My name is not Molly. I could be your neighbor, your pastor's wife, your child's school teacher, or your close friend, and I probably am. Sex addiction is now an epidemic, and the church is no exception. "Sex is the fastest growing addiction in this country. And it is, I believe," writes Marnie Feree, who treats female sex addicts, "the addiction of choice among Christians.It is an incredible problem."

Mark Laaser writes, "It's abundantly clear that sexual addiction does not discriminate with respect to gender." I've endeavored to write without gender qualifications when possible.

Fifteen years ago my husband disclosed his secret-he'd been a sex addict for nineteen years-our entire marriage. I struggled through the pain of betrayal the first year sharing with a counselor and only one friend-an unfair burden which she bore with God-sized portions of grace. It would be ten years before I would meet the wives of other sex addicts.

This is the story of the struggles of my own heart and what would have helped me. I encourage you to read the clinical books on this subject because mercy grows with understanding.

There's a lovely garden on the path ahead. Jesus is there to bind up our broken hearts. The depth of our pain is meant to enlarge our hearts to experience the heights of His love. His hands are qualified to offer us joy and comfort because they are pierced. Since He was betrayed by a kiss He knows exactly how we feel.

The days ahead will not all be pleasant. Trust and fidelity have been destroyed and vows broken. We may think the battle is for our marriage, but that is just a skirmish. As John Eldredge reminds the Church, "the battle is for our hearts." Whether our relationship survives-or not-we can be victorious in the battle for our heart. We can live fully as God intended as our true self is freed from the faulty beliefs that imprison us. We can reflect God's glory.

The truth is in the light at last,
A truth so strong, it's robbed your past,
Every memory is now debated,
In light of the truth his confession created.

New losses assault your mind each day,
It feels like sorrow is here to stay.
And the only way to healthy grieving
Is to feel the feelings of bereaving.

It was just an illusion, a deception, a lie,
The fairy tale you lived must die.
The new reality you must embrace
Is full of pain, shame, disgrace.

But God is beckoning anew,
He'll pick you up and carry you.
He says he died for sin and shame,
The abundant life is yours to claim.

You ask me how this can be so?
I walked your path not long ago.
That path is strewn with pain and tears
Rejection, sorrow, lonely fears.

I call to you from up the path:
"There's joy ahead; you will laugh!
God pruned away what was stunted,
To give me what I always wanted."

Russell Willingham summarized it well, "What is a wife to do? Grieve well, set boundaries and face herself.let God and others love her back to wholeness."

My prayer is that you will feel understood, comforted, and encouraged. You are not alone.

With hope,

Molly Ann Miller

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