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wives who have been betrayed Help!
By ruggaexpat
3/17/2010 11:41:18 AM
Here goes,


Porn and my underlying emotional immaturity have caused me to do the worst possible thing in disregarding my wife’s love, feelings and heart. I can shout from the rooftops that I love this amazingly beautiful daughter of God but there is no credibility in my words and voice right now. I sit and wish to death that she would just believe me when I say I love her but I know it is not possible right now. I am an emotional wreck, unable to really justify never mind communicate my true feelings of love for her. It is hard to go for broke daily and tell her how much I love her because there is the inevitable response of “don't lie to yourself, if that was the case you would not have done what you did.” It is the hardest thing to hear, there is nothing I can imagine that can be worse.
My wife is a lawyer and I have been through the cross examining, I have confessed absolutely everything from porn watching specifics to fantasies about specific women. So you must know that she has absolutely no reason in her mind to keep our fragile family of 2 little princesses intact. I have not been there emotionally for her, not provided any spiritually secure home and certainly not satisfied any emotional or spiritual needs. There is absolutely no justification for her to hope for a happy marriage with me. This kills me to consider the magnitude of my addiction. I served on mission with her, was her district and zone leader, she is the wife of a former bishop, so if I tell her to listen to the Bishop’s counsel, she obviously has no trust in a Bishop either. She is studying much about codependency and right she should but then how good is it for the family if she wants total independence?
To you wives out there who have been betrayed, neglected, emotionally abused, destroyed etc.
What do you need to know in this situation?
What do you not want to know in this situation?
How can the betrayer gain back that trust?
What are those small and simple things I can do?
I enjoy reading words on this site, it just helps me know that there are others who can related to my pain.

Comments:

Actions, not words.    
"Oh your poor wife. I remember those feelings of shock, betrayal, disbelief. If your wife is anything like me when I first found out then she's going through absolute hell right now. So what can you do? Let me share with you some things that my husband could have done to help me, but didn't. First and foremost, try to put yourself in your wifes shoes. This is important if you want to understand her pain!!! Imagine for a minute that the roles are reversed. Imagine that you have been living this life, you think your wife adores you, you believe you have a wonderful celestial marraige. SUre there's problems but you believe that your wife has eyes only for you. You have created this beautiful family and welcomed children into the home. When you are together intimately you feel so happy and close to her because you truly believe that you have this sacred connection in those moments. You believe that she loves you and would never knowingly hurt you or betray you.You trust her completely, with your life. Then one day, you find out that she's been unfaithful to you. When she goes to work, she looks at other men and fantasizes about them. She imagines herself having sex with them. She compares you to them and finds you lacking. She maybe even flirts a little. When she comes home from work, she acts as if everything is fine. She kisses your cheek and continues to make you feel like the one and only man that could ever mean anything to her. She tells you how much she loves you and appreciates you. Then when you go to bed she gets on the internet and looks at naked men, lusts after them, maybe even chats with them. When she finally comes to bed she makes love to you but is all the while thinking about them and the images of those perfectly muscled bodies. How betrayed would you feel if the roles were reversed? How humiliated? How decieved? Wouldn't you be shocked and hurt? Wouldn't you maybe lash out and say unkind things to her? Would those words of love spoken by your wife mean anything to you? I assure you they wouldn't. One thing my husband just never could understand (until recently) is why I wouldn't believe him when he would profess undying love for me. Words mean absolutely nothing to me. Actions mean everything. If he KNEW how much it would destroy me and hurt me and he did it anyways...how is that love? Love is putting someone else's needs above your own. Love is not selfishness. Love is denying yourself some pleasure that you want so as not to hurt the one you love. My husband could never understand that when we would discuss it in the past. In his mind he could still love me fully but indulge in his addiction on the side. From a wifes perspective, that is just not love. I don't know what it is but it's not love. Is it really surprising that your proclaimations of love to your wife don't mean much right now? Actions speak oh so much louder than words. If you want your wife to feel loved, it's by actions not words. It's by putting yourself in her shoes and not getting frustrated or annoyed by her pain. It's being patient when she's hurting and allowing her to feel her feelings for as long as it takes. It's not getting offended and lashing back when she expresses her disappointment in you. It's not judging her if she handles this badly initially. It's looking for ways to ease her burden right now when she's emotionally and physically and spiritually exhausted. Taking care of the kids so she can take a bath, doing the dishes, making dinner or doing the shopping, lifting her load so she has the energy to deal with this. That would mean so much more than flat promises of undying love. Actions, brother. Actions! Not words."
posted at 12:40:49 on March 17, 2010 by sierra
One Way    
"The only way to gain your wifes trust back and have her believe you when you say you love her is to stop cheating on her. Stop lying to her. Stop betraying her. No matter what else you do to help her, if you continue to lie and cheat the trust will never ever be regained."
posted at 12:48:52 on March 17, 2010 by Anonymous
Wait    
"Don't cheapen the word love by using it loosely. Wait to tell you how much you love her when you can do it and PROVE it with your faithfulness to her. It won't mean anything without honesty and faithfulness."
posted at 13:32:32 on March 17, 2010 by Anonymous
Speechless    
"Wow. What hard questions to answer. I feel how desperately you want your wife to know that you care, but you are not sure how that is possible when this addiction is hurting you and her.

My husband has always been up front with me about his problem. So there has been only a small amount of deceit in our relationship. (Such as telling me he is doing well, to later tell me he has had more slips up then he had fessed up to. For me I can tolerate a small amount of that, because I know he is embarrassed and he has to tell me when he is ready.)

So for me I know without a doubt that my husband is crazy in love with me. That his addiction is NOT a reflection of his love for me. That it has nothing to do with how I look or our physical relationship. I get that this is HIS problem.

I have a lot of compassion for your wife. I'm sure she is very hurt and confused right now. And it is not easy to see past your own pain. But I just encourage you to keep praying and actively loving your wife. Even if you feel like it is not getting you anywhere. Love her and give her the understanding that you wish you had (this is not a criticism of her).

Just meet her where she is. Don't expect anything, just love her the best you know how."
posted at 14:48:13 on March 17, 2010 by TennesseeGal
Great question!!    
"Thank you for asking. You have your healing to do and your wife has hers. I loved what Sierra wrote, pay close attention to what she is saying. Really take the time to try to imagine yourself in her shoes…and use that knowledge to not get frustrated when she is having a bad day. Anonymous 1 has a great point in honesty…NEVER lie about this again…even if you fear it may hurt to hear. Honesty is so important especially when it has been completely obliterated. Your wife might not believe you, even when you are telling the truth…try to be sensitive to that. It might be frustrating to be telling the truth and still have someone doubt you, but take a step back and see that it makes sense why she doesn’t believe you. Anonymous 2, saying not to cheapen the word love…I actually asked my husband not to tell me he loved me, until he really found out what it meant. We have gotten to a point where he says he loves me, and I like to hear it…but if he is ever engaging in inappropriate behaviors again, I hope he will withhold using the word love with me…that is not love…it’s just another lie.
Another thing I feel is important to keep in mind…You are in different places in recovery. You are ready for recovery…She never wanted to have to recover from anything. This is a position she did not choose, so starting a recovery process for herself...can be really hard. Your nightmare started a long time ago…Hers is just beginning. Satan warmed you up to this…little decisions you made changed your coarse. Your wife did not get to “warm” up to this, she got burned and she got burned fast. Try to be understanding.

You have 2 daughters you say? So your Wife is not only your Wife she is a Mom…and with that comes being a Mama Bear. We feel the need to protect our little ones with every fiber in our beings. Our children have not been in a very healthy/safe environment…and that’s hard to come to terms with.

Safeguard. How can you better protect yourself and your family from this evil? Let your wife know of your efforts to ensure you are doing all you can.

Every situation is different. Ask your wife what you can do to lighten her load. I am different in the fact that I really don’t want help with the kids or around the house. If feel like such a failure, but there are a few things that I know I can do…Housework and kids, I can do just fine. I know that stress is one of my husband’s triggers…so if I stress him out by having him help me around the house, yikes I feel guilt. I do understand this is not a healthy way to feel…but I feel so helpless in all of this…it’s all I got. I encourage you to ask your wife…she will know what help you can be in her everyday life.

Really, thank you so much for asking…It was a beautiful question…and you can tell you have every intention of being someone your wife can count on. It takes time brother…hang in there!"
posted at 14:48:24 on March 17, 2010 by summer
yes    
"Amen and amen and amen to these women. I wish every husband in your situation could read these responses. As a wife in your wife's shoes, I agree with all of the above."
posted at 19:49:35 on March 17, 2010 by Anonymous
I thank you all so very much    
"I mean that and wish you could all come over and just take my wife in your arms. I have been trying to process and if it were possible digest the information you have so liberally given me. I am trying with all I have to be humble in any way shape or form. That is not easy to do for a selfish individual. I have fasted every week for 2 months for the faith and humility to fully repent of this habit of lying to myself, my loved ones, my neighbours and my GOD. It is incredibly difficult to put myself in her shoes, not because I do not want to but because I have difficulty really and I mean really feeling other's emotions. I can recognize, recall and believe her pain but I just feel like I need to feel her pain to relate to her misery. I do not wish for one bit this had happened to me, if it did, I am sure I would absolutely be destroyed. My world would be devastated, I would doubt myself, my appearance, my character, my ability to do anything on this planet. I would also doubt the gospel and that thing they once called eternal marriage. I would perhapse doubt my faith and testimony. I would wonder if I will ever be good enough for someone. I would question every fine detail of my life and its supporting decisions. I would consider the possibility that I was in fact wrong, lookign at all the other relationships in my past and wonder if I let the right one go. Man I would doubt anything and everything related or closely related to my marriage.

I never really realized that she is at a different point. That her hell has just begun while mine is at its final stages. How miserable that thought is, how unfair!
There is no right for me to expect anything. No right to expect her to forgive me, work with me, love me etc. I really think it is just so unfair that I created hell for her. I created hell of the highest order and now I cannot expect her to welcome anything I say, think, do or believe with love. I get that loud and clear.

You are all God sent angels tonight, God Bless You All."
posted at 20:24:11 on March 17, 2010 by ruggaexpat
Dear Wives,    
"As always, I thank all of you wives so much for your insight and contributions to this site.

May I add to Ruggaexpat's question to receive even further guidance for husbands like me?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that what most of you are saying is, If I truly love my wife, I will stop playing with porn and I will start being completely honest. You have also encouraged me to put myself in my wife's shoes and be truly understanding of her emotions and sensitive to her needs.

That is all wise counsel, and I believe exactly that counsel has worked in my marriage.

I also believe that pornography is an extremely addictive substance, and many--if not most--husbands who struggle with it became addicted YEARS before meeting and marrying their wife. If they chose to keep their addiction a secret (thankfully, I did not), they probably did so because they were embarrassed and they thought they could get rid of it and never have to tell anyone. They were wrong. Now they are buried in 20 or more years of addiction, and they finally realize THEY CAN'T STOP. At least not just in a day. Stopping the vicious cycle of addiction may take several more years, and they will need the help of their wife.

So, you wonderful wives have asked us to show our love by changing our actions and by being honest. Here's my question:

What if we feel we love you with everything we have, but we KNOW we can't stop in a day, no matter how much we love you. We have tried to stop every day for 20 years...and it hasn't worked. Why would it work now!? We are so destroyed and exhausted! We fear we may never be able to stop!

If we feel we CAN'T stop in a day, but we think we might be able to stop over time with your help--how do we show our love to you NOW? Is it even possible? Is it enough to show you we are doing EVERYTHING in our power to stop and to be honest even when we mess up again? If so, how can we show you we are doing everything? If we haven't stopped yet, surely someone will say there is more we could be doing...

Thanks in advance for your continued advice."
posted at 20:28:56 on March 17, 2010 by BeClean
You get it.    
"Ruggaexpat: I think you get it. I read your post and almost cried because YOU GET IT! It's so refreshing. Alot of times addicts say they want to know how the wife is feeling but when we express it we're accused of "kicking you while you're down". You could have become defensive but you didn't. You took what we said and thought about it and I think you understand EXACTLY what your wife is feeling right now. She IS probably thinking ALL those things you stated...and more. Just realize that this will take time to heal. Years...maybe her entire lifetime. I would encourage you to remember what you just wrote (about how YOU would feel if the tables were turned) and be patient. You'll probably get over this LONG before she will.

BeClean: I hope I can answer this without offending. I'll try. I think I'm speaking for 99% of the wives of addicts when I say this..we don't FEEL loved when you watch and lust after other women. We feel incredibly inferior and discarded. Would you feel loved by your wife if whenever you went out she was checking out other men...wanting them? Probably not. Most women are just not like Tennesseegal. Most of us feel deep hurt and pain to not be "the only one". I'm sure you think you love your wife with all your heart. When you are free of this vice, I bet you will realize that true love is something so different than what you are experiencing now. I'm not saying you don't love your wife. I'm not. But a true, deep, "celestial" love involves complete fidelity, complete honesty, complete trust, complete commitment. This is what the prophets have said.Recently, my husband said something to me that made a deep inpact on me. You see, he's been completely free from p and m for over two years. The other day, we were out to dinner and he started to tear up. He told me he loved me. Then he told me that what he feels for me now is so completely different from what he's ever felt for me. He told me he always thought he loved me but now it's so deep and undescribeable that he literally couldn't express it...he was too choked up. He said it's like a curtain has been lifted from over his soul and he can see my true beauty and worth. There are no lies between us. There's no guilt and shame. There's no infidelity. There's just he and I. Nobody else is invited into our relationship. Intimacy is saved for me...no matter what. Even if I'm sick or out of town. He waits for me. That's ours. Because he was willing to give up those "other women", his heart opened up and he was able to love me in a way he had never done before. I don't really know how to describe it. I can tell by the way he looks at me. I can tell by the way he treats me like I'm precious and fragile. He's careful with my heart now whereas before he would casually discard it. This is true love. I feel loved in a way that I NEVER would have if he had decided to continue to "dabble" and tell himself that it wasn't possible to just stop. It IS possible to just stop. He literally stopped one day and never did it again. He was an addict for over 20 years so if he can do it, anyone can. I believe that Satan wants you to believe that "mess-ups" are inevitable. That it's just the nature of the beast. I know a lot will disagree with me on this but it's the way I feel. Is it possible for your wife to feel loved right now with you dabbling on occasion? In my opinion, no. At least not the deep true love that is possible when two people are faithful to one another and put the other one above all else. It's a beautiful thing. I'm so grateful I didn't give up on my husband. Believe me, I wanted to. I decided to "wait and see". Now I am married to a man that treasures me. When a show comes on with a girl in a bikini he literally runs from the room. He will not look at another woman in that way because he knows it destroys me inside. It erodes my self confidence.It makes me doubt my worth as a woman that is not "perfect". It makes me doubt our eternal union. So he doesn't even stay in the room because he doesn't even want me THINKING that he might be looking. I KNOW it is possible to stop. I know it. My husband was at the lowest of low places and he stopped. If you can't stop it's because you don't want to stop yet. (oh boy, that comment is going to get me in trouble) It feels good and you're not ready to give it up yet. I get that. It's hard to stop something that feels good. But trust me brother, it feels SO much better to have your wife look at you like you're the greatest thing ever. To feel that "true love" that is possible will SOOO make up for anything you lose out on by letting go of pornography. I've probably offended you...I surely hope not. This is just my opinion and my own experience."
posted at 21:54:35 on March 17, 2010 by sierra
One other thing...    
"I forgot to mention. It IS possible to repair a damaged relationship but it takes TIME. It took me over two years but recently (like in the last two weeks) I realized that I DO trust my husband. In spite of everything he has done to me...I trust him. I never thought it possible! About ten days ago, I let go of misgivings I've been carrying around. Why? Because he has PROVEN himself trustworthy. He doesn't do anything that even appears shady. He makes sure he is 100% honest in everything. It took years but he has proven it to me. It is possible to gain back trust, but it takes time. I forgot to say that...:)"
posted at 22:23:16 on March 17, 2010 by sierra
Time and Relapses    
"Sierra,

Thank you so much.
I just want to comment on time and relapses.
As for relapsing, there is no way in miserable hell I am going to even consider it, I just cannot, no matter how much I must deny myself. I believe that the Lord is all powerful and I take him by his word that for him anything is possible. I must believe that, I must live that and die by that. The great thing I see is that I am blessed to have my wife because there is absolutely no space in her heart for another thought of infidenlity. This I believe is the saving grace for your husband and yourself.

I do not want my wife to reserve any space for this weakness, I want her to hate it as she does,I want her to leave me if I cannot overcome it, it is just that bad. Don't get me wrong, I want to spend my eternity with her but if I cannot kick this now and be clean from January 20th then I do not deserve her. I have been told by my therapist that I will likely relapse, I have read time and again that I will and my wife has said I will.
The great thing is that the Lord has not confirmed it and that tells me it is possible.
About time, well this is where I can have difficulties. I am by nature impatient, and so desperately want to recover now, have my wife's heart and mind heal now too. Time to me is the hardest part to swallow. It just is hard to wait on her and the Lord because as Summer and yourself so carefully stated, I am ready now!!!!"
posted at 23:03:57 on March 17, 2010 by ruggaexpat
Sierra, my dear sister,    
"You have not offended me, nor can you. Since I try to be more than willing to do whatever it takes to overcome my sins and selfishness, I do not take offense when someone points them out.

In your comments, you mean only the best for me, my wife, and others on this site, and so I take everything you said that way. Thank you for your answer to my question, Sierra.

Of course, since you do not know me, my wife, the specifics of our situation, or how long I have been clean, you must make some assumptions. I don't fault you if a few of those assumptions aren't perfect. Everything you say is good and surely helpful to those who read.

Do any wives have anything to add to Sierra? Again, I will not take offense.

And I encourage ALL other addicts to hold your tongue when the loved ones speak and LISTEN! Do not take offense!

Thanks again, Sierra.

PS My wife is very much like Tennesseegal. My wife has been on my team throughout my recovery, and while my problem started 10 years before I met her--and, therefore, had absolutely nothing to do with her--overcoming it to the extent I have (I can NEVER let my guard down) would have been impossible without her unconditional love and support.

I'm beginning to see that there may be two types of recovery to this addiction. Contrary to my previous beliefs, cold turkey appears to work for some. For others, I still believe recovery is an extended process. Personally, if my wife had threatened to leave me back when I was daily and weekly succumbing to my addiction, I'm sure I wouldn't have stopped, but I might have stopped telling her about it. Instead, we have taken a different path, and I am eternally grateful to and for my amazing companion. If I ever slip up again, I know I'll tell her, and I know she'll still love me. Her love makes me all the more determined never to slip up again."
posted at 23:50:53 on March 17, 2010 by BeClean
Realize she is not stupid    
"I think it is important to realize that if a relapse occurs, do not assume she will never realize it and you don't have to tell her.
The Spirit in our home changes when my husband relapses. He doesn't admit it though. I used to ask him about it but he became so hateful that I don't bother. He feels that by telling me that it is like a child going to his mother. Instead what I see is a miserable man who hates himself and becomes critical of me.
Frankly I feel it is disrespectful to me for him not to admit his relapses. I honestly don't want to hear about it but I need him to admit his wrongs to me. Overall when I'm able to talk about times when it was really bad (before a true effort at recovery was made) he makes excuses for his behavior. Things like I didn't react well, he didn't feel supported, I got too upset and it made it worse for him, etc. So for now I know he relapses and harden my heart towards the criticism.
I've asked for marriage counseling but he feels that I somehow manipulate others to be on my side on this. Excuses, excuses. I see it for what it is. He's not ready to admit how this had affected me and our children. I don't enjoy "the role of victim" but I am hurt and I need to have that hurt acknowledged and not hear how I'm reacting wrongly.
In my opinion, short of violence, abuse, etc. Spouses need to be able at some point to express to the addict how this had affected them without fear of criticism.
This addiction started for my husband before we met. He kept it from me for years until I caught him. I didn't react the way he felt I should. I cried, went to the Bishop for counsel for ME and mentally shut down for a few days. It continued to get worse for a while and then changes in the right direction began and continued for about a year. Right now he seems to be floundering. I really think he thinks I don't have a clue but I do. The criticism is getting old. The justifications of why he shouldn't account to me are getting old. The excuses about marriage counseling are getting old.
All I want is honesty without excuses. I can live with the relapses but not with the excuses and the lists of what I'm doing wrong in an effort to deflect what he had done.
I have recently realized that unless there is more honesty then I can not stay in this marriage and I will not subject our children to this much longer.
I honestly don't want to leave. I DO believe that my husband should discuss things that I am doing wrong in the marriage but at the right time. The wrong time is within 24 hours of a relapse. That is a deflection.
Be honest with your wife no matter how hard it is. That alone says that you respect her, that you don't think she is stupid and would have never known otherwise, and that you truly want to change and eventually be able to say you have been clean for years.
I think most wives want to do everything possible to make the marriage work. However we can't and shouldn't do it alone.
On another note: I don't know about every wife but those who have confided in me seem to feel the same way as I about intimacy. It's hard to feel attractive and feel attracted to an addict husband who is relapsing. Telling us that it would be easier not to relapse if we weren't withholding doesn't help. I don't withhold from my husband to punish him. However I do not feel attractive to him knowing what he looks at and I don't feel attracted to him knowing he is engaging in these inappropriate behaviors. The longer my husband had been clean the more attractive I find him. I feel better about myself so I'm more in the mood. This isn't punishment. It is our hurt selves healing. When we are sad we are not in the mood. Be patient as your wife heals in this area. Don't accuse her of punishing you. That is not it. Be patient and not pushy.
Signed,
I'm not stupid
ps. I couldn't figure out how to register so I did the anon. way"
posted at 00:07:58 on March 18, 2010 by Anonymous
Relapse    
"Beclean,

I can tell you have a heart of gold buddy, you are extremely humble.
I know we have to be humble to make any hint of progress.
You are right we all have different degrees of this weakness. I believe the Lord knows what is best for us and thus inspires our wives to deal differently with the challenges associated with the weaknesses.
I do also believe that the Lord expects absolute 100% honesty and effort. In my case, my wife and I are both all or nothing. If I set my mind to doing something, I will give it my all which I can then say that I was not prepared to fully give up pornography until it was too late. I will attest that once addicted, it is impossible to do it alone which is why the savior is the only way out because with him all things are possible. Now I am ready to give this crap up for good. Relapse is not an option it just cannot be given the pain I have caused others especially my wife. I also realize that I am just like those scoffing at the savior when he took these very sins upon himself for me. Each time I listen to a temptation, I am taking for granted my savior and in effect crucify him again and again. I do not want his sacrifice to be in vain for my family. It does not make sense, so I have to give this crap up NOW.

One final thing, yesterday was the greatest day for me for one specific reason, I spent it thinking about my wife all day long, trying to understand her pain and empathizing, while it was still a feable attempt, it ensured that the day was not much about me, thus there was no time for fear of losing my wife, frustration at myself, in fact anything negative in the form of emotions. The amazing thing is that it was the easiest day.
Lesson: Think of others and porn has no chance. This is the secret, it is not about how much scriptures you can study, prayers you can offer though they are essential, it is about training the brain to think of everyone esle but ourselves. This is the way to rewire the circuitry in the brain, it is the beginning but man it is happiness to realize this."
posted at 08:29:53 on March 18, 2010 by ruggaexpat
Thanks    
"Thanks, Ruggaexpat. I'm glad you asked the question that opened this blog post, and I especially appreciate your description of how you spent yesterday.

In the Council in Heaven there was one important difference between the two sons of God who offered themselves as our Savior. One thought only of himself, and the other one NEVER thought of himself. He constantly thought of you and me and everyone else.

Your suggestion to, "Think of others and porn has no chance," is truly "the secret" to overcoming everything. In fact, it is the secret to being happy and finding eternal life, and I'm grateful you mentioned it. We MUST overcome our selfish thinking; selfishness is sin, and I think most--if not all--sin is just a form of selfishness.

Every one of us must learn to give everything we have--our talents, our desires, our gifts, our money, our time, everything--to God and to others. It's the laws of consecration and sacrifice rolled into one. It's the Celestial life of God, thinking of everyone but himself.

And it's very hard."
posted at 09:24:48 on March 18, 2010 by BeClean
Me again...    
"Ruggaexpat, thank you for trying to understand your wife’s situation. It’s hard to put yourself in someone else’s place…I have tried so hard to understand my husband’s issues…it’s hard to do. Keep working at it and be patient. I see so much beauty in your writings in this post. Keep it up…This is out there, but I’m going to quote part of one of my favorite songs “What’s worth the prize is always worth the fight”. (Nickelback - If Today Was Your Last Day) I know it's not scripture or something a prophet said…but whenever I hear that song, I wanna keep fighting…the prize of an eternal family is WORTH this fight! You can do this!!

Beclean, no doubt your wife wishes this problem wasn't in your marriage, but your wife is in the "loop"...she trusts you will come to her. Keep the honesty up, it works in your marriage...and it gives me hope, thank you. I have never wanted to be a wife with this problem (what wife does?)...but it is here and if I desire to stay with my husband (which I do!!)...I must accept that this is a fight to the end. I have my own "Good, Better and Best"...except I'm going to add two more...Terrible and Still Terrible.
*Terrible...when my husband was engaging in inappropriate things and I had no idea...I just thought he was falling out of love with me.
*Still Terrible...When I found what the problem was and my husband lied to me about it. I spent about 2 years knowing I was being betrayed, and couldn't do a thing about it. It was HELL!!
*Good (this is the stage I am in now.)...Our problem has come to the surface and we have talked about it...We both decided that our beautiful family is worth fighting for.
*Better (I think this is the stage my husband is in now)...Building trust by action. I really think my husband trusts himself...how great is that! I want to join him here soon...but my own self-esteem issues, plus depression issues are getting in the way. I want so badly to be able to trust what is in my husband's heart and mind...we will get there...I just need to continue to see the progress my husband is making, and work on my own progress. I'm going to include here that I want to trust my husband enough to know that if something does happen he will come to me, I want to be important enough to him that he feels he has to tell me...it is my eternity too.
*Best (THE GOAL!) To have complete trust in each other. To know without a doubt that our union is special and sacred. That intimate things are keep where they should be...between husband and wife. I used to think that this kind of love was impossible after a shock like this...but I see Sierra and others who are comfortable again...it is possible...I WANT IT!!

I agree with Sierra on the "celestial" love. Of course you love your wives...but you also love other things...and at times you love those things more than your wife...or you wouldn't put them before her. You can't serve 2 masters…You can't love something so evil and expect to have “celestial” love with your spouse. In President Hinckley's book "Way to Be!"...in reference to pornography he says, "It may at first seem exciting, but it will destroy you. It will warp your senses. It will distort your ideas about sex and love." (Page 53) President Hinckley does not say that if you are honest with your spouse about your involvement with pornography you are immune from the distorted views on love that pornography causes...President Hinckley does not say it might distort your ideas about love...he says it will. You feel love for your wives now...imagine how wonderful it can be if you do not have this evil in your life. Sierra speaks of how her husband finally loves her the way he was always suppose to. Even before I knew that my husband was engaging in inappropriate things...life changed as I knew it. He started to treat me differently...occasionally being rude, he became distant, and saying things to me that he would have never said before. I attributed it to the fact that we had been married for 7 years and I thought he just must not love me like he once did. I now know why; it was because of his involvement with pornography. Another sad point to this is...even though I was not the one with the addiction to pornography; it is also the cause of my distorted views on sex and love. My self-worth is next to nothing...I feel ugly...unwanted...unlovable...worthless...the list goes on. I use sex to comfort myself at times. Sometimes I feel so unwanted that I use sex as a way to feel loved and wanted...it's easier to pretend someone loves you, when they are so close to you. My husband is at a really good point in his recovery and I am so proud of him...but I was brought down, and I'm not at that healthy level he is. He tells me he feels really good about himself...and I love that...he should, he is a good man who has made tremendous improvements. Do I feel good about myself? Not so much. Ruggaexpat...this is what I am talking about when I say you are at different points in recovery...If you are feeling good, find a way to lift your wife up. Repentance and recovery can be a beautiful thing and make you feel so great, use that good feeling to help your wife when she is down.

My prayers are with you."
posted at 20:19:11 on March 18, 2010 by summer
Summer,    
"Oh Summer, I see so much of myself in you. I love what you wrote. I hope you don't give up. If you've read any of my previous posts you know that I was of the opinion that I would never fully trust my husband again and it almost shocks me to realize that I do. Last week, we went to the temple together and I looked across the row at him and was watching him for a minute. He looked so happy. Peaceful I guess. Then it hit me so hard that he was truly clean. Truly, completely clean and worthy to be there. I always "thought" he was clean but I wouldn't bet my life on it or anything. Too many lies. Too many times I'd been betrayed. During that moment in the temple the Spirit told me...he's clean. And I believed. Then right after that he left on a business trip. Usually these trips cause me to worry because he can pretty much do whatever he wants and I would never find out about it. I usually spend the whole time sick and wondering if he's staying faithful. This time, the entire trip passed and I didn't worry ONCE about if he was doing something he shouldn't do. Not once. That's when I realized...holy cow! I trust him!!!! Unbelievable!! I don't believe he will ever look at porn again. Ever. I never thought I would get to this place..but it happened. It happened gradually. But it happened. If it can happen to me, the worst of cynics and somewhat of a pessimist...it can happen to you. It just takes time. Of course, the reason I was able to get where I am is because my husband did change. If he was still occasionally relapsing, well, we wouldn't be where we are. We probably wouldn't still be married if I'm honest. I'm just not strong enough to be happy AND be married to a porn addict. I don't believe it's possible to be truly happy with this in your life. I so love the quote from President Hinkley. Thank you for sharing that. I guess I just want to encourage you to not give up. I understand what it's like to be at different places than your husband. For a LONG time my husband and I were at VERY different places. He got over it much quicker than I did. He repented, he stopped his behavior, he confessed, he completely changed his life and then he moved on. He moved on but there I was... a big hot mess...crying herself to sleep at night, forgetting to eat, not wanting to get out of bed in the morning, looking in the mirror and scrutinizing every percieved flaw. And then my husband would make comments like "I've never been so happy in my life. I feel so free and so happy!!" And I'd be thinking "Well, isn't that just so freaking wonderful for you!! I'm so glad you're so happy when I've never been so miserable!!" It didn't seem fair. I did catch up to him on the happiness scale, though. Healing comes, but sometimes it comes slower than we'd like. It started for me when I stopped focusing so much on him and more on myself. Sounds selfish but when I went back to nursing school and made new friends and focused on my education and achieving my dreams...I began to focus less on what HE was doing. I gained confidence and self-esteem as I did well in school. It gave me purpose and made me feel good about myself. I don't feel so dependent on him or trapped with him. I'm with him now because I WANT to be with him, not because I'm financially dependent on him. I guess my point is, maybe the way out of your self esteem and depression problem is to follow a dream. Do something you've always wanted to do. Do something that makes you happy. This is YOU'RE LIFE!! You only get one!! One life to live and then when it's over, it's over! If there's something you've always wanted to do...do it! You're life is not all about your husband. You were an individual before you met him and while you've chosen to share your life with him...it's not all about him! I wish nothing but happiness for you. I hope you find it. I've never been more happy in my life than I am right at this moment. It wasn't that long ago that I thought I just had to get through this life the best I could and my reward would be happiness in the next life. That's not true! There is happiness that can be found after a shock like the one we've had. The atonement can heal anything, even a broken heart so broken as ours has been."
posted at 22:01:16 on March 18, 2010 by sierra
Anyone/anything else?    
"Thank you, Summer and Sierra. Please know your words are causing me (and my wife) a great deal of thought and introspection. We have been discussing this blog post together for several minutes each night. I really appreciate all those contributing.

Anyone/anything else?"
posted at 08:40:51 on March 19, 2010 by BeClean
...    
"Sierra-
Thank you so much for your response…as hard as it is for me to know that another sister has had to go through this, I am grateful for the progress that you show me is possible. I know that what my family can have is worth the fight. It’s exhausting…but I will continue to work at this. I actually do trust what my husband is telling me at this time. I just pray he will continue to be honest…and I can continue to build on that. I love that you got your nursing degree…good for you, that is a big accomplishment! The ages that my kids are, going to school would just not work for our family. That and I am doing what I’ve always wanted to do…being a Mom is all I have ever wanted to be. I have thought about getting a degree so that I don’t have to rely on my husband…but I would be doing it for the wrong reasons at this point. I am blessed in that my husband’s job provides very well for us…if I wanted to leave, I could…I am not trapped because of finances. I have found things that help me to feel better. I go to the gym most everyday and work myself hard!...I have started to work with a trainer and love that. But if I get sick, and am unable to go to the gym…it devastates me. The gym is my release. Playing with my kids…that’s the stuff! I am so grateful for them! I still keep friends at a distance…all of my friends are way too smart, they could see something is wrong…and I really don’t feel like sharing this with them.

Did your husband get frustrated with your healing? Was it hard on him that it took more time than he wanted? I feel so bad for my husband…Here he has made such great progress and deserves to have a happy wife…and I am just not there yet. He tells me he feels really good until he is around me. I hate to be around me too. I used to be a super happy bubbly person. I NEVER cried! I never had a reason to. Now…well lets just say that I cry.

Thank you so much for sharing your story! I feel a lot of hope from your experience!


Ruggaexpat-
I looked over your original post…You asked, “What do you need to know in this situation?” Everyone feels different about that one…but for me if I ask a question, I would like it answered. It’s quite possible what is going through my head is worse…it’s also possible that the truth is worse than what was running through my head, but at least it’s the truth and not me speculating.

Also…As far as the codependence goes, I feel a lot like you do. Total independence doesn’t sound so healthy to me either. It’s not what I want…I want to be one with my guy. To depend on him and have him depend on me. I feel that I was replaced and no longer needed by my husband for intimate things…It stinks, I don’t want to give him any of those feelings that I have, of not feeling needed.
Keep fighting!

Beclean-

I agree this post has a lot of interesting information. I so appreciate being able to converse with all of you about this!"
posted at 15:18:15 on March 19, 2010 by summer
How the betrayer feels    
"Summer

Here is a word of encouragement from my side.

Never give in, he does not want to give in. If he feels like me, he is ready to make your dreams come true, he is learning how. For ages I have had a desire to do good, now I am ready to make that desire work for me through my actions. I am sure he is the same. Your attitude is incredible, please keep it up for your husband, he needs it and can do with every bit of positive reinforcement he can get. Is this a lifelong battle, maybe but I refuse to believe that it will be for me, I take the Lord by his word that he can make me whole again, I believe that he can do the same for your man. You have helped me more than you will ever know and I am greatful for your advice I have studied it and found it inspiring. Here is mine for you.

I just want my wife to KNOW that I care, even if she cannot believe me, it is important that she knows that I am there NOW to protect her, love her and cherish her and honor her. I just want her to KNOW this. I want her to KNOW how sorry I am for the hell I put her through and for every lie I have said and lived. Do I communicate these things well? Not on my life, I am terrible at it in fact my pride accompanies my apologies. I am quick to be defensive and I am impatient.

I know why he says that he feels good until he is around you, it is because in his quiet moments on his own when he is conversing with the Lord he feels confident, invincible. He feels that anything is possible. Then when he faces you he is reminded of the crap he has caused, of the hurt and the pain he has put you through, this is our pain, it is the worst possible pain that we can feel because we do love our wives and to know the magnitude of our sins and their impacts, it is hell all over again. We want to retreat back and feel the peace we felt alone.
Remember that we developed these addictions to handle those negative emotions that have plagued our lives since childhood. These emotions are real and never ending nightmares because we have never really addressed them. So when we see some of those very same emotions carried by our loved ones because of our actions, it is incredibly difficult to deal with no matter how positive we feel in our quiet moments with the Lord. You see it is easier for us to withdraw and deal with these things on our own, it is a safe place and we need A SAFE PLACE. We need to feel secure, free of harsh judgement. I need that safe place and my hope is that I can share my safe place with my wife, that is the way it should be but that also takes time. WE ARE IN OUR ADDICTIONS BECAUSE MANY OF US LOST TRUST IN THOSE WE TRUSTED. So it is really ironic that the victim and guilty both need to trust each other. I believe this is why it will take time as you and Sierra have so wisely stated.

Think about it this way, your man has experienced certain things in his life that have caused serious pain to him. It is so painful that he will do ANYTHING to get rid of that pain. He then finds that one solution, and at this point he is so desperate that he does not care how terrible it looks or smells, if it can help him feel relief from the pain, it is good enough. Then later on he finds out oh crap what have I done it is time to stop this, but no it is impossible. Then he tries everything possible but still nothing works. Throughout the next while he is stuck in that familar cycle of not being able to get away from shame and guilt. This drives him deeper into his addiction and he is just plain and simple TRAPPED.

This feeling of being trapped is so significant to a guy and is a serious misery. We want to feel in control, providing the solutions to the family, leading the family etc. Thus the feeling of entrapment is so heavy to bear. Fastforward to NOW and we feel free to finally move forward, we still feel held back when we have to look back with reminders of the mess we were in and created for you. I know that we must answer every question, but it is hard because it produces reminders filled with pain and remorse.

Please believe me when I say that we want one thing, to be forgiven and be in the presence of our beautiful wife where we feel they think we are the most amazing and special thing that ever happened in her life. This is our utopia, this is what we cannot wait for, we are impatient for it, we dream of it and the longer we wait the hungrier we get. It is just not fun to wait because we so want to prove once and for all that WE CAN DO IT AND NOT JUST SAY IT.

Beclean,

Lets soak it in because this is really good advice."
posted at 23:18:57 on March 19, 2010 by ruggaexpat
Thoughts    
"Yes, Ruggaexpat, the loved ones always provide good advice.

I hope your own advice for them is taken well. (I am certain you meant it well, but...) I have tried hard to avoid giving any advice to loved ones on this site...though I often feel I might have some to offer.

Unless loved ones ask directly for my advice, I feel I am not really in a position to give any, no matter how long I've been clean. People like me have caused too much pain, and there is really no reason victimized loved ones should trust me, given what they have been through.

Is your poor, dear wife getting help, either through group meetings or visiting this site?

If there is one thing I've learned from frequenting this site, it's that Honesty is the most important thing. My wife and Tennessegal seem to have a completely different attitude about the addiction than most other wives. I'm certain that's because Tennessegal's husband and I have always been completely honest about our struggles. I'm so happy that you and others who come to this site have decided to start being honest. It may take a while, but honesty will eventually go a LONG way towards resolving all the problems that have been caused by dishonesty.

Like you, I'm an impatient person, and so I pray for patience. We have to take our complete recovery one day at a time, and our wives must do the same. Unfortunately, we can't squeeze a year of recovery in to a single day."
posted at 13:09:29 on March 20, 2010 by BeClean
Thank you!!    
"Ruggaexpat-
When I read what you wrote…I felt like you and my husband had so much in common! You are both really great men dealing with a big problem. I printed it off and showed my husband what you wrote…I asked him if this is how he feels. He told me that what you described is exactly how he feels. I am usually in the dark on how my husband feels…thank you for opening a door to give me a glimpse into his world. You have helped me so very much! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Beclean-
You are always so thoughtful of the loved ones. If you ever have anything that you think could help me in my situation and feel impressed to share, please do!
Honesty is a huge void in my marriage…you have taken away that uneasy feeling that your wife would feel if she was in the dark. Bless you!"
posted at 12:26:01 on March 21, 2010 by summer
emotions    
"Summer I am happy that it helps, I am also happy because it tells me I am not alone in feeling those things. It is diffiicult to let someone into our world, because it has been so miserable. We want to start over in a new one, a real one where we feel free from the emotional trauma we have experienced. We want to share our new found world with our loved ones and cannot understand why others will want even a small peak into the miserable world we used to live in.

For me emotions are a mine field.

I agree I am in no position right now to stand on a soap box and shout out advice to the poor sisters seeking understanding and comfort. Especially since I am one who has caused such harm. When I get on this site, I am using it as a tool to recover and that means just writing to feel good and develop my hope and faith. I started this thread because I needed help, and had real intent of following what was offered. All my contributions involve me really trying to think and feel again. I can think with no problems but I have such difficulty feeling, it is hard for me to feel, but when I am writing, I am communing with myself and what that is doing is helping me to better get to know myself. I believe that this will create the capacity to eventually feel real emotions, my own emotions and eventually others emotions. There is no doubt that I feel pain, remorse, sadness, regret, etc. Those have brought me to my knees, but I do not feel love as I should, I do not feel compassion as I should and I do not feel much joy yet. I do feel peace, peace of knowing that I am heading back in the right direction, but that is it. How sad a situation to be in, this is what pornography has led me to, a life of absolute misery. I am beyond past feeling, I think I never met feeling. Summer this is why your husband may be having diffculty, some of us just get so out of touch with our emotions that it becomes unbearable to face them, especially the scary ones we have been trying to avoid for so long.

Beclean,

I understand how you feel, I am seriously not feeling like a spiritual hercules and will not be for any time soon. I do know this requires one step at a time, one day at a time. I am sure we have different stories to tell, but I have lived a lie for so long. I have avoided the truth because it hurts so much. The truth did not just start at pornography, I grew up with lies all around me, lies lies lies and more lies. I am discovering truth everyday, it does 2 things, it hurts but it also sets you free. For me pornography is not the problem, it is a medication. I have underlying emotional problems and my soul needs relief when those problems manifest themselves. Those problems are so deep that only the savior can solve them once and for all. I have faith that he will solve them, but I must want it. I always thought that the savior's atonement was for the sinner, all of us, and that it was to purify us of our sins. There is so much more to it, that his atonement is there to remedy our emotional trauma's, fears, broken hearts and loss of innocence. This to me is the most significant reason for the atonement in my life, this is what makes it personally significant for me now."
posted at 22:26:53 on March 21, 2010 by ruggaexpat
wow.    
"I will admit there's a lot of feedback on this blog so I didn't really read through all of it but here's my two bits...

My husband and I are both addicts. I don't know why but I feel more betrayed when he messes up then he feels when I mess up... maybe he's more forgiving, maybe it's just one of those differences between males and females.

But I would say the thing that helps me give my trust back to him is when he tells me up front when he's messed up or had issues. I hate to hear it, but I know that it's hard to go to a loved one and confess your most shameful sins to them. When he knows that he can trust me enough to not blow up at him and be careful with his emotions, that he can come to me with his problems, I feel loved.

I'm not saying I don't feel hurt when he messes up, but I do feel more loved knowing that he trusts me enough to share his sins with me, then I can encourage him to seek the proper preisthood authority and start to heal.

and vice-versa. I'm not perfect, and it's scary to go to him when I mess up, but I know he loves me and we can work the issues out."
posted at 21:31:51 on March 23, 2010 by Anonymous


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"The solution to this problem ultimately is neither governmental nor institutional. Nor is it a question of legality. It is a matter of individual choice and commitment. Agency must be understood. The importance of the will in making crucial choices must be known. Then steps toward relief can follow."

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