we are broken

{The Scabs family is taking the last few weeks of summer off and away from most electronics. A vacation.   I will return August 13th for more of the Scabs Saga.  The following is a re-post.} 

November 2010

His secret life began with pornography.

It progressed after the birth of our first child.  I remember confronting him about his porn viewing.  I felt like it was replacing me.  Stealing away our intimacy.  Turning women into body parts.  Devaluing sex.  It's ugly.  He always responded with the excuse we all hear "every guy does it".   Or even worse, "if we had more sex, I wouldn't need it".  Really?

I was hurt, disgusted and ultimately turned off.  He was no longer the hot man I'd married and respected a few years before.  I kept my distance and detached my heart.  Now, I see his words were the words of an addict.

The pornography crescendo-ed into back-alley porn arcades which found my spouse jacking off where hundreds and possibly thousands of men had also left their marks.  This need surged inside him and there he was parked next to the Pizza Hut, sneaking past the legitimate eatery and ducking under the red neon sign into the darkened doors if the Diamond Spa. Touting therapeutic Asian massage.  Translation: hand jobs and sex with hookers.  The legally illegal brothel. The happy ending.  "You like?"

I imagine there's a lot of shame when leaving a place like the Diamond Spa.  When you use a baby wipe to clean your junk and zip up your jeans while handing over a 100 dollar bill...is that a proud moment?  When you sneak out the front door, jogging to your truck, checking over your shoulder and then driving home just in time for supper with your beautiful wife and children...is that a proud moment?

My husband was well liked, managed a large business, a respected family man.  The kind of guy who helps neighbors with car trouble and charms the elderly ladies down the street with chatter about their lovely flower beds.  Friends and acquaintances often asked him how he'd gotten so lucky in life.  He had everything he needed to be happy.  All the gifts of deep blissful happiness were in front of him.  I could never understand why he wasn't happy.  When you find yourself in the stained massage booth of a prostitute finishing up and deleting all evidence of unfaithfulness, I imagine you don't feel like a Man.  In that sober moment, don't you wonder, "what the hell am I doing?"  And you see that you are your own life's napalm bomb.  The destruction is your own.  Didn't your mama teach you...Destruction is an infinity easier than creation.  This must be why an addict like my husband finds a kind of twisted peace in living a double life.

The man who plays with his kids and kisses his wife and helps the neighbors trim an overgrown tree isn't the same coward who seeks the raunchy companionship of an exploited prostitutes vagina.  Isn't this where the split-personality, the double life, the sociopath persona are born? Then comes the breakdown of self-respect.  It's snuffed out like the last drags of a second-hand cigarette.

The story of my discovery ends back at the beginning.
My husbands trip to the country-that-must-not-be-named.
Our 10 year anniversary.
My nightmares.

The apex of this story implodes as he returns home from his vacation and we meet in the airport.