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.