I've gotten lots of comments, and some direct emails with regard to my recent blog posts. I appreciate everyone's thoughts. I especially appreciate those men who have written to tell me they've struggled with pornography too. And the women who have written me about facing this situation.
On the one hand, I worry I'm over-reacting because of my childhood issues. On the other hand, I worry that because I didn't react strongly enough (my perception) to the pornography as a child, that my failure to react led to a worsening of the abuse. See the dilemma? I'm talking with T later this afternoon.
Husband had his therapy appointment yesterday. He's minimzing - I believe he thinks that because he's talked with a few guys at church and been to one session, that he's okay. Besides I've got blocks on anything, so he's good, right?
Husband is totally in denial on the hunting. Or maybe it's not denial. He has listenened to all I say. I wrote him a very non-confrontational letter. He admits the points I make. He just doesn't see the big deal. Today he asked, "isn't it better for me to make a choice, than for you to dictate rules?" I could have argued about being a dictator of rules. But I chose a different tactic. One I'd been contemplating a bit.
I told him no rules. No holds barred. He can hunt wherever and whenever he wants. All I ask is that he write it on the calendar, and if it is when I am working or have plans (per the calendar) that he make child care arrangements. I'm tired of being seen as the dictator. I can't force him to choose me or the family. Let him choose what he wants.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not going to play second fiddle or allow my family to be usurped by hunting either. But when a co-worker and I were discussing being hunting widows, she mentioned finally giving up. She said, "you know what? Things run smoother when he's not around. The kids and I have more fun. There's less tension. We can enjoy time more when we are together, and the kids and I are really close."
She has a point. I love spending time with the kids. It's his choice whether or not to be a part of this. If he wants to go off and hunt, rather than hang out with the children and I, then so be it. His loss - not mine. And if he chooses to hunt all the time, and I learn to cope as a single parent, well ........ Ultimately he is responsible for the relationship he forms with me and with the children. I can't force him to enjoy the activities the kids enjoy or to do them. He'll have to face the consequences of his choices later. All I can do is be the best wife and mother I know how.