Courageous Confessions #4: For Those Who've Been Betrayed
I know exactly how it feels, even if I don’t know what discovery led you here. Perhaps it was a text message he didn’t want you to see. An internet browsing history. Or maybe it was an old-school Playboy.
I know how your blood runs cold and your heart starts beating so hard that it pounds in your ears, throbbing pain, throbbing fear. What else don’t I know? Why am I not enough? How will I ever trust him?
I didn’t know it when we got married, but my husband’s battle with pornography had begun early in life and subsided, then resurged when I was pregnant. When I first discovered it, I was…shocked almost-speechless and entirely undone. I had no idea. No one had any idea. He denied it. I persisted. He denied it. I believed him. More evidence. Tearful confession. Thus began an exhausting cycle in our marriage of pain, remorse, forgiveness, distrust and distance. Many years and much counseling have brought healing and hope; but the memories and pain are still present, along with a new sense of trust in God’s ability to care for me no matter what choices my husband does or doesn’t make, instead of placing all my trust in my husband’s ability to never disappoint me.
Here’s what I want you to know.
You didn’t cause this.
You didn’t cause it by gaining weight.
You didn’t cause it by not being good enough or willing enough with sex.
You didn’t cause it by getting older.
There are certainly areas in your marriage that are your responsibility, but the commitment to purity and to faithfulness is his to keep - first before his God, then before his wife.
Here’s what else I want you to know:
Be careful with your words right now. Especially the words you say to yourself, about yourself. Use your words for life. Insist on life.
And finally, this:
If your husband wants to get help, you are not the best choice to be his accountability partner. If he faces tears and anger and deepened levels of mistrust every time he is honest about this struggle, then being honest becomes a bit of nightmare. He needs people he can turn to and trust and so do you. Who should you turn to? I don’t know, but I do know this: If you are fighting for your marriage, turn to people who believe in marriage.
I know my confession leaves a lot of the story hanging, unresolved. Probably exactly how your story feels right now. All I can tell you for sure is: I have discovered with certainty that every wound can heal and there is One who will never betray you. Ever.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I know this Confession will resonate with so many women - and I know there are also women dealing with sex addiction. Please email us if you find yourself hopeless or without resources. Let us stand with you in prayer and encouragement. Thank you, dear contributor, for sharing your story. Thank you, dear readers, for showing up again today. I love you. -Bo