You can see in your spouse’s eyes that something is wrong. His eyes shift nervously to different things in the room but never meet yours. She opens her mouth to speak, but no words come out. Whether you are the wife or the husband waiting for your spouse to tell you what’s worrying them, you become concerned. And then they hit you sideways with a mumbled statement,
“I have something to tell you…I watch porn.”
They could have run you through with a knife—emotions you can’t verbalize pulse through your head – disbelief, betrayal, hurt, anger.
Let’s freeze the moment right here. You are faced with a choice. The choice is how you respond to the information that you’ve just heard. The decision you make could either help your marriage or harm it.
1. Acknowledge your feelings
And, if I’m guessing right, there are a lot! At this point, I would encourage you not to speak them out loud to your spouse. Believe me, if you open the floodgates of your emotions, they will pour out in a torrent. Determine to sit down at a later stage without your spouse present, journaling them, praying, and processing them.
2. Do not get visibly angry or shame your spouse
It took your spouse real guts to bring up this topic because they’re ashamed. They knew it would upset you. But, they chose to tell you. It is a cry for help! It is an admittance of offense. It would have been much easier to keep this in the dark. Although knowing you would not approve, they came to you! If you respond in anger or disgust, they will slink back into porn on the sly and retreat from you.
3. Ask how you can help
If you calmly respond with an offer to help, it will be a huge burden lifted from your spouse knowing that they are not in this alone. It will be much easier for them to open up when they transgress if your spouse knows they won’t get a biting remark each time they tell you. They are more likely to be open and honest with you about lots of things in the future if they know you have their back! Tell your spouse that you are on their side and stand beside them in war, not against them.
4. Ask what methods they plan to put in place
There are several accountabilities and filtering software available. Accountability software sends a list of websites visited to your chosen accountability partner’s email address. Filtering software sieves through websites and blocks access to sketchy ones. It’s a good idea to have both. Encourage them to find someone who will hold them accountable, check up on them regularly and ask the hard questions – preferably not you. (This does not mean, however, that they should hide things from you.) Encourage them to physically remove themselves from the device if they are tempted and do something else. Get them to identify trigger points and times of the day they are prone to give in.
5. Provide for your spouse’s sexual needs
This is important. If you are “too busy” or “too tired” to make sex a regular part of your week, they may look elsewhere to fulfill that need. Make sure you are giving them everything they need from your side. If you leave it until late at night or delay it because you “don’t feel like it today,” it won’t happen! If you have to schedule it into your week. Choose times each week where you both prioritize it and push everything else off the agenda.
6. Find someone (only one person) you can talk to
You might get to the end of this post and say, “Well, what about me?!? I feel so hurt, so betrayed and so angry!” I don’t blame you! I’ve been there. It hurts! It’s incredibly hard not to blurt out everything you’re feeling! And your spouse does need to know that you are hurting and upset. But it is important not to tell them until you have had time to process, pray, and vent. Get all the hard-core feelings out and then speak to them when you are in control! Find someone you trust who will not tell others or fuel your anger and hurt but rather be a kind and listening ear.
This is not an easy thing to handle. Not for you or your spouse. But finding a strength that you can only get from God and constructively dealing with this can save your marriage if you fight alongside each other. It will be a long, hard road with hurdles and mistakes along the way. But it can be overcome if you both give it your all!
Resources found at https://x3watch.com/ and https://www.break-free.co.za/resourcesRead More