From Shattered and Weak to Whole and Strong
How my husband's porn addiction lead to my own healing and self-discovery.
From Shattered and Weak to Whole and Strong
The one addiction very few are talking about and so many aresuffering from is porn addiction. Boththe men who are using and the women who love them are suffering.
Porn is a drug. Porn is everywhere. On our cell phones, our tablets, our laptops and our desktops. There is not one human alive that isn’t susceptible to it. Porn is the one drug you don’t have to look for in dark allies or seedy places. It is right at your fingertips and you are just one click away from that “hit”. It is easy to see how easily it is to get hooked. Like any drug it can be abused. It can take over your life in ways you can’t even imagine. When someone is addicted to porn, every relationship is affected by the addiction. Every one in relationship with a porn junkie is affected whether they know it or not.
I want to speak to the effects on women who are in a relationship with a porn junkie.. Women are suffering in silence and in shame. We can’t talk to our friends, our family and for some it is even difficult to talk to a counselor. This is a taboo topic. We are sweeping it under the rug because no one wants to admit the “dirty little secret” is in his or her life.
I am stepping up to start a conversation and to demystify porn addiction so that we can bring it out of the shadows and into the light where people can be healed. I am no expert on the subject. I can only share my story and my own healing from the devastation in learning my husband was a porn junkie.
This is a really hard topic to “come out” with. It has taken me three years to get to this point. I am tired of suffering in silence. I want women to know they are not alone. Your partner’s addiction has nothing to do with you. You can heal yourself . If you want to save your relationship that can be done if both parties are willing to do whatever it takes. The healing begins when we start talking about it because “we are only as sick as our secrets.”
I want to take the shame out of porn addiction and bring it to the same light as drug addiction. I am not here to eradicate porn. My purpose is to help bring healing to women who are in love with a porn junkie in order to save relationships and hopefully, keep families together.
For me, the discovery that my husband was a porn addict was devastating. I felt like my whole world had been tipped upside down. My sense of security was obliterated. It felt like my relationship would never be the same and at the time, I thought we were over. I felt he had been cheating on me. He might as well have had an affair be cause he took something he normally shared with me and gave it to her, the other woman on the screen. He no longer related to me the same way. For quite some time I had suspected he was having an affair, I could feel it. He was no longer the man I fell in love with. He had changed. He no longer related to me in a loving manner.
I was enraged. How could that bastard do this to me, to us, to our family? It was one of those times I was thankful there wasn’t a baseball bat near by because I would have beat the shit out of him. I wanted that freak to suffer all the pain I was feeling.
Then came my own inner gremlins. Unleashed and running rampant in my mind. It’s my fault. If only I wasn’t so fat. Damn it, why did I gain so much weight? I look nothing like those women in the videos. No wonder he isn’t attracted tome. Then I beat myself up with a laundry list of faults. All the old stories I have been abusing myself with came to surface. I hated myself. Who would ever want me?
I just couldn’t wrap my head around this. We went to a counselor and it helped to talk about it. This is where my healing began. Our counselor gave me a book about confronting my husband’s porn addiction and a video about the science of addiction. They both helped immensely. The science helped me understand that my husband wasn’t a freak, but a drug addict. His brain was reacting the same to porn as a junkie’s brain reacts to cocaine. His brain was rewired because of the drug. This I could understand. I could catch my breath. My husband and I had some very intense conversations about his addiction and he had to answer all the probing questions I had. I was relentless with the questions. I didn’t hold back. He had to answer everything.
This was the beginning of our healing. He agreed to quit using porn and I agreed to stand by him because I loved him dearly. I was able to put the addiction in perspective and we began to rebuild the trust. It wasn’t easy. Then, a year later, he relapsed. Seven months of using porn in secret. Everything came rushing back. I was once again devastated. I realized that although he abstained for a year, he didn’t do any personal work to heal. I hadn’t done my own work in facing my demons. We did the same dance but when the dust settled this time, we decided he would join a recovery program and I decided it was time for me to heal myself.
In many ways, my husband’s addiction was a blessing. I have become a much stronger person and I am learning to love myself; no longer relying on another’s validation to determine my worth. My happiness doesn’t depend on someone or something “out there”. I have grown in ways I could never imagine. My relationship “with me” is better than ever. Our healing isn’t over. Our story is still being written.