I walked in and caught him looking at pornography. It is 12 years later almost to the day
today and that memory is BURNED into my brain. I wish I could forget it. I wish I could scrub it out of my mind. 8 years later, it happened all over again, and then the next year, and then the year after that. There was nothing left of me after seeing and hearing each devastation. I want to undo all the damage. I want to reverse all the years I lived as an empty shell of a human, devoid of humanity, soul and joy.
Can you relate to my experience?
What is it about sexual betrayal; why is the pain so bad?
I’ve been studying the answer to this question for a while now, and I believe Pastor Darrell Brazell, a recovering sex addict, sums it up quite well, when he states:
“Why is the pain so bad? Because it is a SEVERING of a wife’s intimate attachment. It goes DIRECTLY against the design God established after the fall. In Genesis 3:16 he told Eve, “Yet your desire will be for your husband…” It is actually a CUTTING, a SEVERING, and a TEARING of your intimate attachment and your desire to be loved, cherished, and delighted in.”
When “our fear of abandonment becomes our reality…”, as Marsha Means writes, “when the one we love betrays our trust- we suffer betrayal trauma and we’re thrown into crisis mode.” As women we fight, flight, freeze, tend and befriend because something has threatened our safe haven and we fear we may lose the most important connection in our life. In fact, it’s understood that, the more intimate the attachment the more intense your fear and pain will be.
Sister, when your husband is living in fantasy through pornography and begins acting out of the distortions he is consuming- You don’t feel very loved, cherished or delighted in, do you? Pastor Brazell states that, “whether or not a wife KNOWS about the addiction – she can still feel it in her marriage and she takes on the role of a desolate woman. Because she is not loved, cherished or delighted in, but rather she is CONSUMED by the distortions her husband lives out.”
A man will often abuse his wife in the process of trying to hide his addiction. Pride, power and control are the antithesis to love, cherish and delight. Part of a man’s recovery work will be to lay down those distortions and learn to pick up the truth that HIS wife is the most beautiful woman in the world. His recovery work will be to learn to love, cherish and delight in you.
A 13th century Rabbi wrote, “If I am not for myself, who is? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”
Your husband cannot fix your pain by getting “healed”, “cured” or doing his own work. Each of us is responsible for our own healing journey. For 9 long years, I looked to my ex-husband to fix my pain, as I was seeking safety, but the truth is, he couldn’t fix it.
I am reminded of a verse the Lord gave to me very early on in my journey. I thought I was digging in then… oh boy! I was only TAPPING the surface of my pain, but he showed me this verse, I believe to spur me on with endurance and stamina for my journey. I hope it can do the same for you, dear one.
“[Sister], take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but BECOME STRONG.”-Hebrews 12:12
You are loved. You are cherished. You are His delight. You are STRONG.
You are not alone💗