I had just finished talking about pornography in class when I thought to pause and simply ask, “Does anyone have something to add?” Some of the best teaching in class comes from other women sharing their own experiences.
Just as I was ready to move on, Emily quietly filled the silence.
“We went through this…”
She said, “My husband told me just a couple of weeks before we got married that he struggled with pornography. I didn’t really think much about it because I figured all single guys looked at porn. I thought that once we were married it would just go away. But about three years into our marriage, my husband came to me and said he couldn’t stand it anymore. Pretending like everything was okay while secretly viewing porn was killing him. He wanted to be honest with me.”
“I was crushed and hurt. I couldn’t believe he had been doing this behind my back. How could I trust him again?”
But she went on to share,
“I am now helping my husband battle porn.”
“He has other accountability partners that are guys, but I am also his accountability partner. He doesn’t want any secrets between us. Without sharing graphic details that would create more damage, he shares enough that I know he is serious about change. Even though it is hard to hear, I am trying to be a safe place for my husband to be honest.”
She explained, “My husband saw my devastation when he disclosed his porn habit and he never wants to hurt me like that again. He wants to stay clean for me more than any other person. Since my husband first broke the silence years ago it has not all been easy, but his struggle with porn has gradually decreased.”
With tears in her eyes she said, “Even though I have no reason to suspect otherwise, I sometimes still wonder, if my husband is being totally honest. The battle with porn is not just my husband’s battle. I have my own insecurities that put up walls to prevent intimacy. We have chosen to create a safe place to be honest with each other and to battle together. Rather than pretending like things are ok, I would rather know.”
For a moment the room was silent, until one woman voiced what many wrestled with….
“I don’t know if I want to know…”
What a profound statement.
What if we don’t want to know?
Will we ever create true intimacy if we don’t know our husband?
Would we rather just pretend he is the perfect husband, or do we really want to know him? Even his brokeness? Can we share our own brokenness and insecurities? How do we create an intimate marriage without knowing each other?
Satan knows that if he can just drive us towards shame and hiding then we will never experience true intimacy. If we hide the sexual abuse, the pornography, the insecurities, the lust – then it gains a greater hold in our life. The further we fall from being known the more he divides us from relationships. Whether that relationship is with God, our spouse, family or friends. Satan seeks to create division while Jesus came to restore relationships.
Discovering God’s Grace
The best thing that we can do for our marriage is to discover how much God loves us, regardless of what we have or haven’t done. When we realize how much we have been forgiven, then we can forgive others. Our worth comes not from our spouse or our accomplishments. He loved us while we were still sinners. Allow yourself to be fully known to the Father and ask Him to help you be fully known to others. Feel the depth of His love and ask Him to help you love others like He loves you.
Until we have the courage to know and be known in marriage, Satan will continue to wreak havoc. We cannot start the hard work of creating intimacy without creating a safe place to be known.
How can you create a safe place to be known?
Disclaimer – The post was not written about one particular woman in class but based on several conversations and experiences in class. For more ideas on battling pornography read Creating a Safe Place and Helping your Husband Battle Pornography