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Question for Injured Wives
By cleanheart
8/13/2010 12:02:04 PM
2 Nephi 4:17 — Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.

2 Nephi 4:18 — I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.

2 Nephi 4:19 — And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.

I fell back into pornography just a few months after our wedding after years of being clean on and before my mission. I don't know what I was thinking at the time. It seems so stupid to me now. It has nearly been 8 years since our wedding and I cannot carry this on any longer.

We recently had our first baby and I have been clean since a few months before his birth. However, for the past few weeks I have been waking up almost every night with nightmares about losing my family. I realize that if I do no confess to my wife and bishop and leave this sickness behind once and for all I will lose them one way or another.

I love my wife and I love my son. I am willing to do whatever it takes to get over this. I recognize the pain I have and will cause her. I understand that this will destroy her faith and trust in me. But, I am more than willing to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to rebuild what I have destroyed.

Before my confession, I have some questions I'd like to ask any of the sisters on here who have been hurt.

What (if anything) could he have done/said during confession to help you?

Did you at first see this problem as a reason for separation/divorce or as a problem that could be worked through as long as he was truly willing?

For any that did consider divorce, is that strictly because he had the issue at all? Or did divorce become an option only after relapses or after an apparent continued lack of honesty/trying?

I will confess to my wife soon. I realize that there is no way around that. I just need to have some idea of what things will be like for her. I want to help her through this any way I can.

I am truly sorry for the pain this disease brings into so many lives. I regret my actions and yet rejoice in the Lord and his message that there is hope.

Thank you for your insights.

Comments:

Check out advice that was given to me at the following link    
"Cleanheart,


Here is some good reading and it helped me through all those questions you asked.

http://www.ldsar.org/ViewBlog.aspx?EntryId=6681"
posted at 13:31:03 on August 13, 2010 by ruggaexpat
I'm a wife...    
"Every time I read that a husband is about to tell his wife it makes my stomach drop. And I find myself praying for the wife throughout the day.

You say you will tell her. You must. If she is the one who catches you, her trust in you will be shattered, perhaps beyond reasonable repair. If you tell her, she will still perhaps not trust, but as she heals there will be a little voice of hope that will remind her that you were the one to confess and that perhaps she can trust when you say you are living as you should. The biggest mistake, besides getting caught up in it, I feel is the lying .
It truly destroys much hope a wife wants to have. Because she realizes she will never really know if what you say is true. And when there is no trust or hope that trust could even be restored...there is very little left. I also have to tell you from personal experience, half truths are also considered lies. They will not help you heal and they will not help her trust you.

Please do tell her. And when you do, share your history. Where it may not matter to her in the beginning, to know you struggled with this long before her, it will help a little in her quiet moments of trying to piece herself together.

I just finished reading one of Ruggaexpat's first blogs. In it he asked similar questions and received many responses. I hope it isn't intrusive to look but I would if I were you. I find strength in knowing I am not alone when I read these. I think you will find strength and understanding by reading this one. There are good people writing here and genuine feelings are shared.

I pray you do what it takes to overcome this. I know that you can."
posted at 13:42:22 on August 13, 2010 by enough
I just logged out and saw Ruggaexpat suggested a read.....    
"and it is the same one I was referring to above. And seeing as how it is his, it is not intrusive! I am sure it never is... Perhaps it is a "must read" for you.

Wishing you strength to do what is right,"
posted at 13:53:21 on August 13, 2010 by enough
Thank you Ruggaepxpat, Enough    
"I've read your blog and all the related comments Ruggaexpat. Thank you for that.

Enough, I appreciate your advice too. I will tell her, there is NO question about that. There will also be no chance of getting caught because I will NEVER go back to what I have done. I have literally felt sick, at times overwhelmingly nauseous, these past several days as I contemplate the pain this will cause her. Ruggaexpat described it well when he said... 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. I will talk to her and I will be completely honest with her. Thank you for your insights and prayers.

Ruggaexpat, wow. I expect that you are exactly where I hope to be in the near future. Your writing says almost exactly what I am feeling. Your example of strength and faith in the wake of this hell is giving me strength and hope that I would not have otherwise. I hope and pray that things continue to improve for you and your family.

It is hard to explain the... awakening I've been going through for the past couple of weeks. All of my past sins, while I was somehow able to rationalize or at least ignore the severity of those sins for so long, I simply CANNOT do that any more. They are evil, they quite literally make me sick. I question how I was ever able to get any sense of pleasure out of something so disruptive and vile.

2 Nephi 15:20 - "Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"

I have done just that. Why didn't I recognize their destructive power when I had my first choice? Why didn't I know how much pain it would cause later on down the road? But now that I know, what was good, and light, and sweet, has been damaged.

I only hope my wife, even if she cannot trust me, can at least have some hope for a day when she will be able to trust me again."
posted at 14:40:28 on August 13, 2010 by cleanheart
Just be honest    
"I don't know if there are any "right" words to say. My husband later told me that he had it all planned out how he was going to confess and he didn't say any of it. I think the main thing is to be honest, answer her questions honestly and completely. On the church website combatingpornography.org there is a section that explains what wives need to know. Look at that so you know what to disclose. When my husband first confessed he said he had only been involved with the problem for 2 years. About a month later, after more questioning from me, I found at it was at least 4+ years. This is important to know! Reveal and be honest right from the beginning. Because, I felt all the progress we made was shattered and we had to start over. It was very difficult.

I never considered divorce, but that was just me. After knowing the problem, I felt it was something we could work together on. I did and do still want him to be completely committed to his recovery. This does not mean that this has been the worst, most devastating trial I've been through. But, I've grown from it.

Once again, I strongly suggest to just be honest...that is the kindest thing you could do."
posted at 16:24:17 on August 13, 2010 by time2heal
Cleanheart    
"I just took time to read through that blog because I need that constant reminder that IT TAKES TIME. I know where you are, and as I mentioned to Paul, the sooner you get that full confession out in the open the better.

Here is a follow up based on a couple months of trying to apply those counsels I was given about 6 months ago:


Actions speak louder than words: Oh boy that I have found that to be priceless. I know I did not turn into Father Theresa but I did work hard on taking more of the physical load off my wife's shoulders. Many things are automatic for me now, so habitual and it feels great working alongside her.

Relapse is not an option: Well I can testify to you and anyone else that relapse is not part of the Lord's plan for us. I have worked tirelessly on mastering my thoughts and I can honestly say I do not struggle with immoral thoughts.

Honesty is the best policy: Without doubt, I have presented such a pathetic picture of myself to my wife so much so that today even she said, I could have done so much better than you. Why did I marry you, if I had a chance I would run. Oh boy that is enough for me to get defensive and try the don't kick me while I am down syndrome. Problem for me is that she is right, given that she now knows me intimately, I have no leg to stand on but better find a replacement leg to develop some character strengths.

I can go on, but ultimately I think I need to really improve with being sensitive to my wife's needs. Sierra and Summer both advised me to let my wife voice her anger for as long as she wants. I think I forgot this bit a few times because 8 months on my wife still is not satisfied and asks the hard questions. After 8 months I have a tendancy to think Come on dear when are you going to get over this? I told you all you need to know blah blah blah... Point is my wife's healing depends on me listening to her pain and addressing it. I plain and simply suck at this and I suck big time. Still learning patience I am affraid.

Today even my wife asked me why I was so insenstive. Why I can lie awake listening to her cry and not do anything. You know what I told her, don't ever try this: I told her dear how do you know I do nothing, to which she asked : so what do you do? I replied :I pray for you. I looked and sounded like a retard, not only wrong answer though that was the truth, she said she would want me to cry with her. I have no idea how I will manage that, I just don't cry easily. I recon I should rub some vicks under my eyes or slice a few onions in a plastic bag and place it next to the pillow - that might do the trick! No seriously I just need to be more sensitive, that is hard, I need a heart that works overtime in times like those.

Your relationship will take a serious knock but it all depends on your response. One final bot to remember and this was a serious stumbling block for me. My wife reacted angrily. She said some hurtful things that I deserved to hear but they caused me such a fear to come upon me and my future. The fear of losing my wife paralysed me. I just wanted so desperately to be forgiven by her and that would naturally mean I would heal and we would live happily ever after. Well not so true, Sure she can forgive me but that does not mean she must stay married to me and the relationship returns to as it was before. That is her choice entirely and once I finally got that I was able to concentrate on my recovery no matter what happens to my marriage.

My marriage will never be the same, it will always be tainted by my past infidelity. I must accept that and be sensitive to my wife's needs for healing.

Again easier said than done.

Good luck Cleanheart, things will get better"
posted at 19:33:56 on August 13, 2010 by ruggaexpat
For Ruggaexpat    
"You told me once that my post (that I deleted) could have been your wife. I am sorry about that. But I can relate to some of what I'm hearing here.

I don't know your wife and so you will have to think about what I suggest and dare to try if it feels right.

When your wife is crying and you know it, you don't have to cry with her. She is feeling broken. You can hold her and tell her how sorry you are. Truly, she won't kill you. And if she pushes you away, you can tell her how sorry you are for all the hurt. You can tell her you can't believe what you have done. You can tell her this stuff disgusts you. Of course, if it doesn't... am I making sense? Who else is going to hold or comfort her? My husband wasn't always brave enough to do it. And it is too bad.

Perhaps it gets old,constantly telling how sorry you are. But she won't cry forever. You don't want her to strengthen up without you. And whether she feels it right now or not, I can tell she is strong.

When my husband had a hard time handling the way it affected me I told him that he has supposedly been fighting this for years. He at least owes me years to heal. And it has been 6.
But this isn't about me.

You know this already, but your wife, on top of feeling hurt, betrayed, freaked out and angry...feels stupid. Foolish. I read once in a book about a man who cheated and he knew he had to tell because she was his queen, and how could he worship the ground she walked on and make a fool out of her at the same time?

I've recently passed this point with his last relapse of sorts. I realized that I shouldn't feel stupid, hurt or embarrassed. Those are feelings that should be reserved for him if he feels them. I need to heal so his behavior doesn't affect me. And hopefully he takes special interest in his own healing. And if there were good, strong changes in him,I think I would notice and I think we could be a new and improved couple, both stronger. I think I would be attracted to him again. But if he doesn't work on himself as I am working on me, I don't think we will be a match anymore. Don't let her strengthen up without you.

And I also have to add, I don't always appreciate all the extra work my husband does to make up for it. Where it is necessary, and should be if you are a team, I would find more comfort in seeing my husband become actively engaged at getting rid of porn in the community! I smile as I write this But would there be any better sign that true healing for the right reasons has occurred when your husband truly abhors this stuff?

I may get slammed for this post. But hopefully not by you.
You are a good man. You show such love for your wife in your comments. Make sure you are being sensitive to her. Her anger, as you well know, is her pain. Her disgust is, as you know, her disgust, but it is also her feeling betrayed, hurt and tricked. Your insensitivity adds to her pain. If she is still there, she is doing the best she can. And that will have to be enough for a while.

Now is your time to truly be Christ like. You will never regret being kind and sensitive, no matter how her anger rolls out.

Completely one sided. But, there you are.

Given with true caring,

Enough"
posted at 23:00:21 on August 13, 2010 by Enough
Thanks Enough    
"I cannot thank you enough (pun intended)

Mmm you have given me such a lot to chew on. Don't let her strengthen without you is fantastic advice. Where you have helped me now is to understand her feelings more than before.

Her anger is her pain. Does that mean her anger is an accurate reflection of her internal pain?


Her disgust is her disgust but also feeling betrayed, hurt and tricked. Please help me understand this. I feel lame asking these questions, but I really want to understand her pain, when she shows it and what she is expressing.

Thanks for taking time to write, it is great advice and I will forever be greatful.
Hopefully my wife will be too in the near future."
posted at 14:50:45 on August 14, 2010 by ruggaexpat
Ruggaexpat,    
"I don't know that her anger is a true assessment of her pain. I would venture to say that her pain is much worse than her anger.

No matter how independent you are, your spouse adds to your feelings of self worth and a spouse with a porn addiction can hurt this. She is finding her worth again. She must. And she is doing this: "She could have done so much better than you." A reminder to you and a reminder to her. And you have said it is true. But she married you. She doesn't know who you are now right now. If you are not communicating enough, she may start drawing her own pictures in her mind of who you are (now).

Feeling tricked...You knew you had this weakness but you hid it from her and (for me) married her anyway....

Betrayed...She is walking around, faithful to you, giving birth to your children, not indulging in certain things or opportunities (not that she ever wanted to, but still) for the good of the family, while you have been living a double life.

Hurt.... You were the one that should have treated her better than any on this earth. You are the one she allowed herself to trust the most. Yet you have hurt her worse than anyone.

Feeling foolish/ stupid: Sometimes we can look back and notice things that we didn't give too much attention to that may have been clues into this problem. Plus this whole problem is humiliating on so many levels. Sometimes we feel foolish for trusting anyone. (For me, the humiliation of it has faded with my own healing).

Trapped.... We have invested so much into the relationship, sacrificed so many things/ opportunities...what do we do? And children? They will be devastated to lose their father. Can she stick with you knowing she may not be the only one ever? What is she to do? "If I had a chance, I would run"...

She "can do so much better than you". She "would run if she could". "How could you be so insensitive when she is crying"/ hurting? These are all signs of her hurt. And she is needing more from you than you are giving right now. I would think she is sharing her true feelings but she is needing more feedback from you...to know where you stand in all of this..

These are the feelings that I had. If they help, then I am glad. But I don't want to cheapen your own wife's feelings. It affects all of us differently. But there are many similarities, too.

When there is a calm in the storm, please initiate a conversation and ask her for her own feelings. Ask her about the things she says that you don't react to or react well to, when. You may not want to disturb the peaceful moment, but it would show great caring that you are willing to give up that "moment of safety", to understand her. I can tell you that she is thinking about you and your situation at all times and in all places.

And when she tells you that she could do better than you, be strong and tell her the truth: that it's true but you love her so much...you want her. And when she tells you she wants to run, you tell her you pray she will stay.

She may be trying to figure out her reasons for staying when it appears, due to your addiction (and the way you react to her emotions) you don't love her the way she thought. She needs comfort and reassurance from you that she is not making a(nother?) terrible mistake by staying. And she may need it over and over again. Please don't tire of it. She won't need this kind of reassurance forever. It is just so hard to believe with this kind of addiction that you are loved/ valued.

And I also know it may seem strange to try to comfort someone who seems so NOT wanting you, at all. But you just reconfirm your lack of love and caring when you don't react and TRY to comfort her. And I have to add that it felt strange to want or seek comfort and reassurance from the one who has hurt you.

You say that you are needing to "build some character strengths". She will need to see them! She needs to see them so she can privately reassure herself that you are strong enough to truly put porn away forever. These are the actions that speak louder than words.

You are starting to build a new foundation for the two of you. Use the strength you are gaining from your recovery to get her recovery started.

Please talk to her again and again to get her perspective. Mine, I am sure, is not enough...pun intended.

I hope I haven't said too much. I do not speak for all women, I am sure. And I also don't believe that all these feelings are just....but they are real and can't be ignored if your spouse is feeling them. I know that
you have needs, too.

And Cleanheart, please tell your wife. I don't know how many wive's react the way that I did. But I have read many here that have taken the news in a much kinder way."
posted at 11:03:55 on August 15, 2010 by enough
THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    
"Goodness gracious that was amazing stuff that has got me taking serious notice.

I feel so dumb for the way I have been handling her pain. I needed this post to realize a few things even after all the great advice given before. Enough at this point in my life I am not writing on this site to gain strength to withstand addiction, that is history but I need this site to learn how to help my wife heal and remind myself where I have come from. Thank you so much for addressing these needs of mine.

I want to learn from you guys so much, it is refreshing to get your perspectives, I value it so much. I just want my wife to heal and if I can play a part then I will be the happiest man on the earth. Honestly it seems so dauting to step out of the comfort or peaceful zone and do such things as you suggested. That is not easy but I am tired of seeing it my way it just brings tears around me and that is no fun at all. I have the tendancy to forget to see it her way. Coming to think of it it is not much trouble do those things if I see it from her perspective. I think I am analysing this stuff so much in my head and making a mountain out of a mole hill. Afterall it is not as if I have to get a graduate degree to do this stuff.

Holy cow you really seemed to have put a lot of thought into your responses and I so appreciate that. Man its crazy how you have through simplicity given me a peak through her perspective.

One thing is for sure, you are so right, it feels so right to me how you broke down the feelings and thoughts she encounters daily. I will definately apply the advice given. Thanks for caring and reaching out personally. You are a God sent angel and I cannot say that enough."
posted at 13:54:17 on August 15, 2010 by ruggaexpat
Amen    
"I agree with Rugga. Thanks, Enough! That post is amazing!"
posted at 18:27:44 on August 15, 2010 by BeClean
Thank you Enough!    
"..."
posted at 15:51:02 on August 16, 2010 by paul
Enough, Time2Heal    
"Thank you so much for your insight and advice. I have to admit that I am having a hard time approaching her.

I believe she will see this as something we can work through, and I know that given the chance we can work through this. I just pray for the faith and strength I need to go through with it. Whatever I was thinking when this all started, I wasn't thinking about how badly it would hurt her. And now... that is all that will come of it.

Thank you again."
posted at 15:55:36 on August 16, 2010 by cleanheart
Cleanheart    
"I don't really know what was meant by "and now..that is all that will come of it".

Let me tell you what I hope can come of it all, as a wife.

I am hoping my husband will be a better man after recovery. When we marry you, we see your potential. Pornography keeps you from attaining it. We see that, too! I know that our greatest weaknesses can become our strengths. And oh, how wonderful it could be if this could become my husband's strength. I would feel protected instead of vulnerable. I would feel safety existed for my family from the worldly storms that are so prevalent!

I am interested in a new and improved life with my husband.

That is what I am hoping will truly come of it.

Be brave. And look at the site that Time2heal suggested if you haven't already. I did.
Please don't let my words keep you from coming clean. My husband didn't tell me. I found it.

And Ruggaexpat, Beclean, Paul, thank you for being supportive of what I shared. I truly hope your relationships mend and strengthen from this time in your lives. I wish it for all of us."
posted at 00:42:43 on August 17, 2010 by enough


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"One of the false notions of our society is that we are victims of our appetites and passions. But the truth is that the body is controlled by the spirit which inhabits it."

— Terrance D. Olson

“Teaching Morality to Your Children,” Ensign, Mar. 1981