The Beginning of Something Else

On June 1, 2007 I found out my husband and partner of almost two decades had been unfaithful to me since before our marriage, and had been having intercourse with prostitutes for 3 1/2 years. This is what happened next.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Husband's struggles make me nervous

Husband is really struggling with his addict over food issues. He binged on the way home from work last night on 8 pieces of chicken and ice cream, and was going to sit down and eat dinner with us until I remembered him mentioning on the phone earlier that evening that he'd had dinner already.

He also went and saw a movie at 11am yesterday and spent the rest of his work day on Facebook. That's him struggling with his addiction and distracting himself from his feelings and his life.

When he does this he has a generally grumpy demeanor, and I can feel him withholding his feelings. And I know what that has lead to in the past, which is what makes me nervous.


Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I find that when I see my husband getting into a bad place, I get into a bad place too. Hugs to you.

thejunkyswife said...

Two things. First, you've been memed!

Second, I'm glad to have stopped by here today to tag you. My husband spent two of the last three days lying in bed in his underwear watching television. I thought of it as lazy, shiftless, withdrawn...all kinds of things. Until I read your observations of your husband's own escapist behaviors, I hadn't thought of it as another manifestation of his addiction. Mr. Junky has been doing well with his methadone, and he physically feels better than he's felt in a long, long time...but that addict leaching off his body is still there, still struggling. It's scary. And it explains why I've been struggling so much for the last few days, too...

Chris said...

It's not at all unusual or surprising that your husband is trying to "medicate" with food. It is to be suspected, really. Addiction has this lovely and magical way of shifting and manifesting itself in insidious ways.

Historically that was the case with gambling for alcoholics, and that is why Bill W. and Dr. Bob spoke to it on occasion. Gambling was the first "process addiction" to gain recognition in the recovery community. Addictive relationships with food, I would argue, are the most insidious issues, because it is so much more socially acceptable to medicate with food. This is part and parcel of our culture.

On the brighter side of things . . . though certainly your husband's food issues are, at best, disconcerting, the fact remains that food will "kill him much more slowly." Though I'm not negating the fact that his "medicating" with food drastically affects you, I am sure it is far more preferable than his acting out on his sex addiction. Or picking up something more quickly and visibly lethal such as drugs or alcohol.

What must happen for him is that he must recognize that he is in fact "medicating." Just as is is strongly encouraged for alcoholics to NOT stop smoking within the first year of recovery, I think it is similarly advisable that your husband not attack the food issues on the "program" level within that same sort of time frame. That doesn't mean, however, that something like OA wouldn't be beneficial to him in the future, should the food develop into something creating similar powerlessnes and unmanageability.

What must happen for him, however, is awareness. When you are aware that you are doing something destructive, that takes away much off action's power. It also returns to you the power to harness it.

What we all must create awareness of, however, is the subtle ways that we all medicate. Anything that we use to numb, to space out, etc can be potentially addictive. I'm convinced that television is part and parcel of at least a significant portion of our societal dysfunction. How many children or adults watch countless hours of sitcoms and senseless drivel per week, allowing their brains to atrophy? I havn't been able to have cable TV in years because I know what happens, at least for me -- I use it to tune out, to medicate, to absorb myself for hours without regard for how my life really is. I do this similarly with the computer. Though I may not be looking at porn anymore, I still medicate with my "information junkee-ism", my obsession with politics, and current healthcare research. No normal person spends countless hours perusing medical journals per week "for fun." :)

Chris said...

"Perhaps the most favored ploy of all is the escape into frenetic activity: busyness is a sure, if temporary, cure for the inevitable pain that comes to us when we're attentive... Simple attentiveness puts an enormous question mark beside everything, and this question mark makes us anxious and brings us close to tears."
(Alan Jones)