Hello Everyone
By patient wife
9/23/2010 11:10:27 PM
I'm a relatively new member of this site, yet have been dealing with my husband's addiction for nearly 7 years. Just some thoughts I've had:

Is there ever a light at the end of the tunnel? Is there ever an end to this addiction? I keep thinking how much I'd love to have a marriage without this addiction. I keep thinking, 'what did I get myself into when I married my husband?' I keep thing, 'would I have married my husband if I had known about his addiction before we got married?' I never thought I'd ever have to deal with an addiction of any kind in my marriage, much less an addiction that is so degrading and demoralizing. I keep thinking that I'd be able to have my husband home for one more evening in the week-if he didn't have this addiction, he wouldn't have to go to ARP,and we could spend one more evening together in the week.

I feel so turned off from sex these days because of what my husband does. Every time my husband relapses, I think, 'what makes you think that I want to be shared?' I feel "shared" (like a threesome) because it's me, my husband, and my husband's habit. Every time he relapses, I feel cheated on. I think. 'what makes you think that I want to have sex with you after you have cheated on me?' When it comes right down to it, I sometimes think that my husband's sex drive has a bigger priority in his life than his relationship with me does.

I want him to be in recovery, not only for the sake of our marriage, but for the sake of our 2 young boys. I don't want them to grow up thinking that these habits are ok to do because daddy does it. I want the cycle to stop before it ruins the innocence and purity of our vulnerable boys.

I'm too scared to go to ARP because I'm afraid that I'll see someone I'll recognize and they might think differently of me.

I need a safe place to write what I'm feeling, so that's why I'm glad there's a section for loved ones of addicts.


Thanks for sharing...    
"Patient Wife, it's really great for me (and probably other addicts) to read what you wrote. Thanks for sharing.

A few thoughts:

There IS light at the end of the tunnel. In my OPINION, Hubby has to give himself entirely to the Lord. Sometimes, people have to hit rock bottom before they do that. He may not be there yet. He may still be thinking he can lick this habit on his own. He may not yet understand that he is not strong enough, and this addiction WILL destroy him and his wonderful family. He may not realize that he is powerless to overcome this addiction (step ONE).

Is he faithfully and thoroughly working through the 12 steps? Are you? It sounds like YOU have hit rock bottom. You should consider helping each other work through the 12 steps. They are for both of you, and the one not working through them is likely not applying the atonement fully.

Has your husband read your post? Perhaps reading it will help him a little. I feel so sad for you. If my wife wrote what you did, I would have a stronger desire to change.

Finally, I'm not sure how people at ARP would think differently of you. They already see your husband there, don't they? And if they are there, that means they have problems they are dealing with, too, right? Will you judge them if you see them there?

Don't worry about what other people think--and don't judge other people who you find out are struggling...just Run to the Lord and apply his atoning sacrifice. He will heal you from this, and your husband too."
posted at 09:55:48 on September 24, 2010 by BeClean
Yes, and it's not always going to be a train!    
"I've been where you are. My husband and I struggled for over 30 years with this addiction. How I wish I'd had these resources available to us many years before. Don't let embarrassment or shame or any other emotion keep you from finding peace. It is uncomfortable going to your first meeting. After that, you're just one of the group. I truly love the sisters in the groupS I attend! They are my closest friends and the only ones who know exactly what I feel. There isn't anything I can say or do that will cause them to judge me or my situation. We've all taken turns sharing what's in our hearts and passing the tissue box around. You've never experienced anything quite like this before in any RS meeting! Nobody is giving 'Sunday School' answers. Everything said is straight from the heart and it touches your heart just the same way. You need this program to heal EVERY BIT as much as your husband does. Living with this addiction makes us sick too. If your husband continues to progress and is able to live in recovery, that alone will not make you well. You have a journey too.

This is one challenge I never thought I'd experience either. I'm not grateful for having to go through it, but on the other side of it...I'd wouldn't change what I know for the world!!! It has brought me closer to MY Savior for He has lifted me out of some very dark places. I have a testimony that is sooo very different from what it would have been without this. My marriage is better than it ever has been.

I'd suggest you let him go to the meetings and that you go to yours just as diligently.

We begin to hate the intimacy part of our relationships because of the extremes. We mourn for what was lost and refuse to go into what is. That too will change with healing. Leave a place open in your heart for it when it does come. It won't always be like this.

I've seen relationships where the husband is healing and the wife is not. He carries a double load. He's working on his own recovery and then has to try to not only make ammends to you but also try to encourage you down the recovery path. He's finding hope and he wants it for you. But since we've followed before and found ourselves in some dark places, we sometimes don't want to follow. This time is a good time to follow. Let the Savior be your guide. You can always trust Him.

There are some great books listed on this site. The cost is truly an investment in your future and your happiness. Beginning to understand this addiction and what it does to our husbands will help you separate the addiction from the man. Seeing it for the awful beast it is and understanding why your husband can't just walk away from it will give you a better understanding of the battle he is fighting. As he learns he can't do it without God and learns to trust Him and becomes very honest with himself, some great things happen.

May the Lord continue to bless you!"
posted at 12:30:50 on September 24, 2010 by SEEINGLIGHT
There is hope and progress    
"I want to preface this by saying that I am both an addict and a former spouse of two addicts (the addiction was not the reason for the divorce). People do recover, and things do get better. It doesn't happen overnight and the person does have to work. In my experience, It isn't about his sex drive being more important than you. He doesn't intend to hurt you, and probably (if he is really trying to get past his addiction) feels absolutely horrible afterwards that he has hurt you. I sit in ARP meetings and listen to the guys talk about their wives, and they love them dearly and hate that their addiction hurts them. I agree that going to ARP would be great. I also highly recommend LifeSTAR if you have it where you live. It is a program for couples (and individuals) and has helped me tremendously. If your husband is truly making an effort, then I encourage you to hang in there."
posted at 16:03:23 on September 24, 2010 by dstanley
"Yes, but I had to arm myself with plenty of flashlights and batteries to get there. I had to prepare to find the light. It would be great if I could find that light just by my husband stopping his bad behaviors. But, that alone did not heal me. I recognized I had to fight for my life and the life of my family.. I felt alone, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE ALONE. I decided to not worry about what people would think. Everyone either knows my husband or me or our children or other family members. We have lived in this community all of our lives. We have the perfect family!! Well, the picture looked perfect. There is no perfect family... we are all just striving, fighting to make it.
What if I had been hit by a car with traumatic injuries, I would be looking for who could do the best job of putting me back together without leaving huge scars. (Vanity) I would not try to sew myself back together. When my husband had cancer, (twice). that is another long story!! We looked for the very best help. I sought out spiritual strength with blessings, fasting and prayer. The Holy Ghost directed us to those who would help and remarkably heal the cancer. It was one of the most difficult trying times in our marriage, young, small family, not enough insurance,etc. We sought out the best...he recovered but it was one UGLY long battle. But there were the rewards, (light) life, family, renewed spirituality, ability to participate in the Temple Ordinances...... Then CANCER #3, I knew I had a different form of cancer in our marriage and I was going to need expert help. I took the lessons I had learned from my previous experiences and applied them to this new Cancer in our marriage. Well it really wasn't new but I just received the diagnosis by discovering the tumorous emails and phone conversations. I sought the best help. That is what our Priesthood leaders tell us in numerous conference talks. Rely on the spirit, Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ they do not lie.
We never know what life will bring our way. Addiction in any form is so detrimental to any relationship. Alcohol, Gambling, Eating, Sex, Pornography.........
There is much healing in the Recovery Program,
Download the FAMILY/SPOUSE manual on the left side of the screen. Read the intro. Find a group to attend. There is a phone in group that Angel has started that could be a valuable resource for you.
The sexual issues are difficult and just one of the tumors that will have to be removed. I can relate as can all the women on this site to the issues you discussed. But as you heal and study and learn you will find the resources that will help you in those areas. Everyone is different. But I can tell you that the physical intimacy in my marriage is better that ever and more satisfying to us both. Closer to what God intended for us. We are on our way to that Celestial Marriage that I thought I had. Yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to find it, there will be others along the way(members in your support group) that will have extra batteries if you run out before you get to the end of the tunnel. It seems dark and it is, but you can find the starts with a prayer for help.
Read the previous blogs on this site from Angel, Seeinglight, and others for more help."
posted at 17:05:39 on September 24, 2010 by BYOUROWNHERO
Thanks so far    
"Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. My husband does go to ARP as often as he can (sometimes things come up that we can't foresee), but the only reason I don't go to ARP right now is because there is not a spouses/loved ones group for me to go to. I think if there was a loved ones group, I would go because then I could actually talk to other spouses/loved ones about how I'm feeling and have everyone else understand exactly what I mean because they have been there or they are currently in the exact same situation. I downloaded the spouse/loved ones manual but haven't had too much time to read it yet (2 young boys keep me pretty busy). The next time the call-in group is happening, I will try to call in. I just feel like I need to talk to some other wives/loved ones about what I am experiencing, and this group is a great place to start."
posted at 22:16:37 on September 24, 2010 by patient wife
My Dear Patietn Wife Sister    
"Amen to BeClean
Amen to Seeinglight
Amen to DStanley and Byourownhero
To quote Brigham Young -"This Is The Right Place"
As a brother who has gone through recovery I want to share a few insights from the battlefield.
And by the way, this battlefield is littered with victims.
From the Book "He Restoreth My Soul" by Bro. Hilton, a study has shown that 100% of our young men have been exposed to Pornography. 100% Many of them from their own Aaronic Priesthood Peers. Exposure starts as young as Primary aged children. This is the reality of the world that we live in. Young Deacons who pass the Holy Sacrament often encounter young women with short skirts and low cut form fitting tops. They also see mature women with low cut tops. And remember, these boys are looking down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And add to this the lascivious environment at their schools, at the movies, on TV etc.
And as far as the young adult men and women, the hardest job that a Bishop has in the LDS Singles Wards is calling these young adults to repentance- both men and women. Sexuality is at the boiling point in the world we live in. There are triggers everywhere.

Even I have to deal with this everyday, several times a day. I am now in my 60's and have women both my age and young enough to be my daughter flirting with me in the work place. THEY ABSOLUTELY MUST KNOW BY MY EXAMPLE AND MANNERISMS THAT I AM A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST. If I reciprocate a flirtation or share a sleazy joke then I am walking in darkness and OH, HOW GREAT IS THAT DARKNESS.

We in the LDSARP, as far as I know are the only ones in the Addiction Recovery World, dealing with Pornography. All of the other programs out there don't consider this that big of a deal. Let me tell you that it is. Even in our programs, those individuals who are struggling with drugs and alcohol (men and women) are also steeped in prono. What a challenge we face. The Bishops have not grasped the significance of this problem yet. Many of them just counsel a brother to just stop and everything will be ok. Bishops, they can't stop. In my 39 years as a member of the church I have seen 6 Bishops fall to the prey of sexual addiction and two of those to "Same Sex Attraction" (Gay) I have seen two others succumb to the so called Mormon Fundamentalist/Polygamy movement which is just a place for sexual predators and sex addicts to fuel their addiction.
So Dear Sister, first fight for yourself and get fired up for the Cause of Christ is saving your own soul and the soul of your two boys. You also have to counsel with other sisters such as the ones that have posted here.
I believe that the church's ARP program will soon turn into a Tsunami of sorts and bring about sweeping change through out the church. And at the same time, we are noticing that many of the wounded and scared investigators are going to need the healing balm of Christ that this AR program has to offer. It is becoming a great missionary tool.
God Bless you Patient Wife."
posted at 07:41:11 on September 25, 2010 by migail3

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" Is it possible to reclaim a life that through reckless abandon has become so strewn with garbage that it appears that the person is unforgivable? Or what about the one who is making an honest effort but has fallen back into sin so many times that he feels that there is no possible way to break the seemingly endless pattern? Or what about the person who has changed his life but just can't forgive himself?The Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to each of us. His Atonement is infinite. It applies to everyone, even you. It can clean, reclaim, and sanctify even you. That is what infinite means—total, complete, all, forever. "

— Shayne M. Bowen

General Conference October 2006