Click away as fast as you can, right? Nobody wants to read this kind of post.
Heck, I don’t want to write it.
But for years, I’ve been inundated with emails and phone calls, private FB messages from hurting wives. These are our sisters, our friends, women we sit across from at Bible study: Women who need to talk, who need to know they aren’t alone.
And sometimes, we find out those women are us.
There are new emails, fresh wounds, brokenhearted sisters in my inbox, on my phone every single week. I sat down face-to-face with two just last week.
And with the Internet in our back pocket and available all the time, everywhere, it shouldn’t be surprising. Then I read that the latest research tells us that pornography is a problem in more than 40% of Christian homes and I realize this addiction and entrapment is affecting nearly half of everyone I know. Half of the church. Many of my friends.
So, yeah, I don’t want to talk about it anymore than you do, but we can’t pretend it doesn’t affect us or someone we know.
The first thing I tell women in email and in person is I’m not a counselor. I can’t solve your problems, fix your marriage, or offer you life changing advice. But I can listen. I can nod my head, grab your hand, and I can pray. I also want them to know they aren’t alone. Not only have countless other wives walked this hard road, God is right in the middle of our pain.
But there are three more things I want wives who find themselves in this difficult place to know:
- Freedom is between he and God | My world fell apart ten years ago when my husband confessed his struggle with pornography. I was completely unaware of his private battle and when he laid his burden at my feet, he was relieved, but the weight of his confession nearly crushed me. And as if that wasn’t enough, I immediately blamed myself. If only I’d…, Maybe I could have…With some very good counseling, I begin to understand that my husband’s battle had very little to do with me. It was between he and God. I also discovered that we couldn’t repair or rebuild our marriage unless his relationship with God was more important than his one with me. Pray for your husband’s brokenness. Pray that he wants freedom from sin more than he wants anything else. Because you can build an amazing marriage on that foundation.
- Forgiveness is between you and God | I encouraged and supported my husband, but I had my own private hell to endure. My heart was broken. I lived in the middle of forgiving my husband and hating him. Forgiveness isn’t for them; it’s for us. It’s an intentional and voluntary release of fear and hate and heartbreak. It’s a letting go. And no matter what happens in our marriages, forgiveness is between us and God.
- Fight for both as long as you can | I was my husband’s biggest cheerleader for freedom. He was mine for forgiveness. There weren’t any guarantees we would make our way back to each other. We were both on our own broken roads. Some men don’t find freedom. Some women don’t stay. Sometimes it’s the other way around. But whether you flee or follow, forgiveness is something you can’t leave behind.
(I also refer people to these amazing resources from real professionals).