I'm a wife dealing with her husband's addiction to pornography. I hope to be a resource for wives (and family members) dealing with similar struggles. Please join in the conversation and leave comments--even if you are here for curiosity's sake and are just learning about this kind of struggle! You can read my story here and the 4 things I think every addict's wife should know here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What do you have to give?

A Blog About Love
Okay, I know I said I'd post about being a control freak today, but I may save that for later tonight. For now, I want to refer you to another blog. Yes--this blog is written by a husband and wife who are madly in love with each other and have figured out how to be happy and show each other the perfect form of love. Does that sound like something that makes you want to rip your hair out at this point in your life?

Well consider this. They both went through separate and painful divorces before meeting each other. Each was left by their spouse. They have gone through difficult things in their lives and have learned how to be happy despite their trials. Even happy in their trials (they struggle with infertility as well). They write in order to help other people find the same happiness.

Now do you want to read what they have to say?

Danny's latest post is about giving what we want to receive. The golden rule. Or even trying to give what we want most in life even if we think we don't have it to give (love, confidence, kindness, forgiveness, trust). What I love most about his post is that he says that whatever you send out into the world will come back to you. He doesn't say that your spouse will suddenly be perfect if you're perfect to your spouse. He says that what you send out will come back to you--some how, some time, in some way.

And I believe that's true.

Do you feel capable of giving at this point in your life? When you feel like so much has been taken from you? When all you want is for your husband to love you and only you and be honest with you and leave everything worldly behind just to keep you, do you feel capable of providing others with what you want? Even him? Being kind to him? Supporting him? Being loyal to him even when he isn't being loyal to you? (Thanks "R" for talking about being loyal.)

I think this is a hard question. There are so many factors involved. At what point are we being too hard on our husbands? At what point are we being pushovers and enabling our husbands to keep doing what they're doing? Can we show full love and compassion without being a pushover?


  1. Setting healthy boundaries is how we keep from being a push over. But I've learned that my husband doesn't need me to punish him through guilt, anger or lectures. He knows, even if he won't admit that he does, I know he knows when he is wrong. Despite the frustrations, I know what he needs is the same thing I need, just like you said- kindness and forgiveness. Trust may have to come later, but for now I can handle kindness and forgiveness.

  2. Mac...can I just say how much I love what you are doing here and how you've approached this whole subject? (I'm referring to the blog in general and not just this post) I LOVE IT!!! You get it...you TOTALLY get it!

    I love what you added to my original post as well, and I hope to elaborate on that a little from my own experiences. Though the problem was different, the lessons were the same. My ex-wife chose to be unfaithful, and chose some mild but repeated substance abuse. Both of those, repeated over the course of many months, led to our eventual divorce.

    I'm very familiar with the temptation to feel the sting of each repeated offense as if it is happening for the first time...much like you or others in this network of blogs have described.

    The key to my healing was at the root of what I shared in the post and what you've added to here. I chose to forgive instead of hold her mistakes over her, I chose to speak kindly and imbue her with confidence instead of offer silence or a cold shoulder and my obvious and vocal disappointment. I chose to love and build up in every interaction I had with my wife, even as it became clear we were headed for divorce....especially as it became clear. Because that's what she needed. Who do you think was in a worse spot in their lives at that moment...me who had been wronged and offended, or she who had done wrong and chose to return to it. I know we often feel justified in focusing on ourselves...but we all know the answer to that one...she was probably in a worse spot than I was.

    So what did I discover? That I often didn't need to wait for the love and kindness to return to me from her or from someone else or even at some other time...it was simply in the offering of it that I became free to feel it...right in that VERY MOMENT. In fact, I started offering love and kindness to her simply because offering it was what lifted me up and made me happy. Speaking kindly and encouragingly felt infinitely better than any other negative emotion I could have expressed. The more I rid myself of self doubts (about how her actions might reflect on me or whether I was a good husband/lover/friend), fears, and anger...the easier it became to express true faith, hope and love. And when those feelings are expressed in their deepest sense, with the total abandonment of their opposites....suddenly you feel better. Not because the circumstance has changed, but because you are operating at God's frequency, and have greater access to his peace, his love, his way of thinking and speaking...IN THAT VERY MOMENT!

    And so, in many ways, what you offer comes back to you the second you give it...if it is given honestly and freely, holding nothing back.

    God bless you in your effort to lift those here, and elsewhere that I've seen your encouraging and thoughtful comments.

    Much love,

  3. Jane: I have learned the same thing--My husband doesn't need me to punish him. He feels lower than low about what he does. I'm with you on setting healthy (and reasonable) boundaries. Maurice mentioned on his blog that it's easier to deal with relapse when you have both set guidelines for what you'll do and how you'll react to the breach in trust. Let's keep encouraging each other to show our husbands our love!

    Danny: Amazing. Amazing that you could show that kind of love despite the hurt you were no doubt feeling. I think this is a huge example to all of us here. I hope I can look back on all of this in the future and never regret the way I treated my husband through this. Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your story! You showed us that it's not just "easier said than done"--it can actually be done.