Cease Repining!

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Cease Repining!

My husband has been attending the Wednesday 12 Step Program, and I have been attending the weekend support program.

Today he just wasn’t getting ready to go. Five minutes before it started I finally asked, “Did you remember group tonight?”

“Yes” he replied, “I’m on my way now.”

Should I have just let him skip it? How much good can it do if HE doesn’t want to go?

I really want to believe that if he just gets there – even if he is late – there is still a chance some good may come of it. There have been Sundays in my life where I didn’t feel like going to church. Sometimes, though, if I just drug myself in the door it was very worth it. I want to believe group is like that.

Tonight, however, I feel like he only goes to group because I want him to. After he left I checked the app on my phone to see if he was really there. I know! I know! In the words of Jack Nickolson, “Where’s the trust?”

My husband was at group (flood of guilt). Wait. He also left work two hours early? What is THAT about? (Sigh!)

My husband is a new employee that is walking a fine line, partly because of his addiction. Unnecessary time off is a point of contention between us because he needs to show his boss he is committed to employment, and he needs to demonstrate to his family that providing for them is a priority.

Which is worse… He didn’t mention he was taking time off without pay again because he didn’t want me to be frustrated… Or he didn’t plan on taking time off, but had a crappy day and left work early so he could have an extended late porn lunch with his iPad…

Now is the time for me to think positive! Even though he hasn’t mentioned his afternoon yet, maybe something legitimate came up. Besides, group is almost over, and I need a cool head before he comes home.

“Be still, sad heart! and cease repining; Behind the clouds is the sun still shining.”

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If I Was Only…

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My immediate reaction to my husband’s pornography addiction was a grocery list of self-improvements. If I was only thinner, younger, prettier, tanner…

One day in a torrent of tears I told him exactly how I felt. Somewhere in the middle I got to the ‘If I Was Only’ list. He grasped my hands, called me ‘his love’, said I was beautiful, and promised that I didn’t need to be any of those things. I looked at his big blue eyes, listened to his silver tongue, and didn’t believe a single word.

Some days later as I was thinking about his addiction I thought about alcoholics. I had no experience with my husband’s type of addiction, but alcoholics I had known.

I worked with Jon. He was the oldest partner and owned the largest share of the firm. Jon’s nose was always red. He kept his favorite brandy in a decanter in his office, and frequently shared it with clients. Many times by the end of the day Jon should not have been driving home.

One day, shortly before five, a client came in with a victory gift; a bottle of Chivas Regal Royal Salute. Although Jon had consumed plenty that day, he opened the bottle, and made a toast. You could say that was the polite thing to do. Jon, however, needed the smallest of reasons for another drink. It didn’t need to be his favorite. It didn’t matter if he had just finished three or five. It didn’t need to be expensive. It just needed to be alcohol.

For the first time in weeks I began to see. My husband’s addiction really was just about him. I could lose weight, and go tanning, and get a facelift, and sex him every morning and night… but that doesn’t mean if he has a difficult work day he won’t whip out his smart phone at lunch. Even if I was a porn star, he wouldn’t be loyal to my material only.

My husband’s battle is not his own. As his helpmate I will love him and help him in any way I can. I will do that by being me.

THE SECRET

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Most married people are not naïve enough to believe they know everything about their spouse. It is easy, however, to believe you know your partner pretty well. Shocking doesn’t adequately describe the compression in your chest when you discover your spouse has a secret, a BIG secret, that is affecting his spirituality, employment, children and you.

My husband’s secret is pornography… an addiction that has been festering in him for over twenty-five years.

This is the first marital problem we’ve encountered where I didn’t feel like I could call my best friend or older sister for advice. It isn’t really my secret to tell. Although I would much rather counsel with people I love, I will respect my husband’s privacy until he is willing to share.

In the meantime, I will attend the 12-step support group, and if I still need to get things off my chest, I will blog. If just one thing I say helps just one other person, then maybe THE SECRET will also bring some good.