My husband has been an addict for over 20 years. I found out about his addiction just over a year ago. He claims that his addiction was not about the beauty of those women he looked at. But last night he said I looked at porn because “I am a man-and am attracted to women”.
Okay, the first thing we need to address here is why NOT to believe what the man says in this situation.
In previous posts, you will find explanations of what is happening, chemically, in the mind of an addict’s brain (Search for Satanic Spin). Especially in the stages just before and after the use of the addictive substance (in this case, pornography), the brain is distorted away from accurate functioning not unlike the way an alcohol or other drug user is distorted. In other words, expecting a porn user to drive his mouth accurately is about as likely as asking an inebriated individual to drive a vehicle accurately. Legally, we have the term, DUI – Driving Under the Influence. Relationshipally ;), we should have the term, TUI – Talking Under the Influence. In other words, DO NOT believe anything that comes out of his mouth, especially if it has anything to do with his misbehaviors, anywhere close to the time of his misbehaviors.
As with drinking or other substance abuses, the user is more distorted just before, during and after the usage, but this does not disqualify him/her from being distorted throughout the rest of the day, between usages. There is plenty of research that shows that life philosophies including financial priorities, relationship decisions, perspective of others, permission to misbehave (lie, steal, etc) are distorted in order to maintain/support the addictive behavior. In other words, don’t believe a lot of what he says between usages.
If your husband has been “using” for over 20 years, I would have very little confidence in anything he says about why he is a user. It is highly unlikely that he could accurately diagnose that. It would not matter anyway. Again, think about the alcoholic or the heroin user. If you asked them why they drink, or why they use, the answer would not be useful to you. You won’t be able to get them to stop anyway if you did know. A spouse is the wrong person to provide treatment for an addiction, let alone accurate diagnosis. Your job, as a spouse of an addicted, primarily, is to Refuse to be Abused!
“Supporting” someone at the same time they are abusing you is classic Co-Dependency. I have no problem with one person being kind and encouraging to another who is on an upswing from misbehavior, but there is no value, for the abuser or the abused to “be there for” someone as they are falling and/or when they are misbehaving. That is what God is there for, that is what Christ and His Atonement are there for. That is what professionals are there for. Refer them to one of the above, then Protect yourself from an abuser with as much determination as you would protect your child from an abuser. Keep your dignity as much as you possibly can during this process, and whatever you do, don’t misbehavior yourself!
Perhaps I should note that Abuse is defined by the receiver of the abuse, not the deliverer of the abuse. I see too many cases where the abused is “hit by a wrench” and the abuser says, “That’s not abuse. It is not as bad as…” Just ask yourself if you would let someone treat your child, or your mother or your sister this way (Physically, verbally, emotionally, sexually). If you are not comfortable with it, then almost 100% of the time, there is abuse involved. If you want to talk more about how to handle extenuating circumstances, let me know.
As I think about it, I know I am going to have to expand upon this topic of “Refuse to be Abused” but I need to call it a day for now. Please email me your questions and concerns to I can be thorough.