees and simply cry to God. That’s all. Just let Him be your shoulder. He’s ready to catch your tears if you’ll let Him.

      Julia — I know how you are feeling. When I went through this I thought all men were horrible and disgusting. I thought if I got divorced over lust that I’d never, ever date another man simply because they are all lustful creatures who can’t control themselves. Please don’t continue to believe the lie. God has shown me the truth through my husband and several other men … there are men out there who desire purity and to rid lust from their lives completely. Think about how hard it must be for them though. Women are just as sinful when it comes to jealousy. We covet what other women have SO much. We probably analyze women more than men do. And it’s not right. And it’s just as hard for us to stop lingering on that magazine cover and wondering what it would be like to “look like her” as it is for a man to not second look when he sees something like that. But we can overcome our issues and not second look at women and become jealous, just like there are some men out there who can overcome their issues and not second look and lust.

      You do have someone to share your burden with, by the way. You can talk to me. You can comment on this site, on my blog, and there will be people to support you. It may not be in person (which I didn’t have either), but having someone across the miles can be very helpful through this time. The last thing you want to do is keep everything inside.

      Don’t give up. Keep fighting. Keep loving when it hurts. That kind of love is so meaningful … to love when it hurts and not just when it feels good. Think of the eternal perspective. Think of your heart and how it is being prepared for eternity. Pain is a good thing, it builds our character. It’s just not easy to feel that way in the midst. But you’ll get better if draw near to God. Things will get lighter. He is with you.

      The road to recovery is a long road, both for husband and wife, and for the marriage as well. Lots of healing to take place. But the fight, the tears, they are all worth it. They are worth the beauty of marriage. Love is worth fighting for. And the devil does not deserve another victory and failed marriage.

      Keep fighting, all of you. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t still care about your marriage. Even in your lowest times, you still care. And that’s beautiful. Don’t stop caring!

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    19. Jennifer on

      Ashley, very good words. Thank you. Also, everyone needs to know that giving love in a pure way to your spouse, regardless of where his mind goes, is building your marriage and showing him a good example. That is how I went from being emotionally numb and wishing him dead, to having a positive purpose in our marriage. I decided whether he wanted more or diffent options, I would only allow what felt holy to occur. We may very well save our husbands by our chastity. We may be the only Bible they read (1 Peter 3:1-2).

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    20. anon on

      The other night, my husband, our 2 yr. old son and I went out to dinner. As we were finishing up, I sat back and felt so happy, so safe, so pleased with how far we had come and how much better we were doing now. When it came time to pay, I saw something small fall out of my husband’s wallet…another mini SD card…just like the one I had found before. I confronted him about it once we were in the car, where he forcibly tried to take it from me, threatening that if i looked at it, there was nothing left to do but get a divorce.
      There was no need to look at it. His reaction said it all. He had not stopped. He did not care about what it was doing to me, what kind of home life it was creating for our son. He just wants his pictures, and videos, sound clips… all these things he can download and save for future use on his phone. I knew our phone bill was unusually high, how could I have been so stupid?
      You see, this is the sixth time that I have caught him… in the three and a half years that we have been married, this is the sixth time that i have found his stash of filth. I am so much more than tired… there is nothing left of whatever self-esteem I once had. There is nothing left of me anymore. And whats worse, is that since that evening two days ago, I have gone into preterm labor due to stress… I’m 36 weeks pregnant with our second son… And not only that, but I have no where to go, no one to turn to. We live in Japan, he is Japanese, before we got married, he joined my church-the closest one being an hour and a half away- and I thought he was different, willing to live a better way of life. I can’t talk to my mom about it much, because all she says is that I need to come back home, and I have no friends to talk to here, because, well, its like he’s stuck me away where no one can find me. Can’t work anymore, because I don’t want my son(s) to be subjected to their daycare system, or to be watched by his parents, -they live right next door- because they see nothing wrong with giving him beer cans to play with.
      Last night, he stayed at his mother’s. His only response to all of this has been that there is no other alternative than getting a divorce, saying that he doesn’t want to, but that it can’t be helped.
      Before he left, he came in, sat down some roses with a card that said I’m sorry, and without a word, turned around and walked out the door.
      There is no way for me to even put into words the range of emotions that I am feeling. The minute I saw that SD card fall to the floor, I knew. The deceit, the lies, the obviousness of those twinges of intuition that I had just pushed aside, telling myself to stop being so selfish and to just try and trust him.
      How could he stand there, arms crossed, telling me that he knows I can’t fly now, so he is letting me stay until after the baby is born, and then that I should fly back home. Telling me that he knows I did nothing wrong, that I am a good person, but that sometimes people get divorced because the husband has done something stupid. How can he just throw us away like that, saying that it doesn’t matter anyway, because I would probably never believe him again.
      Why am I not enough? When I have willingly given up everything just to support him in his country, with his family, in his language.. when he is enough for me?
      How do I forgive him? How do I let go.. of everything? When he can so nonchalantly toss me and his own babies aside… I find myself wishing that I could be as cold as he, to just not feel so… worthless, rejected, despised, unlovable, …broken.
      And here’s where I start to feel even more pathetic, because I still love him. He is my husband, I want to trust him. I want to believe in him. I want to be able to look at him in admiration, filled with respect and love… But… six times…each one more and more disgusting to me.
      I want to talk to our leaders at church, but he has said before that if they know, that he will never go back.
      How is it that everyone else in my family can be so happily married, full of love for each other and their children, when I …am not. How is it that I am not enough?

      I apologize for the length, and the scattered thoughts..but I am pretty sure I’m still in shock.

      Reply
    21. Chris on

      I looked at porn while I was a single guy and didn’t give it much thought since even mainstream magazines like Men’s Health would say an occasional look was normal. Some of this porn was still on my computer after I married and I would occasionally have a look. I thought of it as an electronic Playboy that didn’t need to be stuck under the matress. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

      My wife has great intuition and could tell something was odd about me if I looked at that porn during the day. She got on my computer and looked at these pictures and was truly hurt. I apologized profusely and explained I didn’t give it much thought since I had never thought nudity and sex were bad things. I see her point now and how each of us has their own reaction and thoughts about porn.

      I’ve apologized numerous times since and have not ever looked at porn online again. I even got rid of that old computer so there is no doubt any file or link is gone and out of our lives. I do not buy or subscribe to any adult magazines. Yet, the damage cused by doing something I thought was harmless still exists in our marriage and it is thrown in my face time after time in any disagreement we have. I’m more than shamed by this point, humiliated and embarassed, and forever sorry. Sad thing is, she will never believe me, trust me, or ever think she is enough for me ever again.

      Porn isn’t entertainment. Porn isn’t fun. Porn is destructive. Porn is a sign that something inside the viewer is lacking and they need an outlet that for a moment mike make them forget the issue, the hurt from childhood, or something missing in their life for a brief moment. Women are beautiful, but they don’t need to be naked or having sex to feel that way. They need to be your friend, your lover, your confidant, your partner through this tough life, and your wife.

      Chris

      Reply
    22. Susan on

      Hi Ashley,

      I came across your site because I needed words to help me with my feelings. Almost 3 years ago I married my best friend (we grew up together) I’ve known this man since I was 7. I’m 36 now. He knew how I felt about porn BEFORE we ever got married. I’ve always said if that is needed than you don’t need me. It’s just like cheating and being we’re military and deployments happen, , I have to have 100% trust. I’m a very out going sexual person and I would send him private videos and do what I needed to do to keep us close in that way while he was gone. If I’d known that he was watching porn, I would have never put myself out there like that. I’d never done that even with the amount of love I have for him. Heck, i wouldn’t of married him! We are a couple that has never had a fight…we talk! We can talk about what bothers us, work it out and move on. But this, this is different. I’m ready to leave. I’m ready to walk out the door and be single forever. I’m just not sure how I can ever trust him again. How can I deal with our military life knowing he will do this? I’m just not the person to handle hurt and I’m not sure where to turn. After a promise is broken…there’s no fixing that. Anyone out there have any pointers on helping me through this? I’m just feeling so cold right now…. Sorry, I’m rambling! I’m just at a loss.

      Reply
      • Lisa Eldred on

        Hi Susan,

        Have you taken a look at Porn and Your Husband: A Recovery Guide for Wives? We pulled out a lot of the common questions wives ask and give tips for reconciliation.

        One thing I’d recommend in particular is getting professional counseling. I know Dr. Doug Weiss offers free assessments, for one possibility. There’s a list of other people to contact at the end of the e-book as well. You can also consider speaking with a military counselor, who would probably have more specialized training for your situation. Whoever you choose, make sure they treat porn as the problem it is.

    23. Trish on

      I’m up to my limit ….. my husband lies to me about looking at porn and i dont’t know what to do anymore…. it makes me sick … it feels like im not good enough ….. his thing was i was trying to find different sex moves (which we have done them all) i’ve had a bad self esteem problem for years……. i have talk to him about it but he says he don’t see what the big deal is….. its disrepectful to me ….. i dont need or want to look at that ……i did tell him that if he continues to watch it or sit there and stare at girls …. for one we will never have sex again and i will file for divorce…. PLEASE HELP

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hi Trish. Thanks for telling us some of your situation. Wow. It is hurtful every time I hear about a man who does this to their wife (and it is so common).

        I do encourage you to check out our list of links for wives. You might find a story or an article there that will give you some direction. I recommend you read “Is Porn the Same as Adultery?” The article gets at the heart of why a woman (rightly) feels her man should not be looking at pornography.

        This is a conviction your husband must come to. There are steps you can take to protect yourself and prod him along, but these are steps he must take. A good guide to read at this point is Porn and Your Husband: A Recovery Guide for Wives. I hope you get a sense of some good next steps to take.

    24. mel on

      I really am lost n feel so hurt i caught my husband looking at porn yesterday he apologized and asked god for forgiveness now hes telling me i should get over it …plz help

      Reply
    25. Kris on

      Please pray that my husband Steven gets rid of his porn addiction! i am so sad, sick and tired of trying to be ok with it, but on the inside I am torn apart. please pray that God speaks to my husband that porn is evil and that he can do without it, please pray for him to be wise and strong enough to break this evil habit. Please please please! In Jesus name. Amen.

      Reply
    26. Drake Wolfe on

      SERIOUSLY, Your lungs “cave in” over PORN, PLLLLLEEEEAAASSSEEE, there are more IMPORTANT things to worry about. I can GUARANTEE he’s not cheating on you if he’s watching porn. Guys have had some kind of porn since the dawn of time, from cave drawings to the internet. It doesn’t mean he loves you any less, but we as men ,yes, have our fantasies. It’s in our biology to get as many women pregnant as possible. We are animals just like bears, lions, tigers, dogs, cats, etc. How about you spice up your marriage instead of belittling him. Put on a teddy and some stockings, catch him in the act of “pleasuring” himself, and have some fun with it. Try a little fellatio, clitoral stimulation in front of him, or replace his hand with yours. HE WILL LOVE YOU for it, and I am about 98% sure he will NOT be focusing on the screen. Some porn is normal, but if it’s an addiction I can see the issue, my wife is HELPING me through mine. I realized I had a problem, I could watch it and NOT get aroused, and had over 200GB of it on my hard drive which has all been deleted now. But sometimes, it CAN be REALLY fun TOGETHER… Think about it.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Drake, you’ve really got to check your facts. Most wives of porn/sex addicts feel this way. In one survey of spouses of sex addicts, 70% of them met most criteria for a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and just as many demonstrated a severe level of functional impairment in major areas of their lives. When you trivialize her reaction, you trivialize the natural reaction of most women.

        You are also incorrect that men who look at porn could not possibly be cheating on their wives. In a study of Internet users from the General Social Survey concluded that men who commit adultery are 218% more likely to look at porn. –Those who had ever engaged in paid sex are 270% more likely to look at porn. Porn can be a predictor of other sexually deviant behavior.

        But even if the man isn’t cheating on his wife with a flesh-and-blood woman, he is cheating on her with his digital harem of women. I agree a woman should be creative and enticing to her husband, but not overlooking his infidelities.

    27. Sncherry on

      I think that my husband’s issue is not as serious as some of the stories I have read on this web page, or maybe that is what I would like to believe, of course I don’t know how the struggles go on in his mind. Still I have been hurt, I have forgiven, we are taking steps to fix this bit I will like to find some sort of positive online anonymous community to help me through the healing process. Do you know where I could find something like that? I struggle trusting my husband all the way. I mean I trust him, but, in the back of my mind I always have doubts like: ” why did he changed the channel when I walked into the room”, ” why did he close that web page when I came into the office”, why does he stare at his iPhone so much all day long..”, “is he attracted to other women ?” “Will this ever escalate and maybe lead him to find other real woman to have in his life?” I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t do this and pretty sure some of this thoughts come from the devil. And of course I have asked myself the question every woman on his position has: “why am I no enough?” I just want to have my marriage as it was in the beginning, before any of this got out in the open. And the more information and help I try to find, the more I notice the toll it has taken on my spiritual life. I love my husband and I know he struggles to kick this out of his life. I know how much he is trying to keep me from being hurt and the steps he is taking towards purity. I love him more for that. Still I need help and I feel like my spiritual life needs it too. Can’t really pinpoint at what I actually need or what in my spiritual life is off, but I know it hasn’t been the same. I don’t blame God or anything like that. I just feel Him a little further away. I’m sure the problem is in me and it is a struggle and it needs healing just as much as my husband does with his problem. Please pray for me. Even a small prayer is appreciated. I do want to feel closer to God and fully trust my husband again.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Thanks for sharing your story. It is great that you are wrestling through these tough questions and not ignoring them or trying to brush off the problem.

    28. kayla G on

      I’m really glad I found this article.I’ve been with my husband for two years only married for a little under one and I just turned 19 he was my second boyfriend and I was a virgin when I met him virgin when I married him I trusted him completely without one doubt loved him more then life and when I found out it was like a punch in the stomach I’ve never felt a pain like that before in my life it was by far the worst thing to ever happend to me I don’t talk about this to anyone but a little to my mom I haven’t told her everything so I’m glad I can talk to someone about this I’m struggling everyday with this hurt but I know in my heart he wont stop at least not for a long time I’ve tryes talking to him but all I get is a hug and empty promises which hurt just as bad as the betrayal I know the accountability software is out of the question because he never lets me have his phone at all.I just wish I could break that darn thing its been a problem from the start.I just wish he would stop this problem so I could heal and we could be like we were before but I k.ow he doesn’t want help I haven’t told him that I caught him this last time but I’m going to try and talk to him tomorrow I just needed someone to talk to so thank you this is helping me a lot.

      Reply
    29. jonathan on

      all men masturbate. men produce ridiculous amounts of sperm, and would have accidents n discomfort otherwise. you guys put yourselves on pedestals as if you possess more restraint, but its easy to abstain from giving in to urges you dont have; that doesnt make you better than anyone. men need sexual stimuli regularly. youre not making an effort to satisfy your HUSBANDS, and then youre indignant when he does it himself. people of the opposite sex dont marry to be in platonic relationships. if that were the case, he might as well marry a guy he has stuff in common with. get over yourselves.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Yes, all (or most) men do probably masturbate. And yes, it is fed by their hormones. That’s not what’s in question here. The question is whether men ought to pleasure themselves rather than making love to their wives. I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea that these women aren’t trying to satisfy their husbands. Can you elaborate?

    30. Dawn M on

      I had to reply to one of the comments from Drake. I am not at all trying to embarass you, but there are alot of men out there ( I say this from personally hearing comments being made) that passify porn as normal and innocently fun. This cannot be any farther from the truth. I wanted to share a scripture verse that talks specifically about this. It is Matthew 5:27-28, which says: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” The study notes at the bottom explaining this verse go on to say, it is wrong for a person to have sex with someone other than his/her spouse, but Jesus said that the desire to have sex with someone other than your spouse is mental adultery and thus sin. It goes on to say that Jesus said to fill ones mind with fantasies that would be wrong IF acted out, is sin. God created sex and gave the criteria that it was to be shared ONLY in marriage between a man and woman. These women on the internet or in magazines or videos ARE REAL PEOPLE ……therefore you ARE cheating on your spouse. You are satisfying your sexual desires using REAL WOMEN that ARE NOT YOUR SPOUSE to have sexual fantasies with. If this were not the case, You would not be getting aroused. Saying that porn is not that big of a deal is an understatement…..It is an extremely Big deal and not to be passed off lightly. These women being used to promote porn ARE SOMEONES DAUGHTER!!! How would you feel if your daughter were to pop up one day on the internet or wherever doing porn, knowing that men from all over are using her body as a sexual tool to erouse themselves? Our world is full of people that make excuses for their need to satisfy their desires of all kinds……it doesn’t mean that just because someone has a desire that it should be fulfilled however they please. There are also statistics that show that alot of the sexual predators out there are into porn. PORN is dangerous and ruins lives all the way around.

      Reply
    31. Cardo on

      Porn is terrible.. It hurts me to read how it destroys women.. I pray for each and everyone of you that God would heal your heart’s that you would practice forgiveness and not be ensnared by hate and un-forgiveness..God’s word says whatever is good whatever is noble..think on such things as these.. I am a man..My wife has left me and i have struggled with porn.. All i will say is that its wrong and evil… God is the only one that can deliver us from it… because every man tries to stop in his strength but its futile.. Marriage i have come to realize is like living the bible… Women you can be Christ to your husband or give up (But think if you do decide to give up..If Jesus Christ had given up on you where would you be..if the women who was caught in adultery and brought to Jesus to be stone..Jesus said the man without sin be the first to cast/throw the stone..when they all left He asked her woman where are your accusers? She said they have left and He said neither do i condemn you go and sin no more..If we are the bride and Christ is the groom..He came to save a bride that was imperfect to make her perfect..How can you not have mercy or compassion on your husband??? If he is sorry help him and tell him how its hurt you..no husband wants to hurt or see his wife hurt..please wives..pray to have the sacrificial love to look beyond this terrible evil and help your husband through)… I pray for myself(A man so imperfect..a sinner..ashamed and disgraced by this terrible sin) and all men that this terrible evil would be removed from our lives and hearts..that from this day forward we would be the men,fathers and husbands that God has ordained us to be..That kids would be brought up by their fathers and mothers… In Jesus Mighty name pray..Amen

      Reply
    32. Q on

      This is ridiculous. Men are acutely interested in sex and will investigate porn of their liking despite your protests…and this is not a violation of your wedding vows…only your personal moral code. If you believe in a god who shuns sexuality why would our parts fit together so well and create such extacy? By the way Jesus was an anarchist.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        1. True: Men (many of them) are interested in porn and will probably look at porn despite what we say. No argument there.

        2. If you pledge not to be faithful to your spouse, and she understands that to mean that you will not masturbate to images of other women, this is a violation of your vow to her. Why would it be any other way?

        3. You are quite mistaken about what Ashley believes about God: she doesn’t think God shuns sexuality. What about her posts give you that impression?

        4. Since Jesus told people to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, this can hardly be called a position of anarchy.

    33. Joyful on

      I sincerely thank you, Ashley, for writing this letter. I am currently in the middle of regaining my footing after finding out that my husband has fallen into this trap yet again. He is a great man who does love Jesus, but has been captive by this sin since about 12 years old and is struggling to break free. I just found out in July that there has only been about a month that has ever gone by that he has not looked at porn. Since that time, I have found out about 3 times (including just this past weekend) that he has stumbled again. Being a newlywed couple (2 years in January), this has been the hardest road I have ever walked. I am heartbroken again after hearing about what my husband looked at and I had a hard day yesterday, filled with emotions ranging from desolate sadness to anger at the devil’s destruction.

      I read this letter at work today, and I am thankful that I did. When you say that it will be a painful, bloody battle, but that at the end I will feel the beauty again, that spoke to my heart. I have the mindset that I will fight, no matter what, for myself and my husband to beat this addiction with the power and strength of Jesus. But I needed to hear these words from another woman who knows the feelings I am surfing through. It prepared me more to know “Ok, this is going to be extremely difficult, and it is going to hurt, and some blood is going to be shed, but God will RESTORE our marriage in the end.”

      I am so grateful that Jesus is an ever-present help in our troubles! Thank you for this encouragement! Is your email still available to contact you through?

      P.S. I am appalled at the men that are writing on here and being completely ignorant of the reality of the consequences of this sin. I am also surprised that the comments are allowed to stay posted on here for hurting women who really don’t need the salt rubbed in their wounds. I pray that Jesus touches the hearts of everyone who comes into contact with the above letter and gives them the eyes to see the truth.

      Reply
    34. Jen on

      My husband and I have only been married 3mo and I found out he’s been watching porn and lying to me about it. How do I move past feeling so broken and betrayed? How do I trust him again?

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Thanks for your question, Jen. I’m so sorry to hear about your situation right now.

        We actually have a free book you can download about this very thing. It’s called Porn and Your Husband. It will help to walk your through this step by step.

    35. anon on

      I don’t know what to do. pregnant withmiracle baby married after six years. and his porn addictions killing my spirit. I have medical issues that make it hard at times to make love. so he’ll look at porn. and it hurts me to my core. i don’t feel good enough for him. and betrayed. he say’s he hate’s hurting me and doesn’t like looking at it but he has no choice. :he stopped looking once when i told him it was me or porn. but then found him secretly looking again. and he said he was just as unhappy as i that he needed it again. i don’t know what to do anymore. i don’t want this issue over us. i love him more than anything but this addiction is killing us. what do i do? i don’t know what to do anymore ;( i don’t want to hurt anymore. i don’t want to leave him because of it but i feel like i have no choice. I’m lost. i have no where to turn

      Reply
      • Lisa Eldred on

        Hold onto hope! We’ve heard from a large number of wives who have been in similar situations, but who endured and actually have stronger marriages now. (You can read four of those stories here.)

        You used the term “addiction” to describe his porn use. You may have used it without thinking about the legal definition of the term, but the truth is: porn is addictive. Your partner has been literally rewiring his brain to require more porn. (Read this e-book for more information.)

        That means it’s not going to be as easy for him as simply stopping. Like all addictive behaviors, he will crave it, and go through withdrawal symptoms.

        With that in mind, here are a few things to do:

        1) Get a counselor to help him. When you call around for one, make sure you find one who treats porn use as a problem, not just a normal expression of sexuality.

        2) Find someone you both trust to hold him accountable for his online use. This will involve getting Internet Accountability software and finding someone other than you to receive his reports and talk to him about his Internet use. Do not try to do it alone. While you have the right to decide whether or not you also want to receive his reports, you will most likely react in pain when you see that he’s looked at porn (and he will), while someone else will have more emotional distance to address the heart of the matter, like what triggered him to look at those sites.

    36. Jennifer on

      Hello Ashely, Thank you so much for writing this, it helps me know I not alone. I am to hurt to write much at the moment but I have a question that I hope you can help me with. My husband just recently told me that when we first go married he lusted after my 14 year old daughter (not his daughter) I am so heart broken. I’m not sure I want to stay married. And if I don’t want to stay married would it be “okay” to leave. I’m not sure what to do about it. My 14 year old doesn’t live with us anymore but I have an 11 year old who does (not his daughter). Even if he never did this with my 11 I am still not sure if I want to stay with this man. What are your feelings on this? He has had some struggles with pornography too. Thank you for your input.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hi Jennifer,

        Sounds like a scary situation. When your husband mentioned this lusting, how did this information come out? What is the story behind this?

        Help me understand where you are coming from. When it comes to having grounds for divorce, what do you turn to for answers? The Bible? A counselor? A church leader?

    37. Michael on

      I got married roughly 6 years ago and had a porn addiction before I got married. I was never a skirt chaser, and my bride to be knew about the porn, as it was my alternative to sleeping with women when I was single. When we were married my wife “stumbled” on my web history, and noticed porn in it. She asked me about it and was obviously hurt by it. I told her that I would stop, that only lasted a few weeks or so before I started hiding it. I never once wanted to leave my wife for another woman. For me this was for when I really wanted her but she was not willing. I knew now how badly I messed up.
      This is not the end of the story, she found out again. I promised, and did it again. and again.
      Now I have quit looking at porn. I know it is too late to undo the damage, but how can I help her heal. She is emotionally numb to me in some regards.
      She has shifted her perspective, and says things like, “These are the goals I want, and nothing, not even you, are going to keep me from them.”
      I understand having goals is a very important aspect of growing as a person in general, but to place your goals above your marriage? I think we are in danger, our marriage is in danger. I know we could last a few more years or so, but I believe we are on the road to disaster and I want to help to fix this.
      We have agreed to see a councilor about our marital problems but I want to show her how serous I am about moving forward together, not by ourselves.
      Another note, we are both agnostic, not christian or anything else. I do not mind religious advice but know that too much god talk does not push us very well.
      Please help me with something I can do to show her I want to fix us!

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hi Michael,

        Thanks for writing. Sounds like you are taking some good steps to change, and this is great. The counselor is a great idea, and he or she will help you work through the problems.

        I might communicate the following to her if I were you: “I know I messed up by looking at porn. I did you wrong. I lusted after other women when you should be my one standard of beauty. I know you don’t trust me, and I know I’ve caused a breach between us, but I want you to know that I’m willing to fight for this marriage. What I mean is this: Not only am I willing to give us pornography, which I have done, but I want to pursue and cherish you. I understand completely if you aren’t as fond of my as you once were. I understand if you hate me. I probably hate me, too. But I’m willing to do whatever it takes to earn your trust. I committed myself to you until death do we part, and I meant that. I promised to have and hold you, forsaking all others, and I want to live up to that.”

    38. sydney on

      I am blessed to be able to say that I have a husband who, although is enslaved by the addiction of porn, is very repentant and truly hates it. Nonetheless, it hurts me, no matter how many times I remind myself of this truth. When I first found out while dating him, I did not handle it well and it pushed him deeper into hiding it. It’s been two years since we’ve been married, and I just recently stumbled upon more instances, and confronted him about it. It’s such a long, hard road, and I have to pray for strength every day to not make it about me, and to react in a loving manner toward him, because getting angry makes him feel hopeless and he gives up the fight. I’ve done a ton of research on porn addiction, and although it’s been painful, i’ve had to educate myself in order to understand how to be who God wants me to be for him. I’m on his team to defeat this, and we’re in this together, and that’s all he needs to know. I mean, he also needs to know that i am hurt and that it affects me deeply (which he does know), but i cannot dwell on that because that’s not what he needs to hear. I struggle with all the same thoughts I did when i first discovered it years ago, and it’s been years since the last incident. I want to help other wives struggling with the same emotions as I am, because I am in a much better place now than I was through the initial discovery. I still need someone to talk to to work through my own emotions with, yet I feel that with my experience, I have a lot of encouragement to offer.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Thank you for sharing, Sydney. Would you be willing to write a guest post for our blog? It might be an encouragement to others.

    39. Ado on

      Dear Ashley Weis,

      Hello, my name is Adi and I just happened to stumble onto your article, “Has porn invaded your Marriage: Letter to a Hurting Wife” on the internet a short while ago.

      I sincerely need your help and advice on this issue. You see, yesterday, in the course of conversation i hesitantly admitted to my girlfriend that I had been viewing pornographic material even after we got into a relationship with each other (8 months and counting) – when she openly asked me about it. I had to be honest with her because I couldn’t betray her even more by telling her a lie. What ensued was a flurry of mixed emotions full of anger, distress, sadness and a general loss for words. She couldn’t believe that I had stooped that low and couldn’t understand why I had to resort to such ways.

      Ms Weis, in all honesty I openly admit that it was the most shameful yet gravest of mistakes I made at the time. I gave in and succumbed to temptation and in hindsight now I’m as remorseful as I am regretful.

      I love my girlfriend immensely and I see her as the most incredible woman whom I wish to marry some day.

      After reading your article and several others on the issue I can complete understand the how, what & why that goes through a woman’s mind when they find out such things. I can empathise 100% with what my girlfriend is going through and my heart goes out to her. If only she knew that I’m not ignorant and I can empathise so deeply with her on this problem. I can put myself In her shoes and I acknowledge I am the root cause of this issue here.

      I am more than prepared to walk down the long hard road to recovery to salvage my relationship with my most precious girlfriend. I am also very religious so I’ve said my prayers about it and asked Him for a greater guidance & forgiveness and self-control over my actions.

      Your words of wisdom on how I can start this healing process would be invaluable and greatly appreciated. Please help me, I need guidance right now.

      Yours sincerely
      With warm regards,
      Adi.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Well, first of all, let me commend you for being honest. I’m also encouraged to hear you say that you’re willing to work on your recovery. Here are some ideas to help you along the way.

        1. Educate yourself about what’s going on in your body and brain when you look at porn. Your Brain on Porn is a free download for men on this topic.
        2. Educate yourself about the behavioral processes that aid recovery: internet filtering/blocking, accountability, group therapy, individual therapy. Resources that may help: Surfing for God, Pure Desire, Candeo. Celebrate Recovery, SAA, Pure Desire, xxxChurch all have groups you could attend.
        3. Commit yourself to the recovery process. Research says it can take up to 5 years for full recovery. Continue to attend your group, your individual therapy, and hold yourself accountable. If your system fails and you relapse, get up, fix your system, and keep going.
        4. Allow your girlfriend to have her own experience and emotions about this. Listen, listen, listen. Keep listening.
        5. Encourage your girlfriend to find a safe place to process her emotions, such as a group or individual therapy. Celebrate Recovery, S Anon, Pure Desire, xxxChurch all have groups for women. I just wrote a short ebook called Porn and Your Boyfriend that she might appreciate as well.
        6. Keep telling the truth, and stay committed to your recovery process.

    40. Leeandra on

      I have tried sending Ashley an email with the above link. Can she please email me…

      Reply
    41. Dana on

      I found out two years ago. He truly repented and willingly agreed to accountability software on everything. We’ve come so far, but I still hurt. A few days ago, I saw in his accountability report that he had looked at the Facebook page if a playboy bunny. It was about 30 seconds, and being on Facebook, there was no nudity, but I still felt crushed. I saw that one of his friends from work was a follower, so I assume it popped up in his news feed from him. I asked him about it. He says that he clicked it on accident while scrolling past but did take a second look and scroll down a little before feeling guilty and clicking out of it. He says he didn’t continue thinking about it at all after that, and he seems to think that it shouldn’t bother me very much since he didn’t look long and felt bad about it and didn’t think about it later. For me, it was still a huge betrayal that he’d do that after 2 years of clean reports. I am proud of him for feeling guilty and getting out before it escalated further, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still hurt and scared by the lapse in self control. I told him it betrayed my trust, and he said I didn’t trust him anyways, that he doesn’t understand why I’m not over it yet. :( I HAVE forgiven him, and I’m trying to trust him. I know i have a degree of trust for him, because I can leave him alone at the house without feeling afraid, and I couldn’t in the beginning. He hid this from me for 5 years. He’d been clean for a year before marrying me then was clean 2 after we were married before it started again, then he did it for 5 years before I found out. Am I supposed to be over it just 2 years later? It doesn’t nag at my mind every moment like it did at the beginning, but it passes through my mind at least once a day. Most days I can put it in the past and move past it in a moment. Other days are harder. I can’t have sex without it passing through my mind at least for a moment. Am I good enough? Does my body repulse him in any area? Is he wishing I was bigger here or smaller there? Am I boring him? Is he wishing I’d behave more like them? I still very much enjoy being with him, and the thoughts are fleeting, but they still take some of the joy out of the moment. How long can I expect to fell like this? Will I ever have a day that I don’t think of it or another chance to make love without feeling insecure?

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hi Dana.

        It sounds to me like there may be two things going on.

        1. It sounds like you haven’t been able to process your own thoughts and emotions about this. And, that’s something I see all the time. THere’s lots of emphasis on the husband’s recovery, but the wife doesn’t get help with her recovery. So, I’d encourage you to find a counselor who can help you process those thoughts and feelings. A support group is excellent as well. Living in a marriage threatened by porn is extremely traumatic to women. If we want to recover, we have to work on our own healing.

        2. I’m thinking that while your husband has been pretty trustworthy behaviorally, it sounds like there’s a gap in your emotional connection, and you’re both needing to work in that area. Here’s an article about building emotional trust. I would suggest getting a copy of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by Dr. John Gottman, so you’re strengthening the marriage in real ways outside of just waiting for the porn problem to be over.

        I hope that helps! Kay

    42. Humiliated wife on

      My husband and I have been married for over 20 years. He has secretly looked at pornography all the way through those years. I was so shell shocked at first that for many years I simply ignored it and didn’t let on that I knew about it. Eventually I confronted him about it and he admitted to it. I have rarely seen him use porn yet instinctively, I know when he has been. Something about the way he is with me changes ever so subtly. He tells me it is only an occasional sin. I’m not sure I believe that. He refuses to discuss the matter with another man or take an accountability partner. Internet accountability is only good once a man sticks to his own computers but my husband is given a work laptop. I don’t think he really realises the harm he has done to our marriage. I don’t think he realises that sexual intimacy between us is merely an act without any emotional connection. He retreats into his head and barely looks at me throughout our ‘love making’. I don’t think he realises the effect the sin has on his own heart. He knows it is wrong but isn’t concerned enough to seek help.
      Last weekend he got annoyed at me for not being in the ‘mood’ and accused me of having no libido. We had already been intimate that day I was exhausted as it was after 1 am in the morning. I am a peace maker so I said nothing but I was so hurt because I try so hard at times to be what he needs me to be. The truth is that perhaps he is somewhat correct in his accusation. My desire is at times very much affected because of the rawness of the wound I feel. I often feel that I am the wife of a man with multiple concubines. They are always young, beautiful, nubile and wanton. I am older, ageing, less desirable and certainly never comparable sexually with his digital harem. Yes, at times my desire for intimacy is affected by those others that have come into the marriage bed. Perhaps a man can compartmentalise porn and reality but for me, ‘they’, those other women are always with us in our intimacy. It doesn’t really matter to me whether this is an occasional sin or a regular habit. The fact that my husband does not see the need to deal with it means that it will most likely never leave us. I could never say this as clearly to him because, while he is a good husband, he is very defensive and reactionary at times and can be very petulant when confronted with his sin. I don’t want my children to be made aware by his loud indiscreet arguing that porn is a part of our marriage. For this reason alone I cowardly bury it. Please pray for both of us.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        I am so, so sorry.

        I want to just affirm the signs that you notice as real and true. Porn deeply interferes with the emotional intimacy of a marriage, as porn users turn toward porn rather than the relationship for their fulfillment. Interestingly, The Gottman Institute just came out against porn for this very reason: not a “moral” or “religious” indictment against porn, but finally recognizing the emotional devastation that porn causes to relationships. It’s just not healthy, and you can feel that.

        Another thing you should know is that many, many spouses in situations like this will meet the clinical criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). So the wound that you feel is also real and true. I would encourage you, no matter what your husband does, to seek treatment for yourself with a trauma-trained therapist. You can search directories at Psychology Today and The American Association Of Christian Counselors to find someone in your area. A trauma-focued group might be helpful. You might also want to read The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk–one of the best books out there on how trauma affects us. Finally, there is an exciting new website for women, Bloom, which offers trauma-focused resources, along with groups, classes, etc.

        Whatever he chooses, YOU choose health, YOU choose healing. YOU choose a life that’s congruent with God’s great love for you. Peace, Kay

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