She Said: Responding To My Husband’s Porn Addiction

jeannieOver the years, we tried everything. We bought every book available on porn addiction, and saw countless therapists. We even tried in-house treatment. I had known of my husband’s pornography use before marriage. I thought it would disappear when we were able to engage in marital intimacies. But it didn’t.

Many of the things we tried gave him tools to “restrain” himself, but only for a while. The sad prediction “once an addict, always an addict” haunted our marriage. Eventually, our hope began to dwindle. And with every new discovery or disclosure of pornography another piece of my heart broke. I was a deeply wounded spouse. On numerous occasions I felt so betrayed and hurt that divorce seemed the only solution. None of the avenues we tried offered any help for me.

What held me together during that time was the belief that my husband was being honest with me whenever he slipped. Yet even that trust shattered with the rise of internet pornography. As an endless supply of porn became more easily accessible, affordable, and anonymous, his addiction escalated. The double life that pornography brought to our marriage became a living nightmare. I was backed into a corner with no way out.

Then, one day, we had a spark of hope. We learned of a new approach to pornography recovery in the form of an online program that focused on “retraining” the brain to lose the craving, instead of just “restraining” the desires. Bruce enrolled in this anonymous, cutting edge program, based on the brain science of change. It offered a continuum of care, including support for me. He received a personal coach, over 18 hours of video psycho-education, tracking, accountability and more. Together, we learned how pornography causes a tidal wave of neurochemicals that hijack a person’s brain. Even though Bruce had tried desperately to stop for years, porn relentlessly unleashed urges that overwhelmed his willpower. We discovered the cruel irony of pornography: that it exploits brain chemicals that naturally aid in bonding between spouses, and enslaves a person to a desire that can never be satisfied.

Miraculously, brain “retraining” worked. For Bruce, the program brought a rediscovery of the freedom that he had long ago lost. For me, it meant finally experiencing longed-for and needed healing. For our marriage, the program brought freedom from the addiction that had so cruelly enslaved us both.

Bruce was the third person in the world to enroll in the program that has now been effective for thousands of people in over eighty countries. Today, we have been able to partner with the professional team who spent years creating this remarkable online recovery program, and offer a version of the program called RECLAIM SEXUAL HEALTH. We share our personal story in order to encourage others to discover the hope, help and healing that we found.

This month we will celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary. My heart is no longer broken, but bursting with the good news that “once an addict, always an addict” is not the final word. In fact, it is a lie. Recovery and healing are possible; the resources are available. There is reason to hope.

Jeannie

Jeannie Hannemann, M.A, is co-director of RECLAiM Sexual Health.
Avatar

Latest posts by Jeannie (see all)

Written By
More from Jeannie

She Said: Responding To My Husband’s Porn Addiction

Over the years, we tried everything. We bought every book available on...
Read More

2 Comments

  • There is a chapter in the book The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge MD that explains how easily young men’s brain chemicals change when watching porn. It is scary how prevalent this addiction is, with the availability of porn on the internet.
    So glad the newest research in brain chemistry can help!

  • I’m 30 years old and my boyfriend and I broke up last year due to his porn addiction, even though he was on his recovery journey. He enrolled himself on Reclaim as well. Fast forward to this day, we’ve both found freedom from pain and sin and God gave us the blessing of getting back together. Recovery is possible, for both parties. God makes everything possible 🙂

Comments are closed.