HONESTY:

Standard

Step 1:

Part of my frustration is my husband is still on step one in the addiction recovery program… Which consists of two parts:

  1. Admit that you are powerless to overcome pornography.
  2. Admit that your life has become unmanageable.

It begs the question… Does he really think he can stop any time he likes? Or is his life just not ‘unmanageable’ or ‘miserable’ enough for him to make a change?

image

I can see how unmanageable his life is. His family relationships are in shambles. He doesn’t have any close friends. He can’t advocate for himself at work. Some of his children are also addicted to pornography.

Since our recent ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting where I pointed out that he had been lying to me for a long, looong, looooong time about his sobriety date, I don’t believe a single word he says about his addiction recovery success… and because I do not have a good poker face… he knows it.imageI swear I am not getting in his face and pointing my finger between his eyes. I usually just listen and say nothing. Nevertheless my unbelief is just as offensive to him 😦

I really believe that part of the recovery process for the addict is recognizing he has been a JERK and a LIAR and the people who love them have the right to be a little skeptical until they can begin to see a change…

Gratitude

Standard

IMG_1091.PNG
Recently I considered auditioning for the next NyQuil commercial. My immune system’s preparation was allowing me to experience a tenacious virus that has left me in a horizontal state all weekend.

My sweet husband has been fabulous; cooking, fetching beverages, doing dishes. He even ran to the store for hummus and Emergen-C.

He also sat next to me on the couch, stroked my unwashed hair and ignored my protests to quarantine me. Why would he expose himself to the plague any more than necessary?

Because in spite of his addiction, he loves me. He knows when I am very sick physical touch is EXACTLY what I want.

One thing that has been difficult about the discovery of his porn addiction is my love language is physical touch. Initially, when I was hurting, the last thing I wanted was to be touched in any way. Thankfully as I have begun to heal we have discovered a new intimacy. Part of my healing was his understanding that physical touch is just as important when we are not making love.

I am so thankful I am married to a man who is willing to be sick next week so I can feel less miserable now. Next week I will be a great nurse too.

IMG_1090.PNG

New Life & Dead End

Standard

When most of us find out our partner has a porn addiction it is immediately clear the life we shared is not what we thought it was. Soon thereafter we ask the next question, “What will our life be now?”IMG_1085.PNG

When I first discovered my husbands dirty little secret, when I was overcome with anger and bitterness, I didn’t know what I wanted for my new life. I didn’t know if he belonged in it.

An addict in recovery is carving out a new life every minute of every day… but a life with limitations and a few dead ends:

IMG_1086.PNG

Meetings: Addiction recovery meetings are WONDERFUL… necessary in my opinion… but reality is the time commitment is substantial… especially when the addict is struggling and attends daily. My husband and I have missed a lot of social gatherings for group meetings.

Family: Not everyone agrees with the increasing number of studies around the globe on the dangers of pornography. Extended family functions become very unpleasant when in front of everyone siblings encourage an addict to, “ditch the conservative religious freak spouse because there is nothing wrong with you.”

There is definitely a learning curve for the people who love the addict to learn about pornography addiction. It is appropriate to be kind and patient while they learn. If, however, the addict is really seeking recovery, and extended family members or friends are trying to persuade otherwise, the addict may choose to limit an unhealthy relationship. If the other party is offended it can mean the end of family party invitations.

Vacations: Some porn addicts are not triggered by copious amounts of nearly naked bodies on a beach, but some are. An addict dedicated to recovery may need to skip some recreational spots, at least for a while.

Electronic Devices: One problem with pornography is the easy availability. Every person with a smart phone has a porn player in their pocket! A porn addict surfing the Internet can be like an alcoholic walking into a bar. Addicts may need to cancel cable and find a ‘dumb’ phone during recovery. Lack of cable frustrates everyone in our house during football season.

Family can be an ‘F’ word…

Standard

IMG_1075.JPG
A few months ago my recovering-porn-addict-husband confessed to my siblings his addiction. He was terrified, but felt as part of his recovery it was the right thing to do.

My family is a conservative Christian family; the kind that believes in “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged…” ( St. Luke 6:37 ) He knew some of them would be uncomfortable and struggle, but had every reason to believe these atonement-relying disciples of Christ would eventually love and accept him as before.

IMG_1077.JPG
Unfortunately the Financial Matriarch of my family instead has decided that I am no longer worthy of my inheritance. Sigh.

Of course, I do not have the right to judge my sister in charge of the estate. It hurts to be outcast by people I love for my husbands misdeeds, though.

Till Death Do You Part… Unless You Are One of the 50%…

Standard

My daughter recently became engaged. On the outside I said, “congratulations!” On the inside my heart skipped a few beats.

Ever since I discovered my husband was addicted to pornagraphy, I have been learning all I can. I have read on various websites that 70% of men 18-24 visit pornographic websites each month. As a mother, I want to protect my daughter! How do I ask her, “So, have you asked fiancé how often he looks at porn?”

Since my husband has not felt comfortable sharing his addiction with friends or family yet, my daughter doesn’t know. I am back to the point where I just wish he would tell everyone. It is one way to find out who his true friends are.

This week his parents came to dinner and asked if we were coming to the Father’s Day party next weekend with extended family at five. I confirmed we would be there, but would leave at 6:30 because we had a meeting at 7:00. Apparently his parents noticed from Mother’s Day and Easter that we have a lot of meetings Sunday night. When his mother inquired what kind of meeting it was, I looked at my husband at the BBQ on the other side of the sliding glass door, looked back into the faces of my dear in-laws that I love, and replied, “You don’t want to know.”

Sunday’s and Wednesday’s are group days. He goes to the addict group. I go to the support group. Do his parents want to know? Maybe. Does my husband want them to know? Probably not.

So we will continue to play this cloak and dagger game. I will pray for my husband to have the courage some day to be honest with the people who love him.

20140608-173922-63562173.jpg

Just Listen to the Little Ones

Image

Just Listen to the Little Ones

Yesterday we visited my parents tombstone at the cemetery, and gathered with extended family for a BBQ. I am so blessed with some of the most amazing sisters:)

After the water-fight most of the adults gathered in the shade for watermelon. As I looked at these women I love I thought of some of the struggles they have faced, and wondered if they too had struggles they didn’t mention. When we were girls we certainly didn’t keep secrets from each other. Sometimes marriage and family can change that a little.

I looked at my nieces and nephews. With my new awareness of statistics, I wondered if any of them were trapped by the monster of addiction. If the numbers hold true, some should be. What could I do to help these sweet children who are old enough be become trapped, but not old enough to understand the consequences?

I can listen. I can be a friend. I can demonstrate my love for them. As many of them embark into adulthood, I will pray that if they are ever in need of help and are unable to speak to a parent, that they will feel comfortable speaking to me.