*Disclaimer: Tony proof reads and posts all of my posts
For the first few years of our marriage, it seemed like a fairy tale. Love conquers all and nothing is too big for us to handle as long as we are together. My Fairy Tale! After moving across the country to start a new business venture, things changed. We were tired. We had gotten into this monotonous routine and things were very stressful. Tony had started to change. He no longer was the engaged loving and doting husband. No more gifts, no more letters, no more anything. I tried hard to make things work between Tony and I. I got him gifts, made sure all of his needs were being met, or so I thought. Told him I loved him, and made sure all of the household chores were done. Yep, I was still working a part time job as well as working ten hours a day. How could I do all of that, you ask? Lots and lots of caffeine. I would go to bed at eight and wake up at three in the morning. Tony became more and more distant and I could not for the life of me, figure out why. I was working so hard, trying so hard to make this marriage work. I would call my best friends up back home all the time crying and venting, trying to figure out what I had done. How I could change, so that I could fix things. She said, “Mandy, your trying, I don’t know what else to tell you.” Discouraged, I kept on keeping on. I wish I could tell you that my motives were always good, but there were times that my longings got very great. I started to dream about being loved and being cared for again. I got very bitter. I liked that other men were giving me compliments. I liked the fact that I did not have to feel like a complete disgusting failure every day. Never did that longing take me to a place that was out of bounds, but I liked feeling wanted, sexy, smart and beautiful. I had no where else to turn. I prayed and prayed to GOD, that he would help me see how I could fix this. A year later in the middle of 2009, Tony and I talked it over. I told him I just could not handle it anymore. I wanted to be home more with the kid’s and I was just exhausted. I wanted to quit my part time job. It was becoming way to much. Tony decided that it would be ok for me to quit working my part time job. He said he was nervous about it, because of the lack of money, but he would deal with it. We had just signed on a house and we were going to be moving into it within a month. We had plenty of money to cover all the costs, but for Tony he always wanted more. It was never enough.
After I had quit, I thought that things would get better, but they only got worse. Tony hardly talked to me. We lived together, but separately. I continued to try. Try to communicate with him to find out what was going on. NOTHING! I got nothing. A huge brick wall. I became numb. Life became something I needed to endure every day, instead of enjoy. Then I thought, wait, what if we were to have another baby. Then he would love and care for me again. I told him that I was thinking we should have another baby. He said, “Ok, that sounds good”. Nothing between us had changed. It was still like we were roommates. We started to try in September of 2009. If you have read my other blog on, The Biggest Trial of My Life round 1, you know the details so I will not go over those here. After the huge trial (miscarriage) was over, I thought things would be better. That we would be closer now. It only got worse. I had a burning desire to fill this void in my life. I wanted to try again right away. I knew that he blamed me and in fact, I blamed myself for the miscarriage. Barely talking, never loving, never caring, never helping, never intimate. Trying to have another baby was just well, sex. A means to accomplish the ability to conceive. Mechanical if you will. Every day became like going thru the motions of just trying to make it thru that day. Six weeks after the miscarriage I got a positive pregnancy test. I was nervous, happy, excited, and scared. I didn’t want to tell Tony. I was afraid that if anything went wrong he would blame me again. I told him later that night. I thought he would be so happy, but he was like ok. Heart broken and emotional, I walked away with shoulders slouched and eyes filled with tears. I needed support, I needed love, I needed reassurance that everything was going to be ok no matter what. There was nothing. I asked if he would come with me to my first appointment and he said he would. Everything went good at the doctor with the baby, much to my delight. Oh, good news. I needed that light so much. For the next couple of months it was a nail biter. I was very concerned with the baby and if it was doing ok and was trying to work ten hours everyday. I tried to stay guarded and not bond with the baby, but I needed that baby. I needed someone to love me. I prayed and prayed that GOD would keep the baby safe. I prayed that GOD would continue to do a work in me so that I would change in order for Tony to be happy again because obviously I had done something wrong.
I remember it as clear as day. I was sixteen weeks pregnant and I had been crying and venting to my best friends on the phone about how hard things were with Tony and with work. She paused after a short while and said, “Mandy, could Tony be into pornography”? Awestruck, I had no words. Um…. I bumbled. I managed to get out a squeaky, “I don’t think so.” We talked some more and then said our goodbyes, but her comment stuck in my head. It just kept on repeating itself over and over again. The next day I managed to get up the courage to ask him. I said, Tony, are you looking at pornography? He got really really snappy and said, “Why are you asking me that”? I said, I’m just asking. There was silence for a long while like hours, at least it felt like it, and he whispered, “Yes, I am”. Shocked, my breath caught in my throat. I could not breath or move. The little baby inside of me was moving around like crazy. I thought I was going to pass out so I sat down. I never in my wildest dreams thought that my husband, a man that is a bible believing Christian, would ever have anything to do with pornography. My past flashed before me eyes. The abusive marriage that I had had previously. The horrible way that Tony had been treating me. It all made sense now. I needed some time to think. I was not going to go thru this again. I just was not. Later that night we talked more and I found out that he was really into it. Thousands of pictures every week, as well as the actions that went with it. I felt so degraded, so betrayed and so disgusting. I met his needs in the sex department, why, why would he need to go to pornography? I asked him that a while later and he told me that it made him feel respected. That those woman looked like they really wanted him. I told him that, “Yeah, I’m sure they did. They get paid to look that way”. I needed counsel. I talked to my most trusted people and one Focus on the Family. Focus told me that he was never going to get out of this. That he was to far in and that I needed to get out or get him help right away. I talked to pastors that said “Oh, we’ll pray for you.” Others said that even though Tony had done this horrible thing, I really had no grounds to leave. Friends and family told me that I should just breath and pray. Lots of people said that this was adultery, and that I should leave. No one had the answers that I needed to hear. No one knew the magic antidote. Here I was sixteen weeks pregnant and having to deal with this. Emotions were off the charts. I cried all the time and when I was not crying I was angry. Really angry. The betrayal was astronomical to me. I was not sure if I should leave, if I should stay, what I should do. So, I asked for more time to make my decision and I reserved that right with Tony to ask more questions if I needed to. I knew that no one else could answer or solve this one for me and I knew that I needed to stop seeking that. It was at that point that I got down on my knees and prayed. I prayed every day all day. I sought my bible and broadcasts as well as research to help me come to a decision. It was not only my life, but the four children’s lives as well that would be impacted. I asked many more questions to Tony. Which usually focused around why. Why did he do that? What was so wrong with me that I was not enough? He would explain that it really had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the lust, lure and addiction. For him that may have been, for me I felt worthless, disgusting, inadequate, unattractive, etc.. I also asked why he started? He said, one night he was just doing some research and something popped up. He clicked on it and from there the appeal just got deeper and deeper. Yes, he was answering my questions, but it only seemed to worsen the pain. I was now twenty weeks pregnant and heading to the ultrasound. I still had major anxiety with the pregnancy and now all this stress on top of it. I wanted to run away. Away from life, away from responsibility and stress. Then when I got to see this little baby in 3D and to hear that she was very healthy, everything for the moment melted away. I started crying and the ultrasound tech said would you like to know the sex. I whispered, Yes Please! She said, “IT”S A GIRL”! I was so happy. Even though I was still so angry and upset with Tony, I knew that he had always wanted a girl of his own. After a little more time, I told him that I would stay. That if he ever got involved with pornography again I would leave. He said that he understood and that he had put safe guards on all the computers so that it would not happen again. He knew as well as I knew that if he really wanted to go looking for it he could find it. It would also take self control and accountability. That being said, how I felt, still remained. It was going to take a lot of time for that to heal. Before our daughter was born things got a little better. It was going to take time and the willingness from both parties to change.