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The Founders' Story

Jerri's Story

My story of recovery and redemption started approximately 12 years ago. I found myself in a situation that I didn’t think I was at all prepared for. We had been married about 12 years, and for the most part it was quite happy. But having said that, I could tell that there was something really off in our relationship and I just could not pinpoint what that was. I often felt that there was a darkness in my home that just seemed to linger.

With quite a bit of minimization, Mark finally admitted to me that he had been addicted to pornography since his early adolescent years. I knew absolutely nothing about addiction, the addiction cycle, or that it was about avoiding, numbing out and escaping pain. Therefore, my response was easy: just stop it! (Didn’t I tell you I was clueless?) But it was that first awkward conversation that started us down a path of recovery, and I was willing to take this journey with him. I was very clear that I would not stay married to a man that was in active addiction, but I was willing to learn, get some therapy, and I just knew that we could get this problem behind us.

In the beginning, Mark was “reluctantly willing” about professional help. We tried some outpatient programs, individual, and couples’ therapy. But the problem still existed. Not knowing what I know now about addiction, I thought if someone was willing, they would just stop acting out. I didn’t know about the brain science, the underlying traumas, and the other things that go into addiction. After several years of outpatient therapy, I was ready to call it quits. There just wasn’t as much progress as I was expecting, and I just didn’t feel like I could keep going this way.

We both knew he needed more help than just weekly therapy, so we got some assistance in searching for an inpatient treatment center for pornography and sex addiction. He chose to go get the help he needed, while I held the fort down at home. We hoped by taking this step, we could save our marriage – and his life.

I continued to get my own therapy, my own support group, and continued to learn not just about him and his addiction, but about myself as well. When he was ready to leave the inpatient program, we discussed what was next in our lives. Our finances had been blown to smithereens, but we were still optimistic in both of our recoveries that it could be OK. I remember him saying to me on the way home, I know what I want to do with the rest of my life. I told him I was all ears let’s hear it. He said I want to start a residential treatment center in St. George, Utah for pornography and sex addiction. My response was “I’m in!”

Just a little reminder: we had no money! No means to get this off the ground or even start. But what we did have was a lot of faith, hope, and intention. We knew that this is what we were supposed to do, and even with challenges and hurdles, nothing was going to stand in our way.

Miracles continued to appear in our lives, and we started Desert Solace in 2011. Against all odds, we were able to realize our vision. Because both of us have been there, me from a wife’s perspective and him as the one really suffering with this addiction, we feel we have a special love for those individuals and families that are suffering. We’ve been there, and we get it. The perfect staff almost fell into our laps, the perfect center appeared, with 5 acres for horses. I believe our program is unlike any other program in the world. We love the men that come to our center unconditionally, and to see them connect with who they really are and find that light within themselves is the most rewarding part of what we do.

I’m a wife that was ready to be done. I was going to divorce Mark. I was in such a dark place as was my husband. As he continued to thrive in his recovery and myself in mine, our marriage has a bond and a connection that is deeper than anything we could have ever imagined. Going through this experience has actually been a blessing because our marriage is so strong, and we have been able to assist other families find their own healing.

I am always happy to talk to any wife of someone that is struggling or a mother whose son may be struggling. I can promise you that there is hope, there is healing, and there is recovery. We provide the place, and the tools, and they can take the time and do the work to reconnect to who they really are so that they can be the man they are intended to be.

The Co-owners' Story

My name is Brandon and that’s my wife, Kiley, next to me in the picture. I started out my career as an attorney, after seven years of school and a ton of student loan debt. Kiley graduated from cosmetology school and worked as a hair stylist to support me through law school. She retired 10 years ago to be a full-time mom to our amazing kids.

We moved to Las Vegas for law school 14 years ago. During that time, we had four kids and I started my own law firm. Then I decided that being a lawyer sucks. Some people love it. I am not one of those people.

After being miserable in my career for ten years, Kiley and I decided it was time to shut down the law firm and go into something that would be more fulfilling. Both of us are passionate about addiction recovery because we struggled with my own addiction for years. I finally went through recovery myself, and we decided to help others who are struggling with addictions. We also want to help those dealing with betrayal trauma from experiences with addicted loved ones.

So we approached our friends, Mark and Jerri, who founded the Desert Solace inpatient addiction recovery center in St. George, Utah about starting a career in the addiction recovery world. They told us that they’ve wanted to start an outpatient program for years. So we offered to team up with them to do it! We’ve since merged the inpatient and outpatient programs.

It was probably the scariest decision I’ve ever made, and the second scariest decision Kiley has made. (The first was when she decided to marry me.) But we’re so grateful for this opportunity to help improve people’s lives. 

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