The following is a letter a wife wrote in response to her husband’s sexual addiction. It is rich with insights and hope for any woman facing similar betrayal and heartache. If you are a wife struggling through the discovery of your husband’s secret sexual sin, please contact us for help.
His addiction has left me empty, cold, and bitter. Totally exhausted. I study myself and question myself constantly. I am not pretty enough, I am not thin enough, I am not sexy enough. Fun? What is fun? I used to have fun going to the mall or going out to dinner or the movies. I used to want to get out and do things, but now when I am in public with my husband it is a sort of dread and anguish for me. Questions and thoughts run through my head. I scan the room to see which of these women is my husband lusting after? Who is my competition?
Women used to be my friends, now they are my competitors. I used to feel pretty, I used to feel sexy. Now I just feel that I am the consolation prize. I don’t even know if it is possible to feel pretty and sexy again. Mental exhaustion is a way of life. Trying to remember to take the laptop with me when I leave, hiding the Kindle Fire, checking the cell phone. When I get home, and he has been home alone, I look for clues. Asking questions 5 different ways to make sure he is not lying to me. Paying close attention to details, checking the bank account for miscellaneous charges. Wondering when is he going to go so far that I will have to make a decision to leave.
I am thankful that my husband went to Gateway to Freedom and I believe that if he works the program and if I allow God to heal me of deep hurt then I do believe there is hope for us. I want to trust my husband again, I want to forgive him and I will, but I don’t want to be a fool. I am willing to walk this walk with him but, he will be required to to work this program harder than he has worked anything in his life.
He will have to be honest, no secrets. He will have to answer the questions that I have and understand that it is going to take time for me to trust him and believe what he says. I want him to work this program just as intently as he sought his porn. He coddled it, he protected it, he fed it, he hunted after it. He defended it. I, on the other hand, also understand that I need help. I need to be restored by the Restorer.
I am committing to pray for my husband daily, to ask God for wisdom for my husband, for strength. I will ask God to restore our marriage and my husband as a Godly man, for direction for our family. I will work daily not to condemn my husband, but to ask God to show me how to help keep him accountable. I also commit to spending more time in God’s Word, allowing Him to love me, define me and heal me. I will get involved with other women who have dealt with the same pain I am dealing with now and commit to help other women when God restores me.
I have met hundreds of individuals with similar beliefs. They grew up to understand God as angry. And who could blame them? There is, after all, a lot of blood in the Bible. Reading through the Old Testament you will soon find one instance after another where God exacts justice on rebellious people; often in the form of war and death. So, one is left to draw conclusions about this God, and angry seems to fit the bill. I mean, why else would God act in such ways if it isn’t out of anger?
First, God is not like us. The Bible tells us that His ways are higher than ours, and His thoughts too (Isaiah 55:9). He is perfect, flawless, sinless, not bound by time or space. He is Creator, Judge, Redeemer. He chose to make humans in His image, bearing a sense of His character and creativity. He did not create out of need, but rather out of His desire to share; He is a giver, lover, friend. He does feel anger, but He doesn’t process it like we do. When one begins to understand just how “other” God is, the perspective through which we understand His actions can change.
For instance, when we see human beings get angry, we see all sorts of resulting behaviors that are unhealthy and unhelpful. This is because human anger drives us toward self-pity; our desires were blocked, so we feel angry and then behave in ways that hurt others to try and regain our power and achieve our agenda. And most of our anger is unjustified, meaning it isn’t based on moral law or the greater good of humanity. It’s more like a 2-year-old throwing a tantrum because someone took their toy away.
When God feels angry, His perspective is perfect, just, and always with mankind’s best in mind. He is a good Father, but even more than that — He is the definition of Life. When God made Adam, He breathed into his nostrils and the man became a living being. Apart from God, we cannot exist. Since He is the central element to life, He is the absolute authority on its best function. When human beings look to anything or anyone else for life, this is offensive to God. But God’s anger isn’t like someone pouting because they didn’t get picked for the team. His anger is righteous, justified. But His actions when angry might surprise you; they are borne of love, leading us to fullness of life.
We tend to think of all anger as leading to punishment. For instance, if you’re angry you have a right to hurt someone. Anger justifies malicious behavior. Now, a lot of us would quickly deny this out of our desire to not be perceived as cruel. But it’s still true. Human anger seeks to destroy. But God’s anger isn’t destructive, it is corrective, like a father training his son to live rightly. And God’s anger isn’t seething, ever present under a guise of good will and kindness. He feels it, He deals with it, and He reminds us of His love. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).
You might be thinking, “But your title of this article says God isn’t mad at me. How is He not mad at me if He is capable of all this anger?” God’s attributes are not weighed on a scale. He is fully 100% of all His attributes at all times. So, His justice isn’t greater or lesser than His love or mercy or grace. His omnipresence isn’t greater or lesser than His omnipotence. So when He feels angry, it doesn’t overpower any of His other attributes. This is why His expressions of anger are not destructive, rather they are corrective. His entire motivation for ALL His interactions with humanity is LOVE! (John 3:16)
My understanding of this concept of God’s love overshadowing all His decisions really grew when I had children. Certainly, no human analogy could ever fully encompass the infinite expanse of God’s love for us, but parenthood does give a dim shadow of this phenomenon. I love my children. I want the best for them. I would give my life to protect them and provide for them. Love is the guiding principle of my decision-making when it comes to training up my children, even when it is necessary to discipline them for disobedience. The discipline isn’t for the sake of punishing them or withdrawing my love. Quite the opposite. It is because I love them that I correct them in their error or rebellion.
God loves you — more than you could comprehend. No matter how far you have wandered away from Him, or how vehemently you have denied Him, He has never wavered in His love for you. He is faithful, both to remind you of His affection for you and to correct you when you stray. But He never wags His finger at you in shame or with malicious intent. His goal is that you experience the fullness of life, to know Him (the Author of life) intimately. He is the perfect Dad, always desiring closeness with His children and the best He has to offer. Maybe it is time you stopped hiding from the false angry god of your own making, and instead crawl up into the lap of your heavenly Father whose caring eye is ever on you. If you do, you might just discover that perfect Love casts out fear, and that the real God is better than you ever imagined…