Moments in time... my journal

Discussion in 'Significant Other Journals' started by GID2020, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    "Moments in time" is a phrase that keeps popping up in my head. I'm trying to get better at listening to myself, so I must think it's an important phrase for me right now, and right now I'm trying to do what feels right and what is best for ME.

    October 6th has always been a special day for my husband and I. It's the day, in 2012, he asked me to marry him. We went to the little town where we had our first date and he proposed at a picnic table right by the waterfall. It's an unforgettable and beautiful moment in time that I can recall with perfect clarity because it was the start of something new, exciting and wonderful. I still believe that to this day. But October 6th, 2019 is also a day I won't be able to forget...for a much different reason. It's the day that I finally and REALLY confronted my husband about his problem. Is that what everyone calls a D-Day here? I'm not sure what that means yet..maybe discovery day? In any event, I want to go back over the past, so I can see where we both ended up on this website. Because if you had told me on October 6th, 2012 that 7 years later I would be here, I would have told you that you were crazy. That's how arrogant I have been..is arrogant the right word? I don't know..That is my downfall, probably... thinking that after everything we've been through together that nothing could ever touch us or make me question that @Browns4life loved me..but this has...

    I want to write about everything that has happened but everything is jumbled in my mind. I'm afraid it won't make sense. I have to go back, before I can move forward. I want to go over our story so I can pinpoint those moments in time, both good and bad, that have lead us here. It feels weird to be here. Because it doesn't exactly feel real. It's not my husband, I keep wanting to say.. it's not B4L. He wouldn't and couldn't hurt me. But the truth is that he has and I will definitely explore why and how that happened but for right now I can just say that this hurts. It hurts to think that your best friend doesn't care about your feelings. It hurts to think that I asked him to stop doing something that I said would hurt me and US and he couldn't. And I know that it is the addiction and I want so desperately to separate the two things in my mind. B4L is the man and IT is the PA. I want those two things to be separate..Again, probably my arrogance in thinking that nothing should be able to shake the foundation of what we've built. Cause I gotta be honest with y'all, I really never thought there could be something that could do that. We are the couple that have people coming up to them saying, "You two look like you're so in love!" More than once over the years this has happened. I mean for Christ sake my maid of honor at our wedding started off her speech saying "B4L and Ash make me sick". lol. Meaning because we are so in love and we show it and don't care who sees it. It's been a running joke with our couple friends that we have, but if they could have seen us recently, maybe they wouldn't be making that joke...

    You see when I met B4L we were both broken people. Neither of us really understanding how broken the other was at the time.. But meeting him was like..it's like finding your way out of a cold, damp, darkness,and into the warmth of the light that is so bright and warm and peaceful... I know now, and he does too, that when we met, we should have not started a relationship. Both of us coming from the endings of our first marriages to each other was both beautiful and kind of dumb. Lol. But in the end, maybe necessary....I read someone on here saying that love is not a feeling, it's a choice. I don't know if I agree. I don't have a choice in loving B4L or not. I have a choice to stay married to him, but I have no choice in loving him. I love him. It's kind of like breathing to me. I have to do it.

    When B4L and I met, we fell in love, and like I said it just an awful time in our lives, and we made it work. It was hard work, no doubt, but worth it. He's worth everything to me. Even now, even all of this, it's still worth it. We've been through our crazy ex's and all of the crap they have done to us, seeing each other through the legal process of both of our marriages ending, custody issues for both his kids (his ex tried to move far way to marry some dickhead..another story for another day) my mother getting cancer and dying, his father dying, us building an addition on to our home together to fit our new blended family. I have 2 boys, B4L has 2 boys (who I consider very much my own children) and my much younger brother and sister came to live with us after my mom passed in 2014. We've seen each other through a lot and despite our crazy ex's, our crappy timing at starting our relationship, issues with the kids, and just life in general kinda sucking a lot at "moments in time", I found myself more deeply in love with B4L everyday. We had (and still do have) so much fun together. Finally, I found someone who wanted to sing songs with me in the car, to dance around like a weirdo, lol, to talk about politics and books and movies. We were both big into the sports teams of our big city near by, we both love action movies and sci-fi, and I save the best for last, we both love sex!! Which was a huge change for us both when we met.


    I should give background on us both, but especially B4L because I want to go over his history so that I can see that HIS problem is not about ME! There, I said it. This is not about ME. I'm fun, funny, smart, pretty cute, sexy, I like sex, I'm a good mother, I support my husband, I take care of all of our children, this house, the dogs, and I even try to leave some of that time to take care of myself..which I will be exploring more later in other posts hopefully. I don't deserve this, but quite frankly I don't think B4L does either because I know the real him and if anyone can beat an addiction it's my husband. Because if he can't then we can't be together, and I don't accept that.

    A little background on B4L, he grew up in a blue collar neighborhood with nice parents but they had him late in life and I know that affected the way they raised him. He has much older brothers than himself, as he is 43 and his brother is 20 years older than him. His mother was and still is very Catholic. The story that he has said is that when he was 12/13 he found one of his dad's playboy magazines and that started the PA. I think what propelled it further was when his mother discovered that he had been looking at them and she didn't handle it well. He has spoken about the shame that he felt over looking at nakedness and of course that is associated with touching himself and I believe it's just a whole shame cycle that started then. Later on he said as he got older he never felt very confident around girls. He was always their "best friend" and the "nice guy", which I think may have further fueled his PA because he wasn't they guy that girls wanted to be their boyfriend, just their friend. But I think I understand that porn was a way for him to feel like he wasn't being rejected and therefore the cycle continued.

    Furthering his issues with porn and sex was the fact that one of his older brothers was gay and contracted HIV and then got full blown AIDS. As a young man coming into his sexual awakening, I know that that suddenly made sex seem like a scary thing to B4L. My husband is 5 years older than me so in the earlier 90's I was still a kid but he was almost graduating high school and did have a girlfriend, but whether it was because he was shy and sweet or just because he was frightened of what real sex could mean, he didn't have sex with her. I maintain to him that if your parents teach you abstinence before marriage and you have a gay brother who dies from a sexually transmitted disease and you already feel awkward and shy around women..well, lets just say that I can understand how he could become a PA and why porn might have felt like the safe route to go. I'm not condoning, just trying to understand.

    More of his story is that after his brother died he met his first wife in college. He said she really wasn't that interested in him nor really he in her, but he wanted a girlfriend and she (sorta) liked him,so he went for it. His brother had just passed and he was trying hard to have new experiences and he pushed for the relationship to go further. From what he has told me (And I've met his ex so I can confirm how she is in person) she was as cold in the bedroom as she is in person. But he married her and had two children with her and stayed with her for 15 years (10 married, 5 dating). Then he met me... If you want to read more of his story he has his own journal in the over 40 section. Although, I guess I have put in a lot of details so you might not need to.lol

    So, now comes the part where MY story with my husband begins. As I stated before, the timing was really crappy, lol, but we were pretty much madly in love from the moment we met. Neither of us knew at that point really how broken the other was. I was coming from an emotionally abusive, sometimes physically abusive marriage and his was a sexless, loveless and friendless. He describes him and his ex as roommates.. After getting to know her a bit myself I can see that. I know she has her own issues and their marriage broke up because BOTH of them did not really try to make it work, but I do feel sorry for her..but more on that later,probably.


    The first time I think porn became a topic of discussion between me and B4L, I probably brought it up. I'm fun, flirtatious and sex doesn't scare me. I've had mostly healthy sexual relationships in the past. My first husband doesn't count for much so I won't count him here, but I would say that 95% of everyone else I've ever been intimate with has been fun and pleasurable experience. I didn't love them but I liked them and, like I said, I wasn't afraid of sex or showing affection. I will try to talk more about my feelings about sex and porn later, I think. But anyway, when I talked to B4L about it, I tried to keep the conversation casual. At that point, I hadn't found any porn or anything but we talked about his porn use in his first marriage. He admitted to feeling ashamed of it but I told him, what choice did he have? He had a cold wife who he couldn't have sex with and (if you go read his journal) did not make sex fun in the least. I told him that I didn't care if he did watch porn and that I wanted him to explore his sexuality. Again, obviously looking back now, I would have done that conversation differently but at no point did I ever want him to feel like I thought he was disgusting. I thought, and I think,rightly so, that it was a coping mechanism from a repressed childhood and first marriage. Again, not condoning because there are obviously other ways to cope with those things, but I was trying to be understanding and if I can admit that I was trying to look cool and fun. Besides, I was just arrogant enough to think "Well, he needed that with her, but not with me. I have sex with him, I love him, I touch him..he just does that for fun or when I'm not around him." But I didn't know then what I know now...I'm so sorry for my part in this. I did not try to enable his PA. I only ever wanted B4L to feel good about himself. At this point I had NO idea that he was addicted and that he secretly hated himself. Ugh and more ugh.
    ;(

    To finally get into the heart of this story, after B4L and I talked about porn use and I told him it was "no big deal, everybody does it, I just kinda want to set some guidelines for us as a couple." My guidelines, or what the hell, they are rules (lets not kid ourselves here) were that I didn't want him talking to anyone online. Looking at a video, eh, it bothered me but I was trying to be supportive, so I said it didn't and that I just didn't want him to talk to anyone. The second one was I didn't want him to pay for porn. Cause, really? It's free and we have 6 kids that need stuff so seriously, dude, not necessary! I also asked what he was into. Porn was new to me and I didn't know anything about it really. I think I had just gotten a smart phone and was a little too busy with two little boys to raise to think about using it. So, I thought maybe we could talk about it together. I thought if everything was out in the open that that would mean we were a super healthy couple. I guess I was half right. Lol. And I thought to myself, how cool I was being? (My arrogance again!) I wasn't going to be like his first wife. I was not about to sexually repress the man I loved. The man who had been through a loveless, sexless marriage and an overbearing Catholic mother who made him feel like he shouldn't express that side of himself? Um, nope. I was going to make him feel comfortable, no matter what the cost or toll it took on me. Honestly the porn addicted part of his brain must have thought I was a godsend. I do want to take responsibility for my part in this journey that we are taking together through addiction. I basically handed him some crack and said, "Have fun!" Yeah, I'm stupid sometimes.

    Getting into when this started to be a problem I would say that at first it caused minor fights. For example, I found an email chain conversation with him and some woman that he had been in a chat room with long before he even knew me and then I saw that they were friends on Facebook and I lost it over that. He unfriended her, no problem, apologized profusely and we pretty much went on our merry ways. After that it would be me finding something and maybe teasing him about it a little and him being embarrassed because at that point I was still trying to get him to be comfortable in his own skin. Or at least I thought that is what I was doing because I had no idea it was a real problem. But as I would find more and more things, (ie. like actually doing PMO in bed next to me when he thought I was asleep!) the arguments would become more frequent and he would say "I'll just stop", which would in turn make ME feel guilty. Yeah, makes sense, right? Ugh. There were signs that it was a problem along the way but I think we were both happy to ignore them because we were in love, we had great sex, we were best friends and everything seemed like it was under control. In fact B4L has even mentioned that recently. That he thought he had it under control and, for whatever that means to him, I think that he tried to. He tried to keep me and the PA separate. But inevitably, like most things, worlds collide.

    If I think about what caused the biggest problem it was really two bigger incidents. The first was that I had been asking him if we could go away together. Just a weekend away, nothing big. We have a schedule set up so that our kids are all with our ex's on the same weekends so we do get kid free weekends. I asked and he said he didn't think it was in the budget. At this point I felt resentful of that but did try to understand. Right after that though I found more porn on his phone and not only did I find more porn but I found that he was paying it for it!! It was $300 in videos!!! So, I confronted him and told him that it was a bunch of fucking bullshit that he could pay 300 bucks for naked people doing yoga (yeah, really tame, actually, I know, but I didn't give a fuck) but not think to save money to spend time with his wife. He was mortified, agreed with me and immediately set about trying to get his money back(which he did) and also suddenly found some money to take his wife on a weekend trip to the city. We did try reconnecting on that trip and he said he would give it up. I know I didn't believe him and he didn't believe himself but for that moment in time we were okay. That was in 2016 and that's probably when the addiction was really starting to take hold. During that time his ex wife had met some douche bag that she said she was going to marry. He lived 60 miles from us (we lived in the same town as her, and the kids all went to the same school) so she was going to just up and take their kids with her. That is when we had a custody battle on our hands with her. We won, btw, but at the time it was a real possibility that our family that we had worked so hard on was going to be broken up and it was a very stressful time for both of us. Instead of turning to me, I know that B4L turned to the PA, because as he said in his post, porn was always there for him and I'm pretty sure IT had him convince that I couldn't be.

    So, I guess that was D-Day 1? D-Day 2 was in 2017. I really went through periods of time where I didn't look for anything. We were happy and in love even if the doubts about him stopping the PA crept in my mind, I think I just tried to brush them off because I love him. That's pretty simple. I love him... Anyway, D-Day 2 was not only finding more porn, videos and things like that but finding that he had joined Patreon and was paying a monthly fee for videos and pictures of some girl on there. That was a big fight when I confronted him with that. I remember sitting in the truck as we were driving to pick up our youngest at school and he knew something was wrong so he asked. Something to know about me is that even though I do hold in feelings a lot (going to work on that) normally if you flat out ask me what is wrong then I'm going to tell you. So, I told him what I found and I cried and screamed and yelled and when I was done I softly said "I hate you"...which makes me cry right now just writing those words... Because I did hate him at that moment in time. I hated him because I was trying SO hard to let him be comfortable with sex/sexuality and just his own body but he couldn't fucking follow a simple rule like "don't pay for it?" Oh, and I also forgot to mention that he was writing to the girl who was selling her pictures and videos asking for them because he hadn't received them yet. Now, rational me gets that if you pay for something, you should get it and I get that that is why he was talking to her. He did not tell her that he thought she was beautiful, do not compliment her in any way but I gotta tell you that I just didn't give a shit about that!! To me it looked like he was a pathetic old man begging some stupid chick (who was NOT prettier than me, btw, lol) for her naked pictures and videos. I don't think, up until that point, that I felt more anger and hatred for anything. Because I felt like @Browns4life had broken me down and I was REALLY starting to hate MYSELF!!! How fucked up is that? I felt like how dare you make ME feel like shit? I have sex with you, do pretty much whatever you want, we have sex, we make love, it's intimate or at least it was up to that point. But after that, after me telling him that I hated him, it stopped being intimate for me. I started to really resent him. This is new for me to admit to, but it's true. He IS still the same guy that I married that I love with all my heart, but the trust that I had for him was gone as I thought that he no respect for me or my feelings anymore.That time he did actually quit and made it 14 days without PMO but it called him back and we settled back into our old routine again. He had apologized, told me that he hated himself, wanted to stop and that he only loved me..I believe all those things. I really do, but he still didn't stop.

    So, I guess that brings us to October 6th, 2019. Our engagement anniversary...We didn't really celebrate because we had the kids and we did our normal going to grandmas house on Sundays that we do. At his moms, I picked up his phone to check the score of the game while I was making dinner and I saw there was incognito tabs open.....ugh. I did NOT find porn but I did find an app that was clearly a spying type app that you could put on someone's phone. Just to be clear there had been times when I had found apps that were like webcams to things and it looked like to me that he was checking out how to use it. I don't know why, because it clearly wasn't porn, but to me it freaked me out. Because I thought he could be using it for anything and it REALLY triggered me. Turns out he was trying to see if we could use it on the kids phones because, they are getting older and we like to see what they are up to. So it was innocent but he was downloading "spying" type apps without telling me and it reminded me of all of the issues we had had. I just started yelling at him, saying, "Just once I'd like to pick up your phone without finding something" and then I said "I don't trust you" I never thought I would say that him. Understand that when I told him that I hated him, it came out very small and not really believable. When this happened, I looked him right in the face and said "I don't trust you." Clearly that had an impact because a bunch of things on his end spilled out. That he knows why I don't trust him and that he is going to stop PMO. And this time, he says it is real and that he needs my help and that is why we are both here.

    So, I guess that brings me to today with the phrase "moments in time" stuck in my head. It's been 2 weeks since B4L has PM'd (seems like a dumb phrase to me, btw, because I always will see that as private messaging. lol We are keeping the O part because we need to. More on that later too.) It's been a very bumpy roller coaster ride. Lots of really high, highs and low, lows. Some of these moments in time, I've been thinking of have lead me to recently tell my best friend, partner and lover that I couldn't give him the answer that he wanted when he asked "You're not going to leave me.., right?". I wanted so desperately to say "Of course not. What are you talking about?" But I couldn't.. It felt terrible to say but also freeing in a way. I told him that I can't be in a relationship where I am not respected and also where I don't trust him to be honest with me. Difficult to say and difficult for him to hear but he said that he needed to hear it.

    But other moments in time, recently, remind me of how much I love him and how much that I know, in spite of this addiction, that he loves me. I can see him REALLY trying to get a hold of himself (really bad pun, but he likes bad puns :) ) and I'm seeing that he is understanding that this has caused damage. We've talked every night about everything and are going to continue to do so because we both know what is at stake here...

    Those moments and all of the other moments that we have yet to create will help carry me/us through this journey we are on with this addiction. I'm not giving up and I won't give in. Because when I add up all of our moments in time together, I see something that I think is very much worth saving. :)

    I'll try to write when I can. We have 5 kids at home so time for myself can be tough in general but I'm working on that and ME too.

    Thanks for reading if you made it this far!

    -Ash


    PS. I don't really know if swearing is acceptable on these boards but sometimes it's necessary. I also can swear like a sailor when I'm pissed off so just a warning for anyone in the future in case it bothers them. I write like I talk. Lol. :)
     
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  2. hope4healing

    hope4healing Fapstronaut

    First, let me say that I'm sorry your situation has brought you here. But, since it has...welcome to the best place you never wanted to be. There is a lot of support and helpful information here, and you will find that you're not alone. Although everyone has their own unique story, there are so many of us that truly understand everything you're going through. Reading your story brought me to tears because so much of it felt like I was reading my own story. When I first came here, it was very comforting to know that there were all these other people in the world who genuinely understood my pain because, before that, I felt so alone.

    Yes, for most, it means discovery day...the day you discovered there was a lot of 'stuff' you didn't know about before then. It could also be 'disclosure' day for a very few...those who didn't make the discovery themselves but, instead, were told of the 'stuff' by their partner who decided to be forthcoming with it.

    I don't think I'd call it arrogance. Maybe confident or secure? Those are things you should be able to feel in a healthy relationship, IMO. However, when circumstances are such that you do feel such a sense of security, it really opens you up for a major blindside when something like PA comes along....like getting slammed by a speeding train that you never saw coming.

    I've thought about this so many times, and I understand and agree with you. As you said, the choice to stay/not stay with him is there, but loving/not loving him is not actually a choice. It's just how it is. I love him, and I can't just decide, "Ok, you've hurt me very badly so today I'm going to stop loving you." In fact, there have been a couple times when I really wished I could do that because it seems like, if I didn't love him, then all this wouldn't hurt so much.

    Crap...I don't have time to finish my reply now. I'll have to come back later for the rest. Hang in there. Hugs.


    Oh, really quickly...this is your journal. You can write whatever you want to in it. Good things, bad things, and everything in between, even if you need to swear sometimes. Don't worry. We've all been there.
     
  3. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    Thank you so much @hope4healing. I really appreciate all of your kind words and responses to what I wrote. Everything felt kind of jumbled up in my mind but writing it out was very cathartic and I'm glad that I did it.

    I like confident and secure better than arrogant but I still feel like I was pretty smug. Lol. Especially because my husband was coming from such a crappy marriage, and I was too, that I just thought nothing could be worse than those relationships that we had before. And believe me, NOTHING B4L has ever done could compare to the crap my ex put me through. B4L has hurt me but my ex was pretty much a psycho who would hurt me on purpose. I think because of that experience I can definitely make a distinction between the PA and my husband. At least I feel like I can..if that makes sense. He DID hurt me but I don't think there was ever intent to hurt on his part, at all.

    I'm so glad to read this from someone else!! You've explained it beautifully too!! :)

    Thanks for the hugs and no worries on not having time to respond. I wrote A LOT. Lol. But I appreciate you writing and saying that you think I should write whatever I want. I think I will. I was just saying I'm not as foul mouthed as I may have seemed. Although, I'm pretty spunky and will swear when necessary! Lol.

    Thanks again! :)
     
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  4. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    So, I thought about what I want to get out of this journal. I hope that it is just a place where I can sort out my thoughts because they don't always make much sense, especially right now.

    Today was day 16 for us. Meaning that 16 days ago is when B4L and I had our final D-Day, or what I guess I hope is our final one. I think that is the interesting part in all this for me because 16 days ago is really the first time that I think I realized that he actually had an addiction. I guess before that I just thought he was kind of being a jerk and really insensitive. That never made sense in my head though because that is just not who B4L is.

    We've had some epic fights these past 16 days;lots of discussions and more intimate moments that I recall having for the past 2 years. I think we pinpointed that for me 2 years ago is when I lost respect for B4L and I felt that there was an undercurrent of resentment towards him. Although I don't think I would have admitted to that up until 16 days ago...

    So, I think, overall, even though this has been pretty devastating, that we are both very hopeful for our future. I know there is a lot of work to be done, but we are just taking it one day at a time. And that's all we can do everyday. I always tell our kids that we should try to, everyday, get up and make this day better than the one before it, that we should try to be a better person than we were the day before... I think B4L will both need to remember that advice. It's easier to give advice then to take it sometimes.

    I want to start really writing more about our days but we are going to have our nightly talk soon and I don't want to miss that. It's been a much needed form of therapy for us.

    I'll write more soon! :)
     
  5. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    Day 17

    Writing Day 17 makes me feel like I'm lost on a desert island and counting the days I've been there.I suppose the analogy would work if I were to think of myself as being here alone. But while I feel lost at times, I don't feel alone. I feel lots of different things all at once. This morning B4L and I talked and I felt like it was a good talk. More things came out about feelings I had and why I had them. Yesterday when were having a moment to ourselves in our room while the kids were running around the house I got sad and told him in a very soft voice "I'm mad at you" And he held me and looked me in the eyes and said "I'm mad at me too". Which was really great to hear. I hope he understands that I don't have any desire to beat him up over all of this. I know that I will get mad as I remember more and we talk more...But I want the conversations to mean something! I don't want to fight to hurt him..I mean I don't really want to fight period, but I'm not telling him things with intent to wound him. Just trying to get everything out so we can move forward.

    Have to run now but hope to write more later.
     
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  6. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    Day 18

    Today was a rough day. We've been having pretty good days lately but I think as more feelings and emotions come out, it will make some days seem more rocky than others. We've been talking SO much now and I am really enjoying that. But I can't always keep my emotions in check, nor do I think I should have to. I do wish I could say things differently sometimes but I think everything worked out okay as far as me getting my point across and B4L having more understanding of where I'm coming from.

    Some good things that have been going on are that last night B4L got all emotional when we were in the kitchen making dinner and he pulled me into his arms and told me how much he missed me and that he feels like he is really seeing me again for the first time in like a year and a half. That was sweet and nice to hear. :) Also, making love now is pretty much a daily occurrence and it's been AMAZING and very sweet and intimate. So, I'm very much enjoying that!!! :) :)

    B4L and I watched a good video today that I think was called "Your Brain on Porn". It really helped us both to understand some more about this addiction and understanding IT is really important to both of us. After watching it though I just felt super exhausted. I kinda think it had to do with just feeling overwhelmed and my body at a certain point just can't handle the stress so it shuts down. Thankfully though none of our boys were home today as it is our ex's day to have them so I was able to take a nap. I feel better now but I do notice that I have been more anxious lately, which I feel is to be expected. The realization that this is an addiction and a REAL problem hits both of us at different times and in different ways. I'm just glad we are still talking and trying to work through all of this TOGETHER.. If that is one thing that I've noticed from reading other posts and journals on here, that is very important.

    I just really wish that this wasn't my life now. I'm not saying that I'm giving up or that I don't want to be with B4L, because I do. I just wish this wasn't happening at all. And since this is my journal I should get to write down my wishes. lol I mean, I don't know who would wish for something like this to be in their lives, but I think you know what I mean. I'm afraid...I never thought I would be afraid to think about my future with B4L, but I am. I know we are committed to each other, and I know we love each other..I'm NOT worried about those things. I just hate uncertainty. Again, I don't know who enjoys uncertainty but I'm sure someone out there does. I don't know. I guess I'm just rambling again.

    I want to make tomorrow a better day but if it can't be, I would at least like to try to be a better person than I was today. Here's hoping..
     
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  7. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    Today is Day 20.

    At moments in time, it still feels like this isn't really real and that it's happening to someone else. But as much as I wish it wasn't B4L and I going through this, I'm glad that we are going through it together. I'm not sure how anyone does this alone...the PA or the SO. I know that B4L did try to do this on his own before and he couldn't make it past 2 weeks. I think when everything still remains a "secret" and you don't have full disclosure...well you just can't have trust that way. I want to trust B4L again. I told him that I wish we could skip to the end of this whole process but I know that we can't nor should we. I don't want to feel like we are missing out on anything, anymore. And even though at times it will be a long and difficult road, there is still no one else I want to take this journey with. It's him...always and forever.
     
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  8. hope4healing

    hope4healing Fapstronaut

    This is absolutely true, and so many don't realize this can be the factor to make or break recovery success. Addiction thrives in secrecy so how can any relationship heal or trust be rebuilt if there are still secrets and deception? An addict can't give 100% of himself to the relationship if they're still holding back truths, IMO.
     
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  9. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    Day 24

    It's been a few days since I've had a chance to sit down and write. Our weekend was busy and pretty fun actually. We always go out with friends and get dressed up for Halloween so that is what we did on Saturday. We didn't have the kids this weekend so this coming weekend we will. We will be having our 13 year old's birthday party this weekend so I'm kinda running around like a crazy person this week because of that. lol. But hopefully I will have time to write some this week.

    It's been really wonderful just talking to B4L every day and just getting into a lot of things from both of our pasts.. Every time we do I know it is really hard for him but I also think it's been good to see him understanding much better where I've been coming from. I also think that he is learning a lot about himself. I can only imagine what it feels like to have been "under the influence" of something for so long that you don't really feel like you know you true self. I'm sorry that he has to go through that but I do think it's part of the healing process. We've been having great talks and I enjoy the fact that we've not made them combative in any way. We are just trying to heal together.

    I'm really glad that B4L and I have been getting back into doing things that we always used to do. Making dinner together and singing and dancing in the kitchen..it's been so nice to feel like he is back..like WE are back. We always talk to each other about songs that remind us of each other with their lyrics. Or movie lines that remind us of each other. We are kinda adorable in that sense. lol. I'm glad that we can still do those things.

    I'm happy right now. And I'm just going to take things one moment at a time.. :)
     
  10. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    Day 27

    I have to write this morning, otherwise I won't get a chance to. lol. I haven't done much this week around my house or getting ready for our son's sleepover party tomorrow, but B4L and I have gotten a lot done on our relationship. And as he says there is nothing more important right now because there is no housework to do if there is no US!

    Our talks lately have been really amazing. I think we are both learning a lot about each other and ourselves. I am starting to understand more about how his addiction came into being and I think he understands more and can empathize with my feelings on the PA now. I've told him that I've noticed that he does seem to be much more empathetic in general but I guess after you start dealing with your crap after 30 years of an addiction, that sort of thing will start happening!

    I've been reading a lot through the partner support board on here and that has helped me a lot. I will copy things that other people have said down in the clipboard on my phone throughout the day sometimes and talk to B4L about them. Because sometimes, I think, other people can say for you what you can't bring yourself to say. I can't give this person credit, because I didn't copy their name down, but if they ever read this they should definitely take credit for it. The quote I copied was "it hit me with a massive wave of nausea (and again as I type this) that my husband is an actual legitimate addict. An addict of other women. An addict of utilizing other women for his sexual desires and needs. Our entire marriage." Wow! That was incredibly powerful for me to read and to share with B4L. I really don't know if I could express it any better than that! I think it expresses perfectly how I felt/feel about his PA. I know, and I try to understand, that my husband did not see what he was doing the same way that I did, but I can't help how I feel about it because what is true and how I feel about what is true are two different things entirely. I do know that he loves me and that I love him and right now that is what matters to me the most.

    I hate to see B4L struggle with feeling that he isn't good enough...I think that is a common theme in his life and it makes me feel very sad that he doesn't see that he IS a wonderful person. I want him to get to a place where he does see that because I think if he does then he is really on the road to recovery. I'm sure that seeing that he is actually a good person is difficult for him right now but I see it every day.I'm hoping I can help him to see that but I know that I can't do that for him. As much as I sometimes wish I could!

    Anyway, hopefully our weekend goes okay. Saturday there will be a bunch of 12/13 year old boys in our house so that should be fun. lol. Sunday will we be going to his mom's house and seeing his family can stress us both out but I'm sure we can navigate our way through that. As long as we do it together I know we will be okay. :)
     
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  11. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    I was feeling very anxious last night. B4L wasnt feeling well so he wanted to sleep a certain way. I didnt want to move once I felt him go to sleep because I know that wakes him. He woke up anyway and I just couldn't get comfortable. I knew we weren't going to get much sleep. I remembered how he said that he would use PMO to fall back asleep sometimes and I just kept thinking of that and couldn't fall back asleep.

    The kids are off of school today which is fine. But definitely means that I can't have much "me time" as I would like. I love them all but, as any parent knows, kids are stressful. Our situation is unique in that we have 2 kids each from previous marriages and my younger brother and sister to take care of. Plus, the added stress of B4L's ex and mine both being complete idiots...well let's just say that doesn't help with stress.

    We've been having mostly good days but with him going back to work full time again this week, I think it's just piling on the feelings of..well all of the feelings. Lol. It's so great that he's found a job that he thinks is such a good fit for him and I'm super proud of him for all of his hard work. I just need to try to stay focused on my work and working on myself too. I dont think I'm trying hard enough but I also think it might be okay if I have days where I'm not super mom. I dont want to take anything out on the kids ever but I can cut myself some slack and let them watch tv longer than I normally would if I was feeling more myself. Maybe its something about his addiction that makes me feel like if I am perfect that everything will be okay? Like if I can control everything else then everything will be okay. I know that isnt true or even possible, but sometimes what we know and what we feel are vastly different things.

    Anyway, I do feel better just having gotten to write a little. Hopefully I can have a fun day off with the kids and I'm very much looking forward to seeing B4L tonight. ♥️
     
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  12. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    Today is a month since the final "D-Day" we had on October 6th. I'm very proud of @Browns4life for his 1 month of sobriety! I feel like both he and I have learned a lot about each other in this past month. I think I have a lot to work on with myself. I do NOT blame myself for his PA but I know that because of things from my past, I was more apt to turn a blind eye to it. I dont want to be like that any more.

    I like the idea of finding something I like about myself like the way @Jagliana does in her journal. I may have to steal that from her because it's a great idea!!

    The day isnt over yet but I suppose what I've liked about myself today was that I took the time to do something for myself and I did not feel guilty about doing it. I did my yoga and meditation and felt so much better afterwards. I want to incorporate that into my every day routine.

    Going to go walk my crazy puppy now and then start dinner and wait for B4L to get home from work.
     
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  13. Browns4life

    Browns4life Fapstronaut

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    @GID2020 You wont be sorry if you make meditation an everyday practice. It's really worked wonders for me. I'm so glad you took time to yourself! You deserve it!!! Ok gotta run to my last meeting of the day. Love you.
     
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  14. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    Day 33

    I'm so looking forward to OUR weekend. Since we are both divorced our kids go to our ex's on the same weekends so we get a little time to ourselves. It will still be filled with the kids though as two of them have sports on Saturday. Still it will be nice to have some time for just US. I miss that since B4L has gone back to work full time.

    Yesterday was pretty tough for B4L because he hadn't gotten much sleep the night before. He had a nightmare about IT (That's what we call the PA) and opened up to me about being scared that he will mess up, which is what I think his dream was about. But despite being really tired, he still came home and helped me with dinner, walked the dog and did math homework (very patiently too, I might add) with our 15 year old. Goodness knows I can't do math homework with him. Lol. I hope that he realizes that that is HUGE! He's already so much more patient and thoughtful then I've seen him be in a while. It's been so great to see him be with our oldest and see them joke and laugh together. It makes me so happy and hopeful that they are getting along. With 4 teenagers in the house we need all the patience and humor that we both can muster!!

    I can say that I am scared about B4L having to reset too but I've told him that the most important thing is that he is honest with me. I believe that if he is then we can handle what comes. Not to down play the PA aspect of this but we have actually handled quite a bit in our relationship. I don't want to be arrogant about this too but most of the time it feels like I can handle this, but that's because we are actively working on ourselves individually (which we haven't done in awhile) and working on US. There are days and moments in time when I don't feel like I can handle it and instead of not telling him and taking it all on myself, I reach out..and that has made a world of difference. I like that have been taking time for me, too. I set aside time for my yoga and meditation everyday. I'm really enjoying it!!

    This morning we were talking to one of our boys about what he likes about himself. He came up with things pretty quickly that he likes about himself and I was so glad to hear that he could. I figured he could because he's actually a pretty happy go lucky kid despite having just turned 13. lol B4L then asked me if I could say something that I liked about myself and I said " I like that I'm funny and cute" I'm glad that I could do that because I can't always. The other day I was having a tough time finding anything to like about myself and I really don't want to be like that. I want to set a good example for my kids and my husband. We aren't perfect but that's okay. On this DVD I have of a Jillian Michaels work out she says "It's not about perfect. It's about practice. That's why with yoga we say, 'My practice'" I like that a lot.

    Some other random thoughts I have are about poems and song lyrics that mean something to me. My avatar has Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 in it. My favorite part is :

    Love is not love
    Which alters when it alterations finds
    Or bend with the remover to remove.
    O no! It is an ever-fixed mark
    That looks on tempests and is never shaken
    Slightly cheesy, I know, as most things about love are, but it's true. :)

    I'll try to write this weekend if I can! :)
     
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  15. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    Today is day 37!

    Had a pretty amazing weekend with @Browns4life! We went out on a real date, no kids and no puppy barking! Lol. Our waitress was apparently very impressed with all the affection we were showing to each other. Lol. I didn't even really think much of that because we have always done that, even if maybe the past few years it has been less. She brought us a free desert because she said that she doesn't get to see people who are so in love very often. :) That was sweet and so nice to hear! People used to say that to us all the time for at least the first few years of us being together. I'm glad that we still have that affect on people but more importantly I'm glad that it feels like we are US again. Even though I know this is a recovery for both of us and that we will both have good and bad days...it feels nice to have B4L back again! :)

    B4L has mentioned that when the new insurance kicks in he wants to go to a counselor. I fully support that. I have no problem going to see one myself. I'm very curious about betrayal trauma that people talk about on here. Not sure what it is or if if I want to find out if I have it. Lol. I know, for sure, that I have a responsibility to myself and my marriage to make sure that I'm not in this position again. And for me that means really communicating with B4L how I am feeling and NOT pushing down feelings. I think I'm getting better at that. I also agree with him when he told me that hearing what he calls his "greatest hits" (ie. all the times I found something) is not necessarily helping him heal. We've definitely gone over them and I will not hesitate to bring something up if I feel it's important or if I get triggered by something. But I think moving forward with healing and forgiveness is definitely the path I would like to go down. I'm not saying that things won't come up and that I won't be on here ranting and raving about him doing something stupid, lol, but I hope to learn to be a better communicator of my feelings and not stoop to what I call my "dark mode". I told B4L that I feel pretty good about the fact that I have not "gone after" him or been in "dark mode" too often. What I mean is that, with the exception of one fight we had early on his recovery, I've not fought with him with the intent to hurt him. I fully admit that I did do that in that one fight and that I believe that I used to do that when we fought before. However, I tried to explain that because of the porn addiction, I had lost trust and respect in him and instead of being honest and telling him, I just let resentment seep into our fights and even our conversations. I'm hoping to not do that and I'm working hard at that because I know that B4L is working so hard every day to fight this addiction and I'm super proud of him!!

    I better get little miss barky puppy outside, who is apparently ready to come in. I hope to try to write more in the mornings as this seems like a better time for me to get my thoughts out in a manner that actually makes some sense. :)
     
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  16. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    Afternoons with the kids seem to be a big trigger for me. Btw, I really fucking hate the word "trigger". I find myself being irritated at myself for using it but it's appropriate for this afternoon.

    I think overall being a good wife and mom has always been a goal of mine. I was a cake decorator when I used to work outside the home and although it was fun, I don't think it was a lifelong dream. I am as lame as it sounds...I've always just wanted to be a good wife and mom..but I feel like I'm failing at both today. ;(

    I've told B4L recently that I feel like I'm not appreciated by anyone. Obviously that includes him and the porn addiction.. I've been stressed and I'm definitely taking it out on the kids. I'm trying so hard not to. Today when our teenagers got off the bus they were supposed to help me shovel the driveway. They both wanted to go to their friends house instead...obviously that is pretty typical 13 year old behavior but it set me off that they didn't offer to help until I said "Sure would be nice if you would help me, please". I don't really like the fact that I feel like I have to be a bitch in order to get some help. I didn't yell at them but I wasn't nice and I don't like that...

    I think it makes sense to me now....the kids triggering the sense in me that I'm not appreciated..I hate that I had to cry and scream at my husband to get him to stop looking at porn. It makes me feel so unattractive and old. And I KNOW I'm NOT either of those things but that's what I see in the mirror. Just a mom and wife who sucks at both of those jobs right now. And I don't want to set him back on his recovery or anything but this is how I'm feeling right now. I know he wants to help and doesn't understand why I'm upset . Do I have to have a reason? Can't it just be that he used to jerk off to a bunch of much younger and hotter girls than me?? Isn't that fucking reason enough to be upset all god damn day??

    I know I'm just rambling. I'm upset and crying and I need to stop because I have to start dinner and I don't want the kids to see or hear me like this. I will just say this; I put EVERYONE else above me, mostly because I'm a mom and a wife but I better start putting me first some times or all of this is not going to work. And I think why all of this pisses me off so badly is because B4L put HIS "needs" and "wants" ahead of ours and mine for a really long time. And that makes me angry today. Today I am REALLY angry about that!! I love him, I really do but this hurts a lot. I always put the kids and him before me. I just need to figure out how to love myself too I guess. Today I'm sucking pretty hard at that.

    I know it will hurt him to read this and I don't want that but I'm also not going to push down my feelings. That has NEVER been helpful.

    I've had my cry. I'm going to pick myself up and dust myself off, take a deep breath and go be a grown up. Even though I really don't want to.
     
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  17. hope4healing

    hope4healing Fapstronaut

    I'm sorry you're having such a tough time today, BUT it is absolutely normal and even expected to have days like this. Sometimes you are just overwhelmed with all the emotions, and even though there are times when it doesn't seem to make any sense, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't feel them. I get everything you're saying...I have days where I feel like I'm not appreciated at all, and I'm very angry that PA is a part of my life that I never wanted or asked for. But, you're not a bad mom or wife just because you're hurt by it all. You're human and you have feelings that are completely valid. Working your way through betrayal trauma and all that goes with being married to a PA...this stuff isn't for sissies. It's hard. It's painful. But, you're still hanging in there, and you're still trying...and succeeding! That doesn't mean everyday will be fabulous. In fact, some days just downright suck. It won't stay this way, though. Hugs.
     
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  18. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    Thank you @hope4healing. I kinda feel like I threw a temper tantrum yesterday..instead of trying to figure out what was wrong to begin with. I need to try to find a balance of expressing my feelings in a healthy way so that they don't just come out at the wrong things to the wrong people.

    I appreciate everything you said and I agree with you. I know bad days are normal to have in any situation and they are especially normal and expected when dealing with any type of addiction.

    When I was talking with my husband last night and I was telling him how I was feeling unattractive he said "But I don't ever say that to you, nor do I feel that way about you." I get what he is saying. He always has told me that I'm beautiful, pretty, cute, hot..all of those things. However, I'm not sure he understands that I haven't always felt that way and I do think that is because of the addiction. He can't control how I feel though. That's on me. I refuse to let his addiction make me feel like I'm less than I am. In fact, I refuse to be a victim in this situation. I also refuse to blame B4L for all of my problems and insecurities. I definitely brought baggage into our relationship and he never has once not helped with me with my crap, so I'm not about to not help him with his.

    Anyway, I'm not sure that are talk last night helped him. I guess that's okay though because I know that he isn't going to PMO today. That's pretty much the promise that he says he can give me and I believe that. And I think that we are healing, even when we have set backs. I think we are both afraid of messing up. Because we do really love each other and are committed to this relationship.. but neither of us cuts ourselves enough slack for those kinds of things. We do for each other just not for ourselves. So,really, if I get anything out of yesterday, it's that we both need to do a better job of taking care of ourselves first...

    When I was a little girl I always used to read this poem that was carved into a statue in the town grew up in. The full poem says

    Dear Bride

    He cannot make you happy;
    That's what YOU have to do,
    Just as his own happiness
    Cannot depend on you

    But you can build your separate lives,
    And leave an open door,
    And then, because you love yourselves,
    You'll love each other more
    That has always stuck with me but I obviously haven't always taken this advice. I want to start because I don't want to fail at the one relationship that means the most in the world to me. So, I HAVE to work on me because failure is not an option. Not when I have what I have with my husband. Despite what he thinks of himself right now and what I think of myself at moments in time, we deserve happiness and we deserve each other.
     
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  19. hope4healing

    hope4healing Fapstronaut

    I don't think you were having a temper tantrum. You were feeling frustrated and a few other things, and you were expressing those feelings which is not only ok, but it's better than not expressing them.

    As a Mom, I know that sometimes it seems like a better idea to just keep everything stuffed down inside to spare everyone else's feelings, but that isn't how it usually ends up anyway. There's only so much you can hold inside before it all ends up spilling out somehow. Venting in your journal is good.

    This...I understand. It's so conflicting because, even though their words were saying one thing, their actions were saying something very different, and actions speak louder than words. When words and actions don't match up, you can't ignore the things he does just because the words sound better. Even so, it's great that you are strong enough to not let his addiction bring you down.

    I love the poem. If only we could all remember to think that way... :)
     
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  20. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

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    I appreciate you writing this @hope4healing. I know you are right. I guess what I was trying to express was that I have felt recently that I've done a pretty good job of handling stress as it has come and that day I felt out of control instead. But it was okay to do and I really appreciate you reiterating that to me. :)

    That's some big truth right there! I don't want to do that to my kids..I don't want to bottle everything up and explode at them. That teaches them nothing about healthy ways to express feelings. We talk about feelings a lot in our house and I think we do a pretty good job with that for them and each other. Sitting down and talking to B4L every night isn't a new activity for us. We are always talking..but now I think we are finally REALLY talking, if that makes sense. I know that we have danced around the porn addiction for a long while but we were discussing it in our own way. We've always had a lot of love and sense of fun with each other and now that we are both being really honest, I can see that we have the capacity for even more love and fun than ever before. Which makes us both sad that we haven't really talked before but we are now and that is what is important! :)

    I think this is something where men and women just don't get each other on. I know that @Browns4life understands that he hurt me because of his actions but I don't know if he understands why they hurt me. Because he doesn't look at me the same way I do. I know that he sees me as cute, smart, pretty, fun, beautiful, sexy and all the other adjectives he has used but I don't think he gets that when I would find something (when I would have a D-Day) that that would pretty much crush my self esteem. It shouldn't have, but it did and still does. I guess what I mean by it shouldn't have is because his actions have no bearing on my attractiveness. lol. However, I don't think like a man so I can't see the discovery of finding out that he was still "using" as anything but an insult and a personal affront to me. It might look like I'm a little bipolar on this topic but maybe that is just because I am trying to see things from his point of view. I know that, of any man I've ever known, B4L, tries to see what I'm saying and really understand it. We took the Love Language thing and we speak the same love language, of course. Lol. Mine was

    9 Quality Time
    8 Words of Affirmation
    5 Physical Touch
    4 Acts of Service
    4 Receiving Gifts

    B4L's were :

    10 Quality Time
    8 Physical Touch
    7 Words of Affirmation
    3 Receiving Gifts
    2 Acts of Service
    I don't know that we needed to take a test to know that we are compatible. Lol. We are best friends and I always want to spend time with him. The more time the better!:)

    Anyway, I feel pretty good today so far but it's early yet. Lol. Probably won't get to talk to B4L much tonight since the game is on tonight and that is special time for him and our oldest son. :) I love that they can have that time together so I'm happy to not have our talk tonight for that.

    Going to do my best to do something just for myself today. I feel much better and have a lot more to give when I do!

    Definitely! I'm working on it! :) I hope that you are too, @hope4healing . You're so kind to comment and be encouraging to everyone on here. I hope that you are doing well and are taking time for yourself and loving yourself, because you definitely have a beautiful soul and I hope you can see that about yourself. :)


     

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