If my husband really loved me, he would stop using pornography.
This is a recurring thought many women have when they find their husband has been cheating on them with pornography, perhaps even for many years. It is crushing and confusing when the person you love most – who may even be a good father to your children! – continues to break your heart and keeps going back to using pornography. Even after you have told him how his betrayal makes you feel, he continues to hide his pornography use, and then lies about it, which makes it worse.
Let’s dig a little deeper to see what is really going on with your husband’s pornography addiction. What happens to a garden when left unattended for a couple weeks? Weeds sprout up, and it takes additional time to remove the weeds and get back to a well-groomed garden. Likewise, when your husband was a young man, perhaps even a child, emotional weeds started to sprout. Maybe it was his mother’s yelling, his father’s absence, or any number of other stressors that caused increased nervousness, a lack of motivation, or simply a longing to be loved.
Now let’s suppose when he was about 11 years old, with ready access to magazines found at a friend’s house, your husband thought he found something that would cut the weeds of anxiety and depression out of his life. That something was pornography.
But, like all weeds that are simply cut, instead of being pulled out by the roots, his unsettled feelings came back even stronger now. Then, over time, his attempts with pornography to quiet those feelings soon became a consuming weed itself.
Little did he know then that his unhealthy attempts to find peace and belonging would poison his perspective about sexuality that would eventually threaten his relationship with his future wife.
This is where we circle back to our opening question: “What do I do if my husband keeps using pornography?” Ideally, your husband would come in and replace his unhealthy coping tools (pornography use, anger, shutting down, etc.) with deep intimacy toward you and a kind connection with your children. These tools would enable him to deal with his stress in a much more effective way.
Unfortunately, men coming in for help is not as common as we would hope. However, in working with many women over the years, I have found that it is possible for them to find peace and hope even if their husband does not participate in his own individual counseling or initially join her in marriage counseling.
Together, in session, you and I can learn how to replace your “weeds” of hurt, betrayal, lies, deceit, and anger with . . .
Peace – not feeling like you have to check his phone all the time.
Hope – that maybe there is a chance to save your marriage!
Confidence – you can know that you have done nothing wrong.
I can also provide you with an understanding of some specific things you can do now that will give your husband the best chance at coming back to you and your children, enabling you to savor the happy life you hoped for.
Please contact us today so we can start gardening!