The following is a reply I got from “Anonymous” after she read “A Success Story” below. She sent it to me on the 13th, and I have been pondering a useful response every since. It was not hard to observe the parallels between this woman’s concerns and most of the women who come to see me, so instead of giving a brief response, I am going to spend the next several posts addressing the issue. Here is what she wrote to me. If you have questions of concerns that relate to her experience, email them to me at email@example.com right away, and I will work to include them in my writings.
“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”. What that says to me-is that I am not attractive enough. He constantly slips back to blaming me for his addiction in one way or another and last night I realized maybe that is deep down waht he’s blaming for..that I am not and never will be attractive to him. Are there some sex addicts-even mormon men-who look at porn because thier wives are ugly to them? Or is it always because they have emotional problems-but just cover them up by saying they are guys-and naturally attracted to the most beautiful of women? This young man in the post said he’s not a bad kid-inside he’s gold….I want to believe that about my husband..but I wonder if after 20-25 years of addiction-if I will always be an object to him-someone to please him…enough that he debases women and looks at them without clothes on-to somehow feel better than they are (he says women intimidate him-because he was abused as a child and looking at them without clothes makes them vulnerable to him-so that he can not feel intimidated by them because they are in his power then)…My husband seems like a bad man. He is emotionally abusive-and sinks into day after day of withdrawl and criticizes what I am as a woman and wife. I see every once in a while something that doesn’t seem dark in him. But when I am around him I feel darkness…I feel worthless…that oil this young man was talking about seems to be getting all over me too. My husband thinks women are lower than he is-and I am the woman he is married too. How do I rise above this and not let his view of women effect my self worth…I know God loves me and that Satan wants me to feel worthless as a result of what my husband continues to do. But is there a way when my husbnad walks through the door-and criticizes me-blames me, gets angry, lies and plays the victim of his addiction and choices..that I can combat those feelings of ugly, worthless, not enough-that I always feel when I around him? (besides prayers, going to the temple or divorcing him). I feel like I am in war-but I don’t have a gun-my husband has the gun and is shooting at me, my kids, my friends…There are so many casualties of this war. I fear my husband… And every day I wake up with that fear inside. I read about Post traumatic stress syndrome in an article once-and I feel those same feelings that war veterans have…And I am not sure how to win the “war”-one that I can’t fight for my husband..but one that I am in every day with him. I don’t want to become of casualty of this war. How do I live with this man-and stay alive, emotionally and mentally? He feels that I ugly, worthless, the reason for his addiction…How do I not lose myself in his addiction-and get that oil off of me?”
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