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Couples Therapy

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Couples Therapy:  Marriage and Pornography

Part 2 of 2

Preface

This is the second part of a two-part article. The source for this article came from Leadership Journal, a publication of Christianity Today, and specifically, the Fall 1982 and Winter 1988 issues. Leadership journal was a publication specifically written for Christian leader. This article, comments Couples Therapy Naples, highlights one Christian leader’s struggle with pornography and guilt, and its impact on his marriage.

The Turning Point

Shortly thereafter, Tom did two things. First, he read a book by Francois Mauriac. Mauriac, a Christian and Nobel prize winner from France, wrote about the depths of human depravity as well as personal purity. As a consequence, Tom was motivated anew to humbly approach God in prayer acknowledging his weakness and the need for His strength to break the vicious cycle that held him. Mauriac reminded his readers of the words of Christ, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. ” Tom asked himself, “could He [God] substitute another thirst and another hunger for the one I had never filled?” He was willing to find out. (This is, of course, one of the big differences between secular marriage counseling and Christian, says Couples Therapy Bonita Springs. The latter incorporates God into the picture.

Tom did something else. One night at home, he confessed to his wife the hidden detours of his life. Recalling that long conversation, Tom related, “Somehow, she in¬carnated the grace of God for me.” Susan forgave him for the years of her own silent suffering, for the marriage relationship that never fully developed, for the rejection she felt at his need to go else¬where. But from that point for¬ward, Tom would openly share with Susan every temptation he encountered. His sex life which for so long was experienced in isolation would no longer remain a private matter.

During the next year, Tom fell once – and that only momentarily. He then wrote his story for publication. Five years later, Tom re-read his original article in preparation for a follow-up story. The extent of Tom’s spiritual and emotional healing is captured in his extraordinary words, “I had forgotten how completely sex had dominated my life.” (Christ was true to His promise observes Couples Therapy Fort Myers.)

The Larger Issue: Reomving Guilt

As the seasons came and went, Tom unhappily learned that lust does not fulfill, it “stirs up.” (Couples Therapy Cape Coral has long observed this is the case with addictions of various kind). It points in one direction only, downward. There is no returning to a previous level and remaining content. One always wants more. “I no longer wonder how deviants can get into child molesting, masochism, and other abnormalities,” he reflected. …Although such acts are incomprehensible to me, I remember well that where I ended up was also incomprehensible to me when I started.”

Though he had attempted to break the habit time and again, he found that he could not go a month or two before he yielded once more. Self-hatred, despair, and guilt grew. Over time, an invisible barrier began to develop between him and his wife, Susan, even in the privacy of their bedroom. (Their marriage suffered noted Couples Therapy Estero). Tom’s sexual relations with his wife could not compare to the technicolor fantasies into which he had so thoroughly immersed his mind. Tom was like a man craving for salt while dying of thirst.

Learning From Tom

For Tom, the turning point came when his sense of right and wrong and self-condemnation were the strongest. He knew that what he was engaged in was wrong and it left him miserable. His sense of morality shouted to him that there was a better way. Ultimately, it drove him in desperation to beseech the mercy of God with an urgency he never had before. Yet in that private process of confession and divine grace, moral standards for human conduct were reinforced and became the goal.

Since those momentous days, Tom’s outlook on life has indeed changed. In his second article written five years later, Tom concluded, “I have only one option: to seek God with all my heart, so that God may continue his process of healing and bring me to sexual fulfillment – at home, with my wife, where I belong.” (All cases should end this well, wistfully states Couples Therapy Naples FL).

Guilt in Its Proper Perspective

Guilt is a terrible feeling. Fully admitted, it strips away any facade that would protect us from its pain. Nonetheless, without it, we are nothing more than brute beasts. A key reason Westley Allan Dodd (executed 1993) was sentenced to death by hanging for kidnapping, raping, and murdering three little boys was because he expressed no remorse during his trial. To the contrary, he told the jury that if he ever had the chance, he would do it again and “enjoy every minute of it. ”

Who needs guilt? We do asserts Couples Therapy Ft Myers FL The question is, what do we do with it? Do we try to convince ourselves that what we are doing is not really all that bad? For those tired of bearing its weight, consider Christ’s invitation, “Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” As French author E. Guerin discovered generations ago, “When the soul has laid down its faults at the feet of God, it feels as though it had wings.”

There were at least four components to Tom’s recovery observed Couples Therapy Naples. The first was fear. Tom was given a rare glimpse of the future when he met with his friend Steve and saw Steve’s debased condition. Second, more than just asking God to help him stop what he was doing, Tom asked God to help him replace what he was doing with something else. Third, Tom confessed his sin to his wife, bringing it out in the open where it lost its power. Fourth, throughout the time he was in sin’s grip, Tom never called evil good.

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Dr. Ken Newberger, a former pastor, holds a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary. He offers an alternative to traditional couples therapy. If you live in Naples FL, Fort Myers FL, Cape Coral FL, Bonita Springs FL, Estero FL, or surrounding areas in Southwest Florida, he stands ready to help. to briefly discuss you situation

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