It was May 28th, 2005. It was my last day of medical leave before returning to work after having emergency abdominal surgery 6 weeks prior. It was the perfect West Michigan day. Sunny, and mid-70’s it couldn’t have been more picturesque. However if you have ever been in Michigan, we have a saying: if you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes it will change. I can still see the time in the corner of the computer screen 8:48 AM. I sat down,pulled up the search engine, and typed…www Intending to pull up the local news stations weather report. I was thinking, a trip to the beach would do me a bit of good and I was intent on making the most of this last day of freedom. However, what I saw come up in recent searches that included websites that were not only porn, but a site that was specifically designed for “hooking up on-line or in person.”
I couldn’t breathe. My thoughts raced, searching for a logical answer, but they never came. I knew. I knew my husband preferred images on a screen and a fake lover to the real deal.
Prior to d-day, our intimate life was almost non-existent. Even on our ten day honeymoon, we perhaps had sex once. I was told it was because my weight (while fluffy-certainly not fat) was a turn off, or he was tired, I didn’t shower immediately before bed, didn’t feel well….the list went on and on. I cannot tell you how many nights I cried myself to sleep from being rejected after trying to initiate. I was the one woman in America who was so unlovely and undesirable that her own husband couldn’t bring himself to be intimate with her, and I was ashamed.
Now I am not technically savvy, so I called our next door neighbor. A computer nerd of sorts, and asked him to help me confirm that this wasn’t a fluke. He walked me through a few things, and sure enough, there was a lot more supposedly erased.
My worst nightmare confirmed. The man who helped me build up my self esteem after a rather difficult first marriage. Knew the hell I went through & walked with me after I attempted suicide due to PTSD as a result. He waited patiently and was amazingly supportive while I worked toward positive mental health. My ex was or maybe still is a sex/porn addict, and he couldn’t get enough. Often I sold myself for a good night’s sleep and worse. My husband knew every horrible detail. He knew how I felt about porn, and in itself was a trigger for some terrible memories. He knew BEFORE we were married that it would never be allowed in our home. It was like some giant trick. Like I was the butt of one horrible joke, and it confirmed that I was unworthy of someone to love me as God intended.
Ironically one of my first calls was to my ex-husband. In a moment of insanity I actually accused the two of them of cooking this up as a way of getting back at me for divorcing him. Seriously thought, someone somewhere was having a good laugh at my expense. There was no other way in my mind that this could be anything else. The pain was unimaginable. It’s a wonder my mind didn’t break fully then. I have never felt before or since that kind of soul searing, gut wrenching, breath stealing pain.
After calming me down, and in a rare moment of sincere graciousness, my ex through tears said “I am genuinely sorry you are about to do this again.” He begged me to believe that wasn’t about me, and he asked me to extend my current husband (a man he hates by the way) grace. My ex came and picked up the kids from school and kept them for dinner that night so I could just focus on me. Most of which I spent pacing, mind racing, praying that God give me strength and wisdom, crying A LOT, running through every possible scenario on what his reaction might be, wanting to die, wanting to kill him, and still hoping for a logical explanation.
I waited for hubby to come home. He worked erratic hours, and most days was home early. Of course, this waste of the one day he wasn’t…it was a very very long day. I am the kind of girl who prefers to rip the band aid off, and I longed to get this confrontation over. Almost 9 hours later he arrived home. I met him in the driveway, pacing…and all I said was “We need to talk.” Apparently my face said it all, because his shoulders dropped, and he said “You know, don’t you.”
He never tried to hide it from me that night, he could have lied and didn’t. It all came out. Things that I thought were odd and people I was jealous over before we were married and what was really happening, why he lost his wedding ring…everything. That night truth was revealed in full light. I learned he had a problem long before me, and thought marriage would fix it. He thought I would run if I had known before we were married….all of it.
Of course it would take many attempts at recovery, many non-attempts, severe co-dependency on my part, and massive emotional trauma inflicted by both parties to bring us here to this point. Honestly, I am spent at this time and I do not think I can write more tonight. But trust me when I say, there are years of what not to do tell you.