After porn: A marriage is restored

by Joni B. Hannigan/Florida Baptist Witness, posted Monday, September 16, 2013 (6 years ago)

LAKELAND, Fla. (BP) -- Seven years after Cathy Dyer and her husband were married, pornography erupted as a crisis in their marriage, nearly destroying it.

Dyer recounts her real-life story of "God's ability to turn tragedy into triumph" in "Our Hardcore Battle Plan for Wives," a resource for women coauthored with Jay Dennis, pastor of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Fla.

Utilizing handwritten pages from her personal journal, Dyer gives readers poignant insight into her private pain and process of restoration after her husband's secret addiction to pornography came to light.

Our Hardcore Battle Plan for Wives is part of the Join 1 Million Men campaign to help men win the battle against pornography. Dennis pioneered the initiative at First Baptist Church at the Mall and introduced it to the Southern Baptist Convention at its annual meeting last June in Houston.

In Our Hardcore Battle Plan for Wives, as noted on, Dyer and Dennis address issues women encounter once pornography has entered the marital relationship -– including how to keep the marriage intact and preventive steps wives and moms can take to keep their families porn-free.

Dyer and her husband Greg, who have two children, have now been married 19 years.

Dyer, in an interview with the Florida Baptist Witness, answered questions about the book, released by New Hope Publishers, a division of Woman's Missionary Union.

Q: What did you anticipate will result from the release of your book?

Dyer: I hope and pray that the book for women, along with the books Pastor Jay has written for men and pastors, will be a catalyst for many things: for people to find a kindred spirit, practical advice, help and deliverance. Additionally, it has been my prayer that pastors will use these materials with their congregations and join the movement (

Q: How have you prepared for any of the "shame" issues that come with disclosing such personal information to the public?

Dyer: Honestly, shame was a minor issue as I worked on this material. My husband and I have been involved in some capacity of ministry in this area since about 2003, so I'm fairly used to putting my story "out there" and sharing openly. However, when we first started sharing with groups of people, it was nerve-wracking. Until you get used to it, telling people that your husband was unfaithful and a porn addict is an awkward topic to broach; but Greg and I realized -- from our own situation -- that this is a topic that sorely needs to be addressed. Someone has to be bold and have those awkward conversations. Why not us?

Q: How do you think this will help other women who are dealing with the same issue?

Dyer: When I was going through all the mess of my marriage, it helped so much to read people's personal stories, to know that someone out there had gone through the same thing ... and survived. One influential book for me was by Bonnie Keen, called "Blessed Are the Desperate." I hope many things for my book, but my number one hope is that women who are struggling with pornography or even an affair in their marriage will find solace in my story, that they will connect with my pain and then see the hope on the other side, that they will draw near to God as they are going through all the wreckage.

Joni B. Hannigan is managing editor of the Florida Baptist Witness (, newsjournal of the Florida Baptist State Convention. "Our Hardcore Battle Plan for Wives" and other resources in the Join 1 Million Men initiative can be accessed at

Download Story