"Good-Enough Wife" & "Blue Sex Tool"Jul 14, 2023
Justin & Stacy (pseudonyms) had a problem. Their marriage was struggling and neither was sure they were going to make it.
Stacy had found evidence of Justin's porn use in spite of his insistence it was a "thing of the past." She was in a state of shock and despair. She was experiencing Betrayal Trauma.
Justin felt hopeless and ashamed due to the years of trying desperately to quit, but always returning to pornography when feeling overwhelmed by life. He knew he had a problem, but had no idea how to break the seemingly impossible cycle of addiction.
When we started therapy together, neither felt much hope for the future. As they faithfuly used the approach taught in the Marriage Recovery Course, they quickly discovered that there was far more for both of them to address than they initially assumed. Each had to face their personal baggage, while also rewriting the interpersonal dynamics of their marriage relationship.
Justin learned to explore his pornography use with a sense of curiosity and compassion, rather than condemnation and shame. This new approach of openness and kindness for his heart revealed the deeper needs and insights that were completely out of reach before. He finally started feeling hope as genuine transformation began taking hold. Sobriety alone was no longer the goal. Instead, he began to value emotional, mental and spiritual health in holistic and integrated ways. No longer content with sex as a tool, he desired genuine intimacy with Stacy on all levels.
Stacy learned to start caring for herself in healthy ways and fought to break the patterns of co-dependency and enmeshment throughout her life. She started paying attention to her body to attune to her own needs. She began using her voice in assertive ways for the first time ever. She decided to quit acting the "good Christian girl" and accepted herself as an imperfect yet beloved. She let go the pressure to "fix/help/rescue her husband" from his addiction and instead focused on her own work so she could show up as healthy as possible.
Stacy realized she needed to do her own individual recovery work, not just focus on Justin's addiction. Justin realized that sex was something completely other than he had ever known. Both chose to do their own individual work, as well as address their maladaptive marriage dynamics.
By addressing all three agendas, they became healthy individuals in a healthy marriage... everything was now radically transformed! It took time and effort, but they were both fully invested and thereby got excellent results! See what they have to say about their experience below.
“I’ve tried solving my addiction on my own for decades. This time, after I had been caught, I remember thinking that I was going to do everything I could possibly do to finally address it. I sought groups, I read books, and I went to counseling. There was no cost I wasn’t willing to consider. There was no stone I wouldn’t overturn.
Through my recovery, I started to realize that my addiction wasn’t just warping my view of sex and relationships, but my view was wholly wrong. I saw sex as a tool to address my feelings, stresses, and frustrations. But I soon realized that sex wasn’t a tool at all, but an emotional expression.
It’s as if someone told me that the hammer I had in my hand wasn’t a hammer but rather the color blue. My brain couldn’t even conceive what I was hearing. It took time, sobriety, and practice to finally start to see sex and relationships as something wholly other than what I thought they were.
The lessons taught in this course helped me understand that there was something else there when I thought there was nothing left. It took letting go, choosing death from my past knowledge, and taking a big jump to finally experience a relationship and sexual expression that is honest and soul-filling."
"I tried to ignore my husband’s addiction through the first decade and a half of our marriage. I assumed that if I was a “good-enough” wife, then everything would turn out fine. What I didn’t realize is that to live like that, I had to silence and ignore parts of myself that were screaming that they didn’t feel safe.
After discovering my husband's continued addiction to pornography, we realized that we needed to do something differently... but I still thought my role was to be the “good wife,” always there to support my husband. I was completely unaware of the work I needed to do.
Doing the hard work of individual healing alongside my spouse has been incredibly difficult and outrageously beautiful. Marriage Recovery Course gave me a framework for what a healthy marriage looks and feels like. It opened my eyes wide to the unhealthy systems and cycles affecting myself and my marriage and then gave me tools to start down a new path toward healing.
The tools, frameworks, and skills I learned through the Marriage Recovery Course materials have forever changed me as a woman and have helped us rebuild the foundation of our marriage on safety, curiosity, and compassion."
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