Dear Addi

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Playing in the dirt

(her story)
It has been three months.  How is it that three short months can feel like a lifetime?  I look back on the few weeks following my husband's revelation and it feels like it's been years.  We have packed so much into January, February and March.  We have had countless meetings with Priesthood holders. We have been through a church court.  We have traveled an hour out of town once a week to attend our 12 step pornography addiction recovery classes.  (Our gas bill has skyrocketed!)  We have been to therapists.  We have spent hours and hours and hours rehashing details, feelings and future plans.  We have cried and  hurt and prayed.  We have listened to so many talks on the subject of addiction, bondage, sin and repentance that I can't even name them anymore.  We have written a small book already in our journals alone.  So yes, the last three months have felt like so much longer.

I have watched my mourning process go from shock to grief to anger to bargaining and now, I am at a different phase...a phase that scares me.  Oh, I still feel all of those things.  I feel them daily.  Only now, I am having scary urges to act out myself.  What??!!!  Why would I want to subject myself to the same poison that has claimed my husband?  Haven't I learned a lesson from his mistakes?

My warped thought process has three parts.  First, I am confused.  I don't understand the madness that my husband was living with.  What could have possibly been so enticing to want to make him look at pornography and eventually act out?  Why not see for myself?  I will admit, I have spent a brief amount of time perusing some of the porn sights that I knew he may have looked at.

Here is the problem with that line of thinking.  Even though I only lasted about five minutes on those porn sights before I got tired of them (and a little disgusted), the images are now in my head.  So, enter my second line of thinking.  I have had images of my husband being intimate with other women running through my head at varying times of the day for three solid months.  They just come, and each time they come, they cause me tremendous pain.  In my mind, I think that perhaps it would be better to replace those thoughts of my husband's sexual escapades with images of strangers.  Stupid right?

Third, I have been so hurt by this whole thing it is easy to "medicate" with something that makes me feel good and that mimics the sins committed by my husband.  Perhaps it is some sick way of leveling the playing field so that his screw ups don't hurt so much.  I know, I sounds like I am devaluing myself to play in the dirt.  I know what I am doing and yet I feel compelled to do it.

I know it is Satan.  I know he is upset that his prize (my husband) is slipping from his grasp with each day of sobriety.  He can still destroy the family by taking down the wife.  I know his game and yet, I have fallen for it a few times.  Thankfully, my husband and I have made a pact of total honesty in all things.  I have told him each and every time I have found myself feeding that need with filth.

I have never been perfect in this area.  I have had a horrible addiction to romance novels and "written" pornography in my life.  (Particularly my college years.)  I am no stranger to these feelings.  I just feel like this trial has re-ignited some of those urges and I am quickly finding myself on a path that leads to addiction.  So, I am being honest with my husband, with my bishop and this week, with my  Stake President.  I have to.  I cannot let myself slip into the same nightmare that my husband has been living in.  I am too important and I have too much work to do in this life to be wrapped in the endless chains of sexual fantasy.

Sidenote: I know this is terrible and I don't want to find myself on this sinister path but it has been beneficial in one way.  I have more empathy for my husband.  I am beginning to better understand the urges and the pull of pornography and then acting out.  Though I am no where near playing at the level he was at, I can now better understand what he was going through.

Pray for me friends...and if you have any words of advice, feel free to offer them!


  1. I have been enjoying your blog and wanted to offer some words of advice. I too felt a similar tug. It almost seemed to consume me. My first experience with it was when we installed a filter (we use open DNS) I searched for HOURS (or so it seemed) to find porn. I searched on FB, the web. I was searching on how to search for it. All because I wanted to feel safe. I thought somehow by making sure he couldn't access it I would feel better. But as it turns out it left me feeling yucky and miserable.

    In therapy (lifestar) we learned about setting a bottom line for ourselves. An action that was our very bottom line of unacceptable behavior. I decided that this was my bottom line. I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't search for it, I wouldn't click on something because I thought it might be porn. I just wouldn't do it. It made me feel so safe to give myself a boundary. Even now a year later occasionally I feel that same pull of wanting to search it out just to know where it is and what it is, so it won't surprise me later. But then that reminder jumps into my head "this is your bottom line, you promised yourself you wouldn't do it" It has helped immensely. It is easy to get off the computer and move on with my life.

    Also I have told my husband several times that I understand some of the feelings that he experiences while watching porn. Those feelings are part of who we are. So I can understand where you are coming from.

    I am glad that you and your husband seem to be doing so well!

  2. I have not felt the same pull that you have, but lots of thought and self-evaluation have led me to notice "addictions" of my own. My biggest one is anger. I came from a family that yelled and was angry a lot. Not in an abusive way, we're just a passionate, opinionated, like-to-be-right kind of group. I have had reasons to be mad at my husband, but then suddenly I'm furious at his ex-wife or his son who lives with us. I realized my anger can be like a heat-seeking missile searching out it's next victim. I rarely express my anger, but it can consume me and rob me of peace and sleep. I think finding our own default behaviors can help us understand our loves ones more and have more empathy and understanding.
    All the best,

  3. I don't mean to be harsh, but at just three months in you're still probably in shock or denial. It's a long, long road. Most professionals say it's 18-24 months of recovery for you as a couple assuming no relapses. Don't rush yourself. It will only come back up later if you do.

    We read a number of good books to find some sense of direction - After the Affair, Not Just Friends, Surviving An Affair. And still six months later we were still both raw and closer than ever to separation. We recently attended EMS in Austin with Affair Recovery, which was a life-altering experience. They also offer an online version. We feel some sense of hope after the weekend but know we still have so far to go.

  4. Oh, lady. I can't even read a lot of your husband's contributions, because all I can feel is the breaking of your heart, because MINE is breaking for you. I hate this stupid addiction. I hate it with a fiery passion, and it's just like you described. It's a perfect tool for Satan-- he gets the man with the addiction, and gets the wife with all of the pain from the addiction. Of course you looked at the sites! How are you supposed to know what you're up against otherwise? Yeah, it sucks now, because those images are in your head and your brain is trying to figure out what to do with them, but at the time? You made the best decision with the information you had. And right now, you're getting a lot of information and you're in the throes of trauma, trying to navigate everything with half of your brain (and probably a lot of your heart) shut down to protect yourself from feeling all of the intense pain at once.

    Your story is painful. Awful. Ugly and raw and all of the things that no one should have to experience in a marriage, in a commitment to love and honor one another for eternity. Your story is also not the only one like this, and I want you to know that there is an entire sisterhood out there of women who love you, support you, and who can say, "Hey. Me too." All the body image crap? Me too. Triggered by anything sexual? Hey. Me too. Feeling totally worthless and devalued and like everything in this world is just a lie? Me too.

    There is healing. And there are others who are willing to help pull you up out of the hole that this stupid friggin addiction throws us in.

    Feel free to email me. Only love to you.

  5. Oh my heavens. YES. Been there. Done that.

  6. Feeling with you, girl. You're not alone!