FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Stories of Addiction Recovery

Sharing your story (available anonymously) is a great way to express your feelings and possibly relieve tension knowing that someone will read it and know.

Stories about addiction, recovery, and continued relationship with God help others know that they are not alone in their addiction, encourages many, and shares ideas.

Sex Addict Stories by:

> Men

> Spouses of addicts

> Women

> Young Men

> Young Woman

I was 18 and he told me that he was struggling with pornography.

by Nicole

I sort of knew about Pete’s addiction before we got married.  I was 18 and he told me that he was struggling with pornography.  He also told me that he had slept with five women before meeting me including a married woman.  While we were dating, he broke up with me for a mentally unstable woman, vulnerable, and tried to seduce her.  He came back and apologized and I “took him back”.

I believed that if we were married and he had a legitimate outlet for his sexual desires that the behavior would stop.  It didn’t.

We were married for about two years and living in Green Bay (2 1/2 hours away from my family), attending a legalistic cult-esque church which was my only “family” and friends in the area when all hell broke loose and I found out about the depths of his addiction.  He told me that he had been sneaking out to the hallways of our apartment building to try and overhear other couples having sex.  This then progressed to sneaking out of the apartment at night to try and peek in windows and see people have sex or undressed women. 

Pete would go out, participate in these behaviors, then come back home and cry and vow never to do them again.  I believed him because he was honest about it and I believed earnest.

I once became so fed up that I threatened to call the police if I caught him out at night.  One night I woke up and he wasn’t there and I observed him walking back into our apartment building.  I didn’t call the police.  I was too afraid.

Then one Saturday morning in 2006 (I think, dates are a little fuzzy) I awoke and Pete was not home.  I couldn’t reach him and knew in my spirit that he had been arrested.  He lied and told the police that this was his first time.  I felt pressured to do the same when questioned.  They all glared at me like I was some sort of accomplice.  Then they searched our house – including my underwear drawer.  I felt so violated.  I was in shock and so afraid of losing Pete, so afraid of the future and the shame that I felt over his actions and my inaction that I lied to the police for him.  So afraid of being alone.

He accepted responsibility for his own actions (ostensibly).  He was arrested peaceably.  I had to find a ride over to where he left our only car (the apartment complex behind where I worked at the time) and then find my way to the Brown County Jail to bail him out.  When I saw him hours later he was so ashamed.  He seemed so contrite.
 

I considered divorcing him – I even remember sitting at the “church” with the few ladies who knew what was going on showing me the Bible verses on divorce to influence and “save” me.  Something in me wouldn’t let go.  I couldn’t admit defeat.  I believed that I could fix this if I just tried harder to be a better wife.

God didn’t want me in that church.  I had gone into survival mode.  I was barely functioning due to the amount of pain I was carrying, essentially alone.  I could barely hear God.  I wasn’t sure that I wanted to.  I filled journals with prayer, tears, and pain.  But as Pete continued to not do well, I continued to believe that I wasn’t trying hard enough to fix the situation.  I was broken, bleeding, and insistent upon bandaging myself up.  I was closed off to the world and to God.

Pete was kicked out of that “church” and eventually began to attend another church.  He started doing well, so I thought.  Two whole months with no peeking or masturbation.  So I was willing to listen again.  Even if only a little bit.  God told me to leave the cult-esque church and follow my husband to the new church.  So I did.

About three years later I began working at the church and God opened up the doors for us to go to counseling, a specialized sexual-addiction counselor in Colorado.  Pete’s addiction was ramping up again and becoming strange, and included much porn viewing.

I was still barely surviving.  I would get encouraged when Pete seemed to be doing better and I was devastated when Pete was failing.  His failures gutted me.

He was always sorry but there was never really any change.  I could only let God in so far before the god that I was worshipping – the Pete-marriage idol – was exposed and I pushed God back, not allowing Him in enough to get the true healing that I needed. 

I wasn’t ready until early 2014 when I started reading about and understanding God’s grace and began applying it to my life and relationships.  It was like God poked into my life – I was slowly changing and growing again.  This combined with other situational issues messed up Pete (I was no longer trying to control him and his addiction) and he peeked in our neighbor’s window.

I came downstairs right after he got back in and looked him in the eyes and asked if he had gone out peeking and he lied to me.

Two weeks later he confessed.  I was devastated once again and in shock.  I sensed that this was the beginning of the end for our marriage but was not ready yet.  Two or three weeks later, after working with a Marriage Mentor couple, Pete went out at night claiming that he was going to a coffee shop to think but ended up at a single, vulnerable, mentally unstable woman’s house with the intention of having sex with her.  Nothing happened.

This was the final straw for me.  I asked him to move out and knew it was time to begin my journey to healing.  A friend had bought me the Leader’s Manual & A L.I.F.E. Guide a while back and I had tried unsuccessfully to start a group.

I now knew that I needed to go through it.  So I started the journey, sharing all the insights and most of the “homework” assignments with my “mentor” - Deborah.  Having only one person helped me become comfortable with being seen and known.  I had spent so much time hiding, trying not to get hit by the shrapnel that was coming from Pete’s decisions and choices.

At first I was scared – scared that I would have an emotional breakdown, of my marriage failing, of being alone, being known, having to overcome this pain & betrayal.  So I took it one step at a time, one day at a time.  Journaling the feelings in the Grief Section was particularly important for me to begin to see the damage done – by Pete AND myself – so I could ask God to heal it.

My daily prayer was for God’s LOVE to be a healing balm to my wounded heart and soul.  And it was.  As I worked through each Principle and section, I learned so much – but I think that the most important thing I learned is that I wouldn’t have made it this far without the support of Deborah and several other women to whom I could pour out my heart and receive love, prayers, encouragement, and rebuke – grace and truth.

My marriage is currently in divorce proceedings and I believe that it will end in divorce.  But I am okay.  This whole journey has driven me to my knees, to the point of weeping and baring every part of my soul to the ONE who can bring the healing I so desperately desired.  To the point where I was so utterly broken, shattered into a million pieces, that only the hands of God Almighty could piece me together. Could take those pieces and create something new.

I know and trust God in ways I never did before.  His Word is alive and nourishment to my famished soul.  Our relationship is closer and better than ever before.  My desire is to live for Him, to thrive and run and love and embrace all that He has for me. 

There is no healing without pain.  Neither in the physical realm nor the spiritual.  I am trusting in my Father for all my needs – emotional, spiritual, and physical.  I have hope for my future.  My number one hope is to faithfully serve the purpose here on earth that God has for me, to passionately pursue Him so that I may finish this race well.  I hold my desires much more loosely than I had in the past.  I have only ONE HOPE and He has redeemed me from the grave, bought me at a great price.  I am His.


~~~

I am different today than when I began this journey in so many ways.  I see the world and my responsibilities in relationships differently.  I am so much closer to God and to my friends now that I am being real and authentic.  This journey has come to mean just how God came to rescue me from an abusive situation (emotionally and verbally) and my own sinful choices.

The Rest of My Story

My initial motivation for starting this journey was healing from the agonizing pain I was suffering from.  My primary goal was healing so that I could hear from God what to do about my crumbling marriage.  I first realized that I had stuff to work on in me as I worked through my grief.  I knew somewhere deep inside that I had been shoving all of my sins and issues under the proverbial carpet and that there was a sizeable lump underneath it.  I just wasn’t ready to let go of managing Pete's problems until I worked through Principle One. 

I serve such an awesome and gracious God who has provided so many people to walk down this terrifying road with me. I have realized that without the unconditional love shown to me by so many that I could not have survived this.  I have seen the body of Christ mobilized and moving like never before in my life.

God is showing me that what I said I believed about Him and what I lived about Him were two different things.  I now see Him for more of Whi He is, have a deeper understanding of His love and mercy and grace.  He is my Father, perfect Father, and I know I can trust Him with every need.  Every.  Need.  All my emotional & connection needs, all my needs for validation, worth, significance, financial, my future, even my desires.  I want my desires to align with His.

I now believe that I have more worth that is not defined by my credit score, church attendance, report cards, work attendance, good deeds, sins, failures, weaknesses, or shortcomings – I am defined by who God says that I am.  I am His, I was bought at a price.

I am learning so much.  Some of the mst important thins I’ve learned are that pain is necessary for healing and that there will be pain in this life.  However, if I let God do it, He will bring that healing to places I didn’t know needed it and beauty from the ashes.

I have learned what it means to surrender to God everything.  To be so broken that only God’s hands can make something out of the dust that was my life. 

I have learned that when I am weak He is strong.  He is enough.

I have learned that what I WANT is not always best for me.  I have learned about my sinful patterns of relating.  I have learned what  God breathing life into the dry bones of my soul is like and that I never want to go back to the way I used to be.

I have learned to listen for God’s voice again.  That accountability is a good and healthy (albeit uncomfortable at times) thing.

I am a lot more open, honest, and authentic with God and others.  I don’t want to hide anymore; I want to run into the plans and destiny that God has for me.  I want to make a difference.  I want others to see our God at work in me.

~~~

If I could share one thing with a spouse just starting on this journey that I’ve been on it would be this...

Your world has blown apart.  Darkness envelopes you.  Confusion, betrayal and shattered dreams assault you.  Hold on. There is healing.  But you will have to walk through pain.  The pain that you’ve sought to avoid, manage, medicate, control and ignore. 

It is hard work.  But there is healing on the other side of this chasm.  There is light and life and freedom available.  It is so much better than how you have been living.  You will only get out of it what you put into it, so decide now to give your healing your all.  To seek after God with everything that you have.  No more hiding.  Step into the light and let God strip away everything that doesn’t please Him. 

You can live and thrive again.  Take the journey.  You won’t regret it.