Linz and I are doing an 8 part series of posts describing how pornography has affected me, her, and our marriage and how we have found success and healing. Our marriage is now better than it ever has been before.
Each post will have a:
We met volunteering for a non-profit in Thailand in 2005. See this picture? It actually was snapped the day we met! We enjoyed being around eachother from the beginning, even in a 3rd world country doing manual labor all day every day. Danny had cheesy jokes and Lindsay had worms in her legs. It was a good sign that we could do anything together and love each other all the way through. We haven’t stopped wanting to be together since. We got married 10 months later with plans to finish school, start our careers, have kids, and be the best people and members of the church we could be. We had high expectations of what life would be like for us if we checked all the right boxes. We were ready to make it happen and to do it together.
The future was bright. I married the girl of my dreams, was at BYU, decided on a great career, was headed in the “right direction.” I thought making Lindsay happy was my new purpose in life.
I had experimented with pornography as a teen and a bit after my mission. I told Lindsay about this before we got married, slightly minimized. But now I was married and sexually active so that wouldn’t be a problem anymore.
I honestly believed that. I thought it was for sure all behind me, only slipping one time the first 3 years of our marriage. I told Linz when it happened and she was really upset. I started dental school and Linz was working long hours at her new accounting job. I started viewing porn again. At times, I felt like I couldn’t control myself. I hated myself for it. A terrible, lonely, shame-racked battle.
Danny was an incredible doting husband. He ‘slipped’ with pornography once our first year of marriage and it crushed me. . It affected my day-to-day thoughts and actions for a good year. I was hurt, he could tell. . We set up a ‘code’ way for a check in to see how he was doing with porn. . He always told me he was good. With time my pain/anguish/fight/flight mode went away because I believed him.
We continued to set big goals, work towards them, and reach them. Technical undergraduate degree, check. Triathlon, check. Graduate degree while working, check. We were nailing it.
Danny decided on dental school at SC. I chose to work for a big-4 accounting firm in downtown LA. We both assumed we’d be the same ‘busy” during this next phase.” While I was proving myself with billable hours, he was not as busy as he thought he’d be and was alone. A lot.
This continued until I had my first child. I stopped working. Mom- life was amazing. Danny was stressed and overwhelmed with school. That was all he told me. There were times where he seemed completely overwhelmed and I felt helpless. I did everything I could think of to try and help but it didn’t seem to change anything. I remember a few calls with his mom where I asked her to pray for him because I couldn’t figure out how to help!
Danny finished dental school and we moved to Oregon. He thought things would be better once he started working—so I did too! We had our second child. We moved back to Utah. Bought a house, had another baby. Danny was still going downhill. I was so grateful for all of his sacrifices he was making for our family. I had no idea what I didn’t know about his mental health. How could I when he wouldn’t even allow himself to know?