It’s Not Your Fault!

When Your Husband Blames You for His Sin.

By Mike Genung

Has your husband ever tried to blame you for his sex/porn addiction, or affair?

It happens often. A man gets caught, and then blames his wife for his sin because she doesn’t give him enough sex, isn’t thin enough, “nags,” isn’t “supportive for what I’m going through,” is too critical, or has her own struggles with sin (i.e she’s not perfect).

Then there are the bone-headed things well-meaning people in the church say. “Oh dearie, if you would just give him more sex he wouldn’t have this problem.” I kid you not; these words have come out of the mouths of pastors.

Then there are the professional counselors who say you bear some of the blame because you’re “co-dependent;” you have an unhealthy dependency on your husband so you’re enabling him.

Let’s call it like it is.

A man who’s in bondage to sexual sin is self-absorbed, critical, bitter, and empty. Porn/sex addiction/adultery is his god. He’s like a kid who’s been given a big, sugary, teeth-rotting, lust-lollipop; anyone who tells him he has to let it go is going to get the full force of his fury. He also fears being found out because it will blow his cover as “the good Christian;” when you call him on his sin he’s going to do what he can to twist the blame on you.

I struggled with sexual addiction for 20 years, 10 of those as a married man. Michelle and I struggled to make our marriage work in the early years and there was plenty of stress and fighting. However, every time I acted out with porn or committed adultery it was 100% my choice. Michelle never threatened me with divorce if I didn’t sin. The truth is that she, like most wives, wanted me to stop. This is a part of the sheer insanity of a husband blaming his wife for his sexual sin – she wants him to stop so they can have a happy marriage. Most wives would do whatever they could to help their husband stop; causing him to act out is the last thing they want. Any attempt on the husband’s part to blame his wife for that which she doesn’t want shows how severe his bondage to sin is.

Let’s address one of the most commonly used blame-darts husbands and others throw at the wife: “I act out because you’re not giving me enough sex.” You could be the most beautiful woman in the world who gave him all the sex he wanted, but that wouldn’t resolve his lust problem. Lust always leaves a man wanting more; he’s just using the emptiness of his soul to demand that you attempt to try to fill that void with marital sex, which, it never will. Marital sex is intimate union between a man and a woman; not a sin-fix.

The easy way to tell if your husband is using the marriage bed is if he’s in a hurried rush to the finish line, without concern for you.

Let’s say that your marriage bed has been quiet for a while. Perhaps you’re pregnant or there has been stress in the marriage. While reasonably frequent marital intercourse is God’s desire, there will be times where a man has to wait on his wife. In these instances he needs to take on the sacrificial love and self-control that Christ has called us to. (With six pregnancies, my wife and I have probably experienced two years of celibacy in our marriage. See Masturbation for more detail.)

As for whether your husband blames you because of your faults, nowhere in Scripture is there justification for one person sinning to cope with stress, or being wronged by another. Every marriage has tough times; trials don’t give him license to masturbate to porn.

The unfortunate truth is that there are many in and out of the church who will say stupid things such as “if you gave him more sex… or weren’t codependent… or weren’t deficient in this area… he wouldn’t act out.” I suspect that many of these persons are squeemish about dealing with anything that has to do with SEX (some can barely say the word), have no experience helping the sexual broken, and/or might be intimidated with the idea of confronting a defensive, angry man (who might even have an upstanding reputation as “the good Christian.” Their lack of wisdom or experience doesn’t release your husband from his responsibility.

Sexual sin infects a marriage with shame. It soaks the husband in the lie that he’s a dirty, perverted hypocrite, unworthy of forgiveness; it also soils the wife with the lies that “I’m not good enough… for him, as a woman, as his wife, in bed, or in our marriage.” What many women really hear when a husband, counselor, or pastor blames them for their husband’s sin are condemnation and rejection. Like pouring acid over an open cut, it’s hard to find hope when your husband refuses to get help and everyone sees you as the problem.

Let me put your mind at ease.

Your husband’s choice to act out sexually is not your fault. 100% of the responsibility for his sins lies with him. Never allow him to blame you.

God knows the truth. No matter what others may say, God is the judge. He knows your heart is for your husband and that you want healing for your marriage. He knows that you want the man you married to be devoted to you as he promised when he entered into a marriage covenant with you.

Here’s what the Lord says about individual responsibility:

The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself. Ezekiel 18:20

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. Romans 2:5-8

For who the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives. Hebrews 12:6

If your husband belongs to God, he’s at risk of being disciplined by the King of the Universe. A scourging in Biblical times meant taking a whip with bits of bone and metal in the strands, and swinging away; a man’s back was like shredded meat after a beating like this. Blaming you is just going to add more sin to the heap.

So what should you do if your husband blames you?

Remember: God knows the truth. You can stand firm in the fact that you are not at fault because the Lord is the judge.

Compare the advice of others with God’s word before you receive it.

Read the book of Job. You may find yourself relating to Job during his time of suffering; especially how his friends accused him of sin. At the end of the book, God reprimanded Job’s friends for how they treated him in his moment of need.

In spite of the way he’s acting, your husband is not your enemy. Satan is your enemy; he’s blinded your husband who’s in a stupor of lust.

Stand firm.
No matter what your husband (or other people) say, if they’re blaming you for his sexual sin, they’re wrong. They can’t back it up with Scripture (which is the ultimate authority) or with hard proof (as if you held a bazooka to your husband’s head and told him to masturbate to porn). Never relinquish this ground. Never allow condemnation, or the lies that you are unworthy and/or responsible for your husband’s choice to sin take root in your heart.

Pray for:
* Wisdom for the best way to proceed; the Lord has promised to give it those who ask him (James 1:5).
* Humility. God gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). * Strength and courage (Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 41:10).
* Your husband. He desperately needs your prayers that God will remove the blinders from his heart so he can receive the truth.
* The best way to communicate the truth. Pulling out the heavy artillery and blasting your husband in hot anger may seem the best way to “stand firm,” but many men are far more apt to be “cut to the heart with conviction” if their wives communicate the truth firmly and under control. Remember, you’re talking to a guy who’s proud, selfish – and probably full of shame. In general these men are in short supply of true humility (they do false humility to look good very well), and you want the truth to get through. Leave room for the Holy Spirit to work through your words. Your calm strength will reflect courage, faith, and purity.

“But my husband is an abusive jerk!” you say. “If I don’t blow his head off he won’t get it!” That may be, for the moment, while he’s in bondage to sexual sin, but remember that your ultimate goal is to please God in everything you do. Ask the Lord how He wants you to respond to the situation, and then follow through. It’s the Holy Spirit that convicts of sin; let Him work through you.