First glance at that title, and you are likely thinking this blog post is going to be very negative. In actuality, I can look back and view that day of discovery and thank God. I thank him not for restoring my marriage, but for building a new marriage and molding both my husband and I into adults who understood pain, loss, addiction and a life fully leaning on Him Don’t get me wrong, it was an extremely difficult time of growth. For about 3 or 4 years, I was in great emotional pain, and couldn’t imagine what God would do with this mess of a man and his wife. Would I do things differently? I certainly would, but isn’t it easy to look back on our life with 20/20 vision? I didn’t have the knowledge or the tools that I possess now.
My story of redemption began in 1996 when I walked in on my husband searching for pornography on the computer. Through confrontation and setting difficult boundaries, he began the arduous journey of recovery. This set me on my own journey trying to find my place in all of this. The first thing I had to grasp hold of was it was not my fault. There was nothing I said or did to cause him to go down that path. If this is an issue that has touched your life and marriage, please connect with this: it is not your fault.
There were so many days of self-doubt and wonder. I wondered what I could have done differently. If only I was prettier, smarter, skinnier. If only I had worked harder around the house. My life was filled with “if only’s.” But in actuality, none of that mattered. My husband had a hole in his soul that he was attempting to fill with air-brushed images that I could never live up to.
His recovery consisted of therapy by a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, a therapy group, an SA group and an accountability group. He was gone most evenings and some early mornings. But, other than having to care for four children, ages 6 and under, I didn’t care. At that point, I didn’t know if I would be a single parent or not.
My thoughts and attitude didn’t begin to change until I started in recovery. I needed to get myself grounded. I sought a therapist and while she boosted my self-esteem, she wasn’t helping me deal with my feelings about my husband. I changed therapists to one who had dealt with the issue of infidelity personally. This made all the difference. She knew what I saying, she understood me and could empathize with me. Now, as I was seeking recovery through therapy and a support group, I was able to better deal with this hippopotamus in the living room. In time I helped this therapist start a support group which has since turned into a 12 step group where we can offer support for women just finding out about their husband’s issues and step work for those who are further along in their journey.
If you are going through your own struggle with your husband due to his internet pornography use or affairs, I pray that you will find compassion and support through the writings on this blog. If you need immediate help finding a therapist who is experienced in what you are dealing with check out http://www.iitap.com and click on the Find a Therapist banner for a list of qualified therapists in your area.