Trusting God with My Marriage And WW Linkup

Guest post by blogger – Robi Smith of Hopefulwifetoday.com

Porn is the other womanIt was three and a half years ago that I discovered my husband was addicted to pornography. I had been looking through his phone when I stumbled upon deleted still screens of images from porn websites. It came to me as a total shock. My husband had meticulously deleted all traces of his addiction for ten years. I never even knew he had a problem with lust. This crisis in our marriage set forth many months of difficulties.

My husband was opening up to someone for the first time ever in his life. Since I now knew that he had real struggles, he had to tell me about his life. Because he was such a hidden person, I felt like I was just getting to know him. How could I have been married to someone for ten years and never really known him?

At the same time, I was deeply struggling with my faith in God. I had never been more devastated in my life. I was living a happy, satisfying life as a stay-at-home mom. I was raising my kids and loving my husband. Then I felt the shock and sorrow of knowing that my husband continuously looked at other women.

He later confessed that he had been unfaithful to me in other ways. He had inappropriate relationships with women at work. He had private text messages and chats with multiple women, sometimes meeting with them. There were many confessions that just added to the ugly mess our marriage had become.

Instead of being the two people in love that we had always been, we were becoming two people that hated each other and argued constantly. There was just so much hurt in our relationship. It seemed impossible to ever restore our marriage.

Then, I decided I didn’t want our life to be like this. I didn’t want to argue every day. I didn’t want to hate each other. And, I didn’t want to end up divorced. We loved our children so much.

We both loved God and wanted to follow Him. We knew somewhere there was the love we had for each other also. My husband was repenting to God. He was actively changing his life around. We had too much together to just let it all go over past hidden sins. Yes, the sins hurt our marriage deeply. Those painful times will be there forever. But, we couldn’t let go of the plans God had for the rest of our lives.

The enemy hits us hard, so we had to make plans for our restoration. God showed us that the most important thing to do was to pray, read the Bible, and talk every single day. We have been doing this for over two years. We use this time to read scripture and pray over our marriage. We also talk about our days and the struggles we’re facing. This is the time that we can connect spiritually and emotionally.

We started making many other changes in our marriage. We set up boundaries so that this sin wouldn’t come back into our home again. We each drew close to God. I learned to lean on God like never before.

God’s words filled my heart and have true meaning each day of my life. I relied on God completely to help me through this difficult time. God showed me how important my marriage was. It turned out nothing like I planned. It was an awful crisis that I wouldn’t have imagined. But, God used it to bring two empty, hidden people close to Him and close to each other. I placed my trust in God and He was faithful.

Other great articles by Robi are – Rebuilding Sexual Intimacy after Porn Usage, Breaking the Addiction, and Anger: An Ugly Mess.

Robi Smith is a wife and mother to four wonderful children. She has been married for thirteen years. Robi has a Master of Counseling in Counseling Psychology and is the founder of Hopeful Wife Today. She aims to bring hope and healing to hurting wives from their husband’s pornography use and unfaithfulness. She is continuing to see God’s restoring power every day in her life and in her own marriage.

 

Help us to brainstorm! What are some boundaries that you think might be important for someone trapped by porn addiction?

 

What words of encouragement would you like to offer Robi for being so brave and vulnerable about this heartache in marriage?

 


 

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  • Darby Dugger

    Robi, this is an amazing post that I know many women can relate to. Thank you for your honesty and for allowing God to work through your marriage.

    • Hi Darby,
      Thank you for the encouragement. God’s blessings to you.

  • Hi Darby,
    Thank you for your encouragement. God’s blessings.

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    First and foremost, your courage in describing this nightmare is awesome. So many people will draw a veil; and thus let the devil solidify his position, but you exposed him for the loser he is. Thank you for this.

    The first ‘boundary’ in dealing with pornography is really a hurdle; it’s accepting that this was a problem for a man long before you knew him. It isn’t a sudden onset. Pornography is aimed at adolescents and at psyches that have never moved past that stage. If that sounds like pornography is a form of child molestation – it is. It’s designed to victimize young men, men below their majority.

    The most practical way to deal with it is the hardest – make internet use completely transparent/ That means blocking software, and tracking software on the computer at home, and the use of a dumb phone. Go to Wal-Mart and buy a pay-as-you-go phone; yes, it’s kind of humiliating, but pornography is worse.

    No cable TV, either. My wife and I do just fine in rural New Mexico with an antenna. We have a decent collection of DVDs – clean ones. You don’t need the world at your fingertips.

    As a last thought, I believe it’s best not to ‘casualize’ the issue. It’s pornography. ‘Porn’ sounds a bit softer, less clinical. Call it by its full, evil name.

    And remember – pornograph’s highest toll is not in marriages. It’s in the women and children who are forced into the most degrading kind of slavery, are addicted to drugs – against their will – and are cast off when their utility is exhausted. This stuff is EVIL.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/08/your-dying-spouse-45-stages-of-grief.html

    • Hi Andrew,
      Thank you for your comments and you bring up a lot of good points. I agree with you so much about TV. It seems like there are no good programs anymore. In addition, the commercials are just horrific.
      I do agree with you that this nightmare does need to be exposed so that others can get the help they need. What I am finding on my site is that most women don’t reach out for any help. It’s quickly becoming a devastation in marriages.

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    And, yes, “Fifty Shades Of Grey” and its upcoming sequels are pornography. Shame on the actors, the studios, and the theatres that exhibit this filth.

    If y’all are interested, I wrote about this…stuff…in some detail a while back..

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/02/can-fifty-shades-help-your-marriage.html

  • stasia08

    Wow, what a candid post! I think sometimes in our lives we think we are too far from sin, we would never go there. But in reality we are all sinful and must flee temptations. And when we fail ourselves and in our marriages, we much turn to God because we cannot flee sin on our own!
    This post gives such hope for SO MANY in this situation! In this digital age, my husband and I see it all the time in our ministry, younger and younger people already addicted to porn.

    • Stasia08,
      You’re very right. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Robi, What a “real” post!! I so appreciate your honesty…This is especially meaningful to me right now as I have a young, engaged friend whose fiance struggles with this (as do so many Christians!). Fortunately, he has an accountability partner, but EVERY marriage these days needs our prayers and support!!!
    I know Satan “has it in” for us, but fortunately, I know how the story ends for believers 😉

    • Pat,
      Thank God that we have His hope!!

  • Mary

    The brave step that you took to not only choose to work on your marriage but also to share this story here I know you did as part of your faith journey. I am grateful that God is teaching you how to lean on Him in all and that as a result your marriage is healing. We are blessed to know a God who is forgiving and one who shares grace when we come humbly before Him. Your words are important for so many people and I pray that they touch just the right ones. Blessings!

    • Mary,
      Thank you for the encouragement.

  • Anastasia

    Thank you for such a honest post. I’m glad God restored your marriage!

  • Jessica

    Thank you so much Robi for your brave sharing! It encouraged me so much to see you no give up and trust God. Your marriage is a testimony to God’s grace and power. Thanks again!

    • Hi Jessica,
      Thank you so much. God’s grace is definitely in our lives!!

  • Heaven Smiling

    Thank you for the link up and the timely post. Pornography is one of the world’s greatest scourges now. I linked at 34 and 35. Have a wonderful week.

    • Heaven Smiling,
      I agree- it is such a current problem. God bless.

  • I appreciate your post so much, Robi. It is when we get real that we invite others to confess and repent, bringing healing and restoration. I pray your post will give others the strength and courage to take their pain and hurt to God. Pornography is so sneaky, it creeps in, through any tiny little crack. It can start so ‘innocently’. We must not even allow the enemy a foothold in this. And a foothold can seem so harmless until it traps us and enslaves us to that sin. I pray for God’s protection around your marriage, that you will see His blessings in your life more and more as you share your story. Thank you so much for your vulnerability.

    • Aimee,
      Thank you! Your words mean so much to me. I pray also that other wives will find help through openness.

  • I, too, am so very grateful for the courage you’ve shown in bringing this not just to light once or twice, but by creating a ministry, Robi, designed to help couples caught in this trap. Your words here and at your place are greatly needed and fill a gap that is quickly becoming a chasm. I’m also honored that you reached out to me to guest post here and am grateful to get to know you and your ministry better. I pray it is blessed and that you and your husband’s marriage would be protected from Satan’s attacks–which I would think might be worse as you wave this banner, my friend. Covering you in prayer!

    • Beth,
      Thank you!! I’m so happy also to be on your wonderful site today! Thank you also for your ministry and thank you for your prayers. It’s true- Satan does come harder when God uses Satan’s curses to turn into blessings. But, God is faithful during those times!

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  • Robi, what a beautiful story of God’s faithfulness and redemption. Thank you (and your husband) for sharing it with us.

  • Such a real article on marriage. Wonderful outcome although there is still pain. Thanks so much for the linkup, Beth.

  • Dear Robi

    That is a powerful post. It must have been a harrowing experience. You were brave and strong to take control of the situation and with God’s help to move things forward.

    A brief confession: I use pornography quite a lot, and have done more or less since I left home 30 years ago (sometimes more sometimes less). My wife either doesn’t know or has decided not to confront me about it. So, this bit of brainstorming is from that perspective.

    It is very useful for me to read about pornography use in context like this — like your post. The damage that it can do to a relationship, and the healing that is possible. Reading this post, and other posts on your blog, gives me a bit more energy to brake my habit.

    I had never got on with the “addiction” metaphor but, reading your post for some reason I recalled how I used to smoke. From late teenage years until I was about 35 (about 15 years ago), so it was a fairly solid addiction. Cigarettes (and heroine) are probably the “paradigm case” of addiction. I went through periods of smoking 40-60 a day; I went through periods of smoking 5-10 a day. But packing in was easy: I just decided to stop and I stopped.

    I know that the addiction metaphor is often used as code for “You can’t do it on your own! You Need Expert Help” but I think, thinking of my pr0n habit as a “habit”, as an “addiction”, (rather than as answering some deep psychological need) might make it easier for me to let it go.

    I can’t imagine how horrified I’d be if I were caught out or confronted. I can certainly imagine dying of shame. However, if the aftermath were all about boundaries, and constraints, I’m sure I’d soon get resentful and start working out hacks and loopholes. It might be a good idea to think (together) of opening new doors as well as closing old ones.

    Anyway, thank you for your post. You have given me strength.

    David

    • Hi David,
      Thank you for all your comments. You also bring up a lot of interesting points. I think I’d have to agree with you about the addiction. I do see it more as a habit. What I have found with many of the wives on my site is that even when they sought the “expert help” as a couple, the porn didn’t stop and things did not magically get better. Actually, for my husband and I, counseling really didn’t do anything to improve our situation. The only type of healing that truly works is turning to God each day and having someone to help you. I believe that is how my husband has conquered lust and pornography. I don’t think he would have overcome it without God or me. I also wanted to discuss what you’re saying about boundaries and filters. It’s true that if that’s all that’s done one would get resentful. However, when you say thinking of opening new doors, you’re exactly right. The new way of doing things is what my marriage needed. The new things we started were praying together, reading the Bible together, talking again, being together, and basically sharing life with each other. But, when one spouse deeply hurts the other, there are some boundaries that are needed to protect the marriage. I will pray for you and I’m glad that you were given strength through this post. God bless you.

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  • Ruth

    I would like some advice for how a wife can heal from the pain of her husbands porn use. He no longer used porn, but he confessed recently to using it out whole marriage. I am so hurt. I struggle to connect during sex. I am always wondering if I look good enough, and performing sexually enough, is he thinking of other women? We still have sex, but it’s not the same for me, I feel empty.

    • Hi Ruth,
      I’m so sorry to hear of the pain you’re going through. I’d like to invite you to join us at Hopefulwifetoday.com. There are many posts specifically about what you’re asking. My next post is going to be all about troubling thoughts and how to deal with them. Also, we are a community of wives going through this together. I’m praying for you tonight.

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