Hello my name is Heather Cruz. I’ve been married to my husband, Richie for 10 years. We have had a wonderful marriage and have five children, but before we were married my husband battled with viewing pornography. He got into this habit in his later elementary school years. He hid it from his family and told no one. As he got older his addiction to viewing pornography worsened.
He became extremely ill during his freshman year in college, began pursuing God more, and quit looking at porn for a few years. When he turned 23 we were married. His old addiction started to tempt him, and he gave into viewing porn and calling the phone sex lines once every few months.
The only way I knew he was looking at pornography was because every time he’d fall, he’d confess it to me. I’d feel hurt, cry, call my mentor and ask for prayer, then forgive him (because it was every man’s battle, right?).
After we had been married about five years, I thought my life was perfect with my husband—my best friend. But laying in bed one night he said he needed to tell me something: he told me he had been with a prostituted woman who offered sensual massage.
My heart sank. He cried. I hugged him. Then I got extremely angry and called the police. He could’ve given me a disease, he could’ve given me a deadly disease! I called a mentor the next day, and she said her husband had battled with sex addiction and that my husband needed help.
I was aghast, disgusted, and questioned if I needed to leave my husband for my health’s sake. I decided to call a couple more mentors and ask what I should do. They both told me to pray. So, pray I did. I joined a house of prayer and prayed every Monday night for 6 months.
During this time my husband began to listen to all of the Covenant Eyes podcasts. Soon after he started a men’s accountability group and also a ministry called Porn Scar.
I believe the greatest thing that helped bring healing to myself and to our marriage was and is prayer.
I also believe if it wasn’t for my husband’s genuine repentance we wouldn’t be together today. Richie and I have always been real close and able to talk to each other about our true feelings. I would open up to him often if I felt fear that he was going to look at porn again. I would share with him if I felt angry or sad.
I held onto promises from God’s Word.
What brought understanding for what my husband went through is understanding how the male brain is wired.
I remembered that I had been set free from addictions before we were married, and Richie wasn’t able to be set free from his addiction until after we were married. This helped me to show mercy to him. I had known the shame of addiction—not addicted to viewing pornography myself but addicted to being pornography with skin on in High School. I was extremely hurt by teenage boys and young adults who had an addiction to pornography. This hurt had led me to have an alcohol and drug addiction, eating disorders, two abortions, and post traumatic stress syndrome. Christ healed me from this at the age of 18 when I began to believe He was real, received prayer, and went through a Post-Abortion Healing Course.
When Richie had fallen I had become down but not as depressed as I was before I had met Christ. I had walked through much inner healing a few years before we married, so I had many tools to help me self talk and figure out what was going on with me and what I needed to do to get help.
One of the greatest tools I have learned and practice is to bring everything into the light. I deeply believe that if we confess our sins to one another we will be healed.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” – James 5:16
I am thankful for everyone who spoke into our lives, our marriage and for those who have believed in us. I am thankful that we didn’t go through the healing process alone and am glad that addiction to pornography is something that every man doesn’t need to battle with for the rest of his life. On this journey I have also learned that many women also battle with viewing pornography. There is hope and healing in Christ and community.
I encourage anyone who has any kind of addiction, or has been abused by pornographic acts in any way to reach out to someone you know who you can trust and that you feel loved by. Know that no matter what you have looked at or done, or what has been done to you, that you are lovable.