Trust is the lifeblood of a relationship and forms the foundation for a secure emotional bond. Individuals who struggle with pornography addiction recognize this and will often choose to keep their struggle hidden from their spouse. Although they may believe doing so is the best way to keep their marriage strong, it can actually place it at greater risk of harm.
A primary reason is that secrecy promotes the continuation of the addictive cycle. Direct disclosure helps to break this cycle. Those who choose to be honest with their spouse about their sexual addiction do something amazing and valiant. They face their fear, stare down their past, and lay the groundwork for healing in their heart and marriage.
Honesty: A New Groundwork
Honesty lays the groundwork for marital healing infusing trust back into the relationship. This is the power of direct disclosure. It immediately breaks the bonds of secrecy from the individual dealing with the sexual addiction and provides the couple the chance to step into new levels of trust and openness in their relationship. This new level of trust will ultimately be required as they seek to recover from the emotional damage of the addiction.
Knowing The Risks Involved
There is never a guarantee how a spouse will respond to hearing about their loved one’s addiction. This is another reason that those who struggle with pornography addiction keep it a secret. They can’t bear the thought of hurting or losing their spouse. Although spouses experience a great deal of pain when such disclosures are made, it does not mean such disclosures should not occur. The following considerations can help individuals move beyond their reservations into a place of honesty:
- The need to love and respect their spouse enough to tell them the truth.
- Recognizing their own heart will never be free from the weight of secrecy if the truth is never told.
- The fact their spouse may learn of the addiction on their own, which can do even more damage to the relationship.
I want to clarify that every individual has to make the decision to be truthful on their own. It is neither my place, nor anyone else’s place to say that someone must do something else. Stepping into the risks of honesty is truly a difficult matter, and yes, there are positive and negative ramifications. What I can say, is that I have seen honesty yield great rewards in terms of recovery for addicts and restoration in their marriages.
Christian Counseling as a Means of Restoration
Seattle Christian Counseling is a unique resource providing married couples with the clinical tools needed to heal from the damage caused by pornography addiction. It is also a place where they can freely draw on their faith in God and the power of his Word. My prayer is that married couples will recognize that pornography addiction does not have to be the end of a marriage. Rather, it is an opportunity to fight for each other, versus against each other.
For more information on starting the Christian Counseling process, please go to seattlechristiancounseling.com.
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