Monday, October 28, 2013

Other Men

I miscarried our first pregnancy. 

It was awful... it was seriously awful.  When I was curled up in the chapel area in the hospital, trying to find some peaceful sleep, I blocked out porn.  A person shouldn't have to think about her husband looking at porn while she's coming to grips with shattered dreams and loss.  I put a pin in it, so to speak.

Once home, I didn't get out of bed for a solid week.  Once I faced the world again, I decided to get a job.  I applied to be a manager at a local movie theater.  I landed the job, and although I had no experience actually WORKING in a theater, the staff was really sweet and helped me out. 
One guy in particular was really sweet.
Like, really.

He was also charming and attentive.  He knew I was married.  And I knew I was married.
So why didn't I keep my distance?  I didn't kiss him or flirt with him, but I crossed a mental line. 
Because you can't put a pin in porn addiction... at the time I didn't SEE it as porn addiction.  All I knew was that my husband couldn't stop looking at other women, and that there was something tangible missing in our marriage that I tried to fill so many different ways: more sex, thoughtful gifts...
What was missing?  A connection -a real connection.

I didn't discourage Sam at the theater.  I liked that he liked me.  I knew he was trouble -even the owners had warned me.  Their exact words were, "Beware of Sam.  You're married, but you're pretty.  All he cares about is the pretty."

After I'd worked there for a month, I found out I was pregnant.  Sam overheard me tell the owners that I was suffering from morning sickness (I still hate popcorn because the smell of it nauseates me now).  And that was that.  Suddenly reality hit Sam.
"Wait," he said, "You're PREGNANT?"
"Yeah," I nodded.
"Ohhh," he said.  But it sounded more like, "ewwww."

A few weeks later, my husband and I moved.  We packed up our studio apartment... well, HE packed up with his Mom's help while I helplessly sat on the floor and tried not puking.  We moved four hours away, bringing the addiction with us wherever we went.
We brought a little one into our life and moved again.
The addiction was there.  The connection I so craved was sparse.
After I had our second, I found myself drawn to someone in our ward.  I didn't flirt with him, I didn't kiss him or even touch him.
But the draw was there.  He would never know anything about it, but I was very aware of the inner fight going on inside of myself.

And just like in the case of Theater Sam, I told no one.  Nothing had happened, so why say anything?

Right now, my husband and I are distant.  We are far apart, and more than EVER, I crave connection.
Guys, I am LONELY.

I find myself enjoying the old cowboys who come into work and call me by the names they call their horses: Darlin', Sweets...
My counselor is a healthy man who SEES me.  I'm drawn to that.

It isn't just ONE man... it's ANY man I perceive as safe!  The Connection Craving is strong right now.


I know what to do.  I know who to tell.  And I DO tell.  I talk to my husband about it.  I even told my counselor about it.
"How does your husband feel about it?" he asked.
"He likes you too," I said.  And then I laughed really hard at the whole situation.  I demystified it.

I call my sponsor. 
I pray.
I write it out -I physically put the words on paper -and I surrender the feelings.  Not once, not twice, but AS MANY TIMES AS IT TAKES.

My longing for connection is healthy, and it will be filled.  I'm not destined to live a lonely life.  I will keep my desire through surrender.  I won't squelch it or shame myself.
But how do I keep it without acting on it?  Because if I were to act on it right now, it would be bad...

I surrender.

And I listen to the voice of my counselor say, "Talk about it.  Don't hide this craving.  If you do, you will be caught off guard in a bad situation."

I am susceptible.
And unhealthy men have a sort of radar for lonely, vulnerable women.

It's like looking in a mirror...


  1. I agree with the above comment - very vulnerable and honest. And I am sure you're not alone in this. I am an unmarried female addict, and I find myself flirting with married men. I have to step back and really look at the situation and then step away. The temptation is strong though sometimes.

  2. thank you. thank you for sharing this. i would love to chat with you about this topic sometime. soon. much love.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this. You nailed it. I don't want to co-opt your comment section with an essay on how much this resonates with me so just know that it does, that you're not alone in struggling with these feelings.