3 minute read

Husband Porn Problems: Should I keep spying on him?

Last Updated: April 28, 2015

Guest Author

Want to write for the Covenant Eyes blog? Share the story of your journey to freedom from pornography. Let us know how you overcame porn or how Covenant Eyes has made a difference in your life or the lives of those you love.

At the beginning of the month we got a comment from April, a concerned wife. Since being married, she’s found proof of his porn use a number of times. We asked Jason Martinkus, the President of Redemptive Living, to respond. 

April writes:

My latest struggle, though, is the constant searching. When I get home from work before he does, I scroll through his computer and e-mail…whatever I can look through to try to find where he has fallen. I don’t know if I think it will make me feel better to know exactly what is going on. I have only found proof twice, but thoughts still flood my mind. All day I face the battles, wondering what he has seen, how deep his exposure goes, and if he has ever been involved with anyone online or elsewhere. I cannot help but wonder if anything has been hidden from me, even though there’s pretty solid proof that there isn’t.

It’s this distrust that scares me though. I don’t want to not be able to trust him. He even mentioned how me looking through his computer had caused him to stumble. I’m afraid of what might come of this. I don’t have solid hope that his struggle will stop. We are making positive steps, but how can I fully trust him again when I don’t have solid feelings that he will stop? I’m so afraid to get hurt again.

Is it harmful for me to be looking through his computer and monitoring him? I guess I don’t really know. To me, not seeing anything feels good, but finding what he has seen hurts so deeply. Yet, I keep desiring to look, wondering just how deep it goes and what he is looking at. I am simply lost.

Hi April,

First let me tell you that you are not crazy. So many wives feel crazy when they suspect something is going on but cannot put their finger on it. Your gut tells you there is more to the story but the data has only shown you these few instances. These few instances are enough. Once was enough.

Second, you need to know that this is not your fault. Nothing you could do or say – lose weight, stop nagging, have more sex or have different sex – would matter. This is an issue in his heart and his mind; it is not about you. It is not because of you or in spite of you. His comment that your snooping has “caused him to stumble” is flat wrong and is blame-shifting. Nothing you do can “cause” him to stumble.  It is not your fault.

I made the mistake of blaming my wife for my addiction and it did incredible damage to her heart.

There are a couple of things that may be helpful for you. The spying or snooping is fear-based and is about protecting your heart. Being able to look through everything makes you feel like a babysitter, but it also gives you some semblance of control. His sin feels very out of control. The fear of your heart being stomped on again is valid and justified. I repeat, your fear is warranted.

The spying, however, does you no good. It does not foster trust in your marriage. It only fosters suspicion. It is important to realize that trust building is not your responsibility; it is his.

He should be willing to have an open door policy. You should be able to ask any question at any time while expecting a humble, gentle response. He should be willing to sit down at the computer with you, walk through the history and explain any questionable websites. He should be able to account for all online activities. If he is unwilling to have this open door policy or is defensive, you can assume he is guilty of acting out again. Basically what he is communicating to you is this: “Protecting myself from feeling guilt and shame is more important than protecting your heart and helping you feel secure in our marriage.”

I urge you to decide that enough is enough and that more help is required. Seeing your pastor, a recovery leader in your church, or a counselor is the logical next step for him and the two of you together. He needs help and cannot do this alone. You also cannot do this alone and it would be incredibly beneficial for you to connect with a support group or, at the least, another wife who has been through this.

Finally, know there is hope! There can be a day when you trust that your husband is living with integrity, honoring you with his mind, heart and hands. There can be a time when you don’t feel the temptation to spy on him, because you can trust that he’ll humbly honor any question you ask and will eagerly answer you. He doesn’t have to walk around with this shame and guilt any longer and can truly be free to love and serve both God and you!

. . . .

Jason MartinkusJason Martinkus is the President of Redemptive Living, a Denver-based counseling and speaking ministry dedicated to helping men with sexual integrity issues. After sexual addiction almost took his life and marriage, Jason was called to help other men. He received a Bachelors degree in Finance from the University of Oklahoma. God called him into ministry and back to school where he received a Masters in Counseling from Denver Seminary. Today he is the national speaker for Every Man’s Battle.

  • Comments on: Husband Porn Problems: Should I keep spying on him?
    1. Nikky on

      Thank you for this post. I am also dealing with the same issue except in my case, my husband has actually gone out and slept with strippers. I am at lost right now as on 12/21/12 it happened again. This is the third Christmas back to back that I had to deal with this. to the point where I do not look forward to Christmas because it comes of heartache. My husband and I have tried marriage counseling at our church and he failed to do his part of the assignment and therefore, we were unable to continue counseling. I am at my breaking point and I am wanting out of this marriage. He keeps telling me not to divorce him but he is not willing to do anything to change. Will the divorce be a reality check for him? I don’t know what to do. My children are very young and I feel bad for them should we divorce. Please Help me!!!

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hi Nikky. Your husband’s sexual compulsiveness and infidelity are truly horrendous. He needs to own up to how this is harming you, him, and your marriage. Do not feel you have to keep this matter a secret for his benefit. First and foremost, you need support for yourself. You need someone wise to come alongside you and help you think clearly, someone to give you advice. Talk to someone like your pastor about this issue. Pull in family members or friends who you trust to be level-headed and compassionate. Don’t walk through this alone.

        Many people (most people?) will probably tell you you are not crazy for wanting out of the marriage. They will also probably tell you you are within your rights to divorce him. But I do believe divorce is a last resort. You are not a fool for staying to see what great miracle God might do in his life and your marriage, but neither are you a fool for leaving him. This situation calls for wisdom and a lot of prayer.

        I believe you would get a lot out of this series of videos by Brad Hambrick, a biblical counselor. He does a great job making the Word of God relevant to women who have been hurt by true sexual betrayal.

        For the time being, I would go to your husband and tell him, “I am going to seek advice on what to do about our marriage and help for my own heart. For the time being, you need to come up with an action plan of how you will stay faithful to me, in heart, soul, and body. I cannot come up with this plan for you. You need to find the resources necessary for your purity. You know more than anyone how weak you are when it comes to sexual temptation. If you love God and if you love me, then figure out what you need to do to change. I know you will need help with this, and I urge you to get it, but I cannot keep trusting you when you have shattered my trust. You must earn my trust. If you want to stay married to me, you must fight for my trust. Perhaps our marriage can heal, perhaps it will not. Much of that is up to you. I am not sure about what I need to do right now, but as far as it depends on you, I need you to fight for our marriage or we will not have a fighting chance at making it.”

        I hope this advice is helpful. My prayers are with you.

    2. Nikky on

      Luke, Thank you so much for your Godly advice. You have been very helpful. I will be sure to seek help from my church.

      Nikky

      Reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *