How Wives Are Helping Their Husbands Quit Porn

By Kayla Sullivan

17 Comments

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with an individual, who provided me with a lot of insight in regard to the role that a wife can play while dealing with her husband’s pornography addiction. As I reflected on the things that were mentioned in that conversation, I realized that as I faced my own struggle with my husband, I in fact implemented many of the opinions expressed by this individual though at the time I could not put them into words. It became something that I just did, but I could not explain.

In relationships of any kind, the female plays a key role in the success of the male. Think of the lioness, whose job is to hunt for the food that will be used to provide for the entire pride. Upon her return from her hunting expedition, the lion will then pick through the food supply, eating first, but ensuring that the rest is suitable for the other lions to eat. It takes both of them to successfully provide for the family that God gave them.

A husband cannot face his battle alone. He needs the support of other men, which is why a Conquer Series group is so important and effective. He also needs the support of his wife.

If you have been married for any number of years, you know all too well that a wife typically knows her husband better than anyone else. While this struggle that he is facing may have come as a shock, the wife still knows the things that grip him, the things that he takes pride in, the things that cause him to hurt, and the things that bring him great joy. By having access to all of that personal, intimate information, it enables the wife to be the greatest prayer warrior that her husband could ever have!

The enemy will prowl the perimeter looking for a weak point.

Ladies, the enemy has already began to devour your husband! Your husband has recognized this, and is now facing a battle that is much greater than any eye can see on the surface. You can be certain that the enemy will now be on the prowl for you as well. Now is the time to hit your knees, fall on your face, and begin declaring healing and restoration for not only yourself, but for your husband and marriage as well. Seal off the perimeters by coating every inch with prayer, protecting and strengthening yourself and your husband.

A man without a future will always go back to his past.

In the moment of discovery, and the days and weeks of heartache that follow, it is easy as a wife to say ‘I AM DONE.’ I can remember thinking that I needed to get out, I needed to get my kids out, I deserved more love, I didn’t deserve the hurt, I couldn’t handle the pain, and more. Packing my things and getting out of town would have eased my pain in the moment, but it would have set my husband up for yet another failure as his future and all that he was working towards would have been gone. The cycle of sin would have continued, and my husband would have had nothing to encourage him to break free. The battle was not completely about him, it soon became a battle about me and our family. I had to choose to fight alongside him, or place him back on the firing range of Satan.

I feel it is important to note that I was not in any danger. My husband did not rage with anger, and I never experienced any physical or mental abuse as a result of my husband’s addiction. If you are in danger, your safety has to become your first priority. Seek out the advice and help of a pastor or a counselor. This does not mean that you are giving up on your husband, this means that you are valuing yourself enough to know that you need safety while your husband finds healing. Pure Desire Ministries offers counseling, and more information can be found by visiting PureDesire.org.

Several months ago, I heard a song titled Hard Love by Need to Breathe on the radio that really resonated with my heart, mind, spirit, and soul as I thought back to the years I spent standing beside my husband as he battled through his pornography addiction.

For the men who are currently fighting, let these words repeat through your head as you courageously take on this battle: “Trading punches with the heart of darkness…In the morning you’re gonna need an answer, Ain’t nobody gonna change the standard. It’s not enough to just feel the flame, You’ve gotta burn your old self away.”

“Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” – Ephesians 4:22-24

The song goes on to say “…You can’t change without a fallout.” Wow! Just wow! That’s exactly what happened in my marriage, and I am sure that it is happening in countless others right now. Fallout brings about change, and it’s all based on how you handle it. I had to fight through my feelings, my emotions, and I had to take the time to truly realize why I loved my husband. I had to determine that the qualities about him were worth fighting for, and I had to choose to take his hand and head straight for the front line on this one.

Ladies, there is hope for your husband, there is hope for you, and there is hope for a renewed and restored marriage. The Conquer Series will minister to not only the issue, but to the heart, mind, and spirituality of your husband. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter as well, because a DVD series for wives is in the works and it will be powerful!

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17 Replies to “How Wives Are Helping Their Husbands Quit Porn”

  1. Erin  October 25, 2017

    I needed that song today – thank you so much for sharing it. I have to admit, I had trouble with this blog post. I don’t think wives can help their husbands quit porn. The husband has to begin walking in recovery on his own, for himself.

    • Ronald Ellis Hale  October 25, 2017

      The husband is the one who is responsible for his addiction and its damage. He is the one who must find recovery for himself first and foremost BUT, everybody needs help, nobody can break free of this addiction alone and who else is best qualified to help the husband, but his God created helpmate. The new testament is filled with examples of one helping another. A three strand cord is not easily broken- 1 husband, 2 wife, 3 Holy Spirit, thats 3 strands.

      • Janet Fernandez Croteau  December 14, 2017

        I recently found out my husband is and has been for some time, a sex addict. My comment here is more a question. How can wives help their husbands, when there is no help available for the wife? There are all these programs available to help the addict, but what about the spouses? Aren’t the spouses deserving of help to? My husband was caught in early November. I’m still filled with hurt, anger, disbelief, loss of hope, loss of self esteem and so many more feelings. How can I help him, without getting help myself?

        • Ronald Ellis Hale  December 16, 2017

          The same Christian counselors for sex addicts will be able to help the spouse also. Have you inquired at a local church? Look up Christian counseling web sites.

          • Rachael in Texas  May 23, 2018

            but if the husband refuses counselling then the wife has no recourse except deal with it or leave. Most worldly women’s attitudes are that the husband didn’t cheat and those of us who are offended should just be ok. And counselling is a lot of money unless you go through a church and then, well I don’t know too many husbands who would be OK with that info known in a church. So I understand your frustration- I have been fortunate to have 2 friends who understand. The only healing I have achieved is straight from God or from their counsel. It hurts. I understand.

          • Ronald Ellis Hale  May 26, 2018

            I tell guys that for the wife it is extremely frustrating because the “other” woman in this case is imaginary and how can you battle that?? But, having said that I want to say that prayer must always be constant. If someone isn’t comfortable with counseling in their home church, other churches will usually provide this. At some point I believe that it is warranted for a separation of the couple as well, after all pornography is adultery according to Jesus

        • Conquer Series  May 23, 2018

          Hi Janet. That is a very difficult place to be in, and I am so very sorry to hear that you’re going through this. Finding help for the wives can be difficult, and it is something that KingdomWorks Studios is currently working on. It is our hope to launch a video teaching series which will greatly minister to the wives who are feeling a myriad of emotions related to their husband’s struggle. In the meantime, Pure Desire Ministries has created a workbook study titled “Betrayal & Beyond”.

          Please know that I’ll be praying for you as you go through this journey. -Kayla

  2. Rachael in Texas  November 3, 2017

    I’ve got to say that I have a problem with this premise – that in an earthly way, we can impact this problem. Yes, as wives we should pray and do our best to promote healthy marriages. But it is too easy for husbands to think “well, she…” whatever. If this was alcoholism, we wouldn’t be suggesting that the people around the alcoholic could through their own behavior, help the alcoholic. Of course, prayer is front-line defense in either case. But the addict has to see themselves as needing heart change and see that their addiction impacts all their relationships. They have to see the sin as black and white. We may decide to stay through the process even though porn is adultery. But our trying to “help” can easily become what it is everywhere else in life- whatever the wife assists with becomes the wife’s responsibility: house, kids, income, church leadership, marriage temperature, intimacy… This ball of responsibility need to sit squarely in the court of the addict. Our job is not to enable them by telling them its ok or taking responsibility ourselves. They need to fall on their face in front of their heavenly father, see their sin for the ugliness it is, and ask him for help. I think the most we can do is pray on the front lines; chose to remain; and refuse to accept sharing our husbands. Without that falling- without seeing the sin, the wife’s earthly actions are to no avail.

    • Conquer Series  May 23, 2018

      Hi Rachael. Wives are not supposed to become responsible for their husband’s healing, but this article was meant to more-so articulate that prayer is going to be a powerful defense. Many men who are struggling are struggling because of wounds, and in a lot of those cases they are dealing with abandonment issues or inadequacy issues. In our journey, I didn’t make excuses for my husband, and he had to learn to own his own story. People who are struggling are not going to begin to heal until they are able to articulate their hurt, own that hurt, and desire within to find the healing.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! -Kayla

      • Rachael in Texas  May 23, 2018

        sounds like we vehemently agree that prayer is a powerful defense. And while wives should pray for their husbands, the couple should also pray together. I agree that this addiction comes from wounded-ness but I think all too often, the male response is to blame their wounds on their wife, which is quite often not the total picture. “Well if you would watch with me, like so many other wives do, this would not be a problem.” or “if you initiated instead of me, then I wouldn’t have this problem” followed by “this addiction has nothing to do with you and doesn’t hurt you at all”. So I’m not sure communicating hurt is specific enough but think it needs to be a guided discussion by a professional unless the man is uncommonly humble.

        I’m very glad you are writing and bringing out these issues. Thank you for making me think!

  3. Lauren  February 6, 2018

    I feel like I need to know more of this story to completely understand it because I disagree so much! For 8 years I prayed and fought, but it wasn’t until my husband thought he had lost everything that he loved most that he began to reach for God to help break this addiction. I had to step away from the situation completely and no longer say I’m here no matter what. I know every situation is different, but I had to leave with our kids(with no hope that I’d return) for my husband to hit rock bottom. He did and with the help of God he is thriving. He attends pure desire classes whenever they’re available and sees a therapist. I also needed to be a part of a Betrayal and Beyond class to help myself heal. It’s not been easy, but my husband understood that I could no longer be that accountability in his life. I am the one who knows him best so I confront when I need to, but I haven’t needed to in a long time. We still have a long ways to go, but I thank God for bringing us this far. We’ve been able to help others because of what God did in our lives and I’m so thankful for that. All that to say, sometimes, it’s wise to leave.

    • Conquer Series  May 23, 2018

      Hey Lauren. Thanks for your comment. Yes, I completely agree that at times it is necessary to remove oneself from the situation. Wives have the right to put barriers in place to not only protect themselves but to potentially protect their children as well.

      Though I cried and prayed for many years, God had to reveal to me that I was crying and praying for my benefit. Never in my prayers did I forget about myself and sincerely cry out for my husband–believing that regardless of what happened, he deserved to be free.

      Through our journey, which is shared in a later blog post, I came to realize that I was not responsible for my husband’s struggle. I learned that he had some pretty deep wounds from his past, which he had stuffed deep down into the recesses of his heart. For most of them, I had no idea that they existed.

      Learning that information is what gave me the will-power to fight and continue on. Had I been in danger, or had my kids been in danger, we would’ve checked out and offered prayer from a distance.

      I am glad to hear of the great progress that is being made in your marriage–both as a couple and as you both work through your own individual healing. May God continue to bless you and guide you both, and may he not only restore what the enemy tried to steal from you but may He empower it to be even better than it was before. -Kayla

  4. Scott  April 25, 2018

    My wife refuses to become involved and has said I have to do it on my own.

    • Conquer Series  May 23, 2018

      Hi Scott. I am sorry to hear that you’re currently facing this journey on your own. Oftentimes wives will react out of their woundedness. Each time a new discovery is made, it creates a wound and eventually those wounds can turn into a pile of bitterness, resentment, and even at times can cause the inability to care as much as they once did.

      Please understand that your wife is feeling wounded in the moment. While her mind is whirling with the discoveries that she has made along the way, it is also racing with thoughts and emotions of inadequacy in a variety of areas. This is going to take some time to heal, which is why a recovery process is equally important for her. As you begin on this journey, and your behavior shows that you’re making progress, she may find a renewed hope and strength to walk this out with you.

      God is faithful, and I will be praying for you, your wife, and your marriage. -Kayla

  5. Gail Harvey  May 3, 2018

    My husband has been involved in porn for some time. He has been caught at it twice, says he’ll stop and does for awhile but goes back to it. We have gone to a marriage counselor but there has been no change. He doesn’t want to work at our marriage. It seems he would rather just ignore the pink elephant in the room. He spends many hours on his iPad, taking it to the bathroom, bedroom and pretty much everywhere he goes. He has changed his password and e-mail accounts and iCloud accounts on his iPad. Sometimes I look at him and don’t know who he is anymore. I know this is an addition but I am just so hurt. At first I blamed my self but I realize this is not my fault. My stepfather was also involved in porn to the point that he showed my one year old sister and me, who was seven stag films when my mother was away. We saw them several times as small children. I imagine that is why I find this whole thing so disgusting. I know he is not beyond help but he doesn’t think it’s a problem.

    • Conquer Series  May 23, 2018

      Hi Gail. I’m sorry to hear that you’re facing this struggle. I’ve been there, I’ve heard my husband say that he would stop, but the reality was that he was unable to. He could go for a period of time without looking at pornography, but when the wheels fell off of a situation and he started feeling as if he was no longer in control (stress at work, finances, tough decisions, etc…) he would find himself going right back to the images on the screen. Even though we talked with our pastor, it took many years for him to realize that it was something that he could not break free of within his own power. Ultimately, it has to be a choice that the man makes within his own heart and mind because otherwise he will not apply himself to the recovery process.

      It’s normal for you to feel hurt, and you’re going to have a myriad of feelings which could honestly fluctuate from day to day. As I walked down my recovery process, and even now, I am learning how things of my past contributed to my response of my husband’s struggle.

      Please know that I’ll be praying for you, and praying for your husband as well. -Kayla

  6. Rachael in Texas  May 27, 2018

    So I was listening to a talk on modesty with information about how heels are bad and anything sexy is bad, and I thought, “how in the world do I provide an alternative to the temptation on the computer without heels, makeup, wax, nails, losing 20 pounds, ….” the list could go on forever. But basically we are competing with perfection and perfection is right there with the click of a button. any ideas?

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