I've been struggling lately.
Usually, I'm pretty good about talking to Ben. But things have been way off lately. Partially because we have a baby who takes up so much time and emotional energy. Partially because Ben works a lot, and in his spare time he has to do all his "dailies" and dedicate x amount of time to addiction recovery. And then I feel bad when I try to demand any of his time. Partially because of the way I've been struggling, I just don't feel comfortable or confident talking to Ben about it.
There have been times in our marriage that have certainly been worse than now--times when the addiction has been much worse. But ever since his big relapse back in September, the addiction has been ever-present. And it's really hard for me. It's just added to the pile of hard and hurt that he has given me over the past five years.
I know some people don't think porn and masturbation are a big deal. Sometimes I rationalize those behaviors too. The addiction is just so confusing, and I simply don't want to be in this mess. Sometimes my thoughts go the route of "Maybe if I just accepted it, things would be fine..." and I guess that means I take some of the blame and responsibility for the way things are.
Sometimes I just get plain ol' confused because "it's an addiction" and I obviously can't expect the recovery to happen overnight. So I rationalize some behaviors because "it's an addiction" and just try to accept what is happening and know (hope/pray/wish) that he is in recovery and will overcome it eventually.
So when Ben acts out, I just don't know what to do anymore. If we put the acts of viewing pornography and masturbating aside, the addiction still takes a huge toll because of the emotional energy it drains from us both. And then there are the consequences of "addict mode", which are so pleasant (not). But then when I really think about his actions--the lust, the physical manifestation of the lust, the desires working in his brain--it just hurts. And sometimes I force myself to not think about the fact that he is envisioning another woman while he fantasizes and masturbates to that image and just think "it's an addiction" and hope it just won't hurt. Because apparently I'm supposed to understand that it's an addiction. And with an addiction, how much of his actions are by choice or desire anyway? You know? It's just all so confusing.
I've sacrificed so much in our marriage. I'm not perfect, but I do my best. Does he do his best? Is he doing his best at working recovery? Is he really as dedicated to our marriage as he says he is?
Lately, all the lies have kept coming back to my mind. So many lies. So many f-ing lies. It hurts to think about. And it hurts to think about all the negative that could happen in the future.
Ben thinks I'm pessimistic because sometimes I lean towards the worst case scenario and focus on that. I'm so afraid of what could happen to our family because of the addiction. I'm trying to live in the present and focus on what is happening now. But right now it's so hard. I don't know why, but my thoughts keep dwelling on the past. And I keep mourning the loss of my marriage. Over and over again. It keeps happening. I think it's because I keep having so much hope, and maybe I try to trust too soon because I desperately want things to be okay again. And then my heart just keeps breaking.
I can't keep living in fear of the future. And I can't keep dwelling on the past. I don't want my marriage to end, but I am having a really hard time accepting things as they are. I'm having a hard time sacrificing certain things for him to work recovery. It just feels hard right now. And all of this just makes me really annoyed at every little thing he does, which isn't a way to live.
I'm afraid for him to read this post because I'm afraid for how he will feel. That's not a good sign. It means I'm still using my emotional energy to control parts of his addiction. I keep working through that, but then things happen that bring me back down to that aspect of control.
Earlier today, I prayed about all of this. And I just expressed to God how I don't know how to forgive Ben and move on. And I don't know how to turn this over to the Savior, and sometimes I don't know how to love Ben because he feels unlovable through the blinders of my pain. But during that prayer, I was told that Ben is lovable. Through that same sacrifice the Savior made that allows me to turn my burdens over to Him, Ben was shown mercy and love. Because the Savior died so Ben could be forgiven. And if Ben can be forgiven and loved by God, then he certainly can be loved and forgiven by me. There is no timeline on forgiveness. I'm not perfect at loving and forgiving like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are, but through them, I can achieve perfect love and forgiveness some day. So for now I'll hold on to that.
I want to enjoy today because it's Mother's Day. And I feel like I'm ruining it. I love being a mom. I'm really grateful for that.