Myth: “My husband would never look at pornography.”
Is this cause for a divorce? I don’t know. I am still so indescribably shocked that I’m not even sure if it really happened. Of course, I know it did. It’s impossible to dream up something like this.
We’re leaders in the student ministry—how could this happen to us? He’s a coach for our daughter’s softball team. A deacon at our church. How long has this been going on? Is he an addict like the perverts who fill the strip joints? My husband?
Before tonight, I had no reason to suspect my husband of doing anything as vulgar and repulsive as paying for smut. He is my best friend. We have a wonderful marriage. We talk to each other about everything. We spend time together. Our sex life isn’t like it was when we were younger, but I thought it was healthy and normal. In fact, he just surprised me with a trip to Hawaii for our tenth wedding anniversary. I get nauseous whenever I think of him fantasizing about all these women whenever we made love.
Then, I get angry. All this time, and I had no idea.
What kind of a husband surprises his wife with a wedding anniversary trip to Hawaii and then downloads porn off the Internet in our own home? And what am I going to tell my parents? Your son-in-law is a pervert? He’s not the person we thought he was all these years? It will absolutely break their hearts. I can’t handle this, God. We had a good … we have a good marriage. I still want to believe we have a good marriage. That’s why there must be some sort of mistake. It just can’t be as bad as it seems. Please, God, what did I do wrong?
The allure of pornography makes no distinction between Christian and non-Christian men. Unfortunately, as wives, mothers and sisters, women want to believe pornography could never be a problem for the men in their lives. However, we can’t afford to be naive when it comes to understanding the nature of sin and its addictive qualities.
- First, we have to admit that pornography addiction can happen in Christian homes, and it does. Frequently.
- Second, we must see that pornography is a true addiction—those who are involved in it may say they want to stop, even try desperately to stop, but they are often powerless to escape it without help. This is not to exonerate them from responsibility. Pornography is a deliberate choice that brings shame and pain to families.
- Third, women should recognize that their husbands need help, sometimes clinical aid, to break free from their addiction to pornography.
- Fourth, women cannot take the burden of accountability onto themselves. Men need other Christian men to hold them brutally accountable for their choices. Resources like Promise Keepers specialize in Internet accountability. You can also search online for internet filters or accountability software.
At the same time, women whose husbands look at pornography need to find someone to talk to about the grief associated with this violation against their marriage. The worst scenario is for a woman to feel so shamed and rejected by the discovery of her husband’s addiction that she refuses to ask for help from the church or other family-centered crisis counseling. Pornography, like all sin, thrives in darkness. Bring it into the light by seeking help.
Create a climate of honesty in your home so that even if your husband fails, you can pray together for victory over this sin. It may feel very painful for you to talk and pray about this topic since you are the one who feels wronged, yet love is an endless act of dying to oneself.
Begin to pray for your sons or the young men in your life. Our culture is so sexually saturated, brimming with visual temptation for men, that men must fight proactively to guard their minds. Understand that the enemy wants to hook our sons early and hard. They need to hear from Christian men how they should start now to set up boundaries in their lives.
Finally, never give up. The Holy Spirit can bring freedom (see John 8:32); with God there is always hope for healing for your husband and your marriage.
“47 percent of Christians admit that pornography is a major problem in the home.”
—Internet Filter Review, “Pornography Statistics 2008”
“He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.”
1 Corinthians 4:5