The hurting wife and the pain unveiled . . .
I’m going to be vulnerable here, and frankly, I’m a bit scared. However, I can’t stay silent anymore.
My heart is broken. Marriages are crumbling around me, and I so badly want to put up a wall to help fortify them. I know it isn’t new news that many marriages are suffering these days, but it’s still heartbreaking. I’m watching even Christian marriages wilt away, while others push through and suffer in silence.
I’m going to say it. I’m going to say what is so difficult to utter.
Pornography is killing marriages!
It is one of the biggest culprits, if not the biggest.
There. It’s out. I said the “P” word. I called out the thing that is lurking in the shadows. Pornography has become this ravaging animal that viciously mauls everything in its path and leaves many wounded.
How can I even talk about this?
What do I even know about it?
Three years ago, my husband gave me permission to talk about the pornography struggle, something that had adversely affected our marriage. It was something that had become a wedge between us, leaving me feeling unloved. Yet, I knew he hated this struggle and was trying desperately to overcome it. I know that that situation might be rare, as there are many men who aren’t repentant and don’t want to change. Thankfully, there has been a lot of restoration and healing since then, but it didn’t come easily for either of us.
In a post I had written years ago, I had promised to discuss the wife’s side. To be honest, it has taken me this long because it’s such a delicate and painful topic. I don’t want to go back there. I don’t want to go back to that pain. But, I have to. I need to for the sake of so many wives who are hurting. I have to go back to the way I felt. My hope is that this post can help reveal the hurt and unveil the damage that is being done to the wife in the trenches of this painful battle.
The best way I can do this is in a letter; an open letter from a hurting wife to her husband:
My dear husband,
I’m writing this letter because my heart is heavy. I can’t let myself keep dwelling on this, so I felt it was crucial for me to write my feelings out to you. I want you to know that I love you so very much. I’m praying about this all the time. If I don’t get my feelings out there, they’re going to eat me apart.
Babe, please come back to me. Please love me like you vowed to. I am finding myself in competition with these fake, photo-shopped women. The thought that you sometimes choose to look at pictures and videos of other women instead of me makes me feel sick to my core. I so badly want to be enough, but I’m facing the harsh reality that I’m no longer enough. How can I go on like this? I’m questioning everything about myself. I don’t feel beautiful anymore. I wasn’t enough.
I want to be the only woman you purposely put before your eyes, because I’m your wife. I’m the woman you vowed before God that you would love and cherish “till death do us part.” But, when your eyes embrace another woman, I don’t feel cherished. I feel like I’ve been set aside for a brief moment of pleasure—a moment of pleasure that I’m being robbed of, whether I know it or not. Those moments are mine. They don’t belong to those women who have no idea who you are. I know that you can’t help when things are thrown across your path; that’s the enemy of your soul putting temptation before you. It’s not a sin to be tempted; even Jesus was tempted. But, that second glance is your choice. That second glance is the sin. “A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. . . . In the paths of the wicked lie thorns and snares, but he who guards his soul stays far from them.” (Prov. 22:3,5)
That second, lustful glance is when I become inferior to the pictorial maidens who’ve captured your mind.
Babe, I’m not saying these things to be judgmental. You’re my best friend, and it wouldn’t be fair to you if I never told you my thoughts and feelings. We both know I’m the last person allowed to be critical. I have enough faults to fill a novel. But, I also know what it’s like to be tempted and to give in to it. The only way to cut the chain of addiction is to remove it one link at a time. Every time you don’t give in to temptation, a link disappears. But, when you do give in, you add several, because giving in ignites a fire that was almost smothered. Once the flame is fed, it burns till you either feed it more or fight to put it out.
Don’t break the chain just for me. Do it for our marriage, our children, and future children. Don’t let this be something that our children might stumble upon because of your choices. Break this for them. Break this for us.
I’ve lost you to multiple affairs. Please don’t say this isn’t an affair, because it is. Every time you purposely look at anything that ignites you sexually, I’ve lost you to someone else; I’m being told to make room for others in your mind. I’ve become one of many instead of THE one! I feel soiled and uncherished. When you married me, I felt beautiful. I felt like a jewel of womanhood. I have now become shattered and am desperately trying to pick up the broken pieces, but they have been tarnished.
Please cherish me again. Please make me your one and only again. I long to have you back. Stop making me share you. My heart can’t take it anymore.
I love you with all my heart, and it’s hurting! Don’t put me aside anymore. I am crying out to you. Love me again, and only me. Make me your bride again.
Your Hurting Wife
For all of my fellow wives who are hurting, please know that there is hope. There is healing from the pain! God can restore any marriage. Please don’t give up. And pray. Don’t stop praying! “There is power in the name of Jesus!” If you need prayer, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to pray with you!