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We did go to counseling for many months. He loved counseling. Knew all of the right things to say. Did nothing with it once we got home. We tried dating, communication, etc. None of the core issues like the porn, the way he treats people in our home, and such were ever addressed. Over time, our counselor told us that if we weren't going to do the things he gave us to do, we were wasting his time and ours. Our last session ended with him telling us to go on dates and for hubby to go to bed with me at night. He did that three nights, one of which I initiated sex because I was truly trying. It's been a year since we have had sex. And a year since our last counseling session. He shows no interest in me, and the last few times that I initiated, he lasted soooooo long after not having sex for months that I knew he had been using porn. It just left me feeling so used and hurt. If you ask him, he will say that he uses porn because I am not interested in him anymore and he has to. He takes no responsibility for killing my drive and making me feel so devalued.
About a month and a half ago, I found ejaculate on the bathroom floor for several days in a row. I find it often, get angry, then push all of the emotions back down and keep going. Three days in a row, and I just had it. I called our marriage counselor and asked if he would see me alone because I felt that our real issues were not being addressed in our sessions. I got there fully expecting him to hear me out and then come up with a new plan of counseling. I expected to hear that God can heal him, I need to have more faith, I need to work harder at being a good wife, etc. I told him all about our sex life from the very beginning of our marriage. How my husband had never really been interested, until I wasn't, then he didn't try to improve it. He just complained that I never pursued him anymore. I told him how he treats the kids, the older kids from my late husband and our 5yo. I told him so much more. He listedened to me for two hours. I thought he would think that many of my issues were petty. When I was done, he asked me what I came to him for? What was I looking for from him? I told him that I was just ready to heal. If that means dealing with my bitterness and resentment and replusion of my husband, overcoming those feelings and pursuing a healthy marriage with him, then I needed a miracle and lots of help getting there but that I'm ready to do the work. OR, if is time for something else, I'm ready. I'm just ready for healing. Our sweet, fatherly feeling marriage cousnelor sat down his notepad, looked me in the eye, and told me to get an attorney and get my husband out of our house. He said as a pastor and Christian marriage counselor, he never recommends divorce, but he said I want you to legally make him leave and then added, "Sometimes divorce is salvation." He said my story is one of the most crystal clear cases of mental and emotional abuse he has seen in a long time. He told me that I'm losing myself, he's right, and that my kids need me to step up. He said that without being able to give a technical diagnosis, he wanted me to research "covert narcissist." I did, and oh my...it is all exactly who I have been living with for the past ten years, right down to the info you can find on how they treat step-children. And each and every aspect you can research on a porn addict..it is him. When our counselor said those words, I felt a relief come over me. I've never shared all of what I shared with him with anyone else. Not my sister, not my best friends, not even in my old posts here.
I left there and called my best friend, who I have pulled away from over the years.. I told her what had just happened, and this woman that is completely against divorce and broken families praised God that I was sharing with her. I called my sister, and she told me that she actually cried after I visited at Christmas because she felt that I had given up on everything. So, while the people I had pulled away from over the years didn't know the exact things going on, they knew something wasn't right in our home. I have felt so devalued over the years. The strong, confident woman I was before I met him was replaced by someone that shied away from everything I used to love because I felt people could see through my mask.
I talked with my attorney and my pastor, who I have been fairly close to for decades. Together, we have decided that divorce is the best choice and papers have been filed. My adult/teen children were shocked. They said they knew long ago that he was never going to be who we thought he was when we married him.. They gave up having a relationship with him. They knew I wasn't happy, but that they knew how I feel about divorce and didn't think I would ever do anything. They are completely supportive and have made so many comments on how much more peaceful the vibes in our home are since I asked him to leave two weeks ago. Sadly, the 5yo doesn't even ask for her daddy, though she has spent some time with him.
Now, I face many tough choices and have so many things to work out for our future. Husband is saying he will win us back. He is acting like the martyr in the situation...I kicked him out, he tries to connect, he invites the older kids to do stuff now, he tries to come over and fix things around the house but I won't let him, he started going to church, tells my 5yo that he is reading his Bible when they have talked on the phone, all of the things he knows could possibly win my heart. There's nothing here for him anymore. God has worked on my bitterness. I have no feelings for him and no desire to ever reconcile. But, if that's God's plan someday, I won't shut myself off. I just know that his healing requires way more than more attention and suddenly going to church. Our counselor even said he needs extensive addiction rehab for both gaming and porn, plus so much more counseling and therapy for his probable personality disorders. Even IF he admitted to needing help, it would be long term recovery, showing evidence of living healed, and a WHOLE lot of relationship building before I would ever consider trying again. He still doesn't admit to his problems, so I don't see him pursuing true healing.
So there it is. I should have done this years ago, but I can at least say that I did everything I could to try. Now, it is time for healing for the kids and I. He has done so much damage with the older kids that they don't even realize some of the things they accept as normal are actually so toxic. And, I have much to do to get back to the woman I used to be.
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Porn addition is an addiction. I hear it messes up the brain just like a drug because of the dopamine. On the other hand, God has delivered people, even from hard drugs.
The verse that comes to mind is 'But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.'
I heard a testimony from an old preacher who was in a movement that was a lot more serious about following scripture than many others, including the passages on church discipine. He said that there was a couple going there, and the woman finally broke down and told the leaders there at the church that her husband had been wanting her to do some things sexually that..... were not right. He didn't go into detail. It was a rated PG conversation.
I don't know if they spoke with the man and he persisted or how quick they went to the next step, but eventually they provided a place for the wife and the kids to live and had them leave out, while they put the man under I Corinthians 5 discipline where they did not eat or fellowship with him-- including his wife and kids-- until he repented. In his case, he did, and the family was restored.
I heard another story about a man who was actually named an elder in a church who 'came out of the closet' and started living a 'gay' lifestyle. The church exercised church discipline on him. Years later, he confessed that he had sinned, and admitted that what the church did, though painful, was one of the best things that happened to him.
I know a lot of counselors who spent years in school are quite invested in the field of counseling, and those who go to them trust their expertise. But we also need to realize that God has been healing and delivering people through the power of the Gospel without going through the field of professional counseling for centuries before SIgmund Freud was ever born, or before professional Christian counseling ever became a carreer track.