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.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Does he like me?

I've touched on this before, but this seems to be the period in my life when I question how much my husband is into me (totally separate from the pornography issue, by the way). Blame it on the 7-year-itch. Or the 8-year-hate, as I like to call it. Interestingly, the 7-year-itch is becoming a thing of the past. 4 years is the new 7. Did you know that?

You see, I keep doubting that my husband really likes me. I think he's doing his best to show me that he does, but I keep second guessing it.

Note: Since I'm all about doing a self-reflection when discussing someone else's behavior, I'm not sure I am even doing anything obvious to show him that I really truly like him, so I'm not positive what I'm expecting in return. We have different love languages, so I'll bet I'm not communicating it in a way he understands either.

Mr. Mac has been hanging out with his coworkers recently, which is fine with me. I really like the idea of him going out and spending time with people. Being social. Love it. But this last time some of them invited their significant others. But Mr. Mac certainly didn't extend the invitation to me. Bringing me along to hang out probably wasn't even in his thought process. Or maybe it was.

Being the ever-so-logical person I am, let me step out of the situation and examine it from the outside. It is quite possible that inviting me crossed his mind but he figured he'd have more fun without me there. (No--this is not me feeling all sorry for myself. This is me looking at the situation impartially.) There is definitely a big chance he is feeling pressure to get a good job, to get his actions in check, to fix his dishonesty problems, to be a better dad, to spend his time more wisely, etc, etc. All those things are intricately woven into his relationship with me. To leave all those things behind and really relax, he may feel the need to leave me back home as well.

Okay. Stepping back in emotionally. . . That hurts. Not him actually leaving me home. It's the idea behind it that hurts. That I am so intertwined with the pressures in his life that spending time without me sounds more relaxing than bringing me along.

I would love to be the one who brings him calm and peace. The one who brings fun into his life.

Unfortunately, I don't think that's the case right now.

You see, I think I just want to know that he still likes me more than anything else in the world. I don't do mushy love letters and stuff. That's not my language of love. But I think these are my language of love: "You're fun." "I like spending time with you." "I like you." "I had fun with you today." "You make me smile." "I just love being near you." "Let's hang out just me and you."

The problem is that I'm not sure those phrases would be entirely true coming from him right now.

Maybe 60% true. Maybe 70? But not 100.

I wish I were wrong, but I think this is actually a pretty normal thing for people to go through.

Your thoughts? Have you felt this way? Do you think you are/were bring self-destructive and making it worse by mulling over it? Have you discussed it with your partner?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Is he disrespecting you?

Caution: I think this discussion might be difficult for some people who are feeling very fragile right now. I'd love to hear from you, but please know that it might evoke some strong feelings.

This past weekend I went on a long run with one of my favorite people. She is seriously the BEST conversationalist. If you ever need to run a ton of miles, take her along. In fact, maybe I'll rent her out. Any takers?

Among other topics, we talked about this blog community. We talked about it for probably 4 or 5 miles (when you're running, you track everything in miles). She brought up the topic of respect, or, more specifically, disrespect. The conversation was riveting, even after 12 miles of running.

So here is my question to you: Do you believe that your husband is disrespecting you through his actions?

Have you detached yourself so far from his problem that you don't believe it has anything to do with  you, therefore whether he is disrespecting you isn't even a factor in the equation?

Do you believe his actions disrespect you but that it is more of a side effect and not an intention?

Does the fact that he suffers from an addiction remove the discussion of disrespect?

Or do you believe that he is absolutely disrespecting you?

If so, how do you reconcile standing by someone's side as they blatantly disrespect you?

We talked a lot about trusting your gut when it comes to standing by someone with addiction. I've heard many women who have left their partners say that when it was time to leave, they KNEW it was time to leave. The question of when to stop fighting and throw in the towel has come up many times, and the response from those who know is that you trust your gut. If your gut says to stay, then you stay. If your gut says to leave, then it is time.

So do you think husbands who look at pornography/lie to their wives/have affairs/indulge in prostitution are disrespecting their wives? And, if so, is it ridiculous for women to stay and "work on their marriage" while being so disrespected? Are they just letting someone walk all over them?

I know this will evoke many "well, it depends on the situation" responses, and I completely agree, but I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.