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Who am I?
By paul
12/14/2010 11:29:31 AM
Wow... I just finished reading Lawrence's blog post about self-respect, self-love, God's love, and charity. And all I can say is, I am not there.

It often hurts so badly to read comments from wives who have been hurt. I read that after finding out about their husband's addictions they realize that they have no idea who their husbands even are. There is no more respect. There is no trust. There is no love. How could there be? If I am a stranger to my wife then of course there won't be any trust or love. What hurts, is that I am still me. I am the man she married. I was there at the wedding, looking forward to a bright a limitless future with the most beautiful woman I had ever known. She is the only one I have ever loved. I want to be who she wants me to be. I am trying to be who she wants me to be. But those are just extensions of the lies...

The man she married would not hurt her. The man she married would not lie about hurting her to protect himself. If I am completely honest now, I truly am the man who hurt her and lied to protect himself. Therefore, I am not the man she married. I am not who I said I was... and that is the true cause of the pain. Of course she cannot love me, she does not know me. I have never shown her the real me, because she would not love the real me. I know this because I do not love the real me.

I am a failure. I have been continually failing for years, even decades. Despite my best efforts, I have never been who I know I should be. I have never been the kind of man she expects, or the kind of man she fell in love with. I am keenly aware of my shortcomings and I fear letting failure claim any more of my life. Which is why I keep those shortcomings hidden.

I believe that Heavenly Father, and my Savior do love me. I have felt hope when hope is all there is because I know that They will NEVER leave me. The should be enough shouldn't it? Come hell or high water so long as I know God loves me, shouldn't I be happy? I am not. I am a coward. I fear facing the full consequences of my sins because I fear that, once I lose everything else, God's love will not be enough. Am I selfish? Do I lack faith? Obviously, yes, to both of those.

My best friend from 2nd grade up to high school has had a difficult life. Drugs, depression, at one point he faced homelessness, attempted suicide, who knows what else. And yet, in an odd way, I envied him. Whatever else he was, he was honest. His family knew of his lifestyle and his mistakes and they love him anyway. I have never felt that I could come clean and still be accepted. My parents got so angry of small mistakes. I wonder how they would feel about me knowing I've failed at marriage too. Does it even matter anymore?

I have set a date. By January 7, my parents will be gone. The holidays will be over. There aren't any nearby holidays, anniversaries, or birthdays to mar for all eternity. I have to come clean to my beautiful wife. I have to be honest and open with her. Hiding my true self serves no one. I have to know who I really am. I hope I can be the man my wife married. At least I'd know that someone once loved that man.

Comments:

Hey Paul    
"I just got off the phone from a long conversation with my best friend since second grade. I told him in teary eyed confession how I was looking at his facebook and it hit me that I envied how he has nothing to fear as far as being exposed because he doesn't hide anything. He's open and honest. Honesty was once my only redeeming quality.

Our (me and you) stories it seems diverge a little I guess in that full disclosure and open honesty even when ugly has always been a common theme in both my friend I's life till a few years ago. We talked a lot of how bazar, unusual and demoralizing my double life had become and how serene and sanity liberating coming out will be. Not to state the obvious but having seen both sides of the fence I can say transparency was...oh, so much better. I'm torchered.

I guess I just wanted to say I think the answer to your, our, question "does it matter any more?" I don't think it does. Life will go on whether we are dirt bags in the light or dirt bags in the dark. So we may as well step into the light. I'm scared as shit too (i think what I have to come out with may be a little more brutal though...lucky duck if so). But I have a sneaking suspicion that God will like us anyway...and that it will be enough. But neither of us will know untill we give it a go I suppose

I don't know if that helps. But I just felt like I could relate a lot."
posted at 18:19:42 on December 14, 2010 by They speak
Be Honest!    
"Paul, I know you will be loved. I know you are loved. It will be so liberating for you. You will feel free. Finally, Your wife will need time, help her. She loves you! Love her, be there for her. Hold her, comfort her. Weep with her. I was so forgiving in the beginning. My codependent behaviors liked being the savior. I was going to pull him through this come hell or high water. Get him to the right counselor, read the right books, make sure he talk to his Priesthood Leaders, tell him what scriptures to read. He was willing, Heck his life was on the line! He did not know what to do. Do not let her fall into that hole. She is not your Savior. Take the lead in your recovery. Show her you mean what you are saying by seeking all the recovery tools you can get your hands on. Show her by your behavior.

Help her to find support through the PASG'S program for spouses in your area. If there is not one. Help her find one. Or tell your Priesthood leaders they need to talk to Family Services and get one going. She will not be the only one who needs this support if there is not one. The manual is on this site on the left in purple. This is all there is until the final Family Support Manual is approved.

Pray and enlist the help of your Heavenly Father in your disclosure.

Be careful with details. Answer all her questions, but be careful with details. Even if she asks, remember she will never forget the details. The devil is in the details. I wish I did not know so much of the details. I wish I did not ask for them. But, this is woman's nature. Be prepared to talk. She will need to talk and talk and talk and talk. I never thought I would be that way. I hated talk, talk, talk, talk.... But, I soon learned it was therapy. Encourage her to talk to you and to find someone she can talk to. If she is getting quiet, distant, she needs to talk. Be honest, brutally honest, do not protect any of your addiction. If she can get to a support group quickly, she will get the support she truly needs instead of telling a friend or relative who may or may not have any experience in this and will cause her more pain because she will have to deal with their issues and possibly their inability to forgive.

I hope this is not to much information.
My love and Prayers to you and your beautiful wife."
posted at 18:55:12 on December 14, 2010 by hero
Great Stuff    
"That's great advice, Hero. Excellent."
posted at 22:58:32 on December 14, 2010 by BeClean
Always find it here...    
"Encouragement that is.

Thanks for the input and advice. I appreciate your insights Hero, and welcome any help and direction you can provide.

When you say be careful with the details... how do I do that? You also tell me to be brutally honest. Honesty is what I want... but how do I avoid telling details while trying to be completely honest? I can't see actually telling her that she may not want to know. I don't know that would work, or that she would accept that.

Thoughts?

Edit: Meant to say thanks Speak. It does help having someone who relates."
posted at 14:42:15 on December 15, 2010 by paul
Thoughts!    
"I will get back with you on your questions."
posted at 15:27:14 on December 15, 2010 by Hero
Hero may I? ;)    
"The way I see it is, and not that this is you, but its like if ya kiss a girl; you tell your wife you kissed a girl but not how she kisses. If you look at porn just say you look at porn. Shes not gonna feel any damn better if you tell you usually only check out chicks in swims suites and have been a good chap all these years trying to avoid the hard stuff. All shes gonna hear is swim suites, with a gigantic crushing question mark looming, and then neither of you will ever be able to enjoy a day at the beach again.

Obviously if you look a child porn you should probably be explicit about the word child cause well that's obviously a big deal. But even still keep the deets on the down low.

Details = future female triggers.

So just know everything you say can and probably will be used against your wife in a court of satan. Against her might I emphasize. The triggers you give her will hurt her, just like an addiction, as much or more then it will hurt you when she acts out on them. They become poor hopeless little addicts just I us. We should be able to relate to that right? Ha! Man I should teach this shit jk "
posted at 15:42:23 on December 15, 2010 by They speak
Hah!    
"Thanks again Speak... No, thankfully none of what I have been involved with will require incarceration at all. :)

What I am curious about is, suppose she asks for details, how do I tell her I don't want to describe them (knowing that the devils are in the details and details = future triggers) without sounding like I don't want to be completely honest or open?"
posted at 15:51:14 on December 15, 2010 by paul
Don't delay Paul    
"If the timing to tell your wife isn't quite right doesn't mean you have to delay the day of your repentance. By your comments It's obvious your ready and you understand the harm we cause. So get on your knees, commit this day to start the healing. No more going over the waterfall. And the only way to ever do that is to stay out of the white water. Only you out of honesty can figure what your white water is. If you go over then recommit again right away. I'm only on day 36 myself and not an expert. But I know for a fact I wouldn't be on day 36 now if I didn't start with day one when I did. Service leads to joy and peace. That too you don't need to wait on...start serving your wife like you did when she first met you. Make her fall in love with you all over again...and be patient."
posted at 16:09:27 on December 15, 2010 by Anonymous
Fall in love all over again...    
"Is exactly what I hope happens! And trust me, I am working on it already. :)

As far as I'm concerned the white water and especially the falls are the last places I will ever go back to. It has already been months since I've been there, and I'd rather sit on the shore and burn than walk back into those waters again."
posted at 16:16:44 on December 15, 2010 by paul
Don't delay Paul    
"If the timing to tell your wife isn't quite right doesn't mean you have to delay the day of your repentance. By your comments It's obvious your ready and you understand the harm we cause. So get on your knees, commit this day to start the healing. No more going over the waterfall. And the only way to ever do that is to stay out of the white water. Only you out of honesty can figure what your white water is. If you go over then recommit again right away. I'm only on day 36 myself and not an expert. But I know for a fact I wouldn't be on day 36 now if I didn't start with day one when I did. Service leads to joy and peace. That too you don't need to wait on...start serving your wife like you did when she first met you. Make her fall in love with you all over again...and be patient."
posted at 17:09:28 on December 15, 2010 by Anonymous
Gems,    
"Paul, Speak summed it up very well.

What if she asks for more details? Explain to her that you are willing to give her everything. You want to be totally honest. Then explain to her what you have learned here. Lovingly tell her that if she would like more detail you will give her what ever she wants, but as you understand learning from those who have walked these steps before, that too many details will not help her heal and could cause her more pain than necessary. If she insists suggest that she talk to a counselor, or therapist, or a missionary in the ARP program for spouses with SA first. Suggest she read, From Heartache to Healing, by Colleen and Philip Harrison. " Both of you will be plagued by rehearsing the details. It isn't necessary. It only inflames the situation and SPREADS THE INFECTION OF SIN FROM ONE MIND TO ANOTHER." Remember step 5 says, "the exact nature of our wrongs,". Then if she still needs the details give them to her only as she asks.

Paul, always do this with a prayer in your heart. The spirit will guide you. Listen... be humble.... You might try fasting before disclosure.

Love to you all,"
posted at 17:53:07 on December 15, 2010 by Hero
Paul and Speak    
"I have said my bit to you guys and just want to let you know it gets better no matter what.
I have run on the confession treadmill. Just make it a complete confession or else there will be no end to the running. "
posted at 19:42:24 on December 15, 2010 by ruggaexpat
I agree    
"With everything that has been said. Paul, set that date and KEEP IT. Tell her WHAT you have done (ALL OF IT--don't leave out a single TYPE of sin--you might want to write it all down first!), but don't tell her how or where or with whom or what it was like. When you are done, tell her, "That's everything...there is nothing I've done that you don't know about." And make sure it is!! Also, I recommend that you tell her that you haven't done any of it for X months, as you've been preparing yourself to tell her--tell her that the person you have been for the past few months is the type of person you want to continue to be. IF she asks for details, promise to tell her whatever she wants to know, but recommend that she get on this site, get ARP help, and talk to others before asking you for the details.

Oh, yeah, and tell her you are truly sorry and God willing, you will never do it again (and mean it--and keep that promise or your trust may never come back)! Let her know that you are only now beginning to understand the pain you have caused her even without her knowing.

Those are my thoughts. Do it, Paul! Please do it before it's too late!"
posted at 19:53:22 on December 15, 2010 by BeClean
Common Feeling    
"Feeling like you won't be accepted for who you are is a common faulty core belief for sex addicts. It gets better as you get healthier. Know that it is a faulty belief. Your addiction doesn't make you a bad person, just a person with a struggle. I wish you the best as you tell your wife."
posted at 23:43:54 on December 16, 2010 by dstanley
I've been wondering about you...    
"I've been thinking about your situation for these past couple of months and I'm so glad to hear you've made the decision to tell your wife. That is wonderful news! Honesty is so important, I'm sure I've said it before, but I'll say it again. The lies and deception hurt just as much as the actual acts, I hope the addicts could understand this.

I'll be praying for you and your wife. It's going to be real tough, good luck!"
posted at 16:08:14 on December 17, 2010 by time2heal
This is so hard...    
"I'm grateful for the encouragement and advice. Thank you everyone.

There are times when I feel that telling her won't be nearly as bad as I've imagined it being. That I'm almost excited to get this out of hiding. But then I start to wonder if I'm just minimizing the gravity of what this secret really is.

I love reading what you sisters write. I has given me so much understanding of how to help after we talk. But often, when I read some of the comments explaining how badly it hurts you, and how it truly destroys all of the respect, trust, and love I nearly scare myself out of it. In fact, knowing that so many on this site know of my goal may be one of the only things that forces me to keep it.

I love my wife so much. She is quite literally part of who I am. I have very truly honestly never wanted anyone but her. All I can say is I simply did not understand the consequences of my choices. But that doesn't really mean much now.

Elder Maxwell wrote, "We'd better want the consequences of what we want!"

So true, I should have known what the consequences were before deciding to let this evil into our lives. I'm so afraid of losing her. Losing my family. I just, wish I knew that x number of years from now, she will love me again. I wish I knew that this won't be my first and last Christmas with our boys. I wish I knew that next month I'll still be able to wake up and hear the boys talking or crying, hear her playing with them.

But Faith is forward looking right? Faith is positive. I know truth is THE ONLY way out of this mess, and I have to accept the consequences of what I've done.

EDIT: Sorry to sound so depressed all the time. I usually try to be much more upbeat, but I haven't really felt optimistic about this particular subject for years. I'm not sure how Rugga, BeClean, and Speak pull it off. Optimism in the face of complete destruction. Thats faith I haven't found yet."
posted at 17:06:56 on December 17, 2010 by paul
I am repeating myself here Paul    
"But the Lord has a way to soften the heart. It does not come about when we want but it does come and then life will take on a new meaning for you both.

Your wife will have all the support she needs to get through this, if mine did so will yours. Those twins will grow up with a real dad, one they can admire and respect.
I now sense it in your writing that you are almost ready, we can never be fully ready but the Lord will let you know its time.

Part of you will say no I cannot but the other part of you will go into some sort fo automatic pilot and you will get to the point of no return. It happened like that for me, I just found myself say oh crap I cannot stop this, there is no way I can turn back now.

Let the Lord help you get to that point and you will never look back. Your wife will look back and say what the hell was I thinking marrying this man but she will be set free too."
posted at 17:28:48 on December 17, 2010 by ruggaexpat


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"If it were possible to make your road very easy, you wouldn’t grow in strength. If you were always forgiven for every mistake without effort on your part, you would never receive the blessings of repentance. If everything were done for you, you wouldn’t learn how to work, or gain self-confidence, or acquire the power to change. "

— Richard G. Scott

General Conference May 1990