P*rn St*r

We had two marvelous days.

Driving home from soccer practice Thursday night, I thought, “I just want my husband back.”

Well, you have your husband.  He is here.  Your perception of him has changed, but he hasn’t.

So I decided.  I decided that he is still the hilarious, fun, talented, spirited, strong, willful man that I have always loved.  And I discovered much to my delight that he truly is.  He is MY husband, and that means I can reach over and kiss his cheek whenever I want.  I can talk to him about things that are troubling, or great, or mundane without permission.  I can just be and do and exist as I always have with him, AND I can love him. So I did.

Two marvelous days.

Husband left this morn at 4 to China.

Last night at 10 he lovingly took me in his arms, and while gently caressing my hair, proceeded to tell me he thinks he is addicted to p*rn.

My body and my mind cooperated with one another and all went warm and calm.  I could sense the daggers piercing my soul, but the sensation didn’t fully register.  Instead, my focus was on the weight on my chest; non-judgmental, not trying to rid myself of it, but simply acknowledging its presence as I breathed into that space.  As the weight lost its urgency, I felt the tingling in my arms.  Then the warmth around my feet.  Each sensation came and went as I welcomed and existed in it.  As thoughts invaded my mind, I gently excused them and went back to my breath.  I felt his heart pounding on the side of my face, the rise and fall of his chest with his breath, his strong arm around my shoulders.

No tears, no threats, no pleas.  Just breath.

He spoke of not wanting it to invade his life anymore.  Of when he was acting out sexually with other men he didn’t look at p*rn, but now that he has put a tourniquet on that behavior, it is manifesting itself through this.

Of what the hell are we doing here and why did he have to involve me in his life.

Of always living together regardless of our marital status because he can’t live without me.

Of trying, always trying to meet un-meet-able needs.

Surprisingly, I slept last night.  Breathing, acknowledging, being, but not doing.

I am vacillating between “it’s no big deal,” and “holy hell, I’m out.”

Does it have to be this way?  Is it always going to be either: a) acting out or b) acting in?

Here’s what will happen:

He will be in China, and I will be home.  He will call in the evenings and check in and speak with the kids and have prayer with us.

Then he will come home, tired.  He will thank me for being here- for not packing up and hitching the first ride out- which he would fully understand if I did.

We will embrace, we will talk of the future- re-committing to us, but with no real plan.

And we will live, and breathe, and he will continue to fight.  Not with any new tools, but with what he knows.  I will invite him to go through the Addiction Recovery book with me, to which he will reply with something like, “if you want to, but I don’t see how it will help,” so we won’t do it.

He’ll act out periodically in various ways- each time coming home feeling shame and guilt and helplessness.  Each time offering me an out, sometimes begging me to go and put us both out of our misery.  But holding on to the numerous really great days and months in between, we will re-commit- without any new tools, but with hope.

As long as we keep going, can I really ask for more?

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9 thoughts on “P*rn St*r

  1. I have read your Blog from beginning to your current post in the past week. I am struck by two things, the fist being that you have an incredible gift for writing, and for being able to put what you are feeling into words that allow the reader great insight into your world. The second is your love and devotion to your husband, but along with that all that you are willing to sacrifice to keep the relationship between you. Wow.

    I have great compassion, and I admire your willingness to keep your family together, but at the same time cannot help but think that you deserve so much more! I don’t want to be unkind, but I feel for you and without knowing you already want more for you, because YOU deserve it!! I worry about your future without your needs being met, and without the commitment of fidelity and trust that is so vital between a husband and wife. I only wish I had the words, the insight, the knowledge or the ability to help somehow….you have touched my life in such a short time! I pray for you, for your strength of character, for your children, and for your husband that you can be guided in making decisions that are best for you, and to bring your life to a place of peace and balance. I don’t know how you do what you do.
    Love & Blessings!

    • Jeralee-
      First of all- WOW! Start to finish in one week? You deserve a prize! Do you like homemade bread?
      Second, you are not the first to say either of those things to me. That a) I’m a good writer, and b) that I deserve more. Apparently I’m not a really great writer because I have left you with the impression that I deserve more. It is so much more moving to write about heart and gut-wrenching moments, but I obviously need to work on writing about the good stuff too.
      I’m happy that you are here. Comment often so I can get to know you better!
      Thank you for your kind words.
      mandi

      • Alright, my beautiful friend…You got me upset at you!

        I am upset with you because you continue to sell yourself short. I love you so much and think you deserve all the happiness in the world. For some reason, you don’t necessarily believe it for yourself. You are this remarkable woman who has a strength like no other. I wish I knew how to make you realize just how strong and fantastic you are.

        You know I love you and Mikeal. Each of you is amazing in your own right. Together you are a force to be reckoned with at any time!

        I so desire to have you realize what a great mother, wife, woman, and friend you are.

        That is all!
        Love you!

        PS…If nothing else, you know Milo and I would fight over you!

  2. Oh, God, Mandi, I’m sorry.
    For me, this one is personal. The man I almost married was addicted. It killed me. It ripped my heart in half. It was literally the hardest thing I had ever dealt with up to that point. I don’t have any words to describe that heartache, that great consuming evil.
    My dear friend was in the same situation. I didn’t know what to say to her when she told me, and I still don’t. Except the one thing I was really sure of, through the whole thing–the Lord loves me. (And He loves you. And He loves your husband.) I learned that in a very profound way. The Book of Mormon took on new meaning for me as I read in it about captivity and bondage, and deliverance.
    And I learned about the Atonement–what it really means–that it really is the power to be made free. I learned that it was for me, the injured, as much as for him, the sinner.
    Oh, honey, I’m sorry. I wish I had an easy answer.
    Is it cheesy to say “I’ll pray for you”? Because I will, really. For answers and guidance and healing, yes. But mostly especially, for peace.

  3. LOVE homemade bread…but that is the last thing you need to worry about!

    When you write that your husband fears you leaving him, I am not surprised. You offer him the security of a loving spouse who adores him, cares for his (and your children) which I am sure he loves and adores, and you give his life stability. Your thoughts of love and intimacy are only for him…don’t you in turn deserve the same? Although I believe he loves you (who wouldn’t?) I know you deserve that same devotion instead of a spouse who’s thoughts, actions, and time viewing porn are far from keeping and honoring his commitment to his loving and adoring wife???
    Again, I admire your level of commitment to your covenants and your desire to keep your family together, (and divorce is not an easy answer) but I already want you to have that same stability in your life! You are truly amazing, gifted, talented, and incredibly deep. You have somehow gotten into my heart in a very short time! (maybe we were pre-existence friends?) I already want to protect you like I would one of my own children…you need to write a book someday, and I am sure that is not the first time you have heard that.
    Prayers and blessings from Alpine, Ut.
    ~ jeralee

  4. your comments above have been lingering with me all evening…..I want to clarify one little thing so that I can go to sleep tonight…

    you said: “Apparently I’m not a really great writer because I have left you with the impression that I deserve more.”

    Can I be so bold to say that I don’t think that is the case at all! I think your writing is clear, and fluid, and honest, and clever, and many other wonderful things. It is the situation you are in (married to a man who cannot be true to you and the covenants you have made to each other) that leaves me (the reader) feeling that there is so much more that you seserve, and wanting you to have it. Your writing is just perfect, your talented beyond measure!

    ~ hugs.

  5. Joey- come on! I thought I was being very fair to myself! Dang! I’ll keep working on it!

    Jeralee- you are very kind and I am so touched that you would open your heart to me. I fully believe in “continuing relationships” that began before we were here. Thank you for wanting more for me. I want more for me too! However, there will be much much more for me after we are done with this nasty trial period called “life.” I’m willing to take all the good I can get out of what I have now, put my kids to bed WITH their father at night, and place all my bets on eternity.

  6. You are truly amazing and your writing truly gifted. I am a gay man married to a wonderful woman very similar to you. We have had our share of heartache and struggles as of late. Although I told my wife when we got married about my past, we both didn’t understand that that past could never stay buried. I also had an addiction to p**n (yeah, I don’t like to write the word either), but fortunately have been able to put that aside for more than a year with less problem than I thought possible. It was the least I could do for a woman I had unwittinly led into a marriage that would test the limits of her patience and put a severe strain on her self esteem.

    I have other struggles that put a strain on our marriage, but one struggle I have ceased to fight is the fact that I am gay. I love my wife with all I can offer. I love our kids with every fiber of my being. We both sacrifice something, but it all seems worth it when we are both there to put the kids to bed. Expect much from your husband. Gay or not, there is no place in anyone’s life for p**n.

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