3 minute read

6 Ways My Husband Helped Me Heal From Betrayal

Last Updated: June 14, 2018

Guest Author
Guest Author

Want to write for the Covenant Eyes blog? Share the story of your journey to freedom from pornography. Let us know how you overcame porn or how Covenant Eyes has made a difference in your life or the lives of those you love.

Let’s say my husband is driving a car, and I’m in the passenger seat. He reaches for his phone to reply to a text message, and we get in a wreck. He’s okay, but my leg is mangled during the accident. If we’re looking for someone to blame, this is his fault. But if I want to walk again, I’m going to have to go to physical therapy. I have to do the work.

He can’t do my work, but there are some things he can do to help me heal.  He can take care of the laundry. He can wrangle the boys.  He can fix dinner. He can make my recovery easier.

In much the same way, I had to do the work of recovery after betrayal. But my husband did a few things to help me heal.

husband helped me heal

He was honest.

After years of hiding a secret life of porn addiction, honesty was a big deal. Early in our recovery, I flew out of state. When I came home, I immediately knew something was wrong. My husband was nervous and edgy. I wondered what happened while I was gone.

We got the boys settled, and as soon as we could be alone, he told me he gave into temptation late one night while flipping through channels. Even though it was risky, he told me the truth. I was so mad. I was unpacking my suitcase and just wanted to throw something at him. All I had was flip-flops and t-shirts—nothing hard enough to actually hurt him.

My husband knew his honesty would hurt me, but that it would be better in the end than covering it up like he had always done. Even though I was wounded, somewhere deep inside I was grateful for his honestly.

He answered my questions.

Part of recovery was understanding how he got hooked on porn and what that hidden part of his life looked like. It was uncomfortable, but he answered my questions and then he answered more questions. He even answered the same questions over and over. I learned it was a problem before I was even in the picture. He grew up struggling with it, and was entrenched in it for years. Piecing his past together helped me make sense of what had happened in our marriage.

He was patient.

An immediate sense of relief came for my husband after the secret came out, like a weight lifted off his shoulders. He wanted to move forward, hurry up, and get healed. But that is when the grueling journey started for me. As much as he wanted to take the 12-week class and call it done, it took me a lot longer to heal. Yes, there were days when he wasn’t patient, but he practiced being patient and allowed me the time and space I needed to heal.

He owned his junk. 

Because he rationalized his porn use, I’m not sure my husband would have owned his junk without therapy. He told himself, “It’s not like I’m having an affair.” Through the programs at AffairRecovery.com, he realized his use of pornography was a betrayal, a virtual affair. I had a similar road to recovery, with the deep pain and crazy emotions of a woman whose husband had been with another woman in the flesh.

He did the work.

My husband was committed to his personal recovery, and he did his work. He put his whole heart into each assignment. He never missed a counseling session. He installed Covenant Eyes on all our devices. He met weekly with an accountability group. I began to see the fruit of change in his life and watching him change helped me feel safe again.

He loved me from a distance.

For awhile, our home didn’t contain a lot of affection. I was not easy to love. But through those difficult times, my husband continued to express love to me in letters and e-mails. Plenty of angry exchanges occurred, but a long letter often followed them. Maybe he wrote letters because it allowed him to share his heart without snarky interruptions. Regardless of his motivation, it worked. I kept his letters and e-mails and read them often. When I felt sorry for myself, I read his letters. When I wondered if I could ever trust again, I read his letters. This was his heart, and his heart wanted me. It wanted us.

I plodded along in recovery, and slowly after several years, my heart healed. My soul was restored. My husband couldn’t fix me, but his kindness and support was an important part of my healing process.

LynnLynn Marie Cherry is the author of Keep Walking: 40 Days to Hope and Freedom after Betrayal. She is dedicated to inspiring hope and shining a light on the path to freedom. In whatever shoes you prefer—flip-flops, heels or rubber rain boots—you’ll learn how to take a step forward today. Lynn and her husband David have been married for 25 years. They have two boys. You’ll find her at lynnmariecherry.com.

  • Comments on: 6 Ways My Husband Helped Me Heal From Betrayal
    1. kstar

      Thanks, that as very helpful, thanks for your openness to share.

      • You are very welcome! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment

      • You are very welcome, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

    2. Shane Bekker

      I am single but, I still see the relevance of this blog for my future in preparing for my future spouse, whomever she is. Resolving the issue before meeting the spouse is better than waiting till after being married. So I have a question: When is the best time to tell a future spouse about an addiction?

      Also I have not heard or read anything on Soul-Ties here on Covenant Eyes. I have recently come across this topic from a friend of mine and would like to know what you or anyone on the team of Covenant Eyes know about it and how you go about dealing with this process?

      • Chris McKenna

        Hello, Shane – you have asked a couple of very good questions. Your first question, “when is the best time to tell a future spouse about an addiction?” My question back – is this an on-going addiction? Or, an addiction that is being remediated through accountability and other steps? In either case, it should be talked about, but the timing really depends on you. If she is a Godly woman, she’ll likely take great interest in the fact that you are being honest and have taken steps to prepare your heart and create a foundation for a “one flesh” bonding to her at some point in the future (if you’re taking care of a past addiction). If it’s something that’s still going on, then, that’s a different discussion, which I’m sure you can appreciate.

        I have not done a ton of research on soulties, but they are worth noting (and would likely make a great blog post, so thank you). God’s design creates a one-flesh union with those who we experience sexually. There’s a mysterious, Divine, multi-level adhesion that takes place. This is why it is so common for a person to still have some ‘feelings’ or have random thoughts about an ex-lover that they have no right to be attracted to in that way. There are ministries that can help break these ties. You might reach out to a local church to inquire about such a program in your area.

        Peace, Chris
        Covenant Eyes

    3. What if after 20 years of marriage, my husband has been caught in Pornography again, is also an alcoholic – all he has done is acknowledge that he has a problem, but has taken no active steps other than say I wont do that again. When do I know that its never going to change? Am I living in denial ….

      Rebuilding trust is not something he understands and quite frankly thinks I should just snap out of it.

      • Kay Bruner

        Hey Marcia,

        Well, of course the first step toward rebuilding trust is for your husband to become trustworthy, to take those behavioral steps like blocking/filtering his devices, finding a CSAT therapist for himself, getting into a group, etc.

        The second step toward rebuilding trust is on an emotional level, where your husband turns toward you emotionally: he cares how you feel, he listens, he empathizes, he connects to you emotionally. Here’s an article that references the research of reknowned relationship expert, Dr. John Gottman. Your husband telling you to “just snap out of it” is a huge violation of emotional trust–that’s why it feels so horrible.

        To me, the emotional trust metric is really the one that matters! Does your husband really care how you feel? If he really doesn’t care, then I think that puts the relationship in very serious jeopardy. In my opinion, betrayal of emotional trust is far worse than any betrayal of behavioral trust.

        I would say, find a counselor JUST FOR YOU, someone who can help you process your emotions and build healthy boundaries. Find a group to help you process your trauma. Check out the online resource, Bloom, for forums, classes, and other support.

        Peace to you, Kay

    4. I”m so impressed with the compassionate responses form the CE team! Thank you, not only for provided resources but for being so very kind!

    5. Wren

      1) Both you & your husband will be tested for STD’s. This can be Life or Death! I don’t care if he says he didn’t have sex w/”real” women. Remember how well he lied to you before? If he won’t you must do this for yourself.

      2) Talk with an attorney, discreetly if you need too, but find out how to protect yourself. Often finances can be destroyed without the wife knowing until its too late. Post-nups can be prepared by an attorney.

      3) Decide what boundaries YOU need in order for your home to be safe/secure again. If that means getting rid of the Computer, Cable, no Internet on phones, etc. do it. If you do need a computer in home, then limit it to only you having access & not your offender husband. You can set up a log-in & password that only you know, thus if someone else in the house tries to access they will not be able too. Your husband if he really wants to view Porn can get around filters.

      Bottom line you now have decisions to make that will help you to heal. Your husband/friends/family/counselor can not heal you. Only Christ Jesus can. I hope you spend time alone in His Word & much Prayer. Ask Him how to set boundaries going forward if you decide to stay married that will protect you & Honor Christ.

      And please don’t let someone try to “make” you accept ANY responsibility for your husband’s healing. Only God can change your husband. Please use that energy for YOUR healing! Blessings.

    6. Thank you for your article. In my ministry, i deal a lot with men and couples where pornography has become an issue – on either side. I love to hear stirring testimonies of healing and saved marriages. However testimonies like this can, and do, unfortunately, become a “one size fits all” approach. In many cases, this kind of approach results in a destroyed marriage because of one simple truth: Husbands many times do not know how to approach their wives (or vice versa!) on their wives own terms and in their wives context. Many times husbands want to approach their wives like they approach their male friends, and it can be a recipe for disaster. There are other ways to approach this issue.

    7. Andy Stringer

      My wife sent me this article in December. I never did anything suggested in it. In April I finally decided to get serious about recovery and dedicate myself to my wife and my family. I was gone on a business trip at the time. The day after I got back, living temporarily in an apartment as a consequence for acting out in February, I got divorce papers. Now I hope against hope that there is still some part of my wife that is willing to open her heart to the possibility that I can be trusted again. Please, don’t do what I have done and cause a tragedy for your family. If your wife reaches out to you begging for help, help her.

    Leave a Reply

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