You and your husband are Christians, but you've just discovered his terrible secret: sexual addiction. Maybe he confessed it to you, or maybe you walked in on him while he was watching online porn. Maybe he's been sexting with another woman. Or maybe the addiction has gone as far as soliciting prostitutes or an extramarital affair.
You're a wife in pain. You're embarrassed, angry and unsure. And you may be like most women, says Diane Roberts, co-founder with her husband, Dr. Ted Roberts, of Pure Desire Ministries. "Usually the first thing the wife thinks is, There's something wrong with me," Diane says in the Robertses' interview with host Marti Pieper on the "Hope for Your Marriage" series on Charisma News.
How could this happen? And where can you go for help?
With sexual addiction and the #MeToo movement in the news almost every day, Pure Desire Ministries offers resources for hope and healing. And the nonprofit has a unique focus in its ministry to betrayed wives.
"From the get-go, 20-plus years ago when we started this ministry, Ted started working with the men and then all of a sudden as the husbands were starting to talk about their issues, honestly ... their wives were in shock," Diane says. "They didn't know what to do. So they all came to me and we realized, We need to do something for the women.
"When a church focuses only on the men and not the wives who are really hurting, the analogy I give is, it's as if the husband has just run over the wife with a Mack truck, and then the church, the ambulance, comes and takes the man away," Diane adds. "[The church] helps him, takes him to the hospital and leaves the wife bleeding in the middle of the road, not knowing what to do with her pain." Pure Desire's Betrayal and Beyond groups and resources offer hope and help for betrayed women concurrent with the ministry's Seven Pillars groups for men.
Pure Desire also found that 25-30% of women in the church struggle with sexual addiction, too, says Diane, and offers them help as well. The ministry's accountability groups go beyond just "stop it," Dr. Ted says, to treating the roots of the addiction and beyond. He says, "We don't want them just to stop the behavior. We want them to put good things in place of that behavior," such as husbands and wives praying together every night or instituting a regular date night.
For more information about the problem of sexual addiction and how Pure Desire offers betrayed wives, sexual addicts and others lasting hope and healing, listen to this podcast.
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