3 Common Questions When Your Husband is in Sexual Sin
What confuses you most about your husband’s sin? This is one of the questions we ask women to answer on the Wives at Home Program application. The following are the kinds of questions we see in this ministry along with some thoughts for the wife.
“How did he get so deeply involved in this?”
No doubt your husband had a propensity for this particular kind of sin (every human has some form of sin they are drawn to), but he didn’t get addicted to it instantaneously. No doubt a demon set him up with pornography as a youngster. At first he dabbled in it. He tasted the fruit and liked what he tasted. So he kept going back. Little did he know that some devil was luring him down this path until he was completely consumed with sexual fantasy.
After a while, the pornography alone wasn’t enough: he needed to experience what he was seeing. At first this was “normal” sex, but this didn’t hold him either. It’s the law of diminishing returns my husband talks about in At the Altar of Sexual Idolatry. Sin doesn’t satisfy so it always lures the person to go to deeper levels of sin and baser kinds of behavior in search of fulfillment.
By the time you came along, he was utterly addicted. Sexual experience had become the god he worshipped.
“Why didn’t he tell me about this before I married him?”
Of course, it would have been right for your husband to confess his secret life to you. I can think of at least a couple reasons why he didn’t tell you about it, though. First, sexual sin is very shameful. The last thing he would want to do is to scare off the girl he wants to marry by presenting himself as a seedy pervert.
The other thing that probably kept him from confessing is that he honestly believed that once the two of you got married that his need for illicit sexual experiences would magically vanish. This is a very common belief. He believed this because—at that point—he was sexually attracted to you. He didn’t understand that, because he had already corrupted himself through pornography, that his sexual attraction to you would wane after the initial excitement.
You see, a man who has not polluted himself with pornography would continue to be attracted to his wife. God created him that way. But once pornography sets the tone for his sex life, he constantly needs something new to keep him interested. He has been living in the sexual fast lane for a long time and normal sex just won’t hold his interest. Even secular researchers are now talking about how, over time, pornography destroys a person’s ability to get sexually aroused.
“Why doesn’t he just quit?”
Every time I read an application I grieve because I know so well the fears and the conflicting feelings that wife is experiencing. As long as I am “in this business” I will never fully understand why these men risk so much, go to so much trouble to create a secret life, and hollow out their souls for the sake of some temporary sexual thrill. What’s the point of all of this? Why do they do this to themselves? Is the pay-off worth all that they are forfeiting? Is this really what they want in life?
Part of the confusion wives deal with is attempting to apply logic to irrational behavior. In their minds, their husbands should “just quit doing it!” That is the way reasonable people look at destructive behavior. “Look at all the people you are hurting, look at where this is taking you.” It seems so simple, but there is a ton of evidence to prove that logic, common sense, and even love have all taken a back seat to a very powerful drive that is in men. I know a lot of men who would love to “flip a switch” and be done with their sin. If it were that easy there would be no need for Pure Life Ministries. The “switch flipping” mentality in women is why there is a lot of confusion about this issue. A lot of wives do not understand the power of pornography or sexual addiction.
As terrible as all of this sounds I do want to say that many “Christian” men agonize inside over what they are doing. They want help, but they are overcome by the power and pull of sin. They are weak spiritually because they have become so accustomed to obeying lust. Their motivation to quit cannot stand up to the power of the temptation when it shows up. They will never have the strength in themselves to overcome. Only the Lord can do it, but He does set men free!
I could explain these things all day long, but it will never make sense for most women. My best advice to you as a wife is to move past confusion and move into faith. If your husband wants to get free of sexual addiction, he is going to have to make a full-on surrender to Jesus Christ. But, do you know what? If you are ever going to experience true peace and joy, you are going to need to do the same thing. You can have the perfect husband and the perfect marriage and still be unhappy and unfulfilled in life. Only the Lord can satisfy the human heart.
Kathy Gallagher is the Co-Founder and Senior Administrator of Pure Life Ministries. She has been ministering to Christian women for over 20 years and has a deep desire to see them living a fulfilled life in Christ..
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