Blog Marriage Resources Sexual Purity

I Chose This


I can remember countless times, especially during the beginning of my husband’s recovery from sexual addiction thinking this phrase and sometimes even shouting it out loud…”I didn’t choose this!”, followed by thoughts of “I didn’t ask for this….”, “I didn’t choose to be treated this way!”, “I didn’t want this….”

For my husband and I, this journey of healing began when we were engaged. This was a critical time in our relationship, a time normally filled with excitement and anticipation.  Those emotions were felt, but as we began to discover the great impact this addiction had had on my husbands life, and in turn mine as well…..things got rough. I am thankful each day for the men who surrounded my husband with accountability and truth during this time. And also for the women who listened to me endlessly and spoke words of hope.  This was an addiction he struggled with for about 13 years, after accidentally stumbling across videos as a child.  Although his addiction to pornography and fantasy never led to any physical relationships with anyone else, the pain of betrayal and unfaithfulness was still very real and overwhelming. I wouldn’t have been quick to believe this 5 years ago in the heat of it all, but God truly does know how to bring restoration and healing. Our relationship as husband and wife is closer, deeper, and more open and honest than I would have dreamed. I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness.

For me, as a spouse of one who struggled with this addiction, the greatest battle I faced was learning to walk in a constant state of forgiveness. This was not a simple, one time event.  It was a process that took time.  It’s important to remember that the decision to forgive is different from the process of forgiving.  Everyone heals and forgives differently.  It would be foolish for me to give out a 5 step process because it honestly doesn’t work that way.  I do know that opening my heart to God foremost, and other trust women of God made all the difference in that stage of the journey.  Realizing that Jesus was enough to fill me and complete my every need, including the healing of my broken heart.

There are many things that God allows us to walk through that we didn’t “choose” on our own.  I would not have chosen this journey for myself.  Knowing the pain it would take to get to the other side, not to a place of perfection but a place of wholeness, I don’t know that I would have lined up for the journey.  However, the truth is….I did choose this.  I chose LOVE. I chose RESTORATION. I chose WHOLENESS. I chose FORGIVENESS.

My encouragement to the spouse of someone struggling in sexual addiction: Don’t escalate yourself.  I know that is a difficult thing to hear because the last thing you want is for someone to know this “secret.”  Freedom for your spouse can’t come in secrecy, and neither can it for you.  The lie the enemy loves to convince us of is that we need to keep things in the dark.  If your spouse has began the journey of recovery, it’s time for you too.  At the beginning it’ll feel like it’s never going to end, but 3 months, 6 months, 1 year later you will look back and you won’t believe how much has changed.  This can only take place in a marriage if both husband and wife are walking in a place of humility, complete honesty, and forgiveness.  I know it might seem hopeless now, but I promise you things do get better….they even become GREAT!  My love, trust and respect for my husband who is constantly  pursuing purity and helping others do the same is greater today than ever before.  Hope is alive!

My encouragement to the one struggling in sexual addiction: There is freedom, but it comes at a great cost of desire, sacrifice, and most important, surrender.  Addictions like this can cause you to lose those things that are most valuable in life, things that don’t have a price tag on them such as your marriage, your integrity, your character, the trust of your spouse, sometimes your career. Thankfully, there is healing, victory and a great peace that lies ahead of each individual who takes this journey.  If you are married this addiction has definitely impacted your spouse. Probably much more than you know or can understand. When trust is broken, it’s not an easy thing to regain but it can be done.  Walking in true brokenness, humility, and HONESTY before God and your spouse is the key to unlocking trust again. It doesn’t come overnight, it comes with a great fight and constant desire for freedom. Trust and wholeness CAN be restored!

Blog Marriage Resources Sexual Purity

This Conversation Tool Will Transform Your Marriage


One of the greatest things I cherish about my relationship with my wife is our commitment to complete honesty. Believe it or not, this is a characteristic that didn’t come instantly on day one of marriage.  It’s one that’s been cultivated over the last 9 years.  And I believe each and every day, it’s gotten better. But it’s only gotten better because Tracey & I have practiced. And as one person I heard revise the classic quote, “Practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent.”

One method in particular that’s really been helpful for us came from a counselor friend of ours (the same guy who initially helped me out of my sexual addiction). It’s called FANOS. It’s an acronym that stands for Feelings, Affirmation, Needs, Ownership, & Sobriety. In addition to our normal conversation each day, once a week we’ll have a more intentional check-in time with each other where we have a chance to go much deeper. Note: This is usually done when there is no kids around! 🙂 We each go back and forth sharing on each letter of the acronym. Let’s briefly break down each word:

  • F – Feelings: How am I feeling this week? (emotionally, physically, spiritually, relationally etc.) This is a huge one so don’t skim over it. Go deep here.
  • A – Affirmation: What ways can I possibly encourage my wife this week? How can I speak to her as a wife, mother, daughter of God? Speak life to your wife.
  • N – Needs: What needs do I have from her (again emotionally, physically, spiritually, sexually, etc.)? Again, this is an important one so don’t just think “more sex, please” on this one. Be real.
  • O – Ownership: What can I take ownership of this week that I’m not doing so well in? Guys, we should have plenty to express here! As a husband, dad, worker, whatever, what are areas that you can grow in?
  • S – Sobriety: How is my sobriety going this week? This question is typically only for you so be honest. If there were slips, confess them. If there was growth, share it. Don’t leave anything out on this one. Details are important.

I love this model for communication with my wife.  We practiced it early on in my recovery journey and have just recently come back to it for a model of conversation. I pray that it’s helpful to you as well as you grow in oneness with the man or woman God has given you!

Blog Marriage Resources Sexual Purity

Sobriety: All I Want For Christmas


Each year as Fall roles around many of us hear some of these questions from our spouses: “What do you want for Christmas?”, “What’s on your Christmas list?”, and “Any surprises you want from Santa this year?” Well, truth is I stopped believing in Santa a long time ago, but there is one gift that comes to mind.  I know it’s a costly gift, one that takes time, focus, energy, relentless pursuit and sacrifice….but it’s all I want for Christmas!

I’ll admit I’m your typical girl when it comes to gifts — I love jewelry, clothes, massages, candy, and flowers are always a nice touch!  Come on, who wouldn’t melt at receiving any of those gifts!  There are numerous things I could place on my Christmas list, but the one that truly melts my heart is knowing my spouse is walking in sobriety.

The greatest and most precious gift I could receive from my spouse year after year is confidence in his sobriety.  This is a gift that benefits not just me and my husband, but our children and those we minister to as well.  There is a peace, trust and security that grows with each passing day as my husband is pursuing purity and having victory.

What I love most about the gift of sobriety is that I don’t have to wait for Christmas to receive it.   It’s a year round blessing to me, one that I treasure and love being reminded of often.  As for this girl’s Christmas list, I’ll take faithfulness over flowers any day.

Discipleship Marriage Podcasts Resources Sexual Purity

176: Your Spouse Needs This


Oftentimes in a man’s recovery, so much attention is given to his journey and what he needs to get healthy that his wife seems to be left in the shadows. What about her needs? What is she needing the most for her own recovery? This week, Frank & Tracey talk about what a wife needs most from her husband as he walks in recovery from sexual addiction.

If you and your spouse are struggling and would like help on your journey, please feel free to contact us! Or, if you’re a wife and need some extra help from another wife who’s walked through what you have, head on over to the “Support for Wives” section and shoot Tracey a a message by filling out the contact form. All communication is strictly confidential.

Marriage Podcasts Sexual Purity

171: The Wrecking Ball


This week on the podcast, we go back to an interview in 2014 between Tracey Honess & myself on how sexual addiction can destroy marriage. We pray that this interview will be a blessing for your marriage if you’re in need of help as well.

If you and your spouse are struggling and would like help on your journey, please feel free to contact us! Or, if you’re a wife and need some extra help from another wife who’s walked through what you have, head on over to the “Support for Wives” section and shoot Tracey a a message by filling out the contact form. All communication is strictly confidential.