Rebuilding Trust after My Husband Had an Addiction to Pornography

If you have discovered that your husband is addicted to pornography, the sense of betrayal you feel may be devastating. (See this article at Covenant Eyes for more on this.)  How do you rebuild your trust in your husband? How do you open yourself up again to sexual and emotional intimacy?

Today’s post comes from Robi Smith, who writes at Hopeful Wife Today. She shares about her journey from the discovery of porn toward a healing marriage.



How do you rebuild your trust in your husband after discovering a porn problem? How do you open yourself up again to sexual and emotional intimacy?


Guest Post by Robi Smith at

After ten years of marriage, I discovered that my husband had a secret addiction to pornography. I was completely clueless about this addiction. After knowing that I wanted to stay married to him, I knew we had a lot of work to do in our marriage. Before this discovery I realized that we were living in a fake relationship. In other words, we were two broken people that kept our true selves hidden. We thought we were in love and that we had a wonderful marriage. However, underneath this, we were both suffering.

My husband’s problem with pornography obviously seems like the worst sin of our marriage. This may or may not be the case. I am not the one to judge our sins. Only Jesus can do that. The severity of our individual sins does not have meaning to our marriage. We are committed to following God’s will for our life and restoring our relationship to each other. We have decided to move ahead and not focus on the past hurts.

I hurt my husband in many ways also. God has shown me that I was never truly intimate with my husband. I kept myself closed off from him. I knew I loved God and my children with all my heart. Yet, with my own husband, I kept myself distant. I could never even count the amount of times that I denied him of sexual intimacy. I looked at spending time with him as a miserable chore. I was so busy and I could always think of ten more useful to things to do with my time. I clearly remember being relieved to have completed that chore.

It’s awful to think that I was that person. I was a woman that hated being sexually intimate. I just couldn’t find it in myself to trust another person in that deep way. The truth is that I never trusted my husband emotionally either. I never wanted to risk sharing my true heart and self with him. It just seemed to be too much.

In the same way, my husband could not bring himself to share who he really was with me. I saw him as a happy, confident, Godly man. Inside, he was deeply hurting and stuck in sin. He brought his pornography addiction into our marriage. It was something that had long been a part of his life. Something that he tried so hard to beat, but never could. He knew he could not tell me who he really was. He knew I would be disgusted and disappointed that he was such a weak man. He knew I would be crushed to find out he lusted over other women.

Then, God interceded. God opened my eyes to who my husband truly was. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever experienced. Only through God’s grace and love did I get through it. I admit that I could have stayed “stuck” in that pain forever. But, God didn’t want me there. He lovingly opened my eyes to the ways I had treated my husband and caused him pain. As my husband fully opened his life to me, I began to trust him. When I saw that he was a real person, who struggled and was vulnerable, it made me more willing to trust him. I was able to open my heart to him. As that happened, I started to look forward to and enjoy sexual intimacy. God was working miracles in our marriage.

Rebuilding trust has been a long path. We decided that we wanted to give it our all. My husband and I sat down and made a plan for what we needed to do in order to restore our marriage. The number one thing that we do is our nightly time together to talk, read, and pray. We never had this before in our marriage. Now, we consider it essential to do every day. This is a time that we spend twenty minutes together at the table. First, we talk about our day. We share the things that went great and the things that were disappointing. I am also free to ask him any questions that I need to ask. Second, we read the Bible and an inspirational book together. This is usually a devotional or Christian marriage book. Third, we come to God in prayer. We pray over our marriage and the things that we need from each other. This time has helped us to rebuild trust immensely.

Having an internet filter has helped me to trust my husband again. Not just having the filter, but also the fact that my husband has found other activities to do besides internet browsing. We agreed that aimless internet browsing was not good for our marriage. Therefore, we limit internet time to work related issues. Any extra things on the internet that we need to do are mostly done together. Also, my husband has openly shared all passwords and accounts with me.

Going to bed at the same time was very important for our marriage. I wish I had valued this always. I never realized that it could be tempting for a man to be up late hours at night with full, anonymous access to the internet. Now, I know how important it is to go to sleep at the same time. My husband viewed most of pornography late at night. Taking away that free time was an enormous help for him to overcome his addiction. Our marriage has also been blessed from this! When we go to bed together, we have time to talk and be with each other.

Spending time together has helped grow our marriage. We were drifting very far apart from each other. We had stopped having fun together. Now, we take time out to have fun. We share our activities instead of having only separate hobbies. We are truly being together for the first time.

The Bible says,

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

We believe this with all our hearts. Not only is God making us new people individually, but He is making our marriage something new. And it’s something beautiful.

hopefulwifetoday.comRobi Smith is a wife and mother to four wonderful children. She has been married for thirteen years. Robi has a Master of Counseling in Counseling Psychology and is the founder of She aims to bring God’s hope and healing to hurting wives from their husband’s pornography use and unfaithfulness. She is continuing to see God’s restoring power every day in her life and in her own marriage.

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13 Comments on “Rebuilding Trust after My Husband Had an Addiction to Pornography”

  1. Chris, Robi is so spot on. All the thing she listed are all very powerful words of wisdom for not only rebuilding trust but very helpful for those wives who do choose to stand by their husband and be a helpmate as well.

    I praise God that their marriage is restored and flourishing with Him at the center.

    Of course, I had to share this on Resurrecting The Redeemed From Porn Addiction 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing the post. It isn’t easy to stand with a husband after a sin like this–but the journey of walking through healing together can strengthen their intimacy in the long run.

  2. One of the things this post touched on was that the husband brought his pornography addiction into the marriage. This is much more common than I think most wives realize. Even if a wife knows that her husband or soon-to-be husband has watched porn, she should not assume that he will stop after they get married.

    It’s the biggest secret that husbands keep from their wives. The fact that, with or without porn, a these men will “take care of themselves” when they are alone, or stressed, or feeling rejected, or for many other reasons. It’s still not healthy for a man, or the marriage, to keep secrets like this from his wife, so he should come to terms and seek to stop this behavior.

    Young men are watching porn as early as age 8, and start masturbating on average between ages 11 and 14. By adulthood, they already have a well formed habit and addiction to reliving themselves that it does not stop even after beginning a relationship or even getting married.

    This is definitely a topic of discussion couples need to have. It takes awareness, prayer, and a serious commitment to transition into a healthy intimacy within marriage.

    1. Lead Your Marriage,
      Your comment is so accurate. It would be a blessing if this problem was brought to light for new marriages so that the husband and wife could help each other from these struggles. However, there is so much shame and guilt involved.

    2. Even if a wife knows that her husband or soon-to-be husband has watched porn, she should not assume that he will stop after they get married.

      Sadly, I think men also assume they will no longer be tempted by porn once they marry.

      1. You’re absolutely right, most men do think that after they get married. The guilt and shame they feel from succumbing to temptation is something that they’ll keep hidden for years on end.

        Most couples don’t go to any pre-marital counseling… the better ones would address these issues and financial issues up front before a couple is united.

  3. A little off topic, I suppose, but I’ve been reflecting on this today and thought it may be worth sharing. This is the second post on recovering from a porn addiction I have seen today and I think sometimes Satan is trying to use a good thing like these posts (keep ’em coming, let’s bring this to the light!) to cast doubt in my own heart regarding my marriage. Today I found myself thinking, “These women trusted their husbands. Each thought they knew him. And he betrayed her. Who is to say my husband isn’t next!” That is why I so appreciate this wife’s view as she turns the finger back on herself and points out some of the ways she hurt her husband too, including closing herself off to true intimacy. I think that Satan may be tempting me to do the same. “Maybe your husband can’t be trusted after all. Close off your heart, just in case.”

    So today I am taking a step back to dwell on the fact that my husband is a good, God-fearing man and my husband loves me and our kids dearly; even an act of betrayal like porn cannot change those things about him. I have no reason to suspect my husband and I am not going to let Satan tell me otherwise. Today I choose to remain open and vulnerable, seeking true intimacy with my husband, knowing that he will let me down in little or big ways, but God ultimately has my heart in His hands. I am safe. And I am so, so thankful for my marriage today, and Satan himself cannot convince me to be anything else.

    Thank you for sharing this wife’s story! I am so thankful it is not my own.

    1. This is the second post on recovering from a porn addiction I have seen today and I think sometimes Satan is trying to use a good thing like these posts (keep ’em coming, let’s bring this to the light!) to cast doubt in my own heart regarding my marriage.

      I usually figure it is God trying to get our attention. Maybe he wants us to examine ourselves and think about what it means to love a husband through his sin while God takes care of our hearts.

      The enemy is an enemy of marriage. Stay strong!

  4. This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing, I am so encouraged! God has done something similar for us as well.

  5. Kay – I have recently been dealing with this line of thinking straight from satna, as well. My marriage has been thriving after the changes I made sexually, and I have been spreading the word about how sexual frequency and closeness can work miracles. But the past few weeks, I have been feeling mistrustful again and fighting the fear of being betrayed because my closet friend found out some terrible things about her husband (he may end up in prison for these things; they are not minor offenses). She filed for divorce today. I have been fighting to remember that my husband is NOT her husband, and he has shown himself trustworthy over almost 20 years. I’m reminding myself that even if the worst were to happen, God is still good and He will still take care of me. It’s amazing how our enemy takes every opportunity to attempt to ruin what God is building! Take courage.

    1. It is hard to watch a friend go through something so horrific, and it’s normal to use that as an occasion to examine our own situations. I am so glad your marriage continues to thrive and that you are seeking God’s protection of that marriage.

  6. There are those who are also not truly addicted, and as such, may view themselves as “untouched” by viciousness of porn. Even these occasional viewers need to realize the damage that is taking place. Any time something is done in the darkness of concealment, we should carefully examine ourselves as to why we are concealing the action. If one’s spouse is not enough to meet one’s desires, both the desires and the why not need to be scrutinized. There are even those more unusual cases that a spouse willingly condones and even supports the other’s porn use.
    Porn use is basically sin. We can’t really walk around it. A Christian engaging in it must realize this and deal with it accordingly. Having escaped from the realm of the occasional user, I am understanding in the reasons behind its use, but not in a failure to address it.

    That means bringing it out into the light of day and stepping on it, together as a couple by discussing and dealing with the underlying causes in a loving and open manner and a humble heart.

    A marriage has no room in it for porn.

  7. Thank you very much for being open. I thought we made progress, i thought that i could trust him again, but yesterday he displayed an irritable behaviour towards me, i didn’t understand where it came from, but then i remember all the previous times i witnessed this kind of behaviour my husband watched porn again, he would be “clean” for 3 months or so but then one day he watches porn. I don’t judge him know what it’s like to have this addiction before we were married i had sexual relationships and i was never satisfied then i would watch porn and masturbate, so i know the struggle and he knows this, i just wish that he would be open and honest with me because this is how you overcome, but talking when you fall not hiding it.

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