On February 25, 2012, I married my best friend Kevin in front of our closes family and friends in Orlando FL. Shortly after we married and moved to the Midwest our lives began to change in a significant way. We found ourselves alone and unaware of the genuine strength marriage required especially when difficult moments occurred between us. As we were still getting to know each other as newlyweds we confronted a struggle I never thought would be associated to our story. On February 24,2013, my husband and I decided to attend a marriage conference being held at the local church we attended. We felt this would be the perfect way to start the celebration of our one year anniversary. To our surprise we were challenged that night by the pastor to confess any secrets we may have kept from our spouse in order to have a healthy marriage. In my mind if there was anyone going to confess something I felt it would be me. In my eyes, the man I married was perfect and could do no wrong. However, a short period of my life consisted of me clubbing and drinking as I tried to find myself. I began to mouth the words, and my husband beat me to it and confessed he has been addicted to pornography for several years. You can imagine the shock I felt at that moment, along with anger and betrayal. Who did I marry and did he truly love me? All this time I was judging myself for my mistakes years prior to our marriage and all along my husband was living a double life as he engaged in an addiction that destructs a high percentage of marriages every day.
I left our home feeling heartbroken with intentions of finding a flight back to Orlando where I knew I would feel comfort and safety and walk away from our marriage. As I had no support group in the Midwest, I cried out to God in search of guidance. I chose not to inform family or friends close to me because at the bottom of my heart I never would want my husband to be judged for his weaknesses. I felt led to call a particular couple I knew was not going to judge or shame us to express my feelings of fear and confusion. Through this couple the Lord spoke to me and encouraged me to attend the last day of the conference which was the exact day of our anniversary. I chose to listen to their wisdom and attend the next day despite the anger and hurt I felt towards my husband. I am pretty sure I did not react the best way, but the beauty of that is I am human and its ok to express your feelings in order to gain healing. God went before me the next day and allowed for Kevin and I to receive prayer and get baptize together to signify the purity and a new beginning for our marriage.
The reality is, life did not get better or easier overnight. I experienced depression, emotional eating, mood swings and low self-esteem in the following months because I felt I was the reason my husband chose to engage in those addictive behaviors. I had moments where I would laugh and engage with Kevin with no hesitation. Then, I had moments where I could not even look at him because I feared what thoughts would fill his mind while watching TV or while out on vacation around women.
It took me several months to regulate my negative thoughts and feelings about myself through prayer and consistent therapy. As a couple, we chose to put in the work to forgive and move towards healing our marriage. We decided to not give up on the commitment to our marriage. We signed up for an accountability website that would help keep Kevin accountable and would inform the both of us on his weekly report of internet usage. The more I surrendered to God and asked him to help me truly forgive and love my husband, just like I did before he confessed, I began to see my husband through the eyes of Jesus. I saw him first as the son of God, who just like me, struggled with the fleshly desires of this world. Every morning till this day he gets up and asks God to help him surrender his own strength and never turn back to his old ways. My husband was brave enough to confess to God and me about his addiction and I am grateful for that despite the truth. My trust for him over time was restored and our marriage was redeemed. When I learned about addiction I learned I was not the only wife going through this rather one out of many walking in the same path. My husband, like many men and women, had a story of how pornography was first introduced. As a young boy, he was exposed to it by friends and it opened a door for many years of bondage in secrecy. We now make it a priority to share our story and inform young people and couples how to be aware of the signs and symptoms that lead to addiction. We are currently still in therapy to ensure we have a healthy marriage. If you or someone you know are going through an addiction please do not fight this battle alone.
If you are a wife going through this my prayer is you do not blame yourself and cause more pain to your heart. You are beautiful and you are enough just the way you are. I encourage you to seek help for you and your marriage. Contact us through email and connect with us through social media if you have any questions we can answer that can help you along this journey.
Blessings and be encouraged Beauty!