He Said/She Said (7): Warning Signs

Thank you for joining us in this very heavy topic for the last two months. It hasn't been easy for us to write it or for you to read it. As we begin to wrap it up in the next few weeks, it's our prayer that in the least, this series will open up some good discussion with you and your spouse.

She Said:
I'm going to be perfectly candid with you, I didn't recognize the warning signs of lust and pornography that bound my hubby off and on in the first ten years of our marriage. I didn't think my hubby was capable of being so terribly human. I thought we were above such a disgusting sin. I was wrong.

Looking back and knowing what I know now, there were some red flags. The last four years of our marriage, the transformation and deep level of intimacy we've experienced is proof enough. Sure, we had moments in those first years of marriage, but we didn't live in the profound place of knowing each other in the soul's lowest and highest moments, as we do now.

Once, I remember standing in the store watching my hubby's eyes follow another woman. I remember being hurt and even making an accusation and picking a fight right there in the store. I clearly showed my hubby that I was furious with him and had a complete lack of understanding of man's most natural temptation. I'm sure he buried his secret even deeper that day.

Whether or not you've walked this road, I want to encourage you in one thing: Don't be afraid to ask your spouse if he struggles with lust, especially if you are suspicious. Suspicion only damages your relationship. Keep the line of communication open.

If your spouse is open with you, that is a good sign. If they are defensive or angry, you need to talk it out.

I gave my hubby an iPhone for our anniversary, his first phone that easily accessed the Internet. I wasn't worried about him giving into temptation. I truly trusted him. But then we started this series and in order to answer and empathize with heart-wrenching emails and even phone calls, I had to go back to four years ago and to the place where my heart was broken in two.

I woke up one day and I just felt insecure. Rather than build a case against my husband or make a false accusation or hurt him, I simply asked my hubby if he would put a safety program on his phone.

He did so immediately and without hesitation. He said, "I want to do everything I can to be accountable and to make you feel secure." And then he thanked me for suggesting it.

This man has been free for four long years. He wasn't defensive, critical or even irritated. He was thankful. And that says it all.

He Said: DISCLAIMER: This "He Said" is mostly for women. I want to caution everyone about the intentions of this particular vlog. I do not advocate that wives or girlfriends go snooping around trying to "catch" your husband or boyfriend doing something wrong. If you are partnered with a Godly man just set down and have an honest conversation with them about lust and pornography and your concerns. Your goal is to have the most intimate, honest relationship possible. The "warning" signs that I talk about are for marriages where there may be a trust issue, or your significant other has been unfaithful in the past, or is unwilling to open up about this topic. I also want you to know that my heart is for you to have an incredible, intimate, Godly marriage!

We will be resume with the last post in this series week after next, Rebuilding Trust.

P.S. My hubby has lost TWENTY pounds since his first vlog! Just wanted to brag on him.


thatgirlblogs said...

huge problem in our marriage last year. a battle for sure.

Pat said...

Wow, brave husband. KUDDOS for taking this on and many blessings!

Ashleigh (Heart and Home) said...

SO thankful for you two and what you've done with this series. My prayer has continually been that this would stir communication between spouses and be the catalyst toward healing, redemption, forgiveness and true intimacy. The Lord works magnificently through such transparency!

Anonymous said...
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Elizabeth said...

I thought his face looked thinner! Go him!

Harper said...

Kuddos to both of you in doing this. While this has not been a problem in my marriage, I have been following the series.

I found this week's vlog especially useful, as my dh and I sometimes help parents with their teenage sons. The jpeg search idea is a good one. I just thought I'd add that you may also want to search for tif and gif files. Most computers can resave images as different types than their originals (I sometimes do this with my photos just to make the files smaller), and it is very easy to do with any image editing software.

Way to go on the weight loss, too!

Anonymous said...

I'm commenting anonymously because it's not my husband but my son who struggles with this. I distinctly remember finding a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue hidden in his room when he was about 15--I laughed, even thought it was "cute", my little boy was growing up. Now I realize that was only the beginning and here we are 13 years later with him still fighting those demons that were awoken back then.

He married last August and I was praying that would be the end of it. Going through this series with you has helped me know that the battle is never over. One day when the time is right, I'll share your words with my precious son. I've already shared them with a friend who is in your shoes but whose husband doesn't think he has a problem.

Thanks to both of you for your honesty and courage. God bless.

mama hall said...

I am inspired, encouraged, thankful, and AMAZED at how raw, honest and true you & your hubby are in this series. You are doing a wonderful work together to glorify God and the sacredness of marriage. I pray that other couples are blessed by every intimate story that you share here. Thank you and God bless yall!

PS: I noticed his weight loss right away - great job!

Anonymous said...

So here's my question... when does it become OK for the husband to desire some privacy again?

If the wife is still insecure about "it" even after she feels she's forgiven, but still wants the ability to check up on him every once in a while, and he throws it back in her face that she's not letting it go, when does that privacy come back?

When does the wife need to "let it go" and "move on" if she's seen significant improvement.

Just like you said that you woke up insecure 4 years ago. Seems like there should be a statue of limitations or something lol :)

Anonymous said...

In my oppinion, in a marriage relationship, privacy is not part of the equation. An exception to this is if you do not want to know all of the details AND your husband is actvely involved in accountability group.

I have given Kristen the right to ask me about this situation or any other issue any time she wants. I believe this does three things: 1. It maintains intamacy 2. It builds trust 3. It gives my wife security (one of the deepest needs for a woman)

Lastly, my deepest desire is to honor Christ. When I am open with my wife, I am honoring Him and my marriage. (see Ephesians 5:25-33

We are praying for you,

Anonymous said...

If your husband cheats on you, porn is the least of your problems.

Andrea H said...

Because of past history I struggle with the trust issue every single day. I hate it! I want to trust so bad but I am afraid to get comfortable again and be hurt.

How do you overcome it?

Anonymous said...

Andrea, the trust comes over time...if he is WILLING to do what ever it takes!! In our case my hubby appeased my every insecurity, he was willing to do what ever it took every day to make ME feel comfortable, to make me feel that TRUST again. It certainly didn't happen over night, and took a long long time, but day by day it got easier and easier to trust him again. But THE BIGGEST SINGLE factor was, he did NOT fight any of it, he did what ever it took to put my mind at ease.
I don't think you can really build the trust again with out that kind of commitment from him.

(posting anonymously because I haven't really shared much of this part of my marriage)

Kristen said...

Andrea-I emailed you with some encouraging words.

Anonymous said...

we are in the middle of the battle for our marriage over the same issue. we are on round two and though there was supernatural forgiveness and oneness restored the "first" round, i am feeling so hurt and shamed this second time. and sometimes even Godly men who have repented and are fighting lust with their whole heart, have "another round". oh that we could defeat the enemy once and for all! but Jesus did--didn't He?!i guess we will await heaven for that. anyway, i have intentionally prayed and forgiven and worked against fear and bitterness and shame. my husband HAS repented and is doing all he can to earn back trust. but i still weep after we come together. weep for what is not--will never be again. innocent, pure, faithful, true. i still fill dread and shame and insecurity wash over me at odd times (when we are out in public and he puts his arm around me and looks at me with love--weird, i know.)but as i was struggling with those feelings and trying to make them go away and PRAYING and pleading with God to restore our relationship...i thought that maybe forgiveness isn't a once done thing--maybe it is a continual obedience even when i don't feel like it. maybe i need to lay myself down and spread my arms wide and embrace all of this--hurts, disappointments, betrayal, dirt, smudges, and shame--all of it. and know that He is God. He can use it all, He WILL use it all for His good. I don't need to have all the forgiveness "feelings" or be free/healed/instantly removed from all the consequences from his sin right away. maybe it isn't just a nice tidy thing. maybe it is messy and burnt and ugly. maybe God will bring beauty out of it all despite us--weak, fallible, forgetful and flawed as we are. maybe? is there hope? i believe, help me with my unbelief Lord. it is so hard so hard so very hard in the trenches just now.