Thursday, December 17, 2015

You're Not Alone! Review of Meg Wilson's Book, Hope after Betrayal

You may be on a parallel path with many other women, but you'll experience some unique twists and turns as you work to recover from the betrayal trauma of your husband's sexual addiction. Here's what I love most about Meg Wilson's book, Hope After Betrayal: she's included the stories of several women, and there's enough variety to help every reader realize that, whatever her circumstances, she's in the company of other good women. 

Meg's husband confessed his sexual addiction to her and took responsibility for it. That facilitates the process of healing both individually and as a couple. But maybe your situation is more like that of Stephanie:

"When I showed the printout to my husband, his reaction caught me off guard. He turned on me, calling me a snoop—and worse. This was not how I’d imagined the discussion would go. Suddenly my problems were a lot bigger. Deciding the best thing to do was research, I bought all the books I could find on sexual addiction. I even made copies of key pages and left them in places where my husband would see them, hoping he’d be interested in reading them. I took a critical look at my appearance, which prompted some changes. Surely some sexier clothes would help keep my husband’s interest. I contemplated plastic surgery. I also made sure to be available sexually at all times. Every effort only made him more angry and withdrawn. I just need to find the right tactic . . ."

Stephanie's reactions may be natural, but it's easy to see how they can deteriorate into the craziness of blaming herself, feeling lousy about herself, and chasing his approval. 

This is where the kind and gentle light Meg shares pierces the darkness to reveal the way ahead. It's a path to sanity and safety, and for Meg and the women whose stories she shares, travelling it is a spiritual journey. 

One of her key encouragements is to resist getting pulled into revolving your life around your partner's sexual addiction. Easier said than done, of course, but she coaches us how to do it. In the process, shares the perfect scriptures to drive home her points. Like this one from the Apostle Paul:

"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life." (Gal. 6:4–5)

I may have read these Bible verses before, but I've never realized their application to this struggle. In Meg's hands they become love notes from God, customized to your unique situation and delivered personally by one of his loving followers who earnestly cares about you. 

With all of the pain that comes with betrayal, it's easy to demonize sexually addicted men. Meg does an amazing job of avoiding that pitfall. Her understanding of and compassion for men's sexual and spiritual struggles permeates the entire book. She even gives her husband the last word--in the final chapter he shares his answers to many of the burning questions I hear all the time from readers of this blog.

If you need encouragement, hope, and guidance because your partner acts out sexually and you're open to a Christian perspective, Hope after Betrayal will be an invaluable resource. 

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