Restored: True Stories of Love and Trust after Porn, available at: ForYourMarriage.org


Restored: True Stories of Love and Trust after Porn

Restored: True Stories of Love and Trust after Porn


In Restored: True Stories of Love and Trust after Porn, women share their experiences of trauma and healing related to a loved one’s pornography use or addiction. Each story follows a woman as she moves from ignorance to knowledge, anger to forgiveness, and pain to healing.

Edited by Matt and Cameron Fradd (Matt is the executive director of The Porn Effect, a website dedicated to helping men and women break free from pornography, and the author of several books on the subject), this compilation can offer a woman in a similar situation a sense of community, solidarity, and the sure knowledge that she is not alone. Addiction to pornography is so common today that many women are struggling to understand and forgive their husbands who are caught up in it. This book is focused specifically on how a man’s addiction to pornography affects the women in his life, but it does not deny that women may also struggle with this sin.

The eleven stories recounted in Restored have many common elements. Each of the women, in her own way, deals with feelings of betrayal, confusion, self-doubt, anger, grief, and pain. Each of them is transparent in sharing her journey, allowing the reader to enter into the messiness and emotional turmoil she experienced while still offering hope based on Christ. Concrete steps emerge in almost every story as necessities for healing and moving forward in the marriage. There are no platitudes or naïve ideas that saying a few Hail Mary’s and promising never to do it again is going to work. Porn-blocking or monitoring systems on devices, twelve-step programs or other accountability programs, mentoring, professional counseling for both the user and the spouse, and establishing healthy boundaries were common to every story. It was easy to identify with the author of each chapter and to empathize with her experience. On the other hand, it was also easy, from the outside, to wonder why some of the simpler preventative measures weren’t taken earlier, once the addiction was confessed to the spouse, or why no one (such as a priest in marriage prep) had asked the couples about porn use. This is a helpful reminder that many people are still not aware of how pervasive or overpowering pornography addiction is.

Another helpful aspect of this book is that it demonstrates the way that pornography can be a “gateway drug” to other types of sexual “acting out,” including adultery, prostitution, and child pornography. As Matt notes in one of the chapter introductions, many women may feel that their situation is worse than anyone else’s, and this leads them to keep it quiet. Part of the aim of the book is to show that no matter how extreme the case is, there is always hope.

The key message of Restored is that forgiveness and healing is always possible, by the grace of Christ, and with the help of those who have walked the same road before. Pornography is not a fun topic of conversation, but it is a necessary one. The encouragement of this book is that if pornography use is brought into the light, God can help root it out. “For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light” (Lk 8:17). It is only in darkness that our sins can thrive. The women who contributed to this book have done a great service in letting their experience be a light to others.

About the Reviewer

Sara Perla is the Program Specialist for the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. She attended the Catholic University of America and received her Master’s degree in Theological Studies at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Washington, D.C. She is also a baker, a ballet dancer, and an avid listener of NPR podcasts.



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Restored: True Stories of Love and Trust after Porn, available at: ForYourMarriage.org
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