Even though you may see your husband moving forward on his journey towards deliverance, sometimes it is difficult to see him as God sees him. I can relate all too well. We tend to see through eyes of the past. We see through distorted lenses. We see through the pain, the tears, the memories.
I normally do not write posts directly to husbands. Because of my own journey, my passion is to give hope to wives whose husbands have or are currently struggling with an addiction to porn. However, this post is different. I cannot keep silent on this subject any longer. As your sister in Christ, I write this in love and in hopes that God can use it to encourage you to be different from the husbands that I hear about. Please bear with me as I explain what I am talking about.
"I cry out to God, I run to Him in my pain, frustration and even shame. I just can't seem to get it all together. Why God, why can't you just "fix" me? Can't you just remove those ugly things deep in my heart that seem to still be there, forever a part of who I am? Lord Jesus, there is this battle, a struggle raging inside of my soul. I see the woman I WANT to be, the one I desire to be and I am so very far from that. She is buried beneath the hurts and insecurities. I thought you and I together had conquered these things once and for all, but here I am, finding myself in this cave of despair AGAIN. There are days when it seems the harder I try, the worse it gets. As if the ground that I had gained was all but lost and I find myself back at the beginning of it all. Old feelings, thoughts of the lies, the betrayal. They weigh heavy upon my soul like a weight with no mercy."
Have you ever had similar thoughts? You are NOT alone, my friend!
I want to write to you frankly and honestly from a wife's perspective. A wife who has seen her porn addicted husband delivered and her marriage restored. A wife who has endured the brokenness of this kind of betrayal and experienced the healing, redeeming power of Jesus Christ. I want to give you hope. So let's start at the place where most husbands addicted to porn eventually find themselves........
You've been caught. Your wife now knows your secret.
Now what? Is there hope for your marriage? Will your wife always be this angry? Will your wife ever be able to forgive you? Will she leave you?
You see her, Sunday after Sunday. You notice how pretty she is. She seems to be everything that you aren't. Everyone seems to like her. She seems to have the "happily ever after" that you only dream about! Her marriage is perfect. Great family, great kids. She always smiles, always seems to have it all together. You have her all figured out. You assume she never gets angry. She never yells at her kids. She never misses her daily time with Jesus. You are so sure that she never feels awkward or insecure. There is a big part of you that wishes your life was more like hers. For you, life has been so unfair. You think if she had half the problems you do, she certainly wouldn't be smiling so much. She is so intimidating to you. Why would she want to be friends with someone like you? Your life is so messy. She certainly wouldn't understand.
So what do you do? You keep your distance. You may even avoid her at times. Even though she has tried to reach out to you, your assumptions about her will not allow a relationship to take root.
But, what if your assumptions are all wrong???? What if the thoughts you are having are not reality at all?
You now know his secret. Your husband is addicted to porn.
More than likely, you caught your husband looking at porn or you found it by accident on the computer. You were hoping it was just a slip up, a wrong click of the mouse, a one time event. But as time has gone by and more truth has been revealed, you realize it wasn't a one time event but an ongoing obsession. The choice that you will eventually have to make is whether you should tell somebody or not.
Your husband, most likely, will not want anybody to know. He may be telling YOU to keep it a secret. After all, it is his secret not yours. It's his to keep. The truth is, you feel so shameful about this new discovery that you are okay with not telling anyone. What would others think? You begin believing the lie that it is best for nobody to know. It could destroy the "perfect" christian family image that you portray to those around you. So you hide your pain. You put your mask on every time you leave your home. You smile, determined to not let anyone see your wounded heart. You pull back from others. You seclude yourself, so fearful that those who know you best may catch you at a week moment and see your brokenness. You make excuses for not going out with your girlfriends. You cry yourself to sleep at night. Nobody knows what it is like to be you. And part of you is just fine with that. The other part of you wants so badly to be heard, to be understood, to be free from the secret that has left your heart so painfully shattered.
What do you do?