How to Deal with Husband's Problem with Porn

I discovered a week ago that my husband has a problem with porn and masturbation. He has been looking at porn online and using adult chat rooms to e-mail other women. This issue came up when we where dating but I was assured that it was dealt with and was no longer a problem. We have now been married for over 4 years and I am devastated to discover that this has still been going on. I am doing my best to believe him that it went no further than emails but I don't know how to get the doubt out of my head. We have discussed this with Christian friends of ours and have made a lot of progress in a week. We still get on really well and laugh but I'm finding it hard to give him the intimacy that he wants (and I want) as I don't want to be hurt any further. Suggestions please!

Answer
If in your situation, this is exactly what we would do:

  1. Re-open the issue with grace, and affirm with him that there are no other hidden sins or issues that need confessing. Get everything into the light. You, as his wife, need to be a great forgiver and be committed to praying for him.

    Please understand that men are different than women! Men find it very difficult to be totally honest and open--we can accumulate a lot of "junk" in our minds and keenly feel we will disappoint and hurt our wives if they know about it. Coupled with our shame and guilt--it is plain hard to come clean! Yet, it is critical that this happens. It may kill him (metaphorically speaking only!)--but it will be the best thing that ever happened to him.

  2. Your husband needs another man as an accountability partner. It is unlikely he will gain victory over porn and these chat rooms by himself. If there is no one available as a partner--pray for one.

    If your husband could have beaten the addiction himself--why is it still a problem after four years? What makes you think that now, after being caught, he will have the strength? Find a great Christian friend who will fight alongside him against his problem with porn and believe in him!

  3. Get filtering and accountability software--try Covenant Eyes: it's works very well (we use it on our family computer and work laptop).

  4. Read our articles on porn together:
    Dangers of Pornography
    Breaking Free from Pornography
  5. Rent and watch the movie, Fireproof. If your husband needs to smash his computer--get him to do it!
Both of you need to ask yourselves: Is our marriage worth fighting for?! If yes (and we wholeheartedly believe it is), then fight this problem with porn! Do all five steps rigorously!!

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