Why Would my Husband Lie to me? And other questions Wives ask when their spouse uses pornography.
Over the last couple of weeks my wife and I have had a number of conversations with a new client and his wife.
They had enrolled in my 13 week course and after one session she hadn’t felt like she had seen any changes.
This was hard for her because she was dealing with so much pain, so much frustration and so much heartache that his recovery from pornography use was eating away at her.
She described him as unemotional, uncaring and disconnected.
Their story is so similar to so many stories that I decided to share with you some of what each of them are asking for themselves and for each other.
Let me just give you some background. I have known this couple for almost 20 years. About 2 weeks ago she reached out to me on Facebook and asked me to call her about her husband and my business. They decided to enroll in my course because they felt it would give him the best chance to change and become pornography free.
As we spoke on the phone she told me of the difficulties that he was having. He had been laid off due to Covid-19, he was using pornography and he was hiding extra cell phones around the house.
To her the biggest issue had been that he lied.
He had lied to her and he had lied to their children.
She loves him and wants him to get better.
For his part, he is an amazing man who has done so many amazing things in his life. He has always been there for his kids and his wife. He works hard. He doesn’t want pornography to be what he does to feel better but he also doesn’t want to feel so bad all the time. And right now he feels like he has a lot to feel bad about.
Their story is not unlike my story or the story of so many people who struggle with addictive behaviors. So, let me share with you some of the questions that she was asking, some of the questions he was asking and some of the essential information I shared with them and would recommend for anyone dealing with something like this.
“Why would he lie to me?”
- In the thick of it the lying hurt more than the pornography use.
- I also didn’t understand why zach would lie to me.
- When truthful I would react poorly
- Angry, cry, call names
- Throw things, threaten to leave.
- His brain wants to do tree things
- Conserve energy.
- Honesty causes pain
- For me
- And for him
- His lying is him trying to protect his feelings and mine.
- Lying from kids perspective.
- Not get in trouble
- He’s lying to avoid pain
- It conserves energy because avoiding external consequences
- Lie because we don’t want to hurt others feelings
- Hey guess what so and so said about you.
What would you tell a wife who is being lied to on how to handle this situation?
- Remove the emotions
- Look at the facts
- When your child is doing this it isn’t to hurt you
- Same true with your spouse
- They are just trying to deal with their own emotions
- Don’t accept/believe that you are to blame
- Also, not yours to fix
- Foster an environment of equality and dialogue
“How long will it take for him to get better?”
This is really different for every person. I hesitate to say, it depends on how hard he works as well because this is a muscle that everyone needs to exercise and people start in different places. For some this is the thing that starts an uninterrupted, successful, permanent change.
For others, this is the beginning of a clear path to freedom and worthiness that begins here and ends far in the future.
I will say, in some sense, he will begin to be better nearly immediately. Beginning to understand that pornography use is probably a habit and not an addiction, seeing that feelings hold the key to our actions, and learning that the thoughts we choose to believe are changeable will give a pornography user immense power to stop engaging with this vice.
“What should I do to help him?”
- Don’t try to take on his recovery
- Leave the threats out of the discussion
- That doesn’t mean you don’t set appropriate boundaries, revisit episode 10
- Or jody moore has a great podcast on this https://jodymoore.com/236
- Be fair and don’t make it about you.
- Just like if your spouse had an eating problem, what they are eating isn’t about you it’s about their need to feel good and choices to avoid emotions
- Get a coach, there are resources on our website, free mini session
“Why is he doing this?”
- Higher brain
- Lower brain
o Conservation of energy
o Seeking Pleasure
o Avoiding pain
- Thoughts create our actions
Dr Ronald E Bartholemew https://rsc.byu.edu/authors/bartholomew-ronald-e
- You need 3 things to have agency
o The knowledge of good and evil/right and wrong
o The ability to choose
- When we say “I can’t” or “I should or shouldn’t” we are actually abdicating our agency – which is what Satan would want
- As Latter-day Saints, we are often faced with people saying “you can’t drink coffee” or “alcohol” or something like that.
- How would you respond to that – likely you would say, “I can but I choose not to.”
- Now imagine saying to a group of sisters at a relief society gathering, I can look at porn if I want to. – very different feel.
“As the person trying to stop using pornography, what do I say to my spouse?”
- I would want my spouse to be 100% committed
- Take ownership
- Be as truthful as they can
- Respect boundaries
- Do what they say they are going to do to the best of their ability
“What happens when my spouse messes up again?”
- So we have a protocol for that within my 13 week program
- Write it down and move on
- Be aware that this is a process
- Keep in mind that this won’t happen over night.
- No one ever hated themselves skinny/sober
Should I stick by my spouse?