"I love my husband. The other day he folded all the laundry, put it away, and even did the dishes...I have the best hubby in the world!" Comments like these are typical in the culture I currently live in. The noxious Facebook status updates roll through my feed as I sit at the table and ignore doing the dishes. They drum up this deep annoyance for me. Angst. I was ranting about it to my friend today. I yelled, "Why in the hell does doing every day egalitarian tasks warrant such adoration?" On the surface I don't think these things, these acts, should count as "special treatment" for a woman. I think that family duties should be shared... just because I have a vagina does not mean I belong in the kitchen. *fist bump for the feminists*
I'm not really mad about the fact that these women are so moved with joy that their partners did the dishes for them and they are gushing vapidly. I am mad about this deep existential crisis in my heart. I am mad that their lives are so simple. I am mad that my life is so complex, so hard. I am mad that they are so easily pleased by dishes, laundry, and the hour their husbands took the kids. My husband does the dishes, he sweeps the floors, I leave for weekends and he cares for the kids solo, and he wakes up at night to diaper and feed babies while I sleep.... but he is a addict.
Sex addiction is not unlike alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction, or food addiction. It is a compulsive drive to act out in an addictive cycle. It involves trauma and shame and is far more stigmatized than other addictions
. Sexual addiction is best described as a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. * Like all addictions, its negative impact on the addict and on family members increases as the disorder progresses. Over time, the addict usually has to intensify the addictive behavior to achieve the same results.
I learned a little less than two years ago that the person I married was an addict. He was an addict BEFORE we were married. It had been kept a secret.
I was blindsided.
The man I married was not the man I discovered.
I was sleeping with a stranger
A stranger who didn't give a damn about vows.
It is easy to get mad and point fingers and demonize. Sex addicts are just like other addicts. They are wrapped up in a disease that has its roots in trauma they have experienced. I straddle the two worlds. There is the one world where I am so pissed at him and think about how evil he is and the other world is where I am deeply hurt for him. Deep pain and abuse creates addicts.
He left in October for rehab. I spent 35 days being a single parent, figuring out what marriage.
meant to me.
I threw things
I blamed people
I stared into space
I attempted to avoid
I emotionally vomited to complete strangers.
He moved out from our family home and we were seperated. It isn't the first time that we've been separated. When the initial disclosure happened I asked him to leave as well.
He has moved back in. We are seeking reconciliation and sobriety. I am trying to figure out what life means knowing who he truly is. I feel a comfortable mix of hope and hurt. I am trying to piece together what was real about my previous relationship with my husband and what was part of being manipulated by an addict. I am trying to figure out what part of our life falling a part was because of my baggage and issues. I am holding so tightly to the belief that God is a loving and sovereign force that heals and redeems all things- no matter how broken they look.
I am embracing the people who hold me togther when I am falling a part.
I am waiting and watching and trying to see if I can figure out how to trust again.
.... I wish it was as easy as getting him to do the damn dishes.