Thursday, June 19, 2014

It Still Hurts

This is my first post really about living with a spouse who is addicted to pornography. Up until this point I've been writing about my own recovery. But today I can't go to my recovery meeting because my son is sick, and I just need to share just to let it out. Venting into the void, I guess.

I wish I could say I have overcome all pain associated with my husband's slips. I wanted to be there in that safe place where my peace was uninterrupted. But when my husband has the kind of slip that he has had now, it effects me again in a way I didn't expect. What hurts isn't necessarily what he looked at or if he acted out physically while looking, but that his intent was there. He sought it out.

For a while now every time my husband has confessed to me about a slip it has been because he was looking at something else online and got caught off guard with something. Or he was checking to see if the safe eyes system we have installed really works by purposefully searching a fowl keyword. That always drove me nuts. What does he think is going to happen? Of course if you look for it something will sneak its way through the system.

But this time, he'd happened upon a stupid YouTube video off to the side and ignored it, but days later was still haunted and tempted to go seek it out again until finally he did.

He told me he'd fought off the temptation all of Monday because it was my birthday and he didn't want to slip on that day.

So he waited until the next day...while I was in the other room no less!

That was the first I had it brought to my attention he'd struggled while I was home. It's been usually a problem if I go out for long periods of time and he's got idle time on his hands when temptation will strike.

I had a friend of mine give me a lecture recently on how I need to stand up for myself and take time away more often. My husband gets to go out to go golfing or fishing or off to (unbeknownst to her) recovery meetings, and I don't go out except for on the rare occasion that it's a friend's birthday or someone happens to be throwing a baby shower or something (or for my own recovery meeting). She went on about it until she finally started talking about herself, which I knew is where the lecture really rooted from in the first place. I could just sort of nod and shrug at her suggestions because I know how it looks to her. To an outsider who doesn't understand the situation, my husband gets to do whatever he wants and I watch the kids. Then when I go out I have got to get home soon to take care of the kids or because my husband is feeling anxious for some reason. It looks like I don't get a life or that I'm controlled.

Well, I am controlled, but it's not because of what they think.

I do feel like every single time I go out he has a slip. I know it's not my fault because I cannot take that responsibility. It's out of my control. But at the same time, I know it's easier for him to slip when I'm not there so it's made me, without realizing it, become more of a hermit. But it's not just to keep him from slipping, but it's a form of protection for my children. I hate going out with the risk that he will slip and one of these times my son will happen along to see or hear or witness something. It's my nightmare. At some point my kids will be exposed to something, at some point in their lives they will- it's inevitable- but my hope is to keep that point in time from happening until they're at least a little older. My oldest is only 7.

Not that there are a lot of friends for me to go out with anyway, but it is nice to have a night out once in a while, and I'm talking about more then twice a year, and I'm talking about more then just dates out with my husband.

That being said...somehow it hurt that much more that I was in the other room when he slipped this time. Why? Why couldn't he have just come to me or called his support person? He knew for days he was being tempted and trying to fight it off. He didn't.

The addiction doesn't want him to get support. The addiction wants to be kept a secret so it can continue to thrive and control his life.

I thought I was past feeling that disappointment in him and that hurt. My recovery has helped me understand him more, and become better for myself, and to be a stronger support for him, but I still cannot be his support person. He has to rely on someone else more then me because it still hurts me. As long as I've been in recovery, it still hurts.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Never Finished


Now that I've completed posting steps 1 through 12, you might think I'm finished blogging. I've reached the end of the manual. I'm done working the steps. I'm done blogging about it.


You see, I'm not dead yet. I'm not going to live the rest of my life perfectly with no regrets, and I still don't know everything about myself. I've just scratched the surface. If I stop now, not only will I be stunting my growth here, but I will eventually begin to lose the things I've learned thus far. As I go about the rest of my life, I will start repeating mistakes I've made in the past unless I keep working.

The 12 Step program for Addiction Recovery isn't just 12 steps really. It's not even just for addicts either. It's really a lifetime program for anyone in need of the atonement. Who does that include?

The addict. The addict in recovery. The addict not yet in recovery. The recovered addict. The addict's loved one. The addict's enemy. The one that doesn't know about the addict. The one that doesn't know the addict at all. And everybody else.

The atonement is for everyone. Whether they know about recovery or not.

Because in all reality, the 12 steps encompass the repentance process. I grew up learning the steps of repentance in primary where there are only four steps: Feeling sorry, Saying sorry, Righting the wrong, Keeping commandments from then on.

Well, really, those four steps are broken down into 12 for the addiction recovery program. Are we ever done with the repentance process? No.

Feeling Sorry: Steps 1-4
Start out with complete honesty with yourself and God. Believe God can help you make it right. Trust in Him to help you through it. Repeat being completely and thoroughly truthful with yourself and God.

Saying Sorry: Steps 5
Apologizing to yourself, God, the bishop, or anyone else it effects about your wrong without excuses.

Righting the wrong: Steps 6-9
Lean on God to help you become a better person and stop repeating wrongs. Humble yourself and ask God to help remove your weaknesses. Contemplate how to help make things better after your mistakes and do what you can do make it better. Talk to people about it. Act on things you can act on.

Keeping the commandments from then on: Steps 10-12
Keep track of your progress every day, every hour, every moment so you can avoid making the same mistakes. Seek the Lord's guidance in everything you do. Of course, part of keeping the commandments is helping others come unto Christ.

And we are never done.  The most important thing to remember after step 12 is that we have to keep up with our own progress in order to be a help to anyone else. The only way I can be an instrument in the hands of my Heavenly Father is if I am leaning on Him and doing my best in my own life.