hiccups & ball gowns

Every path to healing through addiction (no matter what type of addiction) will have divots in the road, or hiccups where the addict stumbles. Sexual addiction is no different from that. And yet, somehow I had this faulty idea that once we began down the path to healing that it would be rainbows & butterflies.

Oh, was I wrong.

Things began to be a bit “odd” for me a few weeks ago. It was a subtle feeling of distance between the two of us, but I honestly was so wrapped up in other aspects of life that I sort of assumed it was me. Our lovemaking began to dwindle in frequency, but I was so physically *tired* that I was falling asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow. And when I mentioned it to my husband, he reminded me that it really *is* okay that we are tired and aren’t intimate every night. Certainly not my preference, but maybe it’s a season of life. Or so I thought.

The feeling of “something’s not right” stayed with me however, and last night, I had a flash of insight that told me things *weren’t* right. And I was pissed. Angry, hoppin’ mad, pissed off — you name the adjective and that was me. God sometimes gives me these flashes of insight (intuition) and they are never wrong, but I also knew I had to screw my courage to the sticking place (Γ‘la Lady Macbeth) and deal with it and whatever came out of it.

My gut told me that my husband was pulling away and hiding from me. Little things that built up to where I could say, “You’ve been pulling away and avoiding me — and here’s what I’ve noticed ….” I’m a Physical Touch person who has recently gotten in touch with her primary love language and things like my husband pulling out of an embrace or side-stepping me when I try to touch or hug him tells me that he’s engaged elsewhere and not with me. Not that it’s all about me — not by any stretch. But when he avoids my affection and love language after trying to be intentional about speaking it to me, something’s amiss.

So, knowing that I was about to launch in to this discussion last night, I contacted a dear friend of mine who has more healing-time under her belt than me. Dear Friend talked me down off the ledge and prayed with me (bless her!), and while we were talking, God gave her an image for me. She saw me on a dance floor, to the point where she could see the parquet floor, and me in the middle of it. I was regaled in a floor-length gown in pink and ivory, in a “cute little off-the-shoulder-number.” πŸ˜‰ I stood in the middle of the dance floor, wanting desperately to dance, but my husband was on the sidelines — dressed to the nines and with his leg in a cast. He wanted to dance with me, but his injury prevented it. Dear Friend went on to say that even though my husband was currently unable to dance with me, it didn’t negate what God had done to get me to a place where *I* could dance. Nor did it negate the beauty of my gown and personal presentation (i.e., healing). What a beautiful image and what Truth was in that.

I had also called Dear Friend because I knew the anger that had risen up in me was partly due to fear and that if I wasn’t careful, it would come out mean and snarky when I talked to my husband. And I most certainly didn’t want that. As she prayed for me, she reminded me that hiccups will happen, but that it doesn’t mean that the healing “didn’t stick,” or that it wasn’t real. It just means that there are divots in the road. One thing that my husband and I talked about last night was that it didn’t matter how many times you fall in the course of healing and becoming free from addiction, it matters how many times you get up after falling. And so within that context, I heard Dear Friend’s reminder that every time we get up and make it even one more inch while bloodied and bruised, Heaven rejoices and cheers us on.

With those reminders and stories fresh in my mind, my husband and I sat down to talk. Well, I did most of the talking (and crying) and he listened and added things here and there. For us, the frequency of our intimacy is a good barometer of the health in our relationship; having come from a place where we were rarely intimate in to a place where my awakening had me wanting him 7 nights out of 7, it’s a reasonable measure of our relational health. And between that barometer going down and the sense that he was pulling away, I knew I had hit on something.

One of the things I told his is that he is MINE and I will not share him with his addiction or with others who don’t seek healing and would use him to get their own jollies and/or entice him to a place where they enjoy staying. In some ways, his healing has brought him to where he can coach others along the path through IM. Cyber-friendships in his realm are common, but they are also dangerous. I had no problem when he and another friend were chatting regularly , because I knew their hearts and their mutual desires for healing and health. But I don’t have the same assurances with some of the people he chats with. I don’t know them and if he’s honest, he doesn’t know them either. There are trolls online who would seek to use others for their own personal gain and pleasure, and I have this gut instinct that tells me he’s been communicating with some of these wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing.

So we set up some boundaries for ourselves including limiting IM-chat with those IM-friends whom he doesn’t know well and/or who haven’t expressed a true desire to remain pure and healthy. It’s almost like inviting the Enemy in to our home directly at that point — like dancing with the Devil and then wondering why your leg is broken after your partner has thrown you to the ground.

One of the hard things that Dear Friend heard God say that I was to do was to wash my husband’s feet. That it was okay to cry and show him how his addiction hurts me, but to remember that it was not in response to me and that I needed to humble myself and do this servanthood-thing for him. Foot-washing is something that I’ve done a few times in my life and has always had a special significance and emotional impact on me. I’m not completely sure why, but it has. So as she told me this word and prefaced it with “this is a hard word,” I steeled myself for it. But I knew I had to obey and do it — so I did. It was a chance for me to remind him that even though it was his addiction and sin that was hurting me, I didn’t put myself in a place above him where I was going to lord it over him. I was bound and determined to serve him and walk this out together. And so I did. I knelt on the floor and washed his feet and dried them, crying all the while, but holding on to Jesus and trusting that He would take the act done in faith and turn it in to something amazing in my husband’s life and heart.

We ended the evening in prayer — God gave me a frightening vision in my spirit of how damaging IM’g with some of these people can be, and we prayed through that. I felt like an idiot — blubbering all the way and realizing how *weird* this all sounded, even to me. And yet the reality and horror of that vision couldn’t be ignored, because it is a reality.

And I shared the ball-gown vision that Dear Friend had of me and realized that my husband’s sidelining injury was something that is preventing us from dancing together, but that it is also a chance for me to wait for him in the beautiful gown (of emotional health) that God has given me to wear. Once he is mended and his leg is out of the cast, we will whirl around that dance floor together — me in my pink & ivory dress and long hair flying out behind me, and he in his tuxedo (did I mention? He cleans up well! πŸ˜‰ ), expertly weaving me in and out of the other couples and being rays of light and sparkly glitter that show exactly what God has done in our lives.

As we went to bed, I discovered what it meant to be truly in love with the man I married and to have God visit me with desire for this man when I couldn’t muster it myself. I believe God did it because He knew what we needed and knew that we needed to remember that our bodies don’t belong to ourselves, but to each other. We needed that glue of hot monogamy to once again bond us, and we needed the physical link between our mental images and memories and ourselves. It was a long and difficult night, but ultimately, a new signpost on our path to healing.

We still have work to do, but we’re getting there.

We’re getting there.

His and his,

This entry was posted on 161332H Oct 2008 and is filed under Anger, 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.

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