I recently received a mail from a woman (we’ll call her “Jennifer”) asking me for advice about her husband’s porn addiction. I don’t normally answer personal emails asking for advice — I get too many of them to answer and also would prefer questions answered on the blog, where other people can learn – but I empathized with her situation and thought I’d help her out. Also, she said it was okay to post it on the blog.
Here is the email she sent. If you want just the questions and my answers scroll down or click here.
I am writing with a question I am struggling with. My husband and I have been married for 7 years and have a nice marriage. I actually “caught” him watching porn and masturbating while on our honeymoon. We had a lot of major conversations but he assured me this would stop and was not a problem. I have always suspected this might still be happening at times and recently discovered that is still visiting endless porn sites everyday. He knows he has a problem and says he is almost relieved for it to be out.
I do truly believe he wants to change. Although I am so angry at him I love him and believe he wants to stop this. The question is will he be able to? Can you please answer the following quick questions for me so I can plan my next step to regaining trust? I appreciate it.
1. In your opinion is it ok for him to continue to have sex with me? His addiction was limited to pornography and didn’t involve straying sexually. In some ways I feel he has to abstain to reboot, but at the same time in this vulnerable time it is a perfect opportunity for sincere deep intimacy in our rebuilding. I long for that.
2. Is it imperative to stop viewing porn cold turkey altogether. He says this is his strategy; I just want to make sure this doesn’t set him up for failure because it is too drastic. Do you recommend the cold turkey or the weaning approach?
3. How much should I ask him about his addiction? All trust has been broken and I feel to start to heal I need a firm grasp of what was going on. Or do I? It feels so intrusive to ask him down and dirty questions.