By December 1, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Faith-Based Programs that Can Help You Remove Barriers to Love

FaithBasedMrgPrg_Dec_340      Discovery of a sexual addiction is a severe strain to a marriage.  Trust is shattered. Once broken, trust is difficult and often impossible to rebuild.  Still, most of the spouses I’ve worked with who’ve discovered their spouse has a secret life of sexual addiction want to see if it’s possible to save their marriages.   If this is you, I applaud you for looking at the bigger picture and wanting to stretch your love to grow bigger to work past a “for better or worse” that was worse than you thought you’d have to face when you made that vow.

Your marriage is a third party

      If you decide to try to save your marriage, know that the marriage is a third party.  What do I mean by that?  I mean that your need for safety, a respectful place to have your pain witnessed, and wise counsel that can help you think through your options comes first, otherwise you run the risk of developing co-dependency.  Then, your spouse must take responsibility to get help for and be actively working on healing the sexual addiction otherwise you run the risk of exposure to repeated trauma as your spouse continues to act out.  Once you feel more stable AND your spouse is in recovery, THEN you can work on the marriage.   Sometimes faith-based programs get this reversed.  They so believe in marriage that they focus  their  counseling on how to save the marriage rather than how to comfort and care for the hearts of those in a marriage devastated by addiction.  If you comfort and care for the hearts of those in a marriage, the marriage has a chance.  If you only care about preserving the marriage, you are likely to end up with preserving only the appearance of a marriage.

      Steer clear of any counseling that focuses on you getting “better” at your roles, e. g. being a better wife (usually presented as learning how “to submit” or “respect your husband’s authority as the head of the house”, or a better husband by learning how to be a “godly leader” or “servant” of God.  You are not a role.  You are a person

If you are trying to work on your marriage, there are a number of faith-based recovery programs that can help you. Here is a list of resources for you to consider. In addition,, which aims to help couples, has recommended a number of programs to combat divorce.

1. APSATS The Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists:
(APSATS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the professional training and certification, public education, research, and advocacy for treatment of sex addiction- induced trauma.  They offer phone counseling and referrals.
2. PAIRS or Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills:
Lori Gordon, Ph.D., shows how to rebuild marriages on the brink of divorce (separated, or even already divorced!) through weekend and four-day intensives, as well as the hallmark semester course. PAIRS has taught thousands to remove barriers to love and passion and create lasting relationships that are filled with love, pleasure and happiness. Programs across the country and around the world. Call: 888- 724-7748
3. Divorce-Busting Center:
Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW, author of “Divorce Remedy,” offers skill-building workshops, audiotape and DVD programs, a support chatline, telephone coaching and one and two-day intensives to help even couples on the brink of divorce improve their relationships quickly. Call: 800-664-2435 E-mail:

4. Retrovaille (pronounced Retro-vi):
It means lifeline and rhymes with apple pie. A program for couples with serious problems who are disillusioned, separated and/or on the brink of divorce. You’ll be helped by couples who have also “been to the brink”—who have experienced serious problems including affairs, alcoholism, gambling, violence, etc. or who have simply fallen out of love — but who have worked their way back to each other.  They’ll teach you how to fall back in love, heal your marriage and make it stronger than ever before. This program (85 percent successful when both partners work at it) teaches simple techniques of communication and exercises to work on forgiveness, healing, and restoration of trust. The program begins with a weekend and includes 12 follow-up meetings over three months. These are not spiritual retreats, sensitivity groups, seminars or social gatherings — there are no counselors involved and you don’t have to say anything in front of anyone else. Couples discuss the topics and practice the skills in private. The cost is a blank envelope donation system. It is open to couples of all faiths and to the non-religious. To find a program in your area call 800-470-2230 or go to the Web site:


5. The Third Option:
Couples can either divorce, stay miserably married, or chose a third option — get help. Led by Pat Ennis, MSW, this ongoing marriage enrichment/marriage crisis group program uses a drop-in format, skill building and sharing by couples that have overcome great difficulties. A self-contained manual & videos make the program easy to implement in your church or community. For couples or individuals at any stage from engaged to long-married seeking enrichment or divorce prevention. Call: 315-472-6728 E-mail:


6. Hedy and Yumi Schiefer:  Relationship Builders
The Adventure in Intimacy workshop is the initial 3-day workshop teaching 7 principles and 7 rituals (essential skills), that will allow you and your partner to reconnect with each other, and rediscover the joy of being together.  The workshop is based in part on the relational philosophy of Martin Buber,  Appreciative Inquiry and Re-evaluation Counseling, the latest research about Relational Neuro-Biology, and Imago Relationship Therapy.


7.  National Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapists:
For more help, you can consult the National Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapists, who work to help struggling couples find their relationship footing again.

About the Author:

Post a Comment