2 minute read

Porn and Your Husband: Your Questions Answered (Part 1 of 3)

Last Updated: April 15, 2015

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

Anger. Betrayal. Mistrust. Loneliness.

Maybe this is the first time you’ve caught him using pornography. Maybe you’ve caught him many times and have finally reached the breaking point. Maybe he’s even gone so far as acting out and having an affair. Maybe he’s belligerent, insisting, “It’s no big deal” or “It’s your fault I watch it.” Or maybe he claims to be repentant but doesn’t seem to be taking steps to stop.

Regardless of the actions he is taking, your husband has betrayed your trust. Right now, your emotions are probably dominated by alternating feelings of anger and helplessness and numbness, and your thoughts are dominated by his use of pornography. Recovery may seem impossible.

The problem is not just in your head. In a 2012 analysis of five different studies, researchers concluded more pornography consumption is associated with a more weakened commitment to one’s relationship partner.

The good new is this: recovery is possible.

Episode 144

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Porn and Your Husband – Your Questions Answered

In this episode of our weekly podcast, we interview Christian counselor Kay Bruner. She answers some of the most common questions we receive from woman on this subject. In this interview, she addresses two key questions wives have about men and porn addiction: (1) How can a woman build her self-esteem and a sense of confidence when she feels constantly compared to pornography? and (2) How should a wife handle her husband’s relapses?

Show Notes:

0:44 – Why Kay wrote her book, As Soon As I Fell

8:19 – What is the book, Porn and Your Husband, all about?

9:12 – How can a woman build her self-esteem?

18:42 – How should a wife handle her husband’s relapses?

Stay tuned for part 2 of Kay’s interview next week.

Check out more of our podcasts on iTunes.

Porn and Your Husband (Free Book)

Three years ago we released Porn and Your Husband: A Recovery Guide for Wives. Since that time, tens of thousands of women have downloaded the book, and many have told us how helpful it is to them.

We recently updated and rereleased the book. In the book we address…

  • Common questions wives have about pornography use: How can he look at porn and say he loves me? Why does he prefer porn to sex with me? Why am I not enough?
  • Three stages of recovering from betrayal
  • Tips on having productive conversations with a your spouse
  • Rebuilding trust through healthy boundaries
  • Lists of additional resources: books, intensive counseling, and software

Give us your e-mail to get the book!

Enter the Giveaway!

Because this information is critical for many marriages, we want to get this book into the hands of as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. That’s why, for one week only, we are giving away four $25 gift cards to Amazon.

To enter our drawing, either download the book or leave a comment below answering this question: Why is pornography bad for marriages? Do both to get two entries in the giveaway. (You must use a valid e-mail address to be eligible. E-mail addresses will not be published.)

Thanks to all who entered! The giveaway is now closed, and the winners have been notified.

Official Contest Rules:

  • Maximum two entries per person (one comment and one book download).
  • All entries must be received before 12 a.m. April 2, 2015.
  • Four winners will be selected randomly and notified via e-mail no later than April 3.
  • Due to our blog commenting policy, comments must be pre-approved to appear. All comments submitted before 12 a.m. EST will be entered into the giveaway.
  • Comments on: Porn and Your Husband: Your Questions Answered (Part 1 of 3)
    1. Nicole on

      Thank you for taking the time and energy and using divine insight to help heal our hearts. Your work is beyond imperative, it is life saving. Thank you again!

      Reply
      • Kathy on

        I am so looking forward to reading this book. Although, I am also afraid, I have known about this issue with my husband for many years. At first he worked at things, realized the importance if change, and was determined to fix our marriage . That was then, this is now . I believe he still occasionally partaken in this lifestyle. We have a very distant relationship, absolutely no sex life , just going through the motions. Even worse, he mows acts as if it isn’t that big of s deal , nd is Somthing vommin that men just do !!?? I am so angry, hurt and bitter. So tired, of waiting for a normal life, one that comes with unconditional live and commitment . One where a husband and wife has s priority to be together, where home doesn’t feel like a battleground. I’m so sad and lonely. This life just isn’t enough anymore

      • Mera Buford on

        timely book!

      • Mera Buford on

        I’m positive this book will help many women in their horrible time. A well timed book!

      • Jeffrey A. Hardy on

        Pornography is bad because it beaks the marriage covenant

      • J on

        porn shatters marriages to a million pieces

      • Genny Campbell on

        I am looking forward to reading this book

      • laurie on

        You are doing a great work – and much needed one. Your care for those in need is such a testimony to the bondage-breaking, powerful love of Christ. Thank you for your ministry!

      • Laura on

        Porn is really bad for a marriage. It breaks the marriage covenant, as well as creates isolation between you and your spouse. You feel unwanted and your spouse has believed the lies of Satan that this is and OK way to medicate the feelings or hurts he has experienced. This book will be so helpful to so many women!

      • Shari on

        It has been 2 1/2 years since my husband confessed his sex addiction and internet porn habit. We have both been in counseling ever since. I appreciate any and all publications that address these issues. Thank you so much for being willing to approach this subject in such a down to earth manner. I feel like we have hope to survive this, although we are not there yet.
        Shari

      • candace on

        Thank you for such a valuable resource. I feel the root of this sin is lust. Trying to convince a man of this can be a huge problem, especially when they think it’s not that big of a deal & all men do it if they are real men. The excuse of “I was only admiring” or “God was proud of Himself that day” meaning the woman that comment was about could be hot, sexy, beautiful or you fill in the blank. I praise God for your ministry. Women have to get healthy for themselves. We have to know we are a daughter of The Most High God(our Daddy) and we don’t want or need to be our husband’s “momma, maid, or madame “, just a help meet & Wife.

      • Heather on

        My life still feels devastated by this. I hope to read the e book soon. It’s like a hurt that doesn’t ever end.

      • Michelle on

        I am amazed at this material. My husband had a turnaround 2 years ago, amazing healing. Our church is still working on support material. I think we could use this. Thanks for the opportunity to download.

      • E. on

        I am an unmarried young adult, but I have been struggling with pornography for years . It is disgusting and always makes me feel empty, but I keep finding myself stuck in this more. I have accepted Christ as my Savior, but that just made my addiction worse. I know th!e Lord is willing, but my flesh is weak like a sinking ship. Women are not sex objects; they beautiful living creatures with real emotions. They have mothers, fathers, sisters, likes, interests, dislikes, dreams, goals and aspirations. As a man, I am appalled by how misogynistic the media is and how it encourages man to view women as mere pleasure-objects or cattle. When I get married, I pray that I can love my wife for all that she is–to be equally yoked. I am a struggling with this porn and I need help, for I do not want to hurt anyone else with betrayal. I am already hurting myself and God.
        Please pray not only for me, but all the other young males who may be stumbling in their walk with God because of lust. I want to have a wonderful relationship with my future spouse and God.

      • M.W. on

        Thank you so much for sharing this! I especially thought the conversation on how recovery is more than just simply not looking at porn very beneficial. It is an all encompassing conversion. I look forward to hearing part 2.

    2. Stefani on

      I’m so glad to see an updated book out, it’s so helpful to know I am not alone. Thank you for providing tools to help us get through it.

      Reply
      • Gina on

        What is the worst thing about porn? It eventually leads to separation from God. My poor husband is desperate to hear His voice again. The addiction is a gradual descent into spiritual blindness…

    3. Angela on

      Thank you for taking time to write to wives who are hurting and need some answers. It’s painful though it can’t be seen on the outside I personally felt shattered inside and still have a lot of healing needed. God bless.

      Reply
    4. deborah on

      Ive read lots of material on this subject since it literally ruined what I thought was a wonderful satisfying marriage……….Most of the articles and data follow people between the ages of 18-35 years old. I have a husband who is 70….and his porn adventure began late in life at 67 with the availability of the internet. He was computer stupid, but learned quickly how to get what he wanted. There is not a lot out there about the older man and porn….which leaves me with lots of questions as to why this happened so late in life.

      Reply
    5. Kimberly on

      I haven’t read the book yet, but I am thankful for it. I have just been praying for a resource to help guide me through my healing process. Most of our marriage has been aimed at helping bring healing and meet my husband at his needs so he can be healthy emotionally and spirtually. But I have learned that if I don’t take time to heal from the pain than my soul will wilt.

      Reply
    6. Holly on

      I am so glad you made a followup to the book. I think a lot of resources handle the disclosure of a spouse’s use of pornography but do not address specifically how to live with spouse that has this problem. I am particularly interested in how to keep confident when your self-esteem continues to receive blows from your spouse’s relapses.

      Reply
      • Mary Ann on

        I am hurting so much over this. Found out just weeks after we married 6 months ago. If I believed in divorce I would already have done it and I am beginning to maybe believe divorce is ok. After all, this seems like a type of adultery to me. Am I wrong?

      • Kay Bruner on

        Mary Ann, what a sad and painful way to begin your married life.

        Some people do see porn as a type of adultery. And in some cases, it does progress beyond online behaviors to physical sexual encounters. Even in cases where there is no sexual encounter with another person, some women do choose divorce. In fact, some stats say that pornography addiction is a factor in over half of divorces these days.

        As you think about a way forward, I’d first look at his part in this: What is his response to your discovery? Does he want to get into recovery? Is he willing to work on his own issues? Has he made progress in the months since you found out? (Things like install Covenant Eyes, get into accountability relationships, educate himself, seek counsel through a group or individual therapy, be open and willing to listen to your concerns)

        If he’s not at all willing to deal with his part in this, then you’ve got to think about what healthy boundaries you need for yourself. Even best-case scenario and he’s willing to work hard, you might like to read the book, Boundaries in Marriage by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. That will help you think through what’s yours, what’s his, and what it looks like to be healthy in marriage in general.

        For your part, you also need help and support as you figure things out. Who’s helping you through? Friends or family you can talk to are great, but you’ll probably be needing a counselor of your own, so you have safe place to process your emotions and consider your boundaries.

        You might appreciate our free download, Hope After Porn, in which several women talk about their own recovery process alongside their spouses.

        Have a look at those things, and let me know what you think. Kay

    7. Anna on

      Thank you so much for proving such a needed tool! I’m sure it has not been easy for you… Your hard work is so very appreciated.

      Reply
    8. Rosemary on

      Thank you so much for the revised book. May god bless you for being faithful! I know this is something a lot of us wives have been waiting for.

      Reply
    9. Alexandria on

      Thank you for all your posts. We’ve been using Covenant Eyes for years and for some reason hadn’t discovered the articles/blog posts until recently. This is such a topic that I haven’t known how to bring other people in(which we have recently). Thankful for this website..

      Reply
    10. Alex on

      This is such a needed resource! I am so glad you have been able to put this together. The trauma spouses experience from their partner’s porn addiction can be so devastating. I’m so glad I have a tool such as this to use in session with my clients.

      Reply
    11. Stef on

      Thanks so much for taking the time and making this important information so easily available for couples.

      Reply
    12. Mel on

      Thank you so much for providing Godly insight and wisdom.

      Reply
    13. yvonne on

      These e books have been very helpful. It’s nice to know I am not alone in the struggle. Thank you

      Reply
    14. L on

      Very helpful resource that puts a great deal of information in one place. It also lays the foundation for further research & work (I’ve needed to read the Boundaries book & Boundaries in Marriage book and am still wrestling with living out those concepts. Thank you.

      Reply
      • David on

        Boundaries is an excellent resource that has helped my wife and I work through this and many other relationship issues

    15. Mandy b on

      This looks like a great resource. Porn is totally bad for marriage! One reason being, it takes away unity like crazy. Thanks for providing resources

      Reply
    16. seeejay on

      thank you for this resource.

      Reply
    17. Alden on

      Thank you for sharing Kay! Great words of wisdom for all women.
      Pornography is bad for marriages because it, like all sin, causes us to turn inward and away from God. This creates distance between us and our creator, which leads to loneliness, shame, and despair and cycles downward. But, I’m grateful for the hope we all have that He can redeem us if we choose to turn toward Him and step into the light!

      Reply
    18. Lisa on

      Thank you for this resource. This is a huge problem, inside and outside the church. It’s ruined my marriage. I appreciate this resource.

      Reply
    19. Catherine on

      Pornography is beyond bad for marriages. Pornography is hindering the legacy, that Godly men of today, could be leaving. How many men or women today will be remembered for their love of God and their spouse? Pornography is lowering this number, when it needs to be rising abundantly! Pornography hinders a person’s ability to fully submit themselves to God and allowing Him to take control. Pornography separates a husband and a wife and causes miserable, unbearable hurt and is even more hurtful to God.

      Reply
    20. BJ Miller on

      Porn is bad for marriages because it causes one or both parties to lust after someone that’s not there’s when they should only be thinking about their spouse. Porn destroys marriages period!

      Reply
    21. Ruth on

      I am looking forward to this book. It is so hard to have my husband understand what this does to me. We celebrate 30 yr anniversary this year and I pray that we might have a turning point. I long for a marriage where I don’t have to wonder about viewing or the fear of him losing his job because of it again.

      Reply
    22. Jen on

      Covenant eyes has been a wonderful resource and tool for our family. As to the above question, porn is bad for marriages because it distorts the intimacy God intended between spouses and turns it into an objectification of someone else for the purpose of fulfilling selfish desires.

      Reply
    23. David on

      Porn destroys trust in marriages because it offers a replacement of affections in the form of a sexualized fantasy world rather than living in the reality of relationship with your spouse. The fantasy appeals because it is pleasurable with no commitment or needed effort but the marriage can be difficult and seemingly not as pleasurable. Ultimately though God will only reward faithfulness

      Reply
    24. kim on

      Thank you so much for helping people with this issue! I plan to try you r internet service. You are doing God’s work. Sending prayers!

      Reply
    25. Febe on

      I can relate, been married for 17 years but have given up because of this problem. He won’t admit he has a problem.

      Reply
    26. Melanie on

      Porn destroys trust!

      Reply
    27. Retha on

      Porn destroys a marriage in a thousand ways (if not more!). It kills trust, respect, love, tenderness, intimacy, values, bonding, connection, passion, a spiritual covering for the wife and children, focus, involvement, productivity, relationship, and, and, – and in its place it brings, suspicion, anger, disgust, hate, distrust, defilement, aggression, heartlessness, selfishness, impurity, fear, failure, dishonor, guilt, bad conscience, remorse, depression, hopelessness and soiled, terribly damaged relationships. It is a killer, mercilessly and steadily increasing its hold and control, to where, but for the Grace of God, not only the porn-prowler, but a wife and children, are destroyed and damaged beyond human help.

      Reply
    28. LeAnne McDonald on

      Thank you Covenant Eyes for your willingness to not only help husbands who have an addiction, but to also help wives through this terrible disease.

      Reply
    29. trish on

      Porn hurts marriages because of the shame that comes with the addiction, not only for the man, but also for his wife. In addition to the shame this addiction has increased my loneliness as I have not shared this struggle much with others.

      Reply
    30. Gord Collins on

      I am so very thankful for Covenant Eyes. I have been addicted to porn for over 55 years and this is the best thing that has happened to me. God has been rewiring my mind as this tool is an aid to my recovery.

      Reply
    31. Carrie on

      Thank you so much for writing this book! I can’t wait to read it. Pornography is bad for marriage for so many reasons, but one is the anger it causes in both partners.

      Reply
    32. Dawn Horvath on

      Excellent article Luke… as always. I just read the “Porn and Your Husband” booklet and I LOVE IT!. Ella Hutchinson and team: hats off to you for your work on this. I’ll be recommending this booklet on the Beyond Betrayal blog and in my book coming out next year. Nice work!

      Reply
    33. Sandra Houtz on

      How about an article on Porn and the Wife … that was our situation … we got through it with God’s grace, and we are much closer for it, I was feeling lonely, neglected, needy you name it … and had too much time on my hands and was alone alot and found lots of porn sites to turn to, not right, but that’s what I did until my secret sin was discovered … never want to go through that again … we subscribed to Covenant Eyes and have it on EVERY device we own, including all our children’s cell phones … it gives my husband piece of mind that I’m not looking at porn anymore, and it gives me the control that i need in order to not seek it out …

      Reply
      • Sara on

        Agreed! I had a bigger struggle than my husband ever did.

    34. GinH on

      I’m so very glad that our therapist was adamant that I install CovenantEyes on all our electronic devices. It’s made a huge difference in our lives, for the better. Porn destroy’s lives and relationships, sometimes beyond repair. I’m thankful to an awesome God that finally got a hold on my husband heart and now has him on the right path in life and really working on repairing the damage it did to our marriage.

      Reply
    35. Julie on

      It is bad period- in marriages and outside. It not only affects marriages but also leaves the children unsafe from exposure and being in bondage for their lives too. It’s a generational issue that requires divine intervention to stop. It’s unfair to the innocent children who need fully present, fully committed parents to keep them safe and help them navigate the world’s attacks. It’s just plain terrible.

      Reply
    36. Bruce Mathwig on

      I haven’t had the chance to read all the articles or post on this site. That being said I hope the reality that porn is not just a problem with men but, that about 30% of porn users are women is discussed as well. We live in a world now, where men may need to deal with the negative affects that women have pick up through involvement with porn as well. Women are not always just the innocent victim of there husbands sin but, may have or have had in the past there own issues. Also many romance novels give very unrealistic ideas of what love and marriage will be like to women.

      Reply
      • Sara on

        If women read romance novels I absolutely agree it is just as bad for them as porn is for men or women.

    37. Tara on

      Thank you for this straightforward and helpful e-book. It’s not easy to find good resources on what the role of the wife is in a situation like this. Some of my favorite points: it is not the wife’s fault that her husband has looked at porn, forgiveness and trust are 2 different things, and restoration IS possible!

      Reply
    38. Craig on

      As a Licensed Professional Counselor with an extensive history in evaluating and treating sex offenders, and teething as an expert witness in Sexually Violent Predator civil commitment trials, I look forward to evaluating this book for use in private practice.

      Reply
      • Craig on

        I’m sorry, I’ve testified as an expert witness, not teethed on them!

    39. Craig on

      Porn is bad for marriages because it destroys one’s ability to relate to others. It is built on a foundation of lies and deception and leads to lies and deception in the marriage. Shame from acting out makes one hide from true intimacy.

      Reply
    40. Susan on

      I just found this site! I’m hoping to get this book and maybe get some direction. Porn almost destroyed my what I thought “God centered marriage”. It’s been five months now and I’m wondering if I’ll ever trust again, feel attractive or more than just normal to my husband again. Porn not only ruins marriages but spouse’s as well. I’m wondering like Deborah on what about older adults? After my late husband passed away I was swept off my feet by my now husband that unknown to me has had an addiction for most his life. I’ve no one to talk to, he goes to a so called mentor once a week and a councilor once every month or two. But nothing for me! I have no idea what to do! I feel like I’m loosing my mind sometimes. I’m going to look for this book now!

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hey Susan, I think you’re addressing a very important issue in recovery: support for the spouse. I find this very often happens: all the concern is about how to get the husband to stop looking at porn, without much help for the wife. And very often, women meet the criteria for PTSD in this situation, so there is a huge need for support and therapy for the spouse.

        I would suggest that you seek counseling for yourself, as you work through the emotions and practicalities of this situation.

        And yes, I think pornography use is an issue that EVERY woman must be aware of these days, regardless of age. It’s just so pervasive in culture today.

        I hope the book helps! Let us know what you think. Kay

      • Kate on

        Susan, my heart goes out to you! And I feel your pain of having no where to turn and feeling so lost and alone! Many spouses feel the same. Check out this website!
        http://www.freedomeveryday.org/spouses-of-sex-addicts/conf-call.php
        It may help you find a group for support!
        Know that God is with you!

    41. J. Van on

      Thank you so much for offering help and hope to so many struggling with this issue!

      Reply
    42. Shauna on

      As both the wife of a wonderful man who struggles with an addiction to pornography and a Christian marriage and family therapist, I welcome the counsel and support provided through this book as well as that offered by CovenantEyes. I recommend this product frequently to my clients, and (although I don’t tell them this) trust it enough to use it myself! Thank you for providing such good resources in such a challenging time.

      Reply
    43. B on

      Yes, it is harmful in many ways, but even the ‘victims’ have choices of what we are going to choose to think on…. We can allow this to destroy us. I have decided, with God’s help: TO “MOVE FORWARD” with my life and forgive and be broken TOGETHER, as Casting Crowns reminds us in their song…. Forgiveness is a choice, and a marriage can still work, IF people are sorry and willing to turn around and do what is right and honorable .

      Reply
    44. Joel on

      Marriages are harmed by porn because the person watching the porn is looking for sexual fulfillment in the wrong place.

      Reply
    45. Sarah on

      Thank you for a resource that helps to talkeep more openly about something that too often lives in the shadows of Christian marriage.

      Reply
    46. Sam on

      Porn is bad for marriage because it limits the work of the Holy Spirit within the marriage.

      Reply
    47. ben burke on

      Ill make it simple. Porn destroys marriages because it warps the brain. It causes the viewer to start looking at their spouse differently. This leads to fighting in the home. This leads to one or both spouses looking to leave. Which in turn causes the first spouse to go deeper into porn. And the cycle spins, and the hole/divide gets deeper.

      Porn is a silent killer…

      Reply
      • Ginny on

        Ben you are so right. Part of the difficulty of getting over the porn addiction of a spouse is that they usually don’t ‘get’ that fact.

    48. Matthew on

      One reason Porn is bad for a marriageis because it doesn’t reflect the faithfulness that Christ has and shows to His people.

      Reply
    49. T.J. on

      Pornography is a sin…which separates man from God, which separates husbands and wives.

      Reply
    50. Kate on

      Wow, amazing how God Works. My husband and I are just in the beginning of really working on this battle. But I am struggling to trust that it truly is the beginning of the end! This article came to me at the perfect timing!
      Thank you!
      I would love to have a copy of your book to help us continue on this difficult journey!

      Reply
    51. Monique on

      Thank you for such a valuable resource!

      Reply
    52. Laura on

      Thank you.

      Reply
    53. Christine on

      Pornography impedes the unity of husband and wife in marriage which was intended by God and represents Christ and the church.

      Reply
    54. Jennifer on

      I’m thankful to know that I’m not alone in this battle. I pray that the Lord gives me patience and a humble heart to approach my husband. Thank you to those who have written this. I will be looking here more often for encouragement, support and prayers.
      -Jenn

      Reply
    55. Tara on

      Thank you so much for your ministry! Upon discovering my husband’s struggle with pornography 3 years ago, we have used your services on all of our devices in our home. It’s been so helpful to more than just my eyes to view my husbands activity online. I’ve also been helped by your resources and can’t wait to read this e-book. Thanks for all you do!

      Reply
    56. Crystal Boller on

      wow. All I can say Gods timing. I have already addressed this issue with my husband again for the 3rd time. It has torn me apart emotionally. And distanced me from him makes me feel dirtye expectations are unrealistic of me. Makes me feel insecure more than I already do. He’s very distant also which leads him to talk to other women. Which leads to lies and wanting more.it kills a marriage.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hey Crystal. This is so tough! I think one of the worst things that porn does in a relationship is provide a place for the husband to turn, so he doesn’t turn toward his wife. That distance you feel is a very real part of what happens when porn is that third person in the relationship. One of the things I appreciated about what Luke said in the podcast is that recovery is about so much more than just not looking at porn. Recovery is about restoring the marriage to a place of emotional intimacy.

        I want to really encourage you to GET HELP FOR YOURSELF, no matter what your husband chooses. You can do that through personal counseling, through a group like Celebrate Recovery, by educating yourself here on the blog. You might like to read through our free download, Hope After Porn, to see how various women have cared for themselves in the recovery process.

    57. Crystal Boller on

      Kate I am glad you say the same thing. Timing. I am glad I am not alone. Prayers for your marriage.

      Reply
    58. Maybe on

      I see a lot of women blaming their husbands and little accountability at all placed on women. It is the same tired line. Men are bad. Women are good. Men are guilty. Women are innocent flowers and victims always. Men’s lust causes porn use but there is no way that their wives could have driven them to porn use. It is kind of like the mean, negative, demanding wife who just can’t understand why her husband cheated on her. Hate to tell you. But women who are in shape, kind, positive, and laid back …. rarely get cheated on, unless another woman goes after her husbands and tempts him. But women never acknowledge that either — how women tempt men constantly.

      I hate to breakdown many people’s pity party, but women may not be watching porn as much as men, but they sure as heck are doing more porn than men. Much more. Few women are forced to do porn. I hate to tell people. Those women choose to do it and if you need proof of it, go look at webcam girls doing porn in their own homes. They have a choice not to do it, but they CHOSE to do it.

      Also, let us be honest. Puritan America is highly dysfunctional. Our rigid attitudes of the past created the foundation for what is happening now. The ultra conservative 40s and 50s gave way to the liberal 60s. You ever see what happens to children who grew up in strict religious families? Families where EVERYTHING is a sin? Once they get away from that family, they become the polar opposite because they were oppressed for so long. Now, if those children can’t get away from the family, they will become miserable like their parents. Seeing everything as evil and never asking why are things evil?

      This will never end. Never. We only deal with symptoms of a much larger issue.

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Hi Maybe,

        There’s some merit to what you are saying, for sure, but a lot of error in it as well.

        Yes, women should not be odious to their husbands. Agreed. But one sin should not beget another. Even in a situation where a woman is abusive in her words and actions does not mean a man should feel “driven” to porn as a result. Of course, wives sin against their husbands and husbands against their wives, but let each account for their sins alone. A man might be able to claim that marital stress has created a situation where he was tempted to relieve that stress through porn, but a man cannot say that his porn use is his wife’s doing.

        My friend Matt Fradd had some poignant things to say to men who think their porn use is their wife’s fault. You should check it out.

        I’m also not following your logic here: men watch a lot of porn but women make a lot of porn? Sure. But what does that have to do with the topic of this post? You also said, “Few women are forced to do porn.” Again, I fail to see the relevance. Can you make yourself clearer.

      • Deborah on

        I’m replying to ” Maybes” post. Please do not make a statement that if a woman was laid back, in shape, kind and positive their man wouldn’t seek porn.. I’m in great shape, always have been and love sex. My husband and I had a creative and explosive sex life for 22 years and there were no complaints on either side. When he turned 67 years old, he slowed down, went to his Dr. who said he had low T , should take Viagra , and that he had ED. He got severely depressed, would not communicate, refused to get a second opinion and refused to take herbs, chant, experiment with other things, etc. even with me pleading with him and telling him he did NOT have ED, he bought into it and decided one day to click free porn. This was his solution, he needed his ” mojo” back. On top of that he lied repeatedly when I asked him if he was watching porn. This was the real killer, and real betrayal trauma. In spite of all this I didn’t stray….I didn’t use an excuse that he wasn’t kind, interesting, sexy, and in shape. He looked like a slob….I made a marital committment to be loyal and faithful to my husband. He chose otherwise. When I hear comments like yours, I take offense. This is HIS and HIS alone! He intentionally pressed a button….many times and then lied. There’s the real damage in our marriage. He took the risk which was his choice. Stop blaming the woman and realize porn is the result of much deeper issues. 0 to do with the wife. Rant over….

      • Ginny on

        In response to Maybe. You couldn’t be more wrong at the start of your comment and couldn’t make less sense at the end. I can only surmise that you are mistaking the act of sex for what we are referring to; which is love, closeness, trustworthiness and sexual INTIMACY.
        Porn is also addicting. It’s like blaming the Dr for not giving you pain pills therefore having an heroin addiction.

    59. Anya on

      Very thankful for this book & am looking forward to reading it. Porn has been in my husband’s life since he was just a little boy. Dealing with this issue in our marriage is honestly a nightmare; it has shattered trust and built a wall between us. Nearly all aspects of our marriage is effected by pornography. We have been in marital counseling for over a year and it’s helped, but it is truly a long, extremely hard journey for both of us.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hey Anya, I hope the book is an encouragement to you! I think your story is like so many women today: their husbands got into porn in childhood, and that has huge implications in adulthood. This requires us as women to develop a whole new skill set of being able to stand strong for ourselves, for good boundaries, and for good health. Make sure you’re getting the help and support you need for your own healing! Women are so often deeply hurt and even traumatized over this, and sometimes as we all concentrate on the husband’s issues, and trying to keep the marriage intact, the spouse’s need for recovery gets pushed into the background. So, make sure you’re getting the help you need to process through your own pain. I think sometimes it’s helpful for the wife to have her own separate counseling, just for her. Blessings to you, Kay

    60. Lindsey on

      Pornography is not a new age phenomenon. It dates back thousands of years. Every culture on Earth had its own versions of Erotica and Comedy, which was profane and perverse plays and writings. Drawings and Oil Paintings next took up the genre. Printed pornography began with copper plate etchings and then moved onto to photography once the camera process was readily developed for Erotic images. The color printing process gave rise to mass produced R and XXX rated imagery. The Camera also gave birth to the Adult Movie Industry and Porno Houses. Now we have Electronic Mass Media-Social Media pornography delivered right into your homes on High Definition TV Screens for all to enjoy. Any child over 7 can override or defeat “adult channels lockouts”, so those are not preventing minors from watching two adults doing every conceivable thing to one another. Any many wonder why youth is so disrespectful and world wise by the time they are 9 and 10 years. They have literally seen and heard it all by then. If the kids know daddy is looking at filthy images on the computer and later that night can hear him knocking the bottom out of mommy in the bedroom – do you think they are going to have great feelings or thoughts about their parents? On the other hand- Men who must look naked money shots images of other women taking it one way or the other, and then get aroused and more than likely will masturbate to the imagery – are for all intents and purposes having an affair with another women they do not even know. He is fantasizing over her and visualizing himself as the unnatural massively equipped STUD servicing the wet and screaming HOTTIE in the image. And this is what ruins marriages, because 99% of married women want a monogamous marriage and do not want their husbands fantasizing about or spanking the monkey over some other females open genitalia being rammed by some other dudes thick tool. Pornography is just as additive as heroine. But nearly twice as difficult to kick the daily need for an ejaculate release fix! The more the man views thousands of pornography images, if he’s married, the more he’ll demand things from his wife who will not be thrilled by the requests – or will do them, but not like it. The more he fantasizes over other women, the less he’ll be in love with his wife and the more he’ll be looking at other women as a potential to satisfy his lust. This is why many married men who are into porn, often hook up with prostitutes, one night stands, or have an ongoing affair until they are caught – and then that usually leads to a nasty divorce. Nothing GOOD and Relationship building can result from a man who is into the world of pornography. It breeches Love, Honor, Respect, Trust, Faith, Truthfulness, Commitment, Wholesomeness, Purity of mind and heart, and above everything else – an absolute slap to the face of God and Holy Matrimony. When you tell a woman you love her beyond and above all others and your heart belongs to her alone and then proposing to her for a marital commitment – You had better mean very word of it! If you can’t promise her that, then don’t marry her. There is no room in the marriage for pornography if you expect the marriage to last. I think I have said all there is to be said… good luck.

      Reply
    61. Ana Reyes on

      PORN KILLS.
      PORN PERVERTS.
      PORN DESTROYS.
      PORN TRAUMATIZES.

      It has killed my security, my hopes, my dreams, my confidence, my healthy bodily self-image, my happiness, my joy, my reason to continue as the marriage & love deteriorates in the process to slow but sure death.
      It has killed me already.

      It has perverted my femininity, my sexuality, my desires, my reality, my boundaries, my view of the past, present & future.
      It has perverted all my being.

      PORN destroyed all that was good, pure, sweet, innocent, trustworthy, respected, admired, secured, joyful & genuine in the marriage.
      It has destroyed me to shreds.

      PORN has traumatized me beyond anything I’ve ever had to endure on this earth. All of what I’ve gone through in my life can’t compare to the trauma it has caused. Even the sexual abuse as a little & prepubescent girl didn’t even do ALL OF THIS to me, of which I recovered quickly by the grace of God.
      Porn has traumatized me beyond any timely, much-needed, recuperation.
      His relapses & his threats to do it have continued to traumatize me even more.
      I’m totally traumatized. I need God’s healing power to completely heal me.

      I’m a dead, destroyed, traumatized woman inside.

      Even though we are still in the process of recovery, (without counseling) PORN continues to kill.

      It has killed it all within me, the marriage & all that is left of the love that once was.

      I appreciated all the ladies’ heartfelt comments. Thank you. I cried through each one of them.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Ana, I am so sorry for the pain you’re in right now. Many women have that same sort of traumatic experience around pornography in relationships. That is a really normal response to the pain.

        I want to encourage you to seek support for YOURSELF in the recovery process. You do need healing, and that most often comes through other people who can care for you and support you while you are so wounded. It sounds to me like you really need a personal counselor. Not for your husband. For YOU, so you can get the care you need. Another good avenue for support is a group setting like Celebrate Recovery.

        If you haven’t looked into our free downloads, you might appreciate Porn and Your Husband as well as Hope After Porn.

        The good news is this: YOU CAN RECOVER. Whatever your husband does or doesn’t do about his problems with porn, YOU can be healthy. It’s hard work, getting healthy after something like this happens, but you can get there! Find support, though. You need help! And there’s lots of help available. Blessings, Kay

      • Deborah on

        Dear Ana……I am so very sorry for you. And I do know how this feels. I am just about 2 years since my discovery day. It’s coming up the end of April and I’m preparing myself. Springtime will be beautiful but my memory of that afternoon doesn’t ever go away. Like many, I am in therapy for PTSD. I never thought I would ever get through this…my eyelids were slammed shut for days because of non stop crying, sobbing, and wailing like a dying animal. I loved my husband and we had a great sex life and I never thought he would even look at another woman. Let alone watch porn. And then lie over and over and make me second guess myself like I was insane. Here’s the good news if you could call it that. After lots of support in therapy and lots of soul searching, I have begun to love myself and believe in myself again. It didn’t happen overnight, but with some work and lots of prayer and faith in God I have reached a safe and good point. Is my marriage saved…? Well, we are together and I’m sorry to say that for now I choose to NOT trust him very much. It’s not in my best interest. And I am number one right now after years of my husband being number one selfishly. My happiness matters and God wants me to be happy. My husband is in therapy and working on himself, and that’s a good thing. Life isn’t perfect now, but I made a committment to myself and to God I would work on my healing. This is a trauma that hurts beyond belief. All our safety and all our dreams of what we thought we had disappear. Quite frightening. I joined an online group for wives of porn addicts and these women saved my life. I had a safe place to go without feeling judged or uncomfortable. There is healing after a husbands betrayal, but we have to seek it out. My prayers are with you, and I will ask God to give Divine Intervention. YOU are worth it, YOU deserve the good in life, YOU are Gods child.

    62. sheila winter on

      Thanks for an invaluable resource. Looking forward to reading it.

      Reply
    63. marriett on

      Porn took trust and sex out of my marriage. All that’s left is my believe in not getting divorced.

      Reply
    64. Kate on

      Thank you for the updated book! I can’t wait to read it.

      Reply
    65. Cindy on

      Porn is bad for marriages because the secret sin detaches the spouse from wanting a physical relationship, it causes lying, anger, abuse. I have been the recipient of the man of the house using porn and I felt all the things of betrayal, panic attacks, trust issues that never were resolved because of the husbands refusal to see he did anything wrong, that he was just a “normal guy”, that he didn’t cheat because he never “touched” the women and the comment of “what’s the big deal, most men do it”. It’s a big deal all right when I had to battle the presence of evil in the home because of sexual horror movies and the constant lies. Porn is bad for marriages because the spouse ends up idolizing the women, his body, the media and it detracts from a real relationship with Christ and causes many problems. I became afraid because of the anger my husband directed towards me because he couldn’t access porn with the covenant eyes program on his computer and he would say I put a virus on there. I’d say the escalating anger became violent with threats. I’d also like to say, in my home the husband became fascinated with girls too young and this is borderline pedophelia. The teenage son in the home knew his dad looked at porn and masterbated and he became hesitant to knock on dad’s bedroom door afraid he might see his dad doing his thing. The more men view porn and masterbate, the more addictive it becomes. I was threatened many times to get the program off his computer with a 12 hour deadline. I was so afraid of him I had to leave the house twice and stay with family or friends. He was loud and obnoxious and would drink and then tell me his cock was throbbing as his brain was telling him he wanted porn to look at but he was not inclined to want his wife. I saw and heard the withdrawls of porn when he couldn’t have it, he’d get to be so angry that he’d break things in the house. Once when I left out of town he was stressed out about me leaving and said in a text “I need sex now” and he left to go to his computer for 20 minutes. He would tell me he never committed adultery as what he was doing “was not real”. It sure is real when they hear the moans and screams, see the images on the screen, touch their penis to masterbate and ejaculate and then have the images in their head where their spouse is no longer appealing to them. I had my hair pulled, my head shoved into his crotch, was talked to like the porn stars talk to guys on the screen and he would experiment with the dirty talk towards me. It was like he was acting out what he saw and he couldn’t connect on a personal level with a real person to really know what love is, hard core sex to just get off was much more fascinating and pleasing. He acted in ways that said “self service me” but I don’t have to reciprocate anything to you. I know you gals know what I’m talking about.
      I don’t see this problem going away, it will get worse, good we have covenant eyes but I think our pastors really need to step up and tell it plainly like it is: porn summons demons and porn is real because those men and women on the screen are real, they will faced with judgment to God for what they are doing and being with a spouse who loves them and there’s freedom to have sex with love is the best way and the only way.
      God is watching, God knows everything and sees everything and we are to be held accountable before God one day for everything we say, we do, hear and what we search for on the internet. God Help Us All! Porn destroyed my marriage!

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Cindy, I am so sorry for the difficult situation you’re in right now.

        From your description, it sounds to me like his behavior has crossed the line into physical abuse. My primary concern at this point is for your safety. I am concerned, like you are, that the problem will continue to escalate. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at any time, 1-800-799-7233. There is more information on their website, including information about what defines abuse.

        I do think that men can recover, even from situations like this. However, it will be his job to take responsibility for himself, and to do the work of recovery.

        Your primary responsibility is for your safety, and the safety of your children. I think that this is where God holds us as spouses accountable in situations like this: to be healthy, to make the tough choices that will prompt healing and wholeness, even if our spouses make other choices.

        I would add that if you think he has been looking at child pornography, you can (and I personally think you should) report this to your local law enforcement for investigation.

    66. lisa on

      Thank you all

      The comments I’ve read bring some peace to me , knowing I’m not alone with my bouts of depression about a my husband’s porn a graph
      The comments I’ve read have given me some peace in a never ending nightmare of my husband’s porn use. He doesn’t want to get help , but he wants our marriage to look perfect for all the world to see. As I type this, I’m depressed and disgusted. God has given me answers to my prayers , I’m to sacred to step out on faith .

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Change is scary! I think many of us will choose to stay in a situation that’s terrible, rather than take a chance on change. You’re not alone in that, either!

        It really is normal to be upset, depressed, and even highly traumatized as the spouse of someone who looks at porn. There is help and hope for YOU, no matter what he chooses.

        You can reach out for counseling, and/or find a group in your area to attend. There are even online groups for spouses. You can educate yourself, and find blogs and forums that address this issue (just like you did here!). You can decide what’s healthy for you, and put boundaries in place to ensure that your healthy choices are respected. You might like to read through our free download, Hope After Porn, where several women talk about what the recovery process looked like for them.

        Hopefully you’ll find some safe, simple first steps there, down the road to freedom and healing. Blessings, Kay

    67. Sandy on

      I think the length of a couple’s marriage can be a factor in determining how painful the porn addiction discovery can be for a wife. I believe if you have been married for a long time when you discover your husband’s addiction, that the wounds are deeper & more all encompassing. And, I believe that the longer the marriage, the longer it takes for a wife to heal from the discovery. I have been married over 30 yrs & I am finding the road to healing almost elusive. I want to heal & be delivered from this pain but, to be lied to & deceived by a man that I trusted for over 30 yrs, is very difficult to process & digest. And to realize that I remained a fool for that long, and my husband not only allowed me to, he practically encouraged it, sickens me to the core. My husband of over 30 yrs not only broke my heart, he also crushed my soul……all without a second thought.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Yes, feeling like your 30-year relationship was based on lies and deception is a very difficult pain to bear. Many women in situations like this are highly traumatized by the discovery of their husband’s “other life.” It is incredibly difficult to process, and that’s why I always recommend to wives that they get into recovery for themselves. I think every wife needs a counselor, a local group, and/or an online group to help process through all the emotions and issues that this brings up. As terribly difficult and painful as this is, it doesn’t have to own YOU for the rest of your life. Whatever your husband chooses, YOU can make healthy choices for yourself.

    68. Scott Steele on

      Is there a book for a husband whose wife consistently repeats unhealthy and destructive behavior with sexuality, fails to respect her husband or set boundaries with their extramarital relationships and have committed adultery?

      Reply
    69. Tiffany on

      Porn is destructive. Not just to marriage, but to individuals as well. The users develop unrealistic expectations, and find themselves unable truly connect with their partner. The partner loses trust, never feels worthy, struggles to get past self doubt, doesn’t feel loved…just to name a few issues. Can’t wait to read this book!! Thank you!

      Reply
    70. Avst on

      Porn is bad for my marriage because it has above all broken trust with my husband.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        And I think the issue of broken trust goes far beyond just a behavior; it’s really about not being emotionally trustworthy. Recovery is about having a marriage that nurtures and sustains both of you, and that requires the ability to really BE TOGETHER in many significant ways, beyond just the issue of porn.

    71. Becky russell on

      Can’t wait to start reading this! Thank you thank you!

      Reply
    72. Sandra H. on

      Porn destroys the intimacy between a husband and a wife that God intended to be sacred in marriage.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        And that’s really about the emotional intimacy, which is expressed in sexual intimacy.

    73. muchalone on

      Finding porn was devastating…debilitating.
      I have struggled with much in my life, but this hit me in a place that I thought was safe…because I thought I knew my husband…I believed he was who he pretended to be in order to get married…I believed God had given me a partner.
      and 20 years later, I discover that he only got married in order to have sex…and it wouldn’t really matter to him who it was with.
      So, we co-exist in order to co-parent our 4 boys…
      He claims to be repentant, but I only see regret…repeated regret every time I stumble upon another lie from him…and I regret that I ever married him because it feels like I got a life sentence for his crime.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        It sounds like you are in so much pain right now, and I’m sorry for that.

        Real repentance will express itself as CHANGE, and you’ll see that change become a reality through trustworthy behavior over time. Behavioral things are a good sign of change: internet accountability, attending a group, going to therapy. But the bottom line is when you can see that he’s emotionally engaged in the relationship, able to care about how you feel, how things impact you, and a growing willingness to stay in the relationship when things are tough.

        Whatever he chooses, I hope you’ll choose a path to health for YOU: counseling, local groups, online groups–whatever it takes to help you process through this and make good choices for yourself and your children. You might appreciate our free download, Hope After Porn, where several women talk about what that journey looked like for them.

        The bottom line is this: yes, it’s incredibly painful to discover this, and it’s not fair that these consequences fall on you. But no matter how painful, it’s not the end of YOUR life. You can find a way through this to a healthy place, and I hope that you will. Just don’t try to do it alone! There are lots of good resources out there for you.

    74. Liz on

      Looking forward to this!

      Reply
    75. Ginny on

      I was so thankful for your publication 3 years ago and I’m still thankful. I look forward to reading the new book

      Reply
    76. Ann-Morgan on

      Thank you so much for the time and energy you put into developing such a powerful, needed resource! So many people have nowhere to turn and don’t know what to do to work through this tough issue. Thank you for tackling it in a direct and sensitive manner.

      Reply
    77. dora on

      I’m looking forward to reading this book. Feeling quite hopeless that our marriage will survive his recent relapse. Not sure why I have to to go through this again. Quite sick. Sick of the lies and secrets. Sick of putting up with this. I donot know how I will ever trust again. I wish I was fortunate to have had a loving trusting marriage instead of this!

      Reply
    78. David on

      Break free from the chains of porn. Go to Jesus Christ for TRUE LOVE. Don’t let the world try to tell you what love is really about. Find something that you can use to put your energy into instead of watching porn. Find something you love to do, and wouldn’t mind doing for a long time. Get Adblock and Covenant Eyes, or a similar filtering software to keep you accountable for your browsing. Never give up, always fight the good fight for Christ. DON’T NAIL HIM TO THE CROSS!

      Reply
    79. Melinda on

      What do you do when your husband does not believe in God and the sacrifice Jesus made for us? I have tried, over 15 years of being together. He doesn’t want to know. I pray but it feels hopeless :(

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        I know it must be a huge grief for you to be unable to share your spiritual walk with your husband.

        I want to tell you something that I believe with all my heart: It is not your job to save your husband. His walk with God, whatever that looks like, is HIS.

        Do you remember what Jesus said to the disciples when they were asking “What about this one? What’s going to happen to him?” And Jesus says, “What is that to you? YOU FOLLOW ME.” (John 21:22)

        Of course we want the best for our loved ones. Of course we share our faith when it’s appropriate. Of course we pray for them. Of course we are grieved when they make bad choices.

        But ultimately, what happens with them is not our deal. It’s God’s deal.

        And when we get too focused on things we cannot change (other people), we often get distracted from what we CAN work on (ourselves).

        I think you’re going to have to let go and let God here. And the thing I’ve found with God is that he doesn’t work the way we want, in the time frame we want–and he doesn’t over-rule our free will. Your husband will have to choose to turn toward Home at some point, and when he does, he’ll find that welcome that all prodigals find.

        Meanwhile, lay this burden down. Let God carry this. Let him carry your husband. Let him carry you.

        Blessings, Kay

    80. Jean on

      Luke, I want to ask you. How can I get my grown children to read and understand their Father sexual addiction. He is a 40 plus year user and is in recovery, but I am divorcing him. It is hard for my kids too. I know they don’t really understand what I have lived with all these 40 years. My daughter doesn’t speak to me anymore. But my Son is very understanding and loves me. I want them to read up about it. How can I lead them to understand the sexual sin?
      Thanks, Jean

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Great question, Jean.

        Your main goal, if I understand you correctly, is you want your children to really understand the nature of sexual addiction so they understand both their father’s wrongdoings and internal strife, as well as the suffering you have endured. Is that right?

        Have they expressed a resistance to learning about this in the past? Some don’t want to learn about sexual addiction for a number of reasons. For instance, some hate the term “sexual addiction” because they have a conception in their minds that addiction is a disease and therefore something excusable. They don’t want to believe this about someone who they should be held accountable for their actions. Some people don’t want to learn about sex addiction because the whole thing makes them uncomfortable, especially when they think about a parent going through it. Are either of these scenarios true of your children?

        I would start by being honest with them. Simply be real with them: “I have started to learn a lot more about sex addiction, and it has really helped me to understand your father. I am so happy he is getting help, and I certainly hold him responsible for the ways he has hurt me. But just like the wife of an alcoholic, it really helps me to understand what drugs like alcohol or visual stimuli like porn do to a person’s brain and body, because it helps me to understand why this has been such a terrible, long, drawn-out experience. It doesn’t make the pain go away, but it does help me to understand why I felt so powerless over the last 40 years.”

        From there you might invite them to read more information about the subject. For instance, we have a free book you can download called The Porn Circuit. It really addresses the brain chemistry aspect of porn addiction, and could give your children an deeper understanding of the problem.

    81. Jean on

      Luke,
      Thanks for the advice and info. I have read that download myself. 3times. I learn something every time I’ve read it. Sometime I think because there are such strong emotions going on that I cry and then I miss the next thought.
      Of course they don’t want to have to listen about their parents sex life. But on the same hand, listening to only one side of the issue, especially when he’s not telling the whole truth or lying, has distanced my Daughter from me. When I’ve tried to tell her anything, she says; stop playing the victim Mom. Really? It’s just been hard to have my Daughter and her husband who are pastors, treat me like this. But for now I guess this is how it will be. I just keep praying for all of us to get through it. I didn’t cause this. But staying as many years as I did just enabled him to continue the behavior. Churches don’t know how to handle sex addicts. They tell the wive to go back home and try harder, pray harder, and have more sex. It’ s so so so wrong. I hope more churches get help in counseling couples who have this curse in their family. Make those that have been keeping the sinful secret covered up, come to the light. And leave this earth knowing they’ve left their children a blessing and not a curse of sexual sin. The sin in the darkness will come to light. That’s what I have to believe for my children and grandchildren. I want what God wants too. I am a precious Daughter of our Heavenly Father, and I am leaning everyday how much He loves me. I know I can’t take the hurt of my husband falling back, or slipping up again. I’ve done it for 40 years. God said: let go and I will take care of my husband. That’s the peace I know is true inside me.
      Thanks again for listening, Jean

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        You might try engaging your daughter in some constructive dialogue. Ask her, “Under what conditions would a woman in my position actually be a victim in your eyes? What kind of sexual sin would a man have to be guilty of in order for a wife like me to legitimately feel victimized? Is there a sense in which you believe I’m culpable? How so? I really just want to understand where you are coming from.” And then just listen. Granted, what she says may be full of lies, but at least it will help you and her get to the bottom of her beliefs.

    82. Jean on

      Luke, it is possible for a 45 year Christian sex addict to be fully recovered from sex addiction in 8-11 months under personal counseling? My husband who has been under counseling with Pure Desire, has told me he is totally cured of sex addiction now. That he has changed greatly and others see his Change too. ( which I know he has changed). But I don’t trust him. Others have not walked in my shoes nor have they lived the betrayal, the adultery, the control, or manipulation. Nor do they know the whole story. I haven’t read anywhere, that an addict will totally be cured of this addiction. I have not read any stories ,or had any women tell me their husband were totally cured. Please help me with this?

      Jean

      Reply
      • Luke Gilkerson on

        Excellent question, Jean.

        First, as to whether your husband can be truly “cured” I think is up for debate. It really depends what he thinks that means. While addiction acts a lot like a disease, it isn’t like getting a virus. When I get the flu and then get better and no longer experience flu symptoms, I am “cured.” But addictions are more complex than this.

        So let’s take the “cured” language out of the picture for now. Can a man be a sex addict, go to counseling for less than a year, and no longer be acting out? Sure. I know a lot of men who do this. A lot of it depends on other factors: How much was he working on the problem prior to the counseling? How deep and secretive was his addiction? What were some of the underlying factors that shaped his addictive behaviors?

        But I also know a lot of guys (myself included) whose recovery is like peeling away the layers of an onion: just when you think you’ve reached the last layer, there’s one more. When you start the recovery process, you don’t really know how deep the rabbit hole goes, and it is easy to claim “freedom” when there’s so much more of a wonderful journey in store.

        All of this aside, I think both you and your husband need to understand something critical: his self-proclaimed “cured” status does not mean trust is now due. In her book, When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography, Vicki Tiede writes this:

        “You will choose to trust your husband when you are ready. Don’t worry—trusting and forgiving are not the same thing. Rebuilding trust will probably take much longer than it will take to forgive. You will know it’s time to trust when your heart helps you to choose to believe that he will make the right choices. His behaviors will become your trust barometer.”

        Let’s assume for the moment that your husband’s demonstrative struggle with sex addiction is over—I don’t know that, of course, but let’s just say it is. His work to rebuild your trust is still not over. It took him 45 years to build a life of sex addiction with all its perversions and secrets, and 8-11 months of good behavior—even if it is completely real and genuine—simply may not be enough for your heart to really trust that the change is real. That’s completely understandable.

        Now, of course, the ideal is that his behavior does warm your heart to trust him again and that your marriage really begins to thrive again. I pray he will show trustworthy behavior and your heart will allow you to choose trust again as time goes on. But for the time being, this is the road you are on. Your husband’s struggle in this moment—aside from the continued maintenance of his new life of purity—is to have patience while his marriage is rebuilt brick by brick. Your struggle is to establish the right kind of boundaries in your relationship with him that will demonstrate to your heart, over time, that his change is real, and to never use “lack of trust” as a front for revenge or spite. We talk about those boundaries in our book, Porn and Your Husband (which you can download for free if you haven’t already).

        In the end, it most important that you and your husband get on the same page about this. Celebrate just how “cured” he feels with him, but remember building trust is a bigger project. If you both can celebrate the day by day victories and mutually work to rebuild trust, this will go a long way.

    83. Anne on

      Unfortunately, my husband didn’t wake up until we separated in our home. We now have CE on our puters.

      But, it will be a LONG time before I can love and trust him….if ever. I am scared to give him my heart after he’s had so many relapses over the last decade.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Yeah, I think trust is a thing that you’re wise to give to a trustworthy person. If your husband hasn’t been trustworthy yet, then it makes sense not to trust. It sounds like he’s got a lot of work to do, to get past the constant “relapse” and into serious recovery. Blessings on your healing journey, Kay

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