I remember sitting on my bed a little less than two years ago searching the internet for anyone who was beating a porn and sex addiction as bad as my husband had it. I was also looking for a marriage that survived it. I typed in the search engine, “porn sex addiction recovery” “marriage survived porn sex addiction” “victory over porn sex addiction”. Through eyes that were so full of tears that I could barely see the screen, I was desperately searching for someone who was beating this addiction, not still struggling with it, but who had victory over it. I was looking for a marriage that had survived it. I don’t know where I was looking and why I couldn’t find it but I didn’t. I stopped looking and fell into a ball on my bed and sobbed and prayed. I asked God to show us a way out of this. I told God that if He got us through this, I would be that voice of hope that I was not finding out there. I asked God to show us the way out of this mess and that I would show others How he got us out.
So, this is our story and this is how God got us out.
Brian and I met at a party in May 1998. I remember when Brian first walked in, as cheesy as it sounds, I was immediately taken with him. He was tall and handsome and just had a way of carrying himself that was different from the other guys. He also immediately noticed me. We eventually struck up conversation and spent the rest of the evening talking and laughing. He walked me to my car and told me he wanted to see me again. We started dating that summer. I had never met a guy like him. He had a strength about him but was gentle and calm.
We fell in love fast and moved in together about 6 months after we started dating. (A quick note: Brian and I were not following Jesus until 2004)
We were inseparable, best friends and soul mates. We did everything together and we laughed a lot. Brian has always been romantic without being sappy and he always knew how to show me he loved me. Our friends at that time in our life often commented on us being the “perfect couple” and asked us why we weren’t getting married. But many people we knew were either unhappy in their marriages or divorced. So, why would we get married? We were doing great, everything was perfect, for a while…
The summer of 2002 Brian started a new job. In this new job he was alone all day every day whereas before he was with people. He also started very early in the morning and got home earlier in the day. At the same time I was working and going back to school to change careers.
Through the fall and winter of 2002 I started to notice a gradual difference in Brian. He had always been energetic and upbeat. He and I would work out and hike most days of the week. He started not wanting to do these things anymore, saying that the early work hours and working outside in the hot sun was tiring. Most evenings he just wanted to lay on the couch and watch t.v. instead of doing something with me. We used to always go out on the weekend and now we just stayed home and watched t.v. or a movie. Sensing that something wasn’t right, I would ask him from time to time if everything was okay. He would often respond that he was tired. Sometimes he would get angry that I kept asking him if everything was okay. When I told him that things were different, that he was different he would be dismissive and even rude. It all started to concern me very much. This was not the Brian that I had known and lived with for several years. He was apathetic. He had always been kind and sweet and gentle and loving and he still was those things, but that part of him vacillated with this new personality. I could just see something not right in his whole being. He carried himself different, there was a heaviness about him. I was wondering if he was going to break up with me. I kept waiting for something to happen…I never could have imagined what did happen.
In February 2003, just after Valentine’s Day, I was in our office as Brian was doing some personal book keeping. We had separate bank accounts. I saw him enter something that I recognized as a singles connection service. It was a phone service that you could call to “connect with other ‘hot, sexy’ singles in your area”. When Brian left to go do an errand I went back in to the office. I looked at his banking ledger and found several entries for this phone line. I also found entries for an adult video store. I then went in to the drawer where he kept his receipts. I found dozens of receipts for the adult video store and massage parlors. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars for massage parlors. These weren’t for therapeutic massage (I was a professional massage therapist and I knew these were not professional establishments). I felt sick, my head was spinning, my heart was in my stomach. I could barely breathe. I just sat on the floor, surrounded with scattered receipts for a secret life of sex I had no idea existed.