Marriage Cures Addiction -- NOT !

This post is addressed to two groups of guys:

  1. Those who are married
  2. Those who are not married

That should cover most of you..... :-)

Some believe that marriage cures addiction to "Lust" (Pornography, masturbation, and other sexual issues).

Please discard that thought immediately -- it's NOT true!

If you don't believe me look around the room in most ARP or other 12 step meetings. Almost half the guys in the room are married. If marriage cured this addiction, they wouldn't be there!!!!

However, what you do learn by seeing these guys in the room is that they are being honest about their addiction! They are not hiding it or isolating themselves!  They are actually working the steps. And I applaud them for that!!

It takes courage and humility to admit you struggle with an addiction, especially if you are married. And and these married guys have both courage and humility.

A Dilemma for Married Guys

However, there is a possible dilemma for married guys attending ARP meetings. Here is the dilemma.

If I'm married and I go to an ARP meeting then I'm possibly admitting to my wife and others that I still have a problem!

However, if I stop attending meetings then those around me will not know if I have a problem and they may think I have actually recovered and now have control of my life.

So as a result, many married guys stop coming to meetings and pretend they no longer have a problem. They feel this will somehow make their life easier.

And then there are those who hoped that marriage would cure their addiction, so when they got married, even though they had told their fiancee about their addiction, once they got married they stopped coming.

For most recently married husbands that became a problem, because they discovered that marriage didn't eliminate their addiction.

A Question for Some of You

So for those who have stopped coming to meetings, let me ask some questions that only you can answer.

In your case has the addiction really gone away?  In other words, do you no longer have temptations or triggers? And you never have the desire to act out?

If that's true, then congratulations. I am really happy for you!!!

But is it possible that you are back to hiding it just like before? But now you are hiding it from your wife and from those who could support you.

Or is it possible that your wife knows and she is the only one who knows?  So now you are both hiding it from those who could help you.

Are you once again isolating yourself and trying to overcome it all by yourself?

Does this sound familiar?

Only you can answer these questions!

Keep in mind, if it never worked before and it won't work now.

A Solution

Here is a possible solution for this dilemma. For those who are married and have stopped coming, first decide to start coming again. But this time you are coming, not for yourself, but to be a support for others--to set an example that recovery works.

We all know married guys who are there for that exact reason. There is no stigma attached to them. They really do set a positive example for the rest of us. They are like missionaries--without the name badges.

So for any who have stopped coming or are considering stopping--please start again or continue coming. The meetings themselves, the spirit found there, and the relationships of others in the group, will continue to bless your life. And you can, in turn, bless their lives. Remember, when you reach out you bless TWO lives!

If anyone were to ask you why you attend, the honest answer should be: "To help support others who are struggling. I want them to receive the same blessings I have received!"  That is the honest truth!!!

What About Your Wife?

You wife can take the exact same approach. She should attend the "Spouse and Family Support Meetings" to be a support for other wives. That is the exact approach my wife takes. But at the same time it greatly blesses her life. If you want further proof of that, listen to talk given by a wife who attends the wive's support group. Click here to listen

What about those of you who are still single?

At some point you are going to fall in love and want to get married. Then you will need to ask yourself the question, "What about ARP then?" I hope your answer will be, I should continue to attend (hopefully with my wife) to help those who are struggling. That way you will continue to bless your own life along with countless others.

So when you get engaged, tell your fiancee that you plan to continue attending ARP because you are needed--to provide support and set an example. It has nothing to do with whether your wife is "enough!"

I hope these thoughts have been helpful. I really care about each of you--both those who are married and those who are single.

No matter what -- PLEASE KEEP COMING -- We all need each other!

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