Being open Builds Intimacy(From Todd) This concept seem counter intuitive at least for a guy.  A guy usually takes the stance “don’t share your true feelings” or “always hold some things back”.  This, of course, is especially true if you are hiding a secret sin like a porn addiction. I would often think that if she knew the real me, she would not love me. Why in the world would I share with her my real struggles? By the way, often these are the exact same thoughts that occur for many who struggle to accept Christ’s unconditional love.

      I don’t really think that a guy fully understands the destruction that occurs within by holding back something like an addiction from a spouse. True intimacy doesn’t exist if you are keeping a sexual sin a secret from your spouse.  For me, once I shared my struggles with my wife I began to have a breakthrough and to experience real intimacy like I never before. Furthermore, I received freedom from an addiction as well as assurance of the love of my spouse, both key elements to experiencing intimacy. I never would have imagined that being completely open with my wife would increase our physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy but it has and for us it has been worth passing through the valley to get to the mountaintop.

      (From Diane) Being intimate in any way means sharing what is most personal and private.  So, it’s easy to see how openness builds intimacy.  Really, without physical openness, physical or sexual intimacy does not exist.  Same is true emotionally and spiritually.  I remember a couple days after Todd’s confession, I examined myself because I was wondering why I was so drawn to the one person who had hurt me the most.  Obviously, it’s because of unconditional love, and once barriers to intimacy had come down, I wanted to be with him and know him all the more, though it wasn’t always easy.  Since then every aspect of intimacy has been strengthened.  Almost daily we discuss the spiritual aspects of our lives and how we are growing or being challenged in our walks with the Lord.  Likewise, our emotional bond is stronger, and we are quicker to share our feelings as well as to understand the other’s.  We are more affectionate and flirty.  Though we always felt like we had a good sex life, our love for another has grown and is revealed in our physical intimacy. 

      (Todd) Openness with others builds intimacy in other relationships as well.  I have a number of men that I meet with regularly and that want to meet with me.  Why?  Because I was willing to share with our entire congregation my sin, men know they have someone who can understand struggles, even if it’s not the same ones I have faced.  Freedom, peace, joy and stronger relationships have come from my openness.  My only regret is not being open sooner.  We encourage you to be open.  If you need more encouragement, read Open by Craig Gross.