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 know...it 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!