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5 Characteristics of Men Who Help Their Wives Heal After Betrayal

Last Updated: July 21, 2021

Coach Laura

Coach Laura is a Betrayal Trauma Recovery Coach, trained by The Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists (APSATS). Her interest in coaching Betrayal Trauma survivors began in the aftermath of her own traumatic betrayal when it became clear that many professionals “just didn’t get it.” Laura is familiar with the physical, emotional, and mental pain the accompanies betrayal trauma and she is passionate about walking this journey alongside others, in hopes that no woman ever again has to walk this path alone.

George and Linda were 18 months into recovery following Linda’s discovery of George’s sex addiction. Yet things didn’t seem much better between them. “I don’t get it,” George lamented. “I’ve gone to groups. I’ve been through counseling. I’m not looking at porn anymore. What else do I have to do? Why can’t we move on from this?”

If you’re a man trying to rebuild your relationship after betrayal, you may have asked this same question. As a betrayal trauma recovery coach, I find there are five characteristics of men who help their wives heal. But before I list them, I want to correct some common myths.

Myth #1–We (or she) can get over this and move on.

There is no “getting over this.” That’s not to say that your relationship won’t heal, nor that you can’t be truly happy together. On the contrary, couples who do the hard work of rebuilding following betrayal often say that their relationship is better than ever. But rather than getting over the past, they recognize it as part of the fabric of their lives–no longer the main event, but an important one that set them on the path toward creating the life they now have.

Myth #2–She should work her recovery, and let me work mine.

Please don’t ever tell your wife to “stay on her side of the street.” This is, at the very least, annoying, and as a practice, extremely damaging, especially considering that what happened on “your side of the street” brought you to this point and seriously harmed your wife/family. If the relationship is to survive, you must include her in your program, being accountable to her and communicating about your recovery activities.

Myth #3–Each spouse is equally at fault for the disintegration of the marriage.

Sorry guys, but the onus of responsibility to repair the damage is on the betrayer. I know your wife is not perfect. It is the responsibility of the betrayer to rebuild trust and to repair the damage the betrayal has caused. Only then can other issues be addressed. Many couples find that other issues weren’t issues at all when the betrayer rebuilds trust through changing his behavior.

Here are five characteristics I observe in men who help their wives heal—giving their relationship the best chance at surviving and thriving:

Understand Your Wife’s Trauma

Educate yourself about what your wife is experiencing. Once you understand the nature of betrayal trauma, and the impact betrayal has had on your wife, you will be better able to answer your own question, “Why can’t we move past this?”

Unfortunately, trauma can take years to heal, and the scars never completely go away. Years down the road your wife may be triggered, and her physical and emotional response will feel as if she’s right back in that moment of discovery.

Related: Your Wife Has Triggers Too

Even if you’re strong in your recovery, her trauma is still the result of what you once brought into your relationship. This doesn’t mean you need to beat yourself up or live in guilt, but it is an opportunity to help her heal. Recognize that this is how trauma works. Know that she wishes she could get past it just as much as you do, probably even more. Understand she’s in pain, acknowledge that, and ask her what she needs from you. Then, do your best to provide it.

Humility

Now is the time to set pride aside. Honestly, your wife doesn’t want to be asked to celebrate or cheer you on because you’ve been 90 days sober from porn. This is a great accomplishment for you, and you can and should feel good about your progress. But save your need for validation for your support group.

Your wife, with time, will one day appreciate the hard work you’ve done and recognize the things you’ve overcome. But remember, this process was never supposed to be part of your relationship with her. You introduced this painful journey, and until she is sure that you are safe for her, she may not be able to muster joy for you, as she struggles to find it for herself. Put off pride until the two of you can celebrate together the healing of your relationship.

What does humility look like exactly? It means responding to her needs patiently, repeatedly, and consistently. It means answering her questions non-defensively. It means recognizing that her anger and sadness are valid and giving her room to express her feelings. It means owning that you are the one who stepped outside the boundaries of marriage and saying you’re sorry. As often as necessary.

Related: An Open Letter to Wives of Porn Addicts

Complete Transparency

What is transparency? I’ve heard it referred to as “rigorous honesty.” It is living a life of zero deception. It means the life you’re living is the life your wife knows about. It’s recognizing that there should be no secrets in any marriage, much less in one that’s healing from betrayal. Omitting information, deciding for yourself what your wife needs to know, sugarcoating the truth, and minimizing your behaviors are examples of deception.

One of your wife’s toughest challenges right now is rebuilding trust, not only in you, but in her own intuition. Don’t undermine her efforts to trust herself again. It might help you to understand that complete transparency is the foundation for real intimacy. To know and be known. And isn’t that what you’re fighting for?

Related: 3 Reasons Deception Is More Destructive than Porn to Your Wife

A Radical Commitment To Rebuilding Trust

What that looks like for each person is different, but if addiction is present, it should include counseling by qualified professionals, recovery groups, and accountability to a “band of brothers.” A “circle of five” that you can text typically guarantees at least one person will get back in touch when you need it. Seeing that you’re serious about your own recovery adds to your wife’s feelings of safety in the relationship. Other radical changes that you might choose to make include:

  • Leaving a job to cut ties with an affair partner
  • Putting accountability software on your computers
  • Deleting email accounts and/or getting a new one
  • Deleting social media accounts
  • Initiating daily check-ins with your spouse
  • Supporting your wife in her own healing if she wishes to join a support group
  • Offering to provide your wife with full therapeutic disclosure and a therapeutic polygraph

When your wife begins to see that you’re willing to put aside your comfort, time, and convenience for the sake of your recovery and your relationship, she can often start to let go of fear and begin to heal herself.

Grit

The effects of trauma lingers. As stated earlier, betrayal carries with it lifelong bruises. Those bruises get bumped. And they hurt. Helping your wife heal means being there for her over and over again. The good news is that as she heals, the triggers come less frequently over time. And this new way of responding to your wife becomes the new you. Win-win! Because it’s the way healthy couples relate. When we hurt, we help each other.

Another reason you need grit is that trust takes time to rebuild. Your wife isn’t going to trust your honesty in the beginning. And she shouldn’t. The truth that you now tell sounds exactly like the lies that protected your secrets. For her to trust you again, she’s going to need to see that this is lasting change.

Recovery is hard work. Repairing the damage caused by betrayal is even harder. On days when that reality feels discouraging, try to remember that there will be a reward in this for both of you. All the characteristics that help your wife heal are necessary for your recovery too. The most important goal is mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Relational healing is part of that. The message I hear time and time again from wives in relationships that survive and thrive is this: “It was ugly in the beginning, but we eventually came together as a team, and my husband helped me heal.”

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  • Comments on: 5 Characteristics of Men Who Help Their Wives Heal After Betrayal
    1. Kiana on

      Spot On

      Reply
    2. Tee on

      Correct

      Reply
    3. RickyB on

      I’m curious to know how the recovery dynamic is different when the wife is the betrayer. There seems to be an overwhelming amount of discussion when the husband is the betrayer and the wife is the victim. Not much about the reverse. It leads me to wonder if this is some sort of feminist bias that puts women perpetually in the place of the victim, not only about porn, but about everything. It seems no one can write about it the same way when women are caught up in porn addiction. When that happens, the husband is not seen as a victim but often part of the problem. The lines between betrayer and victim suddenly get blurry and the clarity of not blaming the victim, only one spouse is truly to blame, trust cannot be taken for granted, etc. becomes less clear when the roles get reversed.

      I think this goes back to the view of the husband as the protector and the wife as the protected. When she fails in some way, whether it is porn, or something else, the urge becomes to diagnose her psychologically looking for why this wonderful sweet woman would do such a thing. The scolding and shaming directed at failed husbands are considered bad form when directed at the wife. “Slut shaming” has been stigmatized. “Player shaming” is not only okay but almost de rigueur.

      Reply
      • Sarah on

        I felt shamed for being the wife who hadn’t figured it out. Shame doesn’t help anyone on either side. I’m sorry that you’ve experienced this. I know that pure desire has a men’s support group for situations where the wife was addicted. Don’t feel alone.

      • Jennifer on

        Ricky- I am sorry for your pain & shame. You are right, in that many times men are ignored in this devastation. The people at Affair Recovery are amazing at understanding all perspectives! There isn’t anything they haven’t seen before!
        https://www.affairrecovery.com/

      • Sav on

        Hi RickyB,

        I’m a wife of a sex/porn addict. I will say you’re very right, most information and aid is directed to wives and not husbands. My guess is that this is so because statistically more men view porn on a regular basis than women. The theory of porn addiction, recovery/therapy is relatively new so I don’t think the scope of it has been broadened to help victimized husband just yet.

        Praying for you brother. I’m here to tell you there is hope! God has given you everything you need to heal through this journey. If your wife is not able to offer her portion of healing, or you feel hurt by the lack of info the world offers on healing, God will surprise you and bring ultimate healing if you take all of these questions and conscerns directly to him.

        Now here’s a thought… maybe God is calling you to start a healing group for men. Pray about it if you haven’t.

        Research what you do have at your disposal rather than what you’re lacking… You’ll feel empowered. Regardless of your quandaries, what you do know is that this is a spiritual attack on your marriage… there are plenty of great books written about the spiritual battle and how to equip yourself with the Armor of God to fight the Real Enemy. (You are still “protector”/Warrior because your wife’s soul & your heart are under attack.) Also the book Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend is remarkable for setting limitations to reclaim a healthy environment for yourself. I read Captivating… you could read Wild at Heart. It was at this point my focus went from my spouse and my broken heart to God affirming me. It changed my life and my faith walk.

        I’m no expert but I hope something here helped. ;) Coming out of a 17yr relationship of betrayal and no remorse from my husband, I can firmly say that God and my submission to him in the storm has been the entire key to my healing!

    4. David Del Valle on

      I appreciate the emphasis on:
      1. Complete Transparency
      2. Humility in addressing all questions patiently, repeatedly, consistently and non-defensively.
      These have always been the cards I have been so adept in using to defending my selfish ways when I was caught up in pornography or extramarital affairs.
      I am thankful to be in an sexaholic anonymous support group and working the 12 steps to recovery. It is changing my life by recognizing:
      1. I am powerless over my addiction and my unmanageability.
      2. I came to believe a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.
      3. Made a conscious decision to surrender my will and life to the care of God.
      This is an ongoing journey for my wife and I. I thank and praise God, that in spite of the harms and pain I brought to my wife, that she has chosen to stay with me and is willing to work with me. Pray for us as I am in the process to repair the damage I had done to her heart and my family.

      Reply
    5. Ken - a repentant sinner on

      Biblically, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. As a healthcare professional, I can understand the science behind the addiction. Unfortunately, these did not stop me from being an addict. I would not view it at home, I chose to view at work, on a public workstation situated in a isolated area. Last May, I was confronted and terminated from my position (a nurse management position at one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers).

      I/we have been through counseling; I renounced my sin, claimed victory through the grace and blood of our Savior, and haven’t looked back. Professionally, I am still out of work. Intimacy has been difficult; I still feel guilt over the pain I inflicted on my wife of 30 years, who is a beautiful woman of God and a prayer warrior. If not for our Lord, I am sure we would be divorced and I may have fallen into chemical addictions or worse.

      I pray every day that the scars that are healing will at least fade a bit. Our prayer life is stronger, and not a day goes by that I do not tell her how much I love her. I wish I had realized this sooner, before destroying my career and inflicting the trauma of betrayal on the soulmate the Lord provided me.

      Reply
    6. DanG on

      It’s clear you are highly trained, qualified, and accredited to counsel and provide therapy resources in this area. I don’t doubt that in the least. But, Laura, the extent to which you choose words that continue steering the topic in the direction of this being a “mainly men’s” issue is the same extent to which you make the shame and pain worse for the women who experience porn addiction.

      I’m sure you do not intend to do convey this message, but you are. Women get a hold of writings like this and it makes it even worse for them. The historical pattern that “more numbers of men” experience porn addiction may hold water statistically, but allowing that historical generalization to inform one’s writings on the topic are continuing to have negative consequences.

      Please apply your passion, insights, and help in a manner that articulates equally to both sexes. The coming years will manifest the ramifications for not doing so.

      Reply
    7. Sarah on

      My husband did amazing in helping me heal. I tried to hide my pain and not “react” so I didn’t shame him but a counselling told me that I had to tell him how things had affected me. How I felt a weight of ugliness and worthlessness. My husband heard me and bought a book called “Earning back her trust” or something like that – and it was good. He heard me – and never blamed me or shamed me for my tears. I was embarrassed of my own grief, embarrassed of my stupidity and how I had trusted him when I thought I should’ve figured it out. My husband would see me sitting quietly and came over to just be with me. He told me that he wanted to make it safe for me to have tears. I was surprised at the triggers that would come up for me – but he stayed close and encouraged me to let the tears out. Later he said it was really hard for him – to see me crying and knowing that he had broke my trust and sense of security. Sometimes anger came up too, but he just was relentlessly safe and it helped me heal so much easier than would’ve been the case if I had to burry my grief. And he took the initiative to sign up for a men’s group and be serious about doing the work – that also helped rebuild trust. There were so many tears at first (and I’m not a person prone to having tears) it was literally harder than the death of close family members that I had also recently experienced. But I feel a deeper connection and trust, and confidence in myself to be assertive in a healthy way now. Find a safe place to grieve and process your trauma ladies (I used the Betrayal and Beyond course) and guys, there is so much waiting for you on the other side, be courageous and take a stand against porn, don’t minimize the “little things” and get a good group to walk with you through your own healing. It’s worth it! You’re never alone!

      Reply
    8. Felix H Cortez on

      Is it really worth going through all the recovery process on an already damaged relationship? After reading the post I don’t see an upside to it. I am a recovering sex addict and a repentant sinner and I am interested in seeing my wife healed. But I don’t see an upside for either of us in continuing with the relationship.

      Reply
      • Joe - struggling to restore trust on

        “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”

        The upside is that continuing, healing and restoring the marriage is what the Lord wants you to do. If you want to live your life in the center of God’s will for you, you MUST do all you can to restore your marriage.

      • Kay Bruner on

        The reality is that some marriages are beyond repair. Sometimes we have to accept that the relationship cannot be restored, and trust in God more than we trust in a human relationship. Here’s a good article.

    9. David - Siner saved by His Grace on

      I appreciate your article.
      My wife and I have been married for 27 years. I came into the marriage with the chains of bondage to pornography hidden deep in my soul.
      I was too ashamed to open up that part of my life. Pornography is the drug I have been addicted for far too long. Pornography is the drug that fed my root cause – LUST. Lust is the cancer of my soul that has killed relationship with God, My wife, my family, church, coworkers and professionally.
      I have repented to God for repeatedly betraying and traumatizing my wife. I claim the blood of Christ to cover my sin of lust and The power of His resurrection to keep me from ever going back to the sinful life I once lived.
      I am grateful and praise God that my wife chose to work with me instead of leaving the marriage. For all I have put her through, I don’t deserve her.
      I am also thankful for a good core support group I found in sexaholic anonymous. The steps I have worked bring me each day closer to God and His power is keeping me sober from acting out. Instead of reaching for the drug of pornography, I reach out to His Power to keep me sober one day at a time. I also have a chance to daily share with my wife what God is working daily in my recovery. Sharing with her and allowing her to share her heart is a way to rebuild the trust I broke.

      Reply
    10. Tim on

      I really appreciated this article. As one who was bound to my sexual sins, while in ministry, I have been astounded by the grace and forgiveness my wife has demonstrated during these past two years of recovery. Two thoughts:
      1) While I’m open about my recovery activities, I’m always hesitant to share about discussions that might “trigger” certain emotions in her. Do we still strive for complete transparency, even if that means triggering these emotions in my wife?
      2) I was encouraged about the topic of “Humility,” especially in relation to my own milestones in recovery. I would wonder why she wouldn’t have the same level of joy when I brought home my 1-year coin or gave testimony on my 2-year anniversary of recovery on social media. “This process was never supposed to be part of [my] relationship with her.” Very true.
      Thankful for the work of redemption God is doing in our lives and marriage, and recognizing the lifelong process of being restored back together. Thanks, CovenantEyes, for being a part of that process!

      Reply
      • Jo on

        I think the problem with the coin is, what woman wants to be married to a man who has to go to meetings to stay faithful to her? It is demeaning to her soul and self-esteem. It is not a marriage in any sense of the word. If she thought she was the love of your life and you spent hours looking at other unclothed women, why should she feel happy that you made it a year fighting off the urge to not cheat on her? It is hard to see your spouse going to meetings every day to try to be faithful. To her it is just more time away from what should have been your life together.

      • Kay Bruner on

        Yes, there’s SO MUCH MORE to true recovery than white-knuckling it through “not looking at porn.” It’s like basing a marriage on the fact that I haven’t eated french fries in a year. When you only avoid certain behavior (even though it’s harmful behavior that you need to avoid!), you’re missing out on the emotional trust of the relationship. Here’s an article on behavioral and emotional trust, citing research from marriage expert John Gottman.

    11. Jaosn on

      Thank you for this. Unfortunately, my wife’s sense of betrayal was so very intense she just wanted out. I was not discovered, but I did confess. She was already seeking divorce, so the weight of that betrayal was to much for her and she was done, period. Even apart from her and with divorce virtually certain, I appreciate this because I can still live it toward her from a distance in prayer. I’m so glad for daily victory in Christ. I have to hold onto that because the weight of my failure as a husband is crushing without Him. without God, that sense of complete failure would destroy me. I would love a chance to be for my beautiful wife, what Sarah’s husband has been for her. Absent that, hopefully God can make use of me to help be a voice for other family’s even if it is just a warning sign of what not to touch.

      Reply
    12. JM on

      This is validating even to me, the wife of a man who refuses to take these steps. He calls me “demanding”, “impossible” and says he’s already apologized, so there’s nothing more to do. It’s validating because it shows that wanting those things is not “demanding.” It’s just reasonable and appropriate after betrayal.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Yes, the “I’ve apologized, what else do you want me to do” game is really just gaslighting, in my opinion. Gaslighting is a great technique to use in a situation like this, because if he denies there’s a problem, he doesn’t have to do anything about it. Of course there is more work to do when it comes to restoring trust! Of course there is, and you know it–he does too, he just doesn’t want to do the work. Don’t let the gaslighting get you down! Here’s an article on what it looks like when trust is truly being restored. Here, here, and here are some articles on boundaries in the meantime. Kay

    13. Anonymous for now on

      I’m really grateful for your article here and many others. I’m a sex addict. Early in recovery – about 5 months. It’s been a painfully public ordeal that has resulted in so, very much loss. I’m working hard at my recovery and to understand the unimaginable trauma and hurt I’ve caused my wife. Certainly, I’m not perfect (keen grasp on the obvious…check!) I struggle, I guess with the humility to let my wife lead in the recovery of our marriage.

      I’m very eager to participate in her healing. To listen. To care for her. To understand how I’ve wounded her and accompany her on her healing journey. Right now, I’m counseling with a sex addiction specialist. My wife is with another therapist.

      My wife does not want a divorce. Wants and believes our marriage can be restored. But is currently not willing to entertain any counsel together, isn’t really willing to share much with me and is keeping me at an emotional/relational distance.

      I want to be sensitive and help her heal. To give her what she needs. My concern is that she’s talking about a year or more before engaging together. I’m concerned that this time period may do more damage to our relationship and make it more difficult to recover.

      I’d love some perspective!

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        I think your wife is wise to hold off on the couples’ therapy until you are firmly established in your recovery. It’s my opinion as a therapist that the addict needs to do his own work in therapy, groups, radical honesty with family and friends, etc. The wife needs help and support as well, with her own therapist, her own groups, and with online resources like Bloom for Women. Many women in marriage betrayal will meet the clinical criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She may not want to sit in therapy with the person who has caused such trauma to her life. She may need other help and support first. The wife’s recovery is just as necessary as the husband’s. The relationship will only recover when the individuals within the relationship are recovering well also. One of the things you could do to demonstrate your sincerity is be invested in learning about what makes up a healthy marriage relationship–work that is usually left to women. John Gottman is the foremost marriage researcher on earth, and his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is full of great ideas to build a healthy relationship. You could certainly be invested in those behaviors even if your wife is unable to attend therapy with you just yet. Here’s a short video from Dr. Gottman about building trust in relationship, which I’m sure is a major concern of your wife’s at this point. Peace to you, Kay

    14. Rod on

      I NEEDED THIS NOW! Today was really high and really low. I’m a recovering porn addict. Today was 1 year of sobriety!! I came home for work desperate for a big hug and a “I’m so proud of you!” (from my wife).
      We guit in a big fight! I realize the deep pain I feel when she can’t celebrate my victories with me! I need this article so much to get what she’s feeling. I didn’t mean to be selfish today! But I was. I fantasized about going out for supper and celebrating…. and all I got from her is “I didn’t choose this, .you did!”
      Yes I’m in pain and really want healing. I have a support group of men. My wife heals lately alone. I wish she had a group to share with. I don’t even think she sees that as a need.
      I need to do the work and stay faithful through this valley. It’s great to be sober!
      I just want to see results in our marriage! I’m really struggling with staying patient and seeing hope.

      Reply
      • CT on

        I pray that you are still experiencing Sobriety. Give her some time and if she is not in counseling, pray for her. Ask your counselor how you can help your wife or how you can lovingly help your wife get help. I am a wife of a spouse with porn addiction. I thank you for sharing this. I hope I can celebrate the victories with my husband as we begin recovery. Focus on the grace and power of God and his love for you. If no one else is celebrating, GOD IS CELEBRATING YOUR SOBRIETY, EVERY SECOND, MOMENT, WEEK, MONTH, YEAR.

    15. Coach Laura on

      Rod, I realize this was written awhile ago. I also realize you and your wife may still be hurting. I’m the author of the article. I’m glad you found it helpful. I just wanted to let you know that our website, http://www.BTR.org, has groups for women, like your wife, who are struggling with this. If it’s still an issue, have her check it out. And congratulations on your recovery!
      Coach Laura

      Reply
    16. Gracie on

      In November 2018 at age 39 I underwent a double mastectomy with removal of a lymph node with reconstruction due to having breast cancer. Recovery was a long hard road and my husband was off work for 8 weeks and was really great in taking care of me. Then in January he went back to work, he works 1 and 1/2 hours away from our home. Then one Saturday in January I found out about his porn addiction and that while he had been taking care of me through those 8 weeks he had continued with his porn addiction. Needless to stay I was and still am devastated. We’ve been married for 21 years and have 3 kids, he had this same problem 11 years but got help and promised that it would never happen again. Since all of this surfaced I’ve had a ton of health problems- gallbladder surgery, deep depression and anxiety, and a lot of back pain only to find out I have bulging disc in my back. I’ve undergone 2 more surgeries since. However, I’m struggling with trusting my husband again. It’s my biggest fear! I feel like I’m living in a nightmare!

      Reply
    17. Mrs. Trying on

      So far, what’s your my husband is able to process what his porn use has done to me. When I voice my feelings or thoughts, or even information I glean, he reacts badly. I don’t know where he is in his recovery, except that he IS trying. (And I can actually tell. He is grumpier and intimacy is much more infrequent when he’s not looking.)

      The reason for this comment, Is to say that hiding my heart in the Lord, and finding a place of …. peace. I have done more healing than I have in years. I’ve tried SO many things. I thought for years that God put me in this marriage because I was so strong, I was supposed to help him fight this.

      But this warrior got tired, and handed the fight to God. Where it probably should have been to begin with, but I had much to learn first.

      there is no true disconnection. Because we are one flesh, and his actions do affect me. But this is HIS choice. I can only choose for it not to embitter me. I choose to be kind, and follow behind Jesus as best as I can. He has to make some choices himself.

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        He absolutely does have to make choices for himself! You’re so wise to see this.

        Hopefully he’s working with a therapist on the reasons behind his grumpiness when he’s not looking at porn: this is called being a “dry drunk” when the person doesn’t use the addictive substance but also doesn’t know how to deal with the emotions and behaviors that the addiction was helping them to cope with.

        Keep those boundaries strong (here, here, and here are some articles) and make sure you’re getting the support you need: a therapist, a group, and the online resources at Bloom for Women.

        Take good care,
        Kay

    18. ShellyChan on

      Great article. I’ve met with this writer before and she is a beautiful person who has a heart for helping women in this situation. I recently went through this and meeting with her in a professional manner helped me drastically in a surprisingly short time. I was sincerely astounded at how much it helped. My husband just recently began his recovery for this issue and is now working to regain my trust. He was appreciative of this article and seems to just be grateful that I’m not ditching him over this betrayal (What can I say? I am a Christian after all)
      I would have had to set some really strong boundaries with him if he had not rose to the occasion. So some very general boundaries were drawn up instead.
      I shared some of the my own temptations and struggles I had in the area of sexual purity as well in order to show my husband that he’s not the only one who gets tempted. And then I committed to helping him with his recovery in any way that I can (for as long as he is willing). It did hurt tremendously though to go through it and be lied to about it.
      As for the article, I don’t think she seems biased or unfair, she wrote about the topic.. which is how husbands can help their wives heal.
      If it’s harder for a woman with sexual addiction to read this article, they could very well look up articles about that (which would also, true to form, be about women with that issue).
      I am a recovered sex addict myself (I struggled with BPD and promiscuity in the past.)
      I don’t see the article as offensive in any way personally.
      Coach Laura is amazing!

      Reply
    19. Michele Armstrong on

      As I sit here, tears streaming down my face, reading this article… I can FINALLY show my husband that I’m NOT crazy! I’ve been dealing with this for 5 years, all the lies, broken promises, everything. While he tried to convince me I was crazy, and I needed to “grow up and get over it”. I’ve left several times (end up back here because I have nowhere else to go and no income), and finally decided that I couldn’t take anymore, and that I wanted a divorce.
      Well, today, for the first time, I did a search (out of desperation for healing for MYSELF), and this article came up. I read it, and it was word for word the things I have been telling him for 5 years! I got him to read it, and he asked me to send it to him. I’m praying that today is the first day of the beginning of my healing. Whether my marriage survives or not, I need healing! I have been tortured and tortured myself for 5 years! I have even planned to take my life because I can’t handle the pain. I can’t handle being told that I’m crazy, and I’m the only person that feels this way, and that nobody else in the world has a problem with porn but me! My feelings have been nothing but belittled, I’ve put down, and he’s only defended himself and tried to justify everything.
      But today, my feelings have been validated and I feel like there might be hope, for the first time since this began.
      Thank you so very much for posting this article! I’ve also downloaded the E-Book (Hope after porn). I will seek and read anything I can. I DON’T want to feel this way, I want to be whole again (with or without him). I have sought counseling, but with no insurance and no income, I’ve been turned away by everybody. I’m so very thankful I found this article.
      I finally feel like maybe there’s hope for my life again. If you have any other material that would be helpful, I would so appreciate it if you would share it with me. Thanks again! You have saved my life (literally), and possibly my marriage. I can’t thank you enough!

      Reply
      • Kay Bruner on

        Hi Michele,

        I am so sorry for the pain you’ve been suffering. And then the gaslighting your husband has added to the problem makes it that much more difficult to deal with. It is very common for women to meet the clinical criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Whatever happens with your marriage (here, here, and here are some helpful articles on boundaries in marriage), finding trauma informed care for yourself will be extremely important in your recovery. A wonderful, low-cost, trauma-informed, online resource is Bloom for Women. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

        I hope that helps. Wishing you healing and hope,
        Kay

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