Help for Christian spouses of sex addicts

Let's begin with an explanation of how pornography affects a person.  Porn strongly appeals to our natural tendency to lust and to idolize sex.   It gives the viewer a temporary surge of sexual pleasure, fantasy and control that functions like a drug.    People (men especially) are easily drawn into addictive patterns with porn, and become slaves to sexual lust.   After a person repeatedly fills their eyes and mind with porn, they become callused to its evil nature.    

The spiritual aspect of sex addiction involves powerful evil spirits that work to destroy marriages and families.   The spiritual evil behind porn  is revealed in the "fruits" it grows, including lust, selfishness, anger, irritability, lying, denial, numbness, lack of communication, emotional withdraw, sexual anorexia, frigidity, coarse jesting (sexual innuendo), divorce, sexual abuse, incest, emotional abuse, physical abuse and financial troubles.   I think people will recognize that these fruits come from Satan. 

There is hope, however, as God is reversing the devil's work and delivering people from the snare of sex addiction!   We believe that breaking porn addiction is a healing process more than anything else.   God is the healer and with Him all things are possible. 

What you can do to help your spouse

Don't condemn the person:  Condemnation seldom accomplishes anything more than causing the addict to become defensive, destructive and angry.   It could very well make him/her even worse off than before you tried to help them.

Show them love: God wants us to show his love to our spouse.  Love may be the last thing you feel like showing your spouse right now.  We're not suggesting you make yourself a doormat and allow your spouse to continue to violate your marriage with his or her porn activities.  We encourage you to adopt a "tough love" approach with your husband.  Tough love involves setting clear boundaries for his behavior at home and consequences for breaking them.   For recommended resources, see the "Love Must Be Tough" links on our spouse books page.

Seek God:   If you are not walking closely with the Lord right now, we encourage you to press in and seek Him with all your heart.  Your relationship with God is your lifeline.   God will give you the strength to weather the storms ahead, and to love your spouse with Christ's love.    Loving a sex addict often requires supernatural love and forgiveness.   You may find our Christian Living page helpful.

Prepare for spiritual warfare: Don't expect the devil to be happy about your decision to fight for your marriage and your spouse.   Expect resistance.  If you are doing spiritual warfare from a strong relationship with God, you'll be able to stay afloat emotionally and be effective in joining God in helping your spouse  break this addiction.  Learn about the spiritual weapons you have as a Christian and use them to resist the devil.  

Pray for your spouse: Persistent, fervent prayer yields results!  Here are some suggested aspects to pray about:

Break secrecy: Sex addiction likes to stay in the dark.  People don't like to talk about the evil that has invaded their lives.  Breaking secrecy helps dispel the fear that the devil uses to keep this destruction protected.  Once the evil is brought into the light, it can be dealt with more effectively.  Ask God to show you to what degree you should break secrecy.

Don't believe the enemy's lies.  If you let him, Satan will drag you down into depression, despair, suicidal thoughts, low self-esteem and rejection.   One of the devil's favorite lies is to suggest that your spouse's addiction is your fault.   It's not your fault!  It is sin that he/she has decided to engage in through their own free will.  You may recognize these other common lies the devil uses:

Don't buy those lies for one second.  Rebuke Satan in the name of Jesus Christ, and invite God to work in your husband's life every time you get attacked by the enemy.  This is an effective tactic that will frustrate the enemy's attacks.

Don't visit the porn sites that your spouse is visiting.  Porn opens the door of your mind to all kinds of evil.   It's like jumping in the lake to save a drowning person when you don't know how to swim. We've heard from many spouses who looked at porn to see what was so exciting about it for their mate.   Their minds became polluted with perversion as well.

Don't lose hope!  God will help you get through this difficult time.  Remember the words of the psalmist: "I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living"  (Psalm 27:13 NKJV).   (...more hope verses)

Our new Spouse Recovery Studies page will offer more in-depth info on the various spouse issues related to sex addiction.  Though it is currently under construction, we encourage you to come check it out!

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