Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Opening the Emotional Vaults

We have definitely had an eye opening week here. Well, maybe eye opening isn't the right word, more like a vault opening week. We have opened our emotional vaults and let a little of the reserve go. It's been a painful and difficult process, but overall I think it has been at least somewhat enlightening for both of us. Honesty is such a double edged sword sometimes, it is so painful to hear but can lead to such a great reward…recovery.

***Warning: Some of this post might be a little bit TMI, read on at your own risk***

When B posted the other day that I had rejected him, he's right, I did. Twice in one day I told him that I didn't want to have sex, that I didn't feel safe enough emotionally to have sex. Not 'make love' you say? Nope. We haven't made love in a really long time, it's been sex between us for quite some time now. That is probably a whole post in itself, so I'll leave it for now. It's always been really hard for B when I have not accepted his sexual advances, but I think this is the first time I have ever been completely honest with him and told him that I didn't feel emotionally safe. I haven't felt safe for a long time, but I have always had the thought in the back of my mind, "If I don't have sex with him is he going to turn to porn?" I know anyone out there reading this who has any experience with sexual addiction KNOWS that this isn't true. Intellectually I know it's not true, but emotionally, that a whole different story. I am an intelligent woman, my brain knows that B turning to his addiction to cope is NOT about my willingness to have sex, my heart still has trouble accepting that after all these years.

That then led to me admitting to B that I have a great fear of him relapsing in the near future. The reason for this fear is that next week I am having surgery to fix my leaky bladder (see a lot of TMI in this post), and after surgery I will have complete pelvic rest for SIX WEEKS. Yes, I said SIX WEEKS. That means no sex for B or me for six weeks. Naturally, that dang fragile heart of mine wonders, 'how is he going to go six weeks without sex or porn?' He of course wanted to know if I would be willing to do "other things" to help him work off some of that frustration…I told him "I don't know", in all honesty, I doubt it. That is all about him, not about us and doesn't really help me heal at all. The really hard part for me? I shouldn't have to worry about this. At one point a couple of weeks ago, I even considered postponing my surgery until we were a little further in to recovery, but now is the best time for me to have it and I don't want to put off my health because of his addiction.

There have been a lot of tears shed between us this week. B gets hurt, upset and frustrated that I am not supportive of his recovery because I don't celebrate the progress he has made and have faith that he won't relapse. I get hurt, upset, frustrated and downright mad that he can't see how hard this is for me to celebrate because I still feel that my needs are not being met. A couple of weeks ago I gave him a list of things that I needed from him to feel safe in our relationship. He still feels like I'm punishing him with them and honestly doesn't even remember what most of them are, except the ones he feels he can't meet. I really tried to keep my cool and not raise my voice and yell like I tend to do and I did a pretty decent job at it for most of our discussion. This is a huge step for me. Eventually the discussion deteriorated to a mutual hurt fest and became highly unproductive and we both ended up feeling hurt and unloved. We still haven't resolved a lot of this and it's a huge road block right now, but it's something we need to take a step away from for the time being. I don't think we will reach any sort of agreement on this until we both work through some of our individual recovery.

I am meeting with a new counselor on Thursday, a woman who specializes in counseling individuals and couples working through the process of recovery from sexual addictions. I decided that I needed to see someone on my own. B goes back to see his counselor next week. They are both in the same office and I hope in the future we can have some sessions together, but right now I need to work through some of my recovery independently.

I really have hope that our family can heal and that we will come out the other side of this stronger than we have ever been. I told B the other day that I think it is going to get worse before it gets better and in all reality, that scares the crap out of me. I have made a commitment to work on our recovery for six months without making any kind of final decision and will reevaluate at that time. The actual date in my mind is a little less than six months from now, it's our twentieth wedding anniversary next March. My goal is that in that six months we will have made enough progress to be able to shut that emotional vault, knowing that at any time we can open it and share what is inside freely and without reservation. I hope that as the bankers of our emotional vaults that we can loan each other the emotional, spiritual and loving support that we need to become the dynamic couple that we both hoped we could be when we started this journey together. I am going to nurture that seed of hope for now, praying that it grows every day.

Hesitantly hopeful,


Monday, September 29, 2014

Feeling Accepted

One of hardest struggles I have faced in my life is feeling accepted. I have always been somewhat socially awkward. Growing up I had very few friends. As I grew into my teens the few friends that I had began to tease me. I was also bullied by other kids at school. My sixth grade year was especially rough. I have carried this burden into adulthood. I still have very few friends. In fact I really don't have any friends other than the couple friends that have formed through my wife's friendships. I really don't have a lot in common with any of them. To make matters worse, I was fired from a job several years ago. To this day I still don't know exactly why I was fired. They told me they needed to lay someone off, but when I asked if I was being laid off, they told me I was being terminated. The reasons they gave were weak. I had been given a performance evaluation 3 months prior to this, and they told me I was doing a fantastic job. I had been given no indication since that time that there was anything wrong. This was a huge blow to my self confidence. I haven't felt completely safe in a work environment since that time.

I realized this weekend that throughout my life I have turned to my addiction to self medicate to try to alleviate the feelings of rejection. I look at porn and fantasize that some beautiful woman wants me, to help myself feel accepted. Of course that feeling only lasts as long as the fantasy. When it is over I feel even worse. I feel like I am some sex crazed creep. I think that if people knew the real me they would be disgusted. So again the wall goes up, making it very hard to make friends. It is a vicious cycle. I need to get out of this cycle. I don't really know how. My counselor tells me I need to find male friends to help support me for my recovery. That is very difficult when I have these walls.

Yesterday there were a couple times when I felt my wife was rejecting me. in both instances I realized that these feelings came from my own selfishness. I hate feeling hurt when I know I shouldn't.

I am discouraged. My wife an I had an argument last night. It seems we both are having a difficult time trying to figure out our individual recoveries. She has always been an enabler. She is trying to focus on her recovery, and tells me she has nothing to give me. I know that I can't blame her for any of my addiction, but I really would like her help. I love her, and want to make things work. We both seem to deal with our challenges by hurting each other. I'm hoping that as we continue to work, that things will get better. We are scheduled to start LifeStar at the end of October. I am looking forward to this. I really hope that it will help us learn who we are as individuals and as a couple.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I'll Huff and I'll Puff...

Last night was a rough night. I had a melt down. Honestly, I'm not sure what exactly triggered it, or if it was just a combination of things, but melt down I did. I'm not going to throw blame or spill all the gory details, because frankly I don't want to relive them, I just want to learn and grow from them. What was at the heart of the entire episode was that I feel like I'm one of the Three Little Pigs, and that the Big Bad Wolf is standing outside.

I told B, in a very watery and sniffly display, that I feel like at any minute everything is going to come tumbling down around me. As you can imagine with B off work and us being like most Americans, our financial picture isn't the shiniest. I feel like B is making positive changes but not necessarily the ones I need him to make. At work things have been very hectic and stressful and are only looking to get more stressful. I am scheduled to have some minor surgery next month and I won't be able to get a lot done for a couple of weeks after that. I feel like all of this put together is a very shaky house made of straw and that The Big Bad Wolf (aka. Satan) is standing outside waiting and he is starting to huff and puff and at any minute it is all going to come crashing down. I didn't even realize until last night that I was feeling this way, but once I really looked at what was bothering me I saw it, as clear as day, I am waiting for the crash. 

Just like B, I am very overwhelmed. I feel like for every step forward we take that we take three steps back. He thinks things are going well, well he thought that until the nuclear fall-out last night. I kept thinking, how can he not see? I guess I'm not communicating well enough with him. I don't think we are doing well, I think we are treading water, at least I feel like I am treading water in our relationship. I feel like I am afraid to move forward for fear of getting my heart broken yet again. It's like I have so little faith in his recovery that I don't even want to hope for a better future. That in turn, it ends up hurting him. It hurts him that I can't simply trust that he is working at recovery and that things are getting better. I don't want to hurt him, but I am so afraid of not being protected that I can't seem to move past the hurt right now. 

I was rereading this post, where I talked about things I wish B knew, and what I said there remains unchanged. These three things particularly stuck out to me, so I am going to repeat them:

-Every time you make an excuse as to why you haven't done something that I need you to do by citing the positive things that you DID get done, it reminds me of the talk by Elder Oaks about Good, Better and Best activities. The things that you are accomplishing and doing are GOOD a lot of them are even BETTER than anything you have done in years. However, I need you to do the BEST things for our marriage. Right now, that means I need to you live within the boundaries I have requested in order to feel safe.
-I see the progress you are making and it really means a lot to me. I don't want to discount the work you are doing or the effort you are making. 
-I don't have a lot to give you emotionally right now. I need to work on myself and focus on repairing my broken spirit. I want to support your recovery but I just don't have much support to give.

I really do want you to succeed, and I really do want to have hope, but I'm really struggling with that right now. Be patient please. Please meet me at least half way, be willing to sacrifice what you want for what I need in order to build my trust in you. I can't make you change, but I am asking you, please make the changes you need to make in order for us to move forward. I will work on building my own faith as well.

Tonight, for now, we are safe. Our house is still standing and all the huffing and puffing hasn't blown it down yet.

With a sincere prayer in my heart,



It has been a little while since I posted. I have been busy. I need to make time to blog more. It gives me a lot of strength to share my feelings. Lately I have felt very overwhelmed. I have been unemployed for a couple of months. I have been doing some contract work, trying to start a business, and now I have started a part time job. There are certain things I expect myself to accomplish, and certain things my wife expects me to accomplish. There are also things I want to do for fun. I am terrible at prioritizing. I spend a lot of time working on one thing and let everything else slide. I need to find a way to balance my life. I went to see my councilor yesterday. He wants me to work on my diet and exercise. He says this is one area that porn addicts neglect when they are in recovery. This is just one more thing I need to add to my to do list. I wish there were more hours in a day, or that I didn't need to sleep. I want things to get easier immediately. I need to be patient and learn to enjoy the ride. The destination will get here soon enough.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Step 3 and the Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I had a post written that I was very happy with, then I accidentally pasted something over it and clicked out of it…poof…it was gone. I tried to recover it, but alas I am not that techno savvy, and it seemed much less a waste of my time to simply rewrite it. I hope I can remember what I wanted to say, sometimes once the words are out there that's all I have in me.

Anyone who has ever attended a 12 Step meeting of any kind knows the prayer above. Likely many who have not attended a 12 Step meeting know it as well. This prayer is part of Step 3, Trusting in God. This is a step that I struggle with but tonight a lot of it became much more clear.  

B and I attended a meeting tonight and brought a friend with us. We were talking about Step 3. As we were taking turns reading from the manual, this sentence really struck me, "At first our efforts were anxious and halting. We kept giving the Lord our trust and then taking it back." This is where I am, this constant struggle within myself to turn my life over to Him and to let him lead me the way I need to go. Some days it's really easy to say, "I'm your's, do with me what is best." Other days, not so much. Sometimes it's even a battle from one minute to the next. The way I see it, every minute that I let Him lead me is one more minute than I had done so before.

As I was listening to others read and share I was really surprised by another seed of knowledge that was planted tonight. I have focused for so many years on how B's addiction was destroying our  marriage and home and that is something that I CANNOT change. What? I can't change him? I can't FORCE him to change? Who says? Oh wait, I remember, it's something that I have been trying to change for years, and I haven't managed it yet, maybe it's time to turn that over to Him and trust that as B seeks his recovery that Heavenly Father will guide him. 

I need to focus on the things I CAN change. I CAN change my actions, I CAN change how I treat B, I CAN change my own behaviors and I CAN change the spirit in my home by turning my will over to Him to guide me where I should go. This doesn't mean that B gets a "free pass" and that I am willing to accept him acting out on his addiction, it just means that I am acknowledging that I am POWERLESS to change him. I can only trust that my Father in Heaven will guide me to know how to best help myself and my family. I CAN turn my will over to Him and let him help us heal our family.

In our faith we tend to only use a handful of rote prayers, our prayers are usually more freely spoken and not scripted. However, the prayer above is one I intend to pray every day to my Heavenly Father, to incorporate it into my daily prayers. Please, Father in Heaven help me to focus on the things I CAN change and move past the things that I CANNOT change. Help me to know the difference between the two.



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Love Grows

I find inside the words to say
The things I feel, the thoughts I pray
Why is it easier to think than say
Let me share my thoughts today 

The one idea that keeps coming back
The one that just might get us on track
It's as precious as anything sent from above
And that one thing is simply love

Love is the one gift given each day
That multiples as we give it away
If we focus on love and freely give
A bountiful life each day we'll live


I wrote this simple verse last night, not because I think love will fix everything that is broken in our lives, but rather that nothing broken can be fixed without it. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Codependent Some More

I wasn't going to blog yet, I was trying to give myself a break to filter and process my words, so that in the heat of the moment I don't say something I regret. I would be lying if I said I wasn't hurt, mad, upset, all of the above…but I didn't yell and scream tonight, I didn't even cry. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, it just is right now. I finally realized that until I get some of my thoughts out, I'm not going to be able to sleep, and since I have to be up in less than three hours for work, I need at least a little sleep.

I was talking to a friend the other day about being codependent. She is reading the book Codependent No More and was telling me a little bit about it. Hello! I've often thought I was codependent, and it is really being reinforced to me now that I probably am. I am a caregiver, a saver if you will, of the downtrodden. I need to be needed…up to a point…then I need to not be needed at all anymore because it overwhelms me. Ok that sounds a little circle-ish but it's like this, I need to feel needed by others, to feel valuable to others per se…but when they start to depend on me for almost everything, or at least more than I think they should, then I don't want them to need me at all anymore, it's too overwhelming.

I found this about codependency on Wikipedia:
 People who are codependent often take on the role of mother hen; they constantly put others' needs before their own and in doing so forget to take care of themselves. This creates a sense that they are "needed"; they cannot stand the thought of being alone with no one needing them. Codependent people are constantly in search of acceptance. When it comes to arguments, codependent people also tend to set themselves up as the "victim". When they do stand up for themselves, they feel guilty.

I often put others' needs before my own, when it's my children it's a given that their needs usually come first (note: needs, not wants), but I find myself doing this at work as well. I catch myself going, I'll just answer this one more instant message or email and help with this task then I'll go heat up my lunch. I need to be better at going, that question can wait for a few minutes until I get some food in my belly or use the bathroom or get some sunshine…whatever it might be that I need to do to better care for myself. Sometimes it can't be helped, others needs have to come first, but I want to become better at recognizing and prioritizing my own needs.

The second part of that statement that rang a bell with me is the last sentence, "When they do stand up for themselves, they feel guilty." This is how I feel more often than B, or even I, probably realizes. I feel guilty when I stand up for myself and cause anyone pain. It's very difficult for me. I am working on turning that guilt over to my Heavenly Father and lifting the load from my own shoulders. 

I kind-of sound like a mess when I put it all out there like that, I'm a possibly-codependent-food-and-caffeine-addicted-wife-of-a-porn-addict. How does that sound? It sounds like a heck of a label that I am unwilling to stick on myself. Let me start over, I'm a possibly-codependent-food-and-caffeine-addicted-wife-of-a-porn-addict Daughter of God. That's it. I am who I am and I was made in the image of my Father in Heaven. I am going to try and embrace that simple fact every single day!



Monday, September 15, 2014


"And they viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created Heaven and Earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men." (Mosiah 4:2)

I let my guard down. I slipped up. I made it almost a month and a half, but I was white knuckling. I realize that I need to work harder on my recovery. I have made an appointment to see a professional councilor. I look forward to this. I am going spend time every day working in my 12 step addiction recovery book; not just reading, but taking notes, and answering the questions. I am going to talk to my Bishop. I have made a commitment to my wife to always let her know if I slip, and to never lie to her. I realize that I am powerless to beat this on my own. I am trying to let the atoning blood of Christ purify my heart. 


Thursday, September 11, 2014

What I Wish He Knew

I was reading this post about what Dobble Addy wishes our Church Leaders knew, at makemyburdenlight.blogspot.com and it struck a chord in me. I have been thinking about it a lot this week. It is a great list about the things that wives of sexual addicts wish we could make others understand, especially if those others are our leaders. It has caused me to consider what I would put on my list of things I wish others knew about me.

-I am an intelligent, educated, professional woman

-I have a great capacity to love. I love quickly and easily.
-I have an innate sense of trust in the people around me. I almost always think that everyone has the best intentions.
-I don't have much of a verbal filter, I often say things before I even have a chance to think about them. This can be a double edged sword.
-I honestly in my heart of hearts don't EVER want anyone to hurt. No matter how much they have hurt me, I still don't want to see them hurting. It's excruciating if I am the one causing the pain.
-Despite not wanting to see others hurting, I often let my emotions get the best of me and inflict pain in the form of lashing out. I always regret it and wish I could take it back. I am working on this.
-I used to be a mostly happy person all the time, lately it seems like I am a mostly angry and unhappy person. I want to change that. I want to change ME.
-I have dealt with all my emotional pain by eating. I have a food addiction that I am powerless to fight on my own. I need my Heavenly Father in my corner and I am working at turning my heart over to Him.
-Despite the fact that I am emotionally exhausted I still want to be able to give of myself to those around me.

Now I would like to write a harder list. This is a list of what I wish B knew and understood.

-I still love you.

-You have broken my heart over and over again and I am really afraid to trust you with it again. I have erected an emotional wall towards you and I am having a really hard time deconstructing it.
-I WANT to celebrate all the positive changes you are making in your life.
-I know it frustrates you that I am still so angry and distrusting, I'm sorry. I will repeat what I said in the list above, I want to change that.
-Every time you make an excuse as to why you haven't done something that I need you to do by citing the positive things that you DID get done, it reminds me of the talk by Elder Oaks about Good, Better and Best activities. The things that you are accomplishing and doing are GOOD a lot of them are even BETTER than anything you have done in years. However, I need you to do the BEST things for our marriage. Right now, that means I need to you live within the boundaries I have requested in order to feel safe.
-I see the progress you are making and it really means a lot to me. I don't want to discount the work you are doing or the effort you are making.
-I need you to work on recovery for you. I need to not be your motivation because ultimately unless you are making the choices for yourself you will fail.
-I need you to take responsibility for yourself. What I mean is, I need to not feel that something I do or say is going to trigger a relapse. I can't carry that burden. I am trying to release myself of it and I need you to release me as well.
-I need you to follow the rules you have outlined for our family.
-I don't have a lot to give you emotionally right now. I need to work on myself and focus on repairing my broken spirit. I want to support your recovery but I just don't have much support to give.
-I need you to be patient and not give up on me. I haven't given up on you or our marriage in nineteen years, not until recently anyway (and obviously I haven't completely given up or I wouldn't still be here fighting for our family).
-Lastly I want you to know that I love you (yes I am repeating this), I am trying to hope for healing in our marriage and find my faith again. 

Broken but trying to heal,


Monday, September 8, 2014


In our 12 Step meeting yesterday we were discussing Step 1: Honesty. This is the step I am currently working on. It is also the step that I see B struggle the most with…honesty. I feel like he not only isn't honest with me, he isn't honest with himself either. I really feel like he needs to study and evaluate this step every.single.day. I'll say it again…he needs to evaluate this every.single.day. He needs to ask himself, am I being honest with myself, do I really feel like I am powerless over this addiction? It may seem harsh to criticize his "working the steps" and how I feel he should do it, because I know, as does anyone involved with an addict, that their pride can make them push back against such harsh criticism. Let me explain a little further why I feel this way.

B has said that it frustrates him that I don't trust him. I get that, I really do. It frustrates me at times that I can't just "get over it" and trust that he is truly working at recovery. The truth is, he isn't working hard at recovery. Let me explain it using an analogy. Let's say B is a beautiful antique mahogany table. Now we know mahogany is expensive and prized for high end furniture, just like B is prized as a husband, father and child of God. Well his addiction is like years of abuse happening to this table, it's nicked, scarred, has it's varnish missing in a lot of spots, there are water rings that over the years have created permanent damage to the table top, the legs are wobbly and loose. Over the years he has tried to repair himself…braced a leg here, thrown a cloth over the worst spots, propped the table in the corer so it had support, but never really "fixed" the problems. Lately he has been putting more effort into repairing the table. He has fixed the wobbly legs with a patch job underneath. He has started to sand out some of the varnish to make the table ready for a stronger polyurethane coating to help it resist future damage and has found a beautiful tablecloth to accent the table. The table is staged with quality items and looks like on the outside it is ready for use. The problem is, he hasn't really addressed the issues of the table, but has made a stronger effort at bracing the problems and starting to wear them down. The legs are only marginally stronger and the top is still scarred and pitted. The top needs a good sanding and the legs need a more permanent fix…or in other words B needs to take things back to the beginning and adequately repair the foundation of the table and sand it down until nothing of the old scratches and dings remain. He really has started the project of repairing himself, and to the naked eye it looks good, but the hard work remains. He needs to take things down to the bare bones and start building from the bottom up. He needs to address the issues that cause him to turn to porn in the first place. He needs to be honest that while he is "white knuckling" it through right now, he hasn't addressed the actual powerlessness he truly has in this situation.

I think the rules he has made are a great start at controlling the behaviors, I don't really believe he honestly has admitted to himself just how completely this addiction controls his life. He has replaced the addiction for the time being with something better, but he hasn't really addressed the fact that he is completely powerless over this, it is much bigger than he is. For over fifteen years now I have watched him try to make the table stronger through temporary measures, but these always fail, because he isn't doing the work and working the steps. I have read and reread the information on Step 1 in the recovery manual. I have taken notes, marked scriptures and really tried to be honest and admit that I can't control my food addiction but I am not quite ready to make every change I need to make. Why is it ok for me and not for him you ask? It's not ok for me, and I don't trust myself to always turn my will over to the Lord and to be honest in my powerlessness. The problem comes in the fact that I don't trust B period. It  is going to take a lot to build that up. He is going to have to work the steps. He's going to have to take notes, read scriptures, work in his workbook, not have excuses and really and sincerely start meeting even my basic emotional needs before I will be able to start thinking about trusting him.

I often feel guilty about the anger, mistrust and animosity that I frequently feel about his recovery, but I'm trying to let that go. I have to let him make the choices on his own and live the consequences that may come with those choices. I am often worried that by having such feelings of apathy towards his recovery that I will in some way set him back. That is not my call, he will do what he will do regardless of how I think or feel. The problem is the complacency I see on his part when he has "resisted" for a short length of time. He's not working at recovery, he's working at making that table look beautiful without taking the time and effort to create a permanent fix.

I am working on setting my boundaries, the boundaries that I need to set in order to start to feel safe in my home and my relationship. Some of these boundaries will be tough for B to accept but I have to feel safe, and I don't. This was going to be a short post but apparently I needed to get more of the story out there.



My wife is really struggling to regain trust in me. Last night she checked the internet history on my cell phone. It felt good to know that I had nothing to hide. However there were a few items in the history that she felt were questionable. I have lied to her so many times that she has become paranoid of even innocent things. It is hard for me to understand why she is struggling so hard when I am doing more to combat this addiction than ever. I thought my actions would help her to regain trust. I now realize that my actions have affected her more than I ever realized. It is going to take a long time for her to regain trust in me.

I have been praying and pondering to determine what I can do to help her trust more, and to help me combat this addiction. I have decided that I need to establish some rules for me, for us as a couple, and for our family. These rules are going to be particularly hard for me. I have said before that I am a selfish person. I get very self absorbed in my own things, that I neglect my duties as a father and husband.

Rule #1:
No screens after 5 PM. This is as much for me as it is for my children. In a way I have traded my addiction to porn for an addiction to browsing the internet, Ebay, Netflix, etc. all on my cell phone. My wife and I have always disagreed about what to watch on TV. I like action, and she likes "feel good" programs. In the past we have either got into an argument about what to watch, or sometimes compromised. Now that we both have iPhones, we can be together, but still watch our own programs. Seems like a great solution except that this is one more step removed from interacting with each other. Watching TV is already an escape from reality; a way to get absorbed in something that helps us to ignore our problems. By turning off the TV, cell phones, and other devices we will have to interact more. We need to spend this time working on our relationship and our relationship with our children.

Rule #2:
At least one date a week. The date must require interaction, this means movies don't count. Again, we have different interests which lead to arguments. We usually compromise by doing something that neither of us really want to do. Recently we have been trying to take turns planning the date. The rules are, the planner can choose anything he or she want to do, and the spouse can't complain. We have had some very nice dates since doing this.

Rule #3
Any media that comes into our house be it electronic or print must not contain anything that will detract from the Spirit.

Rule #4
We must hold Family Home Evening once a week. This will usually be on Mondays, but can be moved to a different day if necessary. It must contain a spiritual message. This message can be "short and sweet." It should also include a physical activity. This can be a walk, or even playing catch at the park. Refreshments or treats are okay, but not required.

Rule #5
Nightly scripture study. This can be as little as a few verses, but we must do it every night before our nightly prayers.

This is just a start. I am sure T will have some to add. Like I said before, these rules are going to be very hard for me. I have tried to make them as easy as possible. Sacrificing my own interests for the interests of the family as a whole will help me to become the father and husband that I should be. I am grateful for the prompting of the Spirit which have helped me to come up with these rules. I am grateful for the Spirit I have felt at church and at my 12 step meetings. It has been a long time since I have felt the Spirit this strongly. I look forward to an increase love and happiness in my home.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Letting Go and Setting Boundaries

I am trying to let go…of a lot of things. Right now my biggest struggle is letting go of the anger. I don't know why, but I think I am angrier now at and about B than I have ever been. I'm having a hard time determining where the anger is coming from. I don't know if this is something that I am being tempted into feeling to hinder B's recovery or if I am just really angry at him and his addiction. But, wherever it is coming from, I am nevertheless angry. I want to yell and scream and throw things, even though the only thing that would accomplish is making me hoarse, scaring my family and breaking things. I have been trying to pinpoint what exactly I am angry about and it has been difficult. I am angry at a lot of things, including my own choices. 

I guess I am using anger to describe a lot of things I am feeling. I am feeling frustrated, hurt, upset, confused, sad, anxious and scared. I really thought that I was going to be able start to take my wall down and let B in and start to work through recovery, but I am finding that far more difficult than even I believed it would be. I don't want to take it down and be vulnerable because I am just to scared of being hurt again.

Here is where the frustration comes in, both with B and with myself. I am frustrated at him for not seeing how I feel and if he does see it not understanding. He keeps saying that he is starting to realize by reading other spouses blogs, about how I might be feeling, but I don't think he really does, because every relationship is different. I know I'm not special or unique in how I feel. I know a lot of other spouses feel the same way. My heart aches for anyone going through the painful journey of sexual addiction and recovery. I just don't think that B understands that it took about sixteen years to erect and fortify the wall I have around my heart, it's not going to come down just because he makes an effort for a few weeks. I want to believe that he is truly working recovery and that he will stay sober, but for me right now I don't see it. I see him making some efforts to avoid pornography and acting out right now, but I can't envision what recovery will look like for us.

I have read a few posts recently about boundaries, and setting them for ourselves. I'm terrified of setting boundaries. I am so scared that if I set boundaries that protect myself, B will see it as me having a lack of faith in him and his recovery and think that I am punishing him. That's not it. I don't want to punish him, but I want to protect my emotional self. I have a hard time even saying this, because it feels unsupportive and selfish. I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I have to take care of me right now, I can't leave my emotional health in the hands of a hopefully recovering addict. That would be foolishness on my part and set myself up for a fall, not to mention the added pressure that would put on the burden B already carries. As hard of a conversation as it is going to be for both of us, we need to have it. We need to have boundaries for both of us. 

I need to be able to take care of my own emotional health if I am ever going to be able to support B in recovery. I am trying to let go of anger and hurt and am hoping that by setting boundaries I will start to feel safe enough to do that.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Not a Feel Good Post

I'm having a hard time writing tonight because I'm angry. I'm angry at a lot of things, but mostly just mad at my life in general. I want to just put it all out there for now, maybe it will help get some of the anger and frustration I am feeling resolved. If you need an uplifting and hopeful post, this is not the one for you. It's not going to sound hopeful and it may even sound a bit selfish and ranty. Consider yourself warned, today is not a day for sunshine and rainbows but rather for thunder, lightning and wind.

It seems like lately I need my rain gear and umbrella. I know I am choosing to focus on the bad, but I'm hoping that by getting it out there I will be able to let it go. It seems like when it rains it pours. Let's just start with the expenses and homeowner problems we've had lately. We have a three year old refrigerator that we have had to sink $400+ dollars into and it still isn't fixed (thank goodness we kept the old one and have it in the garage to act as a stand in). Then, our vehicle has been stalling as we drive it down the road and with B out of work we can't afford to take it in to the shop to be looked at, so we are down to one vehicle with three drivers all going different directions. Then B sent me a picture today on my phone of where a mouse or something has made a hole all the way from the outside of the garage through the door frame into the garage. Oh and did I mention, that this has caused water damage from all our rain we've gotten lately? Are you serious!?! We live in a three year old home for crying out loud!!! So, now we have to call an exterminator to come find the pest and rid us of it, so we don't have to keep fixing the same hole. As a result, I took tomorrow off of work very last minute to get things in the garage straightened out so we can get it organized and make sure that that is the only damage. On a positive note, did I mention how awesome my co-workers are? They didn't even bat an eye at covering for me tomorrow so I could take care of things. 

Now, I'll just touch on the emotional baggage I'm trying to clean out right now. My mom called to talk last night (we talk almost every day) and decided that she needed to give me her opinion on what we need to improve on in order for B to find a job. It ended up being a nasty discussion that we both ended up in tears from. It really threw me for a loop and upset B because of some of the things she said. I've tried to let it go today, knowing that she is my mom and she only wants what she thinks is the best for me and that even when she is mad at me she still loves me. Sometimes that's easier said than done. I've also had such conflicting emotions about my "worthiness" to seek recovery as the wife of a porn addict. I keep thinking, "What right do I have to feel hurt and betrayed by my husband's actions when I have my own addictions to deal with?" I am still really trying to come to grips with the fact that just because I have my own faults doesn't excuse B from the pain he has caused me. It's pretty tempting to just say I don't deserve to feel this way and so I'm not going to look for support. The logical part of me knows that this is my own shame and guilt eating away at me and that I am as much in need of recovery and healing from the pain caused to me as I am from the addictions that have a hold of me. 

None of this even begins to address my feelings about B's recovery and how it is progressing and how I am working through all that. I will save that for another day as I'm having a hard time keeping my eyelids open right now. 

I am sorry for the ranting jag and that I didn't have something uplifting or hopeful to post today. It is what it is today. You get the unadulterated ugly truth here, it's the only way we are going to heal. I needed to let that all go tonight so that I can face my day tomorrow with optimism as to what can be accomplished. We only need to turn it over to Him. 

Worn out and frustrated,


Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I have been sober for about a month now. I have been feeling very good about my recovery. This weekend I was tempted more than I have since I started this round of recovery. I didn't act on the temptation but I think it was a wakeup call. This is going to be a much tougher battle to fight than I realized. Although I am more determined to win than I have ever been, this round is following the same pattern as previous ones. I realized this weekend that I am "white knuckling." At some point the urges will get the better of me and I will fail. 

I will fail unless I take the necessary steps for recovery. I have been attending the 12 steps meetings at least once a week. I have been trying to go twice a week. This has been a great help to me. They have helped me to see that I am not alone. That I can open up and share with other people, to overcome the shame. But this is just not enough. The addiction is too deep. 

I said that I have been sober for almost a month. This is partially true. I have been sober from indulging in pornography, masturbation, and even lustful fantasies. This is a huge step for me. This is great progress.  However, these addictions are only symptoms of the real addiction. The addiction that I struggle with is Lust. Jesus said "…whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). I already said that I have been able to keep my thoughts clear of lustful fantasies. This is true but I still lust after women. Through my recovery reading I have discovered that it is common for men with this addiction to judge a woman based on his perception of her as a sexual partner. I am guilty of this. This is why I can't say that I have been completely sober. It may be at the grocery store, when I am driving down the road, or even at church, I will see a woman and lust in this way. It is hardest when I see a woman that is immodestly dressed. I have always hoped that other people don't notice me staring. The shame however isn't usually strong enough to keep me from looking. 

The usual pattern of my rounds of recovery starts with this lust.  It then progresses to lustful fantasies which lead to indulging in pornography and masterbation. Then I have to lie to my wife to cover it up. Eventually I feel so guilty that I confess to my wife, or she catches me (which is usually the case). Then I begin the recovery process over again. How can I break this vicious cycle? I need help, professional help. I have made the decision to go back to a pornography addiction recovery specialist that I have seen in the past. I didn't like him before. I didn't like him because he was making me confront the things that I needed to. I was too afraid, too ashamed. This specialist is also involved with LifeStar. I have decided that my wife and I both need to go through the program. I have always worried about the financial cost of LifeStar. I have used this as an excuse not to go. While this is a valid excuse, the real reason is because I am so afraid of opening up, of sharing myself, of finding out the root causes of my addiction. I now realize that the financial cost is very little compared to the emotional, spiritual, and even physical costs this addiction has inflicted on me and my family. 

For anyone struggling with this addiction, I recommend getting professional help. I have heard that LifeStar is a great program. I researched the cost this morning. It really isn't that much when you take into account what you get from the program. We can find the money. It may mean selling some of our worldly possessions, but we can find the money.

I am grateful for my wife who has had the patience to wait for me to get to this point. I know it hasn't been easy for her. We have had many disagreements about getting the professional help that I need. We have had a rough time. We haven't been very happy together. But she has stayed with me. I know I haven't deserved this. I look forward to recovery. I look forward to becoming a happy couple. I look forward to helping our children to avoid this horrible affliction. I look forward to the redeeming love of my Savior Jesus Christ.