Marriage Advice From A Christian Perspective

What to Do When You Discover Your Partner Looking at Porn

  • Heather Riggleman Author
  • 2019 9 Sep
What to Do When You Discover Your Partner Looking at Porn

You usually don’t find out through confession. Instead you stumbled onto his computer or phone. You found images of naked women and pornographic websites he went to.

It’s such a kick in the gut. It’s a low blow. You feel betrayed, after all you had the perfect marriage. You married a Christian guy. You thought he only had eyes for you. You’ve been lied to. But even worse, you feel as though your marriage vows had been violated. Your love had been violated.

Next comes the emotions of rage, hurt, anger, and feelings of inadequacy. Millions of questions roll through your head: Am I fit enough? Do I need to lose weight? Don’t I tell him I love him enough? Sex--am I not giving it to him enough?

Unfortunately, you aren’t the only one who’s marriage has been violated by pornography. However, it’s not just a problem affecting men. Women, teenagers and children are also caught in the web of pornography.

Like your marriage, the church isn’t immune either. Reports and studies over the last few years show a disturbing picture. Christians are engaging in porn at almost the same rate as the secular population. The fact is, porn is being watched by women nearly as much as men.

According to 15 Mind Blowing Facts about Pornography and Church, here are some alarming statistics:

1.Nearly 40 million Americans are regular visitors to porn sites. The average visit last 6 minutes and 29 seconds with 55 percent of married men and 25 percent of married women say that they watch porn at least once a month. 2.47 % of families in the United States reported pornography in their home. 3.Pornography increases the infidelity rate by 300%. 56% of divorces involve one party having an obsessive interest in porn. 4.11 is the average age a child is first exposed to porn, and 94 % of children will see it by the age of 14.

So…what should you do?

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Vasyl
Avoid overreacting

Avoid overreacting

It’s easy to overreact when your partner betrayed you by viewing porn. Resist the temptation. If your spouse is repentant and wants to work through this issue, you both have a long journey ahead.

It’s easy to think he’s disgusting or that you somehow caused the problem. First off, you did not cause your spouse to look at porn. HIs sin has nothing to do with your attractiveness. It has everything to do with the way if affects the brain and the choice he made.

Porn is the new drug. It literally changes brain chemicals and even re-wires the brain. Eventually, if your spouse has looked at it long enough, he cannot get aroused without viewing porn. According to Covenant Eyes, their research says it affects the brain in five ways:

  1. Watching porn decreases sexual satisfaction.
  2. It disconnects us from relationships.
  3. It lowers your view of women.
  4. It desensitizes us to cruelty.
  5. It makes us want to watch more porn.

I included these facts to help you understand the effects of porn. Much like becoming addicted to crack or cocaine, porn has some of the same effects on the brain. This however does NOT excuse your partner viewing porn. It does not diminish the damage or the hurt either. Be angry at the sin, not your husband. Stand with him in battle. Remember Satan would love nothing more than to divide you both. 

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/gpointstudio

Be steadfast in your marriage and faith now more than ever

Be steadfast in your marriage and faith now more than ever

When unfaithfulness has shattered your marriage, the most important action towards healing begins with the offended party: YOU. Think of it this way: You and your husband were on a long journey, a road trip. He lost control of the vehicle and you grab wheel to keep it careening over a cliff. You are now the one keeping both of you alive. You are the one keeping your marriage and life alive, but most importantly your spouse from falling off that ledge.

At one point when my spouse and I were struggling in our marriage, I visited my pastor’s wife. I walked into her office dazed and confused. I was in shock. I didn’t know which way was up. As she learned of the events that unfolded, she smiled at my compassionately because she had been in my shoes. She had to deal with the consequences of her husband’s sin.

Then she said something profound which was a turning point in how I viewed my spouse. “He doesn’t need your condemnation. He needs a mother’s love while he finds his way back to God.” This is something she had to do with her husband. A mother’s love is unconditional and instinctive to protect her child at all costs. A mother doesn’t nag her child over the mistakes he’s made. My job was to protect my marriage by going to God and fighting for my husband. My job was to take my pain directly to God.

We don’t like living these kinds of moments, but this is a chance for God to do some of his deepest and greatest work through the pain that’s been inflicted. You can develop your steadfastness in your relationship with God or you can crawl back into bed and hide. It's a conscious decision you must make to face this with God and with your partner.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Rawpixel

Seek wise counsel

Seek wise counsel

To overcome this battle and unforgiveness, we need to help our emotional wounds heal. There are many forms of counseling out there. However, it’s important to find a Biblical counselor or someone like your pastor’s wife. Both will point you right back to your faith and scripture.

Some secular counselors may not have your best interest. When I began searching for a counselor, the first one I encountered told me that forgiveness wasn’t necessary, and that divorce may be in my best interest.

The Bible counters these ideals. Without forgiveness, we would be doing ourselves even more harm because the dangerous roots of bitterness run so deep. Biblical forgiveness means you release your spouse from the debt owed to you. It is not contingent on how you feel about your spouse. It is not contingent on how much pain you’re in. It is a choice to no longer blame your spouse for the offense. It doesn’t justify the offense, it doesn’t ignore it, nor does it give your partner permission to do it again. Rather, it addresses the wrong and then forgiveness releases it to God.

First Corinthians 13:5 reminds us Biblical love “keeps no record of wrongs.”  If your spouse is willing, ask to help him find an accountability partner or small group for sexual purity. Groups based off the book Every Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoker is a great way to strengthen your husband.

Be careful, too, who you and are spouse are listening to. I had to step away from Christian friends who harbored hurt from their previous marriages or current spouse. If they tell you it’s okay not to forgive or run your spouse down, it will negatively affect your healing and weaken your marriage. My husband cut off friends who didn’t respect or cherish their wives or condoned bad behavior.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/jacoblund

Be together more often

Be together more often

Unresolved anger, insecurity and hurt can drive a deeper wedge between you and your spouse. It may be the last thing you want to do but it’s important now more than ever.

  • Pray Together

This is a specific time for you to come together, to touch each other and to pray. It’s a chance to truly begin seeing each other’s hearts again. It is NOT the time to hash out differences or hurt.

  • Date Each Other

Often couples forget why they married each other. The daily grind of work, stress, routine take the magic out of marriage. Make it a non-negotiable. Date night should be every week and should take place over anything and everything else, even kids.

  • Touch Base Throughout the Day

Send a text, meet for lunch or call each other. Let your spouse know you’re thinking about him. This helps fill up each other’s love account.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Bartek Szewczyk

Create accountability in the home

Create accountability in the home

There are several ways to create accountability in the home. Free software like Open DNS which uses your IP Address and Router to software like Covenant Eyes that can be installed on computers and devices blocks porn from coming into the home. It also gives additional settings to filter out other unwanted content. Other apps like Victory identify habits and triggers for breaking the addiction to porn. Below are additional apps to install on your smartphone or iPad.

Top 5 Porn Blocking Apps for Android

FamiSafe
Porn Blocker
Qustodio Parental Control for Android
Mobicip for Android
Norton Family Parental Control for Android

Top 5 Porn Blocking Apps for iPhone/iPad
xBlock Porn Blocker
Shield Porn Blocker
Qustodio for iOS
OurPact Parental Control
Family Time

Realize your insecurity and trust will take time to earn back. It is similar to the stages of grief. Just when you feel as though you’ve made progress, a reminder, a memory or something your husband says or does will create a setback. It may take years before trust and security has been created. Your spouse needs to understand this. It will take time. “… but with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).


Heather Riggleman calls Nebraska home (Hey, it’s not for everyone) with her three kids and husband of 20 years. She writes to bring bold truths to marriage, career, mental health, faith, relationships, celebration and heartache. Heather is a former national award-winning journalist and is the author of Mama Needs a Time Out and Let’s Talk About Prayer. Her work has been featured on Proverbs 31 Ministries, MOPS, Today's Christian Woman and Focus On the Family. You can find her at heatherriggleman.com 

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Fat Camera




Follow Crosswalk.com