I can remember it like it was yesterday, my wife telling me that our marriage was over. She had an affair with one of my friends and now felt she didn’t love me enough to stay with me. It felt like I couldn’t breathe. My stomach was churning and felt like it was going to jump out of my throat causing as much pain as possible in the process. I started to feel my body going numb and it wasn’t happening soon enough to take away the pain. I really had no idea what to do or even say. I was losing what I had looked for all my life, to be wanted and loved and now the one I counted on for that was rejecting me. I felt like I was being tossed aside like an old sock with a hole in it. It left me broken and hurting, wishing I could just die because it would probably have felt better than this. I ended up turning to alcohol, drugs and porn to medicate my pain.
Now the story doesn’t end there; after four years apart the Lord restored our marriage. However, during those four years my wife developed a sexual addiction problem landing her in a same sex relationship living with her partner. She gets saved about the same time I do and eventually we get back together. All that sounds great but neither of us really had dealt with our wounds and why we had turned to various addictions to medicate ourselves. We shared a wound in that both of us were sexually abused as children. Just because we were saved didn’t mean we were fixed. That became evident when my wife had another affair, this time with a girlfriend of hers, eight years into our second marriage.
Once again I found myself wounded, dazed and confused, not sure what to do. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Should I stay or should I go was playing in my head. Then Jesus reminded me of the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8:3-11, and said to me the same thing He said in verse 7 (I’m making it personal like He did for me) “So when you continue asking Me what to do I turn back to you and say. “Are you without sin, if so then start throwing stones at her.” I was not without sin, I had not actually committed adultery, but I had acted out so many times with porn that I knew I was not without my own sin. I decided to stay, but we still needed help. The question is where to get it?
The Church? The truth is most Pastors at that time had no real answers for sexual addiction. The answer most often given was to pray more and be accountable, and to just stop looking at porn.
Really! That’s it? That’s all you’ve got? Wow! I would have never thought of that on my own….I’ve only tried that a thousand times and its failed about thousand and one times, there has to be more to dealing with these issues?
There is more, like finding help from those that know what you’re going through. It is hard enough for a man to reach out to others, and especially hard when that man’s wife is a sex addict. I’m sure there are some out there right now thinking really? Your wife is addicted to sex and open to being with other women, why would that be a problem, sounds like opportunity. The reality is most men are not able to handle the level of shame that being open about this will create. Admitting to this makes you look like you’re not man enough for your wife. Now how many men can handle that without feeling like a loser? So, who can you go to? Where can you find help?
In over 15 years of working with men in the area of sexual brokenness I have only found 3 other guys willing to openly talk with me about the infidelity of their wife. Only one of them had a wife with same sex issues. There has to others guys, but where are they? Many would rather walk away from their marriage than admit to this, and even fewer will try to find help. If they stay, they will try to bury what happened hoping they can hide it so no one ever finds out.
If this rings true with anyone out there I hope you try to find some help. Trying to get through this alone is not the answer. You need to find those who can relate to what you’re going through. I did and if I had not found them I would have never found the peace and joy I experience today with my wife.