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.

Friday, January 20, 2012

What I've Learned: Part 5

I've only just learned this recently. You know? This entire thing is a learning process. I'm learning things now, I'll learn things years from now. Isn't that just life in general?

The latest thing I've learned is this: working through and overcoming our trust issues will likely take just as long as it takes our husbands to work through and overcome their addiction issues.

I think we feel pressured to forgive and support and fully trust. Or at least we tell ourselves that we need to trust again. Or maybe it's just that we want to trust again. We want to go back to that blissful time in life when trusting was second nature. Back then it wasn't something we had to work toward.

It took me a very long time to understand that the recovery process for my husband would likely be a long one. I wanted him to magically be cured: suddenly never have any urges to look at pornography, never be tempted to click on any questionable links, never look at pornography again. Just like that. With the snap of a finger. I thought that if he just worked hard enough or wanted it bad enough or committed to it or something, it could just go away that quickly.

Once I truly accepted that this is not the case with addiction, I felt so much more peace than before. (Note that I do not say I felt complete peace or that everything was better. It was just so much easier to understand.)

And only after I accepted that did I realize that my trust issues would be around just as long. I'm going to be honest with you: I don't have any desire to be blind to what has happened in the past and trust my husband 100% and pretend it never existed. No, that would go against every logical bone in my body. I'm not willing to put myself in that kind of vulnerable position. I will allow my trust to build up slowly over time as my husband proves to me that he is trustworthy.

You see, my husband is wonderful. In almost every aspect of our lives, he is supportive and kind and loving and understanding. He has given me every reason to love him and respect him and want him as my own. I am very lucky for this and I acknowledge that. Many women I know do not have husbands as supportive and helpful as mine. But in this, the realm of pornography, he has given me very little reason to trust him.

So I cannot expect him to suddenly never have any wayward thoughts or urges or temptations, and he cannot expect me to suddenly believe everything he says and have no trust issues.

As we support each other and lean on each other, we can both work through these things.

Any husband who says, "This is my problem. You don't have to deal with this." has much to learn. The issues we have as a result of their addiction is very real and will require a lot of time. It's important that they understand this as well.

1 comment:

  1. I love this. The "hurry up and heal!" banner can go both ways, huh? Funny how accepting a lifelong struggle on my side of the equation, feels comforting instead of distressing. Nice insight, Mac.