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A Word to Wives Whose Husbands Have a Pornography Habit

Chances are that:
*
you will find unmistakable evidence of your husband's pornography problem long before he realizes that you are aware of it
* your husband will deny being involved with pornography
*you will be the one initially seeking help for your husband's problem. By a ratio of about 4-to-1, it is the wives who initiate contact with the Family Life Center in search of assistance for their husbands.
you may be blamed for (all or part of) the problem
discovering your husband's addiction may cause you to feel (one or more of the following): betrayed, deceived, angry, inadequate, rejected, shameful, desperate
*you will worry about how your husband's addiction may affect your children
*you will feel a loss of intimacy in your marriage as pornography drives a wedge between you and your husband

We recommend that you:
*
learn all you can about breaking a pornography addiction
*contact a hotline or counselor, to assist you in
developing an intervention strategy
*confront your husband's problem (similar to a drug or alcohol intervention)
*practice "tough love" with your husband. Assist him in overcoming his addiction, but do not enable his addiction by covering up his behavior
*resist any perverted sexual demands from your husband (pornography addicts frequently desire to "act out" the perversions they view)
*resist the false notion that if you make efforts to become "sexier" it will solve your husband's pornography problem
*maintain a pleasant appearance and warm physical affection for your husband. Sometime wives will attempt to become more attractive in order to compete with the women in the pornographic images, in the vain hope of curing the addiction this way. After such an attempt fails, a wife can feel disgusted and then go to the opposite extreme of neglecting her personal appearance and abandoning physical affection toward her husband. In the midst of this crisis, avoid the extremes. Regarding physical appearance and affection, just follow the prudent pattern that any Christian wife should
be careful in accepting addiction recovery advice. An addicted husband is more concerned with a selfish fulfillment of his addiction than with how the addiction is harming those around him. Too frequently, bad advice is given to wives when they are counseled (even by Christian counselors) to deal with a spouse's addiction by: preserving self, asserting self, and forgetting him by just looking out for self. What is really needed is a dependence upon God (not self) as your source of strength, and a "tough love" approach towards your spouse. You obviously need to take all necessary steps to protect your health and safety, but such prudent protection does not consist of a recovery plan focused on self
*participate in an organization that can help you and your husband to rebuild intimacy and strengthen your marriage (see the links for recommended organizations under "Help for Hurting Marriages" at
www.dads.org)
do not deny the problem and do not delay seeking assistance. Spouses of alcoholics routinely take seven years to reach the place where they will finally acknowledge that their spouses are alcoholics. On the average, it is an additional two years before they seek and obtain assistance; in the meantime, nine years of alcoholism have ravaged family life. Although you might be tempted to ignore your husband's pornography addiction, don't. Pornography, like alcoholism, isn't a problem that gets better with time if left untreated. Involvement with pornography is an escalating habit. After getting informed, take immediate steps to help your husband root out his addiction rather than allow it to deepen and degenerate.

 

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