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Secretly Watching Porn: The Night I Finally Came Clean to My Wife

Last Updated: June 14, 2021

James Cordrey

James Cordrey is an author, blogger, and speaker who trains men how to fight for purity and freedom so they can escape the snare of pornography. He leads men on a journey of becoming the warriors they were designed to be in order that they may influence the world and their relationships for good. He loves the arts, the outdoors, sports, a good cup of tea, and stimulating conversation. James live near Philadelphia with his wife and three children. He more of his stuff at intentionalwarriors.com.

by James Cordrey

In my marriage we call it “The Confession.” In truth, that’s not quite an accurate name for what happened.

God ambushed me while I was having a conversation with my wife, Carolyn. A seemingly harmless interaction took a sudden turn and the next thing I knew, the sordid truth of my porn addiction came out.

It was not the first time we had talked about pornography. However, in those conversations I always saw it coming and had developed various ways to protect myself from being discovered.

After an incident early in our marriage when Carolyn learned that I had looked at a porn magazine I learned to use vagueness, conversational diversion and self-righteous comments laced with Biblical references to make sure I didn’t have to face a direct question about my porn use.

The night of “The Confession” was something totally different.

Some Christian men get caught in the act, others are found out because they leave a trail.  I was “outed”—by God, no less.

Vain Promises of Change

In many cases, if the man promises things like, “It’ll never happen again,” and behaves himself for a little while, the tension passes and a sense of normalcy returns.

In the past I promised that it would never happen again, and I had every intention of following through. However, the weight  of it—when attempted with nothing more than earnest, fleshly determination—was too much to bear.

A man who makes a resolution to never look at pornography again will fail every time if that resolution is based on nothing more than his effort.

Once I realized I couldn’t live up to my promise, I just worked more diligently at covering my tracks. I became more industrious about satisfying my desire for pornography in a way that would remain well hidden.

There were times when I tried to fight it, but I was mired in futility.

The Never-Ending Cycle

There was a definite cycle of involvement. I would resist, then I would fail, then I would beat myself up about failing, then I would tire of the self-condemnation and then I would give myself license. Eventually I would realize I needed to fight temptation and the cycle would repeat.

The cycle of defeat and ever deepening involvement with pornography continued unbroken until the night when my two worlds collided and my exposure was complete.

The Night of My Confession

I describe it this way in my book Intentional Warriors: Fighting For Purity And Freedom In A Sexually Saturated Society.

I say God ambushed me because I was completely blindsided by Him. Carolyn and I were talking about random things, nothing particularly heavy. I was packing a suitcase to go out of town on business. In a subtle manner, she started talking about a couple we knew and a conversation that couple had had about pornography. One thing led to another and the next thing I knew, Carolyn was, in effect, asking me about my involvement with porn. I was caught like the classic deer in headlights. As I stood there, not saying anything, I was actually saying everything.  I tried some damage control. She wasn’t buying it.

It was a brutal night. She was devastated and I was freaking out. Christian husbands aren’t supposed to look at pornography. We both knew it. And, to make matters worse, I had lied to her repeatedly, telling her that I didn’t look at such things. I had even held myself up publicly in our church as an example of a man who abstained from it.

Hypocrite.

I felt as though the rug had been ripped out from under me and I was in emotional freefall. I was very scared for my marriage that night.

The fear I felt that night was different from the embarrassment I experienced early on in our marriage. The full details of the depth of my addiction finally came out.

The Long Path of Change

Through a series of long, painful conversations I owned up to who and what I had become. I heard God tell me that this was a matter of life and death. The seriousness of the situation was unavoidable. I had been living a lie and I had been found out.

I stopped making empty promises and cried out to God in true humility and desperation for the very first time. God met me as I surrendered my pride, and I began a process of repentance, healing and training.

God taught me to be a warrior–His warrior. He then blazed a path that led me to freedom and gave me the strength to walk.

“The Confession” was, truly, something totally different.

. . . .

James Tarring Cordrey is the author of Intentional Warriors: Fighting For Purity And Freedom In A Sexually Saturated Society. He blogs at IntentionalWarriors.com, a website dedicated to helping men fight for purity and freedom from pornography in the midst of a sexually saturated society. James is a leader of worship at Blue Route Vineyard in Pennsylvania. Listen to the interview with James and his wife Carolyn on Covenant Eyes Radio.

 

  • Comments on: Secretly Watching Porn: The Night I Finally Came Clean to My Wife
    1. David Frazier on

      Great testimony!

      Confession, Brokenness, Repentance, Humility, Poverty of Spirit (“I can’t do it!”) and the fruit (evidence of a transformed heart) that follows… all the ingredients of God’s Divine recipe for true victory are present here, brother.

      Reply

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