Have you discovered that pornography showed up in your home like an uninvited guest, unpacked her bags, and isn’t catching on that she is UNwelcome? If so, let me begin by telling you that I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that this is a post that caught your attention and felt like the promise of a cold drink in the middle of your desert.
I’m sorry that you may feel like you don’t even know the man you married. (Can I tell you some truth? The fact of the matter is, now you finally do know who your husband really is … all of him … not just the bright and shiny parts, but the dark and honest parts too. We all have those parts, by the way)
(He) will bring to light the things now hidden in the darkness
and will disclose the purposes of the heart.
1 Corinthians 4:5
I’m sorry if the thought has crossed your mind that maybe you should pack your own bags and move out for a while because you + your husband + countless digitally enhanced images of other women results in a house that’s too crowded and a marriage bed that doesn’t feel safe. Exhale.
Remember that you are in a battle, but this is a battle not between you and your husband, but a battle between the two of you against pornography. Though this has taken you by surprise, it has not surprised God.
I’m especially sorry if your husband didn’t have the courage to tell you about his struggle and you found out the hard way. I imagine you may wonder if he is truly sorry because of what he did, or if he is sorry he got caught? It’s normal for a wife to wonder how much longer he would have kept this little secret or if he would have ever come clean. This is a question you’ll never have an answer for, so it’s best to set it aside in lieu of the question that has answers:
What do I do if my husband is looking at pornography?
Do SOMETHING because your husband’s use of porn will not go away if you simply ignore it.
God gives us a standard for marriage in the Bible. It’s that standard that causes you to think, “A faithful, loving husband doesn’t do this.” While the word confront doesn’t sound very loving, leaving your husband in this sin isn’t a loving response either.
You need to tenderly confront your husband about his use of pornography. There is no right or wrong time, as long as you don’t avoid or deny the issue. Don’t be surprised if your emotions bubble to the surface and you find yourself crying or fighting mad.
Find safe support.
It is important that you find someone to talk to, and the first person should be God. Ask Him to direct your path in this situation. Your best confidants will be those who are equipped to listen without judgment, and preferably someone who has experience with this.
If your husband is committed to restoring your marriage and he is taking obvious steps in the right direction, I strongly encourage you to consult him about who and how much to tell. You can find additional resources on the Resources for Wives of Porn Addicts page of my website.
Accept the fact that it is not in your power to fix this for your husband.
God has given the Holy Spirit the task of conviction of sin. You are not responsible for your husband’s daily choices. Your job is to walk in obedience to the Word of God. My book, When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart, leads you to the Wonderful Counselor who is in the practice of taking the broken pieces of a woman’s heart and making something beautiful.
You’ve experienced a painful betrayal and you need to trust yourself into His care. When you arrive at a place of healing, you will be in a better position to create an environment that promotes healing in your marriage. Leave your husband in God’s hands. He’s got this one.
Rest assured that your husband’s use of pornography is not about you.
I hope he has already told you this, but I suspect you’re not so sure. Believe it. Pornography is a selfish act meant to meet his own perceived needs. That means you are not in competition with images of other women. This is not about your appearance, your sexual availability, or your competence in the bedroom. IT’S NOT! Please don’t let the devil try and convince you otherwise.
Our God was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). You can trust that He understands what you are feeling.
If you still feel like you are living in space that feels bleak and uncertain reach out for support. Find a counselor, therapist, recovery coach or support group. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org we are happy to help locate resources for you too.