Well, here you are. A place where you never thought you would be. Maybe it was unexpected, or maybe you were suspicious for quite some time. Regardless, you wish that in this moment you could be anywhere else.
You just found out that your husband is seeking out pornography. Maybe it progressed to something more, or maybe you’re afraid that it will. So many unanswered questions are swirling through your head, and you cannot talk to your husband about them because he gets angry, bordering on the edge of being verbally abusive as he blames you.
So what happens next? Can anyone hear you screaming from the inside out? Can people in the grocery store see that you have been losing sleep? Do your friends notice your mascara lines from crying pretty much all day? Has anyone noticed you haven’t been at work in a few days? What would they think if they learned that you haven’t showered in two days, much less changed your clothes? And what about your kids? Do they know what is going on? Have they noticed that you seem irritated and angry?
You so badly want to pray, but you don’t know what to say nor can you find the strength inside to mutter the words. You feel empty and alone.
Take a deep breath. You don’t have to have all of the answers yet. You were caught off guard, and the equilibrium of your once beautifully perfect life is now off balance.
Though you may feel isolated, the chances are pretty high that someone within your circle of acquaintances can relate to the pain that you are feeling. I am that someone.
I can remember walking into my house in the middle of the night after a long shift of work. The house was dark and still, everyone else was sleeping. I couldn’t immediately go to sleep so rather than disrupting my husband’s sleep with my restless tossing and turning, I decided to check Facebook. When I logged in, I was greeted (if you want to call it that) by a message from another woman outlining the inappropriate relationship her and my husband had been having via the phone and computer. As I read, my heart sank when I got to the part where she noted that she had made plans to meet him in a hotel room. I remember reading it over and over again, trying to let it sink in, praying that somehow I would wake up and realize that it was just a horrible nightmare.
A confrontation with my husband confirmed that it was not a nightmare, it was reality. And so in that moment, my life fell apart too. It felt like the more I tried to talk to people, the harder the journey became. Everyone had different opinions on what I should do, and none of them gave me an ounce of peace.
Sitting in the quiet about drove me crazy, so I would turn the radio on to silence the thoughts that were screaming in my head. Somehow, music has always had a way of making me allow myself to feel my emotions, rather than stuffing them in the darkest places of my heart.
Over the years since those initial moments of discovery in my life, I have heard a lot of great songs. I have found myself wishing that they would have been released when I was struggling and heartbroken. I feel that they are worth sharing with you, regardless of where you are in the moment.
Where do I begin with this song? Call it what you want to, but even if my husband didn’t sleep with the person whom he had been chatting with, I still felt betrayed. I was full of fear, full of confusion, stuck between trying to discern what God was saying from my own angry thoughts. Life was crumbling and I did not have any clue what the next steps were. As the song mentions, there were times where I could barely breathe. Leaning into God and acknowledging that He alone can work on our pain in due timing is crucial. Though it may not feel like it right now, just having the reminder that God is faithful can sometimes really help us continue to put one foot in front of the other.
Right now you may feel like you’re losing. You may have been known to be the wise one, that one who could help everyone with their problems. If you’re honest, you just feel empty right now and you just feel like you can’t go on. This song acknowledges that in a moment God can take the pain away, he can speak healing into life. But sometimes the answer is no or not yet. Through it all we have to remain holding fast to the hope that God is going to help us navigate through every twist and turn. Again, it’s a great reminder that God is faithful and we can cling to Him regardless of our circumstances.
When we find out that our husband’s are seeking out pornography, we immediately begin compiling a list in our minds of all of the ways that we’ll never measure up. Self esteem plummets as we focus on all of our physical flaws, and the enemy tells us that we have not been good enough in quite some time, if ever. Do you want to know the truth? You’re beautiful as you are, because God says you are. Pick your head up, look to the sky, and begin to cry out for God to help you reclaim your identity that years worth of sexual addiction may have stolen from you.
Nothing helps us believe something more than repetition. In this song, it really soaks into the soul and reminds us that we cannot give up on the concept that God still does miracles.
If you’re married to an addict, you understand that it takes a miracle just for them to acknowledge their struggle and begin to seek help. As Dr. Ted Roberts mentions in the Conquer Series, the journey can require a miracle every single day. Do not stop here, God is still listening and He can still work things out. I’ve seen it in my life, and I am believing that you’ll see it in yours too.
Maybe today is the day that you found out about your husband’s struggle. Or maybe you have been on this journey for days, weeks, or months. Even if you’re a few years into recovery like I am, you may find that Satan will still try to infiltrate your thoughts and put doubt in your mind every now and then.
I’ve shared before, my husband and I now have an incredible relationship. We’re best friends, and more in love than I ever thought could be possible – 98% of the time. Every now and then, when stress levels are rising or scheduling conflicts keep us from spending quality time with one another, the enemy will sneak in with accusations. It doesn’t mean that I don’t trust my husband, it just means that the enemy knows my area of weakness – and will press those buttons if I allow him to.
Through the Conquer Series, our husbands are being encouraged to practice reading and applying Scripture to their lives daily through the use of the Conquer Series Journal. They are given guidelines to turn off all electronics at least thirty minutes before bed, and devote themselves to prayer and meditating on God’s Word. As wives, it is very important that we do the same thing. If in unison with our spouses we are shifting our focus daily on the Lord, it leaves very little room for Satan to attack. Remember, when our guard is left down giving the enemy one inch, before we know it he will take a mile.
It’s okay to grieve, but don’t give up. Know that you are not alone in your heartache, and your husband is not alone in his struggle with sexual addiction. As difficult as it may seem, try not to personify your husband’s struggle and accept the blame for it. Remember, our battles are against the evil powers of darkness, and this dark time did not just happen overnight.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”
-1 Peter 5: 8-10
It is my prayer for you that you will encounter couples on a regular basis who will share their testimony of redemption so that you will be encouraged that brighter days lie ahead for you and your family as well.
A quick Google search will reveal a number of books available to help you navigate through this time. My personal recommendation is the Betrayal & Beyond workbook study created by Pure Desire Ministries. Not only will it help you process the array of emotions you are feeling right now, but it will also help you identify any areas of woundedness in your past that may need healing.
Our talented team is working hard on creating a film series for wives who are trying to swim through the murky waters of betrayal. Be sure to sign up to receive updates on this project.
And don’t forget to pick up a copy of the Conquer Series for yourself, and if he’s willing right now, your husband.
The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic 12-disc DVD series which is helping over 1 million men conquer porn and walk in freedom.