How Can I Help My Husband Stop Porn Habit?

Question: “My husband and I have been married for 7 years. While we were dating he told me he had an addiction to pornography since someone showed him a magazine when he was 8. He cried when he told me and assured me it was something he was working on and would not let continue. Over the first few years of our marriage I would either find something on the computer or he would feel guilty and confess on his own to me when he had “slipped up”. He could go months without viewing it and then go back. I got to the point where I was sick of asking him how he was doing on it since I was always scared to hear a negative answer and I found he would just lie until he was ready to confess anyways. Other than this issue, he is a perfect husband. He helps me around the house, is a hard worker, a wonderful father and my best friend. He has been to different bishops about it (since we move so often) but has never had temple worthiness revoked. In fact, a couple years ago he was made a high-priest. It has been a couple years since we have dealt with this issue so I thought maybe he was doing better but this morning I sound several porn links on his pocket pc (and he knows I check the history periodically). It also appears as it instead of just looking at pictures like he used to, there were links for video clips. I’m freaking out! It’s getting worse? I always kinds thought how guilty he felt about his little slip ups would prevent him from taking it any further. I realize he probably needs outside help, as do I since this is not really doing wonders for my self-esteem. What else can I do to help him? I don’t want to make him feel so guilty or bad that he feels hopeless about quitting but I want to help him stop. I wouldn’t ever want to consider divorce over something like this but I find myself thinking about the possibility of him leaving me or me having to leave him if it ever got too bad. Please help give me any tips for myself or him.”

Answer: I am glad you are reaching out for support. I can imagine you are pretty hurt and upset with his porn use that has lingered for years and appears to be getting worse. Stopping pornography can be harder than some substance addictions, like oxycontin or heroin. I have worked personally with scores of men that are addicted. These are successful, seemingly happy, but addicted men. They often live two lives and find themselves hiding and using their secret addiction to soothe and meet emotional and or sexual needs.

Yes, he does need clinical help. He will not kick it on his own and even if he did have the capacity to do it (he would of years ago if this was the case) he does not have an objective clear view that would help him assess his needs, his insecurities, and his doubts. He may not feel an impetus to change as he does not have a lot of pressure from you or so it appears from your post. He also may not hit rock bottom and feel like it is a significant issue unless he feels and comes to know that it hurts you, and it hurts you badly. It can and will destroy your marriage. I have worked with many couples that are battling it, don’t mistake, it is addictive and will lead him to objectify you and fantasize about other women; he needs help.

I recommend that you get some counseling help. I also recommend you read my other posts on the subject of pornography. http://www.ldsphonecounseling.com/blog/?cat=31

Listen to a good audio clip about how porn impacts the minds of men, 5 min. clip here: http://www.ldsphonecounseling.com/audio/jason-evert.mp3

I have provided a list of links of articles that I feel can help you heal.
Is Pornography That Harmful? (Recommended)
Breaking the Chains of Pornography – LDS Ensign
Leaving Pornography Behind – LDS Ensign (Recommended)

Get a longer list of articles from the LDS Church.

One Response to 'How Can I Help My Husband Stop Porn Habit?'

  1. LDS Wife blogger says:

    We too are dealing with this. I’d highly recommend tackling this on full force before it gets to affairs/strip clubs/prostitutes. The church has an addiction recovery program for the man and a women support group. Go to http://www.lds.org/combatingpornography for the addiction recovery manual and go to this link http://www.providentliving.org/content/list/0,11664,4177-1,00.html for meetings that you can attend.

    Love,
    Lds wife