Every Heart Restored: A Wife's Guide to Healing in the Wake of a Husband's Sexual Sin

Every Heart Restored: A Wife's Guide to Healing in the Wake of a Husband's Sexual Sin


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307459428
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/20/2010
Series: Every Man Series
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 219,046
Product dimensions: 8.06(w) x 5.42(h) x 0.77(d)

About the Author

Brenda Stoeker is a registered nurse, mother of four, and seasoned marriage teacher with life experience in rebuilding a broken marriage. Fred Stoeker is founder and chairman of Living True Ministries, coauthor of the Every Man series, and a conference speaker who has counseled hundreds of men and married couples. Stephen Arterburn is founder and chairman of New Life Clinics, host of the daily New Life Live! national radio program, creator of the Women of Faith Conferences, and the author of more than sixty books. Mike Yorkey is the author, coauthor, or general editor of several books for men, including Daddy’s Home and The Christian Dad Answer Book.

Read an Excerpt

by Stephen Arterburn
I am so glad you found this book. It could change your life and your love forever.
If you are a woman in a relationship with a man who is struggling with sexual sin, this book can help you in ways you never imagined. You will be amazed that there are so many other women who share your experience. These women have been through that same dreadful period of sensing something in a relationship was not right, and at the same time being unable to identify exactly what was wrong or who was at fault. They have felt the same searing anger that arose when you realized you were being betrayed. They have experienced the same feelings of inadequacy and the false belief that, If I had just been more of a woman, he would have remained faithful and pure. They have been blamed for his problems and carried the weight of his shame.
If you have been through what these women have been through, this book will help you see yourself, your circumstances, and your husband’s problem in a different light.
Every Heart Restored will guide you from dark despair to new hope, from resentful bitterness to emotional freedom, from protective detachment to the possibility of a deep connection with your husband. The transition and transformation won’t be instant, nor will they be easy. Restoration is going to take some hard work on your part, at a time when you may feel you have worked hard enough and are ready to give up. But if you follow the path laid out here by Fred and Brenda Stoeker, your heart can be restored—even if your husband is unwilling to make changes. You will be able to live in freedom even if he chooses to remain in bondage to sexual sin.
Not every relationship can be salvaged, and perhaps restoration and freedom seem impossible to you now. But there is hope. God can use this book as a tool to restore your heart.
If you have felt lost and confused through this journey with your husband and his battle with sexual sin, you are not alone. A friend of mine has an extremely bright little boy named Carter. At the age of four, he and his mother were in a discussion about why Jesus came to die on a cross for us. Carter, recalling Christ’s last words, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34), very confidently told his mom that Jesus died because, “We don’t know what we are doing down here.” I don’t think it has ever been said better. We don’t know what we are doing down here. And when it comes to sex, that could not be more true.
Part of the problem for men can be traced back to 1953 when Hugh Hefner began saturating the world with his philosophy, which was articulated in his Playboy magazine. Hefner talked about a new view of sex without any boundaries or shame attached. He told us men that if we used the pornography he wanted to sell to us, it would make us more sophisticated, more sexual, and much better lovers. Millions of men bought into that philosophy and made Heffner (and other pornographers like him) rich.
The problem was that Hugh Hefner lied. Then later, with the establishment and accessibility of the Internet, we have seen the true result of pornography: It has not made men more sexually capable and competent; it has made them impotent. Pornography has objectified women and turned the hearts of men away from them. All over the world men have failed to perform sexually unless they are stimulated with pornography. And beautiful women have been destroyed when a man has to pull out a Playboy or turn on a video and look at it while he has sex with his wife.
Not only has pornography caused men to be weak sexual partners, it has disconnected them from those they love. This disconnection is often the first step toward a painful divorce and the end of what God intended to be great. We simply don’t know what we are doing down here.
But now, men are starting to wake up to the Playboy-porn lie and get their acts together, resulting in hope for marriage and hope for discouraged and persevering wives. There is a counter sexual revolution going on, and men are turning away from their sexual sins and back to their wives for all their sexual gratification. Men are aware that their decision to do so does not heal the hurt and resentments that have built up over the years. And that is where this book comes in.
For some time now my team and I have been conducting seminars for men struggling with sexual integrity. (You can find out more about The Every Man’s Battle Workshop at NewLife.com.) The results of those seminars have been amazing Lives have been changed, marriages saved, and hearts restored. Men from all walks of life—pastors, truck drivers, entertainers, single fathers, old and young—have straggled into the sessions, burdened with the guilt and shame of their past misdeeds. They have often come kicking and screaming, not wanting to be there, not wanting to pay for the workshop, and not wanting to change. But even though they have shown up under the worst of circumstances and the weakest of motivations, miraculously we have seen dramatic transformation, repentance, and healing.
The last day of each workshop is filled with open confession and relentless tears as men turn from God-defying pasts to become God’s men.
As these transformed men have returned home to bruised women like you, we have realized the possibility of a relational disaster—the reunion is usually fraught with difficulties even though he has obtained help for his wandering eyes and heart. He has returned intent on giving his wife full attention and wanting a deeper connection. He has now committed to receive all of his sexual gratification from her. But just when he is wanting her the most, his wife often is starting to resent him the most—as the full reality of his problem becomes evident to her. He wants to confess past sins that are not quickly or easily forgiven. So at the height of her anger, he wants to be with her in a new way and experience intimacy that perhaps the couple has never known before. He wants her to trust him, while her stagnant heart wonders if he can ever be trusted and if she can ever fully love him again. The aftermath of sexual sin is a tough place for both husband and wife.
There is yet another element of despair for many women whose husbands have been involved in sexual sin. After reading Every Man’s Battle or attending the workshop, his transformation begins and is often noticeable to others. People start to admire him for the changes he has made and the new way of living he has so bravely embraced. Ironically, the husband who betrayed his wife becomes a moral hero and is often sought out for counsel. For years she struggled, persevered, and served through his sin. But now, within weeks, all of that appears forgotten as he becomes the man of the hour. Her frustration with this new role can lead to her abandonment of the relationship at a time when it has the greatest opportunity to thrive.
If you have experienced any of these emotional and spiritual dilemmas, I know your pain is real and deep. Now here is a resource for you or any woman who has sacrificed for a man who has been sexually unfaithful. Whether it was Internet porn, compulsive masturbation, or an actual physical affair, this book will help you understand him. It will help you understand why he did what he did and show you that you were not responsible for it, even though he might have tried to convince you otherwise.
In no way do you have ultimate responsibility for what he did to you and your marriage. But no one is perfect—especially in difficult circumstances such as those you have been through. The tough reality is that you might have contributed to problems in your marriage (not caused them, but made some contribution to them). For numerous reasons, you might not have been available to him in the ways he thought you should be. You might have withheld sex from him altogether. While that did not help the situation, it did not force him to be unfaithful. That was his choice. Now, both of you have choices, and Every Heart Restored will help you make the best ones with the greatest likelihood for success.
I close this foreword with the words of Jesus. In John 5 we find the story of Jesus at the pool of Bethesda with a man who had been seeking healing there for thirty-eight years. Jesus asked the man a simple question that all of us must answer as well: “Do you want to get well?” (verse 6). Healing is a choice, a choice we hope you make as you read this wonderful book.

Table of Contents

Foreword Stephen Arterburn ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction Brenda Stoeker 1

Part I In the Wake of Betrayal 7

1 Brenda's Story 9

2 Valerie's Story 14

3 Crushed and Angry 21

4 What Loss? 29

5 All About Those Differences 37

Part II The Hardwired Differences of Male Sexuality 47

6 The Eyes Have It 49

7 Sex-His Language of Intimacy 62

8 How Does He Feel When You Say No? 70

9 Chilling Sex 76

10 Mary's Story 83

Part III The Softwired Differences in Male Sexuality 93

11 The Church Has Let Us Down 95

12 Male Wounds 104

13 Self-Inflicted Wounds 114

14 What Now? 124

Part IV A Rebuilder's Reflection 135

15 Under-the-Radar Mission 137

16 Helpmate 147

17 Dressings and Iron 156

Part V What's Normal? 163

18 Your Lagging Heart 165

19 A Merle Hay Road Moment 175

20 Moving Even Closer 187

21 The Long and Winding Road 201

22 Lagging Sexuality 210

23 Normal Sexuality 222

24 What If Change Never Comes? 234

Conclusion: The Possibilities 251


Questions You May Have About This Workbook 265

1 Facing Betrayal 269

2 Fighting the Shame 277

3 Discovering Your Beauty 285

4 Understanding His Addiction I 293

5 Understanding His Addiction II 301

6 Loving the Man You Married 311

7 Rebuilding Trust 319

8 Drawing on Hope 327

Don't Keep It to Yourself 337

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Every Heart Restored: A Wife's Guide to Healing in the Wake of a Husband's Sexual Sin 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is not helpful in restoring a hurting wife's heart after sexual betrayal and does not offer Biblically sound advice . It offers a quick guide approach to just getting over it at best and does not promote authentic healing from sexual betrayal. The male author (the primary voice) condemns wives for not being sexually available to their husbands 24/7 and quotes partial scripture to make his point that it is sinful for a wife to not completely give herself to her husband because her body belongs to him. He says that a man has no other place to turn to other than porn, masturbation, affairs, etc. if his wife is not sexually available to him whenever he wants--the author makes it sound as if it is the wife's fault that her husband has fallen into sexual sin and as if a man will die if he is denied sex. He fails to mention that scripture additionally says that a husband's body completely belongs to the wife which means that giving himself sexually to anything other than his wife is sinful--his sinful choice, not his wife's. Sexual addiction goes much further than a wife having or not having sex with her husband. Most sexual addictions are ongoing and most probably began long before the marriage--it is an unhealthy coping mechanism which stems from very deep pain. A wife is not the cause of her husband's decisions and behaviors. We are all responsible for our own choices. From personal experience, my husband's acting out had nothing to with me not offering sex. It was quite the opposite really--my husband did not want to have sex with me at all because he was incapable of being intimate with me (a real human) due to his ongoing addiction to pornography (virtual)--an addiction that began when he was 12. This was obviously very hurtful to me. But it is also obvious that his addiction began long before me, and because I was never "unavailable" to him, his acting out couldn’t possibly be my fault. This book, written from the perspective of one man, assumes that every man stuggling with sexual addiction needs to have sex all the time--but in my case, and in many others, this is not true. The Bible commands us all to practice self-control--period. A man recovering from sexual sin needs to learn that it IS possible to practice self control in the sexuality department.. After a painful, earth-shattering betrayal, a woman should be given adequate time to heal before she is expected to sexual with her husband again--when and if she is ready to move forward in that sense. This book suggests the opposite however, and I would NOT recommend this book for any woman who is trying to heal from sexual betrayal. This is a process that cannot be forced or rushed. One book that I do recommend is "Shattered Vows: Hope and Healing for Women Who Have Been Sexually Betrayed" by Debra Laaser, and there is also a workbook that is meant for group work but offers practical steps to healing that is called "A L.i.f.e. Guide for Spouses" by Melissa Haas. Healing from sexual betrayal is a very painful process, and only God can completely heal our hearts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
IF you (the woman) entered marriage without any sexual scars of your own, and IF you're pretty clueless as to how the male mind works regarding sexual stimulation, then this book might be helpful. But, as one who's hurting both from my husband's problem (which I'm all too familiar with) and my own past, wading through all the horror stories of what various men have done just set my mind off on negative tracks. I slogged through the first two or three chapters, and thought, 'this is not helpful ' so I skipped ahead thinking I'd get to the 'now this is what you do about it' part, but it was more of the same. I would not recommend this book to most women.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you have been damaged by your husband's sexual sin, this book is worth the read. If nothing else, it shows you that your reactions and feelings are normal. It addresses that intense anger that you feel at being betrayed. It deals with the huge hit your self-esteem takes when your husband is involved in unfaithfulness of any kind. It points the way to reconciliation, if appropriate. It is Biblically sound, and easy to understand. Most importantly, it clearly shows how visual and mental unfaithfulness is adultery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are in a marriage in which your husband is struggling with sexual sin, this book provides an excellent guide on how to navigate through the muddy waters of addiction. The stories shared reassure you that you are not alone in this secretive world. Unlike other addictions, sexual sin is by far the most hidden, the hardest to detect and often devasting. Notwithstanding your husbands' sins, this book, unapologetically confronts both the husband and the wife's roles in dealing with this addiction. Unfortunately, my marriage did not have a happy ending and this book addresses what do do in those circumstances in which your husband refuses to fully deal with his addiction and submit his ways to the Lord. There should be a book that delves deeper into how to get your heart restored when your marriage is not.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book, but its missing one key thing. It is missing the idea of forgiveness. A person must learn to forgive themselves first before they allow themselves to forgive others. That's because in situations like this, many people blame themselves first for anything and everything that that other people do. In this case, some women feel that they aren't good enough because their men still feel a need to look else where to be happy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After being awakened to my boyfriend's sexual sin, I was given this book by a friend who was helping us salvage our relationship. This book gave me hope and helped me understand what goes on in the guy's mind. It can be a huge help to any women who has been hurt in the worst way possible. I highly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book.... I cannot say enough good about it! This book has opened my eyes to a ton of stuff that I thought I knew, but really I had no clue! This is a must read for anyone... not just women... in the wake of sexual sin. There is advie, and healing in this book. I now will be getting the whole series from this/these authors!!! How wonderful to have someone who has experienced sexual sin first hand, help those of us stuggling with just getting through.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be very helpful. Fred and his wife Brenda take you through steps of not only understanding a mans thought process; but brenda also helps with emphathy and direction. I recommend this book to someone who has already started the forgiving/healing process and thier husband has came to his wife in conviction .
Guest More than 1 year ago
The authors give you incredible insight on how a wife could deal with the war of sexual sin in her husband. They discuss why men think the way they do about sex, what we can do to begin healing in our hearts, and what our jobs are as wives- submissive in Godly things, but also a hand in loving correction to your husband as his helpmate. Not only will you find insight, but comfort in knowing that you are not to blame, and you are definetely not suffering alone. There are many others out there with the same problem, and as this book explains through both a man's and woman's views that the husband is also suffering in his sin. Read this and begin healing and rebuilding your marriage.