(please note that names have been changed below)
Thanks for these thoughts, John. I am grateful for addiction because to indulge is death, but to not indulge I am required to come to God each day and immerse myself in the spirit through scriptures and prayer etc. As I have done this, I have come to value my connection to God and what I get from Him each day, MUCH more than I value what lust gave me at its best! With this Spirit, I don’t find a need to take a drink of lust anymore.
You will hate me for this =) but I am particularly grateful for what is happening between you and your wife, because it is critical to your spiritual transformation to spiritual health. The fact that Linda seems harsh and you believe she doesn’t make the effort to reconnect, is a perfect crucible for what you need – and what you are ready to achieve as you begin to work step 2.
Specifically, the core of every sex addicts psyche (and many men in general) is the belief that the free and unconditional love of a beautiful woman will heal and save them – and that this love, symbolized by sex, is the most important thing in their life. I find this to be more and more true of the addict and many men the farther I get in my recovery. The fact that Linda is still so capable of driving you nuts while you see yourself as giving and giving and the one making all the effort is evidence that you still unconsciously hold on to this belief. She is threatening your core even as you with futility work to appease a god that can’t fill you. Your Father in Heaven, your Higher Power, needs to be at this core, filling you – not the illusion of a woman. Then you can help Linda feel safe and ready to be better connected with you. My prayer for you and your children is that you don’t have to lose your wife to learn this lesson.
For me, the wrenching of my ex-wife from my life was an unspeakable hell (how could it be described?)….but by coming to meetings and to God on my face each day (where else could I turn?), I progressively came to have my Father in Heaven and His Son filling the core of my life, and not some imaginary archetype of the perfect woman that I thought I could create or find. The paradox is that for some time now I am able to love a woman from my heart, and not give with unrealistic expectations on the return.
I never recognized this when married before. Instead, I was working my tail off to be a good husband and give my ex-wife everything she wanted in every way and to be this long-suffering guy, SO that I could get her to the place in life where she could finally consistently meet all my emotional and safety needs to be saved and healed. Much less out of a deep honor and respect for her and who she was and what she truly needed from me to feel affirmed and safe. She felt this disconnect (women always do) and so never felt fully safe and secure in our relationship.
Because only Father in Heaven and not a woman could ever meet my souls hunger, I would suddenly and sometimes surprisingly “find” myself looking elsewhere to satiate the illusionary drive that was at my core – the need for some golden, smiling, inviting woman to save me – but that only enlarged the hunger. In my baseline pride, I only allowed God to replace this core belief from time to time as I went through repentance cycles; But he didn’t dwell there. If He had, I:
1. wouldn’t have been frustrated at never finding some paradisiacal/illusionary secret-garden through my poor human wife. 2. wouldn’t have Impulsively acted out when I couldn’t suppress my core belief any longer 3. could have loved my ex-wife from a place of internal security – like a real man should love his wife. 4. would have really listened to find what she was looking for 5. showed greater leadership to bring God into both of our lives together – the only real solution to both us as individuals and as a couple.
With love and empathy for your stage in this experience, Your Sponsor.