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!!

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

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Time To Reflect

(Wife posting)

This summer I have had the opportunity to spend most of the summer traveling to see family and friends. The choice to leave my husband behind (he HAS to work), while the kids and I travel was not an easy one. I love my husband, I want us to be together, and it makes me sad that we are not with him. My kids miss him so much, I MISS HIM SO MUCH! But as I have had some time to think this all over I have come to realize that the Lord has played a big part in how all of our summer plans played out. I am grateful for this brake, this time apart to reflect on where we are in our lives and marriage. My husband needed this, he needed to be COMPLETELY alone to realize what he could potentially be giving up if he doesn't make some very serious life changes.

When I first found out that my husband had a very serious addiction to gambling (on top of the Pornography) it just about RIPPED my heart right out. I remember thinking over and over "things are bad enough, why THIS too". Never in our marriage have I ever had to worry if my husband was going to provide for us financially and then in an instant what little amount of trust I had left in my husband was completely gone. It is hard to describe in words the feelings I had (the feelings I am still having), I felt so completely hopeless. After counseling with our AMAZING Bishop (who has was our Bishop for 5 out of the 6 years that I have known about my husbands addictions) he told my husband that he felt it was best that the kids and I left for AWHILE so that my husband could fully understand what he could loose if he doesn't change. I knew that I needed to leave, but it was so much harder than I thought it would be to follow through. You would think with the amount of anger I had about the situation that it wouldn't be so hard to do. I ended up leaving for 2 weeks. I was so scared to leave him with the fear that as soon as we were gone he would go right back to the gambling. While the kids and I were away my husband and I had various talks about how over those 2 weeks he needed to focus on what life would be like without us. I think that our 2 week brake did have some what on an impact on him, but I don't think that it was long enough.

My husband has now been home alone, working for the past 5 weeks while the kids and I have been traveling. He doesn't have a computer or cable (he doesn't pick up any tv channels either) and he is in new place where we don't really know anyone. The past 5 weeks have been SO HARD on him. I feel bad for him being there all alone, I really do, but HE NEEDED THIS and I NEEDED this. Surprisingly as much as I miss him and miss our family being together, I have felt so much strength from the Lord throughout this time apart. I feel like my husband is FINALLY starting to GET IT. We have spent hours upon hours on the phone these last 5 weeks and I can feel the humility from him. My husband is not a man who cry's, HARDLY EVER. I can think of a handful of times throughout our marriage where I have seen him cry. These past few weeks he has called me in tears multiple times. And as much as it brakes my heart to know he is in pain, I feel like it is time he faced his mistakes head on.

For quit awhile now I have been very unsure if I even WANT to stay in this marriage. I have been hurt so many times that I have started to believe that the hurting and disappointments will never end. In the beginning I had so much faith that my husband could change and be free from his addictions, but over the past few years of repeated trials, I have slowly started to loose faith. I KNOW that my husband CAN beat this, but I don't know if he will make the choice to do so. After this time apart I feel like my husband is closer to being on the road to recovery than he ever has been in the past. A councilor that we have met with told us that, "Just because you aren't exactly where you want to be in your life, doesn't mean that it isn't important that you are on the right road to get there, and more importantly you need to make sure you are going the right direction on that road." I have thought about what he said over and over again and he is so right. In life I think we are rarely EXACTLY where we want to be, but it is all about making the right choices, holding on to the "IORN ROD", and making progress.

I am so grateful for this opportunity I have had to REFLECT on my life and my marriage. I have done some serious soul searching these last five weeks and I feel like I am in a much better place than I was just a few weeks ago. I have had a new confirmation to my self of how much I love my husband and how much I WANT to be with him. I have also realized that I have the ability to do so many things that I never thought I could do on my own. I'm no longer scared to be a single mother, I pray that it never comes to that, but if it does I know the Lord will give me the strength and courage to continue on. I am going to do everything that I CAN to make my marriage work, to show Christ-like compassion toward my husband, I am going to turn my life over to the Lord completely and put things in his hands. I know that I can't MAKE my husband change, but I can do everything I possibly can to make the right choices. My husband has to make his own choices, I WANT HIM TO CHOOSE US, but if he doesn't at least I can say that I did everything I possibly could to make it work!

-Feel free to email us any time