Posted: 22 Jan 2014 03:00 AM PST

 This blog was originally posted on April 15, 2009.  Marsha thought it would be encouraging to our readers to repost.  The original name for this blog was “2008 was His)tory”

My world fell apart in August 2007 when my husband’s pornography addiction was discovered , forcing us to step out of ministry.  That year included selling our home, saying goodbye to dear friends, moving to a new state and finding new jobs outside of ministry.

THE HARDEST YEAR OF OUR MARRIAGE As devastating as all that was, it was nothing compared to the pain I experienced in 2008.  I’ve often thought that it was interesting that the year “it all hit the fan” wasn’t the most difficult year of our journey.  It was the following year that shook me to my core.  When I think back though, it’s not really that surprising.  When our world first began to crumble, we were in in an extended state of shock.  Our life had become a train wreck, but  we were numb from the pain. That “deer in the headlights” phase didn’t begin to wear off until we settled into our new life in 2008.

And then I started to feel.  I started to grieve.  Jeff and I began the very difficult process of identifying the junk in our marriage that was preventing us from enjoying the intimacy and wholeness that God had intended.  That experience was like picking through trash looking for what stinks most.  It was awful.  Even worse, we would begin to make some progress and then take a step backwards.  Like most marriages in recovery, it was constantly two steps forward, one step back.

Guided by the skilled hands of our Christian counselors, we sought the Lord’s healing.   But healing, I’ve learned, can be painful.  I often felt like I was on the surgeon’s table without painkiller as the Great Physician uncovered destructive lies firmly rooted in my life.  There were days when I would say, “Enough. I can’t take it anymore.  Ignorance was bliss.  I’m done.  This pain is too much.”

Patiently, the Lord would wait on me to lie back down on the table, to get back up on the potter’s wheel, so he could finish this mighty work of mending, restoring and rebuilding.

A FACEBOOK REVELATION At then end of 2008, I was typing my status update on Facebook when I accidentally inserted a hyphen which resulted in an amazing discovery.  I wrote, “Marsha is so glad 2008 is his(tory. ” When I read it, it took my breath away – 2008 was His Story.

The Lord had not abandoned me in 2008.  In fact, I had never experience d his presence more clearly.  2008 was His Story in my life.  A story of amazing grace, tender mercy, deep healing and soul restoration.  I had spent the entire year asking him to take away the pain. Instead, he worked in and through and with the pain.  If I had missed that experience, I wouldn’t know him the way I know him now.

If I had to do it all over again, I would.  Every single agonizing step. Why? The truth I know…the healing I’ve experienced…the joy that has come on the other side far outweighs the agony of my darkest days.   My heart sings with David’s “Weeping may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalms 30:5)

Yes it does!



She offers help to spouses of sexual strugglers through phone coaching and online spouses’ support groups.

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I love movies that deal with mental health in a comedic way.  When I entered recovery, I used to get offended by this type of comedy as making fun of people like me, but now, thanks to significant healing, I can watch them and laugh along with others and understand exactly what is going on.  One of the items I like about this movie is the term the “Baby Steps” that is used by Richard Dreyfuss’ character, Dr. Leo Marvin.  This is the same term I use with the men who attend Castimonia regarding any progress that is made in a positive direction no matter how small.  Sometimes we need to take “Baby Steps” to move forward in our recovery, not huge leaps.  Even a small step in the right direction is progress.   Another way we use the term “Baby Steps” is to learn to live in the present, one minute, one hour, one day at a time and take small baby steps towards our goal of a full day of sobriety.

The plot of this movie has been pasted below courtesy of Google:

Before going on vacation, self-involved psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) has the misfortune of taking on a new patient: Bob Wiley (Bill Murray). An exemplar of neediness and a compendium of phobias, Bob follows Marvin to his family’s country house. Dr. Marvin tries to get him to leave; the trouble is, everyone love Bob. As his oblivious patient makes himself at home, Dr. Marvin loses his professional composure and, before long, may be ready for the loony bin himself.

What I saw in this movie was the comedic, yet truthful, evidence of living life one small “Baby Step” at a time, learning not to get overwhelmed by everything that occurs in our life all at once, but looking at these events in small manageable parts.

I hope you enjoy watching this video as much as I enjoyed creating it.  As always, take what you like and leave the rest.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This video may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for purposes such as criticism, comment, teaching, & education, etc. This constitutes a ’fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED! All trademarks and copyrights remain the property of their owners.

Dear Sex Customer,

If you think that I ever felt attracted to you, you are terribly mistaken. I have never had any desire to go to work, not once. The only thing on my mind was to make money, and fast. Do not confuse that with easy money, it was never easy. Fast, yes. Because I quickly learned the many tricks to get you to come as quickly as possible, so I could get you off of me, or from under me, or from behind me.

And no, you never turned me on during the act. I was a great actress. For years I have had the opportunity to practice for free. Actually, it falls under the concept of multitasking. Because while you lay there, my thoughts were always elsewhere. Somewhere where I was not confronted with you sucking out my self respect, without spending as much as ten seconds on the reality of the situation, or to look me in the eye.

If you thought you were doing me a favour by paying me for thirty minutes or an hour, you were wrong. I would rather have had you in and out as fast as possible. When you thought yourself to my holy saviour, asking what a pretty girl like me was doing in a place like that, you lost your halo when you proceeded to ask me to lie down on my back, and then put all your efforts into feeling my body as much as possible with your hands. Actually, I would have preferred if you had gotten down on your back and had let me do my job.

When you thought you could boost your masculinity by getting me to climax, you need to know that I faked it. I could have won a gold medal in faking it. I faked it so much, that the receptionist would nearly fall off of her chair laughing. What did you expect? You were perhaps number three, or number five, or eight that day. Did you really think I was able to get turned on mentally or physically by having sex with men I did not choose myself? Not ever. My genitals were burning. From lubricant and condoms. And I was tired. So tired, that often I had to be careful not to close my eyes for fear of falling asleep while my moaning continued on autopilot.

If you thought you paid for loyalty or small talk, you need to think again. I had zero interest in your excuses. I did not care that your wife had SPD, and that you just could not go without sex. Or when you offered any other pathetic excuse for coming to buy sex with me. When you thought I understood you and had sympathy for you, it was all a lie. I had nothing but contempt for you, and at the same time you destroyed something inside of me. You sowed the seeds of doubt in me. Doubt as to whether all men were just as cynical and unfaithful as you were.

When you praised my appearance, my body, or my sexual abilities, you could just as well have vomited on me. You did not see the person behind the mask. You only saw that which confirmed your illusion of a raunchy woman with an unstoppable sex drive. In fact, you never said what you thought I wanted to hear. Instead, you said what you yourself needed to hear. You said that, which was needed to preserve your illusion, and which prevented you from thinking about how I had ended up where I was at twenty years of age. Basically you did not care at all. Because you had one goal only, and that was to show off your power by paying me to use my body as it pleased you.

When a drop of blood appeared on the condom, it was not because my period had just come. It was because my body was a machine, one that could not be interrupted by a monthly cycle, so I inserted a sponge into my vagina, when I menstruated. To be able to continue on the sheets. And no, I did not go home after you had finished. I continued working, telling the next customer exactly the same story that you had heard. You were all so consumed with your own lust that a little menstrual blood did not stop you.

When you came with objects, lingerie, costumes or toys, and wanted erotic role-play, my inner machine took over. I was disgusted with you and your sometimes quite sick fantasies. The same goes for the times when you smiled and said that I looked like a seventeen-year-old girl. It did not help that you yourself were fifty, sixty, seventy, or older.

When you regularly violated my boundaries by either kissing me, or inserting our fingers into me, or taking off your condom, you did it knowing perfectly well that it was against the rules. You were testing my ability to say no. And you enjoyed it when I did not object clearly enough, or when I too often would simply ignore it. And then you used it in a perverted way to show how much power you had and that you could cross my boundaries. When I finally told you off, and made it clear that I would not have you as a customer again if you could not respect the rules, you insulted me and my role as prostitute. You were condescending, threatening and rude.

When you buy sex, it says a lot about you, your humanity, and your sexuality. To me, it is a sign of your weakness, even though you confuse it with a sick sort of power and status. You think you have a right. I mean, the prostitutes are out there anyway, right? But they are only prostitutes because men like you stand in the way of healthy and respectful relationship between men and women. Prostitutes only exist because men like you feel you have the right to satisfy your sexual urges using the orifices of other people’s bodies. Prostitutes exist because you and your peers feel that your sexuality requires access to sex whenever it suits you. Prostitutes exist because you are a misogynist, and because you are more concerned with your own sexual needs than the relationships, in which your sexuality could actually flourish.

When you buy sex, it reveals that you have not found the core within your own sexuality. I feel sorry for you, I really do. That you are so mediocre that you think that sex is all about ejaculating into a stranger’s vagina. And if one is not handy, it is never further away than down the street, where you can pay an unknown woman to be able to empty yourself into a rubber while inside of her. What a petty and frustrated man you must be. A man unable to create profound and intimate relationships, in which the connection runs deeper than just your ejaculation. A man, who expresses his feelings through his climaxes, who does not have the ability to verbalise them, but prefers to channel them through his genitals to get rid himself of them. What a weak masculinity. A truly masculine man would never degrade himself by paying for sex.
As far as your humanity goes, I believe in the good in people, also in you. I know that deep down you have a conscience. That you have quietly wondered whether what you did was ethically and morally justifiable. I also know that you defend your actions and likely think that you treated me well, were kind, never mean or did not violate my boundaries. But you know what? That is called evading your responsibility. You are not confronting reality. You delude yourself in thinking that the people, you buy, are not bought. Not forced into prostitution. Maybe you even think that you did me a favour and gave me a break by talking about the weather, or giving me a little massage before you penetrated me. It did me no favours. All it did was confirm to me that I was not worth more. That I was a machine, whose primary function was to let others exploit my sexuality.
I have many experiences from prostitution. They enable me to write this letter to you. But it is a letter, which I would much rather not have written. These are experiences I wish I could have avoided. You of course you thought of yourself as one of the nice customers. But there are no nice customers. Just those who confirm the women’s negative view of themselves. Take my hand and see me for the person I am on the inside. Let us go together to make a difference in the future. Let us raise our voices to our friends, our girlfriends, our business associates, our bosses, our politicians, and last but not least, to the prostituted. Let us raise our voices together and say that sex is private. Let us shout that sex is not a product on a shelf, but that it can cost dearly if it is treated as one. Let us scream to the world that money and sex do no belong together, and that sex belong to all together different and mutually reciprocal relationships. Because in this case, you will re-concur my respect and I will see you as the person you are, and not just as a buyer of sex, seduced by an illusion.
Yours truly, Tanja Rahm

According to new research published in The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, one in 10 men are harboring serious sex secrets of one kind or another. “There are two kinds of secrets guys keep,” says Les Parrott, author of Crazy Good Sex. “Things they wish their wives or girlfriends would understand but are scared they won’t, and things they’re just plain trying to get away with.” With that in mind, we polled hundreds of men to learn what they hide at each stage in a relationship and enlisted experts to offer their insights. Some men exaggerate to sound more sexually experienced; others low-ball so you don’t dismiss them as players. “Men know that if they confess to a large number of partners, it sends the message that they’re unlikely to commit to one. That is, to you,” says David Buss, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and author of The Evolution of Desire. According to a study at Brigham Young University, 87 percent of men have looked at some form of porn in the past year, and one in five help themselves to X-rated fare daily. Men like to look at naked chicks—no surprise there—but what is shocking is how quickly they can become dependent on those erotic images. A powerful pleasure cocktail of endorphins and epinephrine (hormones responsible for arousal and alertness) are released while a man watches porn… And that feeling can become addictive. Technology has made it easier than ever to reconnect with former flames. In the past four years, the number of adults with profiles on social-networking sites has quadrupled. Experts say that men may reach out to an ex as a sort of insurance policy. “People like to have backups, not necessarily to form a long-term relationship with now, but to have as a placeholder so they’re not left high and dry should their existing relationship end,” Buss says. From an article by Carrie Sloan

“Anything will give up its secrets. if you love it enough.” – George Washington Carver

No one factor is thought to cause sexual addiction, but there is thought to be biological, psychological, and social factors that contribute to the development of these disorders. For example, the intoxication associated with sexual addiction is thought to be the result of changes in certain areas and chemicals in the brain that are elicited by the compulsion. Research differs somewhat in terms of gender-based patterns of sexual addiction. For example, some studies describe males who are introverted and highly educated as more inclined to develop an Internet addiction, including sexual Internet addiction. Other studies indicate that middle-aged women using home computers were more at risk for Internet sexual addiction. Psychological risk factors for sexual addiction are thought to include depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. The presence of a learning disability increases the risk of developing a sex addiction as well. As people with a history of suffering from any addiction are at risk for developing another addiction, being dependent on something else makes it more likely for sexual addiction to occur. Sufferers of these disorders tend to be socially isolated and have personality traits like insecurity, impulsivity, compulsive behaviors, trouble with relationship stability and intimacy, low ability to tolerate frustration, and a tendency to have trouble coping with emotions. People who are sexually abused are at somewhat higher risk of developing a sexual addiction. By Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD and Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

“Just as a heroin addict chases a substance-induced high, sex addicts are bingeing on chemicals — in this case, their own hormones.” –  Alexandra Katehakis

While men make up about 10 percent of patients with anorexia and bulimia, both sexes struggle almost equally with binge eating. According to the Binge Eating Disorder Association, 40 percent of the estimated 10 million Americans who binge eat are men. Binge eating is defined as consuming large amounts of food within a two-hour period at least twice per week, combined with loss of control. Those struggling with this disorder often consume thousands of calories in one sitting, followed by an overwhelming sense of shame and self-loathing, which leads to further binging. The causes and underlying mechanisms of binge eating are similar to other eating disorders. Binge eaters may suffer from low self-esteem, past trauma or weight-related bullying, or use food to numb emotions and cope with stress. One factor that differentiates binge eating in men and women is that it is more likely to go unnoticed in men. Even if they are overweight or obese, as an estimated 70 percent of people with binge disorder are, eating more and carrying more weight are more socially acceptable for men than women. Heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other weight-related health conditions are common, as are mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Binge eating, like other eating disorders, can impact a man’s career, relationships and every area of his life. Compounding the problem is the reality that many men do not seek treatment for fear of appearing weak, strange or like less of a man. Although men may not reach out for help as often, treatment is equally effective for men as it is for women. There are also support groups and eating disorder treatment programs, some of which have specialized tracks for men. From an article by Carolyn C. Ross, M.D., M.P.H

“We have it in our head that if we fill our stomachs, we’ll fill our hearts.” – Kate Wicker

Marriage therapists are much more likely to see a couple after the marriage reaches the breaking point, rather than early in the process of breaking down. Both partners at this distressing juncture will often be experiencing despair, and they’ll ask the therapist’s opinion about whether they should “just end it.” The real feelings lurking behind such a question actually sound more like this, “We’re so tired of trying the same old things and getting nowhere in our relationship. Can’t you give us something new to try?” The answer is yes, if you’re willing to work hard at it, and learn the signs of marital trouble. Divorce remains at historic highs compared with the 1950s. According to the U.S. Census, one-half of the first marriages of baby boomer couples will end in divorce or separation. Both men and women experience marital disaffection or the dying-out of love between two spouses. The process is painful for everyone; sometimes as agonizing for one or both partners as the death of a loved one. What’s also true is that many married men and women come to the conclusion that their marriage is over prematurely. That is, they give up from exhaustion and despair when there are still things that can be done to save the marriage. When a relationship begins to turn sour, inevitably people blame their partner. Being right and making the other wrong starts to hold more value to each spouse than the goal of maintaining love, peace, and harmony in the relationship. Underlying whatever the couple is arguing about, be it housekeeping, an affair, or one partner’s long hours at the office, there are deep unacknowledged hurts and disappointments. A woman often feels unappreciated or unloved. A man feels nagged or neglected. The danger is that the couple never goes below the surface of the antagonisms reigning in the present, never knows what they’re actually fighting about, and each blames the other for the standoff that results. In this scenario of battling spouses, the ego reigns supreme and love begins to die. When harsh words, physical distance, and immature behaviors such as irrational spending have replaced the gestures of love, it’s sometimes difficult to understand what’s actually going on in your marriage. It appears to have fallen completely apart and you can’t recall why you ever “fell in love” with this person in the first place. From an article by Stephen Martin, MFT, and Victoria Costello

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. Friedrich Nietzsche