God has given me countless experiences that have helped me understand things a little more from "the addict perspective." All in all, I'm grateful for every experience even though they sometimes just irritate the heck out of me. Sometimes I don't want to be compassionate: I want him to be compassionate and understanding and just stop it already. I know that can't be, and besides, I know that is way easier said than done.
So, in the end, I am grateful for the experiences God has given me that have helped me understand Ben's perspective a little more. They have helped me develop higher levels of compassion, patience, and humility--three strong elements necessary for working through this addiction together.
One of these experiences happened over the weekend. I started getting depressed about the addiction and infertility. I didn't want to open up to Ben about it because I was embarrassed about fretting over certain things (not that he isn't a complete angel when I'm caught up in my depression). And I seriously did not want to open up to God about it. I felt like He has to be tired of hearing me whine and complain about my trials. I know I will get pregnant when the timing is right, so it's pointless to keep complaining. I also know I can turn to Him and be healed from this pain I feel (regarding every trial I'm currently facing). The thing is, I just don't want to. I want to overcome this on my own. I want to be independent. I want to be strong enough on my own that I can conquer Satan and his demons bringing me down. I want to be the all-powerful Kilee. I just want to do this by myself. I don't like depending on others.
Sounds like what I have heard from my addict-spouse.
When I really sit down and think about it, I know all of that is ridiculous. I don't need to be embarrassed of the things that hurt me. And Heavenly Father is certainly not tired of hearing me cry out for comfort and healing. I know I will get pregnant when the timing is right, but I also know that if I keep leaning on the Atonement, I will be blessed in so many ways and have strength to face all of this: my physical medical issues, my depression, my husband's addiction, and my infertility. I know that as I give up my pride and focus on humility, I will grow in so many ways, I will be blessed tremendously, and I will experience peace and joy in the midst of my trials. My life will go on happily, and I will be able to work through these things.
When my husband sits down and thinks about it, he can also (sometimes/most-times) see the ridiculousness of his thought-patterns and actions. He knows what he needs to do, but it's a lot harder to follow through than just think about it.
The natural man is an enemy to God. The natural man craves independence, strength, and power. Those cravings are some of the ways Satan tempts me. When I get caught up in my pride, it's easy for him to creep in and bring me down. And naturally, everything feels worse.
Same goes for the addicts. They also want independence, strength, and power. They want to master this on their own.
I'm seeing Ben slowly turn to Christ. He is doing so more and more, slowly but surely. It's hard to see the changes, have the positive conversations, and know he knows what to do, but have everything happen so slowly. I get impatient, and when I get impatient, I tend to get angry. And then my spiral of depression comes and that is a whole other story.
My point is that God is giving me little moments where I get a glimpse of understanding of what it is like on the addict side because many of the things Ben faces, I face as well--just in a different way. I'm grateful for those little experiences because they do help me with compassion, patience, and humility. When I have the proper perspective, things work a lot better in our relationship. And that is ultimately what I want: a joyful relationship.