I'm a wife dealing with her husband's addiction to pornography. I hope to be a resource for wives (and family members) dealing with similar struggles. Please join in the conversation and leave comments--even if you are here for curiosity's sake and are just learning about this kind of struggle! You can read my story here and the 4 things I think every addict's wife should know here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Our husbands have a problem. It is so easy to blame them for the problems in our marriages. We are hurt, we have trust issues, we have sex issues. And, let's be honest, it makes us plain crazy sometimes. If only our lives could be easy. If only our husbands didn't have this problem. Our lives would be perfect and we'd live in a dreamy glow if it weren't for our husbands' addictions.

Right? I'm not so sure.

It is so easy for us to concentrate on our husbands' problems and view ourselves as the perfect spouse who would never do anything like this to someone we love. Easy for us to say since we don't have the addiction.

While I don't think we should be blaming ourselves for our husbands' problems, I do think we should use this opportunity to evaluate the ways we are negatively affecting our marriages. If our husbands are expected to work incredibly hard to fix how they are hurting our marriages, we should be doing the same.

Let me give you an example. I am realistic. My husband is a dreamer. I would prefer to have conversations about things that have to do with the here and now. He would prefer to talk about what could be. Because of this, I feel the need to ground him when he starts getting (what I consider to be) too far away from reality. I didn't realize how much this hurt him in the past. Every time he'd bring up a topic or an idea, I would shoot it down with every possible "logical" response as to why it wasn't feasible. I thought I was just being reasonable. He eventually stopped telling me things that interested him.

Let me repeat that: My husband stopped sharing things with me, because he (rightly) assumed I would shoot down everything that came out of his mouth.

I have only seen my husband cry about three times in the years I've known him. He does not show his emotions through crying, so for him to actually break down and cry means that he has likely cried over and over and over inside until he couldn't take it anymore.

The first two times he cried to me were because he was so broken down and defeated by me shooting down all his dreams and ideas. I was suffocating his creativity.

The third time was the most recent time he confessed to lying to me about his pornography use. Do you know why he cried? He cried out of relief and gratitude when I didn't get mad at him. I didn't get angry. I didn't cry. I didn't shut down or keep my distance for days on end. I didn't make him feel worse about something that already had him lower than low. He cried tears of gratitude, because I showed him that I loved him, was worried about him, and was there to support him.

I'd love to say that I cause my husband to cry tears of joy more often, but he has cried more from me hurting him. I'm not perfect. I do things that hurt my husband. I do things that weaken our relationship and our marriage.

Please take a step back and look at how you affect your relationship. Is there anything you can work on? Do you say or do things or act certain ways that, if your husband were doing those things back to you, would hurt you? Are you bringing positivity or negativity into your relationship? Are you being honest with yourself and with him?

We can't fix our husbands' problems, but we can fix our own. Now, if your marriage is truly on the rocks and you are likely headed for divorce, you may be thinking, "Why should I work to make our marriage good if he is ruining it and leading to our divorce?" The answer is this: If you can figure out how to positively contribute to marriage even under the worst of circumstances, consider how prepared you will be to contribute your absolute best self when you some day find yourself in a healthy relationship.

Ladies, let's do our part. If we expect our husbands to work day in and day out to rid themselves of the huge "imperfection" that they carry, let's make sure we are fixing our own imperfections.

{Upcoming topics: confidence, marriage as the scape goat, teaching our kids about sex}

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I appreciate you sharing your imperfections. I have also struggled with pornography addiction, and part of what makes the addiction so powerful is the shame involved.

    I do hope that those who have spouses struggling with this will realized what a difference they can make by being a safe place. I am now divorced, but still today, I think of the way my wife responded so lovingly to me telling her my problem as the most loved I've ever felt.

    I know it's hard to show to love when someone has broken trust, but I think many would respond that way if they knew the self-loathing their husbands already had for themselves.