Addiction is a family disease
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1515  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
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Text: Addiction: A Cancer in the Home
Image of the Day: Not just for kids.
Text: 6 Impossible Things
 
 
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Addiction: A Cancer in the Home
 
By GYE

This is a poignant letter from a hurt and hurting wife, followed by some words of wisdom by the Guard, directed at her husband.

When addiction strikes our home, there's a tendency to take blame on the part of the spouses of addicts. Please see 6 Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast, debunking this misconception.

"Neiroyair" sent an email to GYE as follows:

Dear GYE,

My wife sent me an email this morning (maybe it could be of service to others):

My dear husband,

I know that we both spend a lot of time on the family, taking care of the kids. But we don't spend time just us, nurturing our relationship. I wish we could have a set time that we spend together, no phones. We do a lot of stuff together, but I personally do not feel emotionally connected right now. I don't know how you feel, but my guess is the same. You don't have to say anything for me to see that you are struggling. I know summer is not easy for you, with parnasa challenges and the lack of tznius out there. I know it's not easy for you, and I'm sorry if I am causing your difficulties by not helping you feel fulfilled. I don't know if you're still active on Guardyoureyes or not, or if your phone is filtered, or if there is anything you are doing to help yourself so that you don't have to struggle by yourself. But I know that the issue is there. I know from the way you use your phone and don't want me looking at it. I know from the way you can't look me in the face. I know you are hurting, and I'm sorry.

And I know that I am not doing a good job parenting right now, and that you want me to listen to parenting shiurim. Again, you don't have to say anything; I know myself and I can feel your disapproval a lot lately. I am trying and doing a lot of soul searching lately trying to figure out why I'm so lost and floundering, unable to keep myself over the surface. I think most of my unhappiness is tied into yours, but I have to work on myself to not let my happiness depend on anything else. It's not fair to you or the kids when I am upset and in a bad mood, no matter what the cause is. I'm sorry. I don't know what else to say.

I wish we could have this discussion in person and talk face to face, but we seem to have a hard time talking that way. So if you'd rather write me what you're thinking, if it's easier to get it out on paper than through talking, I am listening. I want to hear what you have to say.

GYE responds to "Neiroyair" regarding his wife's email to him:

I feel really bad for your wife. Especially that she feels at fault. And even more so, if it's true that you use your phone for inappropriate things and don't want her looking at it.

She sounds like a very special woman. It is so TRAGIC that we do this to our wives with our addiction. We must do EVERYTHING in our power to break free of this! Even if it means joining a live SA group in your area. Why must our wives and children suffer?

Yes, she feels that you are not emotionally "there" for her. And what is the cause of that if not this insidious addiction?? Of course she can't be a good mother when she is unhappy and unfulfilled, as she wrote: "I think most of my unhappiness is tied into yours." That is the nature of a woman. If she feels an emotional disconnect from her husband, she will feel unhappy and unable to be a good mother. So your marriage and your children's lives are at stake here.

So what more can you do to break free of this? What can you do to save your marriage and children before they are damaged emotionally beyond help?

May Hashem give you strength to do EVERYTHING it takes to save yourself from this spiritual cancer invading your life. Not just your life, but your home.

"Neiroyair" responds:

Wow! Very, very, very well said! Hashem should give us koach and thank you for your caring, yet pointed words!

Image of the Day
 

Spouses build trust through following up on mutual agreements.

Not just for kids.
 
Not just for kids.
Text
 

For dozens of articles aiming to heal the family and provide help to spouses, visit our collection.

 
6 Impossible Things
 
When you husband struggles with porn addiction, some things seem impossible to believe.
 
By GYE

For more articles for spouses of addicts, visit the blog Problems with Porn.

This site provides support, advice and information for women who are struggling to deal with their partner using porn. There is no quick or easy fix but here you will find the knowledge you need to understand the problems; the encouragement you need to face them head on, and the inspiration you need to keep fighting for your relationship.

Copyright Disclaimer.

When you are in the middle of a problem with porn it can easily feel like this is the way life will always be. Always hard, always hurting, always struggling. It’s easy for me to say this isn’t true but until you are out the other side you won’t believe me.

So with that in mind, I want to ask you to decide to believe in six things which may seem impossible at the moment. Like Alice in Wonderland, have faith that these six things are true and use them as a basis to believe that you can overcome your problems (just like Alice slayed the Jabberwocky).

Impossible thing #1 – it’s not about you

We can all feel like our partners want porn because there is something wrong with us but this is simply not true. Your partner using porn isn’t about you. There are a lot of things it is about but it’s not because you are not enough for him, not attractive enough for him or not willing enough for him. This is about him and only him.

Impossible thing #2 – it’s not your fault

You did not drive him to use porn. You did not make him use porn. There is nothing you did that meant that he had no choice but to use porn. It is not your fault. At all.

Impossible thing #3 – you will be able to trust again

It may seem hard to believe but you can learn to trust again. Trust takes communication, a willingness to be vulnerable and a commitment to being honest but these things can all be developed. It takes hard work and a lot of effort on both sides. It may also lead to some difficult decisions about whether you can stay in your relationship but ultimately, if you want to be with someone you can trust then you can make this happen.

Impossible thing #4 – you will be able to heal

There is so much pain, devastation and hurt from porn that it can feel like you will never be the same again – and to a certain extent you won’t. But you can be better. You can grow stronger, you can move forward, you can forgive, you can heal. You can learn from your experiences and discover who you really are. You will be able to look back on your experience and feel grateful that you went through it because of the changes it led you to make.

Impossible thing #5 – you can feel good about yourself

Most likely, at this point, you are feeling pretty crappy about yourself. You might be comparing yourself to porn (don’t, by the way) or feeling like you are not enough for your partner. Here’s the thing though, by tackling the problems you are having with porn head on you will automatically start to feel better about yourself.

By standing up for your values you will stop people from treating you badly. By asking for more from your relationship you are making yourself important. By removing porn from your relationship you can start to feel more comfortable. By working on any issues that porn has brought up for you you will become more confident, stronger and more relaxed about yourself. By looking after yourself physically and emotionally you will become the best version of yourself that you can be. All of these things will make you feel good about yourself on the inside and that’s all you need to feel good about yourself on the outside.

Impossible thing #6 – you can have a better relationship

It can often feel that there is no coming back from your problems with porn, that you’re doomed to have a miserable relationship for ever. Nope, not true. Not even close. If you and your partner can tackle the problems you are having with porn as a team, to address issues on both sides that are causing problems and to learn how to communicate your needs so these can be met you will be able to have a much stronger relationship than before porn even became an issue.

So there you have it, your six impossible things to believe before breakfast. Write them down, stick them somewhere you can see them each morning and just have faith that they are possible.

Do you think you may have a porn addiction?
 

Do you have a problem with obsessive and compulsive porn use? Have you seriously tried the tools on GYE and feel that you are not getting better? Maybe it’s time to consider joining a 12-Step program.

Porn Anonymous (PA)
If you’re compulsively acting-out with pornography and masturbation we suggest you explore joining Porn Anonymous (PA). If you need help deciding whether to join PA, call Michael at 347-699-2368, or email help@pornanonymous.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit pornanonymous.org (Hebrew: p-a.org.il / Yiddish: pa-yid.org).

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
If your compulsive acting-out has progressed beyond the screen (with other people, paid sexual services, etc.) we suggest you explore joining Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). To figure out if SA is for you, call Dov at 917-414-8205, or email Dov at dov@guardyoureyes.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit www.sa.org.

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