I think it honestly just wouldn’t even be fair if my first real post (the last one was just introductory so it doesn’t count) wasn’t about my husband.
The Awkward Meeting
Payson and I met WAAAY back in Jr. High and I thought he was a straight up weird-o. We were in the same choir class and had to sit next to each other. I distinctly remember thinking that this kid was strange and decided not to really talk to him. WHAT WAS I THINKING!? At least it all worked out eventually.
In high school we both landed spots in the chamber choir although we still weren’t friends. The summer after 10th grade I decided to go on a youth ambassador trip to Europe for a month and when I came back Payson sent me a message on Facebook. We started chatting and then the messages got straight up WEIRD. Payson wrote me dweeby stories about magical Oreos mixed with fairy tales and I pretty much cried of laughter. I told you, I’m slightly strange. But for some reason Pays totally digs it.
High school went on and we became BEST friends. Like the kind of friends where he could show up unannounced and just start eating food from my family’s pantry. The kind of friends where Payson took me on a long road trip through the canyon just so I could see my dad get a silly Woodbadge camping award. The kind of friends… you get the point.
We never dated in High School somehow, though everyone thought we would. College came and we both decided to attend BYU in Provo, Utah. First Payson left to serve a mission for our church in Germany, then I followed a few months later and went to St. Louis.
My Gutsy Move
I got home about two months before Payson and started thinking “Now, what if I date him? He is my best friend…”
Ladies, this is a DANGEROUS game. In one foul move you could either destroy a friendship or enter into the BEST relationship of your life! Luckily what happened to me was the latter.
The day Payson got home from his church mission I asked him on a date! I KNOW! IT JUST CAME OUT! I am honestly never that brave. When the weekend rolled around I was out-of-my-mind nervous. He was my best friend, why should I be so scared right!?
The day was only semi-awkward as we got to know each other again. After all, we’d been apart for 2 and 1/2 years! We both had changed and matured a lot, yet we still fit together like a puzzle. Well, long story short he ended up KISSING ME (I know, I was FREAKING out)! I made him decide right then and there if he liked me, luckily he did, and a relationship began.
From the moment Payson and I started dating he was straight-up honest with me. Honesty is like my #1 rule of relationships so that went a long way. It made the giant bomb he dropped on me a lot easier. This (the Italicized text is Payson writing) is what he told me.
I struggle with sexual addiction.
That’s a big sentence to stare at now and realize that’s a major factor defining who I am. I am an addict to pornography and masterbation. It makes me feel dirty, the scum of the earth even just typing it. I’ve spent a better part of my life trying to hide it. I wanted to be that good boy. I put on the façade of being a good student, a regular church-goer, responsible type, but underneath was a self-loathing hypocrite. I hated that disgusting part of me for a long time until I heard these words:
“I’m thankful for my trials.”
And that’s where we were at. Sexual addiction is something powerful, sometimes beyond my comprehension. But the fact that Payson was willing to be so honest with me, and EVERYONE who needs wants to talk about it is incredibly inspiring. It’s something that he battles every day, and recently he’s been winning.
A Bit Of Advice-From One Addict to Another
We all have problems. It could be something as small as biting our fingernails too much (guilty), or not being able to open a bag of chips without consequently finishing said bag (also guilty). It could be something as big as a rampant drug addiction. You could be the pope, you could be a convicted felon, it doesn’t matter, nobody is perfect. But it takes someone awesome to just accept that and move on, realizing that it’s these imperfections that often make us the most beautiful.
I hope there’s people out there that might realize from this that there’s no shame in having a problem. EVERYONE HAS A PROBLEM. Love yourself, love others. See the good that’s come of it, I guarantee it’s there.
Talk about an inspirational man! I’ll be honest, dealing with Payson’s sex addiction was incredibly difficult for our relationship. But because we were both able to separate the problem from his individual identity, we made it through. We’ve held hands through countless addiction recovery meetings together, and experienced a roller coaster of emotions.
To anyone currently experiencing the same thing, we commend you. This is honestly super hard for everyone involved. If you need support or advice we’re here for you. PLEASE leave us a comment if you have anything at all to say. Also feel free to share our story, we want it to help as many people as possible.
Your trials don’t define who you are. You decide that yourself every morning when you wake up.