There are many sins which we commit daily that we cannot hide. A mom is frustrated and loses her temper at the grocery store, a man lies to his boss in order to avoid getting reprimanded . . . but I am convinced that the SECRET SINS of our lives do far more damage than the known ones.
My husband was into pornography since he was a little boy. While we were dating, he had a pin-up calendar and pasted a picture of my head onto their bodies. When I saw it, I thought it was really strange. You know how serial killers leave notes and they paste the magazine letters to make a note? That’s what it reminded me of. It weirded me out, and running through my mind was the idea that my body wasn’t good enough. Why keep the calendar at all? Why not throw it away?
In all fairness, I didn’t know he was entangled in porn until our second year of marriage. I was cleaning the house and went to put aluminum foil over a vent to save our family money. Inside the vents, I found a video. I thought that was strange, so I watched what was on it. I was beyond disgusted; let’s just leave it at that. I dug for more and found more. I looked through all the vents and found a good HUNDRED different videos.
It was at that time that I knew, but I went on believing that love conquers all. When he arrived home, I confronted him and he denied it, of course. “They belonged to a previous owner,” he claimed. But later that week while changing the sheets on our bed, I found a paper stuck between the mattresses.
It was a bill, but it was not my bill, nor my husbands’. It was my mom’s! Close to $2,000 was charged up on a credit card in her name, and I immediately asked her about it.
“Mom,” I said, “why would your credit card bill be under MY mattress?” It brings me to tears to tell you this, but she said, “That’s not my bill. I’ve never seen it before in my life.”
And that was the day that I was officially married to a criminal. He had stolen her SSN and opened up a credit card in her name to afford his porn addiction. He spent a little over $500 on all those pornography videos; the rest he charged up to the max.
For fourteen years I dealt with his porn habit, always seeing pictures pop up when I was surfing the web because of what HE was doing when I wasn’t home. He hated that I was a SAHM and that was why: less opportunity for him to sin.
Before our divorce was final, he had 6 known affairs and a baby on the way with a woman whom he was no longer with.
If you should find yourself in a similar situation, my heart goes out to you. Here are 7 tips to help:
1) A person has to WANT to stop sinning.
They can say they want to, but unless they really do, there will be no change in behavior.
2) A person apart from Christ has a very hard time stopping sinning.
Victory in Christ is not theirs. They are controlled by their sin. Christians are in Christ and Christ defeated sin on the cross. A Christian has the power of Christ to stop sinning inside of them. A person apart from Christ does not have that power. Though it is not impossible, it is much harder.
3) You cannot change him.
You can try until you’re blue in the face, but you cannot change his heart. Only God can. Therefore, your best weapon against the lure of pornography is prayer, asking the One that CAN change your spouse.
4) Hold each other accountable.
Work on an extremely difficult sin with him. His may be pornography, but maybe there’s something that you can be accountable to him that you’d like to change in yourself.
5) Pray together and do not withhold intimacy from him.
The more you are bonded emotionally, through prayer and intimacy, the more you fight the lure of pornography.
6) Get counseling.
I don’t care how awesome your marriage is, if your spouse is entangled in sin, you need counseling. It is VERY hard to fight that particular sin. You need help; your spouse needs help. Don’t think you can handle it on your own. Do NOT keep it secret. Remember, the secret sins are far more devastating. Keep them in the light. The light diminishes the dark!
7) The real battle is the battle of the mind.
Lastly, you need to know that while a man is entangled in pornography, the real sin is the battle of the mind. You see, the brain cannot tell the whether his act with a TV screen is the same or different than a real woman. Each and every time he commits this sinful act, it sears his conscience. Over time, as in my case and many others, it’s SO easily justified for the real thing because the mind is already used to it. I am not saying that every man caught in pornography has a physical affair, but that the stats are MUCH, MUCH higher!
Sarah is a stay-at-home mom of two wonderful children. From homeless to well-off, this single debt-free mom is most known for her ability to live well on $18k/year. Sarah loves encouraging other women to be godly wives through her biggest lessons in being married to an unsaved man. Follow her blog: Sarah Titus.