Engaged Christian, Hired Escort

Hi. The title says it all. I am engaged to be married in 2 months to the most amazing God-fearing woman. A few days ago I met an escort in a hotel. It lasted 10 min and it was the biggest mistake of my life. My fiancée and I met from work and our 2 years anniversary is 2 weeks away. At the time I was dating someone else. I cheated on my ex with my now fiancée (she had cheated previously). We split up. I went to a counseling session with my pastor and he approved of my then gf now fiancée and I pursuing a new relationship if it were God-ordained and we sought Christ first. For as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with sexual addition. I’ve hurt a lot of people in my life. My sister, my mom, my ex gf, and now my fiancée (for different reasons on all but still relating to my sexual addition). Never done anything like this before. I take full responsibility. I was me. Nothing she did. I’m planning on telling my fiancée tonight when she gets off work. I would do anything to rebuild her trust stitch by stitch. I will put in the hard work. But realize I can’t expect her to give me a second chance. I have recommitted my life to Christ personally and am growing in righteousness but am so afraid. I went to counseling somewhere else the past two days and it’s helped. I feel like a failure.

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pj405,

The brutal weight of a mistake you can’t take back…feeling desperate to right the wrong, like you’d do anything to be able to correct and move forward…knowing it’s something you can’t take back but feeling all of this urgency to fix it…it makes you sick to be still, to have to sit with the failure, to feel hopeless like there’s nothing that will change what you did, so you fight to make positive moves…to be honest, to come clean, to get into counseling, to do something to tip the scales…and you’re desperately afraid they’re untippable – but you don’t want to sit and imagine that as a possibility…you want to do the right thing now and try again with your fiance, you pray and hope that she will stay with you, forgive you, let you try again…and yet the thought / possibility of her not doing that…again, it sickens you. You’ve seen this demon face you time and time again – destroying relationships and parts of your life that you wish you could take back. You hate yourself for returning to it again and again despite the damage it has caused others and yourself, but it seems there’s nothing you have done to stop it, and you don’t know what to do besides try again. But parts of you fear you’ll never change. It feels like a vice around your soul that is impossible to be freed from. But you have to try. So you got back up and sought to right the wrong.

Just writing some of these thoughts that you may be feeling makes me feel like if I were you I wouldn’t be able to sit still…like I’d be trying desperately to bounce between things, not letting my mind or body sit…the anxiety of holding onto this secret is like standing on hot coals, not able to let your feet sit for too long or you’ll be burned…

I have had sexual addiction – specifically addiction to porn – cause serious damage in my life and in my marriage as well. It’s fucking brutal. It sheers your soul – you can feel like Jekyll and Hyde. On the one hand and on certain days, you feel holy and good and righteous and pure and loving and care, and then on the next it can feel like you deserve nothing, are disgusting, and want to hide from the world and from your sins. It ping pongs you, two steps forward, three steps back, five steps forward, four back…and it’s a wrecking ball in trust and relationships and intimacy – sexual and emotional.

You are not alone in this, pj. For sure. What do you need, friend?

-Nate

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Nate, you hit the nail on the head. That is exactly how I feel. I went to Christian counseling the past two days and it really helped me get everything in my past out there and admit that I have a problem and am out of control. I plan to continue that every week for the foreseeable future. My goal is to actual heal this time and not relapse and I know the only way I can do that is through my faith and having people hold me accountable and then being honest and communicating. I’m hoping these steps and many others will help show her that I am serious about committing to real lasting change, to break this once and for all.

I do feel hopeless and restless and scared. I do feel often like this will control me for the rest of my life. I’ve hit the lowest of lows. I carry a lot of weight on me day in and day out. For me, it was porn too and has been for years. I didn’t deal with that and now this sin has manifested itself into absolute ugliness. If that wasn’t already ugly enough.

Nate, I’m so sorry to hear about your porn addiction and how it has been impacting your marriage. I know firsthand how gripping that hold over your life is. I know it’s hard to do, but I would honestly tell you wife that you need help, seek professional help, so that you guys can continue to grow together as husband and wife. If you need help on what to say, see a counselor on your own first. I’ve finally learned that there is no shame in asking for help. I just wish I would have done it sooner when I was having these thoughts a month ago and not when the damage is already done.

If it’s not already obvious, I love this woman. She is the only woman I have ever truly loved. And she makes me a better person, and I try to encourage her in things she struggles with and help her be a better person too.

Really need prayers for wisdom and guidance and understanding between the two of us and that this can be turned into something that bring me closer to my faith first and closer to her second. But again, I can’t expect her to understand. She doesn’t owe me anything. I’m the one who messed up and there are real consequences to that. All this is just in my mind and my mind is my own worst enemy.

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Thank you again and what can I do to help you?

“Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.”

@pj405, your response to this mess is really admirable–courageous, honest, direct, and self-accountable.

I know some of what you’re feeling. 3 months into my marriage I kissed another girl at a party. It took me over a year to tell my wife, in the guidance of a program I was in. I was in a near panic for weeks leading up to it, and I wanted to run away from myself. The fact that you’re confessing immediately is enormously courageous.

Now, to ground yourself, say the Serenity Prayer above, and discern what you can and can’t control here. You’ve already got a good grasp on it, but I found it helped to take the time to separate the things. You can control telling your fiance. You can control how you tell her. You can control how you handle her immediate reaction–don’t meet anger with anger, be humble. You can control the help you seek and the amends you make to her. Handle these things with courage.

You cannot control how she reacts. You cannot control how this will affect her. You cannot control when or if she’ll forgive you. This may be the hardest thing you ever do, but try to take what comes next with grace, humility, and patience.

Pray, man. Pray hard. Remember that God still loves you, and nothing you do is unforgivable in God’s eyes if you repent. You sound like you’re well on your way down that path. This may not turn out the way you want it to, but it will turn out the way God intends it, even if you don’t see it. Remember that any judgments she or others cast on you are earthly judgments, not God’s judgment. Earthly judgment will hurt like hell, but it won’t damn you for eternity.

I’m proud of you for owning up to your mistake. I hope that in time she is too. I’ll be praying for you.

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Thank you for your response. I’m overwhelmed by the love and wisdom you all have shared. I just found this site today and am so grateful for you all. I will be praying hard. I know God is in control. It’s not fun that way all the time. But whatever happens is for the best. Thank you for the perspective. God bless.

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Keep us in the loop how it goes with your fiance. Know that this is a place to safely process your emotions or loneliness or tragedies that may or may not come out of this. You’re not alone, and even though we can’t shoulder the consequence with you, we can shoulder the emotions and process it together :+1:

Thank you for your compassion for my story as well. I am currently in counseling (and loving it) and in a recovery group at puredesire.org – it is a life changing experience and a powerful community tackling sexual addiction with me. My wife’s been aware of my struggle since before we were married, and she has been a champion of my recovery our whole relationship. I am blessed to have her support in pursuing wholeness. I’ve tried and tried again in recovery, and it’s been a long road…fortunately in this season, I’m starting to see fruit. God promised me four years ago He’d lead me out, and I believe this is the year I’ll be freed. It’s been a process…man, a long, brutal process. But I am seeing why God took me on this path, and how He’s transformed me and my heart in ways that I wouldn’t have cared to be transformed had it not been attached to my recovery. I am thankful for His perseverance with me in the journey and for His promises and love and faithfulness to me.

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You made one mistake and you said it only lasted 10 minutes. I’m not sure telling your fiancee right now is a good idea, but don’t take my word for it. Just my own gut feeling

You know, I’ve thought about that. Last night didn’t work because she had a really tough day at work and was just completely stressed out. I felt like it wasn’t the right time and that she needed peace at that time. Not me to come in and add to it and probably cause her to have an anxiety attack. I had this debate with myself when I cheated on my ex. And I ended up telling her even though we didn’t stay to work things out. If I don’t tell my fiancée, the one who I truly love, doesn’t this show that I respected my ex more than her? Can I truly work on myself and our relationship if I’m hiding this?

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She knows I struggle with sexual addiction already. She doesn’t think it’s this bad though. But she knows that’s my weakness going into our marriage. I just feel like I’m deceiving her if I go to say our vows and we get married and then I tell her. I think she’d feel worse.

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When I told my wife about kissing that other girl at the party over a year prior, one of her questions was why didn’t I tell her sooner? You’re right, to tell your wife after you’re married would be like trapping her before giving her the bad news. It is, like you said, deceitful.

You’re also right about picking the right time though. You were right not to dump that on her after a stressful day. My advice would be to pick a day that you’re reasonably sure you’ll both have some brain power left. Give her a heads up of half a day, or at the evening of the previous night, that you have something you need to sit down and discuss with her. That will put her in the mindset for a serious discussion. If she asks what it’s about, just tell her it’s best to discuss it in person and leave it at that.

Thank you sir. I will take your advice.

I think it’s very important to not just tell her but to be able to also tell her you’re getting counselling for it as soon as you can. Show her that you’ve researched where you can get this. There is online counselling available and I know Heart Support have a link for a free trial of this…

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I feel you find peace and you can put your past behind you.

I hope the conversation went well with your fiancée but just know whatever her decision is to respect it. When you cheat on someone you really lose a lot in your relationship, most of all trust and once that trust is gone, it’s really hard to get it back but not impossible. I hope you continue going to counseling for this since it sounds like a pattern. All I can say is learn from your actions and do the best that you can to get through it and to grow as a person. Good luck!

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