Well, here you are. A place where you never thought you would be. Maybe it was unexpected, or maybe you were suspicious for quite some time. Regardless, you wish that in this moment, you could be anywhere else.
You just found out that your husband is seeking out pornography. Maybe it progressed to something more, or maybe you're afraid it will. So many unanswered questions are swirling through your head, and you cannot talk to your husband about them because he gets angry, bordering on the edge of being verbally abusive as he blames you.
The Raging Battle in Your Mind
So what happens next? Can anyone hear you screaming from the inside out? Can people in the grocery store see that you have been losing sleep? Do your friends notice your mascara lines from crying pretty much all day? Has anyone noticed you haven't been at work in a few days? What would they think if they learned that you haven't showered in two days, much less changed your clothes? And what about your kids? Do they know what is going on? Have they noticed that you seem irritated and angry?
You so badly want to pray, but you don't know what to say nor can you find the strength inside to mutter the words. You feel empty and alone.
Take a deep breath. You don't have to have all of the answers yet. You were caught off-guard, and the equilibrium of your once beautifully perfect life is now off balance.
Though you may feel isolated, the chances are pretty high that someone within your circle of acquaintances can relate to the pain that you are feeling. I am that someone.
You Are Not Alone
I can remember walking into my house in the middle of the night after a long shift of work. The house was dark and still, everyone else was sleeping. I couldn't immediately go to sleep, so rather than disrupting my husband's sleep with my restless tossing and turning, I decided to check Facebook. When I logged in, I was greeted (if you want to call it that) by a message from another woman outlining the inappropriate relationship her and my husband had been having via the phone and computer. As I read, my heart sank when I got to the part where she noted that she had made plans to meet him in a hotel room. I remember reading it over and over again, trying to let it sink in, praying that somehow I would wake up and realize that it was just a horrible nightmare.
A confrontation with my husband confirmed that it was not a nightmare; it was reality. And so in that moment, my life fell apart too. It felt like the more I tried to talk to people, the harder the journey became. Everyone had different opinions on what I should do, and none of them gave me an ounce of peace.
Sitting in the quiet almost drove me crazy, so I would turn the radio on to silence the thoughts that were screaming in my head. Somehow, music has always had a way of making me allow myself to feel my emotions, rather than stuffing them in the darkest places of my heart.
Songs for the Hurting Soul
Over the years since those initial moments of discovery in my life, I have heard a lot of great songs. I have found myself wishing that they would have been released when I was struggling and heartbroken. I feel that they are worth sharing with you, regardless of where you are in the moment.
1. "God Help Me" by Plumb
Where do I begin with this song? Call it what you want to, but even if my husband hadn't slept with the person whom he had been chatting with, I still felt betrayed. I was full of fear, full of confusion, stuck between trying to discern what God was saying from my own angry thoughts. Life was crumbling, and I had no clue what the next steps were. As the song mentions, there were times where I could barely breathe. Leaning into God and acknowledging that He alone can work on our pain in due timing is crucial. Though it may not feel like it right now, just having the reminder that God is faithful can sometimes really help us continue to put one foot in front of the other.
2. "Even If" by MercyMe
Right now, you may feel like you're losing. You may have been known to be the wise one, that one who could help everyone with their problems. If you're honest, you just feel empty right now, and you just feel like you can't go on. This song acknowledges that in a moment, God can take the pain away, He can speak healing into life. But sometimes the answer is "no" or "not yet." Through it all, we have to remain holding fast to the hope that God is going to help us navigate every twist and turn. Again, it's a great reminder that God is faithful, and we can cling to Him regardless of our circumstances.
3. "Beloved" by Jordan Feliz
When we find out that our husbands are seeking out pornography, we immediately begin compiling a list in our minds of all of the ways we'll never measure up. Self-esteem plummets as we focus on all of our physical flaws, and the enemy tells us that we have not been good enough in quite some time, if ever. Do you want to know the truth? You're beautiful as you are, because God says you are. Pick your head up, look to the sky and begin to cry out for God to help you reclaim your identity that years' worth of sexual addiction may have stolen from you.
4. "Miracles" by Jesus Culture
Nothing helps us believe something more than repetition. In this song, it really soaks into the soul and reminds us that we cannot give up on the concept that God still does miracles.
If you're married to an addict, you understand that it takes a miracle just for them to acknowledge their struggle and begin to seek help. As Dr. Ted Roberts mentions in the "Conquer Series," the journey can require a miracle every single day. Do not stop here; God is still listening, and He can still work things out. I've seen it in my life, and I am believing you'll see it in yours too.
What Happens Next?
Maybe today is the day that you found out about your husband's struggle. Or maybe you have been on this journey for days, weeks, or months. Even if you're a few years into recovery like I am, you may find that Satan will still try to infiltrate your thoughts and put doubt in your mind every now and then.
I've shared before, my husband and I now have an incredible relationship. We're best friends, and more in love than I ever thought could be possible—98 percent of the time. Every now and then, when stress levels are rising or scheduling conflicts keep us from spending quality time with one another, the enemy will sneak in with accusations. It doesn't mean that I don't trust my husband, it just means that the enemy knows my area of weakness—and will press those buttons if I allow him to.
Rooted in Christ and Committed to Faith
Through the Conquer Series, our husbands are being encouraged to practice reading and applying Scripture to their lives daily through the use of the Conquer Series Journal. They are given guidelines to turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes before bed and devote themselves to prayer and meditating on God's Word. As wives, it is very important that we do the same thing. Shifting our focus daily to the Lord in unison with our spouses leaves very little room for Satan to attack. Remember, when our guard is left down, giving the enemy one inch, before we know it, he will take a mile.
Know you are not alone in your heartache, and your husband is not alone in his struggle with sexual addiction. As difficult as it may seem, try not to accept the blame for your husband's struggles. Remember, our battles are against the evil powers of darkness, and this dark time did not just happen overnight.
Be sober and watchful, because your adversary the devil walks around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him firmly in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
But after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory through Christ Jesus, will restore, support, strengthen, and establish you (1 Pet. 5:8-10).
Kayla Sullivan is a writer for the Kingdom Works team, producers of The Conquer Series, which has helped thousands of men find freedom from pornography.
This article originally appeared at conquerseries.com.
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