New Series: Porn and the Effects it has on a Family Pt.1

Today, I want to talk about the spouses of porn addicts. This is something that I have been thinking about doing for a long time. I would love to live in a world that would call a spade a spade, I would love to hear the word porn and masturbation come from the pulpit in our local churches. I am adding my voice to the cause.

There is something about competing with other woman for the eyes of your husband. There is an unrestrained anger, there is a deep level of rejection & abandonment. There is a sense of knowing that you are sharing your marriage bed with a woman that you personally can't kill. If my husband was having an affair that I knew about, I would track down the woman and beat her into the ground. You can't do that with porn. There is such a feeling of helplessness.

I remember telling him that my self-esteem wasn't strong enough to deal with this. I couldn't deal with turning the computer on and wondering what I was going to see. What my kids were going to see. I was mad, I was hurt and I had no idea what to do about it.

The first thing I would tell someone, don't take it so personally. I believe that most women internalize this, they use it to define themselves. They become codependent in the fact that there must be something wrong with them if this is what their husband is choosing to do. This is a lie straight out of the pit of hell. I have heard it said that it isn't a wife issue it's a character issue. I don't know that I agree. I do agree that it's not the wife's issue because 99% of the time, his addiction started before he ever met his wife. I tend to believe that it's more of an issue with a race that is set up to fail from the beginning. More on that later.

The second thing I would tell a wife, is get counseling for yourself. Determine your codependency and get some very strong women around you that can talk about the hard issues that you are facing. Talk to your friends, talk to your mentor, talk to your counselor. Find people that will speak the truth of God into your life. This is not a battle that you can win on your own. This is a battle to the death and as women our best allies are our girlfriends. Find people that will stand with you and hold your arms us when you are tired. There is a snake in your bed, just anointing the bed isn't enough, you have to kill the snake and girlfriends bring coffee and muffins to keep you encouraged while you rage the battle.

The third thing, is talk don't nag. Berating anyone is never the way to get them to stop a behavior. Release yourself from being his conscience. Do not attempt to be his accountability partner. There is a part of you that wants to know every detail, but there are some details that you don't need to know. Encourage him to find someone that will hold him accountable. But everytime that accountabilty email comes into your account the pain will resurface even if there is nothing on it. You are going to have to work on forgiveness and seeing him again through God's eyes. That is a tough thing to do when you are hearing all of the gory details. Instead ask encouraging questions. How are you doing with this? What can I do to help you? He can not throw you a life preserver if he is drowning himself. Do not look to him to be able to help you through this or to make it okay with you. That's what God and girlfriends are for. You have the right to tell him your feelings, how it makes you feel to see this or to know this is going on.

The fourth thing, is cancel all of your Victoria Secret catalogs. There are things that we bring into our own homes that are stumbling blocks for our husbands. Catalogs are a huge part of that. I am not saying boycott VS, you can shop in the store, but don't bring things into the house that are obvious eye candy.

Be prepared to have him stumble, then be prepared to have him stumble again. I believe heart and soul that porn is an addiction. I believe that no matter how hard he fights, no matter how much I encourage, that he is still an addict. There are going to be hard days for him, there are going to be hard days for you. Feelings have a way of reemerging when we least expect it. You may have thought that you were walking in forgiveness only to be folding clothes and have the anger over take you again. His urges are the same way. It's a daily battle. I will go as far as to say one worth fighting.

There are a lot of great resources out there. A few that I have used and would encourage you to check out:

Safe Families  -There is a ton of great information on the site for the spouse, web filters, ways to help you protect your children.

XXXChurch -Great blogs that share experience and advise. They also have an accountability software that I personally use on my own computers.

Co-Dependents Anonymous -Great site for finding a support group to work on your own self-esteem and learning to set healthy boundaries in your relationship. They also have a co-dependency quiz that you can take.

Be blessed than be a blessing. God thinks you are beautiful & love always wins.
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Breaking the Silence...

I have been rather quiet and that really just comes from not having much to say. I believe in that Thumper theology, "if you can't say nuffin' nice don't say anyfing at all". I am still struggling to find my place but I have at least gotten off the couch and made some attempts to talk to people other than through my facebook page and yahoo messenger. Baby steps I know.

I have enjoyed the quiet and have taken the opportunity to work on my resume and to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I don't know what God has for us but at this point I know that I need to finish my education so I will be beginning to take classes this fall. Hard to believe but I am excited, almost. I think that getting out is my solution to a lot of things.

Life is good. It's simple. We are still overcoming a lot of our financial mess from our corporation and our NC life. That absorbs most of my thoughts and energy at this point.

We love Texas. Nothing compares to jumping on the bike and hitting the Farm to Market roads. I love shopping at the commissary and I even love just hanging out with the new people in our lives. It's definitely a new culture for me. We have been out of the active duty lifestyle for a long time. It's a challenge but one that we enjoy.

We are good, can't really complain about anything. I do need to start writing again. I am currently reading The Pilgrims Progress and I am finding it quite enjoyable. Just a slow paced life with a little Zumba mixed in. I often think of Paul being content both with and without. It is my hearts desire to be content either way.

Be blessed then be a blessing. Love ALWAYS wins.

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