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I Lost My Husband to a Cult

Article Index
I Lost My Husband to a Cult
A Perfect Marriage
High On Intimacy
Where are we heading?
On To Advanced Training
The Belly of the Beast
Picking Up the Pieces
How Lifespring Works

A PERFECT MARRIAGE

*All names changed to protect privacy

After five years of marriage, Tim* and I thought we had it all: a loving relationship, a newborn son, a 3-year-old daughter, and a house overlooking the ocean in southern California. Tim's accounting business was expanding; I was close to my goal of playing professional golf.

But our marriage wasn't perfect. After the birth of our son, we no longer seemed able to find time just to be together, to feel close, and Tim had become increasingly testy and demanding. He'd explode at the sight of toys on the floor, or unfolded laundry. "Clean the house or get a job," he snapped one day. "Why should I work SO YOU can play golf?" Neither of us was happy, and we realized we needed help. Three months after our son was born, we went to a marriage counselor.

The counselor said Tim needed to lower his expectations, and I needed to spend more time on myself. But we could rebuild our intimacy, he said, if we learned to talk openly and listen without judgment. Thanks to his suggestions, our marriage did seem to improve, and we rediscovered how much we still enjoyed each other.

Then one day, after two months of counseling, Tim announced he wasn't going to our weekly appointment. I was shocked. Surely he couldn't be giving up so soon. Did he want to try another therapist?

"No, I'm more interested in a workshop Dave and Lisa took called Lifespring," Tim said. "Dave says it improves relationships---cuts through the garbage in four days. In the long run it'll save us money and time."

Dave and Lisa, old friends in Los Angeles, had always seemed happily married. Surely they didn't need a couples workshop. I called Lisa.

"Dave and I are fine," she said, "but we know there's more to life than what we have now. At Lifespring everyone talks about how they feel alive and powerful. We want to feel like that. 11

That night Tim and I decided to try Lifespring. It was great to see him interested in something other than material success. As an accountant, his world had always been one of facts and rules. He used to tell me that I was good for him because I lived by intuition and spontaneity. I was touched that he wanted to work on himself and our marriage.

We went to the Lifespring center the next day. The* office, a half hour away, was staffed by conservatively dressed men and women who welcomed us warmly, and eagerly offered to sign us up for four days of Basic Training-at $400 each. Dave had warned us about the cost, and though Tim didn't seem to mind, I still thought it was outrageous. Seeing my hesitation, the recruiters assured us that after the workshop we were guaranteed to know ourselves better--or receive a refund. How could we lose? Tim cleared his work schedule for the next four days; I arranged for the kids to stay with my in-laws. We relished the idea of having time to ourselves.



 
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