How to Talk to Your Husband About P*rn

Not a week goes by since writing our He Said She Said Series that I don’t receive an email from a broken wife telling me about her broken husband and their broken marriage. She shares details of how she caught him looking at images on the computer, of how she doesn’t know what to do, how to help him, where to go from here…

Just last week, my hubby and I handed in a lengthy marriage article to Lifeway’s Homelife Magazine on the very same subject (due out in January). We understand the vastness of the problem and just how difficult it is to find freedom.

We certainly aren’t experts. We’ve just been thru the battle and now stand on the other side, pointing to Him. Because God turned our trial into a testimony.

I don’t think 100% of men have a lust or pornography problem. But I promise it’s much higher than you think. I believe if your husband won’t talk to you about it (when you ask), or if he gets angry or defensive, the problem may be at your own front door.

If you have never had the conversation, you must. Don’t assume it will never happen to you (or him). By and large, this is the number one temptation many, many men face, including Christian men.

How to talk to your husband about porn:

  • Ask, don’t accuse. You might say something like, “I understand with the Internet being so accessible, that pornography is an issue for a lot of men. How do you handle the temptation?”
  • Suggest installing filters for all Internet-based technology (phones and computers, etc).
  • See if there’s any interest in reading the book Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time (The Every Man Series) (it does say every man, after all)
  • Most importantly pray. This is not easy for anyone to talk about, but so necessary.
  • If you  have tween or teen boys, ask your husband if he would talk to them about this subject.
  • Count the cost: It might cost you something to “go there” or it might relieve you to know that this isn’t a battle for your husband. True intimacy is worth the risk.
  • Prepare your heart because if you ask, “Do you struggle with pornography?” he might say yes.

If He Says Yes

The first thing I want to say to you is you’re not alone. I’m not trying to minimize your pain-because believe me, I know it’s real. I just want you to know that healing is possible, freedom is available and restoration is hopeful.
  • Pray for your husband. He has a very big decision to make if he is to live in freedom
  • Don’t be his accountability partner, but insist he find a Christian one
  • Buy and have him read (to start with) Every Man’s Battle and you need to read For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men
  • Be proactive in your home-cut off cable, throw out magazines and catalogs with women’s clothing, get filters for phone and Internet, etc–your home needs to be a safe place
  • Ready and watch our He Said She Said Series
  • Ask him to stop viewing pornography, come completely clean and seek counsel.

And, please, find someone to talk to about this. Ask a Bible Study teacher, a friend in confidence…One of Satan’s biggest lies is to try and convince you that YOU CAN’T TELL ANYONE. Obviously this isn’t something that is easy for my husband and I to talk about, but there’s power in the word of your testimony and we feel passionate about helping couples expose this dark subject to The Light.

Talking to your spouse about this subject isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

photo source


Comments

  1. 1

    says

    My husband wants me to be his accountability partner. He likes me to ask him every morning if there was even a hint. It keeps him vigilant knowing I will ask him. He wants to walk in purity. Men battle their sexual nature and women battle their emotional nature.

    You are right that the Bible says to confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you will be healed. There should be no secrets between spouses.

  2. 3

    says

    You are SO right about not being alone….my hubby became a Christian just 4 years ago. We’ve been married 17 years now, but he confessed a whole LOT of stuff to me that was difficult but we have an amazing marriage now. He went through Setting Captives Free online and there is a counseling program for the spouse, as well. I highly recommend it. He has men who hold him accountable – DAILY. I honestly believe it is NOT the wife who should hold him accountable. There are things I just don’t understand as a woman, and he has men who ask him hard questions daily and weekly. He often must travel to Las Vegas – YUCK – for business and our pastor text messages him hourly!!! This is how it is meant to be. Thank you for writing this. This is something everyone needs to know – and to start setting up our computers EARLY before our boys accidentally stumble onto it. Too many young boys start by accident, per our own jr./sr. high pastor….lots of problems.

    The website I referred to is: http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com and its’ a free online course with counselors. Amazing! Thank you again!!

    Becky B.

  3. 5

    Tyler says

    Kristen,
    Thanks so much for addressing this. I agree that you do a great job of hitting on such deep and valuable issues and I really appreciate it.

    Our first two years of marriage were hell because of this. My husband had been addicted since early high school. While I knew it had been a problem, I had no idea how big until we were married. I then realized that it was still a problem. I agree with Becky (above) in many of the things she said – the Setting the Captives free course is great. I also definitely agree that a MAN needs to hold another man accountable. We as wives have a part to play, but it needs to come from a man as well. Like she said, I didn’t fully recognize the scope of it, emotions behind it, entanglement of it…and never would be able to. I would say “just stop looking” and he would reason that it wasn’t that easy. Also, I was always crushed when he was honest and told me it had happened again…I always took it personally so it was a double blow for me. Not only was he looking, but I firmly believed it was because I was inadequate – not good enough/pretty enough/thin enough/fun enough etc. that he was being driven to do this. When I stepped back a little bit and let someone else have the accountability reins a little more, it was much more healthy overall.

    I also really agree with your point about praying for him and letting God do the work. I tried for months to change him/shame him/force him only to end up devastated. It was finally when God told me to lay him on the altar that I had peace and months later when he became very broken and sought help on his own that I was able to rejoice in the hope that was on the horizon.

    Okay, this is way too long. Just a very personal topic for me. Thank you again Kristen – and to your husband – for your valuable ministry and voice of Truth. May you be deeply blessed for your faithfulness.
    Tyler

  4. 6

    says

    Thanks for this great post. I remember reading For Women Only and being shocked at some of the things I read and my husband confirming that is how he is. It is a book a would recommend to all women, because we have no idea how men work and this book gives a lot of insight.
    My husband has also struggled with pornography. What I have learned is it’s something that he will never get over. As wives KEEP praying for the purity of your husband’s mind. It is a continual struggle and it’s hard to get away from on this earth.

    Amen to your post!

    • 6.1

      says

      I second the recommendation of For Women Only. Understanding how my husband thinks and responds helps me communicate what he needs to hear. I’m always giving that book away!

  5. 7

    says

    On Sunday, the pastor sent out a plea for the men in the congregation to make a stand for accountability. He passionately spoke about the hard stuff and admitted his own need for accountability partners.
    It’s not a sign of weakness….it is one of strength.
    As a wife to a man and mom to a son I take this struggle seriously. It’s a force to be reckoned with and the church must fight for their men.
    Praying for the many trapped.

  6. 8

    says

    In relation to this, although the internet contributes a lot towards the advancement of humanity, I am a bit concerned with how it is affecting the morality of people nowadays. Pornography has never been this grave before. How we can get the “internet police” to control it, I don’t know. It already seems unstoppable. I pray that time would come that people would once again acknowledge what is right from wrong. It’s a domino effect.

  7. 9

    says

    I found out about my husband’s porn addiction before we started dating. It was something that he knew he had to get under control before he even thought about proposing. It was a long hard process. I had read everything about how a man should be his accountability partner and tried to force it. The problem was, that most people in his life had given up on that area of his life and just pretended his addiction didn’t exist.

    In the end, it landed on me to keep him accountable. It was hard but it worked, because I was the one he was scared to let down. As much as it is a him and me and a him and God thing, sometimes it has to start somewhere. The one thing I encourage, is if you are your husbands accountability partner, make sure that you have a good support group. I had a GREAT support group–both of close guy friends who could help explain things to me when I didn’t understand and girl friends who let me cry when it broke my heart.

    In the end we have a stronger relationship because of it.

    Just be encouraged, just because the ideal of a man being his accountability partner may be lacking, doesn’t mean their isn’t hope…you might just have to be that one to provide accountability.

  8. 10

    Crystal says

    I’ve asked my husband before about this topic, and he says that while he has looked at some when he was a teenager, he felt dirty and didn’t like it, and swears he’s not interested in it all anymore. We’ve been married 7 years and I’ve no reason not to believe him — I’m on our computer all the time and I see the history, not to mention I’ve never seen a hint of porn in our house or at his work — but it makes me feel like there’s something wrong with him if he truly isn’t interested in porn. Am I nuts?

    • 10.1

      kristen says

      no, the last thing I want to do is make wives paranoid. There are some men who have conquered this issue or aren’t tempted…If you’ve asked and the answer is no, then you need to trust.

  9. 11

    Karen says

    Great post! THANKS for your honesty! As a bible study teacher I hear this story all too often. There are a couple of good resources that I plan to check out. THANKS for creating a safe place for folks to share parts of their stories!

    BLESSINGS!

    PS I have been having trouble accessing your site the last couple of days. Is it just me or has there been something going on? Just wondered if you knew…..

  10. 12

    says

    Thank you Kristen for sharing. You have been so big in my life this past year. I am so thankful for your words, your walk… your love for Jesus.

    my husband is retired/disabled from the military and we talk openly about this issue… But I struggle with talking to my boys about it. I do. They know I will… they know I care and worry. I know it is my husbands job but he doesn’t think it is.

    Anyway… thank you …. for your words. I typed out a longer response but realized it was TMI. Thank you for being so honest … for loving God and just being a great friend.

    I love you.

  11. 13

    says

    Another absolute MUST READ is To Kill a Lion by Bruce Lengeman. After 10 years of counseling, books, several separations, and hell on earth in our marriage, this was the only thing that gave my husband freedom. It attacks the sin problem from the root of the problem (the heart) instead of the surface actions.

    http://tokillalion.com/

    Thanks for posting about this.

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