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!!