Donny's Ramblings


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When I Let It Hit Me, Folks, This Is Gonna Be Incredibly Hard

In response to a comment left on Craig Gross‘ Facebook page by Michelle Truax, one of the key players on the XXXChurch Team, I just wrote:

I have decided not to deal with it right now. I’ve laughed today, read books, talked to Ted Haggard a few times, talked to my Pastor about the book we’re writing together… but I have pushed this out of my mind ’cause I do not know how to deal with it. Anybody who has met Steve cannot help but like, even love, him. I don’t want to accept this yet. I have a feeling it’s gonna hit hard in a few days.

Truth is, the most horrible thing that has happened in my life since I gave it to God happened yesterday, but I learned of it this morning.  If you follow me on Twitter you’d never know it.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I don’t wanna freakin’ deal with this.  One of the speakers on the XXXChurch team ended his own life yesterday, and I don’t know how to handle it.  His name is Steve Glisan.  You can watch his story by clicking here.  I loved Steve, but I never told him so.

I first met Steve at a Porn and Pancakes event in Colorado.  Because of the places it took him, his porn addiction resulted in a loss of his wife and three kids.  After years apart, he found help and his marriage was restored.  That, my friends, is why he spoke for XXXChurch.  The story of Steve and Ann Glisan was powerful.

I’m told he recently gave in to temptation and slipped up again… that he decided to handle the guilt by removing himself from this planet.  After all the heartache his family went through before, I cannot understand this decision.  Surely he had to know this was the worst possible choice?  I guess not.  Steve, who regularly blogged for XXXChurch under the name Steve G, is gone.  I am so angry with him, yet so sad at the same time.  I am not good handling this sort of thing.  I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know what to say.  I feel freakin’ useless.  There is nothing I can say to ease the pain his family must feel.  There is nothing I can say or do to deal with the way I feel, either.


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If Porn’s a Problem In Your Married Life Read This

I’ve been fortunate enough to speak to more than 4 million people now.  I take it much more seriously today than I did when I first started in December 2006.  You see, back then it was all about “me”.   I was telling “my” story.  What God had done in “my” life.

But traveling and meeting you all has a way of changing things.  My perspective is much different today than it was then.  That’s part of the reason I don’t write as much as I used to write:  the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t really know all that much about – well – anything.  I’ve silenced myself for the most part because God has taken the ego down a notch or two and made it very clear that this ministry isn’t about me at all.  As cliche and “Christianese” as it sounds, my story is really God’s story.  What has happened in my life is literally an illustration that He can use ALL things for his good.

When a person has a purpose, when a person has a vision, when a person has a cause, well it’s just impossible to NOT be changed.  The Bible tells us that where there is no vision, God’s people perish.  I can tell you this:  the stories you all share with me strengthen me, teach me, make me see PURPOSE and give me a vision.  Thank you for reading.  Thank you for emailing me.  Thank you for shaking my hand after I’ve come down off that stage where I stood in front of you sharing my “God story”.  If you struggle with porn or are affected by someone who does, my prayer for you is that you, too, will catch a vision and see the purpose for your own life.  You might be struggling now, but once you’ve conquered this issue God is going to use you to help someone else do the same.  That’s a big responsibility.  Please choose to live up to it. And please, I beg you, continue praying that I will be given the strength to live up to MY responsibilities as well.

Lots of people email me.  Sometimes I have something to offer.  Many times I don’t.  I’m not a counselor, and am in no position to give advice for many cases.

It’s particularly hard for me to answer emails from women who are in pain due to a husband’s porn addiction.  I don’t know what to say most of the time, and I also feel so much guilt for contributing to that cycle.  When these emails come in, I’ll sometimes ask Wendy for feedback.  Wendy, as you know if you’ve been reading for any length of time, is the amazing wife God gave me, the mother of my son,  whose heart I ripped to shreds with my lies, cheating, and involvement in porn production.  After all I’ve done to her, especially because of all I’ve done to her, even though my choices have resulted in her no longer holding the title of “wife”, I’m honored to call her my friend.  A very good friend.

When a woman recently emailed me asking for help… well, I’ll just let you read Amy’s email to me, followed by Wendy’s response.  The first time I read Wendy’s letter in church it helped save a marriage.  I hope you find it useful, too.  But first, the plea for help from “Amy”:

Hello Donny,

I first want to say that I just found your blog yesterday and I sat and wept at my kitchen table as I began to read the entries, one at a time from start to finish. You have chosen such an amazing journey and I have NO doubt that God will continue to bless you and your family as he has already started to do.

I’m not really sure where to begin so I guess I will just start here…I found out a little over a year ago that my husband is addicted to pornography. It is so overwhelming for me as I am just starting to learn how deep and dark these wounds are for a man, his wife, and their marriage. I struggle everyday with the fear of what’s next.

I know my God protects me. I know who I am in his eyes. But as confident as I am in that…my husbands addiction is stripping away all that I am. I feel that I am alone in this fight because I have not really found anyone who understands or can guide and support me in the decisions and choices I need to make in order to cope with this reality.

I want to be the wife that I feel in my heart that God has called me to be…I just have no idea how right now. I have been touched by your entries about your ex wife Wendy and all that the two of you have been through. She seems like a woman who has been through it and come out in a stronger place because of it.

My question is this…does she have a blog or email that she makes public? Does she, in any way, support wives who are dealing with this issue? I am really just looking for any kind of support from women that I can get. I want to know there are strong women praying for my husband and I. I want to know there is someone I can turn to when the heart ache and sadness seem like the only things that are certain in my life.

If she has nothing like this, do you have any suggestions for a wife who needs support? It seems like the wives are a lost casualty in this war…there isn’t much out there for us that I have found so far. We are from the (location removed) area so maybe you know of some things that I don’t.

I appreciate all the help you can give.

Keep up the fight…you are truly a blessed and courageous man of God.

Thanks for your honesty.

It’s been more than 7 years since Wendy and I divorced, but I think you can see the emotions still present when you read her response, which I’m about to share with you.  Pay attention to capitalization, multiple question marks, and exclamation marks.  PLEASE note that Wendy realizes this probably isn’t what God would want her to say.  But her words brought a man to repentance before God after he heard me read this aloud.  He’d heard similar things from his wife, but said hearing it from someone else brought it home for him.  This letter has had an impact on many people.  I’ve had numerous requests for a copy of it to be emailed to them.  I decided to share it with all of you.

Here is Wendy’s reply:

Donny,

You don’t understand….It hurts SOOOO much just to read this letter….and all I feel like I could give her is to say run…run RUN! Run away, far away. It’s adultery in the most painful form. It’s ongoing because it’s not a “real” affair. So it’s like trying to work through a marriage one sided. While he’s having this continual affair, you’re trying to work through it…how is that fair?? Tell me….HOW IS THAT OKAY?

How can I try to give women tools to work through it? How can I tell them to try to rebuild something with someone who is not doing their part? It’s so one sided. All I would want to tell these women is to leave. And, that isn’t right, God needs to deal with each situation on an individual basis and they need to hear from Him what they’re supposed to do.

How can their marriage survive???? To me, it can’t. If he doesn’t quit it will tear them apart. How come this should be her burden is what I wonder? The very thing he’s stabbing her heart with and tearing their family apart with and their children or whomever, is the very thing she’s supposed to help him through? As “christians” is that what we are supposed to do? Stand by his side and be a faithful warrior on his behalf when he is so selfish he would sacrifice his wife and children for photographs and fantasy???

I truly don’t even know. I don’t get it….. i just don’t get it. Her statement “my husbands addiction is stripping away all that I am” and “it seems like wives are a lost casualty in this war” kill me. Because I know. For me, divorcing you and getting out of all of it, was freedom, I didn’t have to continue being torn apart. I could get strong and rebuild my life. When you’re in it, your heart is ripped to shreds over and over and over again, I don’t know how to counsel someone who is going through that.

I’m angry and I have no understanding for this level of selfishness. Who knows, maybe if wives left their husbands men would see reality. The reality of the fact that it’s an affair and their wives shouldn’t have to put up with the abuse just like they shouldn’t have to put up with it if he were physically abusing them. How is it different? Emotional wounds hurt more than physical ones. Let him have his porn because that is obviously what he wants and he can’t have both.

I just don’t have the answers at this point, read in the OT when Israel was unfaithful to God, read what He did and see if you get any insight.

Wendy

Ladies, if you’ve been hurt by your husband’s porn use, you’re not alone. Your hurt is NOT unique. Porn IS an affair.

Men, what are we doing to the women God’s given us to protect, love and cherish? HE has given us his daughters. Like any good daddy, He wants us to treat them right. Can we do so? Can we show that with our actions?

And those girls on that DVD or computer screen? Yeah, they’re God’s daughters too. Can we please start treating them like the Princesses they are?