I first found out about Mark's sexual addiction about 2 months after we were married in 2001. It was very difficult for me to believe I had married a "Christian" man and that he was indulging in sexual sin. I would have expected it from most guys I had dated in the past but not someone who claimed to be following Christ.
At that point, I like most women, "lost it" and said if he ever did it again I would divorce him because that was something that would not be allowed in my marriage. Finding out he was viewing porn also made me put a huge wall up. Sex was always warped, I felt fat, ugly, worthless. You know all the lies.
I would ask him from time to time (in a round-about way) if he was still looking at porn and would always get a confident "No". I had no idea that this was something that men could be addicted to. I assumed that they could just stop and never think about it again.
So the worst day of my life came in June of 2008. I had just had my second son and who had a bunch of medical issues and was in the NICU. I was totally stressed and finally told my husband we needed to go to counseling because I was miserable in our marriage. Needles to say
everything came out during one of our sessions. Mark had still been looking at porn and assumed it would be better to lie to me about it then tell the truth and face divorce.
In the days to follow I heard lots of justifications of his "problem" Most guys use it, he didn't have a physical affair, I was over reacting, and the list goes on.
I have never claimed to be a "strong Christian" but I knew I had read about lust and what God thinks of it. So I keep going back to the Bible and what God says about it. No excuses; it is wrong and God will not tolerate it. Mark thought that was impossible. How can a man be free
from sexual addiction? He had never heard that from anyone. He had gone to pastors, friends, family and they never offered freedom. They just patted him on the back and said every guy struggles with it.
For some reason I could not accept that was my lot in life. That God would say to a women, "You will get married but your husband will find satisfaction in other women as well. That’s just the way I made him so you will just have to learn how to cope." Can you imagine him saying that? Again he talks about lust, over and over in the scripture. He hates it!
Well, God did intervene in my marriage. Mark started to see the lies he had believe for so many years. He realized that God is powerful and he let his Son die on the cross not to just forgive our sins but to free us from our sins! Mark finally realized he had to be broken before Christ and surrender his life to Him: EVERYTHING! That would be the only way that God could come in a free him from his sexual sin. That is what He came to do!
So Mark got free and I got suicidal. I didn't care that Mark was free. All I could think about is my husband had been lying to me our ENTIRE marriage and I couldn't deal with the rejection of him lusting after other women. It was too much! I had dealt with rejection of men for
many years, but from my own husband was the breaking point. I remember telling Marsha that I had been sexually assaulted by my dad and that this was much harder to deal with.
The lies I had to face everyday were horrible. I would wake up in the night and the thoughts of my worthlessness were so heavy I couldn't go back to sleep. I was obsessed with looking in the mirror constantly thinking about how disgusting I was. I swallowed every lie that was out there.
I was the lowest I had ever been. But guess what? If I had to do it all over again to get to where I am now, I would. As I type that I am saying to myself, "Really?" Yes, really! The weight was so big I finally broke and cried out to God and said "Here, you take it." I don't remember it as being an over-night weight thing, but I was relentless in crying out to God. It was top priority! I knew I had no were else to turn but to Him. This was my last resort. Slowly, day after day the weight began to lift. I found myself being able to survive the day without feeling like I wanted to die. I could have conversations with Mark without wanting to rip his heart out! The lies started to get muffled. God started to show me things in my life that I needed to get right. I remember reading one of Marsha's chapters on using this time to evaluate ourselves and all I could think of is I have been a good wife, he is the one with the problems. But I did use this time to evaluate myself and God showed me so many things that he wanted to rip from my life, fear being the biggest. I always lived in fear of “What if?” If I had a time that I didn't feel fearful I would find something to be fearful about! It was just a part of who I was. I could find every justification (just like Mark) on why this was a part of my life. When I began to read the Bible, really for the first time during this process, I really began to understand how powerful Christ is. And again how he came to set us free! And now He has freed me from fear. I am now able to finally rest on Him knowing He will hold me no matter what, even when things happen that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. And He has.
He does use the painful situations to draw us closer to Him. So I would ask that you draw closer to Him in this time. Don't turn away or try and carry the burden on your own. He wants to do this for you, and He will. Just surrender it to Him and don't give up. Be persistent! You have nothing to lose; there really is no other option.
This is NOT something He wants to give to only me. Its available to you, and it’s real! I would have never believed it a year-and-a-half ago, but I do now, and I have to share! Every day I am amazed at how He has totally changed my marriage, my mind, my heart. So I hope that I can offer you hope through my story. Hope that your marriage can be restored. Hope that your husband/partner can be set free. Hope that you can survive this and come out better and stronger. He can make that true in your life!