Let me start by saying that I am not a writer. I am also not an expert. I don’t have studies or research to back up how pornography affects a marriage. I can only talk to you from experience. When my husband decided to write a book to help men conquer their problems I thought it was a good idea. However, when he started reading it to me I had to make him stop. It was too hard for me to take. I’m sure I’ll read it when he’s finished but being the wife to a porn addict is so painful. He read it to me three days ago and I still have a horribly uncomfortable muscle spasm in my back, neck and shoulders because it caused me so much stress. This is hard, but I want to encourage you with the little input I can.
I have been with my husband for nineteen years… nineteen! I’m only thirty-five which means most of my life I have been in love with my husband. He is A-MAZ-ING!!! I couldn’t have prayed or asked for anyone better. God picked him out just for me and we have an awesome relationship. We never fight, we laugh together and enjoy the same things. Everything is great, except the porn.
Here’s a little background information on me. I grew up in a church home. My Grandpa was a pastor, Mom played the piano, we were always at church. I asked God into my heart when I was four. I’ve always loved the Lord. Of course, I’ve sinned but I know God’s grace forgave me and I try really hard to live the way He wants me to.
I grew up with sisters, not brothers so pornography was never even existent to me. The only thing I ever saw was when my Dad would pick up those trucking magazines with the bikini girl on the front cover and boy did that bother me. I mean, it REALLY bothered me. To me, it felt like he was cheating on my Mom. I know the Bible says we shouldn’t lust in our hearts for others. I know it says you should pluck out your eye rather than sin. I know to my deepest core that it is not right. The Bible speaks of it repeatedly and if you have any questions that pornography is wrong, look it up.
I’ve now figured out that those magazines are called “soft porn” (go figure, they even have a name for it). I called my Dad on it one time. He laughed it off and told me it was just for the articles. I didn’t buy it then and I don’t buy it now. Wrong is wrong. It really hurt and upset me. Years later I told my husband-to-be how this bothered me and he understood, or so I thought.
Fast forward several years when I was dating my man. We were in love. It was great. My mom, his mom and I went to visit him in college for the weekend. While I was there I got on his computer and it instantly pulled up nude pictures of women. My heart stopped beating. I still remember that feeling, maybe because I’ve felt it so many more times since then. I felt so betrayed. I called him into the room and he told me his roommate had been on his computer and it was all his stuff. He apologized and promised me it wasn’t his. I believed him… stupid love!
We were together four years before we were married. In this time period there was a few times that porn got brought up but then he promised he’d stop and get better so I believed him….again, stupid love. I remember after we were married a couple of years there was an altar call at church and he turned to me and told me he was going down to pray about his porn addiction. I was floored. I didn’t know he still had issues. He decided to go “to the elders” about his issue, so not only did he tell the pastor but he told my family. I had never told them. It was horrible. I’m a very private person. I have the best family in the world but I just like keeping things personal. I don’t tell my feelings. It’s just me. Plus, I didn’t want my family looking at him like he was a bad husband or that he didn’t care for me because that’s just not the case. He’s a great husband and he loves me very much. So for a few weeks or months my Mom would ask how it was going and I’d tell her fine. Like I was going to tell her if he did relapse.
One time though I caught him doing porn again and I did leave. I felt cheated on and lied to so I spent the weekend at my parents. I was hoping this would be a call to action for him to straighten his self out. Know what he did that weekend? More porn. Are you wondering how the pastor reacted? We went to him for help and counseling. Pastor asked about our sex life and then pretty much blamed the whole issue on me. He swept it all under the rug and told me that God just made men visual. That’s not Biblical and not right. I left defeated.
The worst times are when I’m pregnant. We have four beautiful children. But do you know how mentally and physically challenging it is to be pregnant? I try so hard to look good for him but a month or so before our babies are born he tells me he’s slipped up again. That’s the worst.
I have come to terms with the fact that pornography is an addiction just like smoking or alcohol. Does it make it ok? NO WAY! Does it help? Just a little. It kind of helped me understand it a little better. If men had a clue how much pain they would cause the love of their lives then I think they would never start. I don’t understand how someone who loves me so much can cause me pain repeatedly but I love him and I know God wants me to stay with him. I really think the Holy Spirit has made me too stubborn and determined to leave.
When he tells me he has slipped again I feel betrayed. I feel like he wouldn’t have to look at other women if I was prettier, fitter or just more fulfilling. I know this isn’t true but its still how I feel. I’m hurt; I’m cut to the core. My world crashes down around me. The one person that I can tell anything to has just cheated on me. It hurts. But I can tell you that it really has nothing to do with me. He cheated on me when I was young and thin. He’s cheated on me when I’m full with child and very voluptuous. He’s cheated on me when I’m carrying baby weight and already feeling defeated. It has nothing to do with me and the way I look.
If your husband is cheating on you then it has nothing to do with you. I’ve worn clothes he wants me to wear, tight and short. It doesn’t help. I’ve never turned down sex… never. It doesn’t help. I know that’s almost unbelievable but it’s true. I don’t know if it’s the case with everyone but in our lives he will restrain from having sex with me if he’s done porn. He has such a guilty conscience that he just doesn’t want to do it. So it’s not my fault because of my looks, how much sex we have or anything else. It’s not your fault either.
I don’t know if any of this helps or not but I want you to know that you’re not alone. It hurts, it sucks, but you can make it through this. The biggest thing that has helped me is God. I pray. I cry to God for help and every time God gives me the strength I need to get through it. I pray that God will help you too.
Pornography is almost a silent killer of marriages. Now that I’ve grown up I realize that it’s really prevalent but I don’t know of any women who get support for it. If your husband is physically abusive then you get help, but I feel like the receiving end of pornography is emotionally abusive and we don’t get any support. Maybe one day that will change. Maybe there will be support groups. Maybe women in churches will bind together and help one another. But for now, hopefully this book will help your husband and help you know that you’re not alone.
It’s not your fault that your husband does pornography. Also, your husband loves you. He’s trying to change or he wouldn’t be reading this book. Pray for him. Ask him if he’s doing okay. Pray for yourself and the strength to endure. The devil wants our marriages. He wants us to give up and not raise Christian children. He doesn’t want happiness. The Word says he has come to “kill, steal and destroy”, that includes our marriages. God has come “to give life and give it more abundantly.” Speak that life into your marriage. Tell the devil that he has no control over your marriage and God has good things planned for you. Know that this is a spiritual warfare and that you two, with God, can win! Also, even more than the love your husband can give you, is God’s love. You are His child and therefore a princess. He wants more and better for you so He will help you through this.