It has taken us a long time to get to this point. A long, long time. I’ve known about the adultery for five years. And I’ve known about the pornography for nine. Nine long years. Nine long years of feeling like a failure. Of trying everything. Of praying my heart out. Of going through all the steps and all the actions I can possibly think of outlined by therapists, books, scriptures, church leaders, and professionals that I’ve talked to, researched, consulted, and cried to. So many nights crying. Panicking. Not sleeping. So many 3 a.m. fantasies of flushing his stupid iPhone down the toilet. So many mornings not wanting to get out of bed. Not wanting to face another day. So many therapy sessions and medications and hypnosis sessions and massages and appointments trying to work things out, trying to work things through, trying to cope. Just trying to make it through another day.
And then there was the smiling. “Hello, yes, everything is normal and fine. How are you today? Yes, I’m great! See you at preschool and music lessons and church and and choir practice (even though I’d rather be crumpled up in a ball on my bedroom floor crying).” One year. Two years.”Hello, yes, everything is fine …” (My cheeks hurt so much from the fake smiling–I think my face might fall off.) Three years. (More counseling, more appointments.) Four years. (More meds, please.) Five years.
I’m broken. I’m shattered. I have nothing left to give. I have nothing left to give my children, my husband. There is little to no “myself” left. Finally, teetering on the edge of possible institutionalization, fearing that I was reaching a point that I would no longer be able to physically and emotionally function enough to care for my children, I fled. And I was right. For the past six weeks, I have passed a good portion of my parental responsibilities to my parents while I have learned to eat, sleep, and breathe again. In all honesty, the first two weeks are a total blur, and at a certain point, I had no clear recollection of the passage of time.
You know … that’s the funny thing about marriage. If you really honor it, really consider the relationship sacred, no one else sees the struggles or the multiple tries. Just you. You may experience major trauma to the relationship. But then you reconcile and try again. And nobody sees you do it but the two of you. Then it happens again. Your hopes are dashed a second, a third, a fourth time. And you try again and again and again. And all the while, no one else is aware of the process … just you and your spouse. On the surface, everything is as it has always been. And then when it happens the seven-hundred-and-sixty-fifth time, and you finally give up and take some action that is visible to the general public, the general public may wonder: “Hey! Why are they giving up so easily? Why don’t they just give it one more try?” In short, the outsiders miss the process and only see the end result. And you think, “AHHH! If they only knew…”
So … The moral of this story is: This was our seven-hundred-and-sixty-fifth try. And as sudden as this split may seem to everyone else, it’s not sudden at all. Five years (that’s HALF our married life) of blood, sweat, and tears and hours and hours and hours and weeks and months and YEARS of working together and counseling together and talking together and meeting together with therapists and church leaders haven’t done the trick. So, here we are.
The boys and I will miss all of our now far-away friends and family terribly, but we have a wonderful support system here across the country, and have already felt the hand of the Lord in our journey here. He is very aware of us, and I know He has us in the palm of His hand. Wish us luck!
Come visit my blog often. I will try and post updates and lessons learned along the way. Writing is very therapeutic for me. 😉