This is what I keep telling my husband, that no matter what situation we face in life, it is me and him together – not me versus him. We are on the same side. Hubby and I are really battling financially, but we can’t take this out on each other. We are a team and together we will battle our financial woes.
And so it is with porn.
In today’s post on The Alabaster Jar’s 31 Day’s to a Better Marriage series, Vicki Tiede gives some sound advice when it comes to dealing with porn. And let’s be completely honest – porn is ugly. In the very essence of what porn is actually about, it is ugly. It takes something that is supposed to be beautiful and sensual and satisfying and only between a husband and wife, and turns it into something physical, ugly and all about the body. Not your body (as his wife), but her body. Because even though they’re just images – they are images of other women. In poses and acts that’s just not normal.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY HUSBAND IS LOOKING AT PORNOGRAPHY? Do SOMETHING because your husband’s use of porn will not go away if you simply ignore it. God’s blueprint for marriage is spelled out in the Bible. It’s that blueprint that causes you to think, “A faithful, godly husband doesn’t do this.” While the word confront doesn’t sound very loving, leaving your husband in this sin isn’t a loving response either. You need to tenderly confront your husband about his use of pornography. There is no right or wrong time, as long as you don’t avoid or deny the issue. Don’t be surprised if your emotions bubble to the surface and you find yourself crying or fighting mad. Our God was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). You can trust that He understands what you are feeling.
Remember though what I said at the beginning – you are a team. You vowed before God to make this work, and you vowed before God “until death do you part”. Work on this – together, with God on your side. Now, I’m not saying it is easy – because it isn’t. It’s one of the greatest betrayals – and it is worse in the sense that its not a person you are dealing with. It’s not the floozy at work – its abstract imagery that is stealing away your husband’s mind, thoughts and devotion to you. But, he is still your husband! So, love him, be understanding, be gracious, but be firm. This betrayal will not be tolerated.
Find safe support. It is important that you find someone to talk to, and the first person should be God. Ask Him to direct your path in this situation. Your best confidants will be those who are equipped to listen without judgment, and preferably someone who has experience with this.
Always have someone you can trust to talk to and to guide you. But be sure its not another man – you are in a vulnerable position and placing yourself in place where the devil could easily tempt you in revenge against what your husband has done to you and your marriage is just too easy. Be careful. Go to another woman mentor, or a couple who will counsel you together. If your husband is open to working on this issue, he must join you. If not, you go on your own until you find the strength and the grace to forgive your husband, to love him no matter what and to pray for him day in and day out.
Accept the fact that it is not in your power to fix this for your husband. God has given the Holy Spirit the task of conviction of sin. You are not responsible for your husband’s daily choices. Your job is to walk in obedience to the Word of God. My book, When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart, leads women to the Wonderful Counselor who is in the practice of taking the broken pieces of a woman’s heart and making something beautiful.
You have been betrayed. Accept that – don’t try to deny it. But, remember God’s grace extended to you – you too were once lost and so, commit your husband to God’s grace. You cannot change or save or alter anything about your husband, so don’t even try. However, you can pray for healing – for yourself, for your husband and for your marriage and then leave the rest up to God.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB) Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Rest assured that your husband’s use of pornography is not about you. I hope he has already told you this, but I suspect you’re not so sure. Believe it. Pornography is a selfish act meant to meet his own perceived needs. That means you are not in competition with images of other women. This is not about your appearance, your sexual availability, or your competence in the bedroom.
Friend, I encourage you to lay your husband at Christ’s feet and place your heart in His hands.