I met with my Bishop a couple weeks ago. That’s the 3rd time I have met with him in 5 months. It went fine. It’s tough because he is a family friend. It’s tough because he is business man by day and an ecclesiastical leader by night. It’s tough because he is a brand new Bishop. (My hubby went to see him about the porn problem when the Bishop had just been called 3 weeks earlier.) It’s tough because he is so gosh darn nice and yet my Bishop’s decisions have caused me trauma. I tried to explain this to him. I actually used the word “traumatic” when describing how it felt to see my husband get his temple recommend back after just one month of not having one. One stinkin’ month. That was a blow. A traumatic blow.
I told him there are two sides to every story and that he didn’t completely know my side. That even though he sees M who is completely repentant and going through a great change, I am still suffering. M is out of the hole but I am in the dark hole, scratching to find my way out. I told him that M has abused me–has taken advantage of me sexually–a daughter of God, and I feel like he has gotten off scott-free. He has lied to every single Bishop and Stake President for 30 years about his sex addiction. Bold faced lied. But that’s no big deal because he is just so dang sorry and willing to change. And he really is! I do not doubt my hubby is sincere but shouldn’t someone have to prove they can live the commandments for a little while before entering the house of the Lord? Doesn’t a person have to pay a full tithe? Doesn’t a person have to give up beer and cigarettes for a least a few months? Doesn’t the engaged couple have to get married civilly if they get too frisky before their wedding date and then wait a year to go to the temple? WHY DOESN’T ANY OF THIS APPLY TO A MAN WHO LIED TO HIS WIFE FOR 20 YEARS ABOUT PORN, MASTURBATION, AND LUST?
He only lost his temple recommend for one month and that hurts. I told the Bishop I think M should have had to prove that he could live a worthy life for at least a few months before he would be allowed to go to the temple. I think I gave him something to think about, and yet, he did stand his ground and felt strongly that giving M his temple recommend back a few months ago was a good thing. M was changing, was repentant, and that was good enough for him. I said, “fine but it is still traumatic to realize that worthiness doesn’t really matter”.
I have gone to the temple several times with my hubby in the last few months. And I am really okay with him being there with me because this is not my problem–if the Bishop feels my man is ready, that’s on his conscience not mine. But I will always be scratching my head over this one.
I made an appointment with a therapist at LDS Family Services. I’ll go see him next week. I think I need to make a list of all the crap that I’m having a hard time getting over. But the #1 thing I need to get over it this: why couldn’t my husband ever be honest with me about this problem? We were best friends. How does one keep a secret like this from his spouse and best friend? Why did he never have one tiny bit of clairvoyance and clear thought and announce to me “I’ve had a problem since I was 12”.
I keep asking my husband what was his exit strategy, meaning, at what point was he going to fill me in on this double life he was leading? He said there was never a plan to tell me. Ever.
I asked him if like the man in this talk he was going to go to the grave with his secret or else tell me on his death bed like a coward trying to clear his conscience before he met his maker. Again, he said he never thought about it.
I asked him if he ever worried that he would get hit by a bus and die and be afraid of hell because of his sins? Again, he never thought about it.
I asked him, “So you were just going around like a zombie? Never having any thoughts or plans for the future? Never giving your addiction a second thought? Never acknowledging that I had a right to know who I was married to?” He acquiesced, saying that maybe once he licked this problem he thought he would tell me. I asked him, “And after 30 years you never once thought, ‘Gee I may not lick this, I better tell Lorena!'” Again, he never thought about it that way. I reminded him that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Sin makes you stupid. It makes you as dumb as dirt. My husband is a brilliant man with a couple of college degrees yet he never acknowledged that a 30 year problem should be mentioned to me, to a therapist, to a parent, no one. Ever. And that’s what scares me about sin. If it makes you so stupid that you can never be touched by the Spirit again, never be touched by this talk, or this talk, or this one, or a hundred other talks or lessons he was in attendance at, then where is the hope in ever changing?
I wish I could live out a real life choose your own adventure book. For my marriage I would want the scenario to go like this. I make my man move out because he doesn’t deserve me. I love him, I would ache for him, he’s my best friend, but he really should be with someone he deserves. He doesn’t deserve me. He deserves a woman who is unchaste and a liar, one who struggles with integrity. For a month or a year, it doesn’t really matter, he should have to be married to this woman. After a period of time maybe he’ll truly understand what he had with me, go back to the beginning of the book, and choose a different adventure. The adventure of sharing his life with me. He would truly appreciate my talents, abilities and, yes, my integrity–my strong moral principles–my uprightness and honesty. I want him to understand how unbelievably lucky he is to have married “up”.
I know this scenario is impossible. I also know this is my pride speaking. I feel superior to him right now. This is never a good thing, I am not superior, I am a sinner as well. Today I started praying that God would take away my pride. This was so hard to say because in a way I don’t want to give away that pride, that moral superiority. I am justified in my feelings and my hurt. But if I’m going to make this marriage work I have to let go of my pride–about this problem and any other problem really. I need to become humble. Most of the time I want mercy for my husband, but sometimes I want prideful justice.