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Your Husband’s Porn Addiction: 4 Ways to Get out of the Pit of Depression

Last Updated: August 11, 2015

Jen Ferguson

Jen Ferguson is a wife, author, and speaker who is passionate about helping couples thrive in their marriages. She and her husband, Craig, have shared their own hard story in their book, Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A Couple’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography. They continue to help couples along in their journeys to freedom and intimacy. She’s also a mama to two girls and two high-maintenance dogs, which is probably why she runs. A lot. Even in the Texas heat.

My husband and I told the world about how the utter darkness of porn addiction sent him plummeting all the way to the contemplation of suicide. We’ve both professed to feeling like we were drowning, desperate to grasp onto anything that might resemble a life raft that would carry us safely to shore as we struggled in the raging storm. But for some reason, I haven’t divulged my own darkest moment:

The one when I wanted to cross the double yellow line while traveling 60 miles per hour.

I remember my thoughts in that short minute that is now a decade past, how it would be so easy. Just a slight tug of the steering wheel and my battle with my husband’s porn addiction would be over.

But so would a lot of other things.

4 Ways to Get Out of the Pit of Depression

It was a fleeting thought, thank goodness, but still a real one. And I share it because I want people to know that porn addiction, whether it’s you or your spouse, can let in a deep darkness that shuts out so much light. And Satan wants you to believe the light has left, that there is no hope, that you and your spouse will be fumbling through blindly for the rest of your marriage.

But Jesus.

But Jesus says, He will be with us until the end of the age. And He declares Himself Light. “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

And so, if Jesus is with us, we still have light. The darkness has not completely overcome us. All we have to do is speak His name and light will begin to eradicate the darkness.

In our case, the darkness was not extinguished in a roaring, all-consuming fire, the kind that scales walls in a flash. Our marriage was not set free from the talons of pornography for years after we first began the battle, but that did not mean there was not light or joy or hope. It just meant that it took a long time for the desire and need for pornography to burn away. It was a slow burn that gradually built up heat, the refining-type of fire that does more than just destroy the impurities of this life, but that makes us beautiful at the same time.

There were other moments not so dark, but still devastating, when we both felt alone and weary and battle-worn. Moments when we had to struggle to utter Jesus’ Name, to ask for help, to believe that we were making forward progress even when we’d taken a few steps back. When you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom again, it can feel overwhelming to try to figure out how you’re going to climb out of the hole. We want to share with you what we did so when you need a ladder out, you can have one. Grab this list and start reading. And by the time you’re done, you’ll be on your way out once again.

  1. Remember, you’re a sinner. And Christ died for the likes of you. You aren’t the one who was designed to be perfect. You weren’t the one who wasn’t supposed to need His grace. Think about the Prodigal son. Remember him? The one who was still a long way off and his father started running toward him to welcome him home. The father wasn’t concerned about whether or not he learned his lesson. He wasn’t expecting to be repaid for everything his son squandered. He was just happy he chose to come home. You there – remembering that you’re a sinner in need of God’s grace and presence and asking for it? That’s coming home. And His arms are waiting.
  2. Forgiveness is not a one shot deal. You aren’t the first person to make the same mistake three times or 50 times. Peter, the man who walked with Jesus for nearly His entire ministry on earth, denied Jesus, not once, but three times, during the time it seems as though Jesus would need Him the most. And guess what? Jesus knew he would do this and still loved him. Not only that, He gave Peter his name, which means rock, and tells him that on him, He will build his church. Jesus knows we are going to get caught up in the same sins, but He does not stop pursuing us because of this flaw in our humanity.
  3. There is power in God’s Word. Satan wants us to feel defeated and helpless. He needs us to feel this way so that we will not reach out to the one weapon that is always available to us, the weapon we are able to store up in our hearts. Paul tells us that God’s word “is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow” (Hebrews 4:12). Throughout scriptures are verses that speak to the power of God, to His love for you, for His ability to fight for you, and for His desire to bring healing to your life. If you are terrible at memorizing scriptures, grab a stack of notecards, write down verses of truth that impact your heart, and read them out loud when you feel tempted, desperate, and hopeless. And those times you’re feeling good? Read them then, too.
  4. Call on community. We were not designed to walk this life alone. I know it’s not easy to admit to porn addiction in your family. I know it’s not easy to talk about depression and suicidal thoughts. But the more you keep these things under wraps, the more the darkness will grow. Satan keeps you tied down in that space of shame, feelings of inadequacy, and fear of rejection. But Paul exhorts us to bear each other’s burdens and the only way we can fulfill that is if we talk to each other. We were made to listen to each other, to speak to truth to each other, and to sit and grieve with one another. Oftentimes friends are the most tangible lifelines we have.

Darkness is powerful. But God is more powerful and He has given you tools and resources to begin the journey of freedom. And every step of the way, He will be there with you, encouraging you, loving you, and strengthening you.

  • Comments on: Your Husband’s Porn Addiction: 4 Ways to Get out of the Pit of Depression
    1. Ed on

      Hi Jen — thanks for sharing your story. By the way, could you tell me where it is in the New Covenant that born-again believers are referred to as “sinners”? What New Covenant Scriptures are you referencing?

      Reply
      • Jen Ferguson on

        The first one that comes to mind is “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” from Romans 3:23.
        1 John 1:9 says, “But if we confess ours sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 2:1-2 says, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

    2. Ed on

      Thanks for the response Jen. Actually the Epistles to the Church of Jesus Christ only refers to believers as saints, never sinners. Rome 3:23 is describing the natural state of all men and women who are born into this world in Adam (dead in their trespasses and sins).

      However, we are not sinners any longer because we believe the Good News that Christ made us 100% righteous and holy in Him through His death, burial and resurrection. Furthermore, we are seated with Christ right now in the heavenlies. Even though we still sin (miss the mark), our identity is not “sinner” any longer. If it were, then we would not be ‘in Christ’. The Holy Spirit of Jesus will not live in a dirty heart.

      1 John 1:9 is a salvation verse for unbelievers. If we (those who are unbelievers) confess the sin of unbelief in Jesus Christ and acknowledge the truth that were we born spiritually dead in Adam, then Christ’s Blood cleanses from all unrighteousness. This is one time event for all believers in Jesus. Otherwise, we would have to confess our sins constantly to be cleansed by Christ. But it was Christ’s atoning sacrificing that cleansed us ‘once for all”. If it were not for his ‘once for all sacrifice’, our salvation would be on some kind of ledger accounting system to settle our sins and errors. What’s truly abhorrent about such a system is that we would be in a worse state than Old Testament Jews. Think about it. They only had to offer one sinner offer once a year to cleanse themselves of all their sins for the entire year. But if we have to confess every sin and shortcoming to be acceptable to God, then that is truly a wretched state.

      Do you believe that you and your husband still have a sin nature — or were all of your sins dealt with at the Cross?

      Reply
      • Andrew on

        Hi Ed,
        I appreciate your stating that our identity is in Christ and therefore we no longer need to identify ourselves as sinners. And I like the fact that we are actually saints who struggle with sin as opposed to sinners who need to live by that ledger you mentioned.

        When Adam and Eve sinned, we then inherited a sinful nature. When we are saved by Christ’s work, is the sinful nature still there? If it wasn’t then I would have to say that we would be living like Adam and Eve did. We could walk around without any clothes on and feel no shame or embarrassment. Is that how it is? No, none of us do this. Because the sinful nature is still there and battling to keep control of us. We still don’t have the mindset of Adam and Eve before the fall because the sinful nature still exists. I don’t know if any of us can fully understand this, but for whatever reason it still seems to be there. If we continue to feed our mind with sinful things then the sinful nature will control us. However, if we feed our mind on spiritual things, then we have power over the sinful nature to allow Christ to control us. It’s not that it no longer exists in us, we just have to submit our will to the Father’s will. Even though we fully belong to Christ, we live in this temporal time period where the kingdom of God has not fully manifested itself in our hearts. We can still quickly be led astray. This is because the heart of man has been is still fighting this battle with the sinful nature that came when Adam fell. If the sinful nature no longer existed in us, we would be living like Adam and Eve did before the fall. And we clearly are not.

      • Susan on

        I prefer referring to myself as a “sinner”. Whether that is right or not guess you could debut that till Christ comes again. All I know is it keeps me humble and on my keens before my Lord.

    3. Ed on

      Thanks for your response as well Andrew. Can you provide some New Covenant Scriptures to substantiate your contention that a saint who sometimes sins is actually defined as a ”sinner” or that he or she has a “sinful nature”?

      Reply
      • Andrew on

        Ed, I’m not sure that getting into a debate over scriptural references to sin is best in an article geared towards helping women get out of depression, but I suppose I will at least answer this. As stated in my post, I agree that we are not referred to as “sinners” but as saints. I do believe New Covenant scriptures do show that the sinful nature is at work in a believers life. It would be found initially in Romans 7. Verses 22 and 23 say, “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.” This is clearly present tense in a believer’s life because of verse 22 which says “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law”. Before we were believers we certainly did not delight in his law. Therefore verse 23 applies to the believer. When another law is at work in me making me a prisoner of the law of sin, then I’m not sure how that can be anything other than the sinful nature. Especially when verse 25 then says, “So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” That confirms that we currently struggle with this. I read Romans 8 also, and I don’t see that contradicting the idea that the sinful nature currently is waging war in a saints life. Again, I don’t believe Adam or Eve dealt with any law of sin. So it is from scripture, both old and new testament, that tells me we fight with this struggle against the sinful nature. And I would like you to answer that if the sinful nature is dead as it would have been with Adam and Eve, then why do we not walk around naked as they did and not feel shame or embarrassment?

    4. Ed on

      Hi Andrew,

      I’ll answer your question first:

      Walking around with any type of shame and embarrassment is, indeed, a result of the fall. Adam and Eve suddenly had an identity crisis and forgot who they were. The truth is that they wanted to hide from God whether they were wearing clothes or not. It wasn’t about the clothes, it was about the myth of separation that they believed. Also note that Adam and Eve were not trying to hide the nakedness of their bodies from each other (the opposite sex) which seems to be the sole concern of so-called “modesty advocates” (after you came out of the shower today, did you try to hide your wet, dripping naked body from God?).

      Body shame, in any form, is 100% culturally learned. Just witness the senseless and shrill debate in America over mothers openly breastfeeding in public and then compare it to how breastfeeding is treated in parts of the world like Europe — it’s a non-issue. They don’t presume sexualization of the naked, nursing breast, therefore is not treated that way. If your cultural filter is set to sexualize body parts, then that is your reality. If you believe that you “must” sexualize what you see, then you will just like any good self-fulfilling prophecy.

      Now on to my question to you:

      Is Romans 7 your main proof text that born-again believers are sinners with sinful natures masquerading as holy saints?

      Reply
      • Andrew on

        Romans 7 shows me that we are saints who struggle with the sinful nature, as stated in my above statements. Not sinners. SAINTS! We have been made pure by Christ’s finished work on the cross. Now we have this law that we are battling against, which can be described as a sinful nature. Some other translations don’t even mention a sinful nature, so it may be referred to as something else- law of sin, the flesh, etc. Romans 7 is the only place where “sinful nature” is mentioned in the NIV translation. So yeah, that is the place I would find this truth to be evident. Whatever you may call it, I as saint have this struggle, this compulsion, to do my own thing apart from God’s will. I can continue to live like that and see the result of a broken life that refused to submit to Christ, or I can choose to lay down my idols and trust Christ. This I battle with each day. We are not masquerading as holy saints. We are holy saints. As stated in my first statement, I don’t think anyone can understand this completely. We just know from scripture what is happening.

    5. Ed on

      Sorry to break it to you Andrew but saints don’t have a sinful nature. In Romans 7, Paul was explaining the conflicts that he experienced as a religious unsaved Jew living under the Law of Moses. What eventually broke him free was Jesus Christ himself. (Remember the verse, who will set me free from this body of sin and death?). Now we are dead to sin, dead to the Law and alive to Christ.

      Honestly, are you go to develop an theological doctrine based on the way that you interpret one passage of Scripture?

      For more substantiation on why born-again believers don’t have a sin nature, please read this:

      http://saintsnotsinners.org/10-bible-verses-that-prove-you-dont-have-a-sin-nature/

      Reply

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