I had an email from a man who was new to recovery (less than 30 days). He was diving in strong with his recovery. He was making great progress and taking the right steps. But his wife was having a very hard time. He wanted to know how to deal with this and how to help his wife.
Here were some of my encouragement and thoughts, I think they might be a help to many of you men out there with similar scenarios.
1. Your main focus right now is your own recovery, especially in these first 30 days. You’ve got to get through these 30 days. It’s not a magic number, but it’s a time God has given you to push the reset button on your sexuality and begin to discovery what healthy sexuality looks like (perhaps for the first time).
2. Let you wife drive the relationship train for a while. The biggest thing you can do to love your wife is be incredibly patient with her, pray for her, don’t preach at her, and listen. She might ask some hard questions of you – answer them. She might ask you to take a lie detector test – take it. She might need more space – give it.
This is especially important for any affection you show her. Ask your wife at an opportune time what she’s comfortable with, and back off it she’s not ready for your words, touch, or sex.
3. Give you your wife the freedom to be angry and work through her hurt – This is not going away in the next 30 days, or the first year. Your wife is still in the shock stage. The brunt of the pain hasn’t hit yet. The waves of consequences haven’t hit hard yet. Frankly, for most couples, things will get worse before they get better. That’s where your support group, counselor, and accountability buddies will be a big help. You giving your wife the freedom to be emotional really helps.
4. Try to put yourself in her shoes and in the shoes of any others you have hurt – If you were in your wife’s shoes, how would this hit you? If the situation were reversed, how would you react? This type of thinking has helped me not get so frustrated with my wife and her recovery.
I know it’s hard to even make it through 30 days. You wonder what the result will be on your marriage and your kids. You want so badly to get back with your wife. God has been working deeply in your life. You see your life better. You see your sin clearer. You are already different and you want your wife to see it.
5. Write out your worst fears and worst-case scenario and surrender it to God each day – This has been so helpful to me. Taking my worst fears and “what ifs” and surrendering them to God. I cannot control what happens with my wife, only my own decisions.
Thank-You to Jeff and Marsha at www.porntopurity.com for this blog