30 November 2011


Pete had a rough week.  He becomes vulnerable during the holidays or times when he doesn't go to work and follow his daily routine.  What is the saying? Idleness is the devil's playground? 

After warning me that he was struggling with his thoughts, I was on guard, but the day before Thanksgiving he seemed to be cheering up and pulling out of his rut.  We watched a movie together and then our completely opposite expectations collided. An argument ensued and I saw a side of Pete that is rare and dark.  I felt like he was being strongly influenced by the powers of adversary and he was irrational and angry.  He finally rolled over and fell asleep, but I knew he was in a bad place.

I knew what was going to happen.  I knew that he would wake up and be tempted.  So I determined that I would stay up all night, on guard to protect him from himself.  For hours I lied there, thinking and worrying.  I felt the ugly fear that comes ahead of relapse.  I cried because I was self-pitying.  I felt a sense of hopelessness, that this would be my life forever.

 I only lasted until about 2:30am and then I could no longer keep my eyes open.  In the morning, just as I had expected, Pete confessed.  I sobbed.  I sobbed because it had been so obvious.  It was so predictable, and STILL I could not prevent it.  It wasn't even that I was angry that it had happened, I was just angry at my own helplessness. 

Addiction recovery programs talk about how addictions cause our lives to become unmanagable.  I'm realizing that by allowing my happiness to be dependent on my husband's behavior, I am co-dependent. And my co-dependency is making my life unmanagable.  Al-anon uses a phrase about the Three Cs.   You did not cause it, you can not control it and you are not able to cure it.  I was willing to not sleep an entire night just to control my husband's behavior.  But how many nights after that could I sacrifice sleep to be responsible for him? 

I'm learning about boundaries.  There are boundaries I can set up to help us along the way, like putting safegaurds on the computers.  But some boundaries are asking too much of myself. I need to respect my own well being.  I need to find my own peace despite his choices.  I need to relinquish my desperate desire to "fix" him. 

I need to let go, let God.

20 November 2011

looking past what it seems

I recently came across this blog post that shares a great story to illustrate exactly what I've been feeling lately.   I'd never heard of the Brave Girls Club before but I certainly feel like it is a club I can belong to. 


It makes me feel a little less lonely and a little more compassionate.

15 November 2011

When the Crap Hits the Fan

I've heard this saying often in reference to the "event" wherein the wife learns of the husband's addiction.  I love it because before the "event" our lives feel so pleasant and clean, because even though the "crap" exists we are unaware.  When we become aware, all of the sudden everything feels filthy and messy.  It stinks, but worse.

I was blessed (I guess?) that I learned of Pete's addiction gradually, as it became an addiction.  Although he had seen pornography before our marriage it was incidental and still repulsive.  A few years into our marriage he began to seek it out.  These episodes were rare, and for the most part he confessed them immediately.  He often told me that he struggled with his thoughts, but I considered that to be normal and although I appreciated his concern, I wasn't concerned. 

The first time he told me he had purchased a pornographic program on a hotel television I felt nauseated.  The idea that those images would be in the dark places of his mind forever both infuriated me and depressed me.  I felt that he was changed forever.  But I was still naive enough to believe it would never happen again, because I could see that he felt as sick about it as I did.  That was four or five years ago.

It wasn't until a little over a year ago that he began throwing around the word "addiction."  At first I felt like it was an excuse.  It was as if he was telling me "Sorry. I'm addicted. Therefore I can't help myself."  But I figured that if he was addicted it was good that he was admitting to it.   Shortly after that milestone there came a time where he was acting out on his addiction and not telling me.  He was sure that he would "fix" it, and then come to me when he was positive that he was "cured."  After a visit with the bishop where he was reprimanded for that way of thinking he disclosed everything to me.  Addiction thrives in secrecy.

This was when the crap hit the fan for me.  This was when I realized that pornography was a part of my life now.  I was married to an addict.  This was when I cried often, and hard.  This was when I considered threats and options for a way out.  This was my darkest time. 

That was one year ago.  Ironically, this past year has been the worst so far regarding the frequency of episodes and relapses.  But because of the frequency of our falls, our committment to overcome them has become more desperate, and much stronger.  Pete has reached deep, as have I, and we have taken drastic steps toward recovery that we wouldn't have considered a year ago.

But we are still cleaning up the crap, still finding it in far-flung places.  I suppose that is the way of recovery.  But it's a work I'm willing to do.

04 November 2011


Just as a continuation of my previous thoughts... the concept I described, [that if we knew why someone made the choices they did about divorce we wouldn't judge them for it], can be applied to pretty much everything. 

I have next door neighbors that I have criticized in the past for things like how they discipline their children, that they don't go to church, blah blah blah.  Then last weekend I learned something about them that made me feel so sheepish.  And I thought about all the feelings I've been having lately.

If only I had known what good things they do.  If I had known before that they are always serving our other neighbors, and that they make big sacrifices to get to church activities that anyone else would just skip.  If had known all those things, I never would have been critical of them. 

Isn't that ridiculous?

I'm so ashamed that I can't just take God's word for it.  I can't just trust that if he loves everyone I should too. 

My world came crashing down when I realized my husband, MY husband looked at pornography.  I've been humbled.  This experience is allowing me to see that everyone hurts, everyone gets disappointed, everyone is trying.  Because, by golly I was trying and I still ended up witnessing sin first hand.  Gradually, with much prayer, I am feeling love and acceptance of others without having to force it.  Instead of loving because I am commanded, I love because I need love right now.  I love because I know that in the quiet heart of another can be found the pain that resides in my own quiet heart.

Being married to a pornography addict isn't something you go around asking for sympathy about.  But as I've mentioned before, sympathy is something I desperately want sometimes.  So I am learning how to give it away, no strings attached.  You don't have to tell me why you do what you do, choose what you choose, say what you say.  I'll love you anyway.