The Thriving Couples Club: Strengthening Your Relationship After Porn Addiction Tore it Apart

Are you frustrated with the current state of your marriage?  Are you angry and resentful that your husband is looking at porn, and no matter how many times you’ve asked him to stop he won’t.  Even threatened to leave if he won’t stop?  He may tell you he is trying to quit, but he just can’t figure out how.  If this goes on long enough you will both get fed up with each other, you by his lack of action, and him because he feels like you are nagging and controlling, and you will eventually divorce.

I’ve been there too.  I know what is at stake.  I know all too well what this rollercoaster feels like, and how it can tear families apart.  It can also be particularly frustrating for one or both of you if one of you is in therapy, and seems to be moving forward, but the other person is stuck in their frustration and feelings from the past.  Often couples then turn to a couples therapist, but the frustrations continue.  One or both of the partners feel like the therapist is taking sides, they don’t feel safe to be fully open with the therapist because the other partner is right there on the same couch with them, and progress is slow if at all.

But I have good news!  There is help and hope for couples who feel like their marriages are headed for divorce because of porn use and their ability to repair the relationship, and it is not sitting on the same couch in a therapist’s office.  I have been working with women in the betrayal trauma world for many years now, and I have heard about their frustrations with the help that is available for the couple to heal together.  And that is why I have developed a new program, unlike anything else I’ve ever seen, and it is designed specifically for the couples I described above.

I’m going to try to use an analogy I think you will understand.

Have you ever tried a new home organization system and felt so good about the initial results, and then all of a sudden, a few months later you look around and notice that somewhere along the way, something went awry and your house is cluttered again?  I know I have!

But let’s chat for a minute about WHY this happens.  Here are a few reasons.  

  1. Lack of Unified Commitment: Even if one person in the household is fully invested in maintaining the organization system, its effectiveness can be undermined if other household members aren’t equally committed. While you may have enthusiastically embraced the new system to bring order to your home, other occupants may not share the same perspective. They may have been content with the previous state of the house or unaffected by the clutter that prompted the organizational efforts. Consequently, without buy-in from all household members, particularly both adults, including agreement on the importance of maintaining the system, it becomes challenging to sustain the organization over time. For the system to work effectively, it requires the cooperation and commitment of everyone who shares the living space.
  2. Lack of Consistency: Another reason organization systems fail is due to a lack of consistency in maintaining them. Over time, the initial enthusiasm for organizing may wane, and old habits can resurface, leading to clutter and disorganization. Without consistent effort from all family members to adhere to the established routines and systems, it becomes challenging to sustain organization in the long term.
  3. Changes in Family Dynamics: As families grow and evolve, their needs and routines may change, impacting the effectiveness of existing organization systems. For example, the birth of a new baby, changes in work schedules, or shifting priorities can disrupt established routines and require adjustments to organization strategies. If these changes aren’t addressed promptly and the organization system isn’t adapted accordingly, it may become less functional over time.
  4. Failure to Address Root Causes: Often, organization systems focus on addressing the symptoms of clutter rather than the underlying causes. Without addressing the root causes of disorganization, such as excessive belongings, ineffective storage solutions, or lack of time management skills, the organization system may only provide temporary relief. Over time, clutter can accumulate again, undoing the progress made and leading to frustration with the system’s effectiveness.

This makes total sense as to why home organizational systems fail over time.  But let’s apply these same 4 principles to why marriages break down over time when porn use is involved.

  1. Lack of Unified Commitment: One of the most significant challenges in addressing porn use within a marriage is the lack of unified commitment from both partners. While one spouse may express concerns or desires for the other to quit porn, the effectiveness of any efforts to address the issue depends on the willingness of both partners to work together towards a solution. If one partner is resistant to change or unwilling to acknowledge the impact of porn use on the relationship, it can create tension and conflict, undermining the trust and intimacy essential for a healthy marriage.
  2. Lack of Consistency: Another reason marriages may face challenges when one partner wants the other to quit porn is due to a lack of consistency in addressing the issue. Initially, there may be discussions or agreements about reducing or eliminating porn use, but without consistent effort from both partners to address the issue and adhere to any agreements made, trust can erode, and the problem may persist or worsen over time.  Many couples find it hard to talk about the subject of porn, so the wife may think that a single conversation about it, demanding it stop, and the husband agreeing to it is all they need.  Uncomfortable or not, there will need to be many conversations about the topic and how quitting is going.
  3. Changes in Relationship Dynamics: As marriages evolve, changes in relationship dynamics can impact the effectiveness of efforts to address porn use. Factors such as communication breakdowns, unresolved conflicts, or shifts in intimacy levels can create barriers to open dialogue and compromise on sensitive topics like porn consumption. Without addressing these underlying issues, attempts to address porn use may be met with resistance or resentment, leading to further strain on the relationship.
  4. Failure to Address Root Causes: Often, efforts to address porn use focus on the behavior itself rather than the underlying factors contributing to it. Without addressing the root causes of porn consumption, such as stress, emotional needs, or past traumas and experiences, attempts to quit may be superficial and short-lived, and occasionally swapped for another addictive behavior. If these underlying issues remain unaddressed, they can continue to fuel the cycle of porn use and strain the marital relationship.

Addressing porn use within a marriage requires consistent effort, open communication, and a shared commitment to addressing underlying issues and working towards mutual goals. Without these elements, the strain caused by differing perspectives on porn use can contribute to the breakdown of trust and intimacy over time.

If what I have just described sounds like you, and these 4 points above describe your marriage, what can be done?  Is it possible to still save a marriage that has become this disconnected and contentious?  The answer is YES, it can still be saved.

For years I have been helping women do their part in taking responsibility for the role they play and helping them heal from the trauma that was caused from their husband’s porn use.  While my clients were enjoying success, they were often frustrated that their partners were not progressing at the same rate they were.  Similarly, I have worked with women whose husbands had given up the porn years previously, but the relationship was not healing because the wife had not done her own healing from the trauma.

And this is where The Thriving Couples Club was born.  I knew in order for my clients to have the best chance of success, they needed to be healing at the same time their husbands were giving up the porn.  That they each needed professional help to heal the underlying causes of the breakdown of their relationships and then, work together to heal the relationship itself for the future.

I have partnered with fellow Certified Life Coach Matt Smith, who is a powerhouse in helping men quit porn.  Together we are working with couples in a unified, strategic plan, to teach each partner the same or similar topics each week.  Both partners get coached on those topics so that they are healing at the same rate, but in a coaching space where they each have their own professional and safe space to heal in.  The men meet together with Matt to first uncover the root cause of the porn use, and then quit porn for good.  As they get porn use under control they start to work on what they can do to repair broken trust, stabilize the foundation of their relationship, and then move forward creating a marriage that is stronger than it ever was.

Meanwhile, at the same time I am working with the women to understand the pain that they are experiencing, to make sense of it so that they can heal and not carry it into the renewed relationship we are creating.  Then, at the same pace as their husbands I help them design what they want the relationship to look like, decide what they take with them into the future, and what gets decluttered and left behind for good.  Couples can then move forward creating a marriage that is stronger than it ever was, hand in hand with their husbands.

If you have ever felt like your couples therapist was picking sides, that will not be a problem in The Thriving Couples Club because the husbands and wives each have their own coach to work with.  If you have ever been frustrated that your spouse is not progressing at the same rate as you, that is also addressed by helping the couple progress together.  And if you have ever been frustrated because the therapist or coach doesn’t know how to help your husband stop watching porn for good, then you will be glad he is working with Matt.  In fact, Matt has devoted his entire practice to solely working with men with porn addictions for the last 4 years.  He is empathetic, yet firm and organized with the men, and he knows how to help them get to the root of the problem, and then give up porn for good.  I wish that I had had a program like this, and my ex could have worked with Matt.  In developing this new opportunity in my coaching practice, I didn’t want to partner with just any coach, I looked specifically for someone who has a history of getting results, because I believe that is what your relationship deserves.

This program was made for YOU!  We can’t do the work for you and your husband, but our goal is 100%  couple success.  One of the ways we ensure this for our couples is we interview both the husband and the wife.  This can’t be just one of the partners wanting the other one to quit; it won’t last.  Couples qualify for our program when they both WANT to change and save their marriage.  The husband has to WANT to quit porn and repair his relationship, and the wife has to WANT to move forward from the past, and heal together with her husband.  When both partners WANT this badly enough, then we can help them.

We work with couples for 6 months.  In that amount of time the men quit porn, address the root cause that started it, and work to repair what they broke.  During this time the women learn that even though things their partner did in the past broke them in many ways, she is the only one who can fix herself and we empower her to do just that.

If I try to visualize what it looks like for couples who have had their marriages devastated by porn addiction, I think of a house being hit by a tornado.  Things seemed fine, and then there is usually a “discovery day” when the wife learns of the addiction.  That day and sometimes the coming days feels like a tornado has come in and ripped everything apart.  Contents of the home are strewn about the yard and everything is broken or missing.  It’s complete devastation.  And no matter how hard they try to rebuild and repair the home, it’s never fast enough before a storm rolls through town and exposes the parts of the home that aren’t fixed yet.  It can become so exhausting, and it feels like that is all the couples ever talk about.  They begin to contemplate giving up entirely, and divorcing.  This is how our couples often feel when they come to us.

Together Matt and I help couples survey what is salvageable, and then clear the land completely.  We help them build a new, stronger foundation.  From there they decide how many rooms the house will have and put up the framing.  After framing, we need to install utilities.  The couple needs systems in place that will work behind the scenes with plumbing and electrical to make sure the house is always functioning.  Then they get to finish the interior, then exterior of the home, and finally decorate.  It’s a 6 month process that we take couples through making sure that first the foundation of the relationship is strong, that they are both fully committed.  Then we start on the bones of the relationship, learning new skills and unlearning old ones that don’t work.  Then they figure out what the utilities, or processes, are that they need in their marriage.  We give them lots of tools to use now and in the future when new storms come.  From there they work on dreaming about the future again and setting goals, and completing the process of rebuilding the relationship.  From there we make sure to give them ongoing support so that they can perform maintenance on their relationship as needed.

If your relationship has been damaged by porn use, we can help YOU too!  If you and your partner are both wanting to repair, we can help you do that.  The Thriving Couples Club is accepting applications now for our next group.  If you wait too much longer you might be paying for a relationship funeral, otherwise known as divorce, instead of paying to rebuild.  This process takes work, but so does divorce.  Wouldn’t you rather spend your time, energy and money on saving your relationship, than on lawyers to help you work out a plan to see your kids every other weekend?  Don’t let that happen to you without giving this a try.  It’s not too late.  Use THIS LINK to schedule a call to talk to me to see if you and your husband are a good fit for The Thriving Couples Club.

Before we part ways, I want to extend a heartfelt invitation to join my community. If you’re not already on my email list, I encourage you to click HERE and become a valued member. By doing so, you’ll receive timely notifications when new blog posts go live, offering you a regular dose of positive truths about relationships, insights into navigating betrayal trauma, and strategies for overcoming narcissistic abuse. 

If you know someone struggling with relationship challenges, working to build self-confidence, or seeking guidance to make decisions they can feel good about, be their guiding light. Share this blog with them and invite them to my page. Together, we can empower others to make choices that resonate with their true selves. Because, deep down, I believe each human is their own best expert.

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As you contemplate your next steps, remember that the power to change your life for the better lies within you. If you’re ready for gentle, wise guidance as you face these challenging decisions, don’t let time slip away. Book a session now, and start your journey towards healing and clarity together.

Looking forward to connecting with you soon!

Kendra Last, Certified Life Coach & Retreat Leader

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My name is Kendra Last

I’m a life coach and author of the book Journaling to Recovery: A Reference Guide to Healing from Betrayal Trauma. I have been working in the betrayal recovery world for almost a decade. I’ve been there, and I will help you let go of the pain of the past, help you recognize your own inner beauty and strength, and help you learn to celebrate yourself again.

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