How to Recover from Your Husband's Pornography Addiction
When a wife discovers her husband is hooked on pornography, she's instantly tossed into an unintended journey by a blistering sense of betrayal. My wife Brenda shares about a similar journey in The Healing Choice, co-written with Susan Allen:
Any wife who is enduring the pain of a husband's porn addiction is experiencing the most shattering, deep kind of pain she may ever encounter. One day her marriage seems normal, and the next perversion seems to have broken out everywhere. She hasn't a clue how to find her way out, and is likely unprepared for the crushing pain of betrayal that has her buried deep in an emotional wasteland. What happens if she doesn't have what she needs to pull through and get her heart back?
Once that storm crashes in and she realizes she doesn't have the knowledge she needs about her husband's sin, or the connection with God that she requires to handle this kind of trauma, she must immediately begin to learn and to build up her own intimacy with God, just like I did in the middle of my grief. She must choose to move in to God with all of her heart. That's the key.
Steps to recovery
Perhaps you've begun a similar journey. If so, what immediate actions can you take to move in closer to God? Obviously, you must dive deeply into prayer and into the Word. On my wife Brenda's journey, she began praying at the top of every hour for five minutes, transforming her spirit. She found the stress made it difficult for her to remember the Scripture she needed for support, so she wrote out the verses on sticky notes and posted them all over the house to keep his Word alive throughout her day. Get creative and run to him with all of your heart. As you run, be careful to do these three things as well:
1. Get knowledgeable about male sexuality
When your husband turns to porn for sexual pleasure, it's common to blame yourself for it all. Don't. At its root, it isn't about sex at all, so it isn't about your attractiveness or the extra 20 pounds you're carrying since the baby, or what you do or don't do in bed. Trust me. You have what it takes sexually, so don't worry. He's the issue—not you.
Of course, you must believe this inside and out, so get knowledgeable. Start by reading Brenda's book, Every Heart Restored, which includes nine chapters on male sexuality. You'll soon recognize that your husband's sexual sin likely spawned from past wounds inflicted upon him long before he ever met you—wounds that taught him to use his sexuality as a crutch to medicate the emotional pain in his life. Such knowledge changes everything, freeing your heart to move more quickly from judgment to mercy, which is exactly where God wants it to be.