Most stories start in the beginning. Mine starts toward the end. That's when the secret of my sexual addiction was no longer a secret. At the time, I was deeply involved in a vibrant church. I felt like I was giving it my all and I remember worshiping on Sunday mornings when?I prayed eagerly that God would use me. His response to my active seeking came completely unexpected and with such a jolt that it shook at the very core of who I was and how I perceived myself as a man. In my search, God began to ask me if I really loved Him. And, like Peter, I emphatically answered, "YES, LORD, I DO!" And, again like Peter, He didn't just ask me once. He asked me several times. I found myself getting frustrated with this nagging question, "Do you really love me?" I really didn't see what was coming next when God simply proposed to me (and there was no way denying it): "If you love me, then what about this??" He took a flashlight and shined it on a dark part of my life that I felt I had kept secret from everyone, from Him, from my wife, and perhaps even unwittingly to myself. I was nailed. I cannot begin to say how immobilized it made me feel. How could I hide the secret anymore? There was a part of me, I guess, that was relieved I no longer had to live in the secret but at the same time, if I had to be honest, there was a part of me that really didn?t want to give it up. What I was doing seemed pleasurable for the moment but in the end it was only temporary and ultimately it only brought about more emptiness and more isolation So, out of nothing else but fear I guess, I took the next step. Because I had to! I joined a group of men who were total strangers to me - men who were struggling with and recovering from their own sexual addiction. Never in a million years would I have ever imagined being this honest and transparent with other men; seems like it?s against our nature?Perhaps freedom began there, but in the early days I didn't feel freedom at all. I felt nothing but shame, guilt and condemnation. It was even weeks before I could muster up the courage to tell my wife of what I had been doing. The hurt and pain and anger and sadness she felt was deep, all because of my ?secret sin-life?. Whether it?s an actual physical affair, an emotional one or a fantasy one that comes about as you fill your eyes and your mind with porn, it?s still adulterous. My wife was able to share with me that was exactly how she felt. For me, it hasn't happened overnight. I've learned that I can be forgiven of my sin but the consequences of the sin remain. I sometimes wish I could magically make these consequences go away but I cannot do this any more than I can make my addiction just go away. So I work recovery. I continue to work at restoring my marriage but it's not been easy for me or for my wife. It grieves me that I have hurt her in this way. I have to remind myself that perhaps she may not ever understand my struggle but that?s ok. I just want her to understand how deeply I love her and that there are times when I marvel and I am perplexed at how fortunate a man I am to have her in my life. When Satan tries to tell me none of this will work out I try to remind myself that God?s desire is to redeem all of this. I am finding this redemption as I surrender to His will each day. My wife and I have settled the commitment issue in our marriage once and for all. We want our marriage to last. So we both work through this. Above all else I am realizing that there is no way I'm going to make it on my own or by my own willpower. God knows where my own willpower got me to in the first place. When I acknowledge my willpower has failed, it turns me to God. At the end of myself, I find God and I have to trust that He will do for me what I could never do for myself. I have to have other men in my life that I can be completely truthful and completely transparent with, even at those times when I don't feel like it or want to. And my freedom began there?
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