Don't Get too Detailed with your Wife
"Honest Mouse" writes:
I had a long chat with my wife about stuff and we grew a lot closer as a result. I realized something, real love is SO much better than lust!! Why do we even let it be a choice? It doesn't even compare! There are some emotional aspect to it all which I'm gonna discuss with my therapist, and my wife is gonna help me work through it.
As I know absolutely nothing about the relationship you have with your wife, I should probably shut up. But as I am technically not talking but writing, here goes:
I found that the majority of the issues I had - particularly around lust - were way out of my wife's ability to truly comprehend. Oh, she definitely loved me and definitely thought she understood a bit about what must be vexing me, but she was making a few big mistakes. Like, that if I'd only be a really, really nice guy and really, really love her, I'd automatically be liberated from this garbage and be drawn to her and her alone. She honestly believed (or wanted to believe) that if I'd be faced with a really, really nice wife, I'd never "choose" to look to lust for help! She never understood that my allegiance and trust of lust never had anything to do with her at all, ever. Just like my childhood attachment to lust had nothing to do with her, of course. She thought I was the clean slate for her to paint a beautiful life on. Boy did I disappoint her. And myself.
Nu. I'm not talking about guilt. Guilt never helped me.
But I am just asking you to consider focusing on working with the shrink (or any third party) rather than with her, particularly on any inner emotional matter that affects your relationship with her, and particularly with respect to lust. I know this sounds crazy, cuz "aren't we supposed to be fostering communication and openness?" But it just didn't succeed that way for my wife and I. Even though the openness drew us closer at first, the fear and pain she felt, and my unrealistic expectation of understanding from her, always ended-up driving us farther apart. After about a year of my own sobriety, she began to notice positive change in my general (sexual and nonsexual) behavior. That seemed to give her the security she needed in order to begin tolerating a glimpse of my goofy inner maelstrom. Now I can - and do - share just about everything with her.
Her steadfast love for you is not in doubt! But her femininity=total obliviousness to what life is like with the very 'factory' for schar aveiro (yup, that's what the pleasure of lust is) and hefseid aveiro (it makes us depressed and then we usually turn to it even more!) built right onto your body 24/7! ...Now, that's just beyond any woman I know (except a shrink-type lady - unless she happens to be your wife!).
Finally, I believe that being your wife, this great lady is naturally dependent on your attachment and faithfulness to her in order to define her very wife-ness. It can be very frightening for a wife to actually begin to understand that her husband who is holding her right now, has a dark side. That he is not guaranteed to be fully in control of his desires for other women - be they in flesh, or even just in photos or mental fantasies of them. I believe that it is normal and healthy for a woman to feel this way, and it shouldn't be otherwise. Never lie to her about anything. But she truly deserves the fruit of your labors, not necessarily your labors themselves!
So, sometimes we get closer by giving each other some more space!