30 November 2011


Pete had a rough week.  He becomes vulnerable during the holidays or times when he doesn't go to work and follow his daily routine.  What is the saying? Idleness is the devil's playground? 

After warning me that he was struggling with his thoughts, I was on guard, but the day before Thanksgiving he seemed to be cheering up and pulling out of his rut.  We watched a movie together and then our completely opposite expectations collided. An argument ensued and I saw a side of Pete that is rare and dark.  I felt like he was being strongly influenced by the powers of adversary and he was irrational and angry.  He finally rolled over and fell asleep, but I knew he was in a bad place.

I knew what was going to happen.  I knew that he would wake up and be tempted.  So I determined that I would stay up all night, on guard to protect him from himself.  For hours I lied there, thinking and worrying.  I felt the ugly fear that comes ahead of relapse.  I cried because I was self-pitying.  I felt a sense of hopelessness, that this would be my life forever.

 I only lasted until about 2:30am and then I could no longer keep my eyes open.  In the morning, just as I had expected, Pete confessed.  I sobbed.  I sobbed because it had been so obvious.  It was so predictable, and STILL I could not prevent it.  It wasn't even that I was angry that it had happened, I was just angry at my own helplessness. 

Addiction recovery programs talk about how addictions cause our lives to become unmanagable.  I'm realizing that by allowing my happiness to be dependent on my husband's behavior, I am co-dependent. And my co-dependency is making my life unmanagable.  Al-anon uses a phrase about the Three Cs.   You did not cause it, you can not control it and you are not able to cure it.  I was willing to not sleep an entire night just to control my husband's behavior.  But how many nights after that could I sacrifice sleep to be responsible for him? 

I'm learning about boundaries.  There are boundaries I can set up to help us along the way, like putting safegaurds on the computers.  But some boundaries are asking too much of myself. I need to respect my own well being.  I need to find my own peace despite his choices.  I need to relinquish my desperate desire to "fix" him. 

I need to let go, let God.


  1. I wish I knew who you were and that we could talk...my husband has much of the same patterns (probably every sex addict does). I emailed you a recovery book for families of addicts today that is in the draft form (put out by the LDS church). E-mail me if you want to I'd love to talk to you.

  2. I loved this post.... I'm sorry to hear about that experience, but I loved your outcome because it is spot on. As my counselor said to me from the beginning... I'm paraphrasing...

    "You are a pioneer woman. Put your kids and all your belongings in the cart and pull it yourself. Live your life, carry on with what you do... if he wants to be a healthy addition in your life and help you pull that cart WITHOUT screwing it up, then great... if not, keep on pulling without him.... don't let him ruin you!"

    This was the best advice I was ever given and it kept my head about sinking water for a long time.

    You ARE a strong and brave pioneer woman! Hang tough!


  3. head *above*

    also to be clear, I don't mean leave your husband by packing up your cart... it's just an analogy ;)

  4. I'm sad I just saw this. I know it was only 2 days ago, but still. I'm so sorry you had a hard night and morning. It's true--we didn't cause it, we can't control it, and we can't cure it. We can only give support. I've considered putting a password on our computer, making my husband go to bed at the same time as me every night, filling all his spare time, getting rid of his smart phone. It doesn't matter. It won't fix the problem. It's something he needs to work out with his own desire and his relationship with the Lord. The only thing we can do is offer support and help and take full charge of our own happiness. Hang in there.

    And, as I'm sure you know, staying up all night and being super tired the next day will not fix anything in our lives. Man, I am a MESS when I'm tired! Ha! One of the best things I can do for my relationship with my husband is get enough sleep. Once I'm overly tired, the arguments and accusations start. I don't think straight when I'm tired. We're happier when I've had enough sleep. :)

  5. I could literally feel your pain as morning dawned and your husband confessed to something you had KNOWN would happen. How frustrating and discouraging for you. I just want to hug you. I have SO been there. It's so hard to know and accept the boundaries of our role in this battle. I am a Christian, my husband is not- in fact, he is MUCH more open-minded as far as sexual relations go. This has made this battle all the more difficult to overcome, understand, and live through. My husband does not feel much remorse as he doesn't see porn as all that wrong, he cannot see why his addiction (or what he calls his "habit") hurts me so badly, and doesn't see recovery as something to strive toward as urgently as I would like. Because of the attitude he has, I've been tempted to take the lead in his recovery- but I understand that that is impossible. He is SO much smarter than me at computer things, he plays computer games late into the night multiple nights a week, no WAY would he agree to getting "dumb phones", and he is extremely secretive/deceptive about his actions on the computer. And as much as I would LOVE to play the part of a parent and make all these rules and set up all these guidelines and watch him like a hawk... it won't work. It will only build up resentment between the two of us and the worry and work of it will consume me. It's exhausting. I'm trying to just work on ME, finding my identity and security in my Savior instead of my husband, and meditating on being the best wife I can be. So instead of taking a strong, harsh, leading role in his "recovery", I'm trying to adopt a loving, supportive, submissive, quiet, and gentle spirit... as described in 1 Peter 3:1-4. which says "Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."

    Anyways... all that to say, we can't control their recovery, THEY have to WANT to stop. And it's SO painful when it doesn't seem like they want to. What is our role in that situation? :(

    THANK YOU for sharing your heart... I'm so thankful to know that I'm not alone. <3