Ouch, OUCH, and . . . OUCH.
By myid
9/12/2012 10:42:41 PM
Well finally back to ARP meetings and loving it! Also, Talked to the bishop last night for a temple recommend interview. The interview soon was focused on my problem with compulsive sexual behaviors. The last question opened the opportunity to confess abount going to a strip club here in town. He put me on probation and gave me a list of promises/commitments to make with my wife. I felt GREAT coming home from the meeting, just a little concerned about how my wife was going to react. So, last night I talked with my wife about the strip club and all the others I went to before; All out on the table. Problem is this brings out all the resentments and anger in our relationship. She is rightfully hurt (I kept this between bishops and twelve step groups for a few years). I know its a major paradox but what I really need is her love and support. So, I end up getting angry for all her apathy, anger and resentment now and in times past. And now my daughter of 11 knows of my problem-that is SAD. This really hurts.

In desperation Im now telling my wife I want a clean start, to let each other free. I dont want to hurt her anymore and im tired of her hurting me. Ive been threatening divorce.

Please someone help set me straight!


I hear ya, Bro!    
"Us addicts expect our loved ones to celebrate for doing what we should have been doing all along. That is part of being so insanely self-centered! And self-centeredness is at the root of our addiction.

To put it in would you feel if your wife pulled you aside after work one night and said, "Honey, I have a confession. I've been looking at pictures of naked men. But I want to stop! So could you hurry up and forgive me so I can get your love and support to feel better about myself?"
posted at 23:47:37 on September 12, 2012 by Anonymous
Dr. Phil moment "Let's get real"    
"Anon is correct. You asked to be set straight and so there it is. Don't read any further unless you want more of the same. I am breaking all my rules in this post. I've been here for a long time and don't talk to people here the way I am about to talk to you. I don't pull my punches in this post. You asked for it and so I am giving it to you straight. If you are a glutton for punishment then here you go:

You are still feeding your addict by engaging in selfish behaviors. To quote Dr. Weiss, your wife is a bleeding, emotional wreck and you are the one who beat her bloody... and now you are having a hard time that she is showing you pain?!?!?!? Think about it.

Addicts often hit the speed bump of how their spouse's recovery (or lack of recovery) inconveniences them. In other words, they are being inconvenienced by the consequences of their own actions. THAT is not recovery. That is still self deceit.

Second point is that you do not need her love and support. Repeat that to yourself. You don't. You need your Savior and no one else. I can speak to this truth from the wife's perspective. I do not need my husband to stop acting out to heal. I don't. I thought I did, but that is a lie. He can't fix what is hurt inside me even if he is the one breaking my heart. Heck, I can't fix the hurt inside me when I hurt myself. Neither can you. We are dependent on the Savior. So stop trying to make your wife your savior. That is too much for her or anyone of us to carry. You've set her up to fail and then are upset and hurt when she does. I know, I know...all you want is a few kind words and encouragement, that is what the addict will say. But it never stops there because it is the line of thinking, the selfish line of thinking, that is wrong and "I need her to..." is just is addict thinking. And no that it is not all you want. You want her to make you happy and she can't do that.

Another point, divorce is not a fresh start. Ask someone who has been there. If Heavenly Father wants you to get a divorce then by all means get one, but don't think your are being charitable by threatening her with divorce as some kind of way to set her free. You are using it as a weapon. Stop.

As far as your child goes, it is sad that she knows, but that is also a consequence of your actions. I hope the disclosure to your child came gently and in an age appropriate manner with prayerful confirmation that it was the right thing. But regardless, you cannot be afraid of who knows your 'secret' and hold it against your wife when people find out, even if she tells them. It is not her job to hide the truth you created. We told my son at the age of 12 what was going on with his dad because he started asking questions. We had started into recovery at that point and knew it was wrong to lie. Others may disagree with us on this, but while you don't throw your pearls before swine so to speak and tell the world, there is no more shame and no more lies when you want to get clean. You can answer lovingly, "I don't want to talk about that right now." or an honest deferment but it doesn't come from embarrassment. It comes from the direction of the Spirit. We felt it was right to tell our son the truth. Does it hurt your daughter? Yes. More than you can possibly understand in this lifetime. But it wasn't finding out that hurt her. You did that to her a long time ago. Think about it. And no do not, do not, be tempted to wallow in guilt and regret over that when you do understand it, because those are also tools of the devil. Trust Christ and do His works and He can turn this around for your daughter just like He can for you and your wife to be a great blessing in her life. Weak things can become strong and her wounds can become her greatest strength, so don't get stuck on her knowing or not knowing.

To sum up. "This really hurts" you said. Yes. It hurts OTHERS!!!! It hurts your poor wife! Stop being so selfish! (and I know that yelling that at you isn't actually effective. it is like yelling stop looking at porn to a porn addict. If only it were that easy. You are addicted to selfishness just like you are to anything fact it is the source of all your addictions.) She is angry. Good. She needs to process grief ....and anger is a part of it. You should be celebrating that she is angry. It means she is trying. You need to take your eyes off of yourself and look at reality. Try and see things the way Christ sees them. Try and look at your wife the way He sees her!!!! Stop thinking about what you NEED from this poor woman who has had the joy and energy and hope and love sucked out of her soul by you! Let her breath! And no you can't give her that by continuing your betrayal of her by divorcing her to 'set her free'. That is all about you and not about her. So don't pretend it is not. If all you want is some love and support then try GIVING it before asking for it. Give her love and support on her terms for a while with no expectation for return. You'll be surprised at how good you feel inside. Givers gain.

When I say, if my husband and I can do it, anyone can, trust me. I mean it. We were bad off. I would never repeat here the words I've said to him or he to me. As cruel and angry as it gets....that was us. Today, we are not perfect. We still have some hard days, but our relationship is amazing. There is compassion there that never was before. There are still some frightening mountains to climb but it is nice to look back and see the ones we have climbed behind us. I love him. He loves me. We both know the truth. And we are on this journey together. Good luck on yours."
posted at 08:27:32 on September 13, 2012 by maddy
This does not need to end your marriage....    
"However, this sin exacts a price on a marriage relationship. You can't expect to dump your garbage all over your wife and expect her to swim out the other side, offering complete forgiveness. The trust in your relationship will have to be rebuilt. For months, we went back and forth...I was going to leave, then she was going to leave. We both cried ourselves to sleep more times than I can count...Then, the atonement took hold of us both. She was able to give up the anger, and I was able to see her hurt through her eyes. The Lord put people in our paths, books in our hands and prayers in our heart that made the journey easier.

It will take time. There is no quick fix for this...except prayer, hugs and unconditional love, and forgiveness. Maddy is a great person to help you see things from your wife's perspective. Keep going to meetings. Read all that you can about your addiction so that you can understand your own behavior and thoughts, and how they affect your day to day life.

I was married for 25 years when I spilled the beans to my we sit 3 years later, and like others, still have our rough days. But we both live in the real world now, and I don't choose to medicate when I'm stressed or hurt. I seek other things to fill the void...good things.

Hang in there...Lots of love and compassion and understanding here."
posted at 09:43:33 on September 13, 2012 by chefdalet
"We are free to choose, but we are not free to choose the consequences of our decisions."
posted at 17:27:31 on September 13, 2012 by Anonymous
Try counseling from an LDS addiction expert, too.    
"Hey MYID-
I'm right there with you, and my past was A LOT worse. 12 yrs strip clubs, massages, hotels w/ strippers, more than $300k wasted. Served in a Bishopric for 5 of those yrs. I've been excommunicated and should have been executed. My poor wife and six children all now know and are devastated. I wanted to run away and/or jump off a bridge. Some days I still feel like it. Only hope is my Savior. 12-step program is a must, meeting with priesthood leaders, good addiction recovery books by LDS authors, and professional LDS counseling for me and wife - separate and together. Counseling for my kids, too. Its all painful but discovery comes before recovery.
As step 4 says - look beyond your past
behaviors and examine the thoughts, feelings, and
beliefs that led to your behavior. Your thoughts, feelings,
and beliefs are actually the roots of your addictive
behaviors. Unless you examine all your tendencies
toward fear, pride, resentment, anger, self-will, and
self-pity, your abstinence will be shaky at best. You
will continue with your original addiction or switch
to another one. Your addiction is a symptom of other
“causes and conditions”. A good LDS addiction marriage counselor is helping us. I've got a long way to go but making progress... hang in there."
posted at 20:32:45 on September 13, 2012 by Anonymous
My experience    
"When we leave each other the freedom to feel what we will indeed we find we are the one's willing our feelings. I'm no psychologist but it seems to me the longer you meddle in another persons feelings the longer it will take them to realize you are not the cause of their feelings. And what self serving person once enlightened by the fact that they are making themselves absolutely miserable wont change their tune? As it applies to making oneself miserable I'm talking after the healthy process of grieving. A healthy grieving woman is not making herself miserable. Quite the opposite. Yet another reason to step the freak off and let the process happen. It's an art.

I've never been able to relate to the resentment for months on end in a marriage that's often shared on this site. I believe the reason my wife and I do not fall into that trap is because for whatever reason it's always been abundantly clear and reasonable to let each other feel how we want. There is no expectation. There is no rule book for this. If my wife want's, she is absolutely free to feel angry and miserable and withhold sex and all for the rest of eternity. I wont bother her a bit about it. And she knows without equivocation that I'd let her do it. Because in my mind she's earned at least the right to feel how ever she want's. It's justified. Absolutely. The paradox - as I leave her to feel awful forever she decides for herself, for herself, (for her own self), she doesn't want to feel awful anymore. I don't serve her or try to be good so she'll feel better quicker I do it because she deserves it. If I fail to serve her it's not because I loss hope she'll feel better soon enough it's because i'm an incompetent moron. It's not some childish reverse psychology or manipulation either. It's genuine. When I done blundered who am I to call the shots? I'm not. And the truth is I personally wouldn't want her to feel okay before it's time. That would feel almost as dirty and false to me as anything else. It grosses me out. I think trust is absolutely key. Trust that she is feeling how she should. Trust that you would know if she is not. People often reprove at bed times sharply but they forget to be moved upon by the Holy Ghost. We addicts don't need to look for Holy Ghost to justify our position. He'll come to us. Trust that. Trust your wife until then. Following this for us at least there comes a flowering of forgiveness and understanding within days and weeks. Not months and years.

Life Star helped reinforce her a lot with all this. It didn't just happen come to think of it."
posted at 23:36:56 on September 14, 2012 by they_speak
Promises to your wife    
"An addict cannot make promises to a spouse. You are making a promise that you may not be ready to keep. Your Bishop needs to attend 12 steps and begin to understand addiction. Someone who understands, would not ask you to make a promise. That is part of the cycle of addiction. I am sure you have made promises before, most addicts have.

All you can do is surrender and allow the Savior to heal you.

As far as advice, I have only compassion. So sad that you and your family are in so much pain. You must surrender everything and he will hold this awful burden for you."
posted at 21:18:58 on September 16, 2012 by Anonymous

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"Now brethren, the time has come for any one of us who is so involved to pull himself out of the mire, to stand above this evil thing, to “look to God and live” (Alma 37:47). We do not have to view salacious magazines. We do not have to read books laden with smut. We do not have to watch television that is beneath wholesome standards. We do not have to rent movies that depict that which is filthy. We do not have to sit at the computer and play with ographic material found on the Internet."

— Gordon B. Hinckley

General Conference, October 2004