April 12, 2018

Pornography: The Digital Assault on Marriage

Gary Thomas — 

When I first wrote Sacred Influence in 2004, pornography got a few paragraphs. When I rewrote Sacred Influence to become Loving Him Well (just released), a wife dealing with her husband’s pornography became an entire chapter. In fact, it is now the longest chapter in the book. The rise of high-speed Internet access has transformed the way men access and engage with pornography. It hasn’t just changed its accessibility, however. It’s heightened the neurological and relational damage.

Since the entire chapter is almost eight thousand words long, I can’t include all of it or even half of it as a blog post. But I would like to discuss one of the main issues—how a wife initially responds to her husband’s use—and will refer you to the book Loving Him Well if you think this might be an issue in your marriage.

While the overwhelming majority of men have some history with pornography, and while it’s safe to say most men still feel tempted or even nervous about it, it’s also a legitimate and realistic desire for a wife to be married to a man who doesn’t look at pornography. That’s not asking too much. We shouldn’t accept something just because it’s common.

The experts I talked to when researching for this book had a few disagreements about the best way to handle this. Some counselors suggest the wife just step back and say, “You created this problem, you go do the work and fix it. I’m not your mom and I’m not going to get involved.” Others suggested that the wife can play a key role in repentance and restoration. Part of this depends both on the makeup of the wife and the state of the marriage relationship. I’m not sure there’s a right or wrong answer here.

Most all of the experts agreed, however, that the wife’s initial response to her husband’s use is crucial and that’s what I want to focus on with this post. A too-soft response could lead to re-occurrence, or the husband not taking the struggle seriously enough. A too-harsh response could lead the husband to shame and to start hiding, eventually making the problem worse (this isn’t to blame the wife for making the problem worse; it’s just explaining what sometimes happens).

Why Should You Care?

Pornography can literally rewire a man’s brain, making it difficult, if not impossible, for him to be completely sexually satisfied (or sometimes even aroused) by his wife. Pornography works on the neurological trigger of offering something new. If a man sees a familiar video or picture, he’ll usually click right over it. It’s “used up.” It’s the “something new” that titillates him.

You can quickly see how this is the antithesis of marriage, where a person finds full satisfaction in their spouse over the course of a lifetime. The same God-ordained sexual desire that can knit a man’s soul to his wife can get diverted to create a lust for women in general rather than desire for his wife in particular.

A man who is sexually faithful to his wife is training his mind (with the release of oxytocin) whenever they are sexually intimate to find his wife more attractive than all other women. We cultivate sexual appetite every bit as much as we cultivate a taste for certain foods. A man who is mentally promiscuous is literally training his mind to find other women more attractive than his wife.

So no, this isn’t something for a wife to just accept or get over.

Let’s be clear at the outset: your husband’s porn use is not about you, though it may feel that way. It was never about you. Most men who struggle with porn become users long before they meet their wives. Your husband’s continued use of porn after marriage is not your fault. It is not a reflection on your beauty or body. It is not about whether you have gained weight or about how well you perform in the bedroom. It is not about your desirability. It is, first and foremost, about your husband’s addiction or bad habits. You cannot and should not own this, and it is not on you to deliver your husband from it.

In fact, if your husband is not motivated by God and self, there is nothing you can do to deliver him. I offer plenty of advice in Loving Him Well for wives married to men who are motivated to change, but if your husband is not motivated to change, you may need to respond as if he is having an affair, not just an addiction. When porn use replaces sexual intimacy with a wife, it is an affair.

Sandy’s Story

Robert started looking at porn when as a young teen he discovered magazines at his uncle’s house. That led to high-speed-internet porn and a lifelong struggle. When Sandy found out her husband had gone back to porn, she was firm and told him, “It’s me or the porn. You can’t have both.”

Sandy may not have realized it at the time, but she initiated a textbook-perfect conversation with her husband.

Sandy had made it clear to Robert before they got married that porn use wouldn’t be tolerated. Robert said he wanted to give it up, but after the wedding, Sandy had her suspicions. When Robert left his computer signed on to his Amazon account, she checked his past history and saw the videos.

“I told you I wouldn’t tolerate this,” she said, “and I’m not going to.”

After dealing with the relational issue, Sandy stressed the spiritual angle. This wasn’t just about their marriage; it was about Robert’s relationship with God. She showed empathy and understanding about his past and the unfortunate way he was introduced to porn. It’s not a fair fight for a twelve-year-old boy to be told, “Click on this button and you can see what a naked woman looks like.” The curiosity is so high that few boys resist and for some of them, the rush is so intense that it unleashes a lifelong battle they never asked for. A little empathy here can go a long way. This isn’t an easy temptation to deal with, and many boys never went looking for it in the first place.

On the other hand, Sandy went past mere empathy to make it clear again, in case there was any doubt, “You will lose me if you continue doing this.”

She didn’t shame Robert. She demonstrated compassion.  But she wasn’t so soft that he thought he could have both her and porn. That’s not easy to do, but that’s usually the best response.

My good friend Dr. Steve Wilke told me that one of the most important things a wife can do in situations like Sandy’s is to be strong and ensure “healthy boundaries” but he adds that at a certain stage couples need to be “open and accountable for qualified counsel.” In other words, some couples can’t “fix” this on their own.”

Steve says, “She needs to be like Deborah, Rahab, or Ruth— the kind of woman who will look at her man and say, ‘No mas!’ Too often, spouses don’t appreciate the severity of the situation they find themselves in, and they end up perpetuating the problem instead of resolving it.” He adds, “These circumstances are serious and should be treated as you would any serious illness, with the same time and energy put into finding the best clinical care possible. If you want your marriage to survive, you have to commit to actively engaging in a treatment plan.”

Steve’s son, Dr. Ryan Wilke, a physician certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, explains the current understanding of the biological and psychological components of addiction, including pornography. “Addiction is more than just bad behavior and poor judgment. The brain registers all pleasurable experiences in the same way— whether it’s from enjoyable music, a walk with your spouse, or behavior necessary for survival, like eating and sexual activity (which can be healthy or pathological), as well as from intoxicating chemicals. The result of repeated exposure to intoxicating substances or behaviors is a conditioned response driven by the memories in your brain from repeated exposure.

“Eventually, this newly acquired brain pathway overrides our logical and rational mind. In essence, through habituation, addicts become slaves to a master they themselves created. This is a major reason addicts seemingly can’t just stop their behavior.”

Both of the Wilkes believe this is best represented in Romans 1. They explain, “When choices are made that are contrary to God’s original plan for our lives, as biological science demonstrates, what was a choice is now less so. God is a gentleman, and he allows us free will to make our own choices. But if we persist in making poor ones, eventually he steps back and makes way for the consequences of our free will. At that point, we’re no longer entirely free; we’ve become slaves.”

The reality of ignoring God’s consistent warnings is that our rebellious choices eventually shape our minds into rebellious brains. This is why a wife can’t afford to be weak or passive in the face of such a challenge. Dr. Steve Wilke explains, “She’s going to have to balance her fear of what has taken place in her life with her need to be strong in her marriage and for her children.”

The reason you want to get control of this addiction as soon as possible is that the longer it goes on, the more it will affect your husband’s brain. The good news is that following abstinence, the brain appears to begin to heal— but neuroscientists don’t yet know how much it heals. It may never go back to the pre- addiction phase. But it certainly can get better.

Recovery specialists are fond of saying that “recovery involves relapse” meaning that expecting immediate “perfect” and unbroken obedience isn’t likely. Dr. Steve Wilke agrees but adds, “Guys with stronger wives tend to have more positive outcomes.” In other words, if a man thinks you’ll go easy on him, he may try to find out how much you’re willing to tolerate to manipulate you. Dr. Wilke says, “When a wife says to her husband, ‘If you touch anybody or look at that stuff again, then I’m gone— and I’m going to tell everybody who asks me exactly why I left you,’ well, guys who get that speech have a better chance at a positive outcome.”

A sex addict helped me understand his need to learn to distinguish between urges, habits, and addictions. These are three different things. When the word addiction is used too loosely, it can make men feel they have a pass, as if they are not able to control themselves. Many husbands have strong urges; these can be overcome with resolve. Others may have bad habits—these usually require self-imposed accountability and serious effort. When we slip into the addiction language as if the man has no power over his behavior (which is the definition of an addiction), he may be more likely to just accept it and excuse giving in to urges or bad habits.

This requires professional care and diagnosis. Since porn often starts in pre- or early adolescence, some husbands will need to seek professional, board- certified help at the highest level. Second Baptist has a board- certified counselor I refer guys to who suffer from a long- standing addiction. Most of us pastors aren’t trained to understand the brain science behind breaking what has become a neurological addiction.

I know that I may have simply raised more questions than answers, but that’s the limitation of a blog. I do believe that the extended chapter in Loving Him Well offers some of the best summary steps wives can take, so without wanting to sound like a shameless huckster, I’ll refer you to that.

Regarding the comments on this post (and the inevitable emails): I’m not trained to treat a man/couple struggling with an addiction. Please don’t ask me to help you fix this situation in your marriage. It’s above my pay grade. I can interview experts and neurologists and counsellors, and I can search the Scriptures to offer general advice, as I do here and in the book. But I can’t in a blog comment or email reply “treat” a marriage that is mired in this problem. That would be malpractice. We won’t post such comments and I won’t be able to reply to such emails.

 

 

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19 responses to Pornography: The Digital Assault on Marriage

  1. I am curious about the doctrine of divorce that seems to come through in some of these comments. It seems very important that the urges, habits, and addictions distinction be applied to the issue of whether porn use is a moral justification for divorce. Given the fact that more than 70% of divorces are initiated by women, the use of porn as an ex post facto moral justification is very common. I saw a recent statistic cited by KingdomWorks studios, makers of the anti porn Conquer series, that said that 53% of all divorces are CAUSED by porn.

    But their interpretation of the baseline data was erroneous. The baseline data was from a poll of divorce attorneys who said that in more than half of all cases, porn uses is cited as one of many reasons for divorce.

    I am concerned about porn as a destroyer of marital intimacy. I am also concerned about the ease with which we rationalize unbiblical instances of divorce by referencing the porn use of the husband. It seems we have told women that the church will bless her divorce if she can cite instances of porn use by her husband, regardless of whether it is an occasional indulgence, a habit or an addiction.

  2. Gary: After having nurtured my lustful desires for dozens of years, I certainly reached the point where my addiction controlled my life and nearly ended my marriage. Fortunately God had other plans … and I am on a blessed path of recovery as He gives my an insatiable thirst to seek Him and His righteousness.

    I want to reinforce a message that this is not just a battle against porn for some men … this is a battle in the heart of every man. John 3:16 is certainly an essential verse for every Christian … but I believe that Genesis 3:16 might be the second most important verse for every man and woman to contemplate. I believe it speaks to how God has ordained that … as a result of “the fall” … every woman will have an inclination to make marriage an idol … and every man will have an inclination to exert power over woman … and sexual sin is clearly a power play over woman. So every man has a “thorn” that can only be overcome through the grace of God … it’s not a matter of making the right “choice” … it’s an “urge” that we must seek to eliminate if we are truly seeking His righteousness. It seems to me that we have allowed society to shape our view that it is “normal” for a man to find other women sexually attractive … that it is okay to have urges as long as we don’t act on them … as if sin is an “action” as opposed to a “thought” … but Jesus explicitly said otherwise.

    I am so grateful that I am a member of the support/accountability group facilitated by the counselor you referenced in your post. And I want to suggest that it takes much more than someone going to a counselor to overcome our addiction … it also requires the loving support and compassion of other Brothers who are on the same journey to recovery. I truly do not understand why every church does not encourage and offer similar resources for their flock … the church is meant to be a place for the sick to be healed … and there is perhaps no greater sickness in the hearts of men than sexual sin.

    I am eternally grateful that God brought you and many other blessed men in my life who have used His Word to renew my mind and lead me on the path to become more like Christ. You are truly an answer to my wife’s prayer.

  3. A voice of hope April 12, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    This is an issue in so many marriages. Thank you, Gary, for reminding us wives that it is not about our beauty, bodies, or worth. God hard-wired men and women to crave sex so “two would become one” in a marital covenant as he designed. Satan has been exploited this through pornography and it is just heartbreaking. The Enemy seeks to kill and destroy. He wants nothing more than to destroy marriages and makes us feel guilty, shameful, and worthless.

    For those who are struggling with pornography or hurt from a partner who is, please know that there is hope. My husband began looking at pornography as a young boy. He had very low self esteem due to his poor relationship with his father and multiple rejections by girls. Pornography became his escape. It made him feel good and good about himself for a brief moment. But those feelings were quickly replaced with guilt, shame, embarrassment, and emptiness. It drove a wedge between us and really hurt our sexual relations. Over the years I stopped enjoying sex with him because it was so cold and lifeless. I didn’t realize that he was mimicking what he saw online. The less I wanted to have sex, the more he turned to his secret pornography habit. The climax came when he developed an emotional relationship with a woman that he worked with. He shared with her his frustrations with me and our marriage and it is very likely that it would have led to a physical affair…

    But, God stepped in. He revealed himself to my husband and my husband confessed his sins to me. I was devastated and battled with depression, panic attacks, alcohol abuse, and suicidal thought. It has been a long and difficult battle but we are healing. This is what helped us through:
    1) Praying and surrending to God daily. I literally started praying on my hands and knees with my face to the ground during this time- crying out to God in anguish. He answered.
    2) Praying together. Reading the Bible together. Reading Christian marriage books together. Cherish, Tony Evans Kingdom Marriage, and A Fierce Love were our absolute favorites. In 2018 we made it a goal to read the entire Bible in a year. On track so far.
    3) Walk together. We have spent many hours walking through our neighborhood talking, hashing out difficult feelings and working together to rebuild.
    4) Date each other and rekindle our friendship.
    5) Seek Christian counselors. We were mentored by a couple at our church. They were instrumental in our healing, especially in the early stages. We met weekly for the first year and they kept us accountable.
    6) Finally, we installed blocks and monitoring software on all of our devices. We love Covenant Eyes and Net Nanny. My husband said it really takes the temptation away knowing that I will receive an immediate email if any inappropriate sites are visited or search terms are used. He doesn’t have to fight the temptation alone. I help give him accountability and support. We canceled cable, don’t watch R movies, and check online reviews like kidsinmind.com before watching pg-13 movies.

    We are trying to honor God in everything that we do and He has been helping and healing us the entire way.

    Have hope and don’t give up. I will be praying for you all.

    • A voice of hope April 12, 2018 at 4:49 pm

      I meant to say “Satan is exploiting our desire for sex”, not “Satan is exploited”

  4. I caught my pastor-husband doing porn 2 years ago. We’d been married 33 years at that time. Evidently, he’s had issues several times in our marriage and I was totally unaware. After catching him, I was devastated—he was angry. This totally explained the lack of emotional and physical intimacy we’ve had our entire marriage…so many pieces of the puzzle of our marriage all came together that night.
    I begged him to go for counseling. he said he didn’t need it because the Holy Spirit could do that for him. That is true…if he was sensitive and obedient to the Holy Spirit, but he wasn’t. Since he was not seeking godly counsel and accountability, or even researching Christian sites on how to heal from this, I was doing this for him…which made him totally resent me…accusing me of trying to fix him. I told him…then you man up, and take responsibility and fix yourself! It took him nearly a year later, to FINALLY go to counseling! He then said…now that I’m in counseling, I don’t want any more advice from you.
    Interesting that all I was using was Scripture…in gentle ways…not banging him over the head but trying to be sensitive, and challenging him towards a closer relationship with God. He actively resisted God, and easily fell into deep sin. He still is resistant to the idea of total surrender to God…that baffles me! He resisted, and still does, principles on the Armor of God, or making a battle plan to protect himself. It’s like he refuses to fight, and will surrender to anything but God.
    I thought communication and connection was bad before all this happened, but now…there is NO communication and NO connection…the gap is widening between us…I feel it growing daily! We only talk of trivial things now…only during commercials, as the TV is on all evening…I hate it!
    I can’t talk with him about how God is working in my heart…he shows no interest. I may as well be telling a stuff animal…I would get more response. I speak at Ladies meetings, do all kinds of stuff for our church in my Pastor’s wife role, and he shows no interest in what I am doing, or appreciation. He even tells me that I do too much…that I am too generous with God’s people and His work. I do a lot of my prep time at night when he is asleep, because he is jealous of my time with God, and my prep time for ministries. I don’t know why he even cares about that, since all he want to do is watch TV in the evenings anyway…we aren’t talking much.
    I married him to serve God with him, and even though he preaches, I feel that he resents my continued focus on serving God. I don’t understand that! I can’t even begin to tell you the disappointment I feel in his lack of purpose in life and lack of interest in the ministry. he floats along, every day, taking things as they come, and does no planning or preparation. All I can say is…he will have to answer to God for all this, and it isn’t going to be pretty!
    God is doing amazing things in my heart…and I have no one to tell this to! It’s not fair that the spouse, the one with the most vested interest in that person, can’t share their heart with that person, because that person has shut them down, over and over again!
    He is reading the Bible daily…and finds things ‘interesting’ and thrives on all the ‘theological stuff’ he learns, but he rarely applies this to his own life. He has always struggled to practically apply God’s Word to daily life, even when preaching. I don’t get it. He tells me, when I apply God’s Word, that I am too simple…too practical!
    We read Gary’s book, Cherish, together recently. Gary, you spoke to my heart in that book…my husband read the words, and it went right over his head! That book clearly showed me how far apart we really are…how far away from cherishing we have gone…and did we ever cherish each other? I know that I tried for the first 30 years of our marriage…and then grew weary when I kept trying, and was hit by a brick wall every time! I want to cherish him, but he honestly is totally unresponsive to that…I don’t know how to break the code! I read your book ‘Loving Him Well’…I have done those things over the years, and, unless he allows God to do a miracle in his life, he is blind to all my efforts.
    I find myself pulling away from him more and more, for protection and sanity. I am completely hiding my emotions, thoughts, desires, and sense of who I am…all in Christ, now. If my husband ever wants to get me back…have any emotional, physical, or spiritual connection, he must go through Christ now. I have learned that only Christ can be trusted…no one else. Only Christ will be faithful to me in every way, no one else. Only Christ will cherish me, no one else. Only Christ will truly see my value, no one else. Only Christ will see me as beautiful, no one else. Only Christ is my soul-mate, no one else. I now believe it is lie of Satan to say that another human can be my soul-mate. Satan has that lie, because when it does not work out that we have a soul-mate, we tend to blame God for that, out of our disappointment. We do ourselves a great dis-service seeking our love and self-value from anyone or anything else, other than God. Gary, your ‘Sacred Marriage’ is totally correct, in that marriage is not for happiness, but to sharpen us spiritually.
    I don’t know who my husband is anymore…and in reality, I never did.
    Inwardly, I am just in a survival mode, anxiously awaiting the return of Christ, or my departure from this life, to FINALLY get to Heaven, where I will finally feel, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, completely loved in Christ. I’m only 53…so I may be in this mode many more years before I’m finally with the Lord.
    I have read a lot of books on marriage, porn recovery, trying to understand what was going on with my husband, but I recently found a book that totally explains my husband ‘The Disconnected Man’ by Jim Turner. After reading this, I clearly see my husband in this. I encourage you all to read this book…as it will likely answer many questions of why this is happening with your spouse. My husband must first, learn to connect with God before he will ever connect with me. That is my constant prayer for my husband!
    We serve a God of miracles…only He is capable of putting marriages back together. Only He can give the hope and grace needed, and will give it, to all of us that are hurting so deeply. All we have to do is ask, and trust that He is greater than anything we will ever go through in this life. I heard a preacher tangibly explain what God’s grace is…this has been so helpful to me. He said that God’s grace is like the ‘1-10 Pain Scale’ that medical professionals use, to determine how bad your pain is. No matter what your trial or struggle is, God’s grace is at least one point higher on that scale…it is ALWAYS sufficient! We live in sinful times…I’m sure God’s patience must be wearing thin…and I long for the day when He finally calls us home!

  5. Hi,
    What’s your opinion on romance novels?

  6. I wish someone would be more willing to talk about how women can suffer from this just as much as men. This is a great post, but having been introduced to porn at a Christian University when I was 18, the only girl who worked with the computer lab, so I was asked to track when porn was coming in so students could be held accountable because as a girl I wouldn’t suffer from the same temptations as a man, I didn’t realize the problem it would cause in my life until it was too late. 20 years later and I still struggle. I still am too tempted by an unexpected scene in a movie, or a picture I didn’t anticipate seeing online, and in a flash, the STRONG urge, that strong temptation can be back, and 99% of the time I fight it, and that 1% of the time, I find myself looking, and then minutes later hate myself. I ended up confessing it to friends for support, and come to find out over 1/3 of the friends I admitted it to, and it was a whole group of women, said they struggled as well. It’s out there, but we’re afraid to talk about it because it’s a “man’s” sin, and so we’re even more ashamed to be struggling. Would love to see something written up so that we feel less alone. We’re out there, and we feel even more isolated because we’re women, and the world isn’t acknowledging we’re struggling. Just… if any women are out there reading and feel alone, you’re not. You can get help too.

    • Thank you so much Marie for your honesty and pastoral care. Since this was based on a book for wives, it only focuses on husbands. But clearly this has become a universal challenge

      • Should also say I prayed a lot, and I put Bible verses up to help me. Placed like the bathroom mirror, by the toilet paper roll, bedroom mirror, kitchen sink, any place I stop for a minute daily. I put the verses up in the early days until I had them memorized, or left some as reminders for years.

        I had them written in a book, so I just went and got the list. I read these verses very often in the early days of overcoming.

        Jeremiah 17:9-10
        Psalms 55:22
        Psalms 141:1-4
        Hebrews 2:18
        James 1:12
        James 1:13-15
        Matthew 26:41/Mark 14:38
        1 Corinthians 10:13
        Psalms 101:3a
        2 Corinthians 4:6-10
        1 Corinthians 6:18-20

  7. It has been 8 years since my discovery of my (now ex) husbands secret life. We had been married 26 years. His pornography began 9 years before we married. I was totally unaware this was going on, however, in hindsight, it explains many things.

    There is an important distinction between words and actions. I would challenge other women to take words with a grain of salt. Words are easy and plentiful. Actions tell you if his words have weight. True repentance and desire to turn away from sin will be evidenced in actions (not just words). This does not suggest that there won’t be slips or relapses. It does imply the crucial intentionality of actions and choices to turn from destructive behaviors.

    From the first day of my discovery I requested 2 specific actions:
    • To go to marriage counseling (together/individually) until counselor felt we no longer needed professional counseling.
    • To be given a “full disclosure” in a therapeutic setting.

    In regards to counseling I only recommend a counselor/therapist specifically trained in sexual addictions/pornography.

    In regards to a “full disclosure” of addiction this is meant to be in broad strokes not every hurtful detail. For example; how long has pornography been part of his life? How frequently is pornography used? What forms of pornography are used? What is he doing to set up accountability measures and road blocks for his addiction? Is he simply white knuckling it with will power?

  8. Thank you for addressing a serious issue that affects so many families today. I have been an accountability partner for someone who is breaking free of a pornography habit using this excellent, free resource: https://settingcaptivesfree.com These lessons are well grounded in the Gospel and point a person to the cross as the only way to have victory over sin. Highly recommended!

  9. Thanks for this post, Gary. Short of physical abuse, I’m not sure I know of any behavior more damaging to a wife’s soul than her husband’s habitual porn use. I believe it’s almost virtually IMPOSSIBLE for a woman to not take it personally, and the resulting damage to her self esteem, self worth, self confidence will take YEARS to overcome, if ever. (I am speaking from experience, though Praise God! for His continual healing work.)

    You are absolutely right that a spouse’s porn use is ultimately *their* choice and their problem to solve. A wife could own closets full of lingerie, be the most thoughtful and exciting lover, and hang a trapeze over her marital bed — but she still can’t compete with the brain reward and novelty of a smorgasbord of body parts available with a few clicks.

    May the Holy Spirit convict each one of us to remain pure for the sake of our marriages and for His glory.

  10. Thanks for a wonderful article. The greatest assumption in the church is that only men/husbands look at pornography.

  11. I’ve caught my husband looking on a porn web site . He said he was looking for a job and it just popped up. I doubt that highly. When I left for work I had to return home for a stamp. Dead bolt on house door was locked. Along with little lock u just turn on the inside. Sliding door to enter hall was shut. Also, years before that i found porn web sites on our computer. He denied they were his and blamed it on our young 3 sons. However, our boys had a computer of their own in bsmt. And no need to access ourcomputer. They told me they weren’t looking at porn. I trusted our sons. I also found LONELY HOUSEWIVES, CUPID.COM
    And YOU HAVE CHATS on his cell pbone.
    He stated they were pop ups advertisements. I found these in his history .So they couldn’t have been what he told me.
    I don’t like to be lied to or for him to think I’m so niave. How pathetic can he be.
    But what do u expect from a husband who is verbally demeaning to me and emotionally abusive towards me. Along with physically abusing me a few times
    I’ve seperated from him and had a breakdown from the abuse . Its been a year and have to decide to stay married to him or not. I’m 59 yrs old and we’ve been together for 26 yrs. A lot of emotional damage has been done to me. He is also a drinker every nite. So much drama in our home was caused by him.
    I pray for him and I pray to forgive him so I can be at peace. But I still have decision to make which may be easier for another women in this situation. I ask God to let his will be done in my life. I have to realize and accept the fact that God does not want a wife to be mistreated this way and allowing it to continue is also helping my husband to sin.

    • Liz, I just prayed for you. I encourage you to make an appointment with a Christian counselor who has experience working with abused spouses. May God bless you and make His will absolutely clear to you in the days ahead.

      I’ve been where you are and know how scary it is to be in that place. I also know that (if God wills it) FREEDOM and uncertainty are far better than abuse and “comfort.”

    • praying for you. love and peace

    • Liz, it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better because of his lack of honesty about everything. Honestly, I hope you make the choice to leave. If he was repentant and getting help that would be one thing, but why let yourself go through the rest of your life with a hurtful, selfish husband. Prayed for guidance for you.