Monday, December 23, 2013

"Fix it"

 A couple weekends ago M planned to take our oldest two kids hunting several hours away.  Because I was in a cast and unable to walk he didn't feel comfortable leaving me home with the rest of the kiddos.  So we decided that we would all drive to his parents the night before and then he and the older two and his dad would go hunting the next morning while the rest of the kids and I hung out with grandma.

The day that we were planning to leave M did something that triggered me and left me feeling unsafe emotionally.  For a while I wouldn't answer his calls because I knew I wouldn't react well.  I finally answered and told him that I felt lied to because of how things were handled.  He said "You shouldn't feel that way." Instead of validating my feelings he went straight into minimizing them and justifying his actions.  Once again, my feelings didn't matter.

He came home to prepare for the weekend and to talk.  The thing I am realizing is that we can't talk about any of this.  I admit that I have handled it poorly, VERY poorly, in the past and that I didn't handle this "talk" any better.  However, even when I try to share my feelings without blaming my feelings are minimized.  His shame comes to the surface and he can longer hear what I am saying.  He only hears what he thinks I am saying, what he tells himself over and over in his head.

I told him that I was not going with him for the weekend.  I didn't want to pretend to the kids or his parents that everything was perfect and happy.  Because it so wasn't.

I guess he told him mom that we were having some problems and that was why I didn't go.  Her response to him was "Fix it!"

Here we are two weeks out and he isn't working to fix it.  I have told him what I need from him to help heal our marriage, transparency in ALL things.  Every time he says "Ok. I will do it."  And then  NOTHING.  No change.  

M doesn't understand that while he is helping with dishes, kids, housework, and all that it doesn't help build trust.  I so appreciate his help, however he was helpful while in his addiction so doing them now isn't a huge visible change.  I recognize and appreciate his efforts in being more open with me about the feelings and frustrations that he shares with me.  Again though, venting about work, his calling, the kids was something he did when he was in his addiction.  It really frustrates me that I have to ask "What is wrong" before he will share with me.  What is the most frustrating and what I need the most right now is for him to be open about his struggles, what he is doing at work, where his mind is in regards to his addiction, to recovery.  This has always been that secret part of his life and it continues to be the secret part of his life.  Being open and transparent about his thoughts in this regard is where he will begin to build trust.  This is where he will begin to FIX IT.

A week ago M said to me that he felt as though I didn't want him close, that I didn't want him to cuddle with me.  And the truth is, I don't really.  I am starving for an intimate connection with him.  Not the physically intimate connection that he wants.  I want/need to feel the emotional, intimate connection before I want the physical connection.  And I am not getting that.  I want to have a conversations about our feelings.  I want, I need, to talk about something more than the weather or the kids.  I shared these feelings with him and still nothing.  You want to being to fix it?  Here is another jumping off point.

What M doesn't seem to realize it that repairing the trust and the damage is his responsibility to fix.  I know that I have areas where I have caused serious damage and I need to do all I can to fix those.  These things mentioned are some areas where HE needs to put the effort to rebuild our marriage and despite being told what is needed he continues to avoid them because it is uncomfortable, he doesn't see the point, he doesn't see what good it will do, etc.

Until he is willing to be transparent in all things--addiction, work, everything; our marriage can't be fixed.

Until he is willing to connect in an emotional way I really don't have the desire to be physically close and our marriage can't be fixed.

I hope one day M will decide to do everything needed to FIX IT.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Since finding out about M's addiction my feelings have run the gamut...overwhelming sadness, denial, depression, bouts of anger, hurt, and so much more.  Some days are good and I can make it through the day without shedding any tears.  Other days I am a mascara-streaked, crumpled mess.  Some days I am at peace with where we are at and others I am weighed down with the heaviness of where we are at.

Lately I feel ANGRY!  

Angry that M could lie so easily to me and more so that he would choose to lie to me...over and over.  I am angry that he refuses to acknowledge that he lied or the damage it has had on me and our marriage.  I am angry that I can't trust him to tell me the truth about anything because he finds it so easy to lie.  I am angry that he says it isn't up to him to earn the trust back.

I am angry that while I was home taking care of OUR household and family, he was spending hours watching porn and fantasizing. Angry that he put his job in jeopardy every time he viewed at work or while on business trips. 

I am angry that he used his resentments toward me, or anyone else, as reason to act out.  Angry that he said I was the reason he turned back to it after we were married.  

I am so angry that despite me being understanding the first couple times he told me he had a "little struggle" with porn, he hid it from me the until the last two D-days. It wasn't until I finally asked "what is going on" that he said anything and even then it was a trickle.  I had to pry for more and more.  He didn't come out with it up front. 

I am angry that I can't talk to M about my feelings because he shuts down, minimizes my feelings, or justifies them away.  I am angry that his feelings matter more than mine, more than trying to rebuild our marriage.

I am angry that M repeatedly "stepped out" on our marriage with thousands, if not tens of thousands, of women.  While it was not physically with other women (that I know of) he had affairs in his mind daily and acted out sexually with himself.  In my mind that is no different than physically being with another woman.  I am angry that there were no repercussions for his actions in regards to his standing in the church.  Nothing.  I am angry that something as simple as drinking coffee will keep an individual from being to attend the temple, but viewing and fantasizing about thousands of women while sexually taking care of his needs doesn't.  The Savior said, "...That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart".  

I am angry that M used me to get his fix.  Angry that what should have been special has been made to be cheap and common.  Angry that I can't trust whether he is wanting to truly connect with me or if he is just needing a fix.  Angry that I don't know if he is thinking about me during or if he is pulling up old images, old fantasies.

I am angry that I no longer trust my self and my intuition.  There were times when things felt off and I would ask what was going on and was repeatedly told things were good when all the while he was indulging in his addiction.  I was left feeling like a crazy person.

I am angry that person I trusted more than anyone else to protect me, hurt me deeper than I have ever imagined possible.

This post could go on for quite some time...Needless to say, I am hurt.  I am angry.  

And you know what?  That is okay.  It isn't being unChristlike.  Christ felt anger.  Heavenly Father feels anger.  The way I deal with the anger determines if I am being Christlike or not.  My anger is a result of the choices and betrayal of M.  And now it is up to me how I handle my anger.  Right now I am choosing to write about it.   I may choose to talk about it.  I may even choose to break some things.   

I recently read that several other wives are dealing with feelings of anger as a result of their own husband's addictions.  A couple of them were told by their therapists that they were making progress in their healing as it is good and necessary to feel and acknowledge the anger.  That is is part of the grieving process.

Well right now I am feeling it.  I am acknowledging it.  Feeling it is important and imperative to my healing. So maybe, just maybe I am making progress?!? 

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Years ago, when I was between 10 and 12 years old (I don't remember for sure how old I was), I was looking through some of my parent's photo albums.  I remember coming across a picture of my mom from their wedding reception.  It was a side view and I remember her bouquet resting on her stomach which seemed to protrude out a bit.  I then started doing some math in my head--they were married in early 1978 and was born halfway through 1978.  It didn't add up to 9 months, it could have if I had been born early, but I wasn't.  So I asked my mom about it.  She told me that she and my dad had made a mistake and got married halfway through their senior year.  I was born shortly after they graduated.

To be honest I don't remember much about more about that day or what else she said.  What I do remember feeling was that I was their mistake, an unwanted mistake.  Then when they began having serious problems during my high school years I felt it was my fault as they were only together because they had made a mistake, ME, years earlier.

As a youth I always needed a boyfriend.  I felt wanted if there was a guy (or guys) that liked me.  So I went from boyfriend to boyfriend from my 6 grade year until I was married to my husband.  I needed to be wanted and because of that I put up with all kinds of crap from the guys in my life. They said awful things to me, they treated me poorly and I let them because at least they wanted me (insert sarcasm).  I put myself in situations that compromised my values because I felt wanted.

When I say wanted it doesn't necessarily mean in a physical, sexual way.  Sure, making out helped me to feel wanted.  But it wasn't what I was/am really searching for.

When I met my husband I wasn't looking for a relationship (I was waiting for a missionary).  It didn't take long for me to make him the center of my life, after all he showed interest in me.  He seemed to want me. Our courtship and engagement were rough.  I was always looking for some validation from him that I was wanted. There were many times when I left in the dark of the night  in the bitter cold and went to a park alone in hopes that he might come searching for me because that meant that I was important to him, that he wanted me.  He always came.  He wanted me.

Not long after we were married, almost a month actually, my husband came home from school one day and told me how several girls were hitting on him.  Suddenly I felt unwanted again.  Here I was a new bride and all my new husband could talk about was other girls hitting on him.  I wanted to curl up and die.

Our first year was HELL!   I couldn't get over feeling not wanted and I pulled away.  Sex was just that, sex.  There was no connection, no intimacy.  Most times I would cry during or after. The one thing that should have helped us come closer together as a couple actually tore us further apart.  I didn't feel wanted, I just felt like an end to a means.  I didn't feel wanted for my spirit and my body, I felt abused and used.  I said hurtful things and I was cruel.  I know that I made his life miserable, so miserable that he was ready to walk away.  He made a mistake marrying me.  Here I was again, someone else's mistake.  UNWANTED was how I felt.

When everything finally came out about M's addiction, I felt more unwanted than ever.  My husband was choosing porn over me, over our marriage.  He was choosing to fantasize about every other woman he saw over me.  He was choosing to masturbate over being intimate with me.  He was choosing his addiction over everything!  Although he doesn't feel that way.

I have struggled with feeling like I was my parent's mistake and feeling not wanted.  They didn't get to choose me though.  They got who was sent to them.  M on the other hand chose me.  I felt special, loved, and wanted because HE chose ME over all the other girls he dated.

I  know they say that this addiction has nothing to do with me or M's feelings for me.  I doesn't feel that way at all.  I feel so broken, so UNWANTED, that I am not sure I can ever believe he wants me.  The man that promised to love me, CHOSE  thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of women over me.  He chose sex with himself over sex with me. He chose connection to a computer screen over intimacy with me.

His unwillingness to do all that he can to help rebuild trust and heal our marriage leaves me feeling unwanted.  It has been a week since he told me he would do daily check-ins and nothing.  That doesn't show me that he wants to do everything he can to heal our marriage.  It doesn't show me that he wants me.

I don't want to feel wanted for my body, that isn't what this is about.  I want to feel wanted for who I am as a person, as a beautiful daughter of God. I don't understand how M can say he wants me and thinks I am beautiful and amazing when he is struggling to NOT want (physically) every other woman he sees.  How can he supposedly see me, like really see me, when every other female is just an object to him?  I find it hard to understand why the Lord would let M see the real me and not see other women for WHO they are as daughters of God rather than their bodies.

I just want to feel wanted.  I want to feel special to the one man on earth who I care what he thinks and feels about me.  :(

Thursday, December 12, 2013

working a good recovery?

Yesterday a fellow WoPA posed a question to me in response to a question I had asked about going on a cruise with M . . . "Do you feel like he is working a good recovery?" 

Honestly, I don't know.  I wish I did know.  I hope he is.  I just don't know for sure that he is working a good recovery.

After pondering on her question most of the day yesterday and then again this morning more questions came to my mind . . . WHAT DOES A GOOD RECOVERY LOOK LIKE?  WHAT DOES A GOOD RECOVERY FEEL LIKE?

I don't know.  And that leaves me feeling unsettled.  I know that recovery is different for each individual so how do I know if he is working a good recovery? 

Earlier this year I could say with confidence that he was working a good recovery, with emphasis on WORKING.  He was going to 2 meetings a week (we both were), journaling responses from the ARP manual, sharing his recovery with me, visiting with the bishop, etc.  It was obvious and I could see and feel it. 

Now, not so much.  I don't see it at all.  He hasn't been to a meeting for a while.  Although I do need to say that there have definitely been conflicts with kids, my surgery, hunting, etc to keep him/us from going.  He hasn't pulled his journal or his ARP manual out for months.  I don't know if he speaks with his sponsor anymore (although I am not sure what good that did...he told M that he was just able to stop).  Last month he even blamed me for being the reason he isn't doing recovery work.  HUH?!  I am reminded of something that Andrew from Rowboats said...
"Question: What is the difference between an addict and an addict in recovery?
Answer: You can’t get the addict to talk about his recovery and you can’t get the addict in recovery to shut up about it."
M doesn't talk about recovery anymore and seems to avoid it or gets defensive when it is brought up.  He doesn't "want the addiction to be a part of him" and so by not talking about it, he can pretend it isn't, I guess.  Talking won't make it not true and avoiding it will only feed it.

His avoidance of talking about my feelings as a result of this addiction or to talk about the addiction at all, his defensiveness when we do talk about my feelings, his attempts to blame me for him not working recovery, his lack of desire to connect emotionally, his unwillingness to admit that he lied for most of our marriage to protect his mistress (his addiction), and other things don't feel like recovery to me.

I do see and feel some changes in him. 

He is trying to be more patient with the kids, he is SO helpful at home (dishes, sweeping, laundry, getting kids to bed, etc), and so much more.  To his credit though, he has always done that to some degree.  He has always been a good dad and a good husband.  He hasn't said an unkind thing to me or treated me badly like I have heard from some other wives.  And for that I am SO grateful.  However, it makes it confusing to me.  How do I know if he is working a good recovery if he is doing the same things as before? 

I still feel like he has a "secret" life.  I have no clue what he is or is NOT doing at work.  I thought he was working, but found out that he spent his days viewing porn.  Unfortunately, I don't know that he isn't doing that now because he doesn't talk about it.  He doesn't talk about any of it. I don't know if he is dealing with the negative emotions he is faced with.  I don't know that he isn't lusting.  I don't know anything when it comes to his recovery.  I just don't know.

I have asked repeatedly for transparency regarding this and he will say "Okay" and then nothing.  No nightly check-in like I have requested.  Nothing.  There are times after me asking several times when he will share some feelings--frustrations with work, kids, church, but not his struggles or anything to do with the addiction or recovery.  He isn't forthcoming about any of it.  And that leaves me feeling unsettled and I guess leaves me with my answer . . . . I personally can't say 'I see and feel that he is working a good recovery'.      

Friday, December 6, 2013

Untruth? Truth?

Where is the line between honesty & dishonesty?  Truth between a lie?  What is considered being truth or untruthful?  I suppose it varies from person to person depending on their beliefs.  What might be thought of as untruthful for one is not for another.

This seems to be the case with M and I.  I am struggling to understand how the man I love, who said he loved me could lie to me, to my face, and not blink an eye.  And despite a year of recovery still adamantly deny being dishonest to me.  This is a man that if you were to ask him a simple, meaningless question can't lie.  It is written all over his face.  So how can he lie so easily about real things, things that matter, that have the potential to destroy his family and claim he wasn't dishonest?

Is there a difference between simply omitting certain details and actual dishonesty?  In some circumstances, sure I guess, or does it have more to do with motive rather that what is or is NOT being said?  

Here are a few definitions--
      dishonest:  characterized by lack of truth, honesty, or trustworthiness;
      dishonesty:  lack of honesty or integrity; disposition to defraud or
     deceive:  to be false to; beguile, delude, mislead
     untruthful:  discrepancy between what is said and fact or reality
     lie:  to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive, to create a false
            or misleading representation
     omit:  to leave out or leave unmentioned

To me they sound quite similar, and all too familiar.  For 15 years my husband lied to me about his *little* problem or in his words he "didn't tell me everything about his struggle."  He would come home from work and be a good, attentive dad and really, a good husband--helpful, engaged, etc.  Yet his life at work or on business trips was completely different.  When I would ask how his day was, what he had going on, etc he would tell me just enough to placate me.  He would omit certain details like um, "I spent 3 hours viewing porn and fantasizing at work today."  Or, "I really want to get off the phone because the computer is calling my name.  Sorry you are home dealing with the kids alone while I am fantasizing and taking care of myself".  His intent was to deceive me, to hide his other life.

Knowing that my husband wants every other woman and finds pleasure watching women be degraded is excruciatingly painful.  However, the dishonesty and his unwillingness to recognize it as such makes me see red.  Like I wanna rip off his head and throw it across the room, RED! More than that though it will be a death sentence to our marriage.  I wish he could see and really understand that.  Just be honest, damn it!

It reminds me of what children are told a lot, "You might get in trouble for doing (fill in the blank).  However, if you lie about it you will get in trouble for the wrong done AND for lying."  He doesn't get it.

I simply can't tolerate any more dishonesty, being untruthful, lies, deception, omissions, NOTHING!  I need complete transparency in all things not just the stupid addiction.  ALL things! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Late night . . .

It's late.  I should be in bed sleeping because morning is going to come so much sooner than I care to admit.  However, as much as I want to sleep, I can't.

I am hurt. 
I am frustrated.
I am overwhelmed.
I feel alone.

Dealing (or trying to deal) with the effects of this addiction, raising my large (very active) family, running my own business, as well as trying to recover from a recent surgery that keeps me from being able to put any weight on one of my legs is proving too much for me.

Yesterday morning while lying in bed with H, I told him that I think I am dealing with some serious depression right now.  I really just want to curl up in a ball in my bed and sleep the day, the week, the month away.  He was kind and gentle.  He held me as I sobbed and shared my feelings for more than an hour.  I felt heard. 

Tonight I talked with him about the possibility of ending my business as I feel it is just too much for me right now.  It is just one more thing for me to do, one more place for me to run.  He was understanding, although I get a feeling that he doesn't really want me to stop because he enjoys the little bit of financial freedom it has given us.  As do I, however is that worth my sanity?  Is it really worth the time away from my family?

Our discussion then lead into some of the hurt and betrayal that I am trying to face as a direct result of his actions while in the addiction.  I very calmly and gently shared some of my fears and needs.  There was NO attacking.  No blaming.  I used "I feel ...." sentences.  It was not received well and was avoided the rest of the night.  I feel as though he tried to pretend it all away again.  This seems to be our pattern--I bring something up such as my pain or anything else that could possibly be uncomfortable for him.  We might talk or argue for while without really talking and resolving it and then he pretends like it never happened. 

I feel like my feelings don't matter.  Like I don't matter.  I feel unsafe. 

I am frustrated that no matter if I am to gently share how I feel without saying "you did this or you did that" or if I come out guns blazing and attack and blame he still shuts down.  His feelings matter more than mine. 

I feel stuck.  I don't know how to move forward in a relationship where my feelings don't matter.  Especially if those feelings make him uncomfortable.  Or make him feel guilty.  Actually I know it isn't guilt, it is SHAME.  And until he acknowledges this he can't move forward recovery or in our relationship.

Let's be honest talking about those feelings is uncomfortable for me too.  I never dreamed masturbation/porn/dishonesty would ever be things I would be talking about.  Yet is it.  That is my reality.  Pretending the feelings away or avoiding them isn't healthy for me or him.  I need to talk about my feelings to heal.  I need to talk about them with him to help heal the loss of trust and to help heal in general.  

I don't know what the next step is for me right now.  Do I go to a counselor?  Do we go as a couple?  How do I/we find the time for that when we barely have a second to breathe as it is?  Do I detach emotionally as I don't feel safe right now?  Although I have no real clue how to detach.  I haven't really refined my boundaries yet, but maybe I need to do that and lay them out in front of him. 

I feel so lost.  So alone.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Back and forth

Lately I have felt like a yo-yo.  I go back and forth on almost everything in regard to my relationship with H(Mr. Hopeful).  And really, it isn't just about my relationship with him.  It is my relationship with my kids, my Savior, everyone.  I feel so confused and I am sure H feels similar.  One minute I am "good" and happy and the next I am withdrawn and empty.

I want to be physically intimate and feel close during, however, not long after a sense of unease enters.  I am left questioning everything--his motives (did he see something earlier in the day to cause lustful thoughts and that is why he wants to be with me) and my motives (am I truly seeking physical connection or am I medicating negative emotions, looking for validation that I am "wanted", or am I lusting).  Was the connection I felt real or was it false?   
When we are intimate I want him to take in all of me, all of my body, yet I find myself recoiling when he gets to my ever-shrinking breasts.  One day I am planning on getting an augmentation and the next I feel I can't do that, how can I teach my daughter to love herself as she is if I can't. 
I want honesty and I want to believe.  Yet when H tells me that he is doing well and he hasn't indulged, hasn't lusted, fantasized, whatever; I don't believe him and have said as much to him which leaves him wondering why he should tell me anything if I won't believe it anyway.  I know this is Betrayal Trauma presenting itself, but it is so frustrating.  I want to believe, I want to trust.
I want H to find me attractive, to think I am beautiful.  But when he tells me I look nice or that I am beautiful I immediately question his motives.  Is he wanting "some" tonight?  I am dressed a little more trendy and young so does that mean he is only interested if I look like that? 
I want him to see him actively working his recovery (step work, meetings, etc), but hate that it takes away from time we can spend together.  So when I don't see him working his steps BECAUSE he is choosing to spending time with me then the thought comes in "He has stopped working his steps.  He has relapsed or is quickly heading in that direction".

So many conflicting thoughts roll around my head daily, it is exhausting.  I am emotionally, spiritually exhausted, and most times physically.

Like I said, so CONFUSING.  It doesn't make sense.  It truly is INSANITY at its worst!