I love the story of Chris and Cindy Beall. These two are trophies of God’s grace in a way that proves God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
The story of Chris’ double life is a startling one: a pastor on one hand, but on the other hand a porn addict whose addiction led to cyber-chat, multiple affairs, and eventually a child born through his adultery. The fact that God was able to heal his heart and his marriage is an amazing testimony to the way God uses the church to bring light from darkness.
More about their story…
- Read our interview with Cindy about her new book, Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken.
- Read Chris’ chapter from our e-book for pastors who struggle with pornography.
What does one do when there is no brokenness? I have caught my husband several times over the years. Each time I have asked him about it, he has said “sorry” but there is never brokenness. He is aloof and standoffish until my love for him causes me to tell him sorry that I was angry with him or yelled at him. He doesn’t hold me or cry. He doesn’t tell me how hard it is to stay pure. He simply says nothing about it and waits until my love for him wins out. Recently I caught him in what I believe to be a lie. I have proof and showed him and he still says he doesn’t know how to explain it. I have struggled with purity myself and always felt so ashamed of my actions. I have always told him when it happened (3 times in our almost 2 decade marriage). I understand temptation. I don’t understand how he can lie to my face and make me feel like I am crazy. I am at a loss on what to do anymore. I am trying to trust that God has a plan for this but the pain is unbearable at times. It is the lack of being ashamed, the lying to my face that has hurt me the most.
@GG – Brokenness is essential. Of course brokenness looks different for different people. While I wouldn’t necessarily be looking for a great emotional reaction (because he may not be that expressive), it is important that he display remorse to you. He needs to know that pornography use and other sexual activity outside of marriage is, for all intensive purposes, breaking his marriage vow to you. How you go about talking about it is another matter altogether.
Not knowing the full details of your story, and not being a trained counselor I don’t want to give you advice that would lead you in the wrong direction. All the same I want to remind you: You cannot change him, but you are also not powerless. You say you’ve caught him in a lie but he still denies any wrongdoing. Then take that incident to begin a new set of standards with him. Something like this: “We both know I’ve caught you over the years. And now you say you can’t explain this evidence I’ve found. To make sure stuff like this never happens again, I want set some boundaries in place that will both prevent any misunderstandings and prevent you from being tempted. I care deeply about the health of our marriage. I don’t want to ever wrongly accuse you of something. But I also desire that you show me that you are diligent to protect our marriage. What are the things that lead you into temptation? What can you do personally and what can we do together to prevent these temptations from happening?”
Begin the conversation there and see what happens. In the end the goal needs to be not just quitting the wrong behavior but the overall health of your marriage.
Thank you so much for answering. I am going to take your advice and pray that my husband is receptive to my questions. God is good. I believe He will lead us to healing. I know it will not be overnight but I believe it can happen.
Thanks again. And God bless you.
@GG – While I’m no relationship expert, I’ve heard stories like this time and time again. It is sad when so many husbands seem simply closed off to the need for change. So many couples have simply lowered their standards of intimacy and communication and chosen to live their lives in quiet discontentment. It is great you are fighting for your marriage. God bless!
…”chosen to live their lives in quiet discontentment”. That’s me. My husband is always sorry but won’t take any steps to rebuild trust. I feel like I’m supposed to (a) just get over it and (b) keep quiet about it to keep his honor in the community we are a part of. It is a very sad and lonely marriage on my end of things, but then I feel guilty about being sad because I have so much to be thankful for in my life. Anyhow, thankful to find this website and looking forward to reading more.