Sunday, April 3, 2011

my own words

This my own words post comes from yours truly. I am starting off the series to get the ball rolling.

When I was pregnant with Ian (child number 3 who is now five years old), Matt decided to join a group from our church that was going to Oaxaca, Mexico on a mission trip. By the time he went to Mexico, I was about 24 weeks pregnant.

I vividly remember the day he returned from the trip. The kids were so excited to go to the airport to get him and bring him home. It had been a long week without him.

As soon as I saw Matt walk through the tunnel of the airport and into the luggage area, I knew something was wrong. It was kind of like the feeling a girl gets when she knows her boyfriend is about ready to break up with her. You know, that warm, fuzzy feeling.

We went about the rest of the evening looking at the gifts he had brought us from Mexico, and talking about our week, but Matt didn't really want to talk much about the trip.

As we were going to bed that same night, he told me that he had written in a journal while he was gone, but I was not to read it until he and I had talked about it first.

Excuse me? You cannot tell ME to not do something or I will just want to do it all the more.

I pestered him enough until he spilled the beans.

Ugh. That was the worse night of my entire life.

Essentially, Matt was exposed to pornography (repeatedly) early in his middle school years. It eventually led to a twenty-two year addiction to pornography.

By this point, we had been married for ten years and had dated for two. For twelve years my husband had hidden something from me and had repeatedly lied to me. Twelve years.

I lay in bed that night feeling like our entire life and relationship was a lie. I was heart broken. I was pissed. Had I not been pregnant, I would have likely committed an act of domestic violence. After all, he had essentially cheated on me with thousands of women.

I didn't want to be in the same room with Matt. I could hardly look at him. I hated him so much for crushing my self-esteem. And, he knew it. Did I mention I was big and fat and pregnant? Great timing, dufus.  

I was so sad. Sometimes I would just cry and cry... one day, I called Matt at work, told him he better get home and fix what he had did. JUST FIX IT. We just ended up sitting on the couch while I cried some more.

After feeling like I was finally good enough for someone, I now felt again, that I wasn't good enough for anyone, including my husband.

At that time, I was receiving daily scripture devotionals via email, and I don't know what this particular one said (I am sure Matt recalls vividly, though), but when I read it, I realized that there was nothing I could do but forgive Matt.  We couldn't go back... and whether he was a complete moron or not (and he was), he was my husband and the father of my children... and I couldn't imagine life without him. He didn't deserve my forgiveness, but that was all I had.

I wouldn't say a switch was flipped and voila!, all was back to normal, but we were able to get beyond it and healing was done. I certainly didn't know it existed, but once Matt aired the dirty laundry of our marriage on that fateful day in 2005, it was as though a cloud had been lifted, and our marriage has only gotten stronger since.

However, and he knows this... I will never, ever let him forget what he did and how it impacted my/our life. That is called communication. (Plus, I am never really been known to keep my mouth shut. Doh!)

Through some forgiveness of his own, Matt was also able to conquer the pornography addiction he had struggled with for so long. He ended up writing a book about his journey and what it means to model Jesus in your marriage... which, let's be honest, is a very difficult thing to do.

Those are my words, and that is my story.

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