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‘I married a sex addict’: Minister’s wife recounts ups, downs of journey

Image from www.ultimateescape.org

In 2006, The Christian Chronicle featured the story of Steve Holladay’s escape from sexual addiction.
Five years later, Holladay remains committed to Ultimate Escape, an Allen, Texas-based ministry that aims to help teens and young adults develop a healthy vision of sexuality and overcome addictive sexual behaviors.
Holly Holladay, the ministry’s co-founder and Steve’s wife, recently wrote a five-part series of blog posts on the couple’s journey:

The moment was surreal. Conversation flowed freely and laughter filled the air as Steve and I shared an order of nachos. A last minute date to a movie preview was followed by an impromptu late-night stop at Fuzzy’s Taco. As we recounted the movie we laughed so loud that other people began to stare. We were thoroughly enjoying each other’s company! In that moment, I couldn’t imagine being happier. For a moment I thought I was going to cry.
So what’s the big deal? Don’t all married couples enjoy times like this? I can’t answer for everyone, but I know that I didn’t. Stilted date nights and unmet expectations were the norm. Like being stranded on an island unnoticed by yet another passing ship, the lack of intimacy in my marriage left me disappointed and dejected. I craved a relationship where scenes like the one above occurred.
How did my marriage get from where it was to where it is? With a lot of hard work and determination! And, a lot of God!

Read the full series of blog posts.

  • Feedback
    A story of hope. A challenge to offer openness, compassion, forgiveness and restoration to those who struggle.
    Roberta Lifsey Gustafson
    June, 6 2011

    Steve and Holly are breaking out of the mold and revealing themselves in a courageous and dangerous way at the same time. I am the director of James Group Ministries and have spoken at an event with Steve before. I remember having a booth at ACU with a good friend of mine I used to work with and marveling at the lack of interest in our booth by the general population at the event. Of course this was a decade ago and the lectureship was our first and addiction in the church was taken as an affront to the church. I edited a book of testimonies of Christian men’s stories of sex addiction and it’s the hardest book to sell I’ve ever seen. My good friend and I decided to unman the booth to see if people would come to see what we had to offer. Sure enough some people started to pick up some of the material and look at it. As soon as they realized what it was, the first thing they would do is look both ways to see if anyone saw them at our booth, and then they dropped what ever was in their hand and briskly walk away. There have been pioneers within the *********** like Don Umphrey,Galon Jones, Deon Fair, Andy Brundige, Webb Chapel Church, Greenville Oaks, Prestoncrest, Roseville Church in Detroit, and on and on. These are the courageous.James Group Ministries has been confronting addiction since 1998 with the support of all mentioned. Thanks to Steve and Holly for standing up and letting all of us see just how powerfull God really is!!
    Steve Steele
    James Group Ministries
    Steve Steele
    June, 6 2011

    I’m glad people are getting help but it disturbs me a bit that sin is more and more being called “addictions”. I guess in our present American culture, political correctness even enters the Bride of Christ. It used to be that, especially during a Gospel Meeting, people with sexual and all sorts of sins were cut in the heart by the Bible-inspired sermons, and went forward in tears asking for prayers. Excuse me, but even though I studied counseling at ACU and Tarleton State, and know from experience that counseling can help with all sorts of problems and bad habits, such as addictions– with christians, it’s a SPIRITUAL PROBLEM, and should be treated as such! Let’s stop reading all those secular self-help books and get back to the true, Holy-Spirit-inspired Word on all sins and the antidotes for sinful behavior: Jesus to adulterous woman: “Go and sin no more”.
    Jo Byrd Huddleston
    June, 6 2011

    Ms. Huddleston – I don’t know if you read the blog series or not. Nowhere in the series is sin excused nor are self-help books (secular or otherwise) mentioned. Yes, the root cause of any addiction is sin and sin is a spiritual problem. However, that was not to point of the series.
    For too many years, Christians have suffered in silence. Struggling with sexual sin has left too many people living in shame, secrecy and guilt. With the divorce rate as high as it is, it’s past time for open dialogue regarding how this issues is affecting marriages and therefore families.
    And that was the purpose of the series. To provide honest, open discussion and at the same time share how God’s abundant grace is able to heal and restore that which is broken.
    Holly Holladay
    June, 6 2011

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