He Said/She Said (6): To Every Woman Who Walks This Road

She Said:

Four years ago: During random arguments in the first ten years of marriage, whenever my hubby would toss out "maybe we should go to marriage counseling," it would make me furious! We argued over silly things, just like everyone else. I hated the thought of going to a professional, especially since we were pastors and people came to us!

It's called pride, in case you were wondering. And I had it bad. Little did I know that his desire for marital counseling was one of many cries for help from my spouse.

The morning after his confession, I was desperate for a counselor. Our marriage was a disaster, I was a hysterical mess and my hubby was racked with guilt (he did feel better about confessing, but I picked up the giant load he laid down and put it on my back).

I'll never forget our first session. I was there so the counselor could fix my husband. He listened to my hubby tell his story, while I sat on the couch, wearing my mask of grief, hot, silent tears soaking my hands and lap.

I wanted to bury my head. I've never experienced more shame and embarrassment than in that first session, listening to my husband, the love of my life, vocalize his sin struggle with a stranger. Beside humiliation, I felt something worse: guilt.

He gave my hubby some practical tips in "bouncing his eyes" and building a house to put all the harmful images in (see last week's vlog).

And then he turned to me. I couldn't even speak. He waited and waited. He leaned in, put his hand on my arm, "tell me" he coaxed.

The raw pain of the last few days poured out of me. I sputtered and hiccuped and blew snot bubbles. I spoke of my ignorance, my shame, of guilt and regret. I spoke of love for the man, weeping silently beside me, of hope and healing and freedom. I dreamed of a future.

I'll never forget what he said to me, "Your husband is a good man. He just needs tools to fight this enemy. He has just scratched the surface of this dark vast world. He will be victorious. He has sinned, but he is forgiven. But now, I want to talk about you."

I remember thinking, "What, me? No, please help him, please, we can't leave without you fixing him...."

He touched my chin, like my father would do and looked deeply into my eyes, "Kristen, this is not your fault. You are not responsible."

I sobbed. "But I'm so naive...I could have helped him."

"You are exactly what God created you to be: beautifully naive, unscarred by the filth of the world, innocent, pure. Do not apologize for this. Can you help your husband? Yes, you can. But first, you have to stop blaming yourself."

I can't tell you how this helped me. I couldn't possibly help my husband until I stopped blaming myself. Next you can help your spouse.

He Said:

Thank y'all so much for your outpouring of love and support to my hubby and I . We are strengthened by your emails, comments and love. Please keep praying for marriages that are struggling.


Kim said...

I still need to listen to the the "he said" side but I am so right there with you Kristen! I blamed myself for my husbands sin. I wanted control. And for me saying that it was my fault, that I should have seen it sooner, if I were prettier, skinner, a better wife (the list goes on). I was taking on some of the control.
It is only very recently that I am giving up control. I was not the cause of my husband sinning nor can I take control over his healing. It is between him and God. I can be there to listen and encourage, but not take on the burden.
Thank you both so much for opening up regarding this issue!

Anonymous said...

This series from you has come at such an eerily appropriate time as I am struggling with this in my marriage. I say I because I have discovered my husband's addiction, but he is not ready to see it as such or to see how hurtful it is to me - it's just a "guy thing". The hurt, the anger, the guilt - all there. No idea how to help or stop it. The tears start out of the blue. I haven't been able to watch any of the "he said" sections yet because my husband is nowhere close to there and I'm afraid it'll just send me spiralling down to watch someone who has been making changes. Thank you, for so many things, but especially for letting me know I am not alone...

The Mommy said...

I'll listen to your husband's vlog during nap time, but WOW! The words that the counselor spoke to you are so beautiful. I can only imagine how many couples you are helping with your confessions.

Kristina Joy said...

Thank you, thank you!

I've been blaming myself too. Not for causing the sin, but for not seeing it coming, for not interpreting the signs. I felt naive, stupid.

Your words today gave me freedom.

christa elyce said...

Kristen! I experienced the same thing in my marriage. I also had a friend who dealt with the same struggles in her marriage.

the counselor told us that the addiction to pornography and thoughts of other woman would have been cause by our husbands mother..."did she walk in the home naked sometimes?" no...not even in her underwear. not even from the shower to her room...our husbands mother's would changed behind locked bedroom doors. because of this and not talking about body parts and being comfortable to speak about sex in the home through my husband's adolescence he felt ashamed to think or speak to his parents about he went out to the world to find out...using the internet to fill those questions. then that moved into masterbation...then that moved into 900 numbers before he was 16. then he was addicted. Masterbating at least once a day during our marriage...and I did not find out any of this till we were already seperated...but it started to all make sense to me about him...and his family.

This is your fault at all. I tried for years to make it about find some answer. but you will unravel yourself...and there isn't answers in you...

now your husband will have to train his mind to think of woman less as objects. he will have to train his mind to think as woman are mothers like his, someone's daughters, sisters, and daughters of God.

it will take time....and the temptation will always be a struggle to fight. always. but he can do it. i know he can!

Brandon Neal said...


Wow, your story is deep, thanks for sharing with your audience. Any addiction is curable, controllable, and manageable. As a dude, I don't follow many blogs, but this subject is so real, and honest, I can't wait to keep up and watch the Lord help the both of you.

Brandon Neal

Our Little Blessings said...

This weekend I plan to go back and listen to all the videos. Last night my brother's wife left him for the second time. They have been going to counseling but he stopped going to his support group. He had gone on-line and lied about it and wife found out. My heart is breaking for them. I'm not sure if she will come back this time. They have a little girl that is 18months.

I'm praying that my brother can't beet this addiction and that his wife can find forgiveness.

Thank you and your husband for sharing.

A.C.L. said...

I am here...reading and watching.
Told my hubby about this Amazing blog and he was so encouraged. I feel like I am reading my Own biography. For once, I don't feel totally alone. Just wanted to let you know I am praying for you. Love to my Brothers and Sister in Christ! :)

Anonymous said...

i am stunned and awed and so grateful that you would share your very vulnerable story with me, a stranger. i have been following since the beginning. i think my husband is watching too (i am not sure but i gave him the info). for months i have not know where to turn, who to ask help from (our church is not equipped to deal--even after my hubby confessed to the pastor),i didn't know any other woman felt the shame and fear and confusion that i live with daily. and here you both are--answering my heart-cry for help. and free! we are on a single income with many kids--no money for expensive christian counselors--so to have a forum for my man to hear Truth spoken in love and tips and pointers and prayers--JUST AMAZING! and for me to know that i am not alone and there is hope--JUST INCREDIBLE! thank you Jesus for answered prayers. thank you family for being obedient to share. still not sure how it will look for my marriage but at least we have some resources from those who have walked this bumpy path before us. thanks for lighting the way. thank you so much.

blessings and joy to you both, a kindred friend

Kim said...

Thank you for sharing Kristen.
Our marriage is at a cross roads right now, not for the same reasons, but your he said/she said series is helping me get through it.
I'm going to send it to my husband and I hope he will come visit your site and gain something from it.

BlueCastle said...

I appreciate the courage it must take to share your story. I know there are many people who need to hear it. Thank you.

mandie said...

Anonymous February 18, 2010 8:20 AM As someone who is also going through this pain, I would encourage you to listen to the "He Said" videos as well, even if your husband is not ready to take responsibility yet. My husband has admitted his sin of addiction, as well as infidelity, and we are working together toward healing, but he has not (yet) watched the videos, but they have really encouraged me, not only in how to pray for my husband, but also because I know we're not alone in our situation. It's so helpful to hear Terrel(sp?) speak about their marriage, because that's where we are now. It's so good to see where we can be, with hard work, and the Lord. :) I'll be praying for you, and your hubby today. :)

Much love.

Mama Melissa said...

definitely sending up a prayer for you all... god bless.


Peter and Nancy said...

Thank you for speaking to the husbands -- men will listen to another man who's been there (even if their wives are saying the same thing!). It just means a lot to have another man speak it.

Two women from our church confessed that this is an issue in their marriages just within the last month, and I've forwarded a link to this series. Thank you for being real about this epidemic in the church.

I volunteer in a ministry that reaches out to women who work as exotic dancers -- it means a great deal to me to hear from the men who are fighting against lust!

God bless you both,