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I Learned Compassion After Betrayal

I Learned Compassion After Betrayal
by April Herbert
Resource Manager, Pure Community

I am living proof that a person can go on to live a happy life after being betrayed by their spouse. I have a very good life, and found out that I am stronger, wiser, and more resilient that I ever imagined. Over the past year I have learned and discovered more about sex and pornography addiction than I had in previous decades. Through my learning, I have developed compassion, and most importantly, that his addiction was not my fault.

He was a good man, except for his addiction. The first three weeks of our marriage were perfect and wonderful, then it started and I shouldn’t have been surprised.

Virtue was highly valued in my family. I loved God and was, and still am, active in my religion. My husband was raised in a family full of pornography, incest, and rape.

Throughout our courtship he was moody four to five days out of seven and he would hardly even talk to me. The two or three days a week he wasn’t in “his mood”, he was fabulous and so was our relationship. Interestingly, he had started going to church with me, and he was always in a good mood on Sunday, and usually a day or two after.

At some point in our courtship I learned he was getting moody because we weren’t having sex. Being young (22) and naïve, I thought, “once we’re married that problem will be solved, and he’ll be happy all the time”, and I was right, for about three weeks.

It started with him wanting me to do things I was uncomfortable with, and wouldn’t agree to. He’d be moody for a few hours, then it would pass. As time went on, his moods lasted longer. A little over a year into our marriage I found pornography in one of his drawers. He was also letting me know, in subtle ways, that I was too fat, my bust too small, and my eye makeup wasn’t the way he liked it. Before long he wanted me to wear provocative clothing when we went out together; clothing closer to prostitute attire than clothes appropriate for a daughter of God who is trying to set a good example for her children. He wanted other men to see his wife and want (or lust after) what he had.

Ten years into our marriage he had an affair with a coworker. I suspect that was not the only one, but it was the only one confirmed. I found pornography (magazines) several more times, and it was becoming more deviant. As time went on his moods progressed and lasted for months. Oddly, I was afraid to tell our counselor that I thought pornography was a huge problem in our marriage, for fear I would be considered a prude.

After seventeen years, he filed for divorce. I had let him down. I was boring and no fun. He said he felt like a ”dweed” in our family, a feeling, no doubt, created by the addiction to pornography. Part of me was heart-broken, the other part was relieved.

It is not my intention to make my former husband sound like an awful person. He was a wonderful, kind, big hearted son of God, with a problem. The addiction to sex and pornography was so powerful that it took control of his life. I am happy to say that he has changed his life and is married to a wonderful woman. As for me, I know I was not without fault in the whole ordeal, I’m far from perfect, but I was not responsible for his addiction.

For many years I considered pornography use as a lack of character and had little to no sympathy for those involved. Since beginning my work at Pure Community, I have learned to have empathy and compassion for those who are caught in its web. Pornography is designed to do exactly what it does. It grabs susceptible minds and creates a compulsive need for more. Spouses are unrealistically compared to the latest hot porn star. It ruins lives, destroys families, and turns people away from God. Gaining this knowledge has helped me understand that a lot, if not most of the addicts, are sucked into pornography’s grasp at quite a young age, some even in elementary school.

Also through my work, I have learned that there is a tremendous amount of help and support for both the addict, and the spouse. I have attended conferences and read books and learned a lot about how pornography affects the brain, as well as the help and support that are available to betrayed spouses. I found it comforting to know that I am not alone with my story of betrayal. For me learning the addiction affects the brain has made me more forgiving, and if I can forgive, a tremendous weight can be lifted from my shoulders.

It’s easy to focus on the gloom and doom of the porn infestation, but don’t. Focus on the many opportunities to regain lives. Focus on the scriptures, and God’s love for each of us. Pray, and then pray some more. Seek out good friends who will support and encourage you, whether you are the addict or the spouse. Take care of yourself, follow the teachings of Christ and remember that the only person you can change is yourself. Seek out counseling and supportive group to help you through the time of healing. There is hope. Remember that Christ knows our pain. He atoned for us so we can repent of our sins, be forgiven, and heal. It’s a beautiful thing.
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Posted: Sep 15, 2017,
Categories: Men, Women, Spouses,
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