reasons for thanksgiving

This is Thanksgiving weekend in the US, and as we found reasons to count our blessings, I came across a few that won’t fit in the traditional (upcoming) Christmas letter.  😉   I’m not really sure how one goes about informing and updating those who receive your Christmas notes and cards that you’ve a) had an awakening of the sexual nature and your marriage bed is drastically improved over the previous years or b) that your husband is taking his sexual addiction seriously and is actively pursuing healing.  Those things just don’t jive for me as I try to sum up the year and get holiday cards & photos in the mail.  I guess I’m just not skilled enough at word-smithing for that.  😉

Regardless, this is a safe forum for me to talk about these things, and I’m grateful for it.  I’m thankful there are those who read and can learn from our experiences, but moreover that God is still in the redemptive-healing business.  Because without His intervention, this would all be a moot discussion on the way to and from divorce court.

So we saw our therapist again (the guy who *clicked* with us) this week.  He gave us a lot of paperwork to fill out the last time we saw him – intake papers – and this was the delivery-appointment and next step for us.  He began to read over these sheets after the small talk and payment for session, and I felt my heart sink.  I know intake is important for him – this is how he understands who we are and how he can help us.  That’s all good.  But as he began to read and compare our sheets, I thought, “We are going to shell out our hard-earned cash to go over *intake forms*?”  Ugh.  I really didn’t have high hopes for the session, but I kept an open mind and spirit.

By the last page of the forms, he began to ask questions that pierced the heart and mind and >bam!< insight flew at us from out of the blue.  I was quick to repent of my negative thoughts and went with the moment – it brought yet another reason for me to be proud of my husband.

<husband brag>

When he had the opportunity to be less than frank on the paperwork and with the therapist regarding his parents, he chose not to be.  He accepted the idea (and it’s the truth, but sometimes just admitting the truth is a huge and hard step that some people cannot handle) that there was/is emotional incest with his mother.  That his mother put him in a position of too much responsibility and emotional intimacy that should have been the realm of my FIL and should never have been the realm of her son.  And that the emotional incest and responsibility that she put on him was unhealthy and boundary-destroying.

[Aside] Emotional incest?  These are powerful, heavy words that represent a burden that many bear, but should never have to.  It happens when a husband and wife are in an emotionally empty, unsatisfying marriage that is usually void of intimacy, and the wounded-spouse (can be either gender) uses a child to meet their emotional needs.  When a wife has a distant husband and uses her child to dump on regarding her husband, or builds a relationship that is emotionally inappropriate with the child, attempting to fill the void that her husband should be filling for her.  The child can have varying degrees of response from feeling privileged at the secret information to wishing there was some way out of the relationship altogether.  Most people who have dealt with emotional incest also struggle with some form of sexual addiction as well.  The behaviour crosses boundary-lines and places responsibility on the child that no child should have to bear, and the tentacles of this type of relationship are not bound by age or distance as the child grows in to adulthood. [/aside]

This is hard, hard, hard stuff.  But he’s in a better place now where boundaries are firmer and healthier, and ultimately he’s removed from those games (although that word tends to negate some of the seriousness of the dysfunction and un-health) now by virtue of us being married and working on our own issues.

Ultimately, he didn’t have to own any of that and could have clammed up & rejected it, but he didn’t.  As he said, “If I am not honest, I’m shooting myself in the foot as far as complete healing.  If I hide it, then how can it be dealt with and healed?”

</husband brag>

As we sat over dinner and talked about it, he commented how thankful he was that we don’t live closer to them than 10.5 hrs., and I told him my thought: if he did, we would likely not be married and he would likely be fully out in the gay lifestyle.  He nodded thoughtfully and agreed – and remarked how God’s grace had kept him from that over the years.

I love this man so much and am so thankful for what God is doing – even through seemingly inconsequential intake-appointments with a therapist.

So as I thought about our year and what I would write in a holiday letter and what we were thankful for, God’s healing came bubbling up to the top.  I’m incredibly thankful that my husband truly *wants* healing and desires it enough to pursue it – hard.  In the words of Aragorn (and in my head, I hear his brogue with the words), “Ride hard.  Don’t look back.”  He’s riding hard – away from what he knew and away from the boundary-shattering patterns of his family, away from the sin that so easily ensared him for so many years, and in to a new destiny – a new health, a new life, a renewed marriage.

I’m thankful for supportive friends who pray for us on this path and who, although they cannot imagine being on the path themselves, are faithful to listen, encourage, and love.

But most of all, I’m thankful for God’s incredible intervention and how we’re shattering the understanding of how the Church deals with sexual brokenness and the healing in which God desires us to walk.

His and his,

This entry was posted on 291653H Nov 2008 and is filed under Forgiveness, Path to Healing, Pornography, Sexual Brokenness, SSA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

  • tulipsanticipation

    Way to go!