Bill of Rights

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

He's Done!


Ugly Words
Spoken in hurt.
Spoken in frustration.
Spoken in haste.

I listened to my husband use these words tonight.  He said, "I'm Done!"  And stormed out the door.

Maybe it is time.
Maybe all the lies and all the hurt and all the deception and all the addiction have been enough - finally.

I don't like how it feels.
Like I quit.

We made promises -- covenants -- with God.
It feels like I am turning my back on them.

It hurts.

Maybe tomorrow I can talk more about it.  Today -- I just wanted to look at it a moment and get my mind wrapped around it.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


The tears won't stop today.
The same tears I cried a few months back.
Tears that come when the reality hits me that we aren't going to be able to save this marriage.
Tears  -- unwanted tears.
Tears  -- for the loss of something I worked so hard to keep.
Tears  -- for the lonely nights to get through.
Tears  -- of rejection.
Tears  -- of not being fought for.
Tears -- too many unwanted tears.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Letters

This is the first year in 24 years that I won't be writing a Christmas letter to my husband.  I have sad feelings deep in my soul thinking about this.  I used to love writing these letters.  Each Christmas Eve, in the process of wrapping gifts and getting things ready for Christmas morning, I'd stop and spill my heart out on the note I'd stick in the tree for the man of my life.

I remember watching my dad write his Christmas letter to my mom.  I remember watching mom read the letter Christmas morning.  She'd step away from the chaos -- but not to far from dad.  Tears would stream down her face.  It was a tender moment that I looked forward to each year.  I'm pretty sure my notes didn't have that affect on my husband -- but they were important to me -- so I wrote them.

The truth is, this year there just isn't anything to say to him right now.  The separation has strained our already weak relationship.  Issues have come up that have damaged my trust in him even further.   To make matters worse,  isn't looking like we'll even be celebrating this holiday together either.  

This year, it is all I can do not to crawl in my bed, pull up the covers and wait until all this Christmas stuff passes.  Children and grandchildren prevent me from giving in to this pull at my soul.   I hide my tears when they come and turn the Christmas music up louder to block out my thoughts until the wave of pain passes.

I'm going to give myself permission to be sad and to mourn the loss of a marriage and of memories that will no longer be created.

Friday, December 6, 2013

I Deserve and I'm Done!

In my life, married to a liar and a adulterer, I have visited these terms on numerous occasions.  Recently, in my recovery, I begin taking a long hard look at what they really mean.

Let's start with the first one; Deserve

verb:  do something or have or show qualities worthy of (reward or punishment)

  1. synonyms:meritearnwarrantratejustify, be worthy of, be entitled to, have a right to, be qualified well-earned, merited, warranted, justifiedjustifiablerightfulduerightjustfairfittingappropriatesuitableproper, apt, meet

    Many of the words in that list could fit the particular emotion I am trying to identify.  For example;

    "I merit a worthy husband.''
    "I am entitled to a worthy husband.'
    "I have qualified to merit a worthy husband.'

    Or these notions:

    "It just isn't fair that my husband won't honor his covenants so that I can have a worthy companion."
    "His behavior has not been appropriate, therefore, I can do whatever I feel is right for me."

    Do you see where I'm headed here?

    I'm not sure where in the scriptures it teaches that when we finish our young women program, go on to "The Y", secure us a handsome RM, get sealed in the temple we'll live happily ever after --- because we 'deserve it.'

    In fact, I'm pretty sure that is contrary to God's plan.  I believe we came to earth to be tested and it is through enduring trials (some times huge, seemingly unbearable and endless trials) will be given the reward.  Not the reward we deserve, or the reward we earned, but the reward given to us by the grace and mercy of a loving Heavenly Father and because of the Atonement of His Son, our brother, Jesus Christ.

    Which brings me to the other piece of this post -- the term 'I'm Done!"

    I want to state, right from the very beginning that I am and will be forever grateful that my Savior did not say, "I'm Done!"  or "I Quit" while suffering in the Garden. These words were never His;  "This is too hard, too painful, the people are sinners, they won't listen, they are prideful, hard hearted,"  "They are lustful, deceitful, adulterous!."  "It's not worth it!"

    I am ever so grateful he finished the assignment that was his mission to fulfill so that as we are down here on earth trying so desperately to finish ours -- his sacrifice will be worth it for each of us.

    So, what makes a person (a wife) say I'm done?  For me it was all the lies, the crazy chaos I lived with.  The constant upheaval.  Dishonor.  Deception.  Years of it.  I spent years saying those words too.  Then eating them.  I'd spew them in fits of anger or hurt.  I'd say them at the point of despair hoping it would rock my husband back to his senses.  It never did of course, and each time I felt horrible for saying them.

    I made covenants with the Lord -- and this man.  For some reason, the Lord has chosen to train and teach me through this particular path of tests and trials.  If I quit -- what do I gain?  What will my family gain?  What example do I show to my children when I express that idea of "I'm done!"  If I quit, what do I learn about my personal strength and faith?

    Before you start throwing things at me, I do realize there are circumstances that warrant quitting, or removing yourself from a situation that is unsafe.  I believe, as in my case currently there may be times when taking a break is warranted.  

    Next time, though, before the "I deserve" starts flying and the "I'm done" get's flung -- be sure you know what you mean and where that emotion comes from.  It is easy to get caught up in what I like to call "The Fairness Trap" where we evaluate everything that happens to us based on our idea of what is fair.  We holler out and whine and complain about the injustices of the world, like a child who didn't get the toy he wanted, without considering if what we are experiencing is for the growth of our spouse (or family member) or for our own personal growth.  

    What is it we deserve?  

    When are we truly done?

    It is something to ponder.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Trying to Be Normal When You Feel Anything But...

I get up every day shower, do my hair, make my bed.  I've put up my Christmas tree.  I keep trying to be normal, but then I turn a corner and run smack dab into a trigger that proves I am anything but.

I had to go to the mall yesterday to get a new charger adapter for my laptop.  It was all I could do not to run screaming from that place.  All I could see was couples, shopping, enjoying the day, holding hands.  All I could remember was the last time I was there -- I was doing the same thing with my husband.

I couldn't make myself get to church today.  Just the idea of sitting there hearing member after member get up and talk about how grateful they are for their temple marriage and how much they love their wife and family.  It can't remember ever hearing my husband say that from the pulpit.

I feel the loss of a marriage so fiercely right now.  So many things my husband used to do for me that I am now having to do myself.  Last week I went to the lumber store and purchased drywall and 2x4's so that my bishop could build me a wall in my basement.  I rented the truck and hauled it to my house and then took the truck back.  I wonder though, who is going to change the light bulb that burns out up in the vaulted stairway.  I'll never be able to reach that.

In a week moment one day I checked out an LDS singles dating site for old folks and wondered if it was going to be even remotely possible to find a man who is covenant keeping and wants to be my eternal companion.  Then you have all that 'yours' and 'mine' to deal with too.

Right now I can't even afford to file for divorce -- which sucks totally.  I sit in my house being a covenanted married spouse while my husband goes off on his online escapades meeting new people.

Right now I want to hide under the pile of clothes I haven't hung up yet in my closet and just wait till this all passes by me.  Time never passes quickly when you are grieving.

In the past two years I have sustained incredible loss; both my parents, 29 days apart.  I lost my business when I went home to help with family issues.  That same year, I lost my husband to other women.   I dug in and tried so hard the past two years to get him back.  I just never have.   He has continued to look for something else in his online searches that I do not offer him.

I don't want to wear the facade right now.  Pretending to fit in and be normal. I don't feel anything like normal right now.  I don't know when I will, but for now, at least, I am giving myself permission to hurt, cry, and complain about what was taken from me that I counted on for so long.  I hurt.  Those feelings are real.  This time, I'm not going to stuff them!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Broken Dreams

Unpacking boxes today.
Putting things away in my beautiful new home.
A home that was the realization of both our dreams.
For years.

Unpacking boxes today.
Putting away the possessions that have made our house home.
For years.

Unpacking boxes today.

We're not going to be able to work through the pain of the deception and infidelities.  It's too much for him to bear, he says.  To carry my pain is too heavy a load.  It can't be all about me, he said.  And yet, he won't quit.  He won't give up the sex sites, dating sites, porn, the infidelity.  That is too much for me to bear.  He won't quit lying -- which hurts so much.

It feels like me against him right now.  I don't like how that feels.  I don't like it because for so many years I gave in to his way.  I closed my eyes, looked away from my pain and kept trying to avoid divorce.  I'm not used to standing my ground or validating and honoring what is right and wrong for me.  I'm not used to it so I struggle now standing firm.

For so many years I hurt when he was gone.  The loneliness or longing for him crushed me.  Tonight the loneliness is there -- just different.  Tonight I'm sad that we are at this standoff with no way in site to break through to a better place.

Maybe I cannot hear his pain.  Maybe after so many years of lies and cheating I can't trust.  I have spent the last two years trying so hard to love him and look the other way.  Still every once in a while the wave of remembrance washed over me and consumed me.  I'd try to talk.  I'd try to share what the affairs and deception had done to me.  He wouldn't listen.  He blamed me for not forgiving him.  He accused me of never being able to get past it.  He shut down -- for days.

Today as I unpack the belongings that have made our house a home for so many years, I do so alone.  I know he's not moving back in.  I know he won't be here to celebrate the fast approaching holidays.  I know he's going to be alone.  The kids will be with me, food will be on our table, and even though I will be physically surrounded by loved ones, my heart will be heavy and hurting.  I'm pretty sure my mind will be wandering all over the past 25 years of holiday memories.  I'm pretty sure I'll be fighting the impulse to call -- or ignoring the phone if he calls.  I'm pretty sure I'm about to experience the first of  sad and lonely holidays.

Dreams are broken.  Prayers said over and over seem to be bouncing off heaven as the course of life takes a drastic shift for me.  There will still be many forced smiles and pretending.  Only this time, I'll pretend I'm well alone instead of well married.

Broken dreams hurt.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Calling a Spade -- a Spade -- Part 2

My story continues....

When I began to tell my story I got caught up in all my triggery places and ran.  Today I am stronger.  Today it is time for more truth.

For many years I have been a lost soul (I said that before, right? )  Then one day early this past year I found myself.  

And here I am:

If you'd like to see more -- check out the rest of my story and that of some other very awesome women.  

As I work on telling my story I'll include more links and resources that I found valuable in my recovery.  As I said before, this is a story about me, not about him.  I learned long ago that if I wanted to fix something -- I had to fix me.   Sure, I tried it the other way for a long time.  That was much like banging my head against a brick wall.  It just hurt more and was anything but effective.  

When all of these issues began for me there wasn't a place to get help.  I spent years in confusion and pain.  Today there is help.  There are places you can go to find relief and shoulders to cry on.  There are 12-step programs,  Facebook groups, forums and therapists that understand betrayal trauma.  

There is no reason to live in my dark world anymore. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

On the Road to Emmaus...

I'm pondering on the lyrics to a favorite song of mine by Hillary Weeks.  I love her music, but this one speaks to me today.  
I can see the two apostles traveling towards Emmaus.  The Savior had been crucified and they were confused.  They wanted to believe what Jesus had taught, but they doubted.  The hopes they had were lost in the confusion of what happened.   Another traveler joins them.  They don't recognize him until he calls them on their unbelief.
It is like that in my life right now.  I know, I believe, I was taught, still, somehow I mire in the day to day trial and forget.  
So I listen for His voice and for the reassurance that I am doing ok and I try to continue on my road.

The Road to Emmaus, by Hillary Weeks
We went our way that day
To a village called Emmaus
Three days since our Loard had died
And Judas had betrayed us
Along the way a stranger came
And asked to travel with us
But we couldn't see He was
The King He was
So we told Him of our sorrow and confusion How we trusted we'd be led
To a mansion in God's kingdom
How all our hopes had faded
When they nailed Him to a cross
Still we couldn't see He was
The King He was
On the road to Emmaus
As He opened the scriptures to us
And our hearts burned within us
On the road to Emmaus
We heard a familiar voice
As He quoted from the prophets
How the Son of God must give His life
And rise again to save us
Then as we saw the nail prints in His hands our eyes were opened
And we could see He was
The King He was
Then He was gone
Vanished from our sight
But the Spirit made it clear to us
The Lord was by our side

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Moving On!

I'm in the process of a big change.  For the first time in my married life I am at peace with it -- anxious for it even.  It surprises me to feel this free.  For many years I've tried to come to this point and have failed miserably.   Its difficult to separate.  Worse to divorce.  Bad stigma associations, failure fears, judgements, I could go on and on with reasons not to do it.  Then there is that odd issue of missing my husband when he isn't around and forgetting the fact that when he is there is this whole crazy emotionally dysfunctional thing that happens between us when he's there. (This issue is a whole blog post of it's own)

I see the path before me but my husband isn't quite on board with the path.  This is causing me conflict in reaching my goal.  We made this decision together several weeks ago.  We've been making joint decisions in that direction.  Now that we are at execution point I am beginning to see him struggling with the decision.

I need to confront this head on before we get further mired in the confusion.  I'm not good at confronting him.  I've spent years just being quiet and doing whatever he wanted.  Sticking up for myself is challenging me.   I'm working on it though.  As I continue to pack and separate I'm formulating my approach.  I don't want hurt.  I don't want pointing fingers or criticizing.  I want him to know that I love him,  I worry about him and pray for him, but I am not second in all of that charity.  I love me (I know that I am valuable).  I care and worry and pray for me, for my peace of mind, for peace in my heart and in my home.  And if -- my husband wanted to work towards that same goal we would never be needing to have this separation.

While I work on this speech formulation I keep asking myself, am I being selfish?  Is taking care of me, for once in my life, selfish?  Is setting boundaries selfish?  I worry about selfishness.  I am constantly evaluating this issue because of all the gospel principles on pride.   I have listened and studied so many talks and Ensign articles on marriage.  The common thread on marriages that don't work is pride and selfishness.  Is my situation different some how?

I'm not sure -- and wonder if I ever will be.  What I do know, and what I hang all of my decisions and indecision on is -- marriage is a partnership.  Temple marriage is a covenanted partnership.  Partnerships require the effort of all parties to be successful   For at least the past two years I have tried to carry the whole load on my own.  I have asked for help and received silence.   I am taking that silence as permission for me to make my own choice.  I am stepping out into this dark unknown on my own and pray the answers and the validation will come as I continue to seek the Lord's will as I travel this path.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Calling a Spade, A Spade

This is a post that has been sitting in my draft folder for two years. In fact, most of the posts have been sitting in that same folder.  I'm getting them out now and hoping they help me in the telling -- and you as you walk this journey with me.

This is a story about telling the truth.  Not his truth, mine.  It's a post about getting real and accepting.  It's a post that I have stared at for a long time wondering if I should hit the delete or keep on going.

Today, I'm going to get real.
Today, I'm going to call a spade -- a spade.
Today, I'm going to tell a story about a girl who married a man with sexual additions.

This story might take a long time to tell.  I might take me a while because this is a story I have kept inside me and never wanted anyone to hear.  In fact, I was afraid of owning it myself.  Which is why this story is buried in this blog and not the first entry.

Here's my story:

I have been married 24 years and until this past year I did not even have a name to call what was happening to me.  I felt like something wasn't right and I was powerless to fix it.  Until this year. Finally, after 24 years, and more hurt than any soul should bear,  I found me and I found a way out.

In truth, it doesn't matter what he did so that isn't part of this story.  It won't make anyone feel better to hear details of a marriage of infidelity or sexual addictions.  It won't make anyone feel better to hear how the pain tore up a daughter of God -- and her children.  It won't make me feel better to tell it, so that isn't the story I will write.  The story I want to tell is how love, faith, hard work and a bit of getting real, calling it what it is, has shown me peace I didn't think I would ever find.  It hasn't changed the story, or what happened, or the person who brought all the pain my way.  It has changed me --- and if going through all of this has brought me to who I am now, shown me who I can become, then I am so grateful the Lord took me down this path to learn what He wanted me to learn. be continued.....

Submitting & Coming to an Understanding -

Submitting does not come without its own set of trials and tests.  Submitting doesn't always make you feel better.  In fact, submitting in and of itself often causes internal conflict.  I am at that place again.  This decision I made last week tore up my little world and presented all of us with a set of feelings we didn't want to look at.  It brought tons of unanswerable questions and confusion.  

On one hand, I find myself lighter, the decision to believe and to act upon it was freeing.  For others, this is not the case.  I am torn.  I am in the middle.  

As I approach this age and stage of life, I would like to think that I am not still trying to learn so much about love and relationships. But, I just am. What I am coming to learn and understand is humbling me and very challenging. Over the past few years a particular trial has been placed before me. I have not born it well. In fact, I have had to repeat the lesson over and over. Until I am almost at the point of despair and turning away from the blessing that could come of it. Have you ever been in love? I have and I haven't done a very good job of it for a long while. In fact, I haven't really understood it at all. This gets ahead of my story and beginnings are always the best place to start.

I had a Cinderella story stored way back in my heart.  From the time that I was a little girl I fed details into my story.  As I grew I altered the details to fit me as I awaited the day they would all come true.  I believed that day would happen -- and never doubted -- though it was a long time off.   I didn't marry until my 30th year.  The man I chose to love brought incredible joy into my life and incredible pain.  (There is a story about opposition here, but I will save that for later.)  As our life together started it shattered the story I had woven over the years.  Pieces of the story broke irreparably.  I would never get back what was taken or what was undone.  I had only one choice but to press forward as best I could and hope the damaged pieces wouldn't cause a conflict I couldn't resolve.

Pressing forward (another phrase I could give hours to) is not as easy as one thinks.  When you have a story or a plan that you spent years detailing out it is difficult to not trip and fall over the unexpected change in plot.   The details etched in place over childhood and youth do not always adjust with grace.  A little girl's Cinderella story is full of emotion and feeling.  Feelings are not easy to change.  You would think love makes it easy to change.  It does not.  Love often can be one of the most difficult emotions to get around.  Its difficult to understand.  Its difficult to read coming from another.  The world has added a confusing dimension to love as well.  

Love, for me was complicated.  Years of complications, rough starts, mis-read signals, unrealized dreams, horrific trials all added to the state of confusion I was feeling inside me.  Until one day, when I felt the least amount of hope -- I was given a chance.  

I have a very solid faith-based set of principles I live by.  I was raised in the LDS faith, in a good LDS home. I was taught in my youth what was good and true.  I believe, as do most of my faith that God speaks to us each as individuals.  I believe in the principle of personal revelation, I felt I could find answers to all of my trials and get the necessary help.  I felt I knew just what the path was I should take and what was required to get where I was going.   If all of that is true -- why do I struggle so much to make sense of what I am going through?