Tag Archive | Marriage

Uncovering Betrayal

Knowledge. Awareness. Understanding. I needed to identify what had caused my marriage to go so very wrong. I couldn’t fix any of it, including myself, until I had the answer.

I began gathering information. Quietly donned my W5 investigator’s hat. Wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for, but I had an idea.

Pornography.

But honestly, in my naivety, this was only a whisper of suspicion. Because I had learned out of necessity to suppress my own sexuality, I simply assumed that my husband had also. I believed that if I was no longer having sex, then logically, neither was he.

There were signs throughout the years that I chose to ignore or didn’t recognize. I was colour blind to the flapping flags. Or in some cases did not have the knowledge to understand or distinguish the different hues and patterns on those flags.

When we married, I was aware that my husband had a couple of porn magazines. Not a stash. It didn’t bother me. Just something normal that men did. I didn’t even consider this to be a bad habit. And although we never viewed porn together, admittedly, out of curiosity, I did look at the magazines occasionally when he wasn’t around. I believed it to be harmless for both of us.

Before I continue with my story, I implore you to resist opening computer files and sites you discover and suspect your partner of viewing. If the name is suspect, the content is. You don’t need to know for sure. You don’t need to see what was viewed. Protect yourself from those disturbing images. They will stay burned in your memory. I can describe to you today every sickening image that I was exposed to in the last fifteen years as vividly as a room in my house.

Fast forward to the advent of home computers and a non-techie wife (me) who one day accidentally discovers unsettling file names. And opens them to confirm that the titles were indeed what they indicated.  I was stunned. Disbelieving. Confused.  Felt sick to my stomach. Why was he looking at porn when he scorned all things sexual?! Or was it just my sexuality that he shunned?

I confronted my husband. Most of what he said didn’t make sense whatsoever. His responses confused me even more. Left me questioning myself. The outcome was that he needed to be more careful with his computer activity so that our children didn’t accidentally happen upon porn. I essentially gave him permission to continue. If it was out of sight, I could willingly bury my head in the sand.

Several years later, I walked into our home office and stumbled upon pornography staring back at me from the monitor. This time I did not have the choice to look or not to look. The excuses and feigned surprise he offered over their presence were just as ridiculous as before. I didn’t swallow them as easily, but I did. I wanted to so I wouldn’t have to admit that my husband had viewed porn twice now during our marriage.

Another three years passed before I took a deep breath, broke through my denial, and began searching my husband’s computer history. To say I found what I was looking for is a mild understatement. As I tracked his activity over the next few weeks, it was impossible to overlook the irrefutable evidence that this was more than a bad habit. It was a pornography addiction.

And yet, what unhinged me as much as the extent of his porn usage was uncovering the magnitude of his lies and deception. My feelings of foolishness and stupidity. The unearthing of betrayal.

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28

When God Rips Off the Band-Aid

God didn’t rip the band-aid off my wounds with one quick yank. He gently eased it off, controlling the procedure and allowing me time to adjust to the discomfort.

The unravelling of my carefully bound heart began while sitting in a gynecologist’s office as I provided my medical history:

“When was the last time you had intercourse?”

“Well, it’s been awhile.”

“A few weeks?”

“Um, well, um….” Thinking if I stall long enough, say enough ums, he might give up on receiving an answer and carry on to the next question. But no, he waits patiently and expectantly for a response. “Ten years,” I nervously mumble directing my answer to my shoes. It is a lie.

A look of confusion crosses his face. He looks down at his clipboard. “I thought you said you were married?”

“Yes. I am.”

This doctor does not have a poker face. Apparently doctors have not seen and heard it all. I wonder what his reaction would have been if I had spoken the truth, that it had been twenty years without sexual intimacy, a kiss, a hug, my hand being held by the man who vowed to love and cherish me. I grow increasingly uncomfortable, feeling my face becoming flushed. My mind is racing, searching for safety, but it is too late to protect myself. This man now knows how terribly flawed I am. I want to tell him that it isn’t my fault. It isn’t my choice to have a sexless marriage. It isn’t because of me.

The rest of the appointment is agonizingly cruel as I place my feet in the stirrups and resist the doctor’s attempts to take a sample from my uterus for a biopsy. My female sexual anatomy is betraying me. Mocking me. Again. First by existing, and now by being defective. My husband has rejected these parts of my body and so have I. The irony is not lost on me.

Leaving my appointment, the shame of my damaged sexuality engulfs me. It weighs as heavily upon me as the prospect of cancer. My thoughts shift back and forth between the two. What emerges is the certainty that I will not tell my husband that I am waiting for test results. The possibility of a cancer diagnosis is scary enough, but the belief that my husband would not care is unbearable. I did not have the strength to face both my health issues and his indifference. Either felt like a death sentence.

Before the week was over, my husband confronted me. My mask was fracturing under the stress. My irritability was making us miserable. I admitted that I was waiting for the results of a biopsy. My husband asked why I had not told him what was going on. I lied. I didn’t want you to worry, I replied. When in all truthfulness it was me I was attempting to protect, not him.

Seated in the doctor’s office a month later, I experience the relief of a no cancer diagnosis. I learn that I will still require surgery to remove uterine polyps and my heart sinks when I am told that I will need someone to accompany me to the hospital. I question if it is necessary for someone to drive me home after my surgery or if it is just a recommendation. The doctor looks at me curiously, and logically asks “Won’t your husband come with you?” I mumble that I don’t know. I feel so alone. Exposed.

My doubts and fears were grounded. I am struck by my husband’s reaction to my surgery, “Will I have to take the whole day off work?” A stranger would have responded more compassionately.

That was the moment the last of the band-aid was torn off, uncovering the ugly wounds of my marriage and allowing the breath of God to alight on my scars. It was now time for God, my Creator, my Jehovah Rapha, to take my hand in His and guide me on an incredible, miraculous, healing journey to wholeness beyond anything I could have hoped for or imagined.

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4

Prayer for our marriages…..

Father God, this day we choose to lay our lives and our marriages before You to receive Your healing touch. I ask that You would keep our hearts soft toward each other and not allow any hurt to build to anger.

I ask that You make the changes in us necessary to be the husbands and wives You have designed us to be for our spouses and we release them to You that You should change them only as You will.

I pray Lord that you will protect our mind and our hearts from the lies of the enemy and fill us Heavenly Father with Your Holy Spirit. I ask you Holy Spirit to come and remove the lies that have taken root and I ask that you will plant in their place Your truth and Your love. Father, build in us a restored and new love that can never die…. for what You create will remain forever.

Father I ask You to make us tools of reconciliation. Enable us to communicate well and rescue us from the threshold of separation where the realities of divorce begin.
Father God, if love seems to have vanished then I also pray that You would speak to those hearts and souls and remind them of the love that they once knew for each other, let them rediscover that love and build in them a new and stronger love.

Father, deliver us from the bondage of past mistakes. Take away anyone and anything that would inspire temptation for our spouse.

Change in us our habits of indifference and busyness that we may not take each other for granted. I know Father God that only the transforming power of the Holy Spirit can make changes that last. I trust You to transform us and make us the husband and wife You have called us to be.

Father bring into our  lives Godly friends that they might openly share their hearts. May they be trustworthy people of wisdom who will speak truth into our lives and not just say what we want to hear.

I pray that we, as well as our spouses, will listen to Godly counselors and not be a people who are unteachable. Give each of us the strength to reject the counsel of the ungodly and hear Your voice above all others. Instruct us and our spouses even as we sleep and in the morning I pray we will do what is right rather than follow the leading of own flesh.

Father I ask that you would protect our marriages from the things and evil spirits that would destroy it.

Shield it from our own selfishness and neglect and heal the wounds that have been inflicted by such.

Shield us from the evil plans and desires of others. Set us free Father from the past hurts and ties of things that have happened outside of the marriage You designed.
I pray Father that you would convict each of us, as well as our spouses, of any error in our lives. Let there be nothing covered that will not be revealed and hidden that will not be known. Cleanse us from any secret sins and teach us to be a person who is quick to confess when they are wrong. Bring all of us to full repentance before You.

 If there is suffering to be done, let it be the suffering of a remorseful heart and not because the crushing hand of the enemy has found an opening into our life through unconfessed sin. Deliver us Father from those things that bind us. Set us free from any thing that causes us or our spouse to stumble and bring deliverance  quickly and be a rock of refuge and a fortress of defense to save.
Father, You have taught us that if we regard iniquity in our hearts, You will not hear, I beg You to hear our prayers….. I ask You to reveal where there is any disobedience in our lives, especially with regard to our spouse. Show us where we have not obeyed You and we confess it as sin and ask Your forgiveness.

Father God, nothing happens in our lives that You have not given permission, and as hard as this is I pray that we will be able to see Your glory through it.

Please Father God calm our mind and spirit. I pray that You will grant us the confidence and patience to allow Your work to be revealed. Give us the strength to take the next step in faith.
We offer our marriages, ourselves, our spouse, and our children to You Lord God that we will glorify You.
In the name of Jesus Christ I pray these things,
Amen.