Seven years ago, I exited our computer room one evening to be confronted by pornography on my television. I'll spare you the details, but it became quickly apparent that this was not a one time sin, but a horrible addiction that my husband had surrendered to. I was done. It was over. I was through. I had seen pornography destroy marriages before, and knew too well the progression from addiction, to unrealistic expectations, to abuse. I was not going to be destroyed by my husband, and I was not going to let my husband destroy my children.
I grabbed my car keys, and walked to the door. I had no intentions of ever looking back. In that moment the tiny amount of love that might have been left in my heart was gone. It was when I placed my hand on that door knob that God spoke. Just that Sunday morning during the invitation time, God had asked me to swear not to leave my husband. It was not common in those days for God to speak to me, so I swore. It seemed a silly thing to me. I wasn't happy, but I wasn't leaving. With my hand on the door knob, I heard God's voice again. "You promised." I had a very real sense of standing at a crossroads. I chose obedience, though I did not understand why God would ask it of me. I turned loose, and walked back into my living room. I told Shawn he had 48 hours to have an appointment with a marriage counselor. I made it abundantly clear that if I was staying, I would have a good marriage. The addiction had to die. Right then. It must not be allowed to destroy us.
The next morning, early, we met with a marriage counselor who was on our church staff. He was an incredible man of God. I trusted him absolutely because of our long, close friendship. He swore to me that my marriage could be saved, but more than that, it could become beautiful. I wasn't sure that I believed him, but I desperately wanted to have that faith. But I trusted him enough to do everything he said, and I worked with him to redeem my husband from darkness.
There were lots of issues to work through. We had to learn to communicate, we had to learn to fight fairly, we had to learn to live unselfishly in our marriage. Then we also had to learn the specifics of battling a sex addiction, and I had to overcome the side effects and insecurities that it made me feel. After all, I am most certainly not computer generated or even air brushed. I've had lots of kids, and I've got the body to prove it.
During this time, I also met with some of my closest girlfriends. They listened to me rant, and rave, and cuss...then told me that they believed in me, they believed in my marriage, and they believed my God would set my husband free and he would become a great man. At no time did they ever waver in that conviction, or speak negative words to me about my husband. That really helped me to have faith that we had hope for our future.
My husband has a steak dinner waiting for me on the table, and dance music playing in the background, so for tonight I will simply say that God redeemed our marriage. He redeemed it all. It was a long process. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but my God is still in the business of bringing life back to the dead. God brought absolute beauty from the ashes of my marriage. I can't imagine my life now without my lover, and my best friend, my husband. We enjoy a marriage that is far better than the fairy tale I had hoped for. It's way better than Happily Ever After.