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Resources for Wives of Porn Addicts

Last Updated: September 23, 2021

Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

Ever since our blog was launched in 2008, we’ve written hundreds of articles and conducted many interviews for women who are married to porn addicts. Below are some of our best, most popular resources and our recommendations for women who are in this situation.

Is Your Husband Addicted to Porn?

10 Signs of Porn Addiction: Do these describe your husband? – “If you suspect something about your husband, here are some telltale signs of porn addiction.”

Understanding How Porn Is Harming Your Husband

Brain Chemicals and Porn Addiction: Science Shows How Porn Harms Us – “This imbalance in the brain leads to many problems: impotence with your spouse, frequent masturbation with very little satisfaction, anxiety, fatigue, lack of motivation, inability to concentrate, and escalating tastes for more bizarre or novel porn.”

4 Ways Porn Warps the Male Brain– “How is a man wired sexually? How does porn hijack a man’s sexuality?”

Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction: The Stats, Stories and Science of PIED – “Porn-induced erectile dysfunction is the inability to maintain an erection during sex, because one’s sexual appetite has been changed by frequent porn use.”

Combatting the Lies Porn Feeds to Women

Husbands Who Watch Porn: Wives Are Asking, “What’s wrong with me?” – “If you are a woman married to a man who compulsively uses pornography, one of the best things you can do for yourself is acknowledge that you are not the root of the problem.”

7 Questions Wives of Porn Addicts Often Ask

  1. How can my husband love me and look at porn when he knows it hurts me?
  2. Why does my husband prefer porn and masturbation to sex with me?
  3. Why am I not enough if I am sexually available to him?
  4. He says he looks at porn because I don’t have sex with him enough, am not pretty enough, am too fat, etc. What can I do?
  5. My husband says all men do it. Am I making too big a deal out of this?
  6. My husband refuses to get help or admit this is a problem. How can I make him stop? What are the risks if he doesn’t stop?
  7. Is there hope? Can a man like this change?

5 Lies I Believed When My Husband Was Watching Porn – “The women in pornography don’t require anything of the participant. It is a very one sided act. Therefore, if I try making our life all about my husband and leave my needs at the door, he won’t need pornography anymore.”

Practical Steps for Marriage Recovery

Porn and Your Husband: A Recovery Guide for Wives – This free e-book will help you begin to answer some of the big questions: Why does he look at porn? Is this my fault? Is our marriage over? You’ll also learn some practical tips for bringing healing and reconciliation to your relationship: communicating productively, setting boundaries for tough love, and finding intensive counseling to help him stop.

Setting Boundaries with Your Porn Addict Husband – “Boundaries are limits and precedents that you establish to let your husband know what is a reasonable way for him to behave so he can regain your trust over time.”

Porn and Your Sex Life

4 Ways Porn Kills Great Sex in Marriage – “What will make sex better can be summed up in one word: intimacy. And no, sex does not equal intimacy.”

Couples Using Porn: Does it increase sexual satisfaction? – “The question is not whether shared porn use bodes well for relationships compared to solitary use for masturbation…A better question is whether couples watching porn together is optimal for real intimacy.”

Should Married Couples Fast from Sex During Porn-Detox? – “For many Christian counselors, this abstinence period is recommended as a time to intentionally de-throne the idol of sexual gratification.”

Husband Struggle with Porn? 3 Ways to Rebuild Your Sex Life – “As you heal from the destructive path of pornography, don’t lose sight of sexual connection in your marriage bed.”

For Husbands: Practical Steps to Earn Your Wife’s Trust

Straight Talk to Husbands Who Watch Porn – “Pornography doesn’t teach men to serve, honor, and cherish their wives in a way that fosters romance. Pornography trains men to be consumers, to treat sex as a commodity, to think about sex as something on-tap and made-to-order.”

So, Does That Make Me an Adulterer? – “This is no minor infraction, like coming home late for dinner or forgetting to pay the gas bill. It’s a deliberate, heinous violation, and no wife should be expected to tolerate it.”

For Men Addicted to Porn: 8 Ways to Rebuild Trust with Your Wife – “Some men go so far as to blame their wives for their porn problems. If this is you, grow up and take responsibility for yourself. You are not merely a helpless victim of your sexual passions.”

What Every Wife of a Sex Addict Has a Right to Know About Her Husband’s Recovery – “One way you can make your relationship with your wife go a little more smoothly is to keep her informed of what your recovery looks like and even allow her to be involved.”Stories of Hope

Hope After Porn – This free e-book In this free e-book, features stories from four women who have personally known the devastation pornography can cause in a marriage. They give readers a glimpse of the betrayal, the hurt, and the choices they made to try and make a difference.

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  • Comments on: Resources for Wives of Porn Addicts
    1. Martha on

      Thanks for listing these great resources in one place! And blessings to the Covenant Eyes team for being here!

      Reply
    2. Buffy woods on

      I see no way of ever feeling good about myself again i feel so worthless and so unwanted and so unatractive and i just wish i could die and stop all the pain. Ive never felt anything as painful as knowing that the man im in love with would rather watch porn and masturbate then be with me its the most heart wrenching and soul shattering feeling in the world and id give anything to go back and never have met him cause this is the most horrible and humiliating feeliing for a person to have to feel and no one should ever ever be made to feel like this ever.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        I am so sorry for the pain you’re experiencing. I strongly encourage you to find an experienced, trauma-informed professional therapist to help you process the pain, and to help you work through what healthy boundaries will look like for you. (Here, here, and here are some articles on boundaries to get you started.) You might also appreciate the online resources at Bloom for Women.

        It’s very common for women in a situation like this to meet the clinical criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), so make sure you are getting the help you need.

        Whatever your partner chooses, YOU can choose to be healthy and well. His choices DO NOT define you!

        If he is not able to do his own work in recovery, you can still make healthy choices for yourself. You are not required to be a victim of his poor choices, ever. Reach out for the help you need, take care of you, and be well.

        Peace to you,
        Kay

      • Dana on

        I agree I feel so embarrassed and shame from how I look. Maybe hollywood lights and no relationship works for them. I don’t even want to put on sexy things because he may have seen it on someone with something simular and compair and I don’t measure up. GRR

      • Katy on

        You have summed up exactly how i feel. Every single day. Im so sorry you feel this way. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I just pray there is light at the end of the tunnel x

      • Lacey on

        Buffy I’m in the same exact boat as you and I don’t know what to do:( not only was my chance to have children taken from me but now I find out my husband does not have a low sex drive but a massive porn problem. He even lusts after my best friend. He never used to be like this at least he hid it way better but I don’t see him wanting to change he won’t even acknowledge it:(

    3. Sunny on

      My husband has went further & visited Brothels, paid massive amounts for Escorts – I only found out as I saw sms messages on his phone with similar mobile numbers many times – I typed numbers in on phone & it came up Scarlett Blue Escort Agency – $1400 per 3 hrs he did twice in 1 weekend – lied for years re porn & now this !!!!! I’m left speechless

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Sunny,

        I hope that you are considering your boundaries with this new information. Here, here, and here are some articles that might help. A good therapist just for you and probably some legal advice would be great at this point too.

        Be safe and well, Kay

    4. Georgie on

      Hello!
      My husband has been pornography free for 2 years. But his temptations are daily and he feels that the smallest image that pops up on his screen from adds to unfortunate Google images has made him feel like he has relapsed. He doesn’t entertain the images, but just by seeing them alone he feels as though he’s hurt me, God and failed himself. We do have covenant eyes installed. We have a strong relationship and we discuss how to improve when these moments come up and talk about boundaries. We’ve recently discussed the difference between lapse and relapse. But with these daily temptations he feels as though he is failing. Anyone out there have suggestions to keep your sweetheart strong when they’re doing better than they think they are?

      Reply
    5. Susan on

      My husband of 30 years has not always been the nicest person to me. I just could never understand why he would profess his love for me and apologize and I would accept and move on until the next time. Fast forward of dealing with this for 30 years of marriage and 3 years of dating: I was done I told him I wanted a lie detector test. I always knew he was hiding something. Well the night before the lie detector he confessed to kissing another woman 27 years ago while we were married. I thought at that time something was going on confronted him then and over the years and he lied.He also confessed to watching porn for the past 8 years. Once again I thought something had been going on but he was opening his phone in private mode and also kept it with him all the time.I’m just at a loss at what to do this is the only man I have ever had sex with and I feel like I have been hit with a ton of bricks. I don’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth. On one hand I want to revert back to the habit of forgiving him and moving on but another part of me wants nothing to do with him.i feel the same as the other women, why wasn’t I good enough, what did I do to deserve this, what did the women look like, what kind of acts was he watching? Not only was he watching porn the last 8 years he was also looking at magazines at certain times during our marriage. I feel bad for him because I know he was exposed to this junk at early age by his parents but it hurts that it took a threat of a polygraph to finally get him to tell me the truth. Please pray for me I don’t have anyone to talk to about this only him and he gets mad when I have questions.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hey Susan.

        I’m so sorry for the pain you’re going through. Certainly your husband’s sexual behaviors that he’s confessed to are concerning. But even more concerning to me is the fact that “he hasn’t always been the nicest person” and when you ask questions about the situation you’ve uncovered, he responds to you with anger. This suggests to me that he is likely an emotional abuser. I think you’d find some good help and insight from Lundy Bancroft’s book, Why Does He Do That? The subtitle is “Inside the minds of angry and controlling men.” We like to think that porn or other sexually inappropriate behaviors are the cause of the problem when in fact many times they are just symptoms of male entitlement and objectification that is far deeper than we know.

        I’d like to address the idea of forgiveness a bit as well. I’ll just say here that forgiveness doesn’t mean the relationship can or should be reconciled. I wrote a short book about forgiveness after my own experience with my husband’s porn habit. I think you might find it helpful: Debunking the Myths of Forgive and Forget.

        You might also appreciate a few articles on boundaries: here, here, and here.

        I think you’d benefit from finding a therapist just for yourself, to help you process what’s going on here. And you’ll love the online resources at Bloom for Women, where there are forums and classes you can join that all address marriage betrayal, in a private setting.

        You deserve to be treated with love and respect. You do not ever deserve to be treated badly.

        Peace to you,
        Kay

    6. S G on

      My husband and I are young and lost our virginity to eachother. We’ve had a few issues, but have overall had a great partnership. 5 weeks ago, while we were separately visiting our families, I discovered he had searched for porn. He logged into his Gmail on my phone and didn’t realize I could see his history, and I was looking at my phone’s history to find the name of the restaurant my sister and I went to. But despite me having literal proof, like it showed it came from his device, he still tried to lie. Eventually, he confessed to having a porn addiction from day 1 of our relationship. I feel so heartbroken and awful about myself, I’ve contemplated suicide. I don’t know what to do. He’s working to better himself and has been clean for 5 weeks, but I’m still hurting so bad.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hey there,

        I hope first of all that you KNOW this is not about you. You are not the problem here! It’s really common for women to be traumatized by a discovery like this, but I want you to repeat to yourself over and over: this is his problem, and he needs to deal with it. This is his problem, and he needs to deal with it. Be heartbroken, but reject that shame with everything in you.

        This is NOT about you. This is NOT your fault. You did nothing to cause this, and you can’t have enough sex, the right way, in certain positions, or be thin enough, or have big enough boobs, to make him stop. He has to do this work himself.

        I do not recommend couples’ therapy for this issue, at least not until you are both stable in your own recovery paths. His recovery path is his behavior, and learning to be a partner who can turn toward you instead of away to his behaviors. Your recovery path is trauma recovery.

        He needs to find a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist for himself, one that works from a trauma-informed perspective rather than a 12-step perspective. Being clean for 5 weeks is nice but it won’t last unless he invests in his own recovery through therapy.

        You need a therapist just for you, someone who works from a trauma-informed perspective. You will also appreciate the online resources at Bloom for Women, which are trauma-informed as well.

        Here are a few articles on boundaries that you’ll also find helpful, I think: here, here, and here.

        You are not ever, ever required to stay in a marriage with someone who refuses to do their own recovery work. I hope he will do his work and that the relationship can be repaired. But just know that you are not trapped in abuse, ever. Whatever he decides, you can choose healing and hope, always.

        Peace,
        Kay

    7. Key on

      My husband won’t even admit that it is wrong, except to say I should have said something earlier. I did 12 years ago, he didn’t apologize and still watches.. just Saturday. He Won’t apologize since he hasn’t done anything to me. I want to just disappear. We’ve been married 33 years and he is prominent in our church. How can he?! He gets so angry, and he is hiding so many things. I think he has sent someone money too

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        I am so, so sorry.

        It sounds like viewing porn is really just the tip of the iceberg here. I hear that he’s gaslighting you, shifting the blame, using anger as a threat, using his church position against you, hiding, lying, and probably more.

        I would encourage you to find a therapist who can help you look reality in the face and decide what is okay with you, what is not okay with you, and what you can do with that information.

        You are not required to be abused in any way: sexually, emotionally, financially.

        Here, here, and here are some articles on boundaries that you might find helpful.

        You can’t control him and his choices, but you can make healthy choices for yourself, no matter what he chooses. It is never, ever too late to live free and clear of someone else’s sin.

        Peace,
        Kay

    8. Katie312 on

      My husband and I have been married for almost 2 years. He told me about his porn addiction about a year after we got married and it was hard for me but I tried helping him through it. He then stopped talking about it and made it out to me that he had stopped. I found out just 2 weeks ago it had never stopped. I confronted him about it and asked why he was lying about it. And he said because I had made him mad. Fast forward to yesterday I found messages on his Instagram to a girl he met on tender. She sent him a link to get connected to her camera and they planned to hook up. I confronted him about it. He showed me his tender but said he didn’t remember sending those. I asked how many times he has done this and he told me he couldn’t remember. He said it’s just part of his addiction. I’ve tried really hard to help him through this but I don’t know what to do anymore. He cheated on me and our 3 kids. He says he is sorry but I don’t know how to keep going after this.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hi Katie,

        It sounds like it’s time to consider your boundaries in a new way. What is okay with you? What is not okay with you? Here, here, and here are some articles that might help.

        I think you would benefit from the online resources at Bloom for Women, where there are forums, classes, and other great support for women in marriage betrayal.

        If he’s claiming that this is an addiction, he should be taking responsibility for that and seeing a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist. (all therapists are working online now, so the pandemic is no excuse for non treatment)

        If he refuses to take responsibility for himself and do his work, then you really have to ask yourself if you want to be in a relationship like this for the rest of your life. You are not required to a a slave to anybody’s sin, especially not your husband’s.

        Peace to you in this hard time,
        Kay

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