Some domestic abusers are addicted to porn as well as being abusive to their wives in a pattern of coercive control.
This is an account from a happily married woman who supported a victim as she divorced her abuser. She discovered that this abuser, among his other sins, was addicted to gay porn. The story came to me by email and we are republishing it here in disidentified form with the author and the victim’s permission.
Trigger warning for those who have been affected by pornography.
I must tell you how God took us through discovering the gay porn. The victim’s lawyer, more than a year previously, had postulated that the abuser was possibly gay, but we were like “Oh, no…. not him.” As is typical in a domestic abuse situation, she had no access to financial records but, per the divorce process, he was required to release to her both joint and individually held banking statements.
He claimed he was too poor to support her, but she knew he’d laundered money so she asked for my help in looking over the statements so she could tabulate where the money all went. We began noticing anomalies — “blank” spots — and realized the originals of the copies she was in possession of had been altered prior to being copied. Sometimes the business, phone and city were obscured leaving only the amount of the purchase and the date. Other times just the name was covered up. A pattern began to be revealed. The hidden information was usually on entries of one of several identical dollar amounts and sometimes on a date repeated monthly. So we began scrutinizing the entries on just those particular dollar amounts debited from the account and found each had concealed portions.
Then we found one he missed and Googled the name of the business. Oh. My. God. I was horrified at what I saw and was glad she was away from the computer at that moment. Sometimes just Googling the 800 number on the bank statement brought up websites with repugnant sexual acts being, apparently, performed live. Upon discovering different entries that were missed, or masked in an incomplete manner, the search became more diligent throughout the several years of statements she had been provided with of several accounts.
To protect her from emotional trauma I was the one that was tasked with opening all the websites as the information in the bank statements was Googled. All were hard-core gay pornography. The next step was copying the URLs into a document, then print screening the home page of the deviant websites into the document to prove that these bank statement entries were purchases of porn. Dignity insisted that I cover the naked parts with blocks of color so I could still allow the website’s confirming contact info to show in the document. Once the urge to vomit passed, things from their dysfunctional marriage suddenly began to make sense to her. Even just the few years provided showed thousands of dollars squandered on this addiction.
At two weeks of computer researching and documenting (yes, there was that much) this immorality meant I needed to be prayed for at church — I realized a gloom and heaviness had cloaked me and I didn’t even want to go to church….highly unusual for me. The Lord was faithful to lift that oppression.
In subsequent weeks I had to organize and print the documentation for the victim to give to her lawyer. From the beginning I would always put my hand up to partially block the screen from my eyes when I first opened one of those awful sites, but after prayer I can only explain my experience like on Star Trek when they would “raise shields”. It was like a grey mist came up and shielded not my eyes but my soul from the filth on the screen. I could still see everything in color, but it was truly a spiritual masking. There was no titillation, no anything, though more than once I (like my friend, too) felt like I would vomit from the degeneracy exhibited.
I am so grateful to the Lord for being faithful to protect my heart and soul when I had to wade through the unflushed toilet of depravity.
[April 11, 2023: Editors’ notes:
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25 thoughts on “The Lord shielded not my eyes but my soul from the filth on the screen”
How is it possible to spend so much money on porn sites? I really have no idea. But one of the things I’ve been wondering about in my own situation is where has all our money gone?
I used to be in charge of the household money. About five years ago my husband took it away, telling me he didn’t trust me. I had always paid everything on time, but used the extra to take the kids camping, etc. fairly regularly, so I was upset but felt guilty too.
Since he took over, we regularly would get shut-off notices. He would brag at church that he would rather do anything (anything that would feed his ego, that is) rather than sit down and write out bills, even though we had the money. I did not have access to the account where at least 95% of our money went.
In the last five years, our house has completely fallen apart, everything from plumbing, leaks, electrical circuits out, saplings growing in the gutters, roof covered in moss, mold and ripped out drywall….and that’s just the big stuff. I drive a 14-year-old car that we got used, from which doors don’t work (or fall off if you try to open them), paint is peeling off, two tires are bald.
And we have no money, and I expect too much from him financially. (I literally just received a letter from him moaning about how if he has to replace his old income stream, he’s sunk, because the economy doesn’t support it anymore.) Let me clarify, too, that his annual income was over $100,000 per year.
I know he’s been feeding an alcohol addiction, although he claims not to have had any since I asked him to leave six months ago. But alcohol isn’t that expensive, as far as I can see. I did discover porn on our computer about 12 years ago, so I assume he took the habit underground, on his laptops that I had no access to. So how much do those things cost? I really am genuinely curious.
Marah, I am no authority concerning the costs of porn, but know that it can become very expensive. I can say that I have seen the pattern of the abuser controlling the finances and everything falling apart personally several times. With my own husband, while he took voluntary layoff, I was working nearly 60 hours a week to try to keep the family afloat. I noticed in particular that he had $600 a month gas bills. I thought that was quite much for someone laid off from work and he said that it was for the lawnmower! I was too busy working to inquire much more into that lie and I eventually discovered that he had a girlfriend that he drove back and forth to her home (40 miles away) and to expensive events. Girlfriends can be a big drain on the family finances.
I also knew another who compulsively put all of the finances into secret investments while his wife was given a minute food budget with which she tried to make healthy meals. All she really could afford was beans and pasta and he belittled her over her cooking. It was discovered that he was eating out before he came home and that was yet another drain on the finances.
Another gave his wife her portion of his paycheck to pay for household expenses, mortgage, food, etc. for the five small children. He usually gave her about $100 a week and she had to find cleaning jobs to make up the real expenses of running the household. The abuser also had a racket going where he would buy expensive things on his wife’s credit (he ruined his) and then return the items for cash. This went on for years with the PCA pastor telling her the problem was that she wasn’t showing enough thankfulness for the husband’s work and if she did he would want to give her his paycheck — you know, stroke his ego. After years with no results from that advice, she told him that she must have some money due to dire financial straits. At that point he chose to leave. Turns out the money was going to ultra expensive auto parts for his hobby in the garage and other women.
From what I have seen, regardless of where the money is going, the abuser gets a real power over his victim by keeping her “under his thumb” financially and forcing her to live in substandard conditions. The money is often wasted on selfish things and he will drag the whole situation out until the victim puts up a solid boundary. When the scam is over and they have been exposed, I have seen these guys move on. Only then the truth comes out that the money was there the whole time but wasted by a fool.
Wow, that’s really eye opening. It still strikes me as so weird to read stories so similar to mine and think, “Wow, she has had a terrible time of it”, yet keep minimizing my own experiences. I keep making excuses for him in my head, thinking, “Well, we do have two mortgages, ridiculous health care expenses, kids on special diets for health reasons, he tithes regularly (although he hadn’t done for a year or two, I believe)….”
I know it’s not excessive for me to expect to live in a home with fully functional utilities, walls, and roof, but I can’t make to leap away from the feeling that he just legitimately hasn’t been able to afford us. It makes me sick. 😛
Marah, I think that guys who let the house fall apart may be doing so to keep the abused trapped. They hope that he will fix things eventually and wait (he may even make small repairs to keep the hope alive). Or the house gets so bad it can’t be sold other than as a fixer-upper creating financial entrapment. Since you were able to meet expenses when you handled the finances, it seems like he should be able to also if he truly had the family’s good in mind.
Marah, I agree with all of Thepersistentwidow’s replies to you. And I too have seen the way some abusers houses end up as sheer dumps, places that are not inhabitable for health and safety reasons, but the victim and kids feel trapped with him because of no money to leave. I’ve also heard of a victim, her abuser and four kid (eight every second weekend – from his first marriage) living in a caravan and no running water and the power was often cut off. And they had mice.
Marah, typing on my phone so this will be as short as possible and with out frills….
1) Find a safe computer and use one of those free credit reports. Check all creditors carefully.
From experience I learned a husband took out credit cards ONLINE in wife’s name and ran up multiple accounts she didn’t know about. Paid monthly on time until he kicked her out then SHE got “past due” notices. Ruined her credit. Could not prosecute for fraud as the were married at time of his transactions.
If you find any you did not open or use yourself call them. Protest charges, tell them the account was opened without your knowledge or permission so that it is documented with them, and cancel the card if you feel it is safe for you to do so. Ask for copies of statements mailed to a safe friend’s address. Or if safe to do so, get a PO box and use that address. Be aware that once you change your address to receive statements to figure things out the actual statements he should be paying on will no longer go to him. They cannot split up the addresses for payments to him and information to you. Research charges using internet.
Highly important: document, document, document! If necessary keep records elsewhere so he won’t find them. Record date, time, who you spoke with, conversation high points. (Such as credit card company, bank, etc.)
2) Porn billings never say “Porn USA” on statements. All names are “brown paper bagged” so as to not raise suspicion. Check out all amounts that reoccur monthly such as $39.95, $29.95. These could be monthly payments for video porn access.
Check out on the internet innocuous names such as Billcc, or similar. If it isn’t the name of your credit card company, auto finance, utility company, Sears, etc., consider the charge suspect. Google any info on the bank or credit card statement. If there is an 800 number on the statement that Google doesn’t show anything for re- Google the number with the word “porn” after it. Do same if the name of business doesn’t turn up anything.
If you find porn use, use your “print screen” function to capture the page and paste it into a document you create for your evidence. Record the bank statement, date, amount, etc., and how it ties to the billing info on the repugnant website.
Keep a barf bucket close by as the stuff you will probably see is nauseating. Ask the Holy Spirit for protection of mind and emotions and to hide your actions from your abuser. Ask Him to reveal truth and expose lies. Always consider your own safety when documenting. Keep your actions of researching and your subsequent documentation off-site if at all possible. A safe trusted friend, or family member.
3) Do not confront until you have received advice from experts in domestic abuse. If you have a lawyer speak with her about how to proceed safely.
4) If you discover that cards have been taken out in your name and charges run up consider that the fraud may also extend to your taxes. If you have not signed a joint tax return in some time he may have forged your name on untruthful documents. If you believe he is still filing joint but you have not seen those returns you can go to your local IRS office and request copies of your joint tax returns. Look them over and if you find where he’s lied about anything or any number of things on the return so that he owes less taxes you can file a form with the IRS that is called something like an innocent spouse document. Make sure to get those IRS return copies in person not mailed to where he can find them then keep them in a secure location for future reference.
The idea here is that if he is willing to defraud you financially by doing porn behind your back he is probably also willing to defraud you by taking out credit cards in your name to protect his interests, and he could very likely also be defrauding the government. I hope it hasn’t progressed that far in your situation but I also hope this information will enlighten you so you know what to watch out for to protect yourself.
These are things I learned, but I am totally open to Barbara or Jeff tempering my opinions with their expertise!
Another thing you can do is to put a fraud alert on your credit report. When you do this, any creditor that is given an application for credit in your name must contact you before they issue the credit. When they do, you can tell them that it is an unauthorized application and they do not have permission to open any credit cards in your name. You can also tell the creditor that it is fraud and they may be able to prosecute. You will have to renew the fraud alert periodically.
He also may be paying with a PayPal account or using money to buy pre-paid gift cards and paying with them.
There are numerous ways to do it.
Came Alongside, I defer with gladness to your expertise on this. You know way more about it than I do!
I’ve formatted your comment a bit for ease of reading. Bless you. Without the wide family of ACFJ, we would be a much less useful website.
After my honeymoon, I knew in my gut something was very wrong in the sexual department. I knew it was porn, after searching the house, I stumbled upon it….sure enough, my guts were right on….porn on the computer. The way it was discovered was an act of God. I, broken-hearted, without a word, led my husband to the computer and showed him what I discovered. This man lied, tap danced and manipulated, but when he saw I wasn’t buying it he morphed into a twisted abusive devil throwing at me everything that I had shared with him while dating. Horrible situations I had gone through, all the while he twisted these precious pearls of trauma I had survived into something that I had brought onto myself….date rape, a forced abortion and many other traumas….he used all this to distract from his sin of porn.
This situation repeated itself as more porn was discovered over the course of the marriage. I am now being divorced by him, he has a Christian lawyer that supposedly knows DV….even though I read a statement of admission to my parents that he was abusing me, the courts have not ordered spousal support. I am on public assistance, he makes $100,000 a year.
I have seen what porn has does to him in way of being unable….or unwilling t o keep his eyes off other women while we were in public. When I caught him he would flip it on me and start emotionally and mentally abusing me….I keep asking God where the men are that will stand up to abusers and porn addicts….there aren’t many men due to the vast amount of them being involved with these sins themselves.
I am broken, no lawyer to defend me, no legal aid to assist due to the sheer volume of divorces going on….I haven’t hardly a penny to my name. And this is why women commit suicide or return to the abuser….
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Lauralee and Marah, these are both tragic stories and my heart goes out to you. Suffice it to say that there is no reason that any man can give that will justify his consumption of porn. None! Zero! Zip! Nada!
Trust me when I tell you that there are men out there who fight this battle, even against what seems to be unwinnable odds. Society in general sees nothing wrong with it and large segments of the church seem to think that guys just can’t help it.
I am glad both of you are out of those situations, and our prayers are with you as you fight the ugly legal and financial battles!
You do not know how much that means to me….when I tell the details of what my husband did to me and how he treated me, they are amazed I survived and am doing as well as I am….it is only because I kept crying out to the Lord and He held me close….it’s been a very long journey through [this] insanity of his….he has manipulated 2 “Christian” counselors even though these counselors knew what he was doing still they colluded with money bags….I have a degree in counseling and have worked with DV….this man is so good that he has fooled everyone into believing I am sick….I have C-PTSD and he has almost driven me to suicide. I am grateful to God for His providing a way out. The husband even has my beloved dog, which I cannot have. I am writing another book and I am dedicated to speaking out against this serious issue. Thank you for your tender care in your response….God bless you greatly.
Lauralee, this is so heartbreaking! I am sorry for what you have been through and will be praying for you, too.
Lauralee, my heart goes out to you! You’ve been through the mill!
Reading the post….I have a question….a package came to my address three times addressed to a woman’s name, not mine but my address. It was some sexual device. But no sender name or address….I called Amazon to find out who sent it and that it and was it some mistaken mix up…..how could my address be on it? They wouldn’t give me who it came from.
Is that possible….mix up of address or should I be checking if my husband is doing something?
Dear Nessa, it does seem a bit creepy, doesn’t it? I don’t know whether and how you should or shouldn’t look for more info that would explain it, or question your husband — abusers lie so whatever answer he gave would not be trustworthy, and that’s the point, isn’t it! An abusive man refuses to care for the things that are troubling his wife. I shall pray that the Holy Spirit will show you what to do (or not do).
Love from Barb.
Thanks….I’m trying to find some time when he’s not here where I can check records and see if anything pops up.
How long have you lived there? Is it possible that a previous resident failed to change her address with Amazon?
A long time. 24 years.
Barbara, I would not doubt if the percentage of abusers addicted to porn is in the range of 90% or higher…. Porn feeds the entitlement mentality….which then feeds the cold calloused approach to relationship….which then results in abusive behaviors….which then results in struggle and confusion for the victim (and some kind of unpleasant scenario)….which then results in turning back to porn for comfort…. It is all very circular….
I am not in the mind of the abuser and therefore cannot know for certain if this is the thinking process that goes on, but after almost 30 years of watching my own husband and hearing from others experiencing the same scenarios, the common pattern seems to be something like this:
There is an internal drive to justify what they do, so they look for subtle ways to incite conflict (through use of mind-games, gaslighting, neglect of a responsibility, headship-control-tactics, etc.)…. The intent is to get a negative reaction in some way. In my own case, this “negative” reaction was simply to try to dialogue and problem-solve with my husband — “what a shameful thing for me to do!” “How disrespectful to ask him questions!!”
Because he saw questions automatically as a form of disrespect (being above it / entitlement), he was totally unapproachable — quick to close the door on dialogue. When I would at that point identify the anger, unapproachableness, and refusal to answer questions, expressing how these new choices were only adding more confusion to my already intense struggle regarding the original problem (still yet unaddressed), in a tirade he would throw it all back on me claiming I am “an accuser”, “a woman bent on strife”, “disrespectful”, and “unsubmissive” when her husband says “no”….(No to problem solving?…. No to walking in truth and love?)
It is utterly amazing how they project upon their wives the very things they, themselves, are doing. The use of the false labels, though, seems to be ultimately for the purpose of leading the thinking process back around to: “Any normal man would do what I do to escape this ____.”
It is easy to see the perverted and deceptive tactics of Satan behind it all….
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Thanks for your comment, HisEzer, you described the abuser’s tactics and strategies really well. 🙂
Nessa3, I have gotten a package (of cement tools) from Amazon with a neighbor’s name but my address. A bizarre coincidence I believe. But three times? It would be prudent to be suspicious of this. You have a right to protect yourself and your marriage by doing some more investigation. Sorry that you are going through this.
This comment was sent in by one of our regular readers, who asked me to post it on her behalf.
My husband has been a sex addict for 30 years….he’s not even 40 years old. I remember twice asking him outright if he used porn (once while we were dating) and both times he outright lied.
I also recall having some very strong feelings that he might be gay — and if not gay, then maybe bi-sexual. I asked him about this twice, once while we were dating and once after. He reacted violently. So violently, I was a little scared. But I felt so strongly about it; I had to ask. I had friends who had married men only to “wake up” 10 years later to discover their husband was gay. I did not want this to be me.
I also remember, when we were having some frustration issues about the frequency of sex (2x a week was not enough) telling him, “It’s like you’re addicted to sex or something.” He flatly laughed that away like it couldn’t possibly be true; the problem — obviously — was me. And I took up that emotional dagger he handed me and stabbed myself with it in some very deep places.
He claims, to this day — after having come through a lie detector and full disclosure that none of my intuitions are correct: He is not gay nor bi. He never had any affairs. He never inappropriately touched any of the girls on the girls soccer team he & his also-single porn-addicted cousin coached (even though they had swim parties and unchaperoned camping trips). He never touched our son inappropriately — even though our son complained of genital pain that has gone unexplained, even with medical exams. He never “paid” for porn. He never “recorded” us having sex (even though he blames his ex-girlfriend’s dad for doing this same thing to them).
I simply don’t believe him. I don’t. And I don’t trust him. Problem is: I don’t have proof and probably never will. Nor will I ever get the truth straight from him. My intuitions stand. In fact, I’ve even had several dreams / nightmares about most of my intuitions. Not saying that is confirmation. And….it won’t change a thing regarding custody. It won’t. Sad.
Yes, very sad indeed! I’m glad you are heeding your intuition, Charis.
Today’s post linked to this one, which I hadn’t read when it was originally posted. I want to thank the woman who came alongside her friend to do this cesspool work and tell us about it. I know that other people like me who are also coming alongside victims and survivors of abuse are benefiting from the very practical advice and the Holy Spirit encouragement. I’m praying that the Lord will call many more!