FamilyLife Blog

First Steps to Getting Porn Out of Our Marriage

by | Sep 20, 2022 | Crisis & Repair, Marriage, Sex

“Couples often live out years of falsehood trying to protect and save a relationship, all the while destroying any chance of real relationship.” – Dr. Henry Cloud, from Boundaries in Marriage

We love sharing this quote because it speaks to both ends of the spectrum we’ve lived. It sparks memories of living in pain and secrecy in our marriage, but also of the joy and hope of rebuilding trust and growing in authentic intimacy. 

When we got married we had an idealized view of marriage built from years of expectation and the excitement of newfound love. But one year into our marriage we received a blunt force dose of reality.

I (Braden) had an ongoing battle waging in the secret crevasses of my life, and while I wouldn’t have dared to call it an addiction, pornography had gripped me in ways I didn’t fully comprehend. I honestly thought marriage would solve my porn problem — that regular sex would fix my secret habit. But to our dismay, porn was festering under the surface like an open wound, waiting for the right time to bleed out into our marriage. And bleed out it did; in fact, it felt more like a tidal wave of pain, primarily because Kristen caught me and we had to come to terms with not only the betrayal of porn but also the hurt caused by my lies and secrecy. 

That was probably one of the hardest points in our marriage and we didn’t know what to do or how to repair the damage. I didn’t know how to get help to overcome my porn addiction. 

Many have found themselves in this position, and while every story (including yours) is different, we want you to know that there is hope! It took us making some tough decisions as a couple in order to move forward. We had to choose to fight for our marriage and that included getting help and inviting God into our mess. Ultimately, what started us on the road to healing was making the choice to get on the same page. While I (Braden) was the perpetrator, having brought porn into our marriage and it was my issue, we were both in pain and needed help, so we chose to walk the healing journey together as a team.

Marriage has a way of revealing things that we may prefer to keep hidden, yet we have a choice in those moments — to continue believing the lies: I can beat this on my own; No one needs to know; I’m not hurting anyone — or allowing the truth to be revealed and start walking towards healing to rebuild trust and intimacy. 

You can experience that too. It will be a battle, for sure, but if we can do it (with God’s help), we know you can too! 

To help you both individually and as a couple walk that path of healing, check out the excellent resources we recommend and the podcast Braden co-hosts called Pure Victory.