Relationship Rescue for Wives and Girlfriends of Internet Pornography Addicts

Featured Expert - Molly Ann Miller





 
Molly Ann Miller is the author of My Husband Has A Secret: Finding Healing For The Betrayal 
Of Sexual Addiction
. Pornography and sexual addiction have become epidemics in society 
today, and Christians are not exempt from their traps. Recovering from the pain and loneliness 
that comes with the betrayal of sexual addiction is not an easy task, but there is hope. In 
My 
Husband Has a Secret
, Molly Ann Miller shares her personal struggle with her husband’s sexual 
betrayal and offers compassion, comfort, and encouragement for women in similar situations. 
She stresses that the battle should not be for one’s marriage, but for one’s heart, and the only 
control women have is to take responsibility for themselves. Molly doesn’t offer easy answers. 
She doesn’t even claim to be past the struggle herself. Instead she points the way to a loving 
Savior who offers hope and healing to everyone involved, and who is willing to lead wives on 
the difficult journey to wholeness and peace.  More on Molly Ann Miller and her book 
My 
Husband Has A Secret 
can be found at www.MollyAnnMiller.com.


PAH: 'When I heard his car drive up to the house I was sorry he was still alive, knowing the pain of rejection his arrival would bring.' This statement speaks of a painful truth that many wives and girlfriends of sex addicts can relate to. What advice can you offer that would urge them to take action and not live in this painful limbo?

Molly Ann Miller: I mistakenly thought the only way out of my misery was if he died! I didn’t realize I had choices; I was such a codependent victim!  I prayed, begged and waited for him to change, but the only one I could change was myself.  It took so much pain before I found my voice and took action; I learned we can’t wait for others to change. We are responsible for own emotional and 
physical health. “Nothing changes if nothing changes.”  Finally, I told him to leave or get help. I’d never set a boundary before. It was the first step loving myself. It was the beginning of my own healing and recovery. And it was the turning point of our relationship.

It took everything in me
to surrender
my feelings to God's ways.

I heard a voice--
calm but persistent,
Purposeful, but not vindictive.
It didn't stop until the truth prevailed,
And I felt peaceful.

Once again, through the pain,
God helped me find
My Voice.

PAH: Many wives feel they need to forgive their husbands but feel a great deal of shame, sorrow and anger and find it difficult to do so. What would you say to them?

Molly Ann Miller: When Jesus died He didn’t minimize how repulsive our sins were. He accepted us even while we were sinners, gave up His rights, and took our place on the cross. The same way He forgave us, we are to forgive others. This was very hard for me. How could I forgive him when it still hurt so much? I thought forgiving him meant I would give up the only power I had. So I shamed him, 
listed his betrayals, and essentially punished him. And then I 
became the one destroying our relationship. I was still allowing him to control me! Once I was willing to forgive, I was free. He had no more power over me! I could choose my actions instead of react to the pain.

I thought forgiving was for 
him, but I was the one who benefited. I had no idea what sharing the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings meant until I experienced it. When we deny our rights and suffer unjustly there is a miraculous intimacy with God where I felt so understood.

Forgiveness isn’t at all what I thought it was. The other person may or may not respond, but now I do it for 
me.


PAH: Christians fear the judgement and betrayal that you experienced with Pastor Sam. How can they move past their fear to reach out for help in their church?

Molly Ann Miller: Getting our sins into the light is what breaks their power and allows healing. However, not all churches are safe places to confess our secrets. Emotionally safe churches will have pastors who are open about their own brokenness. Legalistic churches can be shaming or judgmental, which actually feeds the addiction cycle. Addicts are already too hard on themselves. A church where people feel acceptable and valued because of God’s grace is a healthy place.  


PAH: Both you and your husband are strong advocates of Twelve Step programs. In your opinion, what benefits do they provide that other counseling alternatives - pastoral counsel, individual therapy, couples counseling, church support groups - do not offer?

Molly Ann Miller: Addiction is multi faceted and needs to be addressed on many levels: All of these resources have benefited us. I would not choose one in place of another. I would encourage every resource to be employed. Our lives depend on our recovery!  12 Step groups are unique because they are peer led—there is no leader. Each person is responsible for their own recovery. You grow for yourself, not for a pastor or counselor or your spouse. This is a key difference. Addicts and their spouses are very co dependent people, so our tendency is to please others instead of ourselves. This is our goal: to recover ourselves.


PAH: What was the greatest lesson you learned about yourself as you began to heal your wounds?

Molly Ann Miller: Before recovery I was so controlling! I got my self worth from “helping” others, giving them advice and rescuing them. It’s actually been painful at times to keep my mouth shut and trust God that others can think for themselves and solve their own problems. I can pray, love them, affirm my faith that God is leading them, but if I live their life, I’m not living mine.


PAH: How has life been for you and your husband since the publication of My Husband Has A Secret four years ago?

Molly Ann Miller: We celebrated our 36th anniversary and are finally growing up emotionally! Timothy is sexually sober and I‘m actually beginning to trust him sometimes. He found a healthy hobby. We are slowly improving financially and try not to live on the edge. We continue to participate in our 12 Step groups and get counseling. We laugh more. We’re serving. We took dance lessons. We’re softer, more gracious to others, to each other, and to ourselves.



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