Friday, April 6, 2012

Excommunication & pity sex

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Follow the story. 
Read the previous entry here.

Remember me?
Skinny kid from the Midwest who wasn't really good at much except running fast?  Here's more.

I was raised Mormon.  This wasn't the warm, compassionate, "families can be together forever", free-agency promoting Mormonism.  It was a different version.   My father led his family through the waters of religion and faith with the cold, coercive hand of obedience.  Some people live their religion with their heart and others with their might.  My father was in the "might" camp.

As a child I didn't grow a spiritual connection to being a Mormon.  It was more a tool of parental control.   He was obsessed with religious obedience and I wasn't.  We clashed.

When I was 4, I burst out the front door into a drenching thunderstorm and ran away to the garden shed in the back yard.  I was dramatic.  This began a pattern that I've followed throughout my life.  When I was 5, I ran away to Safeway with a paper sack full of shorts and a toothbrush.  When I was 6, I ran away, hiding in a little cove under a neighbors bush.  In my childhood brain I planned to run away FOREVER and live as free as a bird in some wildly exotic country studying the grazing patterns of zebras.   After a few hours of daydreaming it was always with the heavy pang of disappointment I drug myself back home.  Why did I never think to bring a sandwich!?

As I got older my running away evolved into sneaking out.   When I was 15, I'd give my parents the ole' "good-night" routine then jump out my window and meet up with friends.  Once, after returning from a night out I was horrified to discover my window was locked shut!!  Horrified isn't the word.  I was terror-stricken!  I'd been caught.   Instead of face the music...I ran away. Are you sensing my life pattern?  Is it coincidence I was the fastest runner in my school.  A sleeping bag on the floor of my best friends room was my home for a week.

At 17 I gave my virginity up to some stupid boy.  I felt tricked.

The next day while walking the high school halls he slipped a mix-tape in my hands.  A MIX-TAPE!  It's alright, you can laugh.  I promptly broke up with him when I listened to the tape and the first song was "Wild Thing".  I was no one's Wild Thing.  This gets more embarrassing and humiliating.  Read on my friends...

My father has the gift of premonition.  He knew I had sex with this boy.  I felt the red flush of humiliation when this boy explained he'd found a phone message meant for his mother.  My father had called demanding we all sit down for a chat.  Can shame and humiliation kill you?  My heart should have exploded right there.  I don't remember what was said but I do remember feeling utterly belittled.

The summer I was 17 I ran away for good.  I rented an apartment.  I bought a pan, a spoon and a box of mac-n-cheese.  That first night while boiling noodles I felt a chapter closing and the freedom of new fresh pages with nothing written on them.

I went to college.  Earned my degree.
Changed my life. Found faith and love.
Served a mission.  Helped others change their lives.
Met the man, fell in love and got married in the temple.

June 2011

Three months into our separation I get a late night call.  He's audibly shaken and asks to come over.

He has written a fearless moral inventory (Step 4 of sex addiction recovery) and shared it with his sponsor and our church leaders.  That night he was excommunicated.  His name was no longer on the records of the church.  He had been formally removed.  Oddly, this was devastating to him.

He shared his moral inventory with me.  I listened.

On my sofa he sobbed.  He was vulnerable, defenseless. The anger and haze of darkness were lifting leaving him broken and scared. I held his hand as he talked and cried for hours.  I held him as he trembled and apologized.  I didn't say much. I ran my fingers through his hair and met his eyes with mine.  They're blue and clear and honest.

Our bodies knew each other, like familiar lovers with renewed depth and compassion.  There was no fear or resentment.  No reactions drenched in PTSD.  This was a moment I had believed would never happen.  As we loved each other waves of healing washed over us.  That night I slept in his arms until the sun rose.

In the morning I made him leave.

Now what?

* Disclaimer about sex

Belle Norte Linens


  1. Ya know, it's possible that everything I read on blogs online I read with an exaggerated sense of drama. The way you write makes me feel like I am watching a movie played by talented actors, and the emotions are so intense I hang on every word. I am emotionally moved, post after post.

    BUT, if I'm not overdramatizing, if the virtual medium of the internet isn't skewing my judgement, then you are one of the most remarkable people I've never met.

    I can't wait to read more. But one quick question I'm dying to know- is the memory of that one night, or perhaps there have been other such moments, is that what keeps you from moving on, from filing for divorce? Or is it all the other reasons,kids, etc? Maybe I'm jumping the gun, maybe you'll get to that...

  2. First, let me just say that you have a great way with words. Secondly, step four is the hardest. My husband met his sponsor out in a construction site house where no one was around and read every word of his list. He, too, was visibly and emotionally shaken after compiling his list. I didn't need to know every detail that was on it, but when he came home I saw the weight of bricks that had fallen from his shoulders. He burned his list in the grill and that was that. I'm glad he was able to conquer steps four and five and eventually finish out his 12 step program. Now, he leads a step study and in the process he's learning what other parts of him need to heal as well. Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by my blog!

    As to what comes next, well that's the hard part and only you know what to do.

    1. THank you Teacup. I'm scheduled to finish step 4 with my sponsor this week. wish me luck!

  3. Jane! I love you for thinking all these fabulous things about my story!! I literally blushed when I read your comment!

    But no, Im not remarkable at all. I'm just like all of us. Trying to make sense of our lives and learn and love and grow and change. My stories are memories and maybe that's what makes them so vivid. memoirs are easier to share that real time pain and confusion

    To answer your question, we are still married. We are very different people than we were last year. And ya, you are jumping the gun!! lol

    Jane, I love you and I know you are strong. Have an amazing Easter weekend!

    1. Nuh-uh, April. You are too remarkable, and so is your writing. And that's that. And you're right. Jane is strong. :)

  4. I chose to work the steps myself, not for his addiction but to help me recover from my own hyper vigilant behavior and then to work on my own healing. I'm on step four and it's a bear. I've been working it for a long time. I'm in no rush, but every time I work it, it's exhausting and I can't even imagine what it'll be like once my husband gets to it.

    You did a fantastic job supporting your husband when he needed you the most. Regardless of whether you stay or leave - you were there for him at a crucial time and that shows true compassion and love. You are a tough cookie!

    1. I'm not sure I feel like a tough cookie. I'm just going with it. one day at a time. Thanks for your love!

  5. This was such incredible writing.... And I too am wondering what Jane wonders but... we'll hold out... I'm dying for more!

    I never was able to be with my husband after I found out...

    You inspire me.

    1. I don't know i've said before. From what you told me you situation tops the cake!! I've never heard anything like it. it was sa on steroids...i don't think i would have been able to overlook his indiscretions either.

      I felt so vulnerable, after opening up to him like that again. But, there is more to the story!! I'll let you all know what happens next.

  6. Seriously, Scabs, you have the most amazing way with words. I'd say I'm jealous, but really I am just completely enjoying the way you write. i know you have gone through some very very difficult times, but you write about it with such elegance. Do you write (or did you) for a living? If not, perhaps you should start.

    This post left me speechless. For so many reason. First, I didn't know you were LDS. I wondered, but I thought you weren't. And then to realize from your comment to Jane that you are still married. I am floored. I've said it before--I have very clear boundaries of when I'd stay and when I'd be gone (in a heartbeat). Your situation falls in the latter category. I'm not even curious as to the "why" you're still married. Now I'm just waiting around to hear "how." You impress me, lady.

    It didn't just leave me speechless. It left me practically in tears thinking about my husband in pain and suffering. Or anyone I love for that matter.

    1. "How"? I know, it boggles my mind too. I felt the same as you. Cheating is non-negotiable. Contracts would be broken and I'd be gone in a smash second. But the reality of that is so much more complex. And truthfully, sometimes I am if my heart isn't in it. Healing is a long road. I just got done emailing L some of these same thoughts. I feel like I'm battling my own duality, the world tells me to run---and obviously from the story above that is my natural response. But my heart has been trying to speak to me too and that is what i'm trying to listen to. But who knows what the cards hold for us or for me.

      Thanks for being here Mac. You've helped me more than you know. I've enjoyed reading through your blog and your thoughts. You are brave and have a real clear spiritual grasp on things. Sometimes i feel like i'm all over the place...but putting it in words here on the internet brings a kind of clarity to my thoughts and it helps me see my progress or habits that need changing. I'm glad you enjoy!

    2. I feel a little like I'm bustin' in on the party here, Mac and April, but I'm struggling here and thought maybe I'd bounce my thoughts off this particular thread because they seem to apply...

      I found out about my husband's first affair five years ago. But I stayed. And I didn't tell anyone. No family, no friends. Nobody. I decided to just forgive him and move on. Fight tooth and nail for the marriage. Do our best to keep the family together. All that good stuff. (For the record, it would have worked out, too, if he had chosen to use his agency and my forgiveness to follow a different path.) I was so shell-shocked at that point though. And wouldn't you know it, within days after my discovery of his other woman, he had me in bed. And then I was even more confused. Even looking back now, I'm confused. Sex is such a strange, strange thing. It can be so healthy and healing, and so unhealthy and destructive. An expression of our deepest longings for each other or a weapon to be wielded in an abusive onslaught of the other person's very soul.

      And speaking of battling internal duality, April, I've got the opposite problem. I know in my heart after enduring five years of mock-marriage, abuse, neglect, intricate deceptions, and a series of elegantly planned affairs that divorce is the right path for me but the world is telling me that reconciliation is the answer. "Oh, come on. Give him a chance," they are telling me. Because nobody has witnessed the five undercover years, just the last little tidbit here on the end now that I finally walked out. Really? This time it's going to be different? Yeah, uh-huh. I've heard that five-thousand times before. To them, it's like the previous five years never happened because they never saw it. Even my in-laws, who KNOW he's been sleeping around, are making me out to be the bad guy for "taking the easy way out" and "leaving without giving it one more try." I'm just so sick of hearing it! And it's really starting to tick me off!

      So, April, here's the deal ... Maybe send me your people who are telling you to run, and I'll send you my people who are telling me to stay, and then we can all play nicely. Sound good? :)

    3. Sex is such a strange, strange thing. It can be so healthy and healing, and so unhealthy and destructive. An expression of our deepest longings for each other or a weapon to be wielded in an abusive onslaught of the other person's very soul.

      I couldn't have said it better...

      And it's a DEAL!

    4. I was thinking about your inlaws making you out to be the bad guy like u dont want to give him another chance...something I always said to my husband or anyone who shared the same sentiment as your inlaws, "of course he has another chance, but it's not mine to give. Its his to take. If he wants a second chance he must take it with both hands and complete sincerity."

      I see this a lot, blameshifting. As if the wife has any power
      over his second or 100th chance. I just like to shift the blame back to him...he wants a second chance? Then grow a pair of balls be a real man and take your second chance.

    5. My goodness. I am so intrigued by every comment on this post. I love what Jane said on Mrs. A's "Better or Worse" post about the fact that we are entitled to receive revelation from Heavenly Father about when to stay and when to leave. And it's our decision and our decision alone to make that decision based on what we feel. It makes me really mad and really sad that people are trying to convince you both otherwise. And at the same time, I was probably one of those people! (In my mind, of course, because I would never actually say those kinds of things to people out loud.) I probably would have read some of these situations and thought, "Why in the world is she still with him? She should leave his sorry ass on the street and move on!" But I get it now. I understand forgiveness and love and working on a marriage. And I also understand that some marriages get to a point where they aren't worth working on anymore. People who haven't been there just don't know. If no one has been forced to forgive and work hard or forced to call it quits after years of working, then they may never understand what it's really like. They are just clueless.

      Scabs--I love the idea that the chance is theirs to take. Angel's husband had his chances but didn't take them. If only they could understand that.

      Angel--It makes me happy that you know in your heart that it was time to be done. You will be okay. Just remember to work on yourself and don't bury anything under the rug. Put in the work to heal yourself. We're here for you.

  7. I'm new here and thinking some of the same. How are you doing this? I too have not been able to be intimate at all since knowing and am starting to wonder if I ever could. I'm surprised he was excommunicated. I fdon't know details but I seriously had a tough time with this one for a long while thinking the things my husband (we're seperated) was doing. I still don't know that I understand where they draw this line of lettingthem work it out and excommunicating. I've known that would be a limit for me, so maybe that's why I've struggled, almost wanting it to be an absolute black or white so life can be a bit more clear and I can move forward. I'm so happy I've found these groups of blogs on this. I'll be around gaining strength from your similar stories. Thanks.

    1. Welcome Anonymous,
      I've been thinking about you all day. ya, excommunicated. I don't know where they draw the line either but my husband had obviously crossed it. He is up for re-baptism this summer and then he'll spend another year dis-fellowshiped. Basically 2 years of church discipline. I guess I thought, if the church can do that, I could give a year, work on myself,keep myself safe and see if he makes any significant changes.

      And I can totally get how you'd be a little lost when the outcome isn't as black and white as that. It seems like such an impossible decision to leave or stay. Do you have kids? That's such a HUGE factor. Does he show change? Is he keeping himself safe from his addiction? Is it in the open or is he hiding? There are so many questions.

      As for the sex, the time was right, he was vulnerable and so was i. we took it slow. I remember thinking to myself that there's no way I could be with him. And that night it seemed like my heart and my mind battled. But as he became more humble and vulnerable i knew that what I wanted him to know more than anything was that i love him. No matter how things turned out, I love him. And what speaks love to a man more than making love, real emotional love. He has done awful seemingly unforgivable things. But don't we believe the atonement is real? That night forgiveness seemed within my reach.

      I know that moving forward, making a decision or taking action seem to take over our thoughts but one thing that has saved me is patience. Instead of setting on a path and taking it's course. I sat back, drank some lemonade (cause life had suddenly given me a lot of lemons) and watched patiently. I found happiness in my separation, in my children and I planned my emergency escape parachute. Sincere change takes time and patience. Don't get me wrong...i've done a lot of screaming and maybe a little bit of ball kicking, but ultimately patience is what has saved my sanity.

      if you want to chat more in detail, my email's on the contact me tab above.

      take care of yourself...

  8. Angel, Your comments remind me of a situation a friend just told me about. She was with a lady that we both know and this lady doesn't know details but she was going on about how my "husband is a good guy and she doesn't see whay I would kick him out like that", etc. etc and my friend said it caught her off guard and she replied "Wait. You have no idea." I am so thankful for these angels like my friend who get it. That is what it's about. They have no idea. Only you truly know all that you've endured and where your breaking point is. They will never know the pains, the being alone, the effort, the confusion, the heartbreak... All the best to you as you get through it!

  9. April,
    I saw your response last night and I cried just from the beginning. To know that someone was thinking of me. That touched me. Your words have made me think. We do have kids. It'd be a no brainer if I didn't. I'd be gone. His silence has killed things. He's lied and hid so much. He seems to be more open right now but I have a hard time trusting and it just comes across so much like just checking it off his list- yeah no problems today. There's no personality to it. No insight into him. I need more. I do not know if I love him anymore or even could again. I don't think I truly loved him, not knowing him, but only what he showed me. There was always so much hiding. I feel I only got glimpses of him, but it's all very muddled from all the history.
    Ah, patience. Yes I haven't had a ton. I'm moving forward and am tired of putting off my dreams for this. Sometimes i pity myself- Why do I have to pay for your choices? What did I do? At least now I see the cycle he would put me through, the heartache and all the emotional and mental drama was draining. I've been standing firm and learning to buck this system he's been using. I don't know that it's helping our relationship a ton but I feel better. Maybe it's the giving up his burden and letting go of his reponsibilities that is helping me. I don't know. But it has been freeing and is helping to alleviate all the pressure and burdens I took on while I thought he was dealing with his problems.
    I don't know if that was just a random train of thought, but there it is. Thanks for the listening ear and the sharing of another's pain.
    I did get to read more of your story and oh, my. You have been through a lot. i kind of feel pathetic for whining about mine. You are strong.
    So glad I've found this and the forum. Thanks for the welcome.

    1. I agree. Never feel pathetic. My situation PALES in comparison to lots of people on here, but my problems are problems nonetheless. My hurt is real even though other people have hurt more. Pornography is a gateway drug, and I swing between feeling okay and being terrified of the future. I think we're all in this together regardless of the "severity" of our situations. I feel safe here, and I hope you do, too. I say whine away. Heck, I plan to. ;)

    2. i was thinking about you again. i remember that time when my husband was just checking off a list.."yep, fine today" "yep, no problem" it felt lame. but looking back he was just learning how to open and communicate and be vulnerable and sometimes I would have to coach him and show him. He wanted to learn but it was WAY out of his comfort zone. Our men aren't comfortable with feelings... especially their feelings.

      And i think thats where patience helped me too. I was patient watching to see if his changes were real and I detached myself from him. it was hard. But that was the only way i could keep myself safe during such a volatile time.

      i don't know, its all a journey, isn't it?

  10. Never feel pathetic. No matter what our situations are the pain and betrayal feel the same. It all hurts.

  11. I am angry my husband did similar stuff but they didn't excommunicate him ? What ?! He can cheat with prostitutes for years and years and get disfellowshipped?

  12. You have every right to be angry and feel cheated! Did you ask anyone about this, like your bishop or stake pres? I hear this a lot...that husbands don't get excommunicated for sleeping with prostitutes. I'm not sure how that all works or what the guidelines are and I don't pretend to know anything about it but when I ask Mr. Scabs this question all he can say is maybe they didn't tell all the truth. I don't know. I feel your anger too!

    Did you go to his court? Are you still together?

  13. Yes, went to the council, I suppose he told the truth; more prostitutes then you can count and as many years as we have been married, the whole time, yes; we are together, but today I don't know why except my kids hve a good life. Leaders said it's what is best for each person, but mostly I think it was because no one knew outside the prostitutes and the council. Today I want to die, I wish I had never met him. I wish I knew if I should stay or divorce, but I do not know.

    1. What does your heart tell you? Do you feel safe?

    2. it is so difficult to know if you should stay or go. I feel soooo much for you. I know these feelings. i remember laying on my sofa in sweatpants, eyes distant and glazed from the pain wishing the same things you are wishing right now. I wanted to die. I wanted him to die. Get hit by a truck...anything would be easier.

      He would just look at me and i felt so alone, so unloved, so empty. Life has sent you something very difficult. You feel the pain of death because your love, your dreams, your hopes, your trust have just been shattered.

      Please know that you and your life are valuable. You are loved and needed by so many. This man may have betrayed everything and thrown it all away but you don't have to. You are strong. There is something beautiful, feminine and strong inside you---a strength you never new you had. It comes from God. He loves his daughters. You are priceless. This strength will surface and you will be amazed by your power.

      This pain is so terrible and I'm crying with you here. It will pass. And happiness will find you, I promise.

  14. Thanks for the support. It is so hard, I really think trials of sexual addiction are the hardest thing ever. (looks like there isolde than one Anon, not all comments are mine maybe I will make a name.)

  15. it seems so impossible really. i felt so lost at times. I'm glad you found us and there really are so many of us. some of us have names and some of us are anon. Either way you decide to comment is fine. You are safe here.

  16. Thanks for the comments and support ladies. I thought I too would adopt a name since I've been in more of the forums and blogs you all have been. I am the early April (9&11) anonymous. :)

    1. Hi JJ! I've seen you on the forum. Nice to meet you!



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