My World Just Fell Apart: Now What?

by Jeff Fisher on May 8, 2013

You just found out your husband has been living a secret life.  Whether it was Internet pornography, fantasy, strip clubs or prostitution, maybe even an affair…the truth is out.  Life as you knew it has been turned upside and you are paralyzed with fear.  Where do you even begin?

These are the things I wish someone would have said to me in the first few weeks to follow:

I am so sorry this is happening to you.  This is unlike any pain you’ve ever known. The consequences of your husband’s sin has ensnared you as well.  It isn’t fair.  You did not deserve this.  It is not your fault.


God has not abandoned you or your husband.  He knew this day would come.  He has actually made provisions to care for you in very specific ways during this season of your marriage.  Seek Him hourly.  Write down verses that speak of his loving kindness towards you.  Trust His promises.  Don’t stop praying.  Don’t push Him away for letting this happen to you.  Looking back, I believe Jeff getting caught was the best thing that ever happened to our marriage.  It was a necessary event so repentance and true healing could began. I’d much rather live in a painful reality where hope exists than in a blissful lie. 


You need to share your pain with someone.  Our society and our church has made sexual sin a secret sin, which only makes it more destructive.  Find a Christian woman that you can be real with.  Let her pray with you and share Scripture with you.  Let the Body of Christ minister to you.  Some people do not know how to respond to a revelation like this – they may not know what to say.  They may not be able to deal with it and their silence will be painful for you.  Prayerfully, find someone else that you can confide in. Ask them to check on you daily.  When your world is broken, the loneliness is unbelievable but the truth is a Christian is never alone.  The Holy Spirit it always there to minister to your heart.  And a Christian friend is like the shoulder of Christ. 


Don’t share your story with everyone.  Don’t use this as an opportunity to show the world how sick your husband is.  Don’t punish him by pointing out his sin to others.  Don’t set yourself up as the victim.  It’s not that you don’t deserve comfort. You do, but not at the expense of your husband.  Be very careful with your righteous anger.   In reality, his sin is no different than yours.  Prayerfully determine who you should share your story with.  What is your motivation to share?  If it is to publicize his sin, stop.  Let God handle the consequences of his sin. That is His territory.  Your job is to focus on the healing power of God in your own heart. 


Your marriage can survive this.  Others have.  Mine has.  It may help to read books from those who have been on a similar journey.  I was really comforted when I realized that others had felt similar feelings of abandonment and hopelessness.  I was encouraged by what they had learned from the Lord.  In some ways, I feel that reading their story motivated me along the path of grieving rather than staying stuck in that pit of hopelessness.


Seek Christian counseling.  Find a Christian counselor who specializes in sex addiction or intimacy issues.  It may be expensive, but the insight you will receive from a counselor knowledgeable in this area will be priceless.  We struggled whether we couldn’t afford our Christian counselor, but in the end, I didn’t think we could afford not to go.  I was determined to address our issues head on.  Our entire marriage was hanging in the balance.


If Christian counseling is not an option, find out what resources are available to you?  Do any churches in your area have a Celebrate Recover y group or sexual addiction ministry?  Find out what they have available for the spouses.


Don’t blame yourself.  I can’t speak from experience here, because unlike most wives, I didn’t blame myself at all.  I didn’t feel guilty or unattractive.  I was just mad.  And then I felt sad for my husband, my self, others who were in bondage in secret.   But I understand that many women, most women,  feel devastated to know their husband was “cheating on them” whether it be physically or emotionally.  Be assured, this has much more to do with your husband and how he views himself than it has to do with how he views you.


Don’t make any major decisions or changes.  You are on an emotional roller coaster and just getting through a day may seem a chore.  Do not try to make any major decisions regarding your marriage, your future, or your home during this tender time.  Because we were in ministry, our denominational  leaders pressured my husband to leave the area.  In hind sight, the additional drama of selling a home and relocating to another area was not in our family’s best interest at the time.   The priority should be on allowing Jesus to do some major spiritual surgery so he can begin to heal your wounds and your marriage.  Everything else is secondary.


Above all, just take it one step at a time, knowing the Lord walks with you all the way.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

matt March 29, 2009 at 10:13 pm

This blog’s great!! Thanks :) .

affepe April 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm

formidable site this formidable to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor :)

Castimonia May 9, 2013 at 4:56 pm

excellent advice for spouses of sex addicts upon discovery of the husband’s problem! I hope many wives read this post as they begin to search for “sex addiction” or “My husband has a porn/sex addiction problem” over the internet. I will repost this to my ministry’s site as a secondary resource.

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