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Marriage Issues? How to Overcome the Threatening Boulders and Chasms

By December 14, 2020August 31st, 2022No Comments

I live in Colorado. Hiking is a regular pastime for most of us here, with great trails in the towering pines just minutes from my house.

So imagine, you’re hiking, and a giant boulder blocks your path. What do you do? Or what if a chasm suddenly appears in your path?

A dark valley out of nowhere! A simple, enjoyable hike now turns into a difficult, challenging, I-didn’t-sign-up-for-this day.

That’s how I felt when my Christian husband of over twenty years confessed his pornography addiction. I’m hiking along and THUD a giant boulder with an even more giant chasm just beyond the massive rock!

Recovery from addiction or depression can feel like giant boulders and dark chasms.

And if you’re the spouse of the addict, you experience a chasm and this new boulder in your life, home, relationship, and personal well-being.

I’ve walked that path and faced down that gaping crack and giant rock. And I’ve learned how to scale and scramble and reroute to a safer path.

Am I supposed to keep “mum” about the challenge? We often feel like if we talk about the boulder or chasm, it will destroy us. The boulder grows as you stare it down. And, as you stand on the edge of the chasm it appears to broaden right before your eyes. That’s the lie the enemy of our souls wants you and me to believe. “It’s better to keep it quiet, a family secret.” You don’t want anyone to know what’s hidden behind your front door.

God’s Word, the Bible, says, The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. That doesn’t sound like keeping a secret.

Too often, our boulders and chasms create darkness in our lives.

We get stuck in the shadows and believe we have no way out. Nothing is further from the truth.

I remember sitting in front of a couple, pouring out the hidden “boulder” threatening to crush us. We shared about the chasm opening beneath us, ready to swallow us whole. My husband felt sure he’d be scorned when he told his story. Fear caused panic in our hearts that evening. But, something else (Someone) prompted Dave to come clean, as much as he was able at that moment. I felt nudged to admit my fear and hurt as well.

As our stories unfolded, we received calm, thoughtful words laced with love, grace, understanding, and forgiveness. That fearful panic subsided as we received healing and hope-filled words.

Their light overcame the darkness. The boulder wasn’t gone, but it didn’t look as large.

And could it be that a bridge could be built to navigate the chasm safely?

This season is a season of joy and light.

Jesus came into the world. The angels announced it. The shepherds received it, and wise men followed a star to find this light. Jesus’ birth ushered hope into a dark, wounded world.

Jesus still does this today for you and me. Download this free PDF with some of those promises.

How do you face down these boulders or chasms in your path?

I work with my coaching clients on starting with these three steps:

  1. Name it.

    Call it what it is. Darkness and fear tell you to be quiet. But your secret-keeping only strengthens the trouble. Doing what you’ve always done perpetuates the problem, deepens the chasm, and allows the boulder to crush you slowly. Only when you call it what it is can you start to diminish its control in your life.

    If doing your “usual” was going to work, you wouldn’t feel like you do right now.

  1. Confront it.

    If you hate confrontation, this action step feels impossible. The good news? You don’t confront the entire chasm at once. You take it on little by little. Remember the adage, how do you eat an elephant? Yeah, you tackle the boulder the same way. Often, you only see one portion of the issue right now. So, that’s the one you confront. Since you’ve named it, now you decide how to change your dealing with that boulder.

  1. Defend against it.

    Imagine your child wanders into a busy street. You see the truck heading toward your child, but she’s oblivious. Her focus is on her favorite ball rolling away rapidly. Without thinking, you rush to defend your child against the oncoming danger. You decided at that moment to defend against a foe. It’s similar when you deal with an addiction or betrayal in your marriage. You need to learn ways to defend against it. Too often, we sit passively by and believe we’re helpless to fight it. You can race into the oncoming danger in your marriage too, but certain tools improve your chances of success.

I know it’s hard to face the pain you’re experiencing right now.

And this year, with all that’s going on in our world, it feels even worse. But, I also know there is hope along with a way to face down the issue and find a new way over, around, or through the pain.

Your boulders don’t have to crush you. Nor does the chasm need to grow any wider.

Reach out today. Let’s talk through the issues. I offer no judgment, a tender heart, and lessons learned through conquering a chasm and a boulder head-on.

Dave and I are very familiar with boulders, giants, chasms, monsters—whatever imagery you prefer. But we faced it down over thirteen years ago, and now we enjoy each day together in honesty and love.

I coach women whose husbands are addicted to pornography. Some prefer an unstructured but regular, confidential meeting to learn ways to move forward toward healing. Others sign up to go through my confidential 8-week Aftershock Recovery Coaching program. Either way, my life’s mission is to help wives heal from the pain of their husband’s addiction. Regardless of his choices, you deserve healing and hope.

  • Kirsten D Samuel

    I empower Christian wives to discover they are seen, loved, and heard. These women find the freedom to be who they are beyond their partner’s struggles, and find hope that there is a life worth living.

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