“Are you willing to do what it takes to become healthy?”
I’ll never forget this question.
Faced with the shock from my husband’s confession of pornography addiction, I answered affirmatively but had no idea what that meant.
When we delved into the healing process, I found a mess.
I thought I managed life well. But, as we unearthed more of the rubble from our recent emotional earthquake, I realized the daunting amount of work ahead.
“Are you willing to do what it takes to become healthy?” A great question.
Whether my clients voice it or not, they are likely asking a question of their own, “How long will it take?”
I can relate to that because it’s usually the first question to come out of my mind and mouth.
What if instead of “how long” we ask a different question. “Are you willing to do what it takes to become healthy?”
When you feel broken, unheard, rejected, and unimportant, you can’t see anything but the gigantic pile of destroyed dreams and expectations. Your vision is compromised. You know you need a bulldozer to help with the excavation, but where do you find one? The shovel in your hand might as well be a spoon.
Do you relate?
When recovering from porn addiction’s damage, you need an answer to that question.
To heal, your energy must be focused on the recovery steps to move beyond the shock of his porn addiction instead of the length of time.
That way, you can celebrate the smalls wins. While your mind screams to change your circumstances, your healing step involves confronting that rubble pile. Opening your eyes and your heart for hope.
Until you clear that rubble away and salvage the good, you won’t find the healing you desperately desire. No matter how much time passes.
I know it feels like you’re faced with a landfill of junk. Like your life is torn in pieces and parts. But you do have the ability to, step by step, shovel by shovel, dig through this mess and make a better life. As you hold what feels like a tiny spoon in your hand, determine to exchange it for the excavator and dump truck.
But you need to answer this question: Are you willing to do what it takes to become healthy?
Here are three areas to focus on to help you move beyond the shock and help answer this question.
You must deal with the pain and betrayal. When I first listen to a client, I let you dump the pain. You need to be heard and know you are not crazy. You’ve been wounded.
Yes, you need emergency assistance. You don’t have the vantage point to see the wound as well or the strength to believe it will get better. Breathe in, then out. You’ve taken the first courageous step to get help to treat your immediate wounds. It is difficult to see what you need right now. That’s why I always offer a robust, confidential, free first meeting to any woman who reaches out. You deserve to be heard and helped, regardless of his choices. You’re in the right place.
The next step in this process involves quickly assessing the damage to treat you effectively. Because you are in crisis mode, you can’t accurately diagnose your next best step. Your trauma in your marriage is a gaping wound that needs treatment. His betrayal, addiction, or dishonesty will fester, creating bigger problems for you and your marriage. In the case of porn use, it opens the door to cheating and affairs. TechCrunch reports that online porn viewing increases marital infidelity by 300%. Your injury grows if left untreated.
This wound is not a scratch. Your pain needs a triage assessment. At this point, I ask my clients what they want. How do they want their future to look? Having a trained third-party treat your shock symptoms and help you decide how to move forward stops the spin cycle in your mind.
Aftershock Recovery Method phase.
At this point, you discover you aren’t crazy. Your wounds are real. But, more importantly, you have hope. Your future can be what you dream if you are willing to do what it takes to become healthy. My clients and I assess the challenges, pains, unique situations, and issues they face. Then, we create a path to health and healing. No two paths are the same.
Every person recovers from the shock of their spouse’s porn addiction at a different pace.
You might be tempted to compare your recovery to another’s. But, that causes more damage to your heart. Rob Lowe says, “Never compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.”
You only see the results of someone’s hard work. And results come in different ways and times.
As you move beyond the shock toward healing, time is your friend, not your enemy.
Small steps create your new life foundation. Focus on your healing. You’re the only one you can control. Don’t look at your husband. You can’t orchestrate or dictate his recovery. Every time we look at another person’s recovery and compare it to ours, we lose. Comparison kills your recovery.
Take time to assess your life. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to recover?
Look at your daily allotment of time as you would your financial investments.
According to Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” We invest our time in the people, activities, and things we treasure (your rose). Just like we carefully invest our money to provide for our future (I hope you do!), we allocate our time to what we value.
Investing in your recovery indicates how you value yourself. It is not a waste of time or money. Becoming healthy never is.
God created you perfectly. He had options to make you different, and He didn’t. He believes in you, loves you, and will walk with you through this pain. I promise. Please get help from someone for your wounds. I’d be honored to help.
We need you to become healthy. We need your wisdom, experience, battle scars, and solid foundation to teach us and encourage us.