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To the Wife of a Porn Addict: Letting Go of Anger

Last Updated: August 11, 2015

Guest Author

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

I have had so many various emotions after discovering my husband was addicted to pornography three years ago.

  • I had times of sadness and depression that would last for days. I was often confused and hopeless.
  • Then there were times when I was thankful and happy that God led me to this discovery. I was joyful and blessed that my marriage was being restored.
  • I was excited, at times, that my husband was becoming a new man.

But, the emotion that I feared the most—because it had total control of me, was anger.

Letting Go of Anger

I think almost every wife is angry when she finds out that her husband is hiding the secret sin of watching pornography. He is betraying her and hurting her in ways he may never fully understand. Sometimes the husband is also carrying this sin into real life and is having inappropriate relationships with women.

All of these things, when confessed, can be so freeing for the husband. It also helps start the restoration of the marriage. However, all of these deceitful acts add to the wife’s anger.

The reason that anger is so very destructive is because of how we act when we are angry. It feels like a power comes over us that we cannot control. We make decisions and say things that we would never do in our normal state.

I never considered myself an angry person. I was calm in many situations. I had no problem raising my four children with patience. Then, my life changed when I found out what my husband was doing daily on the computer.

Of course, I was very sad. I found that in my sadness I could calmly talk to my husband. I could express my hurts and feelings to him. I could also spend time with God. I could read the Bible or pray. I worked through the times of sadness.

But anger was something different. Anger started to eat me alive. I was angry at so many things.

  • I was disappointed in God. God knew that I wanted a wonderful love story. I wanted a marriage with closeness and transparency. The thought of being with this man forever—a man who constantly used women as objects—disgusted me. I would dwell on this and in one moment anger would overtake me.
  • I said awful things to my husband. I screamed and overreacted to anything that would cross me. I was becoming the type of wife and mother I never pictured I would be. It seemed that happiness was growing very far from me. I was starting to be a person I never knew. I was angry all the time. And I took all my anger out on my husband. He was trying very hard to change as a person and rebuild our relationship. But my anger stopped him from getting close to me each time. I was sure I would never be able to let this anger go.

When I fully realized that I didn’t like the person I was, I knew I had to change. Yes, my husband made the decisions to lie and break the commitment of marriage, but I was responsible for how I acted. Nothing my husband did could excuse the terrible monster I was becoming.

I had to surrender to God.

When I laid my anger down, I knew it would be hard. Things would come up or I would remember something and I naturally wanted to go into a rage of anger. However, I had to constantly remind myself of the commitment I made to let my anger go. I would talk to God and say,

“Lord, You know how much anger I feel. You know that if I don’t do something about it, I will just explode. If that happens, it will be very ugly and destructive. So, I am asking You, God, to remove this anger. Please, take it from me. Give me something else to replace it with. Let me not dwell upon it.”

Then I would get my mind busy thinking about anything else. Slowly, the anger would go away.

I have to remind myself of God’s plans in all of this. God can take the brokenness of my marriage and turn it around for something good. He can use my once destructive anger and use it to help other wives find healing from God after the crisis in their marriage.

The alternative is that I hold on to my anger. I can keep my anger and let it take control of my whole life. I can never have happiness and my relationship with my husband will never be beautiful. My anger will keep it at an ugly distance.

It is my hope that each wife will turn her anger over to God and see what God plans to do if she will trust Him with her life.


Robi Smith is a wife and mother to four wonderful children. She has been married for thirteen years. Robi has a Master of Counseling in Counseling Psychology and is the founder of Hopeful Wife Today. She aims to bring hope and healing to hurting wives from their husband’s pornography use and unfaithfulness. She is continuing to see God’s restoring power every day in her life and in her own marriage.

  • Comments on: To the Wife of a Porn Addict: Letting Go of Anger
    1. T on

      Thank you for sharing that today. I really needed that.

      Reply
      • Robi Smith on

        You’re welcome

      • Rosemary on

        Thank you for sharing your story. Its good to know that I do not suffer this alone. Only this I have been suffering now for 13 years still trying to remain strong and trust in God.

      • Kay Bruner on

        Rosemary, I think suffering alone is so difficult! I hope you’ll reach out for support. There are many resources available to spouses, like personal counseling. There are also many groups available, like Celebrate Recovery, Pure Desire, S Anon, even Al Anon. And there are online resources like xxxChurch and Candeo. I hope you’ll find something that helps you through! You don’t have to be alone!

      • T Sharpe on

        Thank you i hope that I can let go of my anger before it destroys my marriage I hurt so bad from it and has taken over me I can’t let it go I ask why he gives no answer and lies about it I have seen his searches and has been going on for a long time
        And that tore me apart I can’t forgive him made me feel like i was crazy and imagining things when
        My gut said no your not crazy now all I feel is hatred for him but then i want things back to the way it was before I feel like I am nothing ,useless ,!ugly not good enough in bed and that my shape and appearance isn’t what he desires help me please how to let go

      • Anon on

        This is what I needed to hear today. Thank you for sharing, I’m in the same spot. The anger feels so all consuming, and makes me want to lash out at him. But I don’t want to be a person that acts in anger.

    2. Momofmany on

      Thank you! Well said.

      Reply
      • Robi Smith on

        Sure! Thank you.

      • Robi Smith on

        Rosemary,
        I invite you to join us at Hopeful Wife Today. We are wives that walk together seeking God. I am praying for your strength in God.

    3. Kimberly on

      Reading your story felt like my own. I had a lot of anger and resentment towards my husband. I had to pray daily and some days by the hour for help through all the feelings. It had been 4 years for us, we are still working on our healing but we are closer than we have ever been. My husband is a new man, a godly man now. There is hope even when we can’t see it.

      Reply
      • Robi Smith on

        Kimberly,
        That is such a blessing to hear! I am praying that God keeps your marriage strong.

      • Mona on

        Mine just denies that he has a problem. And he pastored a church, for years.

    4. Jeanie on

      I loved reading the article but for me, it’s the deep unending sadness that I can’t let go of. I was angry in the very beginning: screaming, saying awful things to my husband, etc., but that all passed quickly. I have been in the depths of despair ever since. Maybe it’s easier to let go of anger because for me, it has been 4 yrs since discovery, & I am just as sad today as I was in the beginning. I have PTSD, and my mind relives everything ALL of the time, unabated. Perhaps this is the reason why some women contemplate taking their own lives; I fully understand that. When the sadness continues like this unabated & everyday feels like it happened yesterday, you start looking for a way to relieve this terrible pain. My husband is doing well but, I am not.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Jeanie, I hope that you’re getting support for yourself in this? Too often, I find that men get treatment and their spouses get little or nothing.

        I would encourage you to find a personal counselor for yourself, as it sounds like your depression symptoms are pretty serious.

        Hearing the level of intrusive thoughts you’re experiencing, I’d also recommend a visit to your doctor, as there may be some medical help available to you for those symptoms.

        I hope you will reach out for help today. Blessings, Kay

      • Robi Smith on

        Jeanie,
        I am so sorry to hear this. I also understand your sadness as I experience that also. Would you be willing to join us at Hopefulwifetoday.com? We are a community of wives who are following God through this sorrow. We pray for each other and look for God’s hope and direction. I am praying for you that God would lift you out of your sorrow. Please consider walking with us.

    5. Mike on

      I read these articles and they are so female centric. It is always about female’s feelings. What the wife wants. I guess that is what life is for men. We exist to make sure a woman get’s her lifetime of comfort and peace. It amazes me how every article is about some saintly woman and the evil man looks at porn. Hate to tell people the blame in a situation is not all one way. Men do not exist to ensure you a life time of joy. Maybe the solution to all this is we abandon the concept of marriage. Frankly, it does not benefit a man. Especially in America where women can do no wrong and men can do no right.

      Reply
    6. Jeremiah on

      Thanks. It’s helpful to see how a woman is dealing with anger. I’ve put my wife through so much, I want to learn how to be gentle, unassuming, serving, and PURE. When she is bitter and angry toward me, it hurts, but I have to keep giving, despite the lack of reciprocation at times. Becoming more Christlike in this manner is the only way I can really help her in her healing, and I now know that I need to avoid trying to “help her” out of her sin. She needs to explore and feel the pain of the years of hurt, and I need to be defenseless and loving no matter what. It’s the least I can do for her.

      Reply
    7. Cornelia P Gouws on

      I have been married for 30 years, and don’t know life without pornography. It appears sporadic , first only my husband, and then my son. On my phone, laptop, their phones and then my husband videotaped me naked 4 years ago- after he said he was clean- but the shock is I only found out in February this year. I went through all sorts of emotional breakdowns- said some bad and wrong things to my husband and son. up to this day , both refuse to go for healing counseling and work it through. Every time I caught my husband the rath he had for me was draining, intimidating and owerpowering. He called me names and said it was in my F head, and often blamed me. I am the one that had to work hard, made peace and try and continue.But guess what happened today, my husband decided to give me “ amnesty” for the wrong ways I behaved towards them . I feel so unsettled, I feel so cowardly out of control. My prayer for my family is to love each other like Christ love us, yet I feel the highest failure as a mother and a wife- why do I feel this way.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Wow, I’m not sure what your husband means by “giving you ‘amnesty'” when he is the one refusing to do the work? It sounds like gaslighting to me, frankly, which is where someone twists the truth rather than facing reality. Here is a video on gaslighting that might be helpful.

        The blame, wrath, intimidating anger–that all sounds like emotional abuse to me. Honestly, I think that the feelings of failure you’re experiencing are probably part of the emotional abuse and gaslighting that your husband does to you.

        The truth is, you cannot control your husband. You can only be in control of yourself, your choices, and what is healthy for you. Here, here, and here are some articles on boundaries, and the kind of control that is actually available to you: self-control.

        If you don’t have a therapist who’s helping you deal with this, please find one.

        Peace to you,
        Kay

    8. Fer on

      Thank you for describing what I’m feeling in such a gentle way. I’m not married to my partner yet, and this makes is very difficult for me to find support because most people just tell me to break up with him and avoid having a painful life next to him. My boyfriend is a porn addict and he has accepted this to me. He would watch it while I was still at work as he finished work earlier but what really got me angry and resentful towards him was the fact that he would still ask me to give him pleasure without letting me know what he had done earlier.

      I’m torn because he was honest with me, he told me he saw how porn was affecting our sex life in a negative way and he would change and stop. However, we are currently in a long distance relationship and so it’s so hard to believe he would stop when before he had to watch porn 2 – 3 times a day.

      We had planned to move in together when I’m back to the city where we both live (in 7 months), but I’m questioning whether I would want to do this and keep the relationship going when it’s already tormenting me and making me resent him now.

      He’s a kind, caring, and loving man. He is so good in so many ways but I have always had an issue with intimacy that was not sex-related because he always wanted to have sex, every cuddle would lead to something sexual.

      He understands it’s a problem, he understands it affects me and he knows I resent him for doing this while we’re in a relationship (as he realized his Erectile Disfunction had a lot to do with his addiction). He is trying to change, but he has fallen back to the same habits over and over again, it’s very difficult to believe he will completely overcome his addiction, and this scares me. I don’t want to marry someone who has an addiction that might escalate, I don’t want to be unhappy.

      Please any advice is welcomed, I’m just so lost.

      Reply
    9. Shane on

      6 years ago I became pregnant after a few short months with my partner. His mother was against me from the start.. Her covert narcissistic tendencies and the abuse and manipulation created a multitude of childhood issues in my partners life and she always had her venom ready.. She made subtle abuse into an art-form… but that is another story… I do believe she is directly responsible for my partners porn addiction…. At first he couldn’t commit to me and unfortunately by the time I found out about his texts with other woman, it was already two years into our relationship. ( I discovered his porn addiction another few years on) These early years were littered with him leaving for work or out of anger often with the support of his mother. My depression and confusion spiralled into a pit where every rope seamed broken.. Promises were maid to “ make things right and to stop”… He did for a while… then the texts with an ex started and I confronted, we fought, screamed, cried … We went for couples therapy. It didn’t help much because he was hiding something more profound.. I had another child with him ( which was sadly the result of me begging for sex after many months of him “abstaining” from me). There was always something wrong with me.. I didn’t understand him – he said, who wants to sleep with a godzilla, oh the creative harshness of his words or insults whenever i tried to talk about the problem never seized to amaze me, he’d bring religion into it or Not being married… any excuse not to be intimate .. i have Always wanted to be married… but he never put the excuse into action and it cut so deep… our sex life was reduced to perhaps 3 times a year and only if i take the initiative.. so another bout of therapy revealed the true reason of his shame.. his addiction to pornography is so ingrained it spanned over 30 years ( since childhood). His impotence wrecked all his relationships… he would always leave first leaving a trail of emotional destruction behind him ( i feel so sorry for his exes who never knew that it wasn’t them).. in our relationship it was more challenging for him to leave as we have kids so he’d rather jump in his car and charge off for hours sometimes days whenever there was any type of confrontation or me trying to discuss the way his inability to have an intimate relationship with me , made me feel. Over the years I did everything possible to make me more attractive. Diets, and hair changes, body make over surgery and botox.. the list goes on. My depression made me consider suicide. So I went for therapy and onto the next best “treatment” of anti depressants and anxiety meds to help me cope, and perhaps if i am less of me then he would want me… but one thing is certain I don’t keep quiet about his porn use anymore. At times we are hell bent on destroying each other and the anger i feel makes me into the “miserable b” he called me today before he left once again… Sadly this is who i became in this relationship. But this is not true to my nature…Now i am often bitter and lonely and wishing i could leave… I don’t of course, financially I won’t survive specially now that i ve lost my job due to the covid pandemic.

      Were their ever good times? Yes..When we live like friends it is ok and we co-parent…

      I know he can’t change who he is, but perhaps his learnt coping mechanisms and perhaps he can get help with his addiction…To me it seems that there is a disconnect in empathy or sympathy in the mind of an addict, but my partner certainly had no emotional care from his mom as a child..

      Do i love him.. yes… do i want this for the rest of my life No.. do i want someone else? No..
      i may always ache physically and emotionally for the man who shares my bed but who shares his mind with fantasies i cannot fulfil ever….

      Reply

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