Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Facing the Pain and Fear

For several years after I learned about Hero's struggle with pornography, I buried the pain and fear inside. I wanted to be strong for Hero, to help him through the struggle. The strength was really just a facade, because deep down inside I was trembling with fear and pain.

It seems a crazy time to face the fear, when Hero is half a world away. But this last spring, the fear and pain came boiling to the surface and there was no way of holding either one back. It's really, really hard to face pain and fear that you've tried to ignore for over a decade. There were moments when the only way I made it through was to just cry out to Jesus for strength.

One of the difficulties of facing the pain was feeling like there was no one that I could be open with about this whole issue. I thought I wanted to protect my husband's privacy and reputation, but he was open with others about his struggles way before I was. It wasn't until he used his struggle with porn as an illustration in a sermon at church and I was sitting in the pew wishing the earth would just swallow me, that I realized the main reason I didn't share about this was to protect myself.

You see, for over a decade I felt (and began to believe) that Hero continued to struggle with this issue because of something I was lacking: perfection. I thought that if I could figure out how to be the perfect wife, mother, housekeeper, etc. that his struggle would just disappear. I was embarrassed to let others know that I was less than perfect. I felt the blame should be place squarely on my shoulders.

This spring as Hero was reading the book "Every Man's Battle" and sharing with me the true victory he was finding, not just in this struggle, but also in his relationship with God, I began searching for some victory over this fear and pain. I went to the website, New Life Ministries and found that "Every Man's Battle" was actually part of a series of books. One of those books, "Every Heart Restored", was written specifically to address the healing needs of the wounded spouse.

That book helped me so much on the journey to healing, I highly recommend it to any wife dealing with the wounds that come from porn in marriage, whether your husband is finding victory or not.  I learned that Hero's struggle with this issue is not my fault; he was struggling with this before he even met me. I also realized that my goal in life should not be the hollow pursuit of perfection, but rather wholehearted obedience to God.

There is such freedom in pursuing obedience as opposed to the ever closing walls of perfection. I'm praising God as I begin to walk along the path of obedience, and praying that my side-trips down the path of perfection will become fewer are farther between.

3 comments:

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife October 28, 2009 at 5:15 PM  

Dear one, Thank you for sharing from your heart. You don't know how that might encourage other women who are struggling.

I pray God continues to heal the wounds in your heart.

Your friend,
Stacie

Cheesemakin' Mamma October 29, 2009 at 8:26 AM  

I realized I've met you before at Stacie's church. My heart goes out to you. I have several friends whose husbands are currently in the pit and they don't know how to handle it. I'll be recommending these books to them. You must be so proud of your hubby for coming to terms with this. I know it must be a moment by moment struggle at times, but praise God, he it sounds like he's coming out a winner. How wonderful! You're coming out a winner, too. I look forward to following your blog and your life journey. Blessings to your family, Jackie

Luke Gilkerson October 30, 2009 at 7:15 AM  

Glad that book helped you. There's a new one out called Reclaiming Stolen Intimacy by Clay and Renee Crosse. Perfect for a wives support group.

You also might like this video from Covenant Eyes about another couple's story:
http://www.youtube.com/?v=WcpotyZ_oSM