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Hi Ella, I miss you today. I thank you for all the knowledge, wisdom, and hope that you poured into me/us. Just to see the success that you and Jeff have had is hopeful to me. We will put one foot in front of the other, using the tools we have, and hopefully with him making the right choices. One day at a time.
There is hope. I sincerely doubted it a year ago when my world came crashing down. That day of discovery is still on my mind frequently, though less sting is attached to it. I have witnessed what I call a miracle in the life of my husband since our Intensive with Jeff and Ella last year. My husband is a new man. He still struggles…don’t get me wrong and I still struggle at times as well. We have been using every tool that Jeff and Ella have given us on a daily basis and my husband has gone through EMDR to deal with his childhood sexual abuse. I am so proud of the man he has become. He has been expressing his emotions and is making a concerted effort to allay my feelings of unease when triggers reach out and grab me by the throat. Our Intensive revealed much more than I ever could have even imagined and was incredibly sickening to not only to me; but, to my husband as well. To have to regurgitate and taste all of those events, both past and very recent, was beyond what he said he could have ever imagined. I can tell you that without that process and the everlasting grace of God we would not be anywhere close to where we are right now. I can tell you that beyond a shadow of a doubt that we would be divorced. I asked him to leave when I discovered all of the lies, the manipulation and his activities. I would do the same thing all over again. I do know that my conscience/intuition is not always a good guide and that it can lead me back to the deep dark recesses of the pain of betrayal without just cause and cannot always be trusted; but, it has a purpose. My mind still does that to me occasionally, though not nearly as often. I am now able to stop, pray and calm myself and go on….unlike after discovery where I would totally go insane and off the deep end whenever I was triggered (and it didn’t take much) and rightly so. My husband is very patient with me when I tell him I am being triggered now. He asks if there is anything that he can do and he actually just holds me. God love his heart. He is beginning to actually listen to me. I do not know what the future holds; but, I do know that God creates miracles every single day and I am holding onto hope.
My husband has made so many changes. He is working hard on his sobriety. He has made his SA meetings a priority and has become an active member in our church. I am very proud of the man he is striving to be.
Having just returned from an intensive/full disclosure, I thought I’d put a few thoughts for newcomers who are headed that way. I’m really grateful we did it. Jeff and Ella are both amazing. My husband was very impacted by it. The disclosure didn’t have a lot of new information, just missing pieces that FINALLY dug the truth out of my husband. He would NEVER have been honest without the Hutchinsons and the polygraph. Without honesty there was NO HOPE for us going forward—I am 100% convinced of that. Hope was the biggest outcome for me. We also gained lots of great tools—especially my husband. Thank you all for your support and stories. It really helped me.
It’s the day after our intensive, and I wanted to check in and share some thoughts and feelings while they are still fresh. I am very mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted, but I would say it’s in a good way. As far as disclosure, I was very anxious going into it, but ended up learning very little new information. Instead it was more the sheer amount of pornography my husband was using and the frequency. I felt relief that I finally knew the truth. Overall the intensive was a powerful experience, and we learned a lot about each other. We now have a plan going forward that I am cautiously optimistic about. He knows what I need, and now it is up to him if he is going to choose his addiction or our marriage. I have hope for us.
Every day as I see my husbands hard work and effort he’s putting into his recovery and all the positive changes I become more grateful and in love with him. He has truly proven the live he has for me and our family. He has begun to trust me and allow me into his deepest areas of shame.
I went through this whole “process” just about 3 years ago when I found out my husband was a sex addict. At the time, we were married 20 years, 3 kids, and I was completely blindsided. And, my husband after trickling information and the intensive, did just about everything under the sun, you name it, he did it!! I was quite angry and had quite a mouth on me , even with my husband... Having said all that, my husband worked the program, still does...and now now my husband is almost 3 years sober, our marriage is stronger than ever..don’t get me wrong it takes a lot of work, a lot of tears but it is possible, and I was very unsure I would ever feel “normal” again.. honestly I rarely think about it anymore..and back in the beginning if you were to have said that to me I would of said you were nuts!!
You two are special people...God sent! Thank you two sooo much!!
You guys mean the world to us. Thank you.
What I found most helpful about the intensive was the support I received after finding out the new information from my husband and the real life experience they had to relate to us. Jeff could really get through to my husband because he’s been there!!
The polygraph forced complete honesty on my part. It was the first time in a very long time that I was honest. It feels good to finally not have a large secret that I was hiding from my spouse.
I look back at our intensive as a “fast track” to healing. It was the starting point for our recovery. While many people talk about going though disclosure with a polygraph, it seems to end there for many. The intensive allowed us to have a next step after disclosure. Once everything was exposed, we were able to begin to make plans as to how we would handle our future. The intensive gave us a plan for recovery that we use as a continuous tool for recovery and healing. Jeff and Ella were the perfect therapists for us as they could relate to our situation, used Biblically based principles with a Christ-centered focus, and provided us hope as they reflected on their own experience.
I felt so comfortable that I could talk about anything and not get judged, just get healthy feedback. This was probably the best thing that I’ve ever done and I am eternally thankful to my wife for finding this. Jeff and Ella have an authentic approach. Honestly, for me the only draw back was the drive. Yeah, it was that good.
It’s been a little over a year since we were in TX for our 3 Day Intensive. We thought you might like an update. Things are going well for us. Ron (name changed) has been clean and Sarah (name changed) has been working through triggers to resolve hurt & anger. Our relationship is stronger than we’ve ever known it to be in all aspects: emotionally, mentally, and physically. Thank you both for the work you do. Your 3 Day Intensive saved us a lot of grief should we have continued to face addiction on our own. We were stuck and you helped us to unglue to restore health to our union. Both of us are better for the time we spent in Texas and the hard work we’ve done together since last summer. We appreciate you as we pray to God that your relationship and work remain strong.
Going into the intensive, I was scared about whether or not our marriage would survive and whether or not the problems that existed in our marriage could be overcome. Jeff and Ella gave us a jump start on dealing with the infidelity in our marriage and finding ways to show love and support to each other, not only through strategic counseling, but also through compassionate understanding of the problems that existed in our relationship and personal life. We both came away from the intensive feeling like our marriage could survive and that although there would be a long road of recovery ahead, that with God, our marriage could become better and that both of us could grow along the way. Although our marriage continues to have daily struggles, we are much better equipped for healing and recovery as a result of the experience both of us had at the intensive and continue to have through continued support from Jeff and Ella. I would highly recommend the intensive to those struggling to find healing in their marriage as a result of infidelities and to those that are SERIOUS about making a positive life change that would benefit not only yourself, but your spouse as well. Jeff and Ella, thank you for your ministry to those that are walking the road that the two of you have painfully and thankfully walked. Although you may not always feel that you are making a difference, please know that you are making a profound impact on my life and my wife’s life and that God is working through the two of you. Thank you for your investment in the healing process and for helping to interject healing into marriages that suffer from painful addictions.
Dear Ella and Jeff,It is with extreme gratitude that this letter is written. January 2013, my husband and I sat with you for a 3-day intensive. It was a very dark time in our marriage as I had learned a year prior that my husband was struggling with sexual addiction. We had tried a number of other intensives, yet we had not found treatment that had been effective in helping my husband achieve long term sobriety and that was sensitive to the extreme trauma I was experiencing. I had begun to wonder if our marriage would survive.I am so happy to say we left the intensive feeling heard and understood for the first time, and had a glimmer of hope! It has now been almost 3 1/2 years and we are so appreciative of the opportunity we have had to sit under your counsel, encouragement, and guidance. I often share with others how critical our work with you and Jeff has been in our recovery journey and that it has likely been what has helped create the greatest impact for significant change.Many thanks for the huge investment you have both made in our lives to turn the tide, and are continuing to make in the field of sexual addiction!
I seriously can’t thank you guys enough for all you did for us through the intensive. I’m fairly certain that if we hadn’t attended there would be no hope for us long term. You both are incredibly gifted and it is evident that you truly care.
Hey Jeff, Thank you for your time, talent, and heart this week. I don’t think I can’t overstate how much this is going to do for me, and for my marriage.
My husband and I just recently had an Intensive with Ella and Jeff. I would highly recommend this to any couple that share in the same struggles as my husband and myself. Ella and Jeff truly provided me with a life changing experience. Their tenderness, warmth, compassion, and faith made the experience more at ease. The entire process left me feeling energized and hopeful in a time when some may feel or believe all hope is lost.
The group has helped me cope and heal after the revelation of my husband’s sex addiction. I found comfort and insight from other women in the group. Ella is an amazing counselor. Her wisdom has been such a great blessing to me.
I was losing hope that my marriage could ever be restored. When I found out about my husband’s sex addiction, I was angry, confused, and very hurt. I was ready to let go but a friend who went through an Intensive lead by Ella and Jeff encouraged me to give it a try. It was the best thing we have ever done for each other and our marriage! I cannot find the words to explain how much it changed our hearts and how hopeful my husband and I are about the future. Ella and Jeff helped us process our feelings and gave us tools to help us start rebuilding a better marriage. For any couple who wants to find healing from sex addiction, going through this Intensive is the best place to start.
Thank you again so much for a really incredible and valuable experience with you and Jeff. I feel so grateful and blessed for all that you and Jeff helped us to understand, to process, and to work through. Thank you for helping me to learn how to advocate for myself, to have expectations, and to set boundaries. I am still marinating in the experience and processing all that I learned/experienced/brought to light. It has only been a few days so I don’t want to be over confident, but I am very cautiously optimistic. As of right now, I have a new husband and a new marriage. Thanks to you and Jeff for getting through to my husband. He seems to be getting it. He hasn’t been this respectful, thoughtful, supportive and considerate in years. He is respecting my boundaries, following through on his recovery commitments and appreciating everything I do. I know it is just the beginning, and there is so much more work to do, but I am so very appreciative :) Thank you doesn’t really cover it— but thank you very much!
Hi Ella- We want to thank you and Jeff again for a life changing experience this week. Words can’t express the gratitude we have for you both and for the lives and marriages you are impacting for the kingdom of God. You are both being obedient to a calling that we know is difficult and dark on most days, but you are bringing light and hope to many.
As the intensive started, Jeff prayed for us. I could tell by his prayer that this was going to be a very spiritual experience. Jeff and Ella had been here before and that was so soothing to my soul. I felt no condemnation from them, no judgment on how we got here, just love, warmth, and encouragement. As we went through the weekend there were times I felt intense anger and pain. I was allowed to fully feel all of that, not being stifled at all. Although my husband did pass the polygraph, he had revealed more secrets leading up to it, which proved he was still lying to me. I was again shocked and in disbelief. Each time I would look at either Ella or Jeff, comforting looks of understanding would allow me to be heard through my pain.As the weekend we on, they asked me to do some assignments that I did not want to do, nor did I think were going to be beneficial. I just knew my husband and I would not respond like most couple’s would to the assignments. There were things that I didn’t think I needed to go through because I had already been in recovery so long that I had already dealt with them. Each time, I was proven wrong. It really showed me Ella and Jeff’s expertise in dealing with couples and sex addiction. They knew exactly what we needed, even if we didn’t. Some of the activities were just plain fun! We laughed and enjoyed much of the weekend, as they helped us find the most important key to the intensive....HOPE. Not hope that we read out of a book and can apply to our marriage. Not hope that we found through a talk or a podcast that helped us see what future we could have together. Not hope from a therapist that barely knows us and tells us if we do this, this, then this, we will make it. BUT hope from someone who has been there, who now knows every single dark ugly detail about my husband’s acting out, who, despite that, was cheering us on as he went to the poly graph knowing the freedom he would feel after removing every single secrete and passing the test. Someone who spent so much time with us that they understood what made us tick as individuals and as a couple, who weren’t afraid to tell us what we needed to hear, who knew how to facilitate us to help us heal from our past wounds and move toward a future that promises honesty, fullness, and ensures love. That is the kind of HOPE that they gave us. Since the intensive, things are not as they were before I found out about the addiction, nor are they exactly like the day before the intensive. It is better! There is a huge difference as to how we view each other, how we handle each other, and how we love each other. I understand how my husband’s addiction affects him personally on a daily basis, and he understands how what he did affects me moment by moment. His love and concern for me and how I am feeling in any given moment has been priceless, and knowing how to deal with his triggers myself makes me so much more confident in our marriage’s future. I feel like everything that needed to be said was said, everything that needed to be dealt with was dealt with. Everything is out of the shadows now! I know ALL his acting out behaviors, I know the reality of my marriage for the past 9 years, I know he has no more secrets...what a relief!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am at peace with those things now. Yes, we still have to be in recovery and yes, we still deal with triggers and thoughts, but they are not paralyzing anymore because we know the TRUTH and the TRUTH really does set you free!
Yesterday, sitting here, when Jeff was explaining how a sex addict struggles to express his emotions, I had a God moment. My husband has tried to explain this to me, but I never got it before. I believe God led me to Ella and Jeff. I think if we had gotten with the wrong counselor it could have gone terribly. I am terrified of men, but I am very comfortable with Jeff.
Thank you to you & Jeff again for everthing. So far, John has been a different person these past couple of days (even comforting me at 4am) and we did our first weekly check-in and Intimacy exercise last night... it was AWESOME and we even kept talking after we were done. I feel like we actually have a chance now... like we were both woken up from a horrible nightmare and God has given us the grace for a second chance at love and marriage with each other. While it’s still going to be a long uphill battle, we now have the tools to be successful. That would never have been possible if it weren’t for God’s perfect timing and us doing the 3-day intensive with you & Jeff.”
Comfort Christian Counseling