I actually first heard of Naked Truth Project when the idea was birthed and started to come into being. What I didn’t realise at the time is that one day I would need their resources to help rescue me from drowning and, as a consequence, save my marriage.
In May 2018 my world imploded with a cataclysmic bang. My relationship with my husband was strained to say the least and his relationship with our children was even more so. I spent a few weeks fighting him to see that things were bad, and believing the lie from him that the problem was because of old hurts I had not dealt with, and then came the kicker.
Not only had pornography made its way back into our marriage, it turned out it had never really left; it had just hidden.
I was completely and utterly devastated, with no idea where to turn, when my husband suggested I could look at the brand new partner’s programme from Naked Truth, ‘Whole Hearted’. I resisted briefly, thinking it was him who had the problem and why did I need education around the subject when he just needed to sort himself out. I couldn’t have been more wrong and could never have predicted the journey that would follow, the tribe that I would grow around me, and the beauty that could grow from such devastation.
The Wholehearted Recovery Programme has quite literally thrown me a lifeline. At a time when I couldn’t even trust myself or my own feelings, I found a group of women who had been there, were there, have lived a similar and often more soul-destroying reality than me and who had survived. Their marriages sometimes survived and sometimes didn’t. The one thing that stood out in every story is that we were all there for each other and very quickly came to love each other fiercely.
Over the last year I have been on a roller coaster of breathtaking highs, and devastatingly dark lows as my husband and I have battled first against each other and then side by side against this addiction. I have learnt to call it what it is, after all who wants to admit they are married to an addict? I have become comfortable with terminology and open conversation around sexual relationships and desires that would previously have left me running for the hills blushing from head to toe. I have a whole new vocabulary that at first was like a foreign language and had to be explained and taught to me as such. I have an education about a topic that I never asked for or wanted.
But there is so much more than that. I have a support network that is so much more than anything I could have hoped and dreamed of, a group of people who ‘get it’ without long, detailed explanations.
I have friends all over the world, that I know I can call on and in a heartbeat they will be wrapping their arms around me, always virtually and sometimes even physically. These ladies have seen me at my worst, broken what felt like beyond repair, emotionally wrecked, hopeless, afraid and seriously questioning my faith. But through hard work, education, coaching, learning and support they have also seen me bloom. They have watched from the sidelines as I have learned to trust myself and believe in myself and my instincts again. They have cheered me on as I have found my voice and been strong enough to use it. They have witnessed a change in me and pointed it out when I couldn’t see it myself, but they have also seen my marriage and relationship transformed.
The Naked Truth Recovery team have created a beautiful thing, and I will be eternally grateful that they walked this journey before us. It might seem a strange thing to be thankful for, but without their journey, I would almost certainly have drowned in my own grief and devastation. I have made friends who will be friends for life and a support network that help me to stand tall, despite my surroundings.
I am privileged to stand on the shoulders of giants in this arena, and to do it with a beautiful tribe surrounding me who, despite all of our battle scars, still stand tall and united.