Many thanks to Wendell and to his wife for being willing to share the following story with us and for offering their help.
Deborah’s excellent post on her experiences of abuse struck a chord with me, not because I have been abused by my wife (I haven’t) but because I saw many signs of pornography addiction in the way her ex-husband treated her sexually. You see, I have a unique perspective on the subject because I had to deal with a porn addiction in my own life.
I won’t go into a lot of detail about my journey there, but understand that I was not caught viewing porn. God’s Holy Spirit convicted me to such a degree that I had to confess to my family and my church, leading me to step down from church leadership for a time. My wife was a real trooper through all of this, as were my daughters and my church.
Because of my experiences, I can tell you some things to look for, some signs that your spouse (especially husbands) may exhibit that might point to a pornography problem. Some of these are immediate red flags, while others are more subtle and must be looked at in the overall context of your sexual relationship. I will try to avoid being overly explicit, but there are some things that just cannot be sugar coated, so if you are sensitive to sexual topics, you might want to stop reading here. Also, this is a Trigger Warning — the following material might bring up memories of sexual abuse for survivors.
Red flags might include:
Does your husband ask you to perform sexual acts that are outside of the norm? This would include shaving of pubic hair, dressing in odd ways (school girl outfits are quite common), anal sex, oral sex, etc. Also included under this heading would be things like bondage, fetishes, sado-masochism and sex with more than one partner at the same time. All of these are huge red flags. Since porn addiction is a progressive addiction, many of these signs may start off slowly and progress to more and more aberrant behaviors or behaviors that seem out of character. Also, some things like oral sex fall into a kind of gray area as some couples practice it. The key here is whether this was a mutual decision, or are you being pressured into it suddenly. A healthy sexual relationship depends on mutual agreement and enjoyment. If there are sudden demands for oral sex, especially if you have communicated in the past that you might be uncomfortable with it, it could be a sign of pornography addiction on your husband’s part.
Does he seem to have an unusually high urge for sex, or conversely, has he seemed to lose interest in you suddenly? Porn addicts often will demand an unusually high frequency of sex, but as the addiction progresses, will lose interest in the wife as a sexual partner. The reason behind this is that, as the addiction progresses, the addict will engage in self stimulation to satisfy their lust for sexual gratification, leaving little room for sexual intimacy with the wife. This behavior usually increases in frequency, further alienating the spouse. Eventually, the fantasy sex will be “safer” for the addict than reality in his mind.
Does he engage in behaviors that make you feel used and belittled sexually? Often this will manifest itself as insulting your performance in bed, being distracted while engaging in intercourse (like watching TV), blaming you for his inability to perform satisfactorily and ignoring you after he is finished with you. Rather than being willing to work through sexual problems, is he simply impatient and telling you that you have the problem?
Is he demanding that you engage in very odd positions, or increasingly risky venues? While some couples do experiment naturally, increasingly demanding such things can be a sign, especially if they seem very out of character for your husband or become more bizarre in nature.
Does he seem to have an inordinate desire for other women, especially younger and younger women? Now guys are guys and we do tend to notice an attractive woman, but most of us do not overly react to them. Porn sensitizes us to look on women as sexual objects and our behaviors, even with strangers will exhibit that. Also, the tendency in the porn addict is to desire younger and younger women, which is why so many get into child pornography, or demand wives to dress in school girl outfits or shave their pubic areas. Again, it is a progression. A wife whose husband was addicted to porn (and who was an abuser) says this:
Men who are viewing porn will sometimes insist on a more violent form of sex in order to bring themselves pleasure, thereby causing pain for the wife. If they are over-stimulating themselves chronically (like my first husband — 6-8 times a day), it takes more and more stimulation to orgasm. So, in my case, sex was painful almost every time. He would tell me it was my fault, of course, and I felt I was defective.
More subtle signs include:
Demands for being alone on the computer and going out of the way to find that time to be alone. This can manifest itself in his locking himself in a room with the computer, or finding excuses not to go with the family out of the house. In later stages, the addict will miss a lot of work so they can stay home and feed the addiction. Porn addiction is an addiction manifested by secretiveness, so the addict will do almost anything to be alone with his addiction.
When you walk into the room while he is on the computer, does he suddenly look nervous and quickly rush to type something on the keyboard? Porn addicts don’t want to get caught, so if you surprise him, he will almost stumble over himself to hide what he is viewing. Note that this behavior as well as the previous could indicate the possibility of an online affair in the making.
Are there a lot of unexplained charges or debits from your bank accounts or credit cards. Porn addicts often spend a large amount of money on paid sites, but most of these sites use innocuous sounding names so as not to tip off family members. Look especially for recurring charges from either the same or multiple companies. If your husband is unwilling to explain the charges, gets angry at you asking or simply does not let you see the financial records, he may be into porn. Note that in abuse situations, the husband often tightly controls the purse strings, so I understand that you may not be able to look for this sign.
Does your husband seem to be less focused than usual? Is he unable to complete tasks that he was able to before? Is he more irritable than usual? More withdrawn? Does he resent you interrupting his time on the computer?
The more subtle signs above can be explained often by other issues in the man’s life, so these need to be taken in context of the whole situation. On the other hand, if you see subtle indicators as well as the more serious ones I mentioned earlier, your husband is probably dealing with a porn addiction.
There are probably other signs that I have missed, but these I know from either first hand experience or through talking with other men who have had the same struggles. I know that dealing with this issue is sensitive and often difficult, both for the man involved and for his family.
Feel free to ask me anything. My wife is fully aware of this post and is willing to help too.
[August 1, 2022: Editors’ notes:
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If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to August 1, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (August 1, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]
Posts in this series
Part 1: Is this post
Part 2: A Journey Through the Pornography Sinkhole (Part 2 of Wendell’s Story) — Describes how the Lord brought him out of this pit.
Extra note from Barb Roberts:
On this blog we have a few other posts that partners or ex-partners of porn addicts might find useful.
Resource for Partners of Sexually Addicted Spouses
Archive of all our posts that deal with pornography
Pornography: Lies, Truth and Hope — A helpful booklet by the Mennonite Central Committee, Canada. It can be downloaded for free as a PDF.
If readers have any other resources that they can recommend, please let us know either by submitting a comment below, or by emailing us.
280 thoughts on “Signs Your Husband May Be Addicted to Pornography – By Wendell”
Ticking the box so I receive the comments….
I knew there was something off when my husband started using derogatory terms for parts of my body in bed and when he started using cuss words to reach his climax. Really makes you feel cheap and dirty.
Good point Desley! I don’t know how many men verbalize it like your husband did, but I do know that in my own life, my attitude toward body parts did change. At least internally, I started to refer to them in such derogatory terms, though I never verbalized it with my wife.. He was probably parroting what he heard and/or saw in porn as that kind of language is very common by the actors in that medium.
I was actually happy for him to watch porn as it meant he would leave me alone.
I do know a lot of non-Christians view porn as no big deal. I knew one couple that occasionally watched it together, and i know a few wives that didn’t care if their husbands watched it. One of them told me it was no big deal, and they appeared to be happily married.
Personally, since I have seen some of it, and I know the degrading nature of it, I could never stomach that point of view. It is very confusing to me to see some couples who treat it like a sexual accessory/toy/whatever – versus the full-scale porn “addiction” I keep reading about in the church.
Katy, I really don’t understand how any Christian could treat the use of porn as no big deal. My son got an iphone for Christmas and after the first week I had to take it away because he had used it to watch porn. When I was going through his history he had searched for something that would be considered more “soft-core” and right next to the video that had brought him to the site (which would have been considered soft) was a streaming clip of a woman being raped anally.
Pornography is evil. I know there are poeple who fail to resist the temptation of it. But I can’t imagine how any Christian indwelled by the Holy Spirit would not get an unnerving sense from it. You’d have to be pretty hardened.
I cannot speak for all men but I doubt this entirely. I have spoken to two men in the past few weeks who have worked very hard to ensure that their sons do not have access to porn AND, have managed to successfully teach these (now grown) sons of the dangers and evils of pornography. I know some men who have never had an interest in it and others who are repulsed by it. I know it feels and seems like it is “every man’s battle” but it is not. That notion has just been made popular by men who want to believe that all men struggle with porn / lust because THEY struggle with porn / lust. I used to feel like all men struggled with it, as well. But, God has recently brought men into my life who have showed me that that is a fallacy. It is out there and it is bad / sick / disgusting. But, it is not viewed by men who are walking with Christ. No way; no how.
Maybe we only feel horrified by it because we are women.
I don’t get the sense that my female friends (the non- Christians) were watching rape. I think it was the less hardcore stuff . maybe. but then again, I had some neighbors that were swingers and thought bestiality was funny.
This whole thing is confusing to me. All I know is that porn makes me feel sick, and if all the men in the church are actively fighting a porn addiction… I feel quite set in my decision to never marry again.
Kay, not all men in the church are fighting a porn addiction. I would dare to say that not even a majority of them are in such straits. You are right to be sickened by it as it reduces the God given gift of sexuality to an idol to be worshiped and commodity to be traded. It turns the woman (especially) into an object to be used rather than a person loved by God.
Believe me, I regret every moment I was in that world, and I know many men who do too.
Katy, I think a lot of men (and probably women) struggle with how to address sexual purity in a Godly way. I’m not talking about watching videos, but how we thinking about sex and those of the opposite gender.
But to suggest that all men struggle with porn? Don’t you believe it. It isn’t true. Porn is repulsive, and any Christian who has somehow fallen into that world will not stay there- rather he or she will find it repulsive and sickening.
Katy – I have never had to battle porn. I suppose part of that reason, in my teen years many years ago, is that nothing was available to us like it is now. Nothing like today at all. However, fundamentally porn has always repulsed me. I remember once back in the late 1970’s when I was a police officer, another officer came up to me to show me some porn he had found in a suspect’s car, and this cop was as much of a pervert as any crook. He was all impressed with it and saying “look at this!” I looked at him and walked away, having the overwhelming impression that he was twisted and evil and I just wanted out of his presence. And guess what? If I had made a complaint about him to his superiors, who do you suppose would have come out the culprit in the end?
No, all men don’t battle with porn. If they are a Christian and they have sinned in this respect, they will be battling it and hating it and they will ultimately be free of it. But all men? No way. Not.
that is very reassuring to know. I know we already had a discussion on here about the ways that Christians struggle with sexuality, and I don’t doubt that some men in the church have no problems with it. The fear I have is coming from these statements that it’s “90% of the men in church” – or “it’s every man’s battle” – and combined with the internet/free porn society we live in, I wonder just how pervasive it is!
Challies seems to have written entire tomes on the subject. Everywhere I go online I am seeing Christian bloggers bemoaning the porn problem.
My husband watched it secretly, and like I said I didn’t want to know what he was doing – i was just grateful that he seemed to have lost most of his sexual interest in me.
I think this topic scares me more than some of the others discussed here. Maybe I should have taken that trigger warning to heart but I was trying to be academic about it. ha.
Katy, I don’t know if my anecdotal evidence will help, but to my knowledge I have never met with a Christian man actively engaged in pornography. Now perhaps were there some hiding it really well? Probably, but I doubt it’s anywhere near 90%. If it was really that high, it would leak our- people wold know.
I know of one man that I know who says that he “struggles with porn”, but by this he doesn’t mean that he watches it or uses it- he means that in college he did and now he is fighting the urge not to fall into that mindset again. He is very careful about watching any kind of R rated movies because that road is not one he wants to travel again.
Now I went to a Christian university, so my results may be skewed. I a way we were protected there, as having porn in the dorms was a very serious offense. Al I know is, it has never been presented at any church I’ve gone to as an acceptable practice use porn.
In my own case, my father is an unbeliever and he had a porn library that he welcomed me to view, and the thought sickened me even as a teenager. So I just want to encourage you that in my view and experience it is a very reasonable thing to expect a Christian husband not to be a porn abuser.
Katy this is a very confusing subject to me, as if its the only subject confusing me??? But the church I came from, it seemed so important to discuss, which led me to believe there was nothing shocking to these people about it…..? It was discussed more of “How as women do we help our man fight this pornography thing?” I know I am not making any fans in saying this, but its as if the pastors were justifying it with same stern hand as condemning it? I dont believe Gods train of thought would be “”Boys will be Boys”” or “”men are vulnerable to this so naturally they need help to fight it”” NO. I dont think these guys have it right, I think they make excuses for there own benefits. Yes I am a woman, and yes I understand we are different from men, BUT throughout history MAN has not proven to get anything right regarding Gods intent or design for the purpose of a woman.
We have purpose, our children have purpose, and it will NEVER be something as hainus as porn….I suspect it was rampant in our church, I know the MIW used it against me and I believe as rampant as abuse is, so is porn. They both involve both sick and self serving mentatlitys and involve somebody without empathy, involves somebody that can dehumanize the subjects they use for their own gratification, because to them they are just objects, not women not children. Ya I try to stay away from my two cents here, BUT porn addicts are all over our churches, as everywhere else….I do not think a Christian can be a porn addict, and I dont even like that they call it an addiction because it suggests that the person doing it, has no choice, that they are helpless victems. As a Christian man there is a long open window to look away, or make a decision that porn is not Godly, the addiction comes after MANY times of saying OKAY…..and they have NO conscience about it, initially they would feel bad, sick, repulsed and STOP but they dont? So lets just call them addicts, so that we think more about them rather than the USING of humans (women children) to get what serves them off….calling a spade a spade. Its just sick and groce and not any different that the mentality of an abuser, because if your a married man and you use porn, you are abusing your wife and children…..instead of porn addiction it should just be addressed as porn abuse.
Well thats just my opinion.
I realize that this is not likely to be recieved to well, but I still maintain that pornography is not evil primarily because of what it does to us and our lives, but because of what it does to others – namely the people within it. Yes, it does hurt our families and ourselves. But it hurts those directly involved in it much more than it will ever hurt us. The death rate of porn actors and actresses is phenominally high. These are lives that are lost and may never have the chance to come to repentance. These people are living in survival mode, consuming drugs and alcohol to get through shoots because of the discomfort and pain it is causing them. It is one big act – an illusion – and these people do not enjoy it.
Pornography is the use and abuse of human beings; it takes a person made in the image of God, with the capacity for relationship with HIm and the capacity to be the temple of the Holy Spirit, and reduces that person to the sum of their bodily orifices. I am sorry if that sounds graphic, but pornography is sacrilege at its core. It is stealing from God what belongs to Him just so the user can gratify the lust of the flesh.
I think that until we recognize it for the evil it is we will continue to view it as “every man’s battle” and something that “those women” seduce us into. If anything, “those women” need to hear the Gospel more than anything. But instead Christian men are gratifying themselves off of the misery and pain of others. There is something especially evil about that. I realize that the phrase “every man’s battle” was concocted to strip pornography addictions of the shame (the theory is that without the shame of it more men would get help), but we should be ashamed of sin. How dare we not be! For goodness sake, we are trying so hard to justify our blatant sin that there are even pastors like Driscoll who claim that Jesus Himself was sexually attracted to them women who travelled with Him!
Lord help us.
Desley — yes. Thank you for bringing up this point. I saw a “60 Minutes” several years back where they followed the life of a young woman who happened to be a porn star. By the end, she was a shell. A SHELL of a human being. She had been beat and slapped around and used so badly….it was awful. I wept almost through the entire thing.
Many of the men, women and children in the videos have been trafficked.
I remember telling my ex all of these things….trying so hard to explain to him that viewing pornography was taking part in the devastation of God’s image — a SLAP in his face. 😦 That he was partaking in the slavery of those in the movies. That he was abusing them. He was unmoved. He liked, rather, the idea of being “seduced” by “those women” because it kept him from taking responsibility.
pastors like Driscoll who claim that Jesus Himself was sexually attracted to the women who travelled with Him
just when I think I know everything I need to know about Driscoll, I read some more. Maybe that guy could just go ahead and get himself a harem full of Nancy-DeMoss-types and move to an island somewhere. Preferably without any internet access.
I agree with you Desley about the effects that porn has on the people who are actually performing it. I think it’s easy to lose sight of that misery when we focus on the end user. That’s the side of things that I want my boys to understand before they get tempted with porn.
The people in porn are someone’s children. You make a good point, Desley. I think porn shops are the lowest of the lowest. Interesting that so many of them advertise “we have parking and an entrance on the off-street side.” Ugh.
If you can even believe it, I had a Christian leader say to me once, that pornography would not be a sin, if no one looked at it!! I instantly thought about all the people who were being used to make the pornographic material and felt as you all do here. What about their souls?
I also believe that men don’t have to actually view pornography to perform it on their wives and abuse them in this way. I believe that some men’s minds must be able to conceive it all by themselves, without any outside aids.
“I was actually happy for him to watch porn as it meant he would leave me alone.”
Katy, I feel the same way. The more porn he watches equals less sex that I have to have with him. But I feel guilty for thinking this way. He’s engaging in sin that separates him from God and I’m relieved because I just want him to leave me alone. And all of his non-Christian friends look at porn. They email it around to eachother and talk about it at BBQs. It’s totally normal for them.
I’ve always known that he looks at porn. He didn’t when we were first dating because he didn’t have a computer. Once he got the computer, I already felt trapped in the relationship– and in my fog, I couldn’t get away. I’ve confronted him occasionally, but not regularly. He used to open up email attachments while I was in the same room. Now he tries to hide it but I see it in the web browsing history. So I know he looks at it, but he doesn’t know that I know (at this point). I just don’t see the value in confronting him about it again. He’ll most likely just find better ways to hide it. And for me, I feel that it’s important that I know whether or not he looks at it. He’s promising that he’s changing (and he has made a lot of good changes). But I don’t trust him, and I doubt that his integrity is sincere. If he gives up the porn without me issuing an ultimatum, that will be a huge, huge sign for me that he really does mean it. And if he doesn’t, then I know that it’s mostly an act. And I absolutely can’t take his word for it. He’s lied way too many times.
I struggle to find the balance between enabling his sin and taking responsiblity for it. Why should I continue to confront him on something that he doesn’t feel he should change? I want him to choose to be integrous all on his own–afterall, isn’t that what integrity is? I don’t want to be his conscience. But if I don’t confront him, I’m turning a blind eye to sin. Our marriage counselor (when I used to go) confronted him about it during a session. He was very embarrassed. Then he started hiding it better. He still sees the counselor, so I could email him and let him know that it’s still an issue, but it likely won’t stop the problem.
Wendell, Thank you so much for your honesty and for writing this post.
yes let the counselor know privately that he’s still viewing it. And NO, you are not called to be his conscience. You are not calling to be chained to his ankle, attempting to convict his heart of his sin on a regular basis while you die from the abuse. That’s taking the place of Christ. You are not his sacrifice for the altar.
As JeffC told me once, the Holy Spirit is fully capable of convicting someone of their own sin.
Katy, Thank you for your response. My fear is that if I tell the counselor, husband will finally figure out how to use in private browsing, and then I won’t know about it, and will have no guideline with which to evaluate change in his life. He’s very good at lying. I don’t want to spend more years of my life trying to forgive him, and trying to build a godly marriage, only to find out that it was an impossibility in the first place.
“As JeffC told me once, the Holy Spirit is fully capable of convicting someone of their own sin.” I’m going to file that line in my head. It’s gold.
yes, but He still used Nathan to confront King David… there are times He asks us to speak out and we will be held accountable if we don’t… think Ezekiel 3
I remember in the 60s I was 17 or 18 and working in an office with several woman and one man. He was caught with porn photos in his desk drawer. I was shocked and horrified…he just didn’t seem to be the type of man who would do such a thing.
Thank you Wendell for your honesty and willingness to discuss this topic on our blog.
Thanks Barbara. I just hope that my experiences will help someone else.
Another memory comes back when shortly after marrying him, I came upon a notebook written by my to be ex husband. I don’t recall searching for it at all..it was out in the open. In this notebook he graphically described sexual actions he performed on his sister-in-law’s sister! I read a few lines and just couldn’t read any further. It was thoroughly disgusting and I thought at the time how low a respect he held for women. Little did I know that he would soon show me just how much his hatred would hurt me.
I think that lust is probably to some degree or another a potential issue at some time in the lives of most men; however, like anything else, it comes in degrees and is separate from the pornography issue. Pornography is just one of many ways of indulging and expressing that lust, and it is so very pervasive today because of its availability.
Now, to say that every man battles it may be extreme. Some men, especially those walking with Christ are more able to nip it in the bud. To others, it is a fire that is just waiting for more gasoline to be poured on it! Pornography is one of those bottles of gasoline.
When I look back at Scripture, I see that most of the verses having to do with lust are aimed at the men. Look at what Jesus said about adultery. Notice how he said that if a man looks on a woman with lust in his heart, he has already committed adultery with her. Though the principle applies to women, I think there was a tacit understanding that men are wired to be stimulated visually and it is that which can cause a man to have to fight lust. I’m not saying that women do not have a visual stimulation component, but it is not the primary stimulator.
I believe there is a dividing line between recognizing a person’s beauty and lust. I know that in my own life, I had to learn that when I saw a woman that I felt was attractive, to quickly process it as a fact and move on. I had to relearn how to look on the woman as a whole person and not a sum of her body parts and to not concentrate on sexual attractiveness, but what made them a person.
Most men that I know that have battled with lust/pornography, either never learned to look at women as unique individuals, loved by God and with value, or lost that view by stepping over the line into lust too many times. It starts with fantasies and turns into rituals as those fantasies are allowed to grow and bloom.
Finally, I don’t think that every man battles this, simply because not everyone is tempted by the same things. For example, I have no problem resisting the temptation of alcohol, smoking or drugs. I’m not being prideful here, but it just holds no attraction for me. For so many men, sexual issues simply don’t hold any attraction for them, but like anyone else, they will have a weak spot that the enemy of our souls is waiting to exploit. So instead of saying that porn is every man’s battle, I think it more accurate to say that sin is every person’s battle!
I’m sorry, Wendell. I really appreciate your willingness to be vulnerable and expose your own past struggles this way, but I just don’t think pornography should be lumped together with other sins, as if it didn’t possess an particular degree of evil that most other sins do not.
If a man (and yes, women are also tempted with porn – and increasingly so) understands how the pornography industry exploits the vulenrabilities of the poor, abused, downtrodden, fatherless, etc., and further victimizes them, and he persists in using depictions of abuse (that’s what pornography essentially is) to gratify himself, he is on a whole other level of sin. People who use pornography are using prostituted women – and they themselves are johns. I think we need to say it like it is.
I think God has a lot to say to porn users in Isaiah 58.
Now, if that person understands how pornography conditions its users to sexualize children, and if that person understands that there are children now being trafficked to meet that increasing demand for child sex, and that person persists in his or her use of porn, that person has knowlingly joined with the traffickers, child pornographers, and pedophiles.
God speaks to these people quite firmly in Matthew 18.
Now, if a person understands that there is no longer any way of ascertaining what is “legitimate” pornography online, and what is footage of trafficking victims and rape victims, and that person persists in his or her use without regard for this, that person is aligning him or herself with traffickers and rapists. That person is now using the naked and oppressed instead of rescuing and clothing her.
I think you will understand where I am coming from.
Desley, I am not saying porn is not a heinous sin before God, as you are pointing out. My comments are meant to say that it is an outgrowth of lust, which is the basis of so many sins. I am not trying to make light of it in any way, shape or form. .
Before a man can be free from porn over the long term, he must take care of the underlying lust problem. My comments were also meant to address the issue of whether every man fights the pornography battle, but for those that do, it is a long, hard road to travel to climb out.
I sense your hatred for the sin and all that comes with it. It isn’t wrong to feel that way and I have come to hate it now that I am out of it. I was just trying to address (fairly narrowly) a different aspect of the issue, not minimize the heinousness or ignore the dirty underbelly of that snake.
Thank you for clarifying that, Wendell. This issue always gets a rise out of me. I am just tired of Christians failing to acknowledge the exploitation in the porn industry. I am tired of how we villanize those in it when users of porn bear more of the weight of responsibility for it. If there weren’t a demand, there would be no need for supply, hence no vulnerable people being lured into it to meet that demand.
I get that you were adressing something specific and I apologize for my strong reaction.
Desley – All of us here expect strong reactions to rise up sometimes. It is the very nature of this whole topic of abuse, its effects, and all of its tactics and aspects. It traumatizes and wounds (sometimes kills) people. You may have responded with strong feelings to this subject, but something would be wrong with all of us if we didn’t. AND you didn’t run away! You talked it through. That’s a pretty good sign that you are getting healthier, don’t you think?
No apology necessary Desley! It is people like you with a passion that actually effects change. You are right that so many people come down on those in the porn industry, but make light of the user. On the other hand, it is a delicate balancing act because simply coming down on the user with a hammer may drive them deeper into the addiction. It is certainly something that requires discernment to know the best approach to use with someone consuming this junk. Sometimes a very strong hand is required and sometimes a more gentle approach. I think it all depends upon how deeply the addict has gotten into it and how desensitized (seared) their conscience is.
For those in this trap, the ideal is for them to come out of it by the prompting of the Holy Spirit in their hearts, but sadly it so often takes getting caught and exposed before their attention is gained. I sincerely believe that God will do anything and everything to intervene in a person’s life, with increasingly harsh measures until He gets their attention! Sometimes love just has to be tough and hard!
Jeff C., God bless you for allowing the process of reaction to be voiced and validated!
Yes, I totally agree with you, Desley. Pornography is ABUSE of the people involved in it. We have no idea what these suffering souls are going through – maybe addiction, maybe they are former child sexual abuse victims, maybe they’re being raped. We cannot say they’re in porn by choice and I truly believe God has mercy on these poor, hurting people, as He does all of us, thankfully. I feel really bad for those addicted to pornography and pray God helps them, but I could not be in a relationship with someone who would take please in looking at the suffering and abuse of another human being (or animal, for that matter).
My abusive husband really didn’t have a problem with pornography – in fact, he also agreed it was abusive to the people who are in it and he’s not a Christian. I feel really sorry for all whose lives have been ruined by pornography.
Thanks Wendell! Excellent observations.
Thank you Wendell.
JeffS: ” it is a very reasonable thing to expect a Christian husband not to be a porn abuser.”
Thank you Jeff, this spoke directly to my deepest fear.
I think after we have suffered a lot of intimate abuse, we become unable to tolerate this sort of thing ever again. I feel very unforgiving just saying that. But my quota for life is full.
as to porn = rape of innocents, I don’t believe that men who get addicted to porn are thinking about that. They probably aren’t fantasizing about hurting children. This is because in those films the participants behave as if they like it. It’s not an excuse – but it’s true. I’m not inclined to hate on everyone who has ever seen pornography. I could stroll into any tavern around here after midnight and get an eyeful that would qualify.
The fear is not of lust, sex, or even porn itself. It’s the fear of being treated like an empty vessel to be used like Kleenex. The fear of hardened hearts. The fear of men whose conscience is so “seared” that they cannot see the humanity in front of them.
Megan, unfortunately it is not uncommon for people consuming porn to not really care about the plight of those who make it. To the addict, the participants look like they are enjoying themselves and that engaging in the activity too will be perfect bliss. It is the typical candy coated poison.
Porn is all about selfishness and using others for your own personal pleasure. It leads men to dehumanize women, just as the creators are themselves dehumanized in the process of making it. I know it wasn’t until after I started to leave it, that I realized the utter helplessness of many of those acting in it as well as the sheer evil of those producing it.
Thank you, Wendell.
I watched a documentary a few years back about pornography producers and it pointed out the prevelence of women being lured into pornography by boyfriends and husbands. These women were involving themselves in this degredation (is that a word?) because they wanted so badly to please these guys. It was so very sad to see this, But what I think really made my stomach turn was when the camera crew followed a porn producer husband/wife team to an old shack to film the making of a scene with the wife’s best friend. What the best friend didn’t know was that the scene was going to take a dramatic shift from what she signed up for, and that she was going to literally get beaten and gang raped. They admitted that in order to keep that competitive edge in the increasingly shocking industry, they had to have “the real thing” to sell.
The camera crew stopped taping and left the scene altogether, not knowing what to do. And the truth is, since the pornography industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, no attempts to regulate it and hold it to adequate standards have been successful. There is nothing that poor woman could have done about that vicious assault.
I had no idea!
Yes, I have read sickening stories of what they do to the women involved to get them able to “perform” on camera. Suffice it to say, they have to almost mutilate certain body parts and orifices to accomplish their goals. Drugs are commonly used to make the actors compliant. My heart cries out for those who have been lured into this as I think about what my daughters would go through if they were kidnapped and forced into this world.
Another bit of information is that this multi-billion dollar industry is actually responsible for some of the innovations on the internet today. One thing that comes to mind is the whole concept of the online charging of credit cards for ecommerce. The porn industry pretty much pioneered it. It saddens me to think that every time I buy something from Amazon, the porn industry helped bring it about!
Only married one man, don’t know what the normal is on anything, but been getting a clue lately. What amount is a high frequency of demand? or even the length of time?
(not something covered in pre-marital counseling and definitely never any other time either!)
This is a tough question to answer as every relationship and man is different. Further, many of the signs I mentioned should not be taken in isolation, but in the overall context of the relationship. That being said, here is my best attempt at more clarity.
What is normal will depend on several factors. Your husband’s age and how long you have been married are two of them. If your husband is young, early 20’s or so, and you are newly married (a few months or less) , it may not be too unusual for him to have desire for intercourse multiple times a week (5 or more). As you settle in to married life and gain a few years, this sexual desire tends to wane and I think the average is 1-3 times a week.
One thing that may be hard to take into account is if he was watching porn before you were married, though many of the same principles would still apply. He would just carry the behavior into your new marriage and you would not have as much history to go by.
Like, I said, context is crucial and I would not look at frequency alone (unless he is wanting intercourse multiple times a day). How is he treating you sexually otherwise? Is there a sudden increase in his desired frequency? Did you used to have a sexual relationship with intercourse twice a week and now he wants it every day? Is he asking you to do things in the bedroom that he has never asked you to do before, or that you might have communicated to him that you are uncomfortable with? Do you get the feeling that he no longer cares for you as a person, but simply as an object to satisfy his desires? Is his spiritual life suffering?
I don’t know if that helped or not, but I am here if you have any other questions. If you can give me a little more history, I might be able to be more specific.
History I can give but it’s likely full of triggers. I’m on blah right now so it doesn’t bother me.
We’ve been married 20 years. He had porn magazine problems before we were married. We both said we wanted to stay pure before marriage, but he often arranged for isolated hikes and picnics that were thinly disguised as let’s see how far we can go events. My brakes were the only ones ever applied. If I got pregnant I would be kicked out of our conservative college and lose all my friends. That fear was my birth control, but did little to slow him down otherwise.
We were married and from year 1 pornagraphy was a part of our home. It used to be hidden in the car. The language came into the bedroom. Stories he read or wrote came next. Porn videos that were progressively violent that he wanted me to watch with him etc. Got into bondage and toys.
He wasn’t getting enough at home so he went elsewhere. I covered for him. Sick, I know. I gained weight and also had a near breakdown after his confession of more serious stuff that he promised me he wasn’t doing and had kept repenting of. I think the term is flooding for what happened after his confession. The images and memories that didn’t make sense or connect in a coherant way all of a sudden connected. I told him about csa by elementary teacher. I think he’s been punishing me for it for the last 10 years because I didn’t tell him before. He didn’t want damaged goods. He wanted a virgin and ended up getting gyped.
10-20 times a week when we first were married. Nothing for weeks or months at a time and then blames me for being so sensitive and saying he reminds me of my abuser. I don’t say it that way. I let him know what my triggers are, because he was being so kind and wanted to know. Some of them he still ignores and I get lost in flashbacks when we are together. Now it’s 2-3 times a month because he wants a baby. I do too, but not for the same reason he does. Usually it’s nothing for months on end and then its what he wants but he makes sure I “want” it too. It’s hard to explain.
Dear SJR, I agree with Meg: you have been through the grinder (and are still in it). I think you were right to use the term flooding. I have heard other women’s stories who told me that their (now) ex ‘confessed’ a whole lot of horrific sexual immorality to them near the end of the marriage. . . it’s like they do this as just one more way to hurt you. Disguised as a confession (a good thing, right?) it’s actually delivered in such a way as to traumatize you and spin you right out.
“I have been sharing a bed with this guy for years, and he was doing ALL THAT!” How disgusting! I feel contaminated simply by proximity. Creepy creepy revolting.
That must HURT! Please let me offer you multiple hugs, dear sister!
He didn’t want ‘damaged goods’ huh? But he was damaged goods himself by having indulged in porn before (and while) you were married. This is typical abuserese: blaming and punishing the victim for something or other, to take the spotlight off his sinful treatment of her. And why was he ‘so kind and wanted to know your triggers’? Perhaps because he wanted to manipulate you into be especially vulnerable to him so he could easily and more devastatingly abuse you. I know. Wrapping your mind round this stuff is really hard; but it may be the truth.
This is how irrational these abusers are: If you had not been abused by that elementary teacher — if you been sexually virginal in every respect — he could still have used that as a way to attack you. For instance, he might have railed, “You are so haughty and high and mighty with your prim prudery, never doing any sexual sin before we married. You make me feel like dirt in comparison to you! You have no compassion for my struggles!”
And by the way, I hope you know that you were not to blame for what that teacher did to you. It was not your fault. He sinned against you very very badly. Matthew 18:6 If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
I guess I want to know how to figure out if he is still hooked or if this is leftover results of so many years in it?
SJR, I can’t say for certain whether or not pornography may still be involved, but from your description, it sounds like there are some serious issues and emotional abuse going on. It may be from current use that he is keeping hidden or learned behaviors and attitudes that he has never gotten rid of. In any case, it is NOT healthy!
I think that some of the women who have experienced some of what you are going through will chime in. They are a great resource!
Like any addiction, an addiction to pornography can only be overcome over time by the person addicted WITH MUCH HELP. The addicted person must reach out and want to change. There needs to be openness and honesty about what has been done – recognizing the addiction and owing responsibility for the addiction – much hard, hard work done to change patterns of thought and action, and then ongoing accountability for a long, long time regarding the addiction. The person/people who hold the addicted person accountable cannot be the ones hurt by the addiction (so your husband must confess to, work with, and be held accountable by someone other than you for his pornography addiction). Unless there is accountability, the likelihood of overcoming the addiction are slim.
I believe my husband exchanged a pornography addiction for a ‘spiritual’ addiction – realizing many of the same rewards of addiction in a more acceptable way (until people get to know him enough that they are manipulated by him). Despite God’s power and what He can do, I do not believe my husband was freed from his pornography addiction in the quick and ‘white-knuckle’ way he declared that God delivered him. I believe he simply switched addictions.
We go to church every Sunday and stay for Sunday school too. On the outside we look like a decent family, good kids, do most church events but after starting counseling w/ our pastor he’s seeing its not how it looks. He seems to think, or at least convey the idea that he does, that our underlying problem in our marriage is communication.
I think our underlying problem is our twisted sex life based on sick ways of relating sexually. He is cheerful and attentive the day after. I am easily sucked back down into this. I want his attention and I know what to do to have it. Three years is a long time to be without that daily affection or affirmation that he gives as “payment”. I’m not sure he does it consciously, but that’s how it works out.
I’m really back and forth on this. Early this week I wanted one thing, now something else. If our pastor responds to what I’ve told him(believes me and confronts husband) things will either blow up or spiral into the depths.
It’s easier for me to close my eyes and ignore the “sane” voice that tells me I am so screwed up and that’s why on some level this works for me. Is God ok with it? Idk. Hsbd has enough verses to make it seem so. Do I want God to be ok with it? No. I don’t think I should be so conflicted. You’d think after so many years that I’d be 100% fine with it, I’m not. Maybe it’s because it’s sin? His, mine or both idk. I’m just messed up either way.
I was asked recently by a friend why I didn’t leave him years ago. There’s always been good reasons: kid and money related.
Our problems have mostly stayed behind closed doors (seeing what the main issue is, thats a good thing) ha, and he is a decent father overall. -greatly improved from early years.
An accountability set up for the addictions going on in our bedroom is going to be awkward to say the least. He’d have to be convinced it was sin first. The details to give out when I’m not sure what the pastors response will be to them, doesn’t sound like something I want to do more than I already have. Makes it hard to go to church when you feel like you can’t look the pastor in the face.
I was told years ago that there wasn’t any emotional abuse going on. I was being overly sensitive and getting my feelings hurt when we had fights.
He’s nicer than my mom ever was, so it’s hard for me to see him as abusive. I’ve been writing things down this week and maybe he is. Our bedroom stuff is soul killing but he doesn’t hit me. I stayed this long so I’m obviously hacking it. The whole threat to leave thing would lose me friends and church and then I really would be alone. I love him.
I’m sorry I’m so flaky. It might be triggering. It’s where I am right now. I’m learning a lot from posts on here. Thanks
Dear Anon on this one, I’ve sent you an email, thinking that for your safety it may be better to deal with this off-blog. Hope that’s okay. Blessings and hugs to you. Barb
Which is not to say, Anon on this one, that you have done anything at all wrong on this blog! All your comments have been fine. I’m just wanting to share with you some things that I think may help you maintain your safety.
A phrase that jumped out at me is “He’d have to be convinced it was sin first.” Yup, until an addict admits the problem, there cannot be change. I hear you seeking change but I also hear that your husband does not yet see any need to change.
You are asking a lot of questions and seeking answers. I hear you being willing to be wrong about your interpretation of events you see and you are not dogmatic about your point of view. You are wanting to know for yourself what is right. Please do not doubt WHAT you see and hear (the actions and words). No one else is a witness, so maybe you need to write it down (if you can do so safely) so that you can go back later for confirmation.
I see you seeking truth – and in the end, truth will set you free. Maybe not easily, maybe with a lot of pain, but when you know the truth, then you can know what you should do.
I agree that you must be wary about sharing information with others. If someone is not gentle, willing to listen, and then willing to allow you to make decisions for yourself, they are not a safe person. You do not need to be told what to do. You need to be allowed to decide for yourself.
Please learn more about abuse. Once you have knowledge, you can decide for yourself.
Books that helped me were “The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse” by David Johnson & Jeff VanVonderen, “When Love Hurts” by Jill Cory & Karen McAndless-Davis, and Lundy Bancroft’s book “Why Does He Do That?” as well as the books by Barbara Roberts and Jeff Crippen. If it is not safe for you to have books, read lots from this website (at the public library if it is not safe on your home computer).
((hugs)) as you question and seek.
Dear Mama Martin, your reponse above was fantastic! Thank you so much. I love it when our readers support each other so well. 🙂
Dear Anon on This One: Please find and go to a licensed counselor who has experience with abuse issues. Pastors are usually just not equipped, unless they are licensed counselors with training in abuse issues, to help in these matters. Jeff Crippen is that exception, but ordinarily you are not going to get much help.
Also, was it a pastor who told you there was no emotional abuse? I would think that sexually abusing someone, which is what is happening to you, would also fall under the category of emotional abuse. Withholding affection is emotional abuse as well.
It is not uncommon to be so confused when dealing with Jekyll and Hyde. All abusers play this part and it leaves the victim really confused. God says that if you are uncomfortable, and it defiles your conscience to do those “things” for your husband, that what you are doing is sinful. You should not ever violate your own conscience.
SJR — It sounds like you have been through the grinder . . . and, actually, that you are still there. My ex husband was a regular porn-watcher. He went through these types of phases that you describe. Demanding sex more and more often . . . then long pauses . . . anger toward me . . . making it near-impossible for me to want intimacy (due to porn and other issues) and then blaming me for it . . . . blaming me for the porn, etc. It seems as though your husband is abusive in SEVERAL ways. SEVERAL. I am sorry for what you are dealing with. 😦
When my husband and I met our love making was incredible and frequent, at times 4 to 5 times a day. Things slowed down after 3 kids. I was aware my husband liked porn, movies, DVD’s, and internet. I just didn’t know how much he viewed porn materials. I began finding boxes of magazines, vhs’s, DVD’s, and internet sites. After things starting getting worse I learned that he had satellite TV as a kid. He wouldn’t given go out to dining with his family, so he could have uninterrupted time. Once I came home for lunch because my elementary school age children were on break. I came home and I smelled smoke, my older son was trying to heat up food to eat and a KFC box was on a back and was smoking. I screamed for my husband, he didn’t even hear me because he was in the bedroom with the door shut and locked. He opened the door with greased _ick in hand with a shocked look on his face. These kind of events became more frequent. And our sex life was on the down swing. He wouldn’t get sleep because of being on the internet. Leaving in the middle of the night to go to porn stores. I continue to try to be careful with my approach letting him know how horrible it makes me feel, and my increasing desire for intimacy. It has been over 2 years now without sex. I’m afraid because I have someone showing me a lot of attention and has shared their physical attention to me. I don’t want to be with another man, I want my husband. However he doesn’t think its a problem. His addiction started well over 38 years ago. He can’t even have an ejaculation with me anymore. I am so hurt, frustrated, resentful, and angry. If anyone can give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it. I love my husband, he is a wonderful person with this major flaw.
I admire your love for your husband and it is tragic that he is where he is, but I feel I must be blunt here. His addiction has gone on so long, that from your description, he may well be in the last stage, a seared conscience.
Please think about something, despite your love for him, he has cruelly mistreated you by denying you the physical and emotional attention and care that he should be providing. He has endangered your family with his addiction (the incident with the burning box) and neglected your child to the point of endangerment.
You describe him as a wonderful person with this major flaw, but you also say that he does not see a problem with his porn use. There is a major disconnect there. Ask yourself if a wonderful person would treat his wife and children in such a way for an extended time? Now maybe he seems like a good man in other ways, but this “major flaw” is invading and pervading every fiber of his being, causing him to neglect and harm those he is entrusted with as his first responsibility before God.
Don’t get me wrong, please. It is not that I don’t have compassion, but it may be time for a tough approach. When Paul heard about the man sleeping with his step-mother in Corinth, he told the Corinthians to eject the man from their midst and to even turn him over to satan for the destruction of his body so that his soul might be saved. Extreme? Yes, but necessary.
I feel that you are at a crossroads here and for your own well being and perhaps as one final act to try to get your husband to see the problem, you might need to consider separating yourself from him. You see, your husband may have to come to the end of himself, with nothing left before he comes to realize the sin and the depravity he is in. There is one hope for him and that is a life changing experience with Christ, one that will shake him to his core and set him on the path of repentance and salvation.
In any case, I feel that every day you remain with him while he is in unrepentant rebellion is dragging you down with him. I normally don’t go this far, but he has given you ample reason Biblically and otherwise to leave. You need to heal, because you have also been a victim of the trauma of neglect and abuse. And I am sure that your children have been adversely affected too.
Your husband needs help and so do you. Please do what you need to in order to end the active suffering you are obviously going through and protect yourself!
Ok my husband looks at porn on our phone anytime he is alone and then deletes it and when I find out he’s like “I don’t look at it to get aroused I look at it cause I’m curious.” But doing it over and over again is not being curios and he gets mad when I don’t give it to him every day and he is blames me for him looking at it cause I don’t satisfy him every day. What do I do?
Annoyed, you are looking right through your husband’s lies and that is a good thing. You are quite correct that it is not curiosity that is drawing him to porn. Frankly, it doesn’t take much viewing at all to go past “curiosity” to outright lust. This is further evidenced by his unreasonable demands upon you sexually.
He is blame shifting by blaming you for his porn habit. His viewing of porn has nothing to do with you, your appearance, sexual performance or frequency. The responsibility is all on him for this sin and it is unfair for him to blame you for it.
As to your not satisfying him everyday, he is setting an impossible task for you. When he views porn, he is seeing a idealized, fantasy in which all the sex is perfect and the participants have outstanding bodies. In porn, everyone is satisfied and even those who are reluctant come around in the end to not only enjoy it, but to crave more. Unfortunately, that is not real life. Those people are heavily made up and air brushed to make them appear perfect. None of us will have the perfect body, or experience portrayed in the porn world. In other words, you cannot compete with the fantasy he is indulging in and he will eventually tire of the reality because reality no longer fulfills him. What he doesn’t realize is that the fantasy won’t either.
All of what he is saying to you are classic symptoms of lust out of control that is expressing itself in the viewing of porn. Unless something intervenes and interrupts this cycle, it will do nothing but get worse until it consumes his entire life. Also, the longer it goes on, the harder it is to break it.
I don’t know how long this has been going on, nor your overall family situation (length of marriage, kids, etc.), but in my mind, you need to set some boundaries with him. But to do so, you will need to be willing to hold his feet to the fire on those boundaries. I can’t tell you exactly what as each situation is different, but you need to consider how far you are willing to take it.
If you take a stand on the porn, is he likely to become abusive or escalate any abuse? If so, you may need to physically leave the situation, telling him that as long as he is addicted to porn, you cannot be there. In any case, he needs to know that this is not acceptable. He is the one with a problem and is just making excuses for it. He needs to know that what he is doing is trying to control you sexually and make you live up to an impossible standard and that you just won’t do that anymore, even if it means leaving.
Another thing you will need to ask yourself is how you will react if he says he will seek help. How will you hold him accountable. If he truly repents and seeks the help he needs, are you willing to walk the path with him, or has too much damage been done already for you to trust him? What are the steps you need to see to know that he is truly trying to overcome the problem?
He will not be able to go this alone. He will need help via a counselor and accountability through either a recovery group or an individual who can be trusted. But first, he will have to acknowledge that he has a problem and your boundaries may just be enough to get him to see that. They aren’t always and then you have to make the tough decisions, but I pray that he will see it and seek help.
Finally, I am not a professional counselor, but you may need to run this by someone who is experienced in counseling in these situations. They will know of local resources in your area and give you some strategies to help you deal with it. Like him, this is going to be hard for you to deal with alone. We can all be here to cheer you on and share experiences, but I would strongly advise that you find a good counselor to help you.
Let us know how it goes!
Wendell, I am not a professional either, but I think your reply here was excellent. I like the way you asked good questions and considered various scenarios, while leave it to the reader to assess and decide for her own situation. Thank You! 🙂
And “annoyed” do give us feedback if you wish — on anything we’ve said here, or on how things go for you. May God bless you for your desire to walk in His truth, purity and righteousness. 🙂
First I want to thank you for your speedy reply. Secondly, for being direct with the truth. I’ve known for a long time that my husband needs to hit rock bottom, which means leaving him. Just hearing it from a third party has given me the strength to leave. I only have one of my three sons at home now. This should make my transition a little less traumatic.
I just don’t what to tell my family, without disclosing this very personal issue. I guess I will deal with that when the time comes. This is really hard and painful, however I know that I deserve and deserved better. Thank you for your advice. I’ll keep in touch.
Hurts So Bad
My husband has been addicted since he was 13 and has been struggling to find happiness in me or fulfillment. I want to blame myself for it, but I know that addictions start with you and end with you. He has said that he had stopped for months now. But I see some of the signs of regression, spending hours in the bathroom multiple times a day. He claims he is just reading things on the toilet but I can’t find it within myself to trust that. He gets very irritated when I ask what he does for all that time. How should I come around about this, I don’t want to make it bigger than it already has been. I see it as cheating, because he is lusting after other women. And I want our baby that is on the way to actually have a consistent father.
Dear K.B., I would be like you: I would not trust his claim that he is only reading things on the toilet. And his irritation when you question him about it is a sign that he is not being honest.
Yes, pornography is like cheating on your wife and it’s definitely sinful to foster a porn addiction. I know you don’t want to make it bigger than it already has been, and you may be walking on eggshells to protect yourself from a blow up, but sadly, it does not look like your husband is being honest or consistent in his conduct and ethics.
I encourage you to consider confronting him in as safe and planned way as you can. Leslie Vernick’s upcoming book has some very good suggestions about how to confront an emotionally destructive spouse, and all her suggestions could probably be applied to a case like yours.
Really, if you were to confront him and insist that he come clean and tell you the whole truth, it would not be YOU who was ‘making something bigger than it has been’: it would be your HUSBAND whose covert behavior and aggressive resistance to your reasonable questions would be ‘making the thing big.’ Keep reminding yourself that. The problem is his. It is reasonable to expect one’s spouse to be honest. When one’s partner is resistant to being honest about a sin that has been chronic in the past, then it’s reasonable to suspect them of continuing in that sin. You are doing nothing wrong. You are not to blame. 🙂
Sin likes to hide in the dark. Christ calls us to live in the light.
I am just now reading your post, I am not sure it is even still active. I am very lost and alone, my husband has been a pill addict, and now a prescription pill addict ( he says is ok because the Dr. gives them to him) he is an alcoholic and has been for about 13 years of our 17 year marriage. Now my husband seems to have a porn addiction, my kids have caught him watching porn videos, I have caught him and at first I was like it is something men do but it had turned into a problem when he does not care if the kids see him. Plus our sec life has changed. It is hard for us to have time to be alone due to all the people in this house and he blames me, and he has started talking to me like I am a prostitute and wanting me to do perverted sexual stuff I don’t want to do.
Crying a lot, I understand your title oh so well. I was married to a porn addict for 12 years. At first, I was young and thought as you do… it’s a guy thing. So I actually participated with him, because I wanted to be cool and wanted to please him. That was a BIG mistake! It led to us doing a lot of sexual things that I didn’t want to do, one of which was have a threesome. After a while, I started begging him to stop. Stop asking me, stop looking at it, stop watching it, just STOP! I tried telling him how it made me feel. He became mad at me! He couldn’t believe I didn’t trust in his love enough. “How much more could he do to make me feel special”. I believed him for a long time and just stopped talking about it. I wish I would have taken a stand. I have no doubt in my mind that our relationship would have ceased early on if I had, but it sure would have saved a lot of heartache. From my blog entry, My Role as a Narcissists Wife [This link is broken and we were unable to find a copy in the Internet Archives. Editors.], I quoted: “I would never turn down sex because that meant I no longer thought he was good looking and good in bed. I would turn a blind eye to his pornographic addiction because if it bothered me it meant that I did not have faith in his love for me. The times I begged and pleaded for him to stop asking me to perform sexual acts with other people, he would just say he wanted to do it for us, for me, that he just wanted to please me. And he thought I was so beautiful that he wanted to show me off.” This is where porn leads and unfortunately, you either join in or it’s a big fight. It shouldn’t have to be that way!!! We should be treated with respect, as women, and need to stand up and respect ourselves at the same time. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It is very painful. I will be praying for you.
Wendell, thank you for for honestly and input. This is a major problem today among everyone, no matter their religious beliefs. It is something that needs to be talked about. Yes, your entry struck some sensitive areas in me but I am out of the situation now and will never go back. I am in a much better place.
Thanks so much, livingtransparently, for sharing this and supporting Crying A Lot. I think God’s timing is perfect. CAL just came to our blog for the first time the other day and posted this, and now you’ve just arrived to answer her!
He’s pretty cool like that! 😉
Living Transparently, I really agree with your story. Thanks for sharing it!
You touched on something a lot of men really don’t get, especially when they are into porn. They mistakenly equate sex with love. While sex can be an expression of love, it is not the same. What your husband was telling you is similar in my mind to a man trying to lure his girlfriend into bed by telling her he loves her. If he really loved her, he would be doing so many other things besides the sexual act, all because he truly respects her and is interested in her well being.
What he was telling you was a bunch of excuses to elicit your permission and participation in his activities. I am so glad you recognized that and stopped it, both because it was just plain wrong and because his demands would have become even more bizarre as time went on.
Your advice is both timely and welcome and I hope to hear more from you as we try to help others in similar situations!
Thank you Wendell. I am so disappointed in my past but God has restored me to a new life in HIm and I am extremely grateful! AND, I wouldn’t be where I am today and who I am today had I not gone through every part of it. I am new to the “online” world but am learning that there is so much more support out there than I thought. And now, I still need support at times, but I want more than anything for good to come out of my past and to be used however God sees fit to help others. Thank you for your blog… I will be reading more. 🙂
I would like any and all input. My husband and I have been married 7 years. I thought he was an honest and trustworthy person when we married and still do for the most part. He is a very compassionate and sensitive man who personally I think has been hurt a lot in his life due to parents not loving him. Anyway, not long after we got together, and I was very ill when we first met, I went to a church in Georgia and received healing from God in many areas. When I returned home I would be using the computer and have these raunchy pop-ups appear so since I have an extensive computer background I started doing some digging in the system files. Sure enough he had been looking at porn while I was in Georgia at the church going through their program. I was angry but hoped this is something he wouldn’t continue as I had told him when we first me how I HATED PORN and would not tolerate it because my first husband had been into it and hid it and tried to make me feel guilty with it, etc. etc. and this was part of the reason we divorced.
On with the story, a couple of years ago I decided to go back to college and obtain a Bachelor’s Degree and it was very time consuming doing homework, etc. Around the same time my husband began using the computer a lot for geneaology research and sometimes I would be in the living room reading or doing homework or watching TV and he would spend hours on the PC. I take care of our finances and since he doesn’t have a subscription to ancestry.com after a while I began to wonder how is he finding stuff online so long and my curiousity began to get stirred up as to what he was really doing. I began looking at his history files and saw he was looking at a lot of the articles reported on the internet that show stars half-naked, etc. Then due to PC issues we loaded google chrome on his PC and he now uses that. To make a long story short, when I graduated (June 2013) I decided to purchase tracking software and load on his PC so I knew what he was doing as I suspected he was hiding things from me. Sure enough I was right. I found he had been doing searches that would show porn pictures, he was going into sites where the content was rated mature and he has figured out how he can delete this from his history and use incognito mode so it wouldn’t show up. He has no idea I am monitoring his PC use in this way and I feel awful doing so. I no longer trust him and he is a sweet man but I feel violated especially since he knew this is a big issue for me from the day we met.
I wake up angry some days and want to scream and confront him but feel this will only drive him more into his shell. He is a very quiet man and hardly talks to me at all, or anyone else for that matter, and I don’t know what to do. At the same time I can’t stand him living a lie. Just today I saw where he was looking at a picture of a singer half-naked and he made sure he deleted it from his history where it wouldn’t show up. I feel he has inherited this curse because in doing his family history we found out his grandmother on his mother’s side worked as a prostitute to feed the family when she was young and on his father’s side several generations back one of his grandfathers lived in a commune similar to that of the Mormons where multiple wives for each man was present. He also has a brother currently serving in jail from sexual assault and I hope he never gets released. My husband is a very kind and gentle person and I am just so hurt and angry and have no trust for him anymore. I don’t know what to do and would welcome any comments or advice.
CSP, Sounds like you have a sticky situation there!
You have every right to be disgusted and angry at his behavior. It is sin, plain and simple and is a form of adultery. I can’t address whether this is a generational curse type of thing or not as that is a very controversial topic. What I can say is that if you don’t find a way to confront him, this behavior will only get worse until it is so bad that it will destroy your husband and your marriage. Most addicts do not get better until they are caught and confronted and almost forced into making a choice. While some people will respond to the conviction of sin on their own, in this area, I think that is fairly rare.
Do you have a trusted pastor or counselor who has dealt with this type of thing with whom you can speak about how to proceed? Perhaps they can give you options or ideas that you have not thought of yet. They can help you assess your situation and your husband to determine the best approach. They can also prepare you for some of the hard choices you may have to make in the near future.
By the way, congratulations on your degree, and let us know how it goes.
Thanks for your reply. I do want to confront him but I get so much anger and rage on this topic inside me that I’m afraid I will say very mean things so for now I’m trying my best to pray for me, him and keep my thoughts to myself and hope when I do confront him it can be in a loving way. I do believe in generational curses, the Bible clearly states curses can be handed down to the fourth and fifth generations, etc. Anyway, our pastor also happens to be a family counselor but I just hate to bring this up to him because I don’t want him to think badly of my husband. I also know a lady whose husband is preacher at another church in our area and am not sure if it would be better for me to talk to another female about this or a male. Like you I think it is adultery but I don’t think it is my place to just come out and say so to him, lol, that would only drive him further into his already secret place. He has a lot of rejection in his life and he knows it and is trying to deal with it but he also knows my feelings on porn. I will keep you posted but again do you suggest I speak with a male or female. One thing I notice him doing more and more of is staring at women when we are in public. He does it at restaurants (stares at waitresses), at horse shows (stares at cute girls, some of whom are even my friends) and there is even a girl at church I notice him staring at. Mind you we doing do a lot of social events or eat out real often but I feel like he should be looking at me in the face and talking to me instead of staring at the waitresses. Also, the girl at church I had noticed him looking at her a lot and yes she does wear clothes that are tight fitting, she is cute, etc. Anyway our church had a social function where we all ate a few months ago and we were eating and she happened to be standing directly in front of us for a really long time talking with our pastor. I noticed he was staring at her so I turned around and was staring at him staring at her and he never will notice me looking at him. Finally I said to him in a very low voice where no one heard me, are you getting your eyes full. Well I’ve never seen him look at me like he could kill me until just then and it was very disturbing to me. I keep wanting to ask him now why he gave me such the mean face but again am trying to keep my mouth shut, pray and let God work but I just don’t know when enough is enough.
CSP, to me, when choosing whom you might talk to about a serious problem like this, the person’s gender may not be as important as their knowledge and wisdom in this area. You might find both males and females who give you pretty poor advice or counsel, and vica versa, you might find males or females who give you helpful counsel. Trust you gut feeling is my best recommendation, when choosing who to disclose to; and if the first person you disclose to doesn’t help much, try disclosing to another person until you find real help.
Confronting a spouse who is steeped in sinful patterns is not easy, that’s for sure. You might find it helpful to read Leslie Vernick’s soon to be released book which gives some guidelines about how to confront such a spouse. And you might find some help from her blog too (we have it in our blog roll in our sidebar). One idea I can offer you: you could write down the words and thoughts you want to convey to him which could help you stay ‘on script’ if and when you do verbally confront him. And you could even consider giving him a copy of the written message after you’ve delivered it to him verbally (but make sure you keep a copy for yourself). If you explained to him that you had written it down to help you stay on track and not get too rancorous while speaking to him, he might accept that you wrote it down for good reason, not to coldly distance him or show him disdain.
And because he might react badly to the confrontation, which is quite possible (not because you did it badly, but because he doesn’t want to admit the extent of his sin and wants to keep it under the rug) I would suggest you give some thought to how you might want to respond to protect yourself in the event of him reacting badly.
CSP, I think Barbara has given you some excellent advice. I would like to address a couple of issues that speak to the need to confront him sooner than later.
The first is that he appears to be objectifying women as sexual objects. This is classic porn addiction and it will do nothing but get worse. I was recently sent a link to a teaching about pornography and the lecturer was speaking of the brain changes that occur in addictions. Without going into a whole lot of detail, addictive behavior actually does rewire the brain, increasing the capacity for the addiction, which then fosters an increase in addictive behavior to fill up that increased capacity (This is very much a layman’s interpretation). The point is that the longer he goes on, the more changes occur in the brain and the harder it is to reverse.
In my own experience, I began to notice almost any woman who walked on two legs, not as people, but as fantasy sex objects. If this had been allowed to progress, then that objectification would have eventually led to fantasizing about younger and younger women and then girls. Fortunately, God intervened in my life and I was able to stop that progression by taking steps to overcome the addiction; however, even today, I still feel some effects. Like an alcoholic who has certain triggers that make him crave another drink, there are occasionally triggers in my own life that I have to take positive steps to overcome, lest I fall back into temptation and sin. If I had stopped earlier, then I believe the after effects would be less and it would have taken me less time to retrain myself into healthy patterns.
The other issue is that for true repentance and healing to take place, your husband must go farther than what you think about his porn. Don’t get me wrong, how you feel about it is extremely important, but in the later stages of addiction, the addict doesn’t care what anybody thinks, including the spouse. Your confrontation of his sin, in whatever way you approach it, must be the first step to him being honestly convicted about it and knowing what God feels and thinks about his sin. That is where true heart change comes from. What you want to see is true heart change and not something just to placate you. True heart change will result in a permanent change and will carry over into other areas of his life.
Wendell these are words of true wisdom!
Thanks a lot Barbara. All comments are appreciated and I hadn’t thought of writing it down but in the past, before I was married to my present husband, if I had something bothering me often I would get up at night and write down what I was thinking. This would help me be able to go back to sleep.
You said in your previous comment above this one, that you don’t want people to think badly of your husband. I did that too and all that happened from it, was that the abuse went on and on and he got away with it. It wasn’t really the right thing to do.
As for generational curses, God now calls all men to repentance, and we do stand or fall on our own. Do you think you might be looking for a way to deny that the sin really belongs to him? Perhaps someone in the generations before was a porn addict, but that doesn’t mean that your husband doesn’t have a choice before God about what he does or does not do. He is responsible before God for it. I can see how finding a reason to blame someone else for the sin, would make you feel more hopeful that your husband could overcome his problem. I would just encourage you to not enable him by making excuses for him. I did this, so I know it only makes it worse for you. Ezekiel 18 deals with this subject. It says that if a righteous father bears an unrighteous son, then the unrighteous son dies, not the father and vice versa. The point of this to me, is that abuse (porn) can happen even when there was no previous abuse (porn) in a family. We have been conditioned to blame the sins today on someone’s sin in the past, but in abuse, the abuser abuses not necessarily because he has been abused, but because he has learned a mindset of entitlement in his life and may have never been abused. Knowing this, caused me to stop looking for “what caused” my abusers to abuse and make excuses for what they were doing to me and instead made me start focusing on how to protect and get healing for myself and others from the abuse and let the abusers deal with their own sin. I realized that as a Christian, I did not need anyone to point out my sin to me, the Holy Spirit did His job very nicely in my life. So why would a “c”hristian abuser (porn user) need someone else to point out their sin and convict them of it? Why do they need something more than the Holy Spirit? That is the job of the Holy Spirit – to make us aware of our sin so we can repent – and as Christians, we should all have that. Maybe I am way off here, but it just doesn’t make sense to me. It sounds like he did not like you confronting his sin.
I am glad that you talked about the computer issues, as I was just wondering how those porn pics pop up on a computer and why I had found them on my computer several years ago. I was just going to ask that question, when I read your post, so thanks for sharing.
CSP, there is some very good advice here. Leslie Vernick is great and my “go-to” source for help with situations. My heart hurts for you… I’ve been there. In the most loving way I can, I suggest you take a stand now. I have said many times how much I wish I would have taken a stand and not only said something but set up a boundary that no longer included protecting myself and my children against porn in our home. I don’t know if our relationship would have been saved or not, but I can tell you from experience that it only gets worse.
I was the person who didn’t want to “control” her husband. I didn’t forbid him from participating. Even participated with him early on because I wanted to please him. But there was a point, I wanted to stop. I told him how I felt but I didn’t set a boundary and put my foot down. It is one of the major things that destroyed us. My mindset about it was that I couldn’t change him, only God could, so I prayed. I prayed so hard for him to realize the error of his ways. I wanted it to be a heart change, not just something he now had to hide. I was wrong to not attack it more aggressively. Yes, God has the power to heal, but the person must be willing to accept it. And he wasn’t.
I am praying for you and wishing you peace and understanding. Seeking good counsel is the best idea I believe. Someone you can talk to about your next steps. Keep me informed!
Anonymous, I got a little confused by some of your comments, sorry, but I do appreciate them. At no time have I ever thought the reason my husband does something was because he inherited it and both he and I have said many times that God gives everyone free will and it up to them to make the right choices. My reference to generational was because I feel when these things come down through your family it makes you more predisposed to have the same type issues or battles than if this had not been the case. I have never confronted him about his sin as of now, but it is coming! He knows I’m not happy about something just doesn’t know what yet.
Livingtransparently, I am going to get the new book that Leslie Vernick has coming out and read it. I was looking at her books on Amazon.com yesterday and I do like the idea of writing him a letter with all my thoughts and then reading it to them which was given to me above. So I have decided to get and read her book, start and write him a letter saying all my thoughts and feelings (and I’ll probably re-write it several times until I get it the way I want it to be) and then read it to him and give him the letter.
My husband is a very sensitive and caring type, he cries at movies before I do, but at the same time he knows right from wrong and actually was just baptized a few years ago. He knows how I feel about porn use and although I have yet to confront him because I am wanting to know how extensive he is doing this and trying to figure out how to go about it, I hope and pray once I do confront him he will make the right choice. I honestly believe he will but if not ……..as for me and my house we will serve the Lord……..and anyone who wants to serve Satan isn’t welcome. That is just the way I feel and I will tell anyone that I don’t care of my situation at the time, God is good, and I know he will take care of me and I will not let anyone abuse or victimize me in anyway. I’ve always been strong willed from that perspective and still am!
I’ll keep you posted once I get my letter written and delivered, etc.
Gotcha! Thanks for the clarity on that. I agree, we live what we learn, but we still have choices to make. Prayers for you.
I also want to comment on your post about him objectifying women as sex objects. This was awesome information and I totally agree and especially appreciate you bringing up the subject how it would only get worse and not better. In fact a couple of weeks ago, I was in the living room and he had been using the PC and came in the living room and sat down on the couch beside me then started getting all lovey in a way I thought was treating me like a sex object. I looked him square in the eyes and said stop doing what you’re doing because you’re not going to treat me like a sex object. I wish you could have seen the look on his face. It was like a little kid who had just been found out for something they were doing was wrong, and I thought to myself then yes “evil one inside him” I know who you are and now you know it also (I hope you understand that last part). He knows he is doing wrong and before long he is going to be given a choice. The choice he makes will decide whether he remains my husband or not, as cold as it may sound but that is the truth of the matter, regardless of how caring or kind he may be.
Thanks for your and all the other thoughtful and insightful comments.
Warning: Some potentially triggering descriptions.
After watching my father consume porn for years, I saw how it actually caused him to be so blindly focused on self-gratification in increasingly perverse ways, until his rationale was that any warm body was a legitimate sexual arousal trigger, and therefore it wasn’t his fault if he reacted sexually to a child. He quite literally “devolved” as a human being until he was reduced to the level of unreasoning instincts and appetites. He was no longer a man, though he erroneously made a link between unhindered expression of his sexuality, entitlement, and being a man. The materials he read got weirder and more gross, because like any drug, it required greater and greater amounts to produce the same jolt.
My dad had been violently assaulted by his own brothers growing up and in his case at least, fear and pain were evilly linked to his addiction to lust and perversion. Pornography in its essence, depicts greater or lesser violations of another human being, which is why aggressors use it. It’s in line with the heart of the matter. When a magazine lays a woman out in such a way that her nakedness and most intimate areas are exposed for mass consumption, she is, make no mistake about it, being violated. The fact of possible consent or that money is being exchanged, doesn’t make this any less evil or wicked a thing or nullify the violation. Being violated and exposed for money is still being violated. Her sexuality is supposed to belong to her eventual husband and herself and no one else. Society has normalized evil like this because there is profit in it and because it is godless and creates its own standards in defiance of God’s. But He who created immutable laws like gravity cannot be defied or mocked in matters such as this. Reality is reality no matter how much a sinful and warped person may try to redefine it. As a result, I have very strong feelings about this supposedly “harmless” anaconda being allowed to slither silently into homes as if it weren’t a “real” or immediate threat, and even greater a strong feeling about church leaders who are so anaesthetized that they react as if they were dealing with a minor parking violation as opposed to reckless endangerment via drunk driving.
It IS a direct threat to the safety and integrity of a family. I think this is a threat that should be IMMEDIATELY removed from a home and marriage. For one thing, its sexual unfaithfulness for a spouse to indulge in a sexual relationship with another woman (or man) and intentionally peer into his / her nakedness. The fact that it’s an image of her doesn’t make it any less wicked. We’d all certainly react if we found our husband sitting across from the neighbor lady inspecting her private parts in live 3D real life; what is different heart-wise and intent-wise, from being willing to peer into the nakedness of another woman, someone else’s daughter or wife in a photo of this same woman? Not much. Worse, in the absence of even a pretense of real relationship or regard, one is agreeing to violate a stranger as if not knowing her personally makes using her okay. Not that using anyone is okay.
Because porn is a gross distortion of our humanity and our sexuality, it warps the user who views it. We cannot harm another without harming ourselves too, for we have to violate our own humanity and the image of God in order to do so. A person who uses porn usually has other issues occurring alongside that they are not dealing with either. There is nothing good to be gained from tolerating sin and looking the other way. One will, however, gain at the very least, a crop of defiling weeds.
In addition, this is a church discipline issue if the one doing it professes to be a Christian. If anything, because of the potential for normalizing something evil by allowing it to remain in a home so that the wife and children, in the case of a husband, are forced to cohabit with this evil snake, church discipline should be accelerated. When children are forced to live with something gross, it becomes normal and they become acclimatized to it. This is being complicit with evil. Pastors and Elders who do not immediately get between a wife and children and this evil snake are in my opinion cowards whose greatest agenda is protecting the status quo and not rocking the boat; they want to be seen to be non-reactive and understanding compassionate guys and they want to avoid persecution and keep a low profile. This in my opinion, amounts to pride in maintaining an image of being falsely merciful. In fact, the apostle rebuked the church that hadn’t put out the man who slept with his stepmother as being “proud” rather than mourning over this gross evil and recognizing it as a serious threat to the purity of the church. Jude 1:23 says:
One must try intently to extract someone from this evil and vile thing as though saving someone drowning in a septic tank, hating the revolting filth but trying desperately to save the precious life, taking care not to minimize the danger and threat of what they are caught in.
I’m also put in mind of Jesus in the temple overturning tables of those who loved money more than God or the souls He wished to save. He was certainly reactive against sin. Having to go to the cross is an extreme response to sin. The Bible records that sexual immorality is a sin we commit against our own bodies, a sin that attacks us on all levels of our beings. No different than a business in which an employee conspires to allow thieves to come in after hours and loot and vandalize, this sin amounts to unlatching the door of our souls and our family homes and inviting satan to come on in and make himself at home. Does anyone imagine that the devil will politely remain at the kitchen table as long as we are nice to him and give him a bit of space? Therefore in my opinion, this should NEVER be tolerated. No one should ever be asked to live with the vile sewage of hell in their home for more than a week. The whole porn industry amounts to glorying in shame and lifting one huge middle finger up to God and all that is decent, pure and godly. It is also a direct assault from hell on maleness and femaleness, another reflection of God’s image. A husband who brings pornography into his home is betraying his wife and children and should not be allowed to carry on as though there is nothing especially wrong going on, nor should involvement in this stuff be tolerated. Nor should pastors tell wives that they must share living space with this vile stuff. That amounts to the tolerating Jezebel spoken of in Revelation in my opinion; are not the people on those pages being sacrificed to idols and is not one who consumes porn consuming human beings turned into meat and sacrificed to idols as well as engaging in immorality? Maybe I’m nuts but I see a comparison.
Obviously, this swift and decisive strike against evil by refusing to go one step down the road of tolerating such sinful and vile stuff, should be carried out with grief and compassion, for the loss of a husband and father is a terrible thing. This evil habit will destroy the one caught in it. Being able to maintain one’s outward life doesn’t mean one’s core isn’t being eroded. His or her very soul is in danger and the grasping fingers of hell are clutching desperately, seeking to enlarge the opening so that all the vileness of hell may be increasingly poured into the crack so that the one who thought he was in control is now, controlled. The Bible says we are slaves to whomever we choose to submit ourselves to obey. It is for that reason that it is not an act of love to allow someone to bring evil into a home or to agree to live tolerantly with its presence.
Sharp, if more people in church had the passion for this area (and all forms of abuse), it would not be the problem it is.
I like the analogy of porn being an anaconda, slithering into the home. Besides the fact that the snake is usually silent, thus able to remain hidden, it will eventually grow and grow until it is so obvious that all can see it. Further, the larger it gets, the more it consumes and the easier time it has to suffocate the not only the addict, but even the innocent victims in the home!
Thanks for sharing from the heart!
Sharp, That was awesome and I agree with you wholeheartedly. I have gotten Leslie Vernick’s new book and am about half through reading it. Although I had wanted to read her book before confronting my husband on this very issue my insides which were raging would not allow me to wait that long. I believe it was through God’s grace I was able to talk to him in as nice a manner as I could and ask him the questions I did. He admitted to M***** ,which is something only God could have told me to ask him, in the shower several times a week since he was young but said he had stopped a year ago. This nearly floored me and made me want to puke. I told him if this behavior continued I would file for a divorce as I would not tolerate it, regardless if I had a job at the moment or not (which I don’t). I also asked him why he wanted to be married to me and I was a bit disturbed when he said “to take care of me”. Throughout this entire conversation he had a blank stare on his face and I thought I am talking to an evil spirit because it just doesn’t look like his normal caring face.
At this point he hadn’t mentioned porn and I hadn’t either as I was trying to get him to admit it on his own and be upfront and honest with me. The next day when he got home I told him I felt he was still not being honest when he said he’d stopped m***** in the shower. He got a bit angry and I asked him, do you consider yourself an honest person. When he answered yes I got the dictionary out and read the definition of liar/lying to him. I told him there was a key word in that definition and I didn’t believe him. I know this wasn’t nice but I felt it is time he come clean. I told him it was time he be totally honest, if he couldn’t be that he needed go to get his truck keys and walk out the door and leave. He just sat there and I went outside to water my horses. When I came back in he was on his way out the door and looked at me and said are you talking about the porn…….I said “YES” finally so he admitted to it and told me he knew it was an addiction and said he’d been trying to stop. He also said what do you think I talk to God about while I’m riding the lawnmower. I told him I have no idea what you talk to God or anybody else about because you never tell me anything and I was tired of being ignored and having to find out what I know about him from his family. I told him I didn’t appreciate the fact he had lied to me since the day I met him about everything I’d ever asked him about porn, etc. (because I had asked a lot of questions to make sure he wasn’t into this stuff since my previous husband was and I detested it then also).
I am still struggling with my own feelings, rage, anger, etc. and trying to make sense of all this. I have sent him a lot of links to web sites I have read and now I feel it is his turn to put forth some effort. He told me he wanted to make me happy and wanted me to want to be with him. I told him I could forgive him as long as he is honest but if not I would follow through with getting a divorce if I had to. He hasn’t been using the PC much the past week and a half and is reading a book I gave him for his birthday about 8 yrs. ago that he had never read. He thanks me when I email him links about porn addiction but I feel now it’s job to assist in his recovery as I am not his mother nor God and I am tired of feeling angry, frustrated, etc.
This is my update and I really do like this book The Emotionally Destructive Marriage that has come out. I know I need to work on a few areas mentioned in this book and I know what they are and will try very hard to do so, but I agree porn is an evil snake and I will not live in the same house with it.
CSP, well done! Big pats on the back from me to you are traveling right now over whatever ocean they have to travel over to reach you. (I’m assuming you are not in Australia 🙂 )
Thanks Barbara, no I’m not in Australia but of all the countries in the world that is one I would love to visit more then here in the southeastern US where I live.
I have recently ended my marriage due to this addiction. I knew he watched pron, but I wasn’t necessarily worried about it at first. Then he started exhibiting all of the above behaviors. Locking himself in our bedroom, ignoring any request to come in. He would spent hours in there “studying”, even when he was home alone with the kids. We would go from having sex multiple times a week, to every few months. Then I found out he was also a serial cheater. He had multiple affairs with different women. Some were one night stands, some were on going affairs. Even when he wasn’t “dating” someone, he was constantly looking. He would also go through spells where he would spend hundreds of dollars a strip clubs in just a few days. Like anywhere from 3-500$. He would visit 2 or 3 prostitutes in one night. All this and then our sex life would pick up for awhile. It was crazy, and I had no idea until I started monitoring his computer. I confronted him when I found out, and he denied it. When I wouldn’t accept his denial, he started blaming me. I refuse to take that type of treatment, this has gone on for years, our whole relationship! Even when we wet first dating! So I left him.
As I reflect on our relationship, I wonder if he even lusted after my daughter from my first marriage. He was so weird towards her. He would be nice, then he would ignore her. I mean like she didn’t even exist to him, for months. This is no exaggeration, she would try and talk to him and he would act like she didn’t even exist. It was awful! Then she would act out, she would make him so mad that he would yell at her and cuss her out. But…he would accuse her of being a slut when she was a virgin. Every boy that came over, even her brothers friends, he would accuse her of sleeping with them. I finally told him to “never mention sex and my daughter in the same sentence again” and he didn’t. When I confronted him about ignoring her, he said he didn’t want to get close to her because he was scared she would accuse him of molesting her. It was weird. It’s creepy reading this as well, because it just seems so obvious as I do.
My oldest daughter is now 18, but my youngest daughter is 6. I had never worried about him and kids before…but I keep reading about how porn can lead to that. Now I’m scared to send the kids to see their dad! I just have a feeling…it’s unnerving. I don’t know what’re do about it…
Comet, I am glad you got out. You certainly had abundant justification to do so!
I think that one of the hardest things to handle is sending your children into a situation with someone who is a porn addict. You never know when that final barrier will be broken down that keeps them from abusing even their child.
Tell me, does your youngest act any different than normal? A person trained in this could probably be more help, but in my experience, most kids who are sexually abused will act differently than before the abuse started. Some will act out sexually or talk about things they shouldn’t know about at that age. Others will completely withdraw into themselves and stop talking or become behavior problems. Often grades will suffer and teachers will notice changes.
One thing that is important is to instill in the child the boundaries that no one, including their father should not cross. All the things we teach kids about not letting anyone touch them in their private places as well as others are important to reinforce. Also letting them know that Daddy should not ask them to keep secrets from people, especially if he violates those boundaries. They need to know that it is safe for them to tell someone if these boundaries are exceeded.
In my limited knowledge and experience, keeping a watchful eye for behavioral changes and communicating are very important first steps.
Thank you so much for your reply. There was an incident a few months ago that did give me cause for concern. I spoke with a friend of mine who actually works for child services, she talk to my 6 yr old and said the incident was probably just curiosity. She also told me what to watch for.
I will research how to talk to them about that. It’s an uncomfortable thing to talk about, but important. Everything else is ok though. I have 2 little ones 3 and 6 and they are doing great since I left, both excelling at school and no behavior problems. It’s amazing what taking them out of a stressful situation can do!
Hi Comet, welcome to the blog and I’m so glad you have managed to leave that man.
Re you daughters, I think you have cause to be fearful of what he could do (or even might already have done) in that regard. His shunning of the older one, and then calling her a slut, strongly suggests he was tempted in that direction (by his own evil lusts, not because she was doing anything to tempt him!).
To me, this sounds like a typical ploy of an abuser: dropping the suggestion that she might falsely accuse him of molesting her, so that if he ever DID molest her and she accused him of it, he could say “See, I told you I was afraid she’d falsely accuse me!” I have heard stories like this before, where the abuser cunningly sets his partner up to be unsurprised and dismissing of any true accusations about his wicked deeds, because he’s set her up to already disbelieve such accusations. Criminologist might have a fancy term for this tactic. Wish I knew what it was.
With your younger daughter I endorse everything Wendell has said. Keep the communication really open with her, Tell her that she has the right to say “no” to any yucky touching, and she should tell someone she trusts (like you) if that kind of touching ever happens to her.
Tell her these key messages and reinforce them as often as you can:
everyone has the right to feel safe all the time
there are some secrets which should not be kept secret.
If you have concerns you could always ring child protection anonymously and discuss your concerns. I say anonymously because I’ve heard from some survivors that child protection officers can sometimes be snowed by abusers when there is a contested divorce case that has not been finalized.
You know, I had the same thought when he said that. As a matter of fact I told him that. I said “what? Are you already trying to cover your tracks for something that hasn’t happened yet?” It was just a really odd thing to say.
I checked my husbands phone history for 2nd time, something just made do it and I found 4 different porn sites all about huge breasts, now I myself am not big in that area but of average size. It made me feel so self conscious about my breasts that I dont want him to look at them anymore, I asked him,jokingly of course that if he would like me to get implants, he told me im fine the way I am but I cant help but feel hes lying. When we do have sex he has asked me to try different positions,.should of seen tht coming. He doesnt know I saw wht I did on his phone and its making me crazy, I feel so unattractive and not well proportioned to his liking, I want to approach him about it but how?
Silvana, dear sister, You might want to sit down as I only have bad news. With men who are into porn, their hearts and consciences are usually so hardened that they do not care how much hurt they cause their wife, they only care about their own ‘pain’ at being found out and confronted. So I suggest you try to wrap your brain around that before you confront him. If you confront him he is likely to deny it, minimise it, claim he’s stopped, start accusing you of some faults he imagines you have (to get the spotlight off himself), play the victim and turn it round so you start to feel you are being too harsh on him. .. etc. etc …. etc. etc. Sorry. I know that hurts. But it’s probably better for you to face this likelihood now, than to try to appeal to him about how he is hurting you, because his rebuff and his scorn for your feelings is going to hurt a lot more if you don’t have your armour up expecting it.
I’m glad you have come to our blog and shared. Please keep sharing your journey with this, if you want to do so. And I’m pretty sure Wendell will write a response to you when he wakes up.
Bottom line to hold on to: You are upset, and that is natural, normal and right, because you are being lied to and treated disrespectfully by the one who should love and cherish you best. You are not crazy. There is a big difference between being crazy and being very distressed. So validate yourself that your distress is a healthy and normal response to adversity. And you might like to give some careful thought to how and when you confront him. I think there are other comments on this thread that might give you ideas on that.
Thank you for your insight, I am going to definetly ask him about it when were alone. I heard him go into restroom this morning and he took longer than usual, our 4 year old had to knock a few times to hurry him up, whn he did get out I noticed he had his phone in his pocket and what appeared to be an almost erection
sobbing quietly with you, Silvana. . .
Silvana, thanks for having the courage to reach out.
First, I want to reassure you that your husband’s problem has nothing to do with your physical appearance or proportions. I have seen men with very attractive wives addicted to porn or with other sexual addictions. His problems lie elsewhere within him.
If he is like the way I used to be, he is looking for a spiritual/emotional fulfillment in his life, but he is looking in the wrong place. He is trying to fill a need, but using the wrong substance to fill that need. It is like washing your dishes with motor oil. It just won’t work and will leave the dishes dirty and slimy.
Unfortunately, what typically happens is that the addiction spirals out of control, becoming increasingly difficult to pull out of unless someone or something intervenes. The more he feeds the addiction, the bigger his need becomes, yet instead of breaking off and going to the root cause, he delves deeper into the addiction.
From your description, it is hard to tell how deep into it he is; however, he does need to be confronted about it in some fashion. The how is different for every situation and Barbara is right, you may well not get a good reaction from him. He may tell you all the things she mentioned and then you will be faced with some choices to make. Do you escalate and put more pressure on him by confronting him more or involving others (church pastor/elders, family, etc.)? Do you just live with it and hope for the best? Do you draw a line in the sand and separate or divorce if he doesn’t get help?
Those are all decisions that you may well be faced with and it would be good to have a good counselor alongside you, helping you make them and helping you determine how best to approach him. Do you have a pastor you can confide in whom you trust? Are you able to go to a professional counselor with experience in this area? Could you contact a support group such as Celebrate Recovery?
In any case, I want to reiterate. Don’t beat yourself up. This isn’t your fault and it would not matter if you were the most seductive super model type, his problem would still remain and continue. If you try to change yourself to be more appealing to him the addiction would make him just want more change, attempting to morph you into what he is seeing on porn sites. It is an impossible standard for you to reach. He needs help!
We are praying for you. Keep us informed about how it goes.
Thank you Wendell for responding back, Ijust approached my husband about and he completely and totally denied all.of it, I even asked him twice if he was gonna really sit there and lie to me, he told me I was insane and stupid for accusing him for this, so I asked him to give me his phone, since he thought he was so slick as to delete his history, but he doesnt know hw to.delete browser history, and there they were, all the porn hes been watching, he didnt kno wht to say anymore, so I left him on couch and I came to my bedroom, I feel so confused and angry.
Yup, confronted Husband and he became violent, called the Sherriff, went to court! I am alone, hurting and confused but I Trust God!
Good for you, thalladm!
Welcome to the blog if this is your first comment 🙂
You might like to check out our Resources tab in the top menu of this blog. Many hugs to you.
I’m sorry that you had to see that on your husband’s phone. It is a bad feeling to think you are “not enough,” right? But, I assure you that you ARE enough and that if your husband was the kind of husband he should be, he’d rejoice in you, his wife, and not looking at other naked women. IT IS NOT YOU – you’re not at fault…it is his fault. I think all of we women know what it feels like in this society where our bodies are the main topic of conversation – who is beautiful, which stars got fat, who should be ashamed for gaining weight, who got plastic surgery…we see all this stuff in magazines and gossip columns. Don’t feel that you need to change YOU for him…he needs to change HIM for you and stop looking at pornography.
When my husband (now ex) and I married 1993, we did not have a computer. Sex was frequent but fairly normal, even though I was not a very sexually driven person. Once we got the computer, I began to see those pop-ups & disgusting emails. Asking him about it brought rage and condemnation toward me. In times of calm, he might acknowledge his sin and agree to stop just to mollify me. Innocently I believed him. Toward the end of our 17 year marriage, he wanted sex as much as possible and any way he could get it. I would walk in on him at all hours of the night looking at porn on the computer. He always came to bed with an erection. The last year of our marriage he ONLY wanted anal sex. I just wanted him to leave me alone. I couldn’t believe I was probably only going to have anal sex the rest of my life. Any time I resisted anything sexual, he reminded me of my wifely duties of submission and that the marriage bed was holy. During all of this, he was ALSO wholly abusive both physically & mentally. I finally decided not to take it anymore and called the police the last time he choked me. They took him away and I got a permanent injunction that not only keeps him from me but from our kids, too (very important to remember to include them on the restraining order form).
I called my church elder, who then followed Biblical steps to seek counsel. My husband was disciplined and the Eldership told me that while they would not insist I get a divorce, they would not discourage it, either. An anonymous benefactor from my church paid for family counseling AND my divorce. Pretty wild, huh?
My TV channels are mostly blocked and our only computer is in the living room where everyone can see the screen. I drive an unusual way to church so as to avoid the billboard advertising adult toys. I have told my 6 children they will be virgins when they marry and their wedding day will be the first time they kiss. They will only court, no dating. I am a single mom of many children and while it will be hard to monitor all of them as they get older, they at least will get momma bear while they are home. My parents NEVER set boundaries for me or mentioned sex (gasp) or anything and so I had nothing to go by. At least I’m saying something to them. I pray a hedge of protection for them daily. Praise God I have been delivered. I don’t care if I never have sex again nor do I care about being married. I don’t have time for any more mistakes or fools.
I am glad you are free from that sexual abuse. I have heard many stories from women whose husbands insisted on anal sex against the wife’s desire or will. That is, they ‘insisted’ without necessarily using physical force or verbal commands, but it was still insisting because she knew she’d be punished somehow or other if she refused. It is wicked scripture-twisting to say that the marriage bed is pure so anything goes, even unnatural practices like anal.
You are certainly not alone in your experience.
Wow, Nina! How blessed you are to have such a supportive church. That is so rare! And I applaud you for your bravery and stand! Thanks for sharing this!
What do you do when you feel like you are spending more time on reading and searching the internet for articles dealing with porn and sex addiction than the husband you are married to who has the problem. Since I confronted my husband a few weeks ago I do know he hasn’t looked at any porn on the computer and he doesn’t have a smartphone to access the internet with. One thing in our discussion I clearly stated was I would not tolerate lying and dishonesty. I have seen some effort on his part (he’s now reading his Bible) but I feel I’m the one making most of the effort. One thing he is now doing that he wasn’t doing before is watching stations like MTV and Fuse music channels, and even CMT and he doesn’t like country music (or never did before). He gets up very early since he has to be at work early. I could press the previous button on our TV remote and see he had been watching one of these channels, not the local news which is what he leaves the TV on when he heads to work. Now he has started switching channels a few times so the TV ends up on the local news and when I press previous it shows some other dumb channel that I know good and well he isn’t watching. Although these channels (MTV, Fuse, etc. aren’t porn) they are pretty darn close. I am so confused and don’t know what to do. I want to throw him out to be honest for the continued deceit but feel that would only help Satan get a tighter grip on him — which I don’t want. I have ordered him two books which he will be getting for Christmas (maybe before) that deal with sexual addiction. I may read them before I give them to him.
I’m just so tired of this and want to spend my days thinking of good things and be happy instead of dealing with this monster that really isn’t my problem to begin with. Any words of advice of encouragement are appreciated!
CSP, he sounds like he is just playing around the edges so as not to get caught doing “true” porn. The Bible mentions the fruit of repentance, in other words, actual evidence that he is renouncing his old way of life and embracing a new and better way. If you are correct in what you are describing, then this does not appear to be happening.
I guess the closest comparison that I can see to what he is doing is when a smoker tries to quit smoking. They will try all sorts of gimmicks, such as cutting back or even nicotene gums but almost always fail. What is needed is a clean and complete break, AND support, AND accountability. It sounds like he is trying to “taper” off of his addiction, which I can guarantee will fail.
Your husband needs to attack the root of the problem, not just the behavior. The behavior always comes from the attitude of the heart and until the heart is changed, any changes in behavior will only be halfway and/or temporary. As long as he “delights” in sin (thanks Jeff Crippen for that phrase), the behavior will come back.
My encouragement to you is to try to get him to recognize this and get him into counseling and accountability. If real change is to occur, he needs to have some intense help in getting his heart right before God and forsaking the sin in his heart. He will need the accountability (whether from a support group or a trusted, mature man) to help him stay on track.
Believe me, I know the temptation to return and that there are often failures along the way, but by diligence, much prayer and hard work, he can overcome this…if he really wants to! We will be praying that God will work in his heart to change not only his behaviors, but also his desires. We will pray for true repentance on his part, and strength and wisdom for you as you make the tough decisions you have to make in this process.
Thanks so much and I agree because I am looking for that heart change also and am not seeing it just yet. I pray I will but I know it may take time—-in the meantime I suffer which I am doing a lot of today. I want to cry and have nothing to do with him honestly but personally don’t want him to end up in a bottomless pit. I didn’t feel this way about my first husband but this one is different.
I understand. It is hard walking this path, especially when you feel betrayed and sickened by his sin. Have you spoken with him about getting outside help with the addiction?
No I haven’t mentioned that yet because I was giving both of us time since my initial confrontation I had with him. Then my mom got sick had surgery and I’ve made two trips out-of-state and his Dad came for a visit in the middle of all this. One church that helped me a lot when I was very ill for 5 yrs. was Pleasant Valley in Thomaston, GA. I had asked him and he has told me he wouldn’t mind going there this December. They deal with spiritual issues of all kinds and on one of my visits there I heard a man get up and give his testimony dealing with being healed from sexual addiction. I don’t know which place in my area may be good and I know some counselors can do more harm than good and I don’t want that. I actually had thought of looking into this earlier today to see what may be available in our area, right now I’m just exhausted because I feel this is consuming all my time and it shouldn’t be since it’s not my actual problem. I did order the book from Pure Life Ministries for both of us and I am going to read it before I give it to him.
CSP, I have not actually used this site for this, but it might be a starting point on finding counseling for your husband. You might want to try it out.
Be Broken Ministries: Find a Counselor [Internet Archive link]
Thanks Wendell. All your help is appreciated!
I think my husband is addicted to porn and I am about to lose it.
Hi Lori, your comment was very brief. Would you like to explain a bit more? (but I don’t mean go into graphical description of what your husband is watching…)
And thanks for visiting the blog. Hope you find it helpful. 🙂
Here is a link that might be useful for those who have been touched by pedophilia: Finding A Healing Place It is written by a woman who was married to a pedophile for 40 years. She is a Christian and is now trying to raising awareness of this issue.
Note: TRIGGER WARNING POTENTIAL if you go to this link.
Porn has destroyed many marriages. Why would a man work to develop a strong loving relationship with his wife when he can just use porn. A mans’ mind can become twisted from porn. He begins to view women as objects for his pleasure. Men are visual. That makes us more prone to use porn. We must fight to keep our spirits free of the scar of porn.
Hey there. I see alot of wives posting on here and I have some questions that urgently need to be answered. My husband and I have been married for a little over a year now and we have a baby together. I have always known that my husband watched porn but I felt bad because I have not always had the highest libido so I never said anything because I felt guilty for not always giving him sex when he wanted. I have noticed that he has started to verbally say things during intercourse, like, “you take that big d***** you dirty whore.” Although it did make me uncomfortable, I didn’t say anything to let him know it bothered me. I have noticed he has been watching it alot more and masturbating often. Well, the other night we got into a huge argument that he blew completely out of proportion, he even forcibly grabbed my arm and yanked on it as hard as he could. Which astonished me because he has always been the most kindest man ever and in our five years of being together has never EVER touched me. Two days later, the same thing happened, and only this time, my friend was the victim, he slung her up against a wall and dumped water all over her while he held her. This is not him. He admitted to me that he thinks he is addicted to porn. He said he felt like I wasn’t attracted to him and wanted something new. I have just come out of postpartum depression. Sex is the last thing on my mind. All I ever want to do is sleep because my baby keeps me up all hours of the night. Only I get up with the baby because I let my husband sleep because he works. I explained this to him but he keeps saying the same things over and over. I am scared and so heartbroken. Is this abusive behavior due to his porn addiction? How can I help him overcome this? I told him I wouldn’t stay with him unless he saw a therapist but he refuses and will only agree to go to marriage counseling. It’s a start I guess. I would appreciate any help from you guys.
Dear DW, welcome to the blog, and thanks for your comment.
From what you’ve told us, it sounds like your husband has the marks of an abuser.
– he has been watching porn for a long time, so he is habituated (addicted) to it.
– indulging in porn is a form of sexual immorality: adultery of the mind and heart, big time. It’s a fundamental violation of his marriage vows to love and cherish you and to keep maintain sexual fidelity to you to the exclusion of all others
– it appears that his porn use is escalating
– he has begun to use physical force on you (pulling your arm)
– he has repeated the use of physical violence and the mental abuse that goes with it by assaulting your friend, and his assault on her was more severe than his first assault, the one one you. Therefore his physical violence is likely to get worse and more dangerous as time goes on. You are at high risk of grievous bodily harm from this man. Your fear of him is very well founded: listen to it, do not discount it!
– an abuser’s sinful conduct typically intensifies and escalates over time
– his vulgar and contemptuous words to you during intercourse are another major sign that he is an abuser. No normal person would say something so contemptuous to his parter, especially not during intercourse which is such an intimate time. Contempt is one of the hallmarks of an abuser. And contempt by one spouse towards the other spouse is one of the strongest predictors that the marriage will end in divorce. (see research by John Gottman, psychologist)
– he is blowing arguments hugely out of proportion. That’s a mark of an abuser. He won’t fight fair; he fights dirty, he fights to maintain control and to intimidate his victim, keeping them in fear and under his power. He will use any number of dirty non-logical tactics to maintain his superiority and control.
– “he has always been the kindest man ever”. The bad news is that if someone ‘seems to good to be true’, they usually are not being true to who they really are. I would like to suggest to you that the ‘kindness’ you saw from him was just his charmingly crafted persona that he used to suck you in and he still uses at times to bamboozle you and throw you off balance so you doubt your own discernment; and he will use this charming persona to recruit allies from anywhere and everywhere, so that only you will see his dark (true) side and most of the rest of the world will think that he’s a really nice guy.
It is perfectly normal for you to feel immensely tired, at the stage of early motherhood you are at. Babies interrupt our sleep! That’s reality. We can’t function well without enough sleep. you are not to blame for being tired, nor for having had post-partum depression. In fact, I am not a medical expert but my guess would be that some post-partum depression is actually due to the husband being an abuser and the wife not realising that she is being abused. If health professionals see a woman’s post-partum depression as internal to her, and there is no scrutiny given to how the husband is treating her and how much that may be contributing to her depressed mood, then that would be cause for concern.
The fact that you keep trying to explain your exhaustion and lack of libido to your husband, and he keeps not listening to you and just pushing back with criticisms and complaints about you, shows that he is not loving you. He is actually just interested in himself; he doesn’t care about you and your feelings and preferences (and if you examine his behaviour, not his deceiving and fog-creating verbal output, you will see that this is true).
All this shows he has the mentality of entitlement that is at the core of domestic abuse. Sorry to give you all this bad news. But I think only by facing reality can we deal with bad stuff.
Is the abusive behaviour due to his porn addiction? That’s a bit of a chicken and egg question. He may be becoming more entrenched in cruelty because of his addiction to porn. But the addiction to porn is probably not the cause of it all; it’s more like a symptom or sign of his defective character. Wickedness will find many ways to leak out and take over. Most abusers have multiple sins problems that become entrenched, escalating and broadening in range over time. The particular sins an abuser ‘majors’ on will differ from abuser to abuser. Yours may have a major on porn, but it sounds like he is starting to express his bad heart in other ways too.
I suggest to you that the best way for you to ‘help’ him is to recalibrate your thinking and realise that THE PROBLEM IS HIS, NOT YOURS, and he is the one who needs to deal with it. If you try to help him address it and overcome his porn addiction, the likelihood is that he will just use your willingness to shift as much of the blame onto you as he can get away with. See how he refused to go to individual therapy but will concede to couple therapy? That is typical of abusers. They use couple counseling (marriage counseling) to shift the blame off of themselves and on to the victim. It would be VERY dangerous for you to do couple counseling. It is likely to hurt and confuse you more. Please do not do it! The vast majority of marriage counselors are not trained in domestic abuse — how to identify and recognise it, and how to respond to it. They may think they know about domestic abuse, but very few really get it. (A few do, but as yet they are a small minority.)
You only ‘help’ a person like this by setting very firm boundaries against them and continually putting the onus back onto them. And if they continue to abuse you, the best remedy is often separation and divorce (but I’m not telling you to take those steps: only you can decide that for yourself). He is choosing to sin. He is the one who needs to chose to stop. If he wishes, he can seek help for his porn addiction, but you are the one to provide that help. It needs special training and experience to help porn addicts.
I suggest that you refuse to let him mutualise the problem. And that goes for bystanders and professionals too: if any of them try to tell you the problem is mutual or that you need to do something to make yourself a better wife, they are wrong and you do not have to believe them. It (the porn, the abuse) is not a shared problem. It is his problem. Keep repeating this to yourself over and over again, to counteract his attempts to coerce you into taking some of the blame.
I have not been staying in the home for the past couple nights but I have seen him everyday so he can spend time with our baby. We were talking about his addiction, and it felt like we were actually getting somewhere but then his mood totally changed and he was back to saying the same things. He then said if I couldnt give him sex frequently then he would keep doing what he’s doing. This selfishness is killing me! I told him everyhing you say is me, me, me, what I need, what I want, what your not doing good enough. I said, what about me , do you not care what I need and want. I need reassurance, to be loved, nurtured, make me feel special! Im not just some porn star that will roll over whenever you want. He just kind of looked at me. I said sex is your top priority, what about your wife and son? He was like, your right. Then we were back to our playful, picking selves. This back and forth is going to be the the end of me. I feel like he has me all over the place and im on edge. I dont feel like im ready to just throw this away. Just when im making progress he goes back into this slump. I want to help him be the man I know he can be. Its like he has fallen in a hole and cant quite seem to get out and im trying to help him and we are almost there but right when he gets to the top, he slides back down. I agree about the marriage counseling because I dont feel like there is anything im doing wrong.
Hello Distraught Wife,
I first want to say, I am very sorry for what you are going through. I want you to know my heart and prayers go out to you and your children.
I also want you to know you are not alone. My husband has acted a lot like you described. Mine has been going on for a very long time. My husband started watching porn after I gave birth to our second child. It quickly escalated into more unpleasant and horrible things from there.
I so wanted to reach out to you to let you know I have received lots of support from this site and I am very sorry for your pain. Please stay safe and care for yourself and your baby.
You are very right to feel the way you do. It appears that porn has pretty much begun to rule his life. His treatment of you as a sex object is totally wrong as you are a real, live human with feelings, desires and dreams. You also are created in the image of God and no one has the right to treat you the way he has started doing.
What he is showing is not only signs of advancing porn addiction, but typical abusive behavior. You feel like a yo-yo because you just begin to think you have made progress when everything falls apart again. The onus is upon you to fix “your” problems, when he refuses to recognize that you aren’t the problem.
I can tell you from experience and from talking to many porn addicts that it would not matter how much sex you gave him. It would never be enough, as porn is voraciously hungry animal which can never get enough. No matter how much you feed it, it wants more and more and with increasing frequency. It is a never ending cycle that must be interrupted somehow.
One of the reasons that we strongly recommend setting boundaries is that for most porn addicts, they simply won’t stop until something gets their attention and makes them stop. While I understand and appreciate your desire to not give up on the marriage altogether, I feel it is important for you to draw a line in the sand, requiring real effort to change and real accountability on his part. He knows that as long as you back down, he can continue to manipulate and have his way.
For these reasons, I highly recommend that you develop some consequences for him failing to follow through. I cannot and would not tell you what those should be in your situation, but he essentially needs to see that you are serious and that what he is at risk of losing is more important than his fantasy life with air brushed, imaginary people, depicted on a video screen.
He needs to see a therapist and he needs to have accountability. Celebrate Recovery groups can often provide the accountability if there is a good one in your area. You can contact them to see if they have resources for wives such as yourself and maybe you can get into a support group to learn how other women have handled it. Do you have a trusted pastor or pastor’s wife you can talk with? Sometimes they will have knowledge of resources or therapists.
I wish I could tell you that this is going to be an easy road, as it most likely will not; however, you need to protect yourself and your baby. He needs to be held accountable for the porn and the violence against you, and yes, that may even include him spending a night in jail. In fact, the friend of yours he hurt could have easily filed charges!
Be assured, that no matter what happens, you are not alone. Please keep us informed!
I recently found a few video downloads on my husband’s phone. I was going through his music and found them. I clicked on them and it would not show me the video. So I asked my husband. When I then realized the site they were from was “slut media. Com” my husband said he did not know what the videos were. I typed in the website and said wow really?! He had a extreme problem with porn b4 we were married. He then blamed me and said I put those videos in his phone so I could fight with him. I don’t understand please help!
Tiffany, it sounds very much like your husband is making a false accusation against you (that you put those videos on his phone) in order to push you onto the back foot and stop you from pressing him with your fully warranted, fair and reasonable questions. This is fighting: he is fighting you. It is classic aggressive behaviour of covert aggressive and character disordered people when someone calls them on their bad behaviour. Rather than admit the bad behaviour and go about the hard work of repentance and reformation and redressing the harm they have done to others, they fight against the people who are calling them to take responsiblity for their bad behaviour.
So don’t buy into his false accusations of you: don’t think you have done something wrong. Your were right to challenge him about those videos and he is wrong to avoid your challenge by creating a (fictitous) counter-challenge. Tell him to stop it when he fights you like that, and tell him that you insist he answer the question you first asked him. Don’t let him deflect you.
And be aware that when you push back against him like this, when you set and maintain firm boundaries and refuse to be swayed by his lies and responsibility-avoidance tactics, he is likely to escalate those tactics, which could make you feel more scared of him. I know this is hard news to swallow, but I/we are not saying this just from a little bit of our own anecdotal experience; what we are saying is backed up by experts in the field of domestic abuse and character disorder, experts such as Lundy Bancroft and Dr George Simon Jr., whose books you can see on our Resources list.
I hope you keep coming to this blog; you will find much support here from others who have been through similar things to you.
I have just found out my husband has a porn problem. but its obviously been a problem before we married and I never knew. This is the first day of knowing this. im sad, hurt and feel betrayed. he doesn’t see this as a problem and told me to forgive him so we can get over it…….. im concerned that this is only the beginning of this and as Christians, I have no idea what to do.
dk, first of all, let me offer you a hug.
Then, what to do? No one can tell you exactly what to do as you know your situation best, what is safe and what is risky, and whether a risk is worth taking. But as general suggestion I would advise you to consider reading more on this blog, including our definition of abuse in the sidebar, and our other posts on pornography. They may ring bells, or they may not.
Your husband told you he doesn’t see the porn as a problem and told you to forgive him so you can get over it. That is classic responsibility-resistance language.
Number 1, it IS a problem. He is committing adultery of the eyes and heart and he has been conditioning himself to see all women as objects (including you) and he is contributing to the exploitation of countless other women many of whom have been victims of sexual abuse in their youth. It is a form of marital unfaithfulness when it becomes habitual. And the fact that he is brushing it off like this strongly suggests it IS habitual and probably a lot more entrenched that he is prepare to admit.
Number 2. He is wrong to be coercing you to forgive him. That is bullying behaviour. He needs to repent and to show fruits of repentance first before you could get over the betrayal and trust him again. Forgiveness is much misunderstood. Read this post as it will explain more. You are doing nothing wrong by calling him to account and wanting him to stop using porn and to grow up so he can be a real husband. You are not the one at fault and you are not to blame but he is trying to shift blame to you by making out that your unwillingness to offer him immediate forgiveness (as in reconciliation as if nothing has happened) is a sin equal to or worse than his sin of porn. What nonsense!
You might like to explore these tags on our blog: Pornography, Sexual Abuse and forgiveness
And this article/transcribed sermon at my other site: Breaking Barriers to Intimacy with God: Overcoming Unforgiveness [Internet Archive link]
thank you for the reply. we just had a pretty heated conversation about this. im mentally tired and emotionally drained to think. for me maybe its even harder to swallow due the fact I deal with an autoimmune disease that prohibits me from as he says put out when he wants it but only when my body will physically allow. I work full time, hold down a set of toddler twins, and a 16yr old, up by 5am have breakfast,lunch and dinner cooked all before I leave to work @ 8am, the physical demands on my body leave me exhausted. but even so I still make time for him whenever possible. even thru ur response, a big part of me is not sure this is over and that he is truly ready to conquer this demonic spirit. One thing tho I did make clear was that I would not subject my three girls to this nonsense and if this doesn’t get addressed, I will go.
is this out of line of me?
I don’t think it is out of line for you to say that. Not at all. He clearly is minimizing and airbrushing his sin, and the trajectory of such denial is that the sin will continue and intensify in depravity as time goes on. That’s the nature of porn addiction. So yes, protecting yourself and your children is your first priority. And if you were to leave, that might provoke him to come out of his denial. not that you would leave in order to manipulate him to do that. You would leave, if you did, for your protection and your children’s protection. If he then was galvanized to battle the porn, that would be his choice, not your contrivance.
oh my, never thought there would be so many people with a situation similar to mine! I can name different types of abuses my husband will do to me, and then always blaming it on me! But pornography is not his main problem, I don’t think. It probably comes from his verbally abusive and angry father. my husband and I have been married more than two decades. Sadly there are quite a few children involved. He has said and done very hurtful things, but says that I am controlling and abusive. No way does he see it. I have been patient and enduring, I suffer from stress which has affected in other illnesses. I have discovered different things, but it’s always because of me. Wish so much he could read something like this and his eyes would be opened! I have no friends, none to counsel with, we don’t go to church anymore because according to him everybody is wrong. I’ve talked to a few counselors but never return to a second visit because according to my husband I do not say what I should. I could go on and on. Is it really all my fault?
I’ve been doing a lot of research online to find out if my husband has an addiction to porn. I honestly still am not sure. He has some of the symptoms but some he doesn’t. But I can tell you somethings that he has done, and I can only hope that someone can give me the answer I need. I just recently found a folder in my husbands phone that has 455 sexual pics of girls. And there was another folder with videos in it, that I didn’t even look at. This bothers me. I always thought, well all men look at porn, and it’s honestly been ok with me if I’m not around or if I say no. But he uses it even if it’s only like 6pm or something. He will just get up and go to his room and look the door for an hour or two and sometimes way more. It bothers me so bad when he does this. I feel so hurt and I find myself looking in the mirror wondering what I could change about myself. Then people tell me, ” Oh don’t take it personally, it has nothing to do with you, he’s a guy, he does it” I find that statement to be Crap.
For the last year I’ve felt like I’m never good enough for him, like no matter what I do, he will still want the porn. He’s asked me to have sex with another man so he could watch bc “I’m sexy and he likes to show me off and likes to watch me have sex with another man” I’ve said no but now I’m afraid he will just find it else where. I have made this known to him and he says ” No babe, I love you, if you don’t want to, then it’s fine”. But I don’t believe him. I just feel like nothing but an object to him. I feel so empty and alone, and I’m starting to believe that’s all I , and other women, are in this world. My anxiety acts up every time we go out in public for the fear of him staring at other women. He tells me I do it to myself and that it’s all in my head. But my friends have seen him do this, and that he acts like he’s never seen a woman in his life. It’s even so bad that when I’m out just by myself, I get so down and depressed when I see attractive women because I know he would look at them, and I compare myself to them.. I know it can’t all be me, I’ve never felt like this with any other men. But I just hate myself, every part of myself. I’ve turned down concerts and gathering and told my husband to take a friend because I didn’t want to go and see him gawking at everything around us. Or if I have to go, I walk really fast ahead of him so I don’t see anything.
I have done things to try to be sexy for him but still goes right back to the porn. And one time he told me he wanted to masturbate and I was shocked and said “Would you like to have sex?” And he said no and wasn’t in the mood. So he then asked if I would go downstairs for 20 mins. I felt so bad about myself. He says he doesn’t mean anything about it, he acts like I’m really over reacting about this, but it’s how I feel. Why do I have to put my feelings to the side all bc society and men say I should bc masturbating to porn is normal? It’s so unfair. Some of the stuff I have seen him look up is just absolutely disgusting and proves that he see’s women as an object, and it just eats at me. The sight of his web history is so engraved into my mind I wonder if I’ll ever be able to forgive or get over this.
It kills me to not be able to give him what he wants and to satisfy him. But I can’t give him blonde hair, amazing body, sluttyness that goes on for miles, and 16 or 17 or however old the young girls he looks at are.
He will see stupid girls on tv that act like complete whore (sorry so blunt) and he says he hates girls like that, but I’m sitting there thinking, yeah ok that’s why you look them kind of girls up when you do your thing.
We have been married for several years and it’s just been an ongoing battle since a year after being married.
I’m almost to my breaking point. And I’ve been there previously with relationships and when I get there, there is nothing left in a relationship for me, I’m done. And I don’t wanna do that with him. I love him. I know I need to talk to him, but I feel like I do it til I’m blue in the face and nothing. I need to know what to say or do to him, I’m at my wits end. Please help!!!
Hi Anon, I disidentified you comment a bit before publishing it, so there is less risk of anyone knowing who you are (this is a public blog).
I don’t judge you.
I do think your husband has a porn addiction and it’s entrenched. I doubt that by talking to him it would make much difference, since you’ve already told or shown him in various ways that you don’t like what he’s doing in that regard — his viewing, his self-serving behaviour and his oggling other women. The fact that he tries to tell you you are over-reacting shows that he is trying to evade taking responsibility for his sin let alone admit how much he is addicted to it and what damage it’s doing to him and to you.
I would suggest you might want to consider whether you want to stay married to this guy. I think you have grounds to end the marriage. He is breaking the covenant of marriage by indulging in all this immorality.
Anon, I am so sorry to read all this. Your feelings are totally natural and you have every right to feel the way you do, considering the circumstances.
From what you are describing, it does indeed look like your husband has a serious issue with pornography. He is objectifying other women and even you. He is not satisfied with the gift God has given him in you, and that through no fault of your own. In other words, this is NOT your fault!
Some of the more concerning things that I am seeing in your description is his moving into sexual aberrations such as voyeurism (wanting to watch you have sex with another man) and the fact that he would prefer masturbation to actual sexual intercourse with you. It seems clear that he is very far down the road to the sin consuming him and the demands for aberrant sexual behavior are likely to become more strident and frequent.
Sexual addiction is greedy. Just like someone who is controlled by money, the addict wants more and more, doing everything he can to get it and not really caring who he hurts in the process. The end goal is to try to find some kind of fulfillment in sex, when that is not where the fulfillment lies. There is no satisfaction here, but he is going to go around in circles, chasing after a brass ring that is always out of reach.
Porn also sets up a fantasy world that no one can ever live up to. It portrays an “ideal” sexual world where everyone is perfect. There are no hindrances in that world and both sides get complete enjoyment and satisfaction. Reality is that sexual relations is work. Not everything is going to work right every time. Emotional and physical stresses get in the way. Sometimes one partner or the other can’t “perform” for whatever reason. In the fantasy world, that never happens, so an addict will prefer the fantasy world over real life.
In short, you are not crazy. You are not to blame for your husband’s sin. For him to forsake this, he has to acknowledge it to himself and to you. Then he will need to seek therapy and accountability. The key is that HE is going to have to come to a point where this happens. This isn’t something that all guys do and really is a big deal. In essence, he is committing adultery!
Do you have a trusted pastor or counselor you can speak to? Is there a Celebrate Recovery or other addiction group in your area that can help you with strategies and listen to you? You need someone who can come along side you and walk with you down this path.
I wish I could tell you that it will be easy. Most likely it won’t. You will have to make some tough decisions in the future. Do you confront him? How? Do you draw a line in the sand? What is the evidence of repentance that you would need to see? What are the consequences you are willing to impose if he does not repent?
All of these and more are things you will need to deal with.
We will be praying for you. Let us know how it goes.
I love your comment here, Wendell. It covers all the important things, and in just the right tone. Thank you!
I am so sorry for the women that I have read about here. My prayers go out to all of you. I almost feel I have no reason to post here but I need help and have just started looking. I have been in menopause for about 4 years.”I know, long time”. I used to be a very sexual person, now, not. I met john doe about 2 years ago. He has always been patient and sympathetic with me about it. He does not push sex or treat me bad. Is he going to porn for that part of our relationship? He has his/our laptop delete history/cookies all that. But I did my own research and found a little trick. I found a website that had been visited. Don”t know but feel it in my body. I feel everything that Wendell and his wife said. I come from abuse and did not realize that porn can be abuse. With these feelings I don’t know what to do. I go to bed early, I wake up “cause I gotta go P” he is on the computer. When I get back from the bathroom he is turning off the computer and coming to bed. Once “actually always” I went to the store, he closes all the drapes and I came in “I think he didn’t know I was home”, he had a hold of his pants and running to the bathroom. I had been on the computer before I left…the volume was off when I left, now on. Every time I leave the volume off after he has been on it it is back on. Why do you need the volume on. I understand that you listen to videos on FB and Utube I get that.But show me what you were listening to. He says he was just playing games. Just yesterday it happened. I play games on FB and don’t want to here the noise, so I mute. I was gone ten minutes and when I got back the volume was on and a page that said “Not viewable now” I confronted him “not blame” I told him if he needed on the computer while I was on it let me know. He denied being on the computer and he looked guilty. I just know he is looking at porn after the page I found. I am sick and disgusted. It is bad enough that I don’t feel like being sexual with him but now I feel if he had someone else he would be happier. I wrote this real quick. There is a lot more. He will be home soon. I am not good at hiding my feelings. I don’t want to talk to him about it. We have talked before. I have been in relationships with men that I pretty much know were addicted to porn but this seems different. Please help?
So I recently learned about my soon to be husbands addiction and I am looking for help
How do I help him recover
I already put filters on his phone so he cant search said items while hes away from the home
Definitely need some guidance
Ali, thanks for writing. On our Resources page is a link to a helpful booklet, Pornography: Lies, Truth and Hope [Internet Archive link], that has a lot of resources to help with porn addiction.
That being said, it is hard to give any kind of advice without knowing more about the situation, such as how you found out about the addiction, what (if any) steps he has taken to overcome, and how far along he is in this. Did you catch him viewing porn or did he come to you voluntarily to seek help?
One thing that is concerning is that you seem to be proceeding on with the plans to marry him. Of course, this is your choice and every situation is different, but unless he is very far along in the process of forsaking this sin, you might consider whether to delay any wedding for a while. While it would be emotionally tough, it is much easier to make hard choices before you are married than after, where there are legal and even church implications. Form a moral standpoint, porn is tantamount to adultery and is one of the clearest grounds for divorce. Are you sure you want to go into a marriage with that hanging over both of your heads?
Again, I cannot tell you what to do, but if you read the stories of women who were and are married to addicts, you will get an idea of what I am talking about. My suggestion to you, is to talk with a counselor about the situation. If you can find one who has some experience with sexual addictions, it might be very valuable to you to get their insight. A counselor can also give you tools to use to discern whether your fiance is truly repentant or malingering.
My husband told me he is addicted to porn. He was also writing with some women. He says he is doing this because of his addiction, not because he wants to have an affair. Is this true? He says he wants to save our marriage; however, he is always saying things to begin a fight. He also spends a lot of time texting, he says its with his friends. I don’t know what to do?
He did tell me about his addiction. He also ask friends for help and order this thing online to help him stop watching porn. I don’t know if I should believe him.
[Note from Barb: I changed this lady’s screen name to protect her safety]
I agree with Jeff. One way to tell if he is truly repentant and wanting help is if he will disclose fully the contents of his interactions with women. By that, I mean ask him to see his text exchanges and any other contact with other women. My guess is that either he won’t or will frantically try to delete anything incriminating.
Simply admitting to porn addiction is not enough. It takes hard work and much time to overcome, and you need to not only hear words, but fruit of repentance. You need to see that he is seeking independent help and working through the core issues in his life as well as detoxing from the porn. A band-aid will not help him, only the kind of deep surgery of the Spirit to dig this out of his life.
My husband says he is addicted to porn. He says that because of his addiction he does things ex write with women. I told him I won’t allow him flirting with women. He says its not because he wants an affair, its because his addiction makes him do things. I don’t know if I should trust him. He says he wants to save our marriage. I feel so confused. What should I do? How can I know if he really wants to stop his addiction?
Monica – He is using his “confession” of being addicted to porn as an excuse for looking at porn! He also wants you to feel sorry for him and not hold him accountable. In addition, he is using his “addiction” to justify his wicked behavior of adulterous flirting with other women. As long as he is making excuses for himself he does not really want to change. As long as he makes demands of you, he does not want to change. You should draw firm boundaries with him and let him know what the consequences will be (separation?) if he continues. You should also focus on taking care of yourself. Don’t set your hopes on him changing. Very few ever do.
I’ve searched through my husbands phone and have found several porn websites on his history feed. Of course he denies it. I just don’t know how to handle this. I’m a Christian so I am in the word daily and I know God wants to help him and will help turn away, but if my husband is not willing and denies it and doesn’t take a step away from it and ask God to help, what can I do? I’ve talked to a counselor but my husband refuses to.
[Note from Barb: I changed this commenter’s screen name, in case it was too identifying)
These things are the reason I felt like a whore in my own bed with my husband for 20 years. Praise God, I reached the point where I absolutely HAD to leave him or lose my mind. I was so emptied at that point by his abuse and narcissism, that I had nothing to lose when I left, and everything to gain. After 6 years away now, I have gained SO much. I am back to my happy, independent, joyful self! I am constantly trying to teach my kids the red flag signs and they have so far backed out of all iffy relationships with boyfriends. Praise God! I don’t want them to suffer what I did.
I just ordered Barbara Robert’s book, Not Under Bondage, to see if it will help me to overcome the whole remarriage scenario, although at this point, my husband (we are only separated and not divorced) has committed adultery as well, so the question is fast resolving in my mind. Still, I want to read this book. Everything is a help. I cannot see myself remarrying at this point because I am too afraid of making a poor choice again in marriage and suffering its ills all over again. But you never know what God may have in store. Thank you for this article. It validates and reaffirms what I always knew in my heart.
Dear Jennifer, so glad to hear you are making good recovery. Many of our readers who are just at the cusp of leaving, or under the pump of intense post-separation abuse find it hard to believe it will ever get better. So testimonies like your are very encouraging. And thanks for encouragaging me personally, too. 🙂
Idk if it’s an addiction yet but I brought it up to my husband last night and he made it seem like it was no problem and no big deal. He was like yeah I do it all the time. But all the signs are there: he asks for crazy things in bed and the whole pain thing is there as well. I totally get the cuss words as well. I told him I couldn’t do anything with him if he kept it up because I found it disgusting. So now I guess he reverted to porn and blames me.
that is typical of the mindset of abusers and habitual sinners. They minisimise or outright deny the sinfulness of their sin. And they try to make you brush it off too, to get you off their case. It is called RESPONSIBILITY RESISTANCE TACTICS and it is wicked.
Don’t be surprised that he blames you. They all do that, when they don’t want to forsake their sins. But you are NOT to blame. So I encourage you to repeat over and over in your head: “I am not to blame, it is not my fault.” And it is useless to wear yourself out trying to get the abuser to repent and see things rightly, when he has shown himself determined to stay in his lies and sins. I suggest that rather than wasting your energy on trying to get him to change his mind, you put your energies into working out what safe boundaries and safety-enhancing choices you can make for your own life.
Blessings to you Ruth. 🙂
Hello everyone. I just took the time to read through about 90% of this page and I don’t know if I should feel hopeful or depressed. My husband and I have been married for 6 years but have been together for a total of 11 years. We were in high school when we met and it was during those younger years that I caught him looking at porn on the internet when his parents were gone. I immediately broke up with him but he called over his youth pastor, confessed and was absolutely devastated to lose me. Obviously we got back together because here I am, writing to you all about our marriage seemingly falling apart in front of my eyes. I truly thought he had repented and given up porn. We got married several years later and about 1.5 years into our married life, he started acting strange. He was in the midst of grad school though and I boiled it all on to stress. At that time, he did actually talk about divorce and confessed to me that he was attracted to a girl in one of his classes but swore it never went beyond just the visual attraction. I even spoke to this gal myself and was convinced he was being honest with me (still do).
But here we are, 6 years into marriage and he confessed to me on his own today that he has been struggling with porn again and he immediately said he was going to seek out help from a counselor. I was in the shower when he told me and he just walked out of the bathroom when I didn’t have anything to say back. I was hurt and shocked to find out that way but I can’t say I was surprised by his confession. He has been acting strange again over the past 6 months or more….wanting sex very frequently or not wanting it at all. Talks “dirty” in the bedroom which makes me feel like complete filth.
I just don’t know what to do or where to go from here. We have two young children together and I am a product of a divorced family and would ultimately like to avoid going that route because it was horrible for me as a child and still is today as an adult. But I also am worried sick now that he will get into pedophilia like some of you have suggested happens or that he will just continue and we will eventually grow to despise each other. Also, his family is so good to me, I really don’t want to lose them. They are 10 times better to me than my own family. They do know a little bit about his past struggles with pornography and although his mother is super nice, she is also pretty naieve in this area and tends to think every man deals with it. I definitely think if I were to leave him, I would lose his family too. And to be honest, they are pretty much all I have.
I want to be hopeful that my husband will turn into a success story like Wendell, but it seems like that’s pretty rare. I just want to cry for days over this. Help!
Dear DM888, I think Wendell will reply to you on this one. I would think that your husband confessing to you this time without you having confronted him is a pretty good sign that he might end up like Wendell rather than like many of the other men who the commenters on this thread have described. I’m so glad you found our blog; I hope it continues to help you.
Hi, DM. I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s relapse. As Barbara mentioned, the fact that he came to you is a somewhat hopeful sign.
Relapsing is not uncommon in this addiction (as in many addictions). Research indicates that porn addiction actually begins to rewire the brain so that a man is more likely to relapse into it the longer he has been in it. Now that is not to give him an excuse, but to give you an idea of what is happening.
Does every man fight with porn? Probably not, but the tendency toward lust is built into us all, and most men probably fight it to one degree or another at some point in their lives. An over sexualized society as exhibited in everything from television to billboards just adds fuel to the fire.
In a man who has been addicted to porn, it is even worse as he has actively trained himself to be sensitive to anything considered sensual. He has trained himself to look on women, not as sisters in Christ, but as sexual objects. You can often tell the guys like that. They have a certain leer, often staring too much, especially at a woman’s body, rather than meeting her eye.
Again, this is not an excuse for him as it takes an intentional act to begin to retrain one’s self to look on a woman as God intended. I have to make that intentional decision each day so as not to fall back into the trap that I once was in, even if I am not actively tempted at the time. It is an act of the will that I must employ as a guard against my heart and eyes.
A good counselor will help your husband to learn to do this and he will need someone to hold him accountable. Further, this needs to be a partnership between the two of you. You can help him fight it, even though you were in no way the cause of it. Since he was willing to come to you to admit it, he may be willing to accept your help in the process at some point.
I know you were shocked at his admission and he may have interpreted your silence as judgment or anger. You might consider seeking a time when you are both calm and can sit down and discuss the situation. In this discussion, you can explain to him your reaction as calmly as you can and tell him that you appreciate his willingness to come to you and admit it. Believe me, the last person a porn addict usually wants to admit this to is his wife! Then, you can work into the conversation what steps he is going to take to overcome this. Counseling is good and an accountability group with a good reputation will also help. You can then offer him your help and support during this time. In any case, you need to see him actively pursuing wholeness as it will not come just by him sitting around and hoping for it.
What you want to look for in this is his attitude and demeanor. Does he really seem contrite? Is he willing to take affirmative steps to follow up on that contrition and make things right? Is he accepting full and complete responsibility without excuses and blame shifting? Is he willing to have full and complete disclosure to you about his struggles? Now that is not to say that you would even want full details, but is he willing to tell you some of the triggers and emotions that lead him back into this sin? Is he willing to come to you when he is struggling or feeling under pressure rather than his favorite porn site?
How can you help? Probably the most important thing is to be patient and understanding that this is a process. While you may see some immediate changes, the temptation to come back to his sin will still be there, but over time, they should lessen. During those times, be willing to listen and work with him as long as he is making progress. That last part is key. You need to see progress over time and evidence that he is working through this.
Yes, this will be a tough road to walk for a while and you will be faced with some very hard choices if he does not respond favorably or take responsibility. Only you know your unique situation and how much you can take. Only you know where you will want to draw the line in the sand, but I am praying that he will follow through on what he told you and seek help.
Please keep us informed on how it is going! Our prayers are with you!
Thanks Barb and Wendell. A bit of an update for you:
As I stated earlier, my husband confessed to me about his relapse (define relapse though, because I’m not sure he was ever really sober) yesterday morning before church. Well, we really didn’t speak much during the day because of our boys being awake and also because I wanted the time to process it all before saying anything to him.
I went into our room after dinner and he had already made the bed and drew back the covers on my side for me, making it look all nice and pretty and welcoming, but he also unfolded the pull out love seat we have in our room and made “his bed”. He told me he assumed I wouldn’t want to sleep with him after his confession. He is right- I had planned on sleepin in a different room but I kind of felt like that was my call to make, not his. I don’t know- maybe I’m reading into it too much. It just makes me worried his heart is already not in it.
So after my eldest went to his grandmas to stay the night (already prearranged) and after our littlest went down for the night, we talked and I stayed calm for the most part but did get angry with him at times. I told him abou my fears of what porn addiction can lead to and how I wasn’t so sure I could believe him that it hasn’t already progressed to anything other than just viewing porn. He told me that he understood my fears and that his youth pastor warned him about the same things when he was first caught back in high school. He said it worries him too and that’s why it’s eating at his conscious. He told me that he swears he hasn’t been on any chat rooms or actually spoken to any female. He told me that it’s been eating at his heart for weeks to tell me but he just couldn’t find the courage because he thought I would walk out the door. He cried, he hit his fist on the table when I told him how screwed over I would be if we did divorce (I’m a stay-at-home mom and left my job to sacrifice him going back to school for his masters). That upset him because he doesn’t want me to worry about things financially- especially for the kids.
I told him I couldn’t talk about it anymore and needed to go to sleep. It was almost 11:00 and I was exhausted from crying all day. I ended up sleeping in my oldest sons bed since he wasn’t there last night but right before I was about to nod off, my husband comes wandering Ito the room and peeks in to see if I was asleep or not. I saw him do this so I of course called him on it and asked what he was doing. He told me he was hearing noises outside the house and wanted to know if I heard them too but didn’t want to wake me if I was asleep. At first I believed that but today I’m wondering if he wasn’t just double checking so that he could go watch his porn while I slept.
When I woke up this morning I had completely forgotten my hurt feelings for a moment. It was nice. But then all of the memories came flooding back in and took away that brief peace. I felt victimized all over again. I was immediately so overwhelmed with more tears and heart ache that I felt sick to my stomach. I couldn’t even bear to eat my breakfast without feeling nauseated. I have only nibbled on a few peanut butter crackers so far. I just can’t stomach anything.
It’s amazing how grief can take over ones life. I just don’t know what to do. I have spoken to him a little but over the phone while he has been in between meetings today and he said he wanted to get me on my own two feet- he doesn’t want me to feel any financial burden because of his sin. I didn’t know how to take that. It crushed me, to be honest. It was as if he was already giving up and telling me, “go get a job, put the kids in daycare because I’m leaving you for this addiction because I don’t know how to stop it”. He told me he has been struggling with this off and on since he was 14. So it’s been nearly 15 years. I think he feels like he has tried to stop before and it didn’t work so it’s not going to work now. I think that, when I shared with him my fears of this progressing and even escalating to something criminal, that I instilled those same fears in him and now he is afraid of himself.
Or am I making excuses for him? See! I can’t figure this out. I wish I had a step-by-step guide on how to fight this thing. How to help myself and him at the same time. I love this man. I (think) know he has a good heart and soul. But then I see these other women on other online forums who have been through this thing before and when other women come on and say what I just said, they come back with “well, if he had a good heart he wouldn’t do that. If he was a good dad, he wouldn’t have taken the steps to hide from his kids so he could watch porn”.
I’m so confused. I can’t tell if it’s weakness or strength that I am, as of now, choosing to stay an fight this thing with him. I’m also confuse at where his head is at. Last night it sounded like he was devastated at the thought of divorce and splitting up the kids but today, he sounds like that’s what he sees as the end result.
DM, thanks for giving more info. First, your confusion and mix of feelings is normal. It is a devastating thing as all of your trust in the sacredness of your marriage bed has been devastated! His mixed messages are also not unusual.
I am not a trained counselor, so my suggestion to you is that you and he need to be seeing one who specializes in sexual addiction and family issues. If, as he says, he is really devastated by his own sin, he needs intensive help and you need to be able to sort through your emotions and learn strategies to deal with your particular situation. A counselor can also help you to discern excuses on his part and what is real contrition.
I wish I could guarantee that he will get better and leave this, but I can’t. There are a lot of dynamics involved, but in the end, it comes down to whether he really wants out of porn or not.
Here is a link to a resource that I have shared before. They are experienced in dealing with some of these issues and may help you at least find a starting place. I think they will help you find a counselor and/or support group.
PURE LIFE MINISTRIES [Internet Archive link]
Know that we are here, at least for a listening ear and care about what happens.
Thanks, Wendell. I really, really appreciate your support on this. I know I’m not alone but it sure does feel that way. My sister in law is coming over in a little bit. I couldn’t bear holding this pain in all to myself any longer. She is someone who I feel has a lot of wisdom on this subject and is someone I can trust, someone who loves The Lord.
Not to throw a total pitty party for myself, but what really stinks for me is that both my mother and father are addicts themselves (drug and alcohol) and my father struggles with pornography too. They are also non-believers so I don’t feel I would get the best support or advice from them. I hope I won’t be hurting my husband even more by confiding in his family. But I simply can’t do it alone. I pray he will understand.
He actually just called me on his lunch break but it didn’t go over well. He acted mostly annoyed with me. I think I may be excusing that behavior for him by rationalizing that it’s because he is at work and doesn’t want to make a scene.
That’s the problem for me right now. I have a million thoughts in my head and I can’t decipher which are mine, which are God’s and which are Satan’s. One thing I know right now is that even if divorce is what we end up doing, it won’t be while I am still emotional over it. Not if it’s up to me. I don’t want to leave this marriage with any “what if’s?”
Thanks for listening.
P.S.- supposedly, he is going to set up counseling sessions for himself and also couples counseling. I will be setting some up for myself in a few days if he doesn’t take initiative.
DM888, as a simple lay person (not someone who is qualified and experienced in counseling men who want to break their addiction to porn) I am wondering why couples counseling would be relevant for you at this time. Maybe Wendell can correct me, but I am thinking that the issue is your husband’s at present, and he needs to address it himself, do the work of reformation himself. I can see that you might like counseling yourself to help you deal with the shock, grief, anger, etc that you may have about what he has been doing, but I just want to caution you to not get sucked in to any viewpoint that lays the blame (or some of the blame) on you for his porn use. Just my two cents.
And DM, I hear very much that you are not going to take any precipitous action or decisions, and I praise you for that. In this time of turmoil, when all your emotions and thoughts are running on dozens of tracks at once, I think you are wise to guard yourself from making any big decisions. So well done for exercising self control even while you are going through all this turmoil!
Hi Barb! Thanks for your compliment, it’s been tough so far but one thing I know from my childhood is that divorce can sometimes just bring more pain and destruction when there is already so much to begin with. Because there are innocent children involved, I don’t think it’s in their best interest right now. If anything, we owe it to them to work on our marriage and try to be back to a comfortable and happy place together before throwing in the towel and calling it quits. Hence the reason for the marriage counseling. I completely agree with you though, and I told my husband that I would not accept any blame even if he doesn’t realize that is what he is doing. He told me that he thought it would be a good idea to go because he said if we are going to make this work, there is going to be a lot of hurt and pain to overcome as well as forgiveness. So that’s why I agreed to go. However, I have an appointment with a counselor for myself next Wednesday so if she doesn’t think it is a good idea right now, I will obviously take her advice.
Last night was rough. My husband has always been pretty bad about explaining himself well. He tends to get flustered and lose his train of thought or doesn’t know which words to use, etc. So last night he asks me “if you don’t know me anymore (I had said earlier that I felt like I didn’t even know him anymore), then what if I don’t love you? And if that’s the case why would you want to stay with me?” Naturally, I took this as “I don’t love you and I’m giving you permission to leave this marriage”. It escalated quickly from there and I suggested to him that if he wants out, I’m not going to beg him to stay but that I wasn’t going to break my marriage vows just because he did.” Then he acted confused, more words were exchanged, and somehow we reached the conclusion that he was going to leave for (hopefully just) the night. I was so overcome with grief and was very close to having a panic attack. I felt like I wasn’t able to function. My sister in law ended up coming over to be with me and she happened to arrive before my husband left. When he came back into the living room he was in tears. My SIL asked if he would be willing to talk andong story short- he never meant to imply “I don’t love you” to me. According to him, he was trying to say that this addiction has left him feeling so confused and numb. He is so upset with himself and he knows how much pain he has caused me and, in his mind, if he causes me pain it must mean he doesn’t love me the way I should be loved. And if he cared about me at all, then he should want the best for me and surely it’s not with a monster like him.
I can’t say that makes me feel a lot better. I mean, I was relieved to hear him clarify that he is just super confused and messed up by this and that the addiction bothers him so much that he seems to have a lot of remorse. But in my paranoid, anxiety-ridden brain, I fear that he is only saying these things to give me a way out. That it’s already bad enough what he has done and he doesn’t want to be responsible for breaking up the family in addition, so he wants me to be the one to file. I’m hoping to get all of my fears addressed in my counseling session on Wednesday but this is where I think marital counseling might be a better fit. It will allow for my husband to be truthful and open about his feelings/confusions in reference to me.
My personal belief is that this addiction can consume someone to such extremes that it blinds their senses. They forget what real intimacy is, they become more irritable and sensitive to things, all the while Satan is sitting there on their shoulder saying things like “this must mean you don’t love your spouse” and then goes on to feed the addiction and rationalize that it’s ok because clearly, he isn’t getting what he needs from me.
I told my husband that even if pornography wasn’t an issue right now, that marriages have their ups and downs and if we only ever went off feelings, everyone would be divorced- because believe me- there have certainly been times where I probably could have said, “ya know, I don’t think I really love you right now”. I don’t know. I hope I’m not just being a completely hopeless and desperate woman.
DM888, it sounds to me, from what you wrote above, that you are not being ‘completely hopeless and desperate’ — but rather, that you are remaining open to the various ways to interpret what is going on, and are navigating these rapids in a pretty sensible way.
My husband just had his first counseling session. He came home and said it went well and proceeded to give me the weakest hug he has ever given me. I asked him if he could tell me anything about it and he said that his therapist apparently told him it wouldn’t be a good idea.
I’m trying really, really hard to hang out to the little amount of faith I have left but I feel like I’m just along for the ride so-to-speak. He can’t give me any answers or doesn’t know how to answer any of my questions and I guess I’m just feeling like he is mentally checked out of this relationship. It’s torture for me. Am I wrong for wanting to know more about his counseling session? Should I trust him that his counselor apparently advised to keep the sessions between the two of them? I certainly want to be sensitive and respect HIPPA and my husbands rights but honestly, I feel like if he wants me to start trusting him again, he needs to be an open book- particularly on this subject. I don’t want to be dragged through the mud any longer.
I will say I for one am tired of having to hear about we should be sympathetic. I think an addiction to porn is pathetic. It has made me lose sexual interest in my ex, and respect. I think to myself..ewww. I don’t even want him to touch me. I’m like have at your little friends; don’t come over to me. I am tired of having to be someones crutches. I think ladies we need to make a stand for ourselves. We need to STOP MARRYING these addicted men “boys”. I also think it’s harder for Gen X because these guys have had this in their lives all their lives. It just disgusts me!
Hopefully someone’s still reading these comments and can help me, I’ve been married for a few years and am pregnant with our second kid. This pregnancy has been rougher on me than the last one (and that one was no picnic either, months of vomiting but we still managed to have sex and both enjoy it) but this time we’ve had sex once in the past (almost) 3 months. It’s just impossible for me to enjoy, it’s uncomfortable and hurts regardless of how gentle my husband is trying to be.
So I asked him if he’d felt the need to look at porn since he’s not getting any from me. To be honest I was only half serious and was fully surprised and hurt when he said yeah he had once or twice.
I pretended to fall asleep and the next day I just couldn’t stop crying. When my husband tried to talk to me about what was wrong I couldn’t even explain myself, finally managed a nod when he asked if it was the porn thing I was upset about. And he pretty much just brushed it off as unimportant, assured me that he still found me attractive and was just using it as an aid to masturbation because it made it quicker and he didn’t want to bug me when he knew how uncomfortable I was.
I didn’t know how to explain that I wasn’t concerned about him thinking I was unattractive but rather that he knew I was not ok with porn (we tried watching it together a few times but stopped and hasn’t been bought up again when I said I was uncomfortable with it) and turned automatically to that rather than talk to me about feeling unloved and neglected and then to assume it was no big deal. Later that day I wrote a letter explaining what the problem was and how it had made me feel and he was really nice about it, saying he just didn’t think and was sorry for hurting me and wouldn’t do it again but would instead come to talk to me.
Sorry for the long story but I’m getting to my point I promise!
Anyway, it’s been few weeks since all this went down and he still hasn’t tried to talk to me about how he’s feeling with the lack of sex but assures me when I ask that he hasn’t watched more since we talked about it. I haven’t seen any sign to say that he is, he’s on his computer a lot because I go to bed early and he wakes up early for work, but if I come out when he is on the computer he’s oblivious to me due to the headphones and just watching movies or tv shows. No mad dash to change the screen or anything. I have no real reason for being suspicious like other commenters here but I just feel awful about it all the time and think he must be hiding something from me.
I’m just wondering if I’m over-reacting due to being pregnant or if I should be trying to find out if he is hiding stuff from me? Even if nobody has any advice for me it’s nice to just have a vent and not have people telling me every guy does it or that I’m lucky he cares enough about me to hide it to avoid hurting my feelings. I don’t really have any friends to talk to about it (people make me nervous haha) and it’s just driving me nuts. Sorry for the huge rant. Feel like I’m wasting people’s time when my husband still does his best to look after his family and it’s just a little thing that I’m not even sure is a problem.
Paranoid – Well, you aren’t paranoid and you were genuinely hurt by him via the porn. The lack of communication since adds to your worries. I think that if a husband were to act genuinely lovingly to his wife in such a situation, especially during your pregnancy, he would even be willing to do away with the online tools – at least for the present. He probably, like most men, simply doesn’t grasp how what he has done by looking at the porn affects you. But men need to understand. Now, is he a porn addict? Is he an abuser? It doesn’t sound like it from you description. One this is for sure, if he is secretly viewing porn on an ongoing basis, sooner or later you are going to find out even if you are not actively trying to.
Paranoid, thanks for writing. We want this to be a safe place for you to share, and your comments are perfectly valid as are your concerns.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with you feeling uncomfortable and disgusted by porn. It is an assault to you as a woman, wife and person, so your feelings are quite legitimate.
Without knowing more intimately your situation, it is hard to judge your husband’s behavior completely. While it appears to be a good sign that he is not rushing to hide something from you when you enter the room, there certainly are no guarantees. Some men are experts at hiding things. On the other hand, it is entirely possible that your husband is trying to be honorable.
You say you have communicated to him your feelings on the matter and that he appears to be genuinely concerned and sorry. What you might consider is sitting down with him and talking with him about accountability and encouraging him to find someone to not only confide in, but to also keep tabs on whether or not he has viewed porn. There are software packages that can be installed on his computer to help with this, though while not foolproof may help. Some will filter and block sites and some will send an email to another person giving the browser history. Again they are not foolproof, but may be one aid.
You can explain to him that one of your concerns is that porn is like heroin. It is almost immediately addictive and even if he is not viewing regularly, it will most likely build and build, doing greater amounts of damage along the way. The earlier in the process intervention occurs, the easier it is to battle.
Do you have a pastor you both can talk to about it? A counselor? Perhaps they can help with the accountability.
Again, I cannot say for sure, but a possible reason he has not talked with you further about how he feels about the lack of sex is that he is masturbating and is embarrassed about it. There are differing views in the church about the practice. Some feel it is ok as long as the man is not thinking of another woman, while others feel that it is a sin, period. I will not take a side in that debate, but will say that if this is the case, you and your husband will need to decide if it is an acceptable alternative for you and your relationship.
Ultimately, my prayer is that you both will make it through this time and that if he is viewing porn at all, that he will come clean and take steps to stop it. Please let us know how things go. I also pray that you will have a beautiful, healthy child (well aren’t they all beautiful?)!
Thanks for taking the time to reply. When my husband got home from work I told him about spending ages looking for sites with helpful advice as I just can’t stop worrying about it and he was really supportive of it, saying whatever I needed to do to have peace of mind was ok (that was in response to me explaining I’d been trying to find out how to restore deleted history and finding out about computer monitoring stuff) and we had a good talk about how it was making me feel and said he’d try talk about how he’s feeling about the whole thing and he was really careful to explain it without making me feel like it was my fault. Which, credit where credits due, is pretty hard to do with a hormonal pregnant woman!
So at the moment I’m feeling a bit better about it, still on my mind a lot but not with the overwhelming sadness of before. I guess I’ll give it a while, see if he keeps making an effort to talk to me when he’s feeling frustrated about the lack of sex and keep an eye on computer use (his phone broke today and the replacement can’t go on the internet)
It’s hard feeling like I’m withholding sex, as I know I’m not supposed to. And it’s not that I just decided I don’t want to, I tried after finding out about the porn (trying to make it so he had no reason for it I guess) and it was awful, painful and impossible to do comfortably. Nothing anybody was doing wrong, just didn’t work at all. So I was thinking about talking to my pastor about that and see what his thoughts were but my husband would be comfortable talking to him as he’s close with my parents and despite knowing it would all be confidential it’s still hard to not think of him as the friend of the father-in-law. But I’ll see if the pastor recommends getting my husband to talk to someone and see if he has any ideas as to who.
Even if it comes up again and we have to sort out a different way to deal with it (no internet access or something) it’s been great being able to write it out and sort of organise my thoughts a bit on it all so thank you for listening and helping. It’s incredible how many sites ended up just being people saying “what’s the big deal?” and it’s nice to feel like I’m not out of place for feeling betrayed and hurt by it. A lot to deal with on top of pregnancy but only 5 weeks to go on that front so hopefully we can keep up the communication about it until everything settles down after baby as it’s never been a problem that I’m aware of, even after our first was born.
Thanks again to both people who responded to me.
Hi Paranoid, it sounds like your husband is responding well to your concerns. What a relief! And I’m so glad you found our site helpful. Blesssings to you, all the best for your baby and the birth, and hope you and all your family thrive! 🙂
“The fear is not of lust, sex, or even porn itself. It’s the fear of being treated like an empty vessel to be used like Kleenex. The fear of hardened hearts. The fear of men whose conscience is so “seared” that they cannot see the humanity in front of them.”
THIS IS GOLDEN — MORE SO THAN SILENCE!
My husband and I have been together four years. I’ve found pornography on his phone 5 times. Inside I always knew he had an addiction. I’d cry of heart ache and feel so betrayed he’d promise to never do it again. Since the first time, Ive sttuggled with my self worth and confidence. He showed alot of these signs you described. Just the other day I found it again and packed my things. I can’t stand that my husband wants other women and not his wife. Its so horrible. I feel like he cheated. He begged to seek counsel and admitted he has a problem. I on the other hand can not take how I feel. I feel discusting, fat, ugly, and worthless. I hate how I look now and Im so ashamed of my body. I am starting to hate teenage girls bc thats who he is aroused by. I need help Im becoming increasingly angry.
Vanessa, you said you are becoming increasingly angry. Anger is a natural and healthy response to betrayal and deceit, especially when the deceit comes from someone close to us. We must leave vengeance to God, as you know. But I think you are doing a wise thing by leaving — by your leaving, you give him the strong message that you will not tolerate his ongoing betrayal of you. It also shows him that his behavior has serious consequences. If he chooses to put the brakes on himself and repent, that is his choice, you cannot chose it for him. However, separating from him is a way of caring for and longing him: it shows you care about his soul enough that you will not hang around and tolerate his sham attempt at a marriage while he continues to feed his flesh at a poisoned well.
Hi Barbara, Wendell, and others. I just wanted to come back and update, especially since I’ve seen some other women come on here recently after just going through their discovery and wondering how on earth they can get through this.
My story is quite long so I will try to just say the critical parts. Eventually I found out that my husband had fallen so deep into depression upon realizing how hooked he was on porn that he confided in another woman he worked with who had been showing him a lot of flirtatious attention. She, of course, comforted him and made him feel accepted in spite of his sin. She told him that she enjoyed porn too. All of this attention and acceptance from her disillusioned my husband with the idea that “maybe he and I weren’t meant to be” and he would never be able to get better so he may as well live in sin with this, for lack of a better word, whore.
We had that incredibly painful conversation over the course of a few days and with a lot of counsel and reading, my husband decided that would be a huge mistake and realized that this other girl was garbage and had no business discussing things of sexual nature with a married man (not taking responsibility away from himself though, either). We made an agreement that he was to stay away from her at work and he was to tell her, in front of me, that their “friendship” was over and they were not to communicate anymore unless absolutely necessary.
That worked for a couple of days but she eventually got into an elevator with him and told him that “it had been too long” since they spoke. He apparently told her that things have changed and reiterated to her that he only wishes to respect his wife. He called me immediately after he got off the elevator and back into his office and confessed this to me, however, I was so emotionally damaged by all the porn stuff and now the emotional affair that I was pissed that he even got on an elevator with her- alone. Just the two of them. He could have easily pushed the button for the next floor to get off but he chose not to.
Long story short- I kicked him out of the house that day. He was devastated but it was the best decision I made. It was at that point that he really hit rock bottom and realized what he would lose if he didn’t get his act together with the porn addiction and safeguard his marriage.
He got into counseling, signed up for accountability through covenant eyes, joined a mens group for porn addiction, and repented to our family, close friends, and people from our church. I’ve learned that, although it isn’t fun and can be humiliating, repentance is so critical in recovery. As a result, he has begun a separate bible study with other men in the church who also confessed to him that they were also struggling with sexual sin.
We both go see his counselor (a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist or CSAT) together once a week for couples counseling and I’ve learned that recovery is just as important for the betrayed spouse as the porn addict. I’ve also learned that, statistically speaking, addicts are more likely to recover if they have support from their spouse. I know, though, that can feel or be next to impossible.
Although we have done a lot of hard work and are on our way to getting better, I know we still have more work to do but I am now optimistic instead of depressed. I just want to be a source of encouragement to some of you ladies so that you can know you can get through this and your husband can get better. But just as Barbara has stated, they have to get better for themselves. They can’t do it for you. It has to be a heart change- a spiritual change.
Some books that we have been reading and might be helpful to you and/or your spouse are: Sacred Marriage (HIGHLY reccomend), His needs Her needs, Breaking the Cycle, Pure Desire, Out of the Shadows, Mending Shattered Hearts, Five Love Languages, You’ll Get Through This, and a bible study called Guard Rails (DVD plus workbook).
We have a stack of other books that we haven’t gotten to yet but we are both excited to learn more and grow closer to each other. Also, another thing our CSAT therapist said was that he always reccomends a 90 day abstainance period when a new addict comes in, so if you do go see a CSAT, be prepared for that. The purpose is to teach the addict that they can live without sex (unlike food or water) and to reverse the damage/neural pathways that the porn addiction has caused/affected. Basically, it’s a detox. Our abstainance period has been tough at times but we have learned that we can still have intimacy between us and in a much healthier way. No more objectifying and our intimacy is much more spiritual now. Its been a growing experience for the each of us separately and also together.
Thank you for this, DM888. It sounds like your husband is not an abuser. I’m glad that things are turning around for you because he has really hit bottom and repented.
(just an aside: I’ve read somewhere, I think it might have been Lundy Bancroft, that men who abuse their intimate partners do not hit bottom. So that would be a difference between the simple porn addict, and the abuser who also happened to have a porn addiction.)
Regarding the books you mentioned in your comment, I was of two minds about whether to publish that paragraph. Not that I think you are saying anything that is untrue for you, but because at least some of those books are not recommended for marriages where one spouse is abusing the other.
The book His Needs Her Needs is one we have discussed twice on this blog, and the overall opinion was negative. Bear in mind that our primary audience here is women who have been abused by their husbands, and that book can be very damaging for such women, especially when it’s in the hands of wooden bible teachers.
Here are the two places we have discussed His Needs Her Needs
“His Needs Her Needs” – any feedback?
A Critique of His Needs, Her Needs by William F. Harley
My apologies, Barbara. I definitely wouldn’t reccomend or encourage someone who is being abused to work on their marriage or read that book. I would encourage them to remove themselves from the situation in the safest way possible and to get therapy for themselves.
I am lucky that my husband is not a wife abuser. My husband just happens to have fallen down a dark path with pornography. I do know, however, that if he does not come out of it and/or falls down that path again that he can become abusive as many men start to act out on the pornography they are viewing, which many times is degrading and abusive to women- if not violent.
Feel free to delete my previous post, it won’t offend me. I was just hoping other women who are NOT being abused would gain some hope from my story.
Regardless of the situation, I would wish for every woman to feel hopeful that she will be/can be in a better place for herself irregardless of if her husband gets his act together or not. Without hope, depression grasps us too tightly and when that happens, it scares me.
Dear DM888 I will not be deleting your post, and I didn’t feel you needed to apologise. But I apologise to you if I came across to hard.
Your comment is helpful. This thread is read by both victims of abuse and women like yourself whose husbands have a porn problem but at not abusing their wives. So your comment will really help that latter group a lot!
And I’m glad we have discussed those books and made it clear that they may be suitable for folks such as you and your husband, but probably not for marriages where there is abuse going on as well.
Thank you for contributing here, and all the very best 🙂
In all likelihood your husband had porn issues before he married you. His use of porn is in no way a reflection of who you are. These habits develop very insidiously. We have no idea of the damage that porn will do to us. I have seen men lose interest in their wives irregardless of how they look. Porn is a fantasy that promises a guy a good time. Unfortunately we are left with broken relationships and lost trust that we can never completely regain. Encourage him to get help. Porn can consume a man. The irony of this is that porn destroys the intimacy between a man and his wife.
A porn habit doesn’t just end because a wife says, “stop.” This may take a while to eradicate. Years of bad behavior will not disappear overnight . Please, speak to experts and read books about this before you decide to give your husband his walking papers. This sin can be overcome, I know.
I agree Searcher that a porn habit takes time and work to eradicate. But let’s not forget that the porn addict must admit his sin to himself and to his wife and truly want to eradicate it (and then do the hard work.)
I don’t know whether Vanessa’s husband is also abusive to her (see the definition of abuse in our side bar to the right). If he is a wife abuser as well as a porn addict, he is less likely, MUCH less likely, to make the change that Wendell (the author of this post) made.
Not all porn addicted husbands are wife abusers; but those who have both problems need a lot more than just to quit their porn habit in order to be safe and good husbands to their wives. It needs a whole heart/mind renewal so to speak, to eradicate not just the porn addiction circuitry and whatever developmental immaturity or trauma history might have led to that, it also needs a total change from a mind that cherishes its own superior entitlement to a humble mind that feels and shows empathy for others and respects the rights and needs of the wife.
I read yur article and it makes perfectly sense. I do believe my husband is an addct but what if he doesn’t want to get help….when I do bring it up in conversation rather nicely or gradually we argue very badly where sometimes it can lead to physical altercations.. ..I love my husband but this has been going on before the two years of marriage….more like three years….
Andrea, you said you have tried various ways to bring it up and each time you get nowhere (it ends in an argument). And he has physically assaulted you in the past. That suggests to me that he may have the kind of entitlement mentality and beliefs that abusers have. Please be aware that if a man has used physical violence once on his wife, he may well do so again. So your safety is of great importance — don’t discount your gut feelings if you feel unsafe.
Since attempts to talk to him are not productive, I would think you might want to consider imposing some kind of consequence for his refusal to hear and heed your concerns. It might be come kind of boundary or withdrawal of privileges. And if you explained that you were setting that boundary or withdrawing that privilege(s) because he refuses to address this issue constructively, then he would know where you stand. And stick to your boundary once you’ve set it, so long as it is safe to do so. (you can assess that for yourself)
Also, you might like to look at our Resources pages in case there are any things there that interest you. Perhaps it would be wise for you to read Lundy Bancroft’s book to see if it rings any bells for you. It is the book listed in our Resources.
Another suggestion Andrea: if you have not yet read through all the comments in this thread, you might like to do so. Some of them could help you thing through your situation a bit more.
blessings to you 🙂
I think my husband is a porn addict. I have found porn downloads on his phone and also websites for local singles and a case with porn dvds. I found e-mails from him responding to ads on craigslist wanting to hook up with women. Hes very harsh in the bedroom wanting to do very elict stuff that we use to never do, anal sex, calling me his whore. I feel demeaned and cheated on. I don’t think he has actually cheated, but it feels that way. i came home early the other day to find evidence that he was masturbating. He jumped up quick and went to the bathroom but left the KY on the night stand, i just went back in the other room and when i came back he had put it up. Which I didn’t confront him then and i should have. I love him so much, but am starting to look at him differently. I am a christian and he claims to be also, but i can’t imagine how he could be and i worry for his soul. i don’t know how much more i can take. Counseling would never be an option for him. My only option is prayer.
My hubby is a recovering porn addict under the GreatnessAhead program and almost every mentioned post here was evident on my hubby, especially at the time of the “peak” of his addiction. Although there’s an improvement in controlling his urges these days, whenever the painful memories still bring me to tears. But I have faith that with my full support and his determination to change, we can win this battle.
I’m in a real spot and scared….
My husband goes back and forth on supporting what I do in my paid job, he always has, but he told me to stay home because he could handle the bills and then we wouldn’t have to worry about extra expenses like after school or summer child care for our child. I kind of had no choice in this matter because after losing so many jobs [due to my husband’s frequently making it hard for me to attend my job] and my resume looking like crap because of it, I haven’t been able to find work that will accept what I do….
Back story – we have had problems for years, I should have left a long time ago but couldn’t because of my thoughts about divorce being a sin. See I grew up with a VERY overbearing and overly religious mother. I now know she had serious mental health issues (no joke, she has been diagnosed) and I now also no longer trust anything religious, I have almost atheist beliefs now….not quite but close.
[My mother] was abusive, I thought it was because I was bad [my mother always made it clear she didn’t like me or want me.]
I love my dad but he had to work multiple jobs to support her spending to keep up with the Jones’s and was rarely home. I feel a bit abandoned by him and can’t stand to be around her so I don’t get to see him as much as I or my child would like.
My husband’s family have substance abuse issues. I was always told it was other diseases though and since I hardly ever saw the other relatives I had no real clue. We got married right out of high school, I was young and soooooo stupid and thought I could help him escape his abusive family and we could make our own that wasn’t. It started off with having to drop out of college because I had to go to work after he lost his job and seemed to give up after that. He didn’t work for a really long time, I got a decent job but ended up with a severe injury that eventually forced me out of that field.
I lost all my benefits, and went back home to a suicidal husband and a wreck of a life.
I’ve had to quit so many jobs I loved because he became too much to handle and was constantly harassing me about working here or there. He always accused me of affairs, even though I had none and then I found out he did. At first he admitted it and then the stories changed it was just friends or him liking her but nothing happening. I felt so betrayed but just like when I was a kid, I thought I had caused it so I tried harder.
Flash forward to now – the same cycle has gone on and on with him, except he finally got a job and stayed there…. And I have to say, more than once I kept him from getting fired….I covered and lied for him, I always took the blame just to keep him from completely losing it and taking it out on me.
….he was secretly spending tons of money online but on what I never knew…. I would mail checks out for bills and they would bounce or something like that. ….I finally moved out…. Got a suicide call from him and I called the cops this time….later my hubby was all apologies, “I know I was never there for you, I know it was all me,” blah blah blah, but in the end he went only to sessions of therapy to get released to go back to work and has since refused to go to marriage or any other counseling like he promised.
I knew it was a mistake getting back together but I thought if I could just keep him even it would be okay, he has stayed on the meds they gave him but still refuses any counseling. Our child is now older now and very hateful to the dad for making me cry and hurting me.
I had to use his computer one day and found a TON of porn on it. I confronted him ….boy was I sorry….he began yelling and then shoving me, then he hit me and I really don’t know why he stopped but he heard our child screaming to stop…. I have to sleep on the couch….[Our child tells me how much he hates the man who is abusing me.]. I’m terrified of him and don’t like him much either. It hasn’t been the last time he’s put his hands on me but I have no idea what to do, I literally have no place to go.
Now I see him nightly sitting right in front of us watching porn, or reading porn stories right there on the couch next to me!! I have no desire for sex with him, haven’t in years and sex now is so vulgar and dirty….so of course it’s “my fault” he does this. But I have looked at the sites he is going to and it’s getting bad, he’s watching very unnatural porn all the time.
I’m afraid….that I’m in danger. I really feel scared and don’t know what to do. I have no job, haven’t been able to find one for a while….
Just to explain, [my particular kind of] work means a great deal to me, we are a very specialized group…. My child is proud of me for it, and to be honest that feels pretty good, nobody has ever said they were proud of me for anything!
I have no church….like I said I’m not real religious anymore. I’ve seen a lot [of calamity and adversity]….all good people who didn’t deserve the issues they were dealt in life. I guess I just can’t see how you give everything of yourself to others and get crapped on constantly, bullied and abused daily, have struggle after struggle after struggle and yet get no relief, not even a day.
I know the whole “what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger” and all, but I think this could kill me, so why? Why is this happening? Yes I’m bitter, I have my child and no way to support that child or me and nowhere to go even if I left….so what do I do? Let him kill me, cause I think it’s possible at this point.
He hates me, I know I haven’t been the best wife I don’t just bow down to him or anyone else, I know what the Bible says about all this but I will not be the one to let a man lead just because he’s a man….I’ve seen what “men” do when they lead and I don’t trust a one of them! Why should I, because all the ones in my life have been sooooo trustworthy, NOT! Yes I have VERY clear views on what is right and wrong and I have no problem telling him what I think of his behavior….I just try and do it when he’s not substance-affected.
I used to be happy, smile, feel joy, look forward to things and want to be a part of life….now I just want to either get it over with, one way or another.
Hi dear suffering one,
I have edited your comment quite a lot to disidentify it so as to protect you. That’s why it took us so long to publish it.
Please read through the edited version to see what I did to it, as that will give you guidance about how to disidentify your comments here if you make any more. Also you could read our New Users’ Info page which gives further tips for how to guard your safety while commenting.
I hear your severe distress and pain. It sounds like you are almost suicidal. Please do not take any action of self-harm. Your situation is indeed one of high risk: — your abuser is a substance abuser, has a long-standing pattern and history of abusing you and of exposing the child to that atmosphere of abuse, and he has a family background of abusiveness too which is likely to mean his character defects are very deep and pretty intractable. It is not your job to fix him or to help him stay safe or remain in paid employment.
Your job is to work towards a safer life for you and your child. Please don’t rule out going to a shelter in the short- to medium-term. While the shelter experience may not be perfect, and may have its challenges, it will at least be safer than the situation you are in at the moment.
I strongly suggest you visit our Safety Planning page and the Hotlines page, and start making moves or plans towards separation. There IS hope for a better life, but if you stay in this relationship your risk and your danger grows higher and higher.
We don’t want to push you into considering the question of God and faith at this time since you are under so much pressure already; but I shall pray for you. And I want to assure you that God most certainly gives full liberty for victims of abuse to divorce their abusers. Believe me, I studied this for three solid years and I am convinced that is what Scripture says.
The churches and the ‘C’hristians that claim that abuse is not grounds for divorce are wrong, and their false doctrine on this point has been very hurtful to victims of abuse. But don’t look to churches, look to Jesus Christ Himself if you are going to consider faith again. I know He sees your pain and He is angry at what all those abusers did to hurt you.
Do check out the links I gave here.
One step at at time…. 🙂
Also, I changed your screen name. I called you ‘Enigma’. If you don’t like that name, email TWBTC and tell her what you want us to change it to. 🙂
Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
I am absolutely stunned at the number of comments on this post…..wow.
I wish I could have had this information years ago. It would have explained so much in my marriage. The unusual requests, the emotional withdrawal by my husband, the frequent self stimulation, the lack of desire. He always blamed me, for gaining a few pounds after having 3 beautiful babies in short succession and said I didn’t take care of myself. I would see him watching a beautiful woman in a public setting and would die a little more inside each time, knowing he didn’t really love me.
I thought he was done with the porn, but as of lat night, I found out it is still there. Is he addicted? I am not sure I’d go there. But it is happening. I cant say I can completely blame him as we have been inactive for years….aperson has needs. Of course I think it is imoral to go thay route, but then he isnt a Believer. I also found a brief stop to an adultery site. It was only a minute, so maybe it was a curiosity thing. Sigh!
When I try to talk to my husband about things like whether or not he’s had an affair or when I find his porn he gets defensive and says he’s not or has not had an affair. I even try to start the conversation calmly and not accuse him just asking calmly. But then tell him know he’s come onto several of my friends and he won’t answer or comment to it. Does being defensive mean he’s guilty or is he tired of me asking but it shouldn’t matter how many times ask if didn’t keep finding or hearing things from people. I don’t know what to do about the porn either. I give it to him as often as he wants it and there’s been times he couldnt get erection or keep one and I’ve read you can get porn erectile dysfunction. But he won’t listen to me about him being addicted. He doesn’t think or believe it.
[Eds: screen name changed for commenter’s safety.]
Dear Asking, welcome to the blog 🙂
I’m very busy today but I’m sure some will respond to your questions pretty soon.
I changed your screen name just as a precaution. I encourage you to read our New Users Info page for tips about how to protect your safety while commenting on this blog.
Can a man have a porn addiction without these signs? I don’t know details, but I know my husband was exposed to porn at a young age (I found out after we were married) and has looked at porn during our marriage. I caught him once or twice. He was also strangely uninformed about sex and female anatomy, but I didn’t know that for years, despite being experienced before we married. … Our honeymoon was a blast for him, at least he seemed like he was having fun, but lacking intimacy and connection for me. He was affectionate & expressive throughout the day, but was oddly disconnected at night. Not mean. Something was just off. It was purely physical for him.
Our intimate life was always rather unsatisfying for me both emotionally and physically (and it was not due a problem with me) and he stopped altogether when I was pregnant because he didn’t want to hurt the baby. Immediately after having the baby he was pouty and demanding about it though I was not physically ready. It has never been good, except a few rare moments and declined over the years due to his abuse of me. He was never crude or vulgar, but there was never the emotional intimacy, except a few rare occasions. Even though he would say nice things. He never seemed willing to talk about it, though I was willing (our relationship has deteriorated so much I’m not now) … He occasionally makes crude jokes. Not often, it surprises me when he does. But he does not have any of the signs you mentioned.
I never knew how to interpret any of my experiences with him and never really had anyone in my life to share with.
I’m sure you can’t tell me if he has a porn addiction or not, so that takes me back to my first question. Can a man have a problem with porn without the signs you mentioned?
[Eds: some parts of this comment deleted to prevent possible identification of the commenter.]
I am not a trained expert in the field, just a man who has been there and has done some research to understand his own problem and maybe help others. I can say that the manifestations of a porn addiction, like any other, can vary both in type and intensity. Further, some men, especially early on are experts at hiding it. The longer it goes on, and the more deep rooted it becomes, the harder it is to hide. Eventually it will become very obvious something is seriously wrong. It is just unpredictable as to how long that will take.
I don’t know if it is ok to bring this up here, but any opinions on resources for our sons?
My husband gave my (then 14 yo) son “Every Young Man’s Battle” without reading it himself because it had been recommended by a lot of Christians for teen sons!. It was filthy and inappropriate (I started reading it & couldn’t finish) and my sweet innocent son, who did know about sex, after trying to read it because his daddy recommended it, asked him if he had to read it because it was making him sick. The author goes into too much random detail about his sexual past & makes passing comments that he assumes the readers will relate to. It seems to me it was written for someone already with a sexual past, but even then it was too explicit at times. There are things I didn’t know about and I am not uninformed.
It also bothers me that my husband occasionally tells my son more than he needs to know about deviant sexual practices, for example, he recently told him about a very abberant practice that some gay men use. Why? What’s the point? Any suggestions for how to handle this to protect my son?
So that said, are there any good resources for sexually pure, innocent teen boys (now 16 yo) who have not been exposed to sexual sin to give them wholesome, age appropriate godly info about marital intimacy that does not give too much detail but is informative enough to build a good and wholesome attitude about sex and purity? How much is good to tell them? I’ve always been open with him about sex, but now that he is older he might be more comfortable with a book or such and I fear his father has done neither a thorough nor an always appropriate job.
Hi Anonymous, never having raised a son, I don’t have suggestions about resources for sex education of teen boys, but I do think that it is good to educate all teens (and even younger children, in an age appropriate way) about the dangers and pervasiveness of gender bias — male privilege, and the objectification of women’s bodies in the media, in culture, etc. If young people are alerted to this and start to recognise it when they see it, and see how wrong it is, that is a very good foundation for then giving them appropriate education about sexuality and sexual expression.
Here are things I recommend that can help with this (but I suggest you check each of the links out before passing them on to your son; you know him best).
Most of the links are videos, but a few are written word. None of them are Christian, but they are not counter to Christianity either.
Videos are vital in reaching people who don’t read much. Many people are literate but don’t like to read anything, especially the younger generation, I find.
My unsaved daughter and her bf have watched all the videos in this list and they have had a big effect on them! The young man has woken up to the man box that he was brainwashed into, and he is learning and what’s more is willing to learn more. And he realises how much of an influence he might now be on other young men. 🙂 And he and my daughter have talked it all over and they are both learning about gender and gender expectations and how much we are all affected by them.
The Man Box
Tony Porter — A Call To Men (cool black dude)
The Mask you Live in
The next generation of manhood
Jackson Katz — Tough Guise
Jackson Katz, — Be The Hero
GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT (education and lobbying)
Collective Shout [Internet Archive link] A grassroots group that does excellent work pushing back against the sexualization of children and the objectifying of the female body.
The male privilege checklist [Internet Archive link]
Four-Kinds-of-Men-Folk [Internet Archive link]
I have accused my stbx of looking at porn and of having an affair. He denied both. He did admit to the porn after I left him, but still denies having an affair. I am not the only one who believes he was having an affair. I hear he’s living with a woman now, I figured he was. Before he asked me to marry him, (I didn’t do my homework!) he was sleeping with another woman who went to his church! I am not quite sure I’m being much help, but what is your gut telling you? Also, you can check the history on the computer.
Also, with stbx, he had this really nasty habit of STARING at women! That to me was a dead giveaway!
I hear you on the staring. We could be out for a family breakfast at a restaurant and he would brazenly stare at other women, while I sat across the table from him. I called him out on it several times, only to be openly belittled and then ignored the rest of the day, you know – because I was so “crazy”.
Yes! I hated it! It was embarrassing to me. He acted / acts like he has NEVER seen a woman in his life! At a family gathering we met a relative of his, girlfriend, and my stbx would stare at her behind! I was just so embarrassed!
I have called him on it many times about staring at women, but he denied every time! I just finally resigned to the fact that this man is NOT a good man. It took me months before I finally left, but I’m so glad I do not have to watch him stare at other women. And personally, if a man stared at me like he did to other women, it would creep me out!
I cannot say if you husband uses porn but porn can make a man become disconnected emotionally from their wives. Intimate marital encounters become mere physical exercises. I am speaking as a man who knows more about porn than a good Christian should. Porn makes men selfish and detached .
Please help my husband is so addicted to porn he places bookmarks on his computer… He thinks I don’t go into the computer he watches it at work on his phone now I have found he takes screenshots of women he has lost interest in me entirely if I badger him he will pay attention to me but I don’t do it because I cry inside what can I do. I’m crying all the time he tells me I’m beautiful I’m the only one he wants but I feel the opposite when he wont even touch me aside of cuddling at night.
Hi cryinginside, I changed your screen name for your safety. I’m glad you found this article, and I hope you will find much of help on the rest of our blog too.
I don’t have time to make a longer reply till later today (and maybe some others will make one sooner) but I do encourage you to read our New Users Info page. (see the tab at the top of the blog: New Users)
Dear Cryinginside, if you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to read all the comments in this thread, as some of them are replies to other women who have said ‘please help me’ like you have.
It would be trite and less than helpful for me to offer you a pat formulaic answer. But from what you’ve described, your husband is certainly addicted to porn and his sexual neglect of you is a consequence of that addiction.
There is no easy way forward: all the possible choices and options you can take from here are going to be hard, painful, and possibly scary. I would encourage you to read our definition of abuse at the sidebar to the right, and to read other posts on this blog tagged Sexual Abuse, and any other posts which you get led to.
I also suggest you might find it helpful to read Lundy Bancroft’s book Why Does He DO That? [Affiliate link] (find it under our Resources tab).
The more you read and learn about the mindset of men who are sexually abusing their wives, and are often abusing them in other ways as well, the more equipped you will be to make informed decisions about what you want to do and how you may want to work towards having life of safety and wellbeing in the longer term.
But one thing is certain: you cannot make you husband choose to behave differently. His choices are HIS choices. But you can make your own choices about how you want to respond to his mistreatment of you 🙂
Also check out our Resources tab for the subsection Sexual Abuse.
And we hope you keep visiting the blog. 🙂
I am so sorry you are having to deal with your husband’s infidelity. We (in this site) know all to well the pain and confusion this is causing you. I know it ‘disconnects’ him from you, but it is his choice to do this. He certainly needs help, but he needs to be the one to make that choice.
Have you thought to see a counselor for yourself? Do you have some one who you can confide in? and, there is a lot of information in this site that can be very helpful to you.
Saying a prayer for you! And like Barbara says “we hope you keep visiting this blog”!
My husband and I have been married for some months. He’s quite a lot older than me. After we were married I noticed a change in the way he started treating me. One night he was locked in a room in the house in the dark moaning. That’s when I found out he was addicted to porn and masturbating.
He doesn’t include me in anything that he does. He doesn’t talk to me but he’ll sit and hold a conversation with another woman. He doesn’t do anything for me. If I ask him to help me purchase something he won’t. But he helps out his family members with money when they want it.
I don’t know what to do. He goes to counseling but what good is that when he still pulls porn up on his phone. If I go to touch it he gets fighting mad at me. He already been violent with me a few times. I am new to the area where he has moved me and I don’t have a job at the moment. And god knows I’ve been looking for work. I need some advice what I need to do for myself, cause it’s obvious to he’s not gonna include me in on anything.
[note from blog administrators: some details airbrushed for commenter’s safety, and commenter’s screen name disidentified]
Hi SeekingHelp, thank you for your comment. Well done for reaching out for help; it sometimes takes a lot of courage to do that.
First of all, you will see I changed your screen name and edited your commment a bit, to help keep you safe. We want to help you keep safe, and as you can imagine, if your husband were to find this blog and could read your comment and guess it was you who sent it, that would likely increase your level of danger.
If you haven’t already done so, please read our New Users Info page for tips on how to guard your safety while commenting on this blog. (you may have read it already, as I have seen you submitted a second comment, using a false name, which was more or less a repeat of the comment from you that we’ve published, so we won’t publish it).
Yes, your husband is clearly addicted to porn. Porn addiction intensifies the sexist attitudes of a man. Porn portrays women as objects, rather than people of value. The way your husband is treating you is wrong. The fact that he is fighting your attempts to bring him to live like an honourable man shows he is likely to continue fighting you, and that the situation will probably get worse for you as time goes on.
By saying this, I don’t want to make you feel hopeless; I only want to point out to you that you are indeed at risk from this man: at risk from his violence, from his emotional abuse, his economic abuse and whatever other abusive tactics he may choose to use on you.
I encourage you to go to our page for Domestic Violence Hotlines and ring the hotline for the country your are in. They will understand and listen to you with respect, and without judgement. They can tell you how to contact a Domestic Abuse support service in your local area. I strongly suggest you take those steps.
You are quite right in realising that you need help. There is no shame in needing help when you are being abused by a malignant man. Your local domestic abuse service ought to be able to give you information about what steps you can take. but they won’t pressure you to take them, they will leave your choices up to you 🙂 They will give you information and options that might enable you to be safe and have a life of greater wellbeing in the future.
You are right that your husband going to counselling will do no good if he is still choosing not to change.
Don’t put your hopes in your husband changing. Instead, I suggest you keep reading this blog, ring the hotline, and seek support from local domestic abuse support services, so you can make informed decisions about what you want to do.
You are not obliged to stay with this man. From what you have described, he is entrenched in his sin and is therefore very very likely to not reform. The likelihood is, he will get worse as time goes on. That’s what happens when a person gives themself over to sin.
We hope you continue to come to this blog. You are a very welcome part of our little cyber community. 🙂
Hi Seeking help,
I am sorry for what you are going through.
More than likely this has been an ongoing habit of your husband for some time.
Mine was addicted to porn even before we were married, but unfortunately I did not find out about it until afterwards.
I hope you keep trying to get a job to strengthen yourself if possible.
To finally help establish my independence and self worth after decades of his gaslighting and betrayal, I applied for a job with a company that I really wanted to work for, and regularly called their hiring department every week to see if any job openings were available.
After week 5, they finally called me in for an interview, and I got the job.
The hiring departments really like it when you show follow up initiative and call them afterwards and check on the position that you applied for, as it shows them that you really want the job.
I never told my husband anything about my applying or interviewing for the job because he would have used that information against me to sabbatoge me from getting the job.
Now it is less than 1 year later, and God has allowed me to receive bonuses, and awards that I never would have imagined possible.
It makes me wonder how many women are out there are in abusive relationships that God wants to bless and strengthen once they get in a position to work for a company that will recognise the qualities that are in them.
I will keep praying for doors of opportunity to open for you.
Hello SeekingHelp and welcome to the blog. I am so sorry this is happening to you as it sounds like he is very far into the porn addiction and he must have been into porn for some time before your marriage. Based on your description, it is clear that he does not respect you as a person with value, feelings and dreams.
One of the results of porn addiction is dehumanizing of women, by turning them into sex objects. They are a prize to be won and when they have won them, they are then used, not loved, but used for whatever fantasy the man is indulged in. A porn addict will often expect his wife (or girlfriend) to live up to a false expectation built up by the airbrushed, perfect fantasy portrayed by the pornography. The fact that he has been violent towards you after such a short time of marriage is very troubling and is a sign that he may be possibly viewing violent porn. That can only escalate.
The fact that counseling is not helping is not unusual. It is pretty unusual that it would as most men into porn simply will not do what is necessary to break the addiction. Neuroscientists have identified that porn use actually rewires the brain over time and this only adds to the problem of trying to forsake it. I cannot tell you that there is no hope for your husband, but based on your account, I would be pessimistic.
What it will probably take is a major life changing event, a serious intervention if you will, that will force him to confront the addiction and leave him with only the choices to continue and lose everything, or take the very hard road and work to forsake the sin and undo the damage he has already done. That is a tall task indeed.
I am not a counselor or trained professional, so it is hard for me to give you concrete advice. What I do know is that you will eventually need to set some hard boundaries, with consequences and be willing to act on them no matter how hard they may be. Will those consequences involve leaving him either permanently or temporarily? Perhaps. A lot depends on him and whether your trust has been irrevocably broken.
I don’t know what area you live in, but you might also see if there is a support group for wives of porn addicts. Be very careful of those you might find connected to a church (as many are) because some churches will not support you if your decision is to leave your husband. If you have a pastor you can confide in, that is an option, but again, you must be careful as we have found that pastors can be fickle or even worse, support the abuser over the abused.
If you do decide to leave him, is moving back to where you have a support structure an option? Abusers just love to move victims away from any and every kind of support system as it makes the victim even more dependent upon them.
Please let us know how things work out.
Finally, in order to protect you, one of our admins modified your comment so as not to give too much detail and changed your screen name to a more generic name. Abusers sometimes lurk here and if there is too much identifying information can often tell when their victims are reaching out and then punish them for doing so. For future comments, please keep this in mind. We certainly don’t want to endanger you in any way!
thank you so much for this, Wendell. Every time you comment in this thread I re-appreciate how much you understand this issue. And I am so grateful that you respond with such intelligent and informed caring to the women who comment here.
I think this comment of mine is the 200th comment on this thread. I am not a close follower of the blog’s statistics, but I think this post get more hits than any other post on this blog.
Thank you for publishing these useful articles. I have also added this link to my recent article on wives blaming-sharing with unfaithful husbands. Does it strike you as “odd” that the tools to identify these sins are not provided to Christian women? Or men for that matter, as I’ve known of women who had problems with pornography. Thank you to whoever was involved in getting this one available – writer, blog owner, etc. I’m new here. 🙂
“Odd” — yes. Odd with quotes around it — the church’s neglect of good tools to identify these sins, and appropriate scriptures to help identify and rightly respond to those sins, is, I think, a symptom of how much evangelical churches tend to ignore the suffering of women whose spouses are licentious, abusive, porn-addicted, etc.
And yes, some women are addicted to porn too, but it seems to be much more common with men.
The church likes to play ostrich. The church feels comfortable pontificating in general terms about sins of the flesh like pornography, but it is very reluctant to help spouses who are married to porn addicts. Why? Because most people in the church have poor doctrine when it comes to divorce. And they have been taught to set marriage up on a pedestal (see our tag idolatry) and they are very reluctant to rock the boat on that point of doctrine. In this reluctance, they are motivated by fear of man and the desire for unjust gain.
They don’t care about the oppressed. And since a high proportion of the oppressed are female, its easy to discount them, ignore them, deride their cries for justice. . . .
Through studying the Patriarchal movement I’ve come to see that husbands / fathers, marriage and family have become golden calves – almost an alternate form of salvation in some cases. It is horrifying.
I think one aspect of not equipping and ignoring the wickedness is also the idolization of “purity” and the sort of terror of having impurity in our midst, if you know what I mean. Like you say – the ostrich aspect. “If we pretend it isn’t there, it isn’t there.”
One point I made in my article about blaming wives is that women are dispensable. They make less or no income, they are usually not needed for leadership, and in cases where divorce and remarriage is accepted, they are easily replaced. Also there is the presupposition we’ve been handed down from Adam that women are troublemakers “anyway”. I wish people could see that attitude has to do with Adam’s sin and self-righteousness and not with God’s attitude toward women!
I did get the links to this page done this morning, so hopefully you may get some traffic from that. I’m also going to pass your site on to a friend of mine in Australia who has a real burden about domestic violence. I think she’ll find it interesting.
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
Good for you, Mary. And tell your friend that I am based in Australia. Jeff C is in Oregon, but I’m in Victoria Australia.
My husband watches porn but tells me he watches it cause its funny and I’m overreacting but the next day he locked me out of the room so I couldnt get in but I managed to and he was asleep in his underwear watching porn. Should I be concerned…
Hi, and welcome to the blog. I changed your screen name to help make sure that your husband cannot identify you easily here. In answer to your question, any time a person is viewing porn, and especially when they are making weak excuses for it (watching it because it is funny?!?), there is reason to be concerned. Also troubling is the fact that he locked you out of the room he was using to view it.
Please feel free to read through the other messages here to see what advice others have given and received in their unique situations. The one thing that is important to remember is that this is not something that cures itself and will get worse as time goes on, leading you to make some very tough choices. Nothing about this road is easy, but I know that God will guide you through it. I will pray for wisdom for you, courage to take whatever steps are necessary, and for your husband to be confronted with the seriousness of his sin.
We have been married for a few months now and I had no idea he watched porn and his last relationship of several years him and his ex engaged in threesomes all the time so I am concerned that he was in a relationship with him and his ex having threesomes all the time and to go from that to just being with me makes me very insecure.
I can understand why! It is troubling that he failed to disclose this to you before your marriage. I hope he has not asked you to engage in that same behavior. Do you have a trusted counselor you can talk to about this?
Hi Nona. Your concerns are very reasonable. I hope you keep reading this blog and gaining support here.
Welcome to the blog 🙂 I encourage you to check out our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.
You said that being with him makes you feel very insecure. I think that gut feeling you are having is worth heeding. You do not have to be with him. You are free to leave to secure your safety and wellbeing and dignity.
Your husband has fraudulently enticed you into marriage. He did not disclose to you before he married you that he has these entrenched secret heinous sins and a corrupt character. You are free to leave him because of his fraudulence. It is likely only to get worse if you stay with him. He is likely to try to coercively control you, oppress you, intimidate you, accuse you falsely of things you have not done, try re-write history, make you feel guilty for things that are not your fault, and pressure you into complying with and participating in his sexual sins. I suggest to you that you are in a dangerous marriage. And it is not your fault and you are not to blame.
These following posts may be helpful to you. I don’t want to push anything down your throat, I only want to let you know that this is what we believe and we have scriptural basis for our beliefs.
Biblical Divorce for Abuse explained in a nutshell
No divorce for abuse is a false gospel
He told me about the ex and the threesomes. He said he doesnt want that life anymore. He only wants me. But he always yells at me and gets mad.
To me, that strongly suggests that he lied to you when he said that, and perhaps he lied to himself as well. Overcoming a longstanding habit / addiction to sexually immoral behavior, takes a LOT of work. “Wanting” to change is not enough; the person must also intentionally work on their character defects and generally they need expert professional help to do this work. Many porn addicts say they want to change or are giving it up. But they have no idea how much effort it will take on their part, and they don’t want to put in the work of character development. His yelling at you is a sign that he is not all that interested in working on his character to make himself a better person, he just prefers to take the easy way out: blame you, get mad at you, try to make you responsible for his feelings, etc.
His frequent yelling at you shows that he greatly disrespects you. That in itself is a sign that he is an abuser and you are in a dangerous marriage.
Nona, we changed your screen name from the one you gave to “Nona” — to protect your identity. Sometimes abusers read this blog (it is a public blog, not password protected). We wouldn’t want your safety put at risk if your abuser came across this blog (or stalked what you were doing in cyberspace) and could identify that you had been commenting here.
Nona, this brief quiz might be of some help to you.
Warning Signs of Abuse [Internet Archive link]
And I’ve been thinking of what I wrote in my previous comment. It might have been too black and white.
Perhaps you husband was not lying to you or to himself, so much as simply ignorant of how much effort and longterm work it takes to break a porn habit or any other longstanding sexually immoral pattern of behavior. However, whether he was dishonest, self-deluded, or naive, you still (understandably) feel very insecure with him.
Also, he has started to gain a lot of weight in the past year. I have lost weight if anything and am very confident and content with my appearance. So I don’t know if maybe he feels insecure in himself and maybe feels those images / videos will not make him feel insecure, I think my husband is hot, regardless of his weight gain, I tell him this too..
I would encourage you to not focus so much on what might be his underlying ’emotional issues’ (if any) as that is just fruitless task for you. If he has underlying emotional problems, he needs to face them and deal with them, you can’t do it for him and if you try to plumb the depths of his mind it will only be a labyrinth that will take your focus away from thinking about your own safety and wellbeing and what if anything you might wish to do for your own longterm well-being.
Victims of domestic abuse typically put so much thought into trying to figure out their husband’s mind, that they lose sight of their own wellbeing and welfare over the long term. Be aware that could become a risk for you.
Thank you for the advice. I finally confronted him once again. At first I just said I was praying for him and that if he didn’t want to talk about it we did not have to. Nothing came of that and he acted oblivious to what I was talking about. This angered me and I told him we may need to separate for him to fix his problem and to reevaluate his priorities. He acted nuts after first, then tried to play a big pity party and finally admitted he had had this problem prior to us dating and he “wouldn’t do it again”… heard that before. I told him I have lost trust in him and it will take proof and time for me to forgive him and to heal.
good for you!
I know this blog has not been posted on in over a year, almost two, but I am devastated. Tonight is anther time that I’ve caught my husband continuing to look at porn. We are Christians and he had sworn he had put apps on his phone that would not allow him onto these sites if he were ever tempted again. He also swore to me he would never look at it again. I’ve caught him a few times – the times have been spaced out over the past several months, but I believe he may have had a problem with this way before we ever met.
It might not bother me as bad if it actually helped our sex life, but we never have sex, if we do its a quickie or he wants me to do positions that only bring him satisfaction, basically when and how he wants it.
This past week I noticed red flags that led me to search his history (saying he was too tired, saying he had a head ache, going to bed early when we had company, etc). He has refused going to counseling with me in the past and acts crazy when I confront him.
I have not confronted him yet because I honestly don’t know what to do. I know God wants to help me through this and he will but I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve tried acting crazy and mean about it in the past, obviously not effective. I’ve tried making him guilty and expressing how badly it hurts me, he shuts me out and refuses to talk about it. We have been married less than two years. I don’t want to give up on my husband, but I know this is not fair to me. God does not want me to hurt and did not ever intend for a husband to do this to his wife. Please help–I need advice and i need to know how to confront him in an effective way to finally begin putting this behind us permanently.
Dear Anon-wife, I changed your screen name and edited your comment slightly, to protect from perhaps being identified by your husband.
I know what you are going through must be awful. You are not to blame. You have done well to pick up on those red flags and to identify that he has used porn again.
The only advice I can give you is to read through all the comments on this post — and see how you are not alone and how we have often answered the other women who comment on this thread, asking for advice in situations similar to yours.
The ways your husband has responded to you when you have confronted him about his porn use in the past and have tried to tell him how it makes you feel —— all the ways he has responded there are signs of an abuser. He refuses to go to counseling. He acts crazy when you confront him. He shuts you out and refuses to talk to you about it (gives you the silent treatment). ALL those things are tactics used by men who abuse their wives. Sorry for the bad news!
First of all, the problem is his problem, not a joint problem. You used the word ‘us’ but beware of that way of putting it, because it could suggest that the problem is mutually caused. The problem is not mutually caused, it is his choice and his choice alone and only he can choose to stop indulging in porn and to address whatever underlying issues he has that he is ‘self-medicating’ with porn.
Is there an ‘effective’ way to confront him? Probably not. You’ve tried lots of things already and he fights against every one of them in various ways. When I say ‘he fights’ I mean he fights against having to take responsibility for his bad behaviour. That resistance to taking responsibility is one of the chief markers of a domestic abuser.
I do hope you keep reading this blog. You will find support here. We won’t tell you what to do, as only you can make those decisions, but there is a lot of information here that I think you will find helpful, and a very supportive community of fellow readers.
Lastly, please read our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.
This is a constant battle between my husband and I. The sad thing is I blame myself because I didn’t care at one point if he watched (we would watch together). It’s frustrating because now it’s completely out of hand.. its behind my back every day multiple times A LOT!!!!!. Its like when we “do the act” there is no emotional connection anymore. He’s so in tune with himself that it’s just “him”. Sometimes he admits he has an issue. The [next?] minute he’s yelling at me saying he doesn’t have a problem. It makes me feel worthless.. I have stuck by his side.. I told him I would and I will [???] him. But it still hurts because he sees me in tears and in pain because I feel inadequate. Any advice would be great. I could go on but this is the gist of my situation. HELP.
Dear Anon, you will see that I changed your screen name. I did that for your safety (to protect your identity in case your husband or his mates read this blog.)
If you read through all the comments in this thread, you will see that many other women have asked for ‘help’ here just like you have. Our responses to those women would be what we would give to you as well, so I encourage you to read the whole thread.
I encourage you not to be too hard on yourself. The fact that in the past you watched it with him, does not make you responsible for his increasing addiction. And the fact is, you have changed now: you are NOT happy with watching porn, and you are very unhappy about him watching it because you can see and sense the effect it is having on him and therefore on your relationship.
Men who are addicted to porn to the extent your husband is, are typically VERY resistant to admitting they have a problem, let alone doing the hard work required to change their behavior and attitude to sex.
I encourage you to give serious consideration to what YOU want to do with the rest of your life. You are not obliged to stay with a man who is so addicted to porn. His porn addiction is a type of adultery and by doing it he is deserting you. Desertion does not have to mean the partner leaves the home. It can also take place by the partner deserting (trashing / grievously violating) his marriage vows.
It sounds like that’s what your husband has done to you.
I encourage you to keep reading this blog. I think you will find a lot of support here.
And we always like to point new commenters to our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.
Welcome to the blog 🙂
My husband has been engaged in porn over two thirds of our married life. I discovered this habit by accident earlier on in the marriage. He has no accountability and I suspect that he is still doing it. The pages visited in the history is always deleted. He does not work and has not worked for the past 17 years leaving me the sole wage earner. He looks after our kid and sends him to school and helps with the schoolwork. Housework is done by a cleaner I employ.
He does not have any savings. He had a job many years ago but he could not cope I suspect due to his addiction. He cannot seem to find a job. He wants to own a business as opposed to working for someone. I would have to fork out money if he starts a business as he has no savings.
My concern in this marriage is financial control. I pay for the mortgage of the houses we purchased but he wants to have half ownership without having paid a dime. I am not sure why he feels it necessary to have his name endorsed on the house title. He also suggested having a joint account, which I am not in favour of. Also my dad passed away recently and I will be inheriting some money. Not huge but decent. My husband and his family think that he is equally entitled to this money. I want to share what I have with my husband and kid but I resent his sense of entitlement. He has access to my bank account although it is not a joint account. I never question on his spending or how much he spends. His argument is that husband and wife are one in Christ so any monies / income that comes into the family belongs to both of us.
Am I controlling by insisting that the monies / funds remain in my name instead of giving him half of what I own or receive so that he can have his own bank account. The church says that everything I own also belongs to him and I do feel at times I am sinning against God. All family expenses are paid from my income so in away we do share finances/house although legally it is in my name. Maybe it is insecurity as my marriage is not normal by any standards. I would appreciate your views on this as I want to do what is right by God.
Hope, your husband is definitely using financial abuse tactics. You are NOT being controlling by wanting or insisting that the monies / funds remain in your name, and by retaining sole control of the inheritance from your father.
I strongly suggest that you get specialist advice from a Financial Counselor who works with domestic abuse clients (the local DV centre may have some suggestions about who to seek this advice from).
And I also suggest you read our post Financial abuse from intimate partners — a lament, stories and tips to protect oneself
You might also want to look at other posts on this blog that have the financial abuse tag.
Since the inheritance might make the difference between you being able to separate / divorce from him with relative ease, or great financial difficulty, I also suggest you might want to consider whether you want to separate from him or divorce him, in order to maintain full control of that inheritance. The inheritance could help you launch into a new, safer life. Deciding whether to leave is a Biggie, so here is our Resources page on Deciding to Stay or Leave.
I think your instincts are right on.
I’m asking myself this now…Why EVER go against instincts and facts from the past because of someone’s position they now hold? That goes for family, spouse, business, friends, etc. I’m responsible for my life and who and how I share certain aspects of it with regardless of another’s strong, influential, or passionate opinion. No one else has a “right” to me or my property.
And I believe that husbands are not entitled to a wife’s inheritance but a lawyer from your state would know best of course. That goes for knowing what part he owns with the houses as well. Things can get tricky in that regard but I think a lawyer would be able to help answer all of your questions in just one meeting or consultation.
For me- knowing my position legally has been a slight source of relief in that it’s was very intimidating to be married to a man who did not look out for my best interests and in fact did many things to harm me instead.
Nowadays, I liken these hateful and abusive men to be scam artists. Plain and simple. Always a scam for their benefits and if it hurts someone in the process then they find a reason to smile even.
Hi Hope, I ditto what Barbara said. You will never be sorry that you kept that money safe from him accessing it. It will come in very handy some day, to help you when you need it.
My Husband tried to ruin my credit so that I could not afford an attorney by not paying our mortgage for several months when it was in his power to do so..So that I would be financially depleted when he took all the money out of our joint account.
But thank the Lord there was one creditor that did not get that bad credit memo, or I would not have been able to retain a lawyer when he strategically filed on me several months later. You can imadgine the shock on his face when he saw that I was still able to retain a lawyer who responded to his lawyers petition.
I think every married woman should have their own private bank account due to the position many of us are in, to give us recourse in the event of financial or any other type of abuse.
The XH called me derogatory names. He’d make disgusting gestures as well. He’d want to do sexual things to me in front of the babies. He’d refer to my body parts with inappropriate names. He’s also criticize my body and tell me when and what to shave. He said because I wasn’t letting him overpower me or have his way in the bed that I was preventing him from being the real man that he is. He used to forbid sex. Then many years later he wanted it all the time. ONLY when he wanted it tho. When he was not angry or hateful but in the “buying me back” phase so-to-speak- that’s when is want to be intimate with him and he’d reject me every single time. He has to locked himself in the computer room, needed “space”, or slept in another room. He’d want sex after having ignored me for days or weeks. He’d want sex after any kind of abuse. He also had asked me to dress up for him. He often talked about how it was a good thing that he listed [lusted?] for me because “wives are dying for their husbands to be that way toward them”.
So…what’s the big picture?
My husband only wanted sex if I said no–then he’d force himself on me. Only twice in two decades of marriage did try to initiate it–and he refused me both times. We’d go for over a year without it but now I realize he was with prostitutes or men. Who says romance is dead?!
Yes, lusted. Thanks, Barbara.
My story is similar to the one told by Hope. I am not sure if my husband can be considered abusive. He does not physically hurt me. But due to his porn viewing he has disengaged himself from the intimacies of marriage. I confronted and spoke to him about this habit when I first discovered it and he promised not to continue. Sadly my husband still indulges in it but he tries to cover his tracks now. I feel so ashamed that he would prefer other women on the net to me but I can no longer bring myself to confront him now because I know more lies will follow. I feel cheated in this marriage. Is this emotional abuse? Should I trust him in other areas like financial matters.
[details about a financial matter removed as they might have been too identifying]
Bottom line is that due to his porn addiction, I have been very insecure in the marriage. Too afraid to leave or divorce in case I was sinning against God. My husband looks at porn as something very trivial but it destroyed our marriage. But he will not take accountability and admit that it was his behavior that cause our marriage to rot.
Hi Lost, we fully confirm your suspcicion that your husband (and his family) are trying to financially abuse you. BIG TIME.
I removed the details of that financial stuff from your comment because it could easily have been too identifying.
But have no doubt: Your husband IS an abuser. He IS abusing you. He is abusing you emotionally, financially, sexually and socially (by getting his family to pressure you into agreeing with his demands).
The fact that he hasn’t physically hurt you is irrelevant. Many many abusers never touch their victims in anger. So you are not alone. I encourage you to re-read the definition of abuse that we have in the sidebar of this blog.
My husband has a different type of porn addiction. He isn’t computer savvy so he doesn’t use the computer. However, he has a ton of magazines and DVDs. He keeps a DVD player in his truck with some DVDs and I don’t know how many magazines. He has about 20 magazines next to the bed (in the open) and many more in the drawers of his nightstand. He even keeps old magazines in boxes. He knows that I don’t like how many magazines he has and he continues to buy 2 or 3 every month. His sex drive has always been higher than mine and every time we would fight, he would blame it on the lack of sex. Lately he’s been trying to get me to be more vocal during sex, telling him what to do to me, etc. He knows that I’m not into that much. He claims that he gets the magazines for the “articles” yet I’ve found many magazines that are pictures only. I’ve walked in on him masturbating and he quickly moves his hand away and looks guilty. How do I address this situation with him without causing any more trouble to an already touchy situation?
Hi Need Help,
Welcome to the blog. 🙂
I don’t think that there is any guaranteed way you can address the situation without the risk of more trouble. The thing to remember is: the ‘trouble’ is caused by him. The ‘trouble’ is all due to his sins: — his use of porn, his disrespect of you which he is displaying by continuing to feed his porn addiction and by demanding that you be vocal during sex when you don’t want to be vocal, and by his fighting you when you try to raise your legitimate grievances.
I encourage you to read more on this blog, and to read Lundy Bancroft’s book Why Does He Do That? [Affiliate link] (find it under our Resources tab) and also to read the booklet Honouring Resistance [Internet Archive link].
It is not your fault. You are not to blame. Your husband may try to repeatedly blame you for ‘causing trouble’ when you express your legitimate grievances, but you are not causing the trouble. He is the one causing you the trouble and giving you pain and distress by his pattern of porn usage and all the attitudes that stem from that (like treating you like an object whose chief purpose is to serve him and his pleasures.
You have every right to raise you grievances about this behaviour of his.
Also Need Help,
We always like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.
Can you please send me your email address?
Welcome! The team members’ email addresses can be found on our About us page.
I sincerely don’t think my husband is watching porn of any kind. He leaves for work at the same time as me and gets home after me, and doesn’t get on the computer alone. When he does, it’s to watch karate movies or stuff like that. He works in [the kind of job] where he doesn’t use his phone during the day but to text me at lunch usually… but he does want to have sex daily.
Some have said it is his age. But he gets irritated with me if it’s not every night. He said he doesn’t see anything wrong with wanting it, even if he knows it would be more loving to let me go to bed early since we have little ones and we get up early for work.
He brings a lot of things up that I don’t like. His favorite topic is sex. He always wants to be touching me in a sexual manner, grabbing my boobs a lot. Wants me to sit on his lap a lot. Doesn’t care what I’m doing, will get in my way and make me hug him. Wants to kiss for long periods of time, especially if I’m trying to do something else, like take care of the baby or cook dinner. Is always checking me out. Every time we go to the store he pressures me to buy sexy underwear which I don’t want to wear because it gives me irritation. These things might not seem that bad, but when it is the only attention you get, it can start getting irritating.
I have, several times, voiced to him that these things make me feel like I’m a sex object. He is nice to me until it’s been a night or two since that last time. Then comes the stern face, the ignoring, the snapping at me, etc. We have a busy life, but he still thinks that sex is supposed to be an every night thing. It’s just weird…that sex has that much bearing on his mood and which personality he shows.
After I had our first baby he pressured me so bad for sex that it was at 3 weeks pp that I gave in, even though I had had trauma. I don’t know what to treat as normal and what’s not normal. I’m trying to start giving him more of the benefit of the doubt because for a while everything has been so offensive to him…We’ve had a few talks and I’m basically always begging him to change. He is very defiant and resistant to any requests for him to change or consider my feelings. I should not be surprised though because he was very stubborn and demanding when we dated. I did baby him in the beginning. When we got married, I also babied him because I was being told by my former church to do so. So I became afraid to speak up for myself and always had to hide my way of doing stuff or face a big argument or face being told that I’m trying to control him.
Hi, I changed your screen name in this comment to Dont Know, just to help disidentify you. And I airbrushed a few other details in your comment. I’ll respond more later … I have a busy day today.
thanks for this info now I know I’m not crazy but I’m just confused on how to handle this b/c of course I’m the crazy one as my husband tells me.. But this has confirmed everything I already knew.. Now where do I go from here????? I love this man with everything in me but if he isn’t willing to admit what is going on then how can we get help and fix this?
Hi, I changed your screen name to AD to protect your identity.
If you read thru the comments thread on this post you will see many women have asked the same question you have, and you can read our replies to them. That’s probably better than me writing a rushed reply to your question here.
Blessings to you, and welcome to the blog.
We always like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.
Greetings, I have always chosen not to even think of my husband being into porn or to be involved with other women. He always justified his actions with other women and I always just chose to believe that his motives were pure. He wasn’t going to change and he always had the last word. In the last few years things have happened in my life that have made me realize that I needed to change. I could no longer remain the door mat and so I started to look at things a little different and also my children started to tell me I needed to look at life realistically. It has been a long growing experience and in turn my husband has drifted father and farther away from me. The church is coming from the angle if I was just more submissive and loving he would come around.
Anyway long story short, he seems to have to close a relationship with a woman. Someone has been wondering about porn but I have always just tossed it aside … well I decided to look into it more and read the above article and needless to say I could hardly sleep that night. He has always said everything is my fault and especially in the bedroom. He says, “If you can’t have good sex, you can’t have a good marriage.” I’m just really wondering where to go from here. I know I’ll need solid proof for him and for our church leaders to believe me.
I read UnHoly Charade, I can say a hardy amen!! I have felt those things from people.
Thanks for sharing. I saw the signs but needed proof. I ended up using software to scan his PC for porn and was in tears when I saw all the pictures and videos. We are getting help now.
Welcome to the blog. I changed your screen name to Yet Another Anon (for your safety). If you want us to change it to something else, just email The woman behind the curtain: email@example.com — she will be more than happy to assist. 🙂
And I removed the link you had given. Please don’t take offence: we don’t have time to check out links so we generally remove them from comments unless we know the site well already.
We always like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.
My husband has in the past admitted to watching porn. While he shows many of the signs, he doesn’t ever do anything harmful to me. He has at times in the past confided in one of our pastors, who had a porn addiction, but has been delivered from it. However, I believe my husband’s biggest problem is that he doesn’t want to ever do anything that takes effort.
He hasn’t told me in ages that he’s still viewing porn, but I know he is because he does it when he thinks I’m asleep but he won’t use headphones and he plays everything louder than he thinks he does. As a consequence, I hear it. He hasn’t been intimate with me in so long I can’t remember. I think his biggest problem with intimacy is there has to be something happen between a man and a woman to stimulate the woman and that takes a little effort. Porn is all about the act so as a result he doesn’t know what to do to get to the act.
I have in the past made numerous suggestions of what he could do and when and he doesn’t make the effort. He doesn’t think it’s necessary. So, I basically feel like I’m living with a roommate and I’m frankly very tired of talking to him about it.
The problem now is I am, and I know I’ve allowed it, in a situation with a friend of over 20 years, who is now divorced in which I could very easily fall into a relationship with him because we both feel extremely lonely. The thing saving me from that is he’s several hours away and we would definitely have to plan anything we did.
I really do love my husband. We have been married more than two decades and I don’t like feeling like the live-in maid anymore.
Do you have any suggestions?
Welcome to the blog. I have changed your screen name for your safety. I strongly suggest you don’t use your real name on this blog, given the situation you are in.
I suggest you make a very firm VOW to yourself not to do anything that might lead to sexual involvement with that friend of yours. You are too vulnerable, and there’s no way you know for sure the reason his marriage ended… he could be an abuser and hiding that fact from you. And even if he isn’t an abuser, it is not in his best interests to get into a new marriage (let alone sex without marriage!) until and unless he has had a substantial period of recovery and stabilization after his divorce. He needs to face his loneliness and learn to handle it. Only then would it be wise for him to consider another marriage.
We very much understand you not wanting to be merely a live-in maid for your husband. We encourage you to keep reading this blog and to look at our Resources and our Tags menus, especially the parts that deal with Financial Abuse and Legal Issues. The reason we suggest this is that if you do eventually decide to call the marriage o.v.e.r. there is a chance your husband will try to fleece the marital assets. He has clearly shown that he isn’t prepared to do the hard work that he would HAVE to do to make the marriage healthy. But make no mistake, he might be very prepared to do a lot of hard work to walk away from the marriage with more $ than he really deserves. So prepare yourself.
And if you are going to tell him the marriage is over, make sure you’ve read a lot about financial abuse and the legal issues you might face in a divorce. Do that homework for yourself quietly, without letting him know. That is not an ungodly form of secrecy: it’s simply being prudent when you’re dealing with someone who has given himself over to the lusts of the sinful flesh and who clearly doesn’t care how much his behaviour is hurting you. So get your ducks in a row before you announce your decision to him.
And here is our New Users’ page which we encourage all newbies to read. 🙂
I have a question. Would you consider porn to be a form of adultery? My husband has viewed the same women, of a certain race and he has his favourites. It is hard core stuff. He quickly turned off the monitor once, which led me to discover the porn. There was interest in certain things you mentioned above but never forced on me. I could tell that his sexuality was greatly influenced by porn. Recently I found nearly 300 links, some repeats, of Google images of a porn star. Some of the links were extremely explicit.
Hi dear sister, I changed your screen name to Nima for your safety.
A pattern of porn viewing is indeed adultery in our view. And you’ve got plenty of evidence that your husband is viewing porn regularly.
We are not the only ones who think that habitual porn use is adultery. R C Sproul Snr thinks it is too. I recently found out that he thinks that. Here is the link where he says it — Marriage and Divorce
Thank you so much. I have been torn because his abusive behaviors have gotten much better, not so often and much more mild when it occurs. But the damage has been done. I pray about whether or not it is okay to leave, but I am not one of those people who seems to hear God talking to them. I want out, but feel horrible for doing so, probably because of the environment around divorce in Christian circles and all. He isn’t hitting me or calling me names. It is more passive aggressive comments, guilt trips, that sort of thing. The control over my whereabouts and over how I do things around the house has stopped. But I still find that our communication over problems is next to impossible much of the time (he most likely has a personality disorder). And I think he hid an expense in our mortgage account because he won’t let me have the password to it.
Oh, as to the name, my screen-name isn’t my real name. I don’t know what you saw on the other end, but it’s not real. Thank you for watching out for me. If it is a real name, let me know and I will try to figure out how to change it.
Hi, I didn’t change your screen name this time. Check the name as it appears on this comment of yours, and email TWBTC if you want us to change it. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
You don’t have to ‘hear from God’ directly to know that you are at liberty to leave this man. If you want to leave, you may do so, because, as you say, the damage has been done, and he is still indulging in porn, laying false guilt on you, making covert-aggressive comments, and concealing what he is doing with finances (finances that ought to be spent for the welfare of the family, not just on his own sins and lusts). All those things are part of his pattern of behavior that gives you biblical grounds to leave him, if you wish to leave him.
Often, when an abuser senses that his victim is coming out of the fog and contemplating leaving, he will diminish some of the abusive behaviours he has used in the past. He does this to make his partner wonder if he is really, actually, changing for the better.
But your husband is NOT changing for the better, he is only moving the deckchairs on the Titanic.
The abuser always tries to throw his victim onto the back foot, get her to doubt herself, get her to give him another chance. The longer the abuser can keep that up, the longer he has to go on taking advantage of his victim for her sexual and domestic services. And the more chance he has that she will become so depleted of energy, so unwell in her bodily health, so depressed mentally, that she will lose the strength she needs to leave him… and the strength she needs to run the gauntlet of post-separation abuse from him, and from ‘C’hristians who he can get to side with him in stigmatizing her.
On our FAQ page we have an item about divorce— I suggest you dig into that.
I suggest you also read all our posts about Financial Abuse particularly this one: Financial abuse from intimate partners — a lament, stories and tips to protect oneself.
And I STRONGLY suggest you read the part of our Resources section which deals with Safety Planning.
Also Nima, we like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.
And after reading the New Users’ Info page, I you might want to look at our FAQs.
Thank you so much, Barbara. It makes me feel crazy because he has “improved” so much. But I know he doesn’t really love me. He NEEDS me. And I am done. He has never apologized for his bad behavior, and he shifts the blame 99% of the time.
I do have one more question. Hypothetically, what if he stopped all of the bad behaviors? Am I required to stay then? Because 95% of those behaviors are gone, but I dont love him anymore. Not after all of the stuff he put me through.
Oh and another thing that is weighing on me about all of this. Can I say I did everything to change my situation? No. I think I was checked out of the relationship already by the time I realized what I was experiencing. So when people would tell me to confront him about his behavior and to set boundaries, I found I didnt want to. I was “done” already. I do pray (since dh has improved…never actually apologized for his behavior) that if God wants me to stay, that He change my heart. And if I do file, I have a note to read to him to at least see what his reaction would be. But I have a feeling that no matter how much change is made, I dont want him anymore. And I feel guilty about all of this.
Dear Minagelina, that guilt you feel is false guilt, laid on to you (and laid on to MOST victims of abuse) by the false and unbalanced teachings which are so prevalent in the church these days.
I encourage you to read this PDF: Honouring Resistance: How Women Resist Abuse in Intimate Relationships [Internet Archive link]
Your responses to the abuse have been fine, healthy and normal! You ‘checked out’ of the relationship a long time ago, because he has been hurting you for a long long time already. The foolish advisors who have told you to ‘confront him and set boundaries’ are not honouring the fact that
(a) you have no doubt confronted him many times already — in various ways that you deemed were prudent at the time…. and
(b) you have been setting boundaries against him for ages already and one of those boundaries was to ‘check out’ of the relationship so to speak to protect your personhood from his corrosive stealthy evil.
If any of those foolish advisors are willing to learn more about the dynamics of domestic abuse, I suggest they read this PDF which is a companion piece to the one above: Respecting & Listening to Victims of Violence [Internet Archive link]
Many victims of abuse have this kind of question. The harms the abuser has done are so devastating, so corroding, so malicious, so long term, so complex, that the person they have harmed feels no love for the abuser any more. This is a HEALTHY response on the part of the victim. It shows you are aware of the deep harms he has done to you – which is a good thing! You are very much aware of reality! Our emotions are given by God and one of the God-given purposes of our emotions, when we are not lying to ourselves or to others, is to warn us of danger and harm: harm (evil) that HAS happened; danger (from evildoers) that we might be at risk of now or in the future.
For an abuser to stop being an abuser entails more than just stopping the bad behaviors. He ought to also take responsibility for the multiple harms he has done to you and the manipulative lies he has told to others including the children. And he ought also to do whatever is needed to make reparation.
Our Checklist for Repentance explains this in more detail. I encourage you to read it. And to re-read it whenever you are doubting yourself.
Let us hypothetically imagine that your abuser did all the things on that Checklist for Repentance. Even if he did, that does not mean you would be obliged to stay with him or to return to him if you had left him. He would have to recognise and accept that the harms he did to you have led you to feel like you NEVER want to be with him ever again. And he would have to accept that, as part of the consequences for his previous sins.
You own him nothing. He has broken the covenant. You are at liberty to leave him, to stay away from him forever, to divorce him… it is entirely your choice and God will not judge you for whichever way you decide those choices.
God divorced Israel (the northern kingdom) and He did not bring them back from their exile in Assyria. Israel had broken the covenant. Israel had to bear the consequences of their wickedness.
Yes. And the abuser, with his over-inflated sense of entitlement and his belief that he has every right to make the target suffer, is like Satan who believed that he had every right to make Jesus suffer and die on the Cross.
Satan must have been aghast when he realised that by manipulating the players in Jerusalem to murder Jesus, he had in fact helped bring about salvation for the people God has chosen to save from before the foundation of the world.
Also Minagelina, I think you will find it helpful to read the What If The Abuser Is Repentant? page under our FAQ tab. Look in the top menu to find it.
Minagelina, I have had the same questions. I have felt like there is something wrong with me when I read of others who struggle with wanting to be back with the abuser, or leaving him, but hoping for real change, the love still strong. When he walked out I was thankful, and had no problem refusing all his attempts to come back. My heart was broken long before. His actions sound the same as what you have faced.
Thank you, Barbara, for your words. They helped. My decision may be set, but I can’t help second guessing myself, as the emotionally stepping away from the relationship happened gradually. The abuse was so subtle I couldn’t understand why love was so broken for me; for a time I couldn’t receive or give love, and it was devastating. I may struggle with it for the rest of my life. I see now, thanks to this site, but sure need the regular reminders of what I have been through and how it has shaped my life and responses.
Hi Moving Forward and Minagelina, you might find this post helpful:
Does the victim recognize the abusive patterns? Yes, and no. And then, by degrees, YES!
Thank you so much for responding to this! I have needed to hear this because I keep going back to what I experienced, what I am dealing with now, etc. I also always questioned whether or not what I was experiencing was abuse. I had to have people break down the experiences I had and point out what things were. I mean ultimately, I guess if I feel like I have to protect myself emotionally from my husband and am afraid to approach hard subjects with him because I don’t know how he’ll react, then I HAVE been abused, even if I can’t exactly pinpoint why. But trusting my own judgment and feelings is so hard to do. The church emphasizes NOT trusting your feelings so much, and couple that with people second guessing you and all, it makes for a lot of uncertainty. And this makes me feel sick.
My husband has a porn addiction and we recently got into a conversation about our marital issues and he said that he doesn’t think his porn is an issue because “everything is fine” until I discover that he has been watching again. And that he doesn’t watch it for sexual purposes but mainly because it’s a distraction for him. I don’t understand any of it and was wondering if someone could explain it to me.
Michelle – Your husband is deceived and is lying. Porn is adultery and fornication. It is unfaithfulness to the marriage vows. Furthermore, any notion that he doesn’t watch it for “sexual purposes” is a fantasy. Porn is all about sex – perverted sex. And he is abusing you by pursuing it.
Barbara- I no longer am confused. He confronted me about our relationship and I told him I have been thinking about leaving. When I asked about why he had checked out a popular cheaters site, he at first played dumb and then finally admitted that he had done so and said that he had wanted sex. Told me it had been a long time since we had any (said with a sort of scolding face). He obviously felt very entitled to his sex and didn’t show one smidge of remorse, neither for the porn. It was all about him, how he felt, how he has made all of these changes, how I haven’t acknowledged them, and how he has been trying to work on our relationship. But he wants a checklist of to do’s, and he doesn’t get that the changes are intangibles of the mind and heart. There is no checklist. He showed me what he needed to in order for me to fell 100% ok about leaving.
I’m glad you are no longer confused! And I removed a little of your comment, to protect you from being identified.
If you have children, you might like to check out this page which is one of our FAQs: How can I help my children heal from abuse?
Your description summarizes abusers in general, in that, it’s all about them, how they feel, what they’re entitled to, how they deserve more, why we need to pity them, they have it so rough, and not one genuine bit of remorse or sorrow over any of their sinfulness.
May you be strengthened and blessed in your separation as abusers tend to get ugly — er, I mean, uglier. Yay, minagelina. 😊
Oh my, it is getting uglier. His [siblings] are sending me marriage counseling stuff, telling me that they have been through much worse than me and h went through and are stronger for it, if they can do it, we can, (mind you, a year or so ago this same person confided that she had wanted to stay with a friend as he was being nasty to her [during a medical issue] and I recall she had to come into the house when he got inside and got off the phone).
I feel so guilty for not going to marriage counseling. He is throwing at me that he gave me a note [some time] ago about trying to make things work and I never answered him, and how do I think that made him feel, etc. The letter he gave me was all about how great he was and how he’s made improvements and I am not acknowledging them, very much how it was all on me…”we can make it work, let’s try.” But I knew that he wouldn’t take responsibility. He can’t even do that for little things, and he always tells me that it’s my faulty perceptions and not his actions that are the problem, followed by a pseudo-apology that has no feeling beneath it and certainly no awareness.
Yet I feel guilty. I am trying to block contact with his [siblings] and keep away from long periods of time alone with him. But I feel like I should have answered his letter back then, though it would have been much of what has happened in our conversations lately…blame shifting, lack of responsibility, lack of any semblance of remorse.
How do you get over the guilt? I don’t dare do marriage counseling with him….that would be dangerous to my mental health.
[Editor’s note: comment edited for safety]
You are wise to realize that marriage counseling would be dangerous. And dealing with the flood of emotions during this time is also difficult. You asked, “How do you get over the guilt?” For me what helped was realizing the guilt I felt was false guilt and then reminding myself over and over again of the truth: the truth that the abuse was not my fault, the truth that it was my abuser that caused the divorce, the truth that abusers blame shift, the truth that abusers often play the part of a victim, and the truth that the abuser will typically ramp up his blame shifting and other abusive tactics around the time that the victim is about to or has recently left.
If you haven’t already noticed, we have a False Guilt TAG on the top menu bar. It currently lists 158 posts. Hoping you may find additional help in some of them.
Here is one post in particular that you may find helpful. And remember to read the comment section – the readers often have wise words to share.
Navigating Through Negative Emotions
I also believe my husband is a porn addict…and I have expressed my feelings but he continuously says it’s in my head. I have found evidence that he is using porn but he denies it.
Our sexual relationship has dwindled to almost nothing, and what is left of it is mostly him wanting / coercing / forcing me to participate in things that that I hate. [details redacted]
I’m so stressed out… I’ve tried talking to him but he denies he is watching it at all.
I love my husband but I deserve more…he won’t get help and my marriage as you can see is dwindling away…
HELP PLEASE & ALL OPINIONS APPRECIATED!
Hi, I had to remove a lot of details from your comment as they could have identified you to your husband. We don’t have much help to suggest other than what is already written in this post and the comments thread. When a man refuses to admit that he has a serious problem which is destroying his marriage, then there is nothing the wife can do to get him to change his attitude. But you can educate yourself on the mindset of men who are like this, so that you can then make more informed choices about what you want to do with your own life — having your own long-term safety and wellbeing in mind.
We like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.
And after reading the New Users’ Info page, I suggest you look at our FAQ page.
I changed your screen name to Stressed as a precaution. If you want us to change it to something else, just email TWBTC (The Woman Behind The Curtain) —email@example.com — she will be happy to assist. 🙂
I haven’t been able to have sex with my husband because I was sick … I found out I had to have an operation. Well I feel so much better after the operation, but now he doesn’t want to have sex: he tells me marriage isn’t about sex and intimacy has nothing to do with sex. But since my surgery I have high energy of sex now!
I found sex content on my husband’s phone. When I addressed it to him, he told me that he wasn’t and got really really upset. He told me he had been hacked. I want to believe him but I can’t. Please help me understand him.
Hi, I airbrushed your comment a bit to protect your identity. And I changed your screen name.
Here is how to “understand” your husband. He is lying to you. He has been lying to you for probably a very long time. Men who get caught for using porn, and married men who get caught for having affairs, typically make up all sort of excuses for their immoral behavior.
Don’t believe any of the excuses he gives you.
Don’t try to ‘help him overcome his problems’. Don’t buy into his games. He is just trying to get you off his back so he can keep doing the wicked things he wants to do.
Also, let me encourage you to not fall into The Explaining Trap.
You seem to be a new visitor to our blog. We like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.
And after reading the New Users’ Info page, I suggest you look at our FAQ page.
So my husband has confessed over and over he has a porn addiction. Each time, he meets with a pastor or counselor to seek help. That ALWAYS last just a few weeks and then he stops seeing them. He’s had accountability apps on his phone before, he’d have them and then deactivate them to view and then reactivate them. This time I caught him in [part of the house redacted by Eds] with his phone. I asked what he was doing and he was VERY nervous. Of course I’m not stupid, I know what he was doing. But he covered up saying something dumb.
Well I just been unsettled lately since that. I went through his phone and it’s like he’s trying to not look at “porn” but look up ANYTHING with girls showing their behinds (ex. Like sprinters running, gym videos). I’m lost now what to do. I can’t take anymore of this. I don’t know what boundary to put up anymore b/c he obviously doesn’t care about what happens. I have kids and I don’t want them to be exposed. What do I do?
My heart goes out to you! Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of suggestions for what you can do, other than this: I suggest you give serious thought to taking whatever steps you need to take to separate from him….and take the kids with you. You are right to want to protect your kids from being exposed to his sinful behaviour and the possible effects of his sin on them.
The fact that he’s lying, evading responsibility, evading accountability, etc, shows that he really wants to continue his sinful behaviour. And he’s obviously been habituating those things for a very long time. Lies. Evasion of responsibility. Pretence.
You can’t do anything about him, but you can do things to change your own life and give your kids the chance of greater well-being and safety.
I suggest you have a look at our FAQ page, and dig into the links there which most interest you.
I also suggest you keep commenting here on this blog, as you will find it a supportive place. Please read our New Users’ Info page before you comment again, as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.
And for your safety, I changed your screen name to Wife of Porn Addict, as it looked like the name you had given might be your real name.
I knew my husband was watching porn and lying about it, he left his phone here yesterday so I checked and I could have died, I literally got so sick to my stomach. I have cried every time I’m alone, I have no one to talk to and I mean no one. I don’t understand how he can watch something that I was having to turn my head and it just made me hurt seeing that filth. It was the porn of torturing women and nailing their breast down, oh Lord I don’t understand how anyone could watch that, what is wrong with him. Then the sites searched after the breast, he was trying to find their vaginas being tortured, I’m so blown away I can’t even think right I hope someone gets back to me.
Dear Diane, it’s no wonder you are in shock! Your husband is into ‘torture porn’ (I made up that term, but it’s probably used somewhere out there by the perverts).
It’s impossible for people who are not into sexual perversion to comprehend the depths of evil that people get into. And to even begin to take in the fact that your HUSBAND is doing that is such a massive shock.
I encourage you to not talk to him about your discovery. He will only lie, obfuscate, try to lay blame on you, make you feel guilty, etc. And that will only give you even MORE trauma.
Instead of confronting him, you might find it safer to quietly and secretly plan to leave him. He is so deep into depravity he will not change. He will fight tooth and nail — with LOTS of lies and manipulative tactics and blame-shifting — so that he can avoid having to give up his lusts. It would be a massive waste of time and energy for you to try to get him to change while you are still living with him and tied to him financially. I say this because I’ve heard from many women whose husbands have been into porn, and the kind of porn your husband is into is really bad. I would not be surprised if he progresses from there to porn that shows children being sexually abused and tortured.
I urge you to consider getting your ducks in a row in order to leave him without him being aware of your plans. If he is aware of your plans he is likely to try to burn you into the ground financially and emotionally and spiritually.
Click here for our Safety Planning page. Safety planning is very useful for all victims of abuse. And you are a victim of abuse: abuse from your husband: his lies, his false persona, his callous and hardhearted attitude to you – the woman he promised to love and cherish and be faithful to. He has horrifically violated that promise he made to you.
You owe him nothing. He has trashed the marriage covenant. You do not have to stay married to him; he has already well and truly broken the covenant.
And click here for resources about Sexual Abuse. You are definitely a victim of sexual abuse.
You are not alone. There are untold numbers of women like you who have discovered their husband is into perversion and porn. If you keep commenting here, you will find there are others who hear and believe and relate to you.
We always encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.
And after reading the New Users’ Info page, you might like to look at our FAQ page.
(((hugs))) from Barb.
Your right about shifting the blame on me, he has always blamed me for everything that has went wrong in his life. Neither me nor his son were ever put first in his life, it has always been his dad and he still and I’m sure always will put him first. He gets mad at me cause I fuss about the things he does but his sorry dad tells him it will be ok we will fix it – that is his main problem is his dad he has never had a good father figure, his dad has watched porn with him and cheated on his wife, the whole family is messed up in the head from the religion he was raised in, to the father being [an] outright sorry person.
I was always there for him no matter what I have shown him more love than his mom or dad ever has, I been in the family [for over two decades] and I have never heard his mother tell him she loves him they are one messed up family and I’m sick of being mistreated by him and him always letting his dad disrespect our marriage the way he did.
I don’t have anyone I can go to about this and need to get stuff off my chest. He has not always been like this other than he always put his sperm donor first — I dealt with that my whole marriage on top of living right beside them.
[Details airbrushed for protection. Editors.]
Your husband is tied to his Dad’s apron strings. And his Dad has taught him that it’s fine to practise sexual immorality.
Quite a number of abusers seem to be emotionally bonded in an unhealthy way to one or both of their parents, so they never grow up. When a parent condones and enables that ongoing immaturity in their adult-child, there is little to no reason for the adult-child to take responsibility for their bad behaviour. Everything is cushy for them — so why change?
I hope you dig into the links I gave you in my earlier comment. You will find lots of ideas there that will help you. 🙂
And it is NOT your fault. You are not to blame.
Abusers always shift the blame to their victims. So it helps to keep saying to yourself:
Most people who are into porn of that nature have been into porn for so long, or to such a severe degree that they cannot get off to anything less vile. It’s about desensitization. So, if you husband tries to play it off, don’t let him. Most start off with less violent porn and by the time they are watching that, they’ve been in porn for a long time, or to a large degree.
Just the fact that every serial killer is a rampant porn addict should give people pause.
I’d advise divorce, Diane. I cannot make your choices for you and things are very, very complicated, but this guy is sick (as in, evil, not ill). Snuff porn is right up there with the ‘torture porn’ as Barbara called it. I’m so sorry for your situation, Diane. Of course you are blown away and reeling in pain.