Addiction Codependency Through Two Marriages

divorceWhen I first realized, or better yet, was told I had an addiction to pornography I really didn’t think too much of it. I thought that I needed to stop but I didn’t feel it was something I needed to stop immediately. I really felt that it wasn’t a big problem and it would just go away when I got married. By the way, I was married twice. Anyway, I had the porn addiction  right up until the day I got married and then it wasn’t a problem for awhile, maybe a few months.

After a few months of being married the addiction came back. The truth is it never went anywhere. I had a computer and internet access and an internet connection and before I knew it I once again had an overwhleming urge to look at filth. I didn’t understand why this was happening since I was so convinced I would not need to look at this stuff when I got married. My addiction actually got worse, especailly as access to free pornography on the internet increased. About one year into my marriage I broke down and admitted to my wife that I had a serious problem. She was shocked, confused, and hurt but she wanted to understand and help me. I felt relieved that she knew the truth and thought that everything would be better from now on.

My wife was so sweet and patient and tried her best to help me but really didn’t understand the addiction and didn’t know there such thing as a pornography addiction. Her first thoughts understandably were, “Am I not beautiful enough for him” and “Why don’t you just stop?” She purchased a book for me titled, “Pornography; The Drug of the New Mellenium”, which to this date has been the most comprehensive read on the subject for me. I read it and learned about SAA 12 Step programs. I started attending those but that didn’t last very long since it felt very akward to me.

See also  "This is Easier Than You Think"

Unfortunately I needed celibacy for a period of time but that was not possible with the sexual appetite that I had created. It was virtually impossible for me to not have sex with my wife because I could not even control those urges before marriage. My wife needed to feel wanted more than the pornography and so stopping intamacy was out of the question. I would have periods of success of not looking at pornography but my sexual urges were being satisfied with my wife instead of being controlled. I did not know this at the time. The only time I had success was when I was depending on my marriage to satisfy my addictive urges. This wouldn’t last long though, maybe a week or two, then I was no longer satisfied and needed something more stimulating. My wife was a beautiful woman but she could not compete with an ever increasing addictive appetite for constantly new images of other women. She shouldn’t have had to compete. I should have been strong before our marriage but instead I was unfaithful and ended the marriage.

After our divorce I decided to stop my addiction and get strong before ever getting married again. I spent a couple years doing just the opposite. Not to say I didn’t try but I tried the wrong way. I didn’t have the right knowledge or tools to have any long term success. So continued to repeat my one to two week cycles of success and failure, sometimes completely giving up and going on a binge. I eventually started drinking as well to dull the pain of my mistakes. Then I finally started to make some serious progress. I started running and started writing a journal. However I was still drinking. I didn’t care so much about that though since pornography had led me to drink. I just knew that if I stopped looking at pornography I could stop anything. There was some truth to that but I once again missed an important factor. I had about a month or two of success but I was drinking during that time and the alcohol was compensating somewhat for what the pornography wasn’t doing. Not only that, but alcohol decreases the body’s ability to be aroused and so I was only temporarily dampening the urges. I was depending on alcohol for my success. I didn’t know this fact at the time though and became very confident from my month or two of success. So confident in fact, that I felt ready to get married again. However, I stopped drinking before I got married. This combined with kissing too passionately during courtship caused me to turn to my addictions again.

See also  Importance of Spirituality for the Addicted

This time was worse. I got married and once again the pornography addiction went dorment for only a few months before I started again. This time I not only looked at pornography but I started drinking again. This marriage ended quickly as we both felt we would not progress in love. I knew I could not overcome my addictions while being married and she was very unhappy and unmotivated around me.

As soon as we were separated I started to become sober from my addictions again. One day I went to a friends house to talk and began to vent about my frustrations from my divorces and addictions. He, being a former alcoholic himself, said, “There’s something unwritten in the 12 Step program called the 13th Step. Have you heard of it?” I said, “No, what is it?” He said, “When you are becoming sober and start to have success you need to give yourself some time, like 6 to 12 months, before you get into a relationship and start having sex in place of the good feelings you were having during your addiction.” I was definitely intrigued and decided to look up this so called 13th Step and see what it was all about. The main definition I got from my searches was that it is a period of time for the recovering addict to gain independant strength before depending on someone else for their strength. This was it! This was one of the things that was keeping me back! I could not understand at the time but that’s exactly what I was feeling when I was married. This was definitely not the core of my problems but it was definitely something that was delaying my progress.

See also  How to Stop Porn Addiction

So after my second divorce I made a firm decision to not repeat the same mistake again but instead make sure I was independantly strong before I got married again. Now that I had taken the codependency factor out of my addictions I could concentrate on the all the other factors.

I do not mean to say that if you are married you need to get a divorce and get strong. No, I’m not saying that at all. That’s the way it happened for me. I’ve know people who were still married but decided to take a break from sex to give themselves time to get strong. Whatever you decide is between you and your spouse. If you feel you can overcome your addiction while still having sex then that is up to you. Not everyone is the same in this process.

I will say that I firmly believe that those who are unmarried at this time should get strong before marriage otherwise the outcome can easily be predicted. This is especially true if you have both a pornography and masturbation addiction. You don’t have to be perfect, just not addicted.

22 thoughts on “Addiction Codependency Through Two Marriages”

  1. Pingback: Personal Stories of Change Blog Carnival: Edition 3 » I will change your life . com

  2. I second this article and i also believe personal prayer can help u to be more focused and enjoy the better things in life.
    There is so much life has to offer but a person addicted to masturbation and pornography is like a bird who is in an open cage and just does not want to break free.
    God bless and give strength to all who want to give up thier addictions.

  3. I came across this website seeking to find help for my husband, we have been married for 19 years. I had no idea my husband was addicted, untill we started a buisness together . My husband has had 2 long term marital affairs that I know of, been caught on his cell phone leaving phone sex, and has even met girls out and told them he was going thru a divorce, needless to say my husband looks at porn a lot more than I realized, and has lost very good high paying jobs. he currently has a new job and called a friend in panic to clear his computer, because if the company found it, he would be fired. We have 15 year old twin boys, and I tried to get him help, He’s made me feel so cheated, and alone , and unloved. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.!!

    1. rebecca kirby

      Hello! I read your article today and it touched me! Im in tears now because im with you. I’ve only been married four years to my husband. He’s my first. The first year after we got married I started noticing things. Bank satements came and he was spending money over the phone for phone sex. That went on for two years. That I know of. Looking at porn on the internet, calling chat lines and had one relationship that I know of. Still to this day if he’s left home alone he’s always on the internet looking. I look at his computer later. This is just really hard for me. When I first starting realizing all this I was pregnant. Now my son is 3yrs old. I keep hanging on and praying about it. I just don’t know how to help him. He won’t talk about it. He’s acts like nothing wrong. It kills me inside. It’s like he living another life.

    2. I have to say, I too am inconsolable at this time. I have been married 25 years and until 4 days ago I had no idea that my husband has been watching porn for more than the last 16 years of our marriage. He had 17 bookmarks on his PC and he even had been blogging women in a site for “single males looking for online dating”. I am still in the surreal stage of all of this and afraid of what I will find next. I am terribly afraid he has actually met some of the women. Needless to say – our sex life has been lacking for years. Looking back – I now see signs. I too am a RN.

      I am trying to stay centered on my well-being. I cannot stand the sight of him and really do not think I can over come this shattered trust and broken heart. I am not even sure I want to try.

      I am thankful to have found this site. I have adopted a new mantra – “fight like a girl” borrowed from the Cancer Society.

      1. Hi, I am so happy I have found this site. I’ve been married to my 2nd husband for 17 yrs and 2 wks ago my 2nd daughter informed me that her dad… (stepdad of 17 yrs she was 7 yrs old when we met) had texted her sexual messages. This happened 2 times before within the last yr the 1st 2 not being so graphic. I kicked him out and I really do not think I can get past this and work this out with him. I thought we had a great marriage. Well in my investigative work he is addicted to porn only been doing it one year well I caught him in that lie and its been going on for more than 5 yrs. at this point I am in counseling for myself the marriage counseling is on hold. I need to fix myself first then my daughters. lastly him. I am still in shock over this whole deal as is everyone who knows him. I am a RN also……… nurses love to take care of everyone and make them all better. we are known for getting in bad relationships.

  4. I also have a husband that needs help. He lies every time I find papertowels and dirty shirts and its hard for me because we have 2 babies together. I look great for having two kids but he rather go to porn instead of me and when we have sex I just feel used and I cry after cause I know he only did it cause he’s married to me. I feel like leaving him but have no place to go with two babies if anyone can help please I just need advice!

  5. I needed to understand this addiction. I was married to a man with a
    herion addiction, and I was delivered from pain pills and marijuana since1995. I understand addiction, I needed to understand porn addiciton.
    This entire site has helped me so much. Knowledge is power. I want to
    help the man I am very close to now. It is funny, I want to get married and
    he does too, but I never understood the magitude of his addiction, since
    I had no knowledge of it. It truly is like the others, it is simply his drug of
    choice. He does not drink or smoke. He has no other addictions of that
    nature.. However he really like to shop for nice suits and now I can see how
    that can cut the urge. I am a strong believer in the word of God and so
    is he. I know that God lead me to this site so I could have some insight
    as to what I am dealing with, and then apply God’s power to help him.
    Thank you. I will continue to read and gain more knowledge that can help meto help him. I know now why marriage is for later.

  6. After years of suspecting that I had a porn/masturbation addiction, I have begun looking for help/resources on the topic. This article is frighteningly accurate to what I am going through. This addiction has caused me to seek a divorce with a woman who truly loves me because, like the author, I don’t believe that I can truly heal while in any kind of relationship. I WILL OVERCOME THIS! Thank you for the inspiration,

  7. right now,im on the level of pornography addiction and masturbation that I could not control..I’ve always have this relapse everytime I stop my addiction..thanks to this site and particularly this article,I gain more knowledge about this plague of pornography and masturbation especially that I’m on a current relationship with my girlfriend Rose Ann..getting married is a God’s gift and I know that He has better plan for me..I will overcome this addiction before planning to have marriage..

  8. awesome article!!! It truly inspire me a lot especially that I’m weak against this addiction..internet pornography and masturbation ruins a God given gift of marriage..God bless to the author

  9. This article rings quite true for me. I left my long time girlfriend because I couldn’t face being with her night after night. I wanted action and adventure and excitement, yet for all that, it was the desperate need for a rush, for a high, for illicit sex, drugs and alcohol.
    There really are only two options – either you quit it all and go straight (recovery) or carry on as you are making yourself and other people miserable as you go.
    It might be fun, but it’s a waste of your energy, good health, reputation and spiritual karma.
    If I wasn’t so deeply in debt, I would stop spending too.

  10. I am a wife of a porn and masturbation addictive person. The subject has come up a couple of time the past 2-3 years. He acted loudly and defensively so we did not get very far. Recently we got into a deeper conversation re: this. he did not believe me that it was an addiction until I sent him this web site. Now he has joined Candeo to try to get help. My problems is I feel lonely, abandoned, unattractive, ugly, old and fat as well as unwanted and dis-respected.. I really do not like him anymore and really am struggling to stay inlove with him. I want a divorce but I am hangin on to see if I can gain my feelings back for him. I have lost all respect for him because when I tried to talk to him about how much I was hurting he only yelled and defended his actions. He really acted as if he had no emotions or remorse about the way he had caused to me to feel. Today I am having a really bad day. I am in tears and depressed. I need a break from him and really do not know if I can ever get over this, but I want to get over it. I need help in the worse way. I understand addiction as I am a nurse and have worked as a re-hab nurse before. I minored in psychology in college but guess when its you that thats geeting hurt puts a different prospective on things. I can’t think straight because the hurt is consuming.

    1. I have searched and searched for someone with the same problem I have!! Gwen I am suffering too!! Please contact me! Sherry

    2. Dear Gwen and Sherry…. I’m a young Newlywed and my Husband is addicted to Pornography. I share your feelings in this situation I feel disrespected, Unatractive and at times all I do while he is gone at work is cry because I do not know what to do, We have only been married a year and i found out about this problem the second month of our marriage and just like your husband mine reacts defensively and tells me that there is nothing wrong with this that it is a perfectly natural thing. The arguement usually ends up coming back on me and how I should change something about me instead and he simply says that he is going to work on it. I’m so close to just giving up.His friends dont encourage him either there advice is simply hide it better.. Today I completely lost it for the last time and threatened to leave if it doesn’t stop. He finally broke down and realized he had a problem. I want to be there for him but I am too hurt and furious .

  11. Please contact me. My husband has been struggling with addiction to pornography for many years and it wasn’t until I caugt him in the act in front of the computer and confronted him that I forced the truth from him. I could tell by the look on his face that he was lying, and that’s how I was able to get him to confess. He claims going to church once and talking to a men’s group helped him.
    He’s techsaavy so I know he hides it well
    The problem is that his addiction in the past has destroyed love and concern that he should have for his wife and kids, the protective love that I see a normal man has for his family. Our sex life obviously is very lacking- he has said hurtful things to me that are not true about my appearance.
    I am very tempted to throw in the towel.

  12. My husband and I have been together for almost 10 years, he has always had a penchant for porn. It comes and goes, but I always know the signs. He stays up till 2 sometimes 3 in the morning on a work night, he’s grumpy, has black circles under his eyes, and is extremely irritable practically volatile anytime I mention anything to him about staying up so late.

    I am trying so hard not to blame myself, I feel very unattractive and unappeling to him. I have a 10 month old and am in my late 30’s so I haven’t gotten my girlish figure back very quickly. In some ways I feel it’s my fault, I’m not attractive enough or something to that effect. I am hurt by this because when we do have sex it’s all about one area. Like in porn. I am bored with our sex life because I know there is so much more involved, our lovemaking has turned into a bad low budget and very vanilla porn. It’s boring, it’s always the same. Bottom line is I cannot measure up to what he sees in porn, and I feel like crap that he has the urge to even look at it. I have also found dating singles website on my computer. I am at a complete loss as to what to do. I also have small children and I do love my husband, but our lovemaking is just sex, empty, just like the porns he watches I assume. I am angry, hurt, confused, and scared this will cause problems in our marriage.

  13. I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years now, we have lived together for just over 3 of those years, He openly told me about his addiction after a year of dating, I had my suspicions, there were signs but I didn’t know the extent of his problem. in every other way our relationship is good, he was very open to me helping by suggesting that I install a internet filtering program on his and my computer, I see his credit card statements….but he is also very good with computers and hiding. I love him more than anything and we have talked about getting married in the next couple of years, as much as I want this I am very afraid that if he asks me I will have to say no, I fear it will get worse and it will change into more, possibly him physically cheating….I am 27 and need some advice from others, All the above is helpful and appreciated, This had been so hurtful and damaging, I feel very unattractive on the rare occasions that we are intimate, we have not had actual sex for months and it has been like this since we started living together, he really only seems to want oral sex…has anyone been in this situation? ( dating/considering marriage)

    There are so many websites for this addiction but they are mostly if not all religious websites, We are not practicing Christians so he is not very open when it comes to any online help even though he knows he needs it.

    Any advice would be great 🙂

  14. Where do I begin? I have been married to my husband for 18 years but have been involved for almost 30 years. I am in my forty’s and he just reached 50. I have known about my husband’s interest with porn for about 6 months now, it may have been longer than this but this is when I first found out and that’s because I walked up on him one day and saw it with my own eyes. At first I didn’t think much of it, I just thought it was something he did for fun but I was still uneasy about it because it made me feel different and I had started to get a sick feeling in my stomach. I now know that he looks at porn regularly and is on line watching it every chance he gets. I have tried to bring it up before and he gets really defense about it and then he is so furious to the point where it is really scary, so I back off because I know where it is going. He will get angry and won’t speak to me and turns it around and makes it seem as if it is my fault, as if I did something, I know that he is denial, he won’t admit it. I know that it is a problem because he was recently taken to the emergency room due to illness and the next day he was looking at porn again, this tells me that he can’t stop thinking about it. What’s worse is that he may have come back from church or study the lesson for sunday school and then he will watch porn, I don’t understand how he doesn’t think that God knows what he is doing. Why does he do this? My self esteem is low, I am a nervous wreck, I started smoking again and I have to pretend always that I am just FINE..How can you want to learn God’s holy word and then go watch porn, I just don’t see how that is possible, how can you live with yourself?? Has he any clue that these women that he looks at are someone’s daughter? someone’s sister or mother?? how would he feel if someone looked at his daughter or his sister or me in that way?? Please help me with trying to help him, how do I approach him without him getting so angry, I just want to help him, I love him dearly and would do anything for him and he knows that. I wish he could open up to me, if he could just read through these articles he could see that he needs to stop. I don’t pretty or sexy, I feel like I am competing with something I can’t touch and I feel as if I’m losing the fight. I want my marriage back, I feel like I am not satisfying his needs, if he was satisfied with me he wouldn’t masturbate while watching porn, he would want to make love to me, not to sit in front of the pc and jack off. Please email me with suggestions, I am open to comments or any feed back. I feel so alone in this, I need guidance. thanks.

  15. I found out three weeks ago that my husband looks at porn regularly. He had been doing it for about two years, I think. I confronted him the day after I found out and he never denied it. I was more shocked that he had tried to contact some girls than him actually looking at it. He told me it’s like an addiction and he felt extremely bad about it. He later assured me that it was never that he stopped liking me. We had not have a proper sexual relationship for those entire two years. I had been pregnant and given birth to twins. Now I am trying to get over it and get back to trusting him. The thing that helped me a lot was reading Steve Harvey’s book “Act like a woman, think like a man”. It was an amazing coincidence that I stumbled over it in the library the day after I confronted my husband. It helped me realize that my husband loves me and always has. There is no reason to doubt that.
    I am still trying to heal and only now, after doing some more research, realize that this problem may take longer to deal with than I thought. I don’t know how badly addicted he is. I hope I will be able to trust him and myself again.
    Ladies, check out’s podcasts for women. Also, I found it very helpful to read somewhere that my selfworth should never ever depend on whether my husband finds me attractive or not. I do not have to compete. Trust yourself. Anything he says about your looks is plain avoidance of the real issue. Don’t even go there!

  16. Hey all.. I read what all of you have said and it makes me feel better that I am not the only wife going through this. Men just dont understand how cheated and unwanted it makes us feel. I have been with my husband for 6 years. We have two young children. We started of really kinky and loving and adventerous.. It was great fun! Up until the day I had my children we were still sexually active. I enjoy sex just as much as the next person but the more he watched our “movie” collection without me, the more I realized he hada problem. Did he not understand that our children were my priority now? I would fall asleep and instead of waking me he would turn the TV down low and do it right there. I would cry without him hearing.. saying to myself I AM RIGHT HERE! It kills me inside and he has made me hide our movies from him and block computer access. He will wake up before me and do it on the computer.. It has made me stray from him and seek out men that actually want me. He loves me I kow he does.. we have talked about it and he gives me the “we need God” talks Im not buying that anymore. It has made me NOT want to have sex with him anymore thinking I will punish him when he does come to me by not wanting him or turning him down. All that did was push him further away. I dont know what to do anymore. We are drifting- First it was just sexually now its little things … who does the dishes and folds the clothes,. Im lost and need someone to talk to advice. Things that have worked with other wives and help me. Im only 24 and shouldnt be feeling soo unsexy. Im an attractive women with curves and feel soo down.. All I want is my husband but seek other men out because they treat you like the lady that you are. The way your husband used to treat you. With respect and dignity. Im not stupid and I know whats going on sooo WHY LIE??

  17. Thank you for this site. Believe it or not, my husband is the one who pointed it out to me. He’s seeking help and I’m trying to help him. He’s not addicted, but he’ll look at porn once every year and a half or so, maybe for an hour and call me immediately after. I know he’s trying. I read in your article something about celibacy. Can you expound on this? Would that help?

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