Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Shoe's On the Other Foot

My husband came home yesterday, and when I asked him how his day went, he simply said, "I need to talk to you.  Can we sit down?"

Oh, pits.

He is working hard on Step 1 as he's found it in the book, "Clean Hands, Pure Heart."  Since doing so, he's had some realizations.  They keep bubbling up to the surface.  Two days ago?
"Two things, babe... I need to tell you two things."
And yesterday?
"Two things, babe... I need to tell you two things."

I trust that he's being as honest as he can right now.  I reached a place months ago where the sting and hurt of his addiction was taken away.  It was a miracle -a direct blessing from accessing the Atonement in ways I never had before.  I bore testimony of it from the stand (without going into detail, promise).
But yesterday's realizations combined with the realizations from a few days ago really added up.  It's a sign that my husband is making some strides -the fact that he's being so open and honest and willing to come to me and be transparent.

But I felt pain yesterday.  I told him as much.
"It hurts," I said, and not a tear escaped my eyes, "and I feel a panicked sort of fear of the future."
There's this side to my husband I never knew about!  I thought I knew about it, but I didn't -the things he's telling me, the realizations he's having -I'm taken aback.
Who is this guy?

I was honest with him about how I was feeling, and he was willing to listen and apologize without minimizing, manipulating, or rationalizing.
"I now know that if I recall something and try to rationalize it away -try to think of reasons I shouldn't tell you -that is a sign I NEED to tell you, and I need to tell you as soon as possible."
When he spoke those words to me, I felt more respect for him than I ever thought possible.  The humility, the courage... I was in awe of the man on the couch next to me.
It made me wonder if I was as honest with him as he was being with me.

For some much-needed distraction, we turned on a television show I had selected -one I'd been wanting to watch with him.  The older two kids weren't home, so we indulged in a more grown-up show.
The thing is... I didn't check the rating.
What the EFF kind of rookie mistake is THAT?!  And yeah: it was awful.  Like: worse than anything I've ever seen.  Soft porn?  That's pushing it.  It was horrific unto me.
I jumped up from the couch, but our TV is too big for me to stand in front of and I didn't have a remote.
It was this rush of panic for both of us... TURN IT OFF, TURN IT OFF, TURN! IT! OFFFFFF!
"Sorrrrrrry," I said.
"Honey, did you even look at the rating?"
"No." I said as he clicked on the description...
"It's TV-MA."

The rest of the evening, he poked fun at me for it.
Our relationship sort of thrives on teasing, which may or may not be healthy.  I don't know.  What I do know is that I threw porn in my own and my husband's path.  That stuff is SEARED onto my brain.  I haven't watched much grown-up TV lately, and to go from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood to that?
Scarred for life.

As we crawled into bed (after watching something MUCH more appropriate), I curled up next to him, told him I loved him, and then told him I needed the couch -just some space to think.
I wrote, I prayed, I took care of a kid with a nightmare and nursed the baby.

My husband came out of our room with his shoes on.
"I'm going out for candy."
He's like a child.  with a license.  and a wallet.
"Want anything?"
"You know I do."
"I'll be back with a Brownie."
We're hopeless...

After he left, and all of the children were asleep I sat down to WRITE something I've felt prompted to write for a few weeks now: I need to write about my own lust issues.
I hesitate to do this because I'm scared.
I'm afraid of being a hypocrite.
I'm afraid of your rejection and condemnation.

But the Lord prompted me to write, so I WAS writing.  And smack dab in the middle of my typing, it hit me.

Oh.  My.

Something I thought I didn't need to tell him -something I had forgotten about, or shoved so far down in my brain I hadn't thought about in years -something I had convinced myself he didn't need to know because it would do more harm than good -his words about rationalization ran through my mind and at 1 am with a half-eaten brownie by my side I tore my way into my bedroom and breathed a sigh of relief that he was still awake.
"I need to talk to you."

What happened was over four years ago.  To sum up?  I sought lust hits from another man we knew personally.  There was never any physical contact, but there WAS a great deal to be honest about.

**post edit: I ought to mention here that the things I confessed and disclosed definitely NEEDED to be brought up with my husband, no doubts about it.  I don't feel comfortable giving specifics.  Maybe someday I will, but today just trust me: it's worse than you think.**

My husband's recent realizations have all been about women we know personally.  They've hurt me and they've stung and they've opened up a whole new can of triggers.  And to see that I had been guilty of doing exactly what he'd done that hurt me, and to have to come to the ONE MAN who had inspired me so much only that afternoon and HURT him...
I was even tempted to say, "Before I start, let me just say that I forgive you for what you've told me recently."
Manipulative, manipulative, manipulative.

By 2 am, we were both sawing logs -I was on the couch, he was on the bed.

This morning, I woke up to find I'd spilled my milk (because who eats a brownie without milk?) RIGHT onto my husband's PS3 controller and ruined it.  He woke up to me saying, "I'm. so. sorry. but..."

I didn't stop there, either.  It's 9 AM and I've already broken our can opener and tagged my husband's toes in the bathroom door.

Later on, I'm hosting a party in honor of my little kindergarten graduate.

And I feel I want to apologize to my fellow wives: I'm sorry I'm guilty of doing things that have caused you so much pain.  Though I was never fully addicted to porn, I was fully addicted to lust.
My addiction goes far beyond what you might imagine "typical" in a wife of an addict.  It began before I WAS a wife of an addict.

And though it hasn't been an issue in YEARS, and I can say with full confidence and clarity that my heart is new and changed, I'm still sorry.

I hope my husband won't bury his anger, hurt, or frustration toward me simply because he feels he has no right to it.

Right now, I've got to go shopping.  I need to buy a cake mix and a PS3 controller.
And a box -a BOX -of brownies.

I do so love you all.


  1. Like I said on the forum, it takes so much humility to be honest. You have my respect.
    And I love brownies! I'll be right over. :) Hope that's okay.

    1. Thank you for commenting so quickly. I thought my brain was going to explode and then I saw this and sort of exhaled... and knew I wasn't going to die via head-burst.
      So thank you ;)

  2. I love you. I love this post. It warmed my heart. And you know I'm here for you if/when you ever want to talk about your lust issues. I got that side of the street pretty well covered!

    Love you!

    1. Girly, thank you so much. You're fearless.

  3. I love you Alicia. I love your honesty and humility. you are truly an inspiration....

    1. That means a lot to me -thank you.

  4. I love you!

    Also, I loved the bit about going from Mr Rogers to THAT!!! You are so real and so funny. I love you so much - the whole of you!

    1. Mr. Rogers is excellent. I like to use his voice when I talk to my husband. It drives him crazy.
      "Hello. You're pleasant. You're a pleasant person, and I like pleasant people. Don't you?"

      For what it's worth: you're pleasant, too.

  5. Alicia,

    This post inspired me to tell my husband some tough things last night. Thank you. Is it OK if I reference this post on my blog? i love it.

    1. Of course.
      I hope everything went okay, and I hope you're okay today. Hugs.