November 27, 2018

Our Marriage Story: How Porn Almost Ended our Relationship

Our Marriage Story

This is our marriage story. How porn almost ended our marriage.

We’ve always cared so deeply about marriage. Our dream was to create wedding films that were real, authentic, and could be a tool for couples to help them cultivate a strong and lasting marriage. This is our own story. Real, authentic, heartbreaking and hopeful. We hope that our story will help others know that they are not alone and to give the hope and courage to start healing.

This is the most important story we’ve ever shared. No hyperbole. It’s the truth. For 25 years I (Chris)  was completely addicted to pornography. I was 8 years old when I was first exposed to porn, it became a coping mechanism to feel safe and avoid pain in my life. For 10 years my addiction was slowly eating away at the trust, intimacy, and safety in my marriage. In August 2018, our marriage reached its breaking point. Toni was done, separation papers were ready, and we were on track for a divorce. I had promised hundreds of times over the last 10 years that “this is the last time” and these empty words held no power anymore. Too many relapses, too many broken promises. I had ruined the absolute greatest gift in my life. Broken, ashamed, and hopeless, I could see no path to healing in my own life and certainly no hope for my marriage.

 

I loved my wife, I loved the Lord, but I had no clue why I kept turning back to this thing or how to stop. Trust me, I hated this addiction. The cycle of relapse, shame, anger, relapse, shame…. had taken its toll on me, my marriage, and was starting to really damage the relationship with my son.

 

In my brokenness and desperation God intervened.

 

I was able to get some resources from a ministry I had never heard of, Pure Desire. There was one question that was asked that shook me to my core: “How many men know everything about you? Like everything, the deepest, darkest, most shameful parts of your soul and your story?” The parts you are desperate to hide because you’re convinced that “if anybody knew this about me, they would surely reject me, hate me, leave me” etc, etc.

 

The truth I came to find out, is that to be fully known, we have to be fully loved. And this can only happen in relationships, NOT isolation!

 

My answer was ZERO. As a 33 year old man, married for 10 years to a beautiful wife with 1 amazing son, I had ZERO people that knew EVERYTHING about me. I kept parts of me hidden because of the shame. How could I be dealing with this problem in my 30s? What would people say if they knew? I have to be strong, tough, and live like nothing is wrong.

This question haunted me, it challenged me, and it ultimately changed me. It took me a couple weeks to muster up the courage, but I made the brave decision to share my story and battle with porn addiction with other men. It was hard and scary, but I found out that I wasn’t alone. Other men were hiding in shame and fear. Living a lovely life on the exterior but carrying deep pain within.

So what happened? Sharing my story created safety. It broke down the walls of shame and fear that these other men, like myself, were hiding behind. Guys, this was POWERFUL. Real men are in touch with their pain and unafraid to face it and share it with others. Real men admit weakness, cry freely, and share the parts of their story that scare the life out of them.

Why is this important? It’s not only important, it’s essential. God has purpose for us, He has a plan for us. He wants us to live the life that Jesus died for us to live. That purpose, that calling, is found right there in your biggest hurt, your deepest wound, in the most devastating parts of your story. Right there, that’s the place where God is calling you from.

These experiences of real honesty and real vulnerability with other men set me on a course of healing and freedom that literally saved my life and my marriage! I’m 2 years porn free. I have no secrets, no shame, and I don’t walk around feeling scared and angry all the time! There is peace in my heart and in my home. My marriage is a safe place, it’s still hard work but we have experienced real healing and the overwhelming faithfulness and grace of a loving God through this season of life.

Our hope and  prayer is for anyone that feels like they are alone, living a life of shame, in hiding, afraid that people would never love you if they really knew you and the terrible thing/s about you. Please know that You are NOT alone, there is help, there is hope, there is healing and freedom. We are here and ready to wrap our arms around you with love and support and so is our gracious loving God who wants to do that and so much more in your life. Please DM us if you want to talk. We would love to help get you started on a path to hope, healing, and freedom. 🖤

 

Thank you to Pure Desire for providing the tools and community for hope and healing from sexual brokenness!

 

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