Fight Porn in Your Church

Parenting the Internet Generation Ebook Cover

Christians look at porn, too. Can churches become communities where people find repentance, hope, and healing? If there ever is a time to take action, that time is now. This e-book will equip you to take action in your church.

11 thoughts on “5 Common Mistakes When Helping Wives of Porn Addicts in Our Churches

  1. About 7 years ago, I found out that my music minister husband was molesting our daughter. Police also found a LOT of porn searches on his computer. I went through every emotion you describe in this article. And I wish the people around me had known all of this. There was an early push for me to forgive, and I told people I was working on it. I could not be pushed to forgive until I had worked through many of the emotions and issues. Even now, I struggle to keep forgiving. Every time one of my kids struggles with something related to the abuse, I find myself feeling angry again and have to remind myself to forgive. I’m in a new relationship, and every time an issue arises in our relationship, I find myself reverting to old emotions. This is not something you “get over” quickly. It takes a long time to heal those emotional wounds. Even then, you’re often left with the scars, so it never truly leaves you. And any time Satan wants to work against you, he’ll just bring up all that old stuff to remind you how inadequate you are, etc., to make you as ineffective as he can.

    • Marie, thank you for sharing this painful and powerful story with us.

      The push for women to “forgive” in situations like this is a massive misunderstanding of what forgiveness means, in my opinion. When women are told to “forgive” I find it often means “excuse.” I think people don’t want to face the horrific reality of abuse, so if the victims will just “forgive” everyone else can move on and forget it ever happened. Meanwhile, you and your children are left with the incredible trauma of the situation plus the complete lack of care from your faith community.

      OF COURSE YOU ARE ANGRY that this man abused your children!!!! Jesus said that if anyone harmed one of these little ones, he should tie a millstone around his neck and jump into the deepest part of the ocean. That sounds pretty angry to me! And not very forgiving either!

      Have you come across the work of Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk? He’s written a book called The Body Keeps the Score, which is an incredibly excellent work on trauma and post-traumatic symptoms like you’re describing here. Highly recommended. You can take a listen to his general ideas at this OnBeing podcast.

      Hope and healing to you,
      Kay

    • Marie, I agree with Kay that you are right to be angry!! It shows that you love and protect your children as Jesus loves and that you hate injustice, which God also hates!! I imagine you struggle to forgive so that you can avoid bitterness and vengefulness, which is a good goal. However, not all anger is wrong.

      Please continue hating the oppression of the vulnerable!!

  2. I came across this blog post as I was updating my Covenant Eyes profile. When I read it, I remember all the painful counseling sessions that I sat through where I felt that I was being blamed for my husband’s porn addiction. Not only did the persons who counsel us damage me deeply, but they gave my husband the impression that he was the one who was wronged because I demanded fidelity. Now he has walked away from the LORD, leading myself and others who know him to believe that he may not have been saved in the first place. All that to say, this article is spot on. The counseling ministry that betrayed me is a national, very well-known ministry, and even trains counselors at my church. I have decided, however, that even though my children and I will continue to do counseling in the future, I will never allow myself or my children to sit in a counseling session with anyone associated with this particular counseling ministry ever again.

    • Tonya, I am so sorry that you suffered from abusive counseling on top of the real pain of your husband’s choices. I’m afraid that the church is not good at holding men accountable for their choices, and often will blame and shame the wife. I’m glad you have been able to set boundaries for yourself and your children to stay away from this damaging and unhealthy “ministry.” Thank you for sharing your experience here so that others can learn from it. Peace to you, Kay

  3. Thank you so much for posting this! As a pastor myself, I am encouraged that God is raising up such voices to help women who are struggling. I wrote a paper on the rape of Tamar to help a young woman in my current church who was struggling with the aftermath of assault. That powerful chapter in Scripture exposes 4 sinful responses male leaders often come up with that further harm rather than helping the victim.

  4. There are some good poi ts to this article but my experience has been completely counter to this. In my case my sins nullified completely her responsibilities in the relationship. So while I was trying to clean up my side of the street I was being attaxked by her and ignored by the xhurch. I think the article on mistakes for wives is overgeneralized. I would tend to look at this more from an addict and codependant framework. We all have to work on our own issues.

  5. Goodness! I would caution great care here! Indeed, I suggest that it is well above the capacity of regular local-church leaders and parisioners to operate intelligently and with decency in this area. Having been away from church for a very long time, and being alone since my darling son’s death in a town where we were newcomers, I joined my local church (the one in which my son’s funeral service was held and the sole beneficiary of my will for that reason) and made warm friends with the new vicar there. The relationship was completely chaste, and conducted entirely in public. Nonetheless, his wife, herself ordainded, suspected an affair between us, and took her grievance to the church leaders. It took me by surprise when those previously very friendly church leaders (all oldish men) averted their faces and declined to answer my greeting. The climax came when the vicar himself made a public display of blanking me, now persona non grata to him. All this happened over two consecutive Sundays.

    Of course, I have not returned to this church, nor to any other. And I do feel very hurt and badly treated. I am not a loose woman, nor is the vicar a porn addict. But none of that mattered even to the vicar, who had earlier offered his enthusiastic friendship to me. Instead, he thought it expedient to turn on me to rapidly defuse the threat to his hold on his ministry created by his wife’s accusation. This quite ugly and thoroughly un-Christian scenario would not have developed if these church leaders were worldly-wise enough to see an insecure woman and not a betrayed wife in the vicar’s wife, and a bereaved mother and upright woman who needs the safety of the church community in me. But they are simple people. So they did not even tell me that I am accused, nor offer me a hearing. The upshot of their intervention was gratuitous insult to me. I hope my confidence suggests clearly that they, the typical local-church leaders, should not be encouraged to become porn vigilanties. And might self-styled betrayed wives be made mindful of not disrupting the civilised equilibrium of the church community? I put that to you very urgently.

  6. I have been told by well meaning friends and a therapist (Christians) to forgive and forget my husband’s porn use over 35 of our marriage. I have chosen to forgive but there is a process tomwalj through the emotional trauma.
    I expkakvdc the trauma but if I talk about it I am accused of not forgiving. I must keep silent about my pain. If I talk to my husband he tells me he will have to move into the guest room or move out of our home. He says he can’t take it and gets defensive when I share my emotions or ask anything about what he thinks may have lead to his addiction to porn.
    I have no money so I cannot go to therapy so I will be starting a support group in order to get and give support to others.
    I am made to feel like I’m crazy for grieving the loss of my marriage as I knew it. Loss of my husband as a trusted friend. The betrayal is so painful. I have to hide my tears.

    • Hey Barbara,
      I am so, so sorry that after enduring your husband’s abuse, you’ve endured yet more abuse at the hands of “well meaning” friends and “therapists.” You won’t hear me telling you to forigve and forget! You’ll hear me telling you to find a licensed therapist, find a group, create healthy boundaries (here and here are some articles), and read up on trauma with The Body Keeps the Score. You might also appreciate the online resources at Bloom for Women, where you can find support forums, classes, and lots of other resources. I know you say you don’t have money, but if your husband tells you that “you don’t have money” for therapy, depriving you of the resources for appropriate treatment, that is financial abuse–on top of everything else. Walk dogs, babysit, bag groceries–anything that will give you the freedom to seek the resources you need! In the meantime, you might want to read this article about how a high view of marriage includes divorce.
      Peace to you,
      Kay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *