"D" is for Divorce (or not): A-Z Challenge

D is for Divorce

illustrated by Rob Z Tobor

 A year and a half after I discovered my husband was a sex addict, I was ready to kick him to the curb. I’m grateful I didn’t.  I would have lost so much if I hadn’t struggled forward.

You’d think I would have been ready to dump him the moment I found out about the affairs.  Yet, as hurt as I was, I understood he has an addiction.  (That’s not to say I didn’t use the word divorce at least once a week those first few months.)  Eventually I was able to separate what he had done during his active addiction from who he truly is, a great man.

After a year in recovery, he grew stagnant and I struggled with my patience.  He wouldn’t face his shifted addictions - food and buying. He bought small things off eBay to fill a void.  He purchased new releases on DVD then returned them unused. He constantly snacked.  It was maddening.  I saw he shifted addictions, why couldn’t he?

from Bing
Even though he agreed he needed help managing his feelings of isolation and loneliness, he did nothing.  He entered into that frustrating world of denial.  After a few months, I had enough.

I threw down the divorce card and said, “I can’t do this with you anymore. I want a divorce.”

“I understand.  I won’t stop you from leaving. I’ll help you any way I can,” he answered.

A part of me was devastated he didn’t fight for our marriage. Then I realized he was ashamed.  He relapsed and was afraid to tell me.  It wasn’t until I had plans in place to move out of state, that he finally made his confession to me.

We saw my rockin’ counselor together and she gently told him he may have ADD and OCD.  It wasn’t an easy thing for him to hear but I think he already had suspicions.

Together, we learned about emotional sobriety. It never dawned on me that getting sober, for either one of us, included managing our feelings.  It meant feeling all of our emotions without letting them define us.  What others take for granted, we had to learn.

Divorce was taken off the table. 

Instead, we focused on the progress we made in our marriage rather than the moments of chaos.  We promised to work harder on communicating, especially the difficult things.
The topic of divorce hasn't come up in a long time.  

I’m so grateful I didn’t throw in the towel.

Have you been close to throwing in the towel, only to change your mind?

The Naked Truth

photo credit:  http://simplystated.realsimple.com/2012/04/27/daily-thought-04-27-2012/?xid=dailynews-04-27-2012

^^^^A Journal Entry^^^^
(See, I was nice and warned you so you could click away if you're not in the mood for Elsie drama today)

There is a tale, perhaps you've heard it, about a man who is sitting upon his rooftop during a flood and the waters are rising.  A man in a dingy comes along and says, "Come on in!" and the man replies "No thanks, I'm praying and waiting on the Lord."  Next,  comes a lifeguard with a life preserver and says, "Come on, I'll help you swim out!"  Again, the man replies, "No thanks, the Lord will help me."  Finally, the waters have risen, surrounding the man, lapping at his feet and a helicopter arrives.  "Sir, please allow us to help you to safety!"  Again, his reply was the same.  "The Lord will take care of me."  Eventually, the man dies and goes to heaven.  He asks God, "Why didn't You save me?"  God replied, "I sent you a dingy, a lifeguard and a helicopter, what more did you expect?"

I am staying true to myself and to the originations of why I began blogging by journaling what I feel at the moment.  I understand it's not easy to read about someone's emotional pain and you want to reach through the screen and either slap them and say "GET OUT" or you feel obligated to comment with something comforting; I've done it myself.  For this reason, I will disable comments, to take that burden off of you.  

This is a journal entry for me and it's to let others know they aren't alone.

Eleven days ago (what? who's counting?  I guess that'd be the person who's insides are torn inside out.) I blogged about divorcing Devin.  I am a black and white person.  Everything is an absolute.  It either is or it isn't.  There is no grey area.  Until we get to him.  Grey pops and shines it's way through and it's my job to sort it through in my way to organized and rational brain.  

Am I this rational and organized in my thinking because of my own addiction to cocaine twenty years ago?  Maybe.  Or was it the death of my first husband that just screwed me up so bad?  Perhaps they both contribute.  I'm working on that now as I work on my forth step (which I worked on yesterday - ugh!).  At the rate I'm going, I'll be lucky if that fourth step is done by the end of summer!

When we went to our rockin' counselor office the other day, another lightbulb went off in his head about his shifting addiction. He finally opened up about his pain inside and lack of self worth.  Then another lightbulb when we got home and talked.  The familiar roller coaster ride of hope began.  

He opened up his "How to Sell Your Crap" on Ebay book (not official name) and set up his seller account.  He talked of the things he needs to get rid of and why.  I understand that denial takes time to lift, dissolve and the real results will be through his step work and therapy.  It doesn't happen over night.  If I decide to stay...it's more time invested, more potential frustration.  Do I want that?

Then he got sidetracked.  He went on YouTube.  The Middle Circle. I could sit here and do like he did; justify it - "I was listening to so and so play guitar", which is true, but I'm not going to do that.  I could also explain that the program is based on the core belief that it "Progress Not Perfection", I'm not ready to do that either.  Why?  It's to early.  He won't talk to me about it, he wants to talk to his sponsor first.  Which, I hate to admit this (really I do, not sure why) is what he is supposed to do.  I also know why he did it.  Stress, fear, admitting to another addiction - it ain't easy.

Instead, I explained that I had to enforce my boundary agreement, no affection and not sleeping in the same bed.  Oh, umm, yeah, we are still on track for a divorce but snuggle...cause, well we love each other.  I know.  It's crazy.

So, why the tale in beginning?  Most of you know that while I may not attend church, my belief in God is strong.  I pray - a lot.  Well, okay, I'm not dropping to my knees in prayer in the parking lot of Walmart, although maybe I should, I hate that place!  

Anyway, I can't help but wonder, what help, what signs, is God showing me?  Was it the breakthrough at our counselor's?  The Ebay selling account?  Or was it the middle circle with YouTube?

Or, am I grasping at nothing.  Just so unsure of my decision to tear apart my family.  My children from the man they adore.

My rational brain screams I can't stay for my kids.  Yet it also screams to be patient as does my heart.  The worst of his addictions is over. I have played him out to be a villain when he's done nothing but try and try and try.  And the second we clash; I want to run because it's the easiest emotionally.  Well, once I'm gone and out of the house, it's easier because then I won't see him anymore.

What if all the people I harmed during my addiction had done that to me?

I have an emergency appointment with my counselor late Monday night.  How cool is this lady?  She had zero openings and is fitting me in after 8:00 p.m.   I have very specific questions to ask her and will be placing that into the mix of my decision.

Holy crap - It's taken me two hours to write this!

As always, thank you for reading.  I hope you understand why I didn't allow comments...much love to all of you!


image from: tryingtomakeyousing.com

Wanting to protect myself

Wanting to protect my children

Wanting to protect him

My heart bleeds as it rips from being torn, who will mend it?

My voice bounces off of an empty room, not wanting to share my pain

The veil of denial slowly lifting from his eyes as he sees his shifting addictions, but it's to late

Loss of his family becoming a reality as plans are being put into motion

My heart bleeds as it rips from being torn, who will mend it?

Needing to protect myself

Needing to protect my children

Still wanting to protect him because I love him so much.

My heart aches.