I’ve been thinking about what the most difficult struggle is being married to a lust/porn addict. I could answer several things I suppose. The insecurity of the relationship might be one answer. The never truly knowing for sure what may be around the next corner for us. The feeling that the trap door may swing open at any moment and I’ll fall into yet another discovery or disclosure. I could perhaps say the trust factor, or intimacy. The breaking down those protective barriers put up in the wake of the chaos and destruction after learning about my husband’s double life, putting trust in their place. Maybe the stigma attached. The wondering what others may be thinking when they learn about my husband’s past. These things, and many others, are indeed struggles that are very real in my life, but when I dig deep and clear away the layers of dirt in the garden that is ME, I discover that my biggest struggle is just that….ME!
After learning about my husband’s addiction five years ago, my life completely shifted and was realigned. It sent me on a journey of not only discovering more about the man I married, but on the path to discovering me. I dove head first into recovery as a spouse of a lust addict, a codependent, an adult child of an alcoholic, and many other things. I wanted to know why I had married a man who was trapped in such a destructive addiction, who could lie to me and live a double life, who, when it comes down to it, was not available for me. I had to examine my expectations, my desires to be taken care of by this man who could not even take care of himself. I realized my hurts, my emptiness, and my desperateness. I confessed to myself that I sought out someone to save me from me…anybody, and I expected my husband to be that savior. I have since realized that he could never be that for me, nor I for him, that Jesus is the only One capable and qualified for such a role! I have also learned that I am not responsible for my husband’s recovery; I am responsible only for my own!
This leads back to me. Before I knew my husband, I needed Jesus and recovery. I didn’t know it then and my hardened heart would have denied it, in fact I did deny it, but God was pursuing me all the while. I believe He used the circumstances in my marriage to get my attention, just as much as He used them to get my husband’s. Sometimes though, actually a lot of the time, I forget that God created me with gifts, abilities, a purpose, and most importantly with the capacity to love Him and have a relationship with Him regardless and outside of the circumstances of my marriage and where my husband may or may not be in his own path of recovery. This realization reminds me of on whom I should be laying my foundation, and how easily I slip back into old destructive patterns.
“Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.”
2 Peter 1:3-4 (The Message)