Celebration time!! 28 weeks porn free!!!!

My husband celebrated 28 weeks of “sobriety” this week!! There is hope ladies. This could be a very long post, detailing all of the stuff we’ve been thru but I will sum it up in one phrase GOD HEALS!!

My husband has battled a pornography and masturbation addiction for 30 years. We have been married for 14 years now and for the first time EVER, we are experiencing purity in our marriage!! We are starting a ministry within our church to battle pornography use and addiction, including supporting strained marriages, educating parents and just sharing our story of hope. I am going to step out of my comfort zone and post a video that I filmed the other day in preparation for a video series we are participating in.

I can’t tell you what will work for you, but I can tell you what worked for us. Prayer, accountability partner, internet filtering and tracking, reading numerous books, devotional time together and choosing to love. It sounds so simple when I type all of that, but I assure you there was nothing simple or easy on this journey.

Sorry this video is a little long…

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Just another day…

I am at work. I’m taking care of people. All of a sudden it hits me. I run to the bathroom. NOT AGAIN!! My heart is racing, my throat is so dry I can’t swallow, I have that paralyzing feeling of fear in the core of my being…not just butterflies in my stomach but it literally feels like I am going to die. I am terrified. Sort of the same feeling I used to get before my dad came home and the chores weren’t done but multiplied by a zillion. I begin sobbing uncontrollably. I text him…

Hey babe, how’s your day going?  No response.

5 agonizing minutes go by. I am trembling. I can’t stop crying. I think I’m going to throw up. So, I text again…

Whatcha doin?  Nothing.

So, how’s your day?  Fine.

Another 15 minutes have passed.

I love you. I hope you have a good day at work.  You too.

It seems like a normal conversation right? A wife just checking in on her husband to start the day. It is so much more than that. You see, I know. Not just because of the sick feeling in my stomach, but because my husband is a talker. One word answers are never good. He’s just finished up watching porn on his phone and masturbating. I’m so tired of feeling this way. I’m tired of not being enough for my husband. When we met, he couldn’t keep his hands off of me. Yes, I’ve gained a little weight. We have three kids! No, I don’t do lingerie like I used to but that’s because the last time I bought cute sexy panties his response was “Are those even going to fit you?” I’m tired of being consumed by this, I feel suffocated in my marriage and I have no one to talk to about it.

I get home from work and immediately check the computer and his phone while he is changing. Imagine that…absolutely zero history. I wonder why! Do I dare to ask? I know he’s going to lie. He always does. He kisses me hello, asks about my day…perfectly normal. I decide not to bring it up. Instead I pray in my head.

Father God,

Please be with me right now. Please protect our marriage. Take my fears, anger and anxiety away so that I can enjoy my husband. I pray that you would place a hedge of protection surrounding him that he would not be tempted again. Father I pray that he would find satisfaction in me. Father I pray that I would remember that I will always be enough in your eyes and that is what matters. Father help me extend grace and love, especially today. Let me delight in my husband and not allow one more minute to be consumed by this. Amen

Today that helped. Today I choose to love my husband and not beat myself up for his choices. Today, I think I’m making progress…but am I really?

Turning to God

Over the years, my husband and I have grown so much. I gave my life to Christ a few years ago. Since that day, I have learned to stop obsessing over my husband’s continued porn use. I went to the altar and left it there.

I have learned a lot over the years, I want to share a few snippets with you…

  • IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!! No matter what lingerie you wear or don’t wear, no matter what acts you do or don’t do, no matter how frequently you have sex with your husband, always remember this. It took me a long time to get this one. I am an unusual wife…I love sex, I have a higher sex drive than my husband. I am always in the mood, so I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong until I understood that it has nothing to do with me.
  • You are not crazy. It is not crazy to be upset or hurt or betrayed. I can’t tell  you how many of my friends have accused me of overreacting.
  • His behavior is not “normal”. I hate when people tell me “He’s a guy. Guys watch porn. Guys masturbate.” NOT TRUE!
  • Do not obsess. Do not be a detective. Fight that with every fiber of your being. It will not help you process if you see what he looks at. Trust me. I could be a secret government spy by now for as much time as I’ve put in to tracking him and spying on his activities.
  • It is his sin to deal with, not yours. You can NOT carry his burden any longer.
  • There is hope and healing with God at the center!

The story of my husband’s journey to salvation is long. It’s a story for another day. He gave his life to Christ at a men’s conference about a year and a half ago following a message about acting like a man, which included a message about pornography. My husband knew God was speaking to him. He went to the altar and Greg Laurie prayed over him, as he confessed his sins and accepted Jesus Christ as his savior! Our lives have never been the same, our marriage is stronger…we fight less.

After he came back from the conference, he was a changed man. He was loving and attentive. We made love daily!! He was attracted to me again! He playfully touched me and randomly kissed me…things that faded away years ago. He kept saying “I get it now. It is so much better with only you.” Then about 6 weeks later, the sex started tapering off. I knew why. I have always known. This time though, he actually didn’t deny it! Of course he blamed me for not initiating enough. That’s an ongoing debate in our bed. Yes, there are absolutely times that I do not initiate because I knew he had already taken care of himself, it’s hard to want someone who has betrayed you. There are many other times that he only has sex with me out of obligation, he isn’t really present. Yet, somehow I’ve still managed to pray my way thru the negativity and not start a fight. I stopped bringing it up to him. In fact, I began to twist my brain into thinking some crazy stuff like Well, at least he lasts longer after he already got off once today. I get to reap that benefit at least. Sick, twisted, I know but I realize I was trying to rationalize. I was trying to protect my heart. A few months ago, I broke down again. I can’t continue like this. I begged him to talk to our pastor. He “agreed” but in typical fashion did not take action.

We went to a worship night several months ago with our pastor and an amazing thing happened. The message turned to freedom from pornography. My husband went to the altar, our pastor went with him. He prayed for deliverance from pornography that night. The Holy Spirit moved in him. Since that night, he has been meeting with our pastor and working thru some materials to help him break the addiction. He hasn’t been perfect, he has had some slips but this is the longest he’s gone without needing it daily! We have actually been having open, HONEST conversations. He still doesn’t come to me first, but if I ask him he tells me the truth. I don’t yell, judge, or even withhold sex from him. I thank him for his honesty and I shower him with love.

The last week or so has been really tough for me. As my husband makes progress in his battle, I am struggling even more than usual. I realize now that I have been stuffing my emotions, believing I had really let go of them. Maybe that’s why I needed to start writing this…to see how far we have actually come. We are on our way to complete restoration of trust and rebuilding our intimacy!

In the beginning…

At the time we met, we lived about 2 hours away from each other. We would spend weekends together, getting to know each other. Our relationship started as a friendship with benefits and we slowly fell in love. We did not have God in our lives. He was an atheist; he couldn’t fathom the idea of God without tangible proof. I was a recovering Catholic, I believed in God but I would only pray when I needed something. Porn was an occasional part of our weekends together. We would watch it together. He used porn and masturbated thru the week while we were apart. I knew that. I was “ok” with that (or so I convinced myself anyway) because he was a guy in his 20’s…at least he wasn’t sleeping with anyone else. As time went on we moved in together, our relationship deepened and we got engaged. I began to get these gut wrenching pangs in my core while I was at work or the grocery store, sometimes even in the shower. I can’t begin to describe it, but if you are a woman in this situation you probably know what feeling I’m talking about. I began to notice deleted history on the computer (no in-private or incognito browsing back then LOL) or that a porno we had rented together was in a different place. I began to ask him when I noticed these things. He convinced me I was paranoid. I was crazy. He began lying to me on a daily basis.

I could write at least a thousand posts detailing every argument. See, I didn’t confront him in a loving way back then so it always resulted in a huge fight. I was angry. I felt betrayed. I already came into the relationship with a ton of baggage. I was emotionally, physically and sexually abused as a child. I had poor self-esteem and the thought of him pleasuring himself to these “perfect” women made me hate myself even more. I came at him with venom because I needed him to hurt too. He would never answer me honestly, which only infuriated me more. I hate being lied to. The lies were just as painful as the masturbation.

He would masturbate while I was at work, sometimes after we had just made love. OUCH!! I continually felt like I was not enough. There was one time that a Playboy subscription card had fallen out onto the floor, he didn’t notice he had dropped it when putting his stash away. He even denied that!! He blamed my brother-in-law. So, I called my brother-in-law, while he stood there listening to me and still denied it. Finally after I got off the phone he confessed. That turned into one of our worst arguments in history. He was embarrassed and angry that I had called. He felt that I was controlling him and couldn’t comprehend why it was no longer ok with me. HELLO……we are planning on getting married!!! So, the first of many ultimatums came. I told him if you don’t stop, I will leave. My father betrayed my mother for their entire marriage. I will not have it. He became tearful and immediately began apologizing. He made the first of many broken promises to quit.