Another LDS writer, Amy, shares about co-addiction. Specifically, she shares what she is learning about her husband’s sex and pornography addiction and what role she plays in his recovery as well as her own:
I used to think that once my husband no longer viewed pornography everything would be back to normal and better. I would wonder what I needed to do so that he wouldn’t slip. I would be extra pleasant to be around, keep a clean house, have dinner cooked, take care of the kids, etc. This quickly became waaaay too daunting for me and I soon realized it didn’t really matter whether or not these things happened. My husband had to heal and recover on his own and I had to heal from the injuries I had suffered on my own. We could support each other but we could not do it for each other.
If you feel overwhelmed thinking of all the things you can do to ‘help’ or ‘fix’ your husband, stop!! You are wasting your time. Trust me! Your husband has to fix this on his own and YOU have to heal YOURSELF on your own. If you do not find your own healing and your husband stops ‘using’ you will still hurt. I promise you. If you do however find healing and your husband chooses not to stop ‘using’ you will hurt so much less. I know it sounds strange but it is the truth.
You have to heal your heart from the damage that has been done. Find a 12 step group to attend. Confide in someone. Write your feelings in a journal or start a blog. Let your heart heal. I find that allowing yourself to heal is sometimes the hardest part. You want your husband to see you miserable to so he can understand what he did to you. Believe me, he knows how much he has hurt you.
Let yourself heal for you. Let yourself be happy again. I found that once I started allowing myself to heal, I could handle the addiction so much better. When my husband told me he messed up, I was bummed, definitely, but I didn’t hurt like I did in the past. I was disappointed but I could still function and have a good enough day. In contrast, before my healing started, I would become completely unglued and my whole day would be ruined. I would feel physically ill and so on.
I don’t know what more I can say other than that I know healing yourself needs to be first and foremost. I hope and pray that your husband chooses to and succeeds in overcoming this addiction but whether he does or not, you need to heal. You need to be whole again for your own sanity and happiness. For the children you may be raising. For the friends who want to see you again. For your hobby that hasn’t seen you in while. Let yourself heal. You deserve it!
You can read Amy’s blog at http://wiveshelpingwives.blogspot.com/.
Image 1 credit: Nina from Australia through Wikimedia Commons