Being open here/with my wife
By quuephe
1/17/2012 11:48:26 AM
So, yesterday, I was on here. I didn't have any desire to do anything, but I wanted to see if I could be of some encouragement to someone. My wife, who is currently living with her mom going to school in another state, got upset when I told her that I was on here. The day I joined the site I had slipped. I joined the site and then I talked to my wife. She got upset that I joined this first and then spoke to her. Like she's not enough. How do I show her that I need her support more than anyone else's (aside from the savior)?

I grew up in the church knowing that sexual sins are wrong. I kept it to myself this entire time and she's really the first to know, aside from bishops when I was trying to come clean. She's upset because I didn't come to her right away when I had the urge, that I told her afterward. I've spent over a decade keeping this to myself and it is hard for me to say anything at all, even here. How do I convey that to her and show her that I'm trying to be open and honest with her?

One of the things she said yesterday really hurt. She told me that she hoped I wasn't finding new ways to hide it from her. How do I deal with that jab?


My wife doesnt like it either.    
"I think she fears that I will say too much personal/ private information and that would be embarrassing. I have deleted some posts that were too much for her. "
posted at 14:25:40 on January 17, 2012 by Anonymous
Go get some books..    
"He restoreth my soul by donald hilton. It's a great LDS centric book. My wife got one for each of her friends that are "in the know"

there is a new book I think at the distribution center called "Understanding Pornography and Sexual Addiction – A Resource for LDS Parents and Leaders" its good too.

Good site to start -- you can get both books here.

One thing I noted is that you wife doesnt want to get in the position of tracking you all the time. It will drive her nuts and create co-addict behaviors. However she still has to know when you slip and why. She CANT be your accountability partner. It wont work. you need someone else. a friend, father, brother, bishop but ideally another addict in recovery who will have compassion, understanding and be hard on you. "
posted at 14:35:03 on January 17, 2012 by Hurtallover
You don't deal with it, you let the Savior deal with it    

First of all!!! WAY TO GO! You told her! That courage alone is amazing. far as the is my worthless advice: don't worry about it. Listen to her. Be honest with her, but understand that the things she says and does that hurt you are her issues and not yours. Love gives compassion, but it doesn't take things personally. She is acting out of pain, not love, just the same way that when you indulged in your addiction you were acting out of pain and not love. I have said some pretty unbelievable things to my poor husband. I didn't understand at the time why I was saying those things except that I wanted the pain to stop and guilt-ing him or trying to 'show him' how destructive his behaviors could be was a way for me to try and cope. Not a healthy way...but I had to recover too and didn't have the skills any more than he did. Now we are finally learning what it means to love.

This is a learning process and please, please, please, give her the patience as she goes through the death throws of her old life and probably the resistance to her new one. She will go through a variety of symptoms and stages and some of them are ugly. Some people don't go through them....but most of us do.

Every wife runs the risk of becoming deeply codependent when they are attached to an addicted spouse. (In my case I was codependent before I met my husband and is probably why I was attracted to him in the first place...these two diseases have way of finding each other.) In return the addict runs the equal risk of becoming just as codependent. Controlling and defensive behavior is a big sign of codependency. Don't fall into it's trap, but if she does then you can't save her from that. All you can do is stay steady and strong. Focus on you healing process and detach from her issues... Even though 'you caused' them. (which is not true...but it is how codependents see it)

This is my perspective: My husband has an addiction, but so do I. His is SA. Mine is codependency. Neither one is easier or harder to break. I've had to realize that I cannot fix him. I cannot heal him. I am powerless over his addiction. Strange but I now believe that it is possible to have him relapse without it effecting my happiness or my soul at all. I can grieve for him and hurt for his hurt with love, but it doesn't hurt me. I would suggest that you try treating her that way too if you can. If she is angry or defensive and does and says things....those are her fears and demons. Not yours. Detach. (Detach in the ARP definition, which doesn't mean means unconditional love.)

This isn't to say that you don't need to come up with some mutually agreed rules and boundaries for both of you to feel safe. If she needs you to get rid of the internet. Do it. If she needs you to get rid of the computer and the T.V. then do it. Just being willing to goes a long way, even if it isn't practical for you job or schooling. Websites like these are helpful and nice, but you can use a local library perhaps if you need to visit here periodically. I use NetNanny web filter and it allows for me to check remotely on his web activity. At first, that was me being controlling, but over time it became something he was asking me to do and wanted me to do. It is a mutual boundary and it helps us both feel confident and accountable. "Addicts hate boundaries, recovering addicts love them". Simply ask her honest questions without being defensive. "What can I do to help you feel safe?" and then do it. You asked, How can you convey to her that you are trying to be honest? Nothing you ever say will convey that to her. Your actions will speak for themselves. If you want to show her that you want to be honest....then be honest. That is it. Very simple. Very simple and very hard but you can do it. If she is saying things that hurt you, you can lovingly and patiently say, "I hear so much pain in your voice. I love you and I am so sorry you are hurting." Don't become defensive.

Last comment, I promise. Don't, don't don't ever try to give her your 'resume' of things you're doing to change to prove to her you are getting better. My husband and I try to have a companionship inventory were we can discuss our what we are doing that is working and what we are doing that isn't....but everytime either of us try and 'prove' to the other how improved we goes poorly. Let your actions and consistency build trust, not your claims.

I know this was very frank. I hope it helps.

Keep up what you are doing. This is hard stuff and you are taking the big steps.

posted at 16:28:24 on January 17, 2012 by Anonymous
be honest with her    
"Maddy said it perfectly. I can see why your wife would want to be the first to know every time you have temptation, because that is how I still struggle with feeling about my husband. I am starting to realize that I'm being too controlling/codependent, and also that he needs more support and if I truly want him to get help then I want him to do that however he needs to. That is his business. But understand that your wife is really hurting and probably still trying to make sense of this addiction. You could let her know why this is so important to you, or how it is helping you. Has she considered going to a family support meeting? It might help her to understand the feeling of being understood in this very dark and scary place."
posted at 12:50:01 on January 18, 2012 by crushedwife
Couples counseling    
"has been talked about, even before we got married. (we are still newly weds.) It is something we want to do to help me get over other issues. Chrushed, thank you for your advice, I think I will take that with us when we go to our counselor.

Maddy, your love and experience is so very much needed right now! thank you! I asked her to join the site and read what spouses have had to say. She said she might, but I'm going to ask her again. I think that if she saw how much work this is on my end, she'd understand a little better how to be supportive. I know she is trying, she just doesn't know how. She's been around addiction all her life, but she's never, to my knowledge, been in a sittuation like she is now. I know that I'm afraid of her becoming Codependent. That's one reason why it's hard for me to tell her every time, even for something that seems smallish... IDK... I want the journey to be over already... It's so hard to keep my resolve up.

Hurt, thank you. I think I'll actually look into those resources for us. I think you may be right and that it will help us both.

I love you all!! Thank you so much for your prayers and support!!

posted at 18:54:54 on January 18, 2012 by quuephe

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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