My husband of 5 years is addicted to pornography. He told me about it while we were dating but I thought it would be a non-issue if we married because then his needs would be met within the marriage. It didn’t even occur to me that this would carry on into marriage.
My husband has not viewed it in months. He has been advised to talk to me because a wife can be an addict’s best support. But when he tells me deep pain comes with it. I feel greatly betrayed, heartache and sorrow to the point where I can’t hide it while he is opening up. He feels anger and resentment towards me for not supporting him. I want to support him in all his righteous efforts but I feel so much pain from it. I don’t understand how I can support him on something that is hurting me so much. I don’t know how to not be hurt. Do you have any advice?
I am sorry that you and many others like you are hurting because of a spouse’s addiction and/or habits with pornography. You have asked how can you not be hurt and that is a very hard question to answer in the limited space we have. I would recommend that you try to find a support group for people whose spouses are struggling with this issue. In such a group you can begin to understand that you are very much not alone with this problem and see how others are handling it to get better ideas and understanding.
I will seek to address but one issue of the many that are present here. You need to understand that your spouse’s porn use is not about you. Let me repeat that. It is not about you. You think it is. You thought that marriage would make the problem go away. It did not and so now you take every relapse of your husband as a personal failure with you. You assume that if you were only sexier, more desirable, more skilled, or whatever, then your husband would have no desire for anything else. This is the wrong messages to be telling yourself and I believe it is a big cause for why it hurts you so much.
But it is not about you, you can not make this magically go way for your husband. If he is addicted then he has re-wired his brain chemistry to respond and seek out the stimulus of porn. It was done before you met and it will most likely take professional help to undo it.
If it is not at the level of addiction, then it is most likely that your husband has turned to it to cope with stress and feel like he has some measure of control over his life. Add to that a strong sex drive and your husband has a habit whose underlying cause is masked. The need to deal with stress and feel like you have some control over your life many times become even more important after you are married then it was before. If this is the case then your husband has poor coping skills and needs to learn new ones before the problem can really go away. Because in times of stress he will turn to what he knows works until he learns a better way.
Hopefully as you learn that your husband’s faults in this issue are not your fault you will be able to gain the insight needed to be less hurt by your husband’s struggles. Then when your pain is much lesser and you understand it is up to him and not you, then you are in a better position support him in his effort to break free. Encouraging scripture study, prayer, both individually and together, plus just being there for him can go a long way to help him get free of this problem, but you need to have a better understanding of what it is you can and can not do for him.