Dealing with Addiction

There are going to be times in this journey when you, the one who isn’t dealing with sexual brokenness personally, wants nothing more than your spouse to be healed and whole. Sometimes this will correspond with your spouse wanting it for himself/herself, but if my experience is anything like that of others, there are times when the pull of the addiction is too strong and you’re alone in this desire.

What do you do then? You cannot make your spouse want wholeness more than s/he wants to quell the pain. You cannot force someone to walk away from the self-medicating that has become more than habit, but an ingrained part of life. As the expression goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. As frustrating as that is, it’s true.

I liken it to a physical addiction of alcohol or drugs – when the spouse has to choose between continuing to enable the addict’s behaviour or letting him/her organically grow the desire for sobriety. It’s SO hard, watching your loved one stumble. It’s SO hard to eschew self-protecting behaviours. It’s SO hard to trust them to a God Who loves them even more than you do.

So what do you do?

I’ve found my best weapon to be prayer. That probably sounds trite and a bit over-simplified, but it’s true. It’s not that prayer changes the circumstances immediately (although sometimes it can – God’s cool like that), but prayer is my connection to God and He speaks to my soul as I speak with Him. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is, when in the times of despair, He’s met me exactly where I need Him to. The daily devotions that seem to be written only to me (but are published internationally), the words in a Psalm or other passage of Scripture that I will swear I’ve never read before – despite having read them countless times.

It’s in those times that the reality of prayer and the starkness of the situation contrast – and yet, God still has it in control. He’s still on the throne, and He still wants healing for my husband more than I want healing for my husband – and possibly, even more than my husband wants healing for himself.

But one of the most important things about talking to Him during times when I feel like I want healing more than my husband does is that He increases my love for my husband. In the midst of frustration, He pours His amazing love in to my heart to the point of overflow – and the overflow ends up spilling over in to how I talk to and relate to my soulmate. It’s a beautiful and mysterious thing – because it washes away my resentment, my frustration, and my longing to be in a relationship untarnished by sexual brokenness. That last part will never be my reality – but I know someday, this will be a testimony of God’s handiwork and His touch, and it won’t be our daily story.

If you’re in a place of wanting healing and restoration more than your broken spouse does, take it to God in prayer.  Jesus died for our struggles and to forgive our shortcomings.  He rose again, victorious, to set us free and He really does (honest and truly!) have a good plan for your life, even if you can’t see it, sense it, or feel it right now.

Cling to that truth and talk to Him.  Ask Him to work His plan in the heart of your spouse and then ask Him to work His good plan in you.  One day, our struggle-stories will be overcomer-stories, and it’s moments like these that become turning points and white-hot spots of God’s love and grace that move things along..

This entry was posted on 072318H Apr 2012 and is filed under Forgiveness, Marriage Building, Path to Healing, Sexual Brokenness, SSA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.