I have just learned that my husband looks at pornography, and I am devastated. I feel embarrassed and ashamed. I feel so alone and don’t know what to do.
Being sexually betrayed by your husband is devastating but does not have to be debilitating. It is vital that you surround yourself with support to help you through this. There are a growing number of resources available for wives who discover that sexual betrayal has assaulted their marriage. Both of you will need help, support, accountability, education, prayer, and hope to survive this and move toward recovery, either individually or as a couple.
One helpful resource to guide you is Debra Laaser’s book Shattered Vows. Debbie is a testimony and advocate for women’s recovery in this area. She declares, “As you grieve the loss of what you thought you had, I want you to know that it is possible to experience transformation in your life—and even in your marriage.” She not only shares her personal narrative of betrayal but also her journey toward healing.
She identifies seven desires of the heart universal for men and women: the desire to be heard and understood, the desire to be affirmed, the desire to be blessed, the desire to be safe, the desire to be touched in healthy, nonsexual ways, the desire to be chosen, and the desire to be included. She has discovered that the yearning for what is missing is often a theme when sexual betrayal is present.
One of the biggest challenges for healing a marriage is restoring trust. One tool Debbie offers in recovery is a check-in process that uses the acronym FANOS (Feelings are shared, Affirmations are given, Needs are stated, Ownership is taken, Sobriety is measured). Each chapter of the book provides a helpful list of questions entitled “Thinking It Over.”
As you read, these questions help you reflect on your own experience and process toward recovery and healing. It is important that you reach out for help. God created us for community. Pray for direction. Begin to seek out resources available to you, your husband, and your marriage.