Thank you so much for sharing your poems and writing with me. Although it’s all really tough to swallow, realizing that I’m the cause of all the pain, anger, sadness, fear, and heart-break, I’m grateful you’ve written it all out so I can actually review it and remember the mess I’ve made. I also hope, through the writing, that all the pain and hurt will lessen for you.
I love you. I really, really love you.
As I try to think clearly about what has happened, I honestly see two completely different Nate’s, and it’s hard to even re-imagine the path the other Nate has been on or what he’s (I’ve) done to you and our little family.
I’m so, so sorry for the terrible choices I’ve made, first to even entertain the idea of looking at pornography; then to dabble in the viewing inappropriate material online, next to spend hours looking at filth, and ultimately to initiate an online relationship that ended in an online affair.
Just writing that last paragraph out makes me sick. Was that really me? Did I really do that? What was I thinking? WHY wasn’t I thinking? Why was I being so selfish and self-centered? How could I do that to the people I love most in my life? How did I even get to that point in my life?
Although I don’t know if I have all the answers to those questions, I feel as I’m working on recovery, some of the answers are coming into view.
Again, I’m so sorry for the pain and heart-break I’ve caused you and our kids.
It’s like night and day how I feel today compared to a year ago. A year ago at this time I was in a terrible place. All the anger, all the resentment, all the stonewalling, all the criticizing – all of this was due to the fact that I honestly hated myself. Not you, not the kids – MYSELF. As we’ve talked about before, I looked for so many ways to share those hateful feelings with you and with the kids, to pass the buck, but deep down the hatred was all on me. I’m sorry you took the brunt of all my terribleness.
I’ve thought about your email and poems and request all day today.
I’ve thought a lot about how I can share with you the pain I feel, knowing that I nearly ended the most important and endearing relationship of my life.
I’ve thought a lot about how I can show you the empathy I feel, more and more each day, as the Spirit slowly comes back and helps me see, and feel, and understand the gravity of all the terrible choices I’ve made that have caused so much pain and sadness to you.
I’ve thought a lot about how I can best help you feel that I DO love you, I DO value you, I DO want to be with you and only you; I DO feel pain, I DO feel sadness, I DO feel remorse, and I DO hate my (bad Nate) self for what I’ve done for so long to you and to our family.
What I’d like to share first are a few excerpts of journal entries that I haven’t shared with you before. Hopefully these will give you better insight into what I’ve been thinking and feeling over the last few months.
There are a lot of painful feelings. She is so hurt and I feel that. I truly feel awful for the things I’ve put her through. I really want to make up for all my mistakes, and I’m trying every day to submit and look for ways I can help her and serve her and earn back her trust in some ways.
I want to be free from my addictions.
I want to be free from the pain I’ve caused myself, my wife, and my family.
I want to be free from the temptations of the adversary that do so easily beset me.
I want to be free of the weight of trying to handle things and deal with things on my own. (white-knuckling)
I want to be free of impure thoughts.
I want to be free from losing my patience with Caleb and my other kids.
I want to lose myself in service to others and completely turn myself over to God and His Son.
I’m grateful for these desires and I feel they are sincere.
I feel so sick.
I feel so much regret and remorse.
I want to make things right. I don’t know if I even can. I know I can’t on my own.
So, that’s how I’m feeling right now.
I honestly don’t know what to do and feel so lost and unforgivable.
I’m in no place to question too much or argue. Where I feel I need to be right now is just listening and trying to understand where she’s coming from, how she’s feeling, and look for things I can do to help lighten her burdens and pain.
Listening to songs on the radio doesn’t help much: most of the songs are either about sex and love and immorality, or are sung by Katy Perry, who reminds Becky of the bad choices I’ve made.
I honestly don’t know what I was thinking last year at this time.
I love Becky.
I love my kids.
I don’t want to fall victim to temptation of the “appetites of the flesh”.
I want to nourish my Spirit and submit, submit, submit.
I’m grateful for this desire.
Yesterday seemed to be a really good day. We had a good talk the night before, we had a good talk yesterday morning, and during the day things seemed to go pretty well.
This morning, I got up at 7:00 to play tennis with Adam.
I came back at 8:00 to find Becky in the office in tears and typing. Apparently she was reporting to her sponsor.
I asked if she was ok and got “I’m fine…” with no eye contact.
She went on a run and didn’t want me to go with her or talk to her.
It’s times like this that I really need to ask: “What would you have me do Heavenly Father?’
One of the things I feel he would have me do is to BE PATIENT and UNDERSTANDING. I think he’d also want me to write out my feelings and possibly work a step.
I feel like death.
I feel sorrow.
Why did I ever do what I did?
Why did I let things get to where they got?
What was I thinking?
Why wasn’t I thinking?
This is all I can say.
Things have been tough still with Beck and I.
She’s quite depressed and sad, mad, and fearful that I will repeat my mistakes.
I am trying to understand and empathize; I’m trying to be patient and delicate with her feelings.
The mistakes I made were so heart-breaking to her – I’m trying to understand her pain.
At this point in recovery, I’m ready and willing to do whatever I can to help relieve the pain and heartache I’ve caused her.
At this point in recovery, I’m willing to bury all my weapons of war.
I feel awful.
I feel sad.
I feel lonely.
I feel the need for the Atonement.
I’m trying to submit my will to God’s every day, every moment…
I’m considering getting a sponsor again who can help me continue working the steps.
I want to be 100% accountable for all my thoughts and actions.
This is where I’m at today.
I know these emails may not manifest completely what I’ve felt or what I feel, I know they may not be perfect or show my deepest feelings. And I know they can’t come close to healing the pain I’ve caused, but I’ve realized that the more I feel the Spirit, the more I am able to truly empathize and understand the terrible consequences of my actions and the effect they have had and will continue to have on you.
I’m sincerely sorry for this and hope you will forgive me.
I also wanted to re-share the email I sent you the other day:
Thank you so much for letting me know where you are at.
As I read through your journal entry, I found one scripture that I thought was fitting:
“But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not. For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me” (1 Nephi 21:14–16).
I know Heavenly Father hasn’t forgotten you and isn’t disappointed in you at all. I can only imagine how disappointed He is in me and the choices I’ve made.
Although I know it’s hard to believe, I don’t feel my addictions have anything to do with you not being enough; instead I feel they have to do with me not being willing to abstain from carnal tendencies and appetites – weaknesses that I thought were buried long before we got married but that, with the stresses of life and a let down of my guard, have seemed to come back.
With this awareness, however, I’m more committed than I’ve ever been to never let down my guard, to never get casual, and to never let any excuses get in my way of full recovery from my addictions.
I’m so sorry you have been part of this terrible trial Becky.
I’m so sorry I’ve put you through this mess of my life.
I know some things will be hard to fix, but with Heavenly Father all things are possible.
I also know that God hasn’t forgotten either of us, and He wants us to be happy. I feel as I submit my will to Him and as you do the same, we have the potential to be even happier than we’ve ever been because we will have learned how to mutually work together while both focusing on Him first.
I keep hearing a song on the radio that reminds me of how I feel right now. It goes like this:
“Oh, I love you more today than yesterday
But not as much as tomorrow
I love you more today than yesterday
But, darling, not as much as tomorrow”
This is really how I feel. Every day is better than the past day. I want to make you happier than you’ve ever been.
I have hope that my recovery will continue, at least for today, because I have chosen to submit my will to Him.
I love you.
I love our kids.
I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love the Savior.
I want to be my best self and never get close to the darkness I’ve been in ever again.
I look forward to seeing you soon.
Thanks again for sharing your feelings. Talk soon.
The Two Different Nates
I wrote down a lot of thoughts about the two different Nate’s I’ve come to know – the spiritually minded Nate and the carnally minded Nate.
Here are some of my thoughts on that topic. Hopefully these thoughts will help you understand how I feel, and have felt, about this entire nightmare of choices I’ve made:
The Carnally Minded Nate
This is definitely the state I’ve been in before, during and even after a relapse or addictive action.
This is the angry Nate.
This is the defensive Nate.
This is the thoughtless Nate.
This is the Nate that mostly thinks of himself or how what others do affects him.
This is the Nate that fails to connect with God.
This is the Nate that procrastinates doing spiritual things because he’s too busy.
This is the Nate that has a lot of expectations, all of which are unrealistic and selfish.
This is the Nate that gets easily irritated by little things.
This is the Nate that shows up late to important events.
This is the Nate that rarely has much to say about anything regarding our relationship.
This is the Nate that stays up too late at night.
This is the Nate that sulks around if he doesn’t get sex.
This is the Nate that keeps track of when we had sex last.
This is the Nate that hasn’t read his scriptures or said personal prayers for a long time and doesn’t really have any desire to either.
This is the Nate that gets really mad at Caleb for stupid things.
This is the Nate that wastes valuable work time on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
This is the Nate that is really stressed out about work all the time, or at least that is one of the excuses he may use.
This is the Nate that broke Becky’s heart.
This is the Nate that ruined the life of his sweetheart.
This is the Nate that always looked to blame someone else for his mistakes.
This is the Nate I never want to be again.
This is the Nate I asked God to help me never be again.
The Spiritually Minded Nate
I feel this is the Nate I’m working on now in my life, and this is the Nate I want to strive to be “one day at a time”.
This is the Nate that wakes up and submits his will to God through personal prayer.
This is the Nate that it is excited about reading his scriptures.
This is the Nate that is saying a personal prayer quite often throughout the day for different reasons.
This is the Nate that likes to listen.
This is the Nate that doesn’t overreact.
This is the Nate that is thinking of others often, especially his wife and how he can help her.
This is the Nate that wants to talk about our relationship.
This is the Nate that looks forward to playing with the kids and making their day.
This is the Nate that likes going to 12 step meetings to feel the Spirit.
This is the Nate that is excited to clean up the house before you get home, just to see you smile and for no other hidden reason.
This is the Nate that likes to go to bed early so I can talk to you about your day and help you get the rest you need.
This is the Nate that is so worried when he hasn’t heard from you after your BYU class.
This is the Nate that loves to make Becky smile.
This is the Nate that likes to write Becky his poetic prose. 🙂
This is the Nate that loves to ask Becky questions.
This is the Nate that loves going on walks with Becky just to chat.
This is the Nate that can’t wait to hear about Becky’s day.
This is the Nate that you were friends with initially, that you fought liking for about a year, that you ultimately fell in love with, and that married you on July 25th,
2004 (I mean 2002) 🙂
This is the Nate that misses everything about you so much right now.
This is the Nate that is so in love with Becky.
This is the Nate I want God to help me be TODAY!
I love you Becky.
I love you so much.
You are my everything. You are my very best friend.
There isn’t anyone in the entire world I’d rather be with than you.
I’m so sorry for what I’ve done.
I’m so sorry I’ve caused all the heart-ache and pain and anger and fear and loss of trust.
I will continue to submit my will to God and hope that, through my willingness and your willingness to continue in recovery, that one day we can have the kind of marriage we’ve never dreamed of.
I love you.