Your Husband’s Porn Addiction: 4 Ways to Get out of the Pit of Depression
Thursday, July 16, 2015 | Written by Jen Ferguson
My husband and I told the world about how the utter darkness of porn addiction sent him plummeting all the way to the contemplation of suicide. We’ve both professed to feeling like we were drowning, desperate to grasp onto anything that might resemble a life raft that would carry us safely to shore as we struggled in the raging storm. But for some reason, I haven’t divulged my own darkest moment:
The one when I wanted to cross the double yellow line while traveling 60 miles per hour.
I remember my thoughts in that short minute that is now a decade past, how it would be so easy. Just a slight tug of the steering wheel and my battle with my husband’s porn addiction would be over.
But so would a lot of other things.
It was a fleeting thought, thank goodness, but still a real one. And I share it because I want people to know that porn addiction, whether it’s you or your spouse, can let in a deep darkness that shuts out so much light. And Satan wants you to believe the light has left, that there is no hope, that you and your spouse will be fumbling through blindly for the rest of your marriage.
But Jesus says, He will be with us until the end of the age. And He declares Himself Light. “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
And so, if Jesus is with us, we still have light. The darkness has not completely overcome us. All we have to do is speak His name and light will begin to eradicate the darkness.
In our case, the darkness was not extinguished in a roaring, all-consuming fire, the kind that scales walls in a flash. Our marriage was not set free from the talons of pornography for years after we first began the battle, but that did not mean there was not light or joy or hope. It just meant that it took a long time for the desire and need for pornography to burn away. It was a slow burn that gradually built up heat, the refining-type of fire that does more than just destroy the impurities of this life, but that makes us beautiful at the same time.
There were other moments not so dark, but still devastating, when we both felt alone and weary and battle-worn. Moments when we had to struggle to utter Jesus’ Name, to ask for help, to believe that we were making forward progress even when we’d taken a few steps back. When you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom again, it can feel overwhelming to try to figure out how you’re going to climb out of the hole. We want to share with you what we did so when you need a ladder out, you can have one. Grab this list and start reading. And by the time you’re done, you’ll be on your way out once again.
- Remember, you’re a sinner. And Christ died for the likes of you. You aren’t the one who was designed to be perfect. You weren’t the one who wasn’t supposed to need His grace. Think about the Prodigal son. Remember him? The one who was still a long way off and his father started running toward him to welcome him home. The father wasn’t concerned about whether or not he learned his lesson. He wasn’t expecting to be repaid for everything his son squandered. He was just happy he chose to come home. You there – remembering that you’re a sinner in need of God’s grace and presence and asking for it? That’s coming home. And His arms are waiting.
- Forgiveness is not a one shot deal. You aren’t the first person to make the same mistake three times or 50 times. Peter, the man who walked with Jesus for nearly His entire ministry on earth, denied Jesus, not once, but three times, during the time it seems as though Jesus would need Him the most. And guess what? Jesus knew he would do this and still loved him. Not only that, He gave Peter his name, which means rock, and tells him that on him, He will build his church. Jesus knows we are going to get caught up in the same sins, but He does not stop pursuing us because of this flaw in our humanity.
- There is power in God’s Word. Satan wants us to feel defeated and helpless. He needs us to feel this way so that we will not reach out to the one weapon that is always available to us, the weapon we are able to store up in our hearts. Paul tells us that God’s word “is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow” (Hebrews 4:12). Throughout scriptures are verses that speak to the power of God, to His love for you, for His ability to fight for you, and for His desire to bring healing to your life. If you are terrible at memorizing scriptures, grab a stack of notecards, write down verses of truth that impact your heart, and read them out loud when you feel tempted, desperate, and hopeless. And those times you’re feeling good? Read them then, too.
- Call on community. We were not designed to walk this life alone. I know it’s not easy to admit to porn addiction in your family. I know it’s not easy to talk about depression and suicidal thoughts. But the more you keep these things under wraps, the more the darkness will grow. Satan keeps you tied down in that space of shame, feelings of inadequacy, and fear of rejection. But Paul exhorts us to bear each other’s burdens and the only way we can fulfill that is if we talk to each other. We were made to listen to each other, to speak to truth to each other, and to sit and grieve with one another. Oftentimes friends are the most tangible lifelines we have.
Darkness is powerful. But God is more powerful and He has given you tools and resources to begin the journey of freedom. And every step of the way, He will be there with you, encouraging you, loving you, and strengthening you.