Today, we welcome Vicki Tiede, author of the new book, When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart.
Welcome, Vicki. How much of this book is “you” (your experience)?
This book was never meant to draw attention to me or to my ex-husband, it was meant to help a woman find healing for her heart in Christ. Snippets of my story are anonymously interspersed with those of 25 other women who have walked this path. When a woman discovers that her husband is struggling with pornography, the information becomes her secret to bear. This is not something women talk about. As a result, when one does want to share with someone, she doesn’t know who else will understand all that she is feeling. Silence is healing’s greatest enemy. I wanted my readers to know that they aren’t alone and that their feelings are typical. While no two stories are exactly the same, the grieving and recovery processes are similar. When women read this book and think, “How did Vicki know that’s exactly how I feel?” It’s because you can only know what this feels like if you’ve experienced it yourself.
Your book deals with the first two levels of porn addiction. (See the Introduction.) What should a wife do if she finds her husband’s been involved in levels 3 or 4?
The primary focus of When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heartis to deal with the wife’s issues and feelings regardless of her husband’s lust, self-gratification, and pornography. While I only minimally address level 2-4 addictions (physical affairs, paying for prostitutes, rape, etc.), this book is still for the wife whose husband has engaged in these higher level SA (sexual addiction) behaviors. Many of her feelings and the ramifications of his behaviors on her relationship with her husband are the same regardless of the level of addiction. The reader should be aware, however, that if she’s looking for a book that focuses on those issues, this is not that book.
Now, what should she do? (As I always say, I am not a professional counselor, but I know the Wonderful Counselor, so keep that in mind.) Because level 3-4 addictions involve criminal and violent criminal behavior, she needs to make sure she and her children are safe. If that means displacing her husband from the home or packing up and leaving, then she must do that. Then she needs to seek professional help (counseling, pastoral, legal).
Does it make a difference if the husband confesses to his sin as opposed to “getting caught” in his sin?
I always pray men have the good sense to tell their wife about the struggle rather than waiting for her to discover it herself. It is almost always better if a husband confesses to his wife before she finds out by walking in on him or discovers something on the computer. Restoration typically goes better in these situations. If she finds out on her own and is forced to confront him with what has been unveiled, then she will always wonder how much longer he would have kept this dirty little secret or if he would have ever come clean. Is he truly sorry because of what he did, or is he sorry he got caught?
Have you come across any women whose “sin reaction” (page 22) was so strong her husband was repelled by that and left her?
I’m sure that has happened, but I’ve never personally talked to anyone in this situation. I have, on the other hand, had men leave because they’ve declared her “sin reaction” as an overreaction to something that “everyone does.” In other words, rather than owning his sin and repenting, he recasts the sin onto her making her “prudishness” the reason he’s leaving.
More than anything, the husband needs to understand that sometimes a wife needs time to believe that her husband is really sorry. That may mean waiting for longer than he’s comfortable waiting for her to be okay. Just because his habit is over it doesn’t mean the havoc he brought into the marriage is over.
Thanks so much for joining us today. Readers, any questions for Vicki?
More about Vicki: I am an author and speaker who has a passion for opening the Scriptures and pointing women to their true source of grace and faithfulness. For the past ten years, I have been honored to speak for numerous women at conferences, retreats, and women’s events. I am the author of three books including When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography (2012), Plug Me In and Let Me Charge Overnight (2009), and Parenting on Your Knees: Prayers and Practical Guidance for the Preschool Years (coming January 2013). I live in Rochester, Minnesota, with my husband Mike, daughter, and two sons. Visit her on the web.
For Your Readers: Sample Chapters from When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart
Links to buy the book:
Barnes and Noble(BN’s processing times are lagging, but it will eventually be available here too)