- 5 years ago
- Wedding: September 2013
I am coming here to vent and seek advice about an issue that I don’t feel comfortable bringing up with family and friends as I don’t want it to affect their opinion of my FI and I want to respect his privacy on this matter – at least I’m anonymous on this forum. I also ask, out of the bottom of my heart from someone who is really having a hard time right now, to please, just because you don’t necessarily agree with my views blast me on this post. I really can’t cope with it right now.
I’ve been married before. It was an awful marriage in which my now ex-husband had a severe gambling and porn addiction (we did not live together prior to getting married and these things were all things I was unaware of until we were already married – he kept things very well hidden.) On top of that, near the end he became verbally and physically abusive to me, at one point beating me up so badly that I was in the hospital for an extended period of time for internal bleeding as well as a broken arm. After that, I left him and took 2+ years off from all dating, etc. I worked on ME. I re-developed my faith in God and found a church where there isn’t judgment about your past, though they preach about how to live the kind of life we’re called to live as Christians, just because you mess up occasionally doesn’t bar you from being a member or loved by God or the church – as I had experienced in my past religious experiences. No one’s perfect, and no one is entitled to judge but God.
When I felt ready to date I had gone through Divorce Care at my church as well as extreme counseling for the issues with my ex-husband. I developed a list of my fundamental values in a relationship and vowed to only date people who shared those values. Without going in to too much detail, my childhood wasn’t a cakewalk, lots of abuse, neglect, and even sexual molestation by a YOUNG family member who had seen pornography while sneaking into his father’s room and tried to recreate that with ME. At 4 years old. This continued until I was 6.
Due to my religious beliefs and past experiences, my core values were simple: find a man who loves God, is actively involved with church or at least a relationship with God, doesn’t commit adultery (I believe porn falls into this category too) and is not abusive.
Before beginning to date my now FI, I explained all of this to him. I was incredibly open about my past as I didn’t want to start off on a dishonest foot and I wanted to ensure we were on the same page. I fell for him so hard. Someone who didn’t believe in pre-marital sex agreed that adultery and abuse were grounds for divorce – and also agreed that pornography is sugar coated adultery. This was a big one for me since I will not compromise on this one, and though my church preaches this as well, I know that not everyone agrees – and that’s fine. I’m not here to judge, I’m here to share my story and my feelings.
We got engaged this summer and very recently, when having a conversation, I asked him a point blank question and from that point forward it came out that he had been actively looking at pornography for the last year and a half. What bothers me most about this situation isn’t even the porn (though it DOES bother me) it hurts me to my core that for an entire year and a half, during multiple talks about the future and our values, be blatantly lied to my face about what he had been doing.
I’ve never had a safe relationship in my life. My FI was the first person I totally trusted and this whole thing truly blindsided me. I don’t know if I can trust him again.
Currently he’s seeking help. In the scheme of things, his “addiction” is on the lower end of the spectrum. It’s not “that” bad. He was looking at images, not movies, and never paid for anything, mainly it was images as well as watching very suggestive television shows and relieving himself through that.
We’re supposed to get married in September and I don’t even feel ready to be engaged at this point. I haven’t been wearing my ring. The proposal feels tainted to me because he’s been lying this whole time. Like I said he realizes this is an issue, he realizes if he receives another chance and becomes a repeat offender I will leave, he’s been reading books about this, talking to Pastors, etc. But I just don’t know if that trust can ever be repaired. I’m back to taking anti-anxiety meds to get through the day and feeling sad. This should be a happy time. I time of wedding planning, being in love, and being excited for the next chapter. Instead I find myself gritting my teeth talking to vendors that we’ve already put deposits on because in my mind I know I don’t call myself “engaged” right now and I don’t even know if marriage in September is feasible.
I don’t know what to do. I know a lot of you won’t see my point of view on this and that’s ok. I just need some care and support, please. I just need opinions on whether or not trust can be restored. Whether or not it’s possible to restore trust prior to our wedding date. Whether I’ll resent him later for this period of time not being “fun love planning time” because I don’t even know what I want. I know a lot of you don’t know these answers because you’re not IN my relationship, but I just need something.
Additional information – he’s going on a 2 month business trip in about a month and a half and frequently takes business trips. He was recently on one after this happened and not only didn’t bring his laptop, but also had the hotel remove the television from his room. I know he’s trying, but again, it’s so much more about the trust than this.