I’m so confused!
Television and new fiction releases tell me that I should be sexually insatiable.
Text books tell me that my husband thinks about sex every seven seconds.
Some women tell me that they could live without it forever.
Over the past few years my husband has wanted it less and less, he seems uninterested.
What do I do about sex?
If you’re thinking, I could have written that, don’t worry, I haven’t been reading your diary. In fact, you can find that very page in my diary.
Shortly after we married, I found out that my husband had been visiting pornographic websites. He confessed to me that he had struggled with an addiction to pornography for much of his high school and college years.
“I thought getting married would help, that it would just go away now.”
Obviously, not. A sexual addiction is something you need to know about before you approach the altar. It will not just go away. However, if you find yourself on the committed side of, “I do,” there are a few things you need to know in order to survive.
1. It is not about you. It’s easy to say, so very hard to internalize. Even as anger rises at your husband’s offense, it is virtually impossible to squelch the tide of shame and hurt. The night I discovered my husband’s porn addiction, I dissolved on the living room floor. I kept repeating, “God what is wrong with me? What do I do now?” It felt as if my heart had imploded and all of my body was being sucked into a black hole.
Confidants and counselors, even my husband, promised that it had nothing to do with me. However, it took time to believe. I had to be still before God and let Him whisper the words of affirmation into my heart.
2. It is not all about him. This lesson was even harder for me to learn. It seemed so easy to pin the blame squarely on the “donkey,” (there were other things I wanted to call him.) But, sin is sin. Your spouse’s sin will not escort him to hell any faster than your own disobedience to God.
“As much as possible, try to transfer your anger onto the porn industry and not on your husband.” Sheila Gregoire at ToLoveHonorandVacuum.com
The Bible says that it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. Let your kindness be the reflection of God’s love that can lead your spouse to repentance.
3. It cannot be ignored. Like I said at the beginning, an addiction will not just go away. “Free sex,” in marriage will not eliminate a pornography addiction. An alcoholic will not become suddenly sober when he learns that he likes tomato juice and can have all he wants.
4. Sex addiction does not mean that your spouse is not a Christian. I believe that Satan gets great joy by frustrating a believer’s representation of Jesus Christ.
Just before His death, Jesus warned Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)
Jesus still intercedes for us. (Romans 8:34) Pray desperately that God will strengthen your spouse for repentance and abstinence. Whenever a Christian stands firm in the strength of Christ and conquers that which would have destroyed him alone, Jesus is glorified. That man’s testimony holds great authority.
5. “Let me say very clearly: you cannot claim a past sin that has been dealt with is grounds to leave your husband. If he has confessed his sin and is trying to work towards God, then you can’t then up and leave.” Sheila Gregoire, ToLoveHonorandvacuum.com
This is a touchy subject, but I believe God calls us to be merciful as He is merciful and to forgive others as He has forgiven us. (Eph. 4:32, Luke 6:36) We are in no danger of God deciding at some future date that He really is fed up with us and can no longer live with the knowledge of our past failures.
All of our sins have been covered by the blood of Jesus, and God will not call them to mind. (Is. 43:25)
Just as God will give your spouse the strength to conquer this sin, He will give you the strength to forgive. And yes, joy will return as well, for, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10)
Abby, this would be very crushing and disillusioning, especially knowing your testimony about overcoming anorexia. I’m so glad that God brought you through such a painful time.