I recently met Brandie Rau through a mutual friend on where else? Facebook. 

Brandie is a writer/speaker/mother of three/shameless women, and is half of a husband-wife ministry team based in Alberta Canada. Her full testimony includes growing up in an alcoholic home, teen pregnancy, and sex addiction. Brandie has generously put a link (at the bottom) to her free eBook. 

I invited Brandie to share an excerpt from her marriage story, because sex addiction is a common, yet deeply secretive and shameful struggle, for both men and women. If you are struggling or you know someone who is, I’m praying that Brandie’s story gives you a taste of hope, reminds you that you are not alone, and opens up some helpful conversation. 

Also, Brandie wanted you to know that she’d be happy to talk with you via Facebook (Brandie Fillip Rau), if you’d like some guidance. 
Read. Share. Comment. Live Shamelessly.  

“After everything I endured growing up, I had no idea that the first eight years of my marriage would be the hardest years of my life. We battled not only against my husband’s addiction to pornography, but against poverty, rejection, loss and depression. At times, I thought I would be crushed under the weight of daily life. We had a long, hard road ahead of us if we ever wanted to walk in true freedom.
When pornography invaded my marriage, I realized how much of a betrayal it is. Having a husband with this addiction is not just about what he is looking at. It is about being cheated on without the actual affair. It is about feeling inadequate every moment of every day. It is about believing that no matter how little you eat or how much you work out, you will never measure up to what he is looking at in secret.
Feelings of worthlessness were creeping in.  I hated what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I wanted to be intimate with my husband but at the same time, I never wanted him to touch me again. I felt like a child being robbed of her innocence all over again. I began to question if I should have married him if this was what I had to look forward to for the rest of my life. On the outside, we were the perfect couple with the perfect marriage and the perfect ministry.

On the inside we were broken and ashamed.
For eight long years we fought this battle. I had seen deliverance so I believed it was there. In the midst of the anguish, God gave me an unfailing love for my husband and an ability to persevere in prayer long after I wanted to quit.
Yet even as I prayed, my self-worth was slowly being chipped away. I began to fantasize about being married to someone who would not put me through the pain of what I was dealing with. I could not be intimate with my husband without wondering who he was actually seeing or thinking about. I had never felt so ugly in my entire life. I wanted to leave, but by this time we had three children and I could not imagine putting them through the pain of losing their father.
I turned to God and asked him to step in. I prayed that He would deliver my husband and we could move forward into the dreams we had. But He didn’t. I felt like God was turning a deaf ear to my cries. Little did I know that in the midst of my deepest pain, He was doing more than I could have imagined. 

I started to notice that when I would find evidence of pornography in the house, it would hurt less. Before long, my husband’s addiction lost the power to control me. God began to build me back up even as my husband continued to look elsewhere. He restored my worth and kept a guard around my heart. I was able to pray for my husband without feeling betrayed.
For another two years after God stepped in and placed a guard around my heart, my husband remained bound. I saw how desperately he wanted to be free and I realized how much it bothered him to know he was hurting me. He desired to be pure. He wanted a right relationship with God.

Hadessa Creative

He was on his face crying out for healing and deliverance, and I was crying out with him. We were determined that our marriage would withstand the onslaught no matter how long it took.
Our freedom came through years of tears, prayer and struggle. Many times, we wanted to quit. Believing that we would one day be free often felt like an impossible task but the One who promised us freedom is faithful. When we were too weak to fight, He fought on our behalf. When we were ready to admit defeat, He stirred up that one last ounce of determination in our hearts. It was never easy, but it was worth it.
Eight years after the fight began, we emerged victorious. Our home is now completely free from addiction. Our marriage has been strengthened and renewed. We have a dream and a vision for our future. God is at the center of our family and we have a faith that cannot be shaken. God is our redeemer. We have seen deliverance and we will spend the rest of our lives sharing what He brought us through so that you will see it too.
 Never give up until your struggle becomes your testimony.”
Brandie Rau is passionate about empowering the church of Canada to live fully in the presence, power, and purposes of God. Through her own personal life experience, she brings a message of freedom and deliverance for all who are broken. You can check out her ministry website at Fervent Ministries and her personal blog Fire Starter

 To read Brandie’s complete testimony, click here to download your FREE copy of Marked: the story of a desperate girl and the God who redeemed her.

For more resources on overcoming sexual addiction, check out Shannon Ethridge.com or the Resources for Overcoming Shame page above. 

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