Wednesday, July 30, 2014

International Birthday

So once again it was that time of year! July 17 I celebrated my 24th birthday and first birthday with my hubby. Robert brags about his gift because he brought me to Germany. Yeah. So as I explained earlier Robert manages a musician named Origa. Origa had a concert at a convention in Germany and as a joke (but completely serious) Robert asked if Olga would put me on the contract so the convention would pay for me to go. She said yes and I got to go. Our trip to Germany was HOT. I would say it was hotter than Cuba last year and possibly more humid.

We left SLC at 10 am Wednesday July 16 had a layover in New York at JFK then flew from JFK to Frankfurt. We arrived in Frankfurt Thursday July 17 at 10am. I had had a cold and completely lost my voice and wasn't sleeping well already. Then I had to try to sleep on a plane. This was a wonderful experience. In the SLC airport I loaded up on NyQuill to try to knock myself out but it didn't work.

When we arrived in Frankfurt Robert and I had only slept for 6 hours over the past 48 hours. We were both quite grumpy and hungry. We were greeted at the airport by two girls from the convention, Jenny and Sonja. Sonja was Origa's personal assistant for the weekend but really she just hung out with me because Origa was in her room between performances. We went and picked up Seiya shortly after we were arrived. After Seiya arrived we went to our hotel to freshen up. I took a mini nap before we went out to wander the streets of Frankfurt with our tour guide Sonja. We went to an authentic German restaurant and got schnitzel and sausage and sourkraut. It was so yummy. So much better than the one we have here in Utah! After we walked around and went in a couple of shops. We were mostly just really tired so we asked to go back to the hotel. When we got back to the hotel I took a nap again while Robert and Seiya worked. We planned on meeting everyone for dinner that night but when we went down there Sonja wasn't there. Seiya, Robert and I decided to go to an Italian restaurant in the mall by our hotel. Robert got pizza, Seiya and I got pasta. They were all super delicious! After dinner we were all SUPER tired BUT Sonja found us and was having a heart attack thinking she had lost us so we had to talk to her and calm her down. We were back at the hotel when Robert's friend Chaz showed up at our hotel. He is in the Air Force and based a couple hours from Frankfurt so he decided he wanted to make the drive to see Robert. We hung out with him for an hour and then passed out. Chaz slept on the floor in our hotel room.

Friday we woke up and ate delicious breakfast provided by the hotel. They made crepes fresh right in front of you and they could make any type of egg as well. I probably ate 20 crepes during our stay. Along with the crepes they had eggs, potatoes, sausages, fruit, cheese, cold cuts, cereal, bread, pastries and of course coffee and fresh juice. The weird thing was they had miso soup, fried fish and rice. I guess they get a lot of Asians...Chaz, Robert and I ate breakfast before Chaz and I took off on our adventure. After spending an hour searching for his car we finally found it and headed out on our journey. We drove for about an hour before reaching our destination. We went to Heidelberg and enjoyed the castle. It was AMAZING! After the castle we went to his Air Force base to get some gas before going to his house to rescue his adorable dog, Thor. Once we picked up Thor we went to another castle. This one was only a few minutes away from his house.

 (Can we just talk about how amazing it would be to live a few minutes away from a castle)

We went and took Thor for a walk around the castle which was also awesome. History is pretty cool. I think I get that thinking from my dad. After the castle we brought Thor home and went to get some dinner since we hadn't eaten since breakfast. The only thing open was Burger King so we went there. I thought it was funny that I went to an American restaurant while in Germany. I've heard people say fast food is better in other countries but it was basically the same. After eating we started our journey back to Frankfurt. They were having a BBQ at our hotel for the convention so we had some more sausages. After the BBQ we went to the room and crashed while Robert worked his little butt off. 

Saturday was convention day. We had to wake up early and eat breakfast. They had french toast instead of crepes so I was slightly disappointed but it was still delicious. The convention officially started at 10 and then I sat at our booth selling product until 9 pm when Origa had her concert and I was too tired and hungry to do anything. 

Sunday was our last day in Germany. We did convention stuff until 6pm and then they took us to dinner. Once again we went to an Italian restaurant. I got pasta and Robert got a pizza again. His food was WAYY better (mostly because I am picky about sauces and I didn't like the sauce) It was really fun to sit around with our four German hosts, Origa her two German friends, Seiya and Robert. Robert made some balloons which is always fun for people. When we went back to the hotel Robert had lost his balloon bag so we had a slight freak out about that. We finally went to sleep around 1 am just to wake up at 5 am for our return flight. 

The airport was weird. They use the hall as the main waiting area and then they have smaller waiting areas for each flight where you have to give them your ticket to get in. After we waiting in that area they started "boarding." I use the quotes because they had us walk to the door and down some stairs to a bus that took us to our plane where we walked up a ramp to get in. That flight was pretty fast just to Paris. We got pastries instead of cookies or pretzels which was awesome. When we got to Paris we had to take another bus to take us to the terminal. Once we got to the terminal we had to walk through customs. Once through customs we had to take an elevator to another terminal. From that elevator we took another bus to get us to the next terminal. When we arrived at that terminal we were finally in the right destination to find our plane. We stopped at one of the little shops and got a sandwich, soda, water and chocolate cake. We went to board our flight and of course I got picked for a random check. When you get picked now you have to turn on all your electronics and guess what, my laptop was dead and I didn't have the converter. So we had to find a converter and plug it in. This probably took at least 15 minutes of me following some french guy around that was on his phone the whole time while I was holding my laptop and cable. It was incredibly annoying. Finally we boarded our flight and Robert and I passed out. We slept for a good chunk of time and then woke up and watched endless amounts of free TV. Our lunch on the flight was chicken curry and it was freaking DELICIOUS! Finally we arrived at home and dad picked us up from the airport with Boston in tow. I was the happiest mom ever to be back in the US and to have my baby back. I missed him lots while I was gone. 

Overall it was a tiring trip but I guess you could say it was successful. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Wife of an Addict

I was beyond excited to get married. I was incredibly stressed but at the same time excited. I was giggly and demanding and emotional and just hoping everything would be perfect. In the end we did have a beautiful wedding. There were tears shed, jokes made and delicious cake. But let's rewind a little bit... or a lot. Let's rewind back to when I realized I wanted to marry my husband.

I was driving home from a fun week with my friends in Vegas. I had partied and enjoyed the single life. Sure I had gone on dates with many guys over the past few weeks but I was in Vegas and wanted to enjoy my single life. On my drive home with my friend we were talking about what fun we were going to have next New Years as single ladies and all the single lady fun we would have during the new year. We were laughing and joking and then I had this feeling, "No, you don't get to have more single lady trips because you're going to marry that boy back home." CRUD!

Want some details on the boy back home? I met this boy online while doing a research project. Our first date was the Sunday before Christmas. We planned on our second date being the Saturday after Christmas but Monday I asked to see him again. Tuesday I asked to see him again. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we saw each other. This relationship was sparking! We saw each other every day for a week until we both had our New Years trips. After a week of talking to this guy I was excited about him but I didn't want that to get in the way of my trip so we decided "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

After I returned from my trip I went to his house and we talked. I was ready to start a relationship with him but he was very tentative. He told me every dirty secret he had just to get me to back off. Unfortunately even with the secrets I knew I was stuck. (But I wasn't really stuck I wanted to marry him too) One of his dirty little secrets was not so little. It is something many men have struggled with and many more will continue to struggle with.

He confessed to me that he addicted to pornography.

At first I just took it at face value. I told myself, “He says he is addicted but he probably isn't.” But being the crazy girl I am I dug deeper. I asked those when, where, why, how (meaning downloads or streaming, computer or phone) and tried to find a way for me to fix this little problem. He was shocked at how I took this information and decided that maybe we should start dating.

The information I got was heart wrenching. I learned he was exposed when he was extremely young and he had tried many times to overcome this sin. He successfully stopped long enough to go to the temple and serve an honorable full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After he returned home he stayed clear of it for a long time until one day it was triggered again. Since then it has been an on again, off again pattern.

We started by seeing his bishop. He had already started seeing his Bishop for it before but now that I was in the picture he wanted me to join him. I suggested we see a therapist that specialized in sex addiction. This therapist was wonderful we really enjoyed him but due to lack of money we could only attend a few sessions.

From then on we decided we had to figure out how to overcome together. We made plans for him to contact me. To sleep at normal times. To eat healthier. To take care of himself. To try to relieve stress in other ways. These have all worked for a short period of time but in the long run have not helped us.

We have been married for three months now and the addiction is still there. We are doing what we can (still too poor for therapy) and the addition is still there. Even if he isn't looking at it and he has gone on a "good streak" the addiction is still there.

Part of me says "I should have listened to my family and turned the other way." But I know that I am here because I am learning and growing with my husband. Even though it seems like we are constantly battling each other the person we are really fighting with is Satan. We are fighting evil temptations. We are struggling to fight every day and to remember why we are together and who we are fighting. When we are united we are stronger.

Truth be told, if I hadn't married him, he'd probably be in the same situation only he would be on his own. He wouldn't have a physical reason to overcome the temptation. He wouldn't have a cheerleader supporting him. He wouldn't have the desire I have given him.

I tell people not to marry addicts. I them it is hard. I tell them they may end up regretting it but if I could, I would not change my decision. Not for the world.

Because I married him I have someone that is dedicated to me. He loves me more than anyone ever has. He loves to serve the community. He stands up for what he believes in. He makes me breakfast in bed every morning. He makes me lunch on my lunch break. I am treated like a queen. He is not some slimy, grimy, gross man. He wears suits to a job where he could wear shorts. He works hard just because I asked him to. He loves to be around people and entertain. I married the man of my dreams. I married up in many ways.

Yes, the man I married is an addict but that is just a small portion of who he is.

Just to clarify, I am not looking for pity. I am not looking for advice. I just want that other wife out there to know that she is not alone. I want her to know that there is someone out there who is having the same thoughts as her. There is someone who is crying because of the way the addiction takes control.

I’m writing this knowing that there is hope. I know this is a war not simply a battle. I know that even when he is “clean” he will still be an addict. I know that we will have to stay united to eventually overcome. But I also know. 

We will overcome.