In fact, when I uncovered a lie about porn for the first time, we had already been working to fight porn for a few years. But then awhile later, I discovered another lie.
And then another.
And that's when I pretty much lost my sanity. I can handle the fact that he looks at porn more than I can handle being lied to. The lies scared me more. The lies hurt more.
So when my husband tells me that he keeps our intimate life and his addiction completely separate, I believe him. He hasn't lied to me in over 2 years. About anything.
The problem I'm facing now is that I DON'T keep our intimate life and his addiction separate. I don't know how to. I'm running into all kinds of problems where this is concerned, and I'm working through them as best I know how.
*It weirds me out to pray about my sex life. It truly does. But practice makes it easier.*
In Step 2 of the Healing Through Christ workbook, we are asked to list our fears. If we write them out and face them, we can begin to heal from them.
I had to face my fears, and I needed to confess them to my confused husband.
"I'm believe if I put on weight, you won't love me." I said, and he quietly listened.
"I'm believe that you love me for WHAT I am (someone you can get your "fix" from) and not WHO I am." I said, and he quietly listened.
After I had finished, he told me how my "beliefs" (they are really fears) are off the mark. And I know he's not lying.
But how do I retrain my brain?
I want to know that he loves ME me, the person inside my body.
He told me he'd try harder to show it.
I told him I'd appreciate that, but ultimately this was something I needed to handle. My husband can't fix my brain, only Heavenly Father can do that.
But my husband would like to help. I can tell. I can see that he wants me to know he loves me.
In the past, I've viewed his expressions of love as investments... for later... for the bedroom, and they didn't feel genuine to me. With his promise to try harder to show more love, I felt a sort of defeat -not in him, but in me.
Surely no matter WHAT he did, I would still feel he was investing in a romp.
So I took it to the Lord... I prayed about sex. I prayed about love. I prayed to be able to recognize truth in my husband's behavior -to distinguish investments from simple declarations of love.
Last week, I took my kids up to my parent's house to borrow a movie ("A More Perfect Union" -the BYU movie about the Constitution. I love that movie). I was going to bring it home to watch it with my husband and kids for Family Home Evening, but my Dad mentioned he would like to watch it.
I called my husband to see if he'd like to drive up to my folks' to watch it with us. He declined. He was in the middle of a paper-filing project and didn't want to quit. He'd also had a particularly rough day at work and didn't feel like socializing, even on a small scale.
It was fine by me.
Sometimes time alone is what we all need after a bad day.
Late that night, I came back home. He was sitting on the living room floor surrounded by stacks of paper and a filing bin. He showed me where he had filed various paper, and then pointed out a file in the front of the filing bin.
"That," he said, "Is your writing stuff. I just couldn't throw some of them out."
"My writing stuff?" I asked. Earlier that evening, I had told him if he found any of my old papers from college to just throw them out. It turns out I'd saved almost every homework assignment from my courses.
"Some of the stuff you've written is too good to throw out," he said.
I've been writing since I was in sixth grade -it's how I express myself and what brings me happiness. My husband loves it about me. He believes in my ability to write, and he's constantly encouraging me.
It meant a lot to me.
The next day, he brought home a bouquet of daisies.
Early in our marriage, I'd written a story about how I fought a wolf spider in our studio apartment. I was terrified of the huge wolf spiders that lived in that place. They were monsters. In my story, I turned our tiny kitchen into an Old West shoot-out scene, and it ended by my husband coming home and killing the spider for me. My husband has always loved the story. He once printed it off and read it to his parents on a long drive to Disneyland.
And he found it again the other night while he was filing.
So he saved it, bought pretty parchment paper to print it on, added a banner to the top and a loving message to the bottom and gave it to me.
I was a little dazed... it was as if the part of my brain that was programmed to believe that my husband loves me for sex and sex alone was baffled.
I found myself asking myself, "He does love ME me?" The geeky writer me? The geeky writer me who doesn't do anything with her writing except blog and write goofy cowboy poetry?
Yes, he does.
Sunday night, after Andrew's AMAZING fireside, I was packing up my baby and putting my coat on. It was snowing outside, my outfit was very plain, my make-up was faded... and as I pulled my coat over my head, my long hair caught on one of my buttons.
I couldn't get my coat on over my head, I couldn't untangle the button... and I looked at him for help.
He laughed at me and said, "You're still pretty."
I finally yanked my hair loose, and he laughed as he reached up and put my hair back in order (because it was a mess).
"You know..." he said, as we got in our car and pulled onto the road, "You were the most beautiful woman in the room tonight."
The WAY he said it -there was something different about it. He wasn't investing. He wasn't flattering.
He was just stating a fact.
I couldn't believe it. But I DID believe that he meant it -he truly believed it himself.
He loves ME me because if he were basing his attraction on my physical appearance alone, he would never had said that.
I didn't think my husband would be able to help retrain my brain. But it turns out... he can. He can't do it on his own and it's not his sole responsibility to help me see that he loves ME me, but I'm seeing small miracles and tender mercies abounding.
I want to write them down so I won't forget, so I can return to them when I start to forget.
It IS possible that I am lovable, that I can love properly and be loved properly.
And if praying about sex and sexual things is what helps to being this realization around, I CAN do it.