It Has Been 3 Years, When Will My Wife Trust Me?
By thie4420
10/4/2013 1:36:39 AM
I've never created a blog post about my addiction; haven't told many people about it outside of a few family members and those I at the addiction recovery group. Here is my story in a nutshell: I dabbled with pornography around 13-14, became hooked shortly thereafter, suppressed the outward expression of my addiction long enough to serve a mission, came home and struggled with it for the next six years. I married a beautiful girl a year after my mission, so she had to endure my addiction for five long years.

I admire my wife's courage and fortitude. In my opinion (and I'm biased), pornography is the worst kind of addiction because it desecrates the most sacred right we have and the most intimate expression of our love. Considering this, our marriage suffered because of the addiction, but because I was always making strides, and because my wife and I were committed to making it last, we stayed together.

Five years and 4 months ago I decided it was time to get serious about my problem. So I started attending AR classes, went to the Bishop (again), installed internet filters, started being honest with myself, and, most importantly, worked to find my Savior in prayer and scripture reading. Two years later (3 years ago) I had reached the point of recovery. I am still in recovery and feel fantastic. As many of you can attest, the power of redemption is all the sweeter when one comes from so much despair, self-pity, guilt, and fear. Certainly, I have been tempted since I last "indulged," but I have always found a way out. Over the past year I feel that my temptation to access pornographic images has almost completely subsided. I have replaced those temptations with hope, faith, and priesthood confidence.

So why does my wife still not trust me....three years later? I would be lying if I said things aren't better. Our love has grown and the happiness we experience at home is in greater abundance. We are honest with one another. We are able to focus on our kids; the attention is no longer going entirely to the addiction. Every aspect of our lives if better. But she still doesn't really trust me.

The pernicious nature of pornography complicates our situation. I don't access, nor do I have a desire to, but pornography (in all its subtleties) comes across my screen, my tv, or my path all the time. I can shut pornography out of my heart, but I can't shut it out of my path. It is everywhere! And when it does come across my path my wife still assumes that it was me that invited it. Often when our internet filter warns my wife that adult content was blocked (which happens on google searchers, CNN, and many other innocuous sites), she wants to have a long talk about my "problem" and closes me off from her. This also happens when she find images my friends post on facebook to be questionable, and when I seem grumpy. Everything is attributed to my "problem."

However, the real problem is the absence of a problem. Do I sometimes see inappropriate images? Uh, yes, every time I go to the supermarket? Should I be castigated for it? No! Do I sometimes have to stop myself from thinking about a pretty girl I see? Yes, but should I be admitted to rehab ever time? No! I was an addict and therefore am always an addict, but I feel the peace of recovery and I don't plan on regressing. I have complied with my wife's requests -- de-friend FB friends, enhance filters, stop visiting certain news sites.

I don't expect my wife to never have the thought that maybe I looked at pornography. I lied to so many times that it would be unfair to expect that. However, I do think that after three + years I deserve the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. Moreover, I can't help but feel like she expects me to regress. I feel great, but she makes me feel like I shouldn't feel so great.

Has anyone else experienced something like this? I am having a hard time reconciling it. I also don't know how much longer I can take it...because I don't know if I can progress any further without her trusting me. I don't want to be without her, and I especially don't want to be without my children for any amount of time, but I am struggling with this dynamic. I figure I can give her two more years, since she dealt with my addiction for five years. I hope that doesn't sound too selfish, but I find myself so angry over this and I don't want to be angry anymore. Can anyone provide some perspective for my problem? Any advice is greatly appreciated.


"When she's ready to, she will trust you. It varies from person to person. It took me a decade or more to feel like I could trust my husband again.

One thing that has helped me and may help you also is working the steps for anger. create a step 4 resentment inventory and work with a sponsor."
posted at 03:41:16 on October 4, 2013 by Anonymous
Giving it to Christ    
"Thie - welcome to the site. I am glad you had the courage to post this. It is very honest and that is good.

I think that there are some very great men hear who will come and give you some equally honest advice. I hope you can listen to them.

As a wife, I can't help but have my heart go out to your wife. As I read your post, I could hear my own husband's voice for things that he has said to me like this and it was very painful to relive.

Please, if you can, let your anger go. You spoke of deserving trust or being entitled to something more from her. I know when I feel that way that I am indulging in my addiction to it's deepest levels. I say that because at it's core, our addictions are not addictions to alcohol, sex, pornography, etc....our addictions are to pride. Thie - I don't know you yet and so I don't know how to gently say this, but brother, if this post is any indication of what emotions you emanate to your wife (consciously or unconsciously) then it is time for some serious re-evaluation and a quick return to your 12 steps from the beginning.

Please also understand that her recovery is entirely separate from your own. That means that it is impossible for your actions to speed or inhibit her recovery without her consent. It is also impossible for her actions to help or hinder you without your consent. You can progress just fine without her trusting you. The same way that I can progress even if my husband looks at pornography. Do you understand what codependency is? If not....and even if you think you do, then might I suggest that you return and study it, prayerfully.

So to clarify what I hear you saying: In your journey of seeking forgiveness from your wife and God, you cannot forgive her, for not forgiving you. Is that about right?

Don't get me wrong. Your frustration is understandable. It is the same as me being angry at my husband for looking at pornography. It is natural to be hurt and upset. But that is all it is...natural...the natural man. We have to be better than that. We have to see with Christ's eyes.

No one here would say a thing about it if you said that you knew by revelation that you were supposed to divorce your wife. But please make sure that if that is what you are doing, or threatening, that it is because that is Heavenly Father's will.

Want to know a funny truth? This is also about codependency...she has nothing to do with your anger towards her. It is easy to say that if she would just trust you then you wouldn't be having this problem. That is a lie. These emotions come from you, not her, and only you can choose them or change them. She has nothing to do with it. It is easy to say that you could forgive her for not letting go of the past...but only if she would let go of the past. All of that type of thinking will lead you down a road a misery and anger and unhappiness. Please, please, as one who knows....submit this to the Savior and let him heal your heart with this. Your wife in not making you feel this way. It is yours. Not hers.

Anyway, I am just preaching to myself now anyway because I need to hear these things today. I am going to sign off and go work on me."
posted at 09:03:00 on October 4, 2013 by maddy
has you wife been in recovery?    
"If so, give her time. If not, still give her time. However it is very important she start some type of recovery. Have her check out www. they even have phone support meetings.

When addiction is in a marriage, both people get sick and it will be a long time before you will be trusted. How long? As long as it takes. You are in recovery and have had your pn addiction healed by the Savior. Now she needs to have her own healing.

Congratulations for staying clean!!! That is the best thing you can do to help your wife heal. You are a gem of a husband. Keep praying for her and remember that she never gave up on you. Thank her everyday for staying with you. This won't sound like what you want to hear, but you earned her suspicion and will have to live with it for a time. In my humble opinion a real man of God, a true Priesthood holder will own that. My hope for you is that you will use that Priesthood to turn the suspicion she has over to the Lord and keep moving ahead. Never get complacent thinking you have beat this or that she owes you her trust. My husband slipped after 2 1/2 years, so please cherish your recovery like you cherish your wife and kids, while expecting nothing in return. Thankfully after his slip hubby jumped back into his recovery work and is back on track. BTW, 4 years into this journey and he still thanks me almost everyday for staying with him. I don't know why this helps me, but his sincere gratitude helps me a lot.

You are doing so well thanks be to the Lord!!! Keep going..Not only are you healing a family, you are giving hope to those around you who struggle. This whole thing reaches far beyond us and our families. The earth is overrun with sexual sins and when someone finds sobriety, recovery, and healing that person stands in a place to help the Lord heal as many as he will send their way. This weakness was always meant to be our strength!

Remember, he never said it would be easy, He only said it would be worth it!"
posted at 10:47:27 on October 4, 2013 by angelmom

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"The excuse is given that it is hard to avoid, that it is right at our fingertips and there is no escape. Suppose a storm is raging and the winds howl and the snow swirls about you. You find yourself unable to stop it. But you can dress properly and seek shelter, and the storm will have no effect upon you. Likewise, even though the Internet is saturated with material, you do not have to watch it. You can retreat to the shelter of the gospel and its teaching of cleanliness and virtue and purity of life. "

— Gordon B. Hinckley

General Conference, October 2004