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Porn (Almost) Ruined My Marriage: April’s Story

Last Updated: January 4, 2021

April Mabrey

April Mabrey is a wife, a corporate mom to twins, homeschooler, speaker, and Covenant Eyes blogger. April loves to share the story of how God has dramatically redeemed her past and restored her marriage.

I met Darren at the young age of nineteen. My mom had just moved us to a new town after her 32-year marriage ended in divorce from my father—a man who was physically, emotionally, and sexually abusive. Darren was older than me and came from a tight-knit family. But most importantly, Darren could make me laugh. Darren is funny—you know, that sarcastic-Ben-Stiller funny. I fell in love with him from day one.

We married in 1993 and moved away from our families in St. Louis so Darren could attend Dallas Theological Seminary. I was so excited to see him get prepared to do church ministry. It gave me a sense of safety knowing that I was married to a good man who wouldn’t hurt me like the men in my family had done. Darren and I were best friends, we did everything together, and we both loved it.

How Porn Ruined My Marriage

One rainy October night I was home alone and Darren was in one of his classes. I’m not sure why I looked at the history on our computer: I guess I wanted to prove my gut instinct wrong. What I saw that night changed me forever—it changed me as a person, as a woman, and as a wife. I scrolled through hundreds and hundreds of websites that proved to me that my “godly” husband was just as broken as all the men in my family. I had two choices: to accept that fact or to try to force him to change.

I don’t even remember driving in the rain those 40 miles to his school. I just remember walking up to the classroom door in my pajamas and the look in his eyes that said he knew he’d been found out. At first, he lied, then he apologized, then he said he’d never do it again. No one wanted to believe that more than me.

I didn’t want anyone to know that my marriage wasn’t perfect. I didn’t want anyone to know that Darren was looking at women in this way.

Something inside of me said, “April, boys will be boys. He’s been caught now. It’s over. Let’s laugh and joke and get back to your great marriage. You don’t want to live life like your parents, do you? Holding grudges, silent treatments—that’s not you. Just move on and put it all behind you.” And so I did for eight more years.

Related: Porn in Marriage–Its Harmful Effects on Relationships (and How to Heal)

We both got really good at hiding.

Each time I caught him watching porn he got better at hiding it. Each time I caught him I died a little more on the inside. My respect for him was dying, too.

We were both hiding who he really was because neither one of us wanted to face the truth, albeit for different reasons. My reason was pride. At the end of the day, I didn’t want anyone to judge me, my husband, or my decisions.

No one knew about his porn use or our ruined marriage—not my family, no one at church, no close friends, nobody. We never talked about these types of issues. I even remember calling a Christian radio talk show and just crying to the person who fields the calls. I was so brokenhearted, but I wanted to remain anonymous. I wore that smile and laughed at all the jokes, and no one could have ever imagined the darkness that was overtaking me daily.

I believed I was the problem.

I didn’t understand that Darren had been addicted to pornography since he was 13 years old. (He used to sneak into his neighbors’ basement next door to look at his magazine collections when they were gone.) I didn’t understand the scope and magnitude of the problem.

In fact, I thought his problem was because of me. I was the one from the troubled home with all the baggage. Maybe if I were skinnier or taller or blonder or more endowed he wouldn’t need to do this anymore. I honestly believed that I was the damaged one.

I spent those 10 years trying to change for him, trying again to meet his needs in every way. Surely, I could find the combination or the cure that would get rid of this issue forever.

Added to all of this, Darren and I had been dealing with infertility for six years. This brought a lot of stress on our relationship and only added to my feelings of inadequacy.

We kept burying the issue.

The problem was that Darren wasn’t on board with my plan. He was sorry that he had been caught each time, but he was never truly repentant. I’d ask him to go to counseling with me, and he would go once and say, “That guy’s a quack,” and never return. He knew how to make me laugh about it to forget, and I desperately wanted to laugh and forget. So each time, I did just that: forget.

The best way to explain how I felt is to think of those scenes in a movie where a person is in a cave, it’s filling with water, and she only has a small pocket of air to breathe between the water and the rock ceiling. I should have reached out to someone and shared how I was feeling. I should have talked to my mom or my pastor…someone. But I didn’t.

“Tell me you don’t want me to go.”

Then one day, after 11 years of marriage, something in me snapped. I had caught him watching porn again, but this time it was as if a little flame inside my heart had been blown out. I had no emotion, no tears, no pity, no sympathy. I only felt cold and blank.

I packed my things to go on a business trip. Darren would always drive me to the airport when I was traveling on business so when he dropped me at the curb, I turned to him and told him that I was leaving him. I remember the look of anger and frustration in his eyes as he asked me, “What do you want from me, April?”

As I stood on the curb I bent down to the open car window and said, “I want you to get out of the car and grab me and tell me you don’t want me to go!” After a long, pregnant pause he just looked at me from the driver’s seat and said, “Whatever!” That was his response. Whatever.

At that moment, on the curb at the airport, I was forced to surrender to the fact that I couldn’t change Darren, and Darren wasn’t willing or able to change on his own. I was forced to surrender to the fact that he was no different than all of the other men that had abused me in the past. As much as I needed that from him, I had to face the cold hard fact that I couldn’t change him.

In eleven years of marriage, there had never been one day that we didn’t see each other, but when I left, he didn’t hear from me at all. After my business trip, I didn’t come home.

3 Ways He Started to Rebuild My Trust

After weeks of calls and questions to family about where I was, Darren was forced to admit to his sin. He was brought to the lowest point of his life. I’m glad I wasn’t there. In fact, I believe it is because I wasn’t there that God was able to deal with Darren in a very personal way without me getting in the middle of things. It was in these weeks and months that Darren came into the light. He made big strides in making changes to save our marriage.

He found supportive community.

He found community through a men’s support group and took the opportunity to share his grief and addiction with other men who were doing the same. He also found Roger Johnson, a therapist specializing in sexual addictions who has been critical in Darren’s recovery.

He changed his tech habits.

He removed all televisions, video players, and computers. He even downgraded to a flip phone. Once Darren got further into his recovery, he allowed himself some access to computers again.

It was through his therapist, Roger, that Darren was introduced to Covenant Eyes. This program monitors how he uses his computer and mobile devices and sends a report of his internet use to the men he trusts. And thankfully, Darren now had men that loved him and kept him accountable without inflicting toxic shame on him.

He kept loving me even though I treated him with disdain.

Unfortunately, by this time I was extremely disconnected from our relationship. I had the divorce papers in hand and demanded that Darren sign them. We sold the house, our furniture, and prepared for permanent separation. I didn’t want to feel the pain, so I became very cold and distant from friends and family. In many ways, I was angry at Darren and at God because I felt that both of them had the power to change things for the better but decided against it.

In deep despair, I ran from love, honesty, joy, and self-control. I wanted to hurt those who had hurt me, but instead, I only caused deep scars on my heart that I will carry until the day I die. Looking back, I would have done one thing differently. I would have let others into my disappointment before it turned into despair. 

For some reason, only God knows, I kept the divorce papers in my purse and never filed them. In my angriest and most raging moments, I couldn’t bring myself to drop them in that big blue mailbox. During this time, Darren was given wise counsel from a man named Dave Semmelbeck. Dave told Darren to love me and be patient with me even though I was treating him with hate and disdain. The continual extension of grace toward me showed me that Darren was truly changing.

Our Marriage Began to Heal

After months of watching Darren change as a man and become educated about his porn addiction, our relationship began to heal.

Covenant Eyes played a huge role by giving me the comfort of knowing that men that I knew and trusted to hold Darren accountable were keeping him on track. That was no longer my job. I didn’t have to worry about looking and finding porn on his computer again. I could rely on other men to help Darren and to bring me into the conversation if they deemed it necessary. Covenant Eyes allowed me to heal as a wife and to begin to rebuild and renew my trust and respect toward my husband. Darren has the Covenant Eyes program on his laptop and the app on his iPhone.

Through my own counseling and therapy, I’m beginning to learn that Darren is responsible and accountable for his own actions. Darren took the steps to find real accountability in his life, and Covenant Eyes is one of the accountability tools that helps Darren to protect himself from himself.

God is now using the weakness that Darren tried so hard to disguise as a platform to share God’s transforming power. Darren’s ministry, called Sit in the Chair, is named after the time he was “strongly invited” to share his story at the men’s group for the first time. It was at that time Darren had to face the imposter he had become. Following this confession, Darren started to develop true empathy for other men who are experiencing the same issues.

Our story is not our own: it’s God’s story, and we are not ashamed anymore. In our weakness, He shows how strong He is.

Your Marriage Can Heal Too

If you feel like porn ruined your marriage too, there is hope for healing and restoration. It’s not easy, and it takes work from both individuals. But porn doesn’t have to get the final word.

Learn more about how to heal from the effects of porn in marriage on our blog, or find encouragement from four couples (including Darren and I) who fought for healing after porn use almost destroyed our marriages in the free ebook Hope After Porn. You aren’t alone!

  • Comments on: Porn (Almost) Ruined My Marriage: April’s Story
    1. Lindsey on

      Wow, thank you so much for sharing your story. It truly is amazing how strong the Lord is when we are weak. He is always there to lift us out of the dark places that we either find ourselves in, or put ourselves in. I know that the Savior does heal, He heals what no one else can when we are willing to let Him into our lives and help us. There is not anything better than hearing experiences about healing through the Savior! The church I belong to also tries hard to help families prevent pornography from entering the home and showing the way to forgiveness to those who have found themselves in its trap. In particular there is a short video of a family (whom has a similar story to yours, actually) and an article about protecting children from pornography that comes to mind that I would like to share. I hope you get a chance to look at them and I would love to know your thoughts when you do (: Again, thank you so much for sharing and for the example of your strength in turning to Christ!
      http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3736551143001

      https://www.lds.org/church/news/new-fhe-lessons-help-teach-children-about-pornography?cid=HPTH110614463&lang=eng

      Reply
    2. Dele on

      Did it ever occur to you that maybe you were not giving Darren the hot sex all men have fantasized about since they were 10? Every man wants creative dynamic dynamite sex that leaves you tired and worn out in the morning. If you had provided that on a regular basis, he would have been so focused on other things rather looking at sex in a cold screen

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hey Dele,

        Good question. Actually April did do that. She talks about it somewhat here. It was then when she realized that her husband was more drawn to porn than to sex: what he wanted was the endless novelty, the variety, the clickable and customizable experience that Internet porn provides, the experience of pleasure without the need to give or tend to the desires of another person. No one woman can complete with a lust for that kind of pleasure.

      • todd on

        Hey Dele – Surely you’re just trolling, right? What a ridiculous entry. Go get lost.

      • ROFL on

        Oh Dele. If your mother had the same issue with your dad, is that the advice you would give her too?

      • Daisy on

        You need help. I cannot believe what you said. Your words are absolutely and totally a lie from hell. It isn’t about her at all. He is the one with the problem.

      • J Priestly on

        Good God, all this righteousness, all this condemning people, really, I do not understand that people expect the Lord Almighty to say after their passing: no problem, you didn’t watch porn, so you passed the exam, come into heaven now! Let’s get one thing straight: I do not like the reaction of Dele in any way, but dear God, the reactions to his reactions, and the whole atmosphere of this website, the stories, really, what a waste of time.

      • Ginny Rodriguez on

        You apparantly don’t understand anything about porn addiction.

      • Renée Cotter on

        I feel so very bad for you. Sex addiction has nothing to do with a wife and what she does or does not do. Neither does alcohol addiction. If a woman marries an alcoholic without knowing it, which is more difficult to hide, after they are married and he continues and increases that behavior is neither her responsibility nor her fault. IHe was an alcoholic or sex addict before she met him. He just lied to get her to marry him. Alcohol of course is almost impossible to hide. But sex addiction? No, men can hide that for years. Then to be able to continue to “act out” they abuse and manipulate their wives until there is only a shell of her former self. I am truly sorry you feel the way you do. Your comment is ignorant. But you don’t have to stay that way, there are several resources to help you be educated on this incredibly painful and distructive addiction.

      • Anonymous on

        This is such a stupid response. Let me tell you, no amount of hot seductive sex will keep a person from their addiction. A wife cannot be enough nor do enough to keep a husband from an addiction such as porn. A statement as above shows a lack of understanding of the addictive process and what it does to the brain and how it has a hold on a man. A man can have and enjoy a wife who is a 10 and still will view porn if he is addicted. Stop the nonsense of making this a “wife” problem when it clearly is the problem of the addict.

      • Kay Bruner on

        Thanks for speaking up. Everyone is responsible for their own choices, and until that reality is faced and accepted, there’s no forward motion. Blaming the spouse keeps the addiction cycle going.

      • Erin on

        Lust will never be satisfied by love. In an honest open marriage sex is an expression of connection/love. Lust could have perfection and still want variety. Love desires true intimacy. Lust desires selfish, domineering or abuse paths. I’m sure this comment was from a pornography using person not interested in real truth or help. But in case anyone else is interested or the commenter, Real Love, Real Truth and Real Authentic living is way better than illusions and sin.

      • Liz on

        It’s always the woman’s fault. Nailed it.

      • Kay Bruner on

        Yes, in authoritarian religious structures, the blame filters down to those lower in the hierarchy. There will always be religious systems that excuse men and blame women. Let the wise see the truth and leave that path of destruction.

      • domesticgypsie on

        This is an inexcusable comment! Victim blaming?! Seriously? Like Darren isn’t a grown man and should talk to his wife about his sexual needs and fantasies? Like she is a mind reader and suddenly should have figured out his disgusting infidelity of the eyes and heart was somehow “her fault?”

        I have nothing else to understand about you other than you’re most likely sex addicted pornography shackled troll. You have NO SHAME.
        You also fail to see that most sex workers are TRAFFICKED and ABUSED for selfish indulgers like yourself.
        I’m pretty sure when you, inevitably, meet the Lord; you aren’t going to get away with your lame victim blaming and pointing the finger at someone else because of your PERSONAL sex addiction, using ANY excuse available? What was Darren’s excuse prior to meeting his wife? “My FUTURE WIFE isn’t going to make it hot enough for me someday?”
        May GOD open your lustful eyes and show you mercy.

      • Mike on

        Porn is often just a part of the problem, sexual addiction is often rooted in childhood trauma and linked to low self esteem and shame, which when triggered, further drive the addiction. True help can only come by the addict admitting powerlessness, in an environment of mutual accountability and specialist help. True root and branch reform of character, repentance, is needed, but one that exposes the real cause of acting out. Accountability software and willpower alone can never be enough to effect lasting change.

        Sexaholics Anonymous has an amazing fellowship, entirely free, which goes to the root of the issue, and has helped thousands of men and women into truly transformed, accountable lives, in which they have not only changed, but have made amends to those they have hurt, and have been able to help others still sick. The only membership requirement is a desire to stop lusting, and a commitment to no sex with self or others, apart from the spouse. They run multiple meetings daily (virtual or dial in) and are Worldwide. The program is often recommended by doctors, psychologists, judges and church ministers, and really works. God has used it powerfully in sex addicts I have known, to help them fully surrender all aspects of their addiction, to admit and work on their defects of character, and to bring true healing to those they have hurt.

        SA also offers support groups for affected partners, which helps them to access specialist help and network with each other as they also find healing.

        As they say in the program, ‘it works if you work it, so work it, you’re worth it’! Check them out…

    3. Phil Ashio on

      Thank you so much for sharing this story April…it will give hope to those struggling with the same demons. I was addicted to Pornography but didn’t know it until I had lost my wife, children and job. It was only until I realized the gaping hole it created in my life that I could admit to myself, and the Lord almighty, that I had a problem and needed help. It allowed me to begin the long process of repairing my damaged family. That was twenty years ago…I’ve been happily re-married to my original wife for 15 years, and now look forward to seeing my grandchildren on Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays at my children’s homes. Don’t lose hope! If you want to fill the void of a gaping hole you’ve created, set your mind to it and let the lord guide you through it. God Bless.

      Phil Ashio, Bethesda MD

      Reply
      • G E on

        Thank you for sharing your story and your victory!

    4. Jean on

      Going through this now. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone.

      Reply
      • Heather Glick on

        Your stance on viewing porn as “perfectly normal” is correct ONLY in the sense that it is not uncommon. I assure you it is 100% unacceptable in God’s eyes and completely unhealthy! We were created in the image of God and what porn does is desacralize another human being. A man I know tells the story of a child his daughter rescued from a business man who was raping her and asked if he would do that to his own daughter. She never saw the man return to that place again. The act is always proceeded by the thought, and the thought is so disgusting to the beautiful design God created for couples that Jesus called looking with lust akin to having adultery in your heart. Contrary to the practice of our day, men can learn self control and to govern their thoughts and physical desires until they have committed themselves to a life partner in marriage. When you say “yes” to one you are saying “no” to all others. To say that it can’t be done only shows that one is not yet acquainted with the power of God. He says His grace is sufficient and that He’ll give us the desires of our heart. If we had no desire to look at porn, would we do it? If God gave us the strength to resist the temptation, would we have to wallow in the bondage of having to look? God said with every temptation He will make a way of escape, and people who frequently, or consistently are drawn to pornography do not realize the bondage they are in until they’ve been set free from it. I am beyond blessed to be married to a man who has learned (mostly) to take God’s way of escape and resist the temptation to look at or search for anything pornographic even when he’s alone. We realize how much God hates the sin and emotional infidelity that any level of addiction to pornography is. Ladies the same goes for us with porn and/or romance novels. Romanticizing other men in your head doesn’t build your relationship with the man God’s given you and only aides in emotionally disconnecting you from him. I know it’s cliche but novels really do bring unrealitic expectations of emotional and physical fulfilment that isn’t completely realistic to real life. I do believe that the physical aspects of marriage can/should be phenomenal, but in reality love takes a lot of work and unlike the boundless stamina of the hot, chiseled lover who can still satisfy his woman after pulling a bullet from his shoulder and bandaging it with his good arm…all the while knowing her better than she knows herself…yeah, that doesn’t actually happen in the real world, lol. God wants us to practice selfless love, the devil tempts us with cheap lust that never ever satisfies, and only breaks down trust and respect.

    5. Marie on

      I actually divorced a man due to porn addiction (among other, actually more profound issues). Like most pure porn “addicts,” (and I hate to label bad habits that are not physically addicting as addictions), his begavior was extremely problematic to his life. He spent thousands of dollars on porn, he could not maintain a job because he spent so much time surfing porn, he greatly preferred porn to real human interaction, etc. I think looking at porn in general is a perfectly normal, even healthy thing if done in moderation. Drinking a conservative glass of wine every night yields measurable health benefits. Drinking a bottle every night is problematic. There is a difference. A 13-year-old boy sneaking peeks at porn magazines is extremely normal. And if you feel the need to drive 40 miles in the rain in PJs to your husband’s job just because you found porn on his browser history, then you are setting unrealistically high standards that most men cannot live up to. Sex addiction programs are full of two types of people: Those with hardcore, life-mangling sexuality issues who have a genuinely hard time functioning in society. And those who just go strictly to please their spouses and roll their eyes the whole time.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        I guess it’s a good thing Darren found a change of heart in all of this—he stopped being the man who rolled his eyes at therapy and decided he needed to find freedom from his nagging addiction. Now he teaches others how to find joy in their lives without porn.

        The real reason why she drove 40 miles in the rain to see her husband was not just the porn. It was the secrecy. This is what many wives find so traumatizing: that the men they thought they could trust are suddenly no longer trustworthy.

        In one sense it should be “normal” for women to expect a man to look at porn—at least in the sense that most men do look at it. In another sense, it is not a behavior that should be normal at all. Porn is fundamentally flawed: it rips sex away from its relational context and packages it in pixels—it commodifies and industrializes sex, much the same way prostitution does. It objectifies its makers and thus teaches its consumers to objectify others.

      • JR on

        Porn is not normal it is sexual immorality and dehumanizing of women. Watching other people have sex is a perversion and a destroyer of the intimacy you should be working on with your spouse.

      • Joanna on

        Marie, I am so saddened to hear your view on the matter. Looking at sin is not “perfectly normal.” It may be popular because society has made it the norm but it is a problem of the heart. Scripture tells us so in Matthew 5:28 “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” I never heard of a man, or woman for that matter, look at porn and there not be a lusting for the object in the photo, or the not so modestly dressed woman walking on the sidewalk that leads to wandering eyes. Porn has even been proven that it cannot be done in moderation. Just because someone isn’t sitting down at a computer or magazine doesn’t mean it isn’t crossing their mind. Scripture also tells us that in Matthew 12:34b “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” It doesn’t take long for the things we try to hide come out. And it makes no difference in age either. Unfortunately Darren was introduced to this sin at a young age. He might have even had hopes of changing when he got married, many men do. But April even had the same issue with pride. She tried to keep it all afloat but finally when she could no longer do it on her own she left. She stated she hid that pride for years. We know pride comes before destruction. In her world everything was just about destroyed but through Gods grace He was able to work on Darren at that time which in turn she was able to be worked on by God. This is a well written article because it doesn’t pose blame on one particular party. It shows grace, given by God, to heal and to nurture a marriage that was broken. And i am sorry that you endured a rough marriage. I am not saying this to pretend I know all your circumstances. I hope you are healing through faith and grace.

    6. Jordan on

      This is nothing more than and ADVERTISENT for software that is nothing more than spyware. Men look at porn. Get over it. My wife knows I look at porn, but she doesn’t leave me because of it. This “story” details a woman leaving her husband because he committed the dastardly act of watching porn. Porn can be degrading to women, but porn is nothing more than fantasy. My wife knows I masturbate. Yes, i said it! I masturbate, and my wife knows it. She knows that because I look at porn, she is in control. Why? Because i tell her what type of porn i watch. Then, she laughs it off. Some porn is degrading to women. That is an issue we should all address. But porn watching is DEFINITELY not a reason to leave your husband. Men have masturbatory needs, and so do women. I know it might come as an utter and total surprise, but WOMEN MASTURBATE TOO! Instead of cursing the rest of my comment, i’ll just say it again. WOMEN MASTURBATE TOO! MASTURBATION, MASTURBATION, MASTURBATION. Who knows, it might actually help you get over your fictional abusive father. But if it isn’t fictional, then there is deeper things going on that the Bible won’t be able to help with. This just in. The bible doesn’t mind if you masturbate. In fact, instead of treating it as a crime equal to murder, why don’t you both masturbate together.

      Reply
      • Jordan on

        you forgot to add that some porn is degrading to men also. Porn degrades men. Porn degrades women. The watching of porn means nothing more than the watcher wants his or her private parts to be stimulated.

      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Good point. It degrades human beings in general. So you’re saying that you think it is okay for people to watching material that is degrading to all human beings in order to find erotic pleasure?

      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hey Jordan,

        Thanks for the comment.

        I agree that men and women have sexual desires, but I’m not following why you think they have “masturbatory needs.” Social scientists find indigenous cultures in the world where they don’t even have a word for masturbation because they don’t do it. Masturbation is a self-stimulating habit, not a need.

        Also, please don’t read into this story that watching porn was the reason she left her husband. She left him because of his unending habits of secrecy and lies, his deceptions, and the way porn had warped his mind and heart.

        I’m not exactly sure why you call it a “story” (in quotations). If you’re insinuating it isn’t true, then please talk to the author. Her husband’s ministry website can be found here. He talks openly about this from his own perspective. You can read his guest article he wrote for us a while back if you want to check it out.

        I feel a need to clarify your misunderstanding of the Covenant Eyes Accountability softwareit is totally unlike spyware. Spyware is installed covertly, often without the owner’s knowledge or permission. Accountability software is installed with the computer owner’s express permission and knowledge (as in Darren’s story above). Spyware is a kind of software that is invisible to the person being spied upon. When accountability software is used, the person using it has full knowledge about its presence. Spyware sends information without the user’s knowledge to unknown parties. Accountability software sends information to an individual of the user’s choosing (an accountability partner, a friend, a spouse, a mentor, etc.).

      • Anonymous on

        Your position is so narrow and quite frankly uninformed, Pornography has ruined and damaged an infinite number of marriages. So what you informed your wife as if that somehow makes what you are doing acceptable. There is no dispute that pornography negatively affects the intimacy of relationships. No matter how much you want to act like it isn’t affecting your relationship with your wife, it surely is. Masturbation is just an exhibition of your selfishness; You engaging in fantasy with graphic photos of other women is your selfishness also. You are making excuses for not giving the level of commitment and effort to your wife but more engaged in your own pleasure. I think you should give us an update a few years down the road and I think you will be singing a different tune, and I am sure your wife will be.

      • Dawn on

        So…..your angry response means that this article really bothered you for some reason, even though it sounds like it doesn’t apply to you and you seem to believe that. Yet you are still angry.

      • Mike on

        Porn will systematically destroy you, it is poison. Once your brain has got used to the dopamine fix, it will crave stronger and stronger content. Try to stop watching for a month, with no masturbation, and I bet you find you cannot go for longer than a day or so. Porn is as addictive as crack cocaine. You are in denial.

        And porn is not fantasy, unless you are watching cartoon porn, you are watching real, broken people, most of whom have been abused as children, or have been trafficked and coerced as adults, degrading themselves. Your clicks are further driving the creation of new content. The only fantasy for many of these pornstars is to be able to escape a lifetime of abuse…

        Admit you are powerless, and find the true connection in your wife alone. Seek specialist help if needed, Sexaholics Anonymous or other programs are the only way to truly be free.

    7. ashley on

      My boyfriend of 4 years watches porn and it never bothered me until I woke up to him pleasing himself when I was right there. I felt like he chose porn over me. We have a healthy sex life and I would love to wake up to him touching me in a sexual way. The reason I’m reading this article to begin with is that I’m in a delima and not sure how to handle myself. My boyfriend came to my work and told me that he had a rough day and wanted a midday session. I hurried home But he wasn’t “in the mood”. I knew he jacked off and was frustrated that he didn’t wait for me. He has withheld sex from me for 6 days. We normally have sex at least once or twice a day. I have been throwing myself at him and he won’t even kiss me. I left this morning to take my son to school and asked when he would be waking up. That’s usually the “at least once a day”. I told him I would be back within a hour and wanted him to wait for me. I left my phone under the bed with a voice recorder on. That’s the first time I even thought to do something like that. When I got home he was in the shower. I asked him if he would still have sex with me but he said he had a conference call in 30 mins. I asked him if he jacked off and he said no. I explained to him that I have desires too and I want “us” back. I pulled back the shower curtain and asked him again. He looked me right in the eye and lied to me. I listened to the recorder and he started watching porn 6 mins after we left. Its not a big deal to me for him to watch porn as long as we are being “us”. I have needs too! I feel like he’s being selfish and now he lied about it. I don’t know if I should call him out on it or let it go. ??

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        I think the most important thing to consider here, Ashley, is the question of healthy boundaries in your relationship. What is really healthy for you, sexually speaking? What do you want and need in the relationship, when it comes to emotional connection (and your sexual relationship should be a part of that emotional connection, not the substitute for emotional connection!)?

        It seems like you’re experiencing what a lot of women find: porn quickly turns into a self-serving habit that breaks the emotional heart of the relationship. If your partner is willing to make changes, he might appreciate some of the free downloads here, such as Your Brain on Porn, which can help men understand what’s happening to their brains when they look at porn.

        I’d recommend a couple of books, as you think through these issues: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman, and Boundaries in Marriage by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. (I know you’re not married, but if you have been together for 4 years and have a family together, the dynamics are pretty close!) Hope those things help. Blessings, Kay

      • Donja on

        First of all you should both repent. Porn is a sin, but sex before marriage is ALSO a sin…
        Get your things right, and god will be with you!

    8. Jennifer on

      I’ve been with my husband now for 22 years, married 16. 2 beautiful daughters 21 and 15. I love my husband but think I’m now at the point where I’m not in love with him anymore. We don’t talk, touch, hug, kiss. I don’t want to anymore. I was usually begging for all this, there is no emotion left in him, I can talk about so much and pour my heart out to him and not even get a response or just an I don’t know what to say. I found out about his porn addiction 2 months before our wedding in 1999, been together at that point since 1994. I was devastated, but thought this is normal, alot like April’s story. I dealt with walking in on him masturbating, telling me I’m crazy, etc. All the lies, secrecy, finally turned to betrayal 2 years ago. I found out he had a website page that was for hooking up. Paid money, texting girls. Found the texts stating what he wanted to do to these girls, stuff he used to say to me. I was heartbroken. Then he comes to me and tells me he not happy anymore, I’m not giving him enough sex, he is lonely. Are you kidding me? How can I have sex with someone who is cheating on me. I went into a deep depression, lost 53 lbs. In 6 months. Vomiting everyday. My poor kids had to see me like this. I changed and did everything he wanted, finally to figure out that this isn’t me, who I want to be. I became stronger. I am still with him, but the feelings I used to have are starting to fade. I love him as a best friend but not a lover. It makes me sick to think of having sex with him. We don’t talk, he is always working. I finely figured out that in all these long 22 years I have been a single mom, raised my girls, took care of my home and him when needed, but totally forgot about myself. It’s time for a change. And for those who think porn is normal, maybe you need help, because if your with someone now, you won’t be for long. And if your not, we’ll don’t look for a long lasting relationship, it’s not gonna happen. Port messes up you whole thinking process of what women and sex should be.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Jennifer, your story just breaks my heart. I’m just so, so sorry that your husband hasn’t been able to recognize the harm he’s caused to himself, to you, and to the relationship with these choices. It’s so true that porn can destroy healthy expectations around sexuality, while for the user, it all seems completely normal.

        I hope you’ve found help and support for yourself in this. Your story of depression is so very common for women in this situation; in fact, many women will meet the criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Personal counseling–just for you–can be really helpful. And trauma-focused groups can be instrumental in recovery as well.

        Whatever your husband chooses, I hope you’ll choose to be healthy and whole.

        Blessings, Kay

      • Jon on

        Wow! Speechless! Thank you father in heaven for reviling truth to all your children. You remind us everyday, guide us in your way, build us up in the image of Christ by you grace. Gods truth. Faith, hope and “True love triumphs all things”. Amen. Thank you everyone for sharing. I needed to read this

      • M&M on

        Jennifer, I know that both staying and leaving are hard, but if you feel the need to leave it is justified. Cheating is a Biblical reason for you to leave and also, if you feel abused you might find understanding at cryingoutforjustice.com

    9. Shane Bekker on

      I was initially disappointed by the early comments in regards to Darren and April’s story. We encounter porn on a physical level, but we also forget that Darren and April are followers of Christ Jesus. There is a spiritual element to this issue that needed to be addressed and that Darren and April would have walked through that process in order to save their marriage. Darren and April, thankyou for sharing your story. I was a person controlled by porn for many years. I am single, but it gave me no excuse for my behaviour. In reading your story, I saw warnings that I must observe to protect the relationship I enter into. I also saw that the spiritual aspect of relationship must be the driver of relationship, i.e. relationship with our Heavenly Father is first and the relationship with out partners are governed by Him. When we go astray, He lovingly brings us back to wholeness, as He did for you. Thankyou for sharing your testimony.

      Reply
    10. Alan Bull on

      Porn is wrong, period. It removes all emotional connection and focusses purely on the physical. It is nothing but objectification. Once you become addicted, it will be the ruin of you. It becomes very difficult to view those that you are attracted to as people. You tend to view them merely as a means to satisfy your sexual urges/fantasies. It takes the power of God to overcome this addiction. Depending on how addicted you may be, it could be a quick recovery or it could take years. You can be clean for a very long time then BAM! you backslide into viewing it again. You must stay in the Word, pray continually, and walk continuously with the Lord everyday.
      I myself first saw porn at 10 and became addicted by 12. At the age of 23 I finally hit bottom. Screwed around with a teenage girl and served 4 yrs for it. I was able to become and stay clean in prison and for another 2 yrs after coming home. But I have backslid several times. It’s difficult to stay clean
      You must figure out what it is that causes you to view porn. Once you know that, you will be on the path to freedom. Stay strong brothers and sisters! Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world. ” John 16:33

      Reply
    11. Julie on

      You are pathetic and haven’t a clue ! A woman could be the hottest best wildest crazy sex pot 24/ 7 and it still wouldn’t matter. I’ve been that woman to my ex and it was never enough because he was the problem not me!!! You seriously need help!

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Thanks for recognizing the blame game for what it is: an attempt to push away shame by blaming someone else. It’s a very common theme for people who are violating their own personal values. They need someone else to be the problem, and all too often it’s the wife, no matter her appearance or willingness. People trapped in these kinds of mental shame-blame games do indeed need help, and we hope that they find it.

    12. Mary on

      Porn addiction is ADDiction ,It’s a Process Addiction!It’s steals time& relationship with another living person just like computer & phone addiction.Its hardcore selfishness.Truth & honesty are in short supply these days,Retraining your brain & body to desire ppl relationship s matter . Lonely ppl succumb to depression & worse! Wake-up before your Spouse! Gets tired of the drama & stress that addiction creates.God Bless the Brokenhearted ! Seek PTSD counseling Wives ! Self care ..first !Someone that doesn’t want to give up their vice addictions should be single . Marriage Matters to those who care enough to keep covenant.As designed by YeHoVaH as a gift.

      Reply

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