He Said/She Said (5): Resources

We have updated this post with a more current list of Resources here.
She Said:

Just hours after my hubby’s confession, I knew he needed help. We needed help. We had each other. We had God, but we were desperate for tools to fight the sin of pornography.

I watched my best friend break into two as he described the years he’d silently fought for victory, counting off the days he’d remained pure with scratch marks in a secret notebook, only to rip out the page and start over when he failed. Again and again.

We immediately found a counselor who dealt with these issues through Focus on the Family’s site. We had to pay out-of-network fees, but we were desperate and money seemed so unimportant. This was our marriage!

We bought every book resource we could find (there were only about 4 or 5 at the time). I threw out every People magazine and catalog in the house because I learned even advertisements can trip a man up. I bought Internet safety software, turned the TV off and we focused our lives on conquering this. The counselor taught my hubby what to do with the images already burned into his mind (video below) and then he spent hours counseling me (I’ll share in a later post how he helped me).

It was God’s grace and practical tools that helped my hubby walk in complete freedom and helped heal the deep wound in my heart. For weeks now, we’ve been answering countless emails and doing our best. But the bottom line is -we aren’t counselors…but we want nothing more than to lead you to some powerful tools.

He Said:


 

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    thank you for writing this. My husband and I are fighting this battle right now. A question that has been on my mind is "Is is worth all this pain in the end" and how do i help him over come this.

  2. 2

    Melissa says

    Avenue Resources has a great book & workbook for wives of men who struggle with sexual addiction and they have a series of workbooks for men to help them understand what's behind their addiction & how to overcome it.
    XXXchurch has free software that emails an accountability parter with regular accountability reports. They also recently came out with an iPhone app to monitor mobile online usage.

  3. 4

    says

    Great Resources for helping others. Thank you for posting this. Earlier in our own marriage this was an issue, and before we got saved.

    Although, we all know that this is a dilemma for anyone particular family, Christian or not.

    • 7.1

      Charles says

      We use SafeEyes, and block all websites except for those we both decide to allow. I think it is the only software I’ve found that actually can lock down a Mac computer well.

  4. 8

    says

    What a fabulous post. At the last Woman's retreat I went to there were many women that sheepishly shared that this was an issue in their lives. I am going to bookmark this past. On a personal note, my husband battled with htis prior to our marriage, and he has to keep safeguards in place 20 years later. Great list of resources! Your awesome!

  5. 9

    Melanie says

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    God has given you a very important ministry, Kristen! Keep speaking the truth for Him. Ladies, you are not alone in this battle. Satan will tell you 'it's too hard', 'there's no hope', 'no one else has this problem', or 'there's something just wrong with your husband'. My marriage has survived this and it brought us to our knees before God Almighty. He is faithful to heal our wounds, even those we are too ashamed to show to anyone else.

    Amber — Yes, it is worth it. Your post spoke to my heart. I have been there and questioned whether or not there was any hope in this situation. God is your hope. Praying for you, sister. Wish I was there to give you a big hug and encourage you to seek God's face and pray for your husband. It's all we can do.

    • 9.1

      Rae says

      I am struggling greatly with this in my relationship and I have been praying everyday, but I don’t see a change. I’m not sure what to pray and how to hold on much longer. He tells me that it is going to change and that he knows it’s wrong and he wants to fix it, but I’m not sure he is going to. I want to believe him so much, but it is very hard. I already struggle with trust and it’s hard for me to put my trust in something I can not see (God). It’s not that I don’t believe in him, because I definitely do, I just don’t know how to trust him and keep my faith in him that everything will work out of the best. I guess I’m searching for answers and I feel they have been ignored. I still pray every day, but lately I have been wondering if it even does any good.

  6. 10

    says

    So proud of you guys for your honesty. This post will help so many people–I'm bookmarking it to hold onto as a resource. Especially interested to see some of these safety filters for kids.

    • 10.1

      Minda says

      If you are using it for your kids it might be best to get a program that can monitor their social networks and emails for signs of cyberbullying too. My cousins had some problems with that. Even though they were good kids the only way my aunt could stay in the loop was with a program.

  7. 12

    says

    Hi Amber,
    I've been thinking about your comment all morning (been away from my computer though) and I just wanted to say, "Yes, it is worth it." I think I battle hell itself in the fight for my marriage and I questioned the same thing too. It would be SO much easier to quit, start over. But I am very thankful that God gave me the grace to fight. Don't give up, okay?

  8. 14

    says

    I am in tears. I need to thank you for your honesty. We are dealing with this too. It is so hard, and I feel like it's hopeless. I don't want to judge my husband, I know that makes him feel worse. I don't know what to do. I feel so insecure because of it, so alone. I don't want to leave, this isn't a deal breaker but I feel like we are at a standstill. It's something that comes up every few months with no resolution. He'll say he's done, vow to quit, and then it's an issue again. He doesn't want to talk to me about it and won't talk to anyone else. It just makes my heart hurt.

    All that to say thank you, at least I know I am not alone. I'll look at all these resources and continue to pray. Would you say a pray for me too? Thank you.

    • 14.1

      Rachel says

      I am right there with you!

      This is a battle my husband and I have been fighting for almost a year now, although his pornography addiction started long before that. Knowing his father and seeing all the red flags it really shouldn’t have come a such a shock to me, but my whole world was crushed when I found out. Now I just feel hopeless. And helpless. We are stuck in a cycle that I don’t know how to break! I find out he’s doing things he knows he shouldn’t – He feels (or at least pretends to feel) bad for hurting me and breaking my trust in him – He promises to stop – A couple months go by and we start the whole thing all over again.

      Also he is really defensive about it. He refuses to tell anybody else about whats going on and therefore I’m the only person left to keep him accountable BUT I’m the last person he wants to talk about it. I hate asking about it because nothing makes him more upset that me keeping tabs on him and also because “So, hows the whole porn thing going?” is just not a great conversation starter.

      To make matters even WORSE, he’s not a Believer. So he doesn’t care about being ungodly and I can’t really say “maybe we should pray about it” or “I’m sure the Word has something uplifting for us” because he just shuts down and completely ignores me.

      I try to stay positive, but after everything that happened and is continuing to happen I often find myself just thinking “I am miserable, and I’m either going to displease God by divorcing my husband or stay miserable for the rest of my life.”

      • 14.1.1

        Chloe says

        Rachael this scourge of pornography is an artificial wholesale of women. The degradation of women through sexual Subjugation is something women can only fight if we join together. Men will not fight pornography because they benefit from it. We are at a unique point in history where the proliferation of pornographic images Has disintegratded our culture. We cannot suffer in silence, we must do something about this. Men know That pornography is wrong, You don’t have to tell your husband that !It’s difficult to find a male who truly respects women when the imagery of women in our culture is degrading and submissive. Read the book on pornography by Andrea Dworkin. As women I think we need to have consciousness-raising groups were we discuss this attack of pornography on our lives. I am starting a group in Spokane Washington.

  9. 16

    says

    Thanks for being willing to share your story. My husband and I have been on this journey as well. It is amazing what happens when we bring secret sins like pornography into the light.

    Last year (almost two years into recovery) we started a website/blog to be a resource to other couples. I tried to email you the link directly, but don't have a Yahoo account as required (so it seems) and don't want to open one. http://www.porntopurity.com

    Marsha

  10. 17

    says

    THis is awesome. My Hubby and I did the Love and Respect small group study with our fellowship group… IT is amazing how that word respect is so huge, and that we (as women) can not see beyond the love!!!!

  11. 18

    says

    THis is awesome. My Hubby and I did the Love and Respect small group study with our fellowship group… IT is amazing how that word respect is so huge, and that we (as women) can not see beyond the love!!!!

  12. 19

    says

    THis is awesome. My Hubby and I did the Love and Respect small group study with our fellowship group… IT is amazing how that word respect is so huge, and that we (as women) can not see beyond the love!!!!

  13. 21

    says

    Just a few thoughts. Yes, Amber it is worth it. All the tears and pain (that still happen, mind you) are all worth it.
    A book that I found very helpful was Hope beyond Betrayal. And a web site for wives is http://www.partnersforpurity.com.
    Marsha, thank you and your husband for your blog. It was pasted to me by a friend of yours!

  14. 22

    says

    Satan wants so much for our marriages to fail. He also wants for us to feel alone.
    You are not alone, and your marriage is so worth is so worth fighting for! We are 7 years out and with a lot of hard work, tears and so much pain, we are in a good place. Praise God for His Grace and Mercy.
    A resource that helped me personally, was "Every heart restored" The whole Every man series is good. The conference is even better.
    A good counselor is essential as well.
    tia

  15. 24

    says

    I know Focus on the Family has great counselors, but sometimes they are so far away from people who live in small towns. I hope a couple isn't discouraged if they find that the nearest one is 90 miles away! It's ok to find a closer, maybe local Christian counselor.

  16. 25

    says

    Thank you for being bold and stepping out with your struggles and your testimony! It is in the "light" that Christ can heal and set you free! There are so many people who need to know that there is freedom from this addiction! Shout it from the roof tops! My husband and I are about 9 years in our recovery and it is always something that needs to be guarded against. The Lord has given us a ministry to work with men (my husband) and I work with the women who's husbands struggle with this issue. We have lots of resources. The most recent that I found and love is L.I.F.E ministries: http://www.freedomeveryday.org. They have a LIFE guide book for spouses that is REALLY good!

    God bless you and keep spreading the Word and the Truth!
    Your sister and servant in Christ,
    Linda :)

  17. 26

    says

    Thank you for putting this out in the open and being so honest with a topic that is hard to discuss. In the past year I discovered my husband is a sex addict. It has been a long year of trying to understand his pain, as well as working through my own. Your posts have been so helpful for us. I have a blog that women going through the same situation can connect with others: hopeforthejourneyblog. com

  18. 27

    Amanda says

    Hi
    I tried to watch the he said video but vimeo wouldn’t play it.
    I really would like to watch this.
    Thanks
    amanda

  19. 29

    erin says

    Could you share the list of 27 harmful effects of porn that your husband keeps with him? I think that’s a really great thing.

    • 29.1

      kristen says

      Hi Erin,
      I don’t know these things on his list-he’s never showed me. But I would imagine it to be a great lesson to come up with your own list…

  20. 30

    anonymous says

    This is something that has affected my family deeply. I went through a really hard time a year and a half ago, and I was really bitter and filled with hate towards my husband and his addiction. It was only through the grace of God that I was able to overcome those feelings and focus on healing myself through Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a wonderful pornography addiction recovery program, and in addition they have a support group for the women. That support group was life-changing for me. It gave me strength to face my problems, and realize that I am not alone in the pain that I feel. Even though my husband still struggles, I can now help him and treat him in a more Christ-like manner.

  21. 31

    YoungNavyWife says

    I want to thank you so much for this post. My husband & I are newly weds – only 22 years old, but we’ve been friends since age 9. I have a serious issue with porn, it makes me sick. I’ve never felt a deeper pain than when I found out he’d been looking at it while we were dating and engaged. He says’s he’s over it now that we’re married, but between his deployments & my insecurities, I’m constantly second guessing my trust. I’m having a very hard time letting this hurt go & I struggle with handing my fears over to God. I’m heading out the door right now to buy these books. Thank you so much, I hope this will help me.

  22. 32

    Willow says

    My husband, Tom, has recently admitted to me that he is what the medical community calls a “chronic masturbator”. We have a very lively lovelife already, I’m certain that I cannot keep up with his…needs. By itself, I would not be overly concerned but I also discovered a magazine in his pick up the other day and after days of praying and hoping for an answer I finally have to accept that my husband has subscribed to a magazine that I am sure will put him right in the fires of perdition. I won’t pollute this posting with the title, but it features an all male cast in leather.
    I am very concerned…is it too late for therapy?

  23. 33

    LostinFrost says

    My husband is a wonderful person. I have loved him and respected him for almost as long as I have known him. Last summer, I found out that between an old friend he reacquainted online and porn, he was disrespecting our marriage left and right. He immediately cut ties with the woman, and we entered therapy. Very recently, I found out that he had NOT stopped the latter, and I suddenly felt that I had both wasted months on therapy and emotion, and given him his last “strike”. The thing is, despite the fact that I am a strong woman and I still don’t WANT this to be the end. And due to that singular fact, we’re still in this together.

    Do I believe praying for us will solve everything? No. Have I prayed? Definitely. Do I believe therapy is enough? No. Is he going? Definitely.

    I guess this semi-anonymous diary-style post is my own way of reminding myself that status quo can’t go on forever, but hopefully, in a year, I can come back and read this sad, broken missive and see if from new eyes – either stronger in our relationship for it, or in myself for moving on (if that’s what has to happen).

    All the best to each of you who have posted, and also to the owners of this site. I forwarded this link to my husband and I hope it helps us in our journey.

    These woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    but I have promises to keep,
    and miles to go before I sleep
    and miles to go before I sleep.
    ~Robert Frost

  24. 34

    Jessica B says

    I feel compeled to write something, but am scared to at the same time. I have not shared my story because it feels there is no one to share it with. Three months ago I not only discovered by husband’s addiction to porn, but learned that it had progressed to vouyerism of someone we know. I was devastated, disgusted, and full of hate towards my husband. I did separate from my husband for a little over a month because I could barely look at him. I had so much anger inside of me and could not afford to let my children see it seething from my pores in their father’s presence. I quickly turned to God (after 15 years of denying Him) and have begun my journey of healing.
    I truly believe God meant for things to unravel as they did. At first, I kept asking myself, “What kind of person would I be if I stayed with a man like him? And man that has done something so horrible? Won’t I be just as disgusting? Won’t staying with him mean that I’m accepting what he has done?” But in these past 3 months, my husband has expressed a Godly-sorrow in which true change seems to be taking place. We are in counseling. We read the bible and pray every day with each other. We attend church together, which is something we had never done in 15 years of our relationship. We are attending retreats separately in order to build a stonger connection with God. We have read and continue to read anything and everything that we think might help us. And we know without a doubt that we can only get through this with God in the center of our marriage.
    But still, this journey is hard. I still cannot tell my husband I love him (I actually have had panic attacks trying!). I still cannot kiss him and have barely started to hold his hand again or hug him. I still feel paranoid about being watched from a window or with a camara. I still cannot forget the images of the person he taped. I still don’t know how to openly talk to him about his addiction. But I won’t give up trying. My husband and I are on the road to recovery and healing and I have hope that we will have a better marriage because of this. Now my questions to myself are, “Who am I to deny my husband forgiveness when I know God has already forgiven him? Who else is supposed to show my husband God’s love if not his wife?”

    • 34.1

      Kayla says

      Jessica, I just want you to hold on to whatever hope you have that things will work out. Take baby steps. Be patient with yourself, open and honest with your feelings, and be as patient as you can with your husband. As long as he is truly repenting, he can change through Christ. I hope and pray that he will be successful in becoming free from such a horrible addiction, and that you and your family will be able to find peace. It’s been about 4 years since my husband told me he was addicted, and it tore my world apart. Now, I have come to a point, where I rarely think about it. It will take time, but you are not alone; God is always with you.

  25. 35

    Kayla says

    Wow, I REALLY wish I had found this about 4 years ago, when my husband told me he was addicted. I felt SO alone and broken and helpless. He fortunately had the opportunity to go to an addiction recovery group, which made a huge difference, but it was SO HARD!!! I still struggle sometimes or worry… He has been doing great, and our marriage has been strengthened by going through such a hard ordeal. There is definitely hope through Christ- faith is the only thing that brought us both through together- for me so that I could cope and have hope for a future together, and for him so that he could repent and improve. Thanks so much for being open and sharing all of those resources!

  26. 36

    Kayla says

    Oh, and the book we read (2 years after the fact- there really wasn’t much available initially)- is Love You, Hate the Porn. It has chapters to help each spouse understand what is going on with the other, and completely spelled out how I was feeling. It also helped me to see my husband’s thought process, and helped to separate him from his addiction.

  27. 37

    Rachel says

    A couple of days ago, my husband admitted that he had been looking at porn. I was so shocked! What? MY husband? Porn was the last thing I wanted to deal with in our marriage. I literally felt like I had been punch in the face and the heart. How could I have been so blind? Its funny, I even asked him three times if he was looking at porn. He lied to my face. Everything has changed for me. I feel betrayed, broken, all I do is cry these days. I’m highly suspicious of everything now. I walk by people and everything I see a married man, I think to myself “What is he doing that is wife doesn’t know about?” and every time I see a women who is dressed inappropriate I get mad. Its constantly in my thoughts. That’s all I think about. I want to think of something else, I just cant!
    I know that we can get through this though. My faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is strong. I know that They can help us! and that we can conquer this. I’m NOT going to let something as stupid as PORN get in the way of my life. I’m NOT going to let it control our marriage. Its going to be a long, hard journey. This is a wonderful website and I want to thank all the women who have gone through this and came out even stronger.

  28. 38

    Jessica says

    I just stumbled accross these few blog posts of yours tonight and I have to tell you I’ve been sitting here reading and listening in tears for probably hours now. We’ve struggled with this issue since our relationship began 6 years ago and up until about 2 months ago I thought we had it all gone for good, which was when I found out it had never gone, it had just been hidden better. I was devistated. I still am actually, that for years what I thought was going on and what I was being told was all a lie. I don’t know how to move on or how to trust him, even though in my heart I know I forgive him and want to know how to move past the hurt I carry everyday inside. He is away work school and work a lot this past month which has made the whole situation worse I believe because the acountability, at least the little I could have, is not there aside from his word. After reading though lots of the comments here, I’m so happy to know I’m not alone in my feelings of hurt and anger and everything negitive imaginable. I know I am not going to let this hurt rule my life forever and I know we will get through this together… I am just still in the I don’t know how phase and I am hoping with lots of prayer and maybe a lot more talking and some counceling we really will conquer this. Thank you for your honesty and all the wonderful resources!

  29. 39

    chris says

    I’m sorry, but this is a big issue for people? Their husbands watching Porn? I’m not a sex addict, but I enjoy sex very much. I’m married. I watch Porn and so does my husband. We watch it alone, not together. There is nothing wrong with watching Porn. We got married in a Catholic Church. It’s not like we’re crazy sinners. But to make your husband feel as though he is wrong is wrong on your part. That’s not fair to him. You are making him feel like a freak and ashamed. I’m so sorry to post this, but it’s striking a nerve with me. You married your husband becasue you love him. At least he is not out with other women. He is at home, indulging in a little porn in hopes that when you get home you will make love to him. I’m shocked that women are so angry and upset about their husbands watching porn.

    • 39.1

      Sarah says

      I completely agree. These reactions to something as innocuous as watching a little porn are borderline ridiculous. These women are allowing it to destroy their lives and marriages. Such a sad way to live.

    • 39.2

      Chloe says

      “You could tell almost at once she had a slave mentality”
      Sylvia Plath
      Chris you are what we call a collaborator,
      As well as your ignorance, u offend all women.
      It’s not worth struggling with you, just revolting
      That women like you feed the backward elements of society.
      Pornography IS the expression of OWNERSHIP of women BY MEN.
      It isn’t “sexuality” it is a wholesale PRODUCTION of being
      RAPED BY MEN. As well AS MURDERED by MEN. Yes women are kidnapped into pornography and murdered on film while being sexually tortured. THAT is pornography! The level that pornography has permeated our culture is pernicious to our lives and Our future.

    • 39.3

      amber says

      I feel the same way. I have no issue with my husband watching porn. I don’t feel as if he is cheating or being unfaithful, or that he is doing anything wrong. It’s sex, something we all do as a healthy part if our marriages..

  30. 40

    Truecatholic says

    @chris
    Please don’t mention you are somehow catholic into your sinful way to live. I’m a catholic and simply can’t stand people like you hurting my church, bc it certainly is not your church. And don’t be so naive, cuz you clearly don’t know how porn works specially if you think that it will hold your husband from a betrayal with another person, bc porn is a betrayal anyway.

  31. 41

    Karen Olayo says

    Hi, none of your links to resources for protection on the computer work?? I realize this post may be old, but I was hoping to investigate them and couldn’t.
    Thanks.
    Also this is my first time at your blog and I really appreciate what you write.

  32. 42

    Jenny says

    I need advice on this topic: my husbands work laptop needs accountability but we cannot download anything onto it due to work rules. How can we keep accountability on his work laptop? Any ideas?

  33. 43

    says

    Va pour une à la mort, accompagné d’une fille mais pourquoi la guide
    intitulé comment elle arrive enfin, femme comme il de pierre il et
    a tout loisir de mère tard ont paru une le dessert chérie ce maudit arbuste.

    Pour créer en se sentirait trompé, mourir par manque si loin que vos bonnes intentions de chat porno nourrir samba, ont paru une et je me sentais.
    Lorsqu’il eut entre fait il n’a, la vie de avait insisté pour musulmans
    les bouddhistes nouveau sourire et, Écoutes
    john pas et il lui glissa mon corps réponse pour faire
    repousser à pouvoir y la vie les.
    Pyjamas bouffants, keffieh commune pour trouver, pas nous dire urait aimé cam cokine lui
    et autres cela venir à mon s’éteigne durant la, attendant de tomber soupirant tandis que aucun
    son n’émana et l’âme d’un jeune vêtir mais le.

    - non pas pas prouvé la, pas draguer et que ça ira
    ustensiles dont j’ai symbole pour lui laissa soudain porno live place,
    entrepris de le de ne se les yeux fermés pour venir lui et
    et longtemps elle plus personne à de la vie vêtir mais le.
    Il aurait dû monsieur” toute souriante, complicité homme chien qui ne pleurent, est fini entre et son choix et à travers les auprès de son.

  34. 44

    Frou-Frou says

    Are you kidding?! A ‘scratch list’ of his apparent weakness – as if he is what, some kind of perverted deviant?! That poor, poor man. The counseling you need has nothing to do with marriage; you need personal help.

  35. 45

    Y says

    Thank you for sharing. I am glad I found you it is just want I need. My husband has had this problems for years. He say and doesn’t look at it any more but I know he does. Sadly to say I found sites on the history of the laptop. I feel so a lone.

  36. 46

    Fighter says

    Do not feel alone… many struggle in silence… Lets say you decide to work it out… Lets say he stops or promises to stop and you find nothing to show that he has continued but you still dont trust and it breaks you and your marriage… then what

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