I married a man who was addicted to Pornography. He had been since a child. While we were dating it was not nearly as gripping as it became later on. He had counseled with his Bishop about it and had often counseled with his dad. He felt that was sufficient to be past it. For some, that may be enough. For him it wasn't. I learned about it right about the time that we became pregnant with our first son. For the first couple of months I was naive and pushed it away. It was not long that it started to control our lives. I quickly became a codependent. I continued to allow it out of my ignorance. Over the years it got to be too much and I couldn't break my cycle either.
I was overcome with so many emotions. I hated myself, my spouse, I was angry, hurt, ashamed, helpless, alone, fearful, regretful. After the birth of our first child I developed Postpartum Depression. It was ugly. It was of course made worse by entering into it with the above listed feelings. I had overwhelming thoughts. They were very dark and often times morbid. This further added to my feelings of self hate. The more I withdrew the more my husband did. The deeper he became involved in his addiction.
I sought therapy after coming very close one night to attempting suicide. That was my first round with a professional therapist. She was mildly helpful. She did not understand how dark postpartum depression can get. There were somethings related to our overall situation that were helpful. My husband did not agree with those things and for the sake of not having to deal with him I let go of counseling.
I was introduced to craniosacral therapy and Applied Kinnesiology. Both of these therapies were helpful in releasing me from the PPD. While I was still dealing with codependency and the negative feelings about myself I was no longer in the dark awful depths of PPD.
not long after the birth of our second child I took the kids and I left. I was only able to go away for a few days, but it had made the first impact on my husband of what his addiction was doing to us. I made it clear to him why I was leaving. While I was gone he told me time and time again he could not wait till we got home, he missed us. I told him I did not under any circumstances want to come home I hated him and I hated our life there. He promised to seek help and to get better. Of course I had no option but to return home. I had no place to go and so home we went. That was in February.
Late June came around and still nothing from him except addiction. He then started blaming me for his not being able to overcome his addiction. Finally one day I told him that he had a week. I was done. He had a week to find a place for him to live or to get serious help. Not just promise to find it but to actually obtain it. He agreed that it was what needed to be done. Then next evening after the kids were asleep we had someone watch the kids and went for a walk. He walked with me over to a house in the neighborhood where a friend from church lived. She was a therapist, this we knew. Little did we know that she worked specifically with pornography addiction recovery. She accepted us and got us into a program that she was a part of. We both got therapy and group sessions.
That was where we started learning about codependency. That was where for the first time I had someone tell me that it was not my fault. They told me that I did nothing to deserve his behavior nor did I do anything to make him act the way he did. It was all his choice. He was told that HE had to be accountable for his actions, for his recovery, and for all the hurt and pain it caused others around him.
We were only able to be a part of that program for a short time. for one it was very expensive, for another we moved. We brought our program books with us and finished them on our own. Things were good for a long time. He had some relapses, but nothing long lasting.
We decided to have a third child. During the time that I was pregnant he relapsed more and more. He finally took notice when he realized that he had developed feelings for a co-worker. As hurtful and degrading as the addiction was, this was so much worse. He had crossed the final line that I had set down and he knew that as well. I wanted out more than ever at that point. How could I get out? We had moved hundreds of miles away from all family and friends. We were living mostly on student loans. Neither of us had anywhere to go. At that point I had already started to heal some, but with his news the backslide was harsh and deep.
He then started a 12 step program similar to the 12 steps of the AA Program. that was 21 months ago. He has had 15 months of sobriety. He has ownership over himself and his addiction. We are now learning to grow together and support and uplift each other. This is my journey to healing.