When your wife finds out...


New Member
...I whant to know:

1. how do women cope when they find out that their husband is an addict?
what are your experiences?
2. men - what support do you need in your battle with addiction??


I am/was deeply hurt. I still want to help my husband even though we are struggling for 2 years....
he confessed to me after 4 years of marriage...

I wonder how I was so naive and stupid...???
I was in shock (trauma!!) because I kept my heart, soul and body only for him. I'm just now getting out of all the stages of grieving. I'm starting to accept it, I guess...

....Thank you!


Active Member
Welcome @Cristina there is a Partners section that has lots of stories about SO's experiences and feelings, plus your welcome to check out my journal which tells what I have been through:



New Member
I am going to respond to your second question first:

I think that it's very important to let him know that you will love and support him.
That means assuring him that despite the emotional turmoil and (natural) judgment you may have as you come to understand his past and current deeds, you will not abandon him. Beyond that I would emphasize the judgment. If you increasingly judge your husband for his behavior while in addiction, and use it to define him in your mind as a X-o-phile (fill in the blank fetish). it is crushing, and can instill resentment.

Just as important as all of that though is to be honest with these emotions with him. You are likely going to feel many ways about him, you will likely go over memories in the past and have to revisit how you feel about them because you may suspect or know that he was masturbating at those times. Be honest with all of that, but do your honest best to love him through that pain. Let him know how what has done and, in the case of relapse, has done to you in that moment has affected you. Don't be afraid to be angry, sad, fearful, and any other emotion that this might bring up. Still all of that should be tempered with love and patience. Do your best to not paint him as a villain, a monster, or broken. You are not perfect, you will almost certainly mess this part up, but it's always ok to come back, apologize, and return to the healing process. He is going to have to learn to do the same.

A very healthy tool to help going about being honest, but also committed is to establish boundaries. If you feel violated because he had been using, then you may want celibacy for a time. It can be extremely healthy that if he relapses you have a set time of celibacy every time. I've known of wives who would have their husbands sleep in a different room for these periods.

And as to you first question,

I think, as mention above, being honest and setting boundaries are huge. Another is that you need other women to talk to. You can talk to your husband about many things about all this, but if you try to process everything with him and him alone, you are going to put more on him than he is able, and not help his recovery. You need a woman to talk to about all of this. The best is if you can find a woman who's been through this. Even more if she stuck through it, and is now still with her recovered husband, but a woman who is currently going through it, or a woman who went through it and left her husband. Being able to describe your experience, thoughts, feelings etc with someone who can empathize can be very cathartic, provide you new perspective, and help you to better navigate those difficult experiences you will need to go through with your husband.

How do you find that? Look for groups dedicated to recovering partners of porn addicts. There are many online, some in church groups, others I think SAA meetings have.

I am only scratching the surface, and I don't have time for a longer post. I am trying to explain concepts and methods I've learned throughout my recovery journey, having had a relationship break apart because of this addiction, but also going through a therapist guided group recovery program with several men that are now over 1 year sober, and had mended their relationship with their wives markedly.
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You are the best in helping him to quit this. Just make you make it your priority to help him quit, he told you so you could help. If you leave the issues will grow worst. Draw him close to God in one year you will see alot of changes. And monitor him always.
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Totally different perspective here. 1) This is NOT your addiction 2) Yes, you have and are experiencing trauma - it hurts - it plays with your mind - it can debilitate your life (It has mine). 3) This is hard to live with - My husband was ”found out” about 70 days ago - he is seeing a therapist, goes to sex addicts/porn addicts meetings and tells me he really wants to change his life. 4) Seek help for yourself - this board has been incredibly helpful to me - I am also seeing a therapist who has experience in betrayal trauma and infidelity. 5) Put yourself first from here on out - try to decide what is best for YOU first - my life has been turned upside down - but I am focusing on me - and how I will survive WITH or WITHOUT him - I have realized I do not have to make any rash decisions.

This is incredibly hard - we have been married for 30 years - the problem existed before I even met him - don’t feel naive or stupid - addicts are incredibly talented at hiding their addiction and NOT communicating it to significant others. THIS TAKES TIME - lots of it. Decide boundaries and what you are and are not willing to accept. I still do not know what I am going to do about the marriage - I care enough to have him stay in the home until he completes 90 days of rebooting. All I can say is READ…LEARN and let your emotions happen. At 70 days of dealing with this I am at a point of - My safety, sanity and self-worth comes first - I haven’t even begun to deal with the trust that has been shattered, the lies that have been told or the countless infidelities that he partook in (online/offline). Again, time and priorities - but you should make yourself a priority.

I am human, I am a sexual being, I thought I was an equal and a partner in marriage. I will NEVER compete with a fantasy or a porn actor - it is not reality. I am real - I deserve to be loved the way I want to be loved. Even though I am in my mid-50’s - I know that I can have a successful and loving life without him. I just don’t know if I am well enough following this devastation to make a permanent decision about it right now. My heart has been broken (shattered) so I don’t have to worry about it being broken again - I do wish him well and free of the porn/sex addiction - but that is not my problem to solve - nor, do I have the desire or skill to solve it for him. Good Luck in your decisions…just make sure they are your decisions…you are worth it - you did not cause this - put yourself first and keep coming back here - listen, read, learn - you will find great resources here.


Respected Member
Hi @Cristina

I am a 60 year old man in recovery. I hurt my wife massively.

In blunt answer to your question about what a man needs:

1. …and this is all my own perspective so can’t say it’s the checklist for everyone……. Be totally honest. Get a therapist who will help with that.
2. Be totally accountable. My wife knows she can look at my phone, tablet, PC, anytime of day and night. Plus I never take phone or tablet into bathroom. I also take a picture when I am out alone, even going to the shops to show her where I am. I do this every day. We also have boundaries that I never cross, but that’s just us. I can’t touch her arse/ass (I am from the UK!), and there’s nothing more than hugging and holding hands.
3. Learn empathy and practice it every day. Therapist helps.
4. Join support groups. I go to a weekly SAA meeting. It’s not bad but I hear constant stories of relapse that I find hard to listen to.
5. Journal. I do so on here. Mine is in the 40+ section. I find this incredibly helpful. Arguably the best thing of all….and I read a lot of the partner’ posts which keep me grounded whilst sick to the stomach.
6. Iron resolve. Difficult to teach this one. But my wife gave me an ultimatum so I got Mine right there.
7. I told my kids (20, and 17x2) and two very close friends.
8. Communicate with wife. Hope she supports me. This is tricky because support sometimes comes with suspicion of course, and then there are flaming rows which are essential and don’t mean you don’t still have the love of a good woman as your bedrock.
9. Patience. Way more than one thinks.
10. Read and learn. There’s tons of stuff, but Your brain on porn is a good start.
11. Therapy - big time……porn(and other sex addiction behaviour) is a symptom not a cause. The depths you have to look to find the cause(s) are sometimes hidden or require deep digging. I am still digging but I have a good spade and I know it’s worth it even if the discoveries make one realise just how shit one has been. I do all this under no illusion that my marriage will survive, because my wife said she’s making zero promises. But I still do it all.

Good luck.