When Brian came forward and told me about his addiction to pornography, one of the first thoughts through my mind was how am I going to tell my family? Not only was this a problem for me but, I am sure it was and is for many others out there. How do you tell your family and friends that your spouse is or was addicted to pornography? I was blessed with a very understanding family and when I told them about Brian, no one looked down on me or Brian. They did not go behind our backs and start gossiping about our struggles. Instead they were behind us 100%.
At a gather that my family was having during the holidays I decided that I would tell evryone and let them in on what we were dealing with as a couple. I did not stand in the middle of the kitchen, with a mega phone and announce “My husband is addicted to porn”. What I did do was pulled each person aside and privately told them what was going on. The first person I told was my brother, a person that I knew would be able to handel this news better than others may. I knew that I could talk to him about anything and he would still love US no matter what. I then made my way down the line telling everyone in my immediate family.
The hardest ones for me to tell were my parents. How could I tell them that I married an addict? Would they think that I was a failure, because I was was married to this guy or was it that I was not doing my part as a wife to keep my husband satisfied? Better yet what were they going to think of Brian now? They both looked at me with tender and caring eyes all the while telling me that it will be OK and that they are there if we needed any help. They also made it very clear to me that they did not have any ill feelings toward Brian. This was a huge relief to me.
Now that I had told my parents I knew I needed to tell my friends as well. One by one I told my friends, knowing that I had the support of my family made it easier for me. After each person I would tell the pressure became lighter and lighter. I even told some people not quite knowing how they would respond and having them say “Hey I know of someone else that has a problem as well”.
Months later when Brian and I were very open with what we had been through and going through, people we did not even know would come up to us. Some would say “You guys are doing a great job”, or “Hey would you guys mind talking to my brother, friend, or whoever”. Not only were we healing by talking about it, we were now able to help others by talking.
We will now not allow things in our life to be shut and locked into a closet. Brian and I have made it a point of being up front and honest with whatever we go through. We also hope that by also doing it here that we can let others know that there is hope and that it can be OK.
Now I understand that not everyone will have the same outcome that we did when I spoke to my family, friends, and others about this. But I went into it knowing that I needed to let the people in our lives know what we were going through and how it was affecting us both. We had included them in our life this whole time up to now and we need their support and accountability. I knew going into this that there was a chance that it could back fire in my face as well. However this was a chance I was going to have to take if I wanted the healing process to be complete.