a: attachment & addiction

Attachment. Addiction. Maybe not the first two words you associate with marriage.

Attachment is usually associated with parenting, but lately it has creeped into the marriage vernacular. In both cases it boils down to a single question: “Do you love _____ more than me?”

Children ask it unconsciously for years and years, and years. I have a unique attachment experience with both of my daughters and I’m quite curious about the long term impact on those relationships; but for now, I’m writing about marriage because your spouse is also asking, “Do you love _____ more than me?”

Addiction. Whatever is in the _____ is the thing your spouse fears most. And it’s probably the thing you fear most. Whether it’s alcohol or pornography or shopping or shoplifting or exercise or work or church or the internet or another man or another woman or whatever, it’s something.

And something is keeping you from attaching. More importantly, it’s keeping you from love. Love of your spouse. Love of your kids. Love of your self.

Addiction is the opposite of attachment. At least it’s the opposite of healthy attachment. Heathy attachment is the byproduct of a relationship built on trust. Unhealthy attachment – addiction – is based on a lie. The lie is that _____ will be there for you in your hour of need.

It’ll be there, for sure. But not for you.
Your addiction doesn’t love you. It loves being loved by you.

The one who loves you…the one who will be there for you in your hour of need, is the one who is assured. Attached. They don’t ask “Do you love ____ more than me?”

Because they know – they really know – that the answer is “No”.

The work of a marriage is the work of saying “yes” to your spouse. Not the empty “yes” of a sit-com husband or a tragically submissive wife. Instead it’s the “Yes” that says, “I trust you.” It’s the yes that attaches one to another and says, “What’s good for you is good for both of us.” It’s the yes that says, “I love you more than _____”

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