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Brandon Andress is the author of AND THEN THE END WILL COME! (April 2013) and Unearthed: How Discovering the Kingdom of God Will Transform the Church and Change the World (2010). He lives in Columbus, Indiana and writes for his popular blogs Brandon Andress and A Joyful Procession. Brandon earned his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and his BA in Psychology from Hanover College. He loves the outdoors, hiking, camping, and traveling. For more information visit: www.andthentheendwillcome.com

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GUEST POST: How Porn is Destroying My Marriage by LaVita Bailey

I want to take you through my journey, as the wife of a sex addict. I want to share this with you because I cannot suffer this alone.

I was married July 7, 2012, but there was no honeymoon phase for us once we got married. I had been very ill over the past few years and my husband moved in with me before our wedding day to care for me, because my deteriorating health had made me less independent.

One evening after I had fallen asleep on the couch, in the safety of my home with my loving fiancé nearby, he turned on a racy and inappropriate movie on Netflix. And as his temptation took over while watching this movie, he performed a selfish sex act over me as I slept. I had already warned him of my anti-porn stance when he moved in – and that it would not be accepted or tolerated in my home. But for a man I came to know as a sex addict, rules don’t matter.

I had heard of pornography, but at the age of thirty-three I had never seen it. That’s not to say I had never encountered it though – my first husband was addicted to it as well. But we silently divorced and he did not expose me to any of it, per my request. To me, porn is adultery. I refused to be married to an adulterous man, for in my heart, it is cheating.

So here I was, having discovered an odd movie title in the recently watched history. I didn’t recall watching anything with a red dress on the front cover and I didn’t have my glasses on so I selected it to see what it was,. As soon as I hit play, I was exposed. I went straight for the power button and lost my temper as the television became as black as my heart, then drained to an empty, distraught feeling. I became ill with a feeling of a nauseated sickness.

I sat silently for several minutes. I could not speak to him. I could not call his name. I began to cry to God with all my thoughts. I was trying to process all of this for the second time and asking so many questions. How could this have happened a second time? Did my abstinence stance cause this? With our pre-marital counseling approaching in a few hours, what will I say to him? In a self-indicting way, all I could think is- I am not good enough for him. And, I will never be good enough for him. I don’t look like the woman he is fantasizing about. What did I do wrong? What is wrong with me? I wish I was beautiful. Who could love a scrawny, sickly, divorced, abused person with all of my hurts from the past?

Apparently, not this “good Christian man” who I thought God was blessing me with. He must have been angry with me last night. This must be my fault – I know better than to anger him. God, what have I done to deserve this again? What do I do? Should I make him leave? Should I go?

I had nothing more to give God than all of the pain I felt in this moment of discovery. All of my feelings and thoughts had become focused on my feelings from the past. I felt alone and abandoned again. This wasn’t new to me. All of it turned into a muddy mess in my head. I could not feel anger. I just felt the destruction of my very being. I was so crushed. I felt so worthless that I couldn’t even confront him.

He eventually walked in and knew he had been caught. I was immediately barraged with his fast spoken explanations. His embarrassment and shame came out all at once. I was enraged at his attempt to redeem himself so loudly and quickly. Most of the fight is a blur in my memory, but soon we were before our pastor and his wife. I don’t remember much of the session either, because I spent it all in tears. Deep in my heart I blamed myself. Whatever had happened had to be my fault.

I had already let one marriage fail because of my stance on pornography and adultery. But as my head cleared, I knew I was right to stand my ground, as I had done before. The Bible is on my side. I will not budge. I will not shift. Sexual immorality is a sin.

What I saw on the television for those brief moments, those images, will be burned into my mind forever. Those few images have damaged something in me that only God can heal. Every time my husband makes love to me, I wonder if he uses those images to get through it and get it over with. I imagine the images running through his mind, and my heart begins to shut down the sensitive sexual and emotional connection I have with my husband, reducing it to nothing. I find myself viewing my body as nothing more than an instrument to aid in a pornographic movie, and no longer feel adequate to fulfill my place in my marriage. I know I am not the only woman in my bed, there are thousands of others.

After our wedding, I found more pornography on our computers. Despite continued marriage counseling through the church, his behavior continued… and continues. Where as I previously had access to all of the accounts in my house, he began to change passwords and began hiding his internet history. But time and time again I would find it. I felt violated. Useless. Victimized. Demoralized. Cheated on. Lied to.

I have a husband who goes to church, preaches at everyone about everything, has a deep knowledge and understanding of God’s word, and who is the worst hypocrite in the way he delves into pornography and abuses me as a result of his own destructive behavior. I am so miserable. My self-esteem, my well being, my assurance and my trust are all broken.

All of the advice I’ve heard is the same – Pray for your husband. Pray for your marriage. Pray for your own peace. No problem. I pray. I pray out of bed. I pray to the shower. I pray at my coffee pot and ask the Lord to bless me and my life, and my coffee and all of the hands that processed it. Then I pray more. I pray all day. Everything I do, everything I touch, and any other thought that crosses my vast mind is spoken to God.

But I am still flooded with these feelings of sadness, shame, humility, and disgrace. I have prayed constantly from the beginning. But sometimes I feel like my mountain of prayers is not yet tall enough to change my husband’s heart. So I wait. And sadly I slowly begin to drift away from God. I forget again and again that sin caused all of this, not God.

My mind and my heart cannot rest because I have no answers, I feel abandoned in an unending grief and all I can do is ask “why?”

LaVita Bailey began her career as a stand up comedian in 2003, performing in comedy spots over the east. In 2010, She was regularly performing and touring when she was diagnosed with a pancreatic disorder that has kept her out of the spotlight and at home for some time. She started working regularly with homeless and hunger ministries in several churches, and currently resides in Sherwood, Arkansas, with her husband and army of pets. She also has spoken in public on matters such as abuse and rape. She has worked with troubled teenagers throughout the years, and raised money to help several families in times of illness and loss. She has participated and many Toys for Tots drives as well, and brings Christmas to less fortunate children on a yearly basis. After a childhood filled with abuse, foster care, and drugs, She has devoted her life to God and helping others. She was married July 7, 1012, and now lives at home as a housewife, caring for her husband and five pets. She can be reached at lavitaisfrigginawesome@gmail.com.

Check out a previous post in this series 3 Things I Want My Son to Know About Porn…

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10 Comments on “GUEST POST: How Porn is Destroying My Marriage by LaVita Bailey”

  1. brandonandress February 25, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    Reblogged this on brandonandress.

  2. juanrbalboa February 25, 2013 at 8:01 am #

    Lavita is right to focus on porn as the destructive force. It was destroying her husband before they married. Those images burned in her mind with one glance. Imagine how etched they’ve become in his mind. It’s hideous, a weapon in Satan’s arsenal.

  3. Sarah Dismore February 25, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Heartbreaking… and confusing…

    “I had already let one marriage fail because of my stance on pornography and adultery. But as my head cleared, I knew I was right to stand my ground, as I had done before. The Bible is on my side. I will not budge. I will not shift. Sexual immorality is a sin.”

    Why did she budge? Why did she marry a second man who wouldn’t keep his vows to her, who would break her heart continually, causing her to be the shell of the woman God intended her to be?

    and:

    “I have a husband who goes to church, preaches at everyone about everything, has a deep knowledge and understanding of God’s word, and who is the worst hypocrite in the way he delves into pornography and abuses me as a result of his own destructive behavior. I am so miserable. My self-esteem, my well being, my assurance and my trust are all broken.”

    ?????

    That just made me cry. How terribly sad.

    • LaVita February 25, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

      Sarah, To clarify, You do not always know your vows will be broken before you take them. I expected him, when making a covenant to me and God, to keep those vows. But a man’s sinful nature has bore adultery into our marriage. Christ says to forgive. I believe it was in 1st Peter where Jesus was asked how many times should I forgive my brother? And Jesus told him, everytime. I understand that is hard between a man and wife. Sometimes it feels like I should walk away, But am I fixing anything by breaking another commandment of God? It is confusing. But I pray that I may find peace with prayer and forgiveness.
      LaVita

  4. Reblogged this on Out of a Pure Heart Ministries and commented:
    A MUST READ!!!

  5. Brent March 10, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    This is a tough one LaVita! I’m not sure how your husband or any man gets into porn but if they knew how much it hurts their wife I think a lot fewer men would get into it! If only there were a way to tell them before they got into it in the first place and maybe had someone around that modeled it because they sure aren’t going to get it from society or the media!! I will say this though-you are doing a lot of great things that God is obviously leading you to do…ignore the temptation of the enemy to get this fixed immediately. Go do what God has called you to do and leave the fixing to God. Go to God with the pain if you must but go to God less with the urgent need to have your husband quit doing what he is doing. Rest in the fact that He is doing something about it and go help the people you are called to help. Add to their lives. Live the life of faith while you have the opportunity. We never know when we will no longer have the ability to live for Him. As far as your husband is concerned you need to figure out what you need your boundaries to be and enforce them. If that means you no longer desire to make love to him than so be it. If that means you spend far more time helping others than with him than so be it. Run this past your pastor and his wife as they are far more familiar with the situation and may have specific direction from God on this matter. I suffered greatly for 4 years when my ex-wife of 13 years (we’ve been divorced almost 9 years now) walked away. Fast forward several years and I have a great wife, an on-line radio ministry and blog and I’m beginning to make connections with awesome ministries I love to help. And I never think about her. It was such a horrible wound in my soul but God had some folks come around and set me straight as to what I was supposed to be doing down here but, to be honest, I just felt really disqualified. I talked to God all the time. I was expecting a miracle!! But none came. John 3:33 says that those who come to God have found Him faithful. You will look back and find Him faithful. Don’t let this situation rip your heart out and make you ineffective. Sleep at night know your Heavenly Father has it all under control. Our situation is different because you are still married but you must be ready to give this to God and not let it neither become or destroy your identity. He is able. Go!! Go to those who are in need and who need help!! Go to those who will receive the love of God!! Go!! Being in the presence of those in whom God’s power is working in will strengthen and encourage you!! I pursue places where I see God’s power in operation and I ask God “What can I do for them that will help you do more there?”. He always gives me some way to encourage or help. My life isn’t perfect and nor am I by a long way, but I know if God has made a way for a drug addicted teen who has destroyed his familial relationships and maybe even his life to come back to Him and to his parents then He can work in my situation too!! God prepared the way before these teens were even born!! You may even want to move out for a bit-but not divorce!! Show him you can live without him and that his drama and sin won’t rule or ruin your life. Talk to God and ask Him to prepare a clear path for you for ministry. Working for God is the best job there is!! It’s good therapy too!! We usually come face-to-face with our own frailties as well. It builds compassion and Christlikeness in ways we would never think of!! God speed to you LaVita!!

  6. Delight in Truth March 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    This husband knows the word of God, it says so in the article.

    I would focus him on the Word. On Romans 8:13 where it says that if by the Spirit we put to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to help him. When he opens up to the Holy Spirit and meditates on this verse and chapter 8 in general, he will be on his way to putting to death porn in his life.

  7. desiringgodabbylarson March 31, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    I understand completely. I will be praying for you.

  8. knowthetruth April 1, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    This is so sad. Unfortunately it is far too common. This addiction is as strong as any drug, and is one of the many reasons that porn should be outlawed in this country.

    He is in danger of the fires of hell, and you have no obligation to stay married to him. Like any addict, he will never stop unless forced to do so. To stay with him is asking for more abuse. He needs an ultimatum, and needs to be exposed.

  9. Jon May 14, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    As a young Christian man who struggles on and off with the same thing your husband struggles with, just know that although it is a tough spot for both him AND you, there is hope. As for me, the more i delve into the word, confess my lust, and try to make Jesus the center of my life, the easier it is for me to resist the temptation. However, as with anything, it is a process. Try to convince him to use programs such as covenant eyes, and strong internet filters. If he has a “smart” phone convince him or other devices make sure filters get on those too, or you could just get rid of them for “dumb” devices. Losing tempting subscriptions like netflix or HBO are good steps as well.

    My heart goes out to you. I hope and pray that I can manage my own problems before I get married so I don’t put anyone through this. Your story has rekindled a fire to stomp out my addiction! Thanks for sharing.

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