2017 St. George UCAP Conference
The Spiritual Implications for Women After They Learn of Their Husband’s Pornography Addiction
Carmel Parker White, PhD
Women who are living with a husband who has a pornography addiction suffer in many ways. One of the ways is that they feel like they have lost their spiritual grounding. In our interviews with women, we learned that many women experience spiritual pain and confusion as they attempt to reconcile their beliefs about marriage and the importance of family and home with the knowledge that their husband is using pornography. As the spiritual pain continues, it may transform into a trial of faith. Women told us how discovering that pornography was part of their marriage caused them to re-examine their relationship with God. Some told us they were initially angry with Him and questioned why this had happened to them. Other women began to question their ability to receive guidance and answers to their prayers. Some experiences were spiritually painful for women because they were reminders of the disconnect between what they thought they had in their marriage and the reality of their situation. This loss of spiritual grounding often took years for women to process and find peace. Understanding the feelings of women as they try to resolve the loss of spiritual grounding can be helpful for therapists as they counsel with women and help them to find ways to heal their spiritual beliefs and re-establish their connection to God.
Carmel Parker White has a doctorate in lifespan human development from Kansas State University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Brigham Young University. She has been in higher education for over 20 years but is currently working at the Correlation Research Division at LDS Church headquarters. She has authored or co-authored 25 peer-reviewed articles. She currently lives in Sandy, Utah.