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finding hope and healing after discovering your partner's sexual addiction

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Sisters in Pain ... No Longer Alone while dealing with his sexual addiction Marsha Means, M.A., is a Christian counselor and writer, and the former wife of a sex addict. She makes her home in Washington State. Out of her own experience, and her work with others impacted by sexual addiction, has grown a community of women who share a common bond; each has been hurt by her partner’s sexual addiction or acting out behavior. And each needs help to navigate her way to healing.

“It didn’t take long to realize that many of the women who passed through my counseling practice needed an on-going healing community,” Marsha says. “Even after they had finished a three to four month Partner’s Healing Journey support group with four to six other women, many displayed a definite need to be able to continue to talk, share, cry, pray, and grow with other women who understood their pain. I couldn’t find a model group or a plan to follow, but, being a woman and the wife of a sex addict myself, I had a strong sense of what they needed.

“And as I prayed about it, a handful of women with leadership skills also began to collect in my mind. These were the women whom God had brought through our office doors, women with the potential to partner with me as a volunteer Ministry Team. When I talked with them about my idea, they too grew excited about the concept. As a team, we talked, laughed, prayed, and planned, and before long, we launched an open policy type meeting. We began to meet in a big circle each Monday evening at 7:00 p.m., and as we did, our circle enlarged.

“Nearly every week at least one—and sometimes as many as five—new hurting women made their way to our meeting place on Monday nights. Often, a new woman has only recently discovered her husband’s involvement in sexually compulsive behavior outside their marriage relationship. We recognize the familiar burden of heartache she bears. During our ten minute praise and worship time, tears often streamed down the lovely faces that formed the huge circle stretching close to the walls behind them.

“We shared the ups and downs that come with being married to a man who struggles with sexual integrity. Most of us have experienced fresh pain during the months, or years that we have been attending. And we have been so grateful that our loving, understanding ‘sisters’ were there for us. We have also become friends outside the meetings, and frequently stay connected via email and the telephone, or fun during the week.

“Since the formation of our community group, as well as the on-going three to four month Partners Healing Journey support groups for new women, women in several other cities across the country and in Canada have used our design and structure to begin their own, similar groups. Slowly, the hope and love we offer to share with other hurting women is spreading to the towns and cities where other women wait in need.

We Feel Isolated Alone while dealing with his sexual addiction“Although my own marriage ultimately did not survive the addiction, I continue my practice and writing, counseling women with shattered dreams of what it means to be married. And, I frequently benefit from on-going relationships with other partners.

“I remain committed to touching the lives of hurting women, and sharing my experience, strength and hope with them. And, as other women in other communities become interested in forming their own healing communities, I am available to share with them the structure that evolved from my practice in the Seattle area. It is my heart’s desire that every hurting woman around the world would know that her husband’s behavior is not about her, and that she is not alone, and that there is hope for healing and life, whether her husband decides to stay in their marriage, or not. If this is your heart’s cry, too, we are here to help.”

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