Every child needs a predictable and stable emotional connection with their parents for healthy development to unfold naturally. Unfortunately, most of us never receive this kind of care as children. The lack of a stable connection with a parent when we were growing up creates a need for it when we are older.
No wonder why so many of us develop addictions later in life!
The Ritual of Numbing Pain
In our efforts to find predictability and stability of at least something, we hold onto our addictive tendencies and their respective objects. Whether we are addicted to working, worrying, anger, porn, or alcohol and other substances.
For some, their addiction becomes their best friend (or a partner). Always there and never judging, like a true ally by our side whenever we need it. Our addictions become rituals we perform whenever we feel numb, hopeless, anxious, or significantly challenged. These rituals give at least some relief from our pain, even when they become more and more a “must.”
When we “must” do something in order to feel better or more secure, we are no longer in a healthy habit. Our ritual has become a trap, a prison of short-term relief with catastrophic long-term consequences.
Partner or Addiction
Imagine being in a committed relationship and having yourself chronically preoccupied with your addiction. In a relationship like this, there is us and our romantic partner and there is our addiction. In fact, there can even be us and our addiction first. Our partner comes second, being less important than our addiction.
A lot of people are married to their addiction. Be it their work (workaholism), their minds (overthinking), sex (hypersexuality), or a substance such as alcohol, weed, etc. In a relationship like this, our romantic partner is going to feel chronically neglected or betrayed. Whether they are aware of it or not. Our relationship with our addiction and the addictive rituals we engage in has become more important than our primary relationship with our romantic partner!
This situation is a lot more common than we think.
Ending Our Marriage with Addiction
Being married first to what distracts us from our suffering instead of our partner can completely destroy our romantic relationship. If we don’t remedy this, our relationship suffers from our loss of heart. It then becomes at best a cohabitation agreement and at worst a familiar prison we are more often than not okay staying in.
For men who are hooked on porn (or on body parts of the women they see on the street), it would be more accurate to say that they are betraying their romantic partner by allowing themselves to get thus distracted. Instead, they can recognize these patterns and switch out of a pornographic mindset, connect with their hearts, and stop expecting sexual charges to bring connection or happiness.
When we come to sex already connected, relaxed, and happy, sex flows more naturally. It becomes a truly satisfying experience instead of remaining an addictive, self-distraction tendency for us.
Ending our marriage with our addictions is a worthwhile undertaking that can prepare us for truly deep and satisfying relationships, including our relationship with our pain.