My husband hates his addiction. He knows it is morally wrong to view pornography, to masturbate, and to give into lust. It goes against his personal beliefs and standards. He has suffered in misery and silence for years and years. He has tried to avoid pornography white-knuckled.
For about 6 months- from January 30 until mid July of 2015- he had done a fabulous job of staying sober. He had made some big changes in his life and had repented. He was feeling forgiven. In his mind he just had one thing left to do, and that was to confess to me. When he did confess, he felt much better.
I, on the other hand, felt stabbed. Truly stabbed and bleeding. I expressed to Brandon that it felt like he just took a knife and stabbed me with it three or four good times in the gut, then pulled the knife out and said, "I'm so sorry I just stabbed you. I know it was wrong. It's okay though because my stabbing days are over and I'm never going to do it again." Meanwhile, I've collapsed on the floor in pain, bleeding.
Another sister expressed it well. She said disclosure was like her husband had vomited all over her. He felt so much better after purging himself of the filth that made him sick, but now she was left standing there covered in it.
I was so angry (among many other emotions). I was angry that he was feeling good and feeling spiritual and wanted to move on. I was in darkness. I didn't feel the spirit at all. I was angry that he wasn't showing much remorse or suffering for what he was putting me though. How dare he be so happy and relieved, especially in light of my misery? He explained to me that he had been forgiven and he told me that I needed to use the atonement to help with my pain and sorrow.
Oh no he didn't.
He really did.
That did not go over well.
I stood up and pounded on his chest in absolute hysterics over that one and told him that he had no right to talk to me about my need for the atonement, truth or not.
It was time to call Landon.
This was when my husband received a much needed reality check. Landon helped him learn empathy. He learned to stop trying to be a fixer. My pain was something he couldn't fix and frankly shouldn't be trying to. That's not what I needed. Landon taught my husband to stop and listen to my words. To digest what I was saying. To put himself in my shoes and try to feel what it might be like if our roles were reversed. To say things like, "I see why you feel that way", and "That must be a terrible feeling". He told my husband to sit with me in my pain.
I pulled truth and honesty from Brandon over the course of the next two weeks. An addict is so used to lying, even to himself, that telling the whole truth is difficult for them. By asking questions and begging to know if he finally had confessed everything, I heard the truth of the past 8 years in pieces, and with each piece of information, my heart broke a little more.
Sometimes I allowed Brandon to hold me in my despair, and it was very healing. Other times I wanted him as far away from me as possible. I told him not to touch me. I told him not to say that he loved me anymore because it was too painful and hurt too much to hear those hollow words. I showered and dressed with my door locked. I experienced bouts of painful agony where I laid on my closet floor having an ugly cry where I screamed and cried out to God with a great big towel in my face to hold all of the snot and tears.
I felt sad and hurt most of the time. Then a wave of anger would overtake me. I would be so angry for so many reasons. Angry that this was happening to me again. Angry at Brandon for having this problem. Angry at the media, the porn industry, the world, angry at Satan.
Finally my husband slowed down a little and quit trying to rush ahead in his recovery. He started reading books on addiction recovery and learned to be humble. In the depths of humility he sat through whatever I needed to say to him and get off my chest. It was not an easy time for either of us, but it was a time of great learning.