There are several ministries to persons who struggle with porn that advocate waiting until the husband has six months of abstinence from porn before telling his wife.
I disagree with that approach, for these reasons.
- Lying and hiding are always woven into the character of those who are addicted to porn… you’re talking about six more months of hiding and lying to the wife. If she catches him while he’s trying to gain six months of abstinence it will blow up in his face.
- Most men spend decades binging on porn before they decide to get help. We regularly hear from 50 and 60 year olds who have been hooked for most of their life. In many cases, there will be slipups on the way to gaining 6 months of abstinence, meaning it might take a guy several years before he can get 6 months. Should rebuilding trust and healing the marriage be put off for several years while the husband tries to gain 6 months of abstinence? Not to mention you’re still talking about several more years of hiding and lying.
My position is that the husband cannot completely heal until the marriage relationship heals. Until the lying, hiding, and everything else that comes Trojan-horsed with porn is worked out of the character, he cannot fully recover. It’s in the marriage where he puts into practice everything he’s learned in his recovery group, changes, and grows, not when his buddies at the group are giving him high-fives and handing out sobriety coins.
If you really want to know how a guy is doing, ask his wife, not his accountability group. If the way he’s treating her has changed, if he’s displaying brokenness and humility, is taking the action steps to change, and especially, if all the lying to her has stopped, he is on the way to a new life.
But hey, enough of my input. Ladies, what do you think? Would you want your husband waiting before he had six months of abstinence from porn before he came clean?
Photo credit: Andor Bujdoso