“Hi, I need to reserve a date for an intensive for my wife and I.”
Did I just say that out loud? On the phone? And really do that? Ok, I think maybe I need a counselor AND a psychiatrist! My insides hurt. I am in the early stages of realizing something important, I think: I don’t want to hide anymore. I don’t want to lie anymore. I don’t want to feel this dirty anymore.
In my group meetings, I hear guys talk about how their recovery is their own. One guy said something I actually wrote down: my recovery success isn’t dependent on how my wife responds. When I heard that, it didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t get it or even believe it. That’s why we are all here, right? To try and appease our wives and save our marriages?
That is what I have been doing. Trying to appease my wife and save my marriage. Surviving one day at a time. Sometimes I sleep upstairs in the guest bedroom when my wife doesn’t get overwhelmed by anger. Sometimes I sleep at a friend’s house when she can’t hold back her hurt and it encompasses both her and me. So I had been riding this roller coaster of emotion with her through her hurt, letting that be the barometer of my recovery.
This week one of the shares in group was from John 5:6 where Jesus saw an invalid on the side of the rode and asked him “Do you want to get well?” And I answered YES, I do. I don’t want to be this anymore. I see a glimpse of what it means.
I was in the car on the way home, listening to the Message on XM radio and heard this song from Casting Crowns about a man who was demon possessed. Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be free? Lift your chains, I hold the key. All power on heaven and earth belong to me.” I do want to be free. Two months ago I didn’t believe that was possible.
I don’t want to be what I have been. I don’t want to be someone who immediately lies. I don’t want to hide in my deception and darkness. I have prayed this prayer before over and over. What makes me think it will work this time? I have hope, though. I have met guys who have been where I am. They prayed the same prayers over and over with no change. Until they got help, until they came clean, until they set a baseline for honesty. They started group, they entered recovery fully, and they disclosed to their spouse.
So, here I am. Calling to schedule my intensive with my wife. I am actually the one on the phone, scheduling the disclosure, paying the deposit, organizing this for both of us. And………praying she will go.
“Yes, thank you. Those dates will work. I will be looking for your confirmation email.”