“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
Hi everyone! My name is Ope, and I am the husband of a sex addict. Six months ago, my wife, Promise, left me. Actually, it has been six months and eight long days.
I feel my life has been at a standstill ever since. It’s not as though my life revolved around her…it’s just because I never thought that I would live without her. I never thought that I would give up on our love. I was sure that it was God’s will that I marry her, and that He would give me the strength to love her. I feel like I failed both of them.
I never thought I would find myself single again, but not single… Lonely, but still bound in love with my wife… Still hopeful for a reconciliation, and not able to move forward, nor willing to move forward, but desperate for real love.
I’ve been coming to these meetings, hoping that one day I might see my wife. That she would seek help, and I will hear from her why she had to do what she did, and maybe I would have the strength to tell her that everything will be okay, if she would just let me love her. Even as I speak now, I am secretly hoping she is in the audience, listening, and seeing what her addiction has done to me. Maybe she will realise that, even after everything she has done to me, I still love her, and will always love her.
Everyone expects me to move on. Everyone says I am free, but I am the one holding myself bound to a hopeless cause. They say I am trying to be her saviour, when I cannot.
Even my Pastor called me aside to speak with me. He reminded me of Paul’s counsel in First Corinthians Seven, which says that if the unbelieving spouse leaves, the Believer is no longer bound, because we are called to Peace. That should have brought me some comfort. But it didn’t.
I still believe God’s promise concerning my marriage. I think it is the reason my love for Promise hasn’t waned, even after all I have endured. I think of her every night, and I pray for her too. I keep hoping I’ll come home and she will be there waiting for me… Am I crazy?
Sometimes, I wonder if I am not driving myself crazy. I’ve been seeing my neighbour’s car driving past my house at odd times of the day lately. There was even a time I thought he had parked outside my house all night. When I approached the car the next morning, it sped away.
After that experience, I decided to pay him a visit at his apartment, wondering if I would find Promise there. I was surprised to see that he had packed out to the place, and there was no sign of Promise either. Then a couple of days ago, there was a withdrawal of N50,000 from Promise’s saving account, which I opened for her. The withdrawal was made from her hometown in Ibadan, so I guess she has returned home.
I’ve been thinking of making the trip to see her, but each time, I feel a restrain in my spirit. I feel God is telling me to wait. That she’s not ready…or maybe I’m the one who is not ready. There was a time, about four months or so ago, when I felt the Spirit’s leading to go and find her, but then I was not ready. I was still hurting badly and angry, and didn’t want to bear my cross any longer.
Now, I feel like I am at a crossroads. I feel I have to make a decision, whether to stay and fight for my love, or to use the liberty I have and walk in peace, and hopefully fall in love again. I am tired of being in limbo, which is how I have been since my wife left me. I’m tired of waiting for the day she will walk through the door and say she is ready to love me and to be loved by me. I feel it is either I go after her or I walk away now.
I know that if I am going to move on at all, I will have to move out of that house. Everything about our home still reminds me of Promise. And I know if I stay there, I will always have the hope that one day she will come back to me, and I dread to live in such torment the rest of my life. If I am to move on, then I must shut the door to reconciliation altogether and accept that we are over.
I am so torn. I just need a word from God. Right now, I just want Him to tell me what to do, so that I will do it, and have peace of mind that I am doing the will of God. But all I am hearing in my spirit is ‘wait’…which is what I have been doing since. So I will keep waiting.
I hope I won’t have to wait much longer, though. It’s now more than ten months since I last had sex. And even though my heart is bound to Promise, my body still aches for a woman. Before we married, I had been celibate for 12 years. I am 36 years old now. I do have self-control, but loneliness does things to a man, you know?
I guess that brings me back to the crux of the matter…my sexual compatibility with my wife. Though I long for her with everything, I still wonder about our sex life, and if I will ever be able to make her happy sexually. If she comes back to me, how long again before she has another affair…? And will my heart survive another betrayal? That really scares me.
I know God can do anything…even make us sexually compatible. But He doesn’t always do things the way we want or expect. If He did, then I suppose Promise and I would be blissfully happy, but we are not. We are going to have to work at our sexual compatibility as well as resolve the other issues with our marriage. I am not expecting God to fix us, but give us the grace to be patient, thoughtful, loving and considerate with each other, so that we can meet each other’s needs sexually and grow in love.
I think her problem is that she is too focused on sexual pleasure, at the expense of everything else love and life has to offer. Her mind has been perverted, and I believe if God would renew her mind, she could have the right and healthy attitude towards sex, and appreciate real physical and sexual intimacy. I was talking to Cindy about this the other day, and she agrees with me, even though her experience of sexual abuse and exploitation was quite different from my wife’s.
Cindy has been a good friend to me during this time, actually. She’s the only one who seems to understand what I am going through. She’s also the only one who believes the call on my marriage. Having her as a friend has really eased the loneliness I’ve been feeling, but I know that we need to be cautious with our relationship. I am vulnerable emotionally, and I think she is too.
Being the wonderful cook that she is, she has been keeping me eating healthy with meals she brings to my home every Saturday. I always look forward to when she comes over. She is great company, and a great listener. However, I have found myself thinking what would have happened if I had met her first… I know I shouldn’t, but like I said, loneliness does things to a man.
Sometimes, when she looks at me, I am sure she is thinking the same thing too. We have a natural chemistry and rapport. I’ve encouraged her to get other interests, and take part in Church activities, so that she can meet someone eligible to settle down with. However, she says she is not ready for an emotional relationship with a man, which I suppose is a good thing. I really want her to grow in Christ, and not rush into a relationship, where she may easily be led astray or even trade her worship of God for a man.
So, with the way things are going, with Cindy and I getting closer, I’ve been feeling a need to discontinue our relationship, in order to preserve my marriage bond to Promise. I know that I am not above temptation, and neither is Cindy, and I would really hate to be her downfall, when I was also the one who led her to the Lord.
I know I should let her go, but I feel like I need her right now. She needed me, but she doesn’t need me anymore. She needs to develop strong relationships with other Christian women, not an emotional bond with a married man. I know what the right thing to do is, but it has been very hard…partly because I think, if Promise never comes back, it would be unfortunate to lose two women that mean so much to me in one lifetime!
I know this is really about whether or not I trust God, and not about the women. I am just feeling really weak emotionally, physically and even spiritually right now. Sometimes, I wonder if she was not a lifesaver, and if I would have coped with my separation from my wife, if God had not already brought her into my life.
But I have to choose who and what I want, and most importantly, whether or not to trust God and His promise. I know the feelings I have for Cindy are circumstantial, fleeting and selfish. The feelings I have for Promise run deep, and it is our marriage that is ordained and blessed, and even though things are looking impossible for us right now, I do still believe in God and trust Him to do the impossible in our lives… I also trust Him to provide for Cindy.
So I guess, I am going to have to let Cindy go…for her sake, mine and Promise’s too. As hard as it is for me to admit, a prolonging of our relationship will not bear good fruit. The other day, I was really tempted to kiss her, and it was all I could do to withdraw from the situation. I pray God gives me strength and boldness to cut ties with her, and let her move on and grow in Christ.
This has been a rather long epistle! But I’m always grateful to have your attention. Having this avenue to share about what I’ve been going through to people who understand and who won’t judge me or my wife has been a great source of strength to me. I have also appreciated listening to your accounts, and learning what motivates you to keep focused on your goal to achieve true intimacy without sex.
I want to encourage you all, as many of you that are struggling to control your sexual urges, that it is possible to do so. You are more than the sum of your sexual urges. You have been blessed with so much more than your sexual drive. If giving in to your natural tendency for just a minute will destroy the foundations of love you have spent a lifetime to build, then you must continue to exercise restraint, to enjoy the lasting rewards of love.
I hope these inspired words encourage you today:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
That was taken from First Corinthians Thirteen, verses four to eight. God bless you! Please continue to remember me and Promise and Cindy in your prayers.
Read all episodes HERE.