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Does Your Husband Watch Porn?

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June 16, 2012 by mattfradd


Beth Meier’s husband, Sam, struggled with a severe addicion to pornography. In the following article she relays the pain and betrayal she felt in discovering Sam’s addiction. She then shares how they began to find hope and healing.

I married my husband exactly one month before I turned 20. No, I wasn’t crazy; I had found the man I thought God had put in my life for the rest of my life. Mere months into the marriage, Sam began spending hours looking at internet pornography.

There aren’t words to describe the emotions that ran through me as I watched Sam continue to choose internet pornography instead of me. I could not understand why he just wouldn’t stop. I wasn’t crazy for wanting my husband to only look at me, to desire me, to think about me.

He sometimes tried to make me feel crazy. There were a few times that he blamed me for his fixation of internet pornography. Sometimes he would tell me that if only I did x, y and z with him sexually, then he wouldn’t need to look at pornography.

Sometimes he would tell me that pornography was no big deal, and then tell me he could be doing worse things. Sometimes he would purposely cause a fight so that I would yell at him and he would use that as an excuse to look at porn.

It hurt to see him like this, treating me like this, demanding things against both of our dignities. It was a vicious cycle. He would blame me for not meeting his sexual “needs,” then he would look at porn sites, masturbate, and then feel bad. I would get angry, yell at him and make him feel even worse.

To medicate his bad feelings, he would look at internet porn, masturbate and feel hopeless. This, on top of him looking and masturbating to pornographic magazines since he was 12, had created a raging addiction. He couldn’t stop on his own because he had conditioned his body for pornographic images over a thousand times before I had even met him.

I Had Had Enough

At the ripe old age of 22, I had enough. I had noticed that Sam spent more and more time looking at internet pornography and he was looking at more graphic and twisted sites. I saw him physically change. The pornography was destroying his soul. He gradually became more isolated from family and friends. I began to notice him becoming more distant, his eyes giving me blank stares. Sam was not the man I had married. I tried to get him to stop.

I tried to change him. Noted author, Jacob Braude, once said, “Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.” I tried yelling, screaming, crying, and begging; I wanted to explain to him the hurt and pain he was causing. He didn’t seem to care.

I began to worry that if he cheated on me, he could give me STDs, some of which can cause infertility or death. I soon realized that there was nothing I could do to change him, except one thing. That old proverb that if you love something you should let it go and if it loves you back it will return was about to be tested.

The Ultimatum

I knew giving Sam an ultimatum was the right thing to do for us. In a relatively short amount of time, internet porn and adult bookstores had consumed him. Although he had not physically cheated on me, in my heart he had. I was raw. I was devastated and hurt. I had become a bitter and angry woman as a survival mechanism. My heart was closed to Sam. When I finally said those words, “Sam, get help or we are through,” a thousand pounds of hurt, anger, and confusion lifted away. I no longer felt crazy; I felt alive again.

There is a fantastic quote in a film about women’s suffrage called Iron Jawed Angels, “Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.” I wasn’t crazy, I was brave. I didn’t want to throw my marriage away, I wanted to save it. If there was any chance Sam would have to fight for it. I thought Sam would choose the addiction, but instead  but instead he chose to find help.

Recovery 

We found a recovery center where we went to counseling with counselors trained in sexual addiction.

He attended 12-Step groups and gained the accountability and support that was necessary for him to trudge through such a difficult battle. In the past it was difficult for Sam to go a few days without looking at porn and masturbating. In the past five years he has looked once.

It took a long time for me to decide to go to a support and healing group for wives, but I finally did, also gaining the fellowship that only other women who have experienced such hurt can give another.

Sam and I grew closer to God and our Catholic faith as we suffered overcoming a sexual addiction in our marriage and rebuilding trust.
For years we didn’t tell anyone what we went through. We were ashamed and embarrassed and didn’t know what people would think of us. I was hoping people wouldn’t think I was crazy for staying with Sam. I was wondering and hoping others would somehow understand.

We told our families and a few friends about a year into recovery. We shared our story with our church, mainly just Sam telling a small bit about his addiction.

God continued to open doors for us to keep telling His story through us…redemption, forgiveness, hope and change.

I know that not all women married to men addicted to pornography have the same experience; however, I have found that many women have enough similarities to find hope for their own marriage. There is hope, you are not alone and you are certainly not crazy.

Learn more about the great work that Sam and Beth now do through My House Initiative and be sure to listen to Sam and Beth’s talks which you can listen to for free here.

One thought on “Does Your Husband Watch Porn?

  1. Lori8069 says:

    Thank God my husband doesn’t look at pornography, and we have a very happy, loving marriage. I feel very sorry for any wife who gives her husband the “it’s either me the porn” ultimatum, and he chooses the porn–especially if children are involved–horrible.

    And of course this sort of thing where the man does choose porn over his wife and family is getting commoner by the minute. Does our government really even care if pornography destroys this society?

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