emotional abuse
By dh
1/18/2012 11:50:23 PM
If I hit my wife and then said I was sorry, and then a few weeks later I lost control and hit her again and said I was sorry, and then a few days later I lost control and hit her again and said I was sorry . . .

how long should she stay with me?

How is pornography different? The pain I cause her is just as real. And it doesn't matter why I hit her -- whether its because I saw my dad hit my mom as a child or whatever -- the reason is unimportant. If a man hits a woman, that woman should leave that man.

Should my wife leave me? I keep hurting her. She is so sweet and forgiving. But I hurt her again and again.

Why do we treat physical abuse differently from emotional abuse?


"If you look at statistics & facts, it's cut & dry anyone in any sort of abusive relationship should remove themselves from it. But life is so much more complicated than that.
There have been so many times in the first 10 years of my marraige that I got angry & yelled about something that was completely irrational. I even threw things & cursed out my husband & children. But they forgave me & we moved on.
When I told my husband about my addictive behaviors, he knew there was something wrong & my addictive behaviors explained it all. That's the thing about our loved ones. They see everything. They see our good days, they see our efforts to do the right thing. They take into account all of it. I'm not condoning abusive relationships. I am not telling anyone to stay in a situation that is 100% completely unhealthy & irrepairable.
But, I'm so thankful that my husband has forgiven me & has overlooked all my faults & failings. I'm thankful that he sees the good in me.
Is your situation irrepairable? NO. It's not irrepairable because you are on here. You are trying. You are working the program. Is your wife in a support group? Perhaps she should be. Should she leave? Well, that is completely up to her. If she has forgiven you & continues to apply the atonement to her broken heart & continues to forgive, then maybe she has figured out something that you might not have yet.
Christ's atonement was for you & her. Everyone's pain, the person that is abused & the person that abuses (whatever form that abuse occurs in), everyone's addictions, every single disease, every negative event from this earthly life was swallowed up in The Atonement. So if she has figured that out. If she has applied the Atonement & has given it all to God, then maybe you should be thankful that she has. And maybe you should give it to God & apply the Atonement yourself.
We tend to be so hard on ourselves. I used to tear myself down for every single shortcoming I have. But then I realized & I remind myself constantly that of all the things that I am, I am first and foremost a Daughter of God. I am a daughter of God that struggles with addiction. Remember who you are, remember who she is, stop ripping yourself apart when you have a bad day. Recognize it was a bad day, apply the atonement & move forward.
“Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (D&C 58:42). "
posted at 02:01:29 on January 19, 2012 by ME
perhaps it has nothing to do with them    
"It may be a surprise, but some spouses do not consider the viewing of pornography to be an attack on them. They are hurt because you hurt yourself, in much the same way that a parent is hurt or sad when a child makes a mistake. Some spouses believe that your addiction was present before they entered the picture, and it has nothing to do with them. If they knew about your addiction before they married you, and they married you anyway, they may also feel that they have taken on a commitment to help you through it, for better or for worse.

When you lash out and physically abuse your spouse with anger, no one can mistake, that is an attack on your spouse."
posted at 03:04:00 on January 19, 2012 by beclean
All Good Points    
"I can see that there are some differences between SA behaviors and physical abuse, and I am not suggesting that a spouse should leave an addict that is trying to heal. I was only thinking out loud. I think there might be something useful for me in recognizing the similarities between my addictive behavior and physical abuse. I would NEVER hit my wife. Period. But I know that some men do hit women. Some of them do it because they learned the behavior early on when they were young and impressionable; it is an ingrained pattern. That does not make the act any less wrong, I am only pointing out how similar it is to SA. Another similarity is that the act hurts, regardless of whether she sees it as an attack on her or not, it hurts. Just like it would hurt whether you were run over by a car on purpose or on accident. My wife has been extremely patient and forgiving, but I sometimes wonder how deep her well of patience runs.

Here's the point: I would never hit my wife. So I can use this new awareness -- that choosing to indulge in P/MB is in some ways very similar; it is a deliberate choice that will hurt my wife -- as a deterrent.

When my kids are about to make a bad choice, sometimes we re-caste their perception of the choice to help them focus on the negative consequences. So the kid might think they are choosing pleasure but we help them see that they are choosing pain. This idea works under the same principle. When tempted, I can remind myself that I am about to hurt my wife.

I guess there is nothing new in this approach. I just hadn't thought of it this way before."
posted at 08:25:53 on January 19, 2012 by DH
My first impression    
"If I hit my Savior and then said I was sorry, and then a few weeks later I lost control and hit Him again and said I was sorry, and then a few days later I lost control and hit Him again and said I was sorry . . .

This may not make any sense to anyone but me, but when I read what you wrote, I couldn't help but think that this is what we do to the Lord when we sin. By hurting another person, including ourselves, we are abusing Him. I wish I could remember this before I act and it would motivate my behaviors to be more righteous."
posted at 14:47:38 on January 19, 2012 by Anonymous
Thoughts on abuse from a spouse's perspective    
"The definition of abuse, as used by the Church is:

"Abuse is the treatment of others or self in a way that causes injury or offense. It harms the mind and the spirit and often injures the body as well. It can cause confusion, doubt, mistrust, and fear. It is a violation of the laws of society and is in total opposition to the teachings of the Savior. The Lord condemns abusive behavior in any form—physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional. "

I came from a background of terrible abuse of all sorts and sizes from my father growing up. There was nothing he had ever done to me that has caused me as much pain as the betrayals from my husbands SA has caused. I will first say that that is my personal reaction and I don't expect others to share my experience. There is no question in my mind that sexual addiction is abusive to the family members that are innocently touched by it. There it is. My plain opinion on it: SA is abuse. It is an assault on the mind, spirit and even body of innocent bystanders. That is why so many spouses suffer from PTSD as the try to recover.

So why do I stay in an abusive relationship? Because my husband is sick and I have hope for healing and Heavenly Father hasn't told me to leave. Just because you are in an abusive relationship doesn't automatically make you a victim. Victim is a state of mind. Addiction is a disease and a lot of us spouses are standing by our ill partner as they thrash around and hurt us in the the throws of their sickness. He Restoreth My Soul refers to addiction as a form of insanity and recovery as a return to sanity and reality. Recovering addicts often wake up from their cloud and see clearly for the first time that they have been emotionally pounding their families everytime they indulged. It is a horrifying realization but it also has the power to force the addict to their knees in faith for the atonement if it is met with repentance and not with shame and self hatred.

BeClean is a spouse I've learned that even while I am getting 'hit in the face' by my husbands behavior, that I know it has nothing to do with me. I stay with him not as a martyr or a victim, but as a companion who will see this through as long as my Heavenly Father asks me to. I've been called to walk through this fire and I don't know why, but I believe it will be to my Eternal benefit. Life isn't fair and my job is to endure my trials and praise my Savior in them and for them.

I am NOT trying to say I am spiritual like the prophets, but they are certainly some of my hero's and I often think of them and their example. Many of them were abused....and they didn't turn away from their abusers...they stayed and labored while there was hope. They weren't victims. They were hero's. Their 'callings' weren't easy. Well, neither is mine and my goal is to be a hero in my own life.

In summary: Is it abuse? Yes. Is emotional or physical abuse different? No. I've been through both and you cannot quantify or put them in hierarchies. How long should I stay? As long as the Lord says to.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts.

posted at 15:33:14 on January 19, 2012 by maddy
What would we do without Maddy???    
posted at 23:36:33 on January 19, 2012 by Anonymous

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— Larry W. Gibbons

General Conference October 2006