Thursday, September 23, 2010

Unexpected Anti-versary

Of all the things I expected to feel or desire as I journeyed through this week, a voracious desire to make love to my husband was not one of them. The urge to do bodily harm, yet. The desire to claw his eyes out, absolutely. The temptation to throw him out and file for divorce, definitely. But, the deep, primitive need to connect through the very intimacy he had betrayed--never.

My intention for "The Night" was to go to bed early, in a drug induced haze to force sleep upon my body. However, I remembered that this very night is the night I had wanted to watch Dave Letterman. Still, I thought I had sufficient time to get to bed before 1:07am fell upon me. The moment I realized I forgot to do homework due in the morning, I knew I was doomed. I finished the work at exactly 1:07...just my luck.

No medication was going to take away this confrontation. Instead, we lay in bed and reflected upon the year we have survived. Neither of us expected to be married today. The truth was when I went to bed that first night, I knew it was over. He wanted to know why I gave him a chance to try again.

I let him stay because of the kids. He assumed that meant because we had these children, I tried to save their family structure. That is fundamentally inaccurate. It wasn't because we have children. It was because of who he is to them. I have never known a father more attached, more enmeshed, nor devoted to his children. He isn't just a goo father, not even merely a great father. No matter what he did to me, he is the most amazing father I have ever known.

If he had been a lousy father, I would have walked away. If he had been a normal, decent father, I might have tried but likely the pain would have been too overwhelming. I knew in that first night, and again a week later when I learned the whole truth, one basic thing. Before I took away their hero, before I made them statistics, before I plunged them into poverty, I needed to be able to say I had done everything in my power before I walked away. That we had children did not give him this one chance. That the one thing he did 100% right was to love and father his children was the only reason I let him stay.

One year ago, the realization that I would walk this path with a sex addict was devastating. I could not fathom a lifetime of struggle, recovery, and sobriety. This was not my life, not my struggle. I was not an addict an I resented his bringing that into my perfect world and destroying everything with it. I gave him one chance and for six months he squandered what I offered him. He maintained his sobriety but he only displayed sporadic, sloppy, and inconsistent attempts to recover.

Until one day, he hit bottom. He realized he was an addict. More than that, he needed to fight for his health and healing. The day he hit bottom (really it was a process over several days), he started fighting for recovery. The truth is that for the last six months, he has continually put one foot in front of the other. It hasn't been pretty, he's often fallen down; yet, the fundamental reality is that he has worked his recovery for those six months.

It was in this realization that I understood today I want to be with him. I want to reach him in every aspect of our intimacy. I'm glad I gave him this chance. I don't regret fighting for this year. I don't regret that together we have fought tooth and nail to restore this marriage. Whatever the future brings, I will never regret that I gave my whole heart to this year, that I was totally vulnerable to the intimacy with him.

As we drifted to sleep, he said to me, "We have survive a year. Perhaps we will survive twenty more."

The only response I had for him was, "Let's just see if we can make it one more year for now."

1 comment:

  1. So well said. I'm amazed at how this year has unfolded. Simply amazed.