Editor’s Note: Finding out that your significant other has been looking at and lusting after another person’s body besides your own is incredibly hard. You start to doubt your worth and relationship. Bonny went through this very experience within her marriage; but instead of letting this revelation destroy it, she chose to seek Jesus in the midst of pain and confusion. This is what Bonny learned and now desires to share with anyone who is going through a similar situation.
15 years ago, our marriage changed forever. My Christian husband’s secret was out. He was losing the battle with pornography and sexual compulsion.
By the blood of Christ, the sweat of heavy honest discussions and tears of forgiveness, our marriage has thrived. How grateful I am God shows up in impossible situations.
You cannot fix your husband. Christ and your husband have to do that. However, if you have recently discovered your husband is struggling with pornography, I want to help you become a Jael, so you can sink a tent spike into the temple of pornography. I want to help you become a strong and defiant warrioress for your marriage. Remember, your husband is not the enemy. Satan is.
In order to grow strong in the Lord against the schemes of the evil one, I’d like to give you permission to tend to yourself first.
You’ve lost trust. Some of what you thought was true about your marriage was wrong. Pray, pray, pray and give the Lord time to work. Give yourself time to come to terms with the deception and the new reality.
Find a wife you can talk and pray with.
Let God lead you to a compassionate and wise Christian woman who has experienced this. Don’t keep his secret for him, but it is important to share this information with discernment. Let her reassure you that nothing you did caused his porn use.
It’s not uncommon for porn revelation to lead you to feeling unstable. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help.
Understand YOUR value.
Yes, a porn addicted husband has chosen to view millions of other naked female bodies. HIS actions do not diminish your worth. You are not defined by your husband. You are defined by Christ. Get into the Word and see what it says about YOU, a co-heir, a sister to Christ.
By understanding that I was God’s masterpiece (Eph. 2:10), I grew in confidence that I was valuable because I was God’s. I didn’t have value because of my marriage, husband, children, job, volunteer work, beauty or accomplishments.
God wrote me on the palm of his hand (Is. 49:16). What do we see when Jesus shows us his nail-scarred palms? We see the ultimate unconditional love. Knowing my value through the hands of Father and son helped me deflect Satan’s accusation that my husband’s actions were a reflection of me.
Allow the excruciating pain in your heart to subside.
The romantic ideal you had of your husband has suffered traumatic injury. The length and severity of ‘porn grief’ will be unique for each woman and marriage.
You may even need to have a short term retreat away from your husband and family to study and meditate. Our spirits need quiet time so we can hear God.
Do not diminish your heart’s need to process the loss; however, don’t stay in that place. After a while, replace the thoughts that dwell on the ‘what-ifs’ of his pornography use with noble and beautiful thoughts of how you are going to move forward.
Don’t read other people’s stories on the internet.
As I was trying to heal and rebuild, reading others’ porn revelation stories fueled my doubt. I already had enough doubt and mistrust. I needed to focus on stories of hope and redemption. You may need to stay away from sites and forums that focus on personal stories of pornography revelation for a season, while you work on deepening your personal Bible study and prayer life.
Avoid the desire to get yourself worked up again.
I realize if you have recently dealt with porn discovery, you feel like a gutted fish. The last thing you want to do is to understand his problem academically, psychologically.
Aside from prayer and God’s gentle care of your heart, understanding the psychological reasons your husband has ended up here will open the door for dialogue and healing. Knowledge is power.
When you are ready read, ‘Surfing for God,’ by Michael John Cusick. Unlike personal testimonies, this book is hope and redemption. It gives you insight into how an addict can overcome his addiction, as well as explaining the underlying cause of the addiction.
You’ll be able to see how Satan has used your husband’s past to keep him entrapped. A godly warrioress knows the strategy of her enemy.
Jesus knew all about the lady at the well. She’d sinned sexually. He knew ALL her reasons and excuses. And I think because he knew all her reasons, he had great compassion for her. He didn’t shame her. He told her to go and sin no more. He gave her the grace and love shown in 1 Corinthians 13, but he told her don’t do it anymore!
Reading 1 Corinthians 13 for me was painful during our hard season. All I could focus on was how I’d been wronged. God showed me it wasn’t about me, it was about seeing the US in this story. There were ways where I’d wronged him, too. That’s when I knew my season of self-care had ended.
It was time to tend to the marriage and reclaim it for Christ.