Healing After Discovering Your Spouse’s Pornography Addiction

Pornography addiction - AdobeStock_99279725 copyHow can a wife heal after she discovers her husband’s pornography addiction? Is it even possible? The answer is yes; but you will have to lean into the healing process. Otherwise, this issue could tear apart your marriage. Below are a few tips that can help you better deal with this important issue.

According to a study conducted by Covenant Eyes, 56% of divorce cases involved having one partner obsessed with pornographic websites. Sexual addiction and Pornography addiction are both serious issues that have torn many families apart.

To discover your spouse is addicted to pornography can be devastating and leave you doubting your relationship and self-worth. Many times spouses of pornography and sexual addicts find themselves asking if they weren’t “good enough.” They wonder what they could have done to keep their spouse from turning to porn.

Answers to Pornography Addiction?

In truth, it has nothing to do with you. Like any other addiction, pornography (like drugs, food, shopping, etc.) is used as a way to self medicate. Their pulling away is not a reflection on you, but on them. As you move forward with this betrayal, many emotions will come up and leave you wondering what you should do next.

There are no concrete answers when it comes to pornography addiction. After learning about your spouse’s pornography addiction, you will need to take time to heal and move forward in the recovery process. It is important to note that the healing process takes time and cannot (nor should be) rushed.

While you start out in your healing, here are 5 things you should seriously consider to help you move forward.

Healing After Discovering Your Spouse’s Pornography Addiction

1. Create your own recovery plan.

In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Dr. Brene Brown talks about the 3 qualities that are necessary in the healing process. They are courage, compassion, and connection. When dealing with such a blow, you need to be courageous to admit those times you need help. It’s important to be compassionate towards yourself. And you need to form healthy connections with others who can help you during this difficult time.

2. Reach out.

During this time it can be easy to isolate and retreat within yourself. Don’t. Instead, seek a trusted friend, spiritual leader, therapist, or a support group where you feel comfortable to talk openly. Having a safe place to talk about your feelings can help you while you navigate the twists and turns that will arise during this time.

3. Learn more about pornography addiction.

As the saying goes, “Knowledge is power.” As you learn more about compulsive and addictive behaviors, you can gain clearer insights to help you on your own path to recovery. Through understanding addiction and the negative effects it has on the brain, you will better understand your spouse’s addiction is not because of a lack on your part. You can then begin moving past the negative thoughts of not being sexy enough, smart enough, good enough, and so on.

4. Incorporate self-care into your day.

A lot of emotions will arise during the healing process and taking time to take care of yourself is critical. As you begin to practice self-care, you may feel selfish for putting yourself first. But consider this: how can you help your children or the other people in your life if you are drained? Take some time for yourself so you can be there for everyone else. An excellent way to take care of yourself is to write in a journal daily (Julia Cameron recommends doing morning pages). Also, sign up for a community class, or pray, and meditate. Regardless of how much time you have, take some time each day to do something just for you.

5. Connect with the community.

When you are feeling lost and unsure of what to do, take some time to do something for someone else. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in our lives, and our problems. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to forget about it (at least for a little a while). Take time to volunteer at your local library, shelter, or community center. Organizations are always looking for people who are interested in volunteering their time. If you cannot think of any place to volunteer, check out Volunteer Match for some ideas.

Every relationship and person is different. Remember, during this time, it is important to be kind and compassionate towards yourself. The journey towards recovery is not easy and takes a lot of inner work, but can help you come out even stronger.

About the Author: Danielle Adams is a freelance writer who works with Lifestar Therapy. She is committed to helping people practice open communication and build healthy relationships.

— ALSO, Concerning Pornography Addiction —

Here is an additional article written by Gary Thomas that has additional information on this issue of pornography addiction. And then afterward, we have an article written by Juli Slattery that you will also find very helpful to read. We encourage you to read:

PORNOGRAPHY: The Digital Assault on Marriage


And lastly, here is an article written by Sheri Mueller that you will also find helpful in this healing process:


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Filed under: Pornography and Cybersex

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4 responses to “Healing After Discovering Your Spouse’s Pornography Addiction

  1. Browsing your site, I came across the article entitled, “Healing After Discovering Your Spouse’s Pornography Addiction”. Curious as to the advice offered, I opened it. But after reading the first sentence, I could go no further. That sentence reads, “How can a wife heal after she discovers her husband’s pornography addiction?”

    This sexist stereotype is very harmful to all the MEN dealing with their WIVES’ ADDICTION to pornography. Women are becoming addicted to porn at an increasing rate. A man looking to this article for help dealing with a wife addicted to porn is basically slapped in the face with the assumption that it’s his problem, not hers. A very small correction could make this article much more helpful to men suffering through this.

  2. Interesting the article states the truth, it is a BETRAYAL! If there is not repentance, change of behavior, accountability to a counselor/mentor, abstinence and serious work on part of the abuser (yes porn use/addiction in marriage IS abuse)…nothing the spouse does will matter. Thankfully there is a lot of support these days for recovery & healing. We need to stop shaming the victim of betrayal if they choose to separate or even depart from the marriage entirely. It is tantamount to cheating, and therefore grounds for biblical divorce. Period!

  3. My husband was caught and he got prosecuted bc of illegal content. Now that was the biggest shock of my life and the fallout from it has been colossal. I think my children and I have suffered the most. I’ve fought for him and eventually got him back home. Whether or not our marriage makes it is up to God. At least my husband has repented and I know he’s stable now. I suffered awful shaming from others for supporting him. My family cut me off. Some are beginning to talk to me again. The whole debacle was soul destroying. I hate porn. Wrecks families.

  4. I feel the 12 step porn addiction anonymous group breeds more distrust and isolation for the betrayed spouse. It hurts that I’m in the dark and he is sharing with complete strangers getting better, and help for the betrayed spouse is so limited. I feel the anonymous groups don’t care about the betrayed spouse at all. I feel disclosure is wrong. I have the right to know what my spouse has done when I want not when the group decides I am ready. It seems like a cop out. They are waiting for the betrayed spouse to calm down so it hopefully lessens the righteous anger they will hear.