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!!!