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So confused
By wishful
5/24/2013 11:04:40 AM
I returned to my marriage on Easter Sunday after being separated from my husband for just over a year. The separation was a good thing...a time and a safe place to think and ponder decisions that I needed to make. My husband was patient with me and I am thankful. I have been involved in an emotional affair and that was breaking his heart. My heart was broken because of his problem with homosexual porn.

My emotional affair partner (my very good friend, as well) has stepped away from me. I still love him so much and it's been a tough week. Last Sunday my husband and I met with our bishop for the second time since I have been home. That was on May 26. I texted my friend on Monday and told him that my bishop said that I needed to avoid him, that I couldn't be alone with him again, if I wanted my marriage to work. My friend and I haven't done anything immoral. We came close, the Monday before. He was lonely and struggling with quitting smoking and I stopped by his house for moral support and to help with a little housework. I only had a few minutes, but he kissed me, like he hasn't kissed me before and it was passionate and scarey all at the same time. We stopped ourselves and regained the control that we have had for the past few years that we have known each other and I felt like that was all that needed to be done. We won't do that again and I felt good about keeping this to myself. I had seen him over the week, but I hadn't gone to his house again. I was trying to do the right thing as well, before my bishop said what he said. But after texting my friend, I realized that I love him so much and I would be losing the closeness and connection that had given me so much happiness. I have been living with the doubt and fear that my husband's porn problem causes for such a long time and it was so nice to have someone to love with no reservations, no fear...just an open book. My friendl has problems, but he has never been afraid to share with me, nor I with him. I miss him...I miss him.........................................

He hasn't responded to my texts since Monday. He has spoken to me at the store that I work at when he comes in, but he is doing exactly what he should be doing and I am trying, even though I have texted him...My texts are friendly and just wondering how he is doing. I spoke with him yesterday over the phone and he sounds good. He sounds like he's making the progress that he needs to make. The not smoking is getting easier and maybe he will be able to baptize his daughter this month, which has been his goal. Our relationship would keep him from baptizing her so I know that this is a good thing for him. But, I miss him and it hurts so bad. Whenever I think of him and how much I love him, I just tear up and I can't stop crying. I am trying to stay busy, but I can't strop thinking about the sweet friendship that we have had.

Being home has been good, but I still have my doubts and fears about my husband. He says and does all the right things, but he has always said and done the right things. It's what I don't know about or what I find out on my own that has brought me to this way of living. I put that smile on my face and care for him and serve him and my family. I am doing my best to adjust my schedule to be home more and that is a good thing. In spite of these good things, my spirit says to be careful. I know that I am supposed to give him my whole heart and soul. The problems that we have, have been a part of my entire marriage. Even though I chose to come home, I have not given him my whole heart. As I try to get over my relationship with my friend, I continue to find reasons to doubt my husband. His attraction to images of beautiful men still seems to be continuing. Maybe not on as big as scale as it used to be, although I will never be able to know what has gone on and what is going on because I don't trust him completely. I have been let down too many times. I have learned, over 30 plus years of marriage, that I will never give him all of me. I have learned to keep a small part of my heart tucked away in the doubt and disappointment of having to deal with this problem for such a long time. I have learned how to look through our computer history and there are sites that he visits and messages that he receives in his email that cause me to worry about him and my ability to trust him.

I belong to a support group online of women dealing with porn addicts. Its a very supportive group of ladies that I like to learn from. I don't contribute much, but I read and learn and its heartbreaking. No one's marriage is better. They all say that its different, and that they, as women are better...stronger and more aware of themselves and their strengths and their value. But, the marriage is different...no one has given their husbands their complete trust again. Sad.

That's how I feel about my marriage. I know it could be worse. He could beat me or be verbally abusive. I used to think that if no one died, then any problem was bearable. But, the marriage that I had hoped for, has died. It's been dead for a long time. I have a different marriage...not the one I had hoped for or thought I was getting when I married my husband. It is bearable, but when I compare my relationship with my friend, I want what he and I had. I sound so childish when I read my thoughts here. I feel like a three year old who wants what I want and I don't want anything else. I want what I thought I had, not what I do have. I'm a mess. Trying to honor covenants and promises and trying to behave like a good Mormon wife. I know that time heals wounds and sorrow, so I will let time take it's course and do its work as I let go of a friendship that made me feel so wonderful. I wish my marriage could do the same for me. The history of porn and disappointment has been so long and hurtful. I don't know how I can forget.

Comments:

Rough    
"Wishful,
I read your experience - it sounds so so difficult. I don't claim to know what to do or know the answers, just want to show some support because that's probably why you have come to this site.

30 years is such a long time to have dealt with these things. I wish you luck as you seek to decide what is best for you and your family. If you decide to stay with your husband, then do just that. I've heard many women talk about the necessity of maintaining boundaries from their husband as they are in recovery, so I'd encourage you to set up your own boundaries as you seek to reconcile things.

As my wife and I have slowly recovered from this (and we're still in the process), things have improved for us. Trust is growing as I have learned to be completely honest. Love is re-blooming. We're becoming better and better friends instead of the enemies that addiction makes out of spouses. I have faith we'll continue moving in this direction.

Anyway, I just want to say that I believe healing is possible. It takes a long time, and it takes commitment from BOTH parties. I wish you well in your decision and your efforts."
posted at 12:29:58 on May 31, 2013 by recovery.gdo
Tough Choices    
"Excuse the trite expression but you are definitely between a rock and a hard place. I am sorry that your husband (that you probably married in the temple) is addicted to gay porn. I can relate because I am too. I am also married with kids and I have not succumbed to this evil since the beginning of the year. It is difficult. It is a struggle. I have to work on it every day. Giving in is not fun at all and I try to avoid going near this stuff every moment of the day. It does not mean I love my family any less.

While my wife knows I have issues, she does not know the depth of the problem and frankly I like to keep it that way. I have spoke to my Bishop which in retrospect seems like a waste of time which only solidifies the dichotomy I see in my relationship with the gospel: I put faith in what I am supposed to do and the expectations that I am suppose to live up yet things seem to turn out worse.

Is your husband try to give it up or is has he just given up? If it is the former and his efforts are honest and heartfelt (only you can make that determination), then be patient with him. It is understandable that he is not giving himself to you fully because of his SSA, but that would probably be the case to some degree whether or not he had the porn problem. I gave up porn for years but I still felt that I was being deceitful and not being authentic trying to live up to the ideal Mormon priesthood holder. I still struggle with the fact that I just "settled" in order to live that role hoping one day that my SSA would dissipate. But alas, that is not the case.

I wish priesthood or Sunday School lessons had more meaningful topics such as "So you have SSA, you gave up porn, saw the Bishop, and you still feel the same. Now what?"

I feel for you. And I wish you well in your efforts to do the right thing and find joy amidst the bad hand that life has dealt you."
posted at 18:03:56 on May 31, 2013 by rmatt
Wishful    
"I haven't 'met' you before Wishful so it is nice to get to say hello.

I am a wife of a sex addict and I relate to so much of the pain you are writing here.

I do believe that Heavenly Father and Christ have answers for you. I am guessing you have prayed about leaving your husband? What made you move back?

As a wife of an addict I have realized that I have become obsessed with being happy (Aren't we all?) but to an unhealthy point. Our pursuit of happiness as we understand it often turns us away from pursuing God. I do not believe that we can fully understand what real joy is and so we seek the best we know how...which is often counterfeit or incomplete. Only by seeking Him.... even perhaps at the sacrifice of what we believe to be comfort, happiness, relationships, etc, do we discover real peace and joy.

This may make it sound like I am trying to indicate that you give up your love for your friend to live a martyred life with your lawful husband. I am not. I don't think you should be worrying about either relationship because neither have, and neither will, and neither CAN bring you real joy. Only you and Christ in partnership can do that.

If Heavenly Father tells you to stay with your husband. Stay. If He tells you to leave. Leave. Don't look towards you husband. Don't look towards your friend. Keep an eye single to God. Put both these men on the alter of sacrifice. There are two things that each of us hold very, very tight. One is our greatest passions. The other is our deepest pains. We are always reluctant to let either of those things go. Your situation is that there are two people who symbolize those things and embody them for you. Your husband is a great symbol of pain and disappointment. Your friend is a symbol of great passion.

What would you give to know God?

It is time to lay down your pain at Christ's feet. But it is also time to give up your idea of mortal joy. I believe that Christ will teach you what real happiness is. But submission is the key. Submit to Him entirely and the rest will work it's way out.

I say this to you....but I am actually just saying it to myself. I know when I have done it, really done it, I have felt such peace and happiness that even I was satisfied. But it is something that has to be renewed each day. I don't recommit and submit to God the way I should everyday. Sometimes I do. More often I don't. But I believe it is the only way...."
posted at 23:20:05 on May 31, 2013 by maddy
Maddy    
"Awesome comments, as always. I'm in complete agreement with Maddy."
posted at 00:13:15 on June 1, 2013 by beclean
Friendship...    
"First, my heart goes out to you in this difficult situation. And I second what Maddy has said.

It sounds like you are missing the intimacy of this friendship. Is there any way you can work on developing the friendship between you and your husband? Maybe you both need a friend more than a spouse right now."
posted at 08:21:16 on June 1, 2013 by Anonymous
Thank you's    
"Recovery.Gdo I appreciate your comments and support. I have read your responses to others on this site and you always offer words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing your experiences...they give me hope. Thirty years IS a long time, and I think I'm getting worn out. I know that my husband is doing the best that he can to be my friend. He cares for me and is thoughtful and loving. I am thankful. I need to do better to return his love. I wish our history could be rewritten.

RMatt, thank you for sharing your story. I worry that my experience might keep you from doing what you might need to do to be closer to your wife. I think you are in a tough spot as well. I hope you can find your way to peace and happiness. Sometimes, I wish I didn't know all that I do know of my husband's issues. About 12 years ago he lost his job because of his collecting. He visited with a therapist for a while after that and his therapist had him share everything that I didn't already know about with me. I didn't need to know the details or specifics of his problem. I had already been dealing with this problem for 20 years in my own way. But, he did as his therapist suggested. I wish he hadn't shared with me. I never asked for more info. Maybe I was just burying my head in the sand. Still, the new information didn't help me feel any closer. The images and the timing of his choices haunts me. The fact that he has had several relapses since then is what has made me feel so unsure of him and his ability to keep me safe. I know that my relationship with my friend has not helped him either. Sometimes I think it's too late, that maybe we should just scrap this mess and move on. I'm still so confused, but I don't feel so alone, even though I don't personally know anyone who has been kind enough to respond to my post. It is helpful and I'm hoping that I am being of help and not harming anyone.

Maddy...Anything you have shared with anyone on this site has lifted me. You are amazing and encouraging and uplifting and I wish I could have lunch with you and maybe take a walk so we could visit personally. " There are two things that each of us hold very, very tight. One is our greatest passions. The other is our deepest pains. We are always reluctant to let either of those things go. Your situation is that there are two people who symbolize those things and embody them for you. Your husband is a great symbol of pain and disappointment. Your friend is a symbol of great passion." I have never read this thought before. So powerful and so true. It is going to be a very hard thing to do as you suggest. I know if I could figure it out, I would be further ahead in my progress. Thank you for sharing and caring.

BeClean...Thank you for affirming Maddy's comments and for your support as well. I appreciate your honesty and openness as you take the time to share your perspectives.

Anonymous, your thoughts on maybe needing a friend more than a spouse are on point. We are friends, just not close friends. We are comfortable because we have been together forever. Our secrets have created the distance. We love our children and our grand-children dearly. I love him as a friend, not as a spouse. But I know great things can come from being friends first. It's hard to backtrack when there have been so many secrets. You gave me something to think about and I thank you.

Time apart from my friend has gotten a tiny bit easier. I saw him yesterday at my store and he was not happy. His experience with our church has been a little confusing as he was fellowshipped in his daughter's ward, but needed to at least, be ordained to the office of a priest, in his home ward, where he has been inactive. He has been attending church at her ward, where she attends. He does not have custody of her. This ward has been welcoming and loving. He has been in contact with the missionaries in his neighborhood and he has had home teachers for a month or so. His home bishop said he needed to get to know my friend better so he could determine his worthiness to baptize his daughter. He doesn't quite understand the way things are with wards and records and things like this. I didn't have time to explain. I'm hoping he has been able to speak with his home teachers or missionaries for better understanding because I don't think that he is not too fond of the bishop. I think the bishop is correct, there is still some growing and learning that needs to take place. The way the church does things does not always make sense to him. I hope that someone will be patient with him and explain it in a way that he can understand and accept. I think I could help, but I'm not supposed to be involved with him. I'm making myself sadder than sad again when I know that he needs help that I can give, but I can't give it. Just unloading my worries here. Trying to be the kind of daughter my Heavenly Father will be proud of. Hoping for the best for everyone. Thank you, again, kind people."
posted at 14:13:35 on June 3, 2013 by Wishful
Closer to my wife    
"" I worry that my experience might keep you from doing what you might need to do to be closer to your wife. I think you are in a tough spot as well. I hope you can find your way to peace and happiness. "

Thank you for your heartfelt concern. You bring up a lot good points and questions that I have as someone in a mixed orientation marriage. To some varying degree, someone with SSA is "settling" when they marry someone of the opposite gender. It is difficult to quantify and to be honest my feelings change from deep in love TO did I do the right thing? Frankly, it is not fair. We have these expectations in the Church and even when I was not indulging on prn, there were some days I found myself asking "did I do the right thing." All through my life I have been checking guys out. Gosh, I just did it today when I went to the post office. He walked past, and I found myself turning back to get a glimpse of him as he walked out the door. It is painful. I am so mixed up right now and I feel the gospel isn't helping me any even though I pray and read my scriptures."
posted at 15:27:08 on June 3, 2013 by rmatt
Closer to my wife    
"" I worry that my experience might keep you from doing what you might need to do to be closer to your wife. I think you are in a tough spot as well. I hope you can find your way to peace and happiness. "

Thank you for your heartfelt concern. You bring up a lot good points and questions that I have as someone in a mixed orientation marriage. To some varying degree, someone with SSA is "settling" when they marry someone of the opposite gender. It is difficult to quantify and to be honest my feelings change from deep in love TO did I do the right thing? Frankly, it is not fair. We have these expectations in the Church and even when I was not indulging on prn, there were some days I found myself asking "did I do the right thing." All through my life I have been checking guys out. Gosh, I just did it today when I went to the post office. He walked past, and I found myself turning back to get a glimpse of him as he walked out the door. It is painful. I am so mixed up right now and I feel the gospel isn't helping me any even though I pray and read my scriptures."
posted at 15:31:19 on June 3, 2013 by rmatt
It isn't fair...    
"My heart hurts for you and how difficult your life has been. I'm not sure if my husband has SSA. I have heard from others that he does or appears to with his attraction to homosexual porn. Again, I could be ignoring obvious signs or I'm just plain dumb. He tells me that he loves me and I have tried to believe that he didn't "settle" when he married me. But, his inability to end the collecting leads me to believe that he needs a way to be true to who he truly is. My heart hurts for him too. I think that the Church is doing its best to try to help people like you and my husband, but their efforts are falling short. Trying to fit in and "do the right thing" goes against our beliefs to be honest in our dealings with our fellowmen. I feel like I've been in that same boat, "trying to do the right thing" for so long. Is the right thing to stay, even though the trust is gone? Is the right thing to hang in there, even though hearts are broken and you are faking the smiles and the appearance of being connected when all you really want to do is to run away? I have no answers for you. I only hope that your spirit is strong enough to remember that you are a child of God. He loves you. I know that all things will be made right when this life is done. I'm counting on it. Until then, I will keep on plugging away. I'm working on Maddy's suggestions to turn to my Heavenly Father and drop my burdens at Christ's feet. I am changing my understanding of what mortal joy is. It's not what I thought it would be. I found more pictures from my husband's collection today. The problem persists and he is crossing boundaries that he shouldn't be crossing. I'm praying for strength. Trying to remember my blessings as well, because, in spite of my husband's issues, I have been richly blessed. His actions can't take these away from me. I just wish that my heart could stop hurting..."
posted at 14:26:32 on June 5, 2013 by Wishful
Wishful I am going to speak very frankly.    
"I have been thinking for several days about your post. I do not post often anymore but I do come and read sometimes.

My impressions when I read your post remind me of so many wonderful women in the church who have suffered in silence and alone for so long. I was a missionary in the PASG'S program. Spouses of the sexually addicted. I also had a husband who was addicted to lust and had an emotional affair for over 40 years off and on, that I did not know about. So I speak from a place of understanding.

I have found that Christian woman get confused with being forgiving and loving and serving, being a faithful wife, mother, especially in our LDS culture, and honoring sacred covenants. Those covenants take our commitment to another level. Unfortunately those covenants do not exist if the person we made those covenants with, has sinned against those covenants. I have studied so many books on this subject and attended many years of meetings, and counseling sessions. This I know....That when a man or woman acts on lustful desires they are sinning against their bodies. That lust and acting upon that lust changes their brain. It changes who they are bonded with. That person that they have made covenants with no longer is their greatest desire as God intended that marital bond to be, (AS ONE), There is not one in fact there is probably hundreds of images in that lust filled mind. Lust is a sin. It tells us in the scriptures over and over. Our Prophets warn continually every conference of the pitfall of falling into that mire. In fact when a partner acts out on the lust of their eyes, having sex with them selves, or worse yet, finding someone to try to saturate that desire. This is Satan's biggest lie of all. Using our greatest power that God gave to us, our sexuality, and everyone who is born in the image of God, everyone born on this earth, is given sexuality. It is good and wonderful and powerful and can fill our lives with so much joy. That is why Satin uses this powerful gift to steal our power. The power God created us to have. He inflicts abuse at young ages, fills the airways with images of Jezabels... uses our natural God given appetite to steal our purpose and power. But, Christ is there. He is the most powerful and we have his power when we call upon it to dismiss the Destroyer and his angels with the raise of our hand and the calling on the power of our Savior.

Sorry, got off on my preacher's box. ....

I found that I had to make boundaries that would allow me to feel safe. Safe from allowing the spirit of darkness into my house. I have the right to not allow that dark spirit into my house. Having partaken on sacred covenants my house is blessed to be free from that darkness unless someone brings it in. I will not allow anyone to bring that into my home, including my husband. If he chooses to seek the whores of the Internet, or TV, or phone, or whatever source in my home, or elswhere, HE CANNOT BE IN MY HOME OR IN MY PRESSENCE...., either I leave or he does. That is a boundary you and I have the right to make for ourselves, our home and our children. Every computer, TV, phone, has a porn blocker installed that only I know the pass code to. K-9 is free and very effective. Block you router too. Every Christian house hold should have these in place to prevent problems. If we do not then we are allowing a porn store to operate in our home. 90% of the world wide Internet is porn.

There is nothing wrong with some good righteous anger. Christ showed anger when he cleansed the temple. Our homes are to be our temples, along with our bodies, so get the whip, as Christ did and cleans the temple. Anger allows us to be fed up and make changes.

This does not mean that we are unloving, Christ and Heavenly Father loves us. We know! But we will not be able to live with them again if we do not abide by covenants we have partaken of. We cannot hope that all will be made right when we go to live with them, because we know that we take our personalities with us. Our relationships, our knowledge, our desires. So if we do not make the effort the Lord requires of us. Confessing to one another so that we can be healed. Using the Gospel as our guide line for repentance and recovery. Doing as our prophets have told us. Get every help you need to overcome... Counselors, groups, friends who have walked your path that can give you understanding and support, our Priesthood leaders for spiritual support and strength and the blessings of the Priesthood when that power has been taken from blessing our family because of sin.

Heavenly Father does not expect any woman to live with someone who is abusing her. Living in a sick marriage because of sexual sin, lust, is abuse. It murders our souls, hearts, spirits, self esteem, and robes us of the peace the Gospel promises us. We live in constant trauma. That is not what a Loving Heavenly Father wants for his daughters. He loves us. And our husbands would be good to be reminded that they have a Heavenly Father - In - Law. Who knows all.

There is healing that can come to a marriage. I experienced that. But it is work from BOTH, partners. A spouse of an addict can do more to change behavior by setting up boundaries than any other thing. How you will be talked to, How and what will go on in the bedroom, How financial matters will be handled. These boundaries are not what you are going to make them do, but what you are going to do. Example, If you turn your back while I am talking in a calm matter, then I will go for a drive, or movie, or leave for the evening. If you bring porn into our home, I will not live with you for a month, on the first offence, second, six months, or you sleep in the basement or garage or what ever makes sense to you. Boundaries take careful consideration and should be decided when you have a clear mind and it helps to include a sponsor to help you work through your boundaries and set the consequences. Both partners have to become accountable, to themselves and God and hopefully to a trusted sponsor who has walked those steps before.

Nothing will change, unless changes are made to change the way things got to be in the mess they are. And a marriage that is dealing with sexual addiction is messy and crazy. Nothing like the convenat marriage we wanted or thought we had. I had to say goodby to what I thought I had, what I wanted, the Past, the future, and deal with the present. I had to seek my own healing. I had to and try to keep prayer a constant companion. This is the crazy making business. But, with Christ all things are possible. I testify, I know. "
posted at 01:32:32 on June 7, 2013 by Hero
SSA    
"I believe that SSA is nothing more than sexual addiction. We are created in God's image. He would not create us to have SSA and then condemn us for it. Most SSA have had trauma from abuse at a young age or exposure that brought up those Natural desires many times before we were prepared to make good decisions some times before the age of accountability, or accidental, and thus because we were programed to bond with what ever gave us that desire we seek it. Christ can cleanse the mind and body. But we have to seek it and constantly lay it at His feet. He will, He promises, He does not lie, He has paid the price already."
posted at 01:48:28 on June 7, 2013 by Hero
Hero,    
"You know a lot but your generalities about SSA are, like all generalities, inaccurate. Not all persons struggling with SSA are sex-addicts and not all persons with SSA were abused as children. It's simply not true and it is one of many fallacies that lend themselves to a spirit of intolerance and judgment towards people who have these difficult issues."
posted at 18:10:37 on June 7, 2013 by Anonymous


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"Lucifer will do all in his power to keep you captive. You are familiar with his strategy. He whispers: “No one will ever know.” “Just one more time.” “You can’t change; you have tried before and failed.” “It’s too late; you’ve gone too far.” Don’t let him discourage you. When you take the path that climbs, that harder path of the Savior, there are rewards along the way. When you do something right, when you resist temptation, when you meet a goal, you will feel very good about it. It is a very different kind of feeling than you have when you violate commandments—an altogether different feeling. It brings a measure of peace and comfort and provides encouragement to press on. "

— Richard G. Scott

General Conference May 1990