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Why Your Marriage May Never Heal From Sexual Addiction, pt.1

March 8, 2010

Your marriage probably won’t heal from a sexual addiction until you get to the next layer. 
We had a chance to visit with a couple recently.  They were new to marriage and new to the husband revealing his secret sin.  Marsha and I shared our story some of the things we have been learning, and have been praying for them since our meeting.  We got this email from them recently: 
“Thanks for the email.  We’ve been doing okay. Honestly, after we visited you guys, it opened up a whole side of issues we didn’t know existed.  Still wading through them.  Tough at times.”
This couple has gotten to the next layer.  It is a good place to be.  It is part of the painful process of recovery. 

The worst thing for a couple to do is not talk about issues.  Silence and avoidance are not going to help a marriage.  Issues don’t magically go away.  We don’t grow out of them and we won’t wake up someday and find our problems have disappeared.  We have to bring issues out if we want to grow in our marriages.  For the couples dealing with a sexual addiction you have to get the issues out on the table and start exploring the layers.

Here are three major layers that couples walk through as they are working on issues.  Each layer is a major step toward intimacy, authenticity and recovery in a marriage. 
Couples getting real with each other start with surface issues.  This layer is usually about behaviors. 

The first layer might be the husband confessing his Internet porn activity.  It might be chatrooms, visits to prostitutes or involvement with other women. 

A secret has been kept and has been revealed.  Almost instantly a bomb goes off and true behaviors come to light.  Sometimes a whole second lifestyle is revealed. 

This is only one layer of discovery.  This is hard enough isn’t it?  The relationship is tested at this point.  This may be a breaking point for a spouse.  A couple may park at this layer for a long time if they don’t get the right help.   A counselor can be a great help when secrets are revealed. 

Layer One is about the sexual addict being truthful about his behaviors and no longer hiding his behaviors. 

On tomorrow’s blog, I’ll talk about two deeper layers that couples should work toward to find the deepest level of healing.

Q:  What layers have you and your spouse had to work on in your recovery?
Q:  How do you go from silence on the issues to talking about it?

Email:  porn

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