Restoring Hearts is a supportive network of women who come together for strength and encouragement as they move together through their individual healing journeys from sexual betrayal. These are their stories. Do you have a story to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tag #ShareYourHeartShareYourStory
My husband and I were young Christians when we were married. He was a transplant from Texas; I was raised in the suburbs of Seattle. We have been blessed with 7 children that I primarily, and surprisingly successfully, home educated.
In July of 2003, two weeks before our 25th wedding anniversary celebration, I walked into our den to find my husband gazing at computer porn. He quickly closed it and said, “Oh, sorry.” I could hardly breathe. God led me to read Isaiah 57, promising that He would “heal him and lead him, and restore comfort to his mourners!” Still, I was an emotional “basket case.” Over the next couple years I would catch him acting out over and over. I told him that he had to get help and get this out of his life. In the following months, my husband seemed to do that, even getting some counseling.
Through the years, I frequently “felt” he was acting out, but he always denied doing anything wrong. Then about 10 years later, I felt an urgency regarding my husband’s purity. He denied doing anything wrong. Feeling disturbed still, I woke up the next morning and began praying for him, and warned him of the danger I sensed.
One month later, December 8th, he was fired from an amazing job at a Christian non-profit organization for viewing pornography. I learned later that he had never quit his addiction, only gone into deeper secrecy. I didn’t know this person I was married to. The warning from the month before was easily dismissed in his mind, he says. That Christmas season was a profoundly painful one, but the Lord made His presence known to us in many ways. He was faithful to comfort and lead us.
I was, however, an emotional basket case again and stepped out of all my ministry responsibilities. The Lord told me to rest. My husband began working the Prodigals International Christian 12 step program for sexual addiction. I began attending the Prodigals Partners In Process and went to counseling. By the end of that June, the Lord gave him a new job, surrounding him with godly Spirit-filled men.
We are over 3 years into true recovery now, still navigating some rough waters, but growing through it. The women in my Partners in Process group were a great support to me, along with a couple of close, understanding friends. After completing the Prodigals International 12 steps for wives of sex addicts, the group of women I have been leading at our church has now become a Prodigals Partners in Process group. I am blessed to be able to help others facing similar journeys in this realm.
I found out there had been many women. I could no longer trust my view of reality. I thought I must be the only Christian woman going through this because… Christian men would not commit adultery, right?!
My first Restoring Hearts conference 7 years ago broke my loneliness. I met God-loving people who became friends and supporters. I became part of a 12 step group that helped me set boundaries in my life and marriage, and those ladies helped me walk this road I hadn’t chosen to be on. As a result of that first conference:
- I chose the counselor I demanded my husband see (in order to keep living with me).
- I chose my personal counselor.
- I learned that the addict would have done this no matter who he was married to – it wasn’t a problem with ME.
It was TOUGH! Hearing the truth, going thru the process. And discovering why I had chosen an addict. It was tough for him too. To admit he was an addict, and needed help. To admit what he’d done.
But now he is free, and he is so incredibly grateful to be free from addiction. Always wary, and that is healthy. He is back with God, closer than before he had run away from the Lord. I am too!!!! We know each other SO much better than we did before – and guess what? After hating him, I love him again. My husband is more human, real, empathetic, and caring now – I like him more than I did back pre-discovery when I thought he was amazing. He says I am different too. I like the people and the couple we are now. It has been 8 years down this road, and we plan to make it a lifetime 🙂 Our second 15 years of marriage could be a LOT better than our newlywed phase! I know the Lord has good plans for YOU!!
With big Love and Understanding of your path, because I’ve walked it,