Someone told me my life as a wife of a sex addict is not a success story. It’s really a story of failure. Bless this woman. She was speaking her truth during a support group I was facilitating. To her, success was a marriage that was healing and succeeding after sex addiction. And sadly, mine did not.
Most women who come to me as a coach want to hear success stories. Stories of marriages that faced the odds and healed from the relational betrayal this addiction brings. And that’s the story I wanted to have; a story that spoke of how my husband battled this addiction and won after 50+ years. That he became all that I knew he could be. A man of integrity, a faithful husband, and be an involved and present dad to our kids. That true intimacy was growing, and we were being used powerfully to speak into the lives of others who struggle with sex addiction and intimacy anorexia.
But my story didn’t turn out that way.
My husband did succeed in overcoming his addiction for six years. But, unfortunately, he never chose to get the help he needed to deal with the many areas of hurt and brokenness in his life. Nor did he do anything to deal with the 18 years of intimacy anorexia. Instead, he chose to ignore that unbelievably painful element I lived with. For you wives who have lived this, I know you understand. Yes, he had stopped looking at porn, but in every other area, there was no progress.
Then, after six years of being free, he chose to go back to his addiction. That, my sisters, is the story of my marriage.
But honestly, I don’t see my life as a failure because my marriage came to an end. I treasured my marriage. I thought I would be married to my best friend forever. You don’t give up easily on a marriage you’ve worked so hard to heal. I took a whole lot of time seeking God on this. My marriage didn’t fail because I didn’t pray hard enough for my husband, our marriage, and our children, because I did.
To walk away was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make. I cared deeply for my husband; and I still do. But my divorce doesn’t define me. We are still friends. And we have family time during the holidays and birthdays. I still pray for him, and I still care deeply about him and his well being.
God didn’t fail me. He has been faithful throughout this journey. Today, I am thankful for this journey. I have found peace and a contentment, and my capacity for joy has grown significantly. I thank God for what I’ve gone through because it has led me here where I coach amazing, courageous women from all around the world. I love how God has redeemed my life. I would not be doing this work if I hadn’t walked this very difficult journey.
So is my life a failure?
Well, I’ll leave that answer to those who really know me. But I know how God answers this question because He’s told me.
Read Coach Katherine’s bio here