Last Wednesday, did not turn out to be another great day as I had anticipated. I published my last post. I met my husband and children. We continued celebrating the last week of school. We ran some errands, including purchasing our daughter a kindle- We had promised to get her one when the school year was done. Then we came home, and shortly after that things began falling apart.
Prior to that, two things stand out in my mind. The first – is my son sitting with me on the couch. We were saying how much we enjoyed the movie, and I made a comment that we were going have a great summer together. My son then made a remark that I couldn’t yell anymore. I first took it, as him referring to me yelling at him and his sister when they misbehaved, but he clarified and said no. He said “remember when you used to cry a lot and yell at Daddy, you can’t do that anymore.” And silly me, still basking in the joy of the great week we were having and how hard my husband was working, told my son I would not be yelling at his dad.
The second thing that sticks out- is my husband telling our daughter, that while we knew she wanted the Kindle to download books, that because it could also access the internet, him and I would be placing parental controls on it before handing it over to her. So as soon as we got home that’s what we did.
Then, with my daughter sitting beside me looking at books she wanted to purchase, I started to fold laundry and turned on the tv. I saw that my husband had been watching a show while he was home, and that it was still in progress. Thinking that it was an episode of Law and Order, I was about to change the channel when I noticed the images playing on the small box on the righthand corner. I then read the synopsis of the show he had been watching and I was shocked. He had been watching an on demand channel that was showing porn.
I was so angry. I asked my daughter to join my son in the playroom and then I asked my husband what the hell he was doing! He had no explanation. He first tried to lie about it, and say that he had just put it on to see if our tv had parental controls but I knew it was bs. The show was paid for and in progress! The lying only upset me further.
Within an hour of making my promise to my son, I broke it. I cried and yelled. I was so heartbroken and so angry. Everything he had been saying that week, and since Dday, suddenly became empty and meaningless. Every bit of respect I had gained for him was now gone. His car was in the shop, otherwise I would have made him leave (he was having 2 dents I had put on it post Dday fixed). I told my husband that our children did not need protection from their Kindle, as much as they needed protection from him. He was the one bringing all the filth into our home! Eventually I went to bed and had an awful night.
I barely slept. I cried a lot. My husband came into the bedroom in the morning. He asked me how I was. I told him I was exhausted and that I was so angry and hurt by him. I told him that I would never be the kind of wife that would look the other way or pretend I hadn’t seen something for fear of rocking the boat and keeping things status quo. I know that I deserve better, our children deserve better and despite everything I still believed he deserved better.
I always tell my husband that I never look at him and see all the shit he did and see it as the whole of who he is. There is far too much good in him that he has shown me and others for me to ever make it that simple. But I hate that this is even a part of him. He hates it too- I do believe that, but I am also beyond tired of hurting from his crap.
I said somethings then that hurt him and he was about to leave and right before he walked out of the room, I asked him what he wanted? He told me he wanted to kill himself because he’s so messed up. He told me he lay in bed last night thinking about what would be the least messiest way for him to end his life. I know my husband enough to say I don’t think he’ll ever kill himself, but I also know him enough to believe he really thought about it.
I told him to come back and lay down with me. I told him that killing himself isn’t the answer, that it would just add another overwhelming layer of pain and loss for the kids and I.
He told me again that he was sorry. He told me that I had no idea how messed up he was. He had shared in counseling previously how he used porn and masturbation not just for comfort and stress relief but also as a reward. He said that vacation was part of that reward, that he would do it often whenever we were on vacation or he was at a conference. That he had ingrained these terrible habits into his life and wanted to break them but didn’t know how.
I told him that he had plenty of resources now and he wasn’t utilizing a single one when he needed it! There’s so much insecurity and stupidity in some of my husband’s reasonings that it completely frustrates me. I told him the purpose of his groups and the friendships he has made through them wasn’t to impress them by how well he is doing but to be honest, vulnerable and admit he needs help.
I told him that I didn’t expect him not to struggle against these issues that have been such a strong force in his life for years, but I did expect him not to give in to them. I expect him to open his mouth and say – honey, I’m having a great week with you and the kids but I’m also having a hard time because in the past this is what I did when I was on vacation.
I never knew vacations were hard for him because he never said anything to me. He also told me that he didn’t want to say anything because he saw that I was doing well and didn’t way to make me worry or become upset. I told him that in a marriage there’s no such thing as struggling separately-that whatever affected him also affected me. If I was holding things in- it would affect my thoughts, moods, and behavior and that would play out in our family somehow. I told him I want him to share and be honest and that if it upset or worried me- that it’s okay. It’s okay to feel hard emotions.
So, since last Wednesday, I’ve been feeling the hard stuff. Thursday through Monday I’ve been mostly okay during the day but I’ve cried every night since. Since Tuesday I’ve closed off a bit from him during the day and yesterday morning I let some more anger out.
Regardless of how screwed up his line of thinking was and that I can see how much he hates what happened it doesn’t change that it happened! It doesn’t excuse that he was willing to lie to me when I first saw the tv. I know his addiction is a serious issue for him to work through and im not expecting it to be easy or quick. I do have expectations though! And I have made these expectations clear and he dismissed them when he chose to look at porn last Wednesday. I’m not okay with that.
I will always love and support my husband and as long as he’s willing to fight I will be fighting too. But you don’t hurt me deeply and get to be stupid about it. You don’t get to say you want to change and you need this, this, this, and this in order to change and then have those things in place and screw them up!
Groups aren’t there to validate you only when you’re strong and doing well but also to validate you when you’re feeling utterly helpless and defeated! We have so much work to do – it’s daunting at times, but our marriage and our family are worth it.
This has been a hard, painful, disappointing, frustrating ten days. But it’s also been informative, gracious, open, and allowed more growth in understanding my husband. Life is ultimately about what you focus on – this was a setback. It’s not our whole story, that’s what I’m choosing to focus on.