Nine years ago my world had been completely turned upside down. Nine years ago I didn’t know if I would be here today in the marriage that I am today. I couldn’t see beyond the end of the day or make plans for anything. I didn’t plan for holidays or birthdays or things that have been such a normal part of my life.
All my life I’ve learned about the scripture of line upon line, precept upon precept. I knew that that was the way the Lord taught us and the way that he created our minds learn. But I didn’t want to learn THIS line upon line. I just wanted it to go away. That led me into a very deep depression and lots of manifestations of anxiety. I was trying to put on a brave face for my family and at the same time I was trying to be true to myself and my own feelings. But then I had to decide what those feelings were which was just a jumbled mess in my head and in my heart.
I simply just wanted peace. No matter what that meant. Peace.
I started seeking sources of help that I knew were solid sources. People who have been through this, people who had counseled others through this, books and articles that were written by people who knew real situation that were like mine. I wanted more than anonymous stories, I wanted real life experiences so that I could understand if healing was really possible for Jeff and for me.
Now here I sit nine years later. We are still married. He is still trying. I am still trying. It truly is a line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little in there a little journey. Pornography/sex addiction damages the way that the human mind processes information. Our Heavenly Father in his infinite wisdom and mercy has stood at the door and pointed us in directions that would take us through the right ones. Not once in this process have I ever believed that it was meant to be easy. I had hoped that it would be though! I certainly had hoped! But I didn’t ever believe that it would be.
There are good days. There are wonderful days! There are difficult days and there are backtracking days. Today as I reflect on what has happened in the last nine years I recognize that I am a very different person. In many ways I miss the innocence that I had before I learned all of my husbands actions. It is not a requirement for the spouse to hear every thing that the addict did, but in my healing it was something that I needed to know. I needed to understand what it was that I was facing. If I didn’t know it all I would have assumed that there was more, a lot more even worse than he had already confessed to and I would have left him anyway. But knowing at all has been difficult. It makes my journey of forgiveness very worth it. He came all in with the desire to repair the marriage. And the choice is mine to answer that also with being all in. Even so, all in is not easy. But like I said before, it is worth it.
The day that you discover your spouse’s addiction is typically referred to as D-day. And I think about D words that I have experienced how long this journey so far. From Despondency to determination and everything in between. But I have not been able to find a word that starts with a D to describe the infinite love that our Savior has for us. That describes how he knelt in the garden knowing what I would one day experience and he carried my burden. He was already lifting me so that I would be able to become the person that he knew I could.
I can never go back in time and change things in a way that none of this would ever have happened. I know that all of us will experience trials and adversities that will level us to our knees. This is one of mine. There have been others and I’m certain that there will be more. And that’s OK.
So on this D day with lots of negative reminders coming. I don’t want to give in. I don’t want to give Satan the satisfaction of being able to weaken me. I have been blessed beyond measure with miracles that have helped my heart to heal. Angels who have come at times that I desperately needed them. Programs that are set up by the church and others with people who have walked this path before me sharing words of wisdom that seem to hang along the path as post it notes encouraging me to keep going. I have grown in ways that I would not have had I not experienced something of this magnitude.
So today I choose a new word to move forward in to year 10 with.
Driven. (Well, it’s either that or donuts) 😉