Is your husband watching porn?
Unfortunately, there’s a good chance he is.
An incredible 47 percent of Christians say pornography is a major problem in their home, according to an article by Family Safe Media.
And by “major problem,” these families don’t mean “the husband watches porn occasionally and the wife finds it kind of annoying.”
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No, according to a special report released by Covenant Eyes:
- Among men ages 18-30: 79 percent view pornography at least once a month and 63 percent view pornography several times a week.
- Among men ages 31-49: 67 percent view pornography at least once a month and 38 percent view pornography several times a week.
- Among men ages 50-68: 49 percent view pornography at least once a month and 25 percent view pornography several times a week.
That’s a lot!!
And it isn’t just non-Christian men who are watching porn either.
According to the same report by Covenant Eyes, 64 percent of Christian men and 15 percent of Christian women view pornography at least once a month, and of these, 39 percent of Christian men and 13 percent of Christian women would classify their use of pornography as “excessive.”
Clearly, the church has a pornography problem on its hands.
And yet, when you discover porn on your husband’s computer, phone or TV, you don’t really care what the rest of the church is dealing with. Your own situation is all you can think about right then.
You feel hurt, betrayed, angry and hollow. You wonder if you’re overreacting, but you can’t help it. It hurts.
So how do you respond when you find out that your husband watches porn — and not just once, but regularly?
Here’s what I would recommend…
How to Respond When Your Husband Watches Porn
p.s. Men are absolutely not the only ones who struggle with pornography–plenty of women do too. That simply isn’t the focus of this particular article. If you are a woman who struggles with pornography, I strongly encourage you to check out the blog, Beggar’s Daughter.
1. Avoid Overreacting
When you first find out your husband is watching porn, it’s easy to overreact. To think he’s disgusting, to worry if he even finds you attractive anymore, to worry if your marriage is in trouble, to wonder what else he might be hiding…
Resist the temptation.
Yes, porn is a big deal and it should be dealt with, but it’s also incredibly common. Your husband isn’t a pervert. He’s a normal human being who has real struggles, just like the rest of us. He’s not perfect, and neither are you.
Marriage is full of struggles and challenges. It’s not the end of the world if your husband watches porn — you can get through it. It just might take some time and a great Internet Accountability program like Covenant Eyes, but you CAN find hope and healing.
2. Pray — For Him and You
Once you’ve managed to calm down a bit, it’s time to start praying like crazy.
Pray that God would give you wisdom to know how to deal with the situation, and that you would handle it with grace and love. Pray that God would help you see your husband as God sees him, that He would help protect your heart and that you would still be able to love and respect your husband — even if he’s being a jerk.
Then, pray for your husband. Pray that he would stop watching porn, of course, but don’t stop there. Pray that God would convict your husband, and that he would soften his heart toward you. Pray that God would give your husband the strength to stand up in the face of great temptation, and that he would have a passion for God that would exceed any worldly pleasures.
Pray, pray, pray!
3. Confront Your Husband — In Love
Like so many other sins, porn use thrives on secrecy. That’s why – if your husband watches porn – you have to bring his porn use to light and confront him about it.
Now, let me be clear: You are not your husband’s holy spirit. You are not responsible for him or in charge of him, and you can’t make him do anything he doesn’t want to do. That’s not your job.
But you absolutely should tell him that you know, calmly tell him how much it hurts you, and ask that he stop.
Do NOT attack or accuse. Do not criticize, condemn or judge. Simply open the lines of communication, find out what’s going on, and find out if there is anything you can do to help.
This may be an ongoing conversation that takes place over several days. It’s completely common for people to feel angry and defensive when their sins are brought to light, so if your husband watches porn, chances are high he isn’t going to be excited for you to bring it up and want to talk about it.
But don’t give up.
Mention your concerns and your feelings to your husband, make it clear that you’d like him to stop, then take your requests to God in prayer and let HIM (God) change your husband’s heart.
4. Stand Your Ground — Even When It’s Tough
Is your husband insisting that his porn use is “no big deal?” Don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Porn use IS a big deal, and while opinions differ on the matter, I personally consider it cheating/adultery.
After all, sex should be between one man and one woman within the confines of marriage. If you or your husband are going to anyone else (real or fantasy) to meet needs that the other should be meeting, that’s wrong. And it has the potential to be disastrous to your marriage.
In fact, the use of pornography frequently leads to:
- Diminished trust and intimacy between couples
- Decreased interest in sex
- Unrealistic expectations
- Difficulty becoming aroused or completing the sexual act
- Decreased sexual satisfaction
- Increased marital problems
- Greater risk of infidelity
- Greater risk of separation and divorce
Your marriage deserves more than that.
Husband still convinced that porn isn’t that big of a deal?
You might want to download and read “Your Brain on Porn” together.
This free report by Covenant Eyes spells out very clearly five ways porn rewires your brain, such as decreasing your sexual satisfaction, lowering one’s view of women and desensitizes viewers to cruelty.
You’ll also learn how you or a loved one can find true FREEDOM from this awful addiction with the help of the Gospel.
It’s definitely worth a try, right?
You can get a copy absolutely free by going here: Your Brain on Porn Report
5. Set Boundaries — Together
Hopefully your talk with your husband will go well, he’ll be terribly sorry, and promise to work hard never to look at porn again. If this is the case, you may want to sit down and work on setting some boundaries together.
What actions and behaviors are okay and not okay? Are there any places he needs to go or not go, habits he needs to quit or friends he needs to stop hanging out with? What needs to happen to help ease his struggle?
But even if the conversation does not go well, you still need to put some boundaries in place personally.
What will you accept and not accept? How much progress do you expect? At what point will you extend grace and at what point do you need to say “Enough is enough?” What will you do then?
One resource that is REALLY helpful in setting and keeping appropriate boundaries is the book “Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
It does a really great job of explaining what your responsibility is, what others’ responsibilities are, and how you can peacefully and Biblically draw a firm line where it needs to be.
You can find Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life on Amazon or pretty much wherever books are sold. (It’s pretty popular)
6. Find Accountability
Of course, setting boundaries is one thing; keeping them in the face of real temptation is another matter altogether. This is why your husband likely needs some form of accountability to help him resist temptation.
For most men, this would ideally be another man who understands the struggle, cares enough to get involved, and isn’t afraid to hold your husband accountable. Someone like a brother, close friend or fellow church member.
Another great option if your husband watches porn is to sign up for a service like CovenantEyes. This internet monitoring software is a great, unobtrusive way for your husband to stay accountable on track with the person of his choosing.
Is this a situation you’ve had to face in real life? How did you respond when you found our your husband watches porn?