Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Your Spouse May Not Understand Your Pain Yet

struggleBy now you’ve realized that you and your spouse may have very different mental and emotional patterns going on. But everyone is capable of having empathy for others, so why doesn’t he understand how much this porn issue hurts you?

 Blind Spots and Protective Measures

There are some really heavy emotions going on in the porn users life:

  • Fear
  • Guilt
  • Shame

For most, these are emotions they’re running from, and it keeps them locked in the habit. But for those who are in a recovery program, they have to deal with these emotions head on. The intensity of dealing with their own conflicting emotions keeps them numb to your pain (but only for a little while).

Imagine how much more fearful, guilty and shameful they would feel having to deal with the full force of how this porn habit is affecting you. They already have some intuitive understanding which feeds into their guilt and shame, but they need some time to work through their own emotions before they can really digest yours.

Porn users protect themselves from their own fear, guilt and shame by hiding their habit and lying (to themselves and others). They’re still in a stage of self-protection during the early days of recovery. After they get some success and regain some confidence, they will probably become more sensitive to you.

Be Clear and Kind

If your spouse isn’t in recovery yet, you need to be clear that you won’t accept their behavior. Tell them they need to enroll in a recovery program right away so that you can begin to trust them again. Although you may feel very hurt and angry, be careful not to multiply the problem with mean and spiteful words.

Honesty is important in a relationship but there are different ways to express your feelings honestly. Don’t let your emotions come out in a way that judges or accuses, especially if your spouse is already in recovery. Be aware of your tone of voice and facial expressions as well. You don’t have to walk around on egg shells, but keep in mind that your goal is to improve understanding between you and your spouse.

Venus & Mars Communicate

Have you ever read the book “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus”? You can find it on Amazon, at your local bookseller or in the library. It’s not 100{bda5e1ff4f696e433360859710ea00f93f5a180c77a32668a2750d1b463ad63f} accurate to say all men are Martians and all women are Venusian’s, but some understanding can be gained from these ideas. Learn how to relate better to him and he may gradually begin to understand you and your feelings.