Rebuild Your Marriage serious woman staring at camera
Rebuild Your Marriage 2 minute read

When Porn Ruins Your Love Story

Last Updated: March 5, 2024

He was it. The guy. The one she was going to spend her life with—pray with, start a family with and love forever.

Neither of them was perfect, but she knew (or thought she knew) that their relationship was built on trust: honest and transparency that would get them through any issues that they had to face together.

It wasn’t a fairy tale; it was her love story, until…

…she was borrowing his computer and came upon a file of dirty videos,

…she happened to glance over his shoulder and saw he was having a sexually explicit conversation with a stranger on social media,

…he couldn’t account for hours of his time and started to seem distant,

…his browser history popped up with pornographic sites so often that it couldn’t just be an accident,

And suddenly, that vision of their future shattered. Hurt, betrayal, disillusionment, and suspicion were just a few of the feelings spouses of porn users experience when they discover the habit.

If this has happened to you—you’re not alone. Pornography not only hurts the “actors” involved and the users, but also the loved ones of the person using pornography.

If he is so wrapped up in his fantasy sexual world,” she might ask, “how much of our love story could possibly be real?

Anger, detachment, and some tense conversations are often all part of the process of figuring out what’s next. It is normal to feel like something has been broken and will not be easily put back together again…maybe ever.

What I do know, though, is that a pornography habit does not have to be the end of your love story.

How do I know?

  • From the experiences of many men and women who have uncovered a pornography habit, committed to change it, and worked together to heal their relationship.
  • Because of the many means available to support couples—from accountability software, to support groups to inspiring books and other materials.
  • Because Jesus Christ promised us that His mercy can bring healing and hope after any situation. AND because He wants the best for us, and for our marriages.

With the discovery of porn use, many of us recognize with a shock that our love story doesn’t look exactly like we hoped that it would. But with forgiveness, communication and trust, it is possible to rebuild our marriages so that our love stories are even stronger and even more beautiful than we thought imaginable.

  1. Daisy

    Is it the norm for men addicted to porn, to leave their family over it?

    • Kay Bruner

      I think it is more common for men to stay and attempt to keep the appearance of a family life. For women, the real question is: what will your boundaries look like? Here, here, and here are some articles that address boundaries.

  2. nanette

    Any suggestions for a spouse whose porn addiction has become a “let’s act out the porn I’ve seen…with other people…to show me you love me”

    • Kay Bruner

      Oh wow. Actually the most troubling part of this to me is “to show me you love me.” I think that’s a clear indication of how self-focused that spouse has become. Sex is not about the two of you together but his own self-interest. That’s a really common theme in sexual addiction. I think you’ve got to consider your boundaries here, and communicate those to your husband. Are you willing to have sex with him when it’s just his own self-gratification that matters? That’s really the question. And if not, then what will you choose to do?

      If you haven’t read our free download, Hope After Porn, you might appreciate having a look at how other women have dealt with the issue of boundaries in recovery. I think you’d also find a group helpful: Celebrate Recovery, S Anon, Al Anon–find a place where others are considering what healthy relationships look like, so you can make good decisions for yourself as well. Blessings, Kay

  3. Arlene

    My husband acknowledges he has a problem but refuses to get individual help.

    • Kay Bruner

      Hey Arlene, that’s tough. And unfortunately, not uncommon. My suggestion to you would be that you go ahead and get help for YOU. Get into counseling for yourself, to process your own emotions and work on your own healthy boundaries. Find a support group as well: Celebrate Recovery, Pure Desire, S Anon, xxxChurch–those all offer a safe place for spouses. Read up on some of our best posts for spouses here. And be sure you check out our free download, Hope After Porn, where women talk about what the recovery process looked like in their marriages. No matter what your husband chooses, YOU choose healing and recovery for YOU. Blessings, Kay

  4. Yes, porn has attempted to ruin my life. My spouse blames me for even addressing it. I am made into the bad person for confronting it. How can you address a problem he won’t even admit

    • Kay Bruner

      Unfortunately, this is not an unusual scenario: the person who addresses the problem is made into the problem. I’m really sorry that it’s happening to you right now. It takes a lot of courage to confront problems, especially when the person who has the problem won’t admit it. That’s so, so hard.

      I think what you can do is take care of YOU. Find a safe place to process the pain you’re experiencing, and work on your own boundaries. Personal counseling can help. Groups are great: Celebrate Recovery, Pure Desire, S Anon, xxxChurch, all have groups for spouses. Even Al Anon can be helpful if that’s all you can find in your area.

      You might also appreciate our free download, Hope After Porn, where several women tell their stories and share what helped them through the recovery process.

      Sadly, he may never make good choices, but that doesn’t have to stop YOU from making good, healthy choices for you. Blessings, Kay

  5. IHatePorn

    What if you spouse comes from a family that holds secrets and protects the secrets of the men in their family.

    • Sounds like this spouse needs to have some of their norms and expectations challenged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related in Rebuild Your Marriage

Editor's Picks

A woman praying with her Bible.

Rebuild Your Marriage

How To (Biblically) Lament Your Husband’s Pornography Use

After I found out that my husband had been viewing pornography, I…

3 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

Happy couple at the beach.

Rebuild Your Marriage

Rebuilding Trust in Marriage Through Boundaries

In situations where a marriage has been affected by pornography use, it’s…

5 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

Happy family of six.

Rebuild Your Marriage

From Secret Addiction to Full Transparency

After being married for eight years, I came home unexpectedly one afternoon…

4 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

Phil Robertson discussing The Blind with Covenant Eyes.

Rebuild Your Marriage

4 Reasons You Should Watch “The Blind”

The Covenant Eyes Podcast team recently made the trip DEEP into the…

4 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

A mother with her teenage daughters.

Rebuild Your Marriage

How Porn Shattered My Life (Scholarship Winner)

I was 36, married for 15 years, serving in our Church, attending…

5 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

A picture of Dave and Ashley Willis.

Rebuild Your Marriage

Porn Counterfeits Naked Marriage: With Dave and Ashley Willis

What is “naked marriage” all about? We sat down with popular podcasters…

3 minute read

Read Post

Related in Rebuild Your Marriage

A woman praying with her Bible.

Rebuild Your Marriage

How To (Biblically) Lament Your Husband’s Pornography Use

After I found out that my husband had been viewing pornography, I…

After I found out that my husband had been viewing pornography, I was devastated. As I processed my grief, one of my dearest friends posed this question to me: “What did you lose when your…

3 minute read

0 comments

Happy couple at the beach.

Rebuild Your Marriage

Rebuilding Trust in Marriage Through Boundaries

In situations where a marriage has been affected by pornography use, it’s…

In situations where a marriage has been affected by pornography use, it’s common for one person to feel responsible for the healing process, while the other doesn’t take enough responsibility. This dynamic can lead to…

5 minute read

0 comments

Happy family of six.

Rebuild Your Marriage

From Secret Addiction to Full Transparency

After being married for eight years, I came home unexpectedly one afternoon…

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…

4 minute read

0 comments

Phil Robertson discussing The Blind with Covenant Eyes.

Rebuild Your Marriage

4 Reasons You Should Watch “The Blind”

The Covenant Eyes Podcast team recently made the trip DEEP into the…

The Covenant Eyes Podcast team recently made the trip DEEP into the heart of Louisiana to meet with Phil and Kay Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame, and to talk about their new movie, The Blind.…

4 minute read

0 comments

A mother with her teenage daughters.

Rebuild Your Marriage

How Porn Shattered My Life (Scholarship Winner)

I was 36, married for 15 years, serving in our Church, attending…

I was 36, married for 15 years, serving in our Church, attending life group and sending our girls to a Christian school to help raise them in the ways of the Lord. I thought pornography…

5 minute read

4 comments

A picture of Dave and Ashley Willis.

Rebuild Your Marriage

Porn Counterfeits Naked Marriage: With Dave and Ashley Willis

What is “naked marriage” all about? We sat down with popular podcasters…

What is “naked marriage” all about? We sat down with popular podcasters Dave and Ashley Willis to find out, and we learned an important message about God’s design for sex and how porn counterfeits it.…

3 minute read

0 comments