First, it is important to remember how pornography might be affecting your relationships. You may not realise that the drip, drip effect of regularly accessing pornography can have a number of effects.
We suggest that you go through our Internet Use Self-Test:
‘Yes’ on 1-3 questions indicates you may have a problem. More than 3 positive answers indicates you may have a more serious problem.
Adapted and used with the permission of Prodigals International
1. Be honest and if you have not done it already, commit yourself to serious prayer about this matter. Repent, commit to change and ask God for forgiveness. Ask God to create in you a pure heart.
2. Consider talking to someone you look up to spirituality who you sense will understand.
3. Be accountable to a friend in the church on a regular and on-going basis. Check your progress against the Internet self-test and consider joining a support group.
4. Share with your wife (or husband), if appropriate and ask her to support you in prayer.
5. Delete all copies of pornography from your computer in the presence of a friend, and destroy any videos, DVDs, magazines etc.
7. Use the computer at home when someone else is in the house and can see the screen.
8. Make a conscious decision not to be in the office early in the morning or late at night on your own.
9. Live out your decision one day at a time.
10. Go, with your wife if appropriate, to a counsellor and work on bringing trust back to your relationship.
If you are married, you face the dilemma of what do you tell your spouse? This will be a very delicate decision for you personally. We recommend talking this over with the person you have confided in: they will hopefully know you and your wife and will be able to discuss the right approach.
For some couples it might be appropriate for the husband to say nothing to his wife, as this revelation may be just too devastating. You will know if your relationship falls into this category.
For others openness will be necessary – and it may help your wife understand some of your behaviour over recent months. Telling your wife will be a difficult thing to do. We suggest that you should talk to her when you are sure you want to change. To do so before may be more damaging to your wife and you. We also suggest that you should not give too much detail about the sort of material you have looked at. Tell your wife that you are sorry, that you have sinned against her and God and that you will change your behaviour. You must expect that your wife will be shocked and hurt, and possibly angry. You should acknowledge that you have hurt her deeply and that it will take time to repair the intimacy lost in your relationship, but, that you want to rebuild her trust in you. (See also the section on Help for Spouses.)
You may be in the position where your wife has found pornography stored on your computer and has already confronted you about your actions. In this situation you may have told her everything or you may have denied any involvement, but now wish to change your mind and talk to your wife. In this case, we suggest confiding in someone you trust and reviewing the advice above about what you should say. You will have to deal your wife’s reaction to your pornography use and the fact that you have tried to cover it up, so seek prayerful support from your trusted friend.