Fantasy Roots: Exploring Our Patterns of Escape

By |2021-09-06T18:48:56+00:00September 6th, 2021|Addiction, Domestic Violence, Healing, Kindness, Masculinity, Pornography, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame, women|

Fantasy is an effective tool of escape. It soothes wounds and calms the anxious heart. Yet, this commitment to escapism leads to a cowardice in facing our most wounded places and takes a serious toll on how we live and relate. Engagement with fantasy teaches us that relief is more [...]

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Am I an Abuser? A Self-Assessment

By |2021-07-21T03:09:28+00:00July 20th, 2021|Addiction, Church, Domestic Violence, Healing, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame, Violence|

One of the most difficult parts of this healing process of becoming a good and safe man is owning the fact that you have been abusive. So does that make you an abuser?  Of course, it does. Yet, there is such stigma and shame around that word, it is difficult [...]

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“You are an abuser!” “No, you are the abuser!”

By |2021-07-03T01:45:33+00:00June 18th, 2021|Domestic Violence, Fatherlessness, Healing, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Violence|

It's rare for an abusive man somewhere on the spectrum of an abuser not to claim that his wife is just as abusive or is also an abuser. I hear it all the time. “But, Andrew, sure I abused her that one time, but she has done…” The list of their [...]

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Scripture & Abuse

By |2021-05-10T15:29:15+00:00May 10th, 2021|Church, Domestic Violence, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Violence, women|

*Trigger Warning for those women who have been spiritually abused I am convinced scripture is meant to be a scalpel that facilitates healing and leads us into the painful holy act of repentance and transformation. Yet often scripture can resemble a crowbar. Looking to pound, shame, and control those who [...]

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The Spectrum of an Abuser

By |2021-05-04T00:53:40+00:00May 4th, 2021|Addiction, Domestic Violence, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Pornography, Relationships, Self-Contempt, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Violence|

It’s important to note this article's intent is not to be used to justify abusive behavior but to more clearly define it. If you are a woman in an unsafe situation, get safe, immediately.     I have been working with abusive men in my private counseling practice for ten [...]

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The Good Wife’s Guide

By |2021-03-27T00:33:59+00:00March 26th, 2021|Domestic Violence, Healing, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Pornography, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Violence|

In 1955, Housekeeping Monthly published an article called, "The Good Wife's Guide," telling wive’s how to be a “good wife” to their husbands. This is the social norm that laid a foundation that our parents were born into and still permeates in the patriarchal, misogynistic air that we breathe. [...]

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My First Time: A Story of Covert Sexual Abuse

By |2021-02-04T18:32:17+00:00February 4th, 2021|Grief, Healing, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

*Trigger Warning: Depression, Sexuality and Abuse It was the summer of ‘02, in my late teens, I was just coming out of my first full year of college after nearly flunking out; my life was crumbling all around me. A few weeks earlier, I had checked myself in and out [...]

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What Happens When My Abusive Husband Gets Healthy?

By |2021-01-29T15:04:04+00:00January 29th, 2021|Church, Death, Domestic Violence, Forgiveness, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame, Violence|

It’s rare, but it happens. Abusive men can heal. But by rare, I mean the data is abysmal. Becoming safe and doing the work of healing only happens among roughly 1 in 10 abusive men.  Your abusive husband can heal when, and only when, he fully faces the depth of [...]

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Pornography Accountability Software: Yes or No?

By |2020-09-09T21:29:14+00:00September 9th, 2020|patriarchy, Addiction, Healing, Loss, Marriage, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

  It's a question I hear often in the work I do with men recovering from unwanted sexual behaviors: “Is accountability software helpful or effective?” My answer, like most of the advice given in this field, is a nuanced one; yes it is, and no it isn’t. Let me explain.  [...]

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WAP: A Celebration of Female Sexuality or An Internalization of Male Supremacy? 

By |2020-09-02T17:57:56+00:00September 2nd, 2020|Domestic Violence, Addiction, Grief, Healing, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame, Violence|

  *trigger warning: Degrading language, graphic sexual abuse described    Patriarchy’s influence on popular culture has made objectification and violence against women normative. We are so accustomed to violence against women, we don’t even react to it anymore. Songs I grew up listening to, for example, “O.P.P." by Naughty By [...]

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If I Were an Abuser, What Church Would I Want to Attend?

By |2020-09-10T13:34:06+00:00March 9th, 2020|Addiction, Church, Domestic Violence, Forgiveness, God, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, patriarchy, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Shame, Violence|

I am proud to feature the work of Dr. Nancy Murphy on my blog today. Dr. Murphy is a professor, Executive director of Northwest Family Life, and runs www.DVtraining.net to help educate churches in navigating issues of Domestic Violence. She has been my teacher and supervisor for the past 10 [...]

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I Deserve Sex: Addressing Entitlement Over Women’s Bodies

By |2020-02-19T19:18:56+00:00February 19th, 2020|Healing, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality|

I hear it time and time again: “She won’t give me sex”, “She won’t give me what I deserve”, “What is wrong with my wife?” Even if these things aren’t said directly, they are often implied. Men feel they deserve sex on-demand from their wives, and that something is wrong [...]

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Breaking Down Stigmas & Sexism

By |2020-01-30T23:26:03+00:00January 29th, 2020|Death, Domestic Violence, Healing, Marriage, patriarchy, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame, Violence|

There are many stigmas that need to be broken in the Christian tradition. The stigma of divorce in the Christian community is a phenomenon where folks are, after much pain and heartache, retraumatized and relegated to a second-class-citizen type of Christian and branded as damaged goods, a failure, or both. [...]

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Pornography Saved Your Life By Matt Mulder

By |2020-01-09T18:01:20+00:00January 9th, 2020|Addiction, Forgiveness, Kindness, Masculinity, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

I am pleased to host a guest post today by therapist Matt Mulder. Until you can name the goodness of what your addiction gave/gives you, you cannot let go of its devastating cycles. I asked her when she first started looking at pornography. She looked up at me with a [...]

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Liberation From Sex Addiction? By Stephen Grant

By |2019-11-14T17:13:18+00:00November 14th, 2019|Addiction, Healing, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

Pleased to have a guest post by counselor Stephen Grant today on the blog. Read his bio and check out his work below.  As I walked up the outside stairs to the church’s classroom I couldn’t believe it was really happening. I was a dead man walking. Life as I [...]

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I Roll Back: A Poem for the Abused

By |2019-10-31T15:52:43+00:00October 31st, 2019|Domestic Violence, Healing, Marriage, Poetry, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Shame, Violence|

I am a bowling ball  heavy with holes,  unwilling to be used by you any longer.  You finger me at your will then Throw me away again and again,  and again.  I have become hard to survive; your grip is squeezing the life from me You toss me away, send [...]

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Hello, Good Penis: The Practice of Blessing Our Genitals

By |2019-09-10T19:18:59+00:00September 10th, 2019|Addiction, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, Masculinity, Pornography, Relationships, Self-Contempt, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

Our genitals are good.  They were made for giving and receiving pleasure, new life, and experiencing radical divine joy.  Many times our sexual organs get a bad rap. Sometimes we feel they have betrayed us. This happens often in the context of sexual abuse. Many victims of sexual abuse experience [...]

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Face to Face with a Dying God: Engaging Beauty & Arousal

By |2019-08-27T18:18:44+00:00August 26th, 2019|Addiction, Anxiety, Domestic Violence, Healing, Kindness, Loss, Marriage, Masculinity, Pornography, Relationships, Self-Contempt, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

 I was attending a professional training group to improve my therapeutic skills when I was brought face to face with deep, lingering fear and shame around my past treatment of women and idolatry of beauty.   One of the exercises we were asked to do was to pair up with another [...]

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My Child Was Exposed to Pornography: From a Concerned Mother

By |2019-08-19T17:09:16+00:00August 19th, 2019|Death, Fatherlessness, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, Pornography, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

Below is a note from a concerned mother about her and her child's traumatic experience with pornography. We have chosen to protect the identity of the child and the family. Yet this letter is a gift for many of us to learn from as we continue the fight against the [...]

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Bringing Your Body Home: A Porn User’s Guide to Embodiment

By |2019-05-23T16:41:11+00:00May 23rd, 2019|Addiction, Healing, Masculinity, Pornography, Relationships, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

After a few years as a therapist, I realized that a strictly narrative-based approach towards counseling limited the depth of the work that I was able to do with my clients, especially those who were who struggling with unwanted sexual behaviors. I started training with a somatic therapist to step [...]

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