And then he dropped the P-word

Saturday was busy, but great. We had tons of fun catching up with old friends at a wedding-laughing, dancing, and feeling “normal.” Happy Hallelujah.

Sunday, after spending the whole afternoon at urgent care to get meds for an infection (for me), he drops this bomb on me: he’d been watching porn for fully half of our 22-month baby marriage.

WTF. Seriously?!

Is there at least ONE sin/vice/struggle that we don’t have to battle? So besides choosing filthy, exploited images over me for. eleven. months., he had lied about and hidden it for. eleven. months. My heart was already bruised from carrying the burden of a spouse’s depression in isolation for so long, and this just bloodied even more.

I love him. He has sought council for this from pastors and other men at church, he has not viewed porn in 4 months, he’s read books about its damaging spiritual and relational effects, and he came to me-I didn’t catch him in it. He came clean, humbly and out of great pain and love.

But.

It hurts. A whole F-ing lot. And so I am staying home today because trying to slog through the work day yesterday with this weighing on my heart and mind was too damn much. I have a date with a running path, my Bible, my Jesus, and His ocean, which somehow always seems to hold comfort and answers from Him. Broken Hallelujah.

Breathing

Today has been better. Today, actual breathing is happening-for both of us.

Our pastor encouraged us to share this load-to spread out the weight that we’ve been carrying among more friends and family. Maybe child-raising isn’t the only thing that takes a village. 

When I heard this suggestion, my soul un-clenched itself just a little bit. Yes. This is what we need. It’s hard to entrust this big of a battle into the hands of others, to be that vulnerable with something this painful, but the other choice is just more sickness, more darkness, and less hope. And Lord God, you know what we do NOT need is less hope. 

So we will step out on that limb and hope that the next time it breaks, there will be some arms to soften the fall. And just maybe, we can be that for others, too. Because what good is this pain if God does not use it to make us a blessing to someone else?

On making it worse…

I have prayed that God would use this blog and the words in it to encourage others who are walking in shoes similar to mine. The problem is, I have no encouraging words right now.

I broke down last night, the sobbing, snotting, hiccuping kind of break down…you know, the pretty kind. The burden of silence with this disease was too heavy, and I could not handle it another second. My sweet husband came to the rescue as much as he could-said he would call our pastor, tucked me in to bed, and ever the Braveheart, encouraged me to “hang in there.” Every ounce of strength he had was used to bolster me up.

Which made him spiral into The Hole today. And it is my fault. I know this because he told me so. I am so not good at being supportive of him when he is not well. I can hold it together for only so long before I become a scared mess. It’s like a sick form of super power. Not only can I not fix it, I can make it worse.

It doesn’t seem to matter how hard I pray through the pain, pray against the cynicism, fear, and lies that attack us both, pray for healing. Eventually, fear and emotional exhaustion catch up with me at the. worst. time. And it just makes him more sick. 

The amount of self-loathing that comes with this is fairly impressive. I need no condemnation, because I’ve got that covered.

Release Valve

My husband has chronic depression. Has had it for 17 years. He has taken 25 different medications, been in 15 years of therapy, has been hospitalized, has taken supplements, has radically changed his diet. And we are still here.

Some days are good, happy, productive. They are full of light and hope and laughter and songs and work. But the other days-those are void of light. On Those Days, the light is crowded out by sleep, pain, bitterness, and sometimes, even hope of death.

Those are the days I can’t breathe.

Try it. When your loving, talented, ambitious husband tells you he wishes he were dead…I dare you: try to breathe in that moment. It’s impossible.

Maybe, if I write, I will be able to breathe.

You see, family is compassionate, but I can’t tell them about how dark it really is. Church family says that we “do life together,” but I worry what they would think of him, of me, of us.

Maybe, if I write, I will be able to breathe.