Men of Redemption

Restoring a Life of Purity – One Day at a Time

Archive for the ‘Q & A About Recovery’ Category

Questions and Answers About Recovery

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 17, 2018

MY QUESTION IS . . . .

I’ve completed the 7 Pillars of Freedom workbook. It took me a little more than a year. I have seen tremendous growth; my relationship with God has really developed and I feel so much better about myself and life as I am beginning this new walk in life. Now, what do I do now that I have no more group to attend? Is that the end of recovery and I move on? “

It’s definitely not the end of your recovery that’s for sure! You are one of the very few men who has made it this far after completing the 7-Pillars of Freedom workbook. You’ve overcome a lot, and now, this is the start to see if everything you’ve endured for the last year and some change is paying off and will continue to pay off. You’ve experienced a lot with concrete guidelines, principles, and tools that will help you maintain a good, positive and wholesome lifestyle of purity and freedom. What you do now is continue the process of which you’ve just completed by making application of those experiences. Every day is a miracle and you continue to take one day at a time. You have a recovery structure that consists of daily disciplines of prayer, Bible reading and studying, as well as having an accountability cord that lasts a lifetime. Just because you have chosen not to attend group any longer doesn’t mean those relationships you’ve developed during that time has to stop developing! If you still have a passion to hang out with those relationships you might want to consider becoming a part of the Leadership Team and volunteer as a co-leader to help those group leaders out. I’ve always suggested to our guys who are near completion that God just doesn’t want to heal you, get your priorities right and leave you alone. No! He desires us to want to help another brother because those that are still hurting, struggling and in their mess are looking for the same thing, freedom, and purity, just like we did. And never forget your recovery is ongoing and always life-changing. Be an example to other men who are looking for what you have. I tell my guys all the time: “Start walking in freedom so loudly that they can’t hear what you’re saying!”

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Questions and Answers About Recovery

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 15, 2018

MY QUESTION IS . . . . Image result for seeking a support group

There are a lot of support groups out there and I’ve finally built up the courage to attend one. I don’t know anything about support groups and I’m eager to find the right one. How do I find the one that’s right for me? Are there certain groups for certain issues or problems? How do I get connected so I can get the right support I’m looking for? 

Most guys don’t acknowledge this point at the beginning of recovery. These guys are so angry and frustrated from shame and guilt that they just immediately find a support group, join, then later discover that this group wasn’t for them. They didn’t do their homework in understanding what exactly they’re looking for in a support group. The first thing you should do in seeking out a support group is acknowledge your issue(s) or problem(s). Know that the more specific you are about it will narrow your selection of groups. Look for a replicable support group that specializes in your specific issue or problem, has verifiable years of experience in helping men/women with these concerns. Contact the group Facilitator/Group Leader personally and ask the questions that are on your mind and heart like what type of program or curriculum are you using; what are the days and time of meeting for your group; is it an open or closed group; and do you specialize in my issue or problem? Some groups will allow you to come in and visit their groups to see if you like it or their format of choice. Others have high levels of confidentiality where they protect and value the sharing of men, which I highly recommend. If you’re married and have small children you might want to inquire regarding childcare due to some men who might be single parents and need that option. These days, men and women are in desperate situations where these and many other questions are required possibly due to counselor/therapy and or court requirements. This is where we are in our society so we can never be too sure or unsure of recovery. After you’ve gathered all your information, pray about it, and see where your heart is guiding you so that you will get the very best help, guidance and structure you’re looking for that’s going to help you overcome with consistency and victory. When you decide on a group, make a valiant effort to follow through wholeheartedly with their program. Give it all you got, respect and honor the process, and finish strong. If you discover that the program wasn’t for you, start the process over and now you have some criteria you can base your preferences on, and what specifically you’re looking for.

 

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Questions and Answers About Recovery

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 14, 2018

MY QUESTION IS . . . . Image result for man struggling mentally

I’m a group leader and I have a guy in my group who is doing everything that is asked of him. He’s on time for the start of the group; he does all the required work and participates quite a bit during our breakout sessions. But he revealed to me that he’s tuck in relapse and has relapsed for the better part of the last few months. He has the heart to stop but struggles desperately. How do I deal work with this brother and still help him build on what he has already done thus far? 

This is a problem that most group leaders run into more consistently than any other major problem in a support group environment. You have a guy whose heart desires to move forward but the problem is he wants to move forward externally and not where he really needs that encouragement and that’s in his heart. Desire and change start with the heart and mind. I’m trusting that you had a conversation with him regarding his actions and let him know that he’s hurting himself and others. One of the things we as group leaders must be aware of is that there may be additional wounds, trauma or pain he’s dealing with. Most men, especially when they begin recovery, will see the program as a valuable asset to him and give the “appearance” that he wants it, that he understands the purpose of what is asked and required of him, and he looks the part of being in agreement with the process. But in his heart and mind, he’s still battling, struggling with internal decisions of obedience. He still has a desire, a wanting, to hold onto his sin, not ready to let go and let God work on his behalf. I would have a conversation with him away from the group setting and talk to him about what’s going on in his heart, mind, and most likely you’ll discover some additional issues as well. Sometimes we need to talk with these guys who struggle like this away from group setting because he may not be ready to be totally transparent in his recovery at that point. That conversation, a talk with compassion and grace at the forefront, will pave the way for him to share his mind and his heart. In turn, his desire to continue to do the work and participate will continue. It may take a couple of meetings but God has opened the door to communicating with him, and other men who face the same dilemma on a recovery level that will comfort him and remove the stigma that has kept him from fully engulfing the program with his whole heart. This has worked miracles in our groups and the guys really appreciate the time and effort involved as we let them know we care for them and will walk with them through this journey, never leaving them alone or figuring things out by themselves.

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My Question About Recovery Is . . . .

Posted by Men of Redemption on January 22, 2018

MY QUESTION IS . . . .

HOW DO I KEEP MY CHILDREN FROM THE STRUGGLES OF SEXUAL ADDICTION?  Image result for protecting our family

POINT BLANK: YOU CAN’T! BUT THERE ARE THINGS YOU CAN DO FOR PREVENTION AND PROTECTION. 

Don’t mean to sound harsh or disrespectful but the struggles of sexual addiction are here and will be until Christ returns. I realize that sounds punitive and even condemning but I assure you this is a fact of life and you should know this. This problem or as I should address it as it truly is-this epidemic, has captivated our culture on all levels. From the smallest to the tallest; from the youngest to the oldest; from male to female; and all across ethical boundaries worldwide affecting all nationalities and cultures, sexual addiction has been responsible for more travesties and catastrophes than we could ever imagine. It’s everywhere! From watching television to actually being physically involved, sexual addiction has been on a mission from the enemy of our souls to do exactly what it has accomplished thus far-to kill, steal and destroy men and women and get us to deny our identity in Christ Jesus and who He is! So what can we do to protect our children, as well as ourselves and all family members from this epidemic? Several things and I’ll mention a few of them.

KNOW THE HISTORY OF YOUR FAMILY ORIGIN OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR Image result for family origin

Yes, this is critical! I’ve discovered that sexual behaviors in families are just as real as alcohol and drug addiction is. Somehow and someway our family members have been influenced, manipulated and encouraged at some point in their lives and have led them to behaviors they never thought imaginable. We have seen uncles, aunts, cousins, stepfamily, even grandparents, and great-grandparents, have been carrying these behaviors around for generations and we’ve accepted them because we’ve believed that they are part of our family’s tradition. That is a lie from the enemy of our souls and the pits of hell! If we are noticing these behaviors these are generational curses and need to be addressed immediately through Christian counseling and possibly therapy if needed. It probably has made its way down into your generation and manifested its presence in your life, your marriage and probably in your children. If there are unexplained instances of strange behavior or over-familiar antics throughout your family you need to pay attention to that because there is something wrong there. We cannot assume or even remain passive about this because of the disastrous effects it will have on those it’s focused on. Also, if you’re married, check on both sides of your family because we never know who or what is hiding behind any family member no matter how innocent they may appear.

EXAMINE YOURSELF FOR ISSUES OR BEHAVIORS

Image result for examining yourselfAs we say in recovery, we always want to take a serious inventory of ourselves and our lives. That means taking time out of our busy schedules and look at our lives, past and present and see if there are any behaviors, habits, our thought life is under control, and identify those things that are hovering in and over our lives. It’s really easy to say there’s nothing we can see at the top of our heads. Stop looking at the top of our heads and look at our hearts! Ask God to reveal to you what has happened in your life and bring to your remembrance anything that is unfruitful, sinful, or behavioral that has interfered in our lives or our family. During our adolescence and young adult years, we may have experienced some behaviors while we were discovering the opposite sex and dating. I’m sure we’ve done some things we regret in word, thought, and deed. I know I have. Those were the seeds of the enemy planted within us and the fruit of that planting didn’t reveal itself until later on in our adult lives which could have resulted in bad relationship problems, hurt and pain, wounded by a man or woman and led to anger, frustration, which systematically could have led to rage and possibly abuse, even more, devastating behaviors. We never know until we take a serious look at ourselves. Our children are carefully watching us and will emulate everything they see in us as parents, and whatever they see it will assure them that these behaviors are traditionally accepted.

GET THE HELP YOU NEED IMMEDIATELY Image result for getting help

Never assume that the behaviors you have observed in your family are acceptable or that it’s okay. It’s not! If you notice strange, compromising behaviors in yourself or in other family members, call a family meeting in a loving, safe environment and talk about it. Discuss what any of you have seen or observed in others and ask questions about it. Bring this darkness to the light and make everyone aware of it because it has gotten everyone’s attention. Then after the discussion, ask for help for this matter and be proactive in that request by reaching out. You can start by contacting your local church, a Christian counselor or your Pastor for guidance and direction. But do something so that this stronghold can be eradicated and lives stop being infected by the foothold of the enemy. Once you begin to get the help you need, involve your family in that process and be transparent about it, letting them know the truth about what this problem has done to your family and those that preceded you through the generations.

SET UP BOUNDARIES AND SAFEGUARDS

Image result for protection safeguardsNow that you’ve discovered there are problems and sought direction and guidance, begin to place boundaries in your personal life as well as your family’s life. Begin to monitor what you and your family watch on television, keeping close attention to the type of programming that is viewed by all members of your family.  Talk to your children about what types of music they’re listening to and the artists themselves about the life they sing about. Is it something you want your child or children to follow. And about those social media devices . . . . this is a big one! If your children have cell phones, tablets, IPADS or iPods, laptops, whatever, make sure you have software protection on everything! I can’t say enough about this. If you need additional support in understanding more about this please look into purchasing a good book called “Digital Natives” by Brian Roberts from Pure Desire Ministries International. Children ages 8-11 are being targeted as the next generation of internet purchasers and they are being bombarded with ads, pop-ups, internet sites to shop on, and what lures them to those sites . . . . yes, sexually related advertisements! Do everything you can to put safeguards up wherever you can because the enemy is operating in full force. So should you!! Having these safeguards in place won’t completely prevent your children from being exposed to this mess but it will grab their attention keep them aware and informed of the dangers involved should they proceed any further. And don’t forget to pray for your children daily, the activities they will be involved in and those they will interact with. We never know what they will be exposed to when we’re not around or in their presence.

I hope my response was helpful and educating. It is my hope, my prayer, that all of us as parents, husbands, and wives do all that we can to help protect our marriages, our children, and the generations to follow from this epidemic because we are losing men, women, and children daily because of the lack of understanding and preparation against sexual addiction. If you are still unsure about what to do, how to go about this, please contact me here at . . . .

menofredemption040709@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s Your Question About Being in Recovery?

Posted by Men of Redemption on January 11, 2018

MY QUESTION ABOUT BEING IN RECOVERY . . . .

When do I know that I’ve been healed and delivered of my sexual addiction? 

This is a seldom asked question because most guys are more concerned about how long is this healing process going to take! Wow! Well then, let’s get right after it my friend.

I want to assume first of all that you’ve been in recovery for a while now, presumably about a year or two if I’m safe to suggest. With that stated, there are several factors involved in determining or believing when you’re healed and/or delivered. I don’t want to give misconceptions or unproven facts to your answer but I do want to make certain that you thoroughly understand. Here are four points of concern.

One, ask yourself has there been a renewing of your mind. When you entered recovery, if you were involved in a strong support group like a Pure Image result for renewing of your mindDesire group, you would’ve understood that your mindset needed a complete over hall. You had to completely get rid of the “stinking-thinking” that you had before you got into recovery. You could’ve had gone through, and are going through recovery with the same mindset, it just won’t work! Your thoughts, the way you see life, people, your marriage(if you’re married), your relationships, your perspective, all of these must change because your understanding has been warped by the influences of the enemy of your soul. He has altered the way you think, the way you see things because they were distorted and twisted with selfishness, lust, promiscuity and anything else Satan could’ve thrown at you and everything you allowed him to give you.

Image result for transformation of the heartTwo, has there been a transformation of the heart. Emotionally, mentally and spiritually, all of these were infiltrated with desires that were built on your hurts, wounds and bad experiences that you’ve faced in life. We have allowed the enemy to substitute a counterfeit love that drew us to the things that made us feel that way and we were convinced that our sexual acting out was the answer to our problems, a medicating of the pain. Therefore, our feelings have changed towards the sensitive matters of our lives and that could mean a lot of things-who we love and care for, who and what is important to us, what we like, don’t like, hate, value, so many other things. Our passions for the true things in life has been turned upside down. Image result for god fearing relationships

Three, relationships have to change. There is no way that we can be successful in recovery, and work towards healing if we’re still holding onto those relationships we had when we were in those behaviors. Their influence is toxic, no matter what they try to convince us of. They encouraged you to act in those behaviors, to continue in sin. Now, we have to let go of those relationships and begin to develop relationships with those who are like-minded, those that want the same things as us, and that’s healing and deliverance from those behaviors. We ought to desire to surround ourselves with people who will build us up and no tear us down. This is crucial in determining if were getting our healing or not.

Image result for walking in freedom

Four, are you walking(living) consistently in freedom and purity. If your recovery is consistent with all that you’ve set out to do as of the beginning of your recovery, and that includes: facing the temptations of life and standing in righteousness; trusting God to lead you and His Holy Spirit to direct your paths unto all truth and understanding; surrounding yourself with men of accountability and spiritual wisdom; and are you consistently seeking after God as you’re walking this freedom out after turning your back on the past lifestyle of addictive behaviors.

Yes, I realize that’s a lot for a simple answer of say maybe after a year, after two years. That’s easy. But let me say this: there is so much more involve in knowing that you’re free from your addiction. Being set free from sexual addiction is not a feeling or a phase. It’s about a complete, renewal and transformation of our entire being because the enemy of our souls has done some serious damage, and not to mention the collateral damage that our behaviors have cause in relationships, family and our marriages. So I say the answer to your question is this: Ask yourself do I have all these points in place; have I experienced any or all of these and how do I see and look at my recovery in the time I have put into my recovery. When we can answer yes to all of these questions, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has done something (Healed & delivered) in me, then yo know that you are healed. Here’s a proven fact: Once God has touched in your recovery (or at all!) you are never the same as you were before. EVER!! That doesn’t mean that you’ll never be healed or delivered or even sin again! Having these points in place, you’re trusting God, and with accountability, will strengthen you and enable you to stand against the wiles and devices of the enemy of our souls with consistency. Your life will show that you are healed and delivered, in Jesus’ Name!

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” 

–  Romans 12:1, 2

 

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Questions About Recovery

Posted by Men of Redemption on December 18, 2017

MY QUESTION IS . . . . Image result for couples in counseling

How do I talk to my wife about the past? 

I’m assuming that this discussion is about YOUR past, YOUR behaviors and/or addictions, YOUR wounds and hurts. Well, if these are the topics for discussion I truly believe the best time to have that talk is when the both of you are emotionally and spiritually healthy enough to engage on that level of conversation. You definitely don’t want to start talking about those concerns early on in your recovery. She is still hurting from the act of betrayal committed by you; you’re still probably in that state of shame and guilt-feeling sorrow and isolated because of what you’ve done to her. I would strongly suggest a few things you should consider before initiating that discussion.

Get yourself into a good support group. I strongly encourage you to surround yourself with some men of God who are like-minded, wanting and desiring the same thing as you-a safe place to share my struggles without condemnation, someone who will listen and hear your story about your wounds, hurts and trauma you’ve experienced; and those who have been through what you’ve struggle with who are living in freedom and overcoming that on a daily basis because it is a victory one day at a time.

Pray for a Spiritual Mentor for wisdom and guidance. All of us need a mentor or two who is filled with the Spirit of God, walking in His righteousness and will offer you direction, wisdom and understanding to those decisions regarding your recovery, the daily challenges you’re facing and give you spiritual guidance when it comes to the things of God. As our recovery progresses, you’ll need the understanding that will prepare you for such discussions as sharing your past with your wife, speaking to your children about your recovery, as well as sharing your story or journey with others whom you are in relationship with.

Seek a good Christian Counselor to help you go back into your past and identify those areas of concern that you want to share with your wife. Reflecting back into your past with a counselor can help see problems that you may have overlooked or may have not understood and it’s keeping you from moving forward. Bad relationships that never got closure, issues or situations that may have never been resolved, and even father wounds (no relationship or the lack thereof) can be issues that have you stagnant in life with no sense of hope of overcoming.

Once you have these things in place, and you’re seeing progress in your recovery, consult your mentor and share with him your desire to reveal to your wife about your past. He will carefully and prayerfully assess where you’re at in your recovery, how healthy emotionally and mentally you are and pray about the decision. You also have to be consciously aware of where your wife is emotionally and spiritually as well. She should receive some guidance, wisdom and understanding so that she is prepared to receive your sharing. You never know, she may hear something she is not prepared to receive and could be detrimental, even devastating  and without being prepared it could get critical. So I strongly suggest getting those three things in place first, along with your wife receiving some assistance as well. Then, along with the mentors overseeing the both of you it can be determined when the time is right for that discussion.

 

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What’s Your Question About Being in Recovery?

Posted by Men of Redemption on November 29, 2017

MY QUESTION IS . . . . Image result for helping other men

“Since being in recovery for my addictive behaviors, I’ve learned a lot about myself, my issues and understanding who I really am. I want to help other men who are struggling with the same issues that I have and help them begin to walk in purity and wholeness. It’s been a little over a couple of years in recovery for me so how can I help others receive what I have received?” 

This is very encouraging to hear. Most men in recovery would rather go through the process, get their healing, feel good about themselves after discovering how they can walk in the newness of life and then walk away from their group with nothing else to say. Wow! With that being said, I would suggest to you to speak with your group leader from your support group about possibly being considered to becoming a co-leader in your group. This way, you can work alongside a group leader, become actively involved in sharing and facilitating group activity and dynamics as a true example and product of the group. This opportunity will be a tremendous blessing to those men who join the group, having understanding that the leaders are considered from those who have been through the group and are actively being utilized in support for other men as well. This is huge for any group-it’s discipleship at its best! This is exactly what most groups are looking for. By staying true to your commitment to helping others, this will impact so many men because they are looking for real, true examples in the group, and with you having been in the group for two years plus you are exactly what they are looking for in what real recovery looks like. I applaud you my friend!

 

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What’s Your Question About Being in Recovery?

Posted by Men of Redemption on November 27, 2017

MY QUESTION IS . . . . Image result for returning back to God

“I’ve been in recovery for now for almost a year and I was wondering when would it be a good time to return to ministry where I was a worship leader. I still have a desire to return and be a part of ministry in some capacity but is a year enough time or should I continue to wait?” 

This is where you’ll need to take a serious inventory of where you are in recovery, your understanding of the progress you’ve made as well as the condition of your heart towards living in the hope that you are walking in your healing. Returning to ministry after just one year in recovery, yes, it can be done, but I would strongly suggest to wait at least another year based on the fact that after just one year you’ve just begun to discover your issues and the trauma that led to those issues. You’ve discovered some things about your behaviors that reveal what your belief system is and you’re starting to see the changes you need to make, then you’ll need to allow God to give you the strength and the wisdom to make those changes. It’s common with most men that after being in recovery for one year they feel they’ve done enough or they believe they have completed the course to healing, but it’s going to take more than just getting one year under your belt before returning to ministry. You also have to take into consideration what those who are overseeing you in that ministry are perceiving in you during your recovery. They’re concerned about how healthy you are as far as your relationship with God; have you begun the repentance process (confession, acknowledgement, forgiveness); are those you have affected by your behaviors ready to receive you back at this specific point and time; and most importantly, has God spoken to you about returning and have you prayed about it? So many things are involved is such an important decision. That’s why during the second year these and many other questions that will surely come into existence will surface and you’ll have plenty of time, and support to find out if and when you’re ready to return to ministry of any kind.

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My Question on Recovery

Posted by Men of Redemption on July 12, 2017

MY QUESTION IS . . .

“I joined a recovery group several months ago and I was relapse when I joined. To this day I remain in relapse because I hid my problem until I was thoroughly convinced that this was the group for me. Now, I want to stop my relapse and I’m struggling big time. What can I do?

Thank you for admitting you’re still in relapse. A lot of guys are right where you are and asking the same thing. What you want to begin doing is going to your support group leader and confiding in him, first of all that you are currently in relapse if he doesn’t already know. If you have that established relationship with him, confide in him as to why you’re in relapse, what’s going on in your life right now and all the busyness you have in place. Begin to share your heart with him, acknowledging everything, being transparent and honest, and then share with him what are you willing to do to move forward in getting the right help to meet you right where you are. After a careful and complete assessment of you sharing, the group leader will speak with the Facilitator of the group about it and they will come together on a plan that will work out for strengthening your recovery efforts and accountability protection. If more assistance is needed, perhaps counseling would  be suggested. But understand something-a support group is there for you to do exactly that, support you in your journey. We as group leaders can’t fix you. We can only support you, walk along side of you, and suggest the next level of support if needed. Most support group leaders are not licensed clinicians, counselors or therapists. We will only suggest available resources so that you can choose what’s the best option for you.

 

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WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION ABOUT RECOVERY?

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 20, 2017

MY QUESTION IS . . . .

“I feel I’m doing really well in my recovery group, as I’ve seen a lot of growth from where I used to be. It’s been nearly seven months of sobriety and I’m very encouraged as I move forward. Because of that growth, I’d like to have disclosure with my wife, sharing with her to know everything I’ve done to her in my addictive behaviors. Is this a good time to begin this process or should I wait?

Thank you for honesty and courage in sharing where you are in your recovery. That confession does show that you’re moving in the right direction. The answer to your question-WAIT. I truly understand your desire to be open and transparent with your wife, which is one of the goals we ought to pursue while in recovery, but we need to understand the sensitivity side of having disclosure. It’s good that you’re very proud of where you are in your journey, and keep up the good work. But seven months is not nearly enough time of sobriety to even consider disclosure. At this stage in your recovery you’re probably still working on some deep issues-trauma, hurts for the past, identifying those issues that have prohibited you from moving forward in life, as well as maybe some relationship concerns. I wholeheartedly understand you wanting to further the process of disclosure as you gain more confidence and healing in your recovery, but it’s also about understanding where your wife is emotionally, mentally and spiritually. If she has not received or have been receiving any support while you’re doing your recovery, that means that she’s still harboring that pain, that broken trust, with nowhere to turn or get help herself. Sometimes as men in recovery we can get so excited about our progress, but we tend to forget that the very person who was the recipient of the collateral damage we’ve cause with our behaviors was our wives. As we progress, we need to keep in mind our wives, what we’ve put them through, and all that they had incurred because of our problems. How do we do that? Communicate with your wife. Talk to her about what you’ve learned about what you’re struggling with. Let her know that you’re trying to understand the root cause of your problem so that it doesn’t happen ever again! Support her in helping her understand the process you’re going through in recovery. As you continue to progress, you pray that God will minister and send some God-fearing women who have been through this struggle to give her the support she really needs from a woman’s perspective. She needs to know that she isn’t alone and that this was not her fault. So waiting a while, I’d say at least a good year maybe a year and half depending on the severity of your situation, would be great time to take a look at disclosure and assess where you both are at that time. It’s not about when you’re ready-it’s about when YOU BOTH are ready. There is a lot more involve when considering disclosure. So again, I would wait and make sure your wife has had some support, healing, accountability and understanding before moving forward. Don’t be in a rush. It will only make things worst.

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