When I underwent ankle surgery several years ago, one of the first questions I asked was how long it would take to heal.
A typical question every doctor receives. My surgeon’s estimate proved accurate. The physical therapy required to regain full range of motion was less accurate. Everyone heals and responds to physical therapy differently because of factors like muscle tone, consistent at-home exercises, and other mitigating health issues. I’ll never forget the day I received the “all-clear” report from the therapist and the surgeon. I felt free.
Often, clients ask me how long it will take them to heal and how they will know they are healed. Both are fantastic questions. However, like the mitigating factors with physical therapy, the answer varies by person.
How long it takes to heal depends on you.
No one dictates your healing. You have choices every step of the way. I remember my counselor asking me to read The Wounded Heart by Dan Allender. Each week, she walked me through the pages I’d read. However, during one session, I admitted I set the book aside that week because it was too painful. The section where I got stuck revealed much about my inner beliefs and vows I wasn’t ready to face. Gently and compassionately, my counselor encouraged me to push into the pain rather than avoid it. Not all at once, but one painful issue at a time. It was my choice to stay stuck in that pain or move forward. My healing happened as I faced each pain point.
Trapped in the pain of betrayal from your husband’s porn addiction, you long to heal and be free.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then,
and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
I desperately desired this promise to be true in my life. But getting to the point of feeling free takes work. Hard, consistent, dedicated work. I couldn’t make up my mind, tell myself I was free, and move on.
How do you know when you’re healed?
I look for milestones in my healing journey. Some of these might look like:
- My husband leaves on a trip, and I sleep well at night. During the early stages of my recovery, I struggled with anxious thoughts and worry every night. I barely slept.
- I believe my husband when he says he hasn’t looked at porn for a week or month or longer. Also, I don’t feel compelled to check his internet history or phone searches.
- My husband had a tough workday, but instead of isolating himself, he tells me about his struggles. I listen carefully, ask open-ended questions, and pray over him. Throughout the conversation, I feel calm, peaceful, and honored that he told me about the struggle.
- My husband and I argued. Instead of throwing his porn addiction in his face, I recognized the real issue in the conflict, accepted my part in the disagreement, asked for forgiveness, and worked toward resolution.
- I woke up feeling anxious about where my husband is in his recovery process. Instead of allowing the spin cycle to get wound up, I grabbed my Bible, journal, and pen and poured out my heart to God.
I control my healing journey.
Each day is one step forward, even though it might feel painful or confusing. To keep my focus on freedom and health, I choose certain beliefs and actions every day.
Adopt these 10 actions to heal from your husband’s porn addiction.
- Read the Bible daily.
- Talk with God often throughout the day.
- Choose to forgive as often as necessary.
- Be honest with myself and Dave.
- Do the necessary inner work.
- Agree to the process.
- Release my reputation in others’ eyes.
- Take the next step in the journey.
- Accept imperfection.
- Select my influences.
True freedom from the wounds of your husband’s porn addiction comes through your relationship with Jesus Christ.
I don’t know any other way to fully heal. Only in Jesus do I find the strength to forgive. This forgiveness meant I gave up my right to seek revenge and pay back from my husband. When I released my desire to control the outcome of this healing process, that’s when I found freedom. I wasn’t completely healed, but I felt free for the first time.
Wherever you are in your healing journey, please give yourself grace for the process.
Allow yourself to feel what’s happening today. Seek the help you need to safely process your pain. Celebrate each win, no matter how small or insignificant. Refuse to allow others to dictate your progress.
Journaling your thoughts, worries, pain, prayers, joys, milestones, issues, and such helps you track your progress. It’s why I encourage my clients to adopt this practice. My journals show me how far I’ve come in this healing journey. I can look through them and discover personal growth, spiritual insight, and deepening intimacy with God and my husband. I now understand I don’t remember as many details as I thought I would. My journals fill in the blanks and bring gratitude for what God has done.
Are you stuck in these questions? Do you feel anxious about getting to the end of your healing process? Please reach out. I promise to listen and help you find your next step forward. You can do it. How do I know? Because I did. And I’m just like you.