a little history lesson

I've been contacted recently by a few people who have wanted some more background on my relationship with my husband and the struggles we have gone through.  There is some of it on this blog in further years back, but I realize not everyone reads older posts and even still there are a lot of holes there because I wasn't writing regularly at the time.

Although this happened a few years ago and although some of you may know some who are involved, I am sharing it out of a greater concern for those who I know need to hear this.  Those who know my husband and his family, I trust to respect the privacy of those involved and to withhold judgement.  This is the story of 'the situation' (as referenced in earlier posts) as I have told it to some recently.  This was a major turning point and I feel that all of us involved have improved and found blessings since:

The Situation
AKA When I got my impression that divorce was okay

First, you have to know the background....The nature of living in Las Vegas and being in the air conditioning industry means sometimes early mornings and late hours, especially during the summertime. So sometimes he'd tell me he was going to be home late or sometimes he'd go in early to unload a truck or get some things done before things got crazy once they opened.

Well, it turns out that's where he was 'using'. My husband is different than most in that his primary porn source is actually literature. That's a whole lot harder to block with a filter. It's also a lot easier to disguise at work. It isn't that the pictures don't do it for him or that he never looks at them...but it is something about the living vicariously through the stories....

So at the warehouse my kids sometimes run around and dad gives them rides on the forklift and that sort of thing. I don't recall how far into the whole recovery thing we were when I was walking around the warehouse while my boys played and came upon a sort of desk area that the warehouse workers (2 guys that he is over) had set up. There was a desk covered in pictures. Not the worst I've seen but the kind you'd find in GQ or Maxim.

To say I was livid would be an understatement. Here he was telling me he was doing so good, going to recovery meetings, trying his best....and there is THIS at work? And I'm supposed to believe him?! How is he EVER supposed to be ok while that is there? Why is he, or his dad or ANY of the other LDS guys he works with okay with letting that be there? How do they expect the business to be successful (economy hasn't been so great here) and have the blessing of Heavenly Father while they allow THAT? How did he expect to build any kind of trust?
And my son, who was turning 8 in a few months, had seen it all. So I was doubly livid.
Pretty sure I kicked him out again at that point. I could go ask him but he'd probably say "I try to block all that out of my mind."
This caused me major trouble. On the one hand I felt like he was doing well and he was choosing to go to meetings, saying how they help, doing steps and making personal changes I could see. On the other it felt like asking an alcoholic to work in a bar.

I felt like every day was this battle with Satan in my head. Like a full blown exhausting war was being waged within me and I hated it.
So he promised me that this desk will be gone. For weeks and months he tells me he has bugged this person or that person about needing to get rid of it. One person or another claims that they will but then they don't do anything. At that point he's still dealing with being major shame-based so he is having a hard time with how to say what but I say 'too bad, you better figure it out.' How was I supposed to believe that he was even saying anything to anyone anyway?
I kept trying to put my foot down, and being a situation involving others I didn't know at what point to draw what line. I had already drawn a boundary that no early or late hours or after hours weekend calls would be allowed and I was immensely grateful for the support received on that and lack of any fighting back about it.  The company was moving their warehouse and he assured me that he was assured by the guys that the desk would not be making the move. So I opted to wait and see. He told me after the move that he was so mad at them because there it was and he was upset that he wasn't respected (which has been his issue at work and part of his background with his addiction) and nobody would take him seriously etc. I didn't know whether to believe and trust that he was genuinely as upset by this as I, or if he was trying to cover his tracks because he knew I'd look for it as soon as I visited him at work.
I continued to let it go for a little while after it but it was a serious thorn in my side and I needed it out. After praying I finally I needed to take matters into my own hands. I might not have any right to do anything at his place of employment, but I do have the right to say something to his boss if his boss is his father and I wasn't okay with letting that stay there. So I wrote a letter to both of his parents. I explained to them what he had told me of his version of the story, and my feelings about it. I told them how he needed to feel that he was supported by his family and that this was a way that could be done. Then I told them my feelings- that I was prepared to give him an ultimatum: me, the job, or the desk - and that I hoped that as his parents they would not want him to be in that position and that I did not want to have to find out the answer.

His dad got rid of the desk and my husband was FURIOUS with me. Seriously, I have seen him mad at other people but I have never seen him mad at me like that- before or since. He felt I went behind his back and was completely out of line. I refused to apologize. He quit talking to me. Of course this only fanned flames of doubt in my mind. If he was really making good choices then why would he react in such a way?That was when I went to the temple out of desperation because I was so confused about how to act, react, interpret...everything. I got a very distinct impression that I had 'done my part' finally- made every sacrifice possible to show my personal humility and willingness to put things in the Lord's hands and stood up for what was right...and that if I did not see changes in DH it would be okay to get a divorce because the Lord said I had made every effort on my end.
I was shocked, scared, and relieved to get that impression. And it sent me into a tailspin where I gained 10 lbs in less than a month but that's a different story.

What's interesting though is that the very next week we went to the counselor together. I told him about the feeling I got at the temple. He finally talked about how my actions with the letter made him feel. We still didn't come to an agreement but it was as though my eyes were suddenly opened and I could see the broken man that he was who was just trying to do his best. It wasn't good enough in my book but it was all he had at that point in time. And that is why we are not divorced. I needed to be willing to completely give it all over (in my tailspin I had to finally reach the point where I accepted and acknowledged that inspiration and felt truly willing to take that next step even with all the fears and uncertainty- and judgement from others- that would come with it) I think now that I needed the Lord's validation of my feelings and path in the prompting I got at the temple. Feeling that validation scared me to death (like I was afraid of my own power or control of the situation) but led me to self-examination that led me to humility that allowed my eyes to be more fully opened

^THAT actually was the point at which I realized *I* had a problem. It makes me sad that it wasn't enough for me to change then but I accept now that it was and is a process. There have been bumps along the road for me personally since that time and I needed those experiences to teach me to help shape me to who I am now.
Something interesting that I learned is that we sometimes 'pad' ourselves. Quite frequently those who have eating disorders (on both ends of the spectrum) are unconsciously (or even consciously) trying to make themselves 'disappear'. The anorexic wants to become so small that she isn't noticed so nobody thinks to hurt her. The overweight wants to become undesirable so that nobody hurts or uses her anymore. I would add that the married to a porn addict or struggling with a marriage wants to make herself undesirable to her husband so that she doesn't have to deal with his advances while trying to detach or while trying to figure things out. OR she wants to 'feel stuck' as though no one else would want her because she feels like damaged goods or feels afraid of her own empowerment. Those are all feelings that I have felt.


Popular Posts