Rebuild Your Marriage man holding bible
Rebuild Your Marriage 4 minute read

Devastation and Hope: When God changed his heart (Part 2 of 4)

Last Updated: February 20, 2014

by Serena Abdelaziz

[Read Part 1 of Serena’s story]

Josh called me one afternoon to meet him at the park; he wanted to tell me the whole truth. He said he owed me that much. I can remember everything about that day.

He shared with me how he never told me the truth about his addiction to pornography before we were married (even though I had questioned him about it). The affair in 2006 had not actually been his first, but his third. He was currently in his fourth relationship, and this one meant the world to him. He felt the need to share everything about how wonderful this woman was, and how inadequate I had been.

I didn’t scream and yell, even though inside I did.

The Prodigal Husband

When I left the park I felt emotionally drained, but I was learning Josh’s addictions were not a reflection of my lack, but they were a reflection of his. This is a revelation that kept me going, even when things felt like they were entirely my fault. I knew we had to start with the truth, no matter how ugly. This was not my problem; it had nothing to do with me being a bad wife. This was Josh’s problem. He had no desire to stop. His heart was so hardened, and he had given up fighting. I am sure he had feelings of hopelessness in spite of his lies. Having been addicted to pornography for 15 years and having no lasting victory…what is the point of trying? There was nothing left to do but pray for him.

The things Josh would say made me feel like my heart was being ripped out. He was speaking lies. Time after time he attacked me, and I would just take it.  The children and I just prayed constantly. I read to them from the Bible about the Prodigal Son, and how this was a picture of Daddy. Prodigals leave home and forget where they come from for a season. They leave home and live like the devil, and leave the ones they care about behind. They lose their senses. But when the prodigal comes home he is welcomed with open arms, completely forgiven.

My heart towards my husband remained soft, in spite of the circumstances. Josh sleeping around and waving his sexual indiscretions in front of his family were minor compared to what he must have felt on the inside. His desire to leave his family was out of character for the man we all believed him to be, so we just continued to pray.

Answer to Prayer

Josh felt like his life choices were made for him. He was made to marry me. He was told he had to be a pastor. Ultimately he never got to do what he wanted. His choices certainly weren’t wise ones, but he wasn’t about to admit defeat. Feeling remorse wasn’t even a blip on his radar; he was going to live the life he always dreamed of.

Satan has dreams for us, too, and Josh was fulfilling all of his dreams. Satan always has a plan for our lives that runs parallel to the plan God desires for us, and Josh was running full force along the path Satan had laid out for him.

The Holy Spirit continually gave Josh opportunities to get right with his family, but he didn’t have a problem with his life. Sin is fun for a season, and he was having fun.

November 15, 2007, was a different day for all of us. Josh called and asked everyone to pray if they believed there was still hope. Of course, we all did. The switch had been flipped. Josh woke up that morning, and he was crying uncontrollably; he had no idea why. Nothing had changed in his life; the circumstances were still the same. He was still making plans to move in with his mistress. So, what was different? Nothing from the outside. It really was just a miraculous heart shift.

Although Josh was not free from his addictions he wanted to come home. Josh describes it as a crossroads. He knew if he didn’t choose to come home then, he would never come home. He didn’t want to, but something deep inside him did know it was wrong. Through tears he asked if it would be okay with me or if things were too badly messed up. He came back to our house that night.

Knowing that God promised to never leave me was the only thing I had hope in, so the journey of restoration began. Josh had come home, but we both knew his heart wasn’t really changed. I just continued to pray for him. Life seemed to have hope now, but it was going to be a long road to complete healing. I wanted to make the changes happen fast, but I knew that would make no difference.

We decided that our marriage was worth taking a 50% cut in income, and we moved our family from California to Colorado. It was worth starting over. Although leaving our family and friends was a tough decision, we knew that we were walking into a safe community when we moved. Josh and I had researched the church we wanted to attend, and even visited it before we moved. I had talked with the pastors and even explained why we were moving. For our marriage, we had to move, but we believed we would be moving to a place that would provide for us the community that would help us move into more healing.

Although it took over a year for things to fall into place in our lives, I never stopped believing that things were going to be okay. Josh’s heart showed no signs of remorse or true repentance for almost a year. But God answered my prayers in so many ways.

Stay tuned for Part 3

. . . .

Serena Abdelaziz has been married to Josh for 13 years. They live in Indiana where she homeschools their six children. Josh works as an assistant manager for a furniture company. After Josh’s 15-year struggle with pornography, their heart is to spread a message of hope for hurting marriages. Listen to their two part interview on Covenant Eyes Radio.

  1. Kelly

    Porn and drinking have destroyed my marriage. My husband tried to poison me where I became so. paranoid I tried to take my own life. He manipulated all my technology and destroyed an important project I was working on and I have been in hiding for fear fo him. I a, certain after 25 years of pron, pathological lying and not remorse he will try and have me killed when I divorce him. Porn I think can make you crazy. He has said he’s hasnt had any affairs but its a lie and suspect he may be bisexual and maybe into younger girls. I am praying so hard despite filing for divorce. His should is trouble. I have almost had multiple. break downs. It’s beyond comprehension. My heart is so broken that someone I loved so much could do the things he’s done to me. One of my children doesn’t speak to me because he turned he against me. My son doesn’t trust him. I am alone and living in hiding until he is served but I am Catholic and I pray the Rosary, Divine. Mercy Chaplet and go to Mass for him. I am hoping God willl convict his heart and save his should

    • Kay Bruner

      Kelly,

      I’m so sorry for the pain you’re going through. I hope you are safe. That’s my main concern for you. You should be able to access resources at your local women’s shelter. Here’s a nationwide list of shelters, so you can find one in your area.

      Peace to you,
      Kay

  2. Amy

    Please pray for my husband Adrian. May God also break his hardened heart and may he see God’s plan for his life, our marriage, our family. Thank you.

  3. Kristina Cruz

    Please pray for my family. It’s been years of praying and it has affected our son. I’m tired of hoping and praying. Thx

  4. Dana

    Reading these articles helps my heart feel I’m not alone in this. After years of sexual deprivation from my husband, I’m the one that strayed into an affair. So my fall from grace I justified with his behavior. The next 20 long, hurtful, confusing years have brought us back. He was found with porn, dating websites and even escort services. He’s now going through the motions of a Prodigal Husband. Keep us in prayer.

Leave a Reply

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

Related in Rebuild Your Marriage

Editor's Picks

Happy couple at the beach.

Rebuild Your Marriage

Rebuilding Trust in Marriage Through Boundaries

In situations where a marriage has been affected by pornography use, it’s…

5 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

Happy family of six.

Rebuild Your Marriage

From Secret Addiction to Full Transparency

After being married for eight years, I came home unexpectedly one afternoon…

4 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

Phil Robertson discussing The Blind with Covenant Eyes.

Rebuild Your Marriage

4 Reasons You Should Watch “The Blind”

The Covenant Eyes Podcast team recently made the trip DEEP into the…

4 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

A mother with her teenage daughters.

Rebuild Your Marriage

How Porn Shattered My Life: A Betrayed Partner’s Perspective

I was 36, married for 15 years, serving in our Church, attending…

5 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

A picture of Dave and Ashley Willis.

Rebuild Your Marriage

Porn Counterfeits Naked Marriage: With Dave and Ashley Willis

What is “naked marriage” all about? We sat down with popular podcasters…

3 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

Rebuild Your Marriage

4 Words of Wisdom From Al and Lisa Robertson

What does the famous Duck Dynasty Clan have to say to Covenant…

3 minute read

Read Post

Related in Rebuild Your Marriage

Happy couple at the beach.

Rebuild Your Marriage

Rebuilding Trust in Marriage Through Boundaries

In situations where a marriage has been affected by pornography use, it’s…

In situations where a marriage has been affected by pornography use, it’s common for one person to feel responsible for the healing process, while the other doesn’t take enough responsibility. This dynamic can lead to…

5 minute read

0 comments

Happy family of six.

Rebuild Your Marriage

From Secret Addiction to Full Transparency

After being married for eight years, I came home unexpectedly one afternoon…

After being married for eight years, I came home unexpectedly one afternoon to find out that my husband had a pornography addiction. I was defeated, brokenhearted, and overwhelmed. I was a young, stay-at-home mom with…

4 minute read

0 comments

Phil Robertson discussing The Blind with Covenant Eyes.

Rebuild Your Marriage

4 Reasons You Should Watch “The Blind”

The Covenant Eyes Podcast team recently made the trip DEEP into the…

The Covenant Eyes Podcast team recently made the trip DEEP into the heart of Louisiana to meet with Phil and Kay Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame, and to talk about their new movie, The Blind.…

4 minute read

0 comments

A mother with her teenage daughters.

Rebuild Your Marriage

How Porn Shattered My Life: A Betrayed Partner’s Perspective

I was 36, married for 15 years, serving in our Church, attending…

I was 36, married for 15 years, serving in our Church, attending life group and sending our girls to a Christian school to help raise them in the ways of the Lord. I thought pornography…

5 minute read

4 comments

A picture of Dave and Ashley Willis.

Rebuild Your Marriage

Porn Counterfeits Naked Marriage: With Dave and Ashley Willis

What is “naked marriage” all about? We sat down with popular podcasters…

What is “naked marriage” all about? We sat down with popular podcasters Dave and Ashley Willis to find out, and we learned an important message about God’s design for sex and how porn counterfeits it.…

3 minute read

0 comments

Rebuild Your Marriage

4 Words of Wisdom From Al and Lisa Robertson

What does the famous Duck Dynasty Clan have to say to Covenant…

What does the famous Duck Dynasty Clan have to say to Covenant Eyes? We wanted to know, so our podcast team sat down with Al and Lisa Robertson to talk about their shows and other…

3 minute read

0 comments