Rebuild Your Marriage Happy family of six.
Rebuild Your Marriage 4 minute read

From Secret Addiction to Full Transparency

Last Updated: November 15, 2023

After being married for eight years, I came home unexpectedly one afternoon to find out that my husband had a pornography addiction. I was defeated, brokenhearted, and overwhelmed. I was a young, stay-at-home mom with four little kids, and my life felt shattered.

I felt completely unprepared for the long battle ahead. He felt like he was spiraling out of control and absolutely could not stop compulsively (and secretly) viewing pornography. He started therapy and support meetings, but the addiction still felt heavy and impossible.

He admitted that this problem started as a young teenager with no restrictions to television or the internet. In those early days of this heartache coming to light, there were multiple relapses, dishonesty, denial, and an eventual separation.

Tangible Solutions

In addition to the help of professionals, we needed a tangible solution to a problem with a very specific technological outlet. He needed a smartphone for work, but everything on the smartphone was a trigger or temptation for him. Each relapse into pornography was a cut deep into my personal self-esteem.

It took years for me to truly understand that this addiction is very much a physical pathway problem in the brain. The biggest struggle for my husband through this heartbreaking addiction was the concept of integrity and honesty. I firmly believe that true recovery is not even remotely possible until all the cards are face up on the table. Secrecy fuels this addiction.

Our therapist once mentioned the idea that it is better to be 100% honest and have integrity even if it means risking the shame and possibility of losing your comfort zone. By lying to your spouse or family members, you can only ever have the mediocre happiness that comes with living an inauthentic life. Integrity was at the core of his problem, and only through honesty could he find a way upwards.

Finding Help

In February 2017, we joined Covenant Eyes and hesitantly installed the app. I remember talking on the phone to an older woman who was a Covenant Eyes customer service employee. She talked to me with empathy and compassion for what I was dealing with and why I was getting this account set up. She was truly an angel, and I wish I remembered her name.

My spirits were low, and this was a last-ditch effort to see if we could eliminate pornography from our lives for good. I quickly learned that I could block specific websites and receive weekly accountability emails. For the first time in a long time, I felt some aspect of peace and steadiness coming back into my life. And my husband felt it too. Each week, month, and year that passed made it easier to live a life free from pornography.

He was doing the work to overcome the addiction, and Covenant Eyes was the tool helping to make it easier for him. Recently I asked my husband how he was doing with his addiction. I didn’t really need to ask, because his actions and accountability tell me everything I need to know, but it was reassuring nonetheless when he told me, “Covenant Eyes has removed the temptation for me. I feel like a weight has been lifted and I don’t have the daily mental struggle of it all.”

Full Transparency

Everyone deserves a marriage that has full transparency. With lots of work, support, and the help of tools like Covenant Eyes, I can honestly say that long-term recovery is possible for anyone who truly wants it. My heart has healed over these last 6 years as we have each grown into stronger, more compassionate people.

The biggest victory for my husband has been his success at work. Before Covenant Eyes, he had started watching pornography at work multiple times each day. His boss was asking him why he spent so much time on his phone in the bathroom, and there was simply no excuse for his lack of productivity. He admits he knew in his heart that things would not end well for him if he continued down that path at work.

Today, after years of working on recovery, he no longer has this problem. He finds it easier to be more productive and engaged in his job. He no longer feels the pull of pornography coming from his phone at all times, at home and at work.

My biggest personal victory has been the peace and confidence I feel when I help my children navigate the world of technology. They are now older and we can talk openly about the dangers of pornography, how to avoid it, and why pornography is so dangerous for your brain. This is something that never would have happened without the trials that my husband and I have endured together.

Another victory for me has been that I found the confidence in myself to apply for nursing school at age 34 with four kids also in school. I have found joy in following this dream that I thought I had given up a decade ago when I didn’t get accepted back in 2010.

Perhaps the best part of our story is that when our oldest child gets her first smartphone as a teenager next year, I know exactly the first app I am going to install on it to keep her safe from pornography.

  1. JSG

    I honestly just find it so disturbing that a man can treat his wife for years with such complete and utter disrespect, contempt, and with the deepest betrayal, and she just goes back to such an unsafe man, who for years mocked her life and lived his own double life?
    I can’t contemplate how men like this literally get away with facing up to the consequences of their actions. Yes no-one should be judged and everyone sins and makes mistakes. But there is a world of difference with a one-off singular mistake that is instantly confessed to the person you respect most and made promises to for life, and what this man did, which was basically abuse of another human beings body, heart and trust for years.
    Frankly, in this kind of situation if the woman is a Christian, she can with God’s help work slowly towards a miracle of forgiveness, but that should absolutely not include continuing in an intimacy or trust with someone who has utterly betrayed her and shown her no love , no respect and no honesty. People who act in these ways towards their spouses should have to actually face up to the consequences of losing the relationship that they never chose to fight for against temptation, and that they made a mockery of by taking from it while living a lie against it. Any husband who has had sex with his wife while not telling her that the context in which they are having sex is changed and there are now other naked women in his life, is essentially raping her, as she has not and never would consent to giving her most precious and private body in such a situation.
    A lot of these women don’t even seem to believe they are worthy of being treated with equal respect as what they are giving the husband. Which is so depressing, and plays into the hands of men ultimately doing whatever they want, looking at and responding sexually to whatever they want, without really facing any consequences for those horrific betrayals beyond how they will affect the wife for the rest of her life. She is the one who will never be able to relax again fully, never be able to trust him without internet accountability, and will have to wake up each morning and make the incredibly brave choice to choose to trust someone who she has lost so much respect for and who she knows has form for lying to her for years.

  2. My partner hasn’t had sex with me for years he says his punishment doesn’t work any more my. I caught him watching porn and I was devastated. he said it’s the only thing he has left to masturbatory with these woman cause he finds it hard to get a full hard on. But now I’ve checked his phone and he is looking at teen sex he is 61 years old that is sick

    • Keith Rose

      Hello, thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear about your difficult situation. Your partner should be aware that viewing underage pornography is illegal and subject to criminal prosecution. I recommend you read our free ebook, Porn and Your Husband for practical steps you can take: https://learn.covenanteyes.com/porn-and-your-husband/

      Blessings,

      Keith

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