In the United States of America, we celebrate Memorial Day each year on the last Monday in May. Initially created to remember the sacrifice of those who fought and gave their lives in the Civil War, this remembrance day now includes all those who never came home.
If you or a family member served in any military branch, thank you. Because of your sacrifice, we live in this great country.
I remember Memorial Day ceremonies in my hometown. They were somber occasions with bands, flags, and wreaths laid at veterans’ graves. I sensed the deep sacrifice each family made and remembered that our free lives come with a significant cost—the lives of fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, grandfathers, and grandmothers.
I pray we never forget the enormous gift of freedom.
This Memorial Day, I also reflect on the cost of recovery.
When Dave revealed his porn addiction, I only wanted him to get help and stop using the porn. Pure and simple. I felt it was his problem. Know what I soon discovered? I needed to process and heal from the evil of porn as much as he did.
To win your battle, you might have to face the…
1. Death of the current situation.
In every battle, we experience the death of one kind or another. In my recovery, I discovered that my perfect marriage didn’t exist. I had built my relationship with my husband on several lies, and I couldn’t continue my current life pattern. Things had to change.
The pain of this discovery led me to face the rubble pile where I stood. I couldn’t go back to the way things were. Instead, I had a choice to make, and only I could make it.
2. Decision to change.
No one enters a battle on a whim. Field generals and commanders assess the situation before they design strategies. Perhaps what they’ve tried hasn’t produced the desired results, and they then course correct to gain the expected victory.
When Dave and I realized our current relational path ended in this massive destructive pattern, we knew things had to change. But Dave’s choice wasn’t the same as mine. Yet, it affected me. He had to choose me and our marriage or the temptation and lure of porn. My choice was to fight for the marriage, work through pain and trust issues, OR abandon it all to protect my broken heart.
I could have chucked everything, citing his broken promises to me. However, God reminded me of my vows to him and Dave. My only real choice was to believe God could work a miracle if I trusted him. It wasn’t about Dave, broken promises, or my rights. When I looked at the choice I faced, I heard God ask me, “Do you believe I am big enough to get you through this pain and save your marriage?”
3. Determination to gain freedom.
Several years ago, my coach challenged me to consider my pain as either chronic or acute. Yes, every wound in my heart and mind was real. Don’t get me wrong. The profoundly personal wounds from discovering your husband’s porn addiction cut in ways nothing else will. Never minimize this destruction.
Choosing chronic pain allowed me to keep the truth hidden, pretend that all was good in our marriage and relationship, and delude myself that this wasn’t all that bad.
The alternative choice—acute pain—required I face this monster head-on. I had to call porn what it is: destructive and dangerous. I felt sick to my stomach at what Dave had seen. Yet, this choice also forced me to face my dishonesty and self-preserving attitudes and actions.
It takes two to save a marriage—actually three. You and your spouse must partner with God to rebuild what porn destroys. It cannot be done with lasting results any other way.
The battle to win the war against porn use and addiction within your home requires a decisive win. You can and will change your future when you choose acute pain. The Bible tells us that darkness cannot overcome the light. And there’s where you find your freedom. Once you courageously reveal the story and find help and hope, Satan’s whispered lies about being rejected after telling the truth lose their teeth. We risked telling someone we felt we could trust and received acceptance, love, and hope for a free future.
Skirmishes continue because Satan knows your weaknesses and exploits them at every turn.
Memorial Day focuses on the sacrifices and changes caused by war.
Our country, the USA, faced a new way to live united after each war. Life didn’t “go back to normal.” Nothing can or will, especially in the lives of soldiers and their families. You can’t get back the time the war stole. The war impacts every aspect of our lives.
The same is true in recovery from porn addiction. How will you win your battle?
Life must change. How and what that looks like is up to you and your husband.
During the first few years of recovery, I couldn’t imagine how God could use our failure for his purpose or honor. Yet, I underestimated God’s redeeming power. Each time we tell our story, each person who reads Choosing A Way Out, shows how God takes our brokenness and reveals his grace, mercy, love, and restoration.
So, this Memorial Day, I will remember those who sacrificed their lives so I could live in this great democratic experiment called the United States of America.
This country isn’t perfect and makes mistakes regularly. So do I. So does Dave. Our marriage isn’t perfect, and we make mistakes regularly. However, we cling to God, who redeems us. We strive for honesty and fight together like soldiers in hand-to-hand combat, protecting each other’s back. And someday, perhaps, we’ll better understand how our failure glorifies God.
If you need help to win your battle, please reach out.
I promise to hear your story without judgment, offer encouragement and hope, point you to the God who redeems us, and guide you toward a better future. Let’s talk.