So Your Husband’s Addicted to Porn…Now What?

This mom was deeply scarred by her husband’s porn addiction. What happened when she laid down control of her circumstances at the cross is an incredible story of healing.

Hey, Mama, if I asked you if you had any scars, what would you say? Would you tell me about your c-section? Your stretch marks? Would the conversation start to drift to the bodily imperfections having children have brought upon you? You kinda love them because it was your body’s way of helping you to grow and nurture your kids. And you kinda hate them because they are just that … imperfections.

We all know the world tells us we have to be this and do that all while looking stellar in order to be worthy. And when we don’t measure up, well, that can leave a scar, too. A scar of the heart. And what makes the wound even deeper? What drives the knife a little further?

When your husband is looking at the world, too, instead of looking at you.

I have this same scar. For the longest time, I didn’t show anyone. I couldn’t even reveal my stretch marks, so how could I expose the one ripped long and deep by my husband’s pornography addiction?

We tried to staunch the bleeding out of our marriage with promises of “I’ll never do it again!” and “Let’s just make these rules so you can’t do it again.” But they were pithy band-aids when what we really needed was the sutures of the Holy Spirit. And often, just when I thought the wound was scabbed over, it was ripped open again. When I caught him again. When I found porn again. When he said, “I’m sorry” again.

You see a husband’s self-control and a wife’s imposed control over her husband are like wrapping an ace bandage over a broken bone. It may look a little better from the outside but no real healing is taking place on the inside.

Mama, I want you to know you can’t fashion the cast that will heal your husband’s heart. He’s driven to pornography because of his own scars and only God can heal them. This might make you feel helpless. Maybe you already do. But I want you to know that this emotion … this feeling … isn’t the truth. You aren’t helpless because you have the healing balm of prayer.

You might roll your eyes at me. You might tell me, Don’t you think I’ve tried that?  I get it. I prayed for my husband, too, and nothing seemed to change. When I reflect back now on my prayers during the crisis, when my wound was deep and gushing, the only prayers I could offer were something like “Please keep my husband from porn!” or “Please help him know I can be enough for him!” They seemed like they were for Craig, but really they were for me. They were born from my own hurt and anger and gut-wrenching pain. God had to teach me a few things first so I could know how to pray for my husband’s freedom. Here’s what I learned:

  • Your husband doesn’t choose porn because you are not enough. Most likely, he chooses it because he feels he is not enough.
  • It’s not your job to compete with the porn stars or to contort yourself into any worldly mold. You cannot become the essence of his fantasy because you are part of his reality. Most likely, he’s choosing porn because he’s trying to escape the pressures of the real world. If we’re honest, men have a lot they feel they need to live up to, as well. And they’re supposed to do it without crying.
  • You have a role in your husband’s healing, but you are not the Healer. In order for me to be able to come alongside Craig in a healthy way, God had to stitch me back up with His love. Your wound, Mama, is legitimate. He longs to heal you just as much as He longs for your husband to be free from the snare of porn.

Craig was deeply entrenched in porn when our babies were little, when I was a sleep-deprived-harried-not-put-together-couldn’t-find-my-makeup-couldn’t-lose-baby-weight-fast-enough-milk-machine. Looking back on it, I think it was God’s grace that it all came out during that season of our lives because God knew that my capacity to continue to try to control this untamed porn beast was incredibly finite. Sooner rather than later, I would surrender to Him, not because I necessarily wanted to, but because there simply didn’t seem to be another option.

With the laying down of control, of rules, of parenting my husband instead of just my children, came the laying down of prayers. As I surrendered them, He began to change them as He changed me. Lovingly, with great care, the Healer gave me wisdom about who I am and who my husband is. Tenderly, He helped me realize Craig used porn as a hole-filler, an unfulfilling substitute for Jesus, just as I had used food in the very same manner.

Craig and I both have scars from the battle against pornography addiction. But now, God has changed them into a badge of victory instead of a badge of shame. And He can do the same for you.

 If you’d like to learn more about our journey to freedom from pornography, we’ve written a book called Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A Couple’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography. There aren’t any easy answers, but there is hope and the companionship of people who have walked this road, made a lot of mistakes and still come out on the other side. 

Jennifer Ferguson
Jen Ferguson is passionate about Jesus, her husband, and her two girls. She is the facilitator of The Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood and loves to encourage women to bring their true selves out into the light.  She is the co-author of Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A Couple's Journey to Freedom from Pornography.  You can find out more about the book by visiting their new site, www.PureEyesCleanHeart.com.  

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