Words could never express to all of you how deeply your words touch me . I just wanted to say thank you so very much for all of the honesty, the fear, the hurt and the love in your words here on this blog. I know you are all writing words here that are changing the lives of others.
I wanted to share a personal victory with all of you that I experienced over the past couple of weeks. I share it because through God, all things are possible. From the brink of divorce and the destruction of a family to the ultimate in forgiveness…and I wanted to share it with you in the hopes that maybe some of you will find this kind of forgiveness in your families and share it here.
Pornography, masturbation, adultery…these are all very selfish acts, they are about self-satisfaction. As I look back at the past 10 years of my life, I am experiencing many things in recovery which make me ask myself why. What was it that was so important that I was willing to trade my family? Why would I trade the most precious things in life for sex? What was I looking for, love and happiness?
Did I find love? No, I found the opposite, I found loneliness. I lost my wife and my kids. I lost so many people I thought were friends. I lost my church and I lost my extended family.
Did I find happiness? No, I found the opposite. I found stress, anger, resentment. I became everything I did not want to be and a person I did not like.
I did learn that no amount of high temperature sex can make up for the love, tolerance, trust and enjoyment of another person’s presence.
The real test of a sexual relationship is this: does one deeply enjoy the other’s presence after sexual needs have been satisfied? Is it good, is it comfortable, is it pleasurable just to be around each other? Is each a better person because they are together.
I just experienced the graduation of my daughter. She graduated with honors, has a substantial scholarship to college and is the most amazing young lady…but I traded it all at one point…
My daughter did not speak to me for over a year; she was so angry at me and so hurt. I missed birthdays, school events, soccer games, awards…I missed so much that if I dwell on it, it brings me great sadness…a huge sense of loss. I traded her life for adultery…I traded time with my all my kids for sex…for a moment of self satisfaction, I traded months and years of my life, their lives.
But standing there with all her friends at graduation…pictures with her arms around me, pictures of the whole family together…words like “thanks daddy for all you have done for me” and the best words “I love you daddy”…enjoying every moments of this most precious time…the most important time in my life…this is what recovery is all about…love and forgiveness.
Another incredible event with this graduation was spending time with my mother-in-law and father-in-law. You see I had not spoken to them in over 10 years through my addiction and our separation. If any of you are fathers and I had cheated on your daughter, you know how you would feel and most people would agree with you…but they were coming in for graduation and staying at our home.
They had every reason not to come…they had every reason to continue to shut me out of thier lives and I am sure they dreaded and feared the moment as it approached. For 5 days we lived under one roof…My mind, with the help of satan, had already told me how bad this was going to be…but by the grace of two incredible people I was welcomed back into their family…it was an amazing experience and my in-laws are two of the most incredible people I have ever known. I was shown forgiveness…I was shown love…I was given another chance and I know it is a rare chance in this addiction. I am so very thankful and humbled by their grace. Thank you so very much mom and dad. Thank you for showing our children the power of forgiveness…the graciousness of God and the love of a family.
The last day they were here with us, my father-in-law said “We are so happy that the two of you have decided to work this out and to see the incredible effect on your children”…then he cried and so did I…
My youngest son said “Dad it is so incredible that Ganny and Papa have such a forgiving heart”, I told him they had a heart just like Jesus…a great lesson for my son taught to him by his grand parents.
I am giving my children the greatest gift I believe I can give them in this life…a mom and dad who will be married until death do us part. We are in this for better or worse, in sickness and in health…our children know marriage is hard, but they have also learned the power of forgiveness and I have seen it shine bright in their family.
I know it does not always work out this way. I know many of you reading this are already divorced. I know many of you did not want the divorce and were powerless to change it…I want you to know I was not put here to judge others, only to love others…no matter what. To those of you, who feel there is no hope, just know I have been there and there is hope.
I prayed morning and night to get my family back. I would roll out of bed and get on my knees…at night I would kneel by my bed and pray, and then I would go to bed. I did this for months. 8 months into our divorce God delivered and we stopped the divorce days before it was final.
It has not been easy…but the price you pay for the destruction caused by pornography cannot compare to “I love you daddy”…priceless.
Thank you God, all glory to You.