Heartbroken: Husband and pornography


#1

Yesterday I had to use my husband's computer because I couldn't print from mine, and I had to download a printer driver ... and when I did, his download history showed three separate fairly hard core porn downloads from Saturday. There was nothing else in his download history, it had been cleared.

I am heartbroken. My heart hurts, my head hurts, my stomach hurts, my throat hurts.

I told my husband that I had seen his download history because I knew he would see the download I had done the next time he downloaded something.

Yesterday was my stepdaughter's family birthday party, plus I had a meeting at church, so I was just trying to hold myself together and we didn't talk about it.

He came to me in the evening and said that he was very sorry and that he knew it was wrong to download it and he hoped I could forgive him. I told him I would need some time, and that I just could not talk about it right now.

Thinking back, I do remember him mentioning using porn in the past, but he had led me to believe it was in the past. Now I feel foolish.

I refuse to believe this was the very first time he had downloaded something and I just happened to use his computer (I never use his computer) and I found it. That's way too much of a coincidence. Especially since his download history was wiped clean except for the day before.

I asked him today via email if he had stopped using porn from when he had told me he used it in the past or if it had been continuous. He replied that it had been sporadic.

I'm so crushed. I can't talk to anyone about this because I don't want my friends and family to know anything about this. I can't talk to my parish priest because he just does not have any interpersonal skills.

I don't know how to get over this. Our one year anniversary is next Sunday, and we were planning a romantic overnight getaway on Friday night, and I don't know if I can do it.


#2

I'm sorry to hear that your having a hard time.

Remind him how much his porn habit hurts you. Tell him what you told us-how much it effects how you view him, how he views you, his daughter- all women. I assure you, he still interested in you. The human male is more stimulated by the visual than the female.

Don't jump to conclusions. Don't think he is a pervert/bad guy for this. We are prone to sinful behavior. No, that doesn't justify it. If he has a problem with pornography, there are a ton of resources out there. If he doesn't, if it is just a recent or one timne thing, then forgive him.


#3

In addition to the fantastic points RascalKing has already made:

Pornography is a very hard habit to break once someone gets going down that road. I've been there myself. It took me quite some time to get over, admittedly; perhaps it's the same way with your husband? He will have relapses for a while. In my limited opinion, it may be best to help him get over it in some way.

As RascalKing said, remind him of how his habit hurts you. That alone will give him a TON of motivation to go cold turkey and break the habit. I understand it's hard to forgive him for that, and it seems your husband understands that, too.

It may be best to let it slide, but also you may want to "police" the download history to check on his progress. If he relapses again, ask him what goes through his head when he doesn't download, and when he does download.


#4

Porn is more then a habit.. It's an addiction..

Like drugs, cigarettes and many other addictions; counseling helps. Many priest are excellent counselors, but some just don't have that gift. >> Finding a good counselor is the first thing to do.

Many factors trigger a relapse into an old addiction.. A person may have given up alcohol years ago, then they loose their job and turn to booze again (just an example).. We could substitute porn for alcohol.. It's an addiction.


#5

You may want to let your husband listen to the following:

alabamacatholicresources.com/Downloads/The_Poison_of_Pornography.mp3

alabamacatholicresources.com/Downloads/Conquering_Lust_by_Father_Kenneth_Dean.mp3

Just download them to your PC, MP3 player, iPod/iPad, etc.


#6

I’m sorry to hear about this problem. I think that the two of you should do a fast together. Pick some kind of food or drink that you both enjoy, and both fast from it for a certain period of time. Of course he will also be avoiding pornography during this time (hopefully forever), but this would allow the both of you to cooperate in an activity of self-denial. So that you’re sharing it together.

If you push him away, it will probably make the problem a whole lot worse. While you shouldn’t have to compete with pornography for your own husband’s affections, a time together that reinforces to him how awesome it is to be married to you seems like it couldn’t do anything but help.


#7

Why are you crushed? That is my question... Your husband sinned, how is that hurting you?

Are you assuming that because he viewed someone else w/o clothes or having relations that he 1. No longer finds you attractive? 2. Is looking to leave? 3. Is physically cheating on you? 4. Doesn't love you anymore? 5. All of the proceeding?

I give you that it's none of the proceeding. And don't quote "lust in your heart" because in his heart he may have been thinking about you? or perhaps that verse, like "call no man father" shouldn't be taken literally...

I'm not arguing that your husband, especially with young children around, shouldn't view porn.

What I'm saying though is that I don't think you should be "crushed" by it. Do you ever read romance novels? watch soap operas? or almost any "chick" flick? desperate housewives? etc...

While none of those may have graphic representations of sex, they could (many are) be considered porn by the Church. People don't have to be minus clothing for something to be pornographic.

I would suggest treating this sin, be it mortal or venial, as you would any other and don't let it effect YOUR psychological well being. Would you be as upset if caught your husband gossiping? what if he caught you gossiping?

I had a Priest once tell me that some people put WAY too much emphasis on sexual sins as if they were somehow different. He was actually a little surprised because he hadn't experienced that kind of obsession with them until he came down south...

We live in a very sexualized culture and it's only getting worse... but so are a lot of other sins it seems most overlook. They are just as critical.

Hold your head up and talk to your husband about why... my guess it was like it is for most men... boredom and had nothing to do with you being a wonderful loving wife and a beautiful person. I guess my point is that you don't need to internalize his failure.

Sincerely,
Joe


#8

:thumbsup:


#9

Given that he wiped his history, I am willing to bet my life savings that it’s because he knows it’s wrong, and is trying to stop.

See, porn is an addiction and a rather nasty one at that. We all have skeletons in our closet, and for some people it’s porn. The internet making it readily available doesn’t help. I am betting that since you explained why you were even on his computer in teh first place, you guys have separate machines so he wasn’t worried about being caught as much as he was trying to remove temptation by clearing download history. If he doesn’t remember the website he used, clearing the history is a good way to make it just a little bit harder to access when the next temptation arises.

The fact that he was caught it undoubtedly crushing him as well. He knows he let you down, he knows he let himself down, and now his sins hae been aired out. You do well not to talk to family or anything about this, since such struggles are horrifically embarassing. He will respect you so much more for this.

I have no doubt that you married a wonderful man, and based from your post it seems that he does indeed know how terrible it is and wants to stop. Not just because it’s wrong, but because he hurt you so deeply. He is going to be struggling both to earn your forgiveness as well as his own.

As for how to proceed: I know you are devastated by this, and given that you’ve been married less than a year, working through this will be harder because you are still forming your marriage. You are also starting to see his faults, and that is hard too. Just remember that he’s not perfect, and you are called in your marriage to help one another reach heaven. Know that he isn’t doing this to purposefully hurt you, or because he finds something wrong with you – he just struggles like so many other men and women in this world. Don’t let satan use this to drive you apart, instead pray for strength and stand against the enemy. Take what he intends for evil and use it to strengthen your marriage. Stand with him in the fight by letting him know that while you are hurt, you support him. Don’t make him afraid to tell you about it, or to come to you when the temptation arises. You should be his first line of defense, so that if the temptation sneaks up on him he knows he can go straight to you and you’ll be there with open arms to help him. Don’t cut off communication, instead communicate more. I know it’s hard, but you can use this, with the power of Christ, to kick satan right in the head for daring to attack your marriage.


#10

After reading your post, I had to register just so I could reply. First a little about me:

I love the Lord deeply, and my wife is a precious gift given to me by the Lord. I would do anything for either.

I have struggled over the years with several vices. One of which is pornography. Usually I’ll be at the computer reading sports or some such and then there will be some advertisement that plants a seed of lust. I almost always fight it successfully. But then once in awhile, usually when I’m down or struggling with life, I’ll have the temptation again, and I’ll fall. It usually has nothing to do with wanting what I’m watching. I succumb because it just numbs me. But after, I’m always overcome with guilt that racks my entire being. I feel filthy.

The Lord has brought this stronghold into the light. In fact. The last two times I fell, God saw fit to reveal it to my wife. That was when I started to realize it wasn’t a victimless sin. I saw how terribly deep I wounded my wife. I would hazard a guess that the Lord has brought your husband’s sin into the light so that he will also be aware of the cost and consequence of his choice. Believe me when I say he probably feels great shame and guilt. But I’ll bet he also feels great relief that it’s out in the open. You can help by being as supportive as possible. Don’t presume that you are less in his eyes. Suggest to him that he come to you when he feels the beginning of a struggle.

I feel much stronger in my struggle now. But need to be cautious and aware that the seeds of lust aren’t allowed to be planted. My wife has been unbelievably understanding and supportive. It’s seeing her Christ-like response that has given me much motivation to flee from the temptations and to fight back rather than just give in.

I don’t know anything about your life or relationship, but I would guess that since you both love the Lord, you both are called to live out your sanctifying path through your marriage. That means upholding one another in your burdens, your failures. Trust in the Lord that He will deal with your husband’s growth. Do your best to not take it personal but use your feelings of betrayal and pain to unite to Jesus’ cross. He is sanctifying you as well in this. The Lord will rebuild your trust, and will call your husband to be the man he needs to be.


#11

I’ve found this program helpful… I know others here can tell you about some other good books and programs too. It is available from several websites.

Kevin B. Skinner, Ph.D. is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and is a member of The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH). During the past few years he has worked with more than one-hundred individuals and couples who are dealing with pornography-related problems. He is currently in private practice. Prior to entering the private sector, Dr. Skinner taught marriage and family courses at two major universities in the United States. Kevin is married and has six daughters. He is committed to strengthening society by teaching individuals and couples how to build and enhance their relationships. Treating Pornography Addiction: The Essential Tools for Recovery (5 CD’s + Book)

http://www.growthclimate.com/gc/images/treating-addiction.jpg 5 CDS
Three hours of incredible educational material for individuals who struggle with pornography addiction:
[LIST]
*]Treating Pornography Addiction: The Essential Tools for Recovery (CDs #1 and 2)
*]Relapse Prevention Strategies (CD #3)
[/LIST]
Plus two hours of additional help for partners and parents:
[LIST]
*]A Spouse’s Guide to Helping a Partner Caught in Pornography Addiction (CD #4)
*]A Parent’s Guide to Helping Children and Teens Involved in Pornography (CD #5)
[/LIST]
If you, your spouse, a child or another family member is dealing with a pornography problem, the contents of these CDs will help you fight the battle step by step.

Book
Regarding this book, Dr. Jack Ayre said, “I know of no other product that so carefully and professionally walks a sincere addict through the process of facing the challenge and working methodically through the condition.” Some of the key chapters in this book include:
[LIST]
*]Pornography Unveiled – Why Pornography is Addictive and How to Activate and Deactivate Behaviors
*]The Power of Beliefs – Learn to Rewrite the Beliefs That Keep You Trapped
*]The Profile of Those Most Likely To Relapse
*]Preparing to Change for Good
*]Living the Lifestyle that Leads to Recovery
[/LIST]

As someone who is trying to help someone else in the family with this issue, I pray you find the help your husband needs.

There are many contributing factors to the problem. It’s not as simple as “tell him to stop and if he doesn’t boot is butt out of the house.” This man’s perspective is very helpful. He helps one determine the general source of the issue, the depth of the addiction, and from the relationship point of view, suggestions of better methods of helping the individual overcome what they already KNOW in their heart is a problem.

I know it sounds corny, but the only way I kicked it was a sincere request to Christ Himself. I had it easy. Praise the Lord. Getting to that point is a very difficult and potentially hurtful journey, indeed. Peace to you.


#12

Very few marriages in the Western world are not affected by pornography these days. It is so easily accessible. Did you know that most men receive solicitations in their emails to view porn for free? My husband told me about it because it bothers him how hard he has to work to avoid porn. Porn sites spam email accounts that they believe are owned by men, and sometimes the spam mail is even disguised as an inocuous website or friendly email. I say all this because women need to understand what their husbands (and fiances, boyfriends, brothers, etc.) are battling against.
When our husbands fall, it is natural to have feelings of inadequacy or hurt, but we must put those aside and lift our men up again. Very often, good men who love their wives fall into porn use, and they feel deeply ashamed. They need to receive their wives forgiveness, and need to be able to feel safe enough that if they are tempted to view porn, they can go to their wives and receive the encouragement, and the reality check, that they need to overcome the impulse. I am not saying that the wife should blame herself if he sins again. No, what I am saying is that the wife can really help carry her husband’s burden. Let him know that although you both understand that it is a sin to view porn, you forgive him and feel compassion for him in his struggle. Find out when he feels the most strongly tempted, and then help come up with strategies for avoiding that particular situation. As an example, for some men, insomnia leads to temptation to view porn or to masturbate. So, knowing this, a wife might be able to encourage healthier sleep habits and more physical exertion for her husband. Make time for long walks, or time for him to hit the gym. This might not apply in your particular situation, but I just offer it as an illustration for how frank communication can lead to practical solutions and real improvement. We are called to help each other to heaven, and the only way we can do that is if we are honest and forgiving with each other.
I wish you the best. Enjoy your anniversary. Celebrate what you are building together. Do not dwell on your present hurt, but focus upon how you and your husband can be there for each other for the rest of your lives, each helping the other to overcome temptation and get through difficult times. Celebrate that neither of you have to do it alone any more! That is one of the reasons marriage is so sanctifying. :slight_smile:


#13

[quote="jwashu, post:7, topic:213300"]
Why are you crushed? That is my question... Your husband sinned, how is that hurting you?

[/quote]

Wow, you must really not understand how serious porn is and how it can destroy a relationship. Do you have a wife? Do you honestly think it would be no big deal to you if she spent hours watching porn and masturbating to the men she sees on it?
Finding out your husband is watching porn feels almost as bad as finding out he is cheating, because in a way it is cheating. Comparing porn to watching soap operas and gossiping is like comparing apples to oranges.


#14

Thank you, everyone, for your replies. They have been helpful in getting me to reorganize my thoughts in a more productive way.

Charlotte, thank you for your last comments. I felt that the previous posters analogies fell flat as well. To me, it does almost feel as though he's been cheating on me.


#15

My heart goes out to you and know you're in my prayers. I have gone through something similar recently (I found this out my boyfriend of 3+ years had a relapse of a past porn addiction) and I know it hurts. I felt cheated on because he was not being faithful with his eyes and mind, and it made me wonder what he really thinks of me.

I don't know where you're from, but there is a resource I found that have been helping me heal that I'd like to share with you. For me, just being able to talk about this with other women helped a lot. Maybe you can find something similar in your area.

loveisfaithful.com/support-a-healing/7-support-and-healing/20-spousal-support

Please know I will keep you in my prayers during this time. God loves you and you will always be His beautiful daughter!


#16

One thing to remember (and I know this from experience): His struggle with porn has nothing to do with you in the sense of you causing it. It is not your fault that he struggles with it. It is the carnal nature that lies within most men to crave sex with as many women as possible. It is indeed a very difficult passion for men to deal with. Combine this with the fact that modern men are assaulted everywhere with sex. Look at the windows of the Victoria's Secret in the mall, or advertisements on TV, any media for that fact. It does not matter how beautiful you are as a woman or how loving you are toward him. It doesn't even matter how strong your marriage is. It is a cross that nearly every man must bear.

One of the best tools to use to help resist temptation is to use an internet content filter. I highly recommend Safe Eyes. You can get it at internetsafety.com for $50 a year. Trust me, it is well worth the investment. You can even use it on an IPhone or IPod Touch.

Make no mistake, a husband looking at pornography is committing adultery. But I would ask you to have mercy on your husband and try to understand how difficult it really is to stay pure in this world. Sexual images are nearly impossible to avoid these days and it makes it so hard for us men to resist temptation. That is no excuse, but I hope it helps you to understand the inner struggle your husband probably deals with.

PS: I would compare women reading graphic romance novels to men watching pornography. The reason is that women find gratification more in the emotional satisfaction than the actual physical satisfaction that comes from sex. When a women reads dozens of romance novels, it is difficult for them to not compare their husband to the men in the novels. This is because they often receive emotional fulfillment in the novel rather than their husband. But obviously this is not on the same level as viewing pornography in terms of adultery.


#17

If your husband is interested in joining our community of men walking the road to breaking free of this addiction, have him click on the link in my sig. If you need support, bmaj has a group for women who have been hurt by their husband’s impurity.

Praying for us all,

  • curl

#18

Dear NatalieG,

I am so sorry you are going through this, I'm sure it is very painful for you. However, you took a vow for better or worse, in sickness and in health... Well, you're in the "worse" end of things now, your husband is sick. If he had cancer would you bolt? Hopefully not. He has a sickness of the soul and needs you're support, encouragement and most importantly-your prayers.

May I make one suggestion? What about introducing the family rosary into your home? Every night after dinner, dishes on the table, everyone goes in the living room and says the rosary. Don't drag it out, just 15 minutes...stepdaughter leads, mom take the 1st mystery, dad the 2nd, back to daughter for the 3rd, etc...make it fun. I am telling you, it changes people, it saves families, it ends wars. It may sound trite, but it is worth a shot. Bigger miracles have occurred through praying the rosary than getting someone to give up porn.

St Louis de Monfort said, "They'll either give up sin, or give the rosary."

Something to consider.

+God's blessings to you.


#19

“This too shall pass.”

Pornography is horribly damaging to a relationship–it makes sense that you would feel so hurt and betrayed. Your feelings are normal and even healthy–they show that you have righteous expectations for your husband and your marriage. Even though these expectations have not been met, continue to hold them and to look on your husband as the man you married: sinful yes, but yours to fight for and with against all the powers of Hell.

I agree with whoever suggested the rosary: I myself have found it to be the greatest weapon over any battle of this type. Our Mother is more than generous in draping her mantle of purity around our shoulders, thanks be to God!

You are not alone, and you have our prayers.


#20

I am so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through in your marriage, Natalie. I discovered a similar problem with my husband’s viewing of the material awhile ago, and it DOES TRULY make a wife feel as if her husband has been unfaithful. It also hurts a wife deeply emotionally. Many men just cannot understand this. Please do know that none of it is your fault - it is his, and I pray for strength and courage for you in your marriage.

Please feel free to join our women’s support group here at CAF called “Women Suffering Because of Unchastity” if you need additional assistance and suggestions from other women whose marriages or relationships are suffering because of the horrible prevalence of porn in society and its use by their husbands or boyfriends. It’s a bit of a strange title for the group, but that’s what the CAF admin requested it be. It deals specifically with what you’re going through, and it has helped many of us tremendously. Just click on “Groups” at the top tool bar and then “Search Groups” for the name of it if you’re interested.

Try to continue to pray - it can be so beneficial. May Our Dear Lord remain by your side always to help. Know that you are never alone in this. My prayers are with you, too.


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