Redeeming Power: Reclaiming Authentic Masculinity

By |2021-09-09T18:05:13+00:00September 9th, 2021|Death, Domestic Violence, Fatherlessness, Glory, God, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Loss, Masculinity, patriarchy, Relationships, Self-Contempt, Violence|

The answer to becoming a safe and good man is not becoming weaker (humble, yes—weak, no); it's about becoming more powerful (not aggressive). However, stepping into authentic masculine power can seem like an oxymoron that conjures up images of the Marlboro man, or thoughts of violence, homophobia, misogyny, money, and [...]

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Action as the Repair of an Apology

By |2021-09-09T02:55:57+00:00September 9th, 2021|Church, Forgiveness, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Relationships|

“I am sorry.” “I am SO sorry.” “SORRY!” “No, listen, I am REALLY, REALLY sorry.” “Forgive me?” “My bad.” “My apologies.” When these attempts at an apology don’t get through to the partner we have harmed many times we try self-contempt. “Okay, I suck.” “I am such an idiot.” As [...]

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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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Counting Condoms & Learning Goodbye

By |2021-08-17T13:14:59+00:00August 10th, 2021|Calling, Calling, Glory, Uncategorized, Vocation|

For the last couple of years, I have created an odd and somewhat soothing ritual. As I talk on the phone with my clients (who are men struggling with compulsive sexual behaviors) from all over the nation, I count condoms. Odd, yes, but you have to know a little bit [...]

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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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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 & Safe Man

By |2021-04-26T17:39:53+00:00April 26th, 2021|Domestic Violence, Fatherlessness, Glory, Healing, Masculinity, Relationships, Sexism, Shame, Uncategorized|

  Many women long for good and safe men in their lives. Sadly, they are rare, so much so that my wife keeps a list in her top drawer to remind herself that they even exist. Women need more good men. But men also need more good men. We long [...]

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The Idolatry of Shame: Engaging the Full Spectrum of Shame

By |2021-03-27T17:29:18+00:00March 27th, 2021|Pornography, Shame|

Just as there is an idolatry of sex, I have seen a new idolatry arising—the idolatry of shame. Let me explain.  There seems to be an entire group of folks who are quite zealous to call out when they perceive you are “shaming” someone and/or eliciting shame by something you [...]

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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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Now You See Me, Now You Don’t: Recognizing Our Partner’s Invisible Work

By |2021-03-20T11:49:09+00:00December 14th, 2020|Domestic Violence, Glory, Kindness, Marriage, Relationships, Sexism|

Merely being a living, breathing human in this gloriously fallen world is a task in itself. Yet throwing in living in partnership, both people attempting to authentically with full desire even more daunting. Marriage is grueling, at times feels like an impossible invitation to the heights of Heaven and the [...]

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Trigger Happy: Navigating Trauma Triggers in Relationships

By |2020-11-24T21:27:12+00:00November 24th, 2020|Healing, Marriage, Relationships|

At our counseling center, we deal regularly with trauma triggers in relationships. Relationship coach Kyle Benson defines a trigger as  “an issue that is sensitive to our heart—typically something from our childhood or a previous relationship.” Another way I like to define this concept is as a trauma response. Many [...]

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Why We Love Narcissists and What to Do About It

By |2020-11-13T01:38:39+00:00November 12th, 2020|Domestic Violence, Fatherlessness, Healing, Masculinity, patriarchy, Relationships, Sexism, Shame, Violence|

We love a good narcissist. Like flies drawn to the organic matter within feces, we hover close to a narcissist to try to catch some of what they seem to have, but what they actually offer us is clearly already decaying waste to those who are not the flies. Crude [...]

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Welcome Home, Grief.

By |2020-10-05T16:12:18+00:00October 5th, 2020|Death, God, Grief, Healing, Shame|

Hello, Grief. Come into my house; make yourself comfortable. I trust you, as you are a relentless yet steady companion.  Come to the table. Yes, my friend, you are invited to eat. You may have the seat of honor, for though I do not love you, I respect you.  I [...]

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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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The Shape of Grief: Guest Post by Andrew May

By |2020-09-06T17:13:53+00:00September 6th, 2020|Kindness, Death, Glory, Grief, Healing, Wilderness|

I am pleased to feature a guest post today by photographer and podcaster, Andrew May with Allegory & Elm in Asheville, NC. Seldom do you have a photographer who is willing to enter into the depths and contradictions of what it means to be human as courageously as Andrew and [...]

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Male Embodiment

By |2020-09-09T16:35:15+00:00September 6th, 2020|Masculinity, Glory, Healing, patriarchy, Pornography, Sexism, Shame, Wildness|

I am realizing that men are innately disconnected from their own bodies in a way that is unique to their maleness. (I am clearly not saying all women are connected to their bodies, clearly, and trauma warps all bodily connection.) But girls grow into womanhood with their monthly cycles literally [...]

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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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