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TC’s Story of Finding Peace Through Delicious Daily Habits

      Delicious daily habits help us regain our inner peace in the midst of the turmoil that is so much a part of being a spouse of a  sex addict.  Making time to do several simple habits every day gives us opportunities to step back from the chaos and heartache of addiction and get in touch with the  simple joys of life.  

Click here to learn more about delicious daily habits.

      TC (a pseudonym) had a very wise doctor who wrote a prescription for  20-30 minutes of fresh air every day to be taken along with daily times of doing several other things she found delicious (bubble bath, reading, etc.)  TC agreed to share with you how she has used daily rituals and her own spiritual practices to keep from being emotionally controlled by her husband’s addiction. 

porch swingTC writes:     Addictions come in many forms and every addict initially feels that they are not hurting anyone by their actions.

       Addicts believe that they are in control of whatever they are in bondage to, until they are not . . . it is at that point that they begin to distance themselves from all the people who love them. Some addicts will seek company of other addicts, others will isolate themselves, and then there are those who through anger and temperament become unapproachable (which has been the case throughout my marriage).

      Addictions leave wives, husbands, children, parents, and many others confused, insecure, worried, and sad. Addicts become very good at shifting the blame to others causing confusion, depression, insecurity, mistrust . . . pulling those who love them into their pits of self destruction – I know that throughout my marriage to an addict, I have experienced all of the above emotions at one time or another and often all at the same time.

Feelings of self-hate, confusion, and insecurity followed the disclosure of sex addiction
      When I was awakened to the fact that someone I love struggled with sex addiction, the feelings and emotions that I experienced were at times more than I could bear (or so I thought), I became insecure, depressed and confused . . . I was sucked into his pit of self-hate. To hate one’s self is to hate their Maker and that I decided I could not allow in my life, so I began to seek the Lord; I sought Him more than I had ever sought Him and in Christ I found peace and joy again!

      “I found” are the key words here, but what about the man that I love, the man who I have called my best friend, the father of my children, my business partner . . . I know he hurts too and as much as I want him to find the peace and joy that I have found and although we are bound through marriage, births, friendship, work, etc… I began to realize that I am not responsible for the things that my husband choses to be in bondage to.  As that started to sink in, I also had to accept that he can no longer be held responsible for my reactions to his choices. I have discovered there is such freedom in not being controlled by his choices . . . this, I have also learned is something that can not be done in my own strength though.

Implementing delicious daily habits is a turning point    letting go
Let me back up a little . . . A turning point for me was when I was at the lowest point of my depression, during one of these many months I had miscarried so I had to drag myself to the doctor’s office and after spending 30 minutes with me my doctor suggested antidepressants. I looked at him with tears in my eyes and told him that I didn’t want the antidepressants, that Jesus was my Rock (something I seemed to have forgotten while I was lost in my sadness) – it was not rehearsed, the words just came out. After realizing that my mind was set and I was not going to accept the antidepressants, my doctor prescribed something else to me and that prescription was to do three things for myself every day . . . one of those things was to take in 20 to 30 minutes of fresh air and sunshine every day, and then he listed many other inexpensive ideas such as take a bubble bath, a walk, knit, read, as often as I could. I chose to get a massage and a porch swing.

      My new swing was a splurge at the time, but it got me off the couch and out of bed (where I had spent months). As I sat on my new porch swing taking in my 20 min of fresh air and sun my children would join me, we would talk and laugh and it slowly became one thing I would look forward to every day. After a while we started taking walks and before I knew it, my spirits began to lift and I began to realize that I had allowed one person to control me by his choices and how much I had been missing out on as a result.  I also realized that I had three wonderful children who loved me unconditionally, who wanted my time. I also remembered that Someone else loved me unconditionally and that He died for me; that I could cast my burdens on Him and not carry them alone. It was then that my prayer life took off . . . I talked to God morning, noon and night (and pretty much every minute in between).

The serenity that comes from accepting the things we cannot change, having the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference
      I seemed to have found my peace and joy through keeping my commitment to the simple daily habits my doctor prescribed, regular prayer, and focusing on happy times with my children; but, there were still issues in my marriage.  There were setbacks with my husband’s addiction and his method of coping was to be unapproachable through temperament (anger is such a common emotion with sexual addiction). I found it helped to deal with these outbursts by walking away and refusing to fight, but I could not seem to grasp that his anger was not personal . . . I began to bleed all over (my heart of course) and found myself dumping on any of my close friends or trusted family members who would hear my complaints – casting my burdens on people (many of who had no solutions because they can not relate).  I found greater peace by taking my burdens to the One who I had so recently found my peace in.

    As life threw us a few curve balls, I again found myself slipping into a dark pit of depression and again prayed and prayed for God’s peace to be poured over me in every aspect of my life – a peace that passes all understanding!  After losing our home and going through so many of life’s challenges that I have learned are not much different from house to house across America, for we live in an imperfect world . . . I have learned that sometimes situations are out of my control and I cannot change them. I’ve also learned that I cannot change people: I can only pray for them. 

      More importantly, I have changed my focus from the things that I have no control over to just being the best me that I can be, and in doing so . . . I have discovered gifts that I never knew I had.  With “just” a high school education, I was able to take my hobbies (things I truly love to do) and create my own business, which has lightened our financial burdens.  Far outweighing the benefit of the extra money that comes in through my business, I have been able to use my business as a ministry to help others and I love that I can do that.

      Over the years, I have realized that the Lord has truly given me “a peace that passes all understanding” and NO ONE can take that peace from me . . . people’s choices no longer affect me in ways that they used to, money no longer stresses me out like it used to, when unhappy people dump on me, I am able to remain calm and collected and no longer take it personally. I know who I am and Whose I am, I know that some things are what they are and that I cannot change them. I now know in the end I will be OK because I am a child of God and He gives me the strength to get through each day no matter what that day brings!   

Used with permission.


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