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"I know I've hurt you/us, but 'we' just need to push through it."
By Confidence1
7/13/2011 12:07:43 AM
That is what my husband's mindset and words have been to me. Keep in mind, it's been 2 weeks since (I hope) full disclosure.

I've felt so weak every time he says it or hints to it:
"I know this is hard for you honey, I know I've hurt you, but we have to live our lives now."
"'We' have to be good parents and 'actually' feed the kids instead of letting them munch on everything." (I'm a stay-at-home-mom)
"You don't need to cry."
etc

I feel like he says he cares, and does show he cares 'sometimes' but, that it's getting more far and few between. I want him to serve me with respect and love. I want him to make an effort that is not covered with words saying (basically to me), "You aren't strong enough," or "Get a grip."

He has gone to two meetings and seen the Bishop this Sunday and says he plans on meeting weekly for awhile. He's praying more often (morning and then when I remind us to have evening/couples prayer). And we did have an intimate weekend with just the two of us, and there was very little fighting.

However, he's not worked in his workbook. He doesn't plan on seeing a Therapist, or if he does, he'll only go for a few times because, "I (he) can handle it without other people. I (he) don't want to use it as a crutch; too many do that." He's not read any books on SA or anything on what I'm going through. He doesn't shower me with extra love. However, he does *sometimes* have a little more listening patience. He doesn't clean up after himself (rarely has anyway), and just says, after being annoyed usually, "Yeah, you're right, I should clean up my stuff," but, he doesn't follow through. I need to stop listing too much. :(

He DOES work 60 hour weeks, so I understand he's strained for "alone" time, but right now I care a lot less about that "excuse." He needs to work at this.

I deserve it, right? I deserve to fight for an eternal marriage that I've invested so much into, that I don't currently have.

Tonight he seemed to turn things into my fault when all I've done is showered him with love and encouragement. I called and left him a message last night after asking the Spirit to help me. I wrote on a card words of encouragement. I gave him nice texts he can reread.

Do I deserve more attention, or am I being too needy? I'm still staring at my body all mangled and don't want to go near it. His behaviors are making me feel I need to distance myself more from my reality and him.

Comments:

Detach    
"Confidence,

I can relate to everything you are saying. I have experienced it too. There is a part of me that 'needs' his positive attention and 'needs' him to recover and 'needs' a righteous husband and 'needs' someone who has empathy and understanding of my recovery and allows it to happen with patience and support. But I've had to detach all those needs and let them go. They are out of my control and slowly, very slowly, I've had to learn that I don't need them at all. I can heal without them. I have to heal without them because I don't have them...and yet I still have to heal. The truth is that all I need is my Savior and I have Him and He will never leave me.

By detaching...truly detaching from my expectations from my husband I find that I am kinder to him. I am more attentive to my children. I am softer with myself. I truly take care of me and those around me. I have no expectation of return. It has not changed my situation per say, but it has changed me deeply and I have hope that it will change other things as well. But if it doesn't then I know in my heart that I did what was right.

I hope this helps."
posted at 14:03:04 on July 13, 2011 by maddy
More clarification...    
"So, I'm a bit confused (not a weird thing for me since finding out about the SA)...

So, when I detach myself from expectations from my husband, Do I detach from my feelings too? I can do that; just not go back and forth. It won't be easy though. Is it ok to encourage commitment from time to time? Is there more to this detaching business?"
posted at 15:14:14 on July 13, 2011 by confidence1
Good question    
"First, let me say that I am just at the beginning of my own recovery and I am no way an expert at this. Every day is still a work in progress of practicing these very new skills.

For me, detaching means that I detach from my husbands addiction. I am slowly also finding that I am detaching from his recovery.

The word detach at first meant to me a negative concept. It meant 'apathy'. That is not at all what it means to me anymore. It simply means to put things in their proper place and separate things that shouldn't be mixed up. It is like a blender of addiction and pain. I have been deeply 'mixed up' in my husbands addiction. I have been objectified horribly and have become insanely codependent. I have become mixed, and tossed and tumbled and stirred up by his behaviors. To detach from all of that has been to step out of that blender of pain and addiction.

His failures are not my failures. His successes are not my successes. I am detaching from what is not real and the illusions and lies that come with an addicted life. I have no need to control him as I detach. I accept that my life is not everything I want. I accept that I am married to an addict, but somehow I still find peace when I stop feeling shame for HIS addiction. I stop feeling anger at HIS relapses or when HE doesn't work on HIS recovery. That is all his. Not mine. I detach.

I've tried detaching from my own emotions. That is bad. Bad. Bad. It doesn't work and it does a lot of damage. That is not what I mean. As I detach from my husbands addiction, I actually become deeply aware of my own emotions in a way that I never have before. I can see ME for the first time in a long time, not corrupted by what this addiction has done to my vision. I have seen myself through the his eyes...I have seen myself as the object that I became to him. I saw myself through the eyes of pornography. I saw the lies. And I believed them.... Oh the pain that brought me. That was when I was fully mixed up in my husbands world of addiction. But....As I detach from his addiction, I see myself the way Heavenly Father sees me. I see truth. Finally, after 13 years, I am learning to see the truth and I BELIEVE HIM now. Oh, the joy!

I fully support my husband's recovery. I encourage him. I compliment him. I try hard to keep my mouth shut when he pulls away from recovery, though sometimes the Spirit guides me to say something. Always, always when I follow those promptings, it works out beautifully. When I nag or act on my own, it seems to provoke instant resentment. This is his recovery. Not mine. I walk a careful line there, but the Holy Ghost makes all the difference. For example, my husband has not gone to visit the bishop in a long, long time. I know that this is stunting his recovery, but that is his choice and so I don't bring it up. There have been two times though that in the middle of making an excuse to me why he doesn't go I was prompted to challenge him if what he was saying was legitimate or if it was self-deceptive. The rest is for him to decide.

I am not emotionally detached from him. I love him. I work and play and live side by side with him. Things are not all good, but they are not all bad either. I've had to separate needing a husband that is addiction free....because I don't have that. I hope that someday I will have that, but I have been called to walk a different road for now. But I cannot and will not step back into the world of addiction. I've separated myself from that and increasingly detach more and more. The peace and happiness that comes from being accountable for myself (and 100% accountable for myself and my own reactions and behaviors) and not trying to carry his addiction or his recovery has been a miracle in my life.

I hope this clarifies things."
posted at 16:02:07 on July 13, 2011 by maddy
There is more    
"It is not a mental exercise as to what you can do or can't do, it is all about giving all of it to the Savior and completely letting go of your husband's addiction. If he chooses light and complete healing that will be great for him, you , and your family. If not, you can still heal. Involving yourself in his addiction or sobriety only makes things worse. You must let go of all control so that you are prepared God to heal you.

Have you read any books on addiction and codependency? If not, I have found reading books helpful. Codependency No More is a great book, and I think it might help you to understand this new life you have found yourself thrust into. Be kind to yourself because you are still in shock. I remember shock so well, but it has been a couple of years since disclosure. Although things are not perfect, we are moving forward and upward. When my husband struggles, I pray for him and try to be as kind as possible. At first that was hard, but not is much easier.

When he crosses a boundary, he knows what to expect. My boundary says No Porn, Period! Also unkindness by him is met with him staying in another room for a few days. I am not talking about a bad day or a moment, I am talking about more than a couple of days. The reason I have this boundary is because that behavior most always followed a slip. Some may think that is too harsh, but my husband does not think that because he is dead serious about his healing. My children and I deserve better than a husband and dad who hides in he shadows of life to fulfill a devilish desire. There is just too much damage from past evil that I can no longer allow. The Savior was never a doormat and neither am I. Your boundaries may be more lenient and that is okay. Do what works for you, not him. Addicts who are not serious about sobriety tend to want make demands on their spouses and that does not help them If you want to help him, set your boundaries and work on your own healing. If you live near a temple, and can go, go as often as possible. If you do not have a recommend, you can sit in the parking lot and pray. Also, ready the Book of Mormon every single day and it will help to make your strong. There really is power within those pages.

Do you attend ARP meetings? That is a great place to find friends who are in the same situation and can really be a great guide. I have told a few friends outside of my ARP group about my husband's addiction, and found that those friends, although well meaning do not understand and cannot give the level of support and advice I find in my group. Even the Bishop is not there to give advice. My Bishop expresses love to me, but is honest is sharing that he knows nothing about what I am going through and directs me back to my Father in Heaven and the people who have experience and knowledge to help me. He is amazing and I feel loved. I appreciate his honesty in saying that he cannot understand what I am going through because he is not a woman and has never been where I am.

This may be a hard concept to grasp. It really is all about faith. You will spend much time on your knees (as if you don't already), but the clouds will clear if you stay on your path to healing.

What was once normal is no longer. You have a new normal for you and your family now.

I am sorry for your pain. Hold on to faith, cry as much as possible, don't block your feelings, feel them, and trust God, because that is what will get you through the dark days ahead. It will be a long road, but He will never let your down."
posted at 16:07:45 on July 13, 2011 by Anonymous
Thanks    
"Thanks Maddy for your thoughts. This has actually made me realize that I don't have shame for being with a SA. I guess I kind of feel like I have a friend that says they want to lose weight, but stuffs themselves and doesn't make any changes; all while saying they want to.

I'm just frustrated that he's not that committed to actually change - at least not quickly, anyway. I guess he's still in love with the porn deep down (like in my example, let's say their still in love with the gorging and no moderation or exercise). Not to say he's slipped into porn or mb for 2 weeks (again, I don't "know," but I don't think I care that much).

I do know I feel that I need to get my emotions out to someone. ALL out. I've held them back far too long. My husband is a complainer of sorts (honestly, I think it's one of the things that led to a "need" for an addiction), and has complained to me a lot and torn me down. Called me the worst swear words there are. Not cared for boundaries either. Many times I try to stuff it deep so I don't get too hurt by it. But, that doesn't always work. Plus, i don't think it's healthy for me anymore (or ever was).

***I forgot to add that last night I drew a "Jesus box" as HERO suggested to someone else. Now, I stare at the box and give that bad thought/memory to Jesus. :)"
posted at 16:17:02 on July 13, 2011 by confidence1
I came back to add    
"I realized when I typed this that I didn't add something very important...detaching doesn't mean you let him do anything he wants and not respond. Boundaries are key to this process. By establishing healthy boundaries, I have been safe enough to detach. Boundaries are critical to this. I know I've written about boundaries elsewhere, so I'll let that suffice for now."
posted at 16:29:36 on July 13, 2011 by maddy
Just read    
"I just read the comments that Anon and you wrote...

First, Anon is at the core of the issue in her post. This is about detaching from our spouses addiction and that pain and responsibility and the codependent thinking all the other things that hold us bound and turning to the Savior and letting the Atonement carry ALL of that for us. He is the only way to detach. In fact, I believe He is the One who detaches us from it. We cannot detach. We can only go to Him and let Him detach us from that addict-world.

You are doing really well. I've read your posts. You are processing. You are reaching in the right direction. Just keep doing it no matter what. This is such a hard, hard painful processes, but there is peace in the pain. I love the Jesus box idea. You are already detaching. :) "
posted at 16:41:12 on July 13, 2011 by maddy
Anon & Maddy    
"I totally missed Anon's post as I guess our posts came on at nearly the same time. :)

Thank you for all that sharing. I'm giving more and more to my Savior every day. I really need to go to the Temple, but, now our Temple is in Logan/Bountiful, and it's more of a drive... then the babysitter thing. But, I'll try! :)

Thank you both for your testimonies of your own recovery path. As I'm really just starting out, I need all the talk I can get!

Oh, and ARP - funny thing is that my husband started going (it'll be his 3rd meeting tonight), but, he doesn't want me to go with him. His 1st meeting, there was one wife there. 2nd meeting, no wives. So, there isn't a large group, but I did ask he get her contact info (even if it's just an e-mail), so I could contact her to set up a group for just us and any others."
posted at 17:03:01 on July 13, 2011 by confidence1
ARP progams in your area.    
"Here are links to the Addiction Recovery Programs meeting locations. You can copy and past the link. It should take you to the site. I tested it and it worked for me. Or just click the link.

http://www.providentliving.org/content/list/0,11664,4177-1,00.html

http://www.providentliving.org/content/list/0,11664,4177-1,00.html

UTAH CENTERVILLE OFFICE: 801-294-0578 /LAYTON OFFICE: 801-336-3040

I just copy and pasted so these are a little jumbled but it will give you an idea of meetings in your area for you.

You have to make an effort to find the meeting specifically for you. In your area you should not have to start one on your own. There are many PASG meetings for spouses.


There are separate men's and women's groups at each location unless noted. THIS LIST IS NOT COMPLETE......
LDS Chapel
2228 South 1660 West, Syracuse, UT
Relief Society Room
7:30 PM
7:30 PM
Clearfield High School Seminary Bldg.
962 South 1000 East, Clearfield, UT
YSA Men Only
7:30 PM
Clearfield Junior High School Seminary Bldg.
935 South State, Clearfield, UT
YSA Women Only
Tuesday
7:30 PM
Clearfield High School Seminary Bldg.
962 South 1000 East, Clearfield, UT
Thursday
7:30 PM
Kaysville Jr. High Seminary
88 E. 390 S.; Kaysville UT
Across the street, west of Davis High School
7:30 PM
DATC Institute Bldg.--YSA group--Male Only
550 East 300 South, Kaysville, UT

Hope this helps."
posted at 18:47:19 on July 13, 2011 by hero
confidencein    
"He went to the ARP meeting? And all this time I was getting the impression he wasn't interested in recovery! "
posted at 01:38:25 on July 14, 2011 by Anonymous


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" Is it possible to reclaim a life that through reckless abandon has become so strewn with garbage that it appears that the person is unforgivable? Or what about the one who is making an honest effort but has fallen back into sin so many times that he feels that there is no possible way to break the seemingly endless pattern? Or what about the person who has changed his life but just can't forgive himself?The Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to each of us. His Atonement is infinite. It applies to everyone, even you. It can clean, reclaim, and sanctify even you. That is what infinite means—total, complete, all, forever. "

— Shayne M. Bowen

General Conference October 2006