22 May 2013

Pearl Harbor

We had just stepped off the ferry that brought us back from the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.  Despite the glowing sunlight and the surrounding beaches it was a somber place.  Over a thousand men slumber in the watery grave beneath the memorial, interred in their sunken ship.  I was feeling subdued.  Pete needed to use the restroom so he handed me his wallet and I headed to the information booth to buy tickets for a tour of the U.S.S. Missouri.   His card wasn't signed so the ticket girl asked for I.D.  It was Pete's card, and obviously I look nothing like Pete so she asked me to just step to the side until he returned from the restroom so he could sign the receipt.  There wasn't anyone else is line and so I just waited there at the counter.

I waited and waited.  Feeling terribly awkward I gradually inched away from the counter.  The girl talked to other employees in the booth and I avoided eye contact.  The minutes seemed to drag on like hours and my imagination began to run wild.  I remembered a post Pete wrote just a month ago.  There have only been two or three times that Pete hasn't been immediately forthcoming with disclosures, but our trip to Washington D.C. a couple years ago fell during that time.  So he told me about what he was going to write in his post just the night before he wrote it. 

In other words, I learned just weeks before, for the first time, that Pete had masturbated in the restroom of one of the most somber places in our nation.  And here we were, thousands of miles away, the seconds ticking by as Pete lingered in the men's room at Pearl Harbor.  I felt a knot in my stomach and my heart started to race.   The sun felt hotter and I was sure the girl at the ticket counter was watching my developing anxiety attack with fascinated intrigue. 

It felt like forever when Pete emerged.  He signed the receipt and saw my distress.  I told him why I'd felt nervous and he apologized and chalked it up to a busy restroom and the fact that bowel movements can't be rushed.  I bought it. 

Last night I laid out some boundaries for Pete.  The last of which was a statement that I would not travel or vacation alone with him for one year.  I love to travel, and he and I have both loved planning trips with his frequent flyer miles.  This was a painful boundary to set, and will be harder to enforce.  But our romantic getaways are starting to make painful triggers for me, and I don't want every historical  landmark in the country or world to elicit memories of the escapades of a sex addict. 

After I rolled over to go to sleep I was bombarded with those pesky thoughts that haunt us WoPA [INSANITY] and I started to put together some pieces to a puzzle. I felt like a detective gathering evidence.  I realized that the morning of the day we spent at Pearl Harbor was the morning Pete went to the sex shop.  He really WAS masturbating in the restroom I thought.  I blurted it out in a question

"WERE you masturbating in the bathroom at Pearl Harbor?"

"No." He said. 

He sounded wounded and defeated from our boundary conversation and I believed him.  Until I didn't believe him.  And there is no way I can ever know for sure.  And although he is usually honest, he isn't always honest.  He had plenty of reasons to lie, and it felt like no reason to tell the truth.  I'll never really know I guess. 

The other day I was talking on the phone to my brother.  He had called to ask about our trip but we had gotten distracted exchanging depressing stories about people we both knew who had committed fraud or had extra-marital affairs.  He wondered aloud about what was going wrong in lives of our friends, good people, that caused them to make uncharacteristic mistakes.

"They just don't take trips with their wife to Hawaii I guess!" He said as a joke.  I laughed.  But it hurt.  Because they do. 


  1. oh boy. i ache. i feel exactly these things.
    i feel that waiting outside the bathroom panic more than once a day.
    is it a terrible boundary to have him poop with the door open? =] im kidding but i would also love it. lol
    its part of my trust problem. its part of my anxiety.
    its part of what i need to control.
    i get that.
    but what about the fact that more times than not, im right? he really was doing those things?
    this is so exhausting.
    as much as i hate knowing you're hurting, it is comforting to know you're out there fighting this as much as p. and i.
    thank you for writing and sharing your feelings jane. it helps me.

  2. Jane,

    Please know that the boundaries you have set will help pete. as long as the spirit was present in that moment. I say that because my wife had done the same thing to me. It was the spirit that carried it to my soul to make me feel a gut wrenching pain of what i had caused. I will never understand or comprehend the pain i put my wife through. I will share an experience i had two months ago that caused more pain and mental anguish i had ever experienced. Knowing fully well it will not remotely compare to what i caused my wife.

    I had a dream (a vision) of my wife and sons happy and smiling. I saw my wife emabraced by a man who had no face. I saw my sons playing with this same man with no face. The words that were spoken to me are words i will never forget, they were "are you going to be the face in the future". Those words rattled my very soul. I woke up and shared that dream with my wife. She said to me "i love you but that could be a reality". MORE PAIN had hit me. Since that day i have recommitted to staying in recovery and showing my wife i am changing. I have come along way and my wife and I have come a long way. we now focus on the small victories. its been amazing to experience together. We have meaningful talks, true emotional and spiritual connection. I know i cant change the past but i know i will fight like a soldier in war to make sure (with the Lord's help) I am the face of the future and be that man embracing my wife and playing with my sons.

    I know my wife loves me and encourages me daily to be a better husband, father and person. that same love is also from my Savior. It took my sweetheart and the dream to make me feel pain and want to change. PAIN is what i had to feel in order for me to WAKE UP.

    My wife and I know what its like. DONT QUIT!! Its hardwork to get sober and hardwork stand by your husband. With the Lord in our life and focus with us as a team we will make it!! Boundaries i have learned are a must and as i have learned done with love will penetrate the soul.


    A humbled soldier

    I know pete personally

  3. Ugh. You're in my prayers. Always.