Pornography has been a thorn in our
flesh for a long time. My husband has been exposed to
pornography for 31 years, since the age of 5. When we were
dating, I had some knowledge of his sexual addiction, but not
entirely. I prayed and thought that his addiction would end
after we got married. The devil is conniving in a plethora of
ways. He gets to us at our weakest spots and my husband and I
have plenty of them. In me, the devil instilled mistrust,
despair, judging my husband by hating him instead of his sins,
denying him marital relations by giving him the cold shoulder,
each time I stumbled upon his ‘secrets’. The internet is like an
electronic Pandora’s box. The source of countless evils in this
highly technological world. My husband had a problem with
masturbation as well. Pornography and masturbation is a sinful
combination that kills the mind, heart and soul.
My husband is also in the military.
Tragically, the military’s attitude towards pornography is to
set a standard against porn, yet still allow its existence.
‘Soft core’ porn magazines like Playboy are available in
military exchanges and mini-marts in housing facilities with
ease. Not to mention the soft core pornography magazines like
Maxim, For Him, swimsuit magazines and many more that are
readily available anyone who can reach the magazine rack.
Internet-access at military recreation centers pose limits to
curb pornography usage among military personnel, yet are usually
poorly enforced. Pornographic resources like videos, magazines
etc are utilized on military vessels, barracks and so on, even
if in the quiet, hidden areas.
Our family is one among millions of
other Catholic families affected by pornography. My husband
would succumb to his temptations by surfing the internet when I
wasn’t around, usually when I’m sleeping at night. Because he
was completing his bachelor’s degree, he had reason to stay up
late, completing assignments and doing research on the internet.
It didn’t help that the computer is situated in an isolated room
(our infrequently used dining room…granting my husband freedom
from getting caught), I was exhausted by night time, staying up
with him (in order to spend time with him) and falling asleep
before he was done with whatever he was doing on the computer.
When I got angry or upset with my husband, I would also avoid
displaying physical affection for him, thus leaving him feeling
estranged. Being a night owl by nature, my husband would
masturbate to internet pornography or watch late night TV
programs like "Wild On" on ‘E’ entertainment channel late at
night. He would download images from the internet and e-mail
newsgroups and place them into a PowerPoint presentations or a
screensaver and even download them onto his palm pilot. On his
way back from classes, he would occasionally frequent adult book
and video stores to satisfy his carnal desires. When he’s away
from home, his eyes would commit a multitude of sins.
Occasionally, I would stumble upon the history of pornographic
websites that he visited and confront him. I got extremely angry
with him of course. But he continued on with his sexual
addiction even after our 3rd baby was born.
All this time, I constantly put the
blame on myself, wondering if I failed my husband or failed to
maintain my physical looks or if I hadn’t sufficiently prayed
for him or helped him. What hadn’t I done that could have
prevented my husband from falling into temptation? In our many
confrontations, my husband stressed that it wasn’t me; it was
him. It was his on-going addiction to pornography that is a
terrible habit and very hard to break. He would feel sorry and
apologize afterwards. The imperfect person that I am, wanting to
take ‘control’ of this situation, wondered why can’t he be
‘cured’ immediately. I had illogical expectations of his
recovery. I even blamed God…why me, Lord?
Our road to spiritual recovery began
December last year. I had installed a program called "Covenant
Eyes" that records internet sites visited and gives a numerical
scale for sites of pornographic nature. The higher the number,
the more pornographic that site is. However, there was a glitch
in this monitoring program. It was incapable of recording chats,
e-mails and e-mail newsgroups. My husband discovered that by
subscribing to pornographic newsgroups, Covenant Eyes could not
detect his sin. The loving and ever merciful God, revealed to me
one day that my husband was still buried deep in his sexual
sins. Covenant Eyes caused a technical problem on our computer
and it had to be uninstalled in order to rectify the problem.
When we managed to revive the computer, my husband went to
several pornographic websites while I was folding laundry in the
living room, just three feet away. When I went to him to ask him
something, he quickly got off the internet. I knew what he was
up to, so I sent him to do something while I searched the
history of the websites he visited. I knew he didn’t have time
to ‘get rid of his evidence’. Sure enough, I caught him
red-handed. I was livid! I cursed, I took God’s name in vain,
filthy words came out of my mouth and I gave my husband a piece
or two or three of my mind. He was quiet throughout it all. I
told him that if I wasn’t a Catholic, I would have demanded a
divorce right away. I was that furious! I told him that I didn’t
want him to touch me anymore. Furthermore, I told him that if he
needed his ‘needs’ met, he was welcome to seek gratification
with someone else but not me. I left him and drove to Our Lady
of Good Counsel, for perpetual adoration. I cried in front of
the tabernacle for almost 2 hours. I was so mad at God for doing
this to me. The more I asked Him what I had to do, the more He
told me to forgive my husband and serve Him. I just couldn’t
accept what God said to me and I left adoration. I kept on
driving until I was exhausted. It was almost 3am when I got
home. My husband was asleep in our room…on the floor. I kicked
his legs to awaken him and we had another confrontation, mostly
more cutting remarks from me to my husband. I didn’t want a
separation, so I told him for the sake of our children, I would
be amicable towards him. My husband began to cry uncontrollably.
He admitted that he didn’t want to hurt me by not telling me how
difficult his struggles were in fighting his addictions. He
thought he could do it on his own, without my helping him as
well. He didn’t realize that his sins could lead to losing me.
He wept that he didn’t want to lose me. The sight of my husband,
crying inconsolably and witnessing his true remorse melted my
heart. At that moment, God was nudging my heart again…forgive. I
was moved to go to the kitchen, fetch a bowl of water and a
towel. I knelt in front of my husband and started washing his
feet. As tears rolled down my eyes, I told my husband that I am
here to serve him. To please let me help him with his struggles.
At that moment, God granted the grace of forgiveness in me and I
forgave my husband. I admitted to him that I won’t be able to
trust him for sometime but I will be right here with him through
thick and thin, fighting this spiritual battle.
You see, my husband isn’t the only
sinner here. I am too. A few years back, I had broken the 6th
commandment. Even though my husband had committed adultery only
in his mind, I had committed adultery physically, in retaliation
to his unwillingness to turn away from sin. I had not confessed
this sin and for a few years, I was being sacrilegious by
receiving the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily. I have
confessed this to a priest since but I still regret to this day,
even though I need to forgive myself. I had not told my husband
and finally I mustered enough courage to tell him. He forgave
me, saying that he had no right to judge me for sinning,
considering how sinful he was, compared to me.
We decided to work on a battle plan. We
had to come up with radical plan to get to the root of this
problem by drastically ridding ourselves of any near occasions
1) We turned our house into a sanctuary
by getting rid of all immodest, immoral secular videos, music
CDs, books, comic books, seemingly innocent magazines, romance
novels, photography, sports and other books which even had the
remote inclination towards sex.
2) We cut off access to TV by
discontinuing and disconnecting our cable connection. We do have
a TV, but it’s used primarily to watch Catholic and Christian
movies, programs, family-oriented secular videos and children’s
videos like Veggie Tales, 3-2-1 penguins etc.
3) We have holy water fonts in our
bedroom and in the living room. We constantly bless ourselves,
our children and the entire house (before going to bed) with
4) My husband requested that I get him
Christian t-shirts so that by wearing them outside the home, he
would be reminded to remain holy and avoid going to adult
5) We attend daily mass as a family, as
his work schedule permits. Otherwise, the girls and I go to
daily mass and consecrate every sacrifice of the holy mass and
communion towards the healing of my husband’s sexual addiction,
for purity of his mind, heart, body and soul, for avoidance of
the near occasions of sin and from committing a mortal sin. We
also pray for the deliverance of all sinners, especially those
trapped in slavery of sexual sins.
6) We receive the sacrament of
reconciliation regularly, at least once every other week.
7) We pray together daily as a family.
A family that prays together stays together – Mother Teresa.
Recently, our chapel started the Family Rosary Crusade, and our
family has prayed the rosary regularly, if not almost daily
since May of this year. I must admit, praying faithfully has
richly blessed us with abundant graces from God and the Blessed
8) And I’ve also installed a different
monitoring program on both our computers (PC and laptop), that
is invisible to the eye but exists within the hard drive that
video records every single activity, all the way down to key
strokes. My husband knows that even if I’m not physically there
with him when he uses the computer, the program acts like having
me next to him.
9) We’ve also cleared out whatever
unwanted files on both our computers. Whenever my husband leaves
for work, I make sure to bless him with holy water.
10) In addition, I also made him a card
with the prayer of St. Augustine on one side and a graphic
portrayal of Jesus crucified on the other. He keeps it in his
wallet so that he may use it in times of temptation.
11) When we go out on dates, my husband
and I would make it a point to go to adoration as part of our
12) We both take it one day at a time,
concentrating on fewer failures, rather than counting successes.
God has been so graceful to us by granting my husband freedom
from pornography and masturbation for the last 180 days. He is
presently away for temporary duty for a week. Though the
mistrust is still there, I offer it up to God that He lifts me
and my husband up during our times of distress and despair.
Though I know the battle is far from over, I realize that God is
on our side and that with His help we will prevail.
13) My husband and I play
Catholic-related subjects on cassette and cd whenever we travel
in our cars. This fills our minds, hearts and souls with holy
things rather than the secular world. Moreover, my husband puts
a picture of our family visibly near the dashboard, where he see
it and still drive safely. All these help us to keep custody of
our senses, especially our eyes.
14) My husband has an accountability
partner. He is a faithful, Catholic friend from our chapel, who
also encounters the same problems. Whenever he and/or my husband
are faced with temptations, they rely on each other for support
by calling on the phone or meeting in person. Having a spouse as
an accountability partner may not work very well, especially
since most women do not truly understand the ‘metaphysics’ of
the cycle of sexual sin committed by men. I myself, am learning
more and more each day why men can be trapped in sexual sins
more easily because they are visual creatures.
15) I made a card (business-card size)
for my husband to carry with him at all times. Here’s a copy of
what I put on the card that I gave to my husband:
Before you give in to your temptation, look at
I caused Him to suffer on the Cross….
WILL I CRUCIFY HIM AGAIN??!!!
I copied a graphic picture of Christ’s
crucifixion right below the words. And on the next side, I
include the following prayer by St Augustine:
Breathe in me, Holy
Spirit, that all my thoughts may be holy,
Act in me, Holy
Spirit, that m work, too, may be holy,
Draw my heart, Holy
Spirit, that I may love only what is holy,
Strengthen me, Holy
Spirit, to defend all that is holy,
Guard me, Holy
Spirit, that I may always be holy.
Lastly, but certainly not the least, it
is vital that we constantly fill our minds with holy thoughts.
As St. Thomas More said, "Occupy your minds with good
thoughts, or the enemy will fill them with bad ones. Unoccupied
they cannot be".
We need to turn to God and Our Blessed
Mother, no matter what we do. Jesus, whose most precious body
and blood, died on the cross for our sins. In all things, we
should do them for the greater glory of God the Father, the Son
and the Holy Spirit. He gave us His Blessed Mother, Mary, to us,
to be the Mother of the Church, Seat of Wisdom, Refuge of
Sinners, Help of Christians. Pray for her intercession. She’s
our mama. How blessed we are to have the gifts of the sacraments
to renew our faith and keep our baptismal vows. We, as
Catholics, should be proud of these graces, make use of
sacramentals to keep us holy, to lead our families into heaven.
The time is now.
As my husband and I reflect on our
past, we realize our road to healing would not have been
possible with the grace of God. We cannot look lightly upon the
role of fatherhood. For those fathers who are trapped in the
slavery of sexual sins, we pray for your deliverance. My husband
will write a separate testimony. I hope my testimony, as a wife
of a sexual addict will touch many lives and convert many as
well. Do not lose hope…never lose hope. May our Almighty God
continue to richly bless you and lift up your prayers. The devil
is constantly waiting to corrupt our soul, should we cease to
remain vigilant or fail to immerse ourselves in God. God bless
St. Joseph, pray for us!
Mary, Most Pure, pray for us!
St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!
St. Catherine of Sienna, pray for us!
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Spirit. Amen.
The following scripture I’ve found to
comfort me whenever I’m feeling down:
"For I know well the plans I have in
mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare not for woe!
Plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when
you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for
me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me with you, says the Lord." (Jer: 29:11-14,