My Story: How I Went from Living a Lie to a Life Worth Living—Part V

cover-mockupThe following story is the first chapter from my book, 10 Lies Men Believe About Porn, available now wherever books are sold. It is presented here in eight parts and should take you no more than ten minutes to read (You can find Part 1 here). If you would rather read it off-line, you can sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive a free PDF download of the first three chapters of the book as my thank-you gift for signing up.


My Internet History Hits the Fan

With my newfound freedom, I apparently let my guard down. A few weeks later my wife discovered some questionable things in my Internet history. I believe God had nudged her to start digging, as it had been well over a month since I had last viewed porn. He knew He couldn’t let me coast along in life from that point and never fully deal with everything that needed to be addressed in my life. There were still a lot of things He needed to teach me, and I was only just beginning to trust Him with parts of my life.

When my wife confronted me about my Internet history, I finally decided to stop hiding. I confessed my addiction to her. It was an odd moment for me because I was excited to be experiencing this new freedom and wanted her to be excited along with me—but it didn’t go over as well as I had hoped. My confession was like a bomb going off in her heart. Everything she thought she knew about me—and our marriage—had been a lie. She felt hurt, betrayed, blindsided, and angry. She asked me how I could have lied to her for so many years knowing full well the damage it was causing. I didn’t have an answer for her.

The next few months were really hard for both of us, but for different reasons. My wife was figuring out how to live with and process this new pain, and I began wrestling with God. We began counseling and attempted to find a way to repair the damage I had caused. Our counseling sessions were all the same, though. I would play the part of the victim, saying how I was better now and had come clean. My wife just needed to forgive me so we could move on and live happily ever after. She would respond that she couldn’t trust me, didn’t see any changes in me, and felt trapped because she didn’t know if she was supposed to stay with me or not.

HidingThe truth is, she was right about not trusting me. I hadn’t built up the courage to face the full extent of my problem yet and was still hiding the worst details of my sin from her. I had cheated on her, but was too much of a coward to confess it to her, so I continued to lie. I told her over and over that I had confessed everything even though I hadn’t. I think she wanted to believe me, but God wasn’t going to let her. He loved her too much to let her return to a marriage built on a foundation of dishonesty and lies. We eventually decided to stop the counseling because it didn’t seem to be making any difference. We had been attempting to fix the symptoms while I was ignoring the much deeper issue. Until I chose to come clean, stop lying, and confess everything to her, nothing was going to change in our marriage.

During this time, I plugged in to a pornography recovery group at a local church as an attempt to show my wife how serious I was about moving toward God and recovery. Even though my motives for joining were wrong, God used the group to keep drawing me closer to Him. I began to realize I wasn’t the only man who struggled with sexual sin. I found a community of men who loved me and accepted me even though I still had all sorts of junk in my life. I never felt as if I needed to pretend to be anyone other than who I really was with these men. It was amazing. I would often break down and cry in front of them, and they would do the same in front of me. In all my years of attending church I had never experienced community and fellowship quite like this. Through these relationships, I began to realize that God viewed me this way as well. I had bought into the lie that my sin had continued to separate me from Him and I needed to get it under control before I could have a relationship with Him. In reality, He was right there all along, waiting for me to accept the freedom only He could bring.

Although God was drawing me closer to Him, I continued to dig in my heels on confessing everything to my wife. I still believed that I could lie or bluff my way out of any situation, and with enough time, it would all just be swept under the rug. I figured if I held out long enough, things would finally blow over and get better. This feeling of being in control of my life was completely shattered when my wife finally asked me to move out. It was the moment I knew there was a good chance our marriage wasn’t going to be patched up so easily this time.

Continue reading: My Story—Part VI

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