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Category Archives: The Backstory – How we got to this point

The final part: Thank Google!

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

In the week that he had been gone I made some changes…mainly to the technology in the house. I PIN protected the ‘adult’ channels on the TV, separated the old laptop from its charger and hid them both and put a porn filter on the one we actually use. Clicking ‘install’ I felt empowered…relaxed….covered…and ready to start a fresh with my husband #2.

My counsellor had told me to keep doing what I was doing; to research things in order to try to understand it and to try to prepare myself of things to come, to let my husband lead…make the choices…take the steps…initiate intimacy – but of course putting my foot down where it mattered. He told me I should be proud of myself for being so strong, that I wasn’t a fool for wanting to work this out…or at least wanting to see if we could stay together. It was no secret that this wasn’t going to be easy but I was going into it feet first.

The morning after we were first ‘together’ intimately, I had sleepily woken up as he was leaving for work; I actually thought he had left already and went to the bathroom…to find no toilet roll- don’t you just LOVE it when that happens? So I went downstairs to get some and was met by a sheepish looking husband standing in the doorway of the living room. Once past the surprise of seeing him – he had told me he was due to start work 15 minutes earlier- I clicked that something was going on.

‘Were you watching porn again’
‘Yes’
‘Fuck off to work’

I said it calmly and without another word he left.

FUCK! FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK! WHAT AN ABSOLUTE WANKER!…but…HOW??

THEN I realised that in order to get the filter password protected I would have to pay (something like £6 for a years cover) so all he had needed to do when the banned page screen had come up was to click ‘trust this site’ and it was added to his white list! Arrrrggggghhhhhh! Massive fail on my part…how annoying! I had honestly thought that I wouldn’t ever have this sick, useless, hideous feeling again…or at least not so soon after letting him back. Gutted!

I was angry, I was hurt…I was embarrassed! I got on Google again and that’s when I read something that changed my reaction completely… which of course I cant find the bloody link for now! I am not stating this for all suffers etc and please remember that we don’t know 100% that he has PTSD but judging by the way he has been that’s the thing we are going with until proven otherwise, but anyway…

 

Day 23 - Addicted

Day 23 – Addicted (Photo credit: nataliej)

There is a link between addiction (drink/drugs/gambling/PORN) and PTSD. (I’ll add some links at the end of this post for those interested)

Discovering this was a massive ‘OHHHH’ moment. Everything clicked -even more so than the previous times. he had said things about being ‘dirty’ and ‘sick’ before and apparently many sufferers feel shame or like they are ‘disgusting’. He was clearly addicted to porn…of course he was…it was the only time he could FEEL anything…it was the only time he could get some kind of thrill without needing to put on a show for my benefit… remember all the times before I hadn’t known about his feeling of emotional numbness…I had just thought he was being a twat. I had finally put 2 and 2 together…I finally understood and I finally realised that it REALLY really wasn’t anything to do with me being shit.  He has a history of drug abuse…even that makes sense now and considering his line of work drink and drug abuse are out of the question so porn is his next best thing. Yes it sucks (excuse the pun) for me, but in the list of addiction possibilities which one would I prefer he had? He could be blowing thousands on fruit machines…he could be drunkenly attacking me every other night…but he’s not doing that…he’s sneaking in a quick one before work.

Regardless of what it is, its still a problem which needs addressing…I cant live like this…but now I KNOW all of this we can work on it. By the time he came home I was prepared, he walked in looking sheepish and clearly expecting some kind of slap round the face (which I have never and will never do btw) and instead he was shocked when I opened my arms and told him cuddle me. As he did he asked me to please password protect the internet (which I had already done -PROPERLY this time) and he admitted that he needed help with the porn side of things too.

YES! He’s admitted it…he’s accepted it…while I know most of you are probably wanting to shake me right now, for us this was progress.

I told him what I had found out about the link and he seemed relieved…he wasn’t a ‘freak’…he wasn’t a ‘monster’…there was a reason behind it…something that could be helped. I told him that I now understood it more BUT just because it seems to be part of this it does NOT give him a free pass….he doesn’t get to be a dick about it…he doesn’t get to continue disrespecting me. He agreed, he apologised, He sat down, opened the laptop…and Googled private therapists for himself.

Progress.

xBx

 

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Part 11: Hope

elephant talk

elephant talk (Photo credit: gin_able)

A week after he had thrown the word ’divorce’ at me, he came home and was ready to talk.

He told me that despite me telling him not to think about therapy right now…he had done and he had realised that he needed help. Basically he gave the ultimatum that its therapy (not starting tomorrow but within the next 2 weeks and with a different therapist) or it’s over between us because he couldn’t allow me to put myself through this unless something was going to change for the better.

I had asked if he loved me and he told me honestly that he didn’t know…but he did know that he didn’t want to be without me. He enjoyed having me around, he liked spending time with me and I was the only person in the world that didn’t make him feel alone. He wanted me to be the one by him side, the one to help him through this… but he understood if I wanted to leave.

I told him that I intended to stay with him, to support him but until I had experienced the real him I had no idea how I would cope or react. I would need to keep seeing my own counsellor for moral support and I would need to understand his frame of mind…his motives…his world. I wasn’t going to push him into anything again but at the same time I wasn’t going to allow him to shit all over me. If he wanted 2 weeks until he started thinking about therapy then fair enough…but if it gets to 2 weeks and nothings been booked then I would choose one for him and hand him the fucking phone!

I had asked what would change…he’d said he wasn’t sure. I’d asked if hugs and cuddles were out of the window if he came back (he said no) which prompted me to ask whether he would benefit from them…or actually want to cuddle…or whether he would be doing it to shut me up…he’d said he could go for cuddles.I asked why he had done it, why he didn’t just be himself from the start and see what happened, and why he had gone as far as marrying me when it hadn’t worked? He’d said he thought maybe I could be the person to change him, he wanted to change and he wanted to feel something. He felt guilty…which I pointed out was a feeling…an emotion…he thought maybe he felt a little guilt, sometimes a little sad or a little happy but he didn’t know for sure. Mainly the only thing he ever felt was numb. He didn’t look numb though, he actually looked quite sad -which of course I pointed out- but he said he didn’t feel sad…maybe he’d repressed it that much that he didn’t realise it anymore.

I told him I would need to ask him questions all the time in order to try and understand what was happening…that’s just the way I am; that I was worried that that alone would push him over the edge or simply push him away. I told him he would need to be honest and “himself” in order to go anywhere…there was no point in falling back into the old habits because that would just prolong the bullshit. He agreed with all of the above, he seemed OK in general, just a bit quieter…sadder than the normal him.

...Hope...

…Hope… (Photo credit: ĐāżŦ {mostly absent})

Of course I was apprehensive about things to come but there was no way I was giving up on us. By this time I had googled ‘emotional numbness’ until my eyes ached. It was actually reassuring and a massive relief to see that so many other people were going through the same thing as him. I had cross referenced symptoms and causes, downloaded articles…talked it out with my counsellor…with people on specific forums…my trusted friend…everything I could think of. It was through doing this that the idea of mental illness/disorders (apologies if that’s not the right terminology) in particular PTSD (which i have an added an info page about here) came to light, everything fitted, my counsellor agreed and I felt better in the thought that there was an answer to all of this…a reason…a cause. OK so its still shitty and we still dont know for sure but at least its something we can work with, something we can try to understand and most of all its not because he’s just a massive dickhead. It doesn’t excuse everything but it does make sense of it all…most of all it gives me hope.

He was home, for me that was all that mattered right then. The fact that we have a chance to work through this and a chance for closure one way or another; a chance to figure out whether we could live with the changes that were due to come…and I felt ready…until he went up to bed…without saying ‘I love you’
xBx

 

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Part 10: Limbo

Thinking RFID

Thinking RFID (Photo credit: @boetter)

Late at night there was a knock on the door… It was him and he wanted to talk. He looked like shit and it made me wonder how someone who-apparently- lacks the ability to feel anything could look so bad if that were true.

“I think I do love you… I have to… Otherwise I wouldn’t feel this shit…would I? I’ve messed up… I AM messed up… I’m so confused. I think I love you but I don’t KNOW that for sure, I don’t know WHAT I feel.. Or if I feel at all. Maybe I’ve blocked things, maybe shit did happen when I was young and it really has messed me up. But I’m not sure whether I’ve felt shit for the past few hours because I don’t want to lose you – and therefore might love you or because I feel guilty knowing that you have no where to go, you’ve given up so much to be with me and now you have nothing”

I was stunned and gutted but strangely hopeful at the same time. I told him to take that thought out of the equation or imagine I had everything I wanted or needed back in my home town and to take some more time to think it over.

Caramel Latte

Caramel Latte (Photo credit: SweetOnVeg)

The next week is a blur, I literally ran on autopilot and lived on mocha and caramel lattes – I wasn’t purposely starving myself but the thought of food made me feel sick, in fact I was physically sick through the shock of it all. I wasn’t hungry and it was only when I googled the effects it would have on my body that I forced myself to have some goodness each day. I continued seeing our counsellor by myself, I asked him if HE had known something was off with us since day one… If it was just me who had been fooled… He said no. He hadn’t seen it coming, he had thought there were some issues – otherwise we wouldn’t have been there but aside from the ones we had spoken about he was as shocked as I was.

My husband had returned every night for the first few days, either to get something he had forgotten, to drop something back or – on the third night just to talk. He asked whether IF he decided to work through this with me I would still want to be with him and how it would ever be ok… I told him I would be there for him, but I wouldn’t be walked all over and that it would take a lot of work to get us back to any kind of normality. we would 100% need professional help, both together and separately, we would need to build the trust back from scratch, he would need to be honest and I would need to get to know the “real” him… I would need to live the “real” us… And only then would I know whether I could stay or not.

After he left I had some more time to think and thought you know what… Fuck therapy right now, if that’s what has scared him off and he’s not ready to face his demons today then forget it for right now. All I really needed to know was whether he loved me (thought/hoped he could/wanted to) and wanted to be with me or not… THEN we can go from there. So I text him:

=(

=( (Photo credit: The Slushey One)

‘OK one last text and I will leave you to it, I’m not going to guilt trip you or anything but I’ve thought about what you just asked me… I think all I would need for us to sort this out is to know that you do love me. Fuck therapy and stuff right now, although I feel it would help both of us and there are definitely issues which need to be dealt with all of that can be addressed later, if I knew you loved me that would be a big enough starting point. THATS what you need to be thinking about. I love you and I always will xx’

I didn’t hear from him for the next 4 days and in that time the reality – and heartbreak- set in. Was that mornings kiss really the last time he would ever tell me he loved me? What if he came back and said no? What if this really was the end of us? I couldn’t stand it, it made me sick. I have history of attempted suicide and had vowed to never ever do that again but my god how I wished I could just curl up and literally die… Die of a broken heart and that way it wasn’t a selfish act, it wasn’t my doing… It was just proof that I couldn’t survive this heart ache.

I did survive though, and I could survive longer because if I’ve learned anything from my past it’s that even when you feel THAT low, when you feel like you can’t take any more… You do. You take it and you kick its ass! You get through it… Somehow. My “somehow” was “denial”. I refused to believe he couldn’t feel anything, he had cried at a film once, I had seen him look like shit… He has been shaking whenever I had seen him on those few days…Besides, believing it would mean I would have to accept that none of our past, none of our memories.. our special things… our wedding vows and the photos that made me so happy to look back at… None of it was real.

xBx

 

 

 

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Part 9: Secrets & Lies

wait

wait (Photo credit: CmdrFire)

The counsellor asked what was going on at which point I just glared at my husband and signalled him to speak
“Well… She found out I had been watching porn and masturbating”
I glared again waiting for the rest but he left it at that! The counsellor began to speak and I raised my hand to stop him before adding “erm AND he wants a divorce” The counsellor laughed for a split second, assuming I was joking, before realising I was serious. He separated us so he could talk to us separately…my husband went first.

The wait was excruciating but soon enough the door opened, my husband left and I was called in. Panicked about where he had gone I was informed he had stepped out for a breather but would be back. He asked me what I knew about my husband, what I knew about his past…his upbringing. I told him what I knew…anything I could think of that might be relevant…he was possibly sexually abused, his mum is sick, his aunt would beat him regularly when he was young but he has blocked a lot out…he got into drugs and into trouble because of it…I stopped, at a loss and desperate to know what was going on.

My husband came back in and the 2 of us were encouraged to talk to each other. Of course he said nothing and left it for me to go first…how?? I don’t have a clue what’s going on…YOU GO! He told me that he had been lying to me, he wasn’t the person I thought he was…the person he had made out to be…he had A LOT of secrets and had lied to me since the start. Taken back I asked if he used to be a woman…SO inappropriate but I had to break the tension. He smiled, said no and then his expression changed completely. I asked him to explain more to me, what the lies were…. But he was vague and just kept saying ‘stuff’ or ‘everything’

Frustrated I turned to the counsellor and asked where we go from here as I still don’t know anything. He agreed and said that although he cant tell me himself he does think we need to talk about it. He explained to my husband that I needed to know, I should know…I deserved to know. Here was a woman who was willing to walk to the ends of the earth for her man…but she cant do that if he doesn’t let her in. He agreed to tell me…just not there, so we headed home with me still in the dark. Once home – and after a LOT of deflecting from him and practically begging from me he told me the truth.

Lies

Lies (Photo credit: mcritz)

‘Everything I have ever said to you (about feelings) has been a lie…I don’t know if I love you, I don’t know if I ever have and I don’t know if I ever can…I am numb. I feel nothing, not just for you…not just love…for anything…for anyone. I haven’t ever felt anything. If you say a lie enough times eventually it becomes true, I thought maybe if I said I loved you enough times I would believe it and I would feel it and it would be true. I thought if I said I was happy with you, if I pretended to be upset some times…but it hasn’t worked, every tear you’ve seen me shed has been fake, every smile, every laugh…its all been fake, its all been an act and I’m so tired of acting. I cant do it anymore’

Wow!

He told me that if he had been himself I would be miserable…but by acting and lying…he was miserable. He had tried to love me, he had really wanted to…but how could he love me if he had lied to such an extent? Or if he wasn’t being himself? He said he would miss me if I did leave, but didn’t think it would bother him that much whether I stayed or went and that I could take my time packing my things and arranging where I was going to go…..

HOLD…THE FUCK…ON.

You really want me to go? You really want to end this without even hearing my response? Without seeing if we could sort it out?

He was shocked…he asked how I could even think about moving past this with him, how I could ever forgive him and how I didn’t hate him at that moment -I know a few of you are probably asking the same thing right now but the answer: because I DO love him and I vowed to love him for better or worse…besides, he had lied to try and benefit both of us, yes it was still lying but he didn’t do it with the intention of breaking my heart, he had done it to try and find happiness for himself, he had acted in such a way that he knew made me happy… he hadn’t cheated, he hadn’t beaten me or been a horrible person…there was still a chance that I would love the ’real him’ just as much IF I got the chance to know him. I couldn’t have left without at least trying, without understanding what was happening to me…to US…or without taking some time to let everything sink in fully.

He packed a few bags and went to stay at a friends to give me us both some space to think about everything, to establish what we wanted, whether he felt anything and what to do next.

Left alone I was numb…ironically.

xBx

 

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Part 8: The truth comes out

Heartbroken

Heartbroken (Photo credit: buckofive)

The next week was interesting, I liked the idea of teasing him and building up to the moment the ban was lifted, he however wasn’t so keen to be teased and instead impressed me with his self control. So much so that that weekend I visited a friend and trusted him alone at home with all the equipment for a bit of DIY but the promise that he wouldn’t.

The day of the ban lift arrived, we saw our counsellor and established that – like we already knew- taking sex out of the equation didn’t change anything. We were still strong regardless. That night we were excited, this time we had actually made it a whole week so this was the moment if truth… But still no joy.

I admit it was an anticlimax in more ways than one. I had been hopeful but still he felt nothing. I was annoyed that after all this time we were only figuring this out now. If he had stayed true to his word before then we could have crossed it ff the list months ago and gotten all of this disappointment out of the way. Oh well at least we knew now and we were still satisfied one way or another.

The next morning I felt better, he was at work and I mustered up the motivation to start working on my resume. I logged on and (my heart is beating so hard just thinking about it) the first thing I found was… You guessed it… Porn! For fucks sake!!

I had messaged him just moments before telling him how great the night before was, how we would figure something out and I would support him regardless… What a fucking idiot.

Shocked I stared at the screen and a message popped up from him for me telling me he loved me. Instantly I replied calling him every name under the sun. He pretended he didn’t know what I was talking about so I asked why PORN would be the first thing on my screen??!

The messages stopped.

I was devastated… What an utter wanker! … Literally! The morning after.. Less than 24 hours later and he was back at it again! Within what seemed like minutes he was banging on the front door having left work to sort this out.

“Here I am… I’m sick… I’m disgusting”
I asked him why. He said he didn’t know.
I asked him how many times he had watched it since the ban was put into place… 3!
I asked him where he did it.. And where I was. He said I didn’t want to know.
I demanded. Once at home while I was at my friends. Once this morning while I was upstairs sleeping and once in the car outside work one morning!
Shaking I asked what he used while in the car. He said nothing… just his thoughts.
I asked what he thought about. He said he thought about the last time we watched porn!

*heart sinks*

I tried to stop my head from spinning but didn’t have enough time before he dropped the next bombshell on me…

“I think we should probably get a divorce”

*heart…breaks*

He went on to tell me he can’t stop, he keeps hurting me and he can’t keep hurting me… But he will. He said he didn’t see a way past this and divorce was the only option as far as he was concerned. He would rather live alone than continue to hurt me. It was too much to take in, too many emotions running through me at once…disgust, insecurity, anger, disappointment, shock…and now heartache accompanied by sheer panic.

I didn’t want to lose him, that’s not what marriage is! You don’t just give up…HE doesn’t have the right to call time on something that he has hardly put any effort into. I’m the one who has tried so hard, whom has supported him and put myself out there for him. I’m the one on the receiving end of this shit, I’m the one who is well within their rights to hold my hands up and say I cant try any more, Besides I sure as hell wasn’t about to let porn win the battle for my marriage…THAT alone would destroy me completely !

I did the only thing I could think of right then and called our counsellor to schedule an emergency appointment, I needed a mediator in this, there MUST be something else, he cant just end us over a w*nk…I also needed someone there as a way to guarantee I wouldn’t lose control and kick the shit out of him. I’m not a violent person, I’ve never hit him but my emotions were all over the place and I worried that I wouldn’t be able to stay calm alone in a room with him.

Luckily he was free to see us so we set off to talk this out…in separate cars.

xBx

 

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Part 7: Marriage Counselling

relationship-counselling

relationship-counselling (Photo credit: Ivo Dimitrov)

By the time our first counselling appointment arrived we were feeling positive. We arrived together ready to talk about the past and the current issue at hand. (I cant stop with the puns…they just happen)

The guy was great, we clicked, he had a good sense of humour (i.e. he laughed when I made jokes to break the awkwardness of the subject) and he seemed prepared to take us on and help us. He admitted that he had never met anyone with the issue of no sensitivity but would research it before our next session so spent the remainder of the time finding out more about us.

He asked us questions about our opinions of our relationship, (ignoring the sexual side of it) asking us to rate each area out of 10 (10 being positive/satisfying/as good as it gets). We were asked to say our numbers at the same time to avoid being influenced.

Communication 8/7
Intimacy (cuddles and kisses) 10/10
Happiness 9/9
Trust 6/10

It was a really positive activity, it was nice to see that he was as satisfied as I was, to establish that even with the issue in the bedroom we were still a pretty awesome team. We were still intimate in other ways, we still laughed, had fun and could still communicate well together -with a little room for improvement; our one issue didn’t affect us outside of the bedroom but the events surrounding it had affected my level of trust for him.

This came as no surprise to him, I’m honest about my trust levels so the counsellor suggested we work on the trust issue and sexual issue together in future sessions as they go hand in hand and improving one with have a positive effect on the other.

He also gave us homework for the next week until we saw him again…no sex! Well we knew we had been there before but this time someone was listening to our problem and had suggested this ban to both of us, he was hearing it from someone other than me and someone who wasn’t just throwing medication at him.

We booked our next appointment and headed home feeling encouraged, positive and hopeful…let the sex ban commence

xBx

 

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Part 6: Progress

English: Progress 20% Polski: Postęp 20%

English: Progress 20% Polski: Postęp 20% (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We had booked the marriage counselling appointment and were feeling hopeful. In the mean time we tried some of the things he had suggested trying. We couldn’t get to Ann summers in the end due to a change in work schedules but I dressed up – (I’m creative, I’m good at making something out of nothing…aren’t most women good at that? lol,)- we role played and although nothing changed physically, the emotional connection between us felt stronger. The trust had grown, we felt comfortable enough to express ourselves and the pressure had lessened as we focused more on having fun and enjoying ourselves.

We even got as far as pleasuring ourselves…together. A BIG step for both of us as I knew how much of a private thing that was for him and to be honest I never really did that myself so the experience was liberating. It made me feel closer to him, it was a good way for me to learn from him…but overall it was amazing to know he was satisfied and removed the fear of him sneaking off to do it alone.

We took it slowly, first ourselves, then each other….and then it happened…he climaxed and I was responsible for it. For the first time in a year -and the second time in our relationship- I did it for him. OK so it wasn’t through intercourse but it was still my doing and for us that was a big achievement and a big relief.

Over the next week the progress kept coming (excuse the pun), we took it further, lights off first, then lights on but with me blindfolded (as he felt embarrassed but still liked the visual) and eventually lights on but with him blindfolded to heighten his senses. It worked every time and with the small changes each time but the end of the week we were feeling better than ever…finally I felt like I was enough for my husband.

xBx

 

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