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Betrayal is one of the deepest wounds I’ve had to heal from as the wife of a former porn and sex addict.

I met my husband when we were teenagers. I thought he was the answer to my prayers. He was thoughtful, kind, and would have done anything for me.

Guys can't help watching porn, right?

At that time, in my own mind, pornography use was something that every guy was guilty of and that was to be expected. I grew up in a household where objectification was typical. 

Don’t get me wrong.  My parents did the best they could with what they knew, yet my Christian culture alluded to women being objects that led to sin, and men having no control over their sexual urges. It makes sense that I would believe it was okay for guys to watch porn because, well, they couldn’t help it!

Why I ignored red flags in our relationship

Needless to say, the red flags that I should have been aware of weren’t really red flags, because I was not taught well. My husband came from a non-Christian background and was a member of the next generation that would struggle with sex addiction.

couple on a park bench - Healing from betrayal, Melissa's story

His hidden roots of porn addiction

We dated for a couple of years and moved in together after he was done with basic training and tech school through the Air Force. Our engagement was pretty immediate.

During our engagement, his porn use escalated. He deployed to Iraq and was pretty traumatized by everything he saw and was exposed to. At the time, neither of us knew he had PTSD, but he sure was trying to medicate it with the one thing he knew.

Depressed man in a dark room Healing from betrayal, Melissa's story

I believed a common lie - his porn use was my fault, too.

I remember feeling more and more uneasy about his porn use as I learned more about Jesus, the real Jesus. And yet, I still had no clue how to navigate it. I thought that I was somehow to blame.

I figured I needed to have more sex with him, (yes, we had sex before getting married) perform a certain way, or change my appearance to better entice him. This cycle of trying to “be enough” lasted for years.

woman staring out window: spouse battling porn use and betrayal trauma

Will marriage and sex cure a porn problem?

We ended up getting married a couple of years after our engagement. Guess what? Marriage didn’t fix it!

He continued to use pornography, but at this point he told me he stopped. He would hide it, I would find it, and he’d say he would stop. Then I would find it again.

Husband and wife with backs to each other, Healing from betrayal, Melissa's story is porn cheating

Caught in a vicious cycle of betrayal trauma: lies, betrayal, trying harder 

By this point, I was so lost. I had no idea who I was anymore, because I was trying so hard to be what I thought he needed in order for him to stop using. I would literally watch some of the videos to “perform” well. 

NONE OF IT WORKED. He continued to use porn. I continued to get my heart ripped out of my chest. But now we also have two children.

He was in college after deploying to Iraq. At this point he met a girl in his class. Unknown to me,  his emotional affair began. 

Then God.

Breaking the cycle of betrayal trauma

I vividly remember the night it all changed. He came home from working out of town for the weekend. He met me at our friend’s house. As soon as he sat down, I grabbed his phone and started the daunting search for proof of poor behavior. I did not have to search long.

As soon as I turned his phone on, there it was. Something inside of me exploded. I could no longer be a part of this addictive cycle.

Saying enough is enough – a catalyst for healing 

I handed him his phone, and said I was going home. I picked up our two kids, put them in the car and left. He followed. I put the kids to bed and sat in the living room, him across from me.

With no plan, I told him that I was done. He had two choices: we get divorced or he gets help to stop. Praise God, he chose help.

Choosing the right help – my husband’s journey toward freedom

The next day, he reached out to our pastor.
Thank the Lord, our pastor actually knew what he was talking about, and pointed David in the right direction.

He assured me it was not my fault. 

David began his porn recovery journey. God changed him deeply. 

Through years of accountability, mentorship, counseling (he was diagnosed with PTSD), education, and Jesus, my husband is now the man I prayed for. 

That should be the end of the story, right? Ha!

Understanding and healing my betrayal trauma wounds

Man, did I think once David was better I would be better –  and our marriage would thrive. Wrong! I realized a year or two into his recovery that I was not okay.

That is when I began my healing journey. I was also diagnosed with PTSD. Through years of mentorship, counseling, education, and Jesus, I am a free woman!

woman and man not talking porn withdrawal process

Hope for healing from betrayal - lasting change is possible.

We will be celebrating 16 years of marriage this year. My husband has been totally clean for 11 of those years. I have been in such a better headspace for years now, too. 

We actually just went on a vacation to a beach area. That would have triggered me so incredibly hard years ago. Now I don’t really give it a second thought. I know that my husband’s mind is on me, our marriage and – most importantly – God.

God has used our story for His glory time and again. I help lead an online community for wives who need healing from betrayal trauma. Also, I have become a therapist and help women going through betrayal.  My husband is currently going to school to become a therapist to help men struggling.

God uses it all.

If your husband is truly on the road to recovery, hang in there, get the help you need, and let God make a miracle of your marriage!

Family walking on the beach Healing from betrayal, Melissa's story

Connection and accountability: find your roadmap to freedom from porn.

Wives are one of porn’s most common victims. Thank you, Melissa, for sharing your story of healing and hope. 

We’re firm believers at Ever Accountable that accountability and community are powerful tools of healing for those who seek to quit porn. That’s why we’re proud partners with Live Free. 

We also highly recommend their groups for wives. You can start healing from betrayal today, whatever your journey looks like now. 

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