My husband has been very active with his recovery from his pornography addiction, with reading workshops, therapy groups in developing his faith since D-Day 2, a little over two months ago. My future storm worry is a relapse, since he is so new to recovery. Right now, he’s very optimistic and excited about getting better. But I think with time he will start to struggle more. I think since I’m expecting this storm, I will be able to face it firmly in acting my boundaries and consequences and creating a safe space for myself to focus on and continue my recovery work. I don’t want to get de-railed by my progress, though, and get discouraged thinking that he’ll never recover. He has told me that he has stopped for about a two year period after D-Day 1, which was three months into our marriage, but then he started back up again and has done it weekly for the past five years. He never did any kind of recovery work until now, but he’s been gone for weeks and months at a time throughout our marriage with military training. So I really don’t know how to recognize the signs of relapse. He was so rarely home. My struggle is that I feel lost and struggle to make important decisions, and to know what I want and what is good for me. I worry that if I can’t make an important decision now and decide what I want to do for myself and my career, then I won’t recognize it, or when my husband relapses since I’m not fully in tune with myself. I guess my question is, how will I be able to face a future storm if I can’t recognize it?
What’s reality to you, is you probably already know the potential storm, you already forecasting it, thinking, what would I do if you relapsed? How will I respond? I think you already answered those questions. I’m going to have boundaries, I’m going to do these things, but how will I recognize it in him? The reality is I want him in his recovery to be accountable. Not that you have to discover, but him being accountable, him owning it, is actually his recovery to be honest with you to make sure that he’s not using secrets or deception. So ideally it would be him, being that. Now if he’s not that and you have to discover it or whatever, then how am I going to prepare for that? Then I’ve got to go back to my boundaries and I’ve got to do that, enact those boundaries.
Then the other part of this is having a continuous plan with him. He needs to be able to say, what will I do if I relapse? What is my plan? What am I committing to if there is a relapse? And I think his awareness there is very important, as something that I would strongly recommend that he start to focus on and work towards.
Your question, how will I be able to face a future storm if I can’t recognize it? I’m going to prepare by forecasting in my mind, healthy responses in difficult times. Resilient people, actually, they recognize it’s going to be hard, but I know I can get through this. It’s going to pass, the storm passes. And because the storm passes, I know that I can go through this. Now, the question is, will I choose to go through that with him? If so, then what is he committing to do to make sure that he’s accountable, that he’s owning it, so the storm is not as intense through deception through lies, because those make the storm even more intense rather than honesty.
Anyway, so I think you and your husband coming up with a game plan in advance, so you don’t have to do it all by yourself, that makes it more relational and it also makes him more accountable. That’s how I would approach it, but thank you for sharing and asking your question. Thanks for supporting your husband while he’s in the service of our safety and freedom.