Discovering your spouse's pornography addiction is devastating. To find out that the life you have been sharing with this man has been all a lie, can shatter any bit of hope for your marriage.

After the deep and dark transgressions have been laid out on the table, reality sets in and the little voices begin to take up residence in your mind.

"How will I know if he watches porn again?"

"What if he lies to me again?"

"How can I make sure that he won't watch it again?"

"What is he going to do when he gets tempted?"

It isn't long before you are eating, breathing, and living around your husband's successes and failures.

It isn't long before his addiction, becomes yours.

I can remember like it was yesterday waking up an hour early to look through my husband's phone. I searched through his text messages, photos, browsing history, and the list goes on. 

I can also recall the sense of peace and joy I felt when I found he hadn't watched porn, or contacted other women online. I walked through the day with a pep in my step, not knowing that very soon I was going to fall flat on my face.

And that's exactly what happened.. Every time.

I went back into his phone and discovered he had been watching porn again and speaking and flirting with various women online. It's funny that even in his failures, I found my own. I would beat myself up for taking too long to check his phone, and promised myself to check more often next time, trying to convince myself that the more often I check, I might be able to stop him before he falls. Wrong. Very wrong.

This went on for days. Then months. Then years.

This cycle became my life. My husband's addiction to porn had become my very own addiction. I was living in a deep and dark place. Just as my husband was a slave to his selfish desires, I too, had become a slave to my need to be in control of his selfish desires. Nothing enslaves a spirit more than the need to be in control. The worst part of being in this deep and dark place, was that I had put myself there.

Pornography was an idol for my husband. He sought out the sexual images on the screen to satisfy his flesh. And, that was a sin against the God he claimed to serve. 

What I didn't realize was that, I too had removed God from his rightful place in my heart and in my life. My husband's addiction, and the need to control it (and him) had become my idol. I was playing “god” in my marriage. The Bible clearly commands us, “You shall not have any other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). 

I had left God out of all of my decision making regarding my marriage. His power to restore, transform, and redeem any broken marriage seemed foreign to me. 

Relinquishing control of every area of my life over to God is one of the hardest things I have ever done, and it is still a challenge. I still have days, where God has to stop me and say, “Carmen, why are you walking ahead of me? Trust me. Rest.” 

The first thing I did that really changed my life and my marriage, was prayer. I prayed for my husband every day. Even when I did not want to, I prayed. Even when he messed up, I prayed. To every wife out there, please, pray for your husband without ceasing. There is so much power in a a wife's prayer for her husband. Prayer isn't enough. You have to believe in the God you are praying to, and believe that He can restore your marriage and heal you and your husband. 

Has your husband's addiction become yours? Here are a few ways to know:

  1. Does your day begin and end with checking or monitoring your husband's phone, computer, accountability reports? Now this isn't a bad thing, unless it becomes an obsessive behavior that makes or breaks how your entire day will play out. If your good and bad days are dependent on whether or not your husband watched porn or not, than his addiction, and your need for control has become your idol. Colossians 3:5 tells us, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Notice how your sin, yes, your sin falls right there with your husband's sin. No sin is bigger than the other. You need to pray and ask God to forgive you for idolizing your marriage and your desire to control it. Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love, (Jon. 2:8) and isn't that what we are all searching for? A loyal, faithful, and unwavering love? To be able to experience this we need to surrender every thing to God. Surrender our spouse. Surrender our marriage. Surrender ourselves. Surrendering to God is not the same thing as giving up. It's just recognizing that we cannot handle everything, but God can.
     
  2. How's your relationship with Jesus? If you can recall every single detail on your husband's accountability report from this morning, but can't remember what passage you read in during your quiet time with God (if you even did this morning), then that's not a good start. Your marriage has to be built on the foundation of Christ. Jesus tells us in John 15:5, “"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” That means that if you [the branch] are not connected to Christ [the Vine] than you can do NOTHING for yourself, for your spouse, or for your marriage. Your job is not to make sure your husband isn't watching porn. Your job is to get healthy. To get to know Jesus, and build a close relationship with Him, because in the end it is THIS relationship that will get you to Heaven, not your spouse. Focus on being made whole, and let God do the rest. It is time to put God back on the throne of your heart and your life. 
     
  3. Do you have godly friends? During times like these I isolated myself from the world. I didn't want to share with others about what was going on in my marriage in fear of being ashamed and humiliated. Reach out to godly friends that will pray with and for you. Real biblical friendship will join you in fighting for your marriage. This is not the time to seek counsel from your friends or family that have no relationship with Christ. I read a quote that said, “If you are consulting with women whom do not know Jesus, then you might as well consult with the devil.” You should be seeking godly, biblical counsel from other married women that want to see your marriage succeed. People who bash your husband, do not want to see God's best for your marriage. Remember, you are one flesh with your husband, and what they say about him, they say about YOU!

My husband's pornography addiction has become my addiction, now what?

  1. Repent, and ask God for forgiveness. Ask Him to remove the need and desire to control everything, and declare that He is Lord over every area of your life.
     
  2. Ask your spouse forgiveness. Yes, this one is important. In our need to control our marriage, and his life, we lacked grace. Real, authentic grace. Grace isn't something that our human hearts can produce on their own. We MUST be plugged into the Source of grace. Christ. When the grace of God dwells within us, we will react differently to situations in our life, and to the people in it. Grace is saying, “I can't, but God can.” Reassure him that you are fighting with him, not against him. 
     
  3. You cannot be his only accountability! Your husband should have a few men of God that you BOTH trust and will be in contact with him on a regular basis. When your husband has godly men around that he can submit to, he is on the right track. Other accountability needs to be put in place such as internet accountability software like CovenantEyes or Accountable2You. If you are going to get professional counseling, make sure that it biblical based. Pray, before you call anywhere!
     
  4. Get some support. Reach out to your church or other wives that are going through the same thing. Search for local support groups. If there isn't any, pray and ask God about possibly starting your own support group. Ask Him for wisdom if you feel that is where he is leading you.
     
  5. Pray, pray, and pray! Do not underestimate the power of a praying wife. Your prayers are a crucial part of both of your journeys. They will help your husband to push through the lies of the enemy and continue to be strengthened in the Lord. If your husband has been unwilling to recognize his addiction, this is where prayer will come in. You cannot change your husband. You cannot make him STOP watching porn. But you can pray and ask God to change his heart and make it receptive to God's will for his life and marriage. Your prayers and the prayers of those that love you will be the biggest part of his recovery. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

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