What I Know for Sure

“Healing sexual addiction is not just about stopping behaviors or living in silence and shame the rest of your life. It’s about acknowledging your story, rewriting the chapters that led to growing away from God’s truth about you, and learning to live loved and to love others well.”

– Debbie Laaser

     Here’s What I Know for Sure. Nearly all truths are complicated. They require a both/and statement. Here is a truth about the early years of our marriage: life together with our children was good in so many ways and it also wasn’t good because we were living with secrets and unhealthy coping habits. Secrets, lying, or hiding creates distance in a marriage. We were slowly growing apart and we didn’t always recognize it because there was too much that was good.

Hurt and Healing

     When the secrets (of sexual acting out/addiction) were exposed, we were met with Godly people who led us both on the path toward healing. What I Know for Sure is wise help delivered quickly is the best kind. Mark and I came to believe God’s hand was surely in the “Crash and Burn” of his addiction as we witnessed the quality and timing of help He provided. And this was over 30 years ago when professionals barely knew about sexual addiction or how to counsel.

     One of the most important things our therapist said to Mark in his initial meeting was, You must have been in a lot of pain to do the things you did. There was no blaming or shaming. There was understanding and help. What I know for Sure is those are the elements necessary to to facilitate healing.

What I Know for Sure is the foundation of transformation for Mark and I was built on these Christian principles:

  • God loves me. I was uniquely created with passion and purpose.

  • In our fallen world, we are confronted by painful experiences and we fall away from this truth.

  • In our pain, we find ways to comfort ourselves. And in the process, those behaviors often hurt ourselves and others. They are sinful.

  • Jesus died for these sins and forgives us our trespasses. And because of His sacrifice, we can have hope for a newly resurrected life.

  • Healing comes from finding the root causes of pain and replacing unhealthy coping with healthy community, self-care, and service to God.

  • Healing also means facing the consequences of the pain we caused.

  • God will not waste our pain. He will use it to grow us individually, relationally, and spiritually.

More Than Mark and I

     Faithful & True was built on these Godly truths. Healing sexual addiction isn’t just about stopping behaviors. It’s not about living in silence and shame the rest of your life. It’s about acknowledging your story, rewriting the chapters that led to growing away from God’s truth about you, and learning to live loved and to love others well.

     Mark and I founded Faithful & True and we are not Faithful & True. Faithful & True is not just Mark and Debbie Laaser. Our mission is to practice love the way we believe Jesus did. It’s helping hurt people find the root causes of pain so they can change. It’s caring about every person led to us. One of the greatest gifts we can all give Mark is to continue the counseling center he birthed out of his life-long passion to have God use his story.

     Our staff at Faithful & True have been trained and practice in the way Mark and I did. They are experts in the field of sexual addiction. Most have lived through their own stories of addiction and now are open to share their stories as well. They are “faithful and true” to God’s principles of forgiveness, second chances, the preciousness of all lives, and the hope that in all things, God will work for good.

Carrying on the Legacy

     I am devoted to lead Faithful & True into the future with the support of our amazing team. While we will all miss Mark’s presence, we have all sat under his words of humor and wisdom for many years. They are ingrained in our brains. Our counseling, podcasts, and workshops will be filled with all the wisdom and encouragement that has always been there. Our team is ready to serve you!

     What I Know for Sure is our counseling center is bustling with love and desire to help people live more abundantly in God’s love. I know the outpouring of love I have experienced this month and the tributes so many have shared in honor of Mark are happening because we chose to live out of our story—both the happy chapters and the difficult ones. We have trusted God would teach us something in our trauma and He would use us for His glorious purposes. And so He has…

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12

– Originally written shortly after Mark’s passing in fall 2019 –

Author

Debbie Laaser, M.A., LMFT, Faithful & True Co-Founder


Debbie Laaser – M.A., LMFT
Co-founder, Director of Faithful & True

Hi! My name is Debbie Laaser, beloved wife of Mark Laaser, his partner in life for nearly 50 years and recovery for over 30 years until his passing in 2019. I am the co-founder of Faithful & True with Mark and a licensed marriage and family therapist. I have counseled couples with Mark, women individually, and facilitated therapy groups for wives for over 20 years. I now devote my time to leading Faithful & True, counseling spouses who have been relationally betrayed, and facilitating our Women’s Journey Workshops. I am the author of Shattered Vows and co-author with Mark of Seven Desires and A Toolkit for Growth. My research project, “Posttraumatic Growth in Relationally Betrayed Women” is also published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. I love spending time with my three adult children, their spouses (and fiancé), and four grandchildren. I enjoy watching sports, playing golf and tennis, traveling, learning new things, reading, calligraphy, writing, birdwatching…life that comes from following Threads of Curiosity!

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