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Follow up Questions
By change4good
8/8/2012 12:40:44 PM
I am really eager to hear from others so that I can feel more motivation to confess. Perhaps motivation is the wrong word since I feel motivated, just terribly frightened of the road ahead. This was a comment I made in my previous post but I wanted to just create a new entry instead:

What can I expect my wife will do when I confess my sexual addictions? Will she be inconsolable? Will she want to know every last detail of my sins? Will it take a long long time for her to talk to me about anything besides my transgressions? Will she ever think that it was not a personal assault on her? Will she ever come to an understanding of what this addiction is and why it was so difficult for me to abstain? Will she feel it necessary to confide in her family? Will I have to share this with my family? Is life, as I know it, going to change forever? I know that Christ taught to forgive others and to forget when a transgressor has repented but I'm not so sure that everyone will have that capacity. I suppose that that is the fault of that individual. Oh, how I feel such fear that is keeping me from doing what I know will be better for me in the long run. Oh, how I wish that my life looked the same on the inside as it does from the outside.

I am trying so terribly hard to gain the courage to face my wife and the consequences of my actions and to promise her that I want nothing more than to live my life to be worthy of her after we pass away. I am willing to do everything necessary to maintain change in my life but it is so so very difficult to kick start those actions because of the unknown. I fear that if I keep it to myself that I will just constantly slip over and over and try to hide my misery for ever.

Have you done the 12 step program? Do you repeat the steps over and over or is it a one time thing? How to do continue to abstain if there are no more steps to do? I am curious how the program works. If you don't mind sharing, are you in a program and have you found that you have rid yourself of acting out? I know that as I have been reading about addiciton that people don't like to use the word cure, but is it possible to make it so that I never act out again for the rest of my life? This has been a desire of mine for so long and I need to know that it is possible.

Comments:

Answers    
"Ok here are the answers to your questions.... sort of.

Will she be inconsolable? - Maybe
Will she want to know every last detail of my sins? - Maybe, probably (at least at first)
Will it take a long long time for her to talk to me about anything besides my transgressions? - Maybe
Will she ever think that it was not a personal assault on her? - Maybe- hopefully - she will if she lets the Atonement work for her.
Will she ever come to an understanding of what this addiction is and why it was so difficult for me to abstain? - Maybe - this isn't really a question any of us can answer, even you, because it's based on personal choice by your wife.
Will she feel it necessary to confide in her family? Maybe
Will I have to share this with my family? No
Is life, as I know it, going to change forever? Hopefully:-)

But these questions and these answers aren't the answer. The key it to come to hate your addiction so much that you'll do anything to repent and let it go. I know this is crazy hard and terrifying but please keep in mind also that Satan revels in drama. He is poking you with a hot poker telling you your wife is going to hate you and leave you and the Bishop will be disappointed in you and be sick of you and your Heavenly Father is sick of you etc... those are all lies.

You said that you only want to show her that you want to live worthilly of her... bringing the shame into the open is apart of that process.

My sponsor has this saying... "1, 2, 3 GO!"... and sometimes that the simple way of how to treat really hard things. Just know you don't have to do it alone. Remember the Savior walks beside you. He loves you. He has felt this very personal and specific panic that you are feeling. He knows. And he overcame. So no matter what happens, find peace in knowing you are doing what the Lord wants, and he will bless you, and your wife, tremendously for that.

My husband came clean to me of 6 months of straight acting out a couple of months ago. He has been in the program and working the steps with me for almost 3 years. This was extremely hard for him to find the courage to come forward. And yes, I was shocked, and hurt and I threw my own tantrum. But in the end, I knew that to give away my pain I also needed to trust the Lord and I did. I had the question in my mind "how can I ever trust him again?"... this concept scared me because that whole six months he was acting out I had no blue. I thought life was wonderful so when he told me I was completely blindsided. So I thought how could I ever trust him again when I can't really tell what's wrong. That question was quickly answered fro me. I remember sitting on the bed with him after he returned from his recovery meeting, and through tears he was telling me what he learned... and just when I was about to ask myself "is this real? This sincerity... is it fake?" the Spirit fell upon me... and with the utmost power just said to me "This is real - you can believe this - this is real"... and I realized right then that I didn't have to decide if he was sincere or not... that the Spirit would tell me. And I trust the Spirit... so I just decided to listen to the Spirit from then on and all the weight of wondering was taken from me.

Yes I work the steps every day. No it's not a one time deal. The steps are something you work the rest of your life. They are Gospel principles in action so you implement them into your life. For me, I will work them forever. Some call it the Atonement for Dummies. I'm glad to be a dummie then because it makes relying on the Atonement more understandable and it makes recovery achievable. As for after completing the steps and maintaining sobriety... that may look different for people... but for me I give back to the program. I am a facilitator and a sponsor... and i talk about recovery everywhere I go.

I am 700 days sober today so yes I am free of acting out. But that doesn't mean it can't happen. I could act out right now... that's how easy it would be to slip back into it... that's why I'm always leaning into the wind (my Savior) so it doesn't knock me over.

Your recovery is only as strong as your humility. As long as you remain humble, always be open and honest, and turn your will over to the Lord, you can reach a point in which you don't act out. That doesn't mean you are no longer susceptible to it - but you can be free of partaking of your addiction. For me, I'm grateful for my addiction now. Without it I would be a total fence sitter. Without it I wouldn't have something driving me each day to turn to my Savior. I would be stagnant and apathetic. You probably don't see it now... but this pain and anguish you are experiencing is a blessing. Without the pain what would stop you from doing it?

:-)

Sidreis"
posted at 14:06:27 on August 8, 2012 by siouxsie
This means a lot    
"You have no idea how comforting it is to talk to people about this even anonymously. I feel that with enough discussion and words of encouragement that I can confess and start real change. I love to hear stories of success and struggle because it makes me think that I can do the same thing. I am still terrified of the days, weeks, and years ahead of me. If my wife doesn't forgive me or leaves me then I'm not sure if I will be able to carry on. But I may not be giving her enough credit. It is just so difficult because we have had discussions before about sex and the worldly views on it. She has told me that she just can't understand how people can just hook up with strangers and how people can watch as stranger partake in such an intimate act. I completely agreed with her and assured her that that is exactly how I feel too. She may think that I had lied then but I was being very truthful. I did watch as others displayed artificial intimacy but I have never thought that my actions were correct. In fact, I have never felt that what I had done or what I continued to do was correct. That is what made it so sickening. I knew what was right and I knew that I was destroying myself but yet I couldn't stop myself. I am trying to be humble enough to admit to my mistakes. I am praying every day for the courage to confess but I keep putting it off. I have put it off so many times and I did confess to a bishop years ago but I lost faith in that route because it didn't change me for good. I guess going to the bishop is a start and applying the 12 steps is the remainder of the journey."
posted at 14:47:58 on August 8, 2012 by change4good
you got it!    
"You are absolutely correct in saying two things:

1. You aren't giving your wife enough credit:-)
2. And also that visiting with the Bishop is only part of the solution.

There is work involved in recovery. One thing to look at is giving up things that are allowing you to access. Do you have internet protection software? You can get it for your computer and your phone if you have a smartphone. Also kill the premium channels if you h ave those in your home.

You gotta do everything you can do. Also, if you have PASG groups in your area I highly recommend you attend and find a sponsor. You can find groups at arp.lds.org.

Good on ya!

Sidreis"
posted at 15:14:07 on August 8, 2012 by siouxsie
as a wife    
"As a wife you recently found out about my husbands addiction, I may be able answer some of your questions. I had NO idea anything was ever going on. When we were dating, we had talked a little bit about Pornography, and he admitted to having a problem with it "in the past". So, i was lead on to believe that this was pre-mission and hasn't had any issues since. Every once in a while I would ask how he was doing with it (after marriage) and he said that it will always be a temptation but that he is doing okay and not to worry. I always made sure to be with him intimately often as I knew it use to be a problem and I didn't want him to ever want to go back to it because he wasn't getting enough action.
Let me tell you how he broke it to me... (when our 2nd child was just barely 2 months old)
He had told me earlier in the day that he wanted to talk to me about some important things. I knew that he had been fasting that day and I figured it was about some answers/feelings he had had that day regarding school/career change and what he thought we should do. Boy was I wrong! After the kids went to sleep, he took me by the hands and said how much he loves me. He went on to say that what he was about to say was going to break my heart. I immediately said "you didn't cheat on me did you!" half serious but very panicked. He replied with "I didn't sleep with anyone". I was beside myself and my heart felt like it was going to beat right out of my chest. He then handed over his laptop computer and told me that I should read what he had written before I asked any questions. He started off by saying "you know that I had a problem in the past with porn, what you don't know is that I still do." This 16ish page letter started off with when he was very first exposed to pornography and went through every sexual sin he had ever committed in his life. I could cope with everything up to a certain point and I remember thinking that I could totally forgive him for these things and that I could help him get over this. I looked over to the scroll bar and it was on page 8 (about half way through) when we were getting into the time that we met and started dating. That meant there was a lot more that happened during our "perfect marriage"!
Let me tell you how she may feel when she finds out... broken hearted (probably the worst pain she has ever felt), betrayed, cheated on, very low and depressed, and very very angry and bitter.
My husband confessed to the bishop the night before with a letter very similar to the one he gave me. He put a lot of time into this because in the past he had told the bishop of his porn problem and left out a lot of other things that stemmed from that, so for the first time he wanted the bishop to know once and for all EVERY sin in detail that he had ever done. No more tip toeing around and sugar coating things so he could take the sacrament. He knew that his salvation was a stake and he was willing to lose everything if it meant that he had for the first time truly begun the repentance process and could stand in front of God one day and not be ashamed. He knew that our temple marriage did not mean forever if he was not living up to his covenants.
I was beside myself and we stayed up until 2 or 3 in the morning talking and crying. He asked if i wanted him to sleep on the couch and I said no. I wanted him to have to lay by his heart broken wife in bed and listen to her sadness and what he had caused. The next morning at 8 a.m. i told him i wanted to talk with the bishop and i made him call. He met me at the church shortly after and just listened to me sob and gave me a blessing. I told him I didn't want to do any thing stupid, like kick him out, threaten divorce, go telling friends and family... he told me that was smart. I just needed to vent to someone. I asked him how i was supposed to act around my husband now as I was so angry and hurt by his actions. He told me first to not think about all the detail, and then to wrap my arms around him like the Savior would. This was perfect advice. I walked in the door just after meeting with the bishop and I went and gave him the most sincere hug I have ever given him. We wept some more and I told him that I loved him and that we would work things out.
A lot of people don't want to even touch their husbands after finding out... for a LONG time. that wasn't the case with us. I still wanted to love him and be with him, and it was a good feeling. I knew something was off our entire marriage (almost five years) but didn't know what.
Let me tell you a few things that my husband did that made me want to stay with him and work through things:
*he came to me and told me before i happened to catch him in his actions
*not that you want to keep it from her any longer, but once he finally made his mind up to get help, he had three solid months of sobriety and a total of six months recovery with only two slip ups. i think this also helped me personally deal with it because he had some type of a track record built up instead of saying "oh and for my last confession, I just went to a strip club last weekend and went to a "massage parlor", and not just for a massage".
But that is one of those things that you don't want to keep telling yourself that you want to have a track record before you tell her and only make it a week every time and then just give up and never confess. You may just need to tell her so that you can get the professional help that you need.
*he told me EVERYTHING, not that he just had a porn prob. that way there was NOTHING else that could poss. come up in the future
*as much as it hurt, he answered every question i asked him about his past
*he was so sincere and I could tell, he didn't just tell me and be done. He has never asked me to just get over it.
*There is NO secrets in our marriage now. ever since he confessed he tells me very often how he is doing. He told me what his triggers are and tells me anytime a thought came into his mind to do something bad.
*He told the bishop that he needs some accountability and that he wants to meet once a month (possibly forever)
*he is meeting with a councilor who specializes in Pornography addiction twice a month. this guy is very good and has nearly 20 years of experience helping individuals recover.
*he has not gone to the 12 step yet as he is still very involved with the counselor and the bishop. But we have been told that this is absolutely crucial to long term recovery.
So, how am i feeling 4 months into my own recovery?
well, we felt stronger than ever the first month (intimacy wise). But I had a really hard time not thinking about everything all the time. driving down the road, I would always see something that reminded me of a sin he committed during our marriage. now, I don't think about things CONSTANTLY during my days, now my most recent problem is having thoughts of his other past relations (not porn women) that enter my mind DURING intimate moments! It sucks bad! But my husband this whole time has always been really good to let me tell him how i am feeling and continually tells me how sorry he put me through this. He also tells me that he is doing everything he can to keep me FOREVER. He has had to make a lot of personal changes to avoid triggers as much as he can.
My advice to you would be to NEVER get angry at her when she wants to vent. Be soft and sweet and hold her in your arms when she wants to cry. Tell her often and show her how much you love her by your actions. Be completely honest with her from here on out. She has lost ALL trust in you and if you start to keep secrets again, the process has to start over. (the counselor told us that it takes about 2 full years of strong recovery for the wife to gain trust"
posted at 15:51:44 on August 8, 2012 by Anonymous
cont..    
"sorry for the novel. it cut the rest off, but good luck and don't procrastinate. keep the motivation and find the courage. She will hopefully respect you for coming clean. The problem will only get worse if you don't handle it now! Porn and the internet is just the start these days."
posted at 16:02:27 on August 8, 2012 by Anonymous
read CHEFDALET    
"his posts are very good. He has i think over a 1000 days sobriety! He has a lot of good advice and a long track record"
posted at 16:06:01 on August 8, 2012 by Anonymous
Thank you so much Anon    
"I am very grateful that you shared all of that with me. I am not sure if that will be the exact reaction and process that we will go through but it helped me a great deal to know, from your perspective, what to expect and what the best things I can do for her are. Is the recovery still going well? I hope so.

I have also written a letter to my wife and I have added things to it over the last few weeks. I have confessed to everything including things that I previously confessed to a bishop 9 years ago. In it I put a quote from President Benson about the repentance process, several hyperlinks to videos about the difficulties of porn addiction and conference talks and other articles for spouses of addicts. Is this a good thing to include? Have you learned about porn addiction since he confessed? If so, did it help you cope?

I am glad that you embraced your husband and had him stay the night with you after his confession. I am fearful that my wife may shut the door on me and not want to talk to me after my confession for some time. Actually, I have gone over countless scenarios in my head about what might happen. That is why I was so pleased to hear your perspective. I know that life will never be entirely the same as it was because of the nature of the sin. If I had lied about something minor or started drinking for some time, I am sure that forgiveness and forgetting would come pretty easily. But these sins cut a woman to the soul and I am sure that it kills self esteem and intimate trust.

I really and truly thought and hoped that my marriage would cure me of this thing I had struggled with for a great many years. I am actually having a difficult time identifying the triggers that make me seek it out. My wife and I are intimate on a regular basis, so I don't know why I would need it as a sexual response due to a lack in my life. That is what kills me. I really don't understand why I started up again myself, so how is she supposed to understand? It has been a poison that I could not stay away from and I knew it was bad. I have 6 weeks of sobriety and I really need to make up my mind about when I am going to tell her so that we can start healing together. It is all I think about but I just cannot get myself to commit. I never thought that I would have this conversation. I thought that I would have to eventually tell her about my past before we were married, and I think that she would have been hurt but not nearly as hurt knowing it happened after our marriage."
posted at 16:20:44 on August 8, 2012 by change4good
Thank you so much Anon    
"I am very grateful that you shared all of that with me. I am not sure if that will be the exact reaction and process that we will go through but it helped me a great deal to know, from your perspective, what to expect and what the best things I can do for her are. Is the recovery still going well? I hope so.

I have also written a letter to my wife and I have added things to it over the last few weeks. I have confessed to everything including things that I previously confessed to a bishop 9 years ago. In it I put a quote from President Benson about the repentance process, several hyperlinks to videos about the difficulties of porn addiction and conference talks and other articles for spouses of addicts. Is this a good thing to include? Have you learned about porn addiction since he confessed? If so, did it help you cope?

I am glad that you embraced your husband and had him stay the night with you after his confession. I am fearful that my wife may shut the door on me and not want to talk to me after my confession for some time. Actually, I have gone over countless scenarios in my head about what might happen. That is why I was so pleased to hear your perspective. I know that life will never be entirely the same as it was because of the nature of the sin. If I had lied about something minor or started drinking for some time, I am sure that forgiveness and forgetting would come pretty easily. But these sins cut a woman to the soul and I am sure that it kills self esteem and intimate trust.

I really and truly thought and hoped that my marriage would cure me of this thing I had struggled with for a great many years. I am actually having a difficult time identifying the triggers that make me seek it out. My wife and I are intimate on a regular basis, so I don't know why I would need it as a sexual response due to a lack in my life. That is what kills me. I really don't understand why I started up again myself, so how is she supposed to understand? It has been a poison that I could not stay away from and I knew it was bad. I have 6 weeks of sobriety and I really need to make up my mind about when I am going to tell her so that we can start healing together. It is all I think about but I just cannot get myself to commit. I never thought that I would have this conversation. I thought that I would have to eventually tell her about my past before we were married, and I think that she would have been hurt but not nearly as hurt knowing it happened after our marriage."
posted at 16:30:07 on August 8, 2012 by change4good


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"Are you battling a demon of addiction—tobacco or drugs, or the pernicious contemporary plague of ography? Whatever other steps you may need to take to resolve these concerns, come first to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Trust in heaven’s promises. In that regard Alma's testimony is my testimony: "I do know," he says, "that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions."

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