Recently I've gotten several contacts from women with the same question, “How do I overcome my intimate insecurities??” How does a woman be confident with her body and her sexuality after discovering her husband's sexual sins? How can we ever compare to the women our husband's saw in pornography? Well, I'm here to assure you that those insecurities are completely normal. It's hard for us not to compare ourselves to "porn stars" and think... oh geez, there's no way I will ever look, sound, or bend like that!!
But the fact is
that your husband would have been looking at pornography even if you
were a 20yr old knock out with a perfect body and ready and willing
to have sex everyday of the week. Because the fact is, his using
pornography is not an eye issue as it is a heart issue.
His eyes are just the tools his heart used to get the pleasure he
wanted. It was selfish and hurtful, but most often is not any
reflection on you.
Let me explain further. King David was a man who loved God and he was a good King. So how is it that he fell so hard? How could a man who loved God turn around and commit adultery, lie, manipulate, and ultimately commit murder? Is it all because he looked upon Bathsheba and lusted after her? Well, not really. David was already dealing with a heart issue. He had already started down a path that was turning his heart away from God. He had accumulated many wives. He had stayed home from war instead of fighting along-side his men. He had become complacent about his personal holiness. And when he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to stumble upon Bathsheba bathing, it was because his heart was already going astray that he was able to turn from God and commit such wickedness. His eyes were just a tool that his heart used to the pleasure he wanted.
In the same way, our husband's didn't just stumble into pornography addiction. Their hearts were not pursuing God when their eyes started perusing pornography. And it's because their hearts were not fully devoted to God that they were able to become so easily ensnared by the lust of their eyes. Does that make sense? So there's some comfort in knowing that pornography, often times, is not the result a dissatisfaction in a spouse; But rather the result of a disconnection with God. And that is why putting up filters or getting accountability partners is not enough for a man to overcome pornography addiction. No. He must also be repentant and have a broken heart over his sin. Only then will he overcome.
So as a wife who's been betrayed, you must try to separate yourself – your body image, your sexual performance – from your husband's addiction. Odds are he was looking at porn long before he ever married you and a dissatisfaction with your body did not drive him to it. But believe me, I know that's hard. I still struggle from time to time with this one. My husband may not have been dissatisfied with my body, but when I picture him finding pleasure looking at other women, I can only imagine that it's because my body was not good enough. The enemy whispers lies in my ear and I become convinced that my husband is not attracted to me. This happened quite often in our first year of recovery and to be honest, it still happens occasionally. Especially if I gain weight. I've never been a very skinny girl but after four kids, I haven't been able to get the weight off like I used to. And the more pounds I add, the more insecurities mount up.
But I have to keep reminding myself that what my husband did was selfish and hurtful, but it was not a reflection on me. When I am feeling this way, I need to have an open conversation with him about my insecurities and what I need from him to help me get through this. I will tell you that I know JESUS is who we should go to for healing. No doubt. But your husband can help you find healing as well by the way he pursues you. Tell him that's what you need. I needed my husband to tell me, often, that I was beautiful. That his eyes and his heart were now only for me. I needed him to pursue me physically, holding my hand, kissing me, taking me out on dates. Not just sex. But I will say that intimacy with your husband CAN bring healing to you and to him. So don't with-hold it. Talk about it. Tell him what your worried and anxious about. Tell him if certain sexual positions that you may have agreed to in the past make you feel uncomfortable and like it is "just something from porn". Work together to set up new guidelines and take things slowly. Don't feel like you have to just dive right in. And pray about everything. We PRAYED a lot. Before sex, sometimes during sex we'd have to stop and pray against the enemy's lies and my insecurities. It took effort and time, but now our sex life is something that I treasure. Yours can be too. With time, effort, and prayer.
Just remember that this is a process. It's not going to go away over night. You will have good days and bad days. But when you turn your eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face, the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace (one of my favorite hymns). Hang in there, it gets better. Don't lose hope.
Walking in Freedom,
Tags: eyes heart body pornography lust king david bathsheba marriage insecurity intimacy healing restoration jesus grace
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