Thursday, June 30, 2016

Nora Breaks Her Silence (Photo Story)

I decided to move forward with the stories focusing on Lena’s friends and family. The missing character(s) will just have to be omitted from photo stories for now.

Today, Lena and Eleanor (Nora) have come to Monica’s house for a visit. The older kids are playing in the fenced yard while the moms chat. There’s a sliding glass door that provides a good view of the outdoor play area. As a reminder, Lena is married to Jamal, and he is associate pastor at the local church. Monica and her husband own and operate a child care center together. Nora teaches first grade, and her husband, Kirk, is an IT consultant. Lena, Monica, and Nora met in college and have been friends ever since.

I’d offer you some wine, but we don’t have any at the moment. We cleared it all out once Adam and I decided to start trying for another baby. I have some sodas in the fridge. (Monica)

It’s okay. I’m still nursing Brittany, and it’s such a pain when I have to pump and dump. (Eleanor)

Girl, you know alcohol just makes me sleepy. I need to drink more water anyway, so I’ll take a glass of ice water if you don’t mind. (Lena)
Me, too. (Eleanor)

Coming right up. And I’ll get us some chips to snack on, too. (Monica)

So, you’re really ready to have another baby? Raymond’s what…three, and Nicole just turned one, right? (Eleanor)
Yeah. I figure if it doesn’t happen right away, then they’ll be at least two years apart. Girls are supposed to be easier to potty train, so if I’m lucky I can get Nicole out of diapers just before or just after the baby comes.  And this is going to be our last baby. (Monica)

Sounds like a good plan if the timing works out. But don’t be surprised if it happens sooner than you think. When I got pregnant with Zahara, I told JJ I wanted a baby girl, and I needed to be pregnant by the end of the month. I’ll be darned if it didn’t happen. (Lena)

I guess he works well under pressure! (laughs) We weren’t really trying with Raymond, but we weren’t trying not to either. It took almost a year to get pregnant with Nicole, though. (Monica)

I know what you mean. It seemed to take forever to get pregnant with Brittany. Kirk loved it in the beginning, but once I started scheduling everything around the ovulation calendar, I think it felt more like a job to him than anything else. (Eleanor)

Did you get pregnant with Faith just as easily? (Eleanor)
Faith was the surprise result of a weekend getaway JJ planned for us. I had stopped taking birth control after Zahara was born, because JJ promised to get a vasectomy. Since he kept postponing the procedure, I insisted we use condoms. At the hotel suite, Casanova put his only condom on wrong, and then had to throw it out. And the rest is history… (Lena)
They all laugh.

So, are y’all having any more? (Monica)
Girl, no. He finally got his vasectomy last year. (Lena)

What about you, Nora? I know Brittany is only six months old, but are y’all planning to have any more kids? (Monica)
Nora doesn’t answer, but her eyes fill up with tears.

Oh my goodness, what did I say? (Monica)
Nothing. I’m sorry for getting all weepy. It’s just that…It’s just that I don’t see how we can have more babies when…when we barely make love anymore. (Eleanor)

Oh, honey, don’t worry. It takes some couples longer than others to get back into a groove after having a baby. That’s not unusual. (Lena)

No, it’s not that. (Eleanor)
What, then? You know you can talk to us. (Monica)

We stopped making love when I was five months pregnant, because my doctor said it was too risky in my condition. That’s when it started, or maybe it was soon after that. Heck, for all I know it started long before that and the lack of intimacy just made it okay in his mind. I started seeing these websites in the search history, you see. (Eleanor)

Oh, no (Monica, whispering)
Then after Brittany was born and I got the go ahead at my postpartum checkup, I found myself hesitating. At first I thought I was just tired or maybe nervous that it would be uncomfortable, but I finally had to admit to myself that I didn’t feel like I turned him on anymore. I can’t compete with those women on those websites. I don’t look like them, especially now that I’ve had a baby. (Eleanor)

Honey, you don’t have to compete with those women. Almost nothing about them is real- from the way they look to the way they act. I’m sure Kirk is happy with you the way you are. Have you told him how you feel? (Lena)

I’ve tried talking to him a few times, but I just end up in tears. He apologizes for hurting me and promises to stop visiting the websites, but he doesn’t. And now, we’re caught in a vicious cycle. I resent him for turning to porn. The more he does it, the more I withdraw and the more I withdraw, the more he turns to those filthy websites. (Eleanor, beginning to cry again)
What a jerk. (Monica)

Jamal could counsel y’all- individually and then the two of you together if you wanted. Do you think Kirk would be willing to talk about it? (Lena)
Pfft…sit down with one of our pastors and discuss his addiction to pornography? I seriously doubt it. If he knew I’d mentioned it to you two, he’d probably stop speaking to me. I probably should have just kept it to myself. After all, doesn’t love cover a multitude of sins or something like that? (Eleanor)

Yeah, something like that. But what that verse means is that we should forgive small offenses, not that we should hide someone’s wrongdoing. What Kirk is doing is hurting both of you, and has the potential to hurt your daughter in the long run. You were right to speak up. (Lena)
Well, that’s a relief, because it feels good to get it off my chest. I don’t know what good it will do, though. (Eleanor)

We’re here for you. (Monica, grabbing Nora’s hand)

Just try to hang in there while I figure out what to do, okay. (Lena)

Thanks for reading!


  1. Awesome photostory Jewell!! There is nothing like girlfriend-sisterly love. I am happy that Nora was able to let it out. I had a relative who had a spouse that was addicted to porn. It can destroy a marriage. Hopefully Kirk will allow the pastor to counsel them. Great read and I thoroughly enjoyed it! By the way, Monica's home is nice!

    1. Thanks, Georgia Girl. A support system like this is so important. A college friend of mine was the inspiration for this story. Her husband developed a porn addiction after the birth of their first child. She wasn't sure their marriage would survive it, but I'm happy to say it did.

  2. Very interesting story, Jewell. This kind of thing goes on more that people think it does. I hope JJ and Nora both get some counselling. Porn can lead to other types of infidelities. Look what happened with Josh Duggar! It is good that Nora has the support of her friends. She will need help to get through this.

    1. Yes, this sort of thing has become more and more common. That's why I decided to write about it. A good friend of mine struggled through the pain of having a spouse with an addiction to pornography. A support system was/is key. Thankfully, her husband got help before it led to other infidelities.

  3. Poor Nora. I hope she and Kirk can work it out. You have to wonder if he's only looking at women. I would think looking and not getting it elsewhere would push him to want to do something with his wife.

    1. For now it seems that all he's doing is "self-serving" off of what he sees when he looks at the websites. The trouble is that can lead to more risky behavior if it doesn't stop. Like any other type of addict, Kirk can't control his urges. He is dependent on pornography in the same way a crackhead is dependent on cocaine. Kirk and Nora can get through this, but only if he's willing to seek help.

  4. Funny, while reading this in my head it was in hush calming tones. Very nice to have the support of her sisters on everything from family planning to marital concerns. VERY NICE! Cute babies too!

    1. Thanks, grandmommy. It's so nice to see a comment from you. You've been missed. I agree that it's nice to see sisters supporting one another. And those babies are too stinkin' cute!

  5. Wow, I have no clue what I would do in this situation. My first reaction would be, "Dump that fool!" Then next I would think, "I cant take care of this baby by myself!" Then I would probably curse a lot and stew and stare at him when he wasn't looking. Dang, what a tough position to be in.

    1. It's definitely a tough position to be in. Every kind of addiction affects the addict's loved ones, but this one more than any other feels like an attack on the innocent spouse. When my friend went through this, I remember wanting to tell her husband what a selfish bastard I thought he was to put her through so much emotional pain so he could jack off to sleazy pictures and whatnot. All she could do was cycle back and forth between angry and depressed. I imagine I would do a lot of cursing and then I'd put his a$$ on blast (to the pastor) if it were me. I wouldn't know what else to do.

  6. Such a sticky situation. No pun intended. Is he really addicted? Just because a person watches porn doesn't mean they are addicted. I'm not sure she's qualified to know the difference. It's not like she says she has caught him on many occasions. She's only seen it in the search history. Now if he's addicted, then that's a problem. If he's not addicted but he's self serving because he's not getting any from his wife, then I don't see the problem. Why do women assume the women in the videos are in better shape than they are? I would venture to say, majority of them are not. Men aren't looking at those women thinking I would love to be with her based on what she looks like.

    Research says that the average man thinks about sex minimum 34 times every day! I can't even imagine. That's over 4000 times during the 4 months she isn't having sex with him. Was she doing other things to satisfy her husband during that time? If not, stop being so selfish and let the man at least have a little porn now and again. We women need to understand men are not built like us. Some of us can go years without even thinking about having sex. We expect our men should be able to do the same thing. That is not a reasonable request. Nora should have an adult conversation with her husband about the issue, without the tears and without her self-pity. If she is able to understand why he is doing what he is doing, they can address the issue as a couple. Again, if he's addicted. Different problem and he will need to seek help.

    1. Good point that a distinction should be made between enjoying porn and an addiction to porn. I think what supports Nora's claim of addiction here is the fact that Kirk feels the need to do this in secret and he lies about it. When confronted (which she said she's done more than once) he says he'll stop but then can't or won't. I'd also point out that she didn't say they *never* have sex anymore. She made it sound infrequent. Men with porn addictions tend to spend so much time pleasuring themselves that they have little energy or interest in being intimate with a partner. She wasn't overly graphic about what went on in their bedroom during those months they weren't having sex, so I can only hope they found other mutually satisfying ways to meet their needs for intimacy. And while I understand your stance on letting him enjoy a bit of porn, there's something else to consider. Nora referred to Jamal as one of their pastors, so I can assume they are at least semi-regular church goers. I don't know of too many church communities that would view his behavior (lusting after other women) as acceptable for a married man. Many churches are quick to point out that the act of lust for anyone other than one's spouse is tantamount to adultery.

  7. Hmmm, interesting issue to deal with. If he enjoy to much she needs to inquiry about it but if he addicted that a serious issue in itself. Good thing she decided to open up with the ladies she trust.

    1. Yep, it was definitely a good idea to open up to some trusted friends. She'll need someone to give her support and encouragement as she does the same for her husband while he works through his addiction.