Ten years ago today in a little chapel in the country, my husband and I exchanged vows we'd written just for us. The chapel perfectly held our closest friends and family and I remember being fully present, fully surrounded by love and support. It was a beautiful day ... that will always be remembered.
Little did I know that marriage is about far more than that first day and those vows. As we smiled for the cameras, neither he nor I knew what would transpire in the years ahead, the people we both would discover as our marriage progressed. Back then I was still living in numbness and denial about so much of my past and present. I was a sex and love addict even then, having had at least two lovers during the time I had dated my betrothed. Still, something kept propelling me forward blindly and as a result all the things that have progressed -- cross country moves, the emergence of a raging addiction, an affair that almost ended my marriage, illness, depression -- have been a part of our still relatively story. In many ways, I finally feel our story has a chance to begin.
Things are not perfect and the good news is I no longer expect them to be. I simply express gratitude for one more day to learn the lessons of being a present partner in my relationship. I no longer take for granted my marriage. I know that if it is the will of my Higher Power for it to continue, it will, and I will have received a blessed gift. And if it is not, then I will be facing the consequences of my past actions, and surrendering to the will of a power greater than myself, but I still will have received a tremendous gift -- the gift of learning to appreciate something more than I disrespect it.
My marriage and my husband matter to me, today. That in itself is a miracle. For much of my marriage, I was willing to break our vows and I was glad to get him "out of the way" so that I could act out. What an uneven tradeoff that was. Today I am willing to do the footwork to make it work, to make it valuable for us both, and to leave the rest to God. I am thankful that my husband has begun to ask me questions like, "What is at the root of that feeling?" whereas before he pretended like feelings never existed and ignored utterly questionable behaviors that allowed me to stay stuck in my disease.
To say I am humbled that our marriage has lasted and survived the intensity of my acting out in both my sex and love addictions, to say that I am humbled that I have even survived my dangerous and outrageous behavior -- would be a great understatement. I am humbled beyond words and grateful beyond measure.
My thanks to all who have been a part of our story through your support of my recovery. Your contributions have been invaluable and I am deeply honored to give you thanks.
1 month ago