Evolution: I Can't Believe This Is My Marriage
By Jocelyn Hu
I found myself sitting in the bathroom thinking that one day. I was really grieved that this union that I had waited to well into my 30s to form had ended up leaving me feeling as isolated and lonely as when I was single. Except now worse, because when I was single, I, at least had girlfriends to commiserate with. Now, married life had distanced me from those bonds and the one I was supposed to be, well, "one with" was causing me grief.
A porn addiction? I didn't even want to know the extent of it-and I still don't. Should I have seen this coming? Did I miss some red flags? No. It was actually pretty well-hidden beneath a thick blanket of tightly-woven deceit. But that doesn't mean I should be surprised-for two reasons. One, odds are good for a guy to be addicted to porn and two, I didn't take any precautions to keep from marrying one who is.
Twenty years ago, though porn was ubiquitous, there didn't seem to be a popular awareness of how destructive it could be, in terms of creating addicts and disrupting relationships. I'm sure it's still a novelty for teens today, but they can also note from my generation's experience that it's a bit like smoking-experimenting can be risky. It's not just a fun way to pass time on a Friday night in the dorm. It could be life-changing. I was ignorant of that fact when I was young and even in my 30s, and so even if I had known that my future husband viewed porn, I don't think it would have concerned me too much. After all, [I believe that] most men do.
I didn't respect the power of porn, but that contributor pales in comparison to the real problem: I wasn't looking for the right qualities in a husband. I had a sort of mental list, like most women do, and it had some decent qualities on it, and some shallow ones. But it didn't have this: He will have a close, personal relationship with God or he can spiritually lead me. That would probably be because I didn't have a close, personal relationship with God. And that is the seed of my present discontent.
You've probably heard someone advise that you shouldn't make life-changing decisions when you've just been through some emotional turmoil, like the death of a parent. Well, I'm here to say you shouldn't make any life-changing decisions when you're astray from God-and you know it. It would be one thing if God had not been on my radar at all. It's the sort of exonerating ignorance that Jesus referred to in John 15:22. I might have still been in this predicament, but rather innocently so. But I did have a relationship with God, and I was doing my best to ignore it so that I could have sex on Saturday night and attend church on Sunday. The Holy Spirit's conviction was like unsettling static on a radio station that you refuse to address because they're playing your favorite song. You will hear it out to the end, darn it, and you don't care what kind of friction you have to endure.
If you've strayed for any length of time, you know what I'm talking about. And if you should be enduring this sort of disconcert in order to go the way you want to go at present, I'm not likely to change your mind. But consider this lesson that I learned the hard way: You should never start a new journey when you know you're already going in the wrong direction. Acknowledge the God in your life and allow him to direct you so that you won't be "lost in a marriage" like so many of us women are.
Donna Lee Schillinger is the president and founder of On My Own Now Ministries, which encourages faith, wise life choices and Christ-likeness in young adults during the transition to living on their own. She is the author of On My Own Now: Straight Talk from the Proverbs for Young Christian Women who Want to Remain Pure, Debt-free and Regret-freeand edited the new anthology Purity's Big Payoff/Premarital Sex is a Big Rip-off. She is publisher of two free, monthly online magazines: Genuine Motivation: Young Christian Man and Single! Young Christian Woman.