Which of the below scenarios would you be most afraid to tell your spouse?
“Honey, I forgot to stop at the store and get milk.”
“Sweetheart, I know I have been trying to eat better, but I had two Big Macs for lunch because they had a deal.”
“Ummm… when you were at work today, I spent 3 hours surfing porn and masturbating.”
Rather easy to say it would be the struggles with pornography.
Addictions and different degrees of struggle with porn are unique in that they, whether intentional or not, communicate a very negative message to your spouse. A message that may not be accurate, but one you know they will hear nonetheless.
“You do not satisfy me, and that hot looking brunette with the big _____ gets my motor running.”
Your confession hits right at the heart of your relationship. And so you hide.
You rationalize that not telling our spouse about your struggles is sparing them needless pain.
You look for justifications to keep your foibles to yourself.
This way they are spared “the hurt” and you can keep working on “your problem” in peace.
Sounds reasonable, right?
Like everything else, the question about confessing your porn use to your wife is not a simple one. It’s not so “clear cut” like many other things.
But face it, if you are struggling with porn your spouse already knows or at the very least thinks something is up. It is healthy for you to admit your struggle to her. Confront the monster of your secret addiction with her and take that first step towards honesty and transparency in your marriage.
That being said, it can be unhealthy to confess to her every struggles (think a blow by blow playback of your day). That is best done with an accountability partner.
- Your accountability partner will be able to challenge you and support you without the cloud of romantic tension getting in the way.
- Your accountability partner will be able to hear your confessions without getting emotionally beaten up in the process.
This is part of the reason we tell people that a man’s primary accountability partner should not be his wife whenever possible.
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Yes, let your spouse know you are tired of the bad choices, are in an accountability relationship, and love them enough to be always honest why you seek recovery in your life.
But, we rarely find freedom immediately and to keep going to your spouse and telling them you looked at porn today, or saw that cute girl walking at the mall and then couldn’t stop thinking about sex and went home and masturbated is not going to help your recovery or your marriage.
It will only keep reinforcing to your spouse that they are not satisfying and insufficient for you.
If your spouse asks how you are doing, be honest and tell the truth. Not every exact detail, but accentuate the positive and offer them some hope that you are in fact walking a path to freedom.