When I first found out about my husband’s addiction I thought, he could just stop. Well, after multiple fights and multiple times of me catching him in lies or looking at pornography I realized this was a battle he wasn’t going to win on his own. I felt like it was up to me to swoop in and save the day like some superhero saving the damsel in distress.
The first couple months of my “mission” were consumed by monitoring every phone call, checking text messages, searching the history on the computer and his phone and asking him daily how he was doing and if he had been looking at anything inappropriate. In the beginning he seemed to understand my paranoia and didn’t mind me asking all the time if he had been “good.” After a short time though I could see he would get frustrated with my obsession and was sending signals for me to back off a little.
I soon realized I wasn’t holding him accountable, I was policing him. Not only was this not helping him but it wasn’t helping me either. I became obsessed, paranoid and angry all the time searching for his latest mistake. This wasn’t the way for either of us to live. I decided to handle things differently; so I sat down with my husband one night and opened up about how policing him made me feel and how I knew it wasn’t helping him either. Eventually I would have to start learning how to trust him again and I knew that had to begin with me taking the first step.
Together we decided to invest in the XXXchurch software for our phones. We also installed the free program on our computers. We knew that having me as an accountability partner wasn’t necessarily the best idea since I was already aware of his addiction so he made one of the pastors and friend from our church his accountability partner. He also began having weekly accountability meetings with a fellow pastor in our town, allowing him to talk about his struggles. We stepped away from trying to keep it our little secret and opened up to people that could help keep us in prayer and accountability. I also changed my attitude about when a back-slide occurred. Instead of being angry,
I try to be understanding of his addiction and encourage him that he will succeed, focus on how long it was in between incidents and that next time will be even better. Now that he feels comfortable being able to come to me and discuss the problem without being criticized, yelled at or judged we can communicate openly about it and work together to start healing both our hearts.