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!
My husband has been overcoming a lust and pornography addiction in the past three and a half years. He had this addiction for most of his life. There are times and situations that he is greatly tempted. Currently, he faces one of the worst situations at his second job. There are just so many temptations there. I would like to explain them all and also discuss how we work together to help this unavoidable circumstance.
I want to let you know that I am starting to tweet short prayers each day on Twitter. If you haven’t done so yet, please start following Hopeful Wife Today on Twitter. Together we can continue praying for our husbands and our marriages that God will continue His restoring power. This is our hope and our faith that God can bring light out of darkness.
I am praying for you daily as you seek to follow God in your marriage!
If you’ve been following this site, you know how much I love the devotional Draw Close by Willard & Joyce Harley. My husband and I have read quite a few devotionals in the past couple of years. However, this one has really spoken to us the most. Typically, devotionals have short, encouraging messages. Each day in this devotional is short, but it is filled with solid, Godly marriage wisdom. I was shocked at the insight this books gives to couples. I had a hard time letting go of how much I wish we had studied this book early on in our marriage.
Once my husband finally admitted to me that he did indeed have a problem with lust, I knew I could start to help him. I was obviously deeply sad and regretful that what I knew all along was true. However, I was more excited than sad. I knew that God was confirming what I already knew anyhow. It’s just hard to hear it, even when you know it’s true.
That’s why I decided to place my trust in God. I knew God was leading me in this direction. I knew completely that God wanted to use me to help my husband be open with me. I know I’ve said so many times that honesty and openness is truly my husband’s greatest struggle. And at that point it was obvious that it was coming between him and God and him and me.
So, I placed my hurt feelings in God’s hands. I tried with all my strength to just understand why lust and pornography is such a problem for men and not to only react personally. The truth is, we never will fully understand this struggle that men have. We just can’t. We’re not made that way. And we have to come to the point where we accept that we won’t understand it. We have to know that God understands it and that’s all that really matters.
I would like to start a new post in which I periodically update everyone on how our marriage is going. This is so that I can openly share in a very real way how we’ve grown and also what we’re still working on. I also would like to use these posts to encourage all of you to update us on your life in the comments below. I pray that doing this will join us as a community of wives that are here for each other. I pray that it also helps hurting wives let go of some of that pain by sharing it with others who truly care. I thank God for each one of you. I am praying for you as you fight for your marriage.
Additionally, please check out the new page Ask My Husband.
If you are just starting, please check out Restoring Marriages Bible Study: Day 1.
Psalm 147:3 (NKJV)
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Today’s bible study is a day to meditate on the verse. The way that we can meditate on this particular verse is to first read it a few times. Next, take a turn to each describe how this verse speaks to your heart. Either husband or wife can go first. Today’s verse is such an intimate verse. When we hear this verse, we usually think of something immediately. We think of that wound deep inside of us that seems unable to ever be mended. We usually feel so much pain in this wound. There may be many years of suffering. It might seem like it’s been there forever.
A wife recently asks this question:
If he messes up one time it just takes my mind down the road again. That is when I do not know when to confront him or not. How long do you let a slip go? Or what level do you confront? I mean, you shouldn’t talk to him about every single slip up, right? What do you do? I guess that is my main question… when to confront and have “the conversation” and when not to?
I would have to say that the single most difficult thing for my husband is openness. I think it is this way with most men who are addicted to pornography. This is because the men that hide porn do so out of guilt and shame. Therefore, their whole life is wrapped around secrecy. Their wives do not truly know them at all. What we know is actually a fake version of our husbands. That is until we find out the truth.
I’ll never forget the first time my husband actually admitted he had a struggle. Previously, he had admitted failure, but he quickly brushed it off. He tried to convince me of a miraculous healing where he never had a single lustful thought again. Believe me, I do accept God’s amazing healing powers. However, I am not going to be deceived. I know that when a man is addicted to pornography for most of his life and suddenly quits, there will be set-backs, at least in thought.
I was tormenting myself one night by thinking of what was really going on in my husband’s life. I just knew, deep in my heart, that he still struggled sometimes. I ended up searching the internet. That is when I first found the Covenant Eyes website. I found so many great articles about lust and how it is all so difficult for a man. I really was trying to get to a point where I could at least understand why this was such a part of my husband’s life. I also found many great e-books for husbands and wives. I remember printing out about ten different things. I wanted to show them to my husband and try to have a conversation with him. I just really wanted him to open up to me.
After ten years of marriage, I discovered that my husband had a secret addiction to pornography. I was completely clueless about this addiction. After knowing that I wanted to stay married to him, I knew we had a lot of work to do in our marriage. Before this discovery I realized that we were living in a fake relationship. In other words, we were two broken people that kept our true selves hidden. We thought we were in love and that we had a wonderful marriage. However, underneath this, we were both suffering.
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