10 October 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For

Coping With Relapse


If I give you nothing else on this blog, I at least give you honesty.  Even though it is an anonymous blog, I still feel embarrassed about some of the things I share here.  And for some who I've actually met, it's not anonymous anymore.  I'm so grateful to be a person, a friend to some of you, but it makes it more difficult to air my dirty laundry. 

On that note I need to make another confession.

The last three months or so have gone really well for Pete.  Each period of sobriety has brought us increased understanding and I've watched him discover new ways to LIVE with more happiness, more patience and involvement with our kids, a more compassionate and generous heart, and more kindness toward me and others.  Apologies, when necessary, come sooner, and opportunities to serve haven't been taken for granted.  It's been nice.

I have even allowed myself to wonder if this was it, if this was his breakthrough.  I knew that moments of temptation would come, and sure enough they did.  Last week while traveling he had a rough night, full of the chaos that I talked about before.  But he pulled through.  He recognized that the addiction is still making his life unmanagable but somehow he didn't get give in. 

This experience gave me new hope. I started to believe that it was possible for him to refrain, that he is capable, and willing.  It made me think that things could be different from here on out.

And then I started to wonder what that meant for me.  I've gained such an identity on this blog and in this community.  If Pete overomes this ugly beast, will I lose my place here?  I know that none of us really want to be in the WoPA club, but now that I've found a niche here, I was worried about losing my spot.   What if I can't blog anymore because I have nothing left to say?  What if I become an outsider?

My insecurities were clearly getting the best of me.  My desperate need to feel important was making me crazy and irrational!

On Monday Pete was out of town again. I called him while I was at Walmart because I knew he'd be heading home soon.  He told me that he'd lost a battle in his hotel room.  Our conversation was brief, we were both struggling with our emotions and we were both still in public places.  As I stood there in the aisle, alone and hurt, my first thoughts were about all the things I just confessed.  And then this

"Stupid stupid stupid.  To wish for another relapse, just to keep me involved in this WoPA world was so stupid.  This hurts.  I hate it."

I'm doing pretty well in spite of our setbacks.  I see so much progress in myself.  But I don't want pornography in my life forever.  I just don't.  And I feel the same way for each of you.  I don't really want anyone to need this blog, including me.  It's just another lesson to me that my worth has to be so internalized that I can feel true joy in life's most exciting moments, that my validation comes from within, and not from the ways I can manipulate adversity.  

So I'm crossing that lesson off the list.  How many more lessons are there before this is all said and done?  What yet must I learn?


  1. I've actually prayed for my husband to slip or relapse because when he cycles, he gets SO cranky and short and irrational... and then he slips and he's back to himself again. I hate that fact, but I love that when he slips he learns more, steps up a little higher, and focuses more on healing.
    In our group, we have a woman who left her first marriage (like 20 years ago) because her husband chose his addiction over her. She's since married a great unaddicted man and had four great kids. But she still comes to meetings, still applies the steps (because they're freaking amazing), and offers so much understanding and input. We love her!!!!
    And I think no matter where your husband is in his acting out, you will always be a welcomed and valid member of our club because you've been through it! You know, you understand!
    The same woman that comes to group miscarried a few years ago, and I went right over.
    I had miscarried a few years before THAT, and even though the experience was over, I had definitely joined a club. Women who have miscarried just understand and know what to say to other women who have miscarried. It's an immediate bond.
    So even if your visits gets infrequent or your blog posts get spread out and sporadic, you can't escape us, lady :) Even if your husband ends up in 100% sobriety and recovery, your voice will always be indispensable to us.
    You're learned too much to ever turn away, haha. I mean that in a good way. Plus, we love you. We'd track you down...
    I'm sorry about the relapse (or slip?). That's so rough. I'll keep you in my prayers tonight.

  2. I like what Alicia said is that you will always be able to offer insight and be a "member" because you HAVE been through it. You have so much wisdom and intelligence to offer.

    I'm sorry for the relapse. Love you!

  3. My husband actually asked me, "when I beat this...(love the optimism) what will you do with your blog?"

    I've had the same thoughts as you about my blog. Even though my following is low, I do feel good when someone has a nice thought to share and I often wonder what I would do with my blog. I am not sure yet, I guess I'll cross that bridge when we get there.

    For me it's just nice to know that other women out there are on the front lines with me and if I can help someone on the battle field, then I feel I have done a small act of kindness to them.

    I think even if your husband won the battle against porn, you would still be a member of the WOPA Club and in fact be an honorary member, because like the Croshaw's from Rowboats and Marbles you'd both be able to help those of us still struggling.

    Hope that makes sense!

    Sorry for what you are going through...praying for you both.

  4. Jane,

    I've thought of the same things..what will I do when and if my husband every starts on the path to recovery..or more often what will I do when I file for divorce and no longer live with abuse and relapse. What will my identity be? What will I post about on the forum? But like you I've been prompted to consider and understand my worth as a daughter of God. And identity that is stable with or without a porn addicted husband. I've found myself now thinking what can and will I do with the knowledge I've gained of the Savior through this process? What do I need to do to share the gospel and the knowlege I have of a Savior that loves me and all of us and is able to heal through His atonement? How can I serve God with or without my husband's addiction? You serve through this blog. In sharing and being honest with all of us. But I KNOW that when Pete's addiction ebbs and stops or you are not longer dealing with the addiction for some reason that because of what you've learned through all of this you will serve the Master then too. Just may not be through a WoPA blog. I am finding that my journey is never done. It changes but I am never done serving and growing...and learning. I appreciate your thoughts. I am sorry for the relapse. Love you. Peggy.

  5. **hugs**

    p.s. wopa is a lifelong membership :)

  6. "My insecurities were clearly getting the best of me. My desperate need to feel important was making me crazy and irrational!"
    This is me too! In starting the online support group I've really wanted to make a difference and help other wopas like me. But then sometimes I wonder, is my true motivation the praise of others? to feel important and needed? It's like I crave the feedback (read: gushing compliments) or I feel let down. Today I was mopey and sad because I worried so much that no one will want to come back to our online meeting because it isn't uplifting or helpful. Even in writing this comment, I feel like I'm trying to wave a flag and say, "hey look at me! aren't I great? won't someone tell me I'm worth something?" Bleh. I hope that by processing my thoughts I can get through this low point I'm experiencing.

    I'm sorry the good streak ended. Here's to a longer one next time. :)

  7. My heart hurts for you. :**(

  8. I admire that somehow the two of you communicate to each other what seems like everything. This is something my husband and I never learned how to do.
    We didnt know about healing and relapse and and the things so importantant to recovery..In fact I was only made aware of his sexual addiction after he left me for good and I was left splattered on the ground (what it felt like)that I sought out a therapist upon the urging of my sisters.There,for the first time I realized what had happened. I had always 'caught' him with porn or women, and thought it was because of me. This went on for 14 years..By then started the isolation and emotional abuse process too,,,He isolated from family and friends and because of it I did too. Once upon a time he did tell me twice or so how turned on he gets when hes at work or driving and sees a scantily dressed woman. But that he controls his urges till he comes home to me..But that didnt last long and I could feel all the secrecy
    and that was almost the worst part..All the lies and deceit,and the abuse to go with it.
    But by the grace of God I will get past it and really have no desire to go back to it ,even though 6 months out i dont feel totally detached yet.
    I am starting to be able to see how life could actually be enjoyable to live again, and to be able to really find and enjoy myself alone..
    Now I want to go walk in the wooded path near my apartment and hear the birds and watch the butterflies,,,,,and perhaps soon,,,I can be as free as a flitting butterfly ...