Help! How Do I Talk To My Spouse About Their Porn Use?

Josh BuckAwareness, Freedom, Home Safety, Men, Women3 Comments

One of the most difficult things that can happen in a marriage is to discover a secret or a rekindled bad habit – especially one of a sexual nature. If you have become aware of your spouse’s porn addiction, we encourage you to take several vital steps. The ensuing conversation and journey will not be easy, but we are here to help.

Wives, understand that your husband has a porn addiction for a variety of reasons: childhood factors, intimacy issues, emotional and spiritual problems, or a misunderstanding of the nature of sex, among a myriad of other reasons. No matter what caused his porn problems, he would have developed them regardless of who he married. This is not your fault.

Husbands, please remember that your wife is not alone in her addiction. Porn and sex addiction is increasingly becoming a very real problem for women all over the world. Unfortunately, this is rarely talked about. As a result, it is likely that your wife feels extreme shame, disgust, and confusion at struggling with this sexual problem. While understanding and remaining aware of your pain and confusion, remember that your wife needs your support, love and understanding while you show her that this is not acceptable behavior and that this habit must become a thing of the past.

In order for healing and change to take place in your marriage, you have to talk to your spouse about this addiction and how it is affecting you. What follows are what we believe to be the most important things to remember while having this conversation, and some practical tips while doing it.

Be honest. Tell your spouse what you know about their addiction, how it has made you feel, and how their porn use affects you. Ask them to return your honesty and to disclose any secrets they may still have.

Be gentle, yet firm. It is important for you to show your spouse that you still love them, but that this addiction has to stop. When it comes to porn addiction – and any other addiction – to be tough is to show them love. At all costs this addiction has to be dealt with, otherwise it can destroy both of you.

Set boundaries. If there are things that you are not yet comfortable talking about, be honest with your spouse and set appropriate boundaries. In addition, talk to your spouse about setting strict boundaries on their Internet use by installing filtering and accountability software on all of their devices.

Give clear expectations. Make it clear to your spouse that they are the ones who have to show change and do the work. You will be there to help and support them and cheer them on in any way that you can, but you cannot do the work for them. Your spouse needs professional help in dealing with their porn addiction, and it is their job to follow through on it. It may help to set a time limit for arranging this help.

For example: You can provide phone numbers for people that your spouse can call to arrange meetings with, and then give your spouse two weeks to make the call. Mention it again in two weeks and see whether they have taken the necessary steps to receive help.

Seek help for yourself. You will be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions and your marriage will feel like a rollercoaster of good days, bad days, disappointments, and renewal. Seek counseling to help you sort through your ever-changing feelings and to help you have more constructive conversations with your spouse.

Healing begins with accountability, and accountability begins with a conversation.

Feel free to contact us any time at connect@strengthtofight.ca. We will listen to your story, offer advice where possible, and try to connect you with those who can help you further.

3 Comments on “Help! How Do I Talk To My Spouse About Their Porn Use?”

  1. Very good! Such a helpful resource for the spouse that fulfill a big need for those who are in shock and have no idea what to do next.

  2. It’s such a tough place to walk through! Honestly having a close family member pass away was not as hard as discovering my husbands porn addiction. But there is hope! A year and a half later I look back at that time with mixed emotions. One one hand it was so painful, on the other hand I discovered incredible support systems through an online support group named “Betrayal and Beyond”. I have grown and discovered more of who God made me to be. My husband has grown and become more tender and engaged as a husband and parent. And I also brought all those crazy emotions to God, and just kept bringing them to Him – and He totally met me where I was at – and spoke truth into my heart. To someone walking that same road – You don’t have to do it alone! Find a safe place to process your grief, and to remind yourself of God’s truth and His fierce love for you!! (Ask Him to show you) One step at a time, and it’s okay to redo steps again and again in order to heal deep.

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