Thursday, January 13, 2005

An interview with Todd, Part 2  

This is Part 2 of my interview with Todd. If you haven't yet, go read Part 1.

Since you confessed your sins and struggles to your wife, have things been harder for you or for her?

Her. No question. This has caused her to doubt everything from God's existence to my truthfulness even now, 2-1/2 years later. I wasn't lying to her about everything in my life, but I might as well have been. When you take something as foundational as sexual orientation and infidelity and keep it a secret for 8+ years, how could she ever trust me again?

The beautiful thing is…and I give GOD all credit and glory for this…we are in a sweet place in our relationship right now. I have been free from compulsive sexual behavior for a good, long time now…and I'm growing in my love for-and even my attraction to-her. We are laughing again. We are enjoying one another's company. It's like we can breathe again after a long, anxious period of gasping for air. Depression has lifted like a fog, and the sun is peeking through the clouds.

What is your hope for the future of your marriage?

I want to grow old with my wife, to parent our children well, to live a life of integrity and faithfulness. I want to be used by God-TOGETHER-to help others who find themselves in similar situations. I want to live out God's design for us. To love each other well in all circumstances. It's like we've been given a new lease on life, a new marriage to cultivate. We get a fresh start to do things right. Thank God for His grace. Thank God for a wife who stuck with me when I failed her deeply. Thank God that we see a bright future together.

Have you told your children anything about this experience?

No. Only very vague references to the fact that "sometimes we hurt people we love" and "we need to learn how to love and forgive one another even when it's hard." Things like that.

When and what will you tell them?

This whole season of life has taught me to place a high value on honesty. As my kids grow, I am sure they will have questions about homosexuality, adultery and all kinds of other sensitive topics. I am committed to answering those questions honestly. But I am equally committed to answering them in an age-appropriate way. Honesty doesn't always mean full disclosure.

On the other hand, I know that one day my kids will all know this story. They don't have to know all details, but they'll know about my battle with same-sex attraction and my infidelity. More importantly, they'll know about the amazing journey of healing that I've walked and how God rescued me from the bondage of sexual addiction and the hell of a double life. They'll know how their mother honored God through the process and learned to forgive and love in new, bold ways.

I've said before that one of the biggest motivations for my "coming out" was to give my kids a chance at freedom from sexual bondage. I think this whole process has given us an amazing opportunity to walk in openness and boldly proclaim, in word AND in our day-to-day lives, the truth and beauty of God's design for marriage, sexuality and wholeness. We have already had some awesome discussions about sex with our oldest, and they were very natural. No shame or awkwardness. Praise God!

What would you tell someone else in a situation similar to yours?

God loves you. Through and through. There's NOTHING you can do, nothing you have done that could ever stop Him from loving you.

God can heal you. It might take a long, long time. It might be the most painful journey you're ever taken. But it's worth every difficult step. Nothing is impossible with God.

Tell someone. If you're living in the darkness and isolation that I found myself in for so many years, it's going to be difficult. It's going to feel like death, and in a sense it is death. Dying to yourself so that you can really live. In the weeks prior to telling my good friend and then my wife, I wrote these lyrics…

So I'm finally on the road
That will lead to my confession
And I'm frightened and relieved at the same time
But I'm never turning back
I have finally learned my lesson
I must break the chains of silence and of pride
And the telling feels like dying
And I guess that's what it is
Cause I'm dying to myself
So that I can really live

It's true. Now I'm free to live the life of Christ. It's crazy. I didn't know what that meant until I broke the silence. Now I'm alive. Praise God!

Can people still contact you at todd-AT-atimelikethis-DOT-net?

Sure! I look forward to hearing from them!