By momof5
8/20/2013 9:39:28 AM
I feel like I am doing well in my recovery. I still have a ways to go but I feel like the further I get in my recovery the further it pulls my marriage apart. It has been 3 1/2 years since I discovered my husband's addiction. And I feel like the marriage may not be able to recover. I kept hoping to feel love again and it just isn't happening.
I don't know how long it takes for a marriage to recover. I would love to hear from those of you who have made it and how? Thanks:)


I'm not really sure I'm qualified to comment    
"My marriage is stronger than ever, but it was never really seriously threatened, since my wife has known about my struggles since before we married. She knew who she was marrying. I know that isn't the case for others, and I can see how dishonesty would make everything very difficult. Together, we constantly discuss balance in our lives and recovery from all our struggles and coping mechanisms. We recognize we both have inappropriate tendencies, so we have never judged each other. Instead, we have always been on the same team helping each other out.

I understand that Tony Litster has a program for marriages that are about to collapse. It's the reason he started his pornography counseling in the first place — because he had found a way to overcome his own addiction and save his almost destroyed marriage. When he saw friends' marriages collapse, he knew he had to help.

Check out"
posted at 10:20:49 on August 20, 2013 by beclean
In the same boat    
"I keep wondering the same things. I have been dealing with this same struggle for a very long time and I just can't get back to being in love with my husband. I love him as a friend and as a partner. We have 5 children, just like you. They are young adults. They know we have struggled with our relationship. We were separated for just over a year when I moved out to find some peace. I came home and had the hope that things could be good. I knew it would take work but I was ready to try. I had become involved in a very loving relationship with another man, but that relationship has ended and I am trying to find the good in my husband again. I feel the same as you do...I am stronger and not afraid to stand alone, if that's what needs to happen. I don't want to put my children through a final separation and then a divorce, but the happiness and hope that I thought I could find here at home, (once I ended my relationship with my friend), has not been found. Instead, I have found questionable web sites and pictures. I can't bring myself to open my heart to him...can't do it.

As I have read on this site and on another support site for wives of porn addicts, I have not found anyone who has "made it." It's been heartbreaking to read the stories of relapse and disappointment on both of these sites. Recently, several women that I have come to respect for their courage and willingness to stay in their marriages, have shared such sadness and pain as their husbands have relapsed. For some of them, the relapses came after a long period of abstinence. I don't think that there has been complete abstinence on my husband's part. He is still keeping secrets and I am so tired of it.

We live in the same house, but we have very little to say. Intimacy has been non-existent, because I have no desire to be intimate with someone that I don't trust. It's the trust thing. Sometimes I think I feel too strongly about it, but it is the way that I feel. I love him and I am fine taking care of him and his temporal needs. But I can't drop my guard and allow him in to my heart. He lost that privilege a long time ago. He has not done a good job of earning it back either.

When I read Beclean's words, I am happy for him. Things are going well for him because he isn't keeping secrets. I think that he is the exception to the rule. I'm sorry that I am not one of those that has made it. What I have found is that, when I am doing what I should be doing, I am happy. I'm not sure if my marriage is going to survive. What I am sure of is that, if I keep my Heavenly Father first, and if I can be worthy to feel His influence and listen to His answers to my prayers, I will be fine. And so will you."
posted at 10:43:03 on August 22, 2013 by Wishful
Hey girl    
"I am with you. I wish I could respond as one of those who "have made it" but I can't. I wish I had words of encouragement for you. I can only offer validation of the pain.

It sucks. I wonder if I'll ever be able to love him again. Everything feels corrupted. Sorry. Sorry for you. Sorry for me. Ugg. Today is a bad day. Maybe I shouldn't be posting. Love you though!"
posted at 16:57:00 on August 22, 2013 by maddy
Hey Maddy,    
"Sorry you're struggling. Just wanted to say that. And i'm always stoked when you comment. No matter what it is."
posted at 22:28:11 on August 22, 2013 by they_speak
It is hard    
"To see so many of us struggling and trying to navigate this affliction of addiction.

Mom, You have been in the place for a long time and have remained prayerful and strong. I wish I had some amazing answer I could give you, but I don't I do feel great compassion for your situation and the pain and loss you feel. I cannot imagine facing the possibility of raising 5 children on my own. I do know someone who is doing it because her 3 years of fasting and prayer undoubtedly left her with the answer that she needed to divorce. This is a very hard decision and I am glad you are not rushing to it. I believe you will be blessed for that. There is a loss when you are facing a spouse who is not willing to admit or work on their addiction. If you have not received your answer yet keep seeking and it will come. I am praying for you and will place your name of the prayer roll when I go this week. I will be praying that you will have rest from your troubles and peace in your heart.

Wishful, I am sorry for your pain and will be praying for and placing you on the temple prayer roll. You are seeking the Lord in all of this and have even sacrificed someone you really loved to continue to try, wow, that is very selfless and I know you will be blessed for it.

Maddy, I am sorry to hear that you are in a season of struggle. I am praying for you as well and will also pray for and place your name on the temple prayer roll. I also want to thank you for your many prayers on my behalf.

I have to believe that a wise and all knowing Heavenly Father placed us in this situation for a reason. I continue to ask the the Lord to lead me in how I can use all I and my family have endured for some higher purpose. I can already see the wisdom in so much that has happened. Yet there is still so much I cannot understand. I can see how my heart and my head have changed. I can see how the Lord can really change us through our trials, but it does not make them easy by any stretch.

I have never felt as we had made it, but my husband did have an Alma experience almost 3 years ago, and his heart really did change. He did have a slip after over 2 years of sobriety, but as I worked through my end of it, I was very grateful that he picked himself up and continued to submit to the Lord. I feel that as long as he is willing to continue to truly try, I am 100% in the game. I focus less on him or my addicted children and more on my own journey of healing. Sometimes I feel like I am sitting around and scratching my head thinking...What happened to my cute little family? But I do feel a love an appreciation for him and all of my children, especially those who are still struggling. They are teaching me something I did not even know I needed to learn. I was such a drama queen. I felt like they were all hurting me, but really that is not what they were trying to do. I am more still now and my priorities really shifted. I do feel a trust for my husband even though he slipped. He gave me every detail I asked for and is more than willing submit to any boundaries, or anything else anything I ask of him. Really I so appreciate his honest sobriety, but I believe the Miracle was not in his recovery, but the miracle is in me for my willingness to forgive. I was only willing, and the Lord is doing the rest. Through his addiction recovery we have also had to deal with many other trials and through it all I think we had to either split up or grow close and endure together. It looks like we are enduring together. I think that is the point and I guess that would be the closest thing to "making it" we can come up with.

If I am waiting for him to never slip up or be tempted again, I think I am being unrealistic. If he slips, that is his sin and I no longer have to own it. I am redefining my boundaries and owning my own choices. I do feel more love for him now than I ever have before. He really is a darling man who loves the Savior, me, and his children more than he loves himself.

This life is a testing ground. I don't see it so much as proving myself to God. He is the God of the universe and I think he already knows how this whole thing plays out. But I see it more as ... How can I do his will? How can I glorify him in my daily living? How can I take the trials, pain, and suffering and have it all make sense to me? How can I accept his Grace and extend it to others?

I have a large mountain before me, as do all of us on this site, I am just praying that we can have the courage to make the decisions necessary to bring more love, light , and happiness into our lives and the lives of our families. I want to learn more about how to make my light shine for my Savior because that is where I know the good stuff is. Sometimes this stuff is very hard, but I just keep trying.

I know I do not get on here often. I try to read and when I do, I feel so inspired by what people have too say. I feel it is amazing that complete strangers can love each other so much, so as to mourn with those who mourn. What a blessing we have here with this site.

Hugs to all of my old and new friends on this site. Be Clean I am thrilled for your happiness, it really show up in your postings. They Speak, I adore you and am glad you are well. We are in this mush together and I want to ask for your continued prayers, as I will continue to remember you in mine."
posted at 01:31:04 on August 23, 2013 by angelmom
"I believe that was one of the best posts you've ever written. I can see the Spirit HAS worked a great miracle in you, and He is working on your family (especially your husband). You are being blessed for your faithfulness to God. You are the instrument of change in your own life and your husband's.

I can't help but think about a couple things you said. First, "I have to believe that a wise and all knowing Heavenly Father placed us in this situation for a reason." Then, I believe you gave the reason, "This life is a testing ground." I don't think it's much more complicated than that. We are here to face debilitating, challenging, stressful, overwhelming opposition in all things. That is the purpose of being here. Jesus faced it. Joseph Smith faced it. We must face it, too. The Lord will feel after us, and he will wrench our very heart strings. Each of us must learn to run to the Savior when these challenging moments come, instead of running to our favorite hiding place (behind the fig leaves).

I can tell that you are clearly learning to run to the Savior through this experience. You and your husband will be exalted yet, as you work together with forgiveness and love."
posted at 11:54:52 on August 23, 2013 by BeClean
Thank you Angelmom    
"I read that earlier today and those were the perfect words at the perfect time for me. It was weird...but I really, hard to admit, needed to hear that. I'm rather fond of you too :) I'll definitely put in a word for you to the Big Man. And your in luck, he answers most all my prayers except for one. Betchya can't guess which one it is ;) Anyway, yeah, prayers. Done."
posted at 02:29:20 on August 24, 2013 by they_speak
of course    
"If he answers all your prayers but one, he's probably answering that one, too"
posted at 10:58:07 on August 24, 2013 by beclean
to not be an addict/sinful man? to have virtue.    
"Nope. He's holding out on that answered prayer. Rascal. Actually been think about this every so often today. Think I'm gonna make a post about it.

"Blessedness is not the gift of virtue but virtue itself." -Spinoza"
posted at 19:54:30 on August 24, 2013 by they_speak
Unanswered prayers    
"If you didn't have your issues then none of us would have 'met' you Speak, or Angel, or Wishful or Mom5 or Clean or the rest of us here. I know that is not much of a conciliation prize. But I for one am in a bad way these days, and am grateful for the support here. You know what they say about misery loving company! Maybe this is just a new take on that adage.

Do you want a terrible, selfish confession? Sometimes I think about the addicts who helped write the ARP manuals....I guess in a way I am grateful that the Lord didn't take away their trials, at least until they had written those words. They bless me so much. What a wretch I am to say that. But I am grateful for them none the less. I guess I believe that God has His purposes in everything even letting us suffer. I wonder what His purpose is for me then, because in the same breath that I say all that I can wish that I was exempt from this part of His plan for me....I wish it with all my heart.

Anyway, enough of a hijack on Mom5's post.

Y'all are cool in my book."
posted at 00:25:13 on August 25, 2013 by maddy
The 9 Principles    

Your post was about Love and so I want to put this out there FWIW.

There are 9 principles listed in the Proclamation to the World that successful families are best built on. I think each one is vital and important and not only was given serious thought when written, but were given through revelation. I don't believe there is a word in that document that isn't there without purpose.

I feel like I should share a half baked thought with you that has been stewing in my brain for months now....

Of those principles, two of them caught my attention. They are: 1) Love and 2)Compassion.

So if nothing is written accidentally....then what is the difference between the two? Why are they listed separately?

I have my theories on what the difference between the two are, but what I really want to share is that I've wondered if maybe I need to learn to have compassion for my husband, first, right now. Perhaps even more than needing to love him.

I don't know if or when that feeling of love will return, but compassion seems like a good place to start for me.

My .02"
posted at 00:43:35 on August 25, 2013 by maddy
"If God answers all your other prayers, amazing you that he does so, then is it really like him to just not answer this last one?

He MUST be answering it in a way that is BETTER for you. He will amaze you with this answer, too."
posted at 03:08:33 on August 25, 2013 by beclean
"I feel so bad that you are struggling right now, and my thoughts and prayers have been with you all day.

I am grateful for your insight on love and compassion. I had never considered the difference and that both were mentioned. We do need compassion for our spouses. And we need love.

At the end of your post, you called love a feeling. I don't believe it's a feeling at all. The proclamation calls it a principle. Do you think God has a "feeling" of love for us that might suddenly disappear, the way we talk about love in a marriage drying up? Or is his love a principle that he perfectly understands and practices? The feeling we call love in our youth is not love, but attraction. Love comes later, after years of struggle. It comes because two people support and honor each other even when the initial attraction has faded. God is probably not Attracted to us for several reasons, but he still loves us - why? How can he possibly love us when we constantly cheat on him, our only true husband? (Please read and decipher Ezekiel 16, if you never have. Awesome chapter!)"
posted at 03:16:30 on August 25, 2013 by beclean
Love and compassion    
"Maddy, you always amaze me with your insight. My husband has always thanked me for my compassion. He's thanked me for my love for him, but he always adds compassion. I have pretty much looked at them as one and the same thing until I read your post. There is a difference between the two of them and you are right...maybe working on the compassion is what I need to do. It's hard to do when I think of Beclean's post..."Love comes later, after years of struggle. It comes because two people support and honor each other, even when the initial attraction has faded." It's been years and years of waiting for that kind of love to be shared between us. I guess I've mostly shown compassion because I feel bad for him. His family life was lacking in love so his examples to follow were not the best. Still, I would hope, that after all of this time together, he could have learned that I have always needed to feel safe with him, and that has not been the case. I still feel compassionate, I think...but I sure wish I could feel loving too. He is a smart adult and when my husband has relapsed, it hurts because it is a choice, regardless of how sad his life may have was still a conscious choice and he keeps making the wrong ones. Hard lessons to learn from..."
posted at 23:03:11 on August 28, 2013 by wishful
"I really appreciate all of your comments:)"
posted at 09:13:43 on August 29, 2013 by momof5
"I really appreciate all of your comments:)"
posted at 09:13:50 on August 29, 2013 by momof5

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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."

— Jeffrey R. Holland

General Conference, April 2006