Re: The last attempt
Cooper, I don't think you've read my responses to others who have posted in this entire thread. I KNOW I am not God. Give me a break. Don't make assertions about things which you know NOTHING about. I have not "given my wife an ultimatum", that's ridiculous. I take full responsibility for the damage I have caused. Don't think for a moment that I don't understand the amends that need to be made to my wife, to my family. I do understand the wounding that I have caused, and I pray that in time even those wounds are able to heal. I have to be a different man, which is a journey, but I am on it.
Despite those changes, I realize it may not be enough to repair the damage I have caused. My wife is in a very good place due to the tremendous amount of counseling that she has had, not only due to our marital problems, but also to overturn stones of things that occurred in her childhood and early adulthood. She has gone through much to get to the other side. As such, she has a perspective in which, after it all, she desires healing and restoration within our marriage. My addiction goes back to my pre-teen years, and existed 10 years before we met. Such an addictive mindset was already in place. In a sense, it was a silent intruder into our bedroom. Thusly, we've never been able to experience "normal" intimacy. Every day, I am beginning to see more and more how to see her through different eyes, and love her differently. As you say, there's no timetable. What we see before us is a landscape of ruin, which I caused, but we also believe that God is able to do what He said in Joel, "I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God." God is a God of restoration, and He is a God who pursues. My being able to love her well depends upon my absolute surrender unto Him, surrendering my sexuality to Him, and trusting Him that He will give us more than we could ever hope for. It depends upon allowing that change to occur within myself. It depends upon my being able to fully see and address the years of wounding that I have caused. And yet, even with all of that, months from now, inside the heart of my wife, it may be such that we realize that it may not be possible to move forward in health.
As far as "trading one obsession for another", I have no idea what you're talking about. If I am to heal, if God is able to heal our relationship, it will be because the Lord has worked in our midst. My faith is not a "come to Jesus moment". Understandably, my addiction these years, and how I have related to my wife have not honored God. It is in no way in keeping with His plans for faithful marriage, obviously. But I do believe in forgiveness, and I do believe that where there is confession of sin, He is faithful to forgive. That forgiveness then should motivate me to live differently and in a way in which I am able to love my wife Biblically. I want to do that, and I want that for our marriage. It is something I have not done to this point, but it is not impossible. God is able to change even a sinner like me, and He is able to transform not only me, but our marriage. I am not so arrogant to for one second obligate my wife to forgive my transgressions, or agree to remain married to me. I would understand if she chooses, later, to have us go our own ways and be friends. She has every right to do so, and I would not blame her. She has dealt with much. But when I think of marriage itself, I think that it is right for me to do whatever it takes to give it a chance, as far as it pertains to me. For me, if I perceive with absolute certainty that the heart of my wife is tender, and that she, in a healthy place, wants us to have a different and healthy marriage, which IS the case, then rather than remain in the trance of my own addiction, I must draw the line and choose to live differently. That is what I'm doing. Only He knows what the outcome will be.