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.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

lifting the burden

Nugget of wisdom from a wonderful sister at my support group tonight:

It feels good to not carry someone else's life on our shoulders.

I just read Scabs' post about a similar thought. There is wisdom and freedom and healing in letting go. It's not our burden to carry. And do you know what? Good things come from letting them be in charge of their own addiction. No, they may not jump up and fix themselves, but I can promise you that you will be well on your way to fixing yourself. And trust me--that feels good. Really good.

How exactly do we stop carrying their addiction? Just stop. Stop. Stop tracking their every move. Stop trying to fix them. Stop trying to manage their recovery efforts. Stop. Live your life the way you want to live. Be the person you want to be. Concentrate on you. They may not be the person you want them to be. But you can be sure that you are the person you want to be. Their life isn't yours to carry. And it feels so good to stop.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Nuggets of Wisdom

I don't necessarily consider myself wise on this topic, but I feel I have acquired a few nuggets of wisdom along the way. These have been bouncing around in my head over the past few days as a result of conversations with Mr. Mac and other friends.

I've found that the farther I travel down this road, the less it becomes about me and the more it becomes about making sure other women know these things. Not just hear them, but know them, believe them, live them. Sometimes I feel like if I just close my eyes and concentrate hard enough...push all my thoughts and vibes in your directions...then maybe you will know the way I know. But that's not how it works. We have to figure these things out on our own. All I can do is tell you what I know for me.

1. He will change when he is ready to change. We want that to be now. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Trust me: His recovery efforts that come from you wanting them won't even compare to his recovery efforts that come from him wanting them. I've seen both. It's different when he wants to change for himself and not just to appease his unhappy wife.

2. Trust your gut. Your gut often knows a lot more than you do. In my life, my "gut" is promptings from my constant companion, the Holy Ghost. You can call it your guardian angel. You can call it your conscience. You can call it your gut. Whatever you call it, trust it.

3. You do what is right for your relationship. Set your own boundaries.* Set your own consequences.* I have so much respect and love for my fellow bloggers on this topic, but I don't always agree with their approach to the topic. You see, I don't have to. And they don't have to agree with me. We are all doing what is right for our own relationships. You* decide what is right for yours.

4. *Did you notice all the asterisks in #3? I'm opinionated about this. If you don't want your husband to look at porn, go ahead and set a boundary that you don't want him looking at it. Period. Then ask him his opinion on that boundary. Does he agree? If so, ask him to set a consequence for when he does. You can have your say on whether the consequence he chooses meets your expectations, but let this be something he takes charge of. He needs to be on board. If he's on board with the boundary, let him take responsibility for the consequences. If he's not on board with the boundary, you set the consequences, but chances are the behavior isn't going to stop if he's not even on board that it's a problem.

5. It sucks to accept that you may not be able to trust your spouse. It sucks. But it's a reality for many of us. I trust myself. I trust that I will be okay no matter what. I trust my Father in Heaven. But I'll whine and complain that I want to be able to trust my husband. I should be able to trust my husband. Unfortunately, that's not my reality right now. Maybe in the future, but for now I have to face the facts. Sometimes life just isn't how we wanted it to be. That's okay. In fact, I think that's the case for the vast majority of people on this earth. We'll be okay.

6. Nothing you fix about your looks could fix his problem. You're right: your body is not like a model's, you're cute but not drop-dead gorgeous, you've likely had kids and your lady parts are all stretched out, and you aren't all that kinky in the bedroom. Am I right? Of course I am. You're like me. You're normal. If you left your husband today and he started dating a gorgeous model who filled his every sexual fantasy, the porn problem would not go away. If he thinks you are the root of the problem or that he wouldn't look at porn if he were with someone else, he is in for a rude awakening. It's not you. The problem is between him and porn. It affects you, but it's not because of you. No, you aren't perfect. But you aren't the reason he looks at porn. Stop letting those thoughts into your head. They are a waste of your time and energy. (Besides, I have met some of the most stunningly beautiful women whose husbands have porn and sex addictions. They are living proof that the woman is not the problem.)

7. Find your self worth and hang onto it for dear life. Where do you find self worth? Inside yourself.