Hi guys! Sorry I haven’t been posting much, I’ve been busy with school and my new job!
We all know how difficult it is to forgive people when they’ve caused us pain, and how easy it is to relieve the past. My advice is forgive, but don’t forget. I’m finally starting to learn that myself. You don’t have to forget when someone hurt you, but you don’t have to punish them repeatedly for what they did wrong. For a long time I would relive the pain I felt when I found out Shawn was looking at pornography, and I would continue to remind him. It made him feel horrible and guilty, and contributed sometimes to him slipping up. It is okay to discuss if something is bothering you but you can’t let it become everything to you.
I was going through my phone clearing out some stuff to make more room, and I read over the text messages that we sent to one another back in October when he had another porn binge. What hurt me more was the fact that he lied; not that he slipped up. Obviously I was upset that he slipped up, but it rocked my trust for him because he told me he had been doing well and he didn’t. Overtime I realized this was causing my anxiety because it caused me to not know whether I could believe him when he said he was trying. In turn this made Shawn feel that him trying was not good enough and he would get frustrated. It led to slip ups because he felt if I was going to be angry towards him why bother trying?
Many of you can relate to this experience: whether it’s porn, an argument over another person or just usual stress, we let our anger prohibit us from forgiving someone that hurt us. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting, but rather letting the person know we aren’t angry anymore and on some level can understand. That also means that when you forgive someone that you allow them the chance to earn your trust. Shawn has been porn free for 8 months now and I believe in him. He has worked hard to regain my trust, but I’m also trying hard to show him I trust him.
A lot of times when we get angry we want to police the person who harmed us and prevent them from hurting us again, but all that does is prevent the person from gaining the tools they need to break free from their addictions. Shawn is 8 months porn free and 3 years drug free. When you set your mind to something and have support you can do anything!
I would say I think about Shawn’s experience with porn somewhat frequently, but I don’t let it define us or our relationship. You can’t focus on the bad, especially when the person is good.
Love is all about kindness and forgiveness, and acknowledging some things are better left to God. I pray for myself and Shawn when we go to church on Sundays. I pray he continues to progress and be honest with me. In turn, he respects me and my boundaries. In the beginning I think because of how I reacted it made him respect my views less. Some notes on how he’s improved:
- He tries not to click on news stories that can be triggering.
- If he is interested in a story about a celebrity and there’s a chance of nudity he does not go searching for it all over.
- He encourages me to express myself and validates my feelings.
- He tries to respect my request for nothing too hardcore in movies.
- He doesn’t make me feel inadequate to other women and doesn’t comment if anyone asks his opinion on women.
- He hasn’t viewed a porn site in 8 months.
As you can see, Shawn has improved a lot and made efforts to respect our relationship together and with God. I want to marry someone completely devoted to me, not slutty Internet/stripper women. God says that lusting with the mind is adultery of the heart. He used to brush me off when I explained my feelings. We’ve learned it’s an issue we’ll agree to disagree on: he will do his best with porn, and I will try not to bring it up a lot.