Question:

Hello,

I am in dire need of biblical advice concerning my marriage. I have been married for almost two years but we have been separated for most of that time. I found out that my husband was watching porn several months into our marriage. Of course, he said he had only done it a few times and that he wouldn't do it again.

At that time he had a data phone which is a constant avenue to porn sites so we decided for him to carry only a flip phone, cutting of his ability to view these web sites. His demeanor changed significantly. He became angry and withdrawn and had no sex drive. I researched the effect of pornography on the mind and found that like every other addiction, the lack of feeding the addiction results in withdrawals similar to the changes in character I observed in my husband.

I was unaware of his addiction until this point and we began to argue. He stated that porn was a 'normal' thing that guys do and that we just had different views on the subject. We ended up separating for a couple of weeks. He came home apologizing and confessing that it wouldn't happen anymore. He also had a new phone account with a new data phone that I had no access to. I figured I would just have to trust him and hope he was telling the truth.

As the weeks went on strange situations came up. He would take showers at strange times, not come home when he had the opportunity to, and not be where he said he was going to be. Whenever I would ask him for an explanation for these things he would always answer with "I don't know." Of course this raised even more questions in my mind. I decided at that point to find the answers to all the "I don't know"s. I downloaded an app on his phone so I could monitor what he was doing. Wrong, I know. I found that he was watching porn all the time and a sex dating web site. I was honestly unaware that things like this even existed.

After three days of having the app on his phone I questioned him again about his behavior. He looked blankly at me and lied. Telling me that he was always honest with me and that he hadn't been watching porn. I showed him that I had downloaded that app, and he was immediately angry. I was not trying to sabotage our marriage by downloading that app. I was trying to prove my suspicions wrong. Unfortunately I didn't. I can only speculate because of the activity on his phone, but I think he may have been hiring prostitutes. I do not have 100% proof, just suspicions.

We ended up separating again. He chose not to have very much contact with me through that time. He has pushed the issue of divorce time and time again. At this point divorce paperwork is filled out and signed but not filed. He says that his will to fight for this marriage just isn't there any more. It is only me who is holding on.

Ever since the beginning of all of this I have prayed and studied God's word for answers and guidance. I have prayed for peace and strength. I want to do things God's way, not my own. I pray for His will to prevail over and above mine, my husband's and Satan's. In I Corinthians 7:15 it says "But if an unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or sister is not bound in such circumstance. We are called to live at peace." I haven't had peace with any of this. I know God hates divorce. What is my next step? Where do I go from here? If in fact, he was hiring prostitutes then that is adultery. But I do not know for sure. At this point I am praying for a miracle. I know that pornography gives a false sense of pleasure and it fills the viewers mind with lies. An addict has the false sense of belonging and fulfillment because he never feels rejection or pain from porn. To this day he says he is physically attracted to me but not emotionally. Please help.


Answer:

You don't have to catch your husband in the act of having sex with a prostitute to have reason to believe he is committing adultery. The evidence that you have mentioned would be enough to convince most reasonable people that he has not been faithful to his marriage covenant.

You were not wrong for checking whether your husband was being honest or not. You had evidence of dishonesty in the past and evidence that it was continuing. You verified what you suspected. Of course he didn't like it and, of course, he blames you for snooping. The blame is incorrectly placed. He remains the one with the problem.

God hates divorce because sin is involved. Your husband is responsible for this mess. He is the one chasing after other women and denying that he has a problem with sin.

Divorce is never required, but in this case, because of your husband's evident adultery, you would be free after the divorce to remarry. "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9).

I Corinthians 7:15 does not apply here because your husband is not leaving you because you are a Christian or demanding that you give up being a Christian in order to stay married to him. This passage does not say that a person in that circumstance would have the right to remarry anyway.

It's sad how many marriages end in divorce these days. I didn't want to be a part of that statistic. But I know God has called me to live at peace. It breaks my heart that my husband chooses this self-destructive behavior. I know that porn leaves an addict feeling guilty and full of shame. In these circumstances I have heard of it being called 'toxic shame' because of the tendency of the addict to try and cover the guilty and shameful feelings with more of that false sense of pleasure they get from porn or a prostitute, which leads to even more guilt and shame. Its hard for us as humans to admit when we are wrong in small things. In things where we are exceedingly shamed, it's even harder. I don't know if he has asked for forgiveness. My biggest hope that he will find Jesus in all of this. I pray for his salvation and deliverance.

Thank you for your counsel. May God bless you with His glory in riches in Christ Jesus.

I agree it is a shame that individuals and society have lost their sense of morality.

One of the things I would like you to consider is that if you want a good marriage, you need to make marrying a godly man a priority. I know it is tempting to think of how you can help shape a spouse's character, but almost no one changes merely because they get married. There is no guarantee that a godly man won't fall to sin, but if you start with good material, it is less likely to happen.

Yes, sir. I agree, and I will definitely keep that a priority for my life. Thank you again.