Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fix it NOW !

I met with my therapist last night. I had cancelled the joint session that Husband and I had with our therapists (plural) and just met with mine individually. I sure needed it.

As I wrote about in my last post, I'm having lots of trouble with flashbacks and the interplay between this situation and my childhood. It causes me not to know how to act or what to do.

I went to T wanting some answers to questions. Should I block the internet entirely? Should I monitor his computer use? What happens when he says that my refusing to help means a delay in receiving his unemployment check? What do I need to get rid of in the house? What temptations might there be that I am not considering? Do I check his email and print it out? What if a job prospect contacts him?

Then the more nitty-gritty - if my failure to have sex often enough has contributed to his looking at junk, what effect will my refusal to have sex with him at all right now, do? If he is drawn toward junk depicting women and men having sex and the woman enjoying it, then what happens if we sleep together again? Do I take acting lessons so I portray enough enjoyment? What is enough?

How much reassurance must I give him and what happens when his needs and my needs collide?

T told me to slow down. I can't look for solutions now and have to settle for not having all the answers. I got into the "Fix It" mode. And not just fix it, but fix it NOW! I can not clean the house good enough to get rid of all temptations. I can not take a pill which teaches me to act good enough to satisfy him.

T also said something interesting - that any solution now is going to itself, appear pornographic. If I try to fix Husband's feeling deprived of sex, then that is going to feel degrading to me and as if I'm operating as a sex slave. If I try to dress more provocatively to keep Husband's attention on me, that will feel slutty. If I force myself to sit down beside him and monitor his computer usage, that makes me some kind of servant or hall monitor to him.

This is his battle to fight. I need to resist the urge to fix it, fix him or fix me. Not to say changes don't need to be made. But they need to be made deliberately and without rushing in. Which is a temptation I struggle with.

In the meantime I'm trying to stay busy. To not obsess over reading all the "Helping your Man with his Addiction" books out there. To avoid all the internet articles. To just "be" and let things happen in their course. It's a long road ahead.


lawyerchik said...

I know I am hardly the person to give advice on this topic, but ... this kind of hit home for me because of one thing: yes, you are husband and wife, and yes, sex is part of marriage.


His choosing to look at pornography, for any reason and at any time, is not your fault; it's his. What would he do if he weren't married at all? Would that justify his decision to view pornography? Would that justify a decision to have sex with someone he isn't married to?

Maybe I'm better qualified on this than I think - even though I'm not married myself, I still have sexual feelings, and because I am not married, I have to learn how to control them if I decide that I am going to be obedient to God's word.

His being a man is not an excuse - he doesn't get a "pass" from self-control.

Sorry - this just pisses me off (not you - his attitude). [Rant over ..... and feel free to tell him I said so, too!!!]

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, things will get better. We're praying for you. You have a great heart and I also believe in your husband. your friend DM

beautifuldreamer said...

It seems to me wrong (unfair to you!) to put yourself into the role of hall monitor. You shouldn't have to watch hubby's every move, sit beside him every time he gets on the Internet, or for that matter cut off the Internet altogether because you can't trust him.

If he's going to indulge in looking at porn, there are ways around your monitoring. There are so many different avenues for porn, and it's everywhere. You can't be with him every second of the day to make sure he behaves.

It seems to me the main issue here is that he's broken your trust, something not easily restored. It takes times to build it back up, and I don't see how being the parent, and making yourself responsible for censoring what he does, is going to result in restored trust.

If I were dealing with this issue my knee-jerk reaction would be the same as yours: try to fix it, and fix it NOW. In fact I did go that route when I was married, and it made matters worse. My hubby simply became more sly and secretive. I couldn't fix whatever was at the core of his addiction to porn; all I could do was be very condemning (to make sure he knew he was in the dog house), and hope my shaming him would give me some kind of control over the situation. That backfired, of course, as shaming always does.

I like what your therapist said to you . . . you shouldn't have to become someone different (in the bedroom)in an effort to try to fix things.

Lynx217 said...

he can't change unless he wants to change. your therapist is right, this has to come from him. don't you dare try to fix him, because it will only backfire. this will show you which is more important to him: his wife or some cheap thrill. the trust issue is big though, and I don't even know where to start there because if it were me and I couldn't trust my man, I'd leave, married or not. it's just I'm not willing to be used and abused anymore. I admire you though for staying put and trying to make it work. you're way stronger than me.

Exhale said...

Wow this is a hard place to be in. I am reading this book that might be helpful to you called
"Codependents'Guide to The Twelve Steps by Mealody Beattie"
...I am powerless over much in life, and when I try to have power where I have none, I get crazy. I can't control others, no matter how much I want to, no matter how much better I think I know what's right for them. I can't control what others do, think, or feel, whether or how they choose to interact with me, whether or when they choose to grow and change, and whether or when they choose to recover from their addictions. p23
Your priority has to be taking care of yourself don't burn up all your energy trying to parent your husband.

jumpinginpuddles said...

i wanted to say that im so encouraged that both of you somehow are trying to sort it out. My marriage ended because our ex refused to see that anything but us were a problem next month im starting divorce proceedings. At least you both are trying to sort it and you yourself are seeking some help for you.

Anonymous said...

Wow, again...

Reading this brings me back to a place I was a while back. Well not "I" but me and my wife. If she had the guts she could have been the one writing this blog (as it pertains to this specific issue).

We DID get rid of everything except our basic cable. I mean it really is just too easy and tempting when you are struggling to begin with.

Cleaning the pc is easy enough. Just clear the history/cookies and then go right back in and revisit the "safe" sites just in case "she" checks my history.

It really is NOT ABOUT YOU at all. NOT ONE SINGLE BIT! I used to make up those excuses. "I'm just looking. I'm not out in the bars drinking and carryinging on like a bunch of other husbands!" Haha, look at me ain't I the good guy?!

In the end it is ENTIRELY up to your husband. He either wants to please his Creator or he wants to fulfill himself by endulging his sensual pleasures. He has a choice and only he can make it. This is a life-style choice. HE has to decide if HE is really the most iportant person in his life or not. I don't want to minimize his struggle for it is a great and powerful one.

I can easily imagine when Eve was tempted in the Garden. I'll bet that apple was glistening with beauty (seductive to the eyes) and likely smelled delicious (tempting the brain with it's odor and tasting it's odor on her taste buds). In the end she was overcome by the power of her sensual pleasures.

If I were to offer advice it would be this. Do NOT make excuses for him to his friends but don't pass up a chance to affirm him when he deserves it. Let him know that you love him and his children (by name) love him. Tell him that you are praying for him to become the man God imagined him to be when He intentionally created him. He was NOT an accident and neither is your marriage. God has a (perfect) plan for him, you and your children (by name). Ask him, "What do you imagine God's plan for you, me and our children (by name) is?" Ask him to write that plan out (long hand). Tell him you love him. Then when he does write that plan out ask him to read it to you each morning befoe you leave for work.

Just remember... one day ALL THINGS HIDDEN WILL BE REVEALED.

Labyrinth said...

I discovered that my husband had been into porn since the beginning of our marriage. At that time, he was getting PLENTY of sex.

My therapist helped me to see that it was really HIS problem. He is an addict, and having sex won't cure the addiction. It has nothing to do with how often he has sex with you. Your therapist is right.

My husband agreed to have a site-blocker/filter thing on his computer. I still check his history every once in awhile, but I think getting caught scared the crap out of him and has been willing to deal with his stuff, at least as far as pornography is concerned.

I struggled with the knowledge that every time after that we had sex that all the images of the women he'd seen in magazines and on the internet were right there with us in bed. To me, he'd had affairs with all of them. It was a horrible time.

The other thing for your husband to consider is this: what if you'd had a bad heart attack or had been in a terrible accident that prevented you from having sex? Would he consider that a legitimate reason for cheating online?

It doesn't depend on you. It's HIS responsibility to stay clean.

It is a long, awful road. I wish you the best.

Marj aka Thriver said...

Wow, Enola. I'm so sorry you're going through this. This type of addiction is so common...much more than we knew before. I agree with your T and the points made there. We live in a "fix it now"society. Kudos to you for having the awareness about it. Take gentle care. (((((Enola))))) only safe hugs.

April_optimist said...

Much sympathy. As others have said, his choosing to look at pornography has nothing to do with you. He would do it no matter what. It IS his battle to fight--if he chooses to do so.

All we can do is figure out who we are, what we need, what will make us happy and then see, starting from that point and being true to ourselves, what kind of relationship we can create with the other person. That truth scared the crap out of me for far too many years....

Rising Rainbow said...

Lots of great information in these comments, Enola.

This is really about him and has nothing to do with you. The only one you can fix is you....... and here that mean fixing your urge to fix him.

Hang in there and know we're all pulling for you.