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10 Warning Signs If You Suspect Your Husband Is Watching Porn

By April 22, 2020March 26th, 2024No Comments
watching porn

The evidence stared at Nanci*, almost defying her to accept it. She turned away, repulsed, sickened at the knowledge her husband was watching porn.

*names and story changed to provide anonymity

“How could he?” she raged. Then, tears fell. Hot agonizing spasms burst from deep within her soul. “He promised he’d stopped!”

Stunned, angry, wounded, Nanci continued to stare at the screen in front of her no longer able to deny the hard truth.

Sam* was watching pornography on the internet again. The history showed multiple sites over several months. And the strange charges on their credit card statement proved his addiction had now progressed from free-and-easily-available to paid sites. Other unknown charges made Nanci wonder what else he was hiding.

Women, like Nanci, who find themselves facing the hard truth their husband is watching porn, often wonder how they missed the signs.

But, it doesn’t surprise me anymore when I hear these stories. The pattern repeats with a few minor detail changes.

I asked the same question, “Why didn’t I know?”

The truth? I did know at some level. The signs were there; I simply skipped past them, not wanting to believe it.

So, if you suspect your husband is addicted to porn or even occasionally watching porn, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does your husband act secretively?

    When you ask him a typical question about his day, does he get defensive? If you sense he’s withholding information from you, pay attention. Trust your gut. There might or might not be something else going on. Don’t jump to conclusions, but pay closer attention. The worst thing you can do at this point is to nag him. Be vigilant and pray for wisdom and insight.

  1. Has his desire for sexual intimacy decreased?

    Often men addicted to porn lose their desire for sexual intimacy with their partners. Or, men can experience erectile dysfunction during a normal, non-porn related sexual encounter. This loss of interest isn’t about you. His increased pornography usage causes it. Because you aren’t new or novel, he loses interest.

  1. Does he expect you to participate in unusual or odd sexual activity against your consent?

    Because he’s watching porn, he loses the ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Often, a porn addict expects his partner to agree to behaviors such as bondage, rough-sex, or other actions that make you feel belittled or endangered. Being a loving wife doesn’t mean you must submit to this type of demand. You can say, “No,” if you feel uncomfortable.

  1. If you approach him while he’s at the computer, does he quickly turn it off or shut it down?

    Just like any addict, porn addicts often understand that what they’re doing isn’t right. Therefore, secrecy (see #1) demands he hide his behavior. If this happens, pay attention. Ask him from a place of love what he’s doing. If you don’t believe his response, then check the internet history later. Turning off the computer when you approach could mean he’s ordering a surprise for you for your birthday. But it could also be an indication of a problem.

  1. Does he seem depressed or angry?

    Any addict knows at some level that their addiction is not healthy. Often this leads to living a double life. The addict often lies to cover the addiction. Over time, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain those lies. Angry outbursts are common as a way to deflect discovery. Some addicts become depressed and withdrawn. Eventually, the addiction is revealed. But untangling the addiction takes time. Depending on the depth of the addiction, there can be other online relationships or even extramarital affairs involved.

  1. Does he prefer time on his computer over time with you?

    An addict in a deepening addiction often becomes more socially isolated. Does your husband give lame excuses for not wanting to spend time with you, other friends, or family members? Once in a while, after a busy week, this makes sense. But, if this behavior becomes the rule instead of the exception, something might be going on. Pay attention to the signs.

  1. Are there unexplained financial abnormalities?

    Like many addictions, pornography is progressive. While there is a disgusting amount of porn available for free online, eventually, a porn addict will spend to increase his sexual pleasure. According to CNBC.com, “. . . Every second $3,075 dollars are spent on adult content . . .” This article also explains that many view porn while at work. When they are caught, the consequences often involve losing their job. Some addicts become so obsessed they’re willing to pay to view what they consider higher quality content.

  1. Is your husband overly critical of your physical appearance?

    No woman alive can compete with the unrealistic and altered images of women in porn. Therefore, a porn addict may become hyper-critical of your appearance, weight, bust-size, and hair color. He might even criticize your sexual performance. Remember, his overly critical comments about your physical appearance have more to do with his addiction-biased intolerance for regular people than they do with your physical attributes.

  1. Have your husband’s hygiene habits changed?

    A real addict desires their addiction to the point of forgetting to eat, sleep, and follow standard hygiene patterns. Is your husband sleeping less? Does he seem unconcerned about showering as often as he used to? Does he grab his dinner and go back to the computer? Pay attention to these habit changes. Ask open-ended questions designed to gather information.

  1. Does your husband lose track of time, forgetting his other responsibilities?

    This behavior is another sign of a possible addiction. If your husband makes a promise to you or one of your children but never carries through because he’s at the computer, pay attention. Not only is this dishonoring, but he’s also breaking his promise. How does he respond when confronted with the broken promise? Note it. Talk with him about it. If anger or defensiveness erupts, he may be an addict.

I’m so sorry you’re confronted with the possibility your husband is watching porn.

Don’t you just want to scream and cry? Maybe even at the same time?!

However, I’m proud of you for gathering information about how to handle this serious problem. You’re not sticking your head in the sand even though it might be tempting to do so. Asking these questions is an essential and brave next step. Thinking through this list and praying for God’s guidance is critical for you and your marriage.

To download the free ebook 10 Warning Signs Your Gut Already Knows, complete this form.

 

TechCrunch reports a 300% increase in marital infidelity when one person in the relationship watches pornography. You aren’t wrong; this is a big deal.

Like other addictions, pornography can be used to self-medicate underlying issues such as depression, loneliness, estrangement, anxiety, sadness, or other mental health maladies. Whatever the root of the addiction, you and your husband need help to heal. Don’t wait for all ten signs, and I beg you, don’t ignore the signs. You are worth it. Your marriage and the shelter and stability that provides your children are worth it, too.

Please reach out for help. I’ve been there.

I used to wonder why God allowed this to happen to me. But years later, I began to see. My mission is to help women heal from the pain inflicted on us when our husband uses porn. I talk with women and coach them through practical steps, and often we work through my Aftershock Recovery Program together. There is healing. There is hope. I’m proud of you for looking for both.

 

  • Kirsten D Samuel

    I empower Christian wives to discover they are seen, loved, and heard. These women find the freedom to be who they are beyond their partner’s struggles, and find hope that there is a life worth living.

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