I am a woman.
I am a believer of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am a mother.
I am the wife of a man bound by the lie of porn.
I am embracing the freedom that Christ offers in the midst of the storm.
I am not…
I am not a counselor.
I am not super-human or super spiritual.
I am not without sin of my own.
I am not better than my spouse.
I am not alone even though I am alone.
It is my desire to be transparent as I write this blog. However; I must make you aware right now before I start that not everything I share is my personal experience with my spouse. My husband has given me permission to share my story/our story even though there is not a ‘happy ending’ at this point in the journey but that being said, I still do not believe it is my right to uncover him or disclose some of the most private details of his/our struggle. In order for you to know full well that you are not alone, that you are not losing your mind and that the roller-coaster is part of the life that comes with the sex addict, I have decided to take bits and pieces of my story and bits and pieces of the stories of others I have met along the way. I am doing this in an effort to help you and others in the same way that God has helped me (2 Cor. 1:3-4). I am not doing this to smear my spouse or because I am resentful towards him and want to cause him further pain or because I feel the need to rehash it. This is something I will live with the rest of my life because it has been a part of my life and has shaped my life. How I use it now is my service to God. I can sit in self pity and bathe in the pain or I can be cleansed and transformed by the Lord and choose His way to move forward. I choose Him.
If you are here because your spouse is involved in some sort of sexual sin and you feel as if no one else around you understands… they probably don’t. But I do and I can point you to others who do. If you are a man whose wife is struggling, the ability for you to connect with others in the same situation will be difficult as this (porn addiction) seems to be predominantly a man’s issue. However; we know the statistics of women involved in pornography, and the numbers are climbing. You are not alone. There is a man who can relate to you better than you know; for He was forsaken by those He loved the most. His name is Jesus. Without Him, I couldn’t climb this mountain.
There is absolutely no way I could live through this and function as a normal person without the peace and sanity that only God can bring (Philippians 4:7) during such chaos and dysfunction. I have learned so much in this journey that the ‘average’ person not facing this issue doesn’t understand. I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned a lot about others, and I have come to know Jesus more intimately than I ever would have if this issue was not ever-present and causing such constant brokenness (Psalm 34:18).
Do not expect others to get your pain. It took me years to be free from the constant letdown because I knew that they either didn’t understand or worse, thought it was ‘no big deal’. Clearly they didn’t understand the depths because certainly it wasn’t appropriate to tell them. How do you say to your friends and family that your spouse prefers fantasy over you and THAT is why you are separated? How do you handle the looks that say “she (or he) must not like sex- nobody would want an image over the real deal”? How do you explain when your spouse is gone for a weekend that he or she had another affair with porn and you are forced to go without sex and intimacy again until they recuperate and you recover emotionally from their weekend of thrills? America is so desensitized by sex and images that being preoccupied with the bodies of others seems like a ‘normal’ thing that every guy (and some girls) do. Certainly most American’s can’t comprehend that people can become so warped by this thing that they can’t even maintain a checking account, that they float in and out of conversations missing half of what is said because they’re thinking of the next opportunity to sneak away with their secret fantasy. How do you explain that they risk their jobs by sneaking online images on company time and sending those images to company printers so they can take those images to the restroom on lunch hour? When you show up at social/church functions or family gatherings and people know something is wrong, how do you tell them what is really going on?
You don’t (or you shouldn’t) and it’s lousy. Here you are in constant crisis and trauma and it’s not “appropriate” to talk about it. It is as if the offender is constantly covered while you are left out in the open, raw and wounded. It brings so much pain that usually gets bottled up and if you are not careful, it often turns to rancid bitterness.
So…where do you go? What do you do? How do you deal with this thing? What is God asking of you? Can you walk it out with your spouse and not grow weary or bitter? Can you walk away from it and not be in sin yourself for leaving the marriage? Can you change so that they will change? Can you change them? Can you fix it? Can you be Jesus to them? Are you helping or hurting? Encouraging or discouraging? How long is long enough? What does repentance look like? Is any of this your fault? Can your marriage survive this?