If your usage of a substance like alcohol or drugs, or habit like excessive shopping or sports-watching (or pornography/sex), ever prompted someone you love to say to you, “Too much,” listen up. The biggest mistake people make with addictions, alcohol and otherwise, is that they deny that they are over-doing it. They get defensive. They insist “I’m only drinking so much because …” They claim, “You do it too..” or “Everyone drinks like that..” They minimize, “I just drink….” Denial is tempting, and extremely self-defeating. Resist this temptation, and you have a chance at averting the potentially marriage-threatening consequences of an addiction that you persist in sustaining. The remedy: Take your loved one’s concern seriously. Seriously reassess your habit. Ask yourself, “If I look at my [pornography use/sexual acting out] in the best possible light, what is it meant to accomplish?” If the answer is that [pornography/sex] enables you to escape from stresses in your life, it’s time to face those stresses head on. Addictions usually are an alternative to addressing and resolving problems, marital and otherwise. Replace running away with talking about your problems with someone you trust. By clinical psychologist, marriage counselor and author Susan Heitler, Ph.D.

“Sometimes I feel as if I’m racing with my own shadow… But that’s one thing I’ll never be able to outrun. Nobody can shake off their own shadow.” – Haruki Murakami

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