Is Porn Use Abuse?

Hello, Friends! I live near my state's only professional ballet company and I spent Saturday evening enjoying the latest show. Two weeks ago, I was invited into the studio to watch a rehearsal for that show with a few other lucky patrons. At that time, the dancers had only undergone 4 days of rehearsal. That up-close, behind-the-scenes look into the world of professional dance was a memorable experience for me. I was struck by the vulnerability of it all; no makeup, no costumes, and imperfect moves. Even though I was close enough to see mistakes, holes in practice tights, and fly-away hairs, it was still beautiful in a way. Practice is messy and it is a necessary process. Professional dancers are fully invested in training because they have a desire to show up well on the day of the performance, for themselves and for others. It takes a lot of work to train for the life they want. Where we invest our time and energy, results are eventually seen. Keep training and investing in your health and well-being!

Today’s Question: My husband is not abusive, however, he has struggled with pornography addiction throughout our 25-year marriage and is detached emotionally from me and from our children. He has ADHD and I suspect anxiety and depression, although he won’t or can’t see that. He makes promises to do things to change and cannot follow through. He doesn’t follow through on any of the advice we have received in counseling -we have been in counseling for over 3 years both together and individually. We have done marriage classes/workshops where the advice given has been “forgotten”. We have the same conversations over and over with never-ending excuses and explanations as to why he wasn’t able to follow through. Following through with spending time with me, talking about our counseling appointments, regularly sharing responsibility within our home with our five children, even giving me gifts like a written note last Christmas to take me on 4-weekend trips over the year that never happened (I never thought they would happen). It’s like he forgets every conversation and commitment and always has a reason for it. He is in counseling, and men’s Bible studies at church, he has met with friends and pastors and yet at home, there is zero change or effort put in. It looks to everyone else that he is doing his part but literally nothing as far as effort or change at home. There are so many examples of this I could include here but even now he barely speaks to me anymore unless I initiate any conversations about anything of substance. He absolutely will not initiate a hard conversation or a conversation surrounding anything about our relationship or anything other than logistics or weather. Basically, conversations are now relegated to what complete strangers could discuss. The relationship has gone downhill drastically as I have initiated every attempt to fix this. I wonder if he even has the ability to connect emotionally. I feel super stuck and alone as he maintains his image by doing all the things outwardly but not in reality in our home. He is not mean or violent just completely like a brick wall in regards to working on our marriage. He also refuses to tell his family about his pornography addiction or our marriage problems so I feel like I am living a lie all the time pretending we have a good marriage. Help!

Susan’s Response: I am glad you reached out for help. I appreciate your willingness to share your struggle because I believe that there are many more with similar struggles within this community. Your first sentence raises some questions in my mind. Is it possible for a husband to have a porn addiction for 25 years and not be abusive? Doesn’t being emotionally detached from a wife and children cause perpetual harm to them?

Many women are taught that they must cover over the sins of their husbands and be loyal at all costs. When you love someone, it can be easy to compassionately understand the reason behind destructive behaviors and begin to excuse away the results of those behaviors. The costs of persistent sin are high. ADHD, anxiety, and depression are reasons someone may desire to distract and numb out with pornography, but they are not relevant excuses for causing harm. Furthermore, coping mechanisms that prevent growth and healing are not productive long term for anyone involved. Ephesians 5:11 instructs, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

Exposing sin doesn’t mean posting it on social media or announcing it in the family group text. It means not enabling it to continue and graciously warning the person stuck in sin of the harm being caused. Love has the courage to stand up and say, “I love us too much to allow this harm to continue.” 

The effects of pornography on individuals and relationships are great. Dr. Andrew Bauman talks about the development of a pornographic style of relating through continued use. It results in a selfish mindset centered on control. It leads to the objectification of human beings. Rather than a gradual growth of love, it is satisfied with an empty relationship at a rapid pace. Porn users become consumers of others. They become isolated by the one-sidedness of pornography and learn to invest time in fantasy rather than reality. This is not God’s plan for relationships or humanity.

Bible study, counseling, and meetings with pastors and friends are some steps to take to help create change. They, in themselves, are not evidence of real change. Going through the motions does not cause or equal heart repentance. Your husband may have interest in changing, but until he becomes fully invested, genuine change will not occur.

You have indicated, your husband doesn’t follow through with his promises and he won't initiate a conversation about anything deep. Perhaps his promises are made only to placate you and dissolve the discomfort of the moment. One person in a marriage can not single-handedly build a unified, God-honoring partnership. As long as you are the only one putting in effort in a given direction, you will remain super stuck and alone trying to fix your marriage. It may be helpful to ask him, “ What do you want our marriage to look like? What do you think is our biggest issue to resolve in order to get there?” Conceivably, this may give you information that will cause you to put your efforts in a different direction.

What keeps you pretending you have a good marriage? You can not solve your husband's problem; you can not make your husband follow through on his promises or invest in growth or healing. However, you can help yourself with your problem. You disclosed you feel like you are living a lie. That sounds like a significant problem. So how could you resolve your problem? What could it look like to stop pretending and living a lie? What difference would that make for you?

The truth is, when someone you love is stuck in a pattern of sin that is negatively affecting you, you are not obligated to pretend or live a lie. In what ways could you take agency over your own well-being? What choices will you make in order to maintain your own values and integrity?

Be well!

Beloved reader, what are your thoughts; is pornography use abuse in a significant relationship? How have you responded to a pattern of pornography use in your marriage?

56 Comments

  1. KateA on April 4, 2024 at 1:48 am

    Susan- thank you for this thought-provoking post. I am now divorced, but this woman’s story mirrors my own marriage experience. The concept of a ‘pornified relationship’ style is spot on. I think in many Christian circles, the concept of fraternal correction applies to all relationships, except for marriage. This is so dangerous to everyone in the family- children grow up with an understanding that God is distant and uncaring, wives whose bodies break under the weight of chronic trauma and abuse, and husbands, who have bought into to the anti – gospel pornography message that they are to be served and others are to give up their lives for them. A recent lawsuit against PornHub revealed 1 out of 14 videos on their site contained illegal content. This is terrifying. I experienced a spouse whose mind was transformed by chronic pornography use. He was someone who did not show any emotional engagement or interest in the family. This is not God’s design for marriage. My children and I have found healing, freedom and safety away from my ex- husband. There is so much hope for women who feel trapped! My life is living proof of a loving God who rescues the oppressed.

    • Susan K on April 5, 2024 at 8:11 am

      Thank you for your comments, Kate. I am glad to hear you and your children are finding healing!

  2. Angela Farkas on April 4, 2024 at 8:30 am

    Id say that porn use is called it “adultery” not abuse.

    • Janet on April 4, 2024 at 8:59 am

      Porn use is both, adultery and abuse.

      • Tracy on April 4, 2024 at 10:27 am

        I absolutely agree!

    • Susan K on April 5, 2024 at 8:14 am

      Thank you for adding to the discussion, Angela. What are your thoughts, can perpetual adultery be considered abusive?

  3. Cindy Adams on April 4, 2024 at 8:46 am

    I could have wrote that letter.

  4. Hope on April 4, 2024 at 8:48 am

    What if the husband is emotionally & physically distant but denies any porn use? I have a feeling he is not telling the truth but I don’t have proof. There are a ton of red flags but I can’t seem to get real answers or real direction on what to do. If the husband doesn’t see an issue, what happens next?

    • Sunflower on April 5, 2024 at 11:41 pm

      Hope – These men are professional liars. If you see red flags, there’s a problem. He will do whatever is necessary to cover his tracks.

      • Jo on June 14, 2024 at 11:31 pm

        My husband finally got careless and forgot to delete daily history on his computer.. One day (night) had 417 porn site visits.. I now have my proof (took pics of this history) and am stunned at the magnitude of his addiction. Not surprised, and trying to figure out my next steps. He would lie today if I asked if he had a porn problem. He is absolutely one of those professional liars.

  5. Kathy on April 4, 2024 at 8:51 am

    I’m divorced due to my husband’s porn addiction . I wasn’t actually aware of his use until 35 years into our marriage. I always knew there was something wrong, and sought out counseling for what I “thought” was a marriage problem. His lying to therapists and gaslighting kept it well hidden. That’s abuse. There was always another person/image in bed with us. That’s adultery. I’m so thankful I’m out, but not without a lot of emotional damage. I’ve been in therapy with a sexual betrayal trauma therapist for 2 years. I believe with God’s help I will one day thrive again.

  6. Samantha on April 4, 2024 at 9:03 am

    I think this runs deeper than just the porn use. My husband has adhd and a lot of her struggles sound like the struggles in our marriage. I really feel no matter how much help they get he will not be able to change much until he addresses his ADHD with a specialist. Even then it’s a matter of now learning about adhd and adjusting yourself to the reality of adhd.

    There is a book called the adhd marriage that has helped me.

  7. Amy Seymour on April 4, 2024 at 9:04 am

    I left a 30 year marriage because my husband was emotionally abusive and he finally admitted to a pornography addiction. I too believe pornography is a form of adultery. Another woman (en) is giving sexual satisfaction. Pornography use turned my husband into a dark man…someone I did not recognize nor even like must less trust. It took my leaving the marriage to motivate him to seek help and turn back to God. The damage done is still alive and well ; I am still, ten years after divorce, trying to heal and my three adult children have estranged themselves from me for leaving . My ex-husband supports their behavior so I guess in a way the emotional abuse continues.

  8. Karen on April 4, 2024 at 9:22 am

    If you are open to a different kind of counseling that may assist in breaking through his withdrawn attitude and action, I suggest Emotionally Focused Therapy. It is awesome and amazing if you have a skilled therapist., like George Fawler. God bless you as you journey on.

    • Susan K on April 5, 2024 at 8:22 am

      Karen, EFT is a well known, evidence based approach, I agree. In a case where one partner struggles with porn addiction and emotional detachment, individual work with that person would be my recommendation, before couples work could be successful. The writer of the question could benefit from some support, coaching or counseling individually as well.

  9. Kären on April 4, 2024 at 9:38 am

    This sounds so much like my husband except he’s addicted to work and his talents. Perhaps there’s an addiction I don’t know about? It’s been difficult to express my hurts and concerns because after all, he’s providing for the family. Isn’t that what he’s supposed to do? And he has God given talents, why am I trying to squash those? He is unable to make our marriage a priority and I’m finally letting him live his choices, no longer pretending we have a marriage. It’s been freeing for me and sad to watch him plow forward in his stubborn loneliness.

  10. God‘s grace on April 4, 2024 at 9:45 am

    I am also divorced at this point as a previous commentator, and the story mirrors my story. The abuse comes from not being seen, being sidelined, not having my sexual needs, the lies, and. caring more about what the world views of them then the person they are supposed to be one with. This may also be a sign of narcissism.

  11. Lynnette Kay on April 4, 2024 at 9:47 am

    Hello,
    Porn use is definitely adultery and abuse. I was married for 24 years and for 20 of those my husband was emotionally distant, controlling, not engaged, etc., similar to the things you have described in your husband. All of my concerns and appeals went unheard, nothing changed. I read Christian books, I went to counseling alone for years, I went to marriage seminars.

    Finally, when my husband was away on a motorcycle trip, I moved out and left a note on the counter, advising him to reach out to our church for counseling and assistance. I had already been in a support group for women in toxic and destructive relationships at church for over a year, and also seeking wise counsel with a Christian therapist.

    My husband does not have a porn addiction, but everything else you’re describing is spot on for his behavior. I felt stuck and alone, and also as if I was living a lie as you suggested.

    My husband and I were very involved in our small church and lived in a town where everyone knew us through church. I was afraid no one at church would believe me, and that the issues with him would be swept under the rug. But they were not . Church staff was there to help him once I left, and found a safe place to clear my head, I realized that I was so emotionally isolated by my husband, even more so than I thought. This began is a therapeutic separation for me, to decide what was best for me for my emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical health,

    In the last six months I’ve grown so much stronger, put some boundaries up , learned to have a voice, and learned to have a NO. Three months ago I filed for divorce. Based on my experience you will have to put some serious consequences in effect for your husband‘s behavior and see what happens. My husband did seek counseling finally after I left. But even now there is no love in my heart for him after all the hurt that he has caused me over the years.

    Neither of us are perfect, but there is no excuse for his behavior towards me over the years. At the end of the day it is sin and it has been hurtful and damaging to me. In the ancient Jewish marriage covenant three things are required of the man to give to his wife. They were shelter, food, and love. When a man is emotionally distant from his wife, not showing her love and pouring into her emotionally he is denying her part of that marriage covenant, love. God created us for community and relationships. Your husband is the person who signed up to give you those things, to support you emotionally and to be there for you.

    My husband broke covenant repeatedly by abandoning me emotionally and making no effort to meet my emotional needs. As a result, my love for him died a slow painful death. He is now facing the painful biblical principle of sowing and reaping. He sowed unhealthy seed into our marriage, and that is what he has reaped. He is also facing the very painful biblical principle of consequences with forgiveness.

    We have mediation this month and I look forward to the new season of freedom in my life to be the person that God created me to be. No more walking on eggshells, or people pleasing to placate my husband. Our marriage has not been a real marriage for a long time. My filing for divorce is me simply catching up the paperwork and getting it in the proper order. I feel free, free to be the woman God created me to be. I couldn’t even be myself living in my home with my husband . God has been with me every step of the way through this process. I hope this message is helpful to you friend, and I’m sorry for what you have endured in your marriage.

    • Katherine on April 4, 2024 at 9:17 pm

      Reading your story really resonates with me. I kicked my husband out six months ago, after finding out about a very inappropriate emotional affair he’d been in for two years. But really, the affair was just the last straw. It was death by a thousand cuts over our 19+ years of marriage. Two emotional affairs, a hidden credit card he maxed out, ongoing porn….And then the daily pain he caused me by being inconsistent, unreliable, and sometimes downright mean. However, unlike you, I just can’t find the bravery to file for divorce! Like your husband, now that we are separated my husband is finally taking steps to change (counseling, church recovery program, reigning in his overspending, etc.). But I am just DONE! I feel no warmth towards him. At all. But I feel guilty to divorce a man who seems to (finally) be trying! I do not know what to do! I can not fathom ever being able to share a life (or a bed) with him and again. But if he’s repentant, is it wrong to divorce him?! What would I tell our kids? I’m in agony. 😫

      • Lynn Fontenot on April 5, 2024 at 5:30 pm

        I can only speak for myself, but if any husband doesn’t see or feel guilty for the sin he is committing, is he really sorry? In my relationship my husband just got smarter at hiding it and practicing his speaches. Everything would be find until I would find the next site. Be careful not to believe it all.

      • R on April 6, 2024 at 8:21 pm

        I wonder, would it help to cut yourself some slack for feeling what you’re feeling, and then just give yourself some time? Giving it lots of time would allow him to show whether he’s truly changed, and it would give you some time to decide how you feel about things.
        When my husband changed for real, it took time for me to get past the anxiety I had felt for so many years. But as the anxiety decreased, I realized I actually had feelings for him again because I saw him actively working to be a better person.

      • Amy Seymour on April 8, 2024 at 6:42 pm

        Aww Katherine, I am sorry. Your statement “a death by a thousand cuts “ really hit me as I was reading this. My 30 years marriage was cut to pieces as well and ended with an admission to a pornography addiction. I left not only because of the addiction but because I had been so emotionally tattered as well. The door to my heart slammed shut after years of what you described…I remember the day clear as yesterday but it was 10 yrs ago. After I left, my ex- husband did start going back to church, and I believe still receives counseling but after a rare phone conversation with him just last week I heard the accusations, mean statements, and behavior that caused me to never be able to trust him. Yes, leaving was hard. I faced broken friendships, scarred relationships with my family and 3 adult children, and a loneliness I never imagined. But God is so faithful! He provided a wonderful man, a man like I yearned for my ex- husband to be , who I have been very happily married to for going on 7 years. 2 Timothy 1:7 has been such a blessing over the years. “ For God does not give us a spirit of fear; but of power, of love, and a sound mind.” He will give you the strength and courage you need and provide help. I will pray for you!

        • Katherine on April 8, 2024 at 9:00 pm

          Thank you so much for this kind response and for sharing a little of your story. It means a lot to me!

    • Susan K on April 5, 2024 at 8:24 am

      Thank you for sharing part of your story and experience, Kay. May God continue to strengthen you and protect you.

    • Katrina on April 7, 2024 at 10:36 pm

      Wow I could have written this post myself! Thanks for sharing your hard journey!

  12. JulieAnn on April 4, 2024 at 10:25 am

    First off, to the woman who wrote in with her inquiry here, I am so sorry you are walking through this difficult journey. Susan’s advice is sound and spot on, as are some of the comments. I pray Gods wisdom, clarity and direction for you.
    Lynette Kay. Thank you for sharing your journey. Your relationship sounds similar to mine and it is encouraging to have my take on it and my feelings in it, validated even further. I am working in Leslie’s E2C program and growing toward finding my voice in order to have the courage to begin a serious conversation with H and stop the pretending. He’s been love bombing for months now and it’s very confusing. So thank you for sharing here.

    • Susan K on April 5, 2024 at 8:28 am

      JulieAnn, I am so glad you are part of the E2C group coaching program. I pray you are finding good support and being empowered to change. May God give you the clarity you need to make wise decisions for yourself.

  13. Anonymous on April 4, 2024 at 10:36 am

    Each time I see the word pornography relating to marriage, it is very triggering. My exes porn addiction killed our marriage. once his use was discovered and confronted, I began to realize I didn’t know the man I was married to. I chose to stay as we had young children and I was homeschooling and staying at home mom in hindsight, I probably should’ve made changes but 12 years later, our home had become nothing more than two people that shared a mortgage .
    He broke the covenant in our marriage and continued his path of emotional detachment, silent treatments and surface relationship only. The last three years of our marriage, we hardly touched each other. Many nights I lay in bed crying, and he easily fell asleep, knowing I was,.
    God was the one that shook me and woke me up. I believe the Holy Spirit is the one that convinced me and gave me the strength to file for divorce after 26 years of marriage. no one in our circle knew anything of his porn diction, or the state of our relationship for years. I hid it very well. While my ex was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, I too, was wearing a mask. Several years later, I am remarried and understand now so much about the destruction that pornography brought to my first marriage. I have focused on my own healing, and I’m so thankful that God gave me the strength to say enough. Pornography use in marriage is adultery, and it’s consequence behavior is abuse. Emotional abuse scars take much longer to heal than physical wounds.

    • Anonymous on April 4, 2024 at 1:39 pm

      My story is basically the same. After 33 years of marriage I filed. Stbx has gotten harder and more emotionally abusive (stonewalling) during the divorce proceedings. It is said their true colors will come out, but it is only against me. Everyone else sees the “nice” guy. I am building a new life but it is so sad that a “Christian “ man/husband can treat his wife this way. Deception is all I can gain out of this.

    • Susan K on April 5, 2024 at 8:32 am

      Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing your story here. Pornography is destructive. Praise God that you have come out from behind the mask! Many blessing to you in your new marriage!

    • Anna on April 7, 2024 at 10:08 pm

      This is nearly exactly what I am going through. 26 years of marriage? Been separated 9 months and filing for divorce due to the porn addiction that changed his brain o er the years. I ‘m glad to hear that there is life after this.

  14. bie on April 4, 2024 at 11:39 am

    great post. porn is constantly geared towards the fantasy of the free abuse of women, most commonly geared towards the abuse of particularly young women, in addition assigning degradation of value of women to their body parts via objectification. so a father and husband cannot use it and partake in the diet of an abuser unrepentantly and not become an abuser.

    • Susan K on April 5, 2024 at 9:44 am

      Thanks for commenting, bie!

  15. Connie West on April 4, 2024 at 12:01 pm

    Thank you Susan for your beautiful , God breathed response to her narrative and question. And I love the other comments entered here from these wise, Jesus followers. This is my story with some of the details changed. I’ve pointed out to him so many times my exasperation around how he simply keeps rolling along with his life’s agenda while never getting off the merry go round to tend to the wounds of destruction that he has and is (by his unaccountability) inflicting. The tenant of reaping and sowing truly is the reality that is undeniable here. I’m weary of striving and yearning for God’s peace and joy in the land of the living.

    • Susan K on April 5, 2024 at 9:49 am

      Connie, I am sorry this is your story as well. What can you do to start getting off of the merry-go-round so that you can attend to your own wounds? What if he doesn’t take accountability? At what point does it no longer make sense to strive for that at your own expense and exhaustion?

  16. Erica on April 4, 2024 at 12:29 pm

    This is my story with a few changes. Thank you for sharing, as it gives words to the experiences of the past 20 years of my life. Only my H has justified his porn use by saying that I am an unbiblical wife and am not satisfying his needs. He even went so far to say that he told our pastor about it, and that the pastor said it was no big deal because “all men have this problem.” I don’t think I believe him, as he has lied to me countless times before. I truly appreciate the love, wisdom and openness I find here. May God bless you all!

    • Sunflower on April 4, 2024 at 9:37 pm

      Hi Erica – Yes the lies! So many lies. This from an elected official and church group officer. Husband told me that all men hide things from their wives. I refuse to believe that. I was looking over his shoulder at his laptop and he called me nosy, and said all the world would agree that I was being rude. Hugs to you.

    • Susan K on April 5, 2024 at 9:53 am

      Erica, many women are blamed for their husband’s porn use. His porn use is not your fault. I hope you are clear on that truth. Pornography is a big deal because it is destructive, even it many men (not all) have this problem. I am glad you are part of the Leslie Vernick & Co. community.

  17. Sunflower on April 4, 2024 at 12:42 pm

    It’s abuse and adultery. Still married with this going on for 40 years. How could I have been so dumb? I thought we had a great marriage. Five years ago my eyes were opened and it’s gone downhill. He kept his magazines in our dresser drawer. He was so proud of himself when he told me he threw them away . . . Except for a few which were just too good. I felt like I was in shock when he said that. Of course now everything is on the computer. Don’t have to hide magazines. I’ve tried yelling, talking, saying nothing, praying, threatening. Finally decided he will never change. I told him I wasn’t interested in someone who lusts after other women. He said okay I won’t touch you anymore, and he has kept his word. Even when I went through cancer and chemo. No hug, no hand holding. I moved to the guest room two years ago. All the hateful and hurtful things he has said and done still keep me awake. Last week I told him that he betrayed me and betrayed our marriage. His response “So? Get over it”.

    • Karin Baer on April 4, 2024 at 1:43 pm

      Hi Sunflower,
      what you wrote made me sad and angry.
      Please get help for yourself, check out the website of APSATS.
      Yes, we can’t change our husbands/spouses but we can change ourselves. Also google Dr. Henry Cloud and Victoria Pria (Vicky Tidwell Palmer), their information regarding boundaries is so helpful.

      Please remember: we can’t heal in a vacuum, we need each other.

      • Sunflower on April 4, 2024 at 10:16 pm

        Thanks Karin. I am sad and angry too. I’ve never had such anger for another person.
        I searched and there’s no APSATS near me. I’m constantly thinking of boundaries to set. Also I read the works of Dr. Minwalla about the Secret Sexual Basement.

    • JoAnn on April 4, 2024 at 2:45 pm

      Sunflower, How horrible of him to treat you that way!! It seems to me you have every right and reason to file for divorce. Find yourself a good lawyer to learn what you can do in your state. There is help. I’m glad you found this site. Lots of help here, too.

    • Susan K on April 5, 2024 at 9:59 am

      Please take care of yourself, Sunflower. You matter to us at Leslie Vernick & Co. and to God. Leslie will be giving a free workshop entitled, If He Doesn’t Hit You … Is it STILL Abuse? God Cares, on April 9th at 12EDT and 7:30EDT. Register at http://www.leslievernick.com/joinworkshop

      • Sunflower on April 10, 2024 at 11:06 am

        Susan K — I registered but never received an email telling me how to join the workshop. I didn’t know how to access.

        • Susan King on April 10, 2024 at 11:46 am

          Sunflower, when you registered, you should have gotten email confirmation along with reminders containing the link to the workshop and a handout. Check your junk/spam folders because the replay will also be sent to the email you registered with.

          • Sunflower on April 10, 2024 at 1:05 pm

            Nothing in spam folder.



  18. Mallory on April 4, 2024 at 1:10 pm

    Man, this woman’s story is almost exactly like mine. Married to my husband for 15 years and during that entire time he has used pornography. I found out about it a year and a half after the birth of our child. He’s lived with a slew of undiagnosed mental health issues, including ADHD that were undiagnosed for 40+ years. It was always fairly obvious to me that he was using porn to cope with his anxiety and depression because of my own mental health issues and struggles with erotic romance novels (which I believe to also be a form of pornography). I didn’t realize it until God revealed to me the depth of my sin and I also started going to therapy that I was able to break free. After that I was able to see more clearly the unhealthy coping mechanism he was using. I have prayed for the same realization for my husband, but it never happened. I finally separated from him this January. He’s been “working” on himself, but I still see the pornified mindset. I’m trying to give grace as my journey towards healing was a long one, but man is it hard. He still won’t have difficult conversations that confront the problems in our marriage. He says he’s “not ready” and is working on his “personal healing” before he addresses our relationship. In spite of all that I am seeing healing and strength in myself. One wild physical sign of healing I’ve noticed is hair growth! Beforehand I was losing a lot of hair due to the stress of the relationship. Since my separation my hair has started growing back. I have tons of new growth in my hairline. You can see the new hairs sticking up lol

    • Amy Seymour on April 5, 2024 at 9:55 am

      I am so happy about your hair growth Mallory! That is such an important thing for a woman! Isn’t God wonderful that He is giving you a tangible indication of His love and care for you as well as a confidence that you are doing the right thing! After experiencing 30 yrs of marriage to a porn addict, I marvel at how deeply I was affected emotionally, mentally, and physically. After ten years I am still healing. Praying and praising with you!

    • Susan K on April 5, 2024 at 10:02 am

      Thank you for sharing all of that, Mallory. As you know, stress is very hard on the body. It is hard work to heal and get healthy. You are worth it!

  19. Alyssa on April 4, 2024 at 6:34 pm

    I’m not sure if this applies or not, but my dh was diagnosed with high-functioning autism in his mid-50’s which shed some light on his behaviors that are similar to what you’ve described here. Not the porn use, but the extreme avoidance of conflict, inability to discuss feelings, to see and validate yours, not being able to “remember” any emotionally-laded conversation or put into practice the emotional reciprocity or repairs. Being blind to what he does emotionally, how damaging that is to someone he’s supposed to be in an intimate relationship with. “Being a thick wall” and appearing fine to outsiders (since there’s no intimacy involved). Again, this does not excuse any of it, but it might give you some insight to the ongoing emotional trauma of living with someone like this. Again, as Leslie has said, porn use is not a marriage issue, it’s a character issue. But one can readily see how much easier it is for a man on the spectrum to get sexual needs met through anonymous sex with strangers then in a real life emotional connection and all the complexities that involves. Sin so easily entraps us! NOT an excuse, but it might be something to investigate? Prayers for you my dear sister!

  20. Nana on April 4, 2024 at 11:27 pm

    Pornography use is sexual unfaithfulness (adultery), and habitual use an abandonment of the marriage relationship, which is a form of abuse. It is most definitely biblical grounds for separation and/or divorce.

    • Susan K on April 5, 2024 at 10:03 am

      Thanks for contributing to the discussion, Nana.

  21. Anonymous on April 5, 2024 at 7:41 am

    I am so sorry for all of your stories and deep painful experiences. After reading all of the comments and the original question, my take away confirms what I have sensed for so long, which is a great oppression of men by Satan in our culture. It’s the perfect place to attack because as we have all experienced and heard from others, it destroys the rest of society starting with the family. I think the best thing we can do is pray for deliverance of all of these men and ourselves and do the really hard work of becoming women of strength. This will help us love and influence what we can. I would like to recommend the better boundaries workbook by Sharon Martin. I have been working on boundaries for over a year with great help from the coaches working with Leslie. Just as someone else said above, the journey of growth and change takes time, and my journey is no exception. I have started this workbook and it has been phenomenal and something I have desperately needed to continue and solidify my growth with boundaries. I would also highly recommend EMDR to any of you who are able to obtain this kind of therapy. I have found it to be successful in erasing traumatic memories in order to not be triggered so much. This has been a great piece of my puzzle to strengthen myself. I pray that you all be well feel loved and grow in His strength and truth.

  22. Susan K on April 5, 2024 at 9:59 am

    Leslie will be giving a free workshop entitled, If He Doesn’t Hit You … Is it STILL Abuse? God Cares, on April 9th at 12EDT and 7:30EDT. Register at http://www.leslievernick.com/joinworkshop

  23. Amy Seymour on April 5, 2024 at 10:01 am

    Thank you everyone for your comments and sharing! I was ostracized from family and friends for divorcing my husband bc of his porn addiction. For years I agonized over my decision bc I thought I may have been Biblically wrong to divorce. The gratefulness in my heart for all of you is unmeasurable. God bless you all.

    • Susan King on April 5, 2024 at 10:11 am

      Thanks for being part of our community, Amy! May God bless you as well!

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