It is estimated that half of all men who attend church struggle with sexual or pornography addiction. That means that half of all wives who attend church are married to a man who struggles with purity. A woman in this situation faces fears that it may be her fault. She may feel that she is alone in her situation and in her pain. She very likely feels shame.
Being married to a man who struggles with sexual addiction creates a range of reactions on the part of the wife. Some women are afraid that they aren't meeting their spouse's sexual needs and end up doing things they are ashamed of to try to make up for that with their husband. Other women try to control their husband's behavior by withholding sex. Some women enter into an almost parental role with their husband, trying to spy on them to find out how they are acting inappropriately and then try to enforce limits on his behavior.
These are all coping mechanisms that women use to try to end the pain they are feeling. Unfortunately, none of these solve the problem of sexual addiction
in the men they live with. Still, in most cases, spouses of addicts continue to try these and other coping strategies, even though they do not produce lasting results. A cycle is generated of the man acting inappropriately, the woman responding with a coping strategy, the man behaving for a while, and after time passes and things calm down a little, it all starts over again.
The addicted husband will never change until he seeks help. The suffering spouse will not find relief and effective coping strategies until she seeks help. The consequences of the addiction will continue to negatively affect the marriage and family until all that is left of the marriage is two unconnected people who happen to live in the same building, or until one of the spouses leaves. Unfortunately, husbands and wives often go on in this unhappy arrangement until the addict's behavior causes a severe enough consequence that one of them finally seeks help. The fortunate ones realize they need help before consequences become too destructive.