If your husband has an addiction…

You have two choices if your husband is struggling with an addiction to alcohol, porn, gambling, drugs, video games, etc.  The first choice is to wring your hands in despair, whine to your friends, tell him how disgusted you are in him, allow yourself to grow resentful, and eventually divorce him.  Hmm.  That doesn’t sound like the best choice for your family!

The second choice is much more likely to result in his eventual release from the stranglehold of the addiction.  You can choose to pray for him daily, lovingly ask him to seek help through counseling or a 12-step program, set firm boundaries on any behavior that adversely impacts you or your family, and continue to speak “words of life” to him.  What do I mean by “speaking words of life”?  I mean reminding your husband of his many good qualities; reminding him that God has great plans for him; and reminding him that you still love him and that you are willing to stand next to him in this battle.  Your words are so very important.  Proverbs 18:21 puts it this way: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”.

Your husband will be much more likely to put in the hard work to break free from his addiction if he feels supported, encouraged and loved by his wife.  Yes, you must have firm boundaries, but he still needs to know you are for him.  He needs to hear words of hope for the future if he commits to doing the hard work to break free from the addiction.

If husband has online struggles…

I was asked recently how a woman can help her husband (or boyfriend) if he’s struggling with the temptation to view pornography.  This is such a difficult question because, ultimately, he has to be the one who does what is necessary to overcome this temptation.

However, there are 2 things that you can do:

1) Sit down with him and let him know that you want to support him and help him in any way as he wrestles against this temptation.  Then gently and lovingly ask him to share with you the things that seem to trigger the desire to view porn.  As you show compassion and understanding, he will be more likely to feel safe sharing the things that trigger him.  Then once he shares those “triggers”, you can ask what you can do to help him deal with the reasons he’s turning to porn.  You may be able to come up with ideas on how he can avoid situations that trigger him.

2) Insist that he actively pursues assistance from a 12-step group, sexual addiction treatment program, or a godly mentor with experience in this area.  He needs other people to help hold him accountable and to pray for him.  He NEEDS to have other men speak into his life and help him deal with the common temptation to lust and view pornography.  Accountability is Biblical.  James 5:16 instructs, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

The hidden struggle of many women

We’re fearless at Squadron of Sisters!  We don’t shy away from tackling the big, hairy, sensitive issues that impact marriages!! (Get your seatbelt fastened for yet another sensitive topic today!)  A few days ago, I wrote about common signs that a husband might have a serious problem with pornography, but the truth is many women also struggle with porn.  This is not just an issue for men.  If you are one of the many Christian women caught up in viewing pornography, there is hope for you to break free of the hold it has on you.

First, you need to know how important it is to break free from porn.  You probably already know that God tells us to flee sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18), but there is a very practical side to this as well.  Just like men unintentionally condition themselves to only respond to masturbation as they view porn, women can have the same problem.  If you use your hand (or other sex toys) to stimulate yourself while viewing porn, you may start conditioning yourself to only respond to masturbation.  In other words, your husband may no longer be able to bring you to orgasm.

Fortunately, there are some great resources to help women who are struggling with a porn habit.  Here are some websites that may help you:

http://www.dirtygirlsministries.com

http://www.walkinginfreedom.net

http://www.porntopurity.com