Thursday, December 17, 2009

Amazing Strength

Has anyone ever tried to hang on to a rope for as long as you can until you fall? I have and I didn't last long. The fact that somehow my wife has been able to hang on to threads for as long as she has is truely amazing. I feel lucky and blessed to still have her in my life. I love you babe and hope you can keep hanging in there while I contiue in recovery!
Hang in there this week, you can do it while i am away!
ps i am making good choices!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Covenant Eyes



(wife posting)
Recently a man commented on our blog, when I clicked on his name it took me to the Covenant Eyes website. WOW, there is some pretty interesting stuff on there. It is Christian based which I LOVE. I highly recommend visiting their site, www.covenanteyes.com. Through their site they offer an Internet filtration system and also something they refer to as accountability software. The filter blocks objectionable websites from your computer and the accountability software sends Internet usage reports to the people you select. These reports are detailed, showing types of sites, times of the day, and red flagging questionable sites, also if someone tries to disable the software you will be notified immediately. I am so thrilled to find out this type of service/technology is out there! CAN I GET A HALLELUJAH!!! It's about time, right? And I love the name "Accountability Software", because it is not our jobs as the spouse to hold them accountable, it is the addicts, and if they truly want help, they need to hold THEMSELVES accountable!

We have used Internet blocks in the past that come standard on your computer, but at one point I was having to type in a code to go to ANY website. This became REALLY annoying and was a reminder several times a day of everything we have been through. I am done holding my husband accountable (or at least trying to anyway), he has to now hold him self accountable. I can't wait to download this software and I am very happy to see that it is very affordable, I believe it is around $8 per month. TOTALLY worth it in my opinion.

We also have a new 24 hour policy in our home. If my husband slips up in ANY way with ANY of his addictions he has 24 hours to confess to me. If he does slip up again there will be serious repercussions (i.e. moving out of our home for a period of time while I decide what is best for me and our children). If he slips up again and does not come to me within the 24 hour boundary we have agreed upon then I will very seriously have to look into divorce. I AM SO DONE WITH THIS. I have given my husband chance after chance after chance. I LOVE HIM, I WANT OUR FAMILY TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER, but I WILL NOT be walked on and taken advantage of my entire life. I am giving him ANOTHER chance, I know that this is what the Lord wants me to do, but I can feel deep in my soul that this is all I have, I can't do this forever. My husband has to choose, his family and the Lord, or his addictions. Right now he is doing so well and I am so happy with the changes he is making, but it is a life long process. I know some people might not agree with the way I am choosing to handle this, but everyone is different, every one's rope is a different length, mine WAS long, and I am at the very end of it hanging on by a few threads. This doesn't mean I don't hope and pray every single day for a happy ending, but I am also trying to be logical and realize that my husband has not overcome his addictions in the past, there is a chance he wont now either!

I have mentioned in the past that my husband has never come forward on his own with any of his addictions. The reason that I am aware of his addictions is because I have caught him time and time again. Him not coming to me and me having to find things out on my own has been one of the hardest parts of this journey. I have BEGGED and PLEADED WITH HIM TO JUST COME TO ME! How can you help someone who won't help them self? After we first started attending our 12 step groups (Sexaholics Anonymous SA for my husband, and S-anon for me) my husband came forward (for the first time EVER) and told me that he had stopped in at a convenient store while on a business trip (a few weeks before attending this first meeting) and deliberately looked at a Maxium magazine for the inappropriate pictures. Normally when finding out my husband had slipped up I would have been in a fit of anger, hurt, frustration, etc... but this time I wasn't, yes I was hurt (DEEPLY!!!), but I also felt peace, it felt like a step in the right direction. Some may think of looking at a Maxium magazine as very minor, I'm glad my husband was aware of how not "minor" that was to do that, and I am proud of him for being honest with me. All it takes is one seemingly "little" slip up, one "little" lie or deceit to spiral right back into active addiction.

My heart is telling me how much I love my husband and want to keep our family together, my mind is telling me to not forget the patterns that have lead us down this awful road, my gut is telling me to be cautious, and my God is telling me that if I will be but a little more patient, loving, and Christlike that there is hope and he has big plans for us! I have said it before and I will say it again- if my husband will completely put his life in the Lords hands, surrender everything he has, and every single day fight to keep these addictions and evil out of our life, then I WILL BE HERE HOLDING HIS HAND EVERY STEP OF THE WAY! Our family is worth fitting for, we have amazing, beautiful, wonderful, sweet little children who need us to be happy, healthy, good parents!!! And aside from my husbands addictions we have a good marriage, we get along really well(we rarely fight over anything non-addiction related), we enjoy being together, we love each other, we are so compatible in so many ways and those are the things that keep me hanging on for dear life to my rope!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

good days and BAD DAYS

(Wife posting)

Lately I have had so many more good days then bad, but the other day I had a really bad day. I don't want to feel sorry for myself, but at times it is really easy to slip into that "poor me" state of mind. I love my husband, I am proud of the positive changes he is making in his life, and we are working on making our future brighter, BUT there is still pain, heartache, resentment, distrust, anger, etc... These feelings are so real and so powerful. I do not want them to overcome me again, but there are times that I just don't want to deal with all of this. I want a husband who is not a pornography addict, who doesn't lie, who hasn't had a gambling problem. There is my husband and there is the addict, it is like he has a split personality. If you were to meet him in person you would think he was a sharp, good looking, smart, from outward appearances and perceptions he would seem like he has his life together. HECK, if you were to meet me in person you would think that I have my life together. I love my husband, I hate the addict. Does that make any since?

Recovery is a process. My husband isn't going to suddenly be better, he has to take it day by day. I am having to remind myself lately that this is a process for me too and I have to take it day by day as well. I would love any suggestions from others who have been through this or a similar trial on how they dealt with it. What worked for them and what didn't?

Monday, December 7, 2009

I Love You!

(wife posting)

(picture from our wedding day)


Babe, just wanted to say "I LOVE YOU". Things have been so great lately and I am so happy with the progress WE are making. I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND FOREVER!!!

WOW!

(wife posting)
A man recently commented on our blog, he too has a blog about sexual addiction recovery, www.feedtherightwolf.org. As I read through some of his posts it was interesting to see sexual addiction through the addicts eyes, he has many wonderful tools that he has used to help him with controlling his addictions and I am impressed with the actions he is taking DAILY in his life to recover. He had an interesting post that had this statistic from google trends.

Take a look for your self, aren't those numbers horrifying!!!
(Key words searched over the past 6 years)


Sexual addiction (or any addiction) must be taken SO SERIOUSLY!!! Pornography is a DRUG, just like cocaine is a drug, if we or someone we loved was addicted to cocaine would we not take it witth the utmost seriousness?

A picture worth a THOUSAND words...

(Wife Posting)

Over Thanks Giving I snapped a picture of my husband and I. As I was looking back through the pictures on our camera, this picture of us took my breath away. There was a light in my husbands eyes (and mine for that matter) that I have not seen in a very long time. I have not a single doubt that this change in my husband is a direct result of the humility he is showing and the effort he is making to change. Just a few short months ago (if you read back further you will know what I am talking about)I basically thought that just about all hope was lost, I didn't think that my husband would ever change, I didn't think that I could ever get better. I am so grateful for whatever it was that flipped the switch on for both my husband and I. I feel like going to our 12-step groups and getting to hear DAN GRAY from the Lifestar addiction recovery program speak in person has played a HUGE roll in our recovery. Every time I look at this photograph my eyes swell with tears of gratitude for the changes that are happening in our life, for the healing that only FAITH in the Savior can bring, for the blessing of having the knowledge of the Gospel, and for the opportunity we are being given to repent and start over.

The other night I was attending my 12-step group and a woman mentioned her husbands eyes changing. Unfortunately she had not experienced what I recently have, instead she experienced the opposite. She said that she could see the "change" in her husbands eyes and that she feels like she is just standing still waiting for a train to hit her. This absolutely broke my heart, I know her pain, I know the "change" she is talking about, my entire soul aches for her, because, I KNOW!

I am trying very heard to focus on doing the things I need to do DAILY to be happy in this life, to do things that are pleasing unto the Lord, and to not spend so much time focusing on the past. The past is the past, I can not change it (although I would like to), I can only learn and grow from it. NOW is the present and I need to learn to live in the present, taking life one day at a time. I really have a difficult time not dwelling on the past or day dreaming about a better future. I can not make my future better or my children's future better if I don't DAILY be the kind of person I want to be, TODAY!

I feel like I have grown leaps and bounds in the past few months. Things have been so hard in so many different ways but I am incredibly grateful for the trials Heavenly Father has allowed me to face. I have not always been grateful for my trials, for a very long time I took on the victim, "WHY ME", attitude, but now, today, I am so grateful for my trials. My trials have taught me patience, they have humbled me beyond words, they have brought me closer to the Savior and our Heavenly Father, they have strengthened my testimony, and they have helped me to work towards being the person I WANT TO BE! As I have truly placed my life in the Lords hands and realized that I cannot do this alone, that I cannot fix my husband, and that the only person I can fix is me, I have felt this unbelievable inner strength I didn't know I had. I can now see the Lords hand in EVERY aspect on my life, I am so grateful to be closer to him, and want to be worthy to live with him again someday.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Vigilance

Sometimes when as an addict I am having a good week or day, you know really feeling on top of my life and in control of my actions, I don't think about those in my life (primarily my wife) that I have hurt and disapointed and how just because I am doing well it doesn't mean that they are. So i would like to tell my wife that I love her and I am sorry if I have not been very empathetic this week.
That being said I was just looking back at this last week and already I can see the Pride before the Fall. I haven't been as good at doing the little daily things that will insure myself the best chance each day to over come my addictions. I have not been VIGILANT. That is going to be my focus this week. I am going to be vigilant or as the defintion explains ; watchfull expecially to danger. I know that when things are going well not only with life but also with addictions that we tend to let our gaurd down and get complacent

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

*A MUST READ*

(wife posting)

We have heard so many great things about this book, we are going to buy it and read it together, hope you all will too!!!

(If you have read this book, WE WOULD LOVE to know what you thought about it!!!)

You can find more information & purchase this book at www.salifeline.org

He Restoreth My Soul by Donald L. Hilton Jr., MD

He Restoreth My Soul by Donald L. Hilton Jr., MD
He Restoreth my Soul, is one of the most informative and helpful books written to date on the subject of sexual / pornography addiction. This is a must read by all who have been afflicted by pornography, the “plague of this generation”.

Below you will find an Excerpt from his Donald L. Hilton’s book, “He restoreth My Soul”

“Most, if not all, families will be affected by pornography. If you are a man, you must first safeguard yourself. If you are secretly involved, hopefully this work will convince you there will never be peace for you until you are healed. If you are free from addiction now, you must still guard yourself against future addiction, as all are vulnerable who are not “sober and vigilant,” as Peter warned. If you are a father, it is essential to understand what your sons will be exposed to and that he will be at serious risk for addiction at some point in his life. If you are a woman please understand that this problem is real and must be confronted head on. You also need to be aware of the profound risk your sons face.

It is important for those who have daughters to understand that although the numbers are smaller for girls, there is still a risk, both from visual pornography and primarily from chat rooms, text messaging, and verbal pornography. Also, studies are showing that the young men whom they will date and consider for marriage have virtually all been exposed and many have been or are addicted, to a lesser or greater degree. It is imperative that every young woman understands the scope and seriousness of this problem. Her awareness will help her to be discerning in dating and eventually choosing a marriage partner. Our extended family members are also at risk: sons and daughters-in-law, grandchildren and their spouses, and other loved ones.

Hopefully, bishops and ecclesiastical leaders will find this work to be helpful in understanding the difficulty of treating pornography and sexual addiction adequately from a spiritual perspective alone.

This problem is at least as serious as I have represented it to be and it will continue to escalate. Knowledge is power: we will become more empowered with each bit of knowledge we accrue in regard to pornography addiction. While we have been appropriately concerned about devastating physical diseases such as AIDS, with more understanding and emphasis we will also be able to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this other “overflowing scourge” of pornography. I sincerely hope this work will be helpful to all, both men and women, boys and girls, who struggle with addictions of any kind, including related sexual addictions and compulsions such as same sex attraction, compulsive promiscuity, and also drug addictions.”

“Technology has accelerated our fascination with pleasure. Indeed, the power of pleasure has been underestimated, and Internet pornography is changing the world in a fundamental way. Over 200 years ago the poet Robert Burns said, ”But pleasures are like poppies spread, You seize the flow’r, its bloom is shed; Or like the snow falls in the river, A moment white – then melts forever.” Yet to the person in addiction, the momentary pleasure is irresistible and all-important. The price of acting out in addiction seems paltry compared to the temporary payoff, yet the despair in between episodes of acting out increases as losses accumulate. In this work we explore the power of addiction, not just from a moral and spiritual perspective, but with the scrutiny of modern science, which now tells us that there is little difference in the physical or chemical changes in the pleasure and control centers of the brain regardless of whether the addiction is “from a chemical or an experience,” as stated in the journal Science. It is imperative that we treat pornography and sexual addiction with the respect accorded any drug addiction, for, as we shall see, that is precisely what it is.”

Sunday, November 22, 2009

inspiration

what a good week. It is amazing the difference that can take place inside oneself in a day,hour,or even in a moment. The previous few weeks had been rough for my relationship with my wife. I hadn't been making bad choices but just as importantly I hadnt been doing daily things to show that I want to recover and prove to my wife that I am serious about not falling back into old habits which always lead me back to my addictions.
So throught a serious of fights with the wife, lessons at church and a powerful fireside by Dan Gray I had an amazing change of heart. I awoke to a pupose of my being and had a overwhelming desire to take on my weakness. Like in the fireside I want to awake the warrior with-in and surrender myself to God. I always thought that meant becoming someone else but in really means becoming someone more. I want to be more. I am going to show my God and my family that I am done letting satan get his chains around me I am ready to fight. I know now what that means. It is a battle and If I am going to win it will only be with relying on the General that can never lose and has the knowledge of the battle before they even take place. How powerful is that knowledge

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Are YOU a Warrior? (or not)

(wife posting)


Today as I was doing my personal scripture study I came across this verse in the Book of Mormon...

Moroni 7:12
"Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and do that which is evil continually."

This scripture really stood out in my mind, "ALL THAT IS GOOD COMETH OF GOD, ALL THAT WHICH IS EVIL COMETH OF THE DEVIL". There is NO GRAY AREA here, you are either on the Lords side or you are not, there is absolutely no way to be on both sides. I think as human beings we walk a fine line of WANTING to be on the Lords side, but struggling with Satan tempting and enticing us continually to join forces with him. It is so important that we DAILY seek guidance from the Lord for everything in our lives, each day we need to kneel down and pray to our Father in Heaven for strength to be a WARRIOR in his army, to fight against the powers of the evil one, and to not be a casualty in this war of GOOD vs. EVIL.

This past Sunday my husband and I had the opportunity to go to a fireside and hear one of the founders of the Lifestar Sexual Addiction Recovery Program speak (this is a program that we have researched and would like to do ourselves). His talk was all about Warriors, what it means to be a Warrior in Gods army and how to become one. It was an INCREDIBLE talk and I am SO grateful that we were able to hear it. Since going to this fireside my husband and I have spoken many times this week about working hard to always be worthy of being a Warrior in God's army. Being a Warrior doesn't mean you are perfect, being a Warrior means that you have love and respect for the Lord and his commandments, it means that you admit when you are wrong and immediately seek repentance, it means that you STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN!

We need to have the faith of Nephi...
Nephi 3:7

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my Father: I will go and do the things which the Lord commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."


The speaker also said something in his talk that really struck me, he talked about knowing who is stronger, the Spirit of God or the devil. There have been so many times throughout this journey with my husband that I have thought to myself, "I GIVE up, these addictions are too strong and there is no hope for us." I was SO wrong, and I am incredibly grateful for that. These addictions are very powerful, very controlling, and evil, but the Spirit of God is stronger, more powerful, and able to overcome all things. I wish that my husband and I could have been in the place that we are getting to now years ago, we are truly BEGINNING to surrender our lives over to the Lord, it has been a beautiful, humbling, and empowering experience! The spirit that has been in our home the last few weeks has been wonderful, I am making big changes in my attitude towards this trial, I am seeking to work on my problems and to grow closer to the Lord. In return I have seen growth and progress in my husband that I didn't know was possible, he has been a different person lately and we have had a different marriage. WHY DID IT TAKE US SO LONG TO CALL UPON THE POWERS OF HEAVEN FOR HELP, WHY ARE WE SO STUBBORN TO THINK THAT WE COULD HANDLE THIS DEMON ON OUR OWN? I don't know, but I feel incredible gratitude that it is happening now. Don't get me wrong, we have prayed, we have attended our Church meetings, we have gone to the Temple, we have done these things, but now it is our HEARTS that are changing, we are working towards FULLY putting our lives in the hands of the Lord and trusting that if we follow him completely, in our actions, thoughts, and feelings, HE WILL GET US THROUGH THIS. I believe that we went through certain experiences for a reason, a 'refiners fire' in a since, and after having those experiences we can look back and see where we have been(a place I NEVER want to go back to), but we can also see the direction that we are heading if we put our trust in the Lord Almighty and join HIS ARMY!

At the fireside the speaker talked about how Satan has infiltrated our homes, automobiles, pockets, and laps through radio, television, music, media, Internet, cellular phones, laptops, etc... THE BATTLE IS RAGING STRONG, so I ask...

WHO'S SIDE ARE YOU ON? ARE YOU GOING TO BE A WARRIOR IN GOD'S ARMY OR ARE YOU GOING TO BE A CASUALTY IN THIS WAR? Satan WILL NOT WIN this war, the Spirit of God is stronger, but it takes all of us joining together to fight the fight.

P.S. As I have thought about Warriors in my own life these people have come to my mind...

Christ
Joseph Smith
Emma Smith
The Pioneers
Adam & Eve
Brigham Young
Gordon B. Hinkley
Thomas S. Monson
Nephi
Moroni
Our former Bishop and his family
My Mother
My Grandmother
My Children!!!

These are just a few that I can think of now, but I'm sure if I were to spend sometime thinking about it that my list would continue to grow and grow!!! I hope to in the future feel worthy to add myself to this list.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Past and Procrastination

THE PAST
How do u get past the past? I dont know how to undo what I've done and it doesn't seem like I can move on from the my past mistakes. I know that I can but sometimes it feels like the people my addictions have hurt want to contiually bring up the past and how much damage I have caused. It makes me feel like they dont want to move on. In reality it is the damage I have caused that makes it so hard for those I love to try and move on from the past because they r so afraid to go through all the pain and sorrow addictions cause again. One can only give another person so many chances before there is nothing left. I am getting close to that point with my wife and I am very lucky and blessed she has stood by me thus far! I have a wonderful wife whom I have hurt very badly through the past several years. While I have never cheated on her physically with another person porn is a form of mental unfaithfullness and for that I am and will be forever sorry. I love you and want you to know how much staying with me while I (hopefully and finally) learn to control and recover from my addiction means to me.

PROCRASTINATION
For me the hardest part of all this is not pretending like everything is fine. When my wife seems to be okay and I am busy and just living my life seemingly addiction free I tend to think my wife is okay and I am addiction free. Then the aftermath of my addictions rears it's ugly head in the form of either a nasty fight because I am trying to pretend everything is alright and I don't understand why my wife can't just let it go and I talk and act insenitively or I am not following through on my Daily promices to actively remember and recover from my addictions so my wife calls me on it and I get defensive and make it worse. Why won't I do the little things I need to do to show myself and my wife I will not let my addictions come back into our life again. I know one thing for sure if I dont I am going to have a relapse and It could very well end things with my wife. So how does a perpetutal procrastinator stop procrastinating? I wish I knew but I am going to try my hardest to figure it out and when I do I will let you know!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

WONDERFUL MESSAGE!

(wife posting)

One of my very best friends (who is also married to a man that is addicted to pornography) sent me this talk to read. It is from the most recent LDS General Conference, I actually did not see this particular talk while watching conference, so I was anxious to get to read it. This talk by Elder Scott is fabulous! I LOVED it, I am now going to study it, pray about it, learn from it, and apply it to MY own life.

*** I have a question for mothers of teenage boys, what have you done to keep them safe from pornography? This is a HUGE fear for me, I have a son, he is very small now, but he won't always be :) and I want to do everything possible to keep him safe from this horrible addiction. I guess I am wondering what anyone out there who may stumble upon this blog has done to keep pornography out of your homes and lives. I KNOW that we can not control another persons actions, but we as mothers, parents,and wives CAN take precautions to protect our home and families from this evil.***


To Acquire Spiritual Guidance
Elder Richard G. Scott
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles



By careful practice, through the application of correct principles, and by being sensitive to the feelings that come, you will gain spiritual guidance.

Throughout the ages, many have obtained guidance helpful to resolve challenges in their lives by following the example of respected individuals who resolved similar problems. Today, world conditions change so rapidly that such a course of action is often not available to us.

Personally, I rejoice in that reality because it creates a condition where we, of necessity, are more dependent upon the Spirit to guide us through the vicissitudes of life. Therefore, we are led to seek personal inspiration in life’s important decisions.

What can you do to enhance your capacity to be led to correct decisions in your life? What are the principles upon which spiritual communication depends? What are the potential barriers to such communication that you need to avoid?

President John Taylor wrote: “Joseph Smith, upwards of forty years ago, said to me: ‘Brother Taylor, you have received the Holy Ghost. Now follow the influence of that Spirit, and it will lead you into all truth, until by and by, it will become in you a principle of revelation.’ Then he told me never to arise in the morning without bowing before the Lord, and dedicating myself to him during that day.”1

Father in Heaven knew that you would face challenges and be required to make some decisions that would be beyond your own ability to decide correctly. In His plan of happiness, He included a provision for you to receive help with such challenges and decisions during your mortal life. That assistance will come to you through the Holy Ghost as spiritual guidance. It is a power, beyond your own capability, that a loving Heavenly Father wants you to use consistently for your peace and happiness.

I am convinced that there is no simple formula or technique that would immediately allow you to master the ability to be guided by the voice of the Spirit. Our Father expects you to learn how to obtain that divine help by exercising faith in Him and His Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Were you to receive inspired guidance just for the asking, you would become weak and ever more dependent on Them. They know that essential personal growth will come as you struggle to learn how to be led by the Spirit.

What may appear initially to be a daunting task will be much easier to manage over time as you consistently strive to recognize and follow feelings prompted by the Spirit. Your confidence in the direction you receive from the Holy Ghost will also become stronger. I witness that as you gain experience and success in being guided by the Spirit, your confidence in the impressions you feel can become more certain than your dependence on what you see or hear.

Spirituality yields two fruits. The first is inspiration to know what to do. The second is power, or the capacity to do it. These two capacities come together. That’s why Nephi could say, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.”2 He knew the spiritual laws upon which inspiration and power are based. Yes, God answers prayer and gives us spiritual direction when we live obediently and exercise the required faith in Him.

Now I share an experience that taught me a way to gain spiritual guidance. One Sunday I attended the priesthood meeting of a Spanish branch in Mexico City. I vividly recall how a humble Mexican priesthood leader struggled to communicate the truths of the gospel in his lesson material. I noted the intense desire he had to share those principles he strongly valued with his quorum members. He recognized that they were of great worth to the brethren present. In his manner, there was an evidence of a pure love of the Savior and love of those he taught.

His sincerity, purity of intent, and love permitted a spiritual strength to envelop the room. I was deeply touched. Then I began to receive personal impressions as an extension of the principles taught by that humble instructor. They were personal and related to my assignments in the area. They came in answer to my prolonged, prayerful efforts to learn.

As each impression came, I carefully wrote it down. In the process, I was given precious truths that I greatly needed in order to be a more effective servant of the Lord. The details of the communication are sacred and, like a patriarchal blessing, were for my individual benefit. I was given specific directions, instructions, and conditioned promises that have beneficially altered the course of my life.

Subsequently, I visited the Sunday School class in our ward, where a very well-educated teacher presented his lesson. That experience was in striking contrast to the one enjoyed in the priesthood meeting. It seemed to me that the instructor had purposely chosen obscure references and unusual examples to illustrate the principles of the lesson. I had the distinct impression that this instructor was using the teaching opportunity to impress the class with his vast store of knowledge. At any rate, he certainly did not seem as intent on communicating principles as had the humble priesthood leader.

In that environment, strong impressions began to flow to me again. I wrote them down. The message included specific counsel on how to become more effective as an instrument in the hands of the Lord. I received such an outpouring of impressions that were so personal that I felt it was not appropriate to record them in the midst of a Sunday School class. I sought a more private location, where I continued to write the feelings that flooded into my mind and heart as faithfully as possible. After each powerful impression was recorded, I pondered the feelings I had received to determine if I had accurately expressed them in writing. As a result, I made a few minor changes to what had been written. Then I studied their meaning and application in my own life.

Subsequently I prayed, reviewing with the Lord what I thought I had been taught by the Spirit. When a feeling of peace came, I thanked Him for the guidance given. I was then impressed to ask, “Was there yet more to be given?” I received further impressions, and the process of writing down the impressions, pondering, and praying for confirmation was repeated. Again I was prompted to ask, “Is there more I should know?” And there was. When that last, most sacred experience was concluded, I had received some of the most precious, specific, personal direction one could hope to obtain in this life. Had I not responded to the first impressions and recorded them, I would not have received the last, most precious guidance.

What I have described is not an isolated experience. It embodies several true principles regarding communication from the Lord to His children here on earth. I believe that you can leave the most precious, personal direction of the Spirit unheard because you do not respond to, record, and apply the first promptings that come to you.

Impressions of the Spirit can come in response to urgent prayer or unsolicited when needed. Sometimes the Lord reveals truth to you when you are not actively seeking it, such as when you are in danger and do not know it. However, the Lord will not force you to learn. You must exercise your agency to authorize the Spirit to teach you. As you make this a practice in your life, you will be more perceptive to the feelings that come with spiritual guidance. Then, when that guidance comes, sometimes when you least expect it, you will recognize it more easily.

The inspiring influence of the Holy Spirit can be overcome or masked by strong emotions, such as anger, hate, passion, fear, or pride. When such influences are present, it is like trying to savor the delicate flavor of a grape while eating a jalapeño pepper. Both flavors are present, but one completely overpowers the other. In like manner, strong emotions overcome the delicate promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Sin is addictive; self-degenerating; conducive to other strains of corruption; deadening to spirituality, conscience, and reason; blinding to reality; contagious; destructive to mind, body, and spirit. Sin is spiritually corrosive. Unrestrained it becomes all-consuming. It is overcome by repentance and righteousness.

I share a warning. Satan is extremely good at blocking spiritual communication by inducing individuals, through temptation, to violate the laws upon which spiritual communication is founded. With some, he is able to convince them that they are not able to receive such guidance from the Lord.

Satan has become a master at using the addictive power of pornography to limit individual capacity to be led by the Spirit. The onslaught of pornography in all of its vicious, corroding, destructive forms has caused great grief, suffering, heartache, and destroyed marriages. It is one of the most damning influences on earth. Whether it be through the printed page, movies, television, obscene lyrics, vulgarities on the telephone, or flickering personal computer screen, pornography is overpoweringly addictive and severely damaging. This potent tool of Lucifer degrades the mind and the heart and the soul of any who use it. All who are caught in its seductive, tantalizing web and remain so will become addicted to its immoral, destructive influence. For many, that addiction cannot be overcome without help. The tragic pattern is so familiar. It begins with curiosity that is fueled by its stimulation and is justified by the false premise that when done privately, it does no harm to anyone else. For those lulled by this lie, the experimentation goes deeper, with more powerful stimulations, until the trap closes and a terribly immoral, addictive habit exercises its vicious control.

Participation in pornography in any of its lurid forms is a manifestation of unbridled selfishness. How can a man, particularly a priesthood bearer, not think of the emotional and spiritual damage caused to women, especially his wife, by such abhorrent activity?

Well did inspired Nephi declare, “And [the devil] will . . . pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, . . . and thus [he] cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.”3

If you are ensnarled in pornography, make a total commitment to overcome it now. Find a quiet place; pray urgently for help and support. Be patient and obedient. Don’t give up.

Parents, be aware that the addiction of pornography can begin with youth at a very early age. Take preventative action to avoid that tragedy. Stake presidents and bishops, warn of this evil. Invite anyone you consider captured by it to come to you for help.
An individual with foundation standards and an enduring commitment to obey them is not easily led astray. Someone who is increasingly repulsed by grievous sin and who exercises self-restraint outside human influence has character. Repentance will be more efficacious for such an individual. A feeling of remorse after a mistake is a fertile soil wherein repentance can flower.

Have patience as you are perfecting your ability to be led by the Spirit. By careful practice, through the application of correct principles, and by being sensitive to the feelings that come, you will gain spiritual guidance. I bear witness that the Lord, through the Holy Ghost, can speak to your mind and heart. Sometimes the impressions are just general feelings. Sometimes the direction comes so clearly and so unmistakably that it can be written down like spiritual dictation.4

I bear solemn witness that as you pray with all the fervor of your soul with humility and gratitude, you can learn to be consistently guided by the Holy Spirit in all aspects of your life. I have confirmed the truthfulness of that principle in the crucible of my own life. I testify that you can personally learn to master the principles of being guided by the Spirit. That way, the Savior can guide you to resolve challenges of life and enjoy great peace and happiness. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


NOTES
1. John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, ed. G. Homer Durham (1943), 43–44.
2. 1 Nephi 3:7.
3. 2 Nephi 28:21.
4. See D&C 8:2.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Developing and Teaching Self-Mastery

(Wife posting)

I found this lesson today on LDS.Org while doing some research. I think this is an AMAZING lesson and will help anyone with any type of trial. I also posted earlier today some thoughts and feelings I have had over the past week, if you scroll down to the post previous to this one you can read it there.

{To my husband, I hope that you will read and study this lesson, I plan to read and study this lesson my self because I believe it will be an extremely helpful tool for me, I would love to study it together, but that will be YOUR choice, I hope that through studying this lesson that you might be able to better understand where I am coming from with "setting boundaries" and me needing to SEE effort from you.}

“Lesson 18: Developing and Teaching Self-Mastery,” Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Part B, 163

The purpose of this lesson is to help us develop greater self-mastery and to teach us how to help our children develop this strength.

Introduction
A story is told about how Arabian horses are selected and trained. Because these horses are used in important service, they must have unquestioning obedience to their masters. Early in their training they are taught to respond instantly to the master’s command. Then they are given a test to see how they behave under pressure. For a long period of time they are kept in an enclosure away from water that is available just outside the gate. After a period of time the gate is opened, and the horses run for the water. Just before they reach the water, however, the master blows a whistle. Because of their thirst, some of the horses pay no attention. But others immediately turn and go to the master. These obedient horses have learned discipline and are accepted for the most important jobs. The others are used in less important work. (Adapted from Sterling W. Sill, Leadership [1958], 1:62–63.)

The Lord has given us our agency. Thus, we are free to make choices. These choices determine our future: As we choose righteousness, we prove ourselves worthy to serve in the kingdom of God. But to choose righteousness, we, like the horses, need training, discipline, and obedience. These things help us control our appetites and passions and teach us to follow the promptings of our Master, even when we are tempted.

• Read Proverbs 16:32.

Self-Mastery Is Necessary for Eternal Progression
Self-mastery is the power within us to control our desires and actions. Such power is necessary to return to live with Heavenly Father. It requires continual effort on our part, but as we develop self-mastery, we become better prepared to make correct decisions.

Self-mastery is especially important for us as priesthood bearers. We cannot effectively counsel and serve others unless we are striving to master ourselves. As we strive for self-mastery we are an example to our children and others.

When we are baptized, we begin a new life devoted to following the Savior. But to follow Him we must overcome worldliness, weakness, and imperfection. The Savior taught, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). He also taught, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13–14).

Entering into the narrow way requires self-restraint and self-denial. It means overcoming temptations. But the Lord promises to reward us for mastering ourselves and following His commandments.

Self-Mastery Makes Us Free
Heavenly Father has given us commandments because He loves us and wants to protect us from sorrow. Following His commandments will make us free.

Developing self-mastery will help us form positive habits such as arising early, studying the scriptures daily, and fulfilling our assignments promptly. Such habits can free us from confusion. Following are other principles that bring us freedom when we obey them:

Tithing
By obeying the law of tithing, we learn to overcome selfish desires.

The Word of Wisdom
By living this law we can be free of the harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.

Chastity
Keeping our actions and thoughts within the boundaries the Lord has set frees us from sorrow and regret.

• What other gospel principles bring us freedom when we follow them? How do they free us?

Gaining Self-Mastery
• Read Alma 37:32–37. What does this scripture teach us about self-mastery? (We should feel disgust for sin and iniquity, repent, have faith in Christ, be humble, make the effort to withstand every temptation, never become weary of good works, learn wisdom, keep the commandments of God, pray, and counsel with the Lord in all our doings.)

Gaining self-mastery is a lifelong process. It requires a knowledge of ourselves and of gospel principles. It means setting goals to live those principles and relying on the Lord for strength and support as we do our best to reach those goals.

• Display a poster of the following list, or refer to the information on the chalkboard:

How to Gain Self-Mastery

1. Know yourself.

2. Set righteous goals.

3. Rely on the Lord through prayer and scripture study.

Know Yourself
As we gain experience and learn more about the gospel, we come to recognize our strengths and weaknesses. With this recognition comes a desire to overcome bad habits and feelings and a motivation to improve strengths we already have.

President David O. McKay said that some of the evils we find in ourselves are jealousy, hatred, envy, and animosity. Of them he said: “All such evils you must overcome by suppression. That is where your control comes in. Suppress that anger! Suppress that jealousy, that envy! They are all injurious to the spirit” (Gospel Ideals [1954], 356).

Overcoming these feelings is not easy; it takes time to change. But as we make the effort and depend on Heavenly Father’s help, we will develop the patience and courage to overcome the evils we find in ourselves.

Set Righteous Goals
A good way to gain self-mastery is to set and achieve goals. If we have a goal firmly set in our minds and work to accomplish our goals with the Lord’s help, we will achieve self-mastery. This process requires endurance, but the Lord has told us that we must endure to the end in righteous living to achieve the goal of exaltation, or eternal life (see D&C 14:7).

• Ask the class members to ponder for a moment the goals they are presently working toward.

Rely on the Lord through Prayer and Scripture Study
It takes faith in Jesus Christ to overcome our temptations and achieve our eternal goals. Regular prayer and scripture study promote this faith and help us gain the strength to overcome our problems. In addition, the lives of the Lord’s servants detailed in the scriptures set examples for us to follow; they help us realize that if others have gained self-mastery, we can gain it too.

• Invite class members to tell how they have gained self-mastery through reading the scriptures and praying.

Helping Children Develop Self-Mastery
• Show visual 18-a, “Wise parents teach their children self-mastery.”

Our homes should be places where our children can learn self-mastery. The following four principles can help us teach our children self-mastery.

• Display a poster of the following list, or refer to the information on the chalkboard:

How to Teach Children Self-Mastery

1. Establish and enforce rules early.

2. Teach children the principles of the gospel.

3. Give children responsibility.

4. Discipline with love.

Establish and Enforce Rules Early
President David O. McKay taught that a child should learn obedience at an early age. If parents do not teach their children obedience early, they may have difficulty doing so later on. He stressed that we should let the child be free to develop; but if the child goes beyond the established rules, we should be gentle, yet firm, in our restraint. (See Stepping Stones to an Abundant Life, comp. Llewelyn R. McKay [1971], 38.)

President N. Eldon Tanner also discussed the importance of teaching children while they are young: “While we are teaching [our children], we have the responsibility to discipline them and to see that they do what is right. If a child is [covered] with dirt, we do not wait until he grows up to decide whether or not he will bathe. We do not let him wait to decide whether or not he will take his medicine when sick, or go to school or to church” (Seek Ye First The Kingdom of God, comp. LaRue Sneff [1973], 87).

Teach Children the Principles of the Gospel
President N. Eldon Tanner said: “Parents also should teach their children early in life the glorious concept and fact that they are spirit children of God, and [that] choosing to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ is the only way to enjoy success and happiness here and eternal life hereafter. They must be taught that Satan is real and that he will use all agencies at his disposal to tempt them to do wrong, to [try to] lead them astray, make them his captives, and keep them from [the] supreme happiness and exaltation they could otherwise enjoy” (Seek Ye First The Kingdom of God, 87).

If we want to teach our children gospel principles, we must also set proper examples for our children to follow. If we fail to control our appetites and passions, we cannot expect our children to control theirs.

Give Children Responsibility
Elder L. Tom Perry said: “We must be … certain that our teaching is adequate and that we have instilled a faith and trust in the Lord in [our children’s] lives. We must be certain that they have been trained properly, and as they start to mature spiritually, we need to give them opportunities to express the strength that is growing within them. We need to give them our faith and trust and then give them responsibility” (in Conference Report, São Paulo Area Conference 1975, 12).

There are many ways to teach children responsibility. Elder F. Enzio Busche gave one example:

“We try to guide our children toward self-respect … and mostly leave it up to them to judge themselves. We have experienced the fact that one is not as good a teacher when one discovers and points out mistakes … as when one helps a child to discover for himself that he is doing wrong. When a child can comprehend his mistakes himself, the first step to change has already been taken.

“I remember once how we asked our son, after a transgression, to set his own punishment. He decided that he should not be allowed to watch television for one month. That seemed to us to be considerably too severe, but how happy we were to hear from his grandmother that while visiting her he had insisted she was wrong to encourage him to watch a certain television program, even though his parents would never know. I don’t think there can be a greater joy for parents than to see a child handle himself well in a difficult situation” (“Provoke Not Your Children,” Ensign, Mar. 1976, 42).

• What did Elder Busche do to help his children develop self-mastery? (He helped them gain self-respect by discovering their own mistakes. He encouraged them to discipline themselves.)

Before we give our children responsibilities, we as parents must ensure that they are ready for them. President Tanner explained: “Children do not learn by themselves how to distinguish right from wrong. Parents have to determine the child’s readiness to assume responsibility and his capacity to make sound decisions, to evaluate alternatives, and [to experience] the results of doing so” (Seek Ye First The Kingdom of God, 87).

Discipline with Love
When we discipline our children, we should do so with firmness but not cruelty. We should clearly state our expectations of them and give appropriate punishments. After we discipline our children, we should show an increase of love toward them.

• Read Doctrine and Covenants 121:43–44. Why should we show an increase of love to children after disciplining them? (So they understand that we love them and that we discipline them to ensure their well-being, and so they do not think we are their enemy)

• Discuss the following examples with the class. Emphasize that the solutions require self-mastery. You may want to ask for personal examples from class members instead of listing these examples.

1. Sven and Inger have three teenage children who argue and quarrel constantly. How could they help their children stop quarreling and develop self-mastery?

2. John and Elsie want to have family prayer in their home each day, but work schedules, school schedules, and other duties interfere. Family members feel that it is impossible to get together for family prayer. What can John and Elsie do to help the family develop the self-mastery to have family prayer?

3. The Unga family recognizes the need to pay tithing, but the family members never feel that they have enough money to meet their other expenses. However, they always seem to have enough money for recreation, new clothing, and nonessential items as they desire them. How can these family members develop the self-mastery to pay tithing?

• How will individuals who have mastered themselves act toward others in their family?

Conclusion
Using our God-given agency and working diligently, we must develop self-mastery if we want to prepare ourselves and our families to meet challenges. We must be able to make proper choices and to control our desires and emotions if we are to prepare to return to our Father in Heaven.

• Bear your testimony that as family members consciously develop self-mastery, they can overcome many of the problems in their lives.

• Sing “Choose the Right” (Hymns,no. 239), or read the words, found below.

Choose the Right
Choose the right when a choice is placed before you.
In the right the Holy Spirit guides;
And its light is forever shining o’er you,
When in the right your heart confides.


[Chorus] Choose the right! Choose the right!
Let wisdom mark the way before.
In its light, choose the right!
And God will bless you evermore.


Choose the right! Let no spirit of digression
Overcome you in the evil hour.
There’s the right and the wrong to ev’ry question;
Be safe through inspiration’s pow’r.
[Chorus]


Choose the right! There is peace in righteous doing.
Choose the right! There’s safety for the soul.
Choose the right in all labors you’re pursuing;
Let God and heaven be your goal.
[Chorus]


Challenge
Select a problem in your life or in your family. Follow the steps outlined in the lesson to master the problem. Read the scriptures for appropriate models in developing self-discipline.

Additional Scriptures
• Proverbs 25:28 (rule your own spirit)

• James 1:26 (control your speech)

• Alma 38 (Alma’s counsel to Shiblon to observe meekness and self-control)

Teacher Preparation
Before presenting this lesson:

1. Study Gospel Principles chapter 4, “Freedom to Choose.”

2. Prepare the posters suggested in the lesson, or write the information on the chalkboard.

3. Prepare to have the class sing at the conclusion of the lesson “Choose the Right” (Hymns, no. 239), or plan to read the words in class.

4. Be prepared to bear your testimony that as family members consciously develop self-mastery, they can overcome many personal problems.

5. Assign class members to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.

[picture] 18-a, Wise parents teach their children self-mastery.

This is a GREAT video, watch it!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIrGKB5nRKE

A few thoughts...

(wife posting)
Last week I attended my second 12-step recovery meeting for those that love someone who struggles from sexual addictions. I wish that I could go to these meetings every week, but with finances right now we can't afford to get a sitter that often, hopefully that will change soon. The meeting was great, it reminded me that I am not alone in my thoughts, fears, frustrations, hopes, etc... These are normal emotions for people in my situation.

For now I am on step one-

"Admit that you are powerless over sexaholism-that your life has become unmanageable."

Sounds easy, right? It should be so easy for me to admit that I am powerless over my husbands addictions and that MY life has become unmanageable due to my attitude and actions as a result of these addictions. Well guess what, it isn't!!!!!!
Giving up power is a hard thing, I have tried to control my husband addictions for so long now that at times it has consumed me, I want to "fix" things, I want to make threats so that he wont do these horrible things again, I want to threaten divorce in the hope that it will scare him away from Pornography forever, I WANT TO CONTROL THIS and I can't! I think what is even harder to admit is that MY life has become unmanageable through this. WHAT! I know this is true, but it is not easy to admit. The first time my husband and I saw a councilor together, at the end of the session she handed both my husband and I a paper with a list of questions to answer and things to work on before our next session. At first I thought, sweet, here is where I get to go off about all that I have been through. To my surprise and horror this wasn't what this assignment was about AT ALL. This assignment was about me looking at my own life and recognizing what I needed to work on. I was so offended, I thought 'how dare she give me this when we are here to talk about HIM'. It took some serious humbling of myself to actually do the assignment and truly look at my own life and where it was really at. I am grateful I did that.

This past week I have searched within my self to really understand step one and apply it to my life. I have prayed for guidance and I have felt the spirit whisper words of encouragement daily this week. My biggest struggle this past week (and always) has been letting go of trying TO MAKE my husband actively participate in recovery with me, I want him to so badly, but in the end the choice is up to him!

These are just a few of the thoughts and feelings I have had this past week...

Lead by example

I have had this feeling several times this week, that if I lead by example that my husband will follow. I spend so much time worrying about why he isn't working on HIS recovery, why he isn't reading his material, why he isn't praying or reading his scriptures, that I don't stop and think about what I am doing for my recovery. A few days ago I decided that I wasn't going to bring up any of these things to my husband that day, I wasn't going to give him any reminders, even if the reminders were kindly given. Instead I worked on ME this day, I said my prayers, I read my scriptures, I read my 12-step book, and GUESS WHAT, that night when he saw me doing this he pulled out his materials, sat on the bed next to me and did the same. That night before we went to sleep we knelt and prayed together, then we cuddled up in bed and went to sleep. IT WAS WONDERFUL!!! I didn't have to nag him, get frustrated with him, have the same old argument of 'why aren't you doing this or doing that'. It was peaceful and wonderful. I hope that as I continue to be an example for my husband that we can start to form good habits together and that at times he can lead me through his example.

Another thought I have had often this past week is that, 'it is okay to feel anger, but don't let it consume you."

I have felt the Lord continually remind me this past week that it is okay and normal for me to feel anger over these addictions that have damaged my marriage and life so much. That might sound so strange to people, but it is true, I feel like anger is part of the process, it is part of working through this, but has the Lord has gently reminded me, over and over again, I need to move on from my anger, I need to deal with it and put it behind me so that I can heal.

The last prompting that I have been having that I would like to share is the thought I have had several times that, ' the only person I can fix is me.'

THIS has been a hard one for me!!! But I hope that as I work on myself that my husband will see this and want to do the same. I want to be in a better place in my life, I know that this will take so much work, but it will be worth it. The hardest part is knowing that I have to do this for me wither or not my husband chooses to do it for him self. I will continue to hope, pray, and plead with the Lord that my husband will make the right choice.

To my Husband,

I am proud of the progress that you are making and the progress we are making, even if it is slow! I love you so much and I am grateful for all of the wonderful things you bring into my life. Thank you for being my husband, best friend, and father of our beautiful children, THIS FAMILY IS WORTH FITTING FOR!!!

Love,

Your wife

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tough Decisions

(wife posting)

Our youngest child is approaching the age where I generally start to get that, "it's time to have another baby" feeling. The thought of bringing another life, another child into an already complicated and difficult situation is absolutely frightening to me. I want more than ANYTHING for my husband to recover from his addictions, I want our family and our marriage to be healthy and happy, and I want to be able to have more children without the fear that I might not be able to provide the kind of life and family that my children deserve. Recently several of our friends have announced that they have a new little one on the way, I am happy and excited for them, but at the same time it makes me sad (for us, not them), it reminds me that my marriage is not in a place where we can make those kinds of decisions right now. I truly hope that someday, hopefully soon, as we continue to work through these GIANT obstacles that I can eventually feel at peace with having another baby. I love and adore my children, they are so amazing, I am incredibly grateful that Heavenly Father entrusted them in my care and if I never get to the point where I feel like we can bring another child into this world then it will be okay because we have been blessed so much already.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Words To Live By...

I saw this quote today by our beloved Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

"The past is behind, learn from it.

The future is ahead; prepare for it.

The present is here, live it."

Thomas S. Monson, May 2009

***At times I take for grated the amazingly wonderful blessing it is to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life, then I see a quote like I did today by a Prophet called of God to lead his children, and I am reminded of just how lucky I am. The Gospel is my CORE, it is my strength, and I am constantly humbled by the peace and knowledge it brings me.***

My husband and I are both members of the LDS faith, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, this blog was created to help us through our trials and to help others suffering from addiction or any trial in their life. If you are not a member of our church please know that you are more than welcome here, this is a place for anyone who is suffering. To those that are not members of our faith I encourage you to visit the site
www.mormon.org to learn more about what we believe, I PROMISE you that if you will learn about our beliefs and go to Heavenly Father (God) in prayer and humbly ask him if these beliefs are true, he WILL answer your prayer. I also promise you that once you receive your answer from Heavenly Father and seek to have the Gospel in your life that you will find happiness, peace, and guidance beyond comprehension.

With love,

(wife posting)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Loop

(husband)
I would first like to say a few things to my family. I love u. I will always love you. I could never do this without you. My wife has been both a loving partner that lovingly helps me and a loving partner that gives me "tough love" when called for. I don't think i realize how hard the tough love can be for the one giving it. I know I don't espesially love being on the receiving end of it even though I need it but I have never considered how hard that could be to give out so let me just say thankyou for still being there.
About a week and a half ago I went to my first SA meeting(sexaholic anonomous). To say it was eye opening would be an understatement. I saw people going through what I have been going through, people going through worse, and people who I could see that struggled with my problem and didn't get help and went on to have much bigger problems before they got help. It scared me to death. It motivated me to want to do more. It gave me hope and then I fell right into my loop!
I don't know if all people with my addictions have this loop or if it is just me but I hate it. Something will happen to cause high emotions(most likely me not doing what I promise to do to show my wife I am actively doing something about my addictions) and there will be a fight and I will feel bad and make more promises to myself and my wife, then for all of a second I will do that, then I will get busy and because my wife seems okay I will think things are fine I will go right back to life as if I were a normal person and my wife and I a normal couple, then comes another high emotional event. That is the loop and I feel stuck in it. The problem is that the loop leads me inevitable back to my addiction. I have managed to stay in the loop for over a year without a major relapse but I know that if I don't start showing the Lord, my wife and myself everyday that I am going to stop this addiction from ruling me then I will lose everything. I need out of this loop so bad, I want out so bad, I don't get why I can't seem to do it! It is hard to look in the mirror and see myself for what I am. It is hard to look at my marriage and see what I have done to it. I am not a normal person and things with my wife and I are not good. I am not sure if we will make it. It will be because of me if we don't. It is scarey to write that but it is the only way to keep it from happening. If we as addicts don't see things the way they really are we can never correct them.
One promise I made to myself and my wife was that I would write in this blog once a week. You can see how well I've done. I am doing so right now infact because of another high emotional event(lets call those HEEs) but even though it would have been better if I had done so on my own I know if I don't start the habit of doing it with these reminders I might never.
I know I say this too much but to my wife I am sorry It takes me so long to "get it" and I do love you so much.

I'm Scared

(Wife posting)

Our family has had an extremely rough year and a half (aside from my husbands addictions), there have been moments where I have felt like giving up and I have thought 'why us, we have been through so much already'. I know it will do me no good to think about all the why's and that I need to look towards the future with faith that if we live righteously that the Lord will bless us. Recently I have felt so good about the direction things are going, I feel like we are being given a chance to start over, a new place, a new job, a new perspective, but as I get more and more 'comfortable' with the direction things are going, paranoia starts to set in. See, every time I get comfortable and THINK that things are going so well, that is when my heart gets broken, that is when my husband slips up again. I don't know if I can survive having my heart broken again. I don't want to live in fear, but when you are married to someone who is an addict weather it be pornography, drugs, gambling, etc... it is very difficult to not constantly wonder, 'what is going to happen next'. If anyone out there has been through trials similar to ours has any advice for me I will gladly listen, I want to enjoy this time of things progressing and going well without constantly being paranoid that the next bomb is about to go off.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A BIG step in the RIGHT direction

(wife posting)

Last week I followed through with the promise I had made to myself to attend a 12-step group for those that love someone who is an sex addict. I really didn't want to go but I felt the spirit so strongly as if someone was literally taking me by the hand and pulling me there. To my surprise my husband came with me. I attended the group for the spouses and he attended the group for the addicts. As I walked into the room I felt a wave of emotions... fear, anger, resentment... and then something I didn't expect...the Spirit, it filled the room, it was undeniable and extremely powerful. As I looked into the faces of these women (and a few men) it was as if I could see right to their soul, I could see the pain in their eyes, pain that I am all to familiar with, but I also noticed those that seemed to be more at peace with their trials. I have no doubt that even those that seemed more in control of their emotions and in a better place than I am currently still have very difficult times, but seeing them working through their trials and 'recovering' gave me so much peace to know that someday, hopefully soon, I too can be in a better place.

I really didn't know what to expect going to this group. I was very pleasantly surprised by what a humbling and wonderful experience it was for both me and my husband. After the meetings were over and my husband and I got back in our car we were able to talk privately about what we each thought about the meetings. It was so nice to hear what an eye opening experience this had been for my husband, he said things to me that I never expected to hear from him, it was a answer to so many of my prayers over the last six years. (I will leave it up to him to decide if he should share his personal experience or not.)

Things between my husband and I have been so much better since we attended these meetings together. I feel like we are really starting to grasp what it means to truly turn our lives over to the Lord and follow HIS will no matter how hard it may be. I have found this past week that it has been easier to make sure we are saying our prayers together as a couple, to read the scriptures and pray individually, and to feel connected as a couple. I know that we were blessed with strength in these areas because we followed the Lords will over our own. Neither my husband or I really WANTED to go to these meetings, it is never easy to FACE our problems, but it is what we NEEDED to do and I am grateful to the Lord for granting us the strength to follow through.

If you would like more information about the 12-step group that we attended please email us at
spirituallyfit09@gmail.com

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New day, Same BATTLE

(wife posting)

I have been meaning to post for awhile now but life has been so busy that I haven't had much free time. Our family is ALL together again and it has been really nice to have us all under one roof. The kids have missed their daddy SOOO much and it is great to not be single parenting anymore. The first couple of days that we were all home together things between my husband and I were wonderful, then slowly the 'honeymoon' effect began to wear off and we have been struggling with re-adjusting to living together again. I knew that this would be a hard adjustment but I guess I was just really hopeful that my husband would be a changed man after almost 3 months with out his family. I felt so much humility from him while we were apart but now that we are together again I feel like he is right back in his comfort zone and isn't appreciating what a GIFT it is to have his family back. I by no means expected him to completely change, but I really thought that maybe things would 'sink in' a little deeper. To his credit things have been CRAZY with work, with the kids, one of our cars completely died, etc... etc... We are experiencing many more trials on top of our marital problems and my husbands addictions, but still I am finding my self puzzled that he isn't making a bigger effort to show me that he is grateful that he now has his family back in his life.

Our marriage has been made up of broken promises after broken promises. My husband gets caught in addiction, promises to stop and change, then things happen again. I do know that he wants to stop, he wants to be free of these addictions, but I don't believe he knows how to stop. I really don't know where to go from here. I want to stay, I want things to work out, I want our family to be together but yet I don't see my husband doing anything to make those things possible. Yes he is a great dad, he is helpful around the house, he works hard to provide for our family, but what he doesn't do is actively DEAL with his addictions. He thinks that just because he isn't currently looking at pornography or gambling that he doesn't need to daily deal with these things. I truly believe that if you struggle with addiction of any kind that you MUST work on controlling those addictions EVERYDAY, because if you don't they will just creep right back into your life in one form or another. This blog is a PERFECT example of my husband promising to do something and not following through with it. We set this blog up as a tool for HIM to work on actively dealing with his addictions, he promised to write here regularly, but that has obviously NOT happened. I am tired of broken promises, I am tired of my husband not dealing with HIS addictions, I am tired of being the one to always SAVE him. I just want him to follow through with his promises, I don't want to have to ask him to write on this blog, I want him to do it because he knows it will help him work through these things. I don't want to have to ask him to go to counseling, I want HIM to set up the appointment. I am tired of carrying all of the load on my shoulders!!!

I have done some pretty serious soul searching these last few months and have decided that I will no longer let my husband hold me back from MY healing. I will no longer wait for him to make the counseling appointment, I will just go alone because it is something that I need to do for ME. I am also going to go to a meeting once a week for women that have been through experiences similar to mine, this is something I am VERY nervous about doing, but I believe that it will help me. I have also done a lot of research about depression recently and I really think that there is a very good chance that I have been suffering from depression for a very long time. This is not something that I want to admit, but I know that the only way for me to get help is to deal with MY issues head on. For now I am going to stop trying to 'fix' my husband and work on fixing ME.

I want to encourage those that are personally struggling with addiction or those that are struggling because they love someone who has addictions to get the help that THEY need. I'm not sure we can adequately help those in addiction until we help our selves, learn tools to deal with these trials, and educate our selves on addiction.

PLEASE feel free to anonymously leave your comments, questions, advice, concerns, etc... I TRULY want this blog to be somewhere people can come to OPENLY talk about addiction and to help each other.

Monday, August 31, 2009

"May God Help Us"

(wife posting)

I saw this quote today and it truly spoke to me...

"May God help us to be a little kinder,
showing forth greater forbearance,
to be more FORGIVING,
more willing to walk the SECOND mile,
to reach down and lift UP those who may have sinned
but have brought forth the fruits of repentance,
to lay aside old grudges and nurture them no more."
-President Gordon B. Hinkely (former LDS Prophet)
October 2005
I am so excited for our family to be together again. I am excited to have all of us under one roof, I am excited to have a husband again and for my kids to have a mom and a DAD again. But I am scared, anxious, and worried about what the future holds for our family and our marriage. I desperately want my husband to change, to get the guidance and help he needs, and to daily rely on the Lord for strength to overcome these addictions. I KNOW that he CAN do it, but what I don't know is if he WILL do it. With all these uncertainties there are a few things I do know with out a single doubt...
*The Gospel of Jesus Christ is TRUE, I know that for a fact, my testimony of the Savior and HIS Gospel (The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints) is my CORE, it is my strength and my foundation, with out my testimony I would feel so lost, alone, and afraid.
*My Heavenly Father LOVES me, he LOVES my husband, he LOVES my children (he LOVES all of his children here on earth), he wants us to be happy, I know that I would not have received my answer from my Heavenly Father that he wants my husband and I to continue to work through our trials if there was no hope and if he didn't intend to help us through this every step of the way, however the KEY to receiving his help is to ask for it, to turn to him through prayer, and to have the strength to carry out whatever he asks of us.
*I struggle with praying daily, I don't know WHY, this is something that I am working on, but I do know that prayer is essential to communicating with our Father in Heaven, he WANTS us desperately to come to him through prayer, to thank him for our abundance of blessings, to ask for the things we are in need of, and to receive guidance from him.
*I know that my family loves me, they want me to be happy, and they will support me in my decisions. I also know that they trust me to know what is best for me and my children and that I will do what the Lord asks of me.
*I know that I can not change my husband, I have tried, it is not something I recommend! I also know that his addictions are not my fault. Many women that are married to a man that has a pornography addiction often think it is because of them, they feel like they are not good enough, or not sexual enough, or not attractive enough, I know this because I have experienced all of these feelings myself, but it is not true, it is NOT your fault.
*I know that addictions are REAL, every addict 'cycles', weather someone looks at pornography once a week, once a month, once a year, whatever their cycle may be, they are still addicted. Addicts almost always make excuses or justifications and just because their episodes of 'using' pornography may not be constant does not mean that it is not a problem, that it is not an addiction.
*I KNOW that I LOVE my husband, I WANT to get through this, I WANT to be his 'help mate', I KNOW that as we turn our lives over to the Lord that he will give us the strength and the tools to face these addictions (and the damage they have caused) head on. I also know that my husband will never completely BEAT these addictions, for a long time I wondered, 'when will this be over'?. As I am learning more about addiction and educating myself about the effects of addiction on a person and the damaging effects addiction has on a persons brain, I now know that this will NEVER be over. This is something my husband will struggle with for the rest of his life. That doesn't mean that my husband can't CONTROL his addictions instead of allowing them to control him, with the help of the Lord ALL things are possible. MY husband can get his life back, we CAN have a happy, healthy marriage and family, and I hope and pray we can get to a much better place!!
As long as my husband SHOWS me that he will continually work on controlling his addictions, as long as he will SHOW me that he is going to truly repent and turn his life
over to the Lord, and long as he SHOWS me that he will put our family first no matter
how hard that may be at times...
I will be HERE, holding his hand, encouraging him every step of the way!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Starting from Zero

(Husband posting)

I have not posted a comment in quite a while. I would like to say i have been too busy and haven't had access to a computer but those are just excuses and I have found that as humans we have this great capacity to get the things done we really want to and make great excuses for the things that we don't. I have found in my life that truly if there is a will there is a way.
So what does it say about my will that i have not found a way to stop my addictions and bad habits over the last 7 years of my marriage? I have been alone and away from my family for sometime now and have had more time than anyone would want to think about all the mistakes and bad choices that have led my family and myself down this terrible road and into a place that is going to be very hard to get out of.
I haven't had a relapse for a while but i also haven't had access to pornography(i guess there is always a way to get it, but for me not without going very far out of my way so..i have been able to stay away from it for a while) but i don't feel like i have beat anything because I haven't really be face to face with it and had to try and JUST SAY NO!
What i really want to talk about is the way I feel about my current situation. I have lost confidence in myself. I have had all this time to think about what I have become. All the lies I have told myself have come crashing down and I have had to truly look into the mirror. I don't know about everybody but i think a lot of people have this picture of who they are and what they want to be. As an addict i had a very false picture of who i was, it was like i looked in the mirror and i had tricked myself into see who i wanted to be rather than who I was. That mirror has come crashing down. I can't believe the choices that I have made, but for the first time in I don't know how long i feel like i know who I am and I know where I need to go. I am done telling myself my addiction will just go away and I am ready to start taking steps to take control of my life. I know that this process is going to be long and hard but with the support of my Heavenly Father, my family, and my self I am hopeful that one day when I look in the mirror i will see the man i want to become.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I want to fall 'In Love' (Again)!

(Wife posting)

Does anyone else dealing with a loved one with addictions ever feel like a fool? There are times where I feel foolish thinking that things will change. I love my husband so much and I so badly WANT him to change, but 6 years later we are still fighting the same fight (things have gotten better in certain areas, but addictions have also shifted from one thing to another), so why would things change now? I don't mean to sound so pessimistic since my previous post, but to be totally honest my heart is just hurting right now. I know that the Lord wants my husband and I to get through this, I know that I want us to get through this, but in a marriage there are TWO people and if each one is not equally as committed to Heavenly Father, the marriage, the family, and the gospel IT WILL NOT WORK.

As far as I know my husband has not gambled or looked at pornography in quit a long time, but the consequences of his addictions have spread far beyond those two issues. My husband has NEVER come forward with any of his problems on his own. Each time that I have found out about something it is because I have discovered it. After years of 'discovering' things I BEGGED my husband to just COME TO ME with his problems. I tried to explain to him that as painful as it is to hear that your husband is looking at pornography it would be so much better if he would talk to me about it so that we could get him the help he needs and work through it, having to find 'images' or 'websites' while getting on your computer, IS SO MUCH WORSE!!! My husband has lied to me so many times that there is virtually no trust in our marriage. TRUST is absolutely necessary for a marriage to be successful!!! A year ago I finally saw a glimmer of hope, after 3 years of me continually asking my husband to get help he set up an appointment for us to see a councilor. It wasn't that I couldn't have set up the appointment myself, but my husband had been PROMISING me for 3 years that he would take the initiative and set it up (I AM TIRED OF BROKEN PROMISES). And for 3 years I waited, and waited, and waited. I was (and still am) sick and tired of being the one 'dealing with HIS addictions', I need him to be the one to show me that it is a priority. Well after some serious pushing from me he finally did it. After our second visit with the councilor I was really starting to feel like we had made some progress. Then just a few days after that visit I discovered through some very upsetting turn of events that my husband had been gambling every day for 2 1/2 months, he had been lying to me about where he was and what he was doing, he had gambled away over $10,000... I was crushed, my heart was broken (AGAIN), the small glimmer of hope I had was gone. HOW could he do that, how could he lie to me EVERY DAY about EVERYTHING? How could he put on a facade that he was 'working on things', go as far as to go to counseling with me, all while living a HUGE LIE? Honestly there are still days that I think to my self, 'did that REALLY happen'. As PAINFUL as it has been to be married to a man that is addicted to pornography, knowing that he lied to me everyday for 2 1/2 months, knowing that he gambled away every last penny we had, knowing that he chose his addictions over his family, LOOSING ALL TRUST, was SO MUCH more painful!!! Over the last year since finding out about my husbands addiction to gambling we have had one trial after another, we have had a job loss- which resulted in the loss of investments, having to short sale our home, and move to a new state, on top of our financial issues we have had some very serious trials within our families as well. It has been a year of years, just when we feel like we have climbed a mountain we get to the top only to realize there are 10 more mountains to go.

I so badly want to look forward to the future, I WANT things to be better, I NEED things to be better, but after all the hurt and lies it is hard to have FAITH that things will work out. I want to move past all the HURT, but how can I when I feel like at any moment I could have another bombshell go off on me? I have FAITH that I will make it through no matter what the outcome, but it is not up to me wither or not my husband beats his addictions, IT IS UP TO HIM. It is so hard not having control over the situation, it is hard to not be able to fix it. I want our Happily Ever After. I want things to be the way they should be!!! I know that we are given trials in life to help us grow, to bring us closer to the Savior, and to help us understand in a very small way the pain the Savior felt while atoning for our sins, and for those reasons I am incredibly grateful for my trials. But on the other hand, these trials are so hard to bear, there are many times that I feel like giving up.

I love my husband very much, but sadly I am not 'in love' with him right now. I WANT to be IN LOVE with him again, but it is so hard to feel that way towards someone who has hurt you so deeply. I don't want to play the only victim in these trials, because these trials are just as much a challenge and a burden for my husband as they are for me (just in different ways). I think that any woman who has experienced their husband having problems with pornography can relate to the feelings I have. There are times that I don't feel like I am good enough, that my body isn't good enough, that I am not pretty enough. I KNOW that it is not because of me that my husband has struggled with pornography, but when you are going through it, it is SO HARD to not feel incredibly self concise! Addictions do not only effect the person who is addicted, they effect everyone who loves them. Addiction to pornography robs a marriage of true intimacy and if you are an addict, you are a liar, it is impossible to separate the two. I want a marriage and a husband that is free from the chains of addiction, addiction creeps into every aspect of your life and takes over. Addiction is the Devils advocate, a marriage is to be between a man, a woman, and our Heavenly Father, there is no place for addiction in a marriage or in someones life, when you have addiction in your life you are allowing Satan to control you.

I KNOW exactly where my negative, hopeless feelings are coming from, Satan does not want my husband and I to be happy, he does not want us to beat this, and he is working double time on us right now because he knows we are vulnerable. As much as being apart from my husband has been a good thing in many ways, it is also one of the hardest things I have had to do. I have felt so much peace from the Lord but I have also felt Satan pulling me down at every turn. I will NOT let him take over my life, that is the one thing I have control over right now and no matter what I will stay true to myself, the Lord, and my testimony. Without the GOSPEL I would be so lost!

***Please feel free to leave your comments, you can leave them anonymously, I want this to be a place where people can feel free to talk about addiction openly. Addiction is such a tough subject, and not one that is openly talked about.***

To My Husband,

I love you! I WANT 'US' BACK!!! I miss you! I haven't written these things today to hurt you more, I have written them to help me to deal with our trials, I have written them so that you will be able to realize the magnitude of these problems, I have also written them to reach out to others who are going through our same FIGHT, to let them know that they are not alone and that there is someone who understands what they are going through. I am excited and scared for us to be together again. I can't wait to see our kids run and jump into your arms, they love you so much, YOU ARE SUCH A GOOD DAD! I can't wait to have you wrap your arms around me and tell me that we are GOING to get through this, I can't wait to hold your hand, I can't wait to kiss your lips, I can't wait to work on falling back in love- To me loving someone is a feeling, a deep emotion, *I LOVE YOU* there is NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT, being 'in love' is an ACTION, I think that to be IN LOVE in a marriage takes WORK & EFFORT, and I am ready and willing, BUT I AM SCARED, scared of being hurt and disappointed again.

I am proud of you for the progress you have made and the positive changes you are making in your life. I KNOW you can and will beat this if you will (if we will) turn our lives over to the Lord. We CAN NOT DO THIS WITHOUT HIM!!

Love,
Your Wife

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Love Letter

Dear Hubby,
.
I love you SO MUCH! Being away from you for so long hurts so bad, I miss you and I need you in my life. As hard as this past month and a half has been, I am grateful for our time apart. I am not only grateful for the humility you have shown while the kids and I have been away but I am grateful for the answers that I have received from Heavenly Father about the choices I am to make. I have struggled for so long now to know if I should stay married to you, my heart has been broken so many times and I am so scared of the pattern continuing for the rest of our lives. I have never not wanted to be married to you, but I want things to be different and I am fearful that day may never come. I KNOW you can beat this, with help from the Lord you can rid your self of these ugly addictions that have taken over our life. I KNOW we are meant to be together, I didn't know that before I left. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has answered that question for me. I love you, I love our children, and I want our Eternal Family to be together forever. It is time that you step up to the plate and LET Satan know that we will not go down with out a fight, he WILL NOT WIN THIS BATTLE!

I am truly sorry for not handling these trails in a more Christ like way. I not only hurt for myself but I hurt for you, I don't want you to have these addictions, I want you to be FREE from this. I don't like the person that I have become through all of this, these addictions, this evil has crept into my life as well. I have bitterness and anger that I need to overcome. I am grateful that dispite the times I have yelled, screamed, and balled in anger, hurt, and pain you have never once raised your voice to me or have called me a horrible name, you have always been there to hold me and comfort me. I wish that I could say the same, I wish I could have had the strength to handle all of this without so much anger. I know that we can do this together, if we truly turn our lives over to the Lord and put things in HIS HANDS, we CAN BEAT THIS!

I can't wait to see you, I am counting down the days! Our kids miss there DADDY so much, this has been so hard on them! I wish that they could have seen you throughout this time apart, but I know that you needed to be completely alone to truly grasp the magnitude of what could be lost. I need you to know that you are an incredible man, you are an amazing father, our children absolutely adore you, there little hearts are wishing for their daddy so much. You have the ability to do anything, be anything you want to be, I can't wait to see what you do with that. I admire your optimistic attitude on life, it doesn't matter how bad it gets, your glass is always half full. You are my Best Friend, One True Love, and Eternal Companion, despite all we have been through, I can't imagine my life without you! I am excited for our fresh start, a new job, a new home, a chance to start over.

With love,

Your Wife