Merging with the wall...
Ok I think I can do this… I have always kind of felt like I was on the outside looking in. Coming from a family that put the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional, I grew up alongside an older brother who sexually harassed me by putting very graphic letters under my pillow at night and a mom I can’t even begin to explain… my self-educated guess is that she is a narcissist. Dad was a professional aerospace engineer who was never involved with any of us because he was a workaholic who needed to steer clear from my mom. I tried to live there but I was looking for a way out.
I worked, went to school, and then I met my husband. We got married two years later after he graduated from West Point. The first year I felt so free from the situation I had been in I was just thankful to be starting my own life with my own rules. What I did not realize is that the man I married had a secret life. You probably saw this one coming huh? I had my first baby, he had his first affair. I had my second baby, he had a second affair…I also got my first std...I still didn't connect the dots.
A couple years after being in college and raising the kids (literally he was always on a ‘training’ somewhere), I got PG with our third baby while on the pill. When I told him he simply said, “we can’t have this child.” Which was a huge let down, because I needed his support (emotionally) and there was none. I had the abortion and regretted it. I felt the pressure of him pulling away but I would have swam through shark infested waters to save our relationship…it was easier to have the abortion, I thought, though I underestimated the real ‘cost.’ I was no stranger to confrontation it just never worked.
At one point, I decided to draw the line in the sand, telling him that I would have nothing to do with ‘it’ as he showed me his pictures on the PC (I had walked in on him…) he had hoped I would ‘join’ in. When I didn’t he went underground with his addiction. This was after the birth of my third baby and when I had my last child he had pretty much gotten out of the habit of hiding and I could literally walk in on him but I decided to be MIA to save my own sanity and buy some time so I could determine what to do.
We decided on therapy. Unfortunately it was not ‘trauma’ based but co-addict/codependent based treatment. His counselor ended up being an educated idiot slash/clown/ slash my wrist/…I fired him after he attempted to tell my husband that to masturbate was ok. I knew enough about sex addiction to know that was not wise counsel. Porn and masturbation go hand in hand…pun intended. He decided to start a men’s group in our home. He used the book called “EveryMan’s Battle” he also secured a very good accountability partner who joined him on this venture. I saw some real glimpses of healing. He was on cloud nine after unloading all of his revelations, and I felt like the welcome mat that he had just rubbed his feet on. It took a while for us to get anywhere in our relationship. Relapses continued...more sordid details given to me on the installment plan. Eventually, the company he worked for went bankrupt and he found another career in the software business. Our next destination was California. After moving here I was concentrating on finishing my degree…no intention of opening that ‘can of worms.’ Not until a couple of years ago did I feel that I could handle asking him the ‘question’ when was the last time you looked at porn and when was the last time you masturbated..?
Since our last conversation we have been to a Doug Weiss intensive, which was helpful (polygraphs at least provide a point of reference) but it truly is "scratching the surface" for us. As I have started Grad school this year (working on my MA in counseling...) more therapy would probably be worth investing in. My husband is SA/IA. One last comment…I saw the Barbara Steffens you tuber interview with JoAnn. I was disappointed only on one point. The fact that for some reason she held back in revealing the truth behind her own husband’s addiction…she wasn't being real, and that to me was a huge letdown. I run support groups for women who are recovering from abortion experiences and I know how helpful it is to hear another woman’s journey especially when they are further along and healing. I feel like BS is in a position to blow the lid off of this crap once and for all…I sensed that immediately when she evaded the whole idea while talking with JoAnn…just my 2cents.
"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." -MW (The Velveteen Rabbit) ST