Ask Angie: My heart aches. I’ve been married 16 years. We have 6 children. My husband got out of rehab for alcoholism, but also worked on his sex addiction. I feel as though I can work through the alcohol part but the trust with the sex addition is not happening. I have been supporting my family for over 2 months with daycare I have in my home. Questions of leaving my husband are a daily struggle. My church has helped with what they can with my bills while he was away. Where do we all go from here?
Marriage Guidance: Please print this marriage column out and share it with the rest of the family for encouragement. You have gone through suffering and heartache in your marriage and I am sorry for all the pain and struggles you have had to endure. But it is now time for healing. You should only allow yourself to move forward in the Lord so healing and restoration of your marriage can take place.
Who said you have to trust the sex addiction? Your husband needs to get the healing he needs so you can trust his actions. I wouldn’t trust any addiction or the person behind the addiction if I were you — there’s sure to be disappointment. Addictions are baffling and cunning and can’t be trusted and if anyone is telling you to trust in an addiction then they are still in denial. The only person you can trust at this point and time is God.
A person who is in denial about their addiction will say they will never drink again or look at porn again or commit adultery again, but these words cannot be trusted. Do not trust in addiction but trust in God for all things!
Your husband truly needs to be repentant for his sins and ask Jesus Christ into his life where he then becomes accountable to Christ for his actions. Healing from addiction and loving a person with addiction issues is not going to be easy. In fact, reality says some days will be most difficult. As a wife and mother your responsibilities are to your children’s welfare first and foremost and that of supporting your husband through his addictions, whatever that may be.
Understand there is a difference between enabling and supporting. Supporting your husband is being encouraging emotionally and spiritually, while enabling is being discouraging in these areas. Let your husband see Christ working in you through your actions. Trusting in your husband will not come into the picture until your husband has shown accountability to God and then inevitably his actions will change for the better…then you can began trusting him again.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Healing for you or for your husband will not take place without putting Christ first in your lives. You asked us, “Where do we all go from here?” Well, I would first get to know Jesus and find out what He can do for your family life and marriage. God wants you to be abundant in His blessings but that means managing your life under His direction instead of what you think is the right direction.
I would first get to know Jesus Christ on a personal level through prayer and bible study and finding personal consolation with Him on a one on one basis. Then I would wait on Him for the greatest and best guidance that I may ever receive in my lifetime.
Right now when we are going through struggles we want to do something about them in a hurry! Rush, rush and make everything better. We want to make things more pleasant right away and this is where many people err in their walk with Christ. They manage their earthly problems through earthly means and nothing ever changes — only gets worse. We end up changing the course of our life in a negative way.
If your husband is truly repentant and puts his trust and faith in Jesus, God would keep Him from being tempted to drink and to be unfaithful in his marriage. Do you think God would allow someone to sin if they were seeking Him for healing? Absolutely not!
And the Lord said unto Cain. “Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. (Genesis 4:6-7)
What is addiction? In a nutshell addiction is putting our faith in something other than Christ — it is spiritual bankruptcy — it is the lack of faith in our Creator and the belief that He can sustain us. We must choose God’s way rather than Cain’s way.
You say that your husband went to rehab, but I can say with 100 % certainty that his rehab did not have anything to do with the most important aspect of a person’s recovery from addiction — walking with Jesus Christ! Only the love of Christ can make your husband whole, free from addiction and lust.
So…the first and most important thing you both should do is really get to know Jesus and put your trust in Him for your healing. Family bible study with your children and husband is a good starting point and will bring you closer together as a family and most importantly to God. You have all been through a lot of unhappiness, disappointment and frustration and turmoil in your home and now it is time to bring some peace, happiness and righteousness into the home!!
Buy yourselves a couple of really good study bibles and let God go to work in your lives. I mean really let Him win your hearts, minds, and souls over to Him and let Him go to work in your lives!
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the Peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally brethren, whosoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. These things, which ye have both learned and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:5-9
Whenever you feel sad, anxious, lonely or scared think on what is good and right and pray. Let God be in control instead of trying to control every single aspect of your life. Without God we handle our life like Cain did and we do not want that. We want to handle our life, as God would want us to, by letting Him lead us and deliver us from temptation and evil.
For those of you who do not know of me, let me encourage you with a short version of my own testimony. I got sober, without the desire to ever drink again a little over 15 years ago. (Yes, I still count the months of sobriety). I got sober not because I went to church, not because I went to AA or rehab, not because I did good deeds, and not because I believed in God but because I put my trust and faith in God and what He said He would do for me!
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
After many years of struggling in my own marriage and suffering with addiction I finally opened the door to Jesus. I earnestly sought Him because I came to realize I desperately needed God. I prayed to God to make me a new person without the craving to drink, and to never allow me to be in that pit of darkness again! I literally got down on my hands and knees, disgusted with the person I allowed myself to become and let God free me from all my pain and suffering.
Christ forgave me for all of the wretched things I had done. He gave me a new life with Him and now my life revolves around my family and helping others in our ministry. When I went to rehab I did it for others, when I went to AA I did it for others and when I did good deeds I did it for show, and when I went to church I did it for show, but when I went to God I did it for me. I wanted to be a good person; I wanted to be a good mother to my children and a good wife to my husband. God has helped me become all of these things.
I now know that without God in my life I am nothing and I would probably backslide and live in the pit of darkness again if I did not put God first in my personal life and marriage. That is the reality of it in a nutshell. You can read all about Angie’s personal testimony in our book Journey on the Roads Less Traveled.
Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him. I will protect him because he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me and I will answer him. Psalm 91:14-15
Put your trust in Jesus Christ!” Pray together as a family for Christ to come into your lives and to heal your souls. Open the door to Jesus. Do not let worldly problems come in and destroy your home — rebuild your marriage on the rock of Jesus Christ!
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angles nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39