After you learn of your spouse's pornography addiction, you’ll probably experience a whole gamut of emotions including shock, anger, desperation, depression, and more. You may feel like distancing yourself from your spouse and marriage, but there are better things you can do for healing.
Follow these three tips to learn how you can slowly, but surely, improve your relationship and begin to move forward on the path of forgiveness.
1. Educate yourself on addiction. The first thing you can do when you learn about your spouse’s addiction is to educate yourself on what addiction is, how it starts, and why it’s so hard to stop. Learn about the symptoms of relational trauma you may be going through during this time, such as fear, obsession, the need for control, and the unhealthy actions that might go along with these emotions.
Speak to a professional therapist for answers to your questions and to get the support you need, which can include a support group, therapist, spiritual leader, or trusted friend, in order to move forward on the road to forgiveness and healing.
2. Distract yourself. At this time of struggle it’s easy to get into the trap of analyzing every last detail of your spouse’s sex addiction. Resist the urge. Dwelling on unpleasant details won’t help you and will probably make you feel even worse.
Instead of keeping yourself in misery, now is a good time to invest more energy in yourself. Here are a few productive ways you can build your spirits up during this difficult time:
By giving yourself a positive distraction from the struggles, you’ll replenish your soul and have more energy to effectively deal with your relationship.
3. Work to rebuild trust. The most important thing you can do for your spouse and your marriage is to encourage them to seek professional help from a marriage therapist (preferably who specializes in pornography and sexual addiction) to help them quit porn.
At the same time, the two of you can talk openly with your therapist for relationship guidance and healing. Set boundaries with your spouse to stop behaviors that make you feel uncomfortable physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Once these are set and followed, trust can start to build up again.
Communicate openly and non-aggressively throughout the healing process. Have the hard conversations. Learn to use “I” and “me” to avoid sounding accusatory, such as “I’ve noticed that…” or “Lately, I’ve been feeling…” By formatting your sentences more around your feelings, your spouse will not go on the defensive and will, more likely, hear what you have to say.
This is not an easy time, so remember to practice patience with yourself and with your spouse. Each day is each of you must recommit towards healing and working together (and individually) to rebuild the trust, improve communication, and focusing on your future.
About the Author: Danielle Adams is a freelance writer who works with Lifestar Therapy (http://www.lifestartherapy.com/). She is committed to helping people practice open communication and build healthy relationships.
When I see the stats regarding “Christian” men who are struggling with an addiction to porn my heart breaks! Why? Because for every husband who is struggling there is a wife who is broken. She is left hurt, isolated, full of shame… not knowing where to turn. Her husband’s secret is now her secret and she is being destroyed from the inside out. These wounded sisters need help. They need a safe place where they can be understood and encouraged. I am SO thankful to share with you that Freedom Begins Here is offering such a place. We have created a closed Facebook page for these women to find HOPE and ENCOURAGEMENT from other women who have experienced healing and wholeness in Christ. The Facebook page is called "In Your Shoes" and can be found by clicking on the link above.
We also have a support group of women in Northwest Arkansas who meet on a monthly basis. You can find out more info about that OR encouragement for starting your own by visiting www.freedombeginshere.org and clicking on the contact tab.
SO……………. How can YOU help?
**If YOU love someone who struggles with a porn addiction, this ministry is for YOU! It may be a husband, daughter or son. It doesn’t matter. This is your personal invitation to join us. You do NOT have to walk through this difficult season alone. There is HOPE in Christ and in community with sisters who will love you, support you and encourage you on your journey towards healing and wholeness! Friend, be courageous and join us today!
**If YOU are a woman who has experienced healing in Christ from this kind of betrayal, please carefully consider joining us in ministering to those who are wounded. (2 Cor 1:3-4) The pain in your past can be used for GOOD! Friend, Trust me, you do not have to be a counselor or psychologist...all you have to be is available. As God has comforted you, you can comfort others and give them HOPE. You WILL be blessed by being a blessing!
**If YOU know of anyone who you feel would benefit from this ministry, please pass this information along to them.
**If none of the above applies to you, we STILL need YOUR support. We ask for your prayers.
Pray for our sisters, husbands, children, families, churches, and nation to be set FREE from the seduction of porn that is running rampant in our world today. Pray that darkness would be brought to light. Pray that the body of Christ will step up and address sexual issues as boldly and unashamedly as the world portrays them. Pray that our churches, families and future generations will KNOW the TRUTH and be equipped to handle this war strategically and intentionally.
Together we CAN make a difference!
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?