Our Counseling Department comes under the leadership of Pastor Ed Buch, who holds a Bachelor’s degree from Millersville University and a Master’s degree in Religion from Evangelical Theological Seminary. Before coming to Pure Life Ministries, he worked as a counselor in a nationally known drug & alcohol addiction ministry for several years.
All of Pure Life Ministries’ counselors have gone through the biblical counseling training and certification program of the International Association of Biblical Counselors. Furthermore, each of the wives counselors is a graduate of our Wives Program, and knows firsthand what it is like to have a husband in sexual sin.
What can I do to help my husband while he's going through a Pure Life Ministries counseling program?
We encourage wives to pray for their husbands and believe the Lord to do a deep and lasting work within them. We also strongly encourage wives to go through the Wives program as their husbands are undergoing counseling. One of the most important elements of a strong marriage is for each spouse to view their marriage biblically—not as individuals seeking their own personal advantage, but as a “one flesh” unit going through this difficult time together. One of the many benefits to the Wives Program is that both spouses are able to participate in a similar curriculum, thus partnering in this new course in life. This is the sort of thing that builds a lasting marriage.
How much does it cost to enroll in the Wives Program?
We have done our utmost to make our program affordable to anyone in need of help. The cost for our Wives Program is $800 per person. The fee includes all costs for homework materials and weekly counseling sessions. You may choose to pay your program fees up front, or in two payments of $400. Those who prepay the entire amount will receive a $50 discount. Additionally, wives of current Residential Program students will receive a $440 discount off their total program fees.
Must I pay the full cost before I start counseling?
Send in the payment form with your completed application. Applications cannot be processed without payment. Individuals can get started with an initial payment of $400 and remit the remaining $400 on or before the 5th week of the program. For those who pay the entire amount in advance, the cost is $750 (savings of $50).
Wives of men in the Residential Program pay a $90 materials fee and $30 fee per session, for 12 weekly sessions (total of $360). They may get started with a $120 payment.
What does the Wives Program entail?
Our 12-week Wives Program is uniquely tailored to address the often overlooked struggles of a wife whose husband is involved in sexual sin. The core curriculum includes Kathy Gallagher’s insightful book, When His Secret Sin Breaks Your Heart, along with complementary Bible study materials and audio messages. In addition to the daily Bible study and weekly homework materials, you will have a weekly phone call with your counselor. Our wives’ counselors are women who have been in your shoes and come through to a place of victory. We believe they are uniquely equipped to guide you in applying the Word of God to your personal circumstances. The primary goal of the Wives Program is to help you deal with the very real and powerful emotions arising from your husband’s sin in a biblical manner, and to help you see the Lord’s hand in the situation so you can cooperate with His plan for you.
Do you offer counseling to girlfriends or fiancées?
Yes. We are able to counsel girlfriends and fiancées, as well as wives, in our Wives Program. Although there is a core curriculum in place, the materials are always tailored to meet the specific needs and circumstances of the woman enrolled in the program. In fact, that’s the reason we don’t recommend trying to use our materials as a self-help curriculum: Nothing can take the place of receiving personal guidance and biblical counsel from a woman who knows what it’s like to have sexual sin devastate a relationship.
Why do I need counseling? It's my husband's sexual sin that is causing problems in our marriage.
This is one of the common objections that we have encountered over the years. It is true that the husband’s sexual addiction is what has introduced a myriad of problems into the marriage. But that isn’t the whole story.
It is almost always the case that men who come to us to overcome sexual addiction have a much greater issue that needs to be addressed. It is the lifestyle they have been leading that has fostered their indulgence in sexual sin. Most couples who participate in our counseling programs experience spiritual breakthroughs that completely change their values and priorities in life. The new godly lifestyle they enter into not only allows the husband to maintain freedom from sexual sin but also builds love and commitment in the marriage.
In addition, being involved in the counseling process is also a real blessing for the wife who has lost trust for her husband. She can hear for herself from the staff about how her husband is doing. It is also wonderful for our counseling staff to be able to work with both husband and wife so that some of the inevitable marital difficulties which arise from sexual sin can be resolved.
Do you provide marriage counseling for a couple going through your program?
While we do not provide formal marriage counseling, we strongly encourage wives to take advantage of our Wives Program. The impact of sexual sin has invariably introduced so much pain and strong emotions that it is best, for a season, to help men and their wives work through their individual issues separately. By helping each of them develop godly attitudes and habits, they will be much better prepared to then address marital issues. When God has been given His rightful place in their hearts, lives and marriage, problems that once seemed insurmountable become much more manageable, perhaps even without the need of formal marriage counseling. Should issues remain, or arise after the husband has returned home, it is our hope that the couple can find additional counseling help through their church or a biblical counselor in their area.
I have lost my love and respect for my husband. Should I just divorce him or should I go through this process with him in the hopes that those feelings return?
It should be remembered that, while Jesus made an allowance for divorce in certain situations, the Bible makes it clear that God hates divorce. (Malachi 2:16) It is definitely not His first choice.
Kathy Gallagher also lost her feelings for Steve when he was in his sexual sin. In spite of that, when God put it on her heart to return to him, she obeyed. But it wasn’t easy at first. She has stated that she was so repulsed by him that she would cringe when he touched her. But God was doing a work in her husband and as she saw him respond to the Lord in humility, her admiration for him began to return.
Of course, Hollywood has promoted the idea that romantic feelings are the most important aspect of marriage. In fact, according to them, it is better to carry on an adulterous affair or leave one’s spouse than to remain in a marriage lacking “romance.” How far differently the kingdom of God views love and marriage, where lifelong commitment and the selfless love of God are promoted.
These are the very kinds of real issues our counselors have experienced themselves. Their primary consideration is not to push an agenda but to help the wife find God’s will in such matters. Here's an interview with Kathy Gallagher talking about her own struggles with this.
Can I participate in another counseling program while going through the Wives Program?
It is a policy of Pure Life Ministries not to accept individuals into our programs who plan to be involved in counseling from other sources. There are a number of good reasons for this, but suffice it to say that such an arrangement would cause a great deal of confusion. Ongoing participation in a group for wives that offers mutual support is permissible.
Do you take medical insurance?
Unfortunately we are not able to offer this service. It is possible that some insurance companies may cover our services, but we do not get involved in the reimbursement process. That would be between you and your insurance company.
If I pay the counseling fees in advance, will I get a refund if I do not complete the program?
When you sign up for our Wives Program, we assign you one of our counselors for 12 weeks. We’re sorry but our fees for that counselor cannot be refunded nor prorated should you fail to complete the program.
What kind of follow up is there by PLM after the program is completed?
We encourage graduates of all of our programs to attend our Annual Conference and to maintain periodic contact with their counselor after completing their program.
What kind of accountability should a couple or individual maintain once they have completed the program?
We encourage men who complete our programs to stay accountable with another godly man who’s willing to assist him for a period of time, especially with any struggles with lust and temptation. We also urge husbands to be accountable with their wives, especially in areas such as finances, computer and cell phone usage, and time away from home.
Individuals and couples are encouraged to make sure their home is a sanctuary—a place where Jesus would feel welcome and comfortable. If your home needs a good purging, then don’t let anything stop you! After God has done a deep work in your heart, you and your spouse should cut off every avenue of possible temptation in your home. This may include certain magazines, inappropriate movies or TV shows and even the television set if need-be! You should also make sure every computer, cell phone and any other wi-fi enabled device in your possession is equipped with a reliable internet filter.