A huge roadblock that came about during our restoration was being intimate. I am not talking about cuddling and holding hands. Although that could be troublesome as well. I am talking about sexual intimacy. There were a couple different factors that made this such an enormous problem. I think it’s really important to share this part of my story because many wives might be going through the same thing. I also get e-mails that specifically ask about this aspect. I also am sharing this because it is known that pornography interferes so much with intimacy in marriage. There are devastating consequences for both husbands and wives. It is truly sorrowful. However, if we fight through this time and rely on God, things can turn around!
This was such a confusing time for me. I was reading so much about men and their needs. I was learning for the first time how important being intimate was for most husbands. I could tell that God was opening my eyes to the true needs that my husband had. Our intimate time was always special and nice, however, I was never fully comfortable and open with my husband. I was very shy and awkward and just never fully embraced this part of our marriage. So, once I learned about his pornography addiction, I was taken aback.
I remember being so shocked because I never knew how truly important this need was for my husband. He never actually openly shared this with me. There were so many things going on in my mind. I could hear the voice of God teaching me about who my husband was inside. I was learning about his needs and why they were important to him. I was ready to embrace this!
A very amazing part of our marriage was starting to happen. My husband was opening up to me and letting me know about his struggles. It was starting to be an emotionally and spiritually open marriage. As a direct result of knowing my husband and seeing his vulnerabilities, I was starting to open up intimately as well. This is such a blessing and benefit of our husbands sharing their struggle with pornography with us. When sins and struggles are hidden, we cannot have an intimate marriage. It just doesn’t happen. However, when we begin to bare our hearts with our spouse and learn about the other’s needs, we can grow closer in intimacy. So that was starting to happen and it was obvious that it was from God.
At the same time, there were very rough consequences that we were both experiencing. I was doubting myself as a woman in so many ways. I was deeply questioning my beauty. I suddenly could see all my flaws. I thought my husband was seeking perfection. I was also doubting many things that I was as a wife. It was just a really hard time that I’m sure you can all relate to. One day, I was a confident, loved woman and then I was so unsure of everything. All of this I knew was from Satan. It was attacking my life and my marriage.
Meanwhile, my husband was going through some very difficult consequences. He had completely stopped watching pornography after watching it almost daily. No matter how much he denied it or blamed other sources, he was experiencing many physical consequences that come after a pornography addiction. Being intimate was a huge struggle, which ended up in arguing, blaming, and crying.
It seemed like this time would go on forever. But, of course, it didn’t. We chose to work through these times and fight for our marriage. We leaned on God for guidance. We started seriously praying over our intimate time. My husband realized he was going to have to take extremely healthy actions to restore his body. He started working out often. He also started a diet of not eating any wheat. He was also starting to draw closer to God.
For my personal needs, I sought out God. I studied verses that showed me how worthy I was to God. I also read books that helped me grow closer to God and get over the pain I was feeling. Many of those books are on the Books to Grow Your Marriage page. God was still speaking to my heart. He was showing me the things that were needed in my marriage. He was showing me how my husband could stay away from this destructive sin. One particular thing God kept bringing to my heart was the importance of reading the Bible, praying, and talking.
How is your marriage going? I pray that if you are having a difficult time with intimacy that you lean on God to make your way through it.