Personal Stories

Psalm 39:7New King James Version (NKJV)

7 “And now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in You.

We have been traveling down this path, often alone. Yet God promises our hope is in Him. Each of our stories are different. God has spoken to us, healed us, and used us in different ways. If you would like to share your story or offer suggestions to other wives please comment on this page. That God may comfort every wife knowing that they are not alone. My personal story is being shared on the home page. I will be posting essential parts that happened in my marriage over the past three years.

24 thoughts on “Personal Stories

  1. First, I just wanted to thank you for your willingness to take the time to share your story and experience. Your words have given me comfort and encouragement and have pushed me to draw nearer to Jesus at the darkest hour of my life.

    I just found out about a month ago that my husband had been looking at pornography for almost 3 years. I caught him when I saw some videos he forgot to hide on his computer. I was completely blindsided. We have both been through bible school, and have an active ministry as leaders in our church.

    He was honest with me about his addiction and told me that it began while I was pregnant. I had some physical pain and issues during and after pregnancy that took some minor surgery and physical therapy to resolve. Sex was always painful, but I never refused him when he asked. That has been part of what has been so hard in this. I never told him I didn’t want sex, I never told him no, but he said I wasn’t giving it to him enough to keep him satisfied. Ouch.

    He has repented and I believe that God has delivered him from his addiction. I have chosen forgiveness, but the ramifications of his decisions run deep. I have been praying and relying on the Lord to help us have a restored marriage, and my hope is that we can be stronger than before. There are times when I feel overwhelmed with anger, emptiness and confusion. I feel so worthless and used – intimacy can be difficult. Your prayers, stories and postings of scripture have greatly helped me when I am feeling desperate for answers.

    One of the hardest choices for me to make is to trust again. I struggle with giving my whole heart to my husband when I feel as though he trampled on it so carelessly. You wrote that you prayed that God would bring to light any lies that your husband may tell in the future and placed your trust wholly in God. I appreciate that thought – and this has now become my personal prayer as well. I don’t feel as though I have to wrestle with choosing whether or not I can trust my husband, because I can trust God.

    I know that keeping up a blog can be demanding, but yours has been the first that truly seemed to understand my heart. I hope I can encourage you by telling you that you have truly helped at least one person. Although I know my marriage is far from restored, I feel as though we are started to wade through all the junk and dirt that had invaded our lives. Part of that is thanks to your faithfulness to hear from the Lord and share your heart with other women. So again, thank you and may the Lord bless you.

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  2. Hi Leigh,
    Thank you so much for your kind words! Reading your story is an encouragement to me. I’m so glad you are drawing close to Jesus and placing your trust in God. We really have no total control over the choices our husbands make. But, we can trust in our God who loves us always!! I’m so glad you’re here with us.

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  3. It will be one year tomorrow since I found out about my husband’s addiction. Unlike so many others, I’m blessed in that my husband asked for accountability and help right away. It was a burden he’d carried secretly for many years and had wanted to get help for but was just too afraid. He had been introduced to porn as a young teenager and had struggled with it off and on ever since. He had gone about a year without it when we got married and two years after. We had had our first baby, who kept us up much of the night, and one night when my husband could not get back to sleep, he went looking for something to occupy his mind and stumbled back into pornography. He was quickly hooked again and despite several hard efforts to stop, he felt trapped.
    In the meantime, I was only noticing that he seemed less patient and more angry. Five years passed. There were ups and downs, but I felt that, overall, our marriage was good. However, the anger seemed to be getting worse. It was to the point where I was on high alert from the time he walked in the door trying not to anger him or let the kids anger him. If something I did or said made him mad, he would hold a grudge for days. One day, I was sick with worry over the anger he seemed to be carrying. I got down on my knees by the couch and asked God to do whatever it took to save my husband from the angry person he had become. I was beginning to be very afraid that he was going to destroy himself with anger and bitterness. God took my prayer seriously. It was only one or two days later that I picked up my husband’s tablet and accidentally pushed a button that brought up his most visited websites. I’d meant to go somewhere else and had just hit the wrong button. There it was right in front of me. I was shocked. I kept trying to come up with any other explanation. I nearly convinced myself that he had some virus or that someone had hacked our internet connection or something, but this nagging feeling was in the back of my mind saying I had to confront him with it. I was afraid to confront him. I was never afraid he would hurt me. He is not that type, but the emotional toll of his anger could be very painful. My first impulse was to confront him angrily, but I felt that wouldn’t be wise. My next thought was to downplay it and see what he said, but I felt I couldn’t brush this off lightly. I prayed and felt God telling me to be gentle and compassionate. Though it went against every instinct, I did that. I told him I was feeling vulnerable and needed to ask him about something but I needed him to promise he wouldn’t get angry. He seemed completely shocked when I told him what I’d found, but he wasn’t angry. He denied knowing anything about it, and I believed him. However, he told me to keep checking the history on the tablet. The next day, I woke up with that nagging feeling back. I knew I’d thoroughly checked the tablet, but I decided to go to the computer. I noticed scattered websites and searches that, while not as explicit as what I’d seen on the tablet, seemed suspicious just the same. Because I wanted to believe my husband, I tried to convince myself that someone else was causing this, maybe trying to use our internet connection, and it was leaving a trail on our computer simply because it was connected to the same network. When my husband came home, I showed it to him. Something just didn’t feel right. I pulled out the calendar and noticed that the days these searches were showing up were all days he was home. He has an unusual work schedule, so it seemed off. He finally acknowledged that at least one of those searches was his. He said he’d searched an athlete’s wife’s name after hearing her mentioned during Olympic coverage, so that was all that was. I found the search and clicked on it. She was on some hottest pictures site. I told him and asked how I was supposed to feel about that. He hung his head and said, “not good.” I asked how many of the other searches were his, and he said, “probably all of them.” He said he’d wanted to tell me so badly but was so afraid he’d lose me and the kids. He said he’d tried to stop, but he just kept going back to it. It was hard, but I spent hours learning about this addiction and about tools to help deal with it. We talked about triggers, and he worked through emotional baggage he’d carried since childhood. We read the book, “Surfing for God,” which is highly recommend to anyone dealing with this. It gave him a lot of clarity about where this longing and emptiness that lead to his addiction came from. It gave me the reassurance that it wasn’t me and that there were ways to help besides just monitoring internet activity, as helpful as that is. It was hard for him, but he started opening up emotionally and talking to me about things he’d felt and things that bothered him, not sexual things, just emotional stresses that had been triggers for him to go searching for something to make him feel good. Just like an alcoholic tends to turn toward drink to deal with difficult emotions, a porn addict turns toward pornography. He started dealing with hurts and anger and bitterness that had followed him for years. He got serious with God and is learning to see God as a loving father instead of the cold, distant, angry ruler he’d seen him as for so many years.
    Here we are, one year later. My husband is not the same person he was a year ago. The anger is gone. If we get in an argument, it lasts the length of the argument and he is immediately back to the loving, considerate person he was before. There is no more three days of ice cold contempt after every argument. His internet activity has been clean from that day to this. Sometimes I still panic and start frantically checking things, but there hasn’t been anything on the search history or any of the accountability software to give me alarm. I believe he is a changed man because his every attitude has changed. He WANTS me to know everything he looks at because he wants me to be confident that he loves me. Life is good.
    I’ll be honest… It still crosses my mind at least once a day. It isn’t usually as painful as it was. Usually, it is just a fleeting thought. I’d love to hear from other wives if this is something that eventually fades away. I don’t want this in my mind every day. In this sex saturated society, it is hard to not think about the past. It is also a bit harder to relax because I know he went so long before without a problem before it came back, but I have to remind myself that he had no accountability then and that he wasn’t in as healthy of a place either spiritually or emotionally. While I was totally blindsided by the discovery, I realize I was naive then. Looking back, I can see signs that there was a problem, even though, at the time, I felt our marriage was generally good. Now I know what I’m looking for, and the signs say he is walking in truth.
    I want to encourage those that have recently entered this seeming parallel universe where nothing you thought you knew was real that it does get better. There is no guarantee that your husband will repent as mine has, but I can tell you that my marriage is happier and healthier than it has ever been, even when we were newlyweds. Something about experiencing real forgiveness has brought out a tender adoring side of my husband that wasn’t often there before. Knowing that we’ve walked such a hard part together has given us both confidence that we can talk to each other about our thoughts and feelings without fear. The emotional intimacy is on a level it never reached before. There really is hope wherever there is real repentance.

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  4. I also just want to say to Leigh that you are in such an early phase of dealing with this. What you are feeling is so understandable. That trust can slowly grow back if he is willing to earn it and you are willing to open your heart to forgive. For me, it helped to understand the pain and emptiness my husband had dealt with and to just be very open and honest with him about all my feelings and what I was dealing with. Along with the book Surfing for God, this series called True Betrayal is what really helped me work through all the hurt I was feeling. http://www.bradhambrick.com/truebetrayal/
    I wish you the best. I’m praying for you and your husband.

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  5. Dear another hopeful wife,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so encouraged to hear how you’ve struggled and trusted in God. I thank you and Leigh for sharing your situations so openly. So often we feel alone in this and just knowing we’re in this together is so helpful. I pray that your honesty encourages many wives to share their experiences. I’m praying for you and your marriage. Thank you for the books you mentioned. I’ll be adding them soon.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your stories and for the supportive website. I can relate so much. I recently found my husband on a dating website where he set up a profile. He has since deleted it but it’s only been a week. When I ask him about it he doesn’t want to discuss it. He also looks at porn . I don’t trust him and I don’t know what to do about it. He use to go to church with me but lately he hasn’t and he’s not into the whole godly lifestyle thing . I’m very godly and opposite of him in my relationship with the lord . He also drinks and I don’t . I don’t know what to do. I constantly pray and keep faith the lord will help my marriage and help his soul.

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  8. To add to my post. I really thank you for all your stories and advice. I pray for marriages like ours who have to go through these storms. To hear other women go through the same thing as me makes me not feel so alone like I’m the only one. Porn was the first issue for us and now it’s the dating website I found he set up a account on. I feel cheated on and don’t know what to do. He says he will never do it again but I just don’t trust it. But thank you so much and so glad your marriage is restored and I pray for all of us.

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  9. I wish my personal story was one of “just” pornography addiction. I married a “sex addict.” On February 7th, 2014, I discovered a whole world of lies that crushed my spirit and ripped the rug out from under my life over the last 25 years. Not only is my husband addicted to porn, but he has had sex with over 20 different women (three or four of them were two -four year long sex affairs) and has had “sex with clothes on” with countless others. I still do not fully know the extent as our “full” disclosures (as Pure Desire requires) have all been sabotaged by my husbands shame and anger. I have been to four different counselors in the last year and a half. I am getting help from the counselor I am seeing now. She was the first person to tell me that I was not “stuck” and that I could leave if I needed to. My three children are adults (two in college, one at home but working full time). They don’t need me to raise them anymore. My story is too long to tell here, but just know that there is hope. My hope is not in my husband or our relationship. My hope and trust can only be found in my Savior and Healer. I am happy to talk to anyone who would like a shoulder and listening ear.

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  10. I’m so sorry for what you are going through. Has he offered to allow you to install some filters or monitoring software on his computer and other devices? That has been very helpful for my husband to avoid temptation. For our computer, we use covenant eyes, but for his phone and tablet, we use an app called Ever Accountable. For me, the ever accountable app give more straight forward easy to understand reports. Sometimes it flags things that are actually OK, so I always copy and paste the website for anything it flags into the address bar to see for myself. It is not a filter, just monitoring, and it even monitors incognito mode because it can be granted accessibility to record keystrokes. For me, it gives me peace of mind on those days I’m feeling insecure or unnecessarily fearful. If he is serious about changing, he should be willing to allow you to install something like this. For some men, they think you ought to be able to just trust them, but he needs to realize that he has broken your trust, and this is a tool to help him make better choices and help you feel more secure so you can start rebuilding that trust. I’ll be praying for your marriage.

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  11. thank you so much for speaking your story. I am so sorry to hear that . I will pray for all of us. I think you all are strong faithful women and I wish your marriages the best. I can’t thank you enough for sharing it with me. My husband won’t go to counseling but I will keep my faith in the lord and try to stay strong. We haven’t discussed doing a moniter thing because I’m his eyes porn isn’t bad. I just need to talk to him about how bad it hurts me but I told him last time and I thought he stopped but he still doing it again . I’m going to discuss it more with him . But I just will keeping praying. Thank you so much for the support

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  12. My story began in 2002 when I found something on our new computer. Shocked and horrified, I confronted my husband and he said it had just ‘showed up’ when surfing the web. The next day I confronted him again and he admitted it was him but was a ‘one time silly little thing’ and the guys at work had told him to search it. For the next 9 years, I was yelled at, condemned for being unforgiving that I couldn’t forgive a ‘one time silly little thing’, that I had no redemption and all sorts of other things. Sometimes he was kind and loving, telling me just to trust him and not to worry. I was having nightmares it was more than once. His lies were so convincing, I didn’t put controls on the computer. I’ve had a chronic illness for many years but had had in remission. Four years ago, during yet another argument about my ‘overactive imagination’ my husband said “Ok it was twice!” After 9 years, the story had changed. I took our child and left. For three days he kept up his story of twice, but then came the dreaded truth it had gone on behind my back for 5 years, but he’d stopped the computer 3-4 years before that. I almost didn’t come back but loved him and wanted to give him another chance. The last four years have been living hell. Arguing, stress and more lying. I had a very drip-fed confession. My health has relapsed from the stress. I did not realise that although he’d stopped the computer, the ‘issue’ had carried on with TV images etc. My husband has built up a huge big story to me that woman are not even a temptation due to all the pain it’s brought into his life from the age of 12. People at church tried to help but kept telling us that porn is not Ok, but all guys lust now and then, and it’s normal. If they say they’re not they’re lying. My husband fed me the most idealistic story that he had no interest in looking at other women because of all the pain it has brought into our lives. He kept saying he wasn’t struggling and wasn’t tempted. No porn, I have the password to the computer and he has no internet on his cellphone. However, there have been incidents of him lusting after women in public, especially in the Summer. Two years ago I felt he was hiding something, and it took an hour long argument for him to confess. The last had been a woman running that he’d lusted after. He’d promised me he wouldn’t lust/look at women again. For two years following that, he said that the women he’d looked at were ‘finding his own boundaries’ because people kept telling him he would just end up lusting anyway and he was too scared to look anywhere, so claimed he was using those women as a ‘test’. However, he also said things to me like ‘women need to watch what they’re wearing!” Summer just been was very hot and I was anxious. He kept sending me texts saying things like “I am not going around being tempted to look at other women…even in this hot summer I have been faithful to you!” I kept asking and asking but he just kept denying. He said he didn’t need an accountability partner because God had set him free and he was now strong in this area. Eventually, after another confession session, he said he’d had some lustful ‘slips’ but they had been infrequent and that he is in fact tempted, especially in the summer, and struggles at times…even in church! The lying has all but destroyed me. We have never moved on. We sleep in separate rooms, we live like room mates, or spend our lives arguing with him lying. We tried counselling but it made it worse. The guy was of the opinion that my husband is permanently damaged from his addiction and it’s normal for guys to lust, especially those who’ve been into porn. A few friends have been through this horrific thing and say their husbands are fine and have retrained their eyes. I have read parts of Every Man’s Battle and it seems to suggest that men can overcome this. This addiction has destroyed my life, my health, and the wellbeing of our child. My husband and I co-exist because I can no longer trust he doesn’t lie.

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  13. Hi Jna,
    I’m very sorry for how much you’re hurting in your marriage. It is such a difficult path. I want to tell you that my husband was also heavily drinking and living a sinful life. It was so discouraging and hopeless for me back then. I’m praying for you and your marriage. I’m thankful that you’re here with us. I hope you can find some healing here. Do you think your husband may be willing to do the Restoring Marriages Bible Study here at this site?

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  14. Dear There is Hope,
    Thank you for sharing with us what you’ve been going through. I’m so sorry for all your hurt. I agree with you so much that our hope is in the Savior. He is the only One that we can truly hope in.

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  15. Dear Hurting Wife,
    I am very sorry for the pain and hurt you’ve been feeling. I’m praying for you and your marriage right now. Please know that God Can heal anyone. Your marriage can have love and trust again. It might take a lot of work, but it is possible. It does sound like your husband is trying to rebuild with you. Would you be willing to pray with him each night and read the bible together? This can help both of you come closer to God and each other. Please don’t give up as you go through this difficult time. I pray that God will comfort your heart right now.

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  16. I am forever grateful for stumbling on this site. Each and every one of your stories provides wisdom, hope, and encouragement for me as I was down this dark path in my marriage. I have so desperately wanted and prayed for a Godly woman who has had similar experiences as me to talk to and he brought me here.
    First off, my heart breaks for each and every one of you and as I read your stories I prayed for each of you to find peace and restoration in your marriage through God.

    My story begins two years ago. One day, I was on my husbands computer (fiancé) at the time) and I stumbled across several porn sites in his browsing history on his computer. I confronted him, he was defensive at first (saying that I was snooping and I had no business being on his history) and then later apologized. However, it was two weeks before our wedding so although I was absolutely devastated and wanted the issue to go away, i chose to brush it under the rug and focus on the wedding. Boy was that a bad idea!
    About a month later, I was on his computer again and discovered more porn sites that he forgot to delete on his recently visited sites. Same thing happened, I confronted him, he became defensive and angry, justifying his porn use, and turning the blame back on me and then finally said it would stop.
    Another month goes by and I found more sites on his history. this time I callied his mentor to seek advice. He suggested to take a tough love approach and confront him and set expectations this time around. I did. This is when we downloaded Covenant eyes on his computer.
    And later on, after discovering he was still using his phone to visit said sites, we installed covenant eyes on there.
    By this point I had lost all hope. I was depressed, paranoid, and deeply hurt from his actions. I literally couldn’t be out of the house while he was home without having a panic attack. So I stopped going out. I couldn’t sleep at night if he wasn’t sleeping At the same time I was. I hated looking at myself in the mirror because all I saw was an undesirable woman looking back at me. I became obsessed with searching every inch of his computer, his phone, the TV, etc. it was eating me alive. At the same time, he became angry and bitter. At the time I thought it was at the fact that I was struggling with my mind so much.
    After several months of not finding anything on his phone or computer, I began to calm down (for the lack of a better term).
    Around this time, we got new phones. I thought that since he had gone several months without access that the battle was won. So I did not install Covenant Eyes. Then, around December 2014, my worst nightmare became a reality again. I had this gut feeling that we weren’t ok. He was back to being angry and bitter again. He lost his sensitivity towards me. We were going 3-4 weeks without sex and there would be days he wouldnt kiss me. I discovered porn on his new phone. This time I didn’t confront him right away. I discovered a way to view deleted browsing history on the phone. So I sat watch… (I know this was not the right thing to do, and I’m not proud of it, but I had to know how bad the struggle really was). For 18 days I watched, and out of those 18 days, only two were porn free. I discovered that this was happening every single day almost and he had just gotten so good at hiding it. I was beyond devastated and heartbroken. Here I was, 7 months pregnant, with our first son, discovering this battle was not over. This time I confided in two of my closest friends. They encouraged me and prayed over me and gave me the best advice they had from an outsiders perspective and I finally got the courage to confront him. Before I confronted him I wrote out all of the things I felt and all of the things I needed to say before I confronted him. When I finally confronted him I was able to say my peace, quiet down his defensiveness before it got out of hand, and tell him what I needed from him in order to make this work. We installed covenant eyes again, he finally confided in our life group leader (also one of his mentors), and promised that he was going to try to beat this for real this time.
    I had a sense of peace at first, and I tried to hold onto that hope, but I found that although he wasn’t able to access porn, our society still chases men down with over sexualized ads, pictures, videos, songs, etc causing them to stumble. I discovered that he still searches Victoria secret runway shows on YouTube, and google images models that show up in their bikini, or looks at fitness models on Instagram.
    All this being said:
    I had become exhausted from the hope that I was trying to find myself. I was battling this alone. I thought that I could handle this better than God could. But I quickly realized that I couldn’t. And I needed to stop trying. I needed to fervently seek after Gods heart and discover His hope, His strength, His perseverance, His love, His forgiveness, and His wisdom in this situation. This site helped me realize what it is that I need from my husband in order to feel closure and begin building trust again but it also helped me realize more importantly that the ONLY one I can fully rely on and trust is our Heavenly Father himself. Just like my husband can’t recover from his addiction on his own and without letting go and letting Jesus take the reigns; I myself can not recover from the hurt I experienced until I move over and let Jesus take over.
    I am so grateful for this discovery and so so ready to begin this new part of my journey.

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  17. Dear Seeking Hope,
    Thank you so much for having the courage to share your story. I am praying for you as you seek to follow God. Please know that many wives on this site are praying for you as well. We are blessed to have you here with us.

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  20. I found out about my husband’s addiction when we were dating. Things were getting serious with us, and one night we were talking late on the phone. I started sharing some things with him that I usually did not share with people, but we had started talking about getting married, so I wanted him to know. This included the fact that years before I had an addiction myself. Not to pornography, but I had been severely depressed and had used addictions as a way to cope. After counseling and dealing with my depression I had pretty much overcome my addiction, but I wanted him to know. After I confided in him he told me he also had something to tell me. He had not planned on telling me, but my confession had given him the courage. I listened as he told me that he had become addicted to pornography as a teenager. He told me how much he hated it, and did not want to do it. He had been working for years to try and overcome it, ever since his grandparents had discovered his addiction while he was staying with them one summer and had sent him to talk to a church leader. He told me that he was regularly meeting with his church leader and with a counseling group that was specifically for men addicted to pornography. I was surprised, but I knew what it was like to have an addiction. I understood the helplessness of feeling trapped in something you hated, and the self hatred that came every time you gave into the almost uncontrollable temptation. I also understood that addiction could be overcome if you were willing to do what was necessary, and it sounded like he was, so I stayed in the relationship. We become engaged, and eventually got married. Even though I knew about my husband’s addiction before we got married I did not really know many detail. He did not tell me when he was struggling or exactly how bad the addiction was. I knew he was meeting regularly with people who could help him, and didn’t really ask him any questions. Truthfully, I did not think about it all that much, and I realize now that this made it so I was not truly prepared for what it would be like after we were married.

    Our honeymoon was amazing. We had no computers or access to the internet, and I felt like my husband was completely mine and I still did not think much about his addiction. The feeling of vulnerability and closeness that came with physical intimacy was completely new and a little scary, but I embraced it. I loved feeling completely one with my husband. The week of my honeymoon and the week after we got back were wonderful and free of pornography.

    My first experience with pornography after marriage came a couple of weeks in, and it was devastating. Neither my husband nor I were prepared for my reaction. I had given myself to my husband completely and without reservation, and now I felt betrayed. I cried for days. All I wanted was for my husband to hold and comfort me, but at the same time I could not stand to have him touch me. I had allowed myself to be vulnerable with my husband and that made the hurt so much worse. That began months of struggling. My husband began telling me more about his addiction, and I began asking the questions I should have asked since the beginning. I found out how often my husband had problems, and the severity of those problems. I also became actively involved in my husband’s recovery. We began making plans together for his recovery. The hardest part was feeling like I was sharing my husband. I had given myself to him completely, but he still was looking at other women. I also felt like our marriage vows were broken, and I did not know how to repair them. I felt hopeless that our marriage could ever be whole again. Then I realized the principle from Isaiah 1:18 where it says “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” could be applied to our marriage. Our marriage vows were essentially a covenant between me, my husband, and God, and God could fix our vows. My husband and I went to a place that was special to us and where we knew we could feel God’s presence. We talked of our love for each other and the promises we had made, and we made those promises again. Then we knelt together and took turns praying to God. We asked for His help, and made promises to God. We have still had problems, and this was not the only time we have had to recommit to each other and to God, but things are getting better.

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  21. I have told a lot of my story in ‘Anger, an ugly mess’, but have felt that it needs to be told here as well, in this format. I am not going to retell everything I have said there, so if this helps anybody, please also have a look at those posts!

    Our story began just more than 20 years ago. We met each other through a mutual friend, had no romantic notions, became friends over our mutual love and interest for God and spiritual things. As time progressed we became closer and started hearing the very specific leading of the Lord to get married. If there ever was a clear directive in both our lives, it was this sure knowledge that God wanted us to get married – it rather felt like an arranged marriage! We did not know how important this would be later on, when destruction came!

    When the relationship became serious, my husband told me that he had problems and could not properly relate to, and make a woman happy in the intimate arena. He was in a very unhappy marriage and it did not surprise me that he may have felt this way, but I also knew that whatever the problem may turn out to be, God is a God of restoration and if He had wanted us to get married, He was able to deal with the issues.

    My husband comes out of a strict, conservative family and has always been a ‘good, clean boy’. However, there was some sexual brokenness early on in his life, and also later in his adolescent life. At some point he discovered masturbation, and that set him on a course of solo pleasure and isolation – medicating all of life’s issues and pain with this action – ‘not causing anybody any harm’! He obviously did not know that he was molding his ability to connect intimately with a woman, into a hideous monster who would only feed his hunger, giving no real satisfaction and connection, but only a superficial lust, that would never allow him to experience the real thing!

    The fantasy world he created was of such a nature that it did not violate his conscience too much. In his fantasies he was the passive one, which caused damage in our intimate life, as I had to be the one to initiate sex. His ‘adultery of the mind’ and secret masturbation seriously impacted on his need for intimacy with me, and with me have to initiate sex, it meant many times of rejection for me – an area in my life where I really had problems before Jesus touched and healed me.

    He had a desire to look at women and fantasize and fed this by looking at woman on the TV and wherever he could do it inconspicuously. I caught him once, late at night at the TV and the seriousness of this suddenly came to the forefront.

    I read a book, ‘An affair of the mind’ by Laurie Hall, and started to understand what I was seeing. He was absent from life most of the time, and it fluctuated. At times he could not remember the smallest things and he could not concentrate and keep things together – there just was nobody home! It became my measuring tool for establishing where he was at any point in time. When it became too bad I confronted it and he would repent and a big change would come in our relationship and his involvement in life – for a season. His conscience was still soft and sensitive and he could feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit. There was a problem with him being difficult to live with, being critical, confrontational and his perfectionism in certain areas, but I did not connect the dots.

    Then internet happened! His double life intensified and became his captivation and enchantment. The first time I discovered it, he was repentant and we discussed it with my brother, who became his accountability partner. He installed Covenant Eyes and for very nearly a year he was clean from pornography. However, the sex addiction was not broken and the pornography took hold again. This time the double life was exceptionally convincing. I actually told him during that time, that for the first time in my life I really had the marriage I always longed for! – this while he was again already totally absorbed in pornography! He was using my computer and new equipment where Covenant Eyes were not installed.

    However, this monster cannot be hidden for long and I could not understand his becoming harder and more aggressive. By the end of December last year his resentment and aggression were such that I felt threatened physically. He would not admit anything and was hard and set in what he wanted for his life.

    After heavy confrontation, he still would not budge and I told him I was going to see the pastor at church. I personally moved his stuff out of our bedroom into the spare bedroom. I went to see the pastor and in the end he agreed to see the counselor at church. He had to be confronted by him, and I had to say to him that if things do not change I will have to divorce him, before he broke and were open for help. It was not easy and the counselling did not always work out so good, because he wanted to know what was ‘normal’ and as his taste was not for hard porn, he convinced the counselor that he was actually very low level into it. He wanted easy solutions and wanted someone to just pray over him or do deliverance, and then it must be over. Good also came out of it, as he had to work through a 40 day program, which helped him a lot to get direction again. We could at least talk to some extent, even though it was through a third party! I set very strong boundaries and expectations. I wanted to see that he took his recovery serious this time!

    At one stage the counselor told me that I had to give him some hope and I could see that it was highly necessary, as he was becoming very despondent. When we got outside and he opened the car door for me as always, I told him that I appreciated the fact that he was so courteous to me, even through all the resentment and conflict. I suddenly knew that I meant it and he also appreciated it immensely. I then took him to a small tearoom that I had recently discovered and told him that I was not trying to destroy him, but that I was fighting for our marriage, as things could never be as it was before.

    We could talk for the first time in months and really connect. Our relationship took a big leap forward and we could start with rebuilding intimacy and trust. He had started a support group for guys coming out of pornography addiction. Originally I did not agree with this, as I felt that if one blind person leads another, they will both fall into the pit. However, the counselor approved and said it was a good thing and that it would help him with overcoming his addiction. He had one guy who came and he showed him material we had collected over time and also some of the Covenant Eyes materials. He joined all the men’s activities at church and slowly his inner life started changing. We starting reading the Bible and praying together. After months of not having sex, we again moved in that direction, but tried to focus more on intimacy and each other, trying to find the deeper meaning which God intended it to have, when He made it.

    The broken trust and the damage to me, started surfacing. As he was not being open to me about his journey, I did not really believe him. I ascribed all sorts of motivation for why he did the right things he did, and felt that he did not do enough reading and/or looking at DVD teachings on the matter, etc. and that he was, therefore, not taking his recovery seriously enough.

    Our 20 year marriage anniversary was coming up and we made it a celebration of a new beginning. He was attentive and loving and we felt very close. We planned a weekend away. At a counselling session he told the counselor of his continuing struggles and asked for a referral to see someone for deliverance. The person he was referred to? A woman! A woman who NEVER saw clients together, so would not allow me to be present! I was in the middle of some courses and under a lot of pressure, so I told him to do as he pleases, but he knew I was not happy about it. He went to see her (an old lady, very experienced with a very good track record) and immediately bonded emotionally with her in such a way that our weekend away was a disaster!

    I was very angry and felt that the burden of it all, was again mine. He was very broken and I started trying to help him break this new bondage. We again did some digging in his past, breaking unholy soul ties, forgiving people, praying for hurts etc, etc., but he just could not break out of it and was very despondent. I called out to God and asked what this thing was that we just could not get out of the way. I clearly heard Him say: “This is a sin problem”

    When I told my husband, he was not impressed! However, he did go and pray. He asked for forgiveness for looking to people and putting his trust in them. He asked to be forgiven for this unholy attachment – and immediately this hold broke and he was free! Time and again we have been confronted with this answer! If there is anything I can say which may have some meaning for anybody, it is this! We can spend all our time trying to find the reasons and the causes, but in the end it is sin that build walls between us and God! To get that wall broken down, you need to ask forgiveness and repent, and God will deliver you out of bondage! We have many nice words, like sexual brokenness, trauma, abuse, etc., and we need it so that we can talk within a safe place without condemnation, but if we downplay the sin it involves, there can be no freedom and we actually put hurdles in the way of the conviction of the Holy Spirit! This is VERY serious! Do not downplay the sin! Get it out of the way. Also, you cannot play with God’s grace – you must turn away from your sin after you have confessed it! That means that after you have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ, you need to take a stand against your carnal lusts and the many temptations Satan will send your way. You are not fighting this alone, but the seriousness of your commitment will be the motivation force of how much effort you will put in from your side. You can be assured of God’s strength and backing all the way, but you need to throw in everything YOU have and start making the right choices! This is difficult for the addict, but I believe that if they fall and just carry on with sinning, it is much more serious and damning, as when they fall and immediately confess and reclaim their victory and stand right back up!

    I will tackle the rest of my story in a next post. This is a difficult journey we are on, but I can already see so much beauty coming through! However, it is coming at a very high price – which I truly believe will be worth it (I do not always feel that way!)

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  22. Earthea and Pebble,
    I want to thank you both for sharing your story. I am encouraged reading them as I know others are also. I am praying for you both and your marriages. God bless you.

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  23. It’s been a long time since you’ve posted. I pray that all is well.
    I have been married 22 years this May. We both waited to have sex until we were married. I was a niave 20 year old bride. He had told me of his struggle with masturbation\porn before we were married, but I assumed it would all go away once he was “having sex” regularly after we were married. Honestly, he did too. Boy, were we wrong. About six months after we were married I naively attempted to initiate sex. He harshly rejected me. I went to take a shower and cried because I felt like some sexually perverted freak. When I got out of the shower he felt bad and confessed that it wasn’t me but him. It was mid to late 90’s with the introduction to the Internet, and he had been masturbating several times a day, his harshness with me was due to his inability to perform. He was sincerely remorseful, After the next few months of a similar scenarios (I.e. walking in on him in the bath with a magazine of bikini clad women, catching him late at night on inappropriate sights on the web, him confessing that he drove around during the day hoping to catch a glimpse of something sexy, etc, etc) playing out I told him I would never again initiate sex but would be available to him any time he needed it. The pain of rejection was too much, but I would be there as his “moral outlet” if he needed me. He would never face rejection from me because at that young age and naivety I hoped things would change, and I could help him become a better person. I was committed to my vows, “for better or worse” and the vows I made to God.
    17 years later he was STILL failing. I had just given birth to my 8th child and taken my other little girls to a church version of Girl Scouts. While I was gone it happened again. An internet search and masturbation. By that point I had become a master cyncic and master Internet searcher. He was busted and remorseful, yet again.
    You would assume my husband is a slimy, dead-beat, freak. However, he’s not. He’s really a decent guy. He is a good father and a hard worker. He truly and sincerely hates his sin and failing in this area. If you ever met him you would never know his struggle in this area. He is a clean cut, God- fearing man devoted to his family.
    I’m happy to say that over the years his failures became fewer and fewer. He has always been very honest with me with his failures. He wouldn’t necessarily confess but was always honest when I confronted him. That has helped with our trust issues.
    On one hand, I’m happy to say that his last “slip” was that time after our 8th. It has been 4 years since his last indiscretion. He is always on guard because he realizes the temptation will never go away. However, he has finally “overcome” it. Ladies going through this…it took him 17 YEARS of marriage! It didn’t end overnight, and there was sooooo much heartache involved.
    I still have not completely healed. I have so much resentment and anger built up inside. I can’t even change in the same room as him. Secretly, I wish I would have left him when I first found out because of the pain I have endured all these years. However, I will never put my 9 children through a divorce. They adore their father.
    I realize that God probably put me in this situation for his sanctification. I accept that. I would love to say that we have a beautiful marriage and it’s so much better than I could have ever imagined, but it’s not. We do have a good marriage, but it’s a daily choice I make. He is a good man.
    The hardest thing about this journey is that I have had to suffer in silence. Thank you for this outlet. I am praying for you and your marriage.
    God bless you.

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