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Introduction
By ClnginToHope
10/10/2010 9:16:43 AM
I figure I need to introduce myself. I’ve been lurking for over a year and it’s nice to see so much hope.

After about 13 years together my husband admitted his addiction. I actually had discovered evidence of it and he was pretty much backed into a corner when he admitted it. He had struggled for years before we even met. I didn’t really take it well, honestly. Part of it was misunderstanding the addiction and part of it was the way he treated me.

When my husband is in the thick of his addiction (lots of slips, etc) he gets extremely critical of others and defensive. It’s honestly a lot to take. We both got involved in the church’s recovery programs (they had one meeting for addicts and one for spouses) and we made huge strides. I saw signs of codependency in me and kind of developed the attitude of I can’t fix him, I can support him so I’m letting him recover the way he needs and will be there whenever he needs. It worked for us for a while.
Then we no longer had the program in our area (various logistical issues and many leaders don’t appreciate it’s importance) and for a while, we did ok.

Then it slowly started to go downhill. The criticisms and defensiveness started back up. This time, however, I wasn’t going to take it with me or the kids. I had no problem calling him out on it when he was mean. I’d simply say something along the lines of “I’m not going to let you magnify my faults unless you are willing to acknowledge yours!” He said he was ok with me calling him out on it and he would apologize. I made it clear that I know I have faults. I’m not really bothered if you point out something I’ve done wrong (ie. “It hurt my feelings when you snapped at me when I used your fabric scissors on paper.”) but be willing to accept it from me as well (ie. Please don’t complain about what I make for dinner when you are late and I had to go with plan B. Instead, can you bring it up another time when I’m not already frustrated at the fact I had to go with Plan B?” ) For a while, it was ok.

However, lately he’s in deep again. He refuses to accept blame even on stupid things. One example was he was stopped, by a cop, for going about 15 mph over the speed limit. After the cop let him off with a warning, he then began to criticize the cop for “trapping” drivers in a low speed zone, etc. If it were me, I think I would have been a bit embarrassed and then would have said something like “ooops! Guess I need to be more careful!” and gone on with life. I really don’t understand this and think it must have something to do with pride and his addiction???

If I’m in a bad mood and kind of short with others around me, he tells me how me being so stressed negatively affects the family and causes all these problems. Overall I am a very happy person. I have friends who joke with me and say “How do you keep a smile on your face” when they learn of some of the obstacles I’ve had to overcome in my life. Honestly, I CHOOSE to be happy. However, I’m not perfect and I do have my bad days (and I hear about them!). On the other hand, DH is in a bad mood about 4-5 days a week. It’s everyone around him’s fault. His boss is stupid. Someone didn’t say hi to him at church. Someone DID say hi but the way they said it sounded contrived. He didn’t sleep well. He slept too hard. If I say anything about it, he denies it or points out my wrongs. Again, I tell him I’m ok if he tells me what I do wrong, but he needs to give me a chance to vent as well.

I know he is unhappy. I know he gets frustrated about this addiction that he struggles with. I honestly do not think he will be able to overcome this until he can see and admit how he is to me and our family. Our oldest now even warns me when Dad is in a bad mood. I catch the oldest listing nice things to say to me in, what appears to me, an effort to “cancel out” the bad mood of DH. That is really hard to see.

DH is almost constantly bringing up the idea of more children. There is NO WAY right now, the way things are, I would bring a child into this. I feel sorry for the ones that are in our home with this as it is!

We have done marriage counseling in the past and I think we really made progress but a few years later DH told me how he felt it wasn’t that good, it was a waste of time and money and how he felt one counselor was blaming him for everything because of his addiction and the other didn’t hyper focus on it and made it seem like it wasn’t a big deal.

It is really hard to hold on to hope. I know recovery is possible. I know this program works and I know that Heavenly Father can help DH through this. However, it can get hard to watch DH and live with him.

I’d say about 80% of the time I call him out on the criticisms, short fuses, etc. The other 20% I’m simply too tired to bother. I guess this addiction is wearing me down as well.

I’ve debated about what to do, etc. I’ve told him that we really need to sit down and talk about it and he agreed, but he seems to avoid the opportunities to talk when we get them. I imagine he is ashamed and I wish he could see that I don’t see him as less of a person. I see him hurting and I know I can’t fix him but I do love him, even when it’s sometimes really hard to love someone who can be so critical.

I don’t think leaving is the right thing to do right now. I honestly have nowhere to go. I don’t think it would be harder living day to day without him. In some ways I think it would be easier. We both work full time, but I’m not really seen as equal. His job is more important and harder. He does one chore and I am responsible for everything else in the house including meals . He gets in a bad mood if the house gets too messy.

It seems the only time he helps is if he wants “intimacy.” From the time I get home from work until dinner I’m on the go helping children with homework and getting dinner on the table. From dinner on, I’m getting children bathed and to bed and cleaning up the mess from dinner. Sometimes I get to sit down for about an hour before bed. Other times I work until bedtime. DH will sometimes surprise me and while I’m doing baths and bedtime he cleans up the dinner mess but then comes the price. I feel like the act is cheapened. He never helps with the chores just to be nice; only when he wants intimacy. For the record, this isn’t the only opportunity he has for this. This is an example of how kindness comes with a price.

How nice not to feel stressed right before he comes home if the house is messy! How nice it would be to sometimes pick up a pizza or have something simple (like mac and cheese or sandwiches) on the hard days.

Despite all of that, it’s not what I really want. I want to be happy in my marriage again. I love him, but it wears on me. Since I have no extended family to go to, I’ve come up with my own plan. I’m getting myself prepared (emotionally, spiritually and financially) in case it gets to the point that I have to leave. I don’t have a timeline like “by this date or else!” but rather if he gets to the point of not trying, etc then I will go. I hate this addiction!

Still trying to cling to some hope,
CLNGINTOHOPE

Comments:

Yes there is hope.    
"Yes there is hope and yes, what a big mess of things. I gave up the pot and alcohol and the porn just for the privilege to join the church. The single most thing that gave me the "courage to change the things that I could" and the "serenity to accept the things that I could not change" was the Restored Gospel and the Redemptive power of Jesus Christ. I have come to know that anyone who reads and ponders from the Book of Mormon everyday will have his or her life changed for the better. Despite all this, my Temple Marriage came to an end when my wife of 15 years decided to leave me and my five children for other "men". She fell in with some bad company and suddenly, as if overnight, developed a SA (sexual addiction) It through me for a loop and though I had given up all the aforementioned vices, I had a brief relapse with the porn. I became an expert at co-dependency and I did everything in the book with enabling her and trying to buy her back.
I likened it to having a rope that was all tangled up in hopeless knots with hot tar poured over it. Have you ever tried to untie such a mess. You can't. The only way is to use a knife and cut it loose. I went to my Bishop and followed his council and did everything I could to keep my children active and busy in the youth programs of the church.

If it's time to cut the rope, the Lord will tell you in no uncertain terms. My fear is that this ugly addiction only get's bigger and stronger. While you cling to hope do not ever turn off your radar screen. Do you have daughters? Do they bring their friends over for sleepovers? These are ugly and heinous assumptions, nevertheless, they have to be kept secretly kept on alert. Adult porn is always co mingled with kiddie porn. And with the way some of our young women dress, YOU DON'T NEED AN ADDICTION TO NOTICE CLEAVAGE BOTH FRONT AND BACK. What a sad state of affairs. No wonder the last General Conference mentioned this sin at every session.

You also mentioned that many leaders do not appreciate the value of the LDSAR program. I can second that. As a former scout leader who taught Youth Protection, many of our leaders seemingly know nothing about this required training for every scout leader. Neither have they shown the Church's DVD on Protecting Our Youth. I am sure that this will change soon. Love your husband, seek help, become well read and include Dr. Laura's book about the Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. But, draw your line in the sand and let him know that it is a line that cannot be crossed. Otherwise, for your and the children s sake, he will have to leave."
posted at 23:22:03 on October 10, 2010 by migail3
Migail    
"You made the statement, "adult porn is always co mingled with kiddie porn"
That statement needs some serious qualification because you are making it sound that all porn addicts will cross the line into child molestation. Or that people need to keep their children away from porn addicts. I really hope that's not what you were implying because that's dead wrong and you would be unecessarily alarming mothers on this site."
posted at 00:01:07 on October 11, 2010 by Anonymous
Clinging to hope    
"I'm so glad you and your husband got the opportunity to experience recovery and I'm sorry the program is no loner available in your area. What you and your husband are experiencing is classic. We call it "being dry". He has lapsed into his old way of dealing with the world and in turn you have lapsed into codependency. Are there SA meetings in your area? They usually have S-Anon meetings to go along with some of these meetings and if you can get connected with this fellowship you can experience the relief you experienced before. I know how awkward it can feel to go outside of the church for help but it is SO worth it. If your husband is willing to go to SA, awesome. If he is not, go to the S-Anon meetings anyway. Your life can get better even if the path he's on hasn't kicked his butt enough to get some help. Best of luck!"
posted at 00:14:19 on October 11, 2010 by Anonymous
Hoo-ray for SA!    
"Currently I'm going to 7 to 10 or so meetings a week. Of those only 2 aren't church sponsored. Honestly, I like the SA ones more in some ways and the church ones more in others. The church ones give doctrinal perspective. Which is fantastic. However, for me, I feel like I can often times figure a gospel perspective for myself threw church the scriptures etc. Not to mention having been doctrinally inundated for the last 17 years or so its not hard to see a gospel connection in, well, everything.

So I like going to the SA meetings and just hearing about the raw honest naked inns and outs of addiction. I also feel like the SA white book magnificently shines the light on the root, the nasty culprit, of all our woes...LUST! Calls that little demon right out of his hiding place. I don't need anyone to pontificate to me right now how they want to high to Kolob but they have a little something something holding um back at the moment. I hear that at church. I want to hear about the bewildering mind boggling power of lust and the misery its indulgence has caused in the lives of those who gave it heed and lost all power over it. I want the cold hard ugly disgusting truth (step one in all its gorey glory)! What I need is to hear from fearless open book addicts and sinners using the atonement and grace of their higher power to recover (step 2!)...not just good mormons trying to "stand a little taller" which is what I sometimes feel like I'm hearing in church sponsored AR meetings (p.s. I love the church and its members. Just saying.). I feel like at SA meetings they don't/can't have/use a knowledge of the gospel or scriptural metaphor to gloss over their hideous broken lives with. I think sometimes we in the church have that liberty and use it liberally rather then using plain Jay Golden laymen term facts of life. Who are we really fooling? Not the brethren. Anyone listen to conference? They may as well just got up and said into the mic "Houston we have a problem".

Anyway I'm rambling (late + excedrin = koo koo long talk), I love SA. I love the LDSARP. I say take what you can get. Only cation I'd say is at least here in Utah a lot of the SA attendees have traveled past "pornography path" and hung a right down another street called "Jesus's left hand st." also known as "adultery/whore monger rd." and DH may hear things he hadn't thought about...very much ;). Don't worry they caution just like the lds ones to avoid explicit details but ya do hear stuff occasionally. But like I said one thing I love about SA is we learn its not just a Leave it to Beaver family friendly little porn problem (like what you hear about at most the ldsar meetings) OR a Ted Bundy documentary (like what I'm making SA sound like lol). Its lust. Whether we're breaking down Lots door to molest his guests or just long for the illusive golden haired woman every so often...its lust. However it manifests. And if we don't get it out of our life it will eventually kill us...spiritually. Also at least here in utah from what I can tell there is way more sobriety in the SA meetings. Which says something for itself.

p.s. Co-mingled with kiddy porn?? What the? I don't think anyone would argue that I'm one a most degenerate dirty heathen s.o.b's around these parts and even I'm going to have to challenge you on that one. Think a prison. Rapist's still hate child molesters. Not that I do. One of my truly biggest heros is a registered pedophile. All I'm saying is lust doesn't equate to being a pedophile for everyone anymore then it equates to being gay. I guess, with all do respect (cause you know I respect you), I'm unsure what your saying Mig?

p.s. again. I think most everything you said Mig was great so I don't mean to strain at a nat. Maybe its not important. Just caught my eye"
posted at 02:33:50 on October 11, 2010 by They Speak
Horray for you all.    
"Love all of your comments and I especially like the "matter of fact" way of saying it by "THEYSPEAK". As to my kiddie porn, please let me elaborate. I have known far too many a porn addict that has crossed the line from so called Adult Porn to Porn that involves youth. When I said "kiddie porn" I was not referring to little children. Although, you can go into any Books a Million and find soft and hard core porn that includes children. Can you tell the age of a porn star???????? In my own Ward, an Elder who was a police officer by trade was brought down to the dust by a 17 year old whose mission it was to blackmail people in authority. The officer/now x elder was steeped in pornography. He revealed himself by his language and by the way his eyes wandered when a young girl walked by. Do you brethren who watch porn turn your head the other way when you suspect that a porn model is under age.

Porn addiction will grow and deepen and seek out more and more arousal. The Church has a DVD that has been seldom seen by Ward leaders about protecting the child from Predators, MANY OF WHOM ARE IN THEIR OWN FAMILIES. Check out the Recovery/Support groups of girls who were molested and violated. There are far too many of them out there that suffer in silence.
Listen to me: I have seen six Bishops in my church life time that have been excommunicated for adultery, child molestation and porn addiction. My own (now ex-bishop) did a very heinous act on a young 16 year of girl who's mother had died and they graciously took her in to their home until arrangements could be made for permanent residence.

Porn is a vicious and dangerous animal. Not all porn addicts are pedophiles but all pedophiles are steeped in porn, saturated in porn, laminated with porn, they breath porn, eat porn and think porn 24/7. My solution to a person who violates/abuses a child or a youth for that matter is to tie a cinder block around their neck (it's too hard to find mill stones) and to toss them overboard into the Marianna Trench."
posted at 07:48:16 on October 11, 2010 by migail3
Clngintohope,    
"I am so impressed with the way you have been able to put things into perspective. Learning about his addiction and working on yourself and trying to be a support but not allowing too much disrespect to come your way. I can feel you are strong.

What a mess this addiction brings. What ever you choose, to stay or go when the time is right, you will know. Continue to work on yourself and to be supportive of him helping himself. . If your hope dwindles, lean on your faith and strengthen that..Heavenly Father loves you and does not require that you suffer..He wants you to have joy and to find it/ to cultivate it in your life. I find my hope returns when I focus on these things.

As for your husband's negativity, I think it is impossible to see good, to see light and live in darkness. If you are sinning or not working to replace the bad with good, you are in the dark most of the time....guilt, hopelessness, giving up, giving in, empty, etc. It would be hard to speak of or see the good in ...anything.

My husband told me that this addiction takes so much from you that it is hard to find the strength to fill your life with good, to do the good things, even when you aren't doing "bad". Physical and spiritual energy is utilized so much to fight this addiction. The next layer, filling the void with good, seems like a task, too. I would have thought to have a burden lifted would FILL you with new found energy, and maybe for some it does, but I think starting new habits takes time.It is learned and requires work.

I hope you will continue to focus and do the things you need to do. A non-lds help group is better than NO help group if these types of groups have been helpful in the past.

For me, I usually feel the need to leave when I have had enough and I am angry and fed up. However, if I ever leave, it will be a decision I make when I am calm and hopefully knowing that this is no longer good for anyone involved or that the time has come. I have found strength and peace in knowing that I do still have this choice. It helps me feel less vulnerable and more able to focus on my own healing that I need to do . All the while hoping he is choosing to be a better person, working to shed the addiction, so we can be a good match in the end.

There hasn't been much happening on the spouses side of this site. But I think it is safe to say we all check there if you choose to post there, too.

Wishing you strength today."
posted at 14:00:36 on October 11, 2010 by enough
Check out the spouse side.    
"I know that there is a lot of blogging going on over there. I had joined this group when first joining LDSAR.ORG I was a spouse that was hopelessly Enabling my wife who fell headlong into a sexual addiction. I also had a lot contribute here on the Addicts Blog site. I have seen many wonderful posts here from ANGELMOM and BEOUROWNHERO.

So Dear Clinging to Hope. Thank You for giving us Hope. Glad to have you here. Do not be afraid to offer an opposing point of view or ask for further clarification. It only serves to make us all the wiser. We can share here with anonymity and know that we are loved. No matter if you are a staggering alcoholic, a porn addict, a chronic gambler, a binge eater or someone who is off to rescue and enable a spouse at the detriment of their own health. We are all family here."
posted at 21:32:02 on October 11, 2010 by migail3
Thanks    
"Thanks for all the responses. All we have in our area is AA. There MIGHT be an SA meeting 2 hours away but I can't confirm it and honestly, there is no way I could do 2 hours one way (even more if I hit rush hour traffic). Maybe we'll get a program up and going around here soon.
I know I need to sit down with my husband soon and just lay it all out. I need to let him know that I need him to treat me better. If it means he needs to simply say "I'm struggling right now" then I can deal with that. That is better (in my opinion) to hear than the criticisms. I need to be honest no matter how hard it is to tell the truth. I know the truth will hurt him even more but I also know that I can't be expected to protect him from all of the negative in the world that may possibly make him feel badly.
Enough, what your husband said was helpful for me to possibly understand a bit of what my husband feels. They Speak, I "get" what you are saying. I think I understand the way you feel. I was glad to see the spouses emotionally stripped bare at our meetings. No one was trying to come across as Molly Mormon or whatever. We showed our good, our bad and our ugly and we were (i know for sure I ) brutally honest about what we were going through.
Migail, I think i understand what you were trying to say. Even if I thought my husband didn't have an addiction, I'd keep my eyes peeled. Sadly, I've dealt with bad people in my family so I feel I'm maybe a little too protective at times. However, I feel that I know signs more than some because I've seen it with my own eyes.
Normally, I'm a nice person who tries to make everyone feel comfortable and help everyone. When I have to get direct with my husband I have to turn all of that off and just tell it like it is and that really sucks for me. I don't want to come across as anything but very sweet. I don't want to hurt his feelings. I don't want to make him feel worse. However, I'm realizing that sometimes the truth hurts and it's exactly what we need to here. Boundaries sometimes have to be set by being firm instead of nice. I just hate being that way. :(
This all just sucks.
CLNGINTOHOPE"
posted at 11:38:50 on October 12, 2010 by CLNGINTOHOPE
Thanks    
"Thanks for all the responses. All we have in our area is AA. There MIGHT be an SA meeting 2 hours away but I can't confirm it and honestly, there is no way I could do 2 hours one way (even more if I hit rush hour traffic). Maybe we'll get a program up and going around here soon.
I know I need to sit down with my husband soon and just lay it all out. I need to let him know that I need him to treat me better. If it means he needs to simply say "I'm struggling right now" then I can deal with that. That is better (in my opinion) to hear than the criticisms. I need to be honest no matter how hard it is to tell the truth. I know the truth will hurt him even more but I also know that I can't be expected to protect him from all of the negative in the world that may possibly make him feel badly.
Enough, what your husband said was helpful for me to possibly understand a bit of what my husband feels. They Speak, I "get" what you are saying. I think I understand the way you feel. I was glad to see the spouses emotionally stripped bare at our meetings. No one was trying to come across as Molly Mormon or whatever. We showed our good, our bad and our ugly and we were (i know for sure I ) brutally honest about what we were going through.
Migail, I think i understand what you were trying to say. Even if I thought my husband didn't have an addiction, I'd keep my eyes peeled. Sadly, I've dealt with bad people in my family so I feel I'm maybe a little too protective at times. However, I feel that I know signs more than some because I've seen it with my own eyes.
Normally, I'm a nice person who tries to make everyone feel comfortable and help everyone. When I have to get direct with my husband I have to turn all of that off and just tell it like it is and that really sucks for me. I don't want to come across as anything but very sweet. I don't want to hurt his feelings. I don't want to make him feel worse. However, I'm realizing that sometimes the truth hurts and it's exactly what we need to here. Boundaries sometimes have to be set by being firm instead of nice. I just hate being that way. :(
This all just sucks.
CLNGINTOHOPE"
posted at 11:38:51 on October 12, 2010 by CLNGINTOHOPE
Thanks    
"Thanks for all the responses. All we have in our area is AA. There MIGHT be an SA meeting 2 hours away but I can't confirm it and honestly, there is no way I could do 2 hours one way (even more if I hit rush hour traffic). Maybe we'll get a program up and going around here soon.
I know I need to sit down with my husband soon and just lay it all out. I need to let him know that I need him to treat me better. If it means he needs to simply say "I'm struggling right now" then I can deal with that. That is better (in my opinion) to hear than the criticisms. I need to be honest no matter how hard it is to tell the truth. I know the truth will hurt him even more but I also know that I can't be expected to protect him from all of the negative in the world that may possibly make him feel badly.
Enough, what your husband said was helpful for me to possibly understand a bit of what my husband feels. They Speak, I "get" what you are saying. I think I understand the way you feel. I was glad to see the spouses emotionally stripped bare at our meetings. No one was trying to come across as Molly Mormon or whatever. We showed our good, our bad and our ugly and we were (i know for sure I ) brutally honest about what we were going through.
Migail, I think i understand what you were trying to say. Even if I thought my husband didn't have an addiction, I'd keep my eyes peeled. Sadly, I've dealt with bad people in my family so I feel I'm maybe a little too protective at times. However, I feel that I know signs more than some because I've seen it with my own eyes.
Normally, I'm a nice person who tries to make everyone feel comfortable and help everyone. When I have to get direct with my husband I have to turn all of that off and just tell it like it is and that really sucks for me. I don't want to come across as anything but very sweet. I don't want to hurt his feelings. I don't want to make him feel worse. However, I'm realizing that sometimes the truth hurts and it's exactly what we need to here. Boundaries sometimes have to be set by being firm instead of nice. I just hate being that way. :(
This all just sucks.
CLNGINTOHOPE"
posted at 11:39:11 on October 12, 2010 by CLNGINTOHOPE


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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