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.