I have asked this question so MANY times over the years. Not always verbally, but in my mind it was there.....eating away at my God given dignity and value, eroding the woman God intended for me to be. I understand the deep pain and the tears behind that question. I know the anguish, the hopelessness, the shame.
My husband's addiction to porn left open wounds that festered and gave way to toxic thinking. A battle I lost many times over. In those dark moments I listened to the lie of the enemy over and over again. I hid in shame. Those were some of the absolute loneliest days of my life. I was so self focused. I would cry and cry thinking why can't he just love me? There were moments when I would have rather died than feel what I was feeling.
In speaking with other wives in similar circumstances I know I am not alone. Wives who have experienced this kind of betrayal fight the same battle and satan does a happy dance. If he can get us to focus on ourselves, to doubt our worth, our God given value, then he knows we will never fulfill God's divine purposes for our lives.
In a desperate attempt to feel loved and valued, we look to our husbands and ask over and over ...am I not enough?? Before we even give a voice to our thoughts, we hear the whispers speaking to our wounded hearts... "NO, you are NOT enough... if you were, your husband would not have looked at porn to find satisfaction." Lies!
I could never understand how my husband could tell me that he loved me and yet choose to be driven from my arms to the world of fake and fantasy. When I saw for myself what he had been viewing, it confirmed to me what I wasn't, what I was lacking and I began believing the lie. The lie that his addiction was about me. Why do you have to look at "them"? Why do you need "them" if you have me? In my mind, I answered that question myself after I saw "them"......so beautiful, so perfectly built. I knew I didn't look like "them" so the comparing began. In despair, I knew I couldn't compete.... It was not just ONE he engaged with mentally but too many to name. A buffet of sorts with the click of the mouse. No matter how much we learn about this addiction or someone tells us "IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU"... it still "feels" like it is.
That was many years ago. Those years were full of shame and sadness. I thank my God that I know the truth now...but I also know that just because we "know" the truth, our hearts can find it so difficult to internalize the truth as we sift through the deep pain and trauma of this kind of betrayal. It's a common battle we fight over and over again.
So, If you are asking the question "Am I not enough?" please hear me shout YES!!! Your husband's addiction has NOTHING to do with YOU!! When you became his bride, God anointed YOU to be the wife your husband needed...He joined you together as one flesh. You ARE enough! Your personality, your weight, height, your build, or hair color, etc. has NOTHING to do with his addiction to porn. It is NOT your fault!
Do the research and you will find that the majority of men who have battled an addiction to porn were exposed to porn at a very young age which led to their addiction before they ever even met their wives. Still, we think, "If I were prettier, skinnier, taller, sexier, etc., my husband would not desire porn and I would not feel this rejection." Whatever "physical" attribute you think it is...it is NOT. Quit thinking, quit comparing, quit wishing....quit!!! This kind of thinking only breeds an environment that enables the addict to continue making unhealthy choices. I understand this...I used to think that my husband desired the beauty of others over me and that is why he liked viewing porn. Lies! Porn is not about true beauty at all, It is about a selfish desire for a man to please himself. Not to look, just to look, but to look to satisfy his selfish desires. It's an addiction that I don't think we, as wives, will ever be able to fully understand, but as long as we quit believing the lies, we can move forward.
Because so many of us have allowed our worth to be based on the way other's treat us we are devastated when our husband's addiction to porn is exposed. We are absolutely crushed and it cuts us to the very core of who we are. Instead of it being about our husband's deliverance it becomes more about "why, me?....am I not enough??"
It is in the aftermath of such devastation that we realize our significance was based more on how are husband treated us and showed value to us than on what God says about us.
No doubt, our search for significance began at a very young age. If we don't realize our worth and value in Christ, we will struggle with these mindsets for a lifetime, thinking we need man's approval to be complete.
My dear sister, it is time for us to walk in TRUTH and no longer allow man or the things of this world to define us. Search you heart and evaluate your thinking. Have you placed your worth, your value in the hands of your husband or in the way others treat you? That, my friend, is misplaced value and will leave you vulnerable to the enemy in every area of your life. Girls, our worth is far too precious to be placed in the hands of a man.
So where do you start? If your husband's choices have devastated you to the point of causing you to feel worthless and hopeless then please revisit your understanding of God's amazing, extravagant love for you. In your heart of hearts do you really get it? I want to encourage you, precious one, to pray for a divine revelation of how very much Jesus loves YOU then bathe your heart and mind in His Word. He WILL reveal Himself to you and His Word will replace the lies you have believed. Friend, His WORD is ALL powerful and will tear down the strongholds that has held your mind captive and replace the lies with TRUTH. Can you say FREEDOM? YES!!!! Just as our husband's road to recovery requires a disciplined thought life, ours must too! All of us have to learn how to take captive any and ALL thoughts that are contrary to the WORD of God.
What does God's Word say about you? In Ephesians 5:1 we are told to "Be imitators of Christ as dearly loved children.....does your life exemplify a daughter who believes she is dearly loved? A woman who knows she is dearly loved by Jesus Christ himself will not allow others to define who she is. She will be confident in who God says she is. She will face any and every circumstance with dignity and grace because she knows she is loved dearly by her Father. She will realize that her husband's addiction to porn does NOT have the power to change her identity. In other words, her worth does NOT change and her value can never be depleted because her significance was settled at the cross. Oh, if we could just really take hold of who we are in Christ...our whole life would change for the Glory of God!
There is one more thing I would like to mention. If we are not careful, in our pain and brokenness, we can become so self-focused that we miss the big picture of what God desires to teach us. Life is not meant to be about us and our happiness but about being transformed into His likeness. Asking the question, "am I not enough?"..shows the heart of a woman who is wasting precious time and energy thinking about herself. I only say this because I have been that woman many times over. Honestly, thinking about ourselves, having a pity party, gets us no where. It does not change a thing. It only keeps us in a pit and an emotional wreck. During those times we are missing opportunities all around us to fulfill the purposes of God in our lives. That is what the enemy wants, for us to focus on ourselves. He did it in the garden with Eve and hasn't ever stopped. It's a trap that is so deceptive.
My dear sister, life is all about Jesus and His kingdom and His purposes. As Godly women, that should be our focus. It is so easy to get distracted, to get side tracked, especially when we have been deeply wounded. Stay focused on your Savior, allow Him to be what fills your thoughts. Spend time pursuing His heart and His purposes and you will find yourself at peace instead of in turmoil.
All the above are things I am still working on. It is a process. I am not where I want to be but I am thankful that I am not where I was. I don't write this as a woman who has all the answers but as one who desires to bring truth to the hearts of women wounded by their husband's addiction to porn.
No matter where you are at on your journey, please know in your heart of hearts that you are valuable to God, you were created for His divine purposes to reveal His glory. He loves you with an everlasting love. Do not let others define you. The one who calls you His beloved chose YOU to be His daughter. You are unique. You are special. You are set apart. You are valued. You are deeply and extravagantly loved.
I believe that God is raising us up; an army of women who are coming to know and understand who we are in HIM and are becoming secure in His love for us, learning to be the women God has called us to be in these last days, for such a time as this. The question will no longer be...am I not enough? but is God enough? And the answer we will find is that He is MORE THAN ENOUGH and what He says about us is what is TRUTH. It is that TRUTH that will set us free and enable us to be all the God created us to be.
Don't ever forget, my friend....The Creator of the Universe, is crazy about YOU!!!
Written by: Mindy Adams