Healing from your husband's porn habit

Wives are often the silent victims of their husbands' porn habit. These tips will help you heal and find courage along the way.

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  • Wives are often the silent victims of their husbands' pornography habit. As a wife, you feel hurt by his porn habit and want to talk to someone about it. After all, someone might have some good advice or have something that can help you. But you feel like you can't talk to any relatives about it because there might be some backlash. Whoever you tell could tell others in your family and that could create awkwardness for years to come.

  • You've thought about talking to a friend, but they might tell your other friends. And this could cause awkwardness for years to come, too. You'd like to talk to someone, but no matter who you tell they're going to think less of your husband. And you don't want your husband to go through even more embarrassment while he's trying to fix his habit. So you just stay silent.

  • There's only one problem: That pain and hurt you feel every time he views porn isn't going away. And those endless questions you have aren't being answered, either. So here are some tips that can help you heal from your husband's pornography habit.

  • 1. Remember, he's not a monster

  • You’ve heard the horror stories about the connection between viewing pornography and sexual crimes, but don’t assume the worst. In fact, statistics are in your favor, so don't let unfounded fears ruin your relationship. Just because your husband views pornography doesn’t mean he’s a monster.

  • 2. Find support. It's OK to talk to others

  • As mentioned before, wives are often the silent victims of their husbands' pornography habit. But that doesn't mean you have to be silent. There are friends and relatives you can talk to who will help as you struggle with it. Yes, it might have consequences on him if you tell others, but that's his responsibility for viewing porn, not yours.

  • Remember, don't let yourself go off on an angry rant to anybody who will listen. The purpose of talking to others isn't to make him pay. The purpose is to help you heal. Find people you can talk to and who you feel will be supportive of you.

  • 3. Don't blame yourself

  • A lot of wives often (unintentionally) blame themselves for their spouses' pornography habit. They think that if they were prettier or more adventurous in the bedroom that their spouse wouldn't want to look at porn.

  • Thinking this way suggests that you're the underlying cause of his wanting to view pornography. And it indirectly puts the responsibility on you. After all, all you need to do is be prettier or more adventurous, and he will stop. Remember, his habit is his habit. He's the one responsible to stop it, and he's the only one who can do the work to stop it. Even if he makes comments that he wishes you were prettier or more adventurous, don't let yourself be blamed. Be confident in who you are. And let him take ownership for his problem. Not only does this take some weight off your shoulders but it helps him fix his habit, too.

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  • 4. Allow yourself freedom from his habit

  • Because you want to help your husband overcome his habit, you want to do whatever you can to help him stop. So you feel nervous to go out of town or go out with your friends in case he gets triggered and ends up viewing porn. And a lot of times after you find out he viewed pornography again, you feel guilty that you ever went out in the first place.

  • Remember, his choices are his choices, and he can't lean on you every time he feels tempted. Again, his habit isn't your responsibility. He needs to learn how to get control of himself, and you both need to live the functional lives you want to live without feeling directed or controlled by his habit. Give yourself the freedom to live the life you want to live without much thought for how it will affect his habit.

  • 5. Look for any vulnerabilities in the relationship

  • After you've stopped blaming yourself and given yourself freedom from his habit, go ahead and look at any vulnerabilities in the relationship. Remember, his habit is his. And he has to take responsibility for it. But that doesn't mean there aren't vulnerabilities in the relationship that you can help with.

  • Your focus here is on vulnerabilities in the relationship. Not vulnerabilities that are leading him to view porn. You can address these vulnerabilities and make your relationship better regardless of whether he quits viewing pornography or not. It will only make your relationship better. And it may even help him stop viewing pornography. But the intent isn't to get him to stop — only to make your relationship better.

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Aaron Anderson is a therapist and Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. He is a writer, speaker and relationship expert. Checkout his blog for expert information on how to improve your relationship.

Website: http://www.TheMarriageandFamilyClinic.com

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