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Now Reading: Porn Destroyed My Marriage and I Hate It

Porn Destroyed My Marriage and I Hate It

38b445fbf79fd8d9314f9e540c1a32faLast week, I wrote a post about how dangerous porn is; how it destroys your relationships with God and others, how it kills your soul, and how it enslaves you.

Perhaps some thought I was exaggerating or simply being shrill. That’s why I want to share a real-life story left in the comments of last week’s post, describing how porn destroyed one woman’s marriage. It is shared with permission of the author. I hope that it will reinforce the point that porn is neither a harmless nor a solitary sin, but that it can ruin your life and steal everything that you hold dear.

Porn Destroyed My Marriage

My marriage was utterly destroyed by porn. I tried everything to help my husband stop, but because he had been looking at and using porn from age 9 when he found his oh-so-Catholic father’s magazines, he would not stop. I did not know he had this problem till 6 years into our marriage. We have 4 beautiful children, 3 of which are girls. Financial malfeasance often accompanies this addiction, and he was no exception. He ruined us financially and still stayed up hours every night downloading porn. He had a membership to the sex video shop, secret bank accounts, secret computer accounts…. I could go on and on. I dragged him to our priest, he went on retreats, I cried buckets, got angry, begged. To no avail. I finally had to ask him to leave. He did and I gave him six months to show me some real change and work to try to correct this horrible thing that had destroyed our marriage.

He did not change. I am now a working single mother rather than a stay at home, homeschooling mother. Our four children are now in public school. I am financially ruined, and he doesn’t even pay his child support as ordered.

THIS is the truth of what porn does to marriage. It destroyed not only my marriage, but gutted my children and my life. His addiction almost cost me my faith because the priest did no more than tell my husband he needed to stop. No real harsh spiritual counseling. I HATE PORNOGRAPHY. My husband is lost in it. He already exposed our son to it. His father, whose magazines he found is lost in it. His father progressed to molesting his own granddaughters, one of them MY daughter.

So any man who thinks that porn doesn’t kill the soul of the person using it, or that it doesn’t destroy the bonds of marriage, is a fool. It captures you, and you will give up everything and everybody for it. You will view all women as objects to be used. Your heart will become hardened to the pleas of your wife. You will completely and utterly destroy her. And your marriage.

I had to save my children and myself. I did not want to divorce, and I spent 8 soul crushing years trying to save our marriage. But at the end of the day, porn won. Lust won. Selfishness won.

My children and I lost.

And so did the man I married.

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Sam Guzman

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41 People Replies to “Porn Destroyed My Marriage and I Hate It”

  1. G williams

    Dont think as a woman , she cannot cause the same type of problem. As a catholic man Knowing my own predilection for playboy I never wanted it kept in my home, and I resisted getting the internet for the first time which has made it even easier to access. Reading those romance novels or magazines does the same thing to a marriage. Too many of the stories introduce the affair and the cheating by the woman as if it is ok. Dr James Dobson said never look at porn nor sleep with any body but your wife and their will never be any guilt associated with sex, as it was meant to be.

  2. Marc Alcan

    Is there a way for us to help this woman? I mean financially?
    Even if we each contribute a small amount, that would still count in some way even if towards groceries.

  3. Virginie

    This may not make you feel a lot better, but you may have grounds for an annulment due to the fact that he hid this addiction from you before the marriage and you had every right to know. You will be in my rosaries. May Our Lady repair the damage to your children, yourself and may St. Joseph beat your husband with his staff until he gets his attention!
    If you do have grounds, and were in fact, never actually married, that may be why your marriage did not seem to benefit from the normal graces of the married state. Just a thought. If you were actually married, you are not suffering more than many, many saints did in their marriage. Keep up the fight and carry your cross because we have the victory if we persevere. And your heavy cross will make your glory all the greater in Heaven. Besides, you have your children to suffer for and save. Our children did not pick their fathers, we did.

  4. Fr. j

    You should not lose your faith over this. What was the priest to do? He can’t force him to stop. He can threaten him with hell, but that would not have worked either. It isn’t the faith or the priest that was at fault, but your husband. Please don’t leave the Church and compound the damage.

  5. This is a response to gay catholic. I will first say that the following is probably presumptuous since I don’t know you and am making a lot of assumptions, but you have posted a couple of times asking some specific questions and I think they deserve answers. These answers will be somewhat circular in that they build on each other. It may be useful to think of it as a jig saw puzzle that becomes clearer as the pieces start to fill in.

    The first thing I would like to say is that in your case the person porn is hurting is yourself.

    The second thing I would like to say is that identifying as gay puts an emphasis on sexual preference over any emphasis on who you actually are. This miss-identification is a trap, all the worse because people don’t recognize the trap, or have become dependent on the trap.

    The third thing I would like to say is that porn is the giving in to the vice of lust, and that one combats the vice of lust (one of the seven deadly sins) with the virtue of Chastity, which is simply the proper use of our bodies.

    The consequences of the first three things is that no authentic relationships can be established with folks of either gender. Here are the reasons why:

    Identifying as gay first and foremost is a trap because it prevents one from identifying as a child of God, which is what we all are, and is the essential identity of all human beings. Denial or suppression of this fact is the first barrier to relationships. Secondly, identifying as gay puts an emphasis on sex over any other aspect of relationship, because, and correct me if I am wrong, the whole point of same sex attraction is the desire to have sex with a person of the same sex. That this is unproductive (no pun intended) is demonstrated by the fact that sex-obsessed heterosexual relationships are dysfunctional as well, not the least of which is they often are also non-productive (I guess pun intended this time). Part of the reason is that it interferes with authentic friendship (a type of love) and replaces love with lust. Love is other focused, lust is self-focused. In this context, the opposite of Love is not Hate. The opposite of Love is Use. There are no functioning healthy relationships based on use.

    Our sex-obsessed culture has placed orgasm above all other aspects of relationship between persons. At a certain level, sexual love is constantly in danger of turning into bouts of mutual masturbation, even when using someone else’s body to achieve the orgasm, in that the two people needn’t be spiritually and emotionally present to each other in any real sense, and means that the co-participant is largely irrelevant or even dispensable. You can see it in the “hook-up” culture and see it on virtually every TV show. Once two people become friends, within a short time, sex is all but inevitable because what else are you supposed to do? Nothing else matters if you are simply focused on self and the next rush. But authentic, deep, intimate relationships are possible with another of either sex without succumbing to the pressure to “take it to the next level.” But we frequently see the aftermath on tv as well. Once the sexual tension is gone, then the hookup happens, either the show is over, or they have to get sexually attracted to someone else. There is no resolution.

    We have been lied to and bought into the lie that “having sex” is the only thing that matters. This is a consequence, in my mind, of marketing – the urge for physical intimacy is strong and innate, and consequently is a powerful motivator — to buy things. Our market driven economy basically says “if you don’t buy this, you are a loser.” And one of the chief ways of being a loser is not having ready access to hot bodies willing to be used to our satisfaction.

    This is a monstrous lie. Recognizing that this is a lie is the first step. Trying to retrain our brains to recognize “what is truth” is the next step. As noted above, the primary truth is that we are all children of God. This imparts an inherent dignity to all humans which is simply inconsistent with pornography and the habits of self-interest and use of others, whether directly through essentially mutual masturbation with someone else that just happens to be there, or solo via an industry that uses people to make money.

    And so, this is why I say the person you are hurting with your porn use is yourself. I suggest that it is preventing you from having authentic, intimate, fulfilling relationships with anyone else, regardless of gender, regardless of gender preference. I would guess that the idea that you could have a fulfilling relationship that did not involve “catching a nut” seems ridiculous. But I submit that any relationship between any two people, whether of same gender, married, dating, etc., that revolves around the orgasm is fundamentally not an actual relationship.

    Whether or not I am right you will not know without first walking away from porn. Identifying as a child of God, and letting that govern your interactions with others instead of those interactions being governed by being gay is the second step. Thinking through the difference between love of another being meaning wanting what is best for them vs. lust for another which is wanting an ephemeral pleasure solely on your terms, is something that all of us need to workout, including me, including you.

    We are children of God. There is an inherent dignity in all of us made manifest by the fact that God became man. A deep understanding and appreciation of this yields a deep and lasting internal peace, and rightly orders our relationships with others. Sadly this is not a quick fix. I guess that’s why God created time. And people to interact with in healthy ways that help us to be who God created us to be.

  6. Another exwife

    I have been in a very similar situation, except I left with my six children (then ages 15 down to 3) after our priest offered us an unused rectory in exchange for cleaning and other work. I walked away with the kids and their stuff 3 years ago. No car, no job, nothing. I filed for divorce and had to fight for a pittance of child support, which is now garnished. To the people who want to judge, so be it. I was watching my children drown in sorrow. They are all doing so well now, very involved in the parish and making good choices. My parents helped us buy a house last year. Life is hard but it is nothing like being trapped in a desperate situation. No one can understand what we went through, day after day after day. I have no regrets.

  7. Something that additionally has to be considered is this. For the user of this product, which is indeed a product generated by an industry, there’s temporary satisfaction followed by pain, as these various entries note. But for the focus of the product itself, that is the men and women who are portrayed in it, there’s the impact of having been reduced to an object.

    I took a little flak in the first post on this for being critical of the women who participate in the industry in general, keeping in mind that I’m defining this category of materials broadly, and including not only what is is on a big magazine rack, but also what’s on many of the racks every week at the grocery store. But those who pointed out that the women (and men) who are portrayed suffer as a result of that are correct. Even those who are paid very well to reveal themselves in a fashion which approaches what was regarded as improper only a few decades ago but now is not are reducing themselves to objects to some degree. Those who participate in what we’d all recognize as fitting this category have a much rougher go of it, having sold themselves as an image.

    All sorts of ills follow for them, which seems fairly well known. So, just on that level alone, it should be considered that those who are selling themselves as this sort of object find themselves accepted by the consumers as an object. They often go on to keep selling their image and over time we find that many of them suffer very ill consequences and fates because of it. The user suffers, and the object suffers. Society itself suffers.

    None of which is to diminish the sufferings of individuals who find themselves unable to marry for any reason, but who still have the drives we all have. That is a heavy cross to bear, to say the very least. But turning inward is not going to make it any better, and probably only worse long term. Those in such circumstances, indeed any who are enmeshed in any fashion in this material, deserve our heartfelt sympathy, support and prayers.

  8. gay catholic

    This whole article’s argument hinges on an emotional appeal to relationships. This man should have been there for his wife and children, he chose porn over them. It doesn’t talk about any spiritual aspect of anything. It says: Porn deprived a wife of her husband, and children of their father. So… I ask you all again: who am I hurting?

    I re-read that article again. The woman who wrote that comment literally refers to her husband, her children, or marriage in every single sentence. I’m not going to have any of those things. What are the “real relationships” that I get to have? What does my life look like without porn? Happily sitting in my house by myself? We all know what her husband’s life would’ve looked like. What about mine?

    1. Random Catholic

      gay catholic, I find it hard to answer you. First, do you know http://couragerc.org/ ? They do an amazing work. And as far as this article is concerned: Yes, it only talks about marriage. I don’t know if I’m called to marriage, at the moment I am mainly a porn addict. But as a single person I can tell you: My porn use affects negatively the people around me, because it depletes my heart from joy (it doesn’t help that I am fighting depression) and makes me lazy, aggressive and mean. (I have watched myself often enough.) So, there isn’t a woman in my life. There isn’t anyone in my life who really understands me. So that’s my cross. Am I now allowed to let myself go? Must I not still go the way to Calvary, even if I loathe everything? I am called, you are called, to follow your Lord. To the cross. The cross isn’t a soft cushion.
      Get a spiritual advisor. A good confessor. Whom you frequent more then thrice. (That seems to be a “magic number” in my experience, after that you don’t want to go there anymore, but you still have to, like, really.) Be absolutely open. Even if it hurts. And it hurts. Tremendously. Be a man and accept this wounds and go to the doctor.
      You are called to carry a cross. A cross in single life. But not every article has to cover every subject. And this one covers the impact of grave sin, of porn, on a certain marriage.

      If I may still recommend some other websites:

      http://theporneffect.com
      http://chastity.com
      http://chastityproject.com

      (English isn’t my native language, please excuse any errors.)

  9. Luigi Burchiani

    Totally agree with Warren. Might seem like nuts and bolts but divorce is not the same as nullity. The vice of the man is pre-existing the marriage and was never even struggled by the husband. The only shortcoming of Mrs. Jane Doe is not having a saint’s courage and endurance which could hardly be considered a pre-requisite of marriage. Alas in these days a saint’s courage IS the definite minimum for planning a good marriage.

  10. Warren

    You are confusing cause and effect, and in so doing your comments will likely be read as callous. Perhaps it is your intent to provide an example of cruel disregard in order to demonstrate how inappropriate and ungentlemanly such remarks can be if made with any degree of seriousness.

    1. By narrating the history of her husband’s addiction, the woman has established a foundation for a decree of nullity, i.e., there was never a true marriage. Her husband’s addiction (the cause) destroyed the marriage before it began. Given his surreptitious behaviour, he had to have known that his behaviour was untenable and merited censure [the effect] in the form of divorce.

    2. Divorce, which is a legal matter concerning the state, is the effect of the husband’s addiction and refusal to change. Because the protection of her children is clearly of paramount concern, the woman had no choice but to acknowledge that the husband’s actions required a termination of a situation that, if permitted to continue, risked placing her children in harm’s way. Divorce, in this instant, is an effect of the husband’s dangerous [causal] behaviour which, as mentioned, destroyed any possibility of a real and lasting communion before a relationship could begin as an authentic marriage.

    3. Her husband’s actions merit taking her case to a diocesan tribunal wherein a decree of nullity [i.e., a marriage never existed] will likely be granted once the tribunal has weighed all the relevant information.

    Lastly, if your remarks are intended to be serious, who are you to be telling a blog author that an article does not belong on his or her blog? If you are being serious, and you haven’t given thought to the matter already, establish your own blog. Then and therein you can tell others what they should or should not include on their blogs.

    1. Also Anonymous

      Where in Church teaching does it say that a spouse’s addiction is grounds for divorce and breaking up a family? (Another poster asserted that “financial ruin” was somehow grounds for divorce, also.)

      Last time I checked, Christ told us to pick up our cross and follow him *daily* (Luke 9:23).
      Pick. up. our. cross.
      That is not fun, is it! But it is what our Lord teaches! Take up our cross!

      The Church does not teach that we are entitled to a “perfect marriage.”

      The woman’s post clearly articulates the damage that pornography can wreak.
      However, I cannot help but notice a tone of selfishness and self-righteousness in the writer.

      Pornography did terrible harm to her marriage.
      But it was the woman who decided to break up her family and remove a father from her children’s lives.

      I don’t see how that makes the woman any “better” than her husband.

      1. susan

        Pornography will do terrible harm to her children.The purpose of marriage is for the begetting and education of children .If one of the spouse is seriously endangering the souls of the children, then the other spouse must do what they must in order to protect those souls. The father failed in his duty, She is merely doing her best to protect them. How is it that you cannot see this? This is not a case where the spouse is struggling and failing. The spouse has given up.

    2. Doug R.

      I absolutely have to agree with Warren. He just said it better than I could have.

  11. Did you file for divorce? Then you destroyed it, and used your husbands failings as an excuse to justify yourself.

    This article does not belong on this website.

    1. A. Nonymous

      Sorry, but at a certain point the writer had to protect her children and herself. Her life was already in financial ruin, but as long as her husband was continuing his behavior, she couldn’t rebuild. This was damaging her children, both putting them at risk from his sexual behaviors, but also in terms of the example he was providing for them.

      1. Michelle

        “Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. 16For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?” 1 Corinthians 7: 15 – 17

  12. Addiction to porn is similar to addiction to cocaine.

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2012/09/pornographys-effect-on-the-brain-part-1/

    A Catholic can stop the addiction through a number of ways – but especially through Confession with true contrition purpose of amendment and frequent reception of the sacraments but the beginning of the end must start today’ putting it off will only increase the intensity and duration of the addiction

  13. gay catholic

    I have same-sex attraction. And, while I don’t disagree with this post, I also posit that I cannot relate to it in any way. I have a pornography addiction of 10 + years. I am not married, I will never be married, seeing as I have no attraction to women. I have no children and will not have any children.

    “It captures you, and you will give up everything and everybody for it. You will view all women as objects to be used. Your heart will become hardened to the pleas of your wife. You will completely and utterly destroy her. And your marriage.” Who am I giving up for pornography? IE: Who is in my life? Pleas? Who is pleading with me? Geez, how I wish I had someone to plea with me… but I have no one. Who will I completely and utterly destroy with pornography? Marriage? Yeah right.

    Sorry, but I’ve been trying for years to stop my addiction, and its advice like this rehashed over and over again. All the hetero people can nod your heads at stuff like this… who’s writing articles for me and my addiction? I’m sure my empty bed would really like me to not stay up and watch pornography. Maybe my mattress would really like me to spend some more time with her, and stop lusting over porn. Except, it would be a “he”. My mattress would like me to spend more time with HIM. That’s right. I’m forever alone. I have no significant other for pornography to hurt, I never have, and I never will.

    1. TeaLeaf

      your not hurting your mattress, or your pillow. you are hurting YOURSELF.

    2. Anonymous Ex-Catholic

      My recommendation to any homosexual would be to carefully weigh how important that Catholicism actually is to you. Is it really worth repressing your sexuality to that extent, just in hope that the Catholic salvation story is correct? That is a tough question to explore privately, so good luck!

    3. Patty

      To Gay Catholic: Just the fact that you’re watching the porn, you’re feeding the porn industry which degrades women, and destroys families and marriages. You may not feel that it is personally affecting YOU, but your attitudes about women and human beings are affected (whether you realize it or not), and your use of porn contributes to the supply/demand of the porn industry.

    4. Luigi Burchiani

      This is absolute non-sense. Yeah, you are not married. Big What! You have an immortal soul, my friend, your first job in this life is not to respect your wife and kids. The top of the list is to save your soul! Go on piling up mortal sin upon mortal sin and good luck for your last day. Geez! Good luck for this next day. Mortal sin makes you miserable even while you’re alive. Sorry for my harshness but i when i had problems with vice i was also naive enough to get on my knees to Our Lady and ask for a grace! Our Lady is the Queen of Heaven, do you really think she would deny you support? Ask Her! Success is guaranteed!

    5. Michael Broughton FSC

      Gay Catholic, our sexual orientation makes no difference. Gay porn like all porn feeds on fantasy and this removes us from reality and life. It destroys our ability to enter into healthy, real relationships. It deceives you into believing that without a sex partner your life all be empty and meaningless. We want love but porn only feeds lust. Lust is no substitute for love. Please contact a 12-step group: SA, SAA or SCA. They can help.

    6. T.

      gay catholic I sense a lot of self pity in you . send me an email to tsf080808@gmail.com and I’ll my experience with you . God Bless T.

  14. Tim V

    yes, a horrible story about porn and all true. But I think the real insidious cancer here is the Internet itself. It sucks us away from the here and now and makes us slaves to our devices. Porn is but one of the many horrible things it brings but secrecy, affairs, materialism, gossip, malice, fear, all travel through its tentacles.

    1. James K.

      The Internet is a tool, put simply. It is not inherently evil or good, it exists as the user wants it to exist. Porn is the destroyer here, because it’s inherent purpose is in secrecy, lies, and betrayal of human compassion. Porn may exist on the internet, but that does not make it evil.

    2. Tim, I used to think the same thing about the Internet. However the Internet can bring us very positive and good things: Resources that can help inform us about our Faith, strengthen and catechize us- sites like Catholic Gentlemen, New Saint Thomas Institute, Catholic Answers to name a few. These sites have helped bring me back to the Faith. Without the Internet, I might not still be a Catholic today. Like other things, the Internet can be used for good or evil.

      Porn, however, can never be used for good. It starts out in evil and malice and can never be anything but that. Before the Internet, people were getting porn from other forms of media- or in person.

    3. Greg

      No… shush.. stop.. don’t… You’re literally using the internet to write that comment… so just don’t…

  15. Linda Mock

    I am so sorry. i don’t know you, but I am crying over your heartache and the heartache of your children. May God bless you. I will be praying for you ~

  16. this is absolutely crushing and much more pervasive than many of us realize until it happens to our families. thank you for this post.

    1. Jaocb,

      his message saddens me. I feel great empathy for you, your children and your husband, and I hope that despite all your problems, you do not give in to despair. May the Lord bless you.


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