Morning friends,

We are having amazing wonderful weather at our cabin in Pinetop. You’d never know that this was Arizona. It’s still about 80 degrees during the day and 55-60 degrees in the evening. Perfect. I feel bad for my friends still in pizza oven hot temperatures in Sun City West. 

If you have trouble with people pleasing, please check out my class Moving Beyond People Pleasing. All the information is here.

My grandgirls come back next week for another round of Nana camp. Looking forward to having them here with us. 

Today's Question: How do I deal with my own emotions after my husband’s recent pornography use? My husband’s first confession of pornography use was in November 2016 which was after our first child was born. 

I wanted him to get counseling then and he did have three counseling sessions before he stopped. His excuse was that he saw how much his porn use hurt me and would never do it again.

Well, January 2019 he confessed to actively seeking porn again in the past several months (October-December 2018). His excuse for looking at it was that we weren’t having enough sex and that one time I had a yeast infection. I was so angry I told him to get out of my house and I punched him several times. A week later he confessed to using porn for 3 years from 2016 to 2018.

He is currently receiving counseling and changed his iPhone to another phone without internet access. So far he’s been receiving counseling for 3 months and he hasn’t been using porn.

I don’t know how to deal with my emotions. I feel angry and disgusted with him that this is how he thinks about and treats women. I feel as though I don’t know this man who I married and wish I never married him.

I thought I was marrying a man who is a wonderful spiritual leader but I was deceived. Before his first confession of porn use, we would discuss how pornography, pedophilia, prostitution/sex trafficking are connected and my husband would express grief and disgust over pornography in the world.

So my husband’s confession of it was like a swift kick in my gut. I don’t know how to move past this.

Answer: Dear friend, you are not alone. So many women today face sexual betrayal. They find that their husband has lied to them about past porn and sexual activity, often repeatedly.

And most will have strong emotions which is perfectly normal. Anger, hurt, sadness, fear, disgust, and even shame flood your heart and mind. Shame that your man is that kind of man. Shame that you didn’t know what was going on. Shame that you were vulnerable and intimate with this man.

Please don’t beat yourself up for your strong emotions. They are telling you something is wrong. Your emotions are wonderful informers, but they don’t always tell you the truth about everything.

For example, if you are feeling shame because you believe you are tainted or “ruined” because of what your husband has done is not true. If you feel mad at yourself for believing him or trusting him or not knowing sooner what was really going on, you are telling yourself a lie that somehow you should have known, which is impossible. Addicts are expert liars.

Therefore, your first step is to listen to your emotions, validate them, even thank them for being there. I know right now they may feel overwhelming and even scary but as long as you don’t act on them, you’ll get through this. Be curious about what you’re feeling and ask your anger, or sadness or fear, or shame what it wants to tell you. Journal. Listen. Ask questions. Give them plenty of room to tell you what’s going on.

Next pay attention to your thoughts or the story that goes with your particular emotion.

Ask yourself whether or not what your thoughts are describing or the story you are telling yourself is the whole truth.

For example, if your shame or fear is telling you a story that your life is ruined, don’t believe it. Or if your embarrassed feelings tell you that everyone will think it’s your fault he acted that way because of your inadequacy or some other rubbish, you must counter these lies with the truth. Your husband has a problem and it has deeply hurt you and your marriage, but his problem has nothing to do with you nor is it about you. It is about him.

What if you could just feel your feelings, whatever they are, and let go of the associated scary story or thoughts that accompany them? For example, if you banged your toe on the side of your bed and you just felt your very real pain, without telling yourself a story that you will be crippled for life, or this means that you’re a stupid klutz, or that your toe will fall off, how long will the pain last?

Your emotions inform you but be careful of what actions you take right now. Your feelings may be saying that you can’t trust your husband right now and that is the truth.  They are telling you that he’s deceived you even before marriage, making a good case for sexual integrity and purity, while acting out the opposite behaviors. This creates a very shaky ground for a relationship and you don’t know whether or not you will ever be able to trust your husband again or even if you want to spend one more minute with him to rebuild your marriage. Yet you may still love him and want to keep your family intact.

There are lots of strong emotions you have here to wade through. Don’t rush. Don’t judge. Just be careful.

Emotions make great informers but terrible decision makers. Click To Tweet

Your husband’s inappropriate sexual acting out have come as a result of his emotions of lust, loneliness, fear, greed, or inadequacy. Instead of him paying attention to those emotions and figuring out what was wrong with him or what was missing inside, he tried to manage those feelings with sex. Sexual addicts believe that sex fixes everything that is wrong. That’s not true and his acting out behaviors have created a whole new set of problems and feelings. Don’t let that be you.

As you feel strong emotions, be cautious about allowing them to make any permanent decisions right now. Your anger may want to lash out with cruel or shaming attacks against your spouse. Your pain may want to do something destructive to yourself or to him. If that’s the case, please get additional help to manage your feelings.

You have been traumatized. In trauma, you won’t always think clearly, as when you feel deep grief or anger. Knowing that helps you protect yourself from pressuring yourself into making any permanent decisions right now on the future of your marriage or what action steps you need to take.

You state your husband has been doing his work. He has lots of work to do, but so do you. You’ve experienced a betrayal trauma and that is no small thing to recover from. 

Please don’t over-function trying to manage his recovery while ignoring your own. Each of you have a lot of healing to do before you will be able to assess whether the marriage can be repaired.

An excellent book on this written by a colleague and friend of mine is called Healing from Sexual Betrayal by Sheri Keffer. She’s a psychologist who knows how to help women heal not only because of her skilled expertise in this field but because she herself has lived through it.

Her story serves to remind us that the enemy can seek to kill and destroy but God can use all things in our life for his good purposes. That may not comfort you right now, but when you are in the middle of a scary story about your future, knowing that women have not only survived sexual betrayal but have thrived afterward, can give you hope that you will too.

Friends, how have you managed your strong emotions, especially when they scared you and felt out of control?

42 Comments

  1. Martha Marchena on June 26, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Great blog post. Thanks!

  2. Connie on June 27, 2019 at 12:21 am

    How did I manage my emotions? All wrong. I was understanding, forgiving, and worst of all believing when he said he changed. I kept getting emotionally sucked in to his lies when he spouted the things the books said and pretended to believe them. I should have been furious! I should have held my ground and waited for real repentance. I should have stuck to waiting for what Lundy Bancroft describes as a changed man. I tried so hard to help him. Talk about feeding into his mind games!!

    A man with a lifetime of p*rn should be in Hollywood, they are such amazing actors and liars! Even if he stops watching, the attitude toward women is so deeply engrained that it takes a giant commitment and a huge pile of miracles to change all that. And a lot of time. Lying and contempt come so easily. And if he can’t take feedback about his life, and lots of it (it’s called humility) forget it. And if you live out in the boonies with nobody to be accountable to, and no knowledgeable counselors?

    How do I cope now? Detch, detach, detach. Emotionally. If I speak up, he runs to pastor and whines, “Every time we’re doing good she runs the train off the track”. He means, “Every time I think I have her under my thumb she lets me know I don’t.” I choose to be amused at the foolishness.

    “Jesus, I used to crawl to you with a cup, hoping for a drop. Now I come running with a bucket!” Realizing I never loved my h, only who I thought he was. Talk about a shock of betrayal! !. There is a German hymn about how we humans spin many tales for ourselves yet keep getting further from the true goal over and over. One after another those idols have to fall. I pray that Jesus gets them all.

    • Nancy on June 29, 2019 at 6:43 am

      I love this Connie. If you think of the name of the hymn, please let me know. And yes, I pray, too, that Jesus gets them (idols) all. That is the ONLY. way, they will fall.

      You know, a couple of years ago, I began praying for The Lord to help me love my family for who they are – not for who I want them to be. He answers that prayer so gently…bit by bit he clears up my vision so that I enter a bit more into reality. It is shocking…even those little realizations.

      Recently I have realized that our eldest is the same personality type as my (bully ) brother. I am so thankful that I did not see this before now. When I realized this I was shocked but so many things made sense….all this time I was trying to make her into something she was not….and when she would do things that did not line up with the person I had made her out to be, I’d be disappointed each time.

      But God is good. If I had seen that she was so like my brother (in the way she takes in and processes information), I would have FREAKED out! Now I know that personality type, although super interesting, does not comprise our identity.

      Christ does.

      • Connie on June 29, 2019 at 6:43 pm

        It’s a lullaby that my mom would sing to me. Someone made a good attempt at translating it here:
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Mond_ist_aufgegangen

        Verse 4.

      • JoAnn on July 1, 2019 at 8:53 pm

        Nancy, “loving them for who they are” is another way of saying, “Lord, help me to see them through Your eyes,” which is a prayer I pray for everyone I counsel. The Lord provides great insight when we pray that way, and He also will show us how to care for them through this insight. That insight might direct us to stay, or it might direct us to leave. We need to be open to whatever the Lord directs.

        • Nancy on July 2, 2019 at 7:35 am

          Yes, I prefer this ‘ask’ Joann. It’s more God honouring 🙂

        • Courageous on July 17, 2019 at 1:01 am

          Thank you for this wisdom JoAnn…getting insight from God as we pray. My sister sees what goes on in my marriage. It’s hard to.explain this reasoning to her….she doesn’t understand because she doesn’t seek God like that. So many women around me are separated and share their testimonies of God’s faithfulness to them. It’s hard not to be swayed…I just don’t want to be outside of God’s will. Sometimes it’s hard though because I feel like I lose sight of reality….then I get an email from this ministry, always right on point! I confronted my husband about watching an inappropriate show…which led to a conversation about a spirit of lust..to getting counseling. We eventually were called into counseling by our pastors, it did not go well at all…he threw me under the bus. How can you deal with truth when one turns it back to you? It’s you that’s the problem? I feel like I’m in limbo, because nothing ever got dealt with.

  3. Moon Beam on June 27, 2019 at 6:22 am

    An adulterer and a liar! Her reaction is appropriate and correct. The marriage is over and a covenant was never created. I don’t agree to not do something rash. Yes, act now before you get conned yet again or the Christian moral police tell you that you have to endure more sexual abuse. Your husband chose another lover and it was never you.

    What are our thoughts about castration? Does that stop porn addicts? I think we need more enuchs in this world. It would seem a fitting and appropriate treatment for this problem. Chemical castration takes away the urge to continue the sick selfish sin and has been used in the prison system with great success in the past.

    • Christina on June 27, 2019 at 7:49 am

      Goodness! “Chemical castration”?? Honey, I agree, porn is disgusting and abhorrent. Sadly, I think every male who has any sort of tech device has seen porn, so we would have to castrate 50% of the world population.

      • Moon Beam on June 27, 2019 at 4:27 pm

        Are we talking about a man who has seen porn or an addict with deceptive and manipulative, destructive behaviors? Castration for sexual offenders and for situations where women chose to lives with such a dangerous problem, not the average man who saw porn once or twice by mistake. Let’s not fluff this problem into a boys will be boys stereotype.

        Thanks for your response. I know castration is uncommon in the USS, however is a great solution found in many countries around the world!

        • Barbara B on June 27, 2019 at 6:32 pm

          Overall the idea of castration seems repulsive, but I’m open to learning more about what is done elsewhere. Do you have resources for good information? My question is about treatment for the underlying issues that would certainly still blossom into abuse: entitlement, contempt for women, ingrained dishonesty.

    • Sheep on June 28, 2019 at 9:09 am

      Moon Beam,
      If castration is what you actually feel is appropriate for men that are addicted to porn, I would ask what would be your solution for women that are addicted to porn?

      • Moon Beam on June 28, 2019 at 11:46 am

        I know that chemical and anatomical castration has been used successfully for many years and within the prison system. I did not invent the treatment. I am just citing it as one that is known to be successful. I have no information about female porn addiction. Maybe someone else can contribute.

        Regarding Barbara’s comment. Dr. James Dobson conducted an interview with Ted Bundy. Ted claimed that his pornography usage caused his aberrant social behaviors rather than the other way around.

        I think this is a good discussion. If castration helps anyone, I think it is a viable treatment option.

        • sheep on June 28, 2019 at 12:11 pm

          Moon Beam,

          First, I thought you were advocating the castration against the will of the porn addict. I’m probably wrong in that, but if it was against their will that would be just as abusive as their behavior is.

          Second, I suppose that might work, but it would work in the same way that removing their eyes would work. Both only treat the symptoms and not the heart, and that is where the real problem is.

          I do have some experience in this because I was addicted to porn for many years. I hated what I was doing and I hated myself for it. I tried to stop on my own many times but it was never successful.

          Why? Because I was afraid and thus never willing to take the hard steps of being obedient and confessing my sins to others. But eventually, God brought me to the place of realizing how much He has done for me and how much my sin hurts Him. This led me to confess and make my sin public. This and my desire to stop led me to put massive things in place to stop the sin. This led to totally brokenness, openness, and honesty in all areas of my life. This led me to figure out why I was looking at porn in the first place.

          Through All this, God did a miracle. In one day, He stopped what I had been unsuccessfully trying to stop on my own for years. Now I have been totally porn free for years.

          • Ann on June 28, 2019 at 5:38 pm

            Sheep, thank you for your open honesty. It takes God to reach that level of transparency.



  4. Sheryl Farnsworth on June 27, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Betrayal strikes at the heart in ways I never imagined. When I found out about my h use I was shocked. At least that was what I thought. I had successfully conditioned myself to believe that the little hints of impropriety I experienced before we were married were not that big of a deal. Those things would change once married. After I tried valiantly to change some of his relational deficiencies (these were present before porn) I was shocked that my efforts were not successful. He did act differently after a good old fashioned fight. At least till we grew apart and the cycle started over again. The cycle spread further and further apart. I thought we were doing better. In truth the porn usage was better hidden, I thought. You see the image usage was much bigger than I thought. We had the covenant eyes on the computer, but sexual images can be found anywhere. There were stored memories, women walking around who have a large chest, billboard, other guys who talk suggestively…. I had became aware of the sneak looks at these opportunities and then I became vigilant to catch him in that act. To correct it. Did that work? No. When I ran out of ways to manage my h, i got angry. I ranted about his behaviors.
    In counseling I discovered that my emotions that dealt with my own personal heart were not developed. I was reactive. It was soooo hard to let go of monitoring my h and to discover me.
    Who am I, what kind of person do I want to be …. hard work!! I learned how to invite my h to a higher Christ like marriage. If he wanted to go there we could move forward. If not, I would be ok as I was able to be on my own. We both changed. We are still together and I am so thankful we didn’t leave the ship and jump overboard on marriage. It took years for Jesus to help us see His plan for marriage. It took years of other people’s input to grow us too. It is possible. Just this morning we were reading James 4 together. What causes fights.. we want but don’t get. We are willing to damage others to get. It’s a world view of relationship. God’s way is to humbly accept his leading. That is not a passive position! It is clothed with His strength and action. Much different than fighting.

    • Nancy on June 29, 2019 at 6:55 am

      Thank you Sheryl.

      “It was sooooo hard to let go of monitoring my h and to discover me”.

      Porn or no porn- whatever the ‘problem- This perfectly describes the turning point where a person chooses health.

      Then the next step:

      “I learned how to invite my h to a higher Christ like marriage”

      These are the two critical heart changes that took place for me as well.

      Our spouses reaction is not in our control, but these two steps….we can pray specifically for!

  5. Ann on June 27, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Excellent post, Leslie!!! I wish all churches would read what you just wrote!
    It is almost 8 years since the porn exposure in our house. Yes, lies, lies and more lies.
    I read extensively on the subject and understand the chemical addiction side of things but can’t help but feel the church as a whole has encouraged the epidemic by their focus on addiction vs sin.
    My feelings went through every stage you can name. Pain, over and over again.
    Repeated lies and repeated “confession “, equal repeated trauma. Trauma on top of trauma has devastating effects on the mental and physical health.
    By God’s mercy and grace, I am slowly healing physically and mentally. God is my husband. Isaiah 54:5

  6. Barbara B on June 27, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    I have learned that raging at a man, sobbing, begging and pleading, etc. don’t work. I just feel more tired afterward and even a little bit embarrassed. I think a hard hearted and hardheaded spouse can take a lot away, but he can only take away my dignity if I let him. I agree with those who say detach and work on proactive boundaries. This is a much more healthy and productive use of energy rather than those exhausting and pointless reactive interactions with an addict who doesn’t want to change.

    • Sarah Brandon on July 1, 2019 at 10:55 pm

      I am trying so hard to stop the raging and sobbing. It gets me know where and then I feel guilty, exhausted and foolish.

      • Barbara B on July 2, 2019 at 2:21 pm

        Bless you, Sarah. I’m praying for you. You can take the anger and sorrow to God. “Rage” at Him and He will listen compassionately and give you comfort. I didn’t mean that we should completely stop expressing the overwhelming feelings.

  7. Nancy on June 30, 2019 at 9:05 am

    HI Leslie,

    I’d like to hear you discuss restitution as evidence of a repentant heart. (I’m guessing you have touched on it before)

    When Zaccheus was changed, his actions of restitution (paying people the money he swindled from them) was the behaviour that would have allowed the people to trust him.

    Restitution – which is action based, not word based- is key in restoring the relationship.

    • Aly on June 30, 2019 at 9:56 am

      Nancy,
      I completely agree with you here. Restitution I believe opens the door for true reconciliation. A ‘genuine’ confession brings about that posture of restitution.
      I think there could be far too many women who will try to heal keeping marital things in tact without the evidence of a true repentant heart.
      Sure there may be confession but not true change and this is most difficult for the one betrayed as they technically are still living in an unsafe place for their heart.

      • Nancy on July 1, 2019 at 8:04 pm

        Aly,

        When you talk about far too many ‘keeping marital things in tact without the evidence of a true repentant heart’ – this is SO key. Because when we talk about ‘what is MY part?’ or ‘what is my side of the street?…..well, this is it. It’s pretending things are healthy, when they are not.

        It’s pushing down my God given feelings when I’ve been wronged, and then pretending. This is a place that Jesus does not operate – in pretense. He deals with reality and if we are not ready to be honest, He does not bust those boundaries. It’s the Truth that sets us free. (we can pray for Him to enable us to be honest – with ourselves first, then with others).

        As I have learned to honour my personhood and act in obedience in my responses, He makes me more and more sensitive to Him. I am no longer willing to ‘let it go’ when the Holy Spirit nudges me to stand firm.

        Gal 5:1- It is for freedom that you were set free. Therefor stand firm and do not let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery.

        • Nancy on July 1, 2019 at 8:13 pm

          Here’s a discussion we had recently around responsibility.

          There are plenty of situations in my life that were not my fault, but that are my responsibility.

          What is my responsibility?

          It is my ability to respond.

  8. Ann on June 30, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    Thank you Nancy and Aly. I would appreciate more understanding on restitution. I have so struggled with moving forward. In our case, husband claims restitution is too confusing. He has read a number of books teaching men how to regain their wife’s trust.I tried explaining it and laying out a “plan to rebuild trust” that would be meaningful to me. My goal in that was to see if he was genuinely confused. If he was, quick action to make restitution would have spoken volumes but instead it proved he didn’t see any need for it so couldn’t be bothered. I guess my question is HOW do I live with him when he doesn’t believe he needs to make restitution for the years of adulterous heart and abuse??? With 5 of 7 kids to still support, a small farm with animals and equipment I need help to maintain, separating is a massive problem. My parents know the situation but refuse to help. I have nowhere to go and no one to help keep things running here if I kick him out. So, we live under the same roof but I refuse to share a bed with him ever anymore. He has slept on blankets on the closet floor for months. He is convinced if he just keeps “being nice”, I will see things his way. In the past, when I let my guard down and believed his “nice” side, he would turn on me and “make me pay”, often through openly lusting women in front of me while implying it was my fault. I feel trapped. (I guess I am getting a little more vulnerable each time I post on here. )

    • Autumn on June 30, 2019 at 9:57 pm

      Ann you are a remarkable woman! Your situation is so very complicated. I understand your reasons for staying. How are your children weathering all of this? I found sexual abuse was the easiest kind to hide from the children. Might you continue to survive as you have until the remaining five leave the nest? Could you do that without harming the children?

      Personally, I would accept the loss of the marriage and realize your husband chooses not to be “fixed” or healed. I would then begin to plan for a thriving life without him (and without the farm) when the children had grown and left. Any effort to change his behavior seems like a waste of time. He is capable of change if he chooses it. However many men with his kind of problem are just too insecure to do life as an adult. They like exploiting their partner because they often don’t really believe they are worthy of anyone better.

      They belittle their partners subconsciously, yet they need them because they believe their fantasy woman would really never want them. The mental game is so enticing to them. You are a discard, caught in the middle of it. An easy, available woman whom he doesn’t really respect and more likely fears. He fears your strength and what he perceives as your power over him. It’s all very complicated and few men reveal this thought process. Have you read Lundy Bancroft’s books yet? Men often accuse him of “telling their secrets” in his books.

      • Barbara B on July 1, 2019 at 10:12 pm

        Autumn and others, I’d like to hear more about hiding the abuse from the children. I can understand the part about not revealing specifics about the abusive behavior. I think you also mean that the arguing and grieving is done in private, not in front of them. However, I wonder about the aspects of an abusive mindset they will see no matter what. Doesn’t the abusive mindset carry over into daily life with general attitudes of entitlement and contempt? And also, isn’t there an absence of spontaneous affection they would notice? How do you help the children comprehend and reject those attitudes without revealing specifics about the abuse?

    • Nancy on July 1, 2019 at 7:43 am

      Hi Ann,

      I agree with Autumn, you are a remarkable woman, and your situation is complex.

      I don’t have practical advice except to say PRAY. Draw near to the Lord and take the small steps He asks of you.

      As I respond differently, in obedience to Him, He continues to break very deeply entangled bonds around my heart. This is not a work that I can ‘figure out’. It is only through obedience that HE does the healing. Only THEN does clarity come. Not the other way around.

      When I’m trying to analyze and figure it out, I get stuck. I’m to walk with Him – that’s it. Simple but by no means easy.

    • JoAnn on July 1, 2019 at 9:09 pm

      Ann, I fully agree with what Autumn and Nancy have written. You feel trapped, but the Lord always has a way out. The important thing is for you to get a word from the Lord about what He wants you to do. Then He will make a way to move forward. your h has abdicated his responsibility in this relationship, and the covenant is broken. You can begin by inviting him to a deeper walk with Christ together with you, and his response will give you more information. So many here have testified to the wonderful ways the Lord provided for them to leave the marriage, when they got clear that was what the Lord was telling them to do. Just please, don’t let fear make your decision. Trust in your loving Lord. He will make a way.

      • Ann on July 2, 2019 at 5:16 pm

        Thank you, Joann. Your words ring true with me. I will pray and wait.

  9. sheep on July 1, 2019 at 12:22 am

    Hi Ann,

    Boy, do I ever understand the whole “being nice” thing. My wife hasn’t even come close to repenting for her multiple adulteries and won’t even admit to being abusive (even after being confronted about it by me, others, and our counsellor) But was she ever committed to trying to “be nice” to me. At first that seemed fine, but the longer it went on the more insulting it became. I finally realized that “being nice” is nothing more that how each of us is supposed to treat those that we cross paths with every day. It is how we should be treating our neighbors, co-workers, friends and people we happen to cross paths with every day. To apply that same level of “being nice” to your marriage, with nothing else is just patronizing and insulting. Being nice should just be an automatic thing in marriage, it certainly isn’t something that should be so hard that you feel like you are making some sort of giant sacrifice just to be civil. Being nice is the bare minimum and if someone feels that it is a huge imposition on them just to be nice to me, I think I would rather not be around them.

    At this point, we are a few weeks from being divorced and she is still “being nice” but that’s it. No brokenness, No repentance, No accepting responsibility, No change in action or attitude that I know of. To see her you would think nothing is wrong… Which just hurts all over again. But I am at peace. This isn’t what I wanted, but God is getting me through the tough stuff, and I am beginning to come alive again. Many of the fears I had, have proven to not be near as bad as I thought they would be.

    • Free on July 1, 2019 at 5:14 am

      Thank you Ann and Sheep for highlighting the absurd behavior of “being nice.” I have experienced that as well and I agree that it is patronizing and insulting!

      Being nice to me ran its course and was followed by a public campaign to inform others that I was unforgiving. The mantra at present is their victimhood. My counselor reminded me that this behavior was delusion. The affirmation of that fact helps me see the situation with clarity and if I really dig deep, pity for a very sick person.

    • Nancy on July 1, 2019 at 7:53 am

      I pray Sheep, for His continued Peace, His comfort and protection for you as you ‘finish well’ this painful journey.

      Have you heard of XCC? It’s life changing.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=omVjrwp1es8

  10. Ann on July 1, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Thank you to all of you. It helps so much to get feedback! I was feeling like I was going crazy again lately. Autumn, your advice makes sense. That plan had crossed my mind at one point. Being that the abuse is primarily sexual and emotional, I have learned to keep it fairly hidden. The older ones know more than I wish. Nancy, I appreciate the depth and wisdom you portray. Your advice is what I am learning to live. Your words deeply encouraged me. Sheep, I am so sorry for what you are walking. Thanks for your openess.

  11. Debbi Rasmussen on July 1, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    My husband confessed to emailing prostitutes on a website called Backpage that has since been taken down. He says there was no physical contact but that he had been corresponding with women for over a year. His reaction when I caught him was relief that he could stop hiding it. And anger at me. He says I’m at fault because I let myself go. He never really repented. It has been two years. He refuses to sleep with me, refuses counseling and says that he is not attracted to me any more. I dont know what to do. We have three young children and I want to keep our marriage together but he refuses to discuss our issues or do anything about them. I need clarity and some help.

    • Nancy on July 3, 2019 at 4:17 pm

      Hi Debbi,

      I’m wondering why you are not disgusted with him? Why are you not the one who is refusing to sleep with him? …He violated his marriage vows and yet you are the one begging.

      This isn’t uncommon, you are not alone in stuffing your God given feelings about this, but just because it’s relatively normal (among victims of abuse) does not mean that it’s is at all healthy.

      Are you in counselling?

  12. Moon Beam on July 2, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Debbie, this sounds very painful. There must be some support groups and resources for those living with people struggling with sexual problems. I hope someone chimes in and helps you.

    I hope this reply doesn’t anger you, but have you lost weight now and taken measures to be your most beautiful self inside and out? If you have then it would add to your concern that your husband may have a much deeper problem.

    It is interesting that you brought up back page. Isn’t that the same site Josh Duggar used?

  13. Debbi on July 2, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Moonbeam, I’m not offended. Yes I am losing weight and taking measures to be more attractive in every way. I’m not sure which website Josh Duggar used, I think it was Ashley Madison?

    • Moon Beam on July 2, 2019 at 6:32 pm

      Deb, glad you found this site. Are you able to see a counselor and talk to someone about your struggles? The more education and information you get about porn users, the more you can help yourself. His behaviors point to more than he is confessing to.

      Ah, yes. Ashley Madison. Good job working on you. You can only change yourself as much as we wish you could change others, we can’t. Will pray for your family. Remember the behaviors that motivate porn are usually deep feelings of unworthiness and low self value.

  14. Lin on July 9, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    “I was so angry I told him to get out of my house and I punched him several times” Dr/ Vernick I did not see you respond to her physical abuse . This is not okay for a man or a woman. Did you address the physical altercation in another response?

    • andrew on July 14, 2019 at 1:34 am

      Lin, thank you for pointing to the elephant in the room. I’m a man in a severely troubled marriage trying to understand what role I’ve potentially played in its demise, but the utter failure to address the obvious makes me question whether I have anything of value to learn here.

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