I still love my wife

It’s a weird situation.

My wife told me almost six months ago she wants a divorce.

She was thinking about it a long time before that.

We still live together.  We sleep in different rooms.

She hasn’t filed for divorce yet.  She talks about it occasionally, though.

I’m not really in a hurry.  I just wish I knew for sure what was going on.

I still think the world of her.

She has plenty of flaws.  I’m sure she knows that better than I do.

She wanted to be with me when I could barely support myself.

She was supportive of me when I was laid off and couldn’t find another job.

She worked to support our family so I could go to college.

She forgave me the first time I told her I’d been lying to her and that I was addicted to porn.

She stayed with me when I told her I wasn’t going to finish my degree.

Best of all, she’s given me two sweet, wonderful little boys.

I hate that I hurt her.  Again.

It hurts me to lose her.

Whatever happens though, I want her to be happy.

Rock Bottom

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

– J.K. Rowling

I haven’t hit bottom. Not yet.

To be honest, I’m kind of looking forward to it.

I’m not looking forward to being divorced from my wife.

I’m not looking forward to living in my mom’s basement. (Sigh…)

I’m especially not looking forward to being separated from my boys

I’m looking forward to making progress. To getting myself on the right path. To really working toward achieving greatness. To being a good example for my boys.

With the help of a loving Heavenly Father I can do it.

With his help I can do anything.

The worst thing about divorce

It’s my boys I worry about.

I’ve never been divorced before.  Neither has my wife.  But we’ve both been though painful breakups before and come out okay.  We’ll both be okay this time, too.

My boys grow up in an intact home.  Now that’s not going to happen for them.

I worry how their parents’ divorce will affect their ability to have good marriages of their own.

I worry about not being around to protect them.  They’re not big enough to defend themselves against an adult.

I worry that if I’m not with them every day if will hurt our relationship.  Will we be as close as we are now?  Will we drift apart?

I worry about so many things.

Worrying won’t solve anything.  All I can do at this point is the best I can.

I just wish it was better.

Boom!

Last Thursday I blew up at my wife.

She was filing for divorce online and asking me questions.

I got irritated and eventually exploded.  I said a lot of hurtful things that I regret.

At one point I thought about killing myself.  I hadn’t thought about that for a long time.

Eventually I calmed down and apologized.

Later I realized I wasn’t as okay with the divorce as I had thought.

Part of me was still hoping she’d change her mind.

Depression

I try to be optimistic.  I tell myself the future can be better than the present.

Sometimes it’s hard though.

Yesterday morning I was watching old family videos.

Wife and kids happy.

Now it’s coming to an end.  That makes me feel depressed.

I wish I could go back and fix it.  But I can’t.

I used to think about killing myself a lot.  I’d have a fight with my wife and think “I can’t take this anymore!”

I rarely have those thoughts anymore.  They still show up occasionally, though.

Therapy helps.  Anti-depressants help.  Thinking about how I can improve helps.

I still get depressed.

I don’t want to get divorced.  It doesn’t seem like I have a choice, though.

But I can’t give up on life.

Divorce

My wife told me at the end of June that she wanted to separate.

This wasn’t the first time she’d said that.  This time was different, though.  This time she wouldn’t be talked out of it.

She felt like she couldn’t trust me anymore.

I’d lied to her about watching porn.  That was worse than the fact that I’d been watching porn.

Six months earlier I’d decided to come clean to her.  We’d been going through marriage counseling, and I started feeling a lot closer to her.

I knew my lies were getting in the way of us getting closer.

One night she confessed something to me.  So I confessed to her that I’d been lying.

At first she seemed ok.  By the time I came home from work the next day I could tell she wasn’t ok.

She went into a deep depression for several months.  I was worried, but I didn’t know what I could do.  Most of the things I tried to do were mistakes.

We went through cycles.  She’d let me know she wasn’t happy with me.  I’d work hard at being the best husband ever.  After a while I’d slack off.  I couldn’t stick with it.  She’d get upset again.

She was gentle when she told me.  More gentle than I expected.  I cried.  She comforted me.

I told her I was really going to change this time.  I meant it when I said it.

Eventually I got used to the idea.  She was going to divorce me no matter what I did.

I decided once we were divorced I’d change.  I’d become the best version of myself, and hope she’d like the new me.  Then maybe she’d want me back.

Later it sunk in that she was probably never going to take me back.

Now I’ve accepted it.  I’m ready to move on with my life.

I think…

I want to have more kids

My wife doesn’t.  At least that’s what she says.

Since she’s divorcing me it doesn’t matter.

I don’t want to get married again right away.  I want to become the man I know I have the potential to be.  The wife I find now may not be compatible with the man I want to become.

I love babies.  Whenever I see babies or toddlers it makes me want another.

It’s not because I don’t love my boys.

They’ve been asking my wife for years when she’s going to give them a little sister.

A few weeks ago they told me Mommy didn’t want to have another baby.  I reminded them about the divorce.  They seemed sad.

I told them I was probably going to get remarried, and when that happened I might have another baby.  They were happy about that.

When my oldest was born I wasn’t excited.  I’m ashamed of that.

He showed me how wonderful being a dad is.  He made me want to have another.  Now I have two wonderful little boys.

They make me want to have even more kids.

I’m a liar

When people ask me how I am I always say “fine,” or “good.” Liar.

My mom would ask me if I’d done something I knew she disapproved of. I’d say no, whether I had or not. Liar.

I lied to my wife about watching porn. When I told her the truth she was more upset about the lies than the porn. Liar.

I told myself I was happy when my life was clearly not going well. Liar.

I don’t like hurting people’s feelings. I’m afraid of getting in trouble. I don’t think people want to hear the truth. I don’t want to disappoint someone who I care about. So I lie.

The truth always comes out, though. And lying makes the end result worse that the truth would have been.

So why do I lie? Probably because I lie to myself. I tell myself the other person will never find out. But they will.

I tell myself I’m going to be honest from now on. Maybe even brutally honest.

Is that a lie, too?

I’m a porn addict

She showed me her brother’s stash.  I wasn’t interested.  I thought it was kind of disgusting.

Later she suggested that I get a stash of my own.  I didn’t want to at first, but eventually I found myself in a magazine shop downtown.

I developed a pattern.  I’d buy several Playboys, then after a few weeks or months I’d get disgusted with myself and throw them all away.  This went on for years.

I discovered internet porn.  I never got into the really hard stuff, nothing that looked like abuse.  I couldn’t stomach that.  Just stuff I thought looked like regular sex.

Then I decided to go back to church.  After a while the bishop called me into his office to get to know me.  I spilled my guts.  Eventually I was able to take the Sacrament again.  I even had a temple recommend.  I went with friends to do baptisms for the dead a couple of times.  But it didn’t last.

I fell back into my old habits.  I’d buy porn DVDs from stores.  I’d usually try to go to a male cashier.  One night there was only a female cashier available.  She was cute and she was friendly to me.  Then she saw what I was buying.  I felt awful, but that didn’t stop me from watching the DVDs.

Eventually I met my wife.  I didn’t watch porn from the time we were married until after our first son was born.  A few months after he was born she started going over to her parents’ house after he fell asleep.  She’d go there every night and play video games.  I didn’t want her to go, but I never told her. He’d usually wake up a little while after she left, and I’d take care of him by myself.  After a while he’d go back to sleep, and I’d get lonely.  Rather than telling her I was struggling, I started watching porn again.  I went back to my old pattern of quitting for a while, then watching porn.

I few years later I went to our bishop.  I told him about my porn addiction.  He told my I needed to tell my wife.  He also offered to pay for counseling, which I took him up on.

The night I told my wife about my ongoing porn addiction was one of the longest of my life.  She could tell something was wrong, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell her.  For hours we sat there, her asking what was wrong.  I was mostly silent.  Eventually I mumbled, “It’s porn.”  She had lots of uncomfortable questions, but after I’d answered them it seemed like we were closer than ever.

I avoided porn successfully for a few years after that.  Eventually being left home alone for several hours while my wife and kids were visiting her parents took its toll.  Once again I was in the grip of porn.  I’ve been struggling with it on and off since then.

For several months I kept it a secret from my wife.  Id lie to her about it when she asked if I’d been watching porn.  When I told her the truth she became really upset and went into a deep depression.

After several months my wife told me she wants to separate.  She hasn’t filed yet, but it’s just a matter of time now.

If anyone reading this is tempted to watch porn, don’t do it, you’ll regret it.  Maybe not now, but someday.  If you already do watch it, get help.  There are people and resources out there for porn addicts.  Here are a few:

Overcoming Pornography

Fight the New Drug

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