Living Your Own Life

It takes so much energy to be married to an addict.  So much of it involves worry: is he lying to me again, is he acting out again, am I doing enough to get him to stop (you CAN’T stop him so stop trying), how will this influence the kids, should we get divorced, should we see a counselor, what will happen if….  Often, the wives of addicts feel like they have no control over their own lives, because all of their thoughts and worries revolve around him and how his actions will affect their lives.  She winds up feeling very unempowered.

One of the first steps a woman can take, no matter the reason she is feeling unempowered, is to start intentionally living the life she wants to live, no matter whether those around her are ready to live it with her.

For example, my husband worked Saturdays for 15 years.  He had a great job that allowed me to be a stay at home Mom to our three children.  But I missed so many opportunities because he couldn’t come with us.  Street fairs, birthday parties, museums, and other events would go unattended because I wanted to go as a family, and he couldn’t go with us.  If it was that important, sometimes I’d ask my Dad to come with us, but it just wasn’t the same.  I was really living a life waiting for something to happen.

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Finally I decided to just go without him.  I realized how much I was missing out on waiting.  I picked a Saturday and decided to go hiking.  I found a very easy paved trail that ended at a waterfall.  It was a little scary to pack up my kids and drive up a mountain road in a minivan by myself, not to mention keeping an eye on three young children as we walked up the side of a mountain.  But I did it.  And it felt AWESOME!

And I have not slowed down since then.  We bought passes for the Los Angeles Zoo and go often.  We went to a insect fair at a local museum.  (Ew!)  (But cool!)  We’ve traipsed around California visiting friends and family and monuments and museums and all kinds of awesome things that I wouldn’t have ever done before.

About 4 months ago, my husband’s schedule changed and he got Saturdays off.  I had already established a pattern of spending time making memories with one another that was easy to carry on now instead of struggling to establish new patterns.  Me taking control and living the life I desired has blessed my family immensely.

What are you NOT doing because you’re waiting for an external circumstance to be ideal?  What step can you take to live it?  Have you always wanted to go back to school and study something dear to your heart?  Do it!  Are you Christian and skimp on scripture reading or family prayers because your husband, the patriarch, doesn’t initiate it?  Well, you initiate it!  You can still bless your children!  Have you dreamed about having a beautiful yard or garden but feel like you can’t do it without him?  Yes you can! Check out some gardening books from the library and get to it!

What can I do to support you?  Reach out to me on my contact page.  I can help you set goals and provide accountability to make sure you’re living the life you dream.

Electronics: The Good and the Bad

Electronics have a place in our lives.  I believe is nearly impossible to live a life today without them.  And frankly, they’re the main reason I have a job: men who lack self-mastery use them to look at pornography, break the hearts of their poor wives, and I work with these amazing ladies to bring joy back into their lives.

But they also have an amazing place in our world.  They allow connection to people and places where there was little to no previous connection.  Social media sites allow us to communicate with family and friends with whom we may have otherwise lost track.  We can call for help when our car breaks down on the side of the road instead of just praying that a police car shows up, or walking the mile to find the next yellow call box. (Do they even have those anymore?)

Anyways, you get the point.  Cel phones, computers, and tablets all have a useful place in our lives.  I have found though, not only with my clients but with myself, that connections using electronics can become a burden when not used wisely.  How many times do we find ourselves mindlessly scrolling through pinterest or facebook, or playing one of the endless supply of infinite runners or puzzle games that are available at our fingertips?  How often are we spending time doing this instead of engaging in activities that would truly enrich our lives.  How often does work stay undone, goals go unmet, children go ignored, and dinner haphazardly slapped together in the name of “downtime” on our devices.

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Downtime is good.  Downtime is important.  But is what you’re doing really downtime?  Or is it numbing?  Is what you’re facing elsewhere in your life so overwhelming that you’re ignoring it?  If so, step away from the phone.  Then make a list.  Dump everything out of your brain onto paper.  Next, set certain “phone time” blocks in your schedule; say first thing in the morning, during lunch, and before bedtime.  Finally, start tackling that list.  You don’t have to plow through it super-quick.  You don’t want to frustrate yourself because it’s so tiring.  Start with a couple easier things.  Then do something harder.  Then breeze through some easier things.  Next, tackle something you’ve been putting off for a long time.  It’ll feel really good!  Remember to get your schedule phone time in!

Still feeling overwhelmed?  Reach out to me on my contact page.  I can help you set goals to spend more time doing what’s important and will fulfill your life.