Part 4 Loving Your Man When it Hurts Series- My Man:Enemy or Ally?

Contributing Writer: Asked to remain anonymous
 He is Not My Enemy

Peering three stories down off our balcony, I wished I could throw myself over the edge to punish my husband for the pain he had caused.  My perfect world of marriage, kids, and ministry work had completely shattered when I found out my husband was viewing pornography. The shock of betrayal was followed by pain beyond any I had experienced, closely tailed by shame, grief, and anger.  

My husband was broken. He was repentant. He immediately called our pastor to confess. He purchased an internet filter to install on our computers. He went with me for counseling. He asked forgiveness. He shared his immense relief that his struggle was finally in the light, and his hope that he would be free from the shame of his sin at last. My husband responded ideally to my discovery.

I felt rage. Numbness. Alternating with pain. Then rage again. I wanted to hurt my husband back, and at times, only the thought of our children kept me from leaving. I would stay for them, but I didn’t have much hope for our marriage. To be like Jesus, I knew I needed to forgive my enemy, but that didn’t mean I would ever trust him again.  

Then came a turning point. I was lashing out at my husband, “You are such a fake! You aren’t who I thought I married! I feel like all our memories together are a joke.  I don’t even know who you are, who you really are!”

And he quietly replied, tears in his eyes, “I know who I am… I am the beloved of God.”

As I walked away, God’s Spirit convicted me. I had a choice. I could choose to see my husband as the enemy, and let the walls of anger and bitterness divide and destroy our marriage. Or I could see him as God’s beloved son, lost and broken and in a mess of sin, but crying out for his Daddy, desperately looking for healing.

Only by God’s grace did the truth of our situation slowly work out in our lives. My husband is not the enemy. My husband is a wounded soldier in an epic battle of good vs. evil. He has been targeted by the enemy of our souls, the Deceiver who seeks to destroy God’s children: their lives, their marriages, and their testimonies. 

So I decided this was one battle Satan wasn’t going to win.

I was still angry. But now I started to channel my anger into action against the problem, not against the person of my husband. I prayed a lot, interceding for my husband and our marriage. I journaled. Along with my husband, I strategized ways to protect our marriage from attacks of temptation. It was hard, but I gave myself lots of time to watch my husband’s behavior and see him prove himself a trustworthy partner again.

Months have turned into years, and I am so very thankful that God led me to choose to be on the same side as my husband, not against him. I feel like I have a new marriage. I’ve seen how my husband is growing into the man God wants him to be. He has so much more joy, a more effective ministry, and more freedom to love me honestly and wholeheartedly.


I wouldn’t have seen any of this if I hadn’t loved through the hurt, stretching out a hand of forgiveness to my husband: not my enemy, but my brother in Christ.

To read the other stories in this series go here.

Photo Credits: via flickr-Noukka Signe, Mysza831, White Ribbons

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21 Responses to “Part 4 Loving Your Man When it Hurts Series- My Man:Enemy or Ally?”

  1. February 16, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    What an inspiring story of love, grace and forgiveness. Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it, and I invite you to follow mine, Saved by Grace
    http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/
    Laurie Collett

    • February 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

      Laurie,
      The Lord totally knew I needed to hear this, it’s been one of those day and encouraging words always help me during my “mommy moment” days :).
      I agree our anonymous writer did a wonderful job sharing those 3 things that you mentioned. I will definitely stop by your place.

      • February 16, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

        I love it when God gives exactly what we need, when we need it! I’m blessed to have played some small part in that to encourage you today.
        Blessings,
        Laurie

  2. February 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    What a powerful story of love and forgiveness. Thanks so much for sharing at Taking A Timeout Thursday!

  3. February 18, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    I’m so glad this writer stepped out to share her experience…so many couples struggle with this issue and it’s an important one to address, but people rarely talk about it. So glad you shared at Shine on Fridays.

    • February 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

      Trish & Amy, Yes, I was so happy that she wrote this. As Amy mentioned people rarely talk about it but it’s definitely a problem.

  4. February 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    Thanks again for linking up @CountryMommaCooks…Great piece thanks for sharing…..Have a wonderful Sunday:)

  5. Jacque
    February 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    Thank you so much for your story. I found out a year ago that my adult son has had this same problem for a few years. It has been devastating to watch him go through this. He wants to get married but is so afraid that he will not make it out of this giant black hole. It is very heart breaking for everyone going through this tragedy. I recite the poem of “Footprints In The Sand” for my son whenever he feels alone. The Lord will always be there to help everyone with this. My love is with you and your husband.

    • February 22, 2012 at 7:41 am #

      Jacque, I just said a little prayer for you and your son. Unfortunately, most men struggle with this in some form or fashion. I have heard of lots of stories of men with deep addictions and I know there is hope for your son, in His power. I hope that he is willing to take the necessary steps to come out of it. I can’t imagine the pain you are going through. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Jessica
    February 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this. I have been in the same situation for the past 8 years. I have begged, pleaded, and threatened my husband, but it never worked. I finally just became numb and decided that it was his own fault if he chose to destroy his life. But reading this article gave me the perspective I needed so that I can help him, not condemn him. After all, it is not my job to condemn, but to forgive and support.

    • February 22, 2012 at 7:44 am #

      Jessica, I am moved with your vulnerability and openess in light of your pain. Blessings on your journey, may the Lord give you strength, discernment, grace and love as you walk this with your husband.

  7. February 21, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    My former husband was very involved in porn [and adultery]… and he always said it was my fault. My body wasn’t sexy-looking enough and I wasn’t good in bed.

    When I remarried, and the husband was sweet, quiet and godly, when he told me he had been involved in porn since he was in his early teens, I freaked out. However, his comments helped. He always said, “It has nothing to do with you. It is my sin, my problem.”

    Repentance continued. He really tried and tried to stay away from anything that was not OK. And he stopped viewing, but the internal battle was there. Then in ’98, Good Friday, he told me and our pastor that the Lord had completely removed the “draw”… he was done. I jumped up and down, laughing and screaming joyfully… at the front of a church after the “quiet and sober” service.

    Since then, he has been with accountability partners, he has shared it very bluntly with other men, involved in a number of men’s classes that have dealt with this. And he’s very frank.

    Several years before his “drawing” battle ended, I had no sorrow any more. I knew he was doing the best he could to break through that generational pattern of his family… and he loved me, no matter what. We’ve been together nearly 27 years, and I’d say that nearly all of it has been filled with joy. This issue was a kicker for a time, but God is/was Bigger.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • February 22, 2012 at 7:52 am #

      Joanne, Ughh, so sorry to hear that your ex blamed you for his addictions. I hope you have come to believe that your not at fault for his addictions. PTL, that you have found a man that in his struggles has chosen to fight the fight for you, for his family, for His faith. Thanks for sharing your story, I am moved with how Big our Lord is.

      • February 22, 2012 at 11:21 am #

        Oh, yes. This blaming from my ex occurred back in the ’70s, mostly. I knew he was wrong, but, since I wasn’t very old then [mostly in my 20s], I sometimes wondered what I could do to change this attitude of his. And I really tried. Certainly, won’t go into detail on line, but it was a very intense effort on my part. Then I’d crash, again. [BTW, we were both Christians... and we both came from addiction backgrounds, both individually and generationally, so some of it took some time to change.] Now, my present dear husband, who had not been married before and had not been sexually involved before we married and had never been drunk or done any kind of drug, had been “seeing” some things in magazines and books, etc. That was all, but bad enough, most certainly. Thankfully, the “on-line” stuff wasn’t available then. In today’s world it is much more difficult to avoid seeing things. B/C of my background, I really try to avoid watching anything that is out of order from God’s Word, and, yet, when I hit Youtube or FB, sometimes photos hanging on the right side of the screen, can slam me. And, of course, awful TV commercials or program previews during news or Jeopardy! Believe me, I’d done and seen and said it all when I was a kid, raised in a very ungodly home… if God had not broken into my life when I was 20, I would have been dead long ago from the sin that was attached to this. Now, much of it is just accepted in our culture.

        Sorry to be “preaching” again. BTW, I’m 66 now; my husband is 52. And we both are very cautious to see and hear only what the Lord permits. Is saving our “lives” and our “loves.”

  8. February 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    Beautifully written. Thank you so much for sharing it. I think this is something we face daily in our society and to know that when we turn to God he will help us is such a comfort. Seriously thank you for sharing:>

    Also thanks so much for linking up and sharing on Blissful & Domestic.

    http://blissfulanddomestic.blogspot.com/

    • February 22, 2012 at 7:54 am #

      Danielle,
      Yes, porn is even more readily available now in our society then it was before :(. He does help us and I am glad some of these women above have shared that it takes work even after we turn to Jesus but that in Him there is strength and freedom. Thank for hosting.

  9. February 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    This is a wonderful example of what can happen when we surrender to God’s will! I’m so thankful the writer chose to follow God and love through the hurt. What a testimony!! I followed this link from the Make-it-yourself Monday link-up. And, I’m so glad I did.

    Blessings,
    Annette

  10. camperlady
    February 25, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Another opportunity for Him to shine, blessing His own. A similar experience played out in our home. But our Father impressed on me the same feelings. I am so pleased to say we have been married 37 years and I give God all the credit. Thanks for reminding us that He heals the broken hearted and is ever faithful.

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