Thank you so much for the love and support you offered on last week's post to my husband and I. Your reception of our hard-to-tell-story was beautiful. Sometimes doing the right thing is hard, but you helped us handle it with grace.
Please understand, this is our story and we aren't making assumptions about your marriage or your spouse or proclaiming that every marriage has or will face something like this. We are simply telling it to help others. Maybe even you.
I will never forget the night my husband confessed his sin to me. We were on our way home from Disney World of all places. We had just spent a magical week on our first real vacation after nearly 11 years of marriage. I was still on a Disney high as we drove our van deep into the night, our two children asleep in the back.
Up until this point in our lives, we'd had a really great marriage. We'd been out of full time ministry for two years and were finally getting back on our feet. For the first time, we had a 401k, we owned a nice home (the one we still live in) and my husband had a promising new sales career. Everything seemed perfect.
So, in the dark, as my hubby and I talked, our conversation began to take an uncomfortable turn. And then he just said it: "I have a sin problem. I'm addicted to lust and pornography."
My world stopped. I knew from that moment, I would never be the same again.
I'm not going to candy-coat this: I freaked out.
I was so disturbed and disgusted that while we sped down the freeway, I climbed into the backseat to separate myself from him for awhile. I wept, held onto my babies and wondered if this is what if felt like for your marriage to breakup.
I asked a lot of questions. I hated all the answers. I couldn't understand, couldn't wrap my head around this different person, my mind screamed. "Who are you?" This was before counseling, before I gobbled up every book I could find on the subject. This is the night I lost some of my innocence.
But even on this first night, as I cried bitter tears, I couldn't stop loving this broken man. My broken, hurting man. I didn't understand this new ugly place. I didn't know how we were going to make it, but I knew that I wanted to help him find freedom.
(And he found freedom like he's never tasted, and we both found intimacy on a level we didn't know existed....)
Next week, we will talk about some warning signs and then practical tools that would help fight this battle.
But before that, I just wanted to share some reassurances that helped me during this time (from For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn)
Reassurance #1: His temptation is often not primarily sexual (physical, yes, but not always sexual).
Reassurance #2: Every man is different (some can experience an involuntary sexual image and dismiss it without being tempted, while another can see the same image and struggle deeply).
Reassurance #3: It's not because of you (this was the main point hammered over and over to me by the counselor..."your hubby had this problem before he even met you."
Reassurance #4: This doesn't mean he doesn't love you (it was hard for me to understand how he could love me and still struggle with lusting after others...but this was a struggle with sin and even though it affected our relationship, these were separate in his heart).
Next week, I'll share how you can help your hubby....
Before you watch my hubby's testimony, please know that it is long (14 min), but very powerful. If you know or think your husband struggles in this area, I think it would be excellent for him to watch.