Since publishing Not Forsaken, I’ve received many emails from survivors of abuse, betrayal, assault, and divorce, asking for prayer and advice. One of the most common requests is for more in-depth help on how to overcome the sexual anxiety and shame that now tarnishes or inhibits marital intimacy. While I could probably write a whole book on this topic, I pray this article, published today on The Gospel Coalition, encourages you or someone you know:
“Can I ask you a personal question?” she said.
“Of course,” I replied. I already knew what she was going to say. Many before her had already asked, but I was still grappling with how to answer.
She hesitated, as if bracing herself to speak words physically painful to pronounce.
“Did your dad’s sexual abuse negatively affect your romantic relationship with your husband?” she asked. “I’ve been married for 20 years, and I still can’t shake this feeling of shame and anxiety. Every time we’re intimate, I feel sick. I’m afraid something is broken in my mind. I’m afraid my trauma is hurting my husband and destroying our marriage. What should I do? How can I heal from this?”
If you’re a pastor or counselor, you’ve likely encountered similar questions. If you’re a survivor of abuse, you may have asked them yourself. The devastating trauma of abuse is incalculable. Its pervasive pain affects the most intimate aspects of life.