Rebuilding Sexual Intimacy after Porn Usage

Restoring Sexual Intimicay

Along with rebuilding trust, one of the most difficult things to restore after your husband uses porn or acts unfaithfully is sexual intimacy. Most wives loose all desire to be with their husband after discovering he looks at porn. She feels betrayed, hurt, angry, and used. Most husbands have huge side effects from using so much porn. It seems daunting to think about returning to making love again after this type of crisis. After I found out my husband was addicted to pornography, I did so much research through Christ-centered websites. I read so many things on this topic. Many things were helpful and some things did not help quite so much for me. So, in this post, I just want to talk from my own experience. What I know is that three and a half years ago our marriage had basically nothing. It was empty and dead in every area and that includes sex. Now, God has brought us to a place where we have sexual intimacy like we never thought possible. I want to share with you how we got from one point to the other.

1. Take Time to Heal

When I found out the most awful and devastating thing I could discover about my husband, I didn’t even know what to do. I could not think about being close to him. I just needed time to be alone and process what I had found out. If you have just found out your husband is watching porn or has been unfaithful to you in some way, give yourself time. Even if you found out awhile ago, but never took time to heal, do it now. Take the time that you need to just process. For me this meant crying to God, reading the Bible, grieving. I wanted to be able to draw close to God and listen to what God would bring me to do next. It is okay to give yourself this time away from intimacy.

2. Create Clear Boundaries with Your Husband

This was essential to rebuilding sexual intimacy. I created very clear boundaries with my husband about faithfulness. This is not something that you can be unclear about. I literally spelled out what faithfulness meant to me and what I needed from him for this to happen. This obviously means no porn, but it can mean much more than that too. Once I realized that my husband had a huge struggle with lust, I knew that I did not want him flirting with women. I explained to him exactly how I was feeling and that I wanted him to be professional with the women he came across throughout the day. That is just one small example. A book that helped us out so much with boundaries is Hedges: Loving your Marriage Enough to Protect it by Jerry B. Jenkins. I also talked with my husband about how our marriage would suffer if he broke the boundaries. Part of that would be no sexual intimacy. It’s just impossible to have sexual intimacy with someone that is not faithful.

3. Spend Time Building Spiritual Intimacy

I have said this in most of my posts, but it made such a huge difference in my marriage that I can’t say it enough! The number one thing that we did to restore our marriage in every way was pray and read the Bible every night. We decided to make this commitment even when we didn’t feel like it. Even when we were angry or hurt. We spend about fifteen-twenty minutes together reading the Bible, reading a devotional or book, talking about our days, and praying over our marriage. This is the best time to talk about anything that is bothering you or your husband. By doing these simple things, your marriage will grow so much. It even grows when you’re upset with each other because you are still connecting. The best and easiest devotional we ever read was Draw Close: A Devotional for Couples by Willard F. Harley jr. and Joyce S. Harley. I never thought a devotional could be this good, but it is. It is filled with biblical marriage principles. Some chapters we read again that we were struggling with. It is fully Christ-centered. It is also important to have independent spiritual time as well.

4. Spend Time Building a Friendship

I hear in many e-mails and comments how you started out having so much fun with your husband, but once you learn about this awful secret of pornography and unfaithfulness, you just don’t like him anymore at all. Well, if you’re like me and you want to work towards restoring your marriage, this is a big problem. You can never restore a marriage with someone that you do not like in any way. You might not even remember the good qualities about him. This is because you are so clouded by the pain and hurt you are experiencing. To help with this, you have to actually schedule some fun things to do together. I don’t know what your life is like, but mine is really busy. I am raising four kids and my husband works a lot. But, it was so important to me that we had dates away from the kids. We used to never go on dates. I thought it was something that was not needed because we were so busy. But, it is needed. It is important. And, you can make time for anything if you really try. I started scheduling dates twice a month. Once a week would really be nicer, but that would not work regularly for us. Doing this helped build up our friendship so much. It seems strange at first to be out, with no kids, just me and him. Then, we started having fun. It was so nice to not think about all the stress, busyness, and problems of our marriage. This was just a time to go out to eat or do whatever. We also decided to do things together at night instead of our own hobbies. We started watching a show, playing a game, or working on a puzzle when we have the time. I truly love it now. It makes me see all the things I like about my husband.

5. Start Slow

If you’re nervous about sexual intimacy or having a hard time getting close to your husband, start slowly. You can plan to take a lot of time. Start by talking and cuddling. Then try kissing and holding hands. You don’t have to rush into things. You can start slow and progress slowly. My husband ended up becoming nervous about our time together too. This is because he spent most of his childhood looking at porn. Isn’t that awful? I could never even imagine having porn around my children, but many men start looking at porn when they are very young. This is why they are so addicted to it. Porn was available in my husband’s childhood home. It was not condemned. Once a man stops looking at porn, having real sexual intimacy is very, very difficult. I’m not going to talk about all the specifics here. You can read a lot about that on Covenant Eyes. What I want you to know is that it took a long time and a lot of effort for my husband to get over the effects of watching porn. It also made me just want to do things slowly for awhile.

6. Don’t Give Up

I want to be completely honest with you. This is hard! Many times we got it wrong. We argued. We had hurt feelings. I was angry. I cried. We gave up. We tried again. I feel like we have been through everything with this! It was exhausting. I just wanted to give up. But, I didn’t. I kept seeking God. We both sought God. We were both going through our own kind of pain. My husband had pain that his whole life was broken because of the pornography he grew up on. He suffers immense guilt and sorrow. I had the pain of knowing my husband’s unfaithfulness and hurtful decisions he made against our marriage. But, don’t give up! God has a plan for this part of your marriage. If you are following God and working to restore your marriage, He will bless you. God’s blessings don’t usually happen right away. It takes time and commitment. But, I want you to know that we have more intimacy now than we ever would have if this did not happen. I never thought I would say that. But, amazingly it’s true. Only God could take something so awful and broken and make it a beautiful blessing in your marriage.

Do you have comments or questions? Please let me know. How are you doing with this?

     

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