A respected blogger in the field of female porn addiction, Beggar’s Daughter, had an interesting thing to say today:
“…It has opened up healing conversation after healing conversation. After the most recent, I realized that the fear I had of what the future might look like is a fear any female struggler is going to share. It’s not unique to me simply because I’m an author and speaker; it’s shared by all of us.
No one has been there. The leading female voices on female porn addiction are all still single. There aren’t resources for marriages where the wife is the addict/former addict. There aren’t counselors trained to handle this specific scenario.”
Now, I’m the first to admit that I’m not a “leading voice”, but I sure am an authority on it, being that I live it day in and day out.
A little background: Jim and I were friends for years before we dated. All that time the addiction was either brewing or being active. I hid it really, really well. When we dated, it certainly affected my life and our dating relationship, but I was utterly clueless about it. It wasn’t until after we broke our engagement that I figured things out and got counseling. Jim and I stayed broken up for a good 9 months and I was free to concentrate on my recovery unhindered. HUGELY important.
When the conversations about getting back together started happening, I was so scared. I had been so messed up. Although he had absolutely played a part in our breakup, I feel like a lot of it was my fault. I had given my counselor (which happened to also be his counselor) permission to talk to him about my addiction. That might have been a little unorthodox, but I had no clue where to start. After that, one day I gave him my recovery journal, where I had been utterly honest with myself. It was brutal, but I wanted him to see the journey I had gone through. I wanted him to know that the sobriety that I had fought so hard for was something I valued and didn’t intend to turn my back on.
Fast forwarding 22 years (actually almost 23 from when we started all this!), obviously from this blog I still struggle. Whether that will always be the case I don’t know. I hope not. Sometimes I struggle with being honest with my husband in it–or even after it. He is not my accountability partner. I DO have a woman accountability partner and she gets emails about my internet usage. Jim gets them as well. He also gets what I think are instant alerts (not a weekly digest) where if something looks really fishy they let him know immediately. It’s not foolproof. I think it looks for keywords, and that alerts him when I’m reading an article on a Christian lesbian talking about choosing celibacy. We roll our eyes and move on. I do think I will always have that level of “big brother”, that much I can say.
I obviously can’t speak for how he feels about it. He’s seen me at my worst and he’s seen me when I’m not struggling at all. I think part of the wonder of marriage is he’s seen both, loves me as I am, and will be with me ” ’til death do us part.”