Monday, July 24, 2006

Addictions and Selfishness

Busy week. Looks like I am going to have a heck of a week this week.

You know, I wonder if the President says things like this.

"Well, Laura, I will be jetting off to the Middle East this week to curse into an open mike, eat some real good food, get some presents from foreign dignitaries, and play video games on Air Force One."

I guess busy weeks are relative things. I don't work 80 hours per week, and don't get paid as if I did. I have noticed that my last few posts have been sort of unfocussed, which bothers me. But you know what, I have been unfocussed.

I have actually written a lot of e-mails in the last couple of weeks. Which is unlike me. Lots of troubles among blogging friends, and this is new to me. Perhaps my eyes or more open than they were.

But here is my problem. I look at other people's problems through my eyes. And my experiences, viewpoint, whatever, has me assume certain things about people. And most of us do this – I understand. Were I an alcoholic, I would probably see someone coping with life, having things not go their way, and my first thought would be, "wonder if so-and-so has a drinking problem."

Someone more logical than I might look at my life and think to me, "I don't understand this Leesa chick. She makes no sense to me. How can she love her hubbie and sleep around on him?" Yeah, I get that.

So here I am, comfortably sitting in my chair this morning, wondering about the world. I wonder what we are all supposed to be doing, who are we supposed to be loving, who are we supposed to be helping.

I really believe that hubbie and I are supposed to help each other be better people. To me, that is very important in a marriage. But what happens when you hubbie beat the crap out of you? Outsiders can tell you to get the hell out of the house, but so many women stay. And to a lesser extent (what is it, about 10% of battered spouses), women beat the crap out of their hubbies, and the hubbies stay. I don't know all of the parameters of such a mess, but the spouse who is getting beat usually stays. Usually continues to get beat. This action is completely foreign to me because I am sitting comfortably in my office chair, never having experienced such a destructive relationship.

But some spouses do other destructive things – I fooled around on my hubbie. How about that for kicking the crap out of his manhood? I looked at pictures online. Another kick to his groin.

Now, he was better than I – he stayed with me because, I believe, he saw that I was changing. That it was painful to change, but I changed for him. Well, I really changed for me – because I wanted to be better than I was, but I also changed for him. Had I only wanted to change for him, the change probably would not have stuck.

That's the bad part of addition – you have to want to change for yourself, and that looks so selfish. Here you are, crapping on all those who love you, and you have to be selfish to change the pattern. Selfish in a different way. It is selfish to drink when you are an alcoholic, look at porn if you are a sex addict.

So I hope all of my friends of selfish spouses begin to see the light. I hope their spouses get help, but if they don't, don't think it is your fault. Don't place the blame where it doesn't belong. It might feel comfortable, but it doesn't make it right.


Heather said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Heather said...


Kudo's to you two for working things out. Addiction is a horrible thing, not insurmountable, it just takes alot of hard work. It sounds like you both are willing to work at it.

Have a great Monday!

Prata said...

Communique From the Front Line

Power restored STOP
Linux server fscked for several hours STOP
Net connectivity still unstable STOP
Posting later STOP

Tony said...

I'M IN!!! I've been trying to reply for the longest time but there has always been an error with the Post a Comment dialog box opened.

Now I've forgotten what I was going to say. Damn! I hate it when that happens.

If your problem is "seeing other people's problems through your eyes." then I don't think you have a problem. Your experiences define who you are and how you look at things ( unless you're a psychologist, in which case you went to school for that)

You're right in that you and hubbie help each other to be better people. You also work at being a better person yourself FOR your hubbie. Wanting to change and be a better person is not selfish when you understand that to help other people you have to be in good standing with yourself. Also, wanting to be a better person is not a selfish trait unless the desire is at the cost of other individuals well being or is desired so that you may maintain a condescending attitude towards other (a "I'm better than you" attitude).
Just my thoughts.

I sense your heavy heart and the weight that other’s problems have placed on you. I wish there was something I could write to help but that’s not what I went to school for; unless you’re having issues with your pc.

anna said...

Haven't been over here in a while, but I'm glad I came on over for today's post! This really hit home with me and what's going on in my life.
Great post!

mal said...

mmmmmmm, it seems contradictory, but some times the greatest kindness is wrapped in a seemingly cruel cover. Conversely, a cruelty is hidden in a kindness. It seems to be how we empower some behaviours.

Thought provoking post

Prata said...

Having time to actually read before going back to go-live with TouchWorks. I'll throw my two cents in.

Sometimes it _is_ your fault. Sometimes you need to put the blame where it belongs. It might be uncomfortable, but it doesn't make it wrong.


Because sometimes _your_ behavior spawns destructive results from your spouse. Sometimes your spouse is reacting to the poor way in which he/she has been treated. Sometimes it is _your_ fault.

It's also important to note that all of the changes that people make, are for themselves. At least the changes that people make which become permanent. People are simply that way. I know that I have changed behavior for people before, but I did it solely because it made them happier and it wasn't a core trait of mine. I've never changed a fundamental trait of my own for the sake of someone else, that's their problem if they can't deal with it because that means they can't deal with me as person period.

People seem quick to lay blame somewhere else. I'd say the majority of people in American society have no compunction what so ever about putting the blame on someone else. So the last paragraph about blame just seems to feed into that. Those that don't blame themselves far out numbers those that do blame themselves. Just listen to the reasons people give for their behavior, you'll rarely hear "I do this because I am this way." You are far more likely to come across "I do this because my father didn't hug me." Or "I do this because I am angry at what so and so did to me."

All that aside, sometimes it's _your_ fault that someone else is behaving in a suboptimal manner.

Lee Ann said...

Yes, you have said it....
You have to want to change for yourself first, otherwise it won't stick.
Addiction, is not easy for those addicted (whatever the addiction may be) nor for the loved ones. It is great if you have the support of a loved one to help you through it.

~Deb said...

I think Prata said it all! Wow. (Assuming he is secretly a very educated psychiatrist.) Well I know he's quite educated--that's a given. Don't let your head blow up Prataboy! ;)

Anyway, I think we're all human and we all make mistakes. I think the most important thing is 'forgiveness'--which you and your hubbie seem to have established.

Leesa said...

heather: thanks!

prata: I can't believe you had no power for so long!

tony: so my comments were not working? oh, no.

anna: glad this spoke to you.

mal: I think my thinking was incomplete on this one.

prata: I would caution some of your logic. Does that mean the wife-beater is just reacting to the wife's actions. Of course not. But it seems like your reaction to this post is a reaction to something else. I took the blame for what I did. I hope this does not read otherwise. It was not hubbie's fault that I screwed around - partly his fault we drifted apart, though.

lee ann: thanks!

~deb: some food for thought. Forgiveness was very instrumental, but if I were not truly sorry for my actions, not sure forgiveness would have mattered.

~Deb said...

Well with apology, forgiveness comes right after.....Forgiveness can even be implicated even if the other party isn't apologetic.

Sheri said...

Love this post! It gives me hope for my relationship.

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