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Thursday, January 03, 2002

OOPS! I didn't get here to post yesterday... but here is something I began writing yesterday, with the hope that when my husband goes looking to see what documents I brought up recently his curiosity will cause him to open and read it. It's not done yet, but I have to take the baby to the doctor today, so I'll post changes later.

HOW I FEEL
Lydia 1-2-02

A lot of things bother me. Always have. But what bothers me most is feeling like I don’t matter.

I think we all just want to have someone who loves us so much they’d do anything for us, and put us first before all else. In fact, I’ve come to realize that is what was behind all of my affairs… the desire to find that special kind of loyalty and devotion. I wasn’t looking for sex… that was just a byproduct. In fact, sex does not interest me that much at all. Maybe it did in the past when I was young and energetic, but after having been through every imaginable sexual scenario, it just isn’t something that really thrills me. Of course, I realize that it is still a part of a relationship, and would submit to my husband if he ever pressed the issue. (He doesn't)

My husband has never put me first in his life… and if God were ahead of me I wouldn’t be upset about it. But coming in 4th or 5th after work (money), sports (any given game), pornographic material/strip clubs, and kids really sucks.

Lately I’ve been in trouble with the law. The Division of Children and Families has been coming to our house and demands have been made upon me in order to comply and prevent them from removing the children to foster homes. But that doesn’t bother me a fraction as much as my husband’s online relationship with someone ELSE whom I perceive to be yet another thing that is more important to him than I am.

It has been said to me that forgiveness is final, and when you are truly forgiven then the past is put behind you, and there is no “getting even with” or punishing someone who has been forgiven. Therefore I can only assume that my husband has not truly forgiven me for my past mistakes, and that his insistence upon continuing this online dalliance is his way of “getting even” or punishing me. ACCEPTANCE and forgiveness are two entirely different concepts. Obviously, he accepts that things are the way they are and you “can’t unring a bell”.

But let’s go back to the beginning. When I met my husband I was basically homeless, just bumming around from place to place. Most of the men I came across fit into one of two categories: Wanted a girlfriend but couldn’t support one, or Could support a girlfriend but didn’t want one. For some reason, the thought of just being independent and taking care of myself, living on my own, never occurred to me. I wanted someone to take care of me. At the time, I guess it wasn’t as important to me how loyal or devoted he would be to me, so long as he was able and willing to support me.

Then my mother died, and when I went to Ohio to settle her estate, I almost didn’t come back to Florida. Maybe I should have read between the lines THEN when my husband (who wasn’t yet my husband then) told me “you don’t HAVE to come back…” I should have realized he didn’t REALLY want me to come back… didn’t really WANT to be responsible for me.

In those days I couldn’t have cared less about money or the things that money could buy… as long as I had food, clothing, and shelter, I was fairly well content. But it did bother me that he would never call in sick or take off of work just to spend time with me… that the job and money came first in his life. So I went out and found other people to spend time with.

Then I got pregnant, and we had our first child, after which he would not come near me, no matter how sexy I tried to be or how much I wanted to be with him. He later told me it was out of anger that he’d never discussed with me, over being made a father “against his will”. However, I had never made any secret of the fact that I’d always wanted a child and didn’t use birth control… so what did he THINK was going to happen? I guess he thought he was sterile or something.

Anyway, I became ever more anxious as he focused on “the game” when I tried to cozy up to him, and he’d tune me out completely when I tried to talk to him. Then there were the times when he left me home alone in bed and went to strip clubs… making me angry that he’d rather look at THOSE women than have sex with me, when I was sitting home ready, willing, and able. So I went out and found some more other people to spend time with.

He already had some pornographic magazines when I met him… and it didn’t bother me so badly when I was young and na├»ve… but I’ve learned since then a lot about the impact of pornography on the mind as well as the means by which women and sometimes even children are exploited and abused by that industry. The worst part of it is that those images brand themselves into the mind and are difficult, if not impossible, to shake. They create a thirst for more that can lead to sick and deviant practices.

He knows that I consider viewing pornography to be just as much “cheating” as actually having a physical affair. It consumes one’s thoughts to the degree that eventually sexual performance is dependent upon such images… a man who consistently views pornography can no longer be satisfied without it… sometimes can’t even “get it up” without imagining some hot babe from a magazine, strip club, video, or website. Not only that, but while he’s making love to his partner, he has to continue to imagine that hot babe, or he may lose his erection and not be able to perform at all. Meanwhile, his partner, who’s doing her best to focus on him and their lovemaking, is shortchanged because she wonders, when he closes his eyes, WHO he’s imagining instead of her.

I can’t get past this. Until he discontinues the behavior, I can’t “get over” it. Knowing that my husband is viewing pornographic websites at night, and more than likely engaged in “cybersex” with his Texas tart makes me think I should just go ahead, after all, and get a divorce. Of course, if I did that, I’d have to ask for alimony and child support, since I’ve never held a job, and I’d need the house and the car, too. I don’t hate him, but I can’t continue to sleep while this is going on and ever feel good about myself.

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