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

Josh BuckAwareness, Freedom, Home Safety, Men, strengthtofightLeave a Comment

Dear porn-addicted husband,

The fact that you are willing to read this letter is already a good step. Even though this is definitely a battle, please keep reading. We hope that this brief letter will be an encouragement and a help to you.

First, if you’re still struggling with whether or not you are addicted, that probably means you are. If pornography was not an issue for you, you wouldn’t be struggling with whether or not to talk about it.

Resolve yourself – this won’t be easy.

This is going to be an extremely emotional and likely painful process for both of you. Because it’s such an emotional situation, make sure that you go into this with a plan. Talk to someone you trust and consider to be wise. Ideally this will be someone who can walk in accountability with you on this whole journey. Talk with them about the need to speak with your wife and how you will answer questions and responses your wife will have.

For example, if she wants to know details about your porn use, how much should you tell her? In the moment it will be difficult to make a wise decision. Talk about this first with your accountability partner and make sure you know what you’ll say and why.

This is going to hurt your wife – accept the blame.

You need to be prepared for this and accept it. You sir, are hurting. Porn has harmed you. But don’t play the victim. You need to be able to accept that you are the one that made your own decisions, and though you likely were responding to your own pain, your own wounds, your own insecurities that drove you to porn use, none of that is her fault. Decide ahead of time that you will not make excuses, or put any of the blame on her.

Healing is possible through pain.

Imagine you have a tumour in your body. Though out of sight, it’s invasively spreading cancer throughout your entire body. The only way to be cured is through total and complete removal through painful surgery.
This is the current state of your marriage. You could keep things appearing to be fine for a little while longer, but in the end it will kill. Painful removal of this cancer is your only way out. But there IS a way out. Don’t forget that. Many, many, men have been down this path and can tell you the pain is worth it. Wholeness and health can be yours again.

Know what actions you will take.

Share with your wife some concrete action items that you will take immediately or will have taken already. Again, these are things you should discuss with your accountability partner. Be sure that you can tell her:

What you are doing to cut off access to porn (filters, accountability software, smashing your phone)
What you are doing/will do to renew your mind. (i.e. signed up for a course, special Bible study, counselling etc.)
Who your accountability partner is and how often you are meeting.

Nothing will help your wife begin to trust you again like knowing that you are taking your addiction and recovery seriously.

Important note: Be ‘specific’ but never ‘graphic’.

Your wife will likely want to know ‘details’. In her hurt & confusion she will seek to ‘understand’. Many wives will feel exactly as though they caught you in an affair. They will instantly compare themselves to the images and videos you’ve been viewing. But unlike an affair with just one woman to compare themselves to, they are suddenly comparing themselves to the thousands of women you’ve seen.

Don’t shy away from being honest about your porn use and addiction. But it is not helpful to her for you to describe details. Some wives will even demand that you show them the specific sites. We highly recommend not doing so. You yourself know how damaging and addicting those images are. There is never any benefit to anyone seeing them. If you were addicted to drugs, you would not give your wife a sample in order to help her understand what you’ve done. Porn is very much like a drug. Stay away from it. Keep her away from it.

Here’s a summary of what you are going to do now.

1. Talk to a wise man in your life willing to walk this journey with you as your accountability partner.
2. Prepare yourself, knowing that this journey will be difficult for you and your wife. Purpose in your mind to not let that sway you from your journey. Talk this through with your accountability partner so you are as ready for this as possible.
3. Accept the blame. No matter what led you into your porn use, don’t make excuses.
4. Make an action plan that you can share with your wife. If possible, prepare this with your accountability partner.
5. Be ‘specific’, not ‘graphic’.

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