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Hope After Porn: Our Marriage Would Never Be the Same

Last Updated: August 9, 2021

Laura Booz
Laura Booz

Laura Booz is on the speaking team of Pure Freedom, a ministry dedicated to equipping men and women of all ages to live a vibrant life of purity. She attends Penns Valley Community Church with her husband Ryan and her two daughters, Vivienne and Lia. Laura and Ryan know firsthand the hurt and damage that pornography can do to a marriage, and they are passionate about helping other couples find freedom from porn’s grip. She blogs at 10 Million Miles.

The following is chapter 1 of the book, Hope After Porn: 4 Women’s Tales of Heartbreak and How Their Marriages Were Saved.


It couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

After the trauma of preterm labor, a month of bed-rest, and a three-day long delivery, I was a new mom who had to constantly hold, nurse, or pump milk for our premature daughter. The around-the-clock care didn’t ease up after the first couple of weeks like they said it would. I was so exhausted that I felt delirious. You might know the feeling.

To top it all off, I could tell our marriage was strained and I felt compelled to check my husband’s computer. I knew that in the past, when I had been sick, weak, or occupied with something else, Ryan would struggle more intensely with pornography. We had been going around and around with this problem for the full three years of our young marriage. No amount of disappointment, hurt, anger, conviction, or counseling had solved the problem. The solutions we had tried only lasted until the temptation crept up again. I ignored the internal warning several times. I felt too drained to admit that Ryan might be looking at pornography while I was caring for the baby or enjoying any moments of sleep that came my way. I thought, I can’t take care of another person’s problems; he’s supposed to be strong for me.

And yet the prompting continued. Check your husband’s computer.

When I finally scanned the history on Ryan’s computer, I found some images that he had recently viewed. Even though I wasn’t surprised, I did feel freshly hurt and betrayed. I felt the familiar rush of jealousy, of wanting to look intently at every two-dimensional woman to discover what she had that I didn’t have, what she did that I didn’t do, or what she was that I couldn’t be. I clenched my jaw and set my heart in disgust towards my husband: my heart was filled with bitterness toward this man who wasted our time, energy, and resources on lust while I worked so hard to take care of our family.

Making a Crisis Out of It

I held our precious baby in my arms as I sat at our kitchen table and wondered what I should do next. Then it dawned on me, Why should I sit here with a pit in my stomach while he waltzes through the day without a care in the world? I picked up the phone. When Ryan answered, I simply said, “You need to stop looking at pornography.” I knew that he could hear the finality in my voice; I knew that somehow, he got the message that I would not fight this losing battle anymore. I wanted him to sweat this one out. I wanted to make a crisis out of this so that it would not be a part of our lives anymore.

Five minutes later, Ryan pulled into the driveway and gushed every apology and every “I’ll try harder” he could concoct in an effort to appease me. I had heard it all before. I told him that unlike the past, I would not offer suggestions, solutions, or sympathy. The pattern had always been the same: when I initiated a solution, he never followed through. This time, he had to figure something out what would actually change the pattern. And he had to figure it out himself. I decided to retreat with our daughter to my parents’ home. I needed time and distance to heal, rest, and consider my appropriate response. I needed my mother and my sisters, who would help me to take care of the baby, and I needed a good night’s sleep.

Tears streamed down my face as I packed my bags. In my flurry of mourning and moving, I knew I would not return to the same man. I knew that our marriage would never be the same. It was either time for me to end the relationship or time for both of us to change. By going to my parents’ home, I knew I was making a risky move. Once a woman is married, she’s wise to keep healthy boundaries between her relationship with her husband and her relationship with her immediate family. But this particular time, I needed their physical help. My parents wanted to see us work it out; they weren’t coddling me or damning Ryan. They knew that he had walked through some tough times with me, and that I could walk through this with him.

What made the situation even more powerful were the friends who came to our rescue.

The Making of a New Man

For 40 days after my discovery of Ryan’s ongoing struggle—while I got over my initial desire to kill him—Ryan lived with our friend, Mark and his family. Mark spent hours with Ryan—at the breakfast table, under the stars by the fire pit, on the porch, on the phone, etc.—asking him all of the tough questions, kicking his behind, and teaching him how to be an honest man. Every morning, Mark would remind him that, in order to love me and our children well, he had to “die to himself.” This meant giving up every selfish, immature notion and behavior and replacing them with sacrificial love. Tough stuff.

Another dear friend (also named Mark) joined in the battle and helped Ryan to see the character qualities that weakened a man’s resolve against lust. They also taught him how to grow in the virtues that would help him to be faithful, wise, and honest. “The Marks” (as we came to call them) didn’t overlook anything. They noticed and jumped on parts of Ryan’s personality and perspective that I wouldn’t have had the discernment or courage to address. Men seem to have a special knack for nailing each other. To this day, I don’t know all of the details that went on as the Marks beat Ryan down and built him back up again, but I do know that we will always tell our children and our children’s children about the friends who did the hard work of instilling manliness and goodness in Ryan.

All this time, I too was being helped and counseled by two dear friends. They provided sympathy and support, but they also gave me a lot of wisdom about ways in which I could be more supportive, respectful, and loving towards Ryan. I hadn’t noticed that I was behaving more like the “mother” and the “maid” rather than the “wife.” I also hadn’t noticed that while I was stressed with pre-term labor and bed- rest, everything else had fallen on Ryan’s shoulders: cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, yard work, preparing the nursery, and so on. Ryan insists that this is not an excuse—and I agree—but I sure didn’t respect the fragility of a tired man. My friends pointed out that we had stopped going to church and hadn’t seen our friends in many weeks. Since then, being closely connected to a local church and being vibrantly committed to God and the Bible have actually been huge factors in our kindness and faithfulness to one another.

Finding Real Accountability

Once Ryan and I were speaking again, we shared the important lessons we had learned. Ryan told me about the power of being accountable to other men. Although Ryan firmly believes that he ultimately answers to God, it sure helps to be open and honest with friends who agree that pornography is destructive and who want the best for him. He told me that he had downloaded Covenant Eyes Accountability on all of our computers and that a small group of men he trusted would receive full reports of all his online activity. Until this point, I had been the one looking over Ryan’s shoulder and “catching him” from time to time. It was exhausting, not to mention humiliating. Now that his friends were by his side, I could step back and allow Ryan to develop his own internal passion to resist temptation. You can imagine my relief.

My husband’s career is in technology and he works on the computer every day. He says that after a life-long addiction to pornography, working on the computer is like a recovering alcoholic walking around with a flask of vodka all day, every day. Quite honestly, having Covenant Eyes on his computers has been a wonderful encouragement to him as he sets his mind to avoid pornography. Covenant Eyes is so helpful in making him think ten times about his online choices. His friends ask him hard questions about his Internet reports, and they’ve developed very deep relationships because of it. I’ve come to appreciate Ryan’s willingness to protect our marriage with this software tool.

I still remember one afternoon during the restoration process when a friend challenged me to tell Ryan that I respected him and to specify why. She said it would probably mean the world to him and put some wind in his sails. That evening, I thought about what I could possibly say. Finally, I blurted out, “I respect you for taking this so seriously.” I was shocked that I had come up with something on the spot. I was even more shocked that I actually meant what I said: I did respect the way that Ryan seemed to be investing his full heart into the restoration process. I respected the way he was being honest and doing whatever it took to regain my trust. When Ryan heard my words, his face lit up with a grateful smile as he said, “Thank you. I am taking this seriously. I love you.”

Your Marriage Is Worth It

It’s been over ten years since that dramatic crisis that required many, many changes in our marriage. Maybe someday I’ll write a book about it all. But for now, I want to come along your side and encourage you. If pornography is a part of your life, you are worth its removal, once and for all. Don’t tell yourself that it’s not so bad; don’t try to overlook the offense; don’t use it to justify your own bad habits. Your hurt feelings are completely valid. Pornography is insidious and destructive. No one is exempt from its effects and no one can handle it well. When you married your husband, you both vowed to “forsake all others.” When that vow is broken, hearts break, too.

Your husband is also worth its removal. When a man walks in daily victory over pornography, he literally becomes a different man. His face, body, and stature become more manly than ever. His voice, attitude, and outlook lighten and brighten. He experiences true and contented manhood because he doesn’t have to lie about his time, struggles, or character. You might be furious at your husband right now, but take a moment to catch a vision for the man he could be without the perversion of pornography
weighing him down.

Do not be afraid to take action: exercise tough love and take a firm stand against pornography in your marriage.

Do not be afraid to let the light shine on your marriage, even if it is embarrassing, uncomfortable, or frightening. In fact, the blazing light is a good sign: it means that God is near and that He is at work in your lives.

You have every reason to believe that once pornography is removed, you will be a new woman with a new marriage to a new man.

  • Comments on: Hope After Porn: Our Marriage Would Never Be the Same
    1. phil jones on

      I’m not sure who is receiving this. I don’t know if it’s Laura or someone else. I have to put in this article due to someone posting it on Facebook. I have to say that this whole topic has become quite cliche with it having a wide range of coverage from Dr Phil down to every homespun bloggers that has access to a computer. I’m not Joe Rogan and I’m not going to defend the use of pornography or the production of it. Its some disgusting stuff. However, I think the problem is less rooted in men seeking pornography then it is and I’m seeking relief from a situation or a person that is often their own wife. There is a tragedy that is associated to this phenomenon whereby the men in today’s society and marriages are largely extremely unhappy. The wives may also be unhappy but they are allowed to act up and cry and tell everyone and his brother that there and happy and all the shortcomings of their husbands. Men don’t often do this and in fact it’s probably still socially unacceptable. So I actually think that there’s a direct correlation between the behavior of the wife and the use of pornography by the male. it’s just another form of drug use. It’s a means to escape reality. Not only do we have an epidemic number of divorces have an epidemic of unhappiness. Men seem to be o in their own minds unable to please their wives. This is like 75 percent of my friends. It seems like there is a major issue in our society with the wives just not being happy with anything. There’s always a problem and the man is always upset because his wife is always upset about something. I think this may be at the roof of a lot of this problem in a lot of cases. I know I’m going to get a lot of cop out comments. However it is the reverse were true and this was a woman is she like over shopping or some kind of other woman thing then the sympathy would be flowing like a river.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hey Phil,

        There’s a sense in which I agree with you. When a man is watching porn, he is often medicating deeper problems. One of those deeper issues could be a great discontentment about his own marriage.

        I also agree that our society is full of double-standards, some that favorite women (as you mentioned) and others that favor men.

        In the end, when a man seeks help for the way he’s medicating his problems (whether its through porn, drugs, alcohol, workoholism, etc.), then it is not just him that needs to change but whole family systems: husbands and wives need to open up and find new and healthy ways to communicate, work through problems, and express genuine intimacy with one another.

        But that’s exactly what this story presents. In the end, Ryan found freedom from his nagging habits, and Laura realized her own errors. She writes:

        I hadn’t noticed that I was behaving more like the “mother” and the “maid” rather than the “wife.” I also hadn’t noticed that while I was stressed with pre-term labor and bed- rest, everything else had fallen on Ryan’s shoulders: cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, yard work, preparing the nursery, and so on. Ryan insists that this is not an excuse—and I agree—but I sure didn’t respect the fragility of a tired man.

        As we’ve written about here before, it is wrong to approach this whole problem by ignoring the state of the marriage.

        That said, I think it is important for those reading your words to understand: because of the addictive and selfish nature of porn, it is important for wives to not feel responsible for the fact that their husband uses porn. Most men start the habit of watching porn long before they get married. Some men go so far as to blame their wives for their behavior—a heinously cruel thing to say to a woman. Even in situations where wives are critical, nagging, and odious to their husbands, men are still responsible for how they deal with that situation by not escaping into things that are destructive, but instead finding positive ways to communicate and build intimacy.

        Let each member of the couple account for their sins toward the other, just Ryan and Laura did in this story.

      • Castimonia on

        Yes, pornography is an escape, but not necessarily from a nagging wife. I know several single men who have willingly entered a recovery program for their use of pornography, masturbation, or sex as an escape mechanism. I suspect that your blaming a wife may have a personal ring to it? Nevertheless, one thing that I have learned is that everything and everyone outside of myself is NOT the problem; I am the problem. I can’t change anyone but myself. My “nagging wife” is not the issue that needs to be worked on. Nevertheless, we have both worked on our marriage, communication, and intimacy with one another to improve our marriage. There is no one important enough in my life to cause me to choose to medicate my problems with pornography or otherwise.

      • jen on

        i am one of those wife, and your excuse is utter nonsense i was married for 34 yearsrto a porn addict who after we married i found out had been a addict since 14 years old 6 years before i came along, laura and ryans story unfortunate for them is not over because any addict will lie and deceive in my experience my husband did all the he had stopped got help ect , i believed him for another 6 years till i caught him again, came to find out he had never stopped at all just went underground more with it,i was sick of the lies deceit and getting the blame when he was addicted before he met me so i have since divorced him 34 years deciet is enough for anyone, if he is addicted to porn he did it through his own choice nothing to do with the wife , take some responsibly for your actions

      • Mark on

        As a man, I recognize that there is truth to this. Many women, even Christian women in our society today always seem to find something to be disgruntled about, whether it be their husbands, or children, or other because something is not perfect about them…yes, there does appear to be a double standard: if a man messes up, then he’s condemned; if a woman does the same thing, there tends to be immediate compassion. This may be the reason why men seek escape, whether it be pornography or other addictions. I’m not condoning porn or excusing his behavior but am looking at why men would seek out this destructive act or what makes the behavior worse.

      • Kay Bruner on

        Hey Mark, this sounds blaming to me, like the oldest excuse in the book: “the woman that thou gavest me!”

        Whatever the problems may be, it is NOT someone else’s responsibility. No woman can “make” men do these things. Men do these things by their own choice.

        In my experience as a therapist, the main problem is that men are raised to ignore and repress their emotions (be a man, big boys don’t cry) then taught that it’s inevitable that they will act out sexually (visually stimulated, boys will be boys, locker room talk). Men do not know how to deal with their pain; they feel incompetent emotionally in relationships; it is easier to turn toward a fake relationship that provides a jolt of chemical release in porn or in an affair, rather than to do the hard work of personal emotional rehabilitation followed by turning toward a marriage partner.

        Also this explains why women are so “disgruntled” in their relationships: men have been actively trained against the ability to be good partners. The answer is not to blame women. The answer is to do the hard work of learning emotional intelligence and trustworthiness. Therapy helps!

        Hope that helps, Kay

      • CynicalGuy42 on

        While I don’t think people should look at porn, I could believe there is a deeper problem involved. In many cases it is an extremely unhealthy coping mechanism.

      • Christine on

        I feel like this response is pretty sick. Quite honestly, most of the men I know admit themselves that their struggle wth pornography started around the age of 11-15 years old. Tell me how that habit is their wife’s problem? Secondly, excusing the use of pornography because of any problem in the marriage makes zero sense to me. Would you justify an affair bc of a relational dynamic in a marriage? Men likeyou are what create the woman-demeaning society we live in.

      • Joanne Davidson on

        It’s the easy accessibility of internet pornography that is causing such damage in long term relationships. When you have something that is as addictive as cocaine and freely available, and tends to accompany a regular male activity, such as masturbation, there will be trouble. It is used to medicate but it’s not because of a demanding wife because men pick up a porn habit in their teens and use it to escape all sorts of stresses in life. That addiction escalates easily, when there is the endless novelty of internet porn. The perils of internet porn are now surfacing at an alarming rate! Unfortunately, bingeing on porn equates to bingeing on promiscuous chemicals and men caught in this trap will increasingly talk, think and act in a promiscuous way, not monogamous. The porn user creates their own cravings. The porn is addictive so they go back for more porn. The porn makes them want to masturbate, so it’s a vicious circle of addiction and spells disastrous for monogamy which depends on the dopamine receptors in the brain expecting low sexual excitement. Monogamy doesn’t stand a chance with porn in the mix because the brain reduces dopamine receptors to cope with the hyper sexual novelty of porn and monogamy will seem boring in comparison. You have to practice the life you want. Men are risking mentally nourishing, long term relationships, which provide satisfying bonding chemicals, such as oxytocin and vasopressin. The chemicals worth having. If they want some excitement, they should go out and do something exciting with their REAL partner and ween themselves off the soul destroying and life robbing trash that is pornography. The male brain cannot tell the difference between real and fake images and that fact is being exploited by the greedy pimps who produce porn. Sad but true.

      • Clarissa on

        Most men can trace their porn addiction to childhood, long before they met their wife. Men who are looking at porn begin to see their wives differently and compare her to their imaginary ideal of a woman. Women are objects meant to make them feel better instead of a person to share life with and to love.This causes further frustration and an entitlement mentality. No person can meet all of our needs, only God can do that. Using porn certainly won’t help the relationship in any way. It will add distrust and shame, separating the two that are meant to be one. I have felt responsible for my husband’s recovery and cried many tears praying for our restoration.But ultimately he has to make choices every day and deal with the pain and stress of life in a way that honors God, himself and our marriage and I do as well.No one can blame anyone else for their destructive choices. I have to repent of my fear, bitterness, and when I feel a lot of rejection I have to run to God to fill me with His acceptance. I hope that this explains a wife’s view of porn use. Our spouses do not have the power to make us choose destruction. We can overcome and become stronger, better people. Most women know something in their marriage is horribly wrong when their husband is using porn. My husband would not admit his porn use for over 20 years even when I tried to be closer to him and to be patient with his distance. I do think women can be very negative in their marriages and I’m sure that’s disheartening to their husbands. But being married requires humility and grace for both partners.😊

    2. Beatrice Becker on

      I agree with you Luke! This is something that I have been dealing with for years and I know it was going on even before our marriage. There have been sincere apologies which I accepted but kept finding evidence of it on his computer (I work for him and wasn’t “spying.” I just come upon it when I go to his computer for business purposes.) We are seniors now and I don’t think this sort of thing should still be going on. I have had the same emotions as Laura and am still seeking the Lord for the strength to let go of the bitterness, resentment, and betrayal. With God’s help we will both be healed!

      Reply
    3. Dan on

      As a therapist who largely treats couples working on overcoming this issue, I’m going to agree with Luke. Maybe 1 out of 50 men (or women) I treat, started viewing pornography after becoming married (and usually that is due to the fact that the internet didn’t exist when they first got married). Some of the symptoms of the addiction are to blame the wife and others for one’s mistakes. While the wife might be responding with anger or other negative emotions, this is almost always a result of the disconnection that exists in the marriage, and the husband’s inability to be emotionally available. Underneath the addiction, is an inability to reach out and connect with others–and instead a habit and lifestyle of turning inward and hiding oneself. Living with someone who behaves this way will way any other person feel like they are going crazy. When the husband starts to actively engage in recovery, and make the requisite lifestyle changes and changes in himself to overcome the addiction, the wife’s behaviors dramatically improve. So rather than it being the husband responding to the wife’s dissatisfaction, it is usually the wife responding to the husband’s addiction.

      Reply
    4. ms on

      No….the wife is not in any way responsible for the man using porn. As with any addiction…she didn’t cause it…she can’t cure it…and she cannot control it in her husband. It is his choice to do this. My spouse got involved as a teen after having bee molested. He continued into adulthood long before I met him. When I met him he did it was lo longer an issue for him but he lied. It caused our marriage to be overtly adulthood nd covertly very painful for me and he only superficially received some help but would not do the follow through or deal with his abuse. I had to try and cope the best I could but the marriage almost killed me emotionally. I talked with my friends about it and also a counselor as it was the only way I could survive. Oftentimes men using porn become abusive and yes the marriage deteriorates and becomes unhappy. But unless he is willing to make a change ad this man did in the article the marriage either doesn’t survive or it is horrible. I would have been willing to do whatever it took to make the marriage work but he would not. We have been separated now for 5 years and he still refuses to change.

      Reply
    5. JeremiahP on

      Ryan and the Marks need to write a book. The crisis part of things is something that I am becoming very, very interested in. No, not so I can live these agonizing moments again and again, but so I can learn to help others. Let’s distill those things to look for in the weakness of character into one place and help brothers to challenge a man struggling in this to focus on Christ and defeat this beast. If more than 50% of the church is struggling with this, it’s worth our attention, and we need to DESTROY it. I want to learn how to teach other men how to do that. I know it starts with a focus on Christ, and I know some of the other technical parts of it, but I want to learn more. Let’s do this.

      Reply
      • Sara Daigle on

        God speed you, Jeremiah. Please do.

    6. Sam on

      If you are a man using porn without your wife’s knowledge, either stop using it or if you are struggling to stop, you must tell her. Don’t let her find out for herself. It is devastating for her and will ruin your marriage as i have found out. Listen to me. Don’t find yourself in the position i’m in now. I gave up porn when she found me using it and i pray everyday but my wife is seriously suffering and can’t believe what i did. I am a stranger to her and it’s an awful feeling when you know your wife doesn’t respect you anymore and you are the cause of so much heartache. I will always love my wife but it can never be the same again until the trust comes back and that takes a long long time so all you men out there, beware and come to your senses. I wish i could go back in time and change everything. I despise porn now but it’s too late for me but not for you. TAKE ACTION NOW.

      Reply
      • Dean on

        I agree with you Sam. With years of praying and looking for help God directed me to someone I can share my struggles with and be accountable with. My struggle with porn led me to infidelity during a time when our intimacy was suffering. Thankfully the Lord delivered me before I was caught and losing my wife’s respect. I also plead with Sam, Don’t wait till you’re caught because you will be caught. You have to want it with all your heart.

      • Karen Matika on

        Sam, I think your words spoke the loudest to me, because I could imagine my husband saying them.
        My husband and I are walking through this trial.
        We can all play the name it and blame it game on some form of sin we choose to hold more valuable, than the harder choice, which is to say like Joseph, “how can I do this great wickedness and sin against my God?”
        We are all so busy trying to figure things out for ourselves, passing the buck, scientific and emotional explanations, etc., that I imagine God and how He views our sin falls very far from the place it should have in our heart and mind.
        I struggle everyday I get behind the wheel of my car to keep a loving, patient, character in play that won’t grieve His Holy Spirit and cause me to constantly cry out, God, forgive me. Is that anyone else’s fault? Can I make excuses?
        I know some will argue my thoughts are too simplistic, that this particular sin is worse than another, and don’t misunderstand me, I hate it too for the damage it does and causes, I’m going through it, but who is to say what God will use to bring us to the end of ourselves, a broken and contrite heart, God promises us, He will not despise.
        I’m not happy that God knew what sin would need to be revealed to teach both of us, we were not walking in the fear of the Lord and grieving Him deeply. Any and all sin is idol worship and oh, we love to idolized something, anything but God! We love to blame Adam and Eve, but we’re learning to be thankful for them, see ourselves in them and acknowledge that, without them and their equal sin, there would of been no need for Christ Jesus and His Redemption!!! But God had a plan….and He will use anything and anyone to bring it to pass.
        Love covers a multitude of sin,
        and forgiveness is powerful.
        At the end of the day each one of us is only responsible to give account to God for ourselves, and the REAL answer isn’t going to be, “but, but, so in so did, yadda, yadda.”
        Are we going to stand on our own merit and hope we’ve pacified God, or are we trusting the One who completely satisfied God’s just requirements in Christ Jesus alone?
        I’ll never forget the day I checked up on him, was surprised at his failure, and screamed, “how can you say you love me and still do this?” It was as if I heard the Lord asking me the same question!!!
        The enemy of our soul loves to deceive us that we are only hurting ourselves and our sin doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one knows, but God does.
        As a woman, I’m learning not to judge my husband so strickly to a standard I can’t hope to keep squeaky clean myself. Is that a free pass? Absolutely not, but even though our desire is to walk worthy, we are gonna sin cause we’re sinners. That’s why we need Christ, His strength and His victory.

      • Jonathan on

        Karen, I think you nailed it. It’s so easy for us to quantify our sins and compare them to others. Paul said it best, that he was the worst of the worst and now he is God’s chosen instrument.

        I, myself, have allowed porn to ruin my marriage and cost me more than I ever wanted to give. It was easy for me to beat myself up about it until God showed me that I’m no worse than anybody else. I still have an opportunity to witness and testify about Jesus. In fact, my testimony may allow me to get into doors that most “clean, churchy” men could never get in to.

        Blessed are those who are poor in spirit. Whatever it takes for us to reach the end of ourselves is exactly where God wants us to be. I just want to help others to know where to turn when the get there – Jesus. In the meantime, I need to continue to fight this life long battle with lust.

    7. Rudy on

      First introduced to porn around age 14, I have really struggled to overcome what I believe is an addiction to viewing internet porn. I have been in accountability relationships, counseling, a Christian 3 day intensive, marriage counseling, have installed internet filters (now using Covenant Eyes instead of a filter), etc. I do not blame my wife for my continuing failure in this area. But I am weary of material that treats this sin as more grievous than others.

      Why shouldn’t husbands move in with their parents when a wife refuses to have sex (or even be affectionate) with him repeatedly? Why not call her up at work when she failed once again to “respect” you and let her know she is breaking your heart so you are going to take the kids away for a while? The same Bible that demands purity demands a lot from wives as well, but women so often get off with “I realized I was acting like a mother”(which sounds pretty soft) while the husband is usually portrayed as some kind of heartless monster (tearing her apart, breaking her heart, etc.).

      Can somebody please write a “40 Day Challenge” for wives and let men share how wounded they are with a little side note about how they occasionally escaped the pressure of life by viewing a digital image that didn’t insult, wound, or resent them… but the men weren’t as bad as their spouse and had to lay down the law or she would have never improved? Obviously, I’m being a little sarcastic and speaking from my pain.

      Btw, we don’t look at porn because our spouse is not attractive so women you do not need to ask what does she have that I don’t? Ask, what does she give that I won’t – not just sexually. She’s willing to smile, hug, kiss, admire the guy on the screen for a few hundred dollars. I’ve committed my life to you, am a good dad and provider (according to you), support your desire to stay home and homeschool, etc., etc., but it’s such a burden to you to kiss me or hug me with a smile. It’s so hard for you to laugh at my jokes. If I pay you 300 bucks (instead of every paycheck) will you act like you enjoy my company and forgive my mistakes (usually speaking to you with the wrong tone) for an hour? The girl on that screen would. And she’ll do it for free in my fantasy.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        You’re asking some good questions, Rudy.

        Why shouldn’t husbands move in with their parents when a wife refuses to have sex (or even be affectionate) with him repeatedly?” I suppose a husband could do that, but I’m not sure what it would solve. When a wife moves out because a husband is abusive or untrustworthy, the distance serves as a means of protection. I’m not sure if the same intended effect would work if a wife was unresponsive sexually.

        I get the heart of the question, however: why isn’t a wife’s neglect of the marriage bed seen as a moral evil? I think it should be, and we have several articles on our blog that talk about this.

        You are most definitely speaking out of your pain, and I’m glad you’re acknowledging that. Have you spoken to your wife about why she has a hard time being affectionate with you? If so, what does she say?

        I know you’re overstating your point to make a point, but all of this stuff creates a terrible feedback loop in a marriage. Often, it is because the husband is willing to find the cheap parody of intimacy in Internet sex that women are so repulsed by the idea of physical intimacy with their husbands. Their husband’s in turn internalize the rejection and retreat to porn to numb the pain. Then it just keeps going. Somewhere, someone has to stop the cycle.

        If you would like more articles geared towards the importance of how wives play a roll in marital health, here are some links to articles on our blog.

        We write about the importance of women showing their husband’s sexual intimacy, not neglecting your marriage because of your husband’s recovery process, unhealthy ways wives react to porn problems, the importance of not telling husbands to just exercise self-control with this problem, the importance of working through one’s emotions to be able to give forgiveness, not spying on your husband on the computer, and the lies wives often believe that are of their own doing. All of these articles are about correcting wrong-headed attitudes women often have when they are in the position of being married to a porn addict.

      • Sara Daigle on

        Rudy, I just wrote a 90 day challenge to wives called “Dare to Love Your Husband Well”, in which I address the things men need.

        But let me ask you one thing: would you smile, kiss, and hug your wife if she slept with other men periodically and didn’t stop? If she told you at least those men seem to “love her”?

        You must see this: PORN KILLS A WOMAN’S HEART.

        If you’ve had this problem your entire marriage, you are niave to wonder why she’s not affectionate. Your following statements do not sound broken, and possibly why you still struggle.

        You cannot slice a woman’s throat, then fault her for not singing to you.

    8. Rudy on

      Thanks for getting my point and responding appropriately.

      Reply
    9. Brenda on

      I realy pray you guys make the app available for android soon!! Thank you for the resources!

      Reply
    10. helpless on

      hi my husband is in chronic addiction for porn vowed 3 times that he will leave it but didnt.I am married for 3 years but i am still virgin coz he cant maintain erection near me he says he is shy towards me and when i try to leave him he cries n says he cares i am extremely hurt and now i hate him i dnt ve job at the moment need help to get through this never shared with anyone

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        I am so, so sorry. It sounds like your husband has a problem that he’s not prepared to be responsible for at this point. I would say it’s time to think about what healthy boundaries will look like for you, going forward. Here, here, and here are some articles that may help you think that through. You’d probably also find a counselor helpful, and there are groups that would be a good support for you, as well as Bloom online resources. Whatever your husband chooses, YOU can choose to be healthy and whole. Peace to you, Kay

      • Jessica on

        Hey helpless I am soo soo sorry about that. I have been in this porn nightmare as well.

        Is he going to counseling?

    11. Jessica on

      Please please help.

      I first caught my husband watching porn almost a year ago. He swore to god he would never do it again as he saw how hurt I was. 2 months ago I found out that he has never stopped looking at it. I am broken for the porn use and for ALL THE LIES.

      However, the worst thing is that he doesnt recognize that he is an addict and he WONT do the steps that our counselor is telling him to do in order to rebuild my trust. He is going to counseling, but he refuses to do all the counselors suggestions. I tell him I am leaving him if he is not willing to do what the counselor says ( he tells my husband to use convenant eyes, get an accountatbility partner, not be alone with his phone, read the ” every mans battle book”….) but my husband refuses all of that.

      I dont know if I should leave him.. I want to leave him as he is not willing to get my trust back :(

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        It’s definitely time to think about healthy boundaries, given the fact that he’s not doing his part. Here, here, and here are some articles that should be helpful to you. When someone isn’t willing to participate in their own recovery, it’s okay to let them have the consequences of their choices. That’s terribly painful and difficult, and not the reason you got married, I know. But we can’t force people into recovery. They have to go there for themselves. And we get to be healthy, no matter what they choose. Peace to you, Kay

    12. Jessica on

      Continued..

      I forgot to mention that when I tell him that I will leave him, he says ” ok then”

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        I’d say, take him up on it and leave. If he’s not prepared to be committed to the relationship, it’s broken. Accept that reality, and decide what is healthy for you, given the truth of the situation. We can’t control the choices of others, but we can always choose to be healthy ourselves.

    13. Chris on

      Wow this really has opened my eyes even more for me personally I struggle viewing porn and am a young woman I had no idea how serious and detrimental it really is. I am currently taking a Freedom Class living Free thru my church I want to be set free and delivered from this stronghold addiction in my life. I’ve turned to porn for number of reasons and recognize that yes its very destructive and affects me and others in different ways.

      Reply
      • Zac on

        “Husbands, love your wives [seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love], just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify the church, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word [of God], so that [in turn] He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy [set apart for God] and blameless. Even so husbands should and are morally obligated to love their own wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own body, but [instead] he nourishes and protects and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,

        FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND HIS MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED [and be faithfully devoted] TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery [of two becoming one] is great; but I am speaking with reference to [the relationship of] Christ and the church. However, each man among you [without exception] is to love his wife as his very own self [with behavior worthy of respect and esteem, always seeking the best for her with an attitude of lovingkindness], and the wife [must see to it] that she respects and delights in her husband [that she notices him and prefers him and treats him with loving concern, treasuring him, honoring him, and holding him dear].”
        ‭‭EPHESIANS‬ ‭5:25-29, 31-33‬ ‭AMP‬‬

    14. Jason on

      Hm…..

      This is what I will say. Pornography can destroy all involved. As much as it its tragic for the wife to go through many men also share in the torment. Without grace, understanding, and support then both parties are surely doomed. It is as simple as this- God is with us in our darkest moments and puts a ring on our hand even when we sold everything and ran away. If God so loves us in our darkest moments with a deep pursuing love then shouldn’t we all do the same with each other ( Luke 15:11-32) ? I am certainly not excusing sinful behavior; however, what doesn’t work is alienating someone (and, or) punishing them for their behavior especially when that other person is an adult.

      Regarding Mark’s relationship with Ryan. I obviously do not have the full picture; however, it did not sit with me very well that Mark “taught” Ryan how to be a man in essence. I do agree that we all need relationships to challenge us but if I were to think that my wife needed another to teach her how to be a woman vice versa then you can be sure that we truly haven’t accepted our partner for who they are ( the good, bad, ugly, and in between). I was however encouraged that both parties ( husband, and wife ) were able to discern their own weaknesses through this all.

      The short of my opinion is this. Porn is something that we should not have within a marriage; however, porn does not have to destroy the marriage. Often times ( as it is with most things ) its is a misunderstanding between the sexes. She doesn’t understand that his struggle with Porn isn’t because of her, and he doesn’t understand that she may not grasp that. There is a stigma behind it as a “unforgivable” sin that as soon as the darkness of Pornography happens in ones marriage this so called “mountain” becomes impassable. This is not true; in fact, we can be mature in our responses to each other and seek to work together as oppose to accuse each other ( not saying they accused each other per say). As the husband and wife work together to communicate because ( for better for worse, sick, poorer, porn or not ) then the addiction can be controlled and with Gods help overcome.

      I’ll leave it with a paraphrased quote from Brennan Manning… ” God loves you as you are and not as you should be…because no one is as they should be”, and in that perspective wouldn’t it be nice if we all sought to see each other that way?

      Reply
    15. Ygal on

      Seeing the testimonies of what women go through because of our self-destructive behavior scares me a whole lot. As a young adult with marriage ambitions and struggling with porn addiction, I must say that this Convenant eyes’ 40 days challenge has opened my mind in many ways and particularly in the fact that porn can be inevitably lethal to a marriage relationship and that viewing porn is deep-rooted in our sinful nature of selfishness, hidden anger, jealousy, fear, insecurity, etc. Porn viewing is the real manifestation of sin living in us, sin enslaving us, sin telling us what to do, sin having the last word.
      One article had helped me in tearing apart the grip that this sin had on me; the story of St. Augustine with the prostitute symbolizing sin to whom he calmly told after she told him to reassure him “it’s me” that “I know, but it’s not me!”. This reopened my eyes that every time sin knocks on the door of my heart, it has to know that I no longer obey it but that I am free from its bonds because someone paid a higher price for my freedom. I say it out loud often “YOU ARE NOT MY MASTER ANYMORE AND I’M NOT DOING WHAT YOU ARE SAYING TO ME” and it works, the Lord makes it work. Knowing that viewing pornography increases the demand for more novelty negatively affecting innocent lives and encouraging human-trafficking while reducing the worth and value of those in the industry has been of a tremendous help in distancing myself with this soft-killing evil.
      If God blesses me with a family in the future, the one thing I want to do is to hold its value above myself (abandon myself and fully giving myself to my wife and children) in order to fully experience the pure happiness that the Lord has kept for those who truly love Him in Spirit. The Bible says “Walk by the Holy Spirit and you will not accomplish the desires of the flesh.” By this I know that there is hope, and you can defeat porn. I don’t know what kind of wife the Lord will give me but I trust Him to bring to me the person I need in my life, a person who will contribute to my building, who will seek after God’s kingdom to find God’s purpose for us and not superficial materialistic happiness.
      May God heal all those families that are wounded because of Pornography, may they find relief not in their complaining but in running to God for help through choosing to trust Him. May He give healing to men and women struggling with pornography.
      God bless Convenant eyes.
      God bless His Church.
      You are a winner, not a loser.

      Reply

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