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  • Jennifer Peel

The Dear Wife

Now that I have released The Dear Wife, it’s important to address why I wrote this book. A few years ago, two brave fans whom I had never met wrote to me and asked me to consider writing a romance book that included pornography addiction. My first thought was, “There is nothing romantic about pornography addiction, and that sounds a lot like career suicide.” But one of the women thought perhaps if other women and even men could read about it in a fictionalized setting, maybe it could help those struggling with a spouse’s pornography addiction not feel so alone. I kindly told them I would think about it, but honestly, I didn’t think I could do it. It seemed like a daunting task, and like I said before, I was afraid it would be a career killer.

But that night as I slept, I was awoken by James’s voice saying, “Dear Avery” over and over again. He was in such anguish. He was ashamed of how he had hurt his wife. And then I started hearing the love letters he was writing. It was the only way he could express how sorry he was and why and how he had fallen into the addictive world of pornography.

As if that wasn’t enough, a woman I love more than life itself confided in me that her husband was struggling with pornography. I saw the damage it had done to her beautiful soul. And when she encouraged me to write this story, I couldn’t refuse.

This is how the More Than a Wife series began. I knew I couldn’t just write James and Avery’s story. I knew I needed you, the reader, to fall in love with them in the first two books, so you could root for them even in their deepest, darkest places of despair. Even if you might, at times, dislike James, I hope you will be patient with him and remember the loss he and Avery have dealt with since their little girl’s death. I don’t say that to excuse his behavior. I say it because we don’t always know the pain people hide.

With that said, I didn’t sugar coat the realities of this addiction in this book. The more I researched and interviewed women who have spouses struggling with pornography addiction, I knew I had to keep it real. But I did my best to make it a “clean” book. Though sex is mentioned several times throughout the book, I don’t write graphic descriptions. But, if you are a sensitive reader, you may find some of the content hard. This is not a book I would recommend for your teenager.

But I would recommend this book to all women. Whether your significant other is addicted to pornography or not, chances are you know someone struggling daily with an addicted partner. I can’t tell you how many women confided in me their heartbreaking stories when I told them what this project was about.

Pornography addiction is an epidemic and a silent killer of self-esteem and relationships. It’s not something we want to talk about because it’s embarrassing, and the media portrays pornography as something to be celebrated. I’m not judging people who feel this way, but I have personally witnessed the destruction pornography causes. And what makes it worse is that those who are victims feel alone. If this is you, I hope this book will help you know you aren’t alone. Please find a friend you can confide in. If you can’t find a friend, there are many organizations available with resources to help you. I will list some of them at the end of this blog.

And if you yourself are addicted to pornography, please stop shaming yourself and seek help. Pornography addiction is like any other addiction. One of my favorite quotes in the book comes from Joan— “People are afraid of diseases of the mind. They remind us all how vulnerable we all are.” There is nothing wrong with being vulnerable. It’s in our vulnerability that we can find a place of healing and hope.

Please know that I realize how sensitive this subject is. Based on your own circumstances, you may or may not agree with Avery’s choice and that’s okay. But I hope you take this story for what it is, a true love story. Real love stories take hard work. Sometimes it’s difficult to stay and choose love. And sometimes walking away is the best choice. I’ll let you read the book to see how Avery chooses. But, know there is a healing and happy ending.

With all my heart I hope you will appreciate and even love Avery and James’s journey. It is one filled with great moments of sadness, triumph, tenderness, and even laughter.

Lots of love,

Jennifer

Resources:

FightTheNewDrug.org

Fortify

BloomForWomen.com

Many denominations have support groups available. Please check with your local religious leader.


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