Christmas is coming. With this realization, comes a lot of excitement. Most of us are preparing for this Christmas season. There is much to do with decorating and exchanging gifts. We’ve put the tree up and started playing Christmas carols.
I have many beautiful memories of past Christmas Days. I’ve always particularly loved Christmas and all the astonishment surrounding it.
However, despite all this joy, I know that me and you have painful memories of Christmas time. Maybe you are caught right in the middle of a struggling marriage. Or maybe you have been on your way to restoration. But, there are still painful memories. Whichever situation you are in today, God is with you.
This prayer is for the wife who is discouraged by her husband’s past or present pornography use.
I am coming to You, Father, because I am discouraged. I am saddened by my husband’s pornography use. Many times I want to give up hope.
Often, it is hard to see and understand God’s plan in our circumstances. Many times I have had difficulty figuring out what God wanted from me. You can read more about my story here.
I hear from many wives wondering why their marriage has gone like this. They wonder why has God allowed this to happen in my life. They say, “why does my husband have to have this problem with pornography and lust?” I have wondered those same things many times.
I thought it would be a really good time to give an update on my marriage because things are going well. My last two updates dealt with some rough issues. If you missed them, you can read the first one here and the second one here.
We did experience one difficulty this past week. My husband chose to break a boundary that we have in our marriage. The boundary is that he will not be alone in a closed room with another woman. We learned this boundary in the book Hedges. It really is such a great book. It was helpful in opening my husband’s eyes to how openly he was living his life. Once we read the book together, it was obvious why certain boundaries are needed in marriage. It was also obvious how a lack of boundaries had led to many of the problems we were facing.
I would like to start a new set of posts that help us meditate on scripture. When we are going through a crisis in marriage and seeking God to restore that marriage, it is essential that we are in the Word of God.
That is why I would like to focus on verses that bring us closer to God. Sometimes when you’re reading your Bible, a verse might stand out to you that just comforts your heart so greatly. This is when God is speaking to you.
Please read Psalm 9:10
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. (NKJV)
Today I am going to respond to some questions left on the Feedback From Readers Page.
This was the comment that one reader left:
I just found this website and I am SO BLESSED and thankful already and I have only spent a short time reading some of the entries and comments.
Is there any information on here about how to find SAFE PEOPLE at CHURCH? My husband and I were New Believers who joined a Small Group and most of the couples in the group were dealing with addiction by showing the men GRACE. I was incredibly frustrated and was given messages such as… “Just love your husband”… “Be the face of Christ”… “That’s his problem to deal with”… “I don’t ask him about that”, and my favorite… “We’re not going to deal with the Pornography Addiction when the real problem is the marriage”.
It was a large church so we went to the Area Director, Small Groups Pastor, and then a Lead Pastor. At every level we were met with invalidation, told our EXPECTATIONS were too high, and that the Small Group Leader and Group was SAFE. That it just wasn’t a good fit for us. I became the scapegoat really. I was in such a vulnerable place at the time that I started to believe that maybe I was the problem. It was awful and I was deeply hurt, and fought depression, extreme social anxiety, and a host of health issues. I felt unloved and unsafe in my marriage, in my family of origin, and the final blow… I felt unsafe at church.
It took 2 years to get back on my feet. When I say get back on my feet I mean I struggled to get out of bed, leave the house, and function without flashback and triggered thoughts pulling me under. It was scary. I thought I was going crazy. Depression medication barely made a dent. I was spiritually crushed. I had a lot of past stuff hitting at the same time, so there was a lot to sort through. I was hanging on by a thread, but the Lord didn’t let go of me.
I see a lot of recommendations on this website and others to contact a counselor or PASTOR… but when we did look to our church leaders… they did more harm than good. The leaders and pastors were not at all equipped or trained to handle addiction. It really set us both back.
How do we move forward after being “de-churched”? What do we need to look for moving forward, what are some questions we can ask?
I would first like to say that I think most people are very quiet on the issue of pornography in marriage. This is especially true in the “Christian” population. Many husbands and wives are afraid to bring up these problems in the church. Moreover, some marriages think the church is the last place they would go to for help with this. I truly believe that pornography in Christian marriages is a silent sin. It is something that no one wants to talk about and no one wants to confess. However, marriages are suffering. Because of this silence, people are alone and trapped.
I decided that this would be a good time to give an update on my marriage. If you are new to this site, I have started giving periodic updates. The first update was here if you missed it. I started this because it is an open and honest way to share how my husband and I are currently doing with rebuilding our marriage. I had started this site so that I could share my story of discovering my husband’s pornography use. But, I came to realize that it’s important to share where we are currently and how we are struggling or growing.
Below is a question about overcoming painful memories:
I was reading your blog. One sentence said, ” For wives this might mean to stop thinking about the past.” That is the hardest task in my recovery, I just can’t escape the triggered thoughts from bringing me or my feelings down. I have been married for 34 years and I truly loved and respected my husband during what I thought was a good marriage. Nine months after discovery I seem to be recovering fairly well from my husbands secret life of porn, dating sites and philandering because he is cooperating and doing what is right to restore the relationship, but there is one thing that I trip on. Thoughts. The problem: I can be driving or at work and have a sudden thought of what happened or how I visualize it occurred. It hurts. Driving seems to be the most frequent times it occurs. I have desperately searched for a way to recover from this bolt of pain and fear I get during those moments. I have tried ignoring the thoughts, I have tried saying to myself, ” Here is a thought, it is what happened or what I feared occurred during his wandering, it was wrong – it was a foolish act, but now it is time for that thought to leave. Recognizing the thought seems to allow the fear to be displaced better than ignoring it. But the thoughts do return time to time. This — may be the one thing that harms the betrayed one, the inability to get past triggered thoughts. I have search for the one true remedy — how to get through moments – moments when these triggered thoughts burst forth. Hiding from them doesn’t seem to lessen the thoughts from returning. The scary inner thoughts are corrosive to the foundation of marriage. What is an effective way to work through the moment, so the thoughts don’t spread or fester – leading into hours or days of darkness.
It was three and a half years ago that I discovered my husband was addicted to pornography. I had been looking through his phone when I stumbled upon deleted still screens of images from porn websites. It came to me as a total shock. My husband had meticulously deleted all traces of his addiction for ten years. I never even knew he had a problem with lust. This crisis in our marriage set forth many months of difficulties.
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