My Tangled Mess of a Brain
By mrpuppy1983
7/17/2014 12:30:10 AM
The "long road to recovery" may be the most overuse cliche in the mental health arena. However, a critical component of this journey is often overlooked. I have been a "recovering addict" for several years, yet I find myself in a serious crisis in which I'n seeking answers to an ever-growing population of questions. I guess this is the unmentioned portion of the road that I would call the "insight turnpike"; and the toll tends to be quite steep in these parts.

Like legions of men the world over, I claim to be married to the most amazing woman on earth. But when does that awe & admiration become unhealthy? Before today, I had honestly never given that question a second thought as it related to our relationship. She has stood by me through my entire recovery process, raised our children valiantly, and stood strong through my acting out. I have done things to her that I may never forgive myself for, but she already has. That said, she has long-since passed the point of wanting out of our marriage.

As she often reminds me, the only reason I'm still here is because she currently needs my help in taking care of our kids. I have done my best to serve her and the kids while we endure some significant health challenges, but that isn't enough to rekindle her love for me. Bishops tend to focus on the pornography addiction that led us into this mess in the first place, but neglect to see the damage that I've caused since discontinuing my viewing. I've been clean in the regard for ages, but I've had serious lapses in judgement that have fallen square on my wife.

On one hand, priesthood leadership has repeatedly promised that there is still hope for our family, yet I see the pain that my presence causes my family. I want to believe in hope, but I feel selfish for doing so. My wife pinter out to me today that my feelings for her go well beyond the healthy limits, which has me feeling lost. In all reality, she is my world.

So now I find myself wondering where to go from here. I am so tired of feeling this way, but I find myself being paralyzed by fear. I keep asking myself, " does it really matter if I get better, if I've lost her anyway?". I know the logical answer is "yes", but I can't quite convince myself as to why this is so. It's no exaggeration to say that I feel like I would die without her. At a minimum, life would lose almost all of its luster.

My world has revolved around her all of my adult life; and before then, there was always someone else to depend on. In a sense, I feel like I'm trying to restore a feeling a balanced that I've never known. And what of withdrawals? I've been down that road before, and they terrify me. The question of whether or not I should distance myself while I try to gain control has been tearing me apart. On one hand, I have learned to rely on my wife's love and affection to help me through these tough times. However, I don't want her to feel compelled to sacrifice anything more on my behalf. I've always been a person of extremes, so trying to implement moderation is entirely foreign to me. I'm so tired of trying to make progress, only to shoot myself in the foot instead.


I have had similar feelings    
as I read your post I thought how similar I think I feel to your feelings of fear. I am facing some similiar relationship issues with my wife, except that my physical ability to help and support the family are limited because of my disability. My wife has taken on the lion's share of the work and most of the time she has continued ot soldier on even with my screw ups and relapses. I am not sure I can identify with your feelings for your wife. I do find myself trying to put everything into our relationship, into our marriage adn trying to fix her and the situation. I believe it was last October Conference's talk by Elder Ivens about why we have spiritual challenges. I had heard the doctrine that we endure things to become like Christ my whole life, but as I listened to his talk the Spirit witnesed to me that I had to develop the faith strong enough to rely upon the Savior no matter what . . . no one else can be between him and I. I have struggled with that becaues I want to have a happy family life, i want to have peace and have been willing to do anything to make that happen, but until I put God first no matter what I can't make the forward progress that I need in my life. I hope this helps. My heart goes out to you and as I said I believe I can identify with some of what you are describing.

posted at 10:06:03 on July 17, 2014 by sjanderson
"Yesterday I finally began the process of conceding defeat in our marriage. This was particularly difficult because various priesthood leaders have fought tooth and nail against that decision, without knowing the full scope of the issue. I finally had to do my best at evaluating the situation objectively, and came to the conclusion that we have all been through enough. Some might say that I have given up my belief in miracle - and perhaps that's true - but how much suffering is a wife supposed to endure on behalf of her husband? Logically, I feel like this step is best for her healing and my recovery, but it doesn't make it hurt any less. I just hope that she can see how serious I am before she gives up on everything, and my family/friends can open their eyes to what's been going on without pampering me into a relapse."
posted at 12:50:07 on July 19, 2014 by mrpuppy1983
"I hope that your marriage is not over and she decides to continue to work with you. Were you ever involved in the physical act of adultery or was it pornography?

In my judgment it is hardest on children when parents decide to divorce."
posted at 14:21:01 on July 19, 2014 by Anonymous
"Please don't give up the fight to save/re-build your relationship. It's not easy. It will be difficult. Trust in Heavenly Father and the Savior. No matter how dark things seem like at the moment, with Heavenly Father on your side all things are possible."
posted at 09:26:29 on July 23, 2014 by Anonymous
Are you giving up?    
"One thing I've noticed with addicts is that it's easier to give up than to continue the fight. Oh, they use terms like, "I'm only doing what's best for her/him." "I'm not good enough." Stuff like that to justify giving up, but what they're really saying is that since they can't see the eternal consequences, it's easier to keep the addiction. Divorce is giving up on your part if she wants to continue the fight."
posted at 05:39:32 on July 28, 2014 by Anonymous
Hang in there - give it one more day    
When I read your post again today I thought of Elder Holland's talk An High Priest of good things to come. His imagery of his experience with the car exploding three times and feeling hopeless has had a lot of similiarity at least in my feelings about my life experience lately. His counsel to "keep walking". Trust in God in the good things to come.

I don't know exaclty what this counsel means for you, or for me. Sometimes when I think of a "life full of sobriety" I get scared dn want to run away because I know what I am, I am a liar a cheat and by nature a not very good person. With the Savior though I can do all things that he would ask me to. Putting that into practice what I have tried to do is as Elder Christofferson said about his mother and her cancern treatment in his talk Our Daily Bread: I can do one more day. My heart goes out to you, again because I feel like i read your post and I think of my own experience and situation right now. Selfishly I wish I had a wand that would make it all better for all of us, but then I realize that the Savior himself knelt in the Garden and cried out to his Father begging if there would be any other way for the plan to be accomplished. I am truly humbled to think about pain that I have caused him, my wife and my family, and yet my Savior is still willing to accept me for who i am warts and all. I don't know you or your situation, but my heart and my prayers go out to you. I pray that you will find the peace and the strength that you need to do the next right thing- whatever that is.

What I am finding is that i have all this "knowledge" about the Gospel, but I may not have the feeling in my heart for whatever reason and when they are in conflict I am not where I need to be. I pray for God's blessings to be in your life.

posted at 13:03:46 on July 28, 2014 by sjanderson

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"Now, my brothers and sisters, let not Jesus’ redemption for us stop at the immortalizing dimension of the Atonement, “the loosing of the bands of death”. Let us grasp the proffered gift of eternal life! We will end up either choosing Christ’s manner of living or His manner of suffering! It is either “suffer even as I”, or overcome “even as [He] … overcame”. His beckoning command is to become “even as I am”. The spiritually settled accept that invitation, and “through the atonement of Christ,” they become and overcome! "

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987