Wednesday, September 6, 2017

4 Myths About the Wives of Porn Addicts

Though the fabric of her life may feel like it’s unraveling, she needs assurance that God is able to meet her in the center of her pain and that there is always hope in Jesus. He will comfort her in her grief, and He will be her strength in this battle. This is not the matrimonial trip of a lifetime that she had planned. In fact, much has been lost. She needs you to give her opportunities to name and grieve those losses.

 

he world finds lust, fantasy, masturbation, and pornography not only acceptable, but something to be elevated and encouraged, because they’ve embraced the belief that if anyone is being hurt, it’s only the person looking at porn. This is a lie. A wife is part of the collateral damage that’s resulted from her husband’s addiction.

There are four misconceptions that many hold about pornography addiction and the betrayed wife. Being aware of these myths will help you improve your counseling strategy to these women.

Misconception 1: “She’s handling it well”

It’s likely you don’t have to search your memory very far back to recall the last wife who sat in your office talking about her husband’s addiction to pornography. I’d like to tell you what she probably didn’t say in that counseling session.

She didn’t tell you that while she appreciates the help her husband is getting, inside she’s screaming, “What about me? I didn’t choose this! He broke my heart for porn!”

She didn’t tell you her husband’s “secret sin” has now become her own dirty little secret. Fear of judgment and additional repercussions for her and her family prevent her from sharing her pain with others.

She didn’t tell you that she blames herself—that when her husband turns to images of other women to meet his sexual needs, she believes there must be something wrong with her. She feels rejected and inadequate. She also feels responsible to fix this somehow.

She probably didn’t tell you that she is afraid. She’s afraid that …

  • Being close to her husband will never feel safe again and that she’ll throw up if he tries to touch her.
  • If she lets her guard down, he will hurt her again, so she acts like the porn police.
  • Her husband will choose to continue in his sin and not seek healing.
  • Recurrence and deception will leave her looking like a gullible idiot.
  • She’ll never trust the man she married because lies have been the backbone supporting the pornography addiction in her marriage.

Though the fabric of her life may feel like it’s unraveling, she needs assurance that God is able to meet her in the center of her pain and that there is always hope in Jesus. He will comfort her in her grief, and He will be her strength in this battle. This is not the matrimonial trip of a lifetime that she had planned. In fact, much has been lost. She needs you to give her opportunities to name and grieve those losses. Some of those losses may be obvious (financial security, employment, health), while others may be less tangible, like trust, respect, and self-worth.

When I say “grieve” those losses, I mean grieve. Hand her a box of tissues and assure her that our God is big enough to handle her tears, then listen. This isn’t the time for well-intended, but unhelpful, spiritual platitudes. She longs to hear that she’s not alone and that though you don’t have all the answers, you’re so glad she told you the truth about what’s going on. I’ve learned that we can only praise God to the degree we have lamented. Once she’s grieved her losses, she’s in a better position to set aside her own agenda and accept the path God has set for her for this time.

 

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