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.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I reserve the right to change my opinions whenever I want.

Dealing with and understanding addiction is a process. A process in which we are lost and know nothing. And then we think we know everything. Then our world flips upside down again. And people give us advice that we think sounds ridiculous. Then we end up giving people advice that we think would work for everyone, because, you know, it worked for us. And then something changes. And we realize we know nothing once again.

Interestingly, today, a year and a half later, I re-read my very first post and made an edit to the 4 things every woman should know. I deleted "And if you and your husband both depend on Him together, He will strengthen your relationship" from #4. (Sadly, we can lean on Christ all we want, but that doesn't mean our relationship will be okay in the end. But we will be okay.)

I think we can all agree that we have gone through different stages and different ideas of what will work for us. I see some women say things that don't make any sense to me and it makes me want to shake them and fill them with my "wisdom" (bahahaha!), and I'm sure my opinions sound ridiculous to them. They may change their minds eventually. And so might I.

And that's okay.

Because we are human. And we are learning. And no one really knows what to do about all this, because it depends on the situation. Are you bursting with confidence? Did you come into this situation already insecure? Is your husband truly an angel in every other aspect but this addiction? Or is he, in the words of a friend, a total douche bag and asshole? Because, you know what? Each of us has to do what's right for each of our situations.

But we're here to support each other. And to push each other. To consider what others have tried. To consider advice that sounds crazy. To recognize the crazy in each of us.

So I reserve the right to change my opinions whenever I want. And you should, too.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Does this mean I'm out of the club?

What are your initial thoughts when I say that I'm doing really well, that my husband is doing really well, and that we're happier than we have been in a long time?

Do you think, "Oh! I'm so happy for Mac!"?

Or do you think, "Ugh. I don't want to hear about her doing well. My life is crap right now. Shut up."?

Be honest with yourself.

A year ago I would have probably leaned toward the former but with tiny voices in the background yelling the latter. If my situation had been really bad, I'd probably lean almost entirely toward the latter.

I know some of you are. Don't lie.

So the question is: does this mean I'm out of the club?

I was chatting with a friend the other day about this. If my husband is doing well and in recovery and I'm felling really mentally healthy, am I out of the club until lying creeps into our marriage again and I have another meltdown? Because it kind of seems that way.

Survivor's guilt. You know you've all felt it at some point or another.

But the truth is that I've been there. I've felt the pain. I've felt the hopelessness. I've longed for something better. I've felt sick over what he's looked at. I've had harsh thoughts towards women on the street with amazing bodies. I've been paranoid about internet use, browser history, his coworkers.

And it can all come back in an instant. That's what's scary.

Am I doing well because I'm a stronger person and am in a better place mentally? Or am I doing well because my husband is doing well and I'm unaware of how codependent I really am?

I'd say it's 60% stronger, 40% codependent. Maybe 70/30. Maybe. I'd love to say 90/10, but I can't know that until the next relapse. I'll be sure to keep you posted. ;)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Son of a *%!#$ that was hard!

I'm back. It has been a while, hasn't it?

The early-morning scripture study class my husband and I were teaching this year ended last week. My thoughts? Son of a *%!#$ that was hard! It was good. Yes, it was good. I enjoyed studying the New Testament. I enjoyed the students. I enjoyed having a joint calling with my husband. But do you know what? That's about it. My testimony in our church actually weakened throughout the year. Yikes. That's not supposed to happen, right? Interestingly, my testimony of Christ and his teachings were strengthened and I loved that. But my annoyances with the culture and modern-day guidelines of my church also grew. That's an entire blog post in and of itself, but I probably won't write it since this blog isn't about that.

My husband got a job! After 3 years of under employment, he's back on the right track. Let me say this again: Son of a *%!#$ that was hard! His confidence took a serious blow during that time. My confidence in him crumbled. Crumbled, people. It consumed us. It shook our marriage. And now it's in the past (at least for now). We don't even know what to do with ourselves and all our free time in the evenings. The change in both our countenances was practically tangible the day he started his new job.

I think we've made it past the 8 year hate. Take unemployment crap, mix it with trust issues and pornography problems, add it to the 7-year itch, and you've got the 8-year hate. Once again, son of a *%!#$. Yes. That was hard.

And last, but not least, I think we're doing really well on the porn front. I'm in a really good place. He's in a really good place. (Disclaimer: he has lied to me plenty about this in the past, so I take this with a grain of salt. But my heart says he's doing well.) My reaction to the idea of or mention of porn now? It's ridiculous. The industry, the intent, the portrayal of women. All of it. But I don't feel sick inside at the thought of my husband looking at it. My views have evolved. It's the bigger picture that annoys me now. The actual boobs and vaginas are the least of my concerns. Took a long time to get here and I'm sure I have much farther to travel. (Can I mention that *%!#$ and &*^% and $#*% again?)

We may be in the eye of the storm. Who knows. But I'll take it. I'll sit here for a while. It's 11:15pm on a week night and I'm blogging? Do you know why? Because I don't have to get up at 5:30am.