As a NEW YEAR begins, many will take time to reflect on the past twelve months; the joys, the growth, the changes, the challenges along with the tears, the regrets, the losses, the hurts and the pain.
Although a new year is dawning, many have hurts from yesterday that will carry over.
Some sisters are still on their arduous journey of healing while others may have just begun. Friend, I don't know where this new year finds you, what hurts you woke up with today, what wounds are gaping open or what thoughts torment you. However, I do know that in the darkness of betrayal, Jesus illuminates that darkness with the light of His enduring love and there He embraces His beloved, broken daughter. Friend, this is where your healing begins!
When you got married your expectations were high, you were so in love. You had found someone you could finally give your heart to. Unfortunately, soon after the honeymoon, you found out that just because he was your husband and vowed to love you "till death do you part", he was human, imperfect and capable of causing you much pain. Two imperfect people coming together did not equal perfection like the childhood dreams you envisioned. This wasn't supposed to happen, Your husband was supposed to be the ONE person you could finally TRUST. With much disappointment, you realized that trust would, once again, be a struggle. SO then what?
My love letter to you.....
This is a very hard letter to write, I am struggling to find the words. I know you don't know me but I am all too familiar with you. I hope you will hear my heart as I share with you the impact you have had on my life and my marriage. Please bear with me as I preface this letter by giving you a glimpse of what my world has looked liked........
"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!
Being the wife of a husband who has struggled with an addiction to porn is a difficult cross to bear. Isolation and loneliness can become the norm in order to hide the shame this brings to the heart of a woman. I understand. However, as I have found in my own life, in order to become healthy, you MUST at some point, reach out to someone that can encourage you and help you to make sense of the emotions you battle everyday. Not only do you need a trusted Pastor and/or counselor but a woman who understands....one who can share the road to healing with you. One who knows what it is like to walk through this kind of betrayal.
How do you find such a person?
First and foremost is prayer. Pray that God would send that friend to you. A divine connection in which she can help you and you can help her. A woman who will encourage you and be quick to point you to Jesus. Chances are, you may already be friends with a woman who has been broken by her husband's addiction to porn, but too ashamed for others to know.
Beyond finding a sister to share this journey with you I want to encourage you to become involved with a support system, a group of women that you meet with on a regular basis who are passionate about becoming the women God has designed for them to be. Not in spite of their husband's addiction but because of it! No doubt, God will use these women to strengthen you and help you on your journey to wholeness.
When it comes to wives of husbands who are addicted to porn we often hear words like co-addict, enabler and co-dependent. Then we add a few labels of our own to the mix and before we know it, our true identity is hidden and soon lost amid the pain and brokenness of our circumstances. No wonder our journey to healing and wholeness is filled with roadblocks and obstacles.
I find it disheartening that because you and I have been a wife of a husband addicted to porn, we are given labels that bring MORE shame into our already broken world. We can mistakenly perceive some of these labels as indicators that we are somehow partially at fault for our husband's addiction.
Because we love a man who is or has been addicted to porn, we are quickly labeled as a co-addict. Meaning, we have an addiction, as well. Not to porn, of course, but our addiction is to our addicted husband. This is our disease. It does not matter that we had no clue of our husband's addiction when we began our relationship with him, we are automatically labeled and need to seek recovery. The good news is, there is no cure and the best to hope for is remission in which we must engage in for the rest of our lives. Really???
The other labels such as enabler and co-dependent also gets slapped on us. These labels have to do with the way we responded to our husband's addiction once it was brought to light. For example; the months following if we were at all fearful of being hurt again and showed this by checking up on our husband in any form or fashion this meant we were co-dependent and just as "sick" as our husbands. Hmm....sounds more like a woman who has experienced some trauma in her life to me. Although I do not want to focus on these labels and theories that go along with them, I would like to clarify my own thoughts. I believe even though some of us could have some unhealthy tendencies that we need to address due to the trauma of betrayal, it does not mean we should accept the labels that go along with them.
To the wounded wife, these labels only add to the pain and hopelessness that we are already feeling.
What about the other labels that we begin to believe about ourselves? Labels like victim, inadequate, failure, doormat, ugly, stupid, rejected....do those sound familiar? Which ones have you accepted about yourself? What labels are you wearing?
To be frank, your husband's addiction to porn has the power to destroy you OR to develop you into the woman God created you to be! If you are wearing labels God never intended for you to wear then you are on a slippery slope.
Dear friend, I want to encourage you to look to God's Word and what HE says about you! Do not accept the labels the world tries to give you. Do not allow the words you have spoken over yourself OR ones that others may have said over you to measure your worth. Allow God to strip those labels from you, and replace them with TRUTH. Your husband's addiction to porn does not define YOU!! What does God say about YOU? Sweet friend, what God says about YOU is who YOU are!! You are unconditionally loved, completely accepted, and chosen by the creator of the universe. Read it for yourself.....
You are a child of God!
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith... Gal 3:26
You are Called!
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, God's own purchased special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who CALLED YOU out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
You are Chosen
For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.
You are Redeemed!
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
You are a masterpiece!
For you are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
You are royalty!
You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You are beautiful!
The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your Lord.
You are wonderfully made!
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
You are not alone!
...God has said, Never will I leave you nor will I forsake you. Hebrew 13:5
You are victorious!
For everyone born of God, overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4
You are dearly loved!
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
You are COMPLETE in Christ!
So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:10
You are clothed with strength and dignity!
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25
Can I challenge you, dear friend? Start TODAY believing the Word of God no matter how you feel or what you are going through this very moment. His Word does not change. His Word is His love letter to YOU!! Read it, meditate on it and let it FILL your thoughts. You are His beloved daughter and He will use your painful circumstances for good.....that's a promise, HIS promise to YOU!!
We are assured and know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his plans and purposes. Romans 8:28