Five Things You Must Know to Survive Your Husband’s Sexual Addiction


I’m so confused!
Television and new fiction releases tell me that I should be sexually insatiable.
Text books tell me that my husband thinks about sex every seven seconds.
Some women tell me that they could live without it forever.
Over the past few years my husband has wanted it less and less, he seems uninterested.
What do I do about sex?

If you’re thinking, I could have written that, don’t worry, I haven’t been reading your diary. In fact, you can find that very page in my diary.

Shortly after we married, I found out that my husband had been visiting pornographic websites. He confessed to me that he had struggled with an addiction to pornography for much of his high school and college years.

I thought getting married would help, that it would just go away now.”

Obviously, not. A sexual addiction is something you need to know about before you approach the altar. It will not just go away. However, if you find yourself on the committed side of, “I do,” there are a few things you need to know in order to survive.

1. It is not about you. It’s easy to say, so very hard to internalize. Even as anger rises at your husband’s offense, it is virtually impossible to squelch the tide of shame and hurt. The night I discovered my husband’s porn addiction, I dissolved on the living room floor. I kept repeating, “God what is wrong with me? What do I do now?” It felt as if my heart had imploded and all of my body was being sucked into a black hole.

Confidants and counselors, even my husband, promised that it had nothing to do with me. However, it took time to believe. I had to be still before God and let Him whisper the words of affirmation into my heart.

2. It is not all about him. This lesson was even harder for me to learn. It seemed so easy to pin the blame squarely on the “donkey,” (there were other things I wanted to call him.) But, sin is sin. Your spouse’s sin will not escort him to hell any faster than your own disobedience to God.

“As much as possible, try to transfer your anger onto the porn industry and not on your husband.” Sheila Gregoire at ToLoveHonorandVacuum.com

The Bible says that it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. Let your kindness be the reflection of God’s love that can lead your spouse to repentance.

3. It cannot be ignored. Like I said at the beginning, an addiction will not just go away. “Free sex,” in marriage will not eliminate a pornography addiction. An alcoholic will not become suddenly sober when he learns that he likes tomato juice and can have all he wants.

4. Sex addiction does not mean that your spouse is not a Christian. I believe that Satan gets great joy by frustrating a believer’s representation of Jesus Christ.

Just before His death, Jesus warned Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32

Jesus still intercedes for us. (Romans 8:34) Pray desperately that God will strengthen your spouse for repentance and abstinence. Whenever a Christian stands firm in the strength of Christ and conquers that which would have destroyed him alone, Jesus is glorified. That man’s testimony holds great authority.

5. “Let me say very clearly: you cannot claim a past sin that has been dealt with is grounds to leave your husband. If he has confessed his sin and is trying to work towards God, then you can’t then up and leave.” Sheila Gregoire, ToLoveHonorandvacuum.com

This is a touchy subject, but I believe God calls us to be merciful as He is merciful and to forgive others as He has forgiven us. (Eph. 4:32, Luke 6:36) We are in no danger of God deciding at some future date that He really is fed up with us and can no longer live with the knowledge of our past failures.

All of our sins have been covered by the blood of Jesus, and God will not call them to mind. (Is. 43:25)

Just as God will give your spouse the strength to conquer this sin, He will give you the strength to forgive. And yes, joy will return as well, for, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10)

(This article is written from the perspective of a wife. I am well aware that many women struggle with sexual addictions and pornography addictions, as well. However, I am most qualified to speak from personal experience, thus the terminology of the article.)



About

Abby Kelly is a blogger, personal trainer, partner in Moms Who TRI, a journaler and a dog owner. She currently lives in Northern Virginia with her military officer husband. She writes on cultural, personal and relational lies that destroy women’s lives and seeks to share the truth, hope and love of Jesus Christ.


  • Michelle

    Abby…I have only read three of your blog posts so far, and will read some more, but this one right here really spoke to me in a couple of ways…I had started reading, mainly due to the Title and the Date…I could not believe that this was just a few days ago…God is still working in me…a work in progress…I have addictions as well that I am currently struggling with AND my husband has struggled with pornography as well…the date of this blog that I am responding to, I was questioning a feeling, instinct, whatever you want to call it and he has been working out of town, so he is out of twon for 11 days home for four, so there is no accountability…him working out of town for the past six months has been obviously difficult for me to adjust to and I find myself wanting to run…to escape, therefore, I tend to use to feel good…granted not to the point that I am out of control or anything and it has only been by the grace of God that I don’t give up…I try and try again…I will have the victory…I might stumble, but as long as I don’t walk away from God…I HAVE to have my mind washed in the Word every morning and ask for His forgiveness…but, your article above was like the Lord telling me…”dont worry about your husband….let me handle him…you are no better than He is, but I love you both unconditionally and I work from the inside out…I heal, I restore, I prepare and I give my strength to those who KNOW Me….anyhow, I really rambled, but just want to say…this is a ministry you have here…God bless you and your family and may the Lord give us the strength to overcome the trials in our lives, but the blood of the Lamb and by our testimonies…Awesome article…thank you for sharing…thank you for allowing yourself to be used to help, strengthen and encourage others who are facing our own set of difficulties or similiar ones as well…God bless you Abby 🙂

  • OH thank you for your encouragement. It sounds like our Father is teaching you the same lessons He is teaching me. I will tell you that I don’t know where my husband is in his addiction either. I haven’t found it on the computer in a while, but I’m also afraid to believe that it’s just gone, over, all by itself. However, I truthfully am happier than I’ve ever been and that can only be by the grace of my all sufficient Jesus.
    Last night I even asked my husband if he felt differently about us recently. I told him that I am happier than I’ve ever been. It actually feels like Christmas when he comes home at night, I get so happy for just those few minutes (and they usually are brief) when we share a beer or a glass of wine and chat for a minute. Then I just enjoy having him home.
    Thank you Jesus for changing my heart and giving me joy in the middle of confusion and pain. I love you!

  • You should know that there are legitimate disagreements about ‘porn addiction’ and approaches to treating the marriage difficulties that surround porn (Yes, even among good Christian believers, but most are not brave enough to say it). The overriding Christian approach to ‘porn addiction’ leaves a great deal to desire in efficacy of altering the behavior…in short, most pastors and pastoral responses are woefully inadequate and give false and exaggerated claims of ‘cure’. The issue of people (men and women) who compulsively look at porn is not nearly as simple as many would want to believe. In most cases, the commonly accepted reasons for the compulsion (note, not ‘addiction’) are far more complex and are based more in issues of intolerance of couple intimacy, reactive process, and inhibited sexual communication between spouses. Calling porn viewing ‘addiction’ in many ways is a pacifier for wives and an excuse for men. Find a qualified clinical counselor with a Christian background for marriage help, and not a ‘sex addiction counselor’. Really, the former will help and the latter take a good bit of your hard earned money for little lasting return. bandbseminars.com

  • Jeniene Cariola

    Dear Abby,
    In stumbling through the internet for advice on how to help my husband to overcome his sexual addiction, I came across your article. Immediately upon reading it I was overwhelmed with peace to find another Christian woman and wife who was like minded in dealing with this addiction. My husband recently confessed to me that he has had a serious addiction to pornography and sex since the age of ten, and only recently has succumbed to the temptation. In being a man of faith, he was not only convicted to confess to me, but also to confess to men of authority in our church. Of course I wanted to play the victim here, but the reality is that this is “his sin” not mine and it is no worse than my own sins. Even though each sin has different repercusions, God views them all the same. Who am I to judge my husband’s sin? Forgiveness is a gift given freely to me that I as his wife should offer freely to him. After much time in prayer and conversation with my husband, he has repented of his sin before God and is making the necessary steps to get help with this addiction such as seeking professional and spiritual help and having all our electronic devices installed with software that a man of authority in our church can view at any time. I have made a commitment to my husband before God that I would love him and support him and I take that very seriously. I have the utmost faith that it is Jesus Christ who will free my husband from the temptation of the devil and restore our marriage to the fullest. I thank you for reminding me and giving me the peace and encouragment that I needed that nothing is impossible for God and that I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

  • Jeniene, I’m so excited for you! God is indeed good and I’m thrilled that your husband’s heart is soft toward the Holy Spirit and toward you! I have recently started a 30 day “Pray for your husband” program called prayingforhim.com. I highly recommend it! In 2 days, I’ve already seen my husband’s heart turn more gentle and responsive to me.
    I pray that Abba continues the good work He has begun in your marriage. You are an encouragement to me as well.

    Because He Lives, abby

  • Kellie

    I have tried so hard to honor the advice in this article. I have been dealing with my husband’s sexual addiction for 10 years. I’ve always forgiven each transgression and promised to help him through it. But he keeps sneaking around and lying to me. My trust is becoming worn so thin and his addiction isn’t showing any sign of ever going away. At what point is there no longer anything I can do? I’ve been fighting for him against this problem for 10 years…10 years. It feels like eternity to actually write it out. At what point do I do what’s best for my heart and walk away?

    • Michelle

      I can relate. 20 years for me. I’ve forgiven and moved on, forgiven and moved on, forgiven, and forgiven and forgiven. It’s not just about forgiving like Jesus commands. There is so much more to it. I don’t want to continue on like this. But now we have a son. He’s 13 and such a beautiful soul. If I left his dad it would crush him. So I have to continue on for him. I have to figure this out.

      • Todd Parker

        I know that it’s only by the MERCY and GRACE of Jesus that I’m not DEEPLY ENSLAVED to porn/sex addiction!!! Ashamedly I admit that I have looked at porn in the past,but no longer do I have the desire to do so. It’s as addicting as any drug/alcohol as once you’re over your head into it,only Jesus can lift you out of that DEEP DARK pit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Myfaith

    Any help full advice here? I am also a christian woman struggling with my husband’s porn addiction for 10 yrs and as most of you I also have been forgiving and trying to move on but the trust has been broken a thousand of times and my husband no longer shows any desires on changing it or seeking God or professional help. We have a 9 yrs old sweet daughter an honestly I keep pushing it with all my strenght because of her and to not be one more broken family but it has been beyond my limits. I need desperately some sort of guidance.

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