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Check out this great post from Jaylynn Bryson's Blog. In it she describes two key steps in their recovery as a couple from her husband's sexual addiction. I appreciate her permission to highlight them here:
Step 1. He Gets Real with Her.
It was not easy for Jaylynn to get the entire truth. She says, "An addict is so used to lying, even to himself, that telling the whole truth is difficult for them." With persistence she "pulled truth and honesty from Brandon over the course of the next two weeks. By asking questions and begging to know if he finally had confessed everything, I heard the truth of the past 8 years in pieces. And with each piece of information, my heart broke a little more."
It was a relief to Brandon to have everything out in the open so that he could move forward in his recovery; Jaylynn felt no such relief. The bottom had dropped out of her marriage and life. She was in agony. This is where the next step comes in, and it's such a key part of the process:
Step 2. He Listens as She's Real with Him.
Jaylynn's brother in Law, Landon, who has a master's degree in social work, helped Brandon learn empathy. "He learned to stop trying to be a fixer. This was something he couldn't fix and frankly shouldn't be trying to. That's not what I needed. Landon taught my husband to stop and listen to my words. To digest what I was saying. To put himself in my shoes and try to feel what it might be like if our roles were reversed. To say things like, 'I see why you feel that way', and 'That must be a terrible feeling'. He told my husband to sit with me in my pain. Sometimes I allowed Brandon to hold me in my despair and it was very healing. Other times I wanted him as far away from me as possible. I told him not to touch me. I told him not to say that he loved me anymore because it was too painful and hurt too much when he did. I showered and dressed with my door locked."
Perhaps as a result of letting Jaylynn's hurt, sadness, and anger really sink into his heart, Brandon's approach to recovery underwent a transformation. Jaylynn recalls: "Finally my husband slowed down a little and quit trying to rush ahead. He started reading books on recovery and learned to be humble. In the depths of humility he sat through whatever I needed to say to him and get off my chest. It was not an easy time for either of us, but it was a time of great learning."
Men, if you haven't taken the opportunity to get real with your wife... or haven't given her the chance to get real with you in the way she needs to... DO IT. TODAY. Get on the path of healing Brandon and Jaylynn are on. It won't be easy, but it's where you'll find true healing.