When Talking About Porn Might Cost You Everything

Shelley Martinkus honestly

This is the second in a series of posts about journeying through a husband’s addiction to porn.


 

“I think my husband is watching porn and I’m scared to bring it up because I might lose it all.”

I never suspected Jason was looking at porn.

It never even crossed my mind that he’d look at someone other than me that way.  And yet, deep down I knew something wasn’t right.  The unanswered phone calls, the evenings I spent alone at home waiting for his arrival, our lack of deep connection.  As much as I wanted it to all be ok in my mind, my heart told me something else.

When he told me his half-truth that night some 12 years ago while we were lying in bed, I realized my heart had been talking truth to me all along.  Little did I know, Jason opened the door into his secret world and then he slammed it shut as soon as I started to ask questions.

So I divorced my heart again, deciding to trust Jason instead.  I convinced myself that leaving the past alone was the best way to move forward.  It meant no discussions, no counseling, no grieving for me, no processing together.  Nothing. I convinced myself that I needed to move on because if I brought it up, happily-ever-after would come crashing down all around me.

For nine very long months, my heart sickened.  All the while, my mind continued to convince myself this was the only way. The only way to not lose it all.

Until I couldn’t take it anymore: The bitterness.  The resentment.  The hardening inside my heart.

It took me hitting rock bottom to realize:  I was worthy.  Worthy of using my voice.  Worthy of asking for what I needed to process and grieve.  Worthy of allowing myself to heal.  Worthy of asking for something different from my marriage and from my husband.

Did I know if Jason would choose to change?  No.  It was risky to use my voice because it meant I might lose it all.

Here’s the thing sweet sisters – I’d already lost it all.  I’d lost my voice, my worth, my marriage, myself.  My little world eroded all around me and as much as I wanted to keep it together, I couldn’t.

I suspect I’m not the only one afraid to speak up, to say something for fear of losing it all.  And chances are, the stakes for you are even higher than they were for me 12 years ago.  You might have small children at home, you might be a stay-at-home mom, you may not have worked in decades.  You might be repeating to yourself, “I’m doing this for my children, a divorce will destroy this family.”

If this sounds like something you’ve said – first, I want you to know that I get it.  Me too.  I thought that quickly forgiving and moving on would make it all go away.  But it didn’t.  In fact, it got worse.

With that being said, can I share my truth with you?

First, I want you to know that you and your family are worth the risk.  You are worthy of healing.  You are worthy of knowing the truth.  You are worthy of a husband that is faithful to you and only you.

Second, chances are high that your husband doesn’t want to lose you and his family over his porn or affairs (or anything in between).  Chances are high that he can’t believe he’s caused you so much pain (or will cause you pain if you knew the truth).  Hence, the reason it’s a secret he keeps hidden and something the two of you don’t discuss.

Third, remember that you are possibly the only person on the planet who can motivate your husband to make different choices.  And to be clear, this isn’t linked to how you dress, or how different your body looks after having kids, or how much sex you may or may not have with him.  Instead, it’s linked to asking for what you need.  Demanding that life must look different.  And surrendering the outcome.

I’ll never regret the risk I took when I decided I wouldn’t settle for a marriage that wasn’t built on truth.  I knew there were no promises when I took that leap of faith.

I also realized the only way for us to move forward – as a couple and as a family – was for me to use my voice.  To say enough.  And to share how I was feeling and ask for change.

Do you feel you can take that leap of faith?  Maybe it starts with sharing your story with someone you trust.  Maybe it’s finding a counselor to help you figure out the best way to approach your husband and share your heart with him.

Maybe, just maybe, today will be the beginning of something new and different for you.  The day you decided – you are worth it.  And so is your family.


 

I’d love to answer any questions you might have for me.  I can be reached at shelley@rlforwomen.com.

For more resources check out:

Redemptive Living for Women: This is my website where you’ll find a helpful workbook, weekly blog posts and support.

Redemptive Living: My husband Jason’s website where you can find the book he wrote about his journey, free resources for men and more.

Fight the New Drug: An edgy non-profit that advocates for the fight against porn.

This Christianity Today article shares eye-opening recent stats on porn use in Christian circles.


Shelley Martinkus

 

Shelley Martinkus loves to encourage women and has a special place in her heart for women with a similar story to hers.  She is a blogger, speaker and writer.  Her first book, Rescued, was released in 2015 and is a guide to help women survive and thrive after sexual betrayal.  She is proud to call Denver home where she lives with her husband, Jason and their three young boys.  Some of the things that help Shelley survive are comfy pants, running around Wash Park and long talks with Jason after the boys are in bed.  You can connect with Shelley at rlforwomen.com.