A better tomorrow...
By paul
11/2/2010 5:52:19 PM
I'm grateful for the help and support I have received from everyone on this site and especially from my Savior. Overcoming this sort of thing is simply not possible without turning your heart over to Him and letting Him take control. While I know that intellectually, I still have the same struggles everyone else has, namely, how do I consistently do that? I guess it's a learning process.

Some days I feel like I have a grasp on this thing called forgiveness. Other days... not so much. While there are a few bright sparks here and there (when my boys still smile at me for instance) for the most part it feels like the world, or at least my world is falling apart. The Lord is willing to forgive the humble and repentant man, but I am not so kind.

So much time, so much love, so much of what could have been and SHOULD have been is lost. How do I forgive myself after destroying everything my family held so dear? How do I get past the fact that my blindness, my lack of understanding, my rationalizations, and my weak character has cost me my family? I don't know that I can ever forgive myself. I don't really believe I deserve to be forgiven anyway.

"Awake, my sons... Shake off the chains with which ye are bound" 2 Nephi 1:23

Most of us (if not all) are good people, trying to break free. That second chance from our wives is something none of us really deserve, and many of us do not get. I wish I had listened to Father Lehi while I still had a chance.

Maybe day 101 will feel better.


We all deserve forgiveness!    
"First off, congratulations on 100 days! Of course you deserve to be forgiven. We all do and you're no different. We addicts often take longer to forgive ourselves than it takes God to forgive us. How do you forgive yourself? I have found that realizing that you made mistakes, mistakes that had major consequences, but mistakes none the less, that we all make mistakes, and that God forgives us along with prayer helps. If God forgives us, who are we to not forgive ourselves? Are we saying that God doesn't know what he's doing and was wrong to forgive us? I don't want to minimize anything that any of the wives are going through (I've been the wife of an addict), but I think we all deserve a second chance. Again, everyone makes mistakes. Some have bigger consequences than others and are more noticeable, but none of us are perfect. I'm sorry that you have lost your family. God has something in store for you though. I hope that day 101 will feel better."
posted at 18:19:02 on November 2, 2010 by dstanley
Thanks DStanley    
"This blog seems to have become an outlet for my negative days. As I said there are brighter moments, and nothing is written in stone yet. I need to post more of my positives too.

I take comfort feeling and knowing that I am no longer the same person who caused so much pain. I know I've changed, the Lord knows I've changed. I will continue to do what I can to make amends and serve those I can.

Today is a better day."
posted at 10:50:08 on November 3, 2010 by paul
"Did C-DAY arrive?
What is the status now let me know"
posted at 18:23:27 on November 3, 2010 by ruggaexpat
Hi Rugga    
"I just found your email this morning. I'll write back soon, but for now...

C-Day has not come just yet. But these mind games the adversary plays are killing me, so I know is will have to happen soon. Let me explain the last couple of posts.

During a recent conversation with my wife, she told me about a couple of friends from a previous ward who are now getting a divorce. We were talking about what a strong and happy relationship they had when we knew them just a few years ago. We wondered what could have turned things around so quickly for them. Through the course of our the topic of pornography and infidelity came up as something that drives families a part. (That was an incredibly difficult discussion for me. I want so badly to open up to her, but I have been absolutely paralyzed by the thought of losing her.) She told me she knew there was no way she could stay with me if I insisted on bringing that evil into our home. And... I lost it. I was convinced there was no hope. I have spent the last two weeks feeling depressed and lost. I just knew I had destroyed everything I truly cared about, and it felt like no amount of repentance or change on my part was going to make up for my mistakes.

The night I wrote the above post, we continued the conversation. Apparently, things had been going badly for our friends since shortly after their wedding several years ago. My wife commented that she was glad our marriage was as strong as it is. That our marriage has never been what theirs was from the start. She told me that she feels we are close, the 8 years of our marriage have brought her nothing but happiness (although there have been many trials for both of us) and we have built so much that is worth fighting for. As long as I was willing to stay with her (which I presume means working to overcome anything keeping us apart) then she is willing to stay with me.

Parts of what she said still hurt, knowing that I have some major confessions to make that will break down or destroy the trust and respect that she has for me. In spite of the pain, that conversation brought me so much hope.

It feels good to finally have some hope again. As I said, and I know you mentioned yourself, these mind games are horrible. I want nothing more than to be honest, but the honestly could kill everything I love, but hiding the truth is killing me... soo... I need help.

I have been spending the last several weeks on my step 4. I want to do this right. I want honesty, I want a new start, I want to be clean of it all. There are days I feel like I'm awake for the first time in years. I can't believe it was me that did those things.

I have no pride left. I have nothing, I am nothing without Christ and my Family. But I do have hope."
posted at 12:04:13 on November 4, 2010 by paul
You are in a good place spiritually but emotionally I know it is hell    
"I had the same thing buddy same experience. My wife and I had a conversation similar to yours before I told her and it scared the living hell out of me. I decided no way man I am going to not let it continue, great desire but no go. Did not work.
I can recall your turmoil and yes my wife said the same thing.
Its hard on her and that trust issue is so real, just does not seem to get better but I cannot worry about that all day long. I cannot do anything to change it (serenity piece).
Satan does not want you to tell her, that is when he loses a big battle for your soul.

The battle still rages on but that battle is your victory, it is your gettysburg moment.
You will both feel the effects of it long after the dreaded day. There are a lot of pieces to pick up and repair BUT IF YOU HOLD THE HIGHER GROUND, THE ENEMIES OF YOUR SOUL CANNOT AND WILL NOT DESTROY YOU. I was there on the battlegrounds in May and that was a spiritual lesson I learned walking around the battlefield. The Lord taught me that if I occupy the higher ground, I can see the enemy coming, I can prepare for any assault.

Stay on higher ground, the day will come, the battle has been long fought but your victory and freedom are in your hands. It is a quick moment and all seems lost but as you will pick up the pieces, you will cherish even more what you have.

I am on a role here and could burst into old Winney Churchhillls song about never surrendering but hey will save that for a blue day to come when I pick up a new broken piece."
posted at 14:17:28 on November 4, 2010 by ruggaexpat
Dear Paul,    
"I do not envy the fear you feel as you prepare to confess your sins to your sweet, perhaps unsuspecting wife. From experience, I understand your desire to procrastinate the inevitable; I understand the way Satan can paralyze us and prevent us from doing what must be done by terrifying us that we might lose our family or our standing in the Church.

But Satan is lying. When we are living in sin, we have ALREADY lost our family and our standing in the Church. We have already cut ourselves off from God, lost the Holy Ghost, lost the Priesthood, and lost our eternal marriage. Satan tells us that repentance is the process whereby we will lose these things--that is a complete falsehood. We have already lost these things. Faith in Christ and repentance is the ONLY means to gain them back again!

Your wife is not yours to lose at this point; you have already lost her. It is now time to ask the Lord to help you win her back--and make that your life-long pursuit. It is now time to ask the Lord to help you win back the Priesthood, the Holy Ghost, and His presence. Make THAT your life-long pursuit.

You have imagined what a terrible ordeal it might be to confess to your wife. Now imagine how much worse it would be if you do NOT tell your wife, and she finds out some other way. Both God and Satan have their own reasons for letting her know. She deserves to know sooner, rather than later, and so God will eventually let her know. Satan would love her to catch you in the very act--an act which would make it much harder for you to win back your eternal family.

But God loves you, and in His mercy He is giving you time to repent and time to confess. Seize it before it's too late! Please, for your own good, don't procrastinate much longer and (by so doing) ruin your best chance to heal the family you have hurt! Don't let your wife find out from anyone but you. Your honesty now will go a long way towards healing the rift which has already occurred--even if that healing isn't fully accomplished for months or years.

As you prepare to confess, I recommend deep and sincere fasting and prayer. Invite your wife to fast and pray with you. Consider telling her you have something important to share, and you desperately want the Spirit to help you say it--and for that you will need her faith.

Again, please don't be afraid that telling your wife is going to hurt her. You have already done the hurting, and you know that. HIDING your sins from your wife for longer than necessary is what will hurt her more. CONFESSING to your wife as soon as possible is going to give her the opportunity to take the first step towards her own healing. Confessing to her is the moment when healing can begin--for both of you.

I pray earnestly for the Spirit to return to you and uphold you in this most difficult step. I know that God loves you, and He will sustain you and bless you with strength when you put Him first and do as He directs. Heavenly Father sent His Son for YOU, and they will not leave you comfortless at this time, when you (finally) choose to do what they have asked.

With love,"
posted at 17:31:21 on November 4, 2010 by beclean
Please Paul choose Disclosure    
"Beclean you have shared some of the greatest wisdom on this subject I have ever heard. Take head, Paul. The Lord loves you and is giving you a break here. But I know from experience that he will not let you go on for long. As I sit in the women's support groups and hear these beautiful sisters express how the whisperings of the spirit led them to the discovery that crushed their soul, I know what Paul expressed is true. That the Lord will not let His daughters be fooled. I was led by the spirit to discovery, I thought my marriage was wonderful, well, we could improve here and there but what marriage doesn't need work. We were successful our children were married in the covenant we both held leadership positions in the church. Many blessings. Looking back my husband was given many opportunities to repent. He did not. Fear, Pride, Satan I am sure all of this. So the Lord takes over. He has to. I had to heal from discovery. There are no words to express the devastation discovery brings into the soul of a spouse. You have heard it expressed here. I can also tell you that I have also witnessed that the spouses who have learned from disclosure although equally devastated and hurt, heal and recover quicker. I believe disclosure gives the spouse more hope for honesty and integrity in the man she loves. More faith in her husband being that man she married and not the addiction. It seems to be easier for her to grasp onto the difference between the two. Do all that Paul has told you to do in order to prepare. She will have many questions. Answer them calmly,and above all else truthfully,(the Lord will let her know if you are not totally truthful, your covenants require that) be humble, show remorse. Be careful to not give to much detail even though she may ask. The details she will never forget. The Devil is in the details. If she insists, warn her first. Many sisters including myself have expressed how they wanted to know everything and kept asking questions, probing on and on.........I feel this is one of Satan's tools. He knows it will be harder for us to forgive and forget with too many details in our head. Just as it is when we have to discover because, there it is in living color, or black and white, what ever the situation. Many sisters have expressed as they have gone through recovery they have learned to stop their husband if he is giving more detail then they are comfortable with. Husbands find so much freedom in disclosure.
Do not underestimate your beautiful wife. My husband was sure I was going to leave him. He was scared to death. I have to admit at first I was not sure what to do. I had to deal with the shock and your wife will too. If she has a testimony, she will get on her knees because that is the only thing that will bring her comfort, I know. Her Father in Heaven will guide her. He wants your family to be your family. You marriage will be going through the refiners fire. Encourage her to seek out the spouses recovery program through the ARP program. She will find support in her recovery and healing and your marriage can be as mine is, more amazing than I ever imagined. You guys are incredible when you have it all together!!!!! Glory be to God, and our Savior Jesus Christ."
posted at 19:20:07 on November 4, 2010 by byourownhero
Devil in the details    
"Hells bells now that is truth right there.
I know exactly what you are talking about Hero.
Paul go over details with Bishop but if she asks got to give her the details and that is not easy."
posted at 07:49:59 on November 5, 2010 by ruggaexpat
"I said the same thing your wife did. I told my husband I would leave him if he ever got involved with pornography. And to be truthful, I meant it. When I said that, I felt this kind of thing would be impossible in my marriage. You cannot comprehend having this in your marriage until it is in your marriage. So when I said that I would leave my husband, I meant it…but being that this wasn’t even a issue in my marriage (or so I thought) I didn’t understand my own statement. Does that make sense?

In my situation I “found” out. I cannot tell you how much I wish my husband would have come to me first. I agree with what Beclean wrote about God and Satan having their reasons to let your wife know. SO TRUE!! In my situation I feel God’s hand…even though I was subjected to horrible things that haunt my mind to this day, there really was no other way. My husband was not going to tell me the truth and Heavenly Father knew this. God knows you have the ability and the desire to tell your wife…you are just scared. Satan has this same knowledge, he is going to try to get to her before you do. A confession will do more toward building back her trust in you than anything else.

The things that you write in your posts are so heartfelt. Someday when your wife is healing, I really believe she will see the beauty in what you write. I know if my husband were to have written the things that you have, I would appreciate reading them.

Paul, you are in my prayers!!"
posted at 07:52:08 on November 5, 2010 by summer
End your own suffering and hers    
"Just tell her. The more you delay, the more energy and time you spend on fear and away from recovery and faith. You know that there will not be real recovery until you tell her. Tell her quickly... bettween the time that my husband decided to tell me and the time he actually told me, two years went by. TWO WASTED YEARS OF MY LIFE, when he knew and was praying to tell me and did not. I am very, very upset because the children got bigger and were able to comprehend more and be more traumatised by what was going on. Oh, how I so wished he would have told me two years ago for the sake of the children. I felt like he betrayed not only me but my children, one more time by procrastinating. Please learn from everybody's mistakes and tell her as soon as possible. Set a date not too far and stick by it. Start being the man you are meant to be and the man she believes you are. You can do it. Go and do it and let us know, we will be there to support you and her when needed.....
posted at 21:48:05 on November 5, 2010 by Anonymous

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"I have come to know that thoughts, like water, will stay on course if we make a place for them to go. Otherwise, our thoughts follow the course of least resistance, always seeking the lower levels. Probably the greatest challenge and the most difficult thing you will face in mortal life is to learn to control your thoughts. In the Bible it says, as a man ‘thinketh in his heart, so is he’ (Prov. 23:7). One who can control his thoughts has conquered himself. As you learn to control your thoughts, you can overcome habits, even degrading personal habits. You can gain courage, conquer fear, and have a happy life. "

— Boyd K. Packer

BYU, Speeches of the Year, 26 Sept. 1967