I'm a wife dealing with her husband's addiction to pornography. I hope to be a resource for wives (and family members) dealing with similar struggles. Please join in the conversation and leave comments--even if you are here for curiosity's sake and are just learning about this kind of struggle! You can read my story here and the 4 things I think every addict's wife should know here.

Monday, January 2, 2012

What I've Learned: Part 4


You need lots of confidence. If you don't have it, I'd suggest you get on this right away.

I know that's a strange thing to say: go find some confidence. But it's true. I'm convinced that a huge chunk of what has helped me get through this struggle has been my self confidence. Like I've said before, I was lucky in that my husband had this problem before I met him. I was able to deduce from that that this problem has nothing to do with me. He would have the problem if I were his wife or if someone else were his wife. And he'd have the problem if I left. I am not the cause of his problem. You are not the cause of your husband's problem.

Have you truly embraced this fact?

Your husband's addiction is not because of you. So don't let it tear down your confidence in yourself.

I'd like you to pull out a piece of paper right now. (Or your iPad. We're not that techy here.) Write down everything that makes you great. Really. Do it.

I want you to write everything from the fact that you are a daughter of God to the fact that you can burp on command. What do you like about yourself? What about you makes you smile?

It's easy for me to concentrate on the fact that I still have acne. Or the fact that my belly skin sags after having multiple kids. But I've also trained myself to be just as good at pointing out what I like about myself.
  • I love to get up in front of a room and teach--I think I'm a natural. 
  • I love the ridges in my fingernails--they remind me of my late grandma.
  • I connect with people easily.
  • I can run a marathon. (Never thought I could, but some friends got me into it. It's amazing what we're capable of when we work at it little by little.)
I don't look like a supermodel. I certainly don't look like a porn star. And I don't care. I rather like my tiny boobs. And I recently caught a glimpse of my profile in a picture--my nose isn't nearly as big and obnoxious as I always thought it was. In fact, it's just right for me. It's my nose.

For example, the other day my husband and I were playing this silly game with some friends. I had to answer the sentence: "My husband's ex girlfriends were all ______." And then he had to write what he thought I'd say. I wrote something like "young" since he didn't have many girlfriends between high school and dating me. He wrote "hot." I found myself saying, "What?? You think of your ex girlfriends as hot?" as if he found me unattractive. It took me a second to remember that it's not mutually exclusive. Just because he dated a cute girl in the past doesn't make me ugly. Where is the logic in that? Just because someone at his work may be a flirt doesn't mean I'm boring. Just because he has urges to look at porn doesn't mean he isn't attracted to me. That last one is hard for many people to accept.

Does that make sense? We assume these things are mutually exclusive. They are not. Don't put yourself down based on the looks/personality/actions of others! Stop comparing yourself.

Here's my point, ladies. It would not make a difference if we were the life of the party and looked like supermodels. Case in point: Tiger Woods went to rehab for his sex addiction after all the times he cheated on his wife--and she was a model. He had a problem.

So do your best to not let this knock you down. It's called self confidence for a reason: it has to come from you. No one can give you confidence. Look at that list you wrote. Add to it every day. Figure out what makes you amazing. If you're having trouble coming up with anything, you might want to find some quiet time and do a little praying. I'm sure Heavenly Father knows all the amazing things about you. Perhaps you just need some reminding.


  1. I needed to hear this post. I too have a husband who is recovering from a long standing porn addiction & lust problem that has come & gone in the past 20 years of our marriage. This past year & a half was the breaking point of him getting help...it took its toll on both of us. While he is doing remarkably well in the recovery process with God & being transparent w/ a couple of godly Pastors & with the counseling we recieved at MRAP (a counseling center for missionaries & pastors), I find myself still finding it hard to trust his recovery is genuine (since his pattern w/ the porn has been on-again off-again). Due to his shame, there was so much lying & half truths told that I don't know what to believe anymore. What do I do with this shattered trust? I love him with all my heart. I feel so incredibly guilty for struggling with mistrust. I feel like a horrible wife & support for not so quickly believing him. Even though I can see that he is on the right path to recovery & is doing FAR MORE than he ever did before with going to counseling, applying the coping skills he learned, growing in his relationship with God, & with him being accountable to other godly men, why do I still feel like my heart is smashed to peices? Will I ever get beyond this? My hope & prayer is that I will. Will I ever feel security & trust in this heart of mine again? Because right now, it feels like an empty hole. It feels like a fight every day to trust him...to believe what he says to me. I feel alone, ashamed, & gulity for the anger & mistrust I've felt towards my husband. I know nothing is impossible with God...He is able to to hold & heal a shattered heart. I really needed this reminder. Thank you!

  2. Oh, Pamela. Thank you so much for sharing. You are not alone in this. I've been meaning to write a post for a while titled "Lest You Think We're Perfect." I concentrate so much on positive thinking here that I'm afraid some people might think I'm not in the same boat. My husband has yet to tell me when he has slipped up. In our entire marriage, he has never come to me to tell me. I have always found out through finding something on the computer or asking him in such a desperate way that he breaks down and admits that he had been lying to me and really had been looking at things. It's something we're working on together, but this time we've reached a different level in his commitment and our communication, and I am 99% sure he is being fully honest with me and that he will come to me the next time something happens. Notice that there is still that 1% doubt in my mind. I'm afraid there always will be. But I actually don't feel guilty about it. It's my reminder that we still need to be vigilant about this. That we can't get relaxed in the battle. That we need to remind our husbands that we are here to support them. But I tend to think that when we think everything is 100% okay then we open ourselves up to pride and think we don't need any more help. Does that make any sense? Perhaps I view this differently than other people.

    It sounds to me like you are an amazing support to your husband. Don't feel guilty for the mistrust. It is going to take him a long time to kick this habit, and it may well take you just as long to completely med that hole in your trust. It sounds like you're working on it. Don't beat yourself up over it. Do what you can and let God do the rest. Depend on him to help you heal, but don't set unrealistic expectations for yourself. That's the way I look at it.

    Sending my love!

  3. Mac,

    Thank you for your encouragement. Wow, does your situation ever sound familiar to me...my husband rarely ever came to me first with a confession...I guess that's probably not so unusual since there's so much shame involved with sexual sin & the addiction to porn (even when it's only gone as far as in the heart and mind). I was thinking about the healing process & how easy it is for family & friends of a loved one who is healing, to want the recovery to be a quick one. It's also easy for the person in pain to want a quick fix too. Yet a doctor on the other hand, knows healing is a process & sometimes a slow one at that. In the natural, we'd probably never find a doctor who'd rush a patient, "hurry up & heal!" How easy it is however, for the person who is broken, to want the healing process to be instant. And often, the family & friends might want to rush the process along, because for some reason, we're so uncomfortable with suffering & broken-ness. Why that is, I don't know. I guess in an emotional & spiritual sense, we shouldn't rush the healing process either, for the Great Physician is NOT panicked by the time it takes for the healing to take place. He is fully aware of it & He understands it & He is ever the great & attentive care giver of every wounded heart. God doesn't just want to put a bandaid on the heart...He wants to be the salve...the healing balm...binding up the wounds...restoring health. Thank you for your transparency & for sharing your story as well. It helps to know I am not alone...that WE are not alone.

    1. Hi Pamela. I loved what you wrote and posted it for the other women to see. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm glad we're here working on this together.

    2. Hi there, thank you for posting what I wrote & for sharing how it touched you. I hope it will touch other women & bring peace to their hearts. I'm glad we're working on this together too since I've felt so alone in this healing process. I have such a LONG ways to go.