Those of us who are wives recovering from our husband’s sexual sin are in different places in our marriages and healing journeys. To those of you who are still married and are holding onto the hope of a miraculous healing in your marriage, I would like to say a few things.
Is there really a chance that your heart can heal and your brokenness be redeemed? Is there any reason to believe that your husband could really be devoted to you rather than his promiscuous fantasies? Will you ever truly be able to trust him again?
To all of these questions, and many more, I answer a resounding YES!
For those of you who don’t know me very well, I’ve been married for almost 37 years to a man (Dan) who has been a porn addict for 30+ of those years. We have ridden the roller coaster of supposed recovery for many decades, each “high” time only to hit another wall of deception, lies and disclosure. This past February I left for the fourth and last time. After five long weeks of living out of boxes and other people’s homes, God led me to return home with no guarantees. I had to trust Him above what my earthly eyes, and my broken heart, could see.
But… this time has been different. Those five weeks God was at work, preparing both of our hearts for what seemed to be an impossible task: make our marriage thrive. See, we were never meant to just survive, we were meant to thrive!
My PTSD has caused me to be terrified of adding more trauma onto an already shattered heart (my family of origin was very abusive/neglectful) and Dan’s intimacy anorexia has been the backbone of his addictions. Was there any chance that the two could be brought to Jesus’ feet and the transformation begun? I’m here to tell you that it has indeed been a miracle in the making! God is faithful and will eventually finish (as we allow Him) what He started. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed (who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity), To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord (the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound).” Luke 4:18-19 Amplified.
We are in a battle for our marriages, our children, our hearts, our families. I want to encourage you to look to your Maker for strength and deliverance, and make prayer a priority: Ephesians 6:12 “For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood (contending only with physical opponents), but against the despotisms, against the powers, against (the master spirits who are) the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.”
Only God can reveal to you what your personal road should look like. But I’m here to say that if you’re sensing that you should stay and fight for your marriage, God’s way is going to require some things of you … humility, the ability to look at your OWN brokenness, setting some boundaries for your heart, owning your part in the mess of your marriage (none of us are perfect), considering before-marriage trauma and brokenness (family of origin issues), a willingness to forgive and truly work on loving and trusting again, getting in the Word and daily spending quiet time with Jesus, and so many others that I couldn’t try to name them all.
Our healing journeys will not be successful because our husbands get well (as a matter of fact, our own personal healing journey can be quite successful regardless of whether our husbands choose it for themselves or not). They will be successful because WE have handed our hearts over to Jehovah Rapha, God the Healer. You see, years ago Dan could’ve genuinely gone through recovery, and become an absolutely perfect husband, but our marriage still would’ve been a mess. Because I was a mess! Yes, your husband needs God to help him in the depths of his heart … to clean him up, to heal him, and to restore what has been so very broken. But we women are also in desperate need of the same degree of healing. It wasn’t until I began to look at my own heart’s desert condition that the true change in my marriage began.
At this point, Dan and I are closing in on three months of genuine daily heart changes. He is a changed man, by God’s amazing grace. Dan pursues me, he expresses his love for me, he reads the Word with me, he prays with me, he compliments me, he leaves me little notes (see the photo above), he makes me WANT to be with him, I watch for him to come home from work so that I can be with him again! I honestly never in a million years thought I’d hear myself saying these things! Now, we are still very much growing and things are not always picture perfect. But I would tell you God is at work and I look for the ways that He’s answering the cries of my heart and the long-prayed-for things that I’ve so needed from my husband!
I’ll end by saying … stay the course!! Pray, pray and when you’re tired of praying, pray some more!! Spend time with Jesus, reading His Word and seek His heart and plan. No matter how hurt you are and how deep the pain, you are not alone. Plug into the prayer calls and ask the ladies to pray with/for you. Seek out a confidante or faithful friend to pray with and support you during this time. Healing is possible … actually it’s what God is waiting and longing to do. But it takes a willingness on both spouses hearts to allow it to happen. For me healing began when I got most desperate for it. I praise His name and I will be forever in His debt!
Linda is one of the group leaders of our wives phone support groups