Pornography Ain’t Pretty! Here’s Help For the Wife of an Addict

Pornography Ain’t Pretty! Here’s Help For the Wife of an Addict

Tips for the wife of an addict on a post at Holy in the Daily

Remember the shock of 9/11? That’s the relationship trauma felt by a woman who discovers her husband is addicted to Internet porn. It ain’t pretty.

I’ve cried with many women right after they discover their husband is a sex addict. They suffer confusion, shock, and anger. Wives of addicts often don’t know where to turn for trauma help. They may not even recognize they are experiencing trauma.

You probably will never sit in my study crying over the revelation that your husband has a pornography addiction, but you may find yourself called to minister to a woman who does. When that happens . . .

Here are five things to share with the wife of an addict

1. Discovering your spouse has a pornography problem is a traumatic event

Some signs of trauma you may experience are:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Anxiety, fear, and dread
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Persistent re-experiencing of the event/events
  • Racing thoughts
  • Nightmares
  • Withdrawing
  • Depression
  • Forgetfulness
  • Inability to eat
  • Overeating
  • Mood swings
  • Denial
  • Confusion
  • Needing to talk safely with someone over and over again
  • Rage

2. Pornography is a form of betrayal and adultery

“Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” -Jesus in Matthew 5:28 NIV

Jesus was talking about the consequences of lust in the inner person—the heart, or soul and spirit of a person.

Pornography cuts to the heart of both the betrayer and the betrayed.

A slow, inward decay happens in the betrayer as he consumes more and more pornography, while the betrayed feels a nuclear reaction at the core of her being when the unfaithfulness is revealed.

Spirit and soul wounds don’t easily heal. Expect to invest a lot of time in your healing. Don’t rush it.

3. You are not the problem!

  • This isn’t your fault. Your spouse made a choice, and your trauma is part of the consequences—unfair, but true.
  • You can’t fix your spouse. That isn’t your responsibility. Let someone else work with him on finding freedom from addiction.
  • Be truthful and open about your anger and pain. Don’t kill him, but do communicate.
  • Give yourself permission to cry and grieve the loss of trust and relationship. Unless you grieve, you can’t build a new, healthy relationship.
  • Practice healthy self-care—whatever that looks like for you.

4. Remember that you will never be alone in this journey

The Holy will be with you in the daily—protecting, guiding, and weeping with you.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze (Isaiah 43:2 NIV).

Begin a journal of Scripture promises for your healing journey. You aren’t alone, and you will make it. I promise. And so does God.

5. Eventually you will need to evaluate your marriage relationship

Where do you want to go from here, and how will you receive help to do so?

  • Don’t make any immediate decisions about long-term separation or divorce.
  • Do ask your spouse to move out for a few days if you need to feel safe.
  • Consider these programs and websites for help in your healing journey:

Avenue

Heart to Heart Counseling Center

Journey to Healing

Joy and Safe Passages Counseling

Healing from relationship trauma takes time and a lot of grace. Forgiveness will come slowly. Trust may not recover fully.

Be gentle with yourself if you are the wife of an addict. If this isn’t you, be wise with the women God puts in your life who need a loving arm around them to guide them into healing.

Was this helpful? Share your feedback in the comment section below or contact me directly.

Susan Gaddis, Helping you build a spiritual legacy

“Jesus likes it when we share” -Adelaide, age 3 Pass this along to everybody and their sister. Ok, maybe not everybody’s sister, but you know… all of your friends would be good.

Related post: How to Help Someone Through the Process of Grief and Loss

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