The Wright’s ~ a couple from Florida
Antoine – I grew up in Texas with two older brothers. I played sports in high school and college. My dad was an alcoholic and my mom was raised us like a single parent, even though my parents were married. I learned a lot of good lessons from my mom. But from my dad, I learned a lot of bad things and what not to do. My dad was a womanizer and he lived his life for himself. Most of the traits that I hated in him I picked up. I realized later in life that I easily became what I hated. I had multiple girlfriends and became sexually active at a very young age. All that junk and more that I carried over from those years and brought it right into my marriage. I was of the mindset that if I was dating someone and it did not work out, I just left them and moved on to someone else. This is how I learned to cope with life. I never learned how to be a man or learn how to face the issues in my life.
I was working in corporate America and because of my job, I traveled a lot. I lived a double life. I came home and tried to be a good dad and spend time with my wife, but when I was on the road, it was as if I wasn’t married. I would go out with escorts/prostitutes and everywhere I traveled I would surf the Internet looking for more. I never once thought about the consequences of what I was doing.
One time while on a trip together with my family, I got on the internet in the lobby of the hotel and found an escort. I left Keisha at the hotel and went and met the prostitute. Months later, this prostitute and her pimp tracked me down and showed up at my house on my doorstep. I was out of town at the time and my wife was home alone with the kids. This was a big wake up call for me as it showed me that it wasn’t just about me and my hidden sin. It was through my sin that I was putting my family in danger. This was hard for me because in spite of my behavior, I wanted to be a protector for my family. This put my family at risk and in jeopardy. At that point, I was helpless. My sin had been exposed and caught up with me. It took several days for my wife to actually believe that I had done these things. It also took me two days to finally talk to Keisha and expose the magnitude of the sin I had been doing. That was the hardest thing I ever did. I knew that by sharing everything that I was risking everything. I assumed I would not have a wife by the end of the day. I was now facing the fact that if I’m going to break this cycle of sin in my family and change my kids outcome so they don’t turn out like me, I had to take a stand.
Keisha – Antoine was working out of town and the kids and I went with him for the week. Usually he works by himself, but this time we were all able to go. I was new to homeschooling and it was my first year with both of our children. I don’t think the timing was a coincidence. I was at a good place. I was seeking God as a mother, wife, and person. I really felt I was in a good spot. It happened the night before our first official day of homeschooling. My good friend called and said she needed to drop some coupons off at our house. The kids had gone to bed in order to get a good start for our first official day of homeschooling. I remember Antoine calling and I told him that my friend was at the door dropping some stuff off for me. I remember the doorbell ringing and thinking that was kind of odd. Normally my friend just walks in. I opened the door and it was a man at my door. I felt very weird because I was standing there in my pajamas. I remember he was very vivid and direct about Antoine owing him money. I had no idea what he was talking about. He asked me if my husband was home. Everything inside of me knew not to answer the question. But I said, “No.” Then the lady, who was with him, gave me a cell phone for me to read the text messages on it. These were text messages between her and my husband. My brain was taking pictures of the words as I read them. Still, I was not connecting the dots. Finally, I asked them to leave. I really did not understand what had taken place. Antoine had called several times while I was talking to them because he knew they were at our home. Within three days, I was in my first group counseling session. I told the lady who is working with me “I haven’t left God, God has left me. He left me on that porch that night.” I was seeking Him and how could He let this happen to me. I remember the lady getting on her knees in front of me and telling me that God had not left me. She told me that every angel in heaven stood on the porch and protected me. That was a big turning point for me.
When we came to WIT, I was very angry. Antoine had gone to 4 Days 2 Freedom and I saw that his whole life had begun to change. I knew he was different. I was filled with so much bitterness and I remember saying, “Great! You have slept with all these women and now you have found Jesus and that is supposed to help us.” I was very bitter and I remember telling Jenny, “This isn’t going to work. I am coming to the WIT Intensive as a last ditch effort, but this is not going to work.” Well, that was just over a year ago. It does not have to take forever. If you are willing to work at it, it does work, and you can come back from this. What Antoine I have now is real. What we had before was only real to me. Now, when we are good, we are good! We still have our ups and downs, but we are willing to do whatever it takes. Our counselors told us it would take 3 to 5 years for us to recover and get better. I refused to believe that. I knew I could not hang on for 3 to 5 years or he would be here for another 3 to 5 years. But I now know, if you are willing to do it for yourself and for your own personal salvation it will work. If you are doing it for anybody else it’s not that I happen.
Antoine – When everything else came out we immediately sought help and tried to find answers for our problem. We found the counselor and I went to SA meetings. She said we can divorce at any time, but she was going to give me six months. I did 90 meetings in 90 days. It was the beginning of my eyes being opened to my addictive behavior and to see the rut I was in. I always believed that I could never be free. I was caught up in my sin and I believed I was an addict and I can never change. I tried to work hard to become a different person. I saw that through God I can change. I didn’t have any idea when my wife’s anger would subside and whether we were going to be able to make it, but I knew I was taking steps in the right direction. The easiest thing for me to do would’ve been to run one way and she go the other. It was a hard decision but at the same time I stepped through it and Keisha stood by me.
Keisha – God has a purpose and all things work in His time. I remember that my home used to be spotless before this homeschooling saga. Since I was new to homeschooling, my friend came over to help me at my house. One day she came across a book that I was reading. She didn’t say anything to me. A while later she called me to ask how it was going. How do you just tell a friend you are having a bad day because your husband was sleeping with prostitutes and you’re struggling? But we are very close friends so one day when talking to her, I told her that Antoine and I were not doing well. She replied to me and said “Oh! Have you tried a marriage conference?” I told her there is no marriage conference that is going to help this. Then she said she had heard about a couple who speak on issues like this and she didn’t even know if they do anything anymore. She remembered that their names were Paul and Jenny Speed. So I looked them up while is on the phone and I thought, “Oh my! They only live two hours from me.” My friend said that I should give them a call. So I called Paul up. I remember reading Paul’s testimony and saying to myself this is bigger than porn. But inside I was thinking that if Antoine’s issue would have been porn, I don’t know if I would need anything. Paul told me that I was in a perfect storm for the WIT Intensive. It had been about four months and I was still mad as hell. He said he realizes that I probably don’t feel that way, but he is completely confident that we can be restored and reconciled. He recommended that Antoine go to 4 Days 2 Freedom and that we then come to the marriage intensive. And it all started with my friend recommending them.
Antoine – This process was an eye-opening experience because I now see that the things my dad did that hurt me, I now am repeating that cycle. I realize that my sin has hurt my wife and my kids also. But I can say today, that through coming clean, I am free and it is rewarding. I can now see the cycle breaking. I can see my wife and kids getting better because of how I am now living my life. I feel very good about the steps I’ve taken and what I’m doing. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you are willing to do the work and do the material and allow your wife to be your battle partner, you can have a great marriage.
Keisha – You can change your family tree. When Antoine came clean, one of our steps was to be open and honest with our children. When we did that our 10-year-old she said to us, “That’s it? That’s all there is?” I looked at her and said, “Honey, you’re not connecting the dots. You surely don’t understand.” She said, “No Mom! I understand what daddy did. We thought you were getting a divorce.” They would rather take their father knowing his sin, and for us to work this out, than to grow up in a broken home because of sin. So you really can change your family tree!