Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dear "Addi" - Did I do or not do something to make him want to look at pornography or outside of our marriage for sex?

Several weeks ago, my wife presented me with a document containing 35 questions. She simply said, " I was wondering if you could help me with these questions that I have?"  Since then, we have worked through many of those questions together.   As we talked, I began to realize that our marriage is very unique (post confession) in the way we freely discuss everything.  Maybe that is just the way we have chosen to deal with things or maybe all husbands and wives talk about everything all the time.  As I have talked with other addicts though, I have come to suspect that we are kind of the exception, rather than the rule.

My wife has told me that our free flow of communication and honesty is a key step in helping her heal. She has admitted that most women need answers. Women have a difficult time just saying, "Okay, you were bad… never do it again," and then simply moving on. On the contrary. Most women want to ask more and more and more questions as they try to understand the disease, to confirm that it is in fact a disease and not just his philandering personality, or to seek some sort of comfort through understanding the mind of an addict.   Wives need to know why he would make certain choices, why he didn't stop, why he let it escalate, or where she fit into his mind when he was doing these things.

I have a hunch that some marriages (post confession) are not as open as ours.  We are certainly not a perfect example of a whole and healed marriage by any means.  We have a long way to go to be fully whole.  Furthermore, we are not special because of our communication process.  But for me…. I finally realized that I could open up and share everything, answer every question, offer every insight, or… I could lose my wife, my family and everything else that was important to me.   And so, with nothing left, I have chosen to bear my entire soul and with that comes a free flow of questions and answers. 

In most cases, the aftermath  of an affair, or the discovery of a pornography addiction is so devastating that it is difficult to speak to each other at all, let alone seek answers.The fear of the sinner to be reminded of his actions through a spouse's questions is very real and often so close to the surface that its hard to approach. 

My wife and I would like to see if we can use our openness to your benefit. So, I am going to attempt to publicly answer many of her questions from the point of view of an addict. I will share where my mind went, what my triggers were, how I felt as things escalated, where she fit into my life during those years, what has worked to break the pattern, and more. I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to answer any questions you would like to ask of your spouse if you could. Perhaps my experience will give you wives insight into what your spouse was thinking, feeling or doing. 

When I first decided to start answering these questions publicly, I knew I needed to come up with a unique name for my blog.  I thought of many names that seemed dry and drab and that really didn't fit my personality.  So, after several minutes of contemplation (at least 2), I have come up with this….

"Dear Addi"
-Honest answers from a recovering addict of pornography and sex

Feel free to submit your questions.

I am going to start off with what I consider to be a tough one. This is just my take on these questions. If you have a different insight or perspective from your experience, please feel free to share it in the comments section below.

QUESTION:  Why wasn't I enough for you?  Did I do or not do something to make you want to look at pornography or outside of our marriage for sex? 

To answer this, I have to remind you of what a sexual addiction does to the brain. It warps ones desires and feelings of love, the divine attribute that is pure and genuine,  to feelings of lust, Satan's counterfeit that promises fulfillment in a bottomless never ending journey to bondage.  The knowledge that I have a beautiful sexy and wonderful wife with which I get be intimate with is wonderful when I feel clean, pure, and worthy.   But the idea of coming home to that same perfect, sexy, and wonderful wife when I have spent my day in filth and feel guilt ridden and overcome with shame…. well that is far more difficult.

I love my wife. I want to explore my intimate moments with her in a loving way. I do not Lust after my wife. I do not now or ever want to look at my wife through lust filled eyes.  So, avoidance becomes a tactic.  Instead of eagerly engaging intimately, I would avoid, dodge and evade the idea of intimacy.

Evading offered me protection in 2 ways…

1. I would not have to be filled with a dirty or  guilty feeling when being with her and…

2. I would avoid the flashes of images or videos I had recently watched. The last place I want to see them is when I am with my wife intimately.

The problem with number 2 is that as long as you are continually feeding those thoughts, you can never escape them...especially in intimacy. They are present and ready to flash across your mind without warning or invitation.

She has recently told that she had no idea that we had another woman in our bed with us for all these years. That woman's name is Lust and she is a selfish partner. She wants only what she wants and she distorts a true and loving relationship and twists it into something that resembles the fantasies of our habits.

My addiction to pornography started before I met my wife. I had tried to squash it over and over without success. believing that once I was married, It would no longer be an issue.  Lust does not care that you're married though. My beautiful wife did not have flaws in any way. The flaws were in my head. Pornography had trained me to expect something unholy in intimacy. The intimacy I had imagined was accompanied by guilt and shame. It was not a place of love or a chamber of sanctity in which we could strengthen a celestial relationship. 

Porn offered me the ability to feed an unholy hunger.  It was a hunger that I dared not expose my wife to, or soil our intimacy with. It was my private, sinful obsession and I could not defile her with my broken thoughts. So I instead feasted on those thoughts in privacy. 

I won't lie… our sex life changed quite a bit over the past several years of marriage. We were your typical newly married couple; eager and anxious to be intimate.  But as time went by,  my filthiness and my guilt, and the fear of seeing porn in my head or wanting to act out those pornographic scenarios in our bed… well… it caused me to avoid intimacy all together. Before long,  we were only intimate when she would initiate it.  Sadly,  I had begun to practice avoidance… and my avoidance led me back to porn.

She did not drive me to porn in any way.  On the contrary.  I ran to it as an escape from the guilt I already harbored.  That guilt led to more triggers which led to more acting out.. and so the cycle continued.

As I have gone through recovery, we decided to try an experiment.   We called it our Sex Fast. We decided to take a 6 week break from sex in all of its forms.

I'm not gonna lie.. it was tough.  We both had weak moments but the overall effect for me was an opportunity to cleanse my mind of all the incoming imagery, thoughts, and memories that distracted me from the purity of the act of intimacy.

I wanted to be able to come into our marriage chamber without all of the dirt following me and keep the sanctity of the place pure and clean as the Lord intended.  It really helped me to change the way I look at sex. To reset, if you will, my focus from one of simply pleasure and lust, and instead begin to enjoy it as a way to draw closer to my wife through an act that only we share together.

And so now,  when my wife mentions a third individual in our intimate moments, I can be confident that it is no longer lust, but instead, the Lord's hand, blessing a sacred act of intimacy that is condoned by the presence of His spirit.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thank for this blog, it has already helped me to communicate better with my wife and for that I am grateful.


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