In June and July, Journey to Healing and Joy (JHJ) and Beyond Betrayal teamed up to do our third survey of wives of sex addicts. The theme of this particular survey was spiritual crisis and spiritual growth. As always the response was tremendous, with over 100 women filling out the survey and sharing their stories.
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be looking at overall trends we discovered from the responses. After that, I'll be sharing more of the women’s personal responses (though not their names) and using these as a starting point for discussion.
Please note that this is just one of many resources JHJ is making available right now to women experiencing spiritual crisis due to their husband’s sexual addiction. Other resources include a four-part podcast series on the topic (see Episode 1 below) and a new Spiritual Crisis online support group with Coach Katherine.
What We Learned (Part 1)
63% of the women surveyed experienced a crisis of faith upon discovery of their husband’s addiction. The crisis centered on either God, the church or both.
This week I’ll look at some of the most common reasons women felt angry at God or became mistrustful of him. As you'll notice, there is a world of pain in these responses.
Feeling Duped by God
Many of us felt outraged that we were completely in the dark about our husband’s double life – while the God, whom we loved and trusted, knew about it all along. As one respondent, with a very difficult previous background said:
“Within a little over a month of being married, the reality I had been mislead and married a sex addict came out. I couldn't understand how God would allow me to be so fooled in His name. I thought that I had found the man that God had intended for me only to be totally fooled by the cover story I was presented. How could God allow this?”
“[I was left] wondering how, if He truly loves me and protects me, then WHY didn't He show me any signs of my husband’s addiction. Why did he let it go on so long and WHY would he have allowed me to marry a sex addict in the first place?”
Feelings of Injustice
Oftentimes the wife of a sex addict, while not perfect, has been a faithful wife. Many wives also feel they have been a good Christian. Depending on how we view God and his justice (and the affects of sin in this world) it’s pretty easy, in this case, to feel that we have been unjustly treated by him. As one respondent put it:
“I felt angry that this was how God ‘rewarded’ me for being obedient and faithful to him.”
“I wondered why God would save me from a life of sexual sin only to allow me to marry a sex addict. It just seemed so cruel.”
Next week I'll continue the overview of survey responses by looking at women's feelings of rejection/judgment, feelings of abandonment, and the particular struggles of women with husbands in ministry. After the overview portion of this series, I will be digging in deeper with commentary about each of the issues raised.
In this podcast Marsha talks with interviewees Coach Katherine and soon-to-be-coach Marcella about their spiritual journeys before and after "D-day" when their husbands were arrested. These women's big stories touch on topics such as losing everything (including our children), sex offending and losses for those in ministry.