Guard Your Eyes

A website for Jews struggling to maintain their moral purity in today's world
  GUE Home New Website Forum Email List Stories Tips Hotline 12 Steps Filters Links FAQ Help Us Kosher Isle Contact  

Q. I decided to tell my wife about my porn addiction so we can work together on it. But she is taking it very hard. I hardly slept last night!

A. Your wife is 100% normal and you can expect another few sleepless nights. It is very, very hard for the woman to find out about the things you did. She always thought she was the only one in your life. Even though you explain her that you don't care for the thousands of others you have looked at - it is hard, very hard, for her to swallow. You need to keep telling her how much you love her and how much she means to you. Tell her that the on-line images meant nothing to you, it was just a disease. Tell her you are working hard now on yourself, and this is your tikkun - and she is your partner to help you grow. And whatever nice things you can say, even if they aren't 100% true - a woman likes to hear them.

You should know that it is a blessing that it hurts her so much. She will be one of your main incentives never to go down that road again. So accept the pain of what's going on now with love and humility. Let her "kick your behind" a bit. It is for your good. Tell her how much you need her support and tell her that even though it pains you, her anger helps you to be angry at yourself as well so you don't even dream of going back into the pit again.

Have your wife read this letter, written by a wife of an addict

Have your wife also read this letter by someone on our forum, to the wives of addicts.

See also this thread on our forum, for some interesting perspective

"Shomer" writes:

I personally cannot speak for anyone else.  I was dead set against telling my wife and feared the worst if she found out.

Hashem did know better and orchestrated circumstances so that my wife did find out.  My wife did not, however, catch me acting out.  I could only imagine how she would have reacted to that (some broken dishes perhaps? ... or probably worse) ...

After I started attending SA meetings, my wife overheard a conversation I was having with an SA friend and approached me.

My wife was initially very shocked and devastated, but I can honestly say that finding out about my addiction is probably the best thing that could have happened to us.  

We have grown much closer as a result of the open and shared communication that having this whole sordid affair brought out into the open has fostered.  I feel that I can talk to my wife about so many more things and really share myself with her and visa-versa in a way that was not possible before.

My greatest fear has turned into the very thing which has brought my wife and I closer together.  For that I am grateful to Hashem for doing for me that which I could not do for myself.

"T.H" writes:

When my wife first found out, I was very scared. But things worked out fine. It's actually nice to not have this secret anymore. I should post about the experience. Most people are so afraid of opening up about this to their wives. I was always sure it's better not to tell.  In my case I was wrong. She just understands more and takes it more seriously when I say things like, "I don't want to go to the amusement park because of the pritzus".

Your wife can also read this story and this story for some good perspective.

See here for some advice to women dealing with these problems. Also, there are chapters in the SLAA books on partnerships which will help couples cope with this together in the most constructive way. Two suggested books are "Sex and Love Addiction (SLAA) Anonymous" and (2) "Cybersex Unhooked". Both are available here.