Hope

Stay with it. Stay with the pain, stay with the community of believers that is helping me as I suffer on the journey of recovery, and stay with Jesus, the author and perfector of faith.

Yesterday I learned that the pain I was feeling was based on feeling rejected, silenced, unmarried. My resentment grew into anger and the old coping mechanisms crept in. I wanted to withdraw, to isolate, to run from the pain. On one hand I do need the time and space to meet with God, to discover again and more deeply who I am in His image, and to accept that same sex attraction and addiction recovery are his gifts to me. On the other hand I need to remember I am a part of a larger body, one that cares for me and one that is changing along with me. I must keep communicating and confessing with my SA fellows. I am a grateful, recovering sex addict.

More importantly, yesterday I learned that the pain of rejection I was experiencing these past few days was the same pain of rejection that my wife of forty years is experiencing after learning about my unfaithfulness. During the week of first disclosure she wrote to me a short note, “Your faithlessness is breathtaking.” These past days my breathing has been through the heartache of a slow realization that the rejection I was experiencing was minuscule compared to the rejection my wife is experiencing because of my betrayal.

I am grateful for therapists who help me to begin to understand the gravity of my past actions while also helping me to remain in the pain long enough to learn from it. The new learning is the substance of the hope of recovery and the hope of better relationships. I am grateful for a wife who has chosen to remain with me in the pain, in her own pain. I am grateful she is seeing in me a new person with new abilities that come from stepping out of the shadow and into the full light of Christ and turning from deceit toward honesty and truth, and stepping into a single-minded faith without any doubting. Doubting that inevitably leads to double-minded thinking and instability.

I am a grateful, recovering sex addict.

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