How the past has affected our marriage is loaded question.  Because of Todd’s confession as well as his desire and commitment to live in purity, the past is now affecting our marriage in amazingly positive ways—glory to God!  Starting with our engagement, we declared that we each get to marry our best friend.  We thought we were close for the first 14 years of our marriage, prior to Todd’s confession of his porn addiction, but now that he’s free and we’ve been through the pain of it all together, we wouldn’t trade what we had then for what we have now for anything.  Simply put, abundant intimacy is what was missing.  This intimacy is of every kind, most notably and physical, spiritual and emotional intimacy. 

For the first 14 years, while Todd was struggling in his addiction, our sex was really good, but I had no idea it could be as awesome as it is now.  Now I want it all the time.  Todd is enjoying sexual purity, which is freedom—it’s the richest, most blessed intimacy because it’s the way God planned for it, which is always for our best.  This transfers to me because he’s giving himself completely to me, which is then reciprocated.  Likewise, it’s richer sex because we’ve connected at a whole new level through open and complete honesty.  Sex isn’t just a physical experience, but a spiritual and emotional connection as well.

            Before Todd’s confession, our marriage was hindered because Todd wasn’t fulfilling his God-given role as spiritual leader or abiding in the power of the Spirit.  Though he was seeking the Lord, there was obviously a “big hippo” hindering his freedom to embrace the wonderful plans God has for him and for us, which, I’ll admit, was frustrating to me.  Now he’s an awesome man of God who seeks the Lord every day; he speaks wisdom into my life, and I’m so thankful to be married to him.  We enjoy having spiritual conversations almost daily about what the Lord is teaching us.  Before his confession, we didn’t communicate much about spiritual stuff.  I was frustrated that he wasn’t in the Word except for our nightly couple devotional, but now he knows the importance of filling his mind with the Truth, and he is frustrated with other Christian men who lack the discipline to study the Bible each day.  He is also challenging and leading other men spiritually.  A couple weeks ago he recognized that before his prayers were “lousy” and “elementary”, but now he prays powerful, godly prayers for me as well as our children.  What I mean by that is instead of just praying for a good night’s sleep or a good day, he intercedes for me regarding my spiritual growth, my purpose, my fears, etc.—life changing, eternally valuable stuff. 

            Emotionally we’re so connected it’s hard to describe.  We greet each other with affection each day after work and share everything.  The rare times that we have a spat, I am more distraught because I hate that we’re not being connected.  It did happen recently, and I explained it to Todd, that “you’re so awesome now, that when something like this does happen, I am more hurt that something has come between us.”  That’s a little frustrating for him, but I think he received the compliment as well.  Earlier in our marriage these tensions were more a regular part of our lives. 

            Going through something as painful as hearing that your spouse is addicted to porn, but then supporting one another through the recovery is life-changing.  For the first couple months of dealing with this in my life and marriage, I questioned God in my strength to deal with it.  But now, we feel like our marriage and each of us personally are stronger and better than ever.  This is not to our glory, but to God; He has answered our prayers, healing and restoring us by His power.  What Satan intended to divide us or kill our marriage, God has used to strengthen each of us and our marriage.  In my Valentine’s Day card to my man, I wrote that I feel like we’re more one than ever, and I feel closer than ever, even a year earlier.  Now I’m not only married to my best friend, I am married to the man of my greatest prayers.  We often feel like the most blessed couple in the world—glory to God!