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When Your Husband Battles Pornography

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Pornography use is at epidemic levels among men and women. The problem is staggering. This is not an issue for a few “dirty old men.” This is an issue for many men today, even in the church, sadly – and, it is increasingly a problem among women, as well.

You can check out some interesting statistics here at www.covenanteyes.com about people’s online pornography watching habits to see how widespread this is. If you are a parent, you need to read this piece, and, please read the more complete statistical information that is linked at the bottom of that post, as well, to see what teenagers are facing today.

THE ADDICTION:

Pornography is addictive, exactly like an illicit drug. Many young men (and girls, now, too) are exposed in their elementary school or middle school years. Once the addiction is born – it is always a battle. Porn use alters nerve pathways in the brain permanently that are involved in arousal, ideas about sex, and women. Porn use triggers dopamine release in the brain exactly the way that crack cocaine does. That is a big problem. It makes the user feel good, or better (at least temporarily) emotionally and mentally. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is involved with pleasure and reward signals in the brain. Oxytocin is a hormone that creates bonding for men during sex with their wives (or during masturbation with pornography). This is the same hormone that is involved when a mother nurses a baby that allows her to bond to her baby. So, porn use delivers a powerful dose of neurotransmitters and hormones that reward a man and cause him to feel more bonded to the porn habit. It is an counterfeit to God’s good design for human connection and intimacy. Some argue that pornography may be one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. Of course, with God, all things are possible!!!!

The best way to avoid addiction is to completely avoid exposure.

Currently, the average first age of exposure to porn for boys is about 9-10 years old, according to our student minister at church earlier this year. Yes, you read that right. 🙁 How heartbreaking!!!!!!! How I pray God will give us wisdom to shield our precious children from this destructive, addictive, filth. Porn is destroying countless people, marriages, and families today.

THE REAL ENEMY

Our husbands, our children, our brothers and sisters in Christ who struggle with addictions of any kind need our prayers. They are not the enemy.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

If we are not careful, we will turn on those we love most as if we are so much better than they are, if we don’t struggle with this particular temptation, treating them with scorn. It is easy for someone who has other temptations to look down on someone with a porn addiction and think, “I would NEVER do THAT! He is such a horrible person!”

Of course, we may forget much too quickly that we were also wretched sinners before Jesus rescued us. And we may forget that pride and self-righteousness are ugly sins, too. Jesus spent more time rebuking the Pharisees for their pride and self-righteousness than He did rebuking prostitutes and thieves. God hates ALL sin. But He loves each of us dearly. I pray that we will hate all sin the way God does – even our own sin. I pray that we will love others, including our husbands, with His love. I pray that we might approach our husbands humbly, gently, respectfully, and be on their team against the true enemy, realizing that the ground is level at the foot of the cross and that we are not “better than” our husbands, we have no good in us apart from Jesus, either.

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1-2

TRIGGERS 

  • Some men come into marriage addicted to porn from a young age. This has nothing to do with their wives, their desire for their wives, their happiness in the marriage, or anything about their families. It is a deep-seated addiction, just like a drug addiction. Many men say that their porn use has nothing to do with their love for their wives and are surprised that their wives take their porn use “so personally.” It is interesting to me to hear how men view porn use at times and how they can see it as being completely compartmentalized from their marriages and their wives. I have also heard from women who struggle with visual temptation and porn describe that their addiction is not related to their desire for or love for their husbands, as well.  There is a wide range of the level of addiction people have to pornography. Some are occasional users – that is pretty easy to quit. But others use it every day or multiple times per day – which makes for a much more difficult situation.
  • Men who struggle with an addiction to pornography tend to turn to porn in times of great stress, depression, boredom, spiritual weakness, times of exhaustion or loneliness – as a “comfort.” This is similar to the way that some people turn to food for comfort, perfectionism/control, romance-addiction, erotica, romantic books/movies, pleasure-seeking, an insatiable longing for an emotional connection with someone (even someone outside the marriage if someone is feeling very lonely), flirting with other people, an obsession about having a baby, popularity, power, wealth, materialism, false-religions, shopping “therapy”, social media addictions, insecurity, neediness, or any number of destructive addictions for short-lived “comfort.” Of course, only Jesus can truly meet the deepest needs of our hearts. We will never find contentment in anything but Him alone.
  • I have seen husbands who feel disrespected by their wives turn to porn. I have heard from MANY men who say, “When my wife disrespects me, I have ZERO sexual desire for her.  I don’t even want to be around her.”  But they still have a sex drive. What are they going to do with that? They are responsible and accountable to God for their own sin. But many times, there is a cyclical dynamic in a marriage where one spouse’s sin feeds the other and then both add destruction to the marriage.
  • If we are refusing our husbands sexually (unless they are involved in adultery, we are apart and unable to be together, we have a major medical problem, or some legitimate reason we cannot be available to them) – we may be contributing to increasing the temptation for our men. (I Corinthians 7:1-5, God desires husbands and wives to be sexually available to each other and not to defraud one another by withholding sex.) Not only does a man not have anywhere legitimate to turn with his sexual appetite when his wife rejects him, but he also feels further away from her, unloved, disrespected, and often, like “less of a man” in every area of his life.  Some men feel like they have “no choice” but to turn to porn if they desire sex with their wives, but their wives refuse them or don’t enjoy sex with them. (Of course, God can empower any of us to overcome temptation, thankfully. But if a husband is not Spirit-filled, he may feel very weak when facing temptation when he feels rejected by his wife, just like wives may feel very weak against temptations to hold on to anger and unforgiveness or resentment when they feel lonely and unloved in ther marriages and are not Spirit-filled.)
  • If we are pressuring and demanding that our husbands give us sex often, and they reject us, we may be pressuring them so much that they may feel disrespected and may decide to turn elsewhere rather than feel forced into sex. No one enjoys sex when it is demanded of him/her.  (Keep in mind, some husbands just have a naturally lower drive than other men. That is not wrong. Sometimes we think that every husband wants sex every day or something is wrong with them. There is a wide range of normal. We will be miserable and make our husbands miserable, too, if we expect them to want sex every day but they simply have a lower drive.)

Many husbands do not feel safe sharing their struggles, weaknesses, and temptations with their wives because many of us do not have any grace for our husbands on these issues, unfortunately.

We often expect them to be just like we are and not to have temptations or needs that we don’t have. We want our husbands to have much grace for us even though they can’t personally relate to our hormonally-based temptations during PMS, pregnancy, menopause, etc. And we want them to be understanding and supportive of us if we have our own addictions or temptations, even if they don’t have the same ones. Since we often can’t relate to struggling with visual temptation, we may tend to be condemning and to assume our husbands are “worse sinners” than we are because they have different sin struggles and temptations than we do. How we must be so careful here not to slip into the sin of self-righteousness or pride! We are not better than our husbands. We all desperately need the blood, forgiveness, mercy, victory, power, and grace of Christ Jesus.

I am not saying that anyone is justified in using porn. Sin is never excusable in God’s sight.

We have no free pass to sin – men or women. God commands us to be holy as He is holy! (I Corinthians 3:10-15, I Peter 1:16) If we are in Christ, we are now dead to sin and alive to God through Christ. We are no longer slaves to sin, but we can choose to be slaves to righteousness because of all that Jesus has done for us! Thankfully, there is every reason for hope in Christ. No sin is beyond the power of the blood of Jesus! He is able to give us victory over any and every sin, stronghold, and addiction!!!

HOW DO WIVES’ REACTIONS AFFECT THEIR HUSBANDS AND MARRIAGES?

Unfortunately, a wife’s reaction when she discovers her husband has been using pornography can make often make things worse.  Wives are understandably often very upset, and most respond by not wanting to be sexually intimate with their husbands, condemning their husbands, and completely emotionally/sexually withdrawing in pain – often for a long, long time.  He is sinning against her and against God. I definitely understand a wife needing to wait for a time – and wanting to see real repentance, accountability, and transparency from her husband before feeling safe enough to trust herself to him sexually again.  The pain is very personal for wives – it feels like a personal violation, exactly like adultery from our perspectives. Husbands often don’t see it that way at all. That may be surprising to us.
If we react in horror and we shame our men, refuse them sexually for prolonged periods of time, label them as perverts or “worse sinners” than ourselves, and heap contempt upon them – we are unwittingly pushing our men back towards the very temptation we hate so much.  Many wives try to control their husbands’ every thought and access to the computer/phone/tablet.  Many of them interrogate their husbands constantly trying to keep them from lusting in their hearts.  But we as wives cannot control our husbands’ sin or their thought life.  If we act like an angry mom, the only thing we can really do is repel our husbands.
Reality check – We can’t even control our own sinful thoughts apart from God’s power! So, we can ask for what we need respectfully, kindly, and calmly. We can ask for accountability and transparency respectfully. But if we lash out in anger, self-righteousness, resentment, unforgiveness, and hatred – we are guaranteed to make things worse instead of moving toward healing for both of us. If we respond in sin to our husbands’ sin, it only leads to greater destruction and more pain. In fact, as Dr. Tim Keller says in Grace Filled Marriage, bitterness and unforgiveness destroy more marriages than porn or adultery do. Our sin is destructive, too! All sin is destructive and hurts people and grieves God.

“We are most tempted to sin when we have been sinned against.” Gary Thomas – Sacred Marriage

I know this is hard for many of us to relate to if we have never struggled with a porn addiction. Maybe we can think about sinful thoughts or temptations that we tend to turn to when we are feeling super hormonal, emotionally spent, spiritually weak, sick, lonely, depressed, discouraged, or very tired. Our temptations may be different. Maybe we are tempted toward self-loathing, eating for comfort (idolatry of food), compulsive exercising, compulsive cleaning, chocolate, shopping/spending lots of money, anorexia/bulimia, control, bitterness, hatred, fear, or believing lies and rejecting the truth of God’s Word about Himself, our husbands, and ourselves.
When we are weak, don’t we long for our husbands to be spiritually strong for us, to extend grace and understanding to us, to wrap us in their arms and point us back to the truth of God’s Word – even if they, themselves, don’t struggle with the temptations we do? When our husbands are weak and tempted – don’t they need the same kind of support from us?
A COUNTER-INTUITIVE RESPONSE
I would love for our husbands to feel safe, welcome, valued, cherished, honored, respected, accepted, and able to turn to US with their sexual needs, desires, and struggles. It is my prayer that we might be willing to approach this sin as a team WITH our husbands – with both of us working together to defeat this addiction/temptation.We are teammates with our husbands and God to bless our men and to encourage them in their walk with Christ in the way God calls us to in His Word.
  • What if we rallied around our husbands and apologized for our own sin (if we have anything to apologize for) and became accepting wives who joyfully engage in sex with our husbands and don’t withhold sex to punish them?
  • What if we were careful NOT to tell everyone in our families and among our coworkers and friends about our husbands’ sin, in order to prevent gossip and show loyalty and respect to our husbands? (If we were caught in a sin, wouldn’t we appreciate our husbands not announcing our sin on Facebook or to our friends and family?) If we need to talk to someone for help, what if we find help anonymously online or from one trusted, godly wife mentor we know will not share with anyone else?
  • Or, if our husbands feel pressured too much for sex, what if we backed off a bit without condemning them and try to bless them in the ways that are most helpful for them?
  • What if our men saw the light and faith in our eyes for them, and the mercy, grace, and forgiveness of Christ in our hearts?
  • What if they found acceptance and understanding in our arms and our expressions?  Not acceptance of sin, but acceptance of them.
  • What if they found that, by the power of God’s Spirit in us, we will help to gently restore them from their sin instead of judging and condemning them as more evil than we are
  • What if we approached our husbands with humility, understanding the massive sin debt we owe to God ourselves?
  • What if we became a safe place for our husbands to share their struggles and fears?
  • What if we offered life-giving words instead of crushing our men when they stumble?
Our husbands’ sin is NOT our fault. It may not even have anything to do with us – except that it hurts us deeply, of course. We are only responsible for our own obedience to God, being filled with His Spirit, and our own sin. Thankfully, in Christ, we might actually be able to be a huge part of the solution if our husbands do battle pornography addictions. I pray that we might respond in the power of God to our men, even when they sin – so that our marriages might grow stronger and God might be greatly glorified!
If a husband has a severe addiction, you and he may need experienced, godly, biblical help, accountability and guidance to work through this addiction.
We are going to be talking more about the power of Christ to help us overcome this sin, and any sin, in the next post. Jesus Christ can set us free from addictions, bondage, and sin. We can be cleansed by His blood and free to walk in holiness and obedience to Him as His Spirit changes our desires, our nature and regenerates our souls!!!  Woohoo!! What good news we have to share!
SHARE:
This is a safe place if you need to talk about what is going on and need some prayer, love, direction, encouragement and resources. 🙂
If you know of helpful resources, please share them with us!
If God has giving you and/or your spouse victory over porn – we would love to hear your story, anonymity is fine!
RELATED RESOURCES:
www.brentriggs.com has a book available to help men and their wives find victory over porn addiction in his e-book section
www.xxxchurch.org has a wealth of Christian resources for couples where one is struggling with porn addiction, lust or sexual addictions
www.covenanteyes.com has resources and accountability software available to help those who struggle with porn addictions online.
Grace Filled Marriage by Dr. Tim Kimmel has an entire chapter about how wives can extend grace to husbands who have fallen into porn use and how to see God heal their marriages.
For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn has a chapter that explains how visual men are and the struggles they face.
Every Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn is specifically for men to help them overcome the battle with visual temptation and lust, but may be helpful for wives to read and to better understand the spiritual battle that men face.

129 thoughts on “When Your Husband Battles Pornography

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your approach to this!!! I have battled with this in my marriage the entire 20 years we’ve been married. I have been through every emotion you can think of regarding this, it is an issue no one wants to talk about. More people struggle with it than people realize. I can honestly say that my relationship to Jesus has become closer as a result. I’ve been suidicidal, ready to divorce, threatening, controlling. Exactly what the enemy had intended for us. He uses this as a wedge to destroy the very thing God loves in marriage. I realized one day after much reading, praying that I was a sinner too and that I needed to extend forgiveness and grace to my husband. It was literally making me crazy trying to control him. I understood I was trying to put myself in the place of the Holy Spirit and that was wrong. We are still battling this but things are getting better. It’s a long story. I just thank you for letting God use you to encourage other wives. Wives keep your eyes upon Jesus.
    Thanks Again,
    Nicole

    1. Nicole,
      I believe wives-to-be need some serious preparation for this topic today. So many wives will deal with it, and most have zero understanding or tools about how to approach a husband’s porn use or addiction. I praise God for what He is doing in both of your lives!

    2. I have always battled with my self-image and this crushes me to know that my husband needs to see women who look nothing like me. These are girls taking selfies at home and are visually stunning… I’m not. and I can’t understand how he doesn’t regret marrying me. On top of it.. He sees these women touch themselves and have sex. Mentally it seems he desires to have sex with them.

      I’m sorry I just feel so depressed and confused.

      1. BNH,

        I’m so sorry for your pain!!! So – your husband is using pornography? How long has that been going on? What does he say about that it hurts you?

        How is your walk with Christ going, my precious friend?

        1. Hello, i have made it here to your site. I read what other women are saying, i read your responses. I have spent 2 hours now reading from your site.
          Husbands using porn is adultery, it is cheating and in the worse way. I would rather he bring home some trash bag that is not covered in body make-up and a total lie and do her right in my bed than have set in my home at the foot of my bed watching porn for almost 3 years.
          There has been no healing for me, i will not forgive him because he knew it would be the straw that broke the camels back. He had not touched me or spoken to me for 13 months. But he could sit all night at the computer with whores. The pain is too deep , suicide ? yes, an attempt because he was destroying 32 yrs of my life i would have to rebuild. It made me have to look back and examine all those years in my life and i came up with the conclusion it was always awful. I always feared this would happen and it did. So i lived always trying to be pleasing so it would be avoided.
          It has affected my relationship with my Lord, it has affected my health and left me with PSTD and therapy. I hate him for what he did to me. How could he sit at the foot of my bed , minimizing the screen when i would walk by ? He knew it would kill me. I found 3 computers so full of porn that it took me all day everyday for a month to view the material and still i was only able to see a fraction of what was watched over a two month period of time. I guess he wanted trash instead of a wife.

          1. Ronda,

            I’m so glad you are here. 🙂 My heart aches over the pain you have experienced. I sure wish you hadn’t watched all of that stuff. I don’t think that will lead to healing. 🙁

            Are you still thinking about suicide, my precious sister? Please don’t go down that path! There IS hope for you in Christ! I am very concerned for you!

            If it is okay, I would like to gently and softly ask a few questions so I can better understand what has happened…

            When did his addiction begin, just 3 years ago, or was he exposed to porn earlier?

            It sounds like it was rather severe? Hours every day?

            Would you like to talk about the anger you have toward God?

            How is therapy going? What is your counselor asking you to do?

            What do you want in your relationship with God?

            What do you want in your marriage?

            Much love to you!

  2. I applaud you for tackling this “unmentionable” subject. The statistics are stagggering, and we know there are so many more instances that didn’t make it to the statistics, it’s so hush-hush! I look forward to watching this post, as a discussion is sure to emerge. Let’s support and encourage each other, sisters…we are not alone!

    1. Yoursistersojourner,
      This is such a relevant and necessary topic. I am thankful for the chance to address it and pray God might bless many wives, husbands, marriages, and families through it.

      I think it will be a very interesting discussion. I am so glad we can sharpen, encourage, share, bless, love, and pray for each other and that we can live in a community of believers and not walk this journey alone. 🙂 God is so good to us!

      1. April, Keeping an eye on this thread, and praying for you and all who are participating. Reading all the different responces is so educating. I’m also thankful to read the male responses in the comments! One thing that shines through as I look at my own past experiences is that we are not supposed to put our faith in people, but in God alone. I believe God was illustrating that fact for me, and that I wouldn’t have fully understood it had it not hurt so much. If we put our well-being and happiness in the hands of another person, we have raised them into the “idol” level, and are devastated when they can’t measure up. Our spouses are flawed, we are flawed. Any marriage that perseveres through the years will be full of stories of forgiveness and tears. I also learned that it was extremely toxic for me to hold on to my hurt and anger! I literally made myself sick in my physical body from the poison in my spirit. We serve a God who heals, but He will not force it upon us. We have to pursue His healing, His comfort, His strength. Only when I came to know that God is the only Unchanging and Perfect One did I learn that He is enough 🙂

    1. April,
      Thanks for the article! I would like to share my personal experience with the topic, and the K9 web protection in hopes to both encourage others and ask for some help in continuing on this journey of healing. I do want to say up front that I am legally blind, which may explain some things in and of itself.
      This past September I found out that I was pregnant, two days later found out that my husband has a porn addiction, and then two weeks later had a miscarriage. Needless to say, September was an interesting month for me.
      It was on a Sunday that I found out for sure. In church the sermon touched on the topic and really spoke to my husband. He told me later that afternoon about his addiction. He told me pretty much everything. I couldn’t go on talking to him about it until he confessed to a man at church who we both look up to. It took me a day or so to realize why I was getting one of my previous visions returning to me during the church service. (I occasionally get little visions of things to help me through situations.)
      This vision inparticular I kind of call “Not Forsaken” or “He Conqurd the Grave!” In the vision I can see a huge bolder rolling super fast toward me. It more or less pummels me and cuts to black. The next part of it is of Jesus standing off in the distance with his arms outstretched beckoning me to come to him. Once I reach him, he holds me tightly. I fall to my knees crying and He holds me all the tighter, comforting me.
      He was preparing me for some cruddy news and reminding me that he is always with me (and everyone who is going through a crisis) in all situations.

      I found out that his addiction started just a couple of months into our marriage, and continued relatively frequent up until when he confessed. He had tried many ways to stop himself just short of going to someone for help. He was afraid of telling and hurting me, or someone making him tell me and still hurting me. I found out that he did in fact take advantage of my not being able to see (I walked in the room a couple of times.) This is so hard for me to fully wrap my mind around at times. I don’t understand the whole visual thing, partly because I am a woman, and partly because I CANNOT see what everyone else sees. So, when I find out that a random scene in a show that is cleaner has a woman walking into the room in lingere and it stimulated him it hurts so so bad. How am I to get over that? My eyes have been opened in a sense, and yet it is so incredibly difficult for me to comprehend it all.
      Trying to make sense of things, I did the typical thing of trying to search for answers online. But to tell you the truth, NONE of it helped WHATSOEVER! What did help me dull some of the pain was to listen to sermons of a pastor I like. Imagine that, hearing things from God’s Word helping more than talking to other women (or hearing other women’s stories). No one has the same things happening, just the initial feelings are similar.
      My husband was pulling up all of the programs that he knew were good ones, but when he used them he knew the password to override the blocks…so duh! That isn’t going to help. K9 was one of the programs. Yes, it is a great program, but my experience with it made me delete it from my computers. For those who haven’t worked with the program, when a page is blocked or time restrictions are met the program has a simulation of German Shepards barking at you. One day my husband left to go to a men’s Bible study, I woke up and went to look at the computer for some reason. It barked at me. So, being at the beginning of finding out and all of the emotions raging I thought he slipped up. I tried to call him, but he didn’t answer. I flipped out royally. I couldn’t get a hold of him for hours. When I finally did find him, he swore to me that he didn’t. We found out that the computer was left on and still had the page of blocking due to time restrictions on. Hence, the reason why it has been removed from our computers. I didn’t need the worry of barking dogs. Kind of funny thing is now, my niece has a similar sounding alert on her phone for incoming text messages; my heart tends to stop for a minute. We are now using a different program, Covenant Eyes. I get (and anyone else he wants) reports
      I keep getting told that our marriage will come out stronger than ever before. Part of me knows that, but I am sorry it doesn’t fully encourage me. We are definiat given intervals of his progress and sites he visited etc. It has helped a lot with the trust building, but we still have issues of him inadvertently blameing me for his not being able to do certain things on the computer involving his hobbies. Not quite sure how to deal with that most of the time. tely working through things, but I have this problem of negative thoughts popping up at extremely inconvenient times. For those of you have gone through it longer, how do I stop this? Does it get easier?

  3. This is wonderful advice, April! It’s sad for me to see so many women saying that porn use is the same as adultery and divorcing their husbands over it. One way we protected our sons from porn was to homeschool them through junior high and then sending them to a small Christian high school. We were very careful about the movies they saw and the friends they hung out with. We never allowed sleepovers. We also consistently told them how evil it was and how it would damage their future marriage. My son, who is 29 now, told me recently he was thankful that we protected them from porn. He said so many guys he knows are addicted to it.

    1. High school is the really dangerous time. Not too many 11-year old boys care about porn, but you can bet 15 year olds do.

      Sadly, porn use is quite rampant in Christian schools too.

      Plus, not everyone has the money to go to private Christian schools. They are quite expensive! You must be very wealthy.

  4. Before the computer age, if someone wanted pornography, that person had to make the effort to go look for it, buy it, find it behind a drug store counter, find a person wearing a trench coat ” hey meester, want to buy some feeelthy peectures?”

    Nowadays with the internet, it is everywhere, easy to find, even coming as anonymous emails—-and to say nothing of what is on tv and media.

    Never did a book purposely fly off the shelf and open itself up to a page you did not want to see or read. I am really glad I never had kids.

    I wish parents would storm our capital with calls about cleaning up the airwaves. There are more laws about cleaning up after your pet than porn laws that protect children from this disease. It is all because porn publishers had the gall to claim their first amendment rights to have the freedom to publish filth and unfortunately the Supreme Court backed them up.

    Freedom of speech is today misinterpreted to mean the right to say or publish any thing you want but the founding fathers meant the freedom to make a political speech without being arrested because you said something negative about the government or candidate.

    1. Susan,

      So true. People used to have to go to seedy areas of town generations ago. Access has gotten insanely easy, free and private. The perfect storm.

      I am so grieved that this destructive, sinful filth is protected under first amendment rights. How I pray God will empower His people to overcome this sin and to protect our children and teach them to wisely avoid sin online and in other forms that could be so addictive and destructive.

      Thank you for sharing!

    2. It is a tempting (and classic) response to the problem to create an “appeal to authority” and demand that the internet and media be “cleaned up”, as you state. However, porn use is an indication of a much deeper problem, and this law-and-order approach will solve nothing.

      When naked porn becomes illegal, people will switch to drawings, or erotica, or written stories, or something entirely different, to achieve the same purpose. We all saw that prohibition did not stop alcohol use, in fact it helped kick-start the mafia. The war on drugs has produced almost zero effect, other than to introduce new profitable avenues for the criminals bold enough to transgress the law. This will leave you no choice but to police the internet the way China does. In a totalitarian way, i.e. for your own good.

      The majority of Christians have no problem creating a college-and-career-FIRST dynamic that keeps young people out of the marriage market until their late 20s, thus ensuring that the men (and women) must ensure around 10 or so years (MINIMUM) where they are biologically driven to have an intimate relationship, but are expected to “keep it in their pants”.

      If it is cruel for a wife to deny her husband sex for 10 straight years, then it is certainly cruel to deny a young man an opportunity to marry for the same period.

      Bottom line, and I really wish I did not have to say this, but I don’t really think most women care much about male needs or concerns UNTIL IT AFFECTS them getting what they want from the man.

      1. You are very right in everything you said, Jack.

        It was like Paul said too, in his day, that “because of sexual immorality, everyone should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.”

        I really appreciate the love, patience, and grace that April promotes toward the whole matter.

        However, more attention needs to be paid to the matter in terms of “how do we take care of men for their own sake?” and it is sad to see that–like you say–it all becomes a big deal almost entirely in terms of how it affects women.

        And further ironic is that that IS the root of men’s sexual problems, I have no doubt. Teach men about their own innate value, the sacredness of their OWN bodies, etc., and they can learn to see how empowering sexual purity is.

        Likewise, sugar is said to be more addictive than cocaine! But somehow I almost never touch anything with added sugars. Why? Because I was sick of being fat. 😛 Why do I avoid cigarettes? Because it’s bad for my health! Why do I avoid sexual immorality? Because it defiles my body.

        But what’s the spin on it for men, primarily? It makes the women upset. And that further drives home the message of declaring that men are worthless except for how they benefit women, and NOTHING could make the situation worse for men than to internalize more messages of how worthless he is. That’s why Solomon GRACIOUSLY tells us, “the prostitute reduces you to a piece of bread.” (Proverbs 6:26). If men are given more and more messages that he is just that–only a loaf of bread to everyone else–how is he being equipped to combat the deception of the prostitute?

        Seriously, it is only logical to care about men (for his own sake) even if we primarily care about women BEFORE a man’s problem becomes a woman’s problem–for this and a whole host of other issues.

        I’d understand if you think this comment is too upsetting, in which case, don’t post it, and forgive me. Because, April, I see very well your lovely heart about the issue as well as many women here are seeking humility and showing grace. 🙂

        BTW I wrote a long post about men’s sexual purity that I think does it right. I would be thrilled to think it could help someone.

        So much love to all of you! 😀

        1. I agree that it is important for men and women to understand that sin hurts them and destroys them. I also believe it is important for men and women to understand that their sin hurts and destroys other people. Yes, a man’s sin of lust can deeply wound his wife. And yes, a woman’s sin of bitterness, resentment, disrespect, control, self-righteousness, pride, or idolatry can deeply wound her husband.

          But, I believe that even more important than how sin hurts an individual or how sin hurts other people is the fact that sin grieves the very heart of God. If we are covered by the blood of Christ, and we understand just how great a price Jesus has paid for our sin with His own blood, we will first be heartbroken to imagine that we might grieve God and trample over the grace and mercy of Christ that He provided by His blood. How can we go in sinning once we know what Christ has already done for us? Why would we go on sinning when He has provided victory and we are no longer slaves to sin? Wouldn’t we instead be ready and willing to make ourselves slaves to righteousness now that we have been bought with the very blood of Jesus?

          Our sin hurts ourselves.
          Our sin hurts other people.
          But most importantly, our sin hurts God. Ultimately we are indebted to Him because of our sin.

          1. 26If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”d and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”e 31It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:26-31

            A very sobering reminder for us all.

          2. All true April. 🙂

            Yes, the belief that “God says so” should always be reason enough to motivate us. Because we know that, whatever God tells us to do, His commands are for our own good too. It is of every benefit that we conform to God and His commandments. Very true–even if/when we don’t understand why something is sinful before God.

  5. This is a very well written article, thank you! My husband was exposed to porn at 10 and because of his life circumstances and family life as a child it became his reality for a long time. It has taken him on a path through prison and down many worse dark roads. It is an hourly struggle for him to stay away from the call of that sinful underworld.

    One thing this article doesn’t go into is how easy it is to go from porn viewing to full on sex addiction. Once your partner has crossed over that line the rules change significantly. It’s no longer casual porn viewing and fantasy they begin to live their lives centered around sex. Interestingly enough it isn’t the sex that’s driving them though. It’s lonliness, depression, low self esteem. a need to escape from the real world. The only way to help your partner at that point is to let them know they are loved, provide emotional support, boost their self-esteem — and set firm boundaries and expectations… with consequences. Tough love is needed.

    This blog over the last two years has helped me immensly in my journey to see how my partner is more than my husband he is my brother in Christ and for whatever divine purpose we have been chosen to walk through this world together. When I look at him through the eyes of Christ I can see a scared man who knows he has a serious problem, he knows he is condemned, he knows he needs God to change… but some days that is easier said than done.

    I’m not advocating for people to stay with an addicted partner, if they are showing no sign of wanting to stay faithful, or understand how harmful their actions are… addicts who have no humanity are dangerous. However in a marriage where one partner is struggling (and in some cases struggling a lot) it is our divinely appointed responsibility to put our pride to one side and see how we can bless their lives. Even if we don’t see the blessings in this life we will be so much more blessed in the next for fulfilling our covenants with Christ.

    1. Ann,
      I know there are many books on this subject – I definitely didn’t go into every aspect of the consequences of porn or how to handle every possible scenario. When the addiction is severe – most men need outside help to overcome it. And, it can lead to other sins. http://www.xxxchurch.org has resources about sex addictions. How I wish no spouse ever had to experience this kind of heartbreak and pain!

      Thank you for sharing your story. Than you for helping us understand men who are greatly addicted a bit better and for helping us to see some of the ways that wives can approach this in a godly way.

      Praying for God’s greatest glory in your life and marriage!

  6. What if you’re husband doesn’t see anything wrong with it? My husband works away from home for 2 weeks at a time. He works with all men, they have magazines, he uses his phone to get on the internet and look at pictures. It’s become so normal in our society that he doesn’t feel he’s wrong at all. He’s not cheating on me, so it’s ok. I’ve been struggling with this for a while now. It was a while back that I told him how much it hurt me, and he told me he didn’t care, there was nothing wrong with it, and he wouldn’t stop. We were at a difficult point in or marriage, and I knew I had to let it go completely. And I did, for a long time it didn’t even bother me anymore. I didn’t even think about it, and I’m so glad I let it go then. I really am, I hear all this advice from Christians that you need to completely set the boundary that it’s not ok, and even go a far as seperation if you must. But I know if I had done that it would have been the end of our marriage. During that time I worked on my sin (not that I don’t still have a long way to go) and our marriage has become really really good. And for the past few months it’s been weighing on me that this is still there in my husbands life (I assume). And it may even take the place of me when he’s home, not just while he’s at work, I fear it’s why he just isn’t add intrested in being intimate as I am, and only for the fact that it takes less work. I feel like it may be the pressing of the spirit that I need to confront him about it again, but I’m terrified. I don’t want to stir up problems for nothing, only to be hurt again hearing that he won’t stop. And I won’t leave, or separate, or hurt my family because of this, and I still have sin to work on,do I even have the right to look at his. sorry for the ramblings of this post, it’s turning out to be just a sounding board for my own thoughts, but I think I’ve just realized that I do in fact need to approach him, that his reaction is not up to me, that I need to do it because I am being instructed to. And that I need to do it with love. I thought about just deleting this ramblings of mine, but I’m going to post it, maybe someone can give me advice on how I should approach him.

    1. Sarah,

      You may want to check out “Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin” and do a lot of praying and checking your own heart and motives before saying anything – to be sure you have God’s Spirit’s promptings and wisdom guiding you.

      This IS sin. It is wrong. It is lust in the heart.

      Is your husband a believer – because your approach may be very different depending on whether he is or not?

      It depends how severe the addiction is – what boundaries you would need to set. That would also take God’s wisdom and timing.

      I am praying for wisdom for you, my precious sister!

  7. I think it pays to mention the topic of Modesty now days ….. Or lack of in society, even in Christian women…. Once bikinis were only worn by prostitutes, little girls are encouraged to wear them in the media and sales… On and on it goes to low cut top, cleavage showing, short skirts, high high heels etc.

    I only prayed to God the other day saying “I can’t compete with this LORD, and I don’t want too!! ” yet it seems almost if we don’t lower ourselves to some of the world’s ways we are not as visually stimulating to our own husbands. How much worse does it have to get. 🙁
    Come LORD Jesus…. I’m ready to go home.

    1. Tania,
      So true! What a fantastic point! We can bless our brothers in Christ by dressing in a way that doesn’t create a stumbling blog.
      I have some posts and videos on modesty:

      <a href="[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ORg7E8K7Dc?rel=0&w=420&h=315%5D“>The Gift of Modesty

      The Issue of Modesty

      My Journey into Femininity and Modesty

      My Journey Into Modesty – by Fellow Wife

      What Guys Think about the Importance of Modesty

      Christian Men Speak Out about Modesty

      1. April,
        I think you did a great job with it. Not much to add except to say that for most men it obviously starts out a sexual thing but becomes a way of self medicating. A high, a retreat from the real world, something to cover up the loneliness, boredom, stress, tiredness, frustration, etc. Most men don’t do this to hurt their wives, obviously it does, but it is done by the majority because they are hurting. In the long run it does far more harm of course but the 5-60 minutes of relief & escape from whatever is ailing them seems like a fair trade off for the guilt and shame that is they know will follow. It’s not logical- but what sin is from a believer?

        Thanks for all the scripture. Awesome job-

        1. Amanhiswife,
          Thank you for this. I think your explanation will be really helpful for a lot of wives who don’t understand what motivates their husbands to be involved in porn, who think something is wrong with them, they are not sexy enough, they are not attractive enough or just that they are not “enough.”

          I appreciate the encouragement so much!

          1. PS,
            Robert,
            I got to catch up a bit on your blog today. I love what God is doing through you. Thank you for your ministry and for exalting Christ and His Word!!!!!!

          2. Thank you April. It is a little discouraging at times. I’m afraid if it wasn’t for you & Lori sending folks my way I’d be hearing crickets! It’s hard to break into the “men’s market” of blogging for a lack of a better term. I often remember what it was like when I was a young businessman trying to break into the custom cabinet market and I am praying that with time and faithfulness to God’s Word that it a breakthrough will eventually happen. But may it be His will and not my own. He may have other plans!

            Keep up the good fight April. It’s always great to stop by and see something biblical.

            In Christ- Robert

          3. amanhiswife,

            Men don’t tend to read marriage blogs as much as women do.
            I pray for God to accomplish His will and to send whomever He will in His timing and that He might use you for His greatest glory, my brother!

          4. I debated whether to reply. I don’t believe that is true. I believe that simply most christian sites have lost the confidence of most men. The manosphere is so successful because it is so clearly pro-man. But I we don’t need pro-woman or pro-man sites, just pro-Christ sites that are directed at men & women. I think the men are there but winning trust back is a hard thing…

          5. amanhiswife,

            I think you are right about that many Christian sites have lost the confidence of most men. Quite a few men read my blog. And, obviously, many men read the manosphere stuff.

            But AMEN – we need pro-Christ sites. Jesus is our common need and Jesus is our common solution.

            Praying for wisdom for you and for God to raise up many believers to exalt His Name, His Word, His truth, His love, His grace, His power, His Spirit, and the abundant Life Jesus offers to each of us! 🙂

          6. I believe that simply most christian sites have lost the confidence of most men

            Honestly, just looking at the love that’s poured out to women proves quite the contrast to what men get from Christianity. I don’t think it’s rocket science at all: people can look at the way they’re loving women and start loving men in the same ways (I think April knows how to do it)–listen to men and pay attention to their actual situations, and esteem their innate value over performance. Be protective of men pull-no-punches.

            By the way I want to check out your site and I’m not sure how to get there.

            I also finished a LONG article on this subject of sexual purity for men and I’m wondering who all it could help.

  8. I found out after I married that my husband used porn for nearly 15 years before we married. Of course I found out in the most devastating way. This is like finding out your spouse hid a 15 year gambling or drug habit up to your marriage. And I actually do consider this adultery-using other women for sexual satisfaction-how could that not be? Doesn’t Jesus say it is adultery? I love my husband but no way am I facing decades of this-i can’t live w someone I can’t trust. I’m hurting. This has damaged my self-esteem and my confidence in myself and a lot of things. I know there are reasons men (and women) get involved easily now but that doesn’t excuse the damage they do and it doesn’t make it a reason for someone to have to stay. Adultery is adultery. I feel sad for the men and women affected on both sides of this- and feel hopeless that this problem will never leave our world with the prevalence of the Internet.

    1. AMS,

      A husband’s porn addiction is incredibly painful for a wife – absolutely. I read just yesterday on Covenant Eyes’ site that 58% of divorces today site porn addiction as one of the factors.

      But, there is so much hope in Christ, my precious sister! How I pray that we might seek Him together and pray together for your husband and your marriage. I am not saying you need to trust your husband. He will need to prove trustworthiness. But, we can trust God together.

      How is your relationship with Christ?

      How severe is your husband’s addiction?

      Does your husband have a relationship with Christ?

      Is he seeking help?

      When did you find out about this?

      Jesus does say that lusting in the heart is adultery in the heart. God also says that when we hate a person, we are murders (I John 3:15). But, I think that we can all agree that the consequences for a person hating someone and the consequences for physical murder should be quite different.

      God desires us to have no sin in us at all – not even in our motives or thoughts – yes! And Jesus is able to give us victory over sin, to change our hearts, to regenerate our souls, to cleanse us and to make us right with God.

      With Christ, there is every reason for hope!!!! I wish I could hug your neck today, my sweet girl!!!!!! I am praying for you! Monday, I have a post coming about praying for those who are ensnared by pornography.

      Much love to you!

      1. Truthfully this has damaged my relationship with Christ. Why if almost all men were going to be created to be visual and easily drawn to sexual sin like porn or even to having a wandering eye would almost all women be made to be devastated by these things? He could have easily either made us as women unaffected or made us sensitive to something else a man wouldn’t be wired to do. I found out two months into our marriage. It changed who I am. I used to be the one to stand up for men and to reply to man bashing joke emails to please not send them to me, even though almost every man who had a place of trust in my life has abused it or me or let me down. I can’t say that I see men the same now and I don’t like really not liking them but I don’t know if that will change and that hurts too. Now I wonder if there are any women who haven’t been hurt, abused or used at the whim of a man’s/men’s selfish desires. Not my sisters or women friends close enough to confide together. It has been traumatic and I would say he’s not addicted but I have not been able to trust or heal even though I’ve forgiven him. I think he has no idea how deeply this wound went, how it’s affecting me still-he knows I’ve been struggling w insomnia and other anxiety issues but I’ve not confided that it’s bc of his actions and the fear I have of being further hurt, humiliated, and called inadequate-his actions tell the truth rather than his words. He wouldn’t be one to think his actions are the cause and I really don’t even desire to have that conversation with him. I’ve been a good companion and wife to him (yes in all ways including regular, good sex) except for not sharing the truth of my continued pain. I don’t know if that would do me any good and I don’t want him thinking I’m holding something over him. I never imagined having to deal with this and never imagined how something like this could so thoroughly change who I was. I try to look for the good-only someone so close and trusted could do anything to betray and I’ve been lucky to have that in my lifetime -but that really is not much comfort at all. I might have more hope if I wouldn’t see so many women hurting over their husbands porn use in blog responses etc but seems most bloggers and writers are almost giving men a pass as being visually wired to look, admire, etc -almost like they have no choice in today’s world so a wife has to understand and put up with his indiscretions when he falls. (When told as a young female that my future husband will think about sex a lot and it will be important to him i assumed it would be ab me, his wife. Why was I not told the truth?) I’m far from perfect and my husband could point out my flaws as well as I could but I would also bet my husband would honestly say even though I’ve had emotional or seeing everything negatively days, lost my temper instead of waiting to calm and having a rational discussion, etc I’ve never done anything even in my most sinful day that damaged the way he sees himself as a man, person, husband. Is there any hope that his weakest, most sinful days wouldn’t deeply hurt me? No.

        1. AMS,

          My heart hurts for you!!!!! And for so many others who are hurting in similar situations today.

          God’s design of men, women, and marriage was very good. There was no sin in the picture when He designed us and when He designed marriage. Sin hurts people and sin grieves the heart of God. All sin does. There is no sin that doesn’t cause pain, hurt, and misery.

          I am so very sorry that you didn’t know going into your marriage about your husband’s addiction. That seems to me like something that was very important for you to know about so you could make the decision to marry with full knowledge of what you were getting into.

          All people, apart from Christ, are wretched sinners. All people have been sinned against. All people have sinned and hurt others. No. There is no one who has not been hurt by the destructive power of sin. Even God has been deeply wounded by our sin. Look at the lengths He went to in order to set us free from sin. That involved incredible pain physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually on the part of Christ and of God. We hurt Him more deeply than any of us have ever been hurt by another person. Loving a sinner is painful. BUT – God has made a way for us to be made right with Him and to be made right with each other through Christ. There is every reason for hope!!!!!!

          How long have you been married, my sweet girl?

          How is your relationship with Christ?

          God gives no one a free pass for sin.

          – “God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what He sows.” Galatians 6:7.
          – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
          – “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” Romans 6:23

          You can absolutely find healing in Christ! You don’t have to continue on in anxiety and with insomnia and fear.

          How severe is your husband’s addiction?
          What is his relationship with Christ?
          Is he seeking help?

          We as wives hurt our husbands deeply with our sin, too. You can see my “about” page to see how I hurt my husband for almost 15 years on a daily basis and didn’t even know I was hurting him.

          Much love to you!!!

        2. Dear AMS,

          My heart went out to you as I read your experience. Its scary how similar our stories are.

          A vital part of my growing up was preparing myself for marriage. From about 15, I would fast and pray for God to bless and protect my future husband. Through my reading of christian literature and social science i tried to understand the struggles men went through, how they need and connect using sex and resolved to be a wife who would be supportive and available.

          I also acknowledged that i wasn’t temptation free myself. For me it wasnt just sex but romance, so i saved up every romantic and sexual desire that i had to enjoy with my husband.Doing this for about two decades was not easy but I truly wanted to honour God and my husband.

          Just like your story, two months into our marriage i noticed a change in my husband. He seemed to not need to be intimate with me. I gently asked him if there was a problem thinking it was stress or something different he wanted me to do. Never in my wildest dreams would i have thought he, a committed believer would be doing porn. In reponse to my gentle, respectful encounter to offer support if he was upset about something, he flared up at me and abused me verbally. One week later I was looking for a document on his computer and accidenlty found evidence of porn.

          I was so devasted. I echo your sentiments it was hurtful, it was humiliating ( it was not just feeling unloved, It was downright disrespectful. Yes wives can feel terribly disrespected too. My husband had dishonoured my body, my affection and our marriage bed)…it broke the way i saw myself. It felt like all that i had saved up to lavish on him was like the proverbial pearls before the swine.

          He said he loved me but the thought “actions speak louder than words” kept ringing in my mind. If a woman were to tell her husband in words “I respect you” but her actions showed otherwise would anyone say that she was indeed respectful? I doubt it.

          How can you love your spouse and think lusting after someone else has got nothing to do with your love for your spouse and be surprised at how hurt she is by the infidelity. I disagree with April when she says lust and hate have different consequences to adultry and murder. Yes they have different social or legal consquences in earthly society but in God’s eyes it is sin period. That is why the Bible calls us to bring ‘every thought’ to submission to Christ and not just every action. I do not wish to downplay the difficulties faced by women who have had their husbands cheat on them through a real world relationship but in doing that lets not undermine the pain caused by a virtual voyeuristic relationship.

          The pain was so great I so badly in addition to seeking God I needed another human being to help and encourage me…but the problem who i could turn to. I did have close friends but kept quiet to protect my husband. My husband refused to go for couples counselling despite my many requests. I didnt wan to speak to my pastor alone again to protect my husband. Despite my pain i was trying to be respectful of his privacy.

          I tried hard to suppress my pain and keep going but i had panic attacks and nightmares and soon realised i was showing signs of PTSD. My husband seeing me gasping for breath during one of my attacks told me to stop making such a big fuss. All he wanted was to hear me say i had forgiven him and no visible sign of pain from me. He even proudly witnessed in church about how free he felt because God forgives all his sins.He didnt seem to care what emotional and spiritual consequences his actions had on me. Again he said he cared but his actions did not imply that he cared.

          All i had to fall back on as help was online resources and books. These left me sorely disappointed. Like you observed, every resource would say tempation is a sin but quickly qualfies it saying men are made that way. The resources all seemed to be man-centric. How the wife was supposed to understand his needs better, how she had to forgive him, how she wasnt a good christian if she had trouble making his life better for him.

          Well its been over two years now and there are many other things he did that kept making my recovery harder. Im much better at masking the pain but still have many panic attack triggers, even a simple clothing advertisment could send me into an attack. I do not see myself as a desirable woman anymore and my body has stopped responding to intimacy.Thats the legacy he left me with.

          But there are some lessons I have learnt.

          I would cry out to God in anguish asking “what did I do wrong? i know am not perfect but i sincerely tried folllowing your commandments, so why did you do this to me? and why do all other christians sound like Jobs friends?” And like he did with Job, God did not give me a direct answer but he let me realise this :Trying to be a prayerful, respectful, supportive, loving and sexually available wife will not guarantee that your husband will not fall into sin. He and he alone is accountable for his sin, no matter what excuses fellow christians make up for him.

          A lot of good intentioned christian advice need not work as well as it is touted out to be. Personally weigh everything preached against God’s word and seek His wisdom.

          The husband is important and is very rightly the second priority in a wife’s life after God, but he can very easily creep into number one spot where we unconsciously confuse him with God in all our serving and then he becomes an idol who dictates the worth of the woman.

          I certainly haven’t got it all together like some others, who seem to have it all mastered and come across as perfect wives. I am still a very broken person trying desparately to become whole again and follow God, and this is something that has helped me, maybe you might find it useful too.

          I’m now taking the time to focus on my relationship with God. It looks like he has used marriage to break me down completely, perhaps to build me up stornger and more like Him than before. I value my marriage and the committment i made to God and my husband through it and wouldnt do anything to go against it, but I first need to reaffirm my identity and security in God before I can bring my husband into the picture…and im unapologetic about it.

          Dear AMS…I am praying for you, to find healing, to find peace, to find security and to find love in God so that when you do it will fill you so much that it bubbles over to those around you too. God Bless.

          1. ZJF,

            My precious sister! How my heart breaks for your experience and your pain. I grieve with you over the misery, destruction, and horror of sin. I don’t ever want to minimize sin – as it seems you believe I have. Yes, there are different worldly consequences for sins of the thoughts vs. sins of actions. But ALL sin separates us from God. All sin is an abomination to God’s holiness. All sin leads to death. All sin causes incredible pain. And all sin is evil. There is no sin that is acceptable in God’s sight. There is no excusable sin. God hates pornography use. God hates lust. God hates adultery that is committed in the heart. He also hates bitterness, gossip, hatred, contempt, unforgiveness, resentment, pride, self-righteousness, idolatry, taking His name in vain, stealing, lying, unbelief in Him, hypocrisy, legalism, false teaching, ignoring the poor and needy, and every other possible sin. No sin is allowed in God’s presence. None.

            When a wife faces her husband’s pornography addiction or use – I do not believe the answer is to accept that men are made this way. It breaks my heart to think that is what you heard me say. I do NOT advocate women just accepting and respecting sin. God NEVER calls us to embrace sin. I think it is important for us to understand our husbands’ particular weaknesses and temptations. But that does not excuse our husbands’ sin – any more than we are excused because of PMS to be hateful and disrespectful to our husbands. Our husbands may want to understand why we have certain temptations and weaknesses, but that does not mean it is ok for us to lash out at them in sinful, ungodly ways. And it is not ok for husbands (or wives) to continue on in porn use. It is sin. It is destructive. It is painful and hurtful.

            I am very concerned that your husband said he felt free because God forgives all of his sin – but I assume he is continuing on with using porn? Or did I misunderstand? Perhaps he has repented and is no longer using it?

            You may not have done anything “wrong,” my sweet sister! This was likely an addiction he had before you were in the picture. Do you know when he began using porn?

            You are exactly right – you cannot guarantee your husband won’t fall into sin, even if you are “perfect.” And your husband absolutely IS accountable to God for his sin. God will not excuse his lust or porn use. That sin must be adequately paid for – either when your husband repents of it and receives the payment of Jesus’ blood, or your husband will pay for it himself in hell for all of eternity if he does not really belong to Christ.

            I’m really glad that God has shown you that our husbands can become our idols. This was certainly the case for me. And that is terrible sin, as well. Putting my husband before Christ is a destructive, sinful, evil thing to do that will destroy my fellowship with Christ and my marriage. (How to Make Your Husband an Idol.)

            I’m very glad you are focusing on your relationship with God. THAT IS AWESOME! I know that God is able to use even this dark trial to create something beautiful in you, my precious sister. I’m excited that you are seeking Him with all your heart! I am glad that you are seeking to find your identity and security in Christ far above your marriage. That is very necessary, I totally agree.

            God’s Word does give us recourse when we are being sinned against. Matthew 7:1-5 and Matthew 18:15-17. I have a post about confronting our husbands’ sin. I believe that after you have confronted him privately a few times, respectfully, about his porn use – if he continues on using it and is unrepentant, and he claims Christ – you may take him to a trusted pastor, or involve a trusted pastor or godly mentoring man/couple according to Matthew 18:15-17. You do not have to attempt to face this completely on your own. God has church discipline in place because it is necessary sometimes. I pray that you might prayerfully consider that it may be time to involve someone who can help you and your husband in this issue if your husband refuses to repent and be accountable and transparent on his own.

            Much love to you! I am praying for you and am always glad to hear from you. You are most loved and welcome here, my dear sister!

  9. This post is so timely! Intimacy and emotional connection have picked up with my spouse. Part of me is surprised that he’s now sharing so much. I realize he’s taking a risk with me and I’ll respond honestly, but carefully. I was thinking how, even if a boy was never introduced to porn, he has an organ that brings him comfort and when he is alone can be completely vulnerable. What kind of transition must men make to hand this over completely to their wives? Do we realize how vulnerable they are? I so wish some one had prepared me for witnessing my husband’s weaknesses and my role with that. I still catch myself being shocked that the man I married really isn’t Jesus, or my grandfather, or the perfect dad I saw on TV, or superman. Heck, even in the bedroom, it’s not really a ‘safe’ place because I’m expecting to be romanced. I had to learn intimacy goes much deeper than that. I’m feeling the weight of truly caring for my husband’s heart, being trustworthy, and showing him he is wonderful in my site. Being sensitive to the Spirit is not optional when it comes to dealing with sex and all that comes with it, let alone any addiction.

    Me and God doing a lot of processing lately. Bless you April!

    1. Refined,

      Thank you so much for sharing what you are learning and your perspective. I love that you and God are doing so much processing. You are welcome to share any time! You are such a blessing to me. 🙂

  10. This is an excellent post, April. So loving and understanding.

    Yes, it is a “counter-intuitive response” but I can vouch for its effectiveness. My husband started looking at porn when he was 11 and was addicted for a long time, but this has not been part of his life for years now. He says it helped immensely that when he told me about his problem, I “didn’t freak out.” He also says he appreciated not feeling judged whenever we’d talk about it.

    I think I was able to listen and try to understand what he was going through because I’d fought my own food addiction/weight obsession for so long. I knew what it was like to have my own “shameful secret” (sin) that no one seemed to understand! When he told me what was going on with him, I hated knowing he felt like I had, that he was suffering in the same awful way. All I wanted to do was help him out of it. I think he picked up on and responded to that compassion from me.

    1. Liz M.,
      This is so helpful! I know your perspective will be such a blessing to many other wives who are struggling and hurting over this painful issue. Thank you very much for sharing!

  11. I can totally relate to these poor husbands. I saw my first porno at age 9 or 10 my step dad kept a collection. I am not addicted to poor but I used to watch it on and off ( I am addicted to Facebook ) addictions call your name and draw you in out of no where. The lack of control is scary. Im also apart of the 20% visual women. I have to keep my eyes focused on christ and not look at hansome men to long so I understand what men go through regarding visual.

    1. Shy,
      A friend showed me her dad’s Playboy magazines when I was 6. I still remember every picture. 🙁 Praise God that I did not develop an addiction or even a desire to look at porn.

      Thank you for sharing your story and for sharing your perspective being a woman who is more visual and how that can create issues for you. I’m sure your own way of looking at the world helps you to see how much of a blessing modesty can be for others.

      1. Oh my six years old 🙁 . I am not attracted to women , but maybe because I am very visual ,I have certian thoughts about women when they do not dress modest. Some of the things I’ve noticed are.
        -i can undress people in my mind un modest dress helps this.
        -I call them certian names in my head that I will not list, they are not good names.
        -I am totally disgusted and turned on in a weird way , Yuck.
        – and as you said I do see them as a tool to be used. This goes for men with no shirts on too.
        This maybe from all the sex I was exposed as a kid physical and mentally (porn)
        I had forgotten about many things until I started therapy .then I began to have flash backs.
        I believe I am addicted to sex but at this current time ;thanks to Jesus its under control .I am waiting until marriage to have sex again.

        I dress modest but this was not always the case. I became convicted when I became a believer.
        I’ve found many knee shirts at.
        H&M (very cute clothes I’m pretty stylish) $5-12 dollars
        Groupon has floor length skirts all colors for 14.99

  12. I am an older single woman who has struggled with porn addiction for over 35 years. I would like to offer another perspective.
    The real problem, I believe, is the masturbation. Porn is like the drug, but the “high” comes from the sexual release. The images from porn can stay with you for decades, even if you are not currently watching or reading it. When you dwell on these past images, you are sexually aroused and you need to release the built up tension. My times of weakness occur when I am feeling particularly lonely, discouraged or frustrated with my life. But these are only symptoms of a deeper problem. The root of it is love of self being greater than my love for God. Self-pity, self pleasure and self-seeking all contribute to any addiction. We are called to SELF_DENIAL, taking up the cross, and following Jesus. There is virtually no teaching on this these days, and the failure of teaching the whole counsel of God is a major contributor of the epidemic of porn addiction within the body of Christ. It is a daily battle with me. I hate my sin; I have to go to the throne of Grace on a daily basis, and ask Jesus to keep me. I do not have the power to keep myself.

    1. A struggling sister,
      Yes, the orgasm brings oxytocin and other neurotransmitters and hormones that creates a high and a bonding effect. And, you are right – the issue is truly in our thoughts. This is why it is so important to take each thought captive for Christ quickly and not to allow ourselves to marinate in ungodly thoughts – because that will lead to greater temptation and sin.

      Thank you for sharing when your times of weakness are. I think that hearing how another woman struggles with this issue may be helpful for women who don’t struggle with porn or self-pleasing but whose husbands do.

      Yes, becoming Christlike is very much about self-denial – but not in a punitive way – but rather in a way that produces the joy and blessings of God. As we deny ourselves self-pity, self-pleasure, self-exaltation, self-protection – we can focus on Christ and we can exalt Him and seek His pleasure, His will, His glorification, and His joy. When we do that, we experience such great blessings ourselves.

      On our own, we cannot overcome sin. But praise God! In Christ, He lives in and through us and He absolutely has the power to overcome sin in our lives – any sin. We can walk in victory through Him as we abide in Him and His Spirit fills us. He can do in us what we could never do on our own. We are totally dependent on HIM.

      Much love to you!

  13. My boyfriend is addicted to social media. I know there’s a porn habit i’m not sure how frequent or strong it is. I’ve never actually seen him watching it. The social media has been an issue for our entire relationship. He uses it to talk to girls and and see racey pictures of women. When I first brought it up he used to say “they’re just friends.” He is a really friendly guy, a good guy. I know he has lots of friends but the online behavior I know is not good. He also decided to give it up because I was about to leave the relationship. However, he’s made excuses and found his way back on. Emotionally i’m not at a point where I can control how I feel. I find this hurtful and it makes me feel as if i’m not enough for him. Especially because initially he would leave them comments that he wouldn’t even make towards me. I have decided to stop trying to control his behavior since I too am a sinful person. It’s the only way I can seem to find peace with the situation. I hope that God will intervene and the Holy Spirit will work with him. We have a great relationship aside from this and one day see ourselves getting married. I won’t lie though sometimes I feel discouraged. I’ve been divorced once and it was a horrible experience. Sometimes I see so much of the trials and tribulations that marriages face and begin to wonder what is the positive side of marriage? I hope someone has some answers. Thank you for this post and for talking about such a serious issue.

    1. LovedbyJesus,
      It is great to meet you!

      At this point, you do have the ability to leave if you cannot tolerate his behavior. I can certainly understand your concerns. I think they are valid.

      How is your walk with Christ?

      How is his walk with Christ?

      Marriage can have many positive sides. When we are seeking to do marriage God’s way – and, especially if we are married to another believer – we can demonstrate the relationship between Christ and the church through our marriages. And, God sanctifies us through marriage. It is to be a loving, stable, godly environment in which children can grow up and then emulate what they have seen in their future marriages and families.

      Marriage can also be one of the most painful experiences, too. As you well know. Marriage was designed by God and is good. Sin enters the picture and can destroy the good design of God. But thankfully, in Christ, we can experience God’s good design for marriage again as His Spirit fills us and empowers us.

      Much love to you!

    2. Hi sister. I too was/am addicted to social media . Its very hard to break this addiction. Fb would call my name. I would log in and become depressed and hateful because of others lives.
      But I felt like I had to watch my fiance at that time .I would get so many inboxes from men (SOME MARRIED) so I was sure my man was in boxing females too. He was a good guy but I did find out that he was talking to women from fb on the phone as “friends” this was very hurtful. At this point my disrespect for him was at an all time him. We argued, I accused him of evil motives etc he cancelled the wedding. Then I broke up with him a month later. I know the pain you’re feeling. I’m praying for you both.

  14. For the sake of wives here,I would like to share my own introspection on this subject. First in the interest of full disclosure, I am in fact, addicted to porn.I make no excuse for it,nor am I unaware how it affects my relationship both with God and my wife. I was probably around ten years old , when I was first exposed to pornography. I’m 57, maybe 58 now?I’ve been married to my wife for over 35 years, with a five year separation, due to adultery on my part.Since reuniting we have been together for 30 years.Pornography has always been an issue for me, something I struggle with daily.
    So what is the attraction for me? At first, it was the desire for the women, when I was single. Early in our marriage I would also say that that was true, much like the wife who spoke of her husband using porn while they were apart.I was in the Navy during our first year or two of marriage with 2 six month deployments. Throughout the years it seems like one circumstance or another has fueled this addiction. At this point in my life, I can’t say I even enjoy it. Any thought of romance, even with my wife seems to be slippery ground for me, unless said thoughts can be acted upon shortly after. I start looking for romantic quotes, to post for her online. Inappropriate, sexually charged images get included, and here we go again.I love my wife with all my heart, and it has absolutely nothing to do with her or the state of our relationship, that drives this addiction. Mostly I fantasize of how it would be with my wife performing these acts, when I watch porn now.Not so much desiring the other women as desiring my wife to be like them. Not in appearance, but in sexual appetite. And of course I know it’s a fantasy, much like the night in shining armor for young girls is a fantasy. It doesn’t make me desire it any less.
    In the past used to deal with it by keeping busy, either working or exercising.Slips in structure of my Christian life seem to make me more vulnerable, such as neglecting to pray with my wife daily. The staying busy is a lot harder now, because of health issues. I think I will always struggle with this, until, by God’s grace I am with my Lord. The bigger thing is I must keep struggling.
    I apologize for going on so long. I can understand if you do not want to post this comment. I just felt, that being someone who struggles with this constantly, you might like some insight into the mind of an addict. I love the work you and Greg are doing with regard to restoring marriage to what God intended, and pray for you often. God bless you.

    1. Ted,
      Thank you for being so honest and candid about how porn entered your life – breaks my heart that you were so young!!!! No child has the spiritual maturity, in my view, to rightly handle this situation. But, I appreciate you sharing the things that create temptations for a man who struggles with pornography temptations and the motivations that can be involved.

      I believe that God’s Spirit can absolutely give you victory over this temptation on a daily basis. I am praying for you, my precious brother! I know the enemy wants to take you down. But, you are more than a conqueror through Christ! I hope you will read my post today where I pray for those who battle the temptation of porn.

      Thank you for your prayers!

  15. Thank you for you prayers. I didn’t think my comment had gone through. I would like to add a few thoughts on the subject if I may. First to the wives whose husbands are struggling with this, my marriage is probably both the biggest help when we are close, and the biggest discouragement when we are not. For myself, there are many self-esteem issues, that perpetuate this addiction. Withholding intimacy or affection is absolutely the worst thing you can do if you desire to to help them. One of the biggest reasons men decide to marry, is because of temptations to immorality, at least it was for me. Pulling away from them, will only serve to make them feel even more alone than they already do. For me it is not at all about my wife, or her being good enough, but more about my own doubts and feelings of self-worth. I struggle to believe my wife desires intimacy with me, because I feel so inadequate in so many ways. At times, it has seemed better to indulge my addiction, than “impose” myself on my wife. I know many wives do not understand this.I wish I could find a way to express this in terms wives could understand.
    Secondly, to expand on the statement that men chiefly marry due to temptations to immorality-this is reality. It has nothing to do with your husband’s love for you. I did not understand going into marriage, the level of sacrifice required to be a Christian husband. I doubt many husbands did.All I knew, was my wife, seemed genuinely interested in me, and I didn’t feel so alone, when I was with her. No one before her had really seemed to care about what I thought or felt,not even in my own family. Then we became practicing Christians, or as Tommy Nelson put it, we stopped playing games with God. I started to realize I was responsible to God for this woman, that she was given to me, to care for and protect, as a shepherd with his sheep. In my flesh, I am wholly inadequate to the task. Only by allowing Christ to work through me, can I ever hope to measure up to what is required of me. Not by my wife, but by my Lord. And I so desperately desire not to disappoint Him! I think we learn to love one another as husbands and wives, and even as Christians, by Christ’s example, and we do it because he first loved us. This is not our natural state.I’m not sure that if I knew how hard it would be, I would have embarked on either my marriage, or my life as a Christian.Yet, Jesus is so worth it all! I would not trade one moment of my time in His service for anything in the world! I think this is part of the working of grace, that we don’t know, as the scripture says “he lures us out of our distress”.
    Lastly, I would like to say, that after all is said and done, all that will matter is how well we have loved one another.Love is all that remains When we are with Christ we will no longer need either faith or hope, only love will remain. Love for Him, and love for one another.So it is my prayer, for everyone called by His name, to strive to love one another, as He has loved us. May God bless you all.

    1. Ted,
      Thank you so much for sharing this. And, you are right, many wives do not understand their husbands about this issue. All they can see and feel is pain, betrayal and hurt. I think it could be so helpful if men could experience what women feel in this situation – and if women could experience what men feel. I’d love to try to bridge this chasm.

      I don’t think many wives understand, going into marriage, what it means to be a godly wife. I am not sure it is possible to understand that ahead of time. And, YES! AMEN! This completely requires the power of God working in us as wives, too, for us to be able to be the godly women He calls us to be. None of us can do this in our own power, that is for sure. This is not our natural state, either. For both men and women, God uses marriage to refine, purify, mature, and sanctify us to become holy in His sight. Of course, He can use singleness, as well, to accomplish this – for some who are called to singleness.

      Amen! All that will matter is faith expressing itself in love. Thank you for this exhortation!

      Much love, my brother!

      1. I just had to comment again. 🙂 I also think that the expectations we as women have for our husbands can be unrealistic. As young girls we are progrAmmed to dream about marrying Prince Charming. Society pushes us to believe that our husbands are totally responsible for our happiness. Now I’m not downgrading our husbands sin by no means. I have experienced this pain firsthand. I just think that we are so disappointed and let down that our husbands aren’t God to us. When I was hurt the first time I couldn’t believe that he would do something like this to me. The enemy wants wives to stay in this state of idolizing our husbands so we can’t forgive, (shouldn’t forgive because we are perfect, so we think) which leads to this bitterness that will consume us, ultimately pushing our spouse away, throwing away the we should fight for. The hardest thing to do when you are angry at your husband is to try and see him how God does, but that’s what I had to do to get past the bitterness and self righteousness. It’s a struggle but I have to remember Gods promises to me, (often through Aprils gentle reminders) that I’m not guaranteed in this life that there won’t be suffering but that HE will be with me always. This is something I’m trying to prepare my daughter for one day. to realize she will marry someone wonderful, a sinner just like her that will love her, But Jesus is the one that ultimately satisfies. The best comfort in some of my dark times, was to take a notebook or journal and write a verse down that comforted me or reminded me of a promise from God. I look back in the notebook to remind me when the enemy wants to throw things up in my face. I just looked back in my book and found this , 2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Oh how I felt so weak,stupid,foolish and discarded. God reminded me that that’s His specialty, nothing is too hard to for Him. Be encouraged christian brothers and sisters, we have Mighty God!!

  16. This is a great post April. I’m glad you were led to take this head on. So much great scripture reference and genuine Christian concern and love in this post. I can relate to many of the things that Ted has said. I was encouraged to read the comments from some of your female readers how they did not go ballistic or shame their husbands when they found out about their use of porn. If my dear bride had only chosen to respond in that way the Lord may have worked through her to set me free from it sooner. I praise God that last year someone at another site mentioned how they were helped by reading “Surfing For God”, it helped me see what I was really seeking was a closer relationship with Him and He set me free.
    God bless.

    E

    1. E,

      Thank you for sharing. I appreciate any insights you may have to offer to the wives who are hurting, afraid, and who don’t know what to do. At first, many women feel like they can’t even breathe. It feels like the whole world changes and becomes dark and sinister – that everything a woman thought she knew and could trust has been removed from her life. She may have thought she could trust men in general or men in her life before, and now, she questions every man she sees. This is some scary stuff for a lot of wives. For a wife whose husband turns to porn, it feels like infidelity. It feels like adultery. The pain and betrayal can be overwhelming. It can be very hard for a wife to rebuild trust, especially if she didn’t know that her husband was even using porn and it was a sudden revelation.

      Of course, some wives also struggle with porn addictions, too, and do sympathize completely with their husbands.

      I am thankful for the wives who are able to lay their pain before God and seek to see their husbands through God’s eyes and who are able to see their own sin (present or past) and how we are not “above” or “better than” our husbands.

      How I pray we will keep our eyes on Jesus, and allow Him to heal everyone who has been so deeply wounded by this sin. There IS victory in Jesus Christ! There IS healing! There is hope!

      Thanks so much, E!

  17. Funny timing that God has. This post came into my email inbox and I thought I’d keep it there to read when I had time. This morning I read your post, thought it was interesting and left it at that. This evening I was talking to my husband in bed about it and he confessed that he watches porn and it is something he struggles with. He started watching it before we were dating, while we were dating and while we have been married (which has been 10 months). The last time he watched it was 2 weeks ago. I am struggling with processing this for 3 reasons:
    1. While we were dating we had a discussion about porn and he said he has never watched it. I also asked early into our marriage and again the same response. I am unbelievably hurt that he blatantly lied to me and my trust for him has vanished.
    2. He has a porn addiction. After he told me he has promised to shake it but now my trust has gone, I don’t believe him.
    3. He has told me he doesn’t masturbate over it but I can’t believe that. Why else watch porn?

    I really need some prayer and some advice on how to handle this. This has hurt me a lot and I’m not sure how to be graceful, forgiving and accepting. He has a reasonably strong relationship with God and serves in our church. My relationship with God is also reasonably strong.

    I feel so trapped and betrayed. I want to run away but I know I need to face this but I have no idea how to. Please help.

    1. Learningwife,

      Oh, my precious sister!!!!!!!!!

      How I wish I could just kidnap you for a few days.

      Whew. That was a complete shock. I feel your pain so much. I understand why your trust is gone right now. My prayer is that you will give yourself a few days just to process things and not make any big decisions right now.

      I vote to just get on your face before God the next few days and pour out your feelings and pain to Him. This is also a safe place to share anytime you want to – and there are people here who will pray with you and walk beside you on this road. Including myself, of course!

      You are not facing this alone.

      What you may want to do, is just write out all that you are feeling and keep it somewhere safe and private. You may not ultimately want to keep what you need to write right now – but you do probably need to write things out to process your feelings. Write out your pain, your fears, your questions.

      In a few days, when you feel like you are ready, you may have more questions to ask your husband. But – you can let him know that you want to be on his team and you want to support him – but right now you are really hurt and scared and shocked and need some time because your head is spinning and it feels like the world has turned upside down right now.

      When you have calmed down a bit – you may be able to have a less emotional conversation about the extent of what is going on and then talk together about steps y’all want to take to fight this thing.

      You probably won’t be able to be forgiving right this second. You may need a few days to work through all the the emotions and turmoil that will be in your mind, heart, and soul.

      But – then God can give you the power you need to respond the way He desires you to.

      Ultimately, this is all about you and God.

      I’m right here. We can talk through this some more any time.

      If anyone else would like to offer support, prayers or encouragement, you are welcome to!

      I am praying for you and your husband, my precious friend!

      When you are ready – you may want to read yesterday’s post, as well. 🙂

      1. Learningwife,

        PS

        There will be great temptation to tell people in your family, your church, your friends, your coworkers – what you have found out about your husband. Please don’t tell them. That will make things so much more complicated. If you have a godly mentoring wife or biblical Christian female counselor – you could share with her. But, my suggestion is to share here, but to not share with people in your life.

        If it is possible for you to take a day or two off of work, that may be a good thing. Because I am sure you will be very emotional these first few days. You won’t have to explain things to people if you are able to stay home.

        If people ask why you are upset, you can say that you are going through something very hard right now – but that you are not able to talk about it. Even if they press you, I would suggest not talking about it.

        But you can talk here all you want!

        Much love!

    2. Thank you for your prayer.

      We talked last night and I have said that we need someone else to help us because I don’t feel like I alone can hold him accountable. We are seeing our pastor tonight and he is going to confess to him.

      I have been such a mess all day today, crying at random times. I feel like my heart is shattered and I have no way to rebuild it. Unfortunately I start a new job tomorrow and won’t be able to take time off.

      Thank you for your advice and kind words xx

        1. Hi April

          Things went great talking to our pastor. We have implemented some restrictions on our phones and on the computers. I get a weekly email update which outlines any suspicious websites which have been accessed (software is xxxchurch if anyone is interested). God has been walking with me through this journey and I am surprised at how calm and peaceful I am about this.

          I am staying with my husband to support him because I know he never did it to hurt me. He has been battling this since he was a teenager and he is so relieved to finally have come clean to someone.

          To be honest our marriage has never been better!! He is so loving and open towards me now. I have a few moments where it’ll hit me again and it will hurt but he will just hold me until I feel okay again.

          Thank you for your prayers. God is definitely doing some great work in my life, his life and our marriage. Thank you so much April for this post and your advice. I honestly don’t think I could have done this without you! xxx

  18. Just a few words of comfort here from a wife who has been through this and survived intact and whole.
    Women and men have totally different views on most everything, porn included. I believe that when a man looks at porn, he isn’t comparing those women to his wife. He doesn’t have any feelings towards the images except sexual ones. These images are used by him for a utilitarian purpose that has nothing at all to do with his feelings and desire for his wife. When I first found out my husband looked at porn, I was hurt and felt used and betrayed. I understand how Learning Wife feels because I’ve been there. But porn use by a husband isn’t about his wife AT ALL. Men are surprised that a woman would think that he uses porn because he isn’t satisfied with his wife.
    With the help of the holy spirit, I have been able to forgive my husband and to understand that we are all sinners saved by grace. During our marriage I have sinned against him, too, maybe not by using porn but in other ways that have been just as devastating to him, like disrespecting him, treating him like one of my children, and feeling like I was better than him. My husband has graciously forgiven me for my sins against him. I have made my feelings clear about him using porn and if he is still viewing it, he hides it well, thankfully. I celebrate every time that he intentionally turns away from a pornographic image, knowing that he is doing that for ME. 🙂 I love and accept my husband as he is, unconditionally and wholeheartedly.
    Learning Wife is understandably upset, but hopefully she can take comfort in the knowledge that her husband felt safe enough to tell her the truth when she asked him if he used porn. He didn’t lie to her and compound the problem. He respected her enough to be honest. That speaks volumes to me of his integrity and goodness!
    Praying for Learning Wife and her husband.

    1. To W.—-Give this to your husband to read and tell him to read it every time just before he views his porn—

      Do men realize that the porn photos of the women in the fotos that they use for sexual purposes are very young, many of them still teens, some runaways kidnapped into sexual bondage? Just a few years ago they were once little children. Can a man imagine his own daughter doing this? Look at an image of a cute little 18 month old baby girl in pig tails and diapers that grew up in this sex saturated society to lose all self-respect or to be mistreated, emotionally damaged that she either sold herself or was kidnapped by a pimp and put into something that degrades her and is often wrought with cruelty towards her. If a man’s imagination is good enough to visualize sex with a foto perhaps it is good enough to visualize what life for these women is like. Make-up is probably covering the bruises from the beatings these women endure.

      What a man pays to buy these fotos in a magazine or view them online has fueled the sex slave industry all over the world.

      What I wrote is not meant to reach a man’s emotions but hard cold facts.

      1. Does that ever really work for men? I avoid pornography because of how it could degrade ME.

        Proverbs 6:26–by way of a harlot a man is brought to a piece of bread.

        Or

        1 Corinthians 6:16
        Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.

        If people want to see men healed of sexual addictions, why not use the approach that the Bible uses?

        Even if people only care about the women who are involved (and don’t really care about the well-being of the man), doesn’t it makes sense?

        Inquiring minds would like to know, is all.

        1. JC,

          Love this! Yes, using pornography degrades the user, too. And it dishonors and grieves God. Everyone loses when anyone uses porn, everyone is hurt. God’s Holy Name is smeared wtih filth.

          Thank you for bringing up that everyone on every side of this issue is hurt by this sin.

      2. To Susan’s Saddle Stands-
        You presented some truly horrible facts about pornography’s victims and the pain it causes. Thank you for sharing. We all need to know these things.
        My husband is a good and descent man and I do not think that “giving him this to read” would be respectful or kind. I am sure you did not mean to come across harshly to me but I do feel a bit attacked. Maybe I’m taking your post the wrong way? I shared from my heart. Most men look at porn. Some are addicted, others are just casual users. Wives here on this blog have a safe place to discuss their feelings and the realities of marriage thanks to April. I shared my experience only to help other wives.
        God bless. Praying always.

        1. Ladies,

          Obviously there are many dreadful facts about the porn industry. Just like there are many dreadful facts about cigarette addiction, drug addiction, and alcoholism. As a pharmacist, I see many people who struggle wtih all kinds of addictions. I have watched many doctors and pharmacists and nurses lecture people on the facts of their addictions. But, lectures do very little to change an addict.

          Are there times when we may need to gently, humbly, respectfully, share our concerns with our husbands about their porn use? Sure. Absolutely. But, I would want us as wives to take great pains to not come across as lecturing our men, condemning them, looking down on them, etc… Most men know that porn use is wrong. Explaining more about how wrong it is doesn’t give them the tools they need to overcome it.

          Thankfully, we have access to the King of kings and Lord of lords and we can take our husbands to His feet in prayer. God’s Spirit can convict in ways we never can. And His Spirit can bring healing. My prayer is that we will humbly, gently, respectfully walk beside our husbands, using the power of God’s Spirit and His wisdom and love to reach them. I pray God will give us great sensitivity to His Spirit about exactly what to say, what not to say, and when and how to say things.

          Much love!!

      3. Susan-
        While your point is well-intentioned, it comes off as judgmental and out-of-line for a wife to take the role of mother and essentially scold her husband.

        And what would your response be to the man who only views amateur porn made by normal couples, not porn actors/actresses? (Lots of porn is amateur-made). Your reason would fall apart under those circumstances because no one is being exploited.

        Truthfully, you don’t really understand what porn is, how it works, the full nature of its destructiveness, and why men watch it.

        This is an area where women are really not qualified to change their men, teach, scold, lecture, shame, coerce, cajole, threaten, or bribe.

        It’s out of your hands other than to let the man know how it makes you feel, and what your personal response will be.

        1. Susan,

          I am betting you had no idea your little comment would set off such a big conversation! But, I am really glad you shared it. I think that most women would probably consider using such an approach, and I think you are speaking for many who haven’t commented.

          I don’t want you to feel attacked at all. I want everyone to feel free to share their views. And I am always thankful when you share because you add so much to the discussion.

          Jack,
          I appreciate a masculine perspective on this approach. I think most women would be pretty shocked to learn how a lot of their husbands might respond to this. I would rather wives find out here and have some time to prayerfully consider their approach. Thank you for helping us see how our men might feel if we attempt to lecture them or change them. And thank you for helping us see where our power really is – in saying how we feel and how we are hurt by our husbands’ sin and what we plan to do ourselves about things.

          And ladies, please don’t forget, the prayer of a righteous woman is powerful and effective. We have so much power In Christ to bring this issue to Him in prayer.

          Much love!

  19. The simple truth is REAL love and care is showing a believer their sin. Jesus did this and we are told we should in scripture yet the church is in such apostate state that majority say you’re judging if you say anything.
    For sure pray… But the sad thing is if a loved one dies in the act or unrepentant they will not enter the kingdom of heaven!!! I say if you love your husband, brother, son, dad etc SAY SOMETHING in a Spirit of love!! Time to WAKE UP Jesus is coming, sooner than we realise… Or our life could end today… Choose this day whom you shall serve. If we love Him we will KEEP His commandments.

    1 Corinthians 6:8-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

    But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!

    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    1. Tania,
      There absolutely are times when we need to confront our husbands. You can search “confronting our husbands about their sin” on my home page. If a husband already knows he is wrong, I am not sure that a wife would need to hit him over the head with a hammer about it. I Peter 3:1-6 is God’s command for wives whose husbands are far from God. But, yes, there can be times we need to confront them. I just want to be very careful how, when, why, and where we do this. I hope that makes sense.

      Thanks so much for sharing!

      1. If a man knows he is wrong… Will he then keep on doing it?
        Jesus always rebuked sin and said “go sin no more”… It truely is a heart issue.
        The sermon on the Mount Jesus gave was powerful for these issues.

        In the end it is each individual believers choice daily to choose this life or eternal life.

        1. fwiw, and I think from reading April’s writing she’s aware of this, is that many men don’t really understand why it’s wrong. Like, they get that it makes a wife upset but don’t really understand why or what’s the correlation (and I’m not saying wives are wrong to be upset about it).

          And this doesn’t surprise me at all. They aren’t given the right (biblical) reasons as to why it’s wrong, from what I can see. There are deeply-rooted cultural flaws that, I believe, make it a lot harder for a man to detect the harm he’s doing to himself with sexual immorality than for a woman.

          In any case, though, April’s message is to respond constructively.

        2. Are there things you keep doing even though they are wrong?

          Or is it just that this sin is somehow more serious than other, less-important sins?

          1. We have our moments of weakness for a variety of reasons for sure. But sexual problems are treated with a certain stigma I believe.

            For example, if someone has anger problems, and his fits go from once a day, to once a week, to once a month, to once a year, we call it progress.

            But with men’s sexual issues I see such a doomsdayer attitude about it that the occasional relapse is treated like “oh no it’s hopeless!”

            I could be all wrong about that, but that’s kind of what it looks like. NO DOUBT though, every sin hurts every times and is trying for wives in any and all cases. I think April is definitely fixing this attitude in her post, and many women here are being soldiers about it–praise the Lord for these wives, and may they reap what they deserve in their relationships. 🙂

          2. Oh! I do remember one comment from someone though who said he quit a literotica addiction (yeah, a man) and a big part of the struggle was the belief that a relapse did not mean that no progress was made. (Not that it isn’t bad, no doubt, but it’s just not a reason to be discouraged)

            I think that’s generally understood for any addiction.

          3. My comment was for Tania, just so’s ya know. She implied that a man would be very bad for continuing despite knowing it is wrong. Obviously, if she were to repeat a sin once she knows, then she would have to come under the same thinking.

          4. You know Jack, I wonder if part of the problem for everyone about the subject is the idea that porn or sexual immorality are just normal men things to do.

            Because many people DO think that it’s just a normal thing for men to do and in that regard this sin is a little unique as far as men are concerned. So just in their defense, maybe it’s a little bit of “oh so they know it’s wrong? Then why don’t they quit?”

            But you’re right if you’d say that a lot of terrible sins are considered normal and more acceptable for women too.

            I didn’t understand how certain habits commonly seen in women were so hard to quit. I didn’t realize it was even difficult to “act like a lady,” because I figured that was just a choice too that could be fixed the moment they just decided to quit acting certain ways.

            April’s blog has enlightened me and a lot of other men a lot on this! And, April’s all about making this go two ways–understanding separate struggles that we don’t understand.

            The answer in any case is following Christ and conforming to Him, and loving and bearing with one another.

            Just talking. 😉

  20. I agree with April’s assessment of this situation.

    Matthew 7: 1-5 (Jesus speaking) Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s (husband’s) eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother (husband), “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and they you will see clearly to remove the speck from your own eye.

    We ALL sin in different ways. If I was “caught” in some sin and someone not in authority over me pointed a finger and said “You sinner!” my human nature would respond with anger and I would think, “Who do you think you are telling ME I’m wrong when you do things wrong too!” Jesus is cautioning us here to be very careful how we treat others since we are all sinners. Remember how Jesus gently rebuked the stone-throwers who wished to stone the woman for her adultery? Then HE was able to address the woman and her sin. Yes, He told her to go and sin no more, but this action was between her and God only.

    Telling a husband with love and gentleness that his viewing pornography hurts you and you ask that he not do that please is the best action. Then you continue to treat him with honor and respect, praying for him always, and leaving the rest to God who is well able to handle the situation. A man can best hear God’s voice when there is peace between him and his wife.

    Treat others the way you want them to treat you is the best action.

  21. There are truths about porn and porn use that are not even discussed openly, either in secular or religious circles. These truths are about how broken the men who use it truly are, at least in most cases.

    Here is a thought for the ladies to prayerfully consider.

    Porn is welfare. It’s sexual food stamps, in most cases. It is an expression of someone who is impoverished for legitimate female attention or companionship.

    One of the REAL reasons that men are ashamed of porn use is the same reason they would be ashamed to be on welfare, or unemployment. It is a direct indictment of their worth as a man.

    A wife who meets her husband’s needs with a stingy spirit, or with a sense of grudging duty is only reinforcing to him what low value he is. If the woman you have pledged your life and monogamy to won’t have you except on a schedule, then truly you are nothing as a man (or so it feels).

    A lot of men look at porn because it is the only way they get to see a woman who is a willing and even enthusiastic participant. Porn-sex is sex without obligation, sex that is given without requiring dish-washing or lawnmowing, It is sex given without being run past the “were you a GOOD boy today??? criteria.

    For many men, such an experience is something they will never know, and they occasionally live vicariously through watching a representation of it.

    I will never drive a Formula 1 car, but I can watch it TV and dream. It is sad that so many men have only fictional examples of female love and affection to sustain them. It would like eating soda crackers while watching a video of someone else having a steak dinner.

    1. I understand what you are saying here, Jack, and I appreciate your candor. What you are presenting could be true for many men, but it isn’t for all. In my case, no matter now much “willing and enthusiastic unscheduled” sex I had with my husband, he would still visit these porn sites and books.

      Sexual fulfillment in marriage is a dual effort and responsibility. Both husband and wife should meet the other’s needs both in and out of the bedroom.

      Porn is an easy way for a man to get sexual gratification without any effort on his part to please the other person. It’s a purely selfish act, no give and take, no sharing. It’s like fast food – he’s “hungry” but doesn’t want to take the time to cook a nutritious meal at home.

      1. W. and Jack,

        I agree that there are many single men who are sexually starving and husbands whose wives are not enthusiastic about sex or willing to have sex (for a large variety of reasons) for whom Jack’s observations would probably be valid.

        I also agree with W that there are also many men who come into marriage with a major addiction and who will not respond to a wife’s enthusiasm or willingness because the addiction has already consumed so much of the man’s sexual energy and appetite. This puts a wife in such a painful position.

        1. We have a warped attitude about women being used to men like “prizes.”

          A wife or husband is not a “prize” but a life-partner, to go through the daily grind, and whatever it brings, together.

          But for men especially, we have the approach like what Jacob had to go through with Rachel, waiting 14 years while he must have burned with passion for her. Who knows what that was like. O_O While there was Isaac and Rebekah (an arranged marriage), Boaz and Ruth, and Adam and Eve in which a wife was basically handed to a man.

          I feel like, I had to be a monk so far because it was such a long road to developing a career (and MILLIONS of men today are struggling just to get anything started), why not just stick it out at this point?

          The worse thing for men is, since most working women are unwilling to marry a man who can’t find work, a man can’t even depend on marriage to save them financially the way women can have some expectation that many men are willing to marry unemployed women.

          Post-feminist culture wanted to see women working, which means men will have a harder time. It’s not what traditionalists want to result, but we have to live with it.

          The situation for men is utterly obscene. It’s bad for women too now, as a secondary result. I don’t think God called that many people to singlehood, and like Paul said:

          1 Corinthians 7:2
          But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

          In light of Paul’s statement, how does Christianity respond as a culture? Does it say “hey there’s an epidemic of sexual problems, let’s get people married quick!” Nope. It still treats women like prizes for men to earn–a cruel tactic like was used on Jacob to get him to work for 14 straight years.

          And moreover, that’s the way women come to look like to men: “I sure wished I deserved a prize that pretty.” And I think it feeds the same insecurity because the “prize” status of a woman (“do I really have the prettiest girl? Am I ‘good enough’ for a trophy that good?) feels like it’s looking back down at him.

          It is a horrific cultural flaw that causes this MYTH that “men are visual” which is really a trained condition to portray women as prizes for men. It’s a cruel trick played on men FIRST (for men’s objectification, to be treated like performance objects), and later has women treated like objects as “prizes” indicative of a man’s worth of performance.

          I’m as serious about this subject as anybody but I PRAY people will be serious enough to investigate this cultural flaw, and start doing things as the Bible taught it. In the meantime, men can be taught to respect their bodies and not fall for the deception of the prostitute no matter what.

      2. It’s a purely selfish act, no give and take, no sharing. It’s like fast food – he’s “hungry” but doesn’t want to take the time to cook a nutritious meal at home.

        Sexuality is certainly about love and sharing–that is its design.

  22. April thank you for tackling this topic. As an ex-porn addict, I can say one must want freedom first yet it is only through prayer and honest and constant accountability can the war be won.

    Sharing on Resurrecting The Redeemeed From Porn Addiction Facebook book page as well as your other ones.

    Good stuff sis!

    1. Stuart,
      You are most welcome. I’m thankful it was a blessing to you. Thank you for sharing a bit of your story. I praise God for what He has done and is doing in your life! 🙂

  23. I would like to request prayers from those who read this. My husband struggles with porn use and has promised me he would stop, but I recently discovered he is still using it. In addition, I am 5 months pregnant and very hormonal. I’m struggling with responding in a loving way. Please pray for both of us and our marriage.

    1. Anonymous,

      Oh, I am so very sorry to hear about this! Such a painful situation. Congratulations on your pregnancy. 🙂

      I am happy to pray with you – and I can point you to some other posts and resources if you are interested.

      How is your walk with Christ going, my sweet friend?

      Much love to you!

      1. Thank you. I have been using what I’ve been learning on your site to be a better wife to my husband. I wanted to share that being able to respond to my husband with love rather then lashing out from my pain during this situation has been a blessing for both of us. I was able to share my pain with him and he was able to really hear me. It also allows me to be along side him as he battles this issue. It has allowed me to be someone he can confide in without fear of my response. God is working in both of us as we go through this together. It is hard and it is painful, but we are both growing in areas where we are weak. And I hope sharing this will encourage other women in the same situation to look to God and respond in a way that is pleasing to Him despite how counter intuitive it may seem. Thank you for praying for us.

        1. Anonymous,

          I’m so thankful for what God is doing in you both! WOW!!!! I know this is extremely difficult and painful. But I am thrilled to hear how you are both growing. Thank you VERY much for sharing. I pray you might both learn to walk in the victory that Christ has already provided for you on the cross and that you might recognize and reject any lies of the enemy and allow Christ to help you rebuild your lives and marriage on Him and His Word alone.

          Much love to you!

          1. This has definitely been a painful journey. I am nearly 9 months pregnant now and my husband still searches out porn and thinks he is hiding it from me. I feel numb at this point. I have blocked off some of my heart from him because I just can’t take the pain. We both could really use some prayers. My heart is so broken.

          2. Anonymous,

            Such a painful situation! I am so very sorry for how much you are hurting!

            Please search my home page for “prayer pornography.” Have you checked out the resources available at http://www.xxxchurch.org? And The Grace Filled marriage may also be helpful, by Tim Kimmel.

            Did your husband have an addiction before?

            I am praying for you, my dear sister!!

          3. Yes, he had it before we were married. I naively thought it would stop once we were married since I would be available to him. I really had no idea the realities that I was walking into. I still love my husband very much and want so badly for this to be behind us. I find it hard to know what things to confront him about and when I should stay silent. This is the only place I can come for comfort because confiding in anyone else would humiliate my husband. I have read all your posts on this issue many times in an effort to respond to my husband in a God pleasing way. It’s hard though because sometimes my husband seems genuinely remorseful and other times he says things like he doesn’t believe there is anything wrong with looking at pictures of naked or nearly naked women. It’s very confusing. I just feel lost and hurt, and so many of my insecurities are triggered by this issue. And being pregnant is only making it harder. I want so deeply to feel cherished by my husband instead of feeling like I have to compete with every woman in the world for his attention or that he is constantly looking for someone better. I am going to try to find a copy of the book you suggested as I haven’t read that yet. And thank you for your prayers.

          4. Anonymous,

            This addiction is likely not at all about you, my precious sister! It is about him. And it is probably a way that he deals with stress, loneliness, aggravation, and pressure. It is like a drug. It gives a dopamine hit exactly like cocaine does. But I do understand what a blow a husband’s porn use can be to a wife. My prayer is that you won’t take his behavior personally – but that you might fight it together as a team.

            I pray that the book will be a blessing, and please do check out all of the resources at http://www.xxxchurch.org – he may be interested in the help they offer there, too. It is all anonymous.

            Much love to you! How can we all put our arms around you and pray for you right now?

          5. Just pray that God will grant me the wisdom and strength necessary to respond to my husband appropriately and that He will be with my husband and help him get passed this.

          6. Anonymous,

            Lord,
            You are the King of kings and Lord of lords. You are the sovereign Creator of the universe. You hold every thing that exists and every living creature in Your hands. You are good. You have all wisdom. We pray for deliverance from this addiction for this husband for Your glory. We pray for this precious wife to rely on You completely to fill her needs and to find her contentment, hope, peace, strength, and joy. Help her see how You desire to empower her to be Your partner to bless and bring healing to this man and this marriage. Help her to not try to force her way – but to trust You patiently and peacefully and to rest in Your love and provision.
            In the Name and power of Christ,
            Amen!

  24. Hi April!

    I love your blog and I am so thankful for all of the encouragement you give.

    My husband had been struggling with pornography for a very long time. He first came across his father’s porn collection when he was a little boy. It was not normal stuff. The very first thing he saw was a video of a young teenage girl taking part in sodomy. He has been watching this genre of videos for the rest of his life. I did not find out about it until after I had our second child in May 2014. He did not quit until Fall 2014. He has not looked at any pornography for half a year now. Hooray! I am so proud of him and happy. I have read this blog post many, many times and it has helped me immensely.

    But I myself am having so much difficulty getting over it. First you need to know that I am a sensitive woman. And my husband, he is not sensitive at all. He does not believe that I should be hurt by this. He does not try to understand my perspective. He told me that he does not feel sympathy towards me and that I should just get over it. But I haven’t! I am happy with what he has accomplished but I am still just hurting so so much.

    I feel that if he loved me he would care about how I feel and try to make me feel better, not get defensive and push me away when I try to talk about it. He wants to push the whole matter aside and he doesn’t see or care about the damage it has caused in our relationship. Let the past be the past, is his view of it.

    The porn makes me feel like that is what he really wants (sodomy with young teen girls). That even if it is in the past, that is what he secretly fantasizes about. He says that he doesn’t, but I don’t trust or believe anything he says because he lied about it for so long. It really makes me hate myself and hate my body. Because the girls he was looking at were very small, with narrow hips and small breasts, and I am the opposite. I have a small defined waist, with wide hips and giant breasts. Other men look at me all the time every time I go out, and I feel such temptation to sin and dress more sexually and get to enjoy the feeling of being admired and desired by other men. Oh gosh, I have never admitted that to anyone before now! These traits of mine I saw as things that make me feminine, make me able to make babies and feed them, and I hate those traits now because I feel that my husband likes the opposite body. So I am at odds with myself and hate myself for my own life purpose (childbearing). That is not something I can just overcome or ignore. A lot of damage is done! I am very sad. It hurts me very much.

    My entire sense of myself is changed. I used to think pregnancy childbearing breastfeeding were beautiful things and sacred and felt happy my body could do those things. Now I feel like they are gross because I know that the entire time I was pregnant and having babies his ideal woman was the woman with the kind of body that is not fertile. I do not look forward to becoming pregnant again. I don’t want to get fat and gross. When I nurse my baby I just look at my breasts and think they are these big disgusting flop bags. I never felt this way before. I used to look back on my pregnancies with the joy and happiness of those special times carrying our babies. I can’t anymore because I know that in those times his ideal woman was that infertile body type. It means that fertility was not something attractive in a woman to him on an instinctive level. It all only happened because of his rational mind, his logical brain, he actually went against his natural instincts to have children with me. I cannot brush it aside or forget it.

    I suffered from an eating disorder for 7 years. I used to weigh 85 pounds. And I have been recovered for 4 years. Knowing he continued to idealize women who look like they have eating disorders, for such a long time, in secret, long after I recovered, and even after we had babies. It brings me to a dark place. It even makes me wonder if he is a pedophile for liking such small and undeveloped girls. Sure they are 18 in the porno movies. But obviously they are chosen for those scenes because they look younger. Did he choose me for a wife because he loves me? No, he chose me because he had a fetish for women who were thin and sickly like me. That is how I feel. That everything was a lie and I was just a sex fetish who, unfortunately for him, recovered to be healthy and fertile and womanly.

    If I had known all this before marrying and having children I’m not sure if I would have gone through with it. I married and had children with someone who had hidden secrets and lied to me about them.

    He is very religious and does not believe in birth control. I am feeling like I do not want that life anymore. I doubt whether I want to have more children with him. I see him as a pervert. And his father was a pervert. I feel that I don’t want to have any boys in this line of perverted men. I am happy that I only have girls.

    I now think that we are not compatible racially. Because the woman that he idealizes is the woman who was the greek ideal in history. Because he is greek. I am anglo. Every anglo man I ever heard talk about sex or women all liked fertile women with breasts and hips. Greeks like small infertile looking women and prefer sodomy to normal sex. That is a well known fact of history. Just look at how women look in ancient greek art. I am so happy that my two girls have come out looking anglo. I do not want to have greek children. I wish that I had married an anglo man.

    It is like he preaches this thing that birth control is not natural because we should follow our instinctive urges. Yet if he was attracted to sodomy, and to undeveloped infertile women, by his reasoning its like he did not want to reproduce on an instinctive level. He went against his instincts to reproduce if his ideal woman is the disordered and infertile body type. I was infertile when I looked like that and didn’t ovulate or get periods. I think of all the pain and suffering I inflicted on myself to be so thin, all the self hatred I felt for myself. and that he continued for so long being attracted to that body as an ideal. It makes me wish I married a normal anglo man with normal urges. And I have started sinning, because sometimes now I feel lust when I see tall men who are more northern with blue eyes and broad shoulders. Especially when they look at me with desire. I begin to think – maybe we are meant to be together, because we are the same. The same blood, the same history, the same culture, everything. I want to be with my own people. It hurts. Even my feeling like I have betrayed my forefathers and rejected my own people by marrying an outsider who is not like me, does not look like me, and does not think like me. We are just not racially compatible. I should have married an Englishman. Our children look just like me, they are English and I see them as English. I do not want to have another child that comes out being Greek.

    I try to sympathize with his struggles and temptations and try to understand from a man’s perspective but he does not care at all about how I feel or how this has destroyed my sense of self-worth. So why should I care about him? I do care about him. I just feel like a fool for caring about someone who doesn’t care about me.

    I’m sorry for this comment being so long. Wow, I really let out everything in my heart that has been hurting me. Thank you for having this blog post here and giving me the chance to talk. We live way out in the country and there are no churches or counsellors nearby, Even if there were my husband would be against it because he does not care about my feelings about this. I don’t know what I should do about my problems. I pray many times each day, and smile and try to keep cheerful for the childrens sake, but I am hurting so much inside! Sometimes I just cannot help but cry 🙁 Every day and night is a struggle but he can’t see why since it’s been 6 months I shouldn’t care about it anymore. But I watched about 100 of his videos and I cannot erase those images from my mind.

    1. Lauren,

      My precious girl!!!!!! I just want to give you a big hug!!!

      First of all, I don’t know your husband. I don’t know his heart. But if he got addicted at such a young age to this filth, his addiction to porn obviously had nothing to do with you. And I don’t know that you can automatically conclude that he is not attracted to your body. Has he said he hates your body and is not attracted to you? Apparently he has sexual desire for you. So, I would hate to see you torture yourself over this if it is not even how he thinks.

      And even if he is only attracted to that body type, that doesn’t mean your body is bad or wrong or that you are not attractive. Does that make sense?

      It seems to me that a lot of your own insecurities are coming out because of his particular sin – like his sin addiction is triggering you to possibly relapse into your old sin addiction.

      There is no reason to view yourself as ugly. There is no reason to hate your breasts and your body. There is no reason to feel ugly. Yea, he had a porn addiction. And YES, that is very hurtful to a wife. But, is it forgivable? Yes. In God’s power it is. I would suggest reading Grace Filled Marriage by Dr. Tim Keller. There is a whole chapter on a husband’s porn addiction that I think may be very helpful.

      Is it possible that your husband really DOES care about your feelings but that whenever you bring this up maybe he feels like a horrible husband and terrible man? Is it possible that he wants to put this behind him so you both can heal? If he has gone this long without watching porn, what a wonderful reason to celebrate!!! But maybe he feels that you will never forgive him and maybe it seems like his victory all this time doesn’t matter to you? I don’t know. I am just guessing that it could be possible that you may be misunderstanding his response to you bringing this up over and over and over again.

      I sure wish you hadn’t watched any of those movies. (I wish neither of you had.) I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t part of why this is so hard for you now?
      I am praying for healing for you, my dear sister. And for you to see your body as beautiful and good. You can hate the sin of porn addiction. But I beleive that it is possible to heal from this if you can take steps toward correcting unbiblical thinking.

      What do you believe you need in order to heal and move forward?

      It could be good to challenge your thoughts that you shared here and compare them to the truth of Scripture.

      You can search my home page for “taking thoughts captive” – that post may be helpful.

      I am concerned that bitterness, resentment, self-loathing, and unforgiveness might destroy you if you continue on this path.

      What is your relationship with Christ?

      What is your husband’s relationship with Christ?

      What good things do you respect about him?

      Much love to you!!!

  25. hello april,
    my husband looks up and purposely (meaning doesn’t stumble upon it) watches porn every single time we are in an argument. I have access to his online activity so i always know, and it is ALMOST everytime we fight.

    Last night i was so angry when i found out, he left the house, i wanted to send him a long text message calling him names and just saying i’m done but i didn’t i just cried myself to sleep and let it go because in the past he hasnt even responded to things like that.

    This morning i am feeling two ways.
    one way tells me to forgive him seventy times seven, forgive him and be gentle and respectful and try to work through it… im thinking this may be the holy spirit.

    The other half of me, im guessing is my flesh or is satan is telling me to tell him he is a piece of crap husband and needs to stop hurting me, and i am done and other mean things.

    ( We were arguing to begin with because we planned on having a quiet night at home together and he sat on his phone the whole time until finally i said i am going to bed and he was asking me what happened to the happy girl 10 min ago?-well she was long gone bc i was tired of sitting there alone- then he said he was going to a buddy’s house and as he was leaving i sort of went off about how he doesn’t care about me and doesn’t try.. I didnt say this to him but He is so lazy in our marriage.barely any sex, no romance, no quality time, no gifts, )

    He has been very very stressed at work. I know this. I have been there for him and tried my hardest to be patient during this time but i really am ready to tell him he or we need to get help with some issues including porn, outside of each other because to me he is cheating on me.

    any advice on how to react to my feelings would help.. i know i need to pray and i have been asking God to give me the strength to know what to do next but also i felt i needed to reach out to a trusted godly woman.. 🙁

    thnx for your time

    RT

    1. RT,
      This is a pain that is SO DEEP for wives. 🙁 I don’t think that most husbands realize just how destructive this sin is to their wives.

      I’m glad you didn’t lash out at him last night.

      I do think that is God’s voice talking about forgiveness. And I do think that is your flesh or the enemy calling for you to destroy your marriage.

      I know that porn is especially tempting for husbands when they feel frustrated, stressed, lonely, rejected, or disrespected. I know it is a form of “self-comforting” – a sinful form, of course.

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      I would love for you to check out the resources at http://www.xxxchurch.org and also Grace Filled Marriage by Dr. Tim Keller. There is a whole chapter about this very issue that is extremely helpful.

      Have you seen my post “Prayer for Those Hurt by Porn Use, and Addicted to Porn”?

      Much love, my precious girl!!! Focus on Christ and who you are in Him. Let’s lift your husband up to God together.

      If you can, please read Romans 12:9-21 tonight and let me know what you think God might be saying to you about how to approach your husband.

      Much love!!!!

      April

      1. I still deal with insecurities and I have wanted to throw in the towel many times. The best thing I did was read the bible and when I came across a verse that pertained to how I was feeling, I would write it down. Later when those feelings would come up I would pull them out and re read them. The one word that came up over and over from God was longsuffering. I said ok God I’ll keep hanging in there.

        1. Nicole,

          I love what you did with the verses and how you wrote them down and focused on them when your feelings were going crazy. That is awesome!!!!

          Thank you so much for sharing. Praying for God’s peace, joy, strength, power, wisdom, and healing for you and for your husband and your marriage!

  26. also, i just read Lauren’s comment and can not help but cry for her and just want to hug her and tell her she is beautiful. i hate this sin of pornography and what it does to marriages,i too watch what my husband does and it hurts me and is hard to erase but i can’t help it i want to know what he has saw. its a terrible thing i need to NOT do
    lauren wherever you are out in the world i am praying for you and your marriage and your husband!!!

    1. RT,

      I hate pornography, too, my dear sister! HATE IT! I can’t even count how many people have been deeply wounded and how many marriages torn apart by porn and the consequences of it.

      Please don’t watch those things, my sweet friend! You watching it won’t help make him better, and it will only contaminate your soul and mess up things with God for you and your understanding of the beauty of God’s design for sex, masculinity, femininity, and marriage.

  27. God bless you April for this website of yours and your words that have helped more people than you possibly know.
    Keep shining for Him and I look forward to meeting you in the Kingdom.

    p.s thank you for referring the sweet sister above to Romans 12:9-21 I need that myself!

    Be encouraged, God is using you.

  28. thank you for that scripture. wow I need to refer to that in not just my marriage, but other areas of life too…. thank you april.
    *love in action*
    love all you precious sisters and praying for all tonight <3

  29. Once again, thank you so much for your ministry! This blog site has been helping me so much the past 2 days since I found it! My husband is a former porn addict. He got saved and gained accountably in this area a couple years before we started dating and got married. Sometimes he still slips up and now then. This had been painful for me, but the Lord, through His grace, gives me the grace I need to forgive my husband each time. The lies that come after I find out about his slip are usually very difficult to battle. Lies that I am not sexually pleasing enough, desirable enough, or satisfying enough. We’ve had many conversations on how those are lies and have nothing to do with the porn, but it’s still so hard for me to understand. What’s even more painful is that after an episode does occur and he confesses to me, even wen I tenderly forgive him, he is still so ashamed that he then withdrawls himself from me sexually. This in turn increases the lies that battle in my head. I’m also then filled with temptation to dress and act a certain why in order to turn other men’s heads. I so desire to know that I am desirable and beautiful that I begin to get desperate to fulfill this longing somewhere. I know this is wrong and I am ashamed that I struggle with it. I’m so glad to have found this blog and I pray that the Lord uses it to help me in this journey I am on. My husband and I are still young, in our 20s, and have only been married 5 years. I’m hoping we can learn to work together even better to help one another in our different battles.

    1. Kathleen,

      How is your walk with Christ going, my dear sister?

      Are you writing down the lies and then writing down the truth of God’s Word and choosing very consciously to reject each lie?

      This post may be helpful about taking our thoughts captive for Christ.

      My Identity in Christ

      You may also want to search my home page for:

      insecurity
      security
      expectations
      fear
      bitterness
      idol
      idolatry
      happiness
      romance

      Do you tell your husband about your temptations? Or do you have a godly mentoring wife who is your accountability partner?

      These posts on my other blog may also be helpful

      I Don’t Have to Be the Most Beautiful Woman in the Room

      Desperation for Things and People Is Unnecessary

      I know Jesus can absolutely give you both victory over these battles that the enemy wants to use to destroy your marriage and your walk with God. Cling to Him! Stay in His Word and in prayer. Allow Him to refine your motives.
      Much love to you!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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