I am happy to share with you today’s post from Bonny Logsdon Burns. She is the author and founder of OysterBed7.
Robi’s blog name is dead-on. Active hope is how God continues to lead me after our marriage’s initial devastation with pornography. Thank you, Robi, for allowing me to share my hope with your readers.
With our 2-year-old son asleep in the next room, I try to haul my pregnant belly into bed. I’m 35 weeks ginormous with identical twin boys. I lift my feet off the floor just as I hear the sound of a freight train outside, the tell-tale sign of a tornado.
A lifetime of tornado drills put my husband and I in auto-pilot. We know exactly what to do to have the greatest chance of survival.
It takes 60 seconds for the violent, F4 tornado to clear a path in our neighborhood. I barely have time to ask God for help.
The break of day finds me trembling in a hospital bed as I watch the aftermath on television. I weep from horror and gratefulness as I see the massive debris field of my neighborhood.
The first decade of my marriage was like this tornado. It was only in retrospect that I saw clues that a tornado was coming. We had foul weather swirling; nasty attitudes, disregard, dismissive and condescending behavior; until it all converged in devastating fall-out.
Obviously the hurt that comes to a wife after she finds out about her husband’s problem with pornography and lust affects the whole family. The family is now going through an unexpected crisis. And this impacts everyone in the family.
A reader asked if I would comment on the impact that this has on our children. She left this suggestion on the page Feedback from Readers. This is a great way to ask questions or to suggest ideas for future posts.
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.
We’ve been discussing thoughts several times recently. We looked at a question from a wife who had troubling thoughts. Then, I talked about what we think about in an Update on My Marriage and the recent Restoring Marriages Bible Study. Many readers also commented on how they struggle with these thoughts as well. Someone even brought up how current events can make us remember the bad things that have happened. Then we get stuck and dwell on them. This is one issue that seems to be so difficult for every wife who finds out about her husband’s secrets. That is why I thought I would continue with this topic.
Today we are going to study turning to God with all of our hearts.
If you would like to see the Restoring Marriages Bible Study Days 1-8, please click here.
Turning to God
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV)
When we go through a crisis in our marriage, we realize how uncertain life can be. Maybe you had dreams about the way your life was to go. Maybe your finding out for the first time that life is a very difficult path. Wherever you are right now, one thing is very certain. We need God. We cannot go through these trials without God. When we try to do it our own way, we end up hopeless.
Jesus came to give us hope.
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.
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.
9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage is written by Sheila Wray Gregoire. It is an excellent book for any marriage. It contains new thoughts that can revolutionize the way many women think about their marriages. Sheila is the founder of the blog To Love, Honor, and Vacuum. Many times her posts have helped me in my marriage. Her perspective and wisdom on so many marriage topics is a true gift from God. I recommend all of her books.
Today, I would like to explain how one of the thoughts in her book changed my entire marriage. The thought is:
“I’m called to be a peacemaker, not a peacekeeper.”
Sheila explains how many women think that they are supposed to keep the peace in the marriage by agreeing with their husbands on the outside, but hurting deeply on the inside. In a way they think they have to let their husbands have their way with everything just to keep him happy and have a peaceful home. But, this isn’t real peace and in the end it is destruction.
This way of thinking led to many problems in my own marriage.
This is a prayer for guidance. It is for the wife who knows her husband watches pornography or is unfaithful and doesn’t know what to do.
I am coming to you today for guidance. God, I am so lost and confused. I have no idea what to do. All I know is that I am hurting and that this isn’t right. I know I have to do something. But, God I need Your guidance.
Sharing My Story: The Sad Truth
This is a part of our story that still hurts today. If I think about it I can still feel the deep pain from that day. However, I feel it’s important to share it. I’d like you all to know exactly how our story unraveled. God has brought redemption and restoration to our marriage. But, that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been through a lot of hurt. I think sometimes people assume that when we follow God, we shouldn’t feel hurt. That is not true at all. Most of you know that in marriage there is a lot of hurt. The saddest part to me is that my love story really was never true. I wasn’t my husband’s only one. And this truth can crush you with pain. It’s something that we experience as wives when our husbands choose this path. That is why we have to turn to something higher. That is why we have to trust in God and accept God’s love for us. He is the only one that can love us perfectly.
I just created a new page called Sharing My Story. It contains the links to each part of my story in order. I hope that makes it more convenient if you are just started reading or if you would like to read anything again.