This post is along the same lines as my last one in the way that it pertains to both someone with an addiction, and a spouse of an addicted loved one.
Early one recent morning I awoke from a dream I was having with my heart pounding in anger. I looked over at my sleeping husband and vividly felt the angry feelings subside as I realized what had happened in the dream hadn't happened in real life. However, I do know that dreams have a way of working out subconscious emotions. I reviewed the dream in my head and came up with an interesting conclusion. My anger at my husband came because he had been acting exactly like me!
I'll give a bit of a warning before you read about my dream because it is a personal dream. However, I'm an open person and this blog is anonymous. I will attempt to write in the most tactical way so as not to trigger anybody.
In the beginning of the dream I was feeling devotion and affection for my husband and was trying to pull him closer to me. He was laying down, faced away from me and as I prodded him and tried to show him my interest, he did not respond. I even got a physical response from him, but he wasn't acknowledging it. I hope that makes sense without me having to go into any greater detail.
I started feeling sad then, and asked him what was the matter and why he wouldn't face me. He finally looked at me with a blank and withdrawn expression and said, "The only reason you want to be with me is because you've been looking at naked pictures online." I immediately objected. I told him I promised I hadn't at all that day and that I hadn't in a long time. I wracked my brain for when I had but he turned away and I knew he wouldn't believe me anyway. I was hurt, and then I was mad.
"How dare you!" I thought. "How could you use that against me when you know how much it hurts me. How could you even think my feelings for you have anything to do with that filth! How could you even suppose that I was that heartless!"
I cried. I ended up sitting on the floor on the other side of the bed crying. But then I got so angry at him, I threw myself back onto the bed to start striking him on the shoulder and scream at him that he was so mean!
That's when I woke up.
The feelings were so real because they are honest and true. My addiction has nothing to do with the way I feel about my husband.
And then the light came on at that thought. His feelings about me have nothing to do with his addiction either.
For so long I had felt hurt because his actions from his addiction were somehow connected to his feelings for me. I'm not saying they aren't to the spouse or loved one. To someone without a sexual addiction, physical intimacy is ONLY about love. Addiction is not about love at all. It's corrupt and is completely separate from love.
Now in my last post I addressed the myth that physical intimacy can help ease temptations from addiction. That is not true. Temptations will still exist, and could come on just as strong even after being intimate in a healthy relationship. However I will add this. Having a truly loving relationship with someone still helps emotionally and spiritually. Being intimate with my spouse helps me to appreciate the beauty in the act of a healthy spiritual, emotion, and physical experience with someone I have covenanted to love and care for. It's in complete contrast from addictive behaviors, which drag one down into shame and sorrow. Instead, a healthy experience with my loved one who I have covenanted to cherish for eternity uplifts my soul and brightens my spirit.
I'll add this experience doesn't always feel that way. I want to acknowledge those who still feel filthy during intimacy with their spouse. It's a very sad but true reality that sometimes even with a spouse we can feel like a tool or the outlet for addiction. This is when we are completely justified and right in saying, not tonight, dear.
The spirit is not here.
But as we pray together and work to have that spiritual presence with us, the experience can become healthy and beautiful again. I testify that it has worked for my relationship and has helped us both as we fight off our temptations and cleave to each other.
I hope sharing this will help somebody out there.