I have come to see the pain that I have caused my wife over the years. I lied, manipulated, and gas lighted her for years. I was not mature enough to see the consequences of my actions. There is no excuse for my behavior. I chose to live a life of lies and deceit. I never imagined that it would cause her so much pain.
I knew it was wrong and sinful so it had to remain my secret. She would discover my acting out and I would talk my way out of it. I was unfaithful and I went to counseling. I promised that I would never do it again. I lost my job and thought I hit rock bottom. I found my faith and went to more counseling. I was “cured”, things changed and got better, but I never fully told the truth. I had to hang onto some control. I believed that I was not hurting anyone, especially my wife.
A year and a half ago she discovered that I had viewed porn. Compared to my other acting out is was minor or so I thought. This was the beginning of the end. All the unresolved trauma that I had caused her came back with a vengeance. It was time to pay for my addiction and she was the one having to pay. I couldn’t understand why she was reacting this way. All I could see was the pain that she was in. Nothing made sense. Everyday was a roller coaster ride of emotions. I couldn’t run away or escape it. I couldn’t take away her pain. I had to face myself and recognize the carnage that I had created. There were no days off or time outs. We got it out and beat it up every day for months. We were barely functioning. Things got ugly and messy, but we didn’t give up. We fought it together.
We are in a better place now. There is still more work for me to do. She still has triggers and questions. I am able to answer her questions and hold her pain. This has made a significant difference in our lives and in her healing.