At What Point To Leave

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Tigger
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At What Point To Leave

Postby Tigger » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:16 am

DH and I have been married for almost three years. He started being addicted to porn before we were married. Off and on he has sought accountability partners and said he wants to stop but he stops meeting with them for accountability after a while (most recently it was our pastor). DH has not been able to stop using porn. The struggle also is that he lies to me and tries to deceive me about what he is doing. If I catch him he tries lying to me and only gives in to telling the truth if I prove that he is lying. Little by little in our marriage I have watched him lose his relationship with God.

It is difficult because we have weeks where being in bed together is exciting and fun and then he goes back to porn again. He has even made it 6 to 8 months and then relapsed. He told me he doesn't think anything can help. I guess I am feeling stuck because I do not know if he really wants to stop. When i catch him he says he is sorry and wants to go on a date and is romantic but after a few days things go back to normal again. Which is fine except that he is very closed off to me about the subject even after saying we can work together for him to stop. And I try really hard not to nag him, I try to be his friend about it.

He has agreed to see a counselor as I said otherwise I would leave but since then he has already gone back to things and lied to me about it. I am wondering if I should leave him. I love him so much and it breaks my heart to think about but I do not know if things can just continue like this. I can't trust him anymore and he doesn't seem to care about rebuilding it.

Does anyone have any thoughts or insight for what to do?

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby SeekingChange » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:41 am

No, you should not leave him. But knowing one can't, and the feeling of not wanting to, are two different things. This is when we have to press into the Lord, knowing that He will take care of us, and also knowing, that He is doing a work in our husbands (and us). Sometimes we have to just do and be obedient to what we know to be right, whether we feel like it or not.

I have been in a similar situation, with the addiction and the deception that goes with it. Keep praying that secrets done in the dark will be exposed every time (and even let your husband know that is your prayers), and then remember that it is God doing a work when they are exposed, don't focus on your husband so much. Realize that the Lord is bringing out the sin, as a discipline to the son He loves, so that it can be dealt with and he can rid himself of it. And as your husband is going through his own refining process, God will be using it to bring out your own sin and will use it to refine you as well, all the while, both you and your husband are being conformed into the likeness of Christ.

Hang in there. Let this deepen your trust and dependence on the Lord. Keep seeking Him on what "offensive way" this is exposing in you, and then surrender and let Christ deal with it in you.

    Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
    See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.(Ps 139:23-24)

When you pray, it changes our vision, and we start seeing all the little things that are happening as the hand of God...that continues to give us hope.

Praying for you... and your husband.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, find comfort, survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years...then she did something new.

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby doug-h » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:47 am

Tigger,

I'm sorry for what you are going thru. It really does sound like he has let you down repeatedly.

I don't really have an answer to your question, but I would say that it is probably a bit premature to talk about leaving without exploring other options.

You say that you try to be his friend about it, and I wonder if that might not be enabling his behavior more than curtailing it.

Leah has a great testimony of what she went thru and the steps she took. On the one hand, it seemed sometimes harsh and unforgiving, and it probably would not have worked well with me. I would have just used what I saw as anger as justification, and would probably have dug my heels in. On the other hand, it seems that it was just what was needed to get her husband to stop. In short, what works in one case might not work at all in another.

It may well be time to resort to a bit more tough love, and to lay it out as an absolute requirement that he follows thru. Help him come up with a plan that satisfies you, if you are emotionally able, and then hold his feet to the fire. Make accountability an absolute requirement, not a suggestion.

If he is truly addicted, he may well want to stop, but he may not believe he can. That is one of the real values of groups like CR. You get to see other peoples successes, and it helps you believe. It doesnt surprise me that he pulls back from God during these times. Sin has a way of making us try to hide ourselves.

Only you know when it is time to leave, but I hope that you persevere for your own sake. Three years seems an eternity when you are hurting. Three hours seems like one sometimes. After 35 years of marriage, and more hurt than most, I would do it all again just to relive the good.

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby Job29Man » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:18 am

Tigger wrote:I am wondering if I should leave him. I love him so much and it breaks my heart to think about but I do not know if things can just continue like this. I can't trust him anymore and he doesn't seem to care about rebuilding it.

Does anyone have any thoughts or insight for what to do?


The other members here have given good advice, so I won't repeat them. Here is another thought, in addition. And my advice is all premised on the two things you have said.

1. He has proven many times that he is unable to break this habit.
2. You are at the point that you are ready to leave him (I presume divorce).

Jesus really, really, really does not want us to divorce. It is a central teaching of Christ, a core tenet of the Christian faith. When we have a habitual sin that we just cannot seem to break off, here is the teaching of Jesus on it. And remember the context is that this is a virtually unbreakable habit of sin, and you have tried everything else, and the only alternative is leaving/divorce.

Bible
Matthew 5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.


The point is not to disfigure your body, but to remove the opportunity for the unbreakable sin habit. I'm going to make a suggestion, and I've made it before on TMB, but I'll tell you up front that this advice has been rejected every time I've said it. :roll:

Here goes...

If the problem is digital devices, then he should change his lifestyle to where he has no, or almost no access to digital phones, or any other kind of internet access.

This is when most people say "Yeah, no, that's not going to happen because ... job, paying bills online, need email, etc, etc, etc" a score of reasons why "that won't work for me."

If you are TRULY with one foot almost out the door, and if he TRULY cannot seem to break this habit (after taking Doug-h's advice of CR seriously and doing it faithfully), then he must remove the opportunity for the sin.

People say "It can't be done." -- Au contraire! It can be done.

It is better to move to a cabin in the woods, or get a job picking peaches, or ... anything, than to get divorced because a guy can't tear himself away from a screen.

Recovering:
Alcoholics stay out of bars and remove the alcohol from their homes.
Gamblers stay away from casinos and online betting.
Food addicts killing themselves with obesity eat only a controlled diet.

In Matthew 5:29 (quoted above) Jesus is saying "Do whatever you have to do to avoid the sin. WhatEVER you have to do. Full stop."

If the alternative is divorce, I don't see where DH has any other choice. If an addicted man refuses that by saying "I can't. It won't work" what he is really saying (IMHO) is "I don't want to do it. My marriage is not important enough to me to take this medicine."
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby Tigger » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:37 am

Thank you for the advice.

I should have provided more details about my decision.

1. Not divorce. Living in separation with hope he will realize he values our marriage enough to be proactive with breaking the addiction. I don't want us to have children in this type of situation and there is always that chance.
2. The no internet has been suggested before and he has said he can't do it. I can try again if things get bad but he really likes to spend hours researching things and playing computer games and that would limit it. Last time I suggested this he said I would hardly see him then because he would always need to he out somewhere with internet for researching for the company he is starting. He has also recently obtained an office with his business partner that will be solitary and needs intetnet for the type of work so that may be a loophole already...or I am just worrying. In addition, he talks about traveling a lot for his job in the future so I just don't know if he will ever be disconnected from internet.
3. I have watched the lives of both my mom and his mom be destroyed because of the husband's sexual sin (both of our dads). My dad was abusive and had a porn problem. He molested me. My mom stayed for 16 years because for the sake of marriage and she is forever messed up emotionally thanks to my dad. I guess part of me is afraid. DH is not abusive but it does feel like mind games when he is kind and loving one week and doesn't notice me much the next.

I want to stay if it is God's will and I understand the value of marriage. If he refuses to get help or keeps lying to me and the people who try to help him I don't know how else to get his attention. That is where I am coming from. He doesn't listen to other people unless he wants to, it can be difficult with that type of personality. I love him dearly but I am struggling emotionally to keep going. I pray and ask God for wisdom and strenght to know what to do.

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby seeking perspective » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:17 am

Tigger wrote:My dad was abusive and had a porn problem. He molested me.


I'm so sorry. Could I encourage you to pursue healing (or further healing) to address the sexual abuse? Work with a Christian counselor with training in childhood sexual abuse. As you grow stronger, it will become easier for you to address your husband's sin from a place of grace and love than from a place of your own hurt. You also might find it helpful to read Surfing for God, which looks at the spiritual roots of persistent pornography use. It may help you understand your husband's struggle in new ways
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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby Job29Man » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:42 am

Tigger, do you have children together?
Is it the first marriage for both of you?
What was his dad's sexual sin?
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby Tigger » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:04 am

We do not have children. This is our first marriage, we got married at college age [I've removed our ages from this post because of the sensitive information shared]. I believe my DH and his Mom actually sought advise about his dad on this forum last year. His dad is addicted to porn, there are some allegations of other things [ please send message if you need more info I am also removing this because of the sensitive nature of this information]. Now, I do not have proof of some of these things so I hesitate. But I know for sure about the porn addiction for his dad.
Last edited by Tigger on Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:43 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby doug-h » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:28 am

Tigger,

I am sorry it is so difficult. I have spoken with your husband in the past. Would he be willing to talk to me again?

I am going to say this about childhood exposure to porn, and the lasting consequences it can have. I was 11 or 12 years old when a few friends and I found an old Playboy laying on the ground. I don't remember the whole thing obviously, but there was one image that burned permanently into my mind. Of all the imagery I have been exposed to over the past 44 years since that day, I don't have a single memory or a single image that is as perfectly preserved in my mind as that. Not the memories of high school buddies, not various events that took place over the course of a full military career, not my marriage, not the birth of my son, and not even being witness to a number of traumatic deaths. I remember all of that, of course, but none with the perfect clarity that I can see a single image I found laying on the ground, almost twice as long ago as your husband is old. I don't understand why that is, other than it really is the power it can have on a young mind. If it has so much control over one single aspect of my mind, what other areas has it managed to alter that I don't recognize.

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby Tigger » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:47 am

In answer to a couple of the questions.

I do see a counselor which is helping and I also have found prayer to be comforting. The Holy Spirit encourages me.

Doug-h In regards to talking to my husband let me ask him about it next week. I want him to know where the communication is coming from and why.

I posted these questions because sadly most people in our lives don't know this is going on and I want to make a wise decision.

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby neilethere » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:54 am

Tigger,

Your last sentence may be your starting point. You say his last accountability partner was your Pastor? Have you told your Pastor and Elders where your husband is at?

Dough has mentioned Leah on these boards. I’m sorry I can’t do a link but her story is instructive, cruise around the site and you will find it or she might come along and put up a link.

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby Hiswifeagain » Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:15 am

Tigger, is Medic your dh?


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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby Tigger » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:15 pm

Medic is my DH and he wanted to move churches at the beginning of January. So that pastor is no longer our pastor. If we were still at the old church I definitely would have brought things to their needing to address it.

I should mention I was hesitant about leaving our church for this reason but I agreed to the change and I do like our new church but I don't know if they are able to handle this type of situation.

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby Hiswifeagain » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:28 pm

Tigger,
Have you asked Medic to come back to TMB and talk with those in the Pornography forum?
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby Hiswifeagain » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:39 pm

Tigger,
I wanted to send a private message, but you don't have enough posts yet.

I think Medic said you guys moved to Minnesota. Am I remembering that right?
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby Tigger » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:27 am

No, maybe I should ask him.

And yes, we are in Minnesota.

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby Leah » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:46 am

Hon, what are you doing to get yourself healthy? I used SAnon. They really helped me develop tools to cope and grow. Three years is a lifetime to you. It may well take three years of serious work on your part to be able to take the next step with confidence.
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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby Tigger » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:13 am

Leah, I know I probably need to do more. I go to counseling but my counselor has been encouraging me to go to a Christian recovery group for wives whose husbands struggle with sexual sin. Maybe I need to start going. I'm just afraid they will all complain the whole time or tell stories about their husband getting worse which will scare me. But I am probably misjudging and should just go.

DH feels I am over reacting about the situation. He had been porn free for seven months or so and when he went back again in January it just made me really rethink things. He said he did not know the reaon why he went back. It is difficult because his perspective is that there are levels of how bad something is and that I react the same whether he is just fantasizing about another woman and acting on it versus actually going on a website with bad photos versus porn. He spent those seven months with other activies that were not the best but at least not porn. It is difficult for me to limit my reaction because it all feels like betrayal for me. He sees it as saying no 50 times and then giving in and then I am upset versus I see the progression since we have been married. What can I do or tell him? He is saying God has not helped him even though he has prayed in the past. I keep begging God to do something and it feels like He hasn't. At least DH has agreed to counseling next week.
I love him and it really sounds like he is trying but I just can't reconcile being okay with the levels thing. Is it too harsh for me to ask him for complete purity?

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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby Hiswifeagain » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:31 am

He’s rationalizing his behavior to protect his addiction. That’s what addicts do. Do not fall for that. It is not okay. Addicts do anything and say anything to protect the access to the addictive substance. Including trying to make you think you’re over-reacting or crazy.


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Re: At What Point To Leave

Postby love2 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:34 am

Your expectations are not unrealistic. This needs to stop. Complete purity is what you need for you marriage to be healthy and for you to feel safe.

I am uncertain what the best steps are for you to take and Leah would probably be a better resource than me.

I am hoping you are seeing a Christian counselor that believes pornography is bad - a lot of secular counselors don't see a problem with it although research incidates that pornography is addictive and high destructive regardless of your religious and moral persuasion.

Please keep us updated.

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