A funny thing happened on the way to recovery from my husband’s porn addiction, I discovered I was an addict too.
I needed to figure out the roots of addiction.
As you and I attempt to deal with our pain, we often reach for simple, quick, and easy solutions—a pill, alcohol, shopping, sugar, sex, busyness, etc. However, none of these solutions eliminate the pain. They mask it at best but often result in greater pain.
The pain of addiction.
We go to great lengths to avoid pain and find relief from that pain when it hits.
When God created the world, He called it good, perfect, and beautiful. And it existed without pain. If you read the first two chapters of Genesis, you discover the idyllic Eden. This perfect, pain-free land most people spend their lives trying to experience. A utopia, which existed at the beginning of creation and I believe will exist again one day when Jesus returns.
The roots of addiction are spiritual.
Therefore, any cure we choose outside of dealing with the root cause of the addiction doesn’t last. Rabbi Shais Taub states:
“Addicts are people who, for whatever reason, are unsettled to the core and cannot handle the business of life without maintaining a continual and acute awareness of the Divine . . . The real problem that lies at the core of addiction is that addicts are people who are in dire need of a relationship with God but are able to substitute fulfilling this need with a behavior that is essentially self-destructive. Really, the drug of choice becomes the addict’s God . . . Addiction is idol worship in the most fundamental sense of the term—turning to something other than God to do for you what only God can do.”
Rabbi Taub is correct.
Addiction’s spiritual roots = idol worship.
God makes it very clear in several Bible passages that He is to be the center of our being, the One we turn to in our pain and hurt. Nothing and no one else satisfies or brings healing to our pain.
I know. I watched my husband work through the pain of his addiction.
And, as he did, I discovered some basic misconceptions about addictive behavior.
Lies the enemy tries to make your spouse believe:
You are unlovable.
At the core of every person is the need to be loved for who they are. Not for how they look or perform, but for their simple existence. Satan torments us that whatever we’ve done or not done diminishes our ability to be loved. Every unkind word or perception of being overlooked fuels this lie. Anything from neglect to abuse reinforces the belief.
But, God says He loves us with an everlasting love. The greatest demonstration of love was Jesus birth, death, and resurrection. One of His last words on the cross was a declaration of His love for you and me: “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” Only God could love BIG enough to die for the entire human race. You are unconditionally loved by your Creator God.
You feel shame.
Following on the heels of being unlovable, shame powerfully isolates a person. Underneath shame is the lie “if you knew who I really was you’d reject me.” The enemy of our souls loves to use this one repeatedly. As a human, you make mistakes as everyone does. Yet, if you live with shame, each mistake gets magnified. Lies like, “See, you are so stupid” “You can’t be trusted because you always mess things up” “ Who’s going to ever believe you when you behave that way.”
But, God says He created you to be who you are. He knows you make mistakes, but that doesn’t disqualify you from being used by Him. Look at the Apostle Peter, who is one Christ-follower I relate to well. How many times did he blurt out the first thought that came to mind? He did that usually because he didn’t know what to say or do, so he did or said the first thing that popped into his head. ?♀️ That’s so me! Jesus repeatedly and lovingly corrected Peter. Eventually, Jesus told Peter, that he, Peter, would be a founder of the Church. Talk about an affirmation of who you are!
You are worthless.
This one is a biggie. A person who experiences abuse in any form quickly determines they have no value. If you can be used and tossed aside like today’s trash, why would you believe there is anything about you that matters? You can’t. Therefore, when you get overlooked for that promotion, role, or relationship, it hurts and adds fuel to this lie whispered by the Accuser.
But, God the Father, says you have value because He created you in His image. Going back to Genesis 2, we read that male and female bear God’s likeness. Each gender is distinct with great purpose. God didn’t make a mistake with you. He sees you every moment of every day of your life. He is as close as the air you breathe.
Overcoming the roots of addiction is a battle.
Unless God determines to remove your addiction quickly, which He can choose to do, you work at healing every day, piece by piece.
The beauty of this journey with God is what you learn about His character, presence, and peace.
The only way to overcome the roots of addiction is to go straight through the pain with God in his rightful place in your life.
Start by telling someone you trust the whole truth about what’s going on. When my husband came clean, much to our delight we experienced acceptance, love, encouragement, and support. These friends then walked the journey to wholeness with us. A journey that continues today as my husband and I rebuild trust together.
Confiding in others who know and love Jesus Christ brings freedom, not bondage as the Accuser wants an addict or their spouse to believe.
You can’t walk this road of recovery alone. The addiction is too strong. You need a community of believers in God and you sometimes to carry you over the roughest spots.
Your freedom from your spouse’s addiction is possible.
Watching a spouse, or any loved one, deal with their addiction hurts. It’s painful to watch them struggle to overcome and not try to fix them. That’s a big lesson I learned in recovery. Let’s talk.