In this paper, a numerical model is developed for the fully coupled hydro-mechanical analysis of deformable, progressively fracturing porous media interacting with the flow of two immiscible, compressible wetting and non-wetting pore fluids, in which the coupling between various processes is taken into account. The governing equations involving the coupled solid skeleton deformation and two-phase fluid flow in partially saturated porous media including cohesive cracks are derived within the framework of the generalized Biot theory. The fluid flow within the crack is simulated using the Darcy law in which the permeability variation with porosity because of the cracking of the solid skeleton is accounted. The cohesive crack model is integrated into the numerical modeling by means of which the nonlinear fracture processes occurring along the fracture process zone are simulated. The solid phase displacement, the wetting phase pressure and the capillary pressure are taken as the primary variables of the three-phase formulation. The other variables are incorporated into the model via the experimentally determined functions, which specify the relationship between the hydraulic properties of the fracturing porous medium, that is saturation, permeability and capillary pressure. The spatial discretization is implemented by employing the extended finite element method, and the time domain discretization is performed using the generalized Newmark scheme to derive the final system of fully coupled nonlinear equations of the hydro-mechanical problem. It is illustrated that by allowing for the interaction between various processes, that is the solid skeleton deformation, the wetting and the non-wetting pore fluid flow and the cohesive crack propagation, the effect of the presence of the geomechanical discontinuity can be completely captured. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.