It seems that everyone knows someone whose husband is addicted to pornography.
I often hear this question, “I have a friend whose husband recently admitted to struggling with porn and self-gratification and I am wondering if you have any words of wisdom on how best to support her.”
Here’s the thing – You can’t know what it feels like to be a widow, until you are a widow. You can’t know what it feels like to lose a child, until you lose a child. In the same way, you can’t really know what it feels like to experience betrayal by your husband because of his involvement with pornography, masturbation (these typically go together), or an extra-marital affair, unless you’ve been there yourself.
But you can be a friend.
She doesn’t need you to try to fix this situation. You can’t.
She doesn’t need to hear solutions from you. Though well-intended, unless you have experience in this area, your ideas may not be helpful.
She needs a friend who will hear her heart, who will offer a shoulder to cry on, who will be available when she feels most alone. Be prepared to withhold judgment of her and of her husband. God willing, your friend and her husband will persevere through the difficult process of recovery and healing and their marriage will be restored. You will not have experienced the process of healing with them in the same way. What do you do with the feelings you have about your friend’s husband based on what she has shared with you? Truly, you will need to learn to pass those feelings up to the One who has shoulders big enough to bear the weight of the situation.
Psalm 68 says, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”
What else can you do for your friend?
Offer to keep her children while she and her husband work on their relationship, go to a counselor, or talk to their pastor.
Connect her to other women who share her experience of betrayal and now walk in victory, if you know such women.
If you are aware of a Christian counselor in your area who successfully helps women in her situation, pass along his/her name to your friend.
In October (2012), buy them a copy of my book When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography ~ Healing Your Wounded Heart.
… and listen.
My book, When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography … Healing Your Wounded Heart will release from New Growth Press in October (2012) Available Here Now.
After the Shock – Moving from Despair to Healing and Hope
The news was hard enough–the person closest to you in the world, your life partner, is struggling with pornography. But now, although the shock might have worn off, you are still reeling–feeling shattered, betrayed, alone. Where do you turn? Who do you turn to? Vicki Tiede, writing from personal experience, reminds you that no matter how you are feeling right now, you are not alone. You can turn to the God of all comfort and hope who promises to never leave you or forsake you.
When Your Husband Is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart is written to help you turn to God and away from despair. Healing comes as you learn to focus your eyes on Jesus and allow him to meet your needs rather than basing your hope and happiness on your husband’s choices. Vicki Tiede guides you through this process by focusing on six important topics: hope, surrender, trust, identity, brokenness, and forgiveness. Allowing God to meet your greatest needs is a long and learned process, but he promises to help you every step of the way.