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I Feel Betrayed by My Wife’s Secret Porn Habit. What Do I Do?

“I have felt crushed and devastated ever since I found out. I feel like I can never trust her when she’s home alone. I don’t know what to do anymore.”

By August 11, 2021No Comments

Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to real lives.

We recently received this true story from a man who has been devastated by his wife's porn-viewing habits. Some stories, like this one, show how porn can drive a wedge between partners and take the spice right out of the relationship.

FTND,

I was just reading your article about what porn does to a partner and felt like I should share my story. For years, my wife has been very distant and not very intimate with me.

A while ago, in an attempt to spice things up in our relationship, I introduced sex toys to try and get her more interested. After a while, she acted like she didn’t like them so we stopped using them and I locked them away.

One day I noticed things were out of place, and found that these items had been used. I asked my wife about them and she denied knowing anything about it. All I could say was, I hope the kids aren’t getting into them. Keep in mind that my wife has always been very sensitive about nudity on TV.

Related: Renowned Relationship Therapists Drs. Julie & John Gottman Release “Open Letter On Porn”

She would always act really offended and be quick to change the channel/movie whenever it popped up. Anyways, as time went on, she was getting less and less intimate with me. But I kept noticing that the toys were still being used and that it was only when I was gone.

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Eventually, she’s gotten to the point that she is denying me sex and finds reasons to stay home alone. When I leave, she will immediately run to the bedroom.

Finally, as a last resort, I planted a camera in our bedroom to figure out what was going on. (FTND note: we do not recommend partners spy or snoop on their significant other.)

Related: Why I Finally Stopped Watching Porn After I Saw How It Affected My Partner

I ended up catching her watching porn a few times a week. It all came to head and no matter what I try, she won’t talk to me about it or work on it with me. All she says is that it was my fault for introducing the sex toys in the first place.

I have felt crushed and devastated ever since I found out. I feel like I can never trust her when she’s home alone. I don’t know what to do anymore.

– M.

Store - General

Porn affects everyone

First off: we’re not here to tell anyone what to do with their relationship, control their sexual choicesor provide shame. But what we can do is give you a frank look a how porn can hurt relationships.

Every couple is different, has unique standards, and has its own set of boundaries. It’s not our job as an organization to dictate what people’s rules and boundaries are in a relationship, but we do exist to educate on the harmful effects of porn and the harms it can have in relationships, including when one partner in a relationship watches it after agreeing not to.

Also, as a reminder, as an organization, we don’t encourage partners to spy or snoop on each other.

Related: Is My Partner’s Porn Habit Harming Our Relationship, Or Am I Just Insecure?

What this guy’s story shows is that porn isn’t just a “guy problem,” it’s an everyone problem.

This story is just one of thousands of messages we get from significant others across the world, hurt by their partner’s porn habit. Not only is science proving that pornography harms the individual by impacting the brain, harming relationships, and deeply affecting attitudes about sex, but several studies have found that partners of porn consumers suffer as well. These partners often report feeling loss, betrayal, mistrust, devastation, and anger when they learn that the other half of their committed relationship has been using porn. Many show physical symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Again, we hope this story really puts into perspective that porn is not just a guy/boyfriend/husband issue. It’s an everyone issue. The second episode of Fight the New Drug’s three-part documentary series, “The Heart,” shines a light on porn’s effects on relationships. Check out the trailer, here:

With the increased availability of internet porn in the last decade, women are becoming active on porn sites. According to this 2018 study, an estimated 91.5% of men and 60.2% of women consume pornography.

And get this: a popular porn site came out with stats that say that 1 in 3 of the site’s consumers are women. According to their data, women are spending more time watching porn, and they’re checking out more hardcore genres of porn.

It’s important to know that regardless of what your reaction to a partner’s porn habit might be, research has also clearly demonstrated it is harmful to relationshipsIt’s okay to not be okay with your partner’s porn habit. It’s also best not to shame your partner, regardless of what your or their feelings about porn may be.

Related: Is Secretly Watching Porn Cheating On Your Partner?

Even though porn is not a harmless pastime, especially when it’s hurting a romantic partner, studies show that shame is not an effective way to motivate someone to change.Brown, B. (2012). Understanding and combating shame. Daring greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead. Avery.COPY  According to one study of individuals trying to quit porn, researchers found that shame actually predicted increased pornography consumption while guilt predicted sustainable change.Gilliland, R., South, M., Carpenter, B. N., & Hardy, S. A. (2011). The roles of shame and guilt in hypersexual behavior. 18(1), 12-29. doi:10.1080/10720162.2011.551182COPY 

So if you’re trying to give up porn, be kind to yourself and be patient with your progress. Like anything, it takes time for the brain to recover, but daily efforts make a big difference in the long run.

Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with pornography, you are not alone. Check out Fortify, a science-based recovery platform dedicated to helping you find lasting freedom from pornography. Fortify now offers a free experience for both teens and adults. Connect with others, learn about your unwanted porn habit, and track your recovery journey. There is hope—sign up today.

Fortify

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