D is for Divorce
|illustrated by Rob Z Tobor|
A year and a half after I discovered my husband was a sex addict, I was ready to kick him to the curb. I’m grateful I didn’t. I would have lost so much if I hadn’t struggled forward.
You’d think I would have been ready to dump him the moment I found out about the affairs. Yet, as hurt as I was, I understood he has an addiction. (That’s not to say I didn’t use the word divorce at least once a week those first few months.) Eventually I was able to separate what he had done during his active addiction from who he truly is, a great man.
After a year in recovery, he grew stagnant and I struggled with my patience. He wouldn’t face his shifted addictions - food and buying. He bought small things off eBay to fill a void. He purchased new releases on DVD then returned them unused. He constantly snacked. It was maddening. I saw he shifted addictions, why couldn’t he?
Even though he agreed he needed help managing his feelings of isolation and loneliness, he did nothing. He entered into that frustrating world of denial. After a few months, I had enough.
I threw down the divorce card and said, “I can’t do this with you anymore. I want a divorce.”
“I understand. I won’t stop you from leaving. I’ll help you any way I can,” he answered.
A part of me was devastated he didn’t fight for our marriage. Then I realized he was ashamed. He relapsed and was afraid to tell me. It wasn’t until I had plans in place to move out of state, that he finally made his confession to me.
We saw my rockin’ counselor together and she gently told him he may have ADD and OCD. It wasn’t an easy thing for him to hear but I think he already had suspicions.
Together, we learned about emotional sobriety. It never dawned on me that getting sober, for either one of us, included managing our feelings. It meant feeling all of our emotions without letting them define us. What others take for granted, we had to learn.
Divorce was taken off the table.
Instead, we focused on the progress we made in our marriage rather than the moments of chaos. We promised to work harder on communicating, especially the difficult things.
The topic of divorce hasn't come up in a long time.
I’m so grateful I didn’t throw in the towel.
Have you been close to throwing in the towel, only to change your mind?