Nothing would ever be the same. I could tell from his face as he sat there with me, hands trembling, eyes fixed, face tired. He had been through something. His shoulders hunched forward as we sat on the edge of the bed. As his voice poured out every distinct detail of the last three days of his life, it seemed to me we sat on the edge of life. New life. Broken and bent, he unraveled the tale of his pain. It was one I knew well. My husband had been addicted to pornography since he was twelve. Simultaneously repulsed and intrigued by the graphic nature of willing nakedness, it had hooked him. And the hook went deep. Like thousands of men, the intrigue of this intimate fantasy world provided a sick and sane escape when life got hard. The unconditional acceptance of beautiful, naked women who wanted nothing in return except to enter his head and make him king for a moment, had rocked our marriage. Despite repeated attempts to get free from its hold, including plenty of shame and rejection from me, my husband was a slave to its power. Until today. Today, Darin was different. He had returned from three days of what he calls ?A crowbar to his head,? with Dr. Mark Laaser. Mark had journeyed with him into the deep dark of the hook. King-for-a-moment had crumbled beneath the power of skillful insight, Darin?s deep sorrow and desire to get well and the indescribable power of a relentless God. We both sat in silence as he finished the story of his recent journey. ?Now it?s your turn,? he said. I cocked my head and looked at him in the same superior way I had been looking at him and all men who had the hook. My words were indignant, ?My turn?? ?Yes? he said. ?Sexual brokenness, like other addictions, is a family problem. If I am going to get well and stay well, you have to do it with me. We?ve both been sick and we both need to recover.? His words fell on me like an insult. I had valiantly stood by him, constantly prayed for him, sought accountability for him, put filters on our computer, gave him scripture references, went down to the altar with him and had gone to great lengths to make myself a romantic interesting and available wife. What more did he want? I had done my part, hadn?t I? Obviously, this was his problem. His sin. His weakness. His shame. Why should I have to get a crow bar in my head, too? As I sat looking at him with a glib, condescending stare, a hot feeling began to creep around my neck. I felt my hands begin to tingle as my thoughts raced back to all the times I had found my husband in the arms of other women via our home computer. Their perfect tan bodies, long hair and cunning smiles flashed behind my angry eyes. To me, he had violated our marriage vows and rejected me as a woman. I could never compete with all those on-screen images. I wanted to stab him. What?s more, his sheepish, shame-filled excuses and meager apologies when all the fighting was over held no comfort for me. I would just sit in a numb void with a steep cliff in my gut. Wondering how a good-Christian marriage could this kind of problem, king-for-a-moment went to work, and I sank in a pool of self-pity and rage. Incredulously, I sat on the edge of that bed and tried to find any good reason why I should go into treatment for his addiction? To accept that this was a mutual, family -system problem would let him off the hook. It also inferred that somehow, I was to blame. I was furious that he even had this struggle. I wanted him to pay. His problem had cost me a very high price and left a secret place in me emotionally bankrupt and starving. With my body tense and my head pounding I shot my wounded arrows straight for his heart. ?You did this to us. I want no part of your problem any longer. I hate your problem. And today, I feel like I hate you. Why did you bring this into our marriage? Do you know how much it hurts to be married to a man that wants other women? Why do you even have this struggle?? My whole body pulsed and burned as I shot and stabbed him with my words. ?Can I tell you something?? he asked as his arms encircled my sobs. I have never loved anybody more than I love you. You are my life and I am so, so sorry for the ridiculous pain I have inflicted on you. I don?t know if I can ever make it up to you. But you need to know something right here and right now about this ?struggle.?? Only the good guys struggle, all the rest just go ahead and do it.? With those words, time stood still. An invigorating, new awareness began to break over me: This painful drama of shame and rejection had suddenly become a hero?s story. He continued, ?I am fighting to be free of something that men everywhere use as a hobby, like golf. Our culture is entrenched in it. Men looking at naked women on the Internet is like a national pastime,? he said. ?Only a few of us really want to stop. Only a few of us see it as a violation of our wedding vows. This struggle that you hate is one we have to fight together, because I want to win. I don?t want to live like every other guy. I just want to be free. Free for me, for you and free for my God. Cindy, do you understand? Only the good guys struggle.? Dancing around us there on that edge was the consuming power of a relentless God and the broken heart of a good-guy that wanted me on his team as he was about to enter the fight of his life. So I did. That was two years ago.
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