Hope for Purity - Support for those Wounded
Pornography Use by a Spouse:
Finding out your spouse is using pornography can lead to intense feelings of shock, hurt, anger, and betrayal. Learning the truth about duration of use and the powerful hold pornography has over your loved one’s life can be overwhelming. As painful and confusing as it may be to sort through your feelings, a willingness to learn about the addictive nature of pornography will prove essential to your healing, your spouse’s recovery, and rebuilding of trust within your marriage. This journey will not be easy. Remembering that marriage is a sacrament, knowing that God is an ever-present part of your marriage providing strength, hope, and love, you can find the perseverance to heal. In His time, both you and your spouse will grow stronger individually, as a couple, and in your commitment to a healthy, holy marriage.
Your First Steps
- Join a support group and/or see a therapist
You may be feeling any number of strong emotions or you might just be numb, but you don’t have to be alone. Others have been where you are and have found healing and support. While your spouse seeks out his or her own recovery for pornography addiction, begin your healing journey by considering faith-based, technique-based, or topic-based support groups and/or therapists. You may want to start your search at https://www.catholictherapists.com.
- Educate yourself about the addictive nature of pornography
Pornography addiction is real, it is powerful, and it damages the addict’s most important intimate relationships. Learning the facts behind pornography’s effects on the human brain will not only educate you on the science behind the addiction, but also open a window into understanding your spouse’s struggle to overcome his or her addiction. Most importantly, you will realize this addiction is not about you, a common misconception for the spouse of a pornography addict. An excellent resource to begin your education is https://reclaimsexualhealth.com/Education-Resources/help-for-a-spouse.html.
- Practice self-care
Times of distress can affect all aspects of a hurting individual – mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. You are worth the time and investment to care for your well-being. Prioritize time in your day for quiet reflection and prayer, extra rest, and physical activity to relieve stress and boost your mood. Surround yourself with supportive family, friends, and new support group members. Practice daily self-affirmations to rebuild confidence and belief in your personal growth and healing.
- https://reclaimsexualhealth.com - Offers a science based, Catholic, online recovery program and other resources for those whose lives have been impacted by pornography or other unhealthy sexual behaviors. An Elizabeth Ministry International resource.
- https://fightthenewdrug.org - A non-religious and non-legislative organization raising awareness on the harmful effects of pornography using science, facts and personal accounts.
- https://www.bloomforcatholicwomen.com – Through partnership between Bloom and Integrity Restored, provides therapeutic and spiritual online courses for women healing from the trauma of their husband’s pornography use.
- https://www.wivescare.com – An outreach of Be Broken Ministries. Provides resources and online care groups for women who need healing support after sexual betrayal by their husband.
- Restored: True Stories of Love and Trust after Porn by Matt & Cameron Fradd
- Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means
- Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts by Stefanie Carnes
- The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk
- Fighting for Your Marriage: A Catholic Guide for the Wife of a Porn Addict by Jeannie Hannemann – booklet is available through www.ReclaimSexualHealth.com
- Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love: Practical Insights from John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility by Edward Sri