Pornography As Possible Grounds for Separation

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Is my spouse's addiction to sexually explicit material a reason to leave him?

My husband still struggles with pornography addiction — despite his feelings of remorse and several tries to get help. Is a permanent separation the only way to resolve this conflict?



We’re sorry that, up to this point, your efforts to find outside assistance haven’t worked. But don’t give up hope. Help is available — for your husband, for you, and for your marriage.

A temporary separation might motivate your spouse to deal with his problem once and for all. However, we can’t say for sure without more details about your circumstances. What we can offer is information about healing from pornography addiction.

Steps toward healing from pornography addiction

Know that you’re not alone

Sexual addictions of all kinds are widespread. And it’s not just a male problem. It affects men and women, boys and girls, from every age group and all walks of life. It’s also relentless and escalates because it’s rooted in the basic human craving for relationship. In other words, pornography is powerful because it offers a counterfeit form of intimacy and attachment.

Keep that in mind as you try to help your husband. Sadly, he’s believed the lie that depersonalized sex can ultimately satisfy the longings of the human heart.

Find a licensed professional counselor who specializes in treating sexual addictions

We recommend you do this as a couple. The most successful course of treatment takes a family systems approach with intensive therapy followed by regular, ongoing counseling sessions.

Not sure where to start? Call our Counseling department for a free over-the-phone consultation. They can give you referrals to qualified therapists in your area who specialize in treating sexual addictions. (In the meantime, the resources and referrals below can be helpful.)

If your husband won’t join you in getting counseling, you may need to use tough love. (This is where temporary separation might be valuable.) The principles of tough love will help you develop the strength and courage you need to confront this issue.

Build a support network

Another key to recovery is to have a trusted friend or group of individuals who will give you and your husband support and accountability.

Remember that God sees you

God loves you and your husband, and He cares about your future and your marriage. May His peace and wisdom sustain you.



If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

The Last Addiction: Why Self-Help Is Not Enough

False Intimacy: Understanding the Struggle of Sexual Addiction

Love Must Be Tough: New Hope for Marriages in Crisis

Boundaries in Marriage

Digital Pornography Addiction: What You Need to Know and Where to Find Help


Hope Restored: A Marriage Intensive Experience

Be Broken Ministries

Covenant Eyes


Pornography and Virtual Infidelity

Dealing With Pornography Addiction


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