Just to warn you all, this is an extremely candid post about a season of my life that I walked through with my husband about a year ago. I wrote this with my husband’s permission. My goal in writing this is to encourage other wives. Enjoy.
Today an “On this Day” memory from a year ago popped up on my Facebook. Ok, so normally this is a feature of Facebook that I love. Let me just say today I found myself not lovin’ it.
To the outside world, it was a normal Facebook post about my family visiting the park. To me, it was a post of what could have been the last family outing before a major, life-altering change.
My husband had been struggling with something that today’s society accepts as normal these days. For years he had been in a battle with pornography. The thing that he and I learned quickly is that the pornography pest grows rapidly into a huge monster if not exterminated.
My husband is a great man who loves his Savior and family. The reality of living in a fallen world is that Satan lurks around every corner trying to downplay our faith and commitments to our Heavenly Father. In my husband’s life, the monster had grown to the point where he was able to justify, no doubt with Satan’s help, being emotionally unfaithful. At that time a spiritual battle had been ragging in our home for years on this very topic.
I will never forget the night and day it all changed. In the days prior he had admitted to me he had gotten emotionally attached to someone else and he needed time. Talk about out of the blue, hit me with a truck surprising. One night he called me after work and said he was going to stay the night in his car to have room to think. The next morning he came home to talk.
I will never forget the conversation was calm and solum. We both were very tired and worn down. I didn’t sleep a wink the night before with a mind going a mile a minute, praying with everything in me that God would intervene. My husband said he was sorry that it had come to this but he wasn’t sure if he could love me anymore. I was dumbfounded. How could the man that I committed to love unconditionally be saying this? Didn’t he commit unconditionally too on our wedding day?
As the conversation continued my husband made it clear that he needed time to figure out his feelings and if he could remain in our marriage. The only way I knew to give him time was giving him space from a state away. So I packed up all that I could fit in my minivan and took my kids to my hometown. The last thing I told my husband was “I love you. I’m committed to you but you need to go to battle for our family.”
The kids and I spent a week in my hometown before returning home at the request of my husband. That week I can say with absolute certainty was the hardest, most trying week of my life to date. I spent the week in prayer, bible reading, and tears. I felt lead to remain in a basic contact with my hubby that week. Every day I would text him “I love you. I choose you. I believe in you” not knowing if I would get the result I so desperately wanted or if I was wasting my time. For all, I knew he could have been long gone but I chose to remain faithful and committed against the advice of many people that I love, respect, and trust. Let me be clear my support system was a vital instrument God used to mend the situation. My family and friends put me in God’s hands just like I had to put Addison in God’s hands.
I knew that God was greater than this monster that had grown in my marriage. I knew that God was bigger than this Goliath standing in front of us. God has gotten me through so many other struggles in my life that I had no reason to believe He wouldn’t work through this. After all, He will never leave me or forsake me.
When the kids and I returned home our whole family began a process of rebuilding. When Addison requested our return he had taken steps to fight the battle. This is a long process that is honestly ongoing. Every day that goes by I’m thankful for God’s work in our hearts, and life circumstances. God has worked a great deal in my husband’s heart, and life. Some of my husband’s favorite resources are the Conquer series, the Pillar series, and the blogger, Husband Revolution. These resources have encouraged him a great deal.
To the wife facing this monster:
First of all, take heart, God has overcome the world. That includes the monster you and your husband are facing. Believe me sweet, daughter of the King, I know you are weary, broken, and worried. I encourage you to rise above and choose love. Loving a spouse is more than a feeling, it’s daily choice to be in your spouse’s corner, showing kindness, respect, and genuine interest every day despite your husband’s actions. It’s hard. No one will deny that but if we, as wives, rely on God for our strength, purpose, and worth we can encourage and stand by our husband’s when they face their own demons and battles. I encourage you to read Proverbs 31:10-31. It will challenge you and help you grow. At least that is what that encouraging passage does for me.
Prayer is a very powerful tool in your toolbox. Use it. Any moment you think of your hubby pray for him. Let’s clarify what this means. Don’t pray for your hubby to become what you want him to be, pray for him to follow God’s call on his life. Pray for God to prevail not for yourself to prevail.
Respectfully seek counsel from a friend, pastor, or relative you can trust that can be objective. This is important for both a husband and wife. This being said do not bad mouth your husband. Remember your hubby is a son of God. God has a great plan for him and you are a part of it.
Keep the communication open, loving, and respectful. This can be hard. I know it was the hardest for me because I wear my heart on my sleeve. In fact, I’m still working on it.
Encourage your husband. Tell him what he does right more than he does wrong. Have you ever seen the commercials for home products with the wife constantly correcting the husband on how he does housework? Well, let me just say from experience that doesn’t help. Encourage over correct. But most important encourage his faith.
Today, know that if you are facing this monster that God can overcome it and help you rise above the ashes of this monster. I encourage you to follow These Loving Feet and The Unveiled Wife for more encouragement.
My prayer for you today is that you will be encouraged to know that God can overcome anything you ever face. If you focus on Christ he will lead you. He delights in the details of our lives. Trust in that.
If you would like me to pray for a specific need or want to hear more about my story comment below.