When a Husband is Addicted to Porn | Hope for LDS Women

Jan 11, 2012 by

"Gently Up the Stream" -- painting representing porn addiction healing process

“Gently Up the Stream” – © 2003 by Linda J Curley Christensen
Used by permission of the artist. For reflections on this painting and addiction recovery, see this post.

~by Michelle

I admit it. As a website manager, I usually love looking at our site’s analytics. I’m always interested to see what kinds of questions people are asking about Mormon life and beliefs, and enjoy a glimpse into what LDS readers are looking for as well.

But I confess that when this site was launched four years ago, I wasn’t prepared for some of the questions we’d get on a regular basis. Some of them break my heart. For example, following is a sampling of some of the phrases that show up in our Mormon Women analytics:

“how to deal with spouse addiction”
“how to recover from having a husband addicted to porn”
“lds 12 step women support group”
“my husband’s porn addiction is killing my feelings”
“partners of sex addicts support groups”

As I noted in Monday’s post, Mormons are not immune from hard problems, and this is an example of that reality. But the blessing of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that, because of Jesus Christ, there is always hope!

If you are one of the women searching for support and information as you face the challenge of a spouse with a sex/pornography addiction, please, please know that your questions don’t go unnoticed. In fact, because of the consistency and frequency of such searches, I’ve spent a significant amount of time over the last year trying to find people who can address the topic of pornography addiction recovery, either from personal experience, or from a professional point of view. I’m regularly asking them to help respond to questions, emails, and comments from readers (for example, see the many comments on this post: How can I deal with my husband’s pornography addiction?).

And while we’ve tried to touch on this topic on our site, I keep feeling that more needs to be done.

Last night, I spent over an hour on the phone with Elisa, CEO of Mormon Mommy Blogs (MMB). She has also been planning to do more on her site for wives of sex and pornography addicts who are feeling alone, hopeless, unsure of what to do.

We decided that we wanted to work together to help spouses of porn addicts find support, information, hope, and healing. (We hope those who are dealing with addiction themselves will benefit from our efforts as well…and we know some of those people are women.)

On our sites, we will be sharing personal stories of women and men, spouses and addicts, who have walked the path of recovery. You’ll hear more about the truths and principles that have helped them find hope and healing through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. You’ll learn about the plethora of resources and information available to help those who are currently facing this challenge — and also to help parents, community leaders, and others who want to become more educated about pornography addiction and addiction recovery from a preventative point of view.

We hope that as more people are willing to share, talk about, and become educated about the hope of recovery from pornography and sex addiction, we’ll be able to build a community of Latter-day Saints and others with similar values who can wrap their arms around our brothers and sisters who are facing this challenge. We also hope that armed with information and increased faith, we can each be more proactive in our own spheres of influence to help thwart and prevent the devastating effects of the plague of pornography.

In a 2009 BYU Women’s Conference address (“Nourishing and Protecting the Family“), Sister Julie B. Beck, General President of the Relief Society, said the following:

We have a huge problem in our families with pornography and the influence that it is having in our families. The powerful feeling that has been coming over me is, “Sisters, fight—fight, sisters.”

Will you join us in the good fight?

  • If you are struggling right now with this challenge, either as an addict or a spouse of an addict, we urge you to reach out for help and support. Talk to your bishop. Find a 12-step group (LDS Addiction Recovery (PASG) or Family Support groups, S-Anon, Al-Anon (principles are similar to S-Anon). Consider getting a therapist. Connect with others who have walked this path and who know what is needed for recovery. (If you don’t know anyone who has dealt with this, feel free to email me at mormonwomen(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll forward your request on to women who have walked this path (or professionals who have helped others in your situation) who have offered to help.)
  • If you have a personal story of recovery to share, please email Elisa at elisa(at)mormonmommyblogs(dot)com or email me at mormonwomen(at)gmail(dot)com. You can also submit stories directly via MMB here. (If you have your own blog, you can share in that way, too…just let us know where to find you.) As you write, please let our readers know what truths or principles have helped you face difficulties and hold onto hope through your journey of recovery.
  • If you are an LDS therapist experienced in helping people (spouses or addicts) in the process of addiction recovery, a representative of a non-profit organization (or blog/website) that provides education and resources on the topics of pornography and sex addiction, or you have helpful information or ideas to share, please let us know.
  • If you have access to social media, we invite you to help us help others by sharing information and requests for submissions via your blogs, Facebook accounts, Twitter, and other social media. Also, again, if you have a blog or website that addresses this topic, let us know so that we could consider it as a resource to share with others.

Of course, we’ll still be having our regular content on each of our sites, but we are excited to join together (and, we hope, join with others — with you!) to spread the message of hope to addicts and loved ones alike, and to build faith in the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ…because we all need Him. We all need His help, and because of Him, we all can have hope, regardless of the trials we face.

As Elisa says on MMB: “Let’s populate the Internet with hope, people. Let’s use it for good.”

 

9 Comments

  1. Casha R

    Kudos on your attempt to fight porn addiction among Mormon men. I personally know one man who did overcome this addiction, albeit via a long and quite difficult road he had to travel to get where he is today.

    Unfortunately I wasn’t strong enough to overcome my ex-husband’s addiction to porn… which is why he’s my ex-husband.

  2. mormonwomen

    Casha, I’m sorry to hear about what you have been through. Unfortunately, many marriages do end because of this addiction.

    I don’t want to make your pain any worse, but I think it’s important for people to know, however, that many addicts do find recovery. Many marriages are able to stay intact, too.

    I want to clarify something, too, about this post. While we will share resources for addicts as well, our goal is not to ‘fight porn addiction among men’ but rather to help women know that they can find healing, and that they *need* to seek for that healing.

    I hope you have had a chance to find the support and help you need to heal from what you have been through; even though the marriage is over, your own personal journey of healing may not be. I hope you will stay tuned for the stories and resources we will share. Maybe something will be of help to you, too.

  3. Anna

    Its been 10yrs since I lost the battle with my exes addiction. I’m remarred to a wonderful man…. But I’m still haunted.

  4. no-name

    I just want to echo that I know it is possible for an addict to recover. My husband is on his way there, but I’m not comfortable saying he is there yet. At first I thought it was my fault and my responsibility. Since then I have learned to turn it over to Christ and allow the atonement to heal us. I am so grateful that my husband was willing to take responsibility for his actions, work hard to resist temptation and be fully honest with me. Unfortunately not all are willing to do that, but I know that by handing it over to Christ we can find comfort, healing and understanding.

  5. Anonymous

    This is a very tender topic as I found this post while trying to find some sense and hope for my current situation. I am 33 weeks pregnant with a 2 year old ay home. At 20 weeks, I found out that my baby has a congenital heart defect which will result in several surgeries after birth.

    My marriage has always struggled, but I love my husband more then anything and with this devastating need, we grew closer.

    About two weeks ago, he tells me he doesn’t love me, has never really loved me and no longer wants to be w part of this marriage. After much back and forth, he has decided to stay until our baby is born and then leave. In the meantime, he has agreed to seek counseling with the guidance of our bishop. This decision made me hopeful for a change of heart. After his first appointment today, he revealed that he is seeing this counselor for his addiction to pornography. He says his feelings for me have still not changed and he still plans to leave me with s toddler and newborn baby with severe illness.

    I hsve found comfort in my Heavenly Father through prayer but am heartbroken. I am seeing w counselor but with the coming of our baby right around the corner, I don’t see my husband changing his heart or mind.

  6. patient woman

    I am a woman who learned only truly of her husbands addiction to porn a few years ago around the same time my husband was diagnosed with severe depression and whilst I can say it has been a very trying, challenging time which often seems like a blur. I can say I feel he is moving forward and our relationship most of the time is moving forward. Sometimes we just have to take it a day at a time. I realised recently that the lord blessed me with extreme patience and its not until this stage in my life that I understand why.

  7. Anonymous –
    My heart aches for you… it sounds like your husband is just done being married and perhaps it’s what is needed for him to get his act together? I would suggest that you put things on the back burner for now because right now, your baby and your other sweet one need their mommy. I’m not saying go into denial about things or just ignore things because that’s not healthy. However, the time and energy needs to be spent on taking of your kids and you right now. While I am glad (as you seem to be glad) that he is not going to leave until after the baby is born, that has got to hurt like nothing else. I hope that you and he will sit down together and figure out what he needs to do (be specific!) to support you, the newborn and the little child when he leaves. He is responsible for helping bringing them into the world, he needs to accept responsibility for maintaining and nurting those sweet spirits for a lifetime.

    Has he considered perhaps just doing a separation? Rather than doing the divorce thing? Has he given you any reasons why he’s not in love with you? Why he says he’s done with the marriage? In looking back, have there been any signs?Are you guys doing any type of marital counseling together?

    I know I’ve asked a lot of questions and you’re not obligated to share your answers. I ask because sometimes we just need to get our minds thinking in a different track in order to begin our own healing process, you know? Again, focus on your wee ones. I’ll add you to my prayers. Dealing with one’s porn addictions is hard enough without everything else. If you want to contact me, please do so. I’m here to help.

  8. Hi,
    You mentioned “again, if you have a blog or website that addresses this topic, let us know so that we could consider it as a resource to share with others.” I think you would be interested in a number of the free resources at covenanteyes.com (Covenant Eyes provides Internet accountability and filtering):
    1. an e-book “Hope After Porn – restoring marriages after porn” (http://www.covenanteyes.com/hope-after-porn-how-their-marriages-were-saved/)
    2. e-book called “Porn and your husband – a recovery guide” (http://www.covenanteyes.com/marriage-advice-my-husband-watches-porn/)
    3. numerous blog entries at
    http://www.covenanteyes.com/blog/
    4. for more info, contact Luke Gilkerson, luke.gilkerson@covenanteyes.com

  9. Ron, thanks for sharing those free resources. We appreciate the work that Covenant Eyes does.

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