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!
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