My husband supposedly stopped viewing pornography, but he has stopped sleeping with me. How can I trust him?


My husband used porn. He says he quit over a year ago but still can't, or won't, have sex with me or even try. We averaged sex two or three times a month for the first couple years of marriage; then it dwindled to once or twice a year. We'll be celebrating our tenth anniversary this year.  Since I caught him porning (about a dozen times) he can no longer get an erection with me; he does get erections in his sleep. I've read erectile dysfunction is common both during and after giving up porn addiction.

I've told him that I've forgiven him and love him - and I do. He won't even sleep in the same bed or bedroom with me most of the time - but prefers to sleep alone in the basement guest room. That does not do much to regain trust that he is porn free since the guest bedroom is next to the computer room and television. He says I lost the trust so I have to find it and it's not his responsibility. How do I learn to trust somebody who won't make an effort to act open and trustworthy?  How do you stay in love with somebody you don't trust?

After we've had sex, there was a close bonding that opened him to share his heart and life with me in new ways. I loved and enjoyed those emotionally intimate conversations. But when he withholds sex, he also withholds that intimate bonding and communication that nourishes my feminine soul and opens the reservoir of my love to him. Even when he's sitting beside me and holding my hand - I feel so alone. I'd like to share more then the weather report and what's for supper - but he withholds anything more. I've been very careful to only share what we were going through with only a few close women friends who I trusted to not shame him or gossip but to support us in prayer and with my pastors.

How do I handle this in a biblical way? When does a wife give up the expectation of having a sexual marriage? How do I grieve the loss of a sexual life?  Is it a sin for him to withhold sex - if so, could he be in danger of not going to heaven?  I don't masturbate because I don't believe in solo sex; but what am I suppose to do with the sexual drive? I married because I knew singleness wouldn't work well for me. God's helped me minimize my libido, but after our once a year lovemaking - it takes a couple months to shut down my desire for my husband. Any suggestions on getting it to shut down quicker?  The same during ovulation when my body wants to make love with my husband?

On a positive note, my husband is a very kind, generous, helpful, intelligent, humorous man. He has a lot of strengths and good qualities. He's recently returned to going to church. Although his porno addiction and the fall-out from it has been very difficult; I'm still thankful that he's my husband. Going through this has certainly taught me to trust God in new ways.


Your husband does not understand the nature of trust. When God asks mankind to put their faith in Him, to trust Him, He did not demand a blind faith. He offered proof of His trustworthiness. "Tell and bring forth your case; yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me. Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath" (Isaiah 46:8-11). God has proven that He keeps His promises without fail. "For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, "Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you." And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil" (Hebrews 6:13-19).

Trust is something earned because of repeated evidence that a person is trustworthy. It is foolish to give trust when it isn't earned -- this is what con men count on. "Trust me," they say, as they walk off with your funds. In the parable of the talents, the servants who handled small things well were entrusted with greater things. "So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.' His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'" (Matthew 25:20-21). It is something we all know. You don't take the boy fresh from college and make him CEO of a major company. Why not? Don't you trust him? The answer is an unequivocal, "No, I don't trust him."

I can't guess all of what is going on, but your husband is putting up barriers between you and him. There is no cost to him to sleep with you, even if his isn't capable of sex at the moment. Yes, pornography corrupts the mind. It gives a person expectations based on their own imaginations which cannot be met. But you are describing a man who is finding sexual release in other forms -- whether it is through adultery or masturbation. The two of you need serious marital counseling. I would suggest going to one of the leaders of your church and ask for suggestions on where to get such counseling.