Ugh! Sometimes I think God asks of me things he knows are traditionally very hard. Especially when it comes to the crazy train addiction thing. Today marks three weeks sober for my husband. While I know that it is a good thing, earlier this week I was really questioning if we could actually use the word “sober”. Somewhat sober, pseudo sober sure I would go with that, but actual honest-to-God sobriety from pornography -nope. He blew that on Monday. So here’s the scoop.
I had an opportunity to have coffee with someone and I wouldn’t be quite home when he came home from work. It is important to note here that one of my triggers for anxiety and traumatization is when he is home alone. ESPECIALLY this new into recovery. Coffee date, and I get home and as I was preparing dinner he says “I have a small confession to make.” Here we go. Heart is pounding, I swear my palms are getting sweaty…and I am bracing myself. Do I really want to hear this?
“So as you know I am having a hard time fighting my urges…and I was on my way to the bathroom and I saw this book on our book shelf. I knew it had a rape scene in it so I flipped to where it was and read it. But then I shut the book, and quickly threw it out. I didn’t act out or anything. I just wanted you to know it won’t happen again and I am sorry.”
In my head I was, “You stupid SOB. Now what? I have to move the book shelf because clearly you cannot even walk to the bathroom with out temptation. I have to read every book there, and worse I for sure cannot ever have coffee with any one ever again…because you can’t be trusted to be left alone. Oh, and right now I hate you.” But what came out was, “Okay, thank you for telling me. I appreciate your honesty. But forgive me for not being all congratulatory.” His response, “So we are cool?”
Really? Really? Are we cool? No, no we are not cool. No you are not cool this is not cool. But I said nothing. You see I put a strict boundary in place when I gave him this last chance. No porn was to enter this home again. If it did, it was an automatic separation for 30 days or until I felt like I was okay to be in his presence. I wanted to scream, what am I supposed to do with grey!? God, I get black and white…but this….this was grey. Needless to say I was pissed.
I was mad because I felt bamboozeled. He found the grey, the fringe where it was questionable, and he put his toe in to see what I would do. And I froze.
Thankfully for me I had my support group meeting that night and resolved to ask the girls. Let me preface something, my husband has been working really hard. He has been going to groups, doing his daily homework assignments from his manual to recovery, and has been calling almost everyday all of his addict peeps for check-ins. And he was genuinely really sorry. He kept apologizing and asking me if I was okay. So I knew he really did feel bad…but I still couldn’t get past the “Are we cool?”
Anyway, like me…the girls also saw the grey and felt my anger. VINDICATION! But at the same time, he was proud of himself for not actually acting out. He stopped the routine mid way through…how do you not reward that a little? So we thought, you know what I don’t have to decide tonight.
It has been two days, and all I have been hearing is one word. Grace. Like a petulant child I want to kick and scream. I don’t wanna. “Just as I have shown you grace…..” Oh man…God is really good at the guilt trip. He must have taken lessons from my mother. The difference here is he is right. If there had been any other signs of lack of sincerity my justice would have been mighty. But for now, I guess I have to settle for a little bit of grace.