A book on sexual addiction appeared on my nightstand not long after I moved back in with Dylan. It lay there untouched for months. I didnít want to hear his excuses; didnít care why he did what he did. Or maybe I was afraid to hear them, maybe I was afraid it had been my fault, that there were things I had done, or not done that caused him to seek out other men. Then one night while I lay awake contemplating my life and my relationship with Dylan, I decided Ďwhat the fuckí, and began reading the book.
To my surprise, what it said made a lot of sense. It wasnít saying they canít help it so we all should understand and look the other way. It didnít say that their mothers didnít love them enough, or their fathers were distant. It didnít say that they needed more action in the bedroom or that if only someone would love them enough this wouldnít have happened. It talked about the choices we all make and how for some, the right choice is easier to make then it is for others, but that we are all accountable for those choices. It stated that sexual addicts made bad decisions, but not unlike drug addicts, they had the power to make the right decisions.
I stayed up most of the night reading and by the time I finished the book I not only had a better understanding of Dylan but also of myself. It was such a relief for me; I didnít realize just how much I blamed myself for what had happened , until that blame was removed. Dylan was who he was, and there wasnít anything I could have done to change what had happened.
The next morning at breakfast I asked Dylan, ďWhen is the next meeting for that group youíve been trying to get me attend?Ē I knew this would make him happy, but that wasnít why I was doing it. I knew that if I was going to stay with this man, I needed people to support my decision. Lord knows my sister thought I was nuts for going back.
He looked up from his bowl of oatmeal in surprise. ďTomorrow, I think. Will you go?Ē
ďYeah, Iíll give it a try.Ē
ďIíll drive you,Ē he said with a grin.
These people were, are, great. I donít know how I would have survived without them. They have helped me understand Dylan, and understand myself. They have helped me channel my anger, my pain; and have been there for me when I needed a shoulder. They have taught me how not to enable Dylan, they have taught me that it is not weak for me to stay, that it is okay to love him in spite of his flaws. They donít judge me, they know where Iíve been, most of them have been there too. I canít say enough about this group, they are my lifeline.
I moved back into the master bedroom not long after I started attending the support meetings. There was no big fan fair or proclamation of love and forgiveness. One night I lay in bed and realized I didnít want to be in the spare room anymore. I was doing it to rebuke Dylan and I was done punishing him. I was through with that phase of our relationship and I knew that I wanted to share his bed. So I got up and crept down the hall to his bedroom.
He was asleep when I slipped under the covers, but I felt him sigh as I curled up next to him. It felt good to lie with him in my arms again; I was asleep in minutes. The next day I moved my clothes back in to our closet. Dylan never said anything, never asked why. I guess he knew my forgiveness would have to come in stages.
The first time Dylan was hospitalized was a real eye opener for me. It ended up being nothing too serious. He had been running a fever and when it spiked and we couldnít bring it back down, I drove him to the emergency room. They kept him over night, pumping him full of antibiotics. They sent him home the next day, but it suddenly seemed so much more real to me. This was really happening. Dylanís days were numbered and I could either waste time being angry and hurt or I could enjoy what we had while we had it. I decided to quit wasting time; I just didnít know how little time we had left.