Friday, December 19, 2008

Ten years ago today

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.


Mrs. Jane Doe said...

This is a very powerful post! I read you blog regularly, but rarely post!! My heart was so full of emotion after reading your blog!

Thanks for sharing! I was wondering if your husband has a blog?

Beth Fehlbaum, Author said...

I agree- your post was very powerful and honest.
Beth Fehlbaum, author
Courage in Patience, a story of hope for those who have endured abuse
Ch. 1 is online!

Hope said...

Happy belated Anniversary!
I really liked this post.

MargauxMeade said...

Rae, I relate to your observation that "something kept propelling you forward." It's been the same for me--I married my husband knowing he was a sex addict, not knowing how that would/will affect our marriage, but, still, something keeps pushing me to keep going, to keep working on our marriage.

I also relate to being the one who's "pushed aside" so my husband can act out. It's interesting to me that you can see this in retrospect, and encouraging that something inside you didn't allow you to cast him aside completely.

Happy Anniversary! May you and your husband continue to grow in true love and intimacy.

Summer said...

Stopping by to say hello.

Sarah said...

Wow, I read some of your blogs and your story and writing is compelling and honest. I'll stay in touch. Thanks.

Rae said...

Mrs. Jane Doe, thanks for reading and letting me know you are here. My husband does not have a blog, nor does he read this one. Do you share a blog with your husband?

Summer! I have missed you and I can't find you ... please send me your URL.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

A belated happy anniversary to you (as well as a belated happy new year). I feel many of the same things around my own marriage -- I especially love the sentiment that things are not perfect but you no longer expect them to be.

I've had the post before this one up in my browser for a month meaning to get to commenting, but the holidays put me way behind. I'm just catching up now and will have to go back to that and try to remember what I was going to say a month ago! ;)

Cat said...

Happy belated anniversary! Wonderful post!