Sheila's Books
Click on the covers to read more or order autographed copies!

My Webrings

Crazy Hip Blog Mamas Members!



Medical Billing
Medical Billing

For ALL Your Graphic Needs

Dine Without Whine - A Family 

Friendly Weekly Menu Plan
Another Story of Recovery after Pornography
I was so touched by all the comments yesterday on my Wifey Wednesday post about pornography.

There is so much pain about this issue, and we obviously need to support each other and talk to each other more.

One comment in particular, by one of the Anonymous commenters (there were plenty for obvious reasons), I want to pick up next week and return to: namely, what if it's women who are addicted? What if we're using pornography to overcome some sexual difficulties? That's important, and I have lots to say on the subject, and I so commend that commenter for trying to deal with it with her husband.

I know not all of you deal with this subject, and I'm sorry if you feel like my blog has been hijacked for a few days to concentrate on this! If this isn't a problem in your marriage, thank God and you can wait for some regular posts! But I'd encourage you to read anyway, because it's such a huge and growing problem in society that we need to know how to recognize it and what to do about it, so that we can look for warning signs in our husbands, sons, and friends, and help those dear to us.

And for that reason, I want to share one of the emails I got yesterday. It tells a story of continuing healing, and also shows how friends can play a big role in supporting each other through this. So, without much more editorial comment, I'll let the letter speak for itself:

I am writing this letter reluctantly. I have hope to offer those in the middle of despair, so I will write, but the heart that was broken wants nothing more than to hide the shame and fear and hurt in a corner.

For nine years, there was something between us. Our sex life was a disappointment. My husband could be cold and distant. There was a look that came over his face sometimes that I can't explain. It wasn't a loving look. My husband had a self-centeredness that left me stranded in the worst possible moments--in the labor and delivery room, in the hospital with a life threatening illness. I tried to reconcile this side of him with his good qualities and dismissed it as a possible biological quirk--a mild form of autism perhaps.

It was an uneasy marriage but it worked. We had children. We functioned. Then my husband went on a retreat.

From the first the retreat bore fruit--my husband began to initiate prayer. He discussed God and the church without hesitation for the first time. He began to take the lead in our spiritual life.

At the same time there was something ugly rising up under the surface. He started flirting outright. I knew he flirted when I wasn't with him and resented it. I tried to dismiss this behavior as less than insulting, but it was getting worse. Finally, after a wink at a waitress sent her off to find another person to wait on our family, I pleaded with him to stop and show me more respect.

Our arguments became fights. Our sex life dried up completely, but before it did, I began to feel as if I were nothing but a tool for his masturbation. He wouldn't even look at me.

Then last summer at a pool party, I had to leave my husband in the pool to supervise our two oldest children (ages 3 and 5) while I got the younger two warmed up. My husband stopped watching our children and engaged in (and probably instigated) an inappropriate teenage game that involved the boys putting the girls on their shoulders. He put our children at risk of death and other people's children in the way of temptation. My heart was nearly stopped. The ensuing fight could have been epic, but I was so scared, so aghast, so much in shock at what could have happened to our babies, I prayed. I prayed desperately.

We discussed it seriously and quietly. That night, long into the night, he confessed everything: the porn, the opportunities he had availed himself of that stopped short of sex, but were a betrayal of our vows nonetheless. Within days of these revelations, we had plans to separate. When I called a friend to inform her, she stopped me dead with a question.

"He's addicted to porn, isn't he?"

She proceeded to describe things that were secret and wrong in my marriage--his selfishness, his disconnectedness, his immaturity, his indifference and disgust towards me--and I'd never shared any of this with anyone. How could she know? These are the things in common with men who have suffered long term pornography addictions. Like a drug addiction, it stunts their brains and warps their perceptions.

I will tell you what she told me: "This is not a fight YOU can win because this battle is not between you and your husband, but between good and evil. Satan is fighting for his soul. You let God wage this war. You pray, you fast, and even if you do wind up separating, remember that the job you signed up for on the altar when you said, 'I do" is to get that man into heaven. Don't ever stop praying.'" She is the best friend a woman could ask for. When I was sad, she comforted me. When I was petty, she rebuked me. When I couldn't go on another step in the pain and humiliation, like Simon, she shared my burden and walked with me.

My marriage would not have survived without her and her husband mentoring us both.

Like most illnesses, physical or spiritual, it got worse before it got better. Although he gave up the porn, we were brought very low. We had nine years to resort and reshuffle and redo. For the most part, thanks to my friend and her husband and thanks be to God, I behaved well throughout all of this. My husband did as best he could. Then, at the end of my rope, these two friends practically signed us up for a Retrouvaille Weekend.

Days before the weekend, a miracle happened: my husband made a decision. He put God first in his life, and then he finally and for the first time, trusted me with his heart, too. That miracle was continued through the Weekend where another miracle occurred--I began to hope.

Nearly a year later, we are still struggling, of course. The difference being that now we are yoked and pulling side by side. The good qualities of my husband have come to the fore. He has become a prayerful man.

I'll never know what instigated this healing in our marriage. I only know that the first steps were taken by my husband at that retreat he went on so many months before this wound in his soul festered and broke. He let God begin His work in him then. He is still working even now.

If any of this sounds familiar, hang in there. Pray. I will be praying, too.

Your sister in Christ

What she shows is that you need God for healing. It is such a huge problem that we cannot do it in our strength. And do note this sentence: "Like a drug addiction, it stunts their brains and warps their perceptions." Many of the emails that were sent to me were of heartbroken women whose marriages did not survive because their husbands couldn't own up and couldn't stop.

I have other emails from women who say something like, "my husband is addicted to pornography but he doesn't think there's anything wrong with it and he won't stop. What do I do?" That's a tricky one, isn't it? So I'd like to ask you: what should someone do in this circumstance? I'll leave my comments for later, but I'd like to see what you all think first. So many people are going through this, they feel like they're alone, and they need help. What would you say? Leave a comment, and let's see if we can help these readers!

Stumble Upon Toolbar
 Subscribe to To Love, Honor and Vacuum



At 9:25 AM , Blogger Courtney said…

I'll be honest. There is nothing that you can do to change your husband until HE decides that he is ready to give it up. I begged, pleaded, cried, pulled away, and got angry and none of it did any good. When my husband was dealing with his addiction, nothing I said or did made him stop. I had to turn to God and God alone. I prayed, and prayed and prayed. I had friends pray for him {for anonymous reasons}. I meditated over scripture and dug as deep into the word of God as I could. I kept a journal of everything I was going through, and it eased the pain.

As hard as it is, I encourage anyone dealing with this to give it to God. I know how bad it hurts. Believe me. I was devastated. But no amount of nagging and complaining and treating our husbands like garbage is going to work. Let him know that you know...that he doesn't have to lie and try to remember that it is an addiciton. He can't get over it on his own. And then pray your heart out and trust God to take care of things. And he will.


At 11:36 AM , Blogger Tessa said…

I agree with Courtney. The only thing that you can do is tell him that it is a problem because it hurts you, and then to pray unceasingly for him. You could show him all the right verses in the Bible "whoever looks at a woman with lust in her eyes commits adultry" but none of it will work until he's ready to admit he has a problem. I think that AA has the first step in their program is to admit you have a problem.

Also, there are support sites online that a woman can join if her husband has this addiction.


At 4:40 PM , Blogger Laura said…

Wow! The lady who wrote that email is so lucky to have a great friend like that! So many relationships seem to be shallow and can't handle hard situations because people don't want to go deep. What a treasure she has!

And what a testimony of the power of God in restoring a marriage. Even though it is still in the beginning phases and there is a road to go, there is hope. This story can give hope to so many other women that are going through the same thing.


At 11:37 PM , Blogger Kathy said…

Reading this I can only count my blessings. My husband was addicted to porn (and still struggles with it) but I knew (because he told me) right from the start of our relationship. Though there have been a few times where I have felt used in our sex life, I was aware of it more as a nagging though rather than as an in-your-face fact. I laid down an ultimatum last year after finding a few photos and videos on the computer ("either you come to the prayer counseling camp in August and DEAL WITH IT or I will leave you until you do something about this" - said with tears pouring down my face and my heart breaking). He went to the prayer counseling and training camp where he did deal with it. Praise God! Since then things are definatly on the up, though I know he still struggles and falls sometimes. But he is not distant or selfish, he has always been so loving and patient when I have struggled (I was sexually assaulted when I was 9). I praise God that the Holy Spirit lives in him and has kept him from getting bound up in pornography and I rejoice at what God has done and what he is doing. God is faithful.


At 10:31 AM , Blogger Diane said…

I would like to know if there are any other women who have my problem. I'm the reason that my husband is addicted ot porn. We do not have sex. We haven't been together in over two years.
My husband and me have been married for twenty-two years. We were separated for seven of those years. I love him, but I am not sexually attracted to him at all. This is part of the reason we separated to begin with. He doesn't bother me for sex anymore. If he did, I would have to leave again.
I feel guilty because, as far as I know, he hasn't been with anyone else. So porn and masturbation is his only sexual outlet.
I haven't accused him of being addicted, but I fine the tapes and CD's everywhere. He has left them in the DVD player, and when my 12-year old nephew was visiting for the summer, he turned the TV on and there was a naked couple going at it! I was so embarrassed I could have died.
That's not the only problem, he's also addicted to lotto.
I'm about to give up. He would rather play lotto than save money to buy a home. Yes, we still live in a one bedroom apartment. We never had children, thank God!
Is there anyone out there with a similar problem. I think I'm the only one.


At 12:46 PM , Anonymous Luke said…

Here's another story you might be interested in, Sheila.

Post a Comment
<< Home

About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

See my complete profile

Follow This Blog:

 Subscribe to To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Follow on Twitter:
Follow on Facebook:

Important Links
Previous Posts

Popular Archived Posts
Christian Blogs
Mom Blogs
Marriage/Intimacy Blogs
Blogs For Younger/Not Yet Married Readers
Housework Blogs
Cooking/Homemaking Blogs
Writing Links
Blog Design by Christi Gifford

Images from

Related Posts with Thumbnails