Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Recap

The holidays around here were lovely.  We spent a few days visiting with various family members, had a number of close friends from all over to our house for a party on Saturday, and are now beginning to fall back into the daily routine.  I still have a week before classes resume, which is lucky since I have apparently chosen the holiday break as the ideal time to come down with the cold/flu/transient 24 hour bug that has been going around.  I've been feeling a bit like I got hit by a Mack truck, and therefore don't have a whole bunch to write about aside from what it's like to lie around like a bum with a box of tissues at hand.  

Other than all that, there has been one thing of note that warrants writing down.  With another couple of weeks before my loans arrive and last semester's loans dwindling, we've been truly cutting things extremely tight financially over the past month.  Add in the extra expenses of Christmas shopping and things had gotten a little scary.  I was fully expecting to have to pay the early January bills with credit cards and pay off the cards when the loan money arrived, and that whole idea was more than a little stressful, since we're used to budgeting everything so precisely.  I had been worrying about how we would manage for most of December, but finally realized that it wasn't going to do me any good and decided to try giving the whole situation up to my higher power.  I'm still not very good at the letting go thing, but since I've been working on it with D I figured it certainly couldn't hurt to try it with the finances, too.  And so I all but forgot about the money, figuring if it came down to credit cards that at least we would be able to pay them off fairly quickly.   

When D's last paycheck arrived the day after Christmas, it was a bit more than usual, and so we breathed a little bit easier.  Then, he won a contest for sales at work and got an extra bonus for doing so.  Yesterday, I received a completely unexpected check in the mail as a refund from our insurance company, stating that we'd overpaid.  All of these things combined have officially crossed the bank accounts into the black and given us enough money to pay for all of our expenses over the next few weeks.  Honestly, I hadn't really thought about it much until today, when I received and banked that extra insurance check, but clearly, someone somewhere is watching out for us a little bit this week, and I am so, so grateful.  It gives me hope that letting go might actually help in a lot more ways as well.  

Saturday, December 20, 2008

And to all a good night

I am finally, finally done with exams for the semester.  I actually ended up doing quite well, so I was pleased.  I have yet to convince my brain that I am finished, though--I keep waking up in the morning feeling like there's something I should be doing.  It's amazing how exhausted you can be without realizing it.  I finally get to relax and now all I want to do is sleep.  It's been quite lovely, however, to spend a couple of days doing some shopping, first with D, then today with my mom and sisters.  There are gifts wrapped under our tree and it makes me feel all full of Christmas cheer.  My dog and myself are curled up on the couch watching romantic movies and in the next two days I will celebrate six months of marriage and three months of sobriety for D.  

Sometimes, life just works.  Here's hoping that everyone out there can find such a little piece of joy this season.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's finals week, and I think I'm losing my mind

I've been slipping the past couple of days.  It started with a trigger...D came home without calling me to let me know he was on his way.  He'd been talking more with a couple of female friends recently--long time friends, who I know quite well--and one day last week he had gotten off the phone with me in order to answer a phone call from one of them regarding what to get a boyfriend for Christmas.  So when he came home without calling first, my mind did a triple jump to the worst of possible conclusions, assuming he had wanted to talk to one of them more than me.  That he was slipping into complacency and leaving me behind for the thousandth time.  It was all I could do to keep myself from an all-out freak out when he got home, though I somehow managed to stay relatively calm and avoid being passive-aggressive long enough for him to claim that he had not spoken with anyone.  Since then, I'm having trouble focusing on me.  Well, that took all of a week.  

Last night I had a completely random--no triggers, just random--flashback about things he used to say when he was flirting with girls online.  It's like stabbing myself in the chest one more time for fun.  I'm trying to figure out why this is happening, but there doesn't seem to be a really good reason.  I'm also trying to get my focus back to me again, but it's coming much less easily this time.  I wanted so badly to bring up D's recovery last night with him, but didn't, so I guess that's a good sign that I can still keep my control freak a little bit under control.  Time to check out my priorities again, because in my efforts to focus on what I'm feeling, all I can identify is that I'm feeling frustrated by all this and frustrated (yet again) by what D is or isn't doing, which is exact opposite of the goal of this exercise.  Then, when I remind myself that all I can do is work on me and my flaws, that codie who lives in my head just wants recognition--"Hey!  Look at me!  I'm working on myself!  Haven't you noticed?!  Say you've noticed!! Doesn't it make you want to work on you too?"  God, what a horribly insecure person I have been.  Next stop for the introspection train:  why in the world I'm so insecure about everything, and what I can do about it.  I'll be back when and if I figure out some answers. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I got way more done last night than I had intended to, work wise.  Partially thanks to D, who took me away from my oh-so-distracting high speed internet connection for a while when he asked (of his own accord) if I would drive him to his SAA meeting.  Hour and a half of no internet studying + continuing to reap the benefits of not worrying so much about everybody else in the world = chalk one into the win zone.  At least for today.  

We put up our Christmas tree a couple of nights ago, and it was fabulous because (as mentioned in my previous "about me" post) I am a certifiable Christmas nut.  It pains me that we cannot have a real tree, since D is allergic, but for now our adorable little Charlie Brown fake tree lights up my life (literally and figuratively) when I walk in the door in the evening.  D thinks this is hilarious, since he is used to putting up his family tree about a week or two before Christmas and taking it down the day after, whereas my family get out the decor the weekend after Thanksgiving.  I think we've found a good compromise.  I even got a pine-smelling candle to trick my brain into thinking it's real.  Now, if only I could find the time and money to get the shopping done, I'll really be set.  

Monday, December 8, 2008

Letting Go

I feel like the universe is trying to send me a message.  After last week's post, I took some advice and decided to make an effort, starting then and there, to focus more on me.  I even wrote myself a lovely little note to look back on and remind myself.  The goal was relatively simple--I just promised myself that I would try my best to think more about me, what I was thinking, how I was feeling, what I want.  In so doing, I also promised that I would do my utter best to quit worrying so much about D like I've been.  We discussed this epiphany of sorts, and I told him that I'm making the commitment to not bother him about his recovery any more, for his sake but ultimately for mine, because really (as I've been told however many times) it is just plain unhealthy for me to focus so much on something that, at it's heart, I simply can't control--no matter how much I might want to.  So I started trying.  When I began thinking about what someone else was doing or what I needed to do for them, I tried to remove myself as much as possible and really review how I felt and what I wanted and what I could do.  It's been hard, but not nearly as much as I expected.  The great thing was (and here's where the universe is giving me a sign)--all manner of things have come up dealing with this topic this week.  Other friends that I've talked to, other blogs that I've read, are dealing with the same topic of staying self-focused.  I attended my first online COSA meeting tonight, and the topic was, of all things, letting go of control in order to see solutions more clearly (and, if necessary, asking HP for help in doing so).  Hearing other people talk about how they dealt with this, how they had benefitted from letting go, what struggles they had really resonated with me and gave me some new things to think about to help me with this new goal.  It's been great, and I have to say it's given me some freedom of perspective to start looking at what good things I do have in my life.  

With this newfound idea to go on, I've also decided that in order to keep the focus on me, I'm going to try to start keeping this blog more about me and what I'm doing rather than just ranting about D all the time.  Whatever problems we have, I can only work on mine, anyway--and when I do, things seem to go so much better with him and with us as well.  So to start making this place a little more "me-centric," here is an interesting little meme I picked up from a friend.  

10 things you don't know about me:

Note:  I don't do memes, really...none of the whole "tagging" other people and such.  But I thought this was fun, so feel free to do it if you wish as well.  The point is just to let people know 10 things about you that they probably otherwise wouldn't know, or that might be interesting or different or odd.  

1. I am addicted to Harry Potter, and I just got turned on to the new Twilight books.  While I don't think they're quite as good writing-wise, the story is interesting and quite addictive when the alternative is studying.  This is a bad, bad thing to happen the week before finals. 

2. I love the beach.  The smell of sunscreen is one of the happiest smells on earth. 

3. My house is perpetually covered in dog fur, and while I am a neat freak, I often cannot bring myself to haul out the vacuum to solve the problem. 

4. Christmas is my favorite season.  I would listen to carols year round if it wouldn't annoy everyone else around me. 

5. I hate bananas.

6. I love photography. 

7. I'm a closet nerd.  I play video games, love science fiction, and probably would have been an astrophysicist if I didn't pick my chosen line of study. 

8. I love snow, but hate the cold.  I really wish I had a fireplace, because my heating bills kill me whenever the temperature drops below 60 degrees. 

9. I used to have a life goal to travel to every continent before I was 30.  I still want to do it--but the age range has lengthened.  Only two have been checked off the list so far. 

10. Blood, guts, death, gore and destruction do not and have never freaked me out in the slightest, but I am paralyzed by the sight of the tiniest spider on my bedroom ceiling. 

So there's a little bit about the me that I'm trying to get to know a little bit better.  For now, that me better start actually doing some work. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I should be studying right now.  Finals are in two weeks and I am woefully behind.  But, since I am the World's Greatest Procrastinator, I figured I'd do some writing about some things that have been musing around in my head recently.  Mainly, I've been thinking a lot about meetings.  

I sent an e-mail to the COSA ISO a couple of weeks ago, when I was feeling particularly down about D's attitude toward his own meetings.  On the one hand, he seems to like them and get a lot out of them, but on the other, he never takes it upon himself to go (outside of the very first one he attended).  He has now been to three or four meetings (each a couple of weeks apart), and after the first one I am always the one prodding him to get up, get moving, that he needs to go.  He never gets up and says "ok, time to go to my meeting now."  In regular conversation, he will talk about how he's trying to stay positive about them, how they're a good thing, etc.  But when it's time to go to one, he always wants to just stay home and relax.  I can understand this, because he does work ridiculous hours that are never the same week to week, and between his job and my school there are only so many hours in the week that we get to see each other.  I, however, see meetings as a commitment to his recovery, and I feel like if he never takes it on himself to go, he can't really be all that committed.  Granted, he has been doing very well lately...no acting out, sober now for over two months, the model husband.  But yet I see tiny, tiny details in things he says or does that remind me just how easy it would be for him to relapse, especially if he were given access to his computer again.  Things that make me think that he is not taking things seriously enough .  Oh, the madness of my so-called mind. 

And so I try, try, try to keep my mind on me.  Each morning I make an effort to put D and his recovery in the God box and leave them there...but I'm not very good at it, because I am a control freak.  No matter how much I try to focus on me rather than him (this post started out about me, did you notice that?  How quickly my thoughts wander back to what he's got going on...) I just have issues with it.  So I've been making an effort to be more introspective.  To remember what it's like to think about what I want, what I need, without the lens of "what do others want" blurring my inner vision.  And with that introspection came the notion that it would probably not be a bad idea to do something more proactive about my own recovery.  Currently, the only serious "recovery" I've got going on is this blog and an online forum for partners of addicts that I have begun frequenting, and I know that while these are both great resources for support, they're not really the same as working a program.  And so (we come full circle) I sent an e-mail to COSA ISO to find out if there were any meetings in my area.  A very lovely person sent me an e-mail back with a phone number to call to find the answer.  And that is where I am stuck. 

For some reason, I cannot bring myself to actually call the number.  The idea of a real live person calling me back, for some reason, terrifies me.  As does the idea of going to meetings at all, at its core.  And so the introspection camera has been turned onto the reasons for this fear.  It seems so irrational--I mean, all kinds of people that I have "met" via the internet have commended such meetings as a wonderful source for healing, have emphasized the need to work your own program, etc.  It seems, from the way these people describe meetings, that there would be nothing to lose, and only to gain, by going.  So what am I so afraid of?  As I'm sitting here trying to discover the answer, a few things come to mind.  First of all, I am young.  Younger, probably, than most of the other people dealing with this problem, and so part of me is slightly intimidated by the fact that I will be out of place at a COSA meeting in that respect.  Part of me feels that others may judge, think I'm stupid for marrying someone so flawed so young when I could, theoretically, have my pick of people with no worries about needing to rush into things in order to have kids or the like.  I know this is extremely unlikely...but it doesn't make the fear go away.  Another reason for my trepidation is the exposure factor.  To the outside world, D and I live what would probably appear to be a charmed life.  I come from a wonderful background--my parents are married and have always been loving and supportive, there is no background of addiction on either side, I went to good schools with good friends and am now studying for a lucrative and successful professional career.  My family is well known in our community, prominent in a good way. D's family was much the same--slightly less wealthy growing up, but his parents are also wonderful and to my knowledge (with the exception of an alcoholic grandfather) there is very little addictive behavior within his family either.  He went to good schools, had good friends, and has a good job.   So part of me worries that going to a meeting will be an admission that my perfect little world does not exist, despite the effort I have put into keeping that appearance for the past 3 years.  Part of me worries that I might be seen, that someone might realize who I am and where I come from and my worst fear of being outed and humiliated in front of my family will be realized.  Again, I know this is crazy.  I know the anonymity of the groups is nigh on to sacred.  But it doesn't make the fear go away.  

One of my most disconcerting reasons for resisting going to meetings is a very basic characteristic that I have had most of my life, and have always known needed work.  I am quite the extrovert, a leader, especially on the outside.  But on the inside, at my most basic level of self...I am very much afraid of doing anything on my own.  I have never been to a movie by myself.  When I chose where to go to college, I had the opportunity to attend a school rather far away from home, but instead chose one closer where I knew people, roomed with my high school friend, where D was going.  Part of the reason was because I was afraid to have to step out on my own and be vulnerable.  When it came time to pick my current school for my graduate work, I chose to attend a school closer to home, and at least part of the reason was because it was safe.  Back when D first exhibited signs of acting out, I considered leaving but didn't because I felt I had nowhere to go, would look foolish breaking up with someone I had been with for so long, and in some ways didn't really know how to go about life alone.  Even now, I exhibit these same, stupid behaviors.  I am interested in taking yoga.  But I am not sure I would be willing to go to a class by myself where I knew no one, without at least taking a friend with me.  I hate this about myself, and have begun trying to work on it...but breaking out of this shell comes slowly, and the worst thing about it is that I am unsure if I will ever be willing to drive to a meeting on my own and walk in knowing no one. 

That was far more than I intended to write, but it feels cleansing somehow to identify on paper some of the major issues I have to work on.  

Monday, December 1, 2008


Things went as well as we could have ever hoped...or, rather, better....the judge decided to extend D's probation to last one year longer than it was supposed to, but kept the same conditions.  No jail, no fees, no nothing but toeing the line.  He'll be done next August.   Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers...seems like someone somewhere was looking out for us. 

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Tomorrow is D's hearing.  I have put off thinking about it for this long, and there has been a lot of progress made for both of us in the past month, but now I am scared.  I have a feeling deep in my gut that things will work out fine (and my gut is usually pretty spot on), but I still can't help being nervous about what might happen.  I am trying to let faith replace fear, giving things up to my higher power...but I must admit, I would like to ask anyone out there who might read this to send your prayers, good thoughts, and positive energy his (and my) way.  

Friday, November 28, 2008

Giving Thanks

I don't necessarily have a whole lot to say about Thanksgiving yesterday...D had to work (in exchange for having Christmas off), so I spent the day at my two family dinners, and today we are seeing D's family.  I ate far too much and enjoyed not thinking about school.  But the one thing I do have to say about Thanksgiving is that I have a couple of things in particular that I am grateful for this year.  I am thankful for D's recovery, frustrating though it may often be, and for the past two months of sobriety that have really thrown light onto what our relationship is working to become.  I am also thankful for the fact that I am finally beginning to reach a point of not worrying constantly about things outside myself, to a point where I can (at least for a couple of days) take things one day at a time.  I am thankful that yesterday I did not once concern myself with what D was doing, or how things were going, or what was going to happen on Monday, but instead just sat back and enjoyed myself.  

Monday, November 24, 2008


Ugh.  Why does SAA have to be such a damn touchy subject around here?  Last week (as was perhaps obvious, from the lack of posting) was a relatively good and normal week.  Nothing much to report, other than the fact that I had a set of exams and was mostly brain dead for the rest of the week from then on.  Also, my computer has all of a sudden decided to slow down and not allow me to type more than a few words at a time without stopping to spin its wheels briefly.  Most frustrating.  

The one good thing from last week was that on Wednesday, D got off work at 6, which meant he was free to go to saa that night.  Soon after he got home, however, one of his good friends called to say that he was in town for that night only on leave from the military (he's in the guard, and training at a base about an hour away).  When D asked if it was ok if his friend came over, I told him that I didn't care, but asked if he still planned on attending his SAA meeting that night (which he had mentioned earlier).  Since his friend was in town only for the evening, he wanted to stay home and visit, but he also went over to his work calendar on our fridge and noted that he would be able to go to SAA on Monday night (tonight) or even Tuesday morning this week.  This whole exchange was extremely positive sounding, and I let him know how much that meant to me, because I really need to see him committing to recovery.  We talked about how it helps me to see him go to meetings on his own, and even to want to go, because it lets me know that he is committing to this and that we're always moving forward, not getting complacent or letting our relationship get back to the place it has once been.  He even agreed that it did no good to do anything but be positive about meetings, because while they are one more thing to do in the schedule, they are a good thing for him, and staying positive helps keep things in perspective and makes meetings seem like less of a "thing that must be done."  I, for one, came away from the whole conversation feeling much better about the state of things. 

Then, tonight, D got off work at 4.  We've had a wonderful evening, watching tv, having a snack, just basically lounging around.  He took a bit of a nap on the couch, and I studied a bit.  Remembering what he had said last week about going to SAA on Monday night, I woke him up around 6:30 and let him know what time it was, that I wasn't sure when he wanted to leave. I'll spare the details, but essentially he got angry and surly and generally in a foul and horrible mood and stomped around the house getting ready, being rather rude in general and to me in particular.  When I asked what was wrong, he wouldn't answer.  I offered to drive with him over to the meeting and study at a coffee shop while he was there, but he turned me down.  Finally, while he was driving over, he called and explained that he was angry because he had been extremely warm and comfortable and content for the first time all day, happily dozing, and that I had woken him up and promptly thrown him out into the dark and cold.  As he put it, he knew he needed to go, and yes he had indicated that he would go tonight, but he had finally been comfortable and I had woken him up and automatically thrown this in his face.  

I'm just so tired of this back and forth.  Honestly, as I've told him at this point several times, I don't really care if he goes to meetings or not.  I need to see him in committed recovery, but I am not going to sit around and police whether or not he attends (or at least, I'm trying desperately not to).  But Christ, it's impossible to know when it's ok to bring things up and when it's not.  When he says he wants to go on Monday, and I wake him up an hour ahead of time to make sure he's got time to get ready, is that really so ridiculous?  I asked him what would have made the situation better, and he said he thought we should have discussed it earlier in the evening--but had we discussed it earlier (i.e., had I brought it up earlier, because he never does) I have a sneaking suspicion that he would have only gotten upset then that I was ruining a nice afternoon that we got to spend together.  I've told him before that I think it would help if he was willing to bring things up sometimes, or at least to let me know in some general way what his plans are so I don't do something "wrong" like tonight, but he never does it on his own.  

I know, I know, I need to calm the codie side down.  I'm trying to just let him go on his own and see if he makes it back into recovery.  Problem is, I thought that's what was happening last week, which is what led to this whole episode tonight.  I count it as positive that he went to the meeting at all instead of throwing a fit and just not going...and also positive that he acknowledged that he did need to go tonight...I just wish we could get into the habit of doing this without a huge ordeal each time.  

EDIT:  When he got home, D apologized for getting angry.  We talked about how he felt controlled, but he was extremely glad to have gone and thanked me for reminding him to go.  Makes me feel a tad better, but also makes me wish he'd just remember that it's just not a big deal for the next time. 

Sunday, November 16, 2008


We went to see the new James Bond movie last night, and it was quite good.  I recommend it, especially if you enjoyed the last one (which I did...and not just because Daniel Craig's eyes are amazing). One of D's good friends was in town last night and went with us, and we had a lovely time catching up.  D got switched to be off today because of a business meeting later this week (which was supposed to take place on his day off), and we are enjoying a quiet day together after lunch with some of my family.  One of the advantages to having friends in town is that we cleaned up the house (and really cleaned, rather than just a requisite quick run with the vacuum), and for some reason a clean house always makes me feel much more relaxed and comfortable and able to enjoy my day.  Clutter drives me mad.  I should probably never have kids, I suppose.  

I made a realization last night and this morning that particularly struck me for some reason.  D, for as long as I have known him, has been perpetually late for everything.  One of the things that used to drive me insane about him was that he could never get anywhere on time (and, by proxy, I could never get anywhere on time when I was with him).  On Sundays even a few months ago, whenever we were supposed to be meeting my family for lunch, we would inevitably arrive after they had sat down to eat--not because we had been somewhere else or busy, but because D could simply not be made to get ready any faster than he wanted to.  I could beg, plead, borrow, and steal, cajole and convince, even bribe, but I could not make him leave the house when we needed to for anything.  We were late for movies, we were late for lunches, he was late to work.  When meeting friends, we were always the last to arrive, usually at least 10 or 15 minutes and sometimes as much as an hour late.  I eventually took to telling him we needed to arrive places an hour or so before we actually needed to be there, just to try to make it on time.  

One of the most pleasant things about D's recovery for the past two months has been, as I realized last night, that we are not late any more.  No more do I have to jump up and down in my coat and purse as he sits at his computer, begging him to please put on his shoes so we can leave.  This morning, he took a shower and got out around fifteen minutes before we needed to leave for lunch--and lo and behold, fifteen minutes later, we were in our coats and out the door without so much as a prompting from me.  

It's the little things. 

Friday, November 14, 2008

A question for the masses:  How, in the early days of your recovery, did you prevent the whole codependent control-freak thing from completely overcoming your life?  

D and I had an argument (well, not even that, really, more of just a very emotional discussion) last night about--well, about a lot of things.  But one of the main recurring themes was the fact that when he got done w/ his group class yesterday, he was rather chatty about how things had been going for him lately, and I was encouraged, so we talked about it for a bit.  He changed the subject, we talked about other things for a while.  After a while, he started talking about how a) he needs to get a haircut when he gets off work today and won't wait until Saturday to do it, and b) how he was texting a girl from work on his way home from class because she had had a very bad day to do with a cheating boyfriend the day before.  

Now, these two things may seem totally separate, but not in my all-controlling brain.  The fact that he needs to get a haircut tonight means he probably won't be going to SAA tonight.  Which means he won't have gone since last Wednesday (which was only his second time going).  The girl thing...well, we can just say that that was a huge trigger for me, since one of the ways he used to get started with a girl online or any other way was by offering to "help" through some problem and use that to manipulate his way into the situation.  So in one fell swoop, you have the control-freak that lives in my head screaming "WHY do you talk about how great SAA is but never want to go???" and also "WHY are you talking to some random girl from work on text and trying to fix all her problems???"  Helping someone "fix their problems" used to be code for "let me weasel my way into your life and then start being all suggestive."  I told D that I was a little weirded out by the phone conversation with the girl from work, and while he understood, he was upset that I got weird about it because he felt he had been so forthcoming about the conversation rather than hiding it, and said that for once he was actually trying to be a good person without having an ulterior motive and was proud of that.  He even showed me the entire text conversation, and it was completely harmless, nothing that could have even been misconstrued as inappropriate.  But still.  

I think part of my problem is that I truly wish D could understand how badly he has hurt me in the past, how much baggage I carry because of this whole situation.  And he can't, really, because he's too busy just trying to get from day to day without letting this consume his life.  I tried to explain a little, last night, that it is not just him who carries this burden, who thinks about the addiction and the offense and the recovery 24/7.  If I could stop thinking about it for more than a few hours at a time, I totally would. I hate that I feel compelled to check the phone bill every day, because when I do I am conflicted by the fact that I want to be free of it (and knowing that it doesn't really do any good), but that when there are no strange numbers I do indeed feel better.  The problem is that my response to all of it is to talk.  The more I talk to D about how things are going, and what we're both feeling, the better I feel.  He, on the other hand, deals with things by keeping busy and trying not to think about it as much as possible except when he has to.  And that combo is what brings up conflicts like last night, when all I want to do is sound off and all he wants to do is talk about sports.  I keep trying to just let it go....hopefully someday it will finally get easier. 

Monday, November 10, 2008


D and I had this entire weekend off together, and yesterday afternoon we went to Target to pick up a few things and ended up getting lost in the Christmas section for an hour, pointing out our favorite kinds of ornaments and decorations, laughing about the hot pink tinsel trees, choosing what we will eventually go back for when we have the money to decorate the house to the extremes that we want.  

I'm a huge dork about Christmas.  My mom always had all kinds of special decorations that we would get out around the end of November, and it was a ritual we looked forward to every year--putting the candles in the windows, getting out the superfluous numbers of advent calendars for each of the kids, trading old candles and centerpieces and rugs for festive ones with snowflakes and santas and stockings.  My dad would play every Christmas carol he knew on the piano while we decorated the house and the tree, and year in and year out those are my dearest memories. 

Yesterday was the first time D and I have really started to consider our own Christmas rituals, and it was the cherry on top of a wonderful day. 

Friday, November 7, 2008


Things have been good lately.  Really good.  Surprisingly good.  D is finally working more normal day hours again, and we are seeing each other more, and life is pretty much steady (with maybe the exception that I'm not studying as much as I should...pre-Christmas burnout, here we come).  So that's why I hate what happened tonight. 

I was driving along a windy country road tonight en route to see my youngest sister in her school play, when all of a sudden I had a flashback to another very windy road I drove down on New Year's Eve with a friend of mine about four years ago.  Relatively benign memory.  Except that the reason I was driving down that twisty road with my friend was because that year, D was somewhere else with other friends I didn't know, because he wanted to be away from me with them, right around the time he first started acting out.  It was uncomfortable, having a memory of that time sneak up on me like that.  I've since had a lovely time at the play and gotten to hang out with my mom a bit before coming home to relax and study (yes, on a Friday night...such is my non-stop thrilling life), and I'm not too concerned about anything whatsoever.  I guess I just hate the way things sneak up on me sometimes.  I'd much rather have crazy definitions and lists of terms sneaking up on me, because then I'd at least feel productive. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008


When he came home last night, D thanked me for holding him accountable and getting him to go to the meeting, saying it was good and he needs to do it more regularly. We talked about the reason he was upset--mainly, that he had had a really good day at work and felt affronted that when he got home and was excited to see me and spend time, the first thing I did was jump on him about his problems--and about how I was feeling (see below) and things worked out just fine. Both of us, I think, have a little better understanding of where we are at this point, and later we're going to come back and talk about how we can avoid the same problems again (namely, working things out to where he will schedule what day he's going to SAA during the week so I don't have to pester him about it and he doesn't feel threatened by my constant questions). So things are all good...maybe I'm just an alarmist. Or crazy. That would work, too.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I think my husband hates me

Well, no, not really.  Sorry to scare any potential readers with the doomsday headline.  Tonight has just turned into a frustrating night in the last ten minutes.  

D has not attended an SAA meeting since his first one, which was 2 1/2 weeks ago.  Combination of working late shifts and being exhausted gave him really very little time.  The only day he was free to go was the day of the court date last week, and he was so mentally spent that he didn't want to go then, just wanted to hang out, and I didn't push the issue.  He had told his PO, counseling group, and me that he was really excited by the first meeting, couldn't wait to go back, and once his work schedule cleared up again (that is, he got switched back to a normal schedule) he was planning on attending at least one or two a week, probably on Mondays and Wednesdays.  So this past Monday night, I asked if he was planning on going to a meeting.  He got off work at 6 (meetings start at 7:30), and said that he really just felt like coming home and hanging out with me for the evening, so that's what he did.  I didn't say anything, but later that night I mentioned that it wasn't a big deal as long as he made it to one later in the week.  He happily agreed that this was true.  So earlier today (and even last night) I asked if he was planning on going to a meeting tonight.  He said he would see how the schedule and timing worked out.  I told him that I would be happy to meet him after work for food or something before he had to go, since there wouldn't be much turn around time to get all the way home and all the way back there in an hour between when he was off and when the meeting started.  He seemed amicable but didn't commit.  Later in the afternoon, I texted him from school, telling him to just let me know one way or the other so I could plan when to leave school (and whether to just go home or to meet him).  He was busy, and so didn't reply.  

Finally at 6:30 he called to say he was coming home from work.  We spoke about our days, what I was working on (a frustrating project, which didn't really help my mood), etc.  And after a few minutes, I asked what the plan was for the night.  He said he wanted to come home and have dinner, so I asked if he was planning on going to the meeting or not so I could know when to start supper.  He got home, upset, changed his clothes, and stood by the door looking utterly dejected, saying that "well, I guess I'll go now because you want me to go,  or I'll be late."  When I told him that going for me wasn't a good reason to go, his only response was "but you want me to, don't you?"

B: "I won't lie and say that I don't want you to go.  I'll admit, I think it's a good thing, especially since the last time you went you were very excited and practically bouncing off the walls when you got home.  Also, because you've told other people (read: PO and group) that you'd be going back regularly and they thought it was important too."

D: "Fine.  I'll go."  *looks depressed*

B: "If you don't want to go, don't go.  Me wanting you to or them wanting you to can't be the reason you go, you have to want to do it for you or it's not necessarily worth it."

D: *stands by door* 

B: "What do you want to do?"

D: "I really just want to stay home and hang out with you tonight.  But you think I should go, don't you?"

B: *pauses* "What I think you should do doesn't matter."

And with that, he walked out the door, looking just as upset/mad/dejected/whatever as possible.  And now I sit here caught between the two sides of my brain.  Part of me, yes, desperately wants D to go to SAA because his commitment to his recovery signifies his commitment to me and to our future family, his commitment that he's not going to let himself go back to who he was in the worst parts of our relationship.  I want him to want to go, I want him to make it a regular thing, even if it's only once a week or once every two weeks or once a month, but to make it a commitment.  I feel like if he's not really going through with it like he said, then he's not really committed to recovery like I thought and he's just blowing sunshine up everyone's ass again, just like he's done in the past.  The other part of me knows that I'm right about the fact that if he's not doing it for himself first, he's probably not going to get much out of it.  And that part of me feels horrible right now, knowing that it's my nagging and pushing that have got him there right now, and not his own desire.  I am afraid that he will become resentful and angry and only fall back deeper into his addiction cycle if I do this.  I am also afraid that I may be ruining a good thing, because even having gone to SAA only once, D is still sober after a month and a half and doing really well as far as not acting out and being a fabulous husband, friend, and person.  I feel bad because I know he deals with this a lot, having so many other things to do with it throughout his week, and I am worried that putting one more thing on his plate that makes him consistently remember his problems will only be harmful instead of helpful, even with the best of intentions. 

Sometimes I question whether or not D is truly an addict, or if he was just so willful, prideful, and full of himself that he thought he could get away with murder.  Sometimes he seems so repentent--the way he talks about what went through his mind when he was acting out, like the thrill, the chase, the shame and anger afterward and how horrible he feels about it all--that it seems like the perfect "addiction" story.  Sometimes I think he had/has just a really bad case of chauvinism and narcissism.  I worry if he's really, truly, seen his problem for what it is, despite the fact that he does seem to be taking steps to correct it.  If he really recognizes it as addiction or if he only recognizes that he used to do bad things and now he's not going to anymore.  Some days it seems to swing one way, some days another.  Meanwhile, I am caught someone out here in no-man's-land wondering what the hell I'm supposed to be doing to help--supporting his choices as long as he is pursuing some kind of improvement/recovery (even if it's just on his own), or demanding that he demonstrate his commitment by going to meetings, or something else.    He's said himself he felt like he got more out of SAA than his group classes.  In his group classes, he's known the right answers to all the questions for a year now, he just didn't think he needed to really apply them fully to his life/actions.  So is that enough?  Now that he has a plan for relapse and seems to have been doing well for a month?  Now that we took his computer away, will there be need for all this?  Or is he (and am I) fooling ourselves if we think it can all go away that easily?  

I like how things have been lately.  Things have been really, really good the past few days in every respect.  I want them to stay that way.  I just hope this helps, and I haven't royally screwed it up. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008


After doing some procrastinating blog-reading tonight (I should be studying for an exam on Monday, but alas...not so appetizing), I have stumbled across a couple of blogs that have given me a great deal of two things--recognition and hope.  Both MPJ and Sophie in the Moonlight  have written a great deal that resonated with me so much, but what they wrote about that I identified with the most was the idea that I am not insane for loving my husband through his imperfections, for seeing the good and wonderful man he still is despite his flaws.  I have been told many times by many people that I should ditch my husband--not necessarily because they knew of his addiction (of which I have really only truly known or recognized for about two months now), but because they recognized the problematic behaviors in which he engaged, and sometimes because they recognized the pain in me that the behaviors were causing.  People have said that I deserved better, that they didn't understand why I stayed, etc. etc. etc.  And every time, all I could think was that they didn't know what I knew.  They couldn't see beyond the behaviors, they didn't experience the nights full of laughter, the afternoons chasing each other down the grocery store aisle, the tender conversations over dinner, the intellectually stimulating political debates, the times when we would lie on the couch and just stare in each other's eyes and connect so intimately without words or even actions.  And because they didn't know that person, I can understand at least somewhat why they would discourage the relationship that they thought was so toxic.  But that's the problem...they just didn't know.  And because they didn't know, I have long subjected myself to wondering if I really am crazy for staying.  It's nice to hear stories of other people who have stayed, despite the pain and doubt and insanity, because they also knew that underneath the problems was a beautiful person, and even a potentially (or actually) beautiful relationship.  

One of the things I have struggled with for a little while is the fact that whenever D's addictive behaviors would show themselves (even long before either of us recognized them as addictive), I would, in one way or another, threaten to leave.  When he was first arrested, I threatened to leave.  When I stayed instead, I told him that if he ever engaged in the old behaviors again, I was done.  When I found more conversations, texts, or other evidence of relapse, he apologized, and I told him once more that I couldn't take it any more--any more and I was out.  On the day after our wedding, when I found an online conversation, I wept and told him that if he had not meant anything from the day before that I would walk out.  Yet over and over again, I have stuck around because over and over again I could still see the man I loved.  Despite the recognition that I was not following through with my threats, despite doubts that if I didn't leave he would just continue his behaviors (knowing my threats were empty)...I stayed because I wanted desperately to believe that the part of D that was my husband could someday be the only part.   

I firmly believe we are on our way to D becoming the best parts of himself.  Despite our struggles, despite the fears that I struggle with daily, we are working toward that goal.  And as long as we are, I can find strength to stay.  It is wonderful to know that there are others who have made the journey, too. 

Friday, October 31, 2008

Two Days Later

Feeling a bit better today, now that I've had a couple of days to remove myself from everything that happened on Wednesday.  Basically just realizing that I have a month before we have to worry about it again so I can at least relax for a little while.  D and I had a bit of an argument last night, which really ended up turning into a big rant for him to complain about things he was frustrated with from his therapy class and life in general.  It was probably really good for him to get it all out, and he actually said a couple of things that did help me see how far he's come even in the last month--things that were much more mature and thoughtful and aware than I might have expected.  Trying to take it one day at a time and not think about things, because then I can feel much more normal. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Back in Hell Again

Court date was today.  I drove up with D and went in with him for his meeting with the PO, which, though I was extremely apprehensive about attending given my reaction the last time I went, was actually alright.  The PO was not as intense as last time, in that he didn't ask personal questions of me or anything like that, but seemed more disconnected, which worried me a bit since we were gearing up for the court session later in the afternoon.  Last time we were there and D asked about what would happen in court today, the PO had been very open and kind about answering his questions, telling us what he was going to recommend to the judge, telling us what D would/would not be doing on this date, etc.  Today, he seemed rather distant and just told us that he couldn't give advice, and when D stated that from what he remembered, he would just go in, plead not guilty for the time being, and request a public defender, the PO's response was a gruff, "Well, she (the judge) doesn't have to grant you that.  If not, when you come back the next time you might have to hire a lawyer or just wing it on your own."  And then he really wouldn't say much else.  When D asked if the PO would be coming up to the hearing, he said he "might swing up there" but was usually not needed at such things and so probably would not be there.  We left the appointment, got lunch, and came back for the hearing.  

D counts things as a relative success, but I'm not so sure...and here's why. 
We arrived in the courtroom with the ten or so other people who had hearings to revoke probation or something similar at the same appointed time.  The judge was half an hour late in getting started, and by the time she did arrive, several many other probation officers were also in attendance.  Those people whose probation officers were present were called up to the judge first.  With each one, the judge brought them up, stated that they were up for petition to revoke sentence, and then asked the PO what they were recommending in this case.  In almost every situation, the judge didn't even have the person give a plea, but went with what the PO recommended right off the bat.  Even in a case where the person had apparently violated probation several times by not showing up to meetings and failing a urinalysis--a case where the PO stood up there and recommended that this person should probably go to jail for a little while because he seemed to have no motivation to correct himself and the external motivation they had given him wasn't working--even then, the judge told the guy to report daily for urinalysis between now and december 1, and if he stayed clean throughout that time, she would consider alternate sentences.  She seemed nice, kindly, and like she believed that each person there was a good person who could do better if they just tried. 

Then, at the end of the hour, those without POs present were called.  The first girl went up, stated she wanted a public defender, was asked about her income and told to go make an appointment.  Quick and clean and easy.  Then, it was D's turn....
When D's name was called, the judge told him that he was there for a petition to revoke suspended sentence, asked him if he had any questions about the petition, and saw that he wanted a public defender.  She opened his file, saw that for his initial offense he had a (very good, and quite expensive) private lawyer to represent him, and asked (rather accusingly) why he was not using that counsel this time.  He stated that he did not have the money to pay for a private counsel, and when the judge asked why, he answered that he had a new job that did not pay as much as previously, and that he was paying off a house, his car, his student loans, and my (his wife's) current schooling.  The judge's response (again, rather harsh and accusing sounding to me, compared with how she had dealt with those before us)..."Those are not reasons for getting a public defender.  How much do you make?"  When D answered, she simply told him he did not qualify for a public defender and that his next hearing would be next Monday and he needed to either get a lawyer or represent himself by then.  The only positive thing was that D requested to have the next hearing moved so he could provide adequate notice to his employer that he would be missing work, and though the judge at first said no, reconsidered and moved the next hearing to December first.  That was it.  We walked out with nothing to go on, no money for a lawyer, and (for me) a distinct feeling that the judge was not feeling very inclined to be kind, merciful, or lenient in his case.  

D felt like things were a success because he had at least gotten the next hearing date moved and will now at least have time to find a lawyer.  I felt like we were back in hell because of the judge's attitude.  I'm extremely angry at his PO right now, because everyone else who was there with their PO was simply granted the PO's recommended sentence without even dealing with a lawyer or another court date.  We know that D's PO is recommending another year of probation and some community service, so I can't help feeling that had he been present, we wouldn't even have to worry about anything else.  But here we are.  We really don't have money for an attorney...right now we're using my student loans to pay for D's student loans and even a couple of assorted small bills each month, because D's salary doesn't really cover all of our expenses.  Yet because we aren't living out on the street, we are going to either have to come up with money to get representation, or have D represent himself.  I can't help but feeling that representing himself is not a very good idea, given the judge's disposition today and the fact that the ultimate "bad" that could happen here if he does a poor job is that the judge ignores the PO's recommendation and sends him to jail.  

So now tomorrow we have to call a) D's previous lawyer to see if he will represent him again for a reduced price since the case is so short and simple and b) as many other lawyers in town as possible to see who can represent him decently without charging out the wazoo.  Also, I'll probably be heading up to financial aid to take out a further loan to pay for all this.  Again.  Back at square one.  Back in hell again.  Meanwhile, I'm terrified of what will happen on December first and between now and then, and so it's hard to act normal now that we're back home.  I'm trying to just not think about it and to take one step at a time--call the lawyer, etc.--because I can't just focus on nothing but this for the next month.  But it just seems that this time it might be even harder than ever.  

Meanwhile, D has another opportunity to go to SAA tonight, but doesn't seem to be going.  When I asked this morning if he planned on going tonight when we got back from everything, he said he would see depending on timing of everything.  When I asked him half an hour ago, he said he was hoping to just spend the night with me since we actually have some time together, because he had told everyone that he really wouldn't be able to start attending regularly until next week due to his work schedule.  I find this a little discouraging because today at the PO appointment he made a really big deal out of how much he got out of his first meeting and how he hoped to be pretty regular about going on Mondays and Wednesdays, but at least this time I'm not super stressed about it.  He said he would go if I want him to, but I told him it has to be something he wants to do himself, so it was his decision.  We'll see from here, I guess. 

Right now I am fighting my own battle, because throughout this process I have been able to remove myself enough to keep from truly experiencing the kind of fear and pain I am now.  Right now I feel a bit like a wounded animal...alone and unsure where to turn.  I know there's a month to go before our next step, and I know I will probably (hopefully) feel much better before then, but right now all I know is that my husband--my beautiful, thoughtful, gentle, caring, compassionate husband, who (though flawed) remains at some deep level the charismatic teenager I fell in love with--is making me dinner.  He is taking care of me at the most basic level, because I am so engrossed in my growing depression that I feel like I am only functioning halfway.  I have spent my night studying (making up for the fact that last night and today I have not done what I should, being consumed by our other activities), yet only half of my brain is concentrating.  The other half cannot stop hearing the judge.  Cannot stop picturing some indefinable future scenario when my husband calls and tells me that this is his one phone call because he is going away for six months, or a year.  Cannot stop wishing with every fiber of my soul that we could just wake up from this nightmare and go back to three years ago and prevent this from ever happening.  

I have often, throughout this long and harrowing process, thought that I should just give the whole thing up and leave.  There were several times, back when it all first began, that I came very close.  It would have been so much easier then, before we were married, to just break it off in the name of incompatibility or boredom.  But I stayed, believing that if half of our relationship was wonderful, I could maybe live with just that half.  Things are so much more complicated now, being married.  I fear that if things turn for the worst, I will be left alone and friendless.  That I will have to disclose the secret life I have led for the past two years to my family, and be humiliated.  That I will have to sell my home, that we have worked so hard for, and move in with my parents.  These are the fears that I struggle with every day, and these are why in my mind I sometimes wish I had left long ago before things got so deep and crazy.  But then, like yesterday, I look through our wedding pictures, and I remember how insanely, irrationally happy we both were (and still are, aside from this mess), and our promises to be here through everything.  For better or worse.  How much worse?  

 I read stories of other women whose partners are sex addicts and have participated in sex with prostitutes for years before they discover the addiction.  The very saddest thing about all this is that sometimes I wish, if it were going to be dictated that I travel this journey, it could have been so simple as that.  I almost wish that my husband had told me he had been with a hundred different women in the privacy of our own lives rather than one "less serious" action that has cost us so much to the legal system.  

Things are so very dark right now, but we both continue to pray.  Eventually, things have to get better--or so I must believe, or lose myself. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Things have continued to go well for the past week or so.  We actually had an entire day off on Saturday and  got to spend the whole day together...ran some errands, went out to dinner, the works.  It was great.  Not really too much to report otherwise, except that tomorrow is the court date, so I'm starting to get a little nervous, but continue to pray for peace and that everything will work out.  Probably sounds stupid, but in a way I actually look forward to the days we have to go to class or to meet the PO, because it gives us some unadulterated driving time when we can actually talk about the things that worry me, how D's been doing lately, etc.  It's kind of like my one chance a week to really get into the nitty-gritty details of how I've been feeling, whether good or bad, whether related to the recovery process or not.  Somehow there always seem to be questions that come up in my head throughout the week, and there isn't always a time that's good or available for us to talk about it (and talk about it to the point of resolution), so this provides a good time for me to sort of save up, write everything down or remember it, and have a solid batch of time to discuss it uninterrupted.  

Another late shift tonight... yuck. 

Friday, October 24, 2008


As a follow-up to my codependent post the other day, just wanted to say that I feel like my prayer is definitely being answer.  I'm feeling much less worried about every little thing D does, and have come to a relative understanding that I don't need to push him into going to more meetings or anything...in fact, we had a great conversation yesterday and he was extremely positive about everything that he's been doing, so I don't think I'll even need to if I want.  Still waiting to see if he's going to meeting tonight.  Will update later. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I've been struggling for a few days with the idea of co-addiction.  I've taken "quizzes" that are supposed to test whether or not you exhibit co-addict tendencies, and I feel like those attributes are not very much where I am.  I am not a classic co-dependent.  I consider myself to be a smart, independent, strong person.  But at the same time, I do exhibit some of those codie behaviors.  The worst one, I think, is that I desperately, unbelievably, painfully want to control D's recovery.  I want him to want to get better probably even more than he wants to get better--and I do believe he does.  He went to his first SAA meeting on Monday night.  This morning, when we "celebrated" his one month of sobriety, I asked if he was going to go to another meeting this week.  He said he didn't know, would see if he could schedule-wise.  When I pointed out that he gets off of work early enough on Friday to go to a meeting, he seemed to kind of brush it off, saying that he thought we already had plans for Friday (which we sort of do, but nothing is in stone and I would be fine with his going to SAA instead for an hour and a half).  Part of me (the part that I think might be the codependent) got a little upset about this, because I felt like he wasn't taking his recovery seriously.  I've been doing so much reading about recovery lately--started reading other blogs of SA's and codependents, checked other 12-step groups' websites, etc.--that I think I've got this crazy big picture about how it's all going to work.  What I have to keep reminding myself is that we're just not there yet.  The fact that D's been sober for a month is a HUGE milestone.  I can't exactly expect him to be picking a sponsor and working the steps and all when he's only been to one meeting.  All I can do is pray that God will make him want to go back.  When he cam home from Monday, that seemed to be the case.  It's just hard for me to sit back and let him control it, because I so want him to just want to go all the time.  

The other part of me that I think might be a codependent is the part of me that continues to want to check up on D.  The part of me that still believes that there's something he's hiding somewhere.  That he's only saying he's sober, that he's lying about not acting out.  There's still part of me that thinks it can't just be that easy, and so that part of me checks our cell phone bill once a day to see if there have been any questionable texts or calls.  Part of me that must be restrained from checking even his work e-mail, which has never revealed anything suspicious since it's firewalled.  These are the behaviors that I'd really like to stop.  I think it will continue to get easier once D is more firmly into SAA.  I (like him) would really love if he could stop going to his counseling classes (that are required for his probation) and be able to switch over to SAA instead, especially once he finds a sponsor and starts working the steps seriously.  I doubt the powers that be will let that happen, but he just doesn't seem to be doing much in classes any more since his counselor has stopped giving him official assignments, and I am hopeful that doing a first step presentation, making a list of the people he's hurt and how he can help them, making that moral inventory of his character defects, all the other things I read about people in SAA doing...I'm hoping (and really thinking) that will do more than anything he's ever done in classes, even when he was being honest in his assignments. 

God, give me peace.  Help me to realize that as much as I can encourage, I cannot control others.  Help D to want to go back to SAA and to gain encouragement and support and strength to continue in his sobriety.  Help us both to seek you as a source of help to take on each day.  

One Month

Today is one month sober for D.  He says he hasn't acted out since the last time I found him texting.  He didn't seem as excited as I was when I mentioned it this morning, which kind of disheartened me a bit, but still...it's a big step.  I'm hoping he goes to SA again on Friday.  

Monday, October 20, 2008


D attended his first SAA meeting tonight, and was very positive about the whole experience.  He said it was very welcoming, he finally felt like he was in a place where he wouldn't get judged, and could be up front and honest about everything and get some help he really needed.  I think the biggest thing that impressed upon me, though, was one particular thing he said.  He said that one of the things that impressed upon him was that people were talking about things they had done and where they had been with their addictions, and he said it was amazing, because all of the things they were saying were things he could relate to--things he had done.  He said people talked about how they lied by omission, manipulated those around them, etc., and he was just like, "yes! yes! that's me!"  I felt really encouraged by the fact that he saw himself in their problems, maybe because I think it will help him to even more fully confront his addiction.  He also seemed much happier to go to this group because there are more people of his age and socio-economic background than in his counseling group.  Also, I think, it's nice for him to go to a group that is there just for support--one that is there not to fix him, but to help him and support him as he fixes himself.  His counseling group is so centered on the idea of "making you better," I think, and so focused on the offenses of those involved, that it's hard to get around that.  I'm hoping that the fact that this is separate from the offense will help him to fight the addiction for the sake of fighting for the addiction, and not just because his counselor or PO is breathing down his neck.  He seemed very excited also that the SAA groups were so available--there are several during the week that he can attend very easily around his work schedule, and he himself made the comment that he likes the idea much better of being able to go to one of those very quickly and get support after having a rough day or temptations or slip-ups rather than having to just muddle through a week to report in at a group that will see those things more as failures or even crimes.  I'm hoping he stays as happy about it as he is now, and continues to want to go.  He's been "recommended" to go twice a week...but part of me is holding my breath to see if he ends up going even more just because he wants to.  This week that probably won't be possible because he's still working closing shifts almost every night, but maybe in the future.  

Still unsure of whether or not I'll drive with him to his next PO appointment and court date.  Part of me really wants to go just for the drive time--it's almost 2 hours away, and so it's one of the only times a week we can really sit down and have long term discussions, usually about how things are going with the addiction/acting out/the offense/etc...and that usually helps me to not think about it so much the rest of the week other than when we check in each day.  On the other hand...I have class that afternoon that I would have to skip (and probably could, but would feel bad about ditching my group), and I'm not sure how I would be able to handle waiting on the court thing to be over.  We'll see when the time comes, I guess.  

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Looking Up

Things seem to be looking up a little.  I talked with D yesterday about how weird and scared I've been feeling since the meeting on Thursday, and we both agreed that things have been very on edge the past few days, mainly because of the fact that we are barely seeing each other right now--he's been working late shift for almost a week straight, and I've had exams this week and been studying constantly--and so we've just been a little off in general.  I think I've made the decision that while I am fine driving with him to PO meetings and classes, I don't think I'll go back in with him again (or at least, not for a long while).  It's just easier to process when it's one step removed.  Part of me feels like this is somewhat cowardly, but I can't live with the picture of the PO's face in my head all the time.  It's just not healthy.  I've been trying to think of what it is that is making it so strange for me, and I think what at least part of it comes down to is the fact that I feel like he was telling me that I can't do things.  It's not just D who can't go certain places, it's me.  And now I feel like I shouldn't be doing certain things, watching certain tv shows, crossing the state border to do my shopping, things like that.  I feel guilty for things that I am not even accountable for, because of the way the guy looked at us.  And so, I'm just not comfortable with that.  Hopefully this feeling will pass with time and not return if I don't go back in for a while. 

This morning was a really good morning.  D didn't have to work til one, and he came to church with me for the first time in a long while.  He's not really a church person, and I'll admit that the church I've been attending I certainly don't agree with all (or even any, on some days) of what is said in the sermon, but I feel much more comfortable disagreeing and just taking what speaks to me.  Also, the music is better, and the people are at least relatively genuine and caring (as opposed to the church I grew up at, where I'm pretty sure half the congregation is dead and no one's realized it yet).  He actually took it pretty well, considering it was not a very good sermon (in my opinion) today.  I think the fact that we talked about just knowing how it was and taking it for what it is, even if that's not really your thing all the time, helped.  I'm hopeful that he'll come back the next time he has the ability.  I pray for him constantly the whole time I'm there every week.  I don't expect him to be "saved" or anything (mainly because I don't really get along with the whole neo-conservative evangelical idea of "getting saved"), but I do hope that he'll find God on his own terms, and that doing so will help him to seek God as a means of healing.  I pray for his healing every day...I guess I just hope someday he will too.  

This morning was also a bright note for another reason:  it's probably tmi, but for the first time in over a week, we were actually comfortable enough to have some intimate time, and I didn't even have problems of thinking about what was going through his head or picturing something he's done in the past.  I asked him later if I was the only one he thought about, and he said yes.  The bigger thing, though...I asked how long it had been since he could say that...and he said about two weeks or so.  He said that he regretted it hadn't been longer, but for me, hearing that was like water for a dying man.  It let me know that he's not just going to blow sunshine up my ass about the fact that he's been perfectly clean for a month now, but it also let me know that there's been progress.  He's thought about other girls since he's stopped texting and chatting...but for two weeks, I've been the only fantasy.  And that's a huge step for us.  

Saturday, October 18, 2008


For some reason, the past two days have been really rough on me.  Ever since the last big discussion D and I had about his texting women, things have actually been quite happy at home...he checks in daily, has had no access to computers, and my daily checks of the phone bill haven't shown up any crazy new numbers (and in fact, are almost solely dedicated to texting and calling either me or one of two friends whom I know well.  Every week when we drive him to therapy class, we've been discussing the week's happenings and how things are going in general.  He has claimed to be working very hard, let me know that there are some mornings where he wakes up "in the mood" and I'm not there, and he has consciously made efforts to divert the energy by running around outside with the dog or playing a video game or reading.  So I'm hard pressed to explain why all of a sudden yesterday made me depressed again.  (Because that's what this is...I can't be happy right now, and I'm just not sure why when there doesn't seem to be anything going on.)  

He was edgy this morning, and edgy always scares me because he always used to get edgy when he was hiding something from me.  So I think part of it is that I'm afraid something has come up that he's not sharing.  But at the same time, he explained why he was edgy--he's been working almost nothing but closing shifts recently and is frustrated about never being home and never seeing me and having to run around in the mornings to do anything he needs to do.  Still, I worry.  Like I said in my previous post, part of me just wishes that something would go wrong just so I would know that he would tell me about it.  That's horrible to think.  

I think the other reason I'm feeling so down these past couple of days is the fact that I went to the PO meeting on Thursday.  The PO had suggested it on the previous visit because he had never met me, and I agreed to go with, and part of me is glad I did.  But... always that but.  It's one thing to discuss with D what is said in meetings and things he needs to work on and how he's accomplishing them and things he's having trouble with.  It's another thing to have a very intimidating, older man (who was not how I pictured him at all, and rather...well, I don't know how to describe him other than kind of rough looking and not very kindly...and not to get on a tangent, but I know he's not there to be a friend, but it still just made me kind of uncomfortable) look at your husband and ask him if he was spending money on porn or just looking at freebies, reminding him of the fact that he's trying to keep society safe and that the things D was doing were gateways to really horrible offenses.  It's one thing to hear about those things and it's another to actually hear them straight from the source...and it's even another thing to have the PO ask me if I knew about all of this before we were married, to comment that he's sure it's difficult to deal with this early in a marriage, to ask if we're still intimate sexually and make a pointed comment to D that you can have intimacy without sex.  It's weird, but the thing that got me the most was when D asked for permission to cross state lines for work and for SAA, and I asked if he could also cross on occasion to do things with me like go shopping...and he just smiled and shook his head.  That made it personal for me.  It made it real.  

It's so much easier to be one step removed from the process and to hear about it from D and then discuss only with him.  For some reason, hearing this very intimidating person talk about how he has no reason to trust my husband (which, granted, he doesn't) and ask such personal questions of me made things so much more real.  It's like for the first time (well, not the first...but getting it fresh again) I'm realizing that D wasn't just casually looking at porn, he was actively doing something very, very wrong.  He broke the law.  He's a criminal.  And it doesn't just affect him, it affects my life too.  And today, I just don't know how to deal with that.  Part of me really wants to go with for the next meeting and court date in a couple weeks, but part of me never wants to go back to see the PO again, because it just makes things far too real.  I can't just be the unknown wife of someone who screwed up, I have to be a face that (whatever he may say) is judged for sticking with a person who has done something bad.  And it makes me angry.  It makes me angry that for so long I thought we were done and past this, and now (even though it is, hopefully, finally getting us some progress) we're back at square one.  

I don't want to be angry.  I liked being able to talk about everything with D at night and have that be the extent of dealing with the problem, because the rest of the time I didn't have to be reminded that there was a problem.  We could live our lives in relative normalcy.  But now I'm haunted by the PO's face, the PO's words, the things he said and the way he said them every waking moment.  I can't get it out of my head.  Yesterday, I was sick to my stomach almost all day at the thought of the court date and jail and not being able to hire a private lawyer to help, but now I'm just haunted by the reality of it all.  I can't get his face out of my head.  I keep praying that God will just give me peace about the whole situation so we can kind of get back to where we were a few days ago, but I just can't stop thinking about the meeting.  And thinking about the meeting makes me double think what's going on with D.  I'm starting to get suspicious when I don't really have a reason to be.  And that makes me angry not only at D for getting us in this mess, but at myself for not being able to accept that over which I have no control.  

Here's a question:  Is it possible to go from acting out one day to sober for a month with no relapses whatsoever?  D says sometimes that he still gets urges, but I just imagined that they would be much more frequent and urgent than they seem to be right now.  Maybe I'm just over thinking things.  I really want to be less angry so that we can somehow begin rebuilding the trust that has been so destroyed by this addiction. Hopefully with time.  

Friday, October 17, 2008


I think if you ask the partner of anyone involved with sex addiction, you will find that their biggest problem with the whole thing is the lies.  For me, this is certainly the case.  The fact that D has been involved with porn, internet chats, dating websites, and texting other women for several years now has much less of a devastating affect on me than does the lying.  The number of times that I would find some evidence of his behavior and he would somehow explain them away, and then accuse me of being untrusting, or accusatory, or snooping, or intrusive.  The pain that I experience now comes mainly from the fact that some days it is so easy to believe what he says about his new steps to recovery, but some days I am distraught with the idea that he may yet still be lying.  He still may not fully have admitted his need for help.  He may still just be only going through the motions.  He may still be finding new, secret ways to act out.  The fact that we are doing daily check-ins and he shares any urges or problems with me is helpful.  But there are still times when the little voice in the back of my mind says, "what if?"  What if he is only telling you this to make you think everything is getting better?  What if he is only saying this to make it seem ok?  But yet, if I can't ever believe that he has had a good day, I don't know how we will ever recover from this awful mess.  

Today is a hard day.  I am really down because of the idea of the upcoming court date.  D claims to have been sober for almost 4 weeks with no acting out.  I almost wish he would tell me he has had a relapse, just so I would know if he can actually bring himself to be honest with me if that happens.  

The good news: Yesterday in the car on the way to the PO meeting, he admitted that he had never fully taken responsibility for his offense.  He had always in some way justified it to himself that while he had made a mistake, his victim was partially to blame.  Yesterday he said that he was the adult, and at some point he made the decision, and that was fully on him.  Here's hoping he really does mean that in his heart. 


So.  Here we are.  I decided to start this blog because it has become to hard, too painful, to keep this secret to myself.  I cannot share with friends or family because much though I know they love me, they will never be able to comprehend what I've been through, and they will probably judge.  So instead, I commit my secrets to the internet universe and anyone else who might be going through the painful process of dealing with sexual addiction--whether addict, spouse, significant other, family, or friend.  I guess I should start by giving the general story of how my husband and I got to where we are today. 

I first met my husband, D, when we were both in high school.  We were friends for a while, started dating and were together through college.  From the beginning, D was a wonderful friend and partner, and our relationship was, though not perfect, a wonderful time for a long while.  We moved to college together, stayed in the same dorm.  Around the middle of freshman year, D started showing certain changes in his character.  He became much more secretive, defensive, and started hanging out with a lot of other people rather than me.  He asserted his independence often to the point of hurting my feelings.  We had a lot of discussions about his behavior, he agreed that he was being hurtful and immature, and our relationship resumed as ever.  

A year later, things again took a turn for the worse.  D became secretive again, especially about his activities on the computer.  When confronted, he would deny that anything was wrong, even after I began to find e-mails from internet dating and "rate me" sites that he had visited.  There were excuses for everything--that he was looking for a friend, it was nothing, I was wrong for snooping, etc.  He finally agreed to delete his membership from the sites and life moved on.  

About a year later, things continued.  I continued to find incriminating evidence from dating websites, even online chats that were sexually explicit in nature.  As always, he denied that anything was wrong, made up ridiculous excuses that I knew were probably lies but accepted because aside from this, we were happy and things were great.  Unfortunately, About a year and a half ago things took a turn for the worse when D shared with me that he had been chatting with a particular girl online for quite a while, and about a year before (the admission) had ended up going to her house and exposing himself to her and fondling her breasts.  The girl was underage, and he was arrested for sexual misconduct.  He of course begged forgiveness, asked me to help him because he would never put himself in such a situation again, he had been a stupid kid who made a huge mistake but nothing more.  Our relationship deteriorated, he made his way through his court case and was convicted of a misdemeanor and sentenced to a year probation and mandatory therapy classes. 

After beginning classes, D was a whole new person.  He truly seemed to be turning his life around, regretted his mistake, and was a star performer in his classes and with his probation officer.  Both of us, thrilled with his progress and finally free to move on with our lives, began to rebuild our relationship.  Over the course of the next year we got engaged and married, and generally we have begun a wonderful life together.  About two months after we were married, D was set to graduate from his therapy class and finish his probation, and of course, we were both very much looking forward to finally moving beyond this horrible chapter in our lives.  For the end of his class, he was required to take a polygraph test that was supposed to determine if he had been completely honest and forthcoming with his class and PO.  Unfortunately, he failed the test.  The entire time he had been working through therapy, seemingly making wonderful progress, he had in fact been continuing to visit inappropriate web sites, chat online with strangers, and even begun to use his cell phone to text message other women (almost always with sexually driven conversations) that he either already knew or met online.  He looked at porn almost daily, and had been masturbating usually two or three times a week.  All of this while all of us--his PO, his counselors, and myself--were convinced that he had really been taking to heart all of the things he had been learning about how to prevent a relapse, how to stay clean, etc.  

Two months ago, my heart was completely broken.  I didn't know what to do, whether to stick around or face the shame of divorcing my husband two months after we got married, whether to support him as he continued to deal with the consequences of his actions, etc.  The day he came home from his first meetings after the polygraph results, he admitted to me that his class recommended that he begin to attend SAA meetings, and that his behavior was the result of a sexual addiction.  Part of me was devastated---part had known all along that his reclusive behavior, the way he would get edgy whenever I entered a room when he was on the computer, his adamant proclamations that there was nothing I needed to worry about, was all a signal that he was back to his old behaviors.  Once he admitted the addiction, his first step was to ask me to remove his computer from the house.  He claimed (once again) that he was really going to try to fix things this time, try to prove to me that he loved me and could be a better person.  A week later, I found another text message.  It was at that point that we had "the discussion."  I let him know that I thought he was addicted, that I thought he was too arrogant to admit that he needed help, and that his problem all along was that he was going to these classes, knew what to say and how to say it, but didn't think it was really something he needed to act upon.  I told him that I was willing to stay and help him fight this--but only if he was really, finally, actually going to seek help and put forth the effort to get himself straight.  

It has now been a month since the last text message was sent.  I check the cell phone bill daily for any signs of unusual numbers being called.  He still has no access to a computer except for work.  And things have actually been doing better.  We have worked out a relapse prevention plan where he identified the situations when he was tempted to text people or get on the computer, and devised plans to deal with those situations when they arise.  If he feels frustrated at work, for example, and begins thinking about acting out, he will call me to explain the situation, turn his phone on full volume so that any incoming text will get him in trouble, and if all else fails, will take his phone to his car and return to work without it.  We have daily checkins where he lets me know if he has had any inappropriate thoughts or has been tempted to do anything during the day, and if so, what he did about it.  He is beginning to become the person I once knew again.  

The problem is, addiction is a powerful thing.  It has so completely overtaken our lives that it is hard for me to even comprehend sometimes.  Some days I feel like we are doing the right thing, taking steps, moving forward, and some days I am overcome with fear that he is still lying about his progress, just as he used to.  Some days I worry constantly that he might find a new way to act out that is less easy to catch or keep up with.  I am constantly afraid that when he keeps track of how many days he has been clean, he is telling me what I want to hear instead of the truth.  I am very, very proud of him for taking action to right himself.  But I am also very, very scarred by everything I have been through to this point.  And what makes it even scarier is the legal aspect of everything.  Because he violated probation by not completing his class on time (because he failed the polygraph), and also because he admitted during the polygraph that he had crossed state lines without permission for work, he is now going to have to go to a hearing to determine if he will be violated.  When he first went to court for his initial offense, we hired a very good private lawyer.  Now, because I am in school and we are living off of his income alone, we do not have enough money and so would have to accept a public defender.  For the first time yesterday, I went with to one of his probation meetings, and I feel like it was relatively productive.  Unfortunately, the PO also gave us a rundown of what would happen at his court date.  The options are:  plead guilty to violating the probation (at which point the judge will decide punishment) or plead not guilty and ask for a lawyer (at which point there will be a date set for another hearing).  The probation officer is recommending to the judge that D be given another year's probation and community service because of his lying.  The judge, however, does not have to accept the PO's advice, and could send D to jail for up to a year for the violation.  While this seems unlikely (from what everyone, including the PO, has said), I am terrified that D will end up in jail just as he seems to be truly beginning the recovery process.  He is going to his first SAA meeting on Monday night, and I am hopeful at that prospect.  Also, it will be impossible for me to pay our bills without his income.  And so...right now I am extremely stressed and don't really know what to do.  It helps to put this all out there, somehow, even if no one will ever read it.  I only hope I can somehow find the courage to make it through the next couple of weeks.