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Abruptly there was change. It was a tangible change, the sweet wind had switched directions and heavy dark winds began to blow. I knew the honeymoon was over.
The last three weeks were a gift. Our second honeymoon. His vulnerability is what made the difference, he was finally human again. When the addiction of sex and porn take over it leaves a mean, ugly carcass of a human being. My husband was beginning to find his soul. We were healing!
The second honeymoon was filled with bonding, lots of sex, deep passion, love and rediscovering each others bodies just like our first honeymoon. Our guards were down. The hardened walls that existed before were gone. It was sweet.
Eight months had passed since I'd begun to know his awful secrets. Three months had passed since I demanded he moved out of the house. Three weeks had passed since his full disclosure and excommunication from our church. Twenty-four hours had passed since I knew something had drastically changed.
This is where I learned to trust my gut. My heart always tells the truth but my mind explains it away. I had done this a million and one times. But not anymore.
Ten minutes had passed since my heart told me he was lying. The black lies were seeping into our conversations. The vulnerability was gone. The bonding had turned to disconnect.
Two seconds passed before I ask the right questions. I pounced, ready to draw blood. Prepared for battle.
Three hours passed until the lies were filtered and the truth was told. Like water pouring into a sieve, no matter how frantically you tell lies, they never stick. The truth involved porn and gambling.
Have you heard this lie before? "If we had more sex, better sex, I wouldn't need pornography."
He didn't say it now but I had heard it before.
My mind heard, "you could have done something to stop this". If only I had added the right amount of adventure with a pinch of seductiveness and a whole handful of the right kind of blow jobs. If only my body were barbie proportions and if I were Asian. If only I had stroked his ego and maintained the house in perfect condition. Then I'd have the exact concoction for marital bliss and eternal happiness!
My mind wanders to the memories of finding pornography in our home for the first time. Why didn't I fight harder? Why did I allow it to continue? Why did I believe the lies of, "every guy does it"? If only I had demanded it to stop, then things would be different...
Again, my guilty mind takes me to memories of going back to work. The sexual attention and flirting with men at work was more than I was getting at home. When the flirting escalated and Mr. Scabs was royally jealous and angry. Why did I allow myself to flirt with other men? If only I hadn't made that mistake. If only I hadn't shaken his trust in my fidelity, then things would be different...
Guilt shifting from me to him and back again. We're a sinking dingy on a white-caped sea. No hope.
The post-honeymoon lies taught me with vivid clarity that his addiction had nothing to do with me. Nothing.
Maybe it was a marital-experiment. Our life before was the control, the norm, the standard. Setting up the experiment, I gave him everything, this was the independent variable. The results were clear and I didn't need any repeat trials. No matter how much sex or how awesome our life was he still couldn't find happiness. His compass had been demolished and he was collateral damage in a war far bigger than our marriage. He was debris shifting in dark heavy winds.
I had read Step One a million times: Accept the truth and reality that we are powerless over our loved ones addiction.
I am powerless over his addiction.