Hurt and Confused
I have caught my husband more than once looking at other women, both in public and online. I have expressed to him how this hurts me. He apologizes and then continues to look at these women. Just recently I found a history of porn sites on our computer and I am very hurt and confused. I do not know what to do.
Hurt and Confused
Dear Hurt and Confused
I am so sorry you are feeling hurt, let’s see if I can help you put this into perspective. First of all I would like to address the attraction of beautiful people as a whole. Let’s face it, some people both men and women are very attractive. Quite possibly your spouse (in the beginning) was just having an appreciation for the beauty of the individual. Having a solid identity in who you are as a beautiful daughter of God will increase your self esteem and cause you to become even more attractive in your husbands eyes. Men love confident women! With that being said, the intent of the heart varies from person to person. As mere mortals we do not truly know what another person’s intentions are, all we can do is judge by their actions. This is why it is so important that we are careful with our actions and how our spouse perceives them. As a loving partner we should desire to protect their heart and their feelings. Love protects (1 Corinthians 13:7).
Now to address the pornography, something that started out possibly quite innocent has turned into something sinful. As they say at the Saddleback Church Counseling Center, “Do not let good, keep you from godly.” The world around us wants to excuse “good” behaviors. We as Christians are called to be set apart from this world. Satan’s greatest desire is to keep you in and of this world. He will start with easing your mind telling you that you are “good”, he wants to keep you from “godly” and away from that which is pure and holy. His desire is to give you a seared conscience. (1 Timothy 4:2) This means desensitizing your mind, or causing you to be numb or calloused to the point of not caring. A spouse that does not care about the feelings of their partner has developed a seared conscience. If Satan can get into your thoughts with that which is not godly he has gained the greatest weapon available to cause you to stumble and fall. You see he will never tell you the consequences to your actions. If Satan had told Eve, “If you eat of this fruit you will have to leave the garden and Jesus will have to die a painful death in order to reconcile you to God”, she would have ran away from the fruit! In the same way, if Satan said to you “If you look at these images, or have lustful thoughts you will break your wife’s heart, it will cause a wedge and a disconnect which will lead to a broken marriage and your life will be filled with sadness, loneliness and despair.” If he said this you would run away from the temptation!
You see regardless of whether one is undressing someone with thier eyes or literally looking at them unclothed, Jesus has said “if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.” (Matthew 18:9, Matthew 5:29, Mark 9:27). Women want to feel safe in the arms of the man they call their husband, they long for their man to be godly leaders, they want to have confidence in the integrity of their man knowing he has eyes only for them.
Men long for women to make them better men. This is the reason they marry in the first place, because they believed in your goodness. When you participate in his sin, or do nothing it makes them question your integrity with God, whether they let you in on this secret or not.
So now that I have spoken to the choir you want to know what to do, first of all in your godly anger, do not sin. (Ephesians 4:26)
The Key will be to handle the situation with such finesse and skill that you keep your love intact while promoting change. Keep in mind we are called to forgive (James 5:20) Ere on the side of being too loving rather than judgmental. Find out what his needs are. What is going on inside of him? The only way to find this out is to directly ask him in a safe and nonjudgmental way. Is he curious? Does he lack excitement? Adventure? Are his expectations set too high? Is he is seeking someone that is 20 and yet married to someone that is 40? This will be the time for him to rethink his expectations. Looking at a fit 20 year old will do neither one of you any good. This is why the bible is the perfect handbook for these problems. In it we learn that we should be thinking on that which is helpful to our marriages and our salvation. (Paraphrase of Philippians 4:8). Is his relationship with God being met? When we are not filled with the love of God we will look other places to be filled. Suggest he meet with other men that will hold him accountable. If he will go, seek counseling apart and/or together. Surrender him to God and let God take care of his issues. Remember they are his issues and not yours. Manage your own life and sins. Keep your relationship with God strong. Pray and worship alone and if possible with your husband. Use the power of the tongue to create in your husband that which you wish to see in him. Tell him how proud you are of him that you are so grateful for all he does, that he is a good leader and you are grateful for the ministry and care that he gives. Keep in mind that you are blessed and God works ALL things out for the good of those that love him (Romans 8:28).