I frequently get emails and blog comments from women who have JUST discovered that their husband is addicted to pornography. Often they describe a state of numbness and denial. It’s very common to think, This can’t really be happening. Such things don’t happen in Christian homes. Pornography? Not in MY house!
Grieving is a process with many faces and numbness and denial are normal. I wish I could tell women who have just stepped off the deep end into a pool of grief that they will come up for air in a few days, a few weeks … I wish I could write a book that matter of factly takes a woman through the grieving process and as they turn to the last page it says, “It is finished. There will be no more grieving or work to be done about this issue. Guaranteed.”
There is only One Author who can offer that kind of healing, and it is not me.
Whether you are numb or you are riding a roller coaster of emotions ranging from anger to sadness to depression to guilt, if you fully enter into the grieving process and wade through the deep waters, you WILL eventually climb out on the other side. He is faithful.
As for thinking that this can’t happen in a Christian home, let’s talk about the facts, friend. The fact is pornography is readily available, it’s relatively anonymous, and it can be really affordable. Let me show you what I mean …
These statistics were taken from the Blazing Grace website. They have even more stats than this. Check it out yourself.
* April 6, 2007: 70% of Christians admitted to struggling with porn in their daily lives. From a non-scientific poll taken by XXXChurch, as reported by CNN. * August 7,2006: 50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography. 60% of the women who answered the survey admitted to having significant struggles with lust; 40% admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year; and 20% of the church-going female participants struggle with looking at pornography on an ongoing basis. From the results of a ChristiaNet poll reported by Marketwire.com
* In December of 2000, the National Coalition to Protect Children and Families surveyed 5 Christian Campuses to see how the next generation of believers was doing with sexual purity: 48% of males admitted to current porn use 68% of males said they intentionally viewed a sexually explicit site at the school
* Roger Charman of Focus on the Family’s Pastoral Ministries reports that approximately 20 percent of the calls received on their Pastoral Care Line are for help with issues such as pornography and compulsive sexual behavior.
* A 1996 Promise Keepers survey at one of their stadium events revealed that over 50% of the men in attendance were involved with pornography within one week of attending the event.
* In 2000 Christianity Today survey, 33% of clergy admitted to having visited a sexually explicit Web site. Of those who had visited a porn site, 53% had visited such sites “a few times” in the past year, and 18% visit sexually explicit sites between a couple of times a month and more than once a week.
* Out of 81 pastors surveyed (74 males 7 female), 98% had been exposed to porn; 43% intentionally accessed a sexually explicit website National Coalition survey of pastors. Seattle. April 2000.
* In his book, “Men’s Secret Wars”, Patrick Means reveals a confidential survey of evangelical pastors and church lay leaders. Sixty-four percent of these Christian leaders confirm that they are struggling with sexual addiction or sexual compulsion including, but not limited to use of pornography, compulsive masturbation, or other secret sexual activity.
* In his book “The Sexual Man”, Dr. Archibald Hart revealed the results of a survey of some 600 Christian men, on the topic of masturbation: 61% of married Christian men masturbate 82% of these have self sex on an average of once a week; 10% have sex with self 5-10 times per month, 6% more than 15 times per month, and 1% more than 20 times a month. 13% of Christian married men said they felt it was normal.
* 34 percent of female readers of Today’s Christian Woman’s online newsletter admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn in a recent poll.
* In March of 2002 Rick Warren’s (author of the Purpose Driven life) Pastors.com website conducted a survey on porn use of 1351 pastors: 54% of the pastors had viewed Internet pornography within the last year, and 30% of these had visited within the last 30 days.
* 47% percent of families said pornography is a problem in their home. Focus on the Family Poll, October 1, 2003.
* In a survey of over 500 Christian men at a men’s retreat, over 90% admitted that they were feeling disconnected from God because lust, porn, or fantasy had gained a foothold in their lives. As reported in an article on Pastors.com by Kenny Luck.
In March 2005 Christianity Today published the results of a study called “Christians and Sex” in their Leadership Journal. 680 pastors and 1,972 laypersons were surveyed, with the following results: * 44% of churchgoers want to hear more scriptural teaching from their pastors on the subject of sex. * 22% of pastors feel they should spend more time on the topic. * 85% of pastors say they speak about sexual issues once a year, while 63% of churchgoers say their pastors do so. Among those churchgoers who say they want their pastors to preach more about sexual issues, 47% say their pastor speaks about it once a year, an even bigger difference of opinion. A CTI analyst was quoted saying “Perhaps this desire for more biblical exposition on sexual issues exists because pastors are not speaking forcefully or clearly enough, while exposure to sexual images and messages in today’s media is ever more heightened.” * 57% of pastors say that addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue to their congregation. * Almost 9 in 10 pastors reported counseling a layperson on sexual issues once a year or more.
These numbers don’t lie. Not in MY house!? Clearly it does happen in Christian homes all the time. You.Are.Not.Alone.
My book, When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography … Healing Your Wounded Heart will release from New Growth Press in October (2012).
After the Shock – Moving from Despair to Healing and Hope
The news was hard enough–the person closest to you in the world, your life partner, is struggling with pornography. But now, although the shock might have worn off, you are still reeling–feeling shattered, betrayed, alone. Where do you turn? Who do you turn to? Vicki Tiede, writing from personal experience, reminds you that no matter how you are feeling right now, you are not alone. You can turn to the God of all comfort and hope who promises to never leave you or forsake you.
When Your Husband Is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart is written to help you turn to God and away from despair. Healing comes as you learn to focus your eyes on Jesus and allow him to meet your needs rather than basing your hope and happiness on your husband’s choices. Vicki Tiede guides you through this process by focusing on six important topics: hope, surrender, trust, identity, brokenness, and forgiveness. Allowing God to meet your greatest needs is a long and learned process, but he promises to help you every step of the way.
Oh how sad these stats tread like the end of days. May God bless you and your family as you continue the good fight. Tree Mike I said hello for me.
Submitted by a woman named Christine
While we were engaged, it was revealed my husband had become addicted. He had been masturbating since the age of 11, and his family knew of it, but never discussed with him the effect it could have on his future sex life. He imagined probably 100’s of girls and different women. Pornography was a natural extension of that. I myself had made ‘real life’ mistakes, and even that was a way to drive him toward it, out of jealousy that he thought he had ‘kept himself’ for me, and I hadn’t. He could not understand that his activity was just as hurtful to me. My mistakes stopped, as I was not with anyone else, but even to this day I struggle with the thought that he may still be fantasizing about other women, since it was such an ingrained habit. It is painful to know while I can go for a time without being intimate with him, for whatever reason it is that keeps us apart (my period, his job travel, etc.) he ‘can’t’. It has improved over time, to where it is a tiny blip on the screen of life, but it hovers there, a struggle that could rear its head at any time. He no longer views the pornography, but the damage is done. God has healed my heart in many ways–it does get better!–but I find myself still laying it before Him often, wrapping myself in His love and Grace, and learning to apply it to my husband, who has also been hurt by it–and who turned to it all as a lonely boy & teen, who really needed some good, Godly guidance and help, and never got it.
Praise God for your healing journey. Continually laying it before God. I pray that many women will experience the His love and grace as you have.
Blessings to you,
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my husband has been struggling for years since he was 8, now we have been marry for 6 yrs and his addcition was going further he starting having emotional affairs talking to “friend” that I thought were my friends, I caught him and now he is the point that he confessed everything to his family our pastors, I was the only knew about his problem now we are in the restoration is the first time that I see my husband very humble and how bad he feels, God is so faithful to his promises even though sometimes for me is so hard, I am still angry and make sick all this, but when I think like this, God remind me that I need to forgive just the way he forgives me everyday, and he will heal.
These are some interesting stats and unfortunately not that unexpected. I know that I resorted to pornography when I was shunned from my wife who used sex as a means to manipulate me, withholding to gain the upper hand when she wanted certain things. She didn’t complain about it and felt that she didn’t need to bother if I was being satisfied on my own. I wasn’t though. The images will never take the place of true intimacy with a woman. But when someone says “Maybe I’ll be more interested when I’m in my 40s”, it becomes a struggle. Looking at it once isn’t less wrong than looking at it 1000 times but certainly there is a difference when someone has a true addiction and not everyone who looks at inappropriate material is an addict. There is certainly something missing in the sexual lives of many Christians today and most faith environments fail to address this uncomfortable topic. So many lives and marriages could be healed but it takes stepping outside of the box to make this happen. It’s great that there are people like Vicki Tiede who aren’t afraid of taking that step.