04 March 2014

Talking about the hard stuff

So much of what is now a major part of my life is usually surrounded by guilt in society. The topics are not part of "appropriate conversation" and are discussed in hushed tones and behind closed doors, if at all. If i bring them up, i am usually met with sympathetic eyes or i feel the person automatically recoil, as if they will be contaminated by the topic or even by me.

These words are taboo:

DIVORCE
THERAPY
PORN ADDICTION
ANTI-DEPRESSANTS

The stigma is there and i wish that it wasn't. i wish that i could say "my husband was addicted to masturbation" or "my marriage fell apart because of pornography" or "i go to therapy and take anti-depressants" or "i am divorced" without feeling judged or that i just created an awkward situation.

i was told once that i should be careful about talking about how destructive pornography and masturbation are (and were in my marriage) because "you might offend someone! What if they have an addiction or a spouse who struggles?"

EXACTLY!!!

Addiction thrives on secrecy. Fear, depression, shame and worthlessness thrive there too. If people were more open with these topics and those issues in their own lives, perhaps less women would feel alone. More men would see the consequences of their actions. People wouldn't be as afraid to speak of it with one another. Judgments wouldn't be so harsh. There would be support and understanding and love.

And maybe, girls wouldn't be as naive going into a marriage. And maybe couples would have the "hard conversations" that are needed so desperately before commitment.

Once, about a year ago, i said that i wanted someone who would say from the very beginning "Here I am. This is me. It's all out here on the table."

My guy has been like that. We have never skirted around any discussions. Perhaps some would say that is a little intense. Just a couple dates in and words like depression, divorce and addictions were the theme of quite a few conversations. But thank heavens! i am grateful that we can talk and create that openness and honesty in our relationship.

Neither of us are looking for perfection in the other, although we are both striving for it in ourselves. And we don't have a perfect relationship either. Relationships are hard anyway and ours is just beginning. But we have a pretty good start.

i know his weaknesses. He has told me about his past. He has shared his feelings about divorce and anti-depressants. i know exactly where he stands in regards to pornography, masturbation and cheating.

He knows about my baggage. i have told him about my fear, my insecurities, and my control issues. He knows exactly where i stand in regards to pornography, masturbation and cheating.

Do i compare him with my ex? Most certainly. As i should. And, man, is there a night and day difference. i see it most in the transparency, in the honesty and in the communication.

His own words capture what i have felt from the beginning with him: "I am not your ex husband and I won't make the decisions that he did."

i hope that in the future, more people will be open to talking about the hard stuff. But for now, i am grateful to have my guy who doesn't skirt around anything.


Besides, he is  cute!

Side note: i'm also grateful for how he encourages my self development. After running the first four miles of a twelve miler with me, he went to go lift while i finished my run. Before he slid off the track, he gave me a "good game" swat and said, "You got this!" He somehow managed to support me and boost my confidence in myself--that i could do just fine, and maybe even better, when he wasn't there next to me.
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