Friday, December 2, 2016

Big Changes and Unexpected Emotions

half empty closet
This weekend is bringing about big changes for us. B is moving out. For now this is just a separation, we don't know what will happen, it is a long separation though. B has signed a lease on an apartment and we will reassess where we go from here in the future. This isn't a spur of the moment decision, and it hasn't come quickly. I just haven't posted about it here because I wanted to wait until we had told those closest to us. Then time got away from me, so here we are on the eve of the move.

Because I don't want to forget how this came about I am going to share it here. It was almost two months ago now that B and I were having a heated discussion and he said some incredibly hurtful things to me. I had a very strong feeling that it was time to be done. This was a super emotional argument and so I put the feeling aside until I had time to take it out and look at it. For the next several days I earnestly thought and prayed about whether that prompting was the path the Lord would have me take, or whether it was my own emotions taking over. I felt nothing but peace about making a move towards divorce. I also spoke to my therapist about it. I went to see my Bishop and he and I talked about his concerns and questions. He gave me a beautiful blessing that spoke of my willingness to follow the Lord's direction in my life. I then spent time in the Temple in prayer where I had a deeply moving experience. I knew that the decision to proceed towards divorce was the right decision. I don't pretend that Heavenly Father wants to see my marriage fail, but I also don't think he wants to see me continue to live in Trauma and pain. I felt that it was the decision that would bring me the most peace.

I proceeded to tell B that I felt it was time we made preparations for separate lives. He was shocked. He was angry. Then he pulled out a Hail Mary. He worked hard at recovery activities. It was then that the doubt started to creep in. Was I really sure this was the right decision? I felt confused and angry. I was mad that he waited until I was ready and at peace with the decision to move towards a separate life to try and work on recovery. At least more earnestly than he had since the beginning of our journey towards recovery over two years ago. I had all these mixed emotions and I was so unhappy. I had anything but peace.

I was so torn. I didn't want my marriage to end, at least not when it still had potential to be great. It was during this month of indecision that I saw my therapist and she said the words I needed to hear. "You need to get honest with God and with yourself." Those words were the tiniest shove I needed to get of the proverbial fence. I took a deep breath, looked at my heart, said some raw and vulnerable prayers, and knew that separation was still the right answer. I told B. He actually agreed. Our home is not a happy place to be. Neither of us feel that this is a healthy environment.

We agreed on December 1st as the actual move out date, and then I told him he could have until this weekend so he wouldn't have to move out during the week. Then he did basically nothing at all until 2 weeks ago. He finally started looking in ernest and has packed and moved some stuff. Tomorrow he will have help to get some furniture moved over. It still doesn't really feel like this is my life.

This last ten days or so I have exhausted me emotionally. I did not expect to feel so many painful emotions. The overriding one has been grief. I expected to be sad, mad, anxious, relieved, and afraid. I somehow did not expect the ever present grief I have had. I am not mourning the loss of THIS marriage. I am mourning the loss of the marriage we could have had. I am mourning the loss of the man I feel in love with 22 years ago. I hurts so much to feel like we really could have had a healthy and happy marriage, and no that dream is ending. Maybe not forever, but for now it is. I know that we could have been happy and truly had a great marriage, and I am grieving the loss of that potential. Our marriage hasn't been all bad, please don't think that. It has been incredibly unhealthy for a long time though.

Tonight I took our son out for some fun so that B could have some space to pack and move some stuff. He was at his new place when I got home. I walked in the bedroom and felt like I had been sucker punched. I literally lost my breath and started to shed some tears. The first thing I noticed was the missing bookshelf. Then it was my framed bridal portrait that had been on top of the bookshelf resting on the floor against the wall. Then another picture frame turned face down caught my attention and I picked it up to see a picture of us on our wedding day. That was the moment that it really hit me that this was happening. The empty hangers in half the closet looked so lonely. I did not expect to feel so raw. This hurts so much more than I thought it would.

I still have peace knowing that this is the right decision for us. I know that we both need the space from the toxicity that has surrounded us. It is so hard though. I know that Heavenly Father will continue to sustain me. That He is aware of me. I know that I will be ok. It's just going to take time. I don't know what the future holds for my marriage, but I do know that I will continue to follow my Heavenly Father's guiding hand in my life. I know that as I lean on Him I will grow stronger. I know I am loved and cared for.



If you would like to know more about my faith please click here. I would love to share more about what I believe with you, because it has been the only thing that has helped me truly find any healing. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me at for anything you want to say or ask.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Letter To My New Bishop

We recently got a new Bishop (he is our lay clergy, you can learn more about that here). He called B in to his office to talk to him, and they discussed B's addiction. B came home feeling loved and cared for, and he told me that the Bishop wanted to learn about Betrayal Trauma, as he hadn't heard of it before. I have felt prompted to share that email here. I hope it helps someone else.

Note: I have edited it to include the hyperlinks, and I have removed some of the personal details for anonymity sake.


Thank you for your willingness to learn about the impact of sex addiction on a spouse. I have attached a packet put together specifically to share about this for Bishops. It has some good information, but it is a lot, take your time and read it. I will also include other resources that can help you. 

Part of understanding about Betrayal Trauma, is learning about sex addiction itself (pornography addiction is a form of sex addiction, pornography just happens to be B's drug of choice). There are some great resources for this. Each website that I am including has a lot of information, the particular page I am linking is a good starting point, but don't stop there.

Then of course there is the Church website about addiction recovery (this has information for both addicts and family members)

For many years I thought I was alone. I lived in shame. Why would my husband need pornography if I was enough? I have learned through my recovery that I AM enough, and that his addiction is not caused by me. His addiction began long before he ever met me. 

I have a form of PTSD called Betrayal Trauma. Basically what it means is that I get a trigger, that causes me to react physically (I have to be on medication for panic attacks), and it affects the way I process and interact with life. It sounds hokey to some, but for me, and many others like me, it is as real as a soldier's PTSD. I am learning through therapy and recovery work how to handle these triggers and what I need to do to keep myself safe and healthy. This has been a long road for me. B has been betraying me through lust, pornography, and masturbation for our entire marriage. His addiction has affected every aspect of our lives. We have had happy times, it's just hard to remember those through all of the unhappy times. 

Here are some resources for Betrayal Trauma, again, these are just jumping off points:

LDS Addiction Recovery Videos  (I am blessed to call some of the ladies, in these Advice To My Younger Self videos, friends)

The woman that writes the following blog is also a friend, and her blog was instrumental in helping me start on (and continue) my recovery journey.

This is an organization that has also been instrumental in helping me find the connections I need to heal:

This is the scary one, I write a blog myself. B actually wanted to start it together, but he hasn't written on it in a really long time. Feel free to read it if you'd like. (I shared the link to the blog with him, but I figure you don't need it)

I will share a little bit about our story with you. We have been married 21 years (22 years in March). We were friends for 6 months, dated for 2 months, and engaged for 7 months. We were sealed in the  Salt Lake Temple. The first time I found out about B looking at pornography was about 5 years into our marriage, and I was upset and told him that if it happened again I would divorce him. That led to years of lying and deceit, along with many discoveries. By this point I thought, "If only I was skinnier, prettier, kept a better house, made more money, wanted to have sex more, looked like a super model, whatever it was...he wouldn't need porn." The truth is I could've done and been all those things, and he still would have turned to porn. His use of porn and masturbation was not about me, it was about his mismanagement of his own emotions. He does not know how to sit in his own pain or deal with hard emotions, and so he numbs them in the easiest way he knows how. Some choose alcohol, drugs, staying busy, overeating, tv, video games, whatever it is, B chooses pornography and masturbation. The thing that is different about sex addiction, is that it undermines the very foundation of marriage. It erodes the trust that should be the foundation of a marriage. Not only is the wife being betrayed but there is a significant amount of deceit that goes along with it. The shame that accompanies the addiction is debilitating, that, and the deceit make it very difficult to find recovery. It's an addiction that is so rooted in shame that people will go to astonishing lengths to keep it hidden.

I know that recovery is possible, but it takes being cracked open and letting the will of God pour into you. Letting His will be stronger than the demons that are in control. This goes equally for the spouse. We have to learn that unless we surrender our own will to His, then we will continue to live in this cycle of never-ending trauma. We will continue to feel inadequate, try to control our spouses actions, have feelings of worthlessness, and live in chaos. I have chosen not to live that way any longer. I have no control over my husband's actions, nothing I do, say, don't do, or don't say, can change his will. He has his agency, I can't change that (as much as I admittedly would like to sometimes). The only thing I can do is chose to live close to Heavenly Father and follow his guidance for me. He has been with me throughout this journey, and I am learning more every day about listening to Him.

I have worked really hard to try and stay in this marriage and work hard at saving it, I have listened when Heavenly Father distinctly told me to "Hold on a little longer", when I was really seeking His permission to be done. I have stayed. I have continued to work on my own recovery and as hard as possible on my relational recovery as possible. I have had to keep my heart protected as I have traveled this road, because every time I start to hope the things are getting better because B is making an effort at recovery, I would act on that hope. I would relax my boundaries and let him back in as completely as I could, only to have him take me for granted again and relax his recovery effort and act out again. His cycle of acting out has escalated from years in our early marriage to around a month now. That means he will work really hard for a week or so at recovery, he will let things slip for a week, he will end up in a mode of "everything is terrible, and I am a victim of life" and he will act out for a couple of weeks. Then the cycle will start all over again. Sometimes the cycle can be 2 months, but that just means everything is twice as long. 

I am finally at a point where I have realized I am stuck in my own healing. I don't know what the future holds for us, I am not going to try and predict that. I can only stay true to the guidance of Heavenly Father and go on from there.

Thank you for your open heart and mind, and your willingness to learn about this plague that is tearing so many families apart.  Your loving reaction and openness to learning is already a balm, you have obviously learned to listen to the Spirit rather than reacting as a man. I appreciate that more than I can say. 

Humbly and lovingly,


p.s. The packet of information I attached with my email to my bishop can be found here: Owning Our Stories, and the link is in the right hand column

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Shame and Self Worth

While meeting with my therapist today she asked me to journal about some of the things we talked about in our session. I had just typed this in my personal journal, but felt prompted to share publicly.

I told her about the huge shame I had while attending The Togetherness Project conference two weekends ago. We were in Midway, UT, which is a much higher altitude than where I live, and I struggled physically. I was short of breath and sweaty with the slightest bit of activity. It caused me to feel so much shame. I felt like I was a burden on my friends. I didn't want them to have to wait for me or be embarrassed by me. I am sure that none of them felt that way, but I felt that way. They have never behaved in a manner that led me to think anything but that I am loved, it is all my own shame talking.

I feel like a failure when I think about how much I struggle physically. I fight my own food addiction every minute of every day. I am not active because it's embarrassing and painful how out of shape I am. This in turn makes it harder to become more active. It's a cycle that I struggle to break.

My shame about this is debilitating sometimes. I will retreat from others at times, or I will overcompensate at others. With those closest to me, my family, I will react in anger. Really these are all reactions to my own shame. This shame feels so suffocating it's as if I am covered in tar, only it's elastic tar. It clings to me and if I am only able to pull part of it away, if I am not able to completely break free, it rebounds back and envelopes me again. Shame is a physical as well as emotional barrier for me.

As we talked, I also told her about my recovery triad. I feel like my recovery is a triad, and a piece of it is missing so I am stuck in the other parts as well. To me recovery is a triangle or triad of the emotional, spiritual, and physical aspects of life. I feel like I have worked hard on the emotional and spiritual aspects but that I have neglected the physical aspects. Because of this neglect I have been losing ground in the other areas of recovery. It's the missing piece to truly being able to recover. For me it's also the most challenging.

My therapist had me notice how I was feeling and acting when I was talking about my shame, and how I was feeling and acting when talking about my triad. It was visibly different. When talking about my shame I spoke in a monotone and was more slumped down, it felt dark, oppressing, and hopeless. When I talked about my triad my voice was more animated, I used gestures to explain what I was talking about, I felt lighter and more hopeful. When I talk about my triad the physical component seems doable, rather than hopeless.

As we were talking about my relationships and my sense of emotional and physical abandonment, I was talking about my nephew. I have a great amount of love and protectiveness regarding him because of some challenges he has. When I was speaking about him she pointed out how empathic and compassionate I was regarding him. She also noted that I am that way with most people. I am. I have a heart that was made to love and accept others. It is one of my gifts. Why then, can I not turn that empathy and compassion towards myself? Why can I not be my own best cheerleader. The answer is both complex and simple. I do not feel worthy. That's what it all boils down to, I lack a sense of self worth.

I have learned over these last couple of years to find things about myself that I love. I am getting much better and recognizing my strengths. I also have had great moments of seeing myself as God sees me, as a woman of unchanging worth. My worth does not change in his eyes no matter what, and sometimes I believe this. Underneath it all though, I really struggle to see my worth and remember that it cannot be diminished. I am of value just because I am. That has yet to penetrate my inner core. Because of this lack of self worth, I am out of touch with my own body. I use it as a shell and often even as a hiding place, because I don't connect to it. It's as if it is a separate piece of me. This compartmentalization is because of the shame I feel about it.

I have made some commitments to aid in my physical recovery to myself, my therapist, and a couple of my friends. These commitments are small, and to most would seem simple and silly. To me they are BIG, they are scary, and they are powerful. I have made them knowing that I probably won't be 100% great at them all of the time. That's okay. There's where compassion comes in. I don't get to excuse myself from my commitments, but I get to have compassion with myself if I am putting in the effort and doing the best I can.

My physical recovery is going to be an uphill battle. It's going to require diligence and perseverance. It isn't however, hopeless. It is possible. I can do it if I surrender my shame and fear to my Heavenly Father. If I remember to see my worth through His eyes. I could write a novel about self worth, but until I truly take it in and make it part of me, it's only words. I am working to believe what I know is true, I have undiminished worth just because I am me.

More hopeful,


Sunday, September 4, 2016

I Was Wrong, Honesty Isn't Enough

I really, truly, HATE to be wrong, but I am admitting right here in black and white that I was wrong. I have frequently told B. that I need honesty ALL.THE.TIME. I am NOT wrong about that I DO NEED honestly all the time. I had told him that we could work through this as long as he was honest. I'm just not sure that is true anymore. I don't know if I continue to "work through" this trial, if the honesty doesn't also come with humility and accountability. I also know that I have absolutely NO CONTROL over whether I receive any of those things. 

My current mood has also shed some light on where I am personally...not in a good place. I have slid backwards and returned back to being angry all the time. I don't like angry me. In fact, I pretty much LOATHE angry me. She is not someone I want to be around, let alone someone I want to be. Regardless of not liking angry me, I have invited her back in. It wasn't a direct invitation as much as it was an invitation by omission. Omission of active recovery work. Omission of church attendance (I have a valid excuse, but I could've found a way to attend most of the time). Omission of reaching out. Omission of heartfelt prayer. Omission of self-care. I allowed angry me into the pity party and I am the only one that can un-invite her. 

I guess I need to back up a bit and tell you why I had all these forehead smacking moments tonight. Well, they haven't just been tonight, they have been in the back of my head niggling, tapping, pounding, and finally breaking their way through. The trigger itself is probably a microscopic gnat that I allowed to become a macroscopic bird of prey, but tonight it FEELS like a bird of prey. It is preying on my peace and that's unacceptable to me.

Our daughter is home from college this weekend (she is studying culinary arts), and decided to make us dinner. It was a delicious dinner and after a couple of crazy busy weeks and a jam packed weekend so far, she was exhausted. It all just hit her at once. She asked me to clean up dinner and put the leftovers away. I begrudgingly agreed (I hate cleaning up anything, it's one of my major shame points). While cleaning up I asked B. to help me. He asked what needed to be done, when I told him, he told me that he thought we could do it tomorrow. I told him that the food needed to be put away and some dishes needed to be rinsed tonight not tomorrow. He was laying on the couch watching a show on Netflix with headphones on. He looked at me and said, "I don't want to do it." I looked back and said, "None of us WANT to do it." That was the end of the discussion as far as he was concerned and he went back to watching his show.  He knew I was upset, the whole block could probably feel the anger and resentment radiating from me.

Shortly after that we all went to get ready for bed. He climbed in the bed and closed his eyes to go to sleep. Not one word to me about not helping me. In fact he acted (as he often does) as if I wasn't angry and resentful and said some sort of off the cuff goodnight. I told him that I needed to come out and journal because I was too angry to talk to him about how I was feeling. He said "Sorry", in a tone of voice that clearly implied that he was only sorry that I was angry, not that he was sorry for his actions or behaviors. When I asked him why he thought being honest about his feelings was enough, he replied something to the effect that I had told him I need him to be honest and that he could've made up some lame excuse but he didn't he was honest. I told him I do need him to be honest, but that it isn't enough to just be honest. His response was something along the lines of him being "in trouble" either way. He's right, I am upset, but I can guarantee that I would've seen through any excuse and been more upset if he had tried to lie to me. 

This is where I have to admit, my thoughts need  revision. I need more than honesty. I cannot accept anything less than honesty, our relationship is doomed otherwise. I do however, need that honesty to be accompanied by humility and accountability. I need to see that he is willing to and wants to change. He doesn't. He has told me point blank that he has no desire to work on his recovery right now. That is evident every single day.

I have to decide how I am going to react to that. I have to decide that angry and resentful T. can't be around here, she isn't invited to the party. I have to decide to do the things that help me heal. I have to hold my boundaries. I have to disconnect in a healthy way. I have to own that I need help to improve. 

I have been feeling a lot of things lately. Grief and anger being two of the most prominent. The grief is something that I have carried for years. The anger is something that I have carried for years but that I have worked hard to let go of in the past. I have been able to get healthier and work through some of that anger. I have been able to dig beneath that layer and see what is really driving it. Lately I haven't even had the desire to dig down. I hurt too much to want to take off that protective layer of anger and resentment. I have to let that mask go, I have to feel again. I can't numb with food and anger, it's my emotional kryptonite if I do. I am accountable for that. I have to change it. 

Here's me taking a step back. Admitting I was wrong. Shame busting and truth telling. Owning my story for myself and my healing. I am not sure I'm up to facing this, but I have to be. I have to face this and work on what I need to move forward. I am in charge of me.

Humbly eating my slice of pie,


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Daring Greatly...A Textbook for Life

Sometimes I feel like I'm back in school. I have homework and reading. I have notebooks, art projects, highlighters, pencils and discussions. There have been times in my recovery that this has all felt like too much for me. Too much time and energy spent on recovery. Too much knowledge and new patterns that I'm trying to fit in my head, heart and life. There have been times when I have had to take a break. I'm just coming off one of those "breaks" and getting my recovery back on track.

I have thought and prayed long and hard about whether a break is necessary or even good for me in recovery. I have come to the conclusion that it depends. It depends on what I'm taking  break from. Some of my recovery behaviors have to be innate and included everyday, otherwise I slip back into old patterns and behaviors. I can however take a break from reading, eating, breathing, and sleeping nothing but recovery.

I'm not advocating that this works for everyone, but it works for me. There are times that I have to let what I have learned settle in and become incorporated in my life. I have to figure out what my "new norm" looks like. What works for me and what doesn't. Then I can start to learn and grow more. That's not right, or not how I see it. I am always learning and growing, it's just sometimes I voraciously want more knowledge and sometimes I have to let the new knowledge I have gained help me to grow. I'm not sure that even makes sense, but it's how I see things in my own life.

This last break was a little too long and I let too many of my everyday recovery behaviors slip. I fell back into some of my own habits of enabling and letting my anger control me. No where near the degree as before, but not where I want to be either. I am glad to be back on track and getting those behaviors back in my daily life.

This month for my book club we are reading a book I suggested and have wanted to read for a good while, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.  Since I am leading the discussion, I need to make sure I get it read. I sat down today and started it. I'm in love! I mean I already loved what I have seen and read from Brene Brown, but I am even more in love. If you have never heard her speak or read anything by her, I have linked to her Tedx talk in this post. Watch it! You'll be glad you did.

The things I am learning are life changing. Well ok, life affirming. I am learning the importance of and the way to be vulnerable and fight shame. These two things are vital to recovery.  They are skill that if everyone had, we would have so much more open communication and so much less criticism and blame.

This post is in no way sponsored by or affiliated with Brene Brown or Daring Greatly. I just wanted to share something that was helping me be a better me.

A little more vulnerably,


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hyper-Vigilance and Shedding Light

Self-reflection can be such a painful thing, especially when you don't see what you expected to. I have not been very self-reflective lately, I have been outwardly focused. Shame is an ugly monster that has me held ferociously in it's grip. I have started down the slippery slope of trauma, and I am hoping by bringing my shame into the light I can battle it. 

B. just can't find recovery, he doesn't even have the desire most of the time to recover. He is so focused on the fact that he doesn't have a happy marriage to recover to, that he has no desire to recover. That has been a heavy load for me to carry, and one I shouldn't be carrying. I have not been great about surrendering that load to Heavenly Father. I have carried it on my shoulders and let it mire my own recovery. My husband's recovery is not my job to carry around. It is B.'s job to carry his recovery, more accurately it is his job to turn his heart over to Heavenly Father. It is my job to turn my own heart over to Heavenly Father and listen to His guidance.

I have been so hyper-vigilant about B.'s actions recently. Wanting to always know what he is doing, who he is texting, what they are talking about, why he is on his phone. See where this is going? I am being sucked into my trauma cycle. I am letting his actions control me. I am not focused where I should be. My focus is on my husband and not on God. When I lose God as my center my trauma takes over.

I want my husband to find recovery. I want to be able to trust him. I want our marriage to survive. Right now though, I'm at the end of my rope. I am done fighting for my marriage, at least in the way I have been fighting. Now, I feel like I am in a holding pattern. I need to just turn it over to Heavenly Father and let Him guide me. I need B. to step up and show me he wants our marriage to succeed like he keeps telling me. I need to put my faith where it belongs and know that none of this is truly in my control. God has always guided me the best direction for my family and me, when I allow Him to. I need to allow Him to guide me. 
I am fighting hard against my trauma, and just writing this has freed up so much anxiety in me. It has allowed me to shine light on the dark parts and start to root them out. 

I love my husband but I cannot fight for this marriage alone. I can only fight for me right now. I can only work on pulling myself up out of the mud I'm covered in. I can only work to clean up my own recovery and keep walking. I can only do these things by allowing Heavenly Father to reach down and help me up. 



Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Fear Has Held Me Prisoner

I had an a-ha, lightbulb moment last night, and it's one I have had several times before, but apparently a lesson I need to keep learning. Let me start at the beginning, or at least the beginning of my growth this time.

The last month I have started to get depressed. I have felt depressed before but have always been able to push through it fairly quickly. This time it was different. I haven't just "felt" depressed, I have been depressed. To me there is a subtle difference in that "feeling" depressed is just that, a feeling, and being depressed is something that feels like it is a permanent part of me. I have never felt that before now. The last two weeks it has been so bad that I haven't wanted to get out of bed and yet I have struggled to go to sleep at night, I haven't cared if my kids go to school, I haven't cooked dinner in three weeks, at least, I haven't nourished my body but have gorged on junk, there have been days that I have cried on and off all day. I have been so hopeless that I had given up, just done what had to be done and escaped through social media, books, shopping and sleep. It felt like I was in a pit of mud and that I just wanted to give up and stay there. I didn't care anymore if I got out of the mud, or if it just swallowed me whole. I have been on a medication for anxiety that also helps with depression for three or four years now and it has helped dramatically, it hasn't felt like it was helping the last 3 weeks or so though, so I talked to my doctor and asked her to increase my dose. I've been taking the increased dose for about a week now with slight improvement. I hesitate sometimes to mention that part because there is such a stigma attached to taking medication for depression and anxiety, but it's my reality and so I am owning it.

Last night as I knelt in prayer I realized how much fear I was holding on to. I have been afraid that B. won't work hard and find recovery and therefore my marriage will be over. I have been afraid that our finances will never be stable. I have let fear tell me that I am never going to be healthy and active. I have been afraid that my daughter will be unhappy as she leaves for college next fall. I have been afraid that she has been holding in her emotions and not dealing with them. I have been afraid that the world is going to chew up and spit out my tenderhearted son. I have also been afraid that he will become an addict too. I have been afraid of negative and critical comments from others. These fears have held me prisoner in my mind. They have consumed me. They have occupied so much space that I became hopeless and felt out of control.

As I knelt there I surrendered those fears as much as I was capable of. As I handed them over to Heavenly Father knowing that Christ has already suffered them for me, I felt a loosening before I even finished my prayer. It was as if there has been a band constricting my heart and as I released my fears to my Father in Heaven that band released and I could breathe and feel hope again. I know the process of surrender works. I know that holding on to fear is toxic for me and my recovery. I know that I can find peace through surrender. I haven't been practicing it and therefore I had fallen in the mire and couldn't get out. I can't ever get out on my own. I need the hand of a loving Savior to help me out. He sacrificed His life for me (and for each of you) so that I don't have to suffer these fears if I will turn them over to Him. I am grateful for a loving God who has made a plan for happiness. I wish that I didn't have to relearn things that I know and have practiced. I am grateful that I was reminded to surrender my fears last night. I feel more hope and less fear than I have felt in weeks. It's not a evangelical on fire type of miracle, but a subtle change of heart kind of miracle. It still feels like a miracle to me.

More hopeful,


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Why I Write *edited*

Tonight I received my first troll comment on the blog, and it hurt. I won't say that I didn't think of defending myself and my choices to this anonymous commenter, because I did. Ultimately though, it would not have made a difference. The commenter probably would never come back to read it and the hurtful thing would just upset me every time I came to MY blog. I deleted it. That may seem cowardly to some, but to me it was what I needed.

This is my safe space to write about what I think, feel, and how my recovery is going. It's not a space where I will tolerate being judged and belittled. I am all up for a discussion if you don't agree with me, you don't have to agree with me. However, if you want to call me names and rant at me, I retain the right to delete your comment. If you can address any questions, disagreement or concerns in an open and respectful manner, please fell free to comment. Otherwise, move along, and don't waste either of our time.

I don't write for praise or acclimation. I don't write for notoriety or fame. I write for two reasons. The first reason is that I write for me. I write to help myself heal and have a place where I can say what I need to. The second reason is so that if any of my experiences can help another. I share what I am going through and learning in the hopes that someone might relate and find some hope. I am given that light and hope by others that openly share their stories, therefore I want to help pay that forward.

The words I write come from deep inside of me, and a lot of the time I don't know exactly what I need to say until my fingers start typing. I do my very best writing when I don't think consciously about what I want to write but I let my fingers follow my thoughts as they come. Sometimes those words aren't from me, sometimes the words come from Heavenly Father and I relay a message that he wants me to. Sometimes they are from my wounded heart and I search from healing. Whatever the words may be, know that they are my words, my story, and I am learning and growing as I go. I am imperfect and flawed. I am real and human though. I bleed when injured, whether literally or metaphorically.

Humanly yours,


After much thought and consideration, I have decided that I will moderate all comments. You are free to say whatever you feel, and post anonymously. I am free to keep this as my safe space and give time and space to those things that are in keeping with my own recovery. This space is a space of healing for me and not a place for vitriol or vengeance. Please know that I respect other's opinions but my heart and soul is open on these pages and therefore I reserve the right to moderate what is shared and posted here.

Fear and Surrender

Two weeks ago was tumultuous to say the least. I have had to make some big decision and I have lived in fear of making them. I let my fears control me for days. I was so afraid that I was angry and scared and it showed. My heart raced, I was shaky, I had a short temper and I even said the "F" word in our couples therapy session. That was not a good moment, and I apologized both to B. and to our therapist. That is not the person I want to be, and no matter what B. has done or said he doesn't deserve to be verbally assaulted.

I finally broke down, humbled myself, and asked my Bishop (ecclesiastical leader) for a priesthood blessing. The blessing he pronounced upon my head brought me so much peace. I am not sure that I adequately expressed my gratitude to him. I was no longer afraid to face the hard choices. I was no longer living in fear and self-doubt. I knew at that moment that Heavenly Father was aware of me and my needs and that He would not abandon me to make the choice alone.

Thursday I met with my therapist and then I attended the LDS Temple seeking clarity and guidance. I received it quickly and clearly. I have peace about the choice I made. It will be a difficult one on all of us but I feel it is the right one for all of us as well. I came out with a sense of peace that was palpable.  I had at last humbled myself enough to surrender my fear to Heavenly Father. Once I was finally able to hand it over, the answer came swiftly and easily to my mind. I knew clearly what the right choice was, and it was not the answer I expected.

I'm not intentionally trying to be vague about my big life decision, but it is so scary to write out. *deep breath* B. and I are separating. It's going to be a bit of a strange separation and not 100% complete but it is enough for now. I know that this will bring me the measure of space and separation I need right now to work on my own recovery and healing. I pray often that B. will use the time and space to get himself right with God and surrender his will to Him. I pray that B. will find recovery. I have however, surrendered that to Heavenly Father. I cannot make him find recovery. I cannot work his recovery for him. I cannot force, guilt, shame or manipulate him into recovery. Trust me I have tried all those things and more. The only thing I can do is put my trust in Heavenly Father and know that no matter what happens, I will be happy because I am following the Lord's will for me.

If I could ask one little favor it is this, keep us in your prayers. We could use all the heavenly intervention we can get.



Tuesday, February 23, 2016

It's Not Your Fault

There have been a few times in my life when the words that come out of me aren't from me. I was blessed enough to have one of those opportunities the other day. An amazing woman bravely reached out to me last week. She is hurting and broken just like many of us are and/or have been. Her husband is an addict, and she is suffering the effects of Betrayal Trauma and is just now learning what that is. She, like I have in the past, and so many others as well, blames herself for her husband's addiction and acting out. I understand that so well. For so many years I thought I could change my husband by being more or less of so many different things. I was wrong. Let me share with you the words that I was inspired to share with her. (The words are mine but the sentiment did not come from me, it is what Heavenly Father wanted me to share and believe)

Dear betrayed wife,

The one thing I want to you hear, because right now you probably won't believe it, I didn't believe it for years and still struggle to sometimes. Absolutely none of his addiction is your fault. His behaviors are not your fault and nothing you could do or say would change them. You could look like a Playboy bunny, have the sex drive of a teenage boy, keep the house like June Cleaver and earn the money of Donald Trump and he would STILL turn to porn and treat you this way. Why? Because porn addiction is not about sex, it's about mismanagement of emotions. He doesn't know how to manage his emotions. You are enough and wonderful just as you are. Your inherent value lies in the fact that you are a daughter of our Heavenly Father. You are loved and cared about more than you can possibly know. 

I completely and totally understand the self loathing that comes with this addiction. I blamed myself for so many years. I weigh much more now than I did when we got married. Why would he want me? Why wouldn't he turn to porn? But the truth of the matter is, I am learning to love myself for exactly who I am. My beauty doesn't come from how I look, it comes from who I am. I can promise you that it is NOT your fault he has this addiction and has chosen it. The addiction came long before you. If you had married an alcoholic that was supposedly in recovery when you were married, and then he started drinking again after you got married, would you think that it was your fault? Absolutely not! What our husband's have is an addiction, and it's one that has robbed them of their value to themselves. I ache for the shame and pain this has caused my husband, heaven only knows I've tried to fix him for most of our marriage. I "if only'd" myself all the time..."If only I was skinnier." "If only I was sexier." "If only I could keep the house cleaner." None of that fixed him. I tried to be the porn star I thought he wanted. It didn't change him or his behaviors. All it did was help to make me feel like a dirty and worthless person.
Heavenly Father doesn't want any of this for us. He wants us to love ourselves. He wants us to value ourselves as the daughters of Him that we are. I am so scared of what the future holds, but I know that worrying about it will only rob me of the time I have now. I am working every day to turn my will over to Him. It is scary to think that my "happily ever after" may not look the way in envisioned it. In all honesty, it's never looked the way I envisioned it and I have accepted that. What I won't accept any more is being treated like I don't matter. My husband is a good man and I love him, but I need to feel emotionally safe with him and right now that isn't happening.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


I wasn't sure I was going to post this here, but I feel like I need to. Please know that this is something I am extremely tender about and it incredibly important to me. There are some pretty specific details here regarding my boundaries and their application to our current situation. Some content may be triggering.

Friday night was hard, but not as hard as I anticipated it being. I gave B. my boundaries for in-home separation. I feel so much peace around my decisions. I fear an even harder one is coming to actually have a physical separation...but it's not time to cross that bridge yet. We have to share a room still because we only have 3 bedrooms and our kids can't share (boy/girl thing). He really wants to sleep on the couch but I won't let him because I don't want him in our living room...I already have to work in the living room, it needs to not be a bedroom too. That was the only boundary he pushed back on. I just feel peace and that is such a good thing. If anyone is interested here are the boundaries I gave him (please ask if you have any questions, and I love feedback...I went over them with my therapist and she thought they were great):

-Beds separated (our king size bed is actually 2 twin beds pushed together)
-Complete privacy while I am showering/changing (do not even come in the bathroom while I am showering)
-No physical touch unless initiated by me (hugs, kisses, hand-holding, etc.)
-No sex
-No dating for now
-Assigned nights for dinner each week based on our schedules, including clean-up
-Shared responsibility for kid transportation to be determined weekly based on schedules
-I have complete control over our finances, we will have a set time each week to review upcoming bills and deposits - I will turn our debit cards off unless we need them for a pre-approved purpose, otherwise we need to speak with the other about any spending - Allowances to be negotiated
-We are each responsible for picking up our own prescriptions and making our own appointments, may ask for help as needed, each is allowed to refuse
-Cleaning schedules and responsibilities to be determined
-Decluttering and organization to be done together as possible
Update the day after: You guys, I feel so much peace. I feel like now that in my mind we are officially separated, I have no expectations of him. He can choose to work his recovery, he can choose to be connected to the family. He can make whatever choices he wants. I have just been able to let go of my expectations. It feels like a miracle to me. I have so much more peace and have been truly able to surrender the outcome of my marriage to Heavenly Father.
Today, the day after presenting these to B., I feel so much peace. I feel like now that in my mind we are officially separated, I have no expectations of him. He can choose to work his recovery, he can choose to be connected to the family. He can make whatever choices he wants. I have just been able to let go of my expectations and truly surrender him to my Father in Heaven. It feels like a miracle to me. I have so much more peace and have been truly able to surrender the outcome of my marriage to Heavenly Father.

Separately peaceful,


Friday, February 12, 2016

Editing My Story

I don't want to edit my story to change it or alter it's truth in any way. I want to edit my story to reflect where I am in my journey. My story is ever evolving as I learn and grow...and the beautiful part is that it doesn't have an ending yet and so that means I get to continue to learn and grow.

My name starts with T and I am a WoPA (Wife of a Porn Addict). I am so much more than that though. For so many years my life has been defined by my husband's addiction without me even knowing I was letting it define me. I am choosing to no longer let that be the definition of who I am and how I behave. I am me, and I define who I am and how I behave.

B. and I have been married almost 21 years. We met and were friends for about 6 months before we started dating. We dated for 2 months and got engaged. We were engaged for 7 months before we were sealed for time and all eternity in a temple of the LDS Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). When we made this commitment I knew that it was forever, I knew that this was the man I was going to be with for the rest of my life here on earth and in the eternities to come. Now, I don't know if that is still true, but I have turned that over to my Heavenly Father as He is in charge and I put my faith in Him. I know that when I married B. I got confirmation from Heavenly Father that it was the right thing to do, but I was also warned it wouldn't be easy...I chose not to listen to that latter part very well.

I knew something was off in our marriage for years before I actually found out what it was. When I found out that B. had a "pornography problem" I had several reactions. I got angry and of course threatened divorce if it ever happened again (which my husband took to heart and so he started lying and hiding things from me). I felt feelings of not being "enough" in anything I was doing. I felt like it was my fault he had this "problem" and that because it was my fault I could fix it. I was so very wrong.

Part of the reason I had felt that it was my fault was because I had suggested we watch a few pornographic movies together to "spice up" our love life when we had been married a few years. Partly because I felt things were off there and I wanted to connect with him through sex and thought that this would help. It didn't, and I quickly realized that I felt degraded and used because of it. The biggest reason I felt like it was my fault though was because of not feeling like I was enough. I "if only'd" myself constantly. "If only I was skinnier." "If only I kept the house cleaner." "If only I initiated sex more." "If only I made more money." The list could go on and on, needless to say I felt worthless. I honestly thought that if I changed my behaviors and made his life easier he wouldn't turn to porn and masturbation instead of me. I was wrong here too.

As the years went on B. got stealthier about hiding his acting out. I would start to feel in my gut that he was acting out again. I would confront him and he would lie to my face and hide any acting out he was doing. I would then think "Gosh, that feeling must be wrong." So then I would play detective and most of the time I could find no proof of anything which only reinforced the feeling of not being able to "trust my gut" (which I now know to have been Heavenly Father prompting me through the Holy Ghost). I stopped asking after a while and most of the time stopped looking for proof because I just couldn't find it, so I figured I would live with how I felt. Instead of living with it though, I numbed it through food, reading and tv watching. I didn't want to think or feel, so I did whatever I could to avoid it.

There was even a period of a few years where I figured "Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." I watched porn with him, I participated in sexual acts I wasn't comfortable with, I read pornographic books, and I even went to a strip show with him. None of these things are things I am proud of, and are things that I will NEVER repeat again. At the point I was at in my marriage though, it was the only way I knew to have any sort of connection with my husband.

Probably the hardest thing about this addiction (which we didn't realize was an addiction until the last few years) was that I lived in shame and isolation. I was so ashamed of not being enough, and so worried about people judging B. and I that I didn't tell anyone. B. forbade me from telling anyone but I didn't want to anyway. Because of this huge part of my life that was so full of shame and fear, I lived alone with the pain. I did my best to numb it and forget about it, but it was this huge hole in the middle of me that I was always trying to cover up. It was a lot of work to keep it hidden so I isolated myself emotionally and never let people get too close. I was so alone and so afraid.

I clearly remember the promptings I had to tell someone, it took two weekends and a prompting that was almost physically audible for me to have enough courage to share with one person. She is my friend and also my sister-in-law. It was a Sunday afternoon and I finally told her. I said, "I don't know why I was supposed to tell you but I know that I needed to." Her reply was, "So you don't have to be alone anymore." I thought that was true...for three whole days. She called me in tears that Wednesday after finding porn sites in her browser history. She wanted me to tell her it could be something else, that her husband hadn't looked at porn, but I couldn't I just knew. I will never forget how it felt to know that someone else understood how I was feeling. I was so sad and yet so relieved and validated. I thought, "Now I'm not alone." It was a powerful feeling...but it still took me 2 more years to tell anyone else.

When I started on my journey to recovery almost 2 years ago now, I had no idea what hard work it was going to be, I also didn't know that recovery was necessary for me too. I went into it thinking, "If he would just stop, then we would be better." I had no idea how far from the truth that was. It wasn't until I heard about Betrayal Trauma that things started to really click for me. Betrayal Trauma is a specific form of PTSD that comes from being with a sex addict (in all reality porn addiction is just a form of sex addiction...same disease different drug). At first I thought, "There is no freaking way I have PTSD. That is just not me." I was wrong yet again. I have some pretty significant trauma from years and years of being betrayed and lied to. I have worked really hard to find peace amidst the trauma and I have found a significant amount of peace. I still have a lot of work to do and I now know that recovery is a life-long journey and not a sprint to the finish line. I will be working my recovery for the rest of my life...I know as the years pass recovery activities will become more automatic (several of them already are) and that triggers will become fewer and farther apart. I will never be done healing though.

One of the biggest blessings I have gained through recovery is the ability to share my story when I have felt prompted. I am no longer in hiding. I don't share with everyone, only those that have earned the right to hear it and who Heavenly Father has prompted me to share with. Because of my ability to now own and share my story, I have found some of the most amazing women I have ever met in my life. The recovery community is strong and growing. There is room here for anyone that needs it. I have friends now that completely understand and support me and whom I never would've met otherwise. I have found love, support and acceptance. It has been HUGE for me. I have also been able to share with others in my life and have found so much love and support that I never expected. Heavenly Father has truly blessed me with amazing friends.

It has been almost two years ago now since I started my journey to recovery and I still have a long ways to go. You know what though? I am stronger than I remember being. You want to hear the most remarkable part for me though? I have more faith that I have EVER had in my life. This battle has helped me to learn to rely on my Heavenly Father and the atoning sacrifice of my brother Jesus Christ. They have been there for me every step of the way through this journey, even when I haven't been aware of them...I have never been alone. They have sent people into my life that I would never have met if it weren't for my recovery activities. They have answered prayers almost before I could say them. They have pointed me in directions I would not have chosen on my own. More than anything I have an inner peace that I have never known before. I know who I am...I am T and I am strong. I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves me and KNOWS me. He knows the feelings I am feeling and the battle I am facing and he understands. He knows just what I need when I need it and I have learned to recognize those gifts in my life.

My story does not end here, but rather it is just beginning.



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tender Mercies

The Lord is aware of us friends. He has us in his sights. He loves us. I used to doubt that, in fact it was something I didn't believe at all. Right now, right here, I cannot deny my testimony of the fact that I personally am loved by my Heavenly Father. His hand is too apparent in my life for me to deny it.

The last few months have been so very hard for multiple reasons. Through them all though, Heavenly Father has walked with me. He has carried me. He has sent people and blessings into my life right when they were needed. He has cared for me and for those around me far more than we could ever deserve. That's the beauty of His love, we never have to 'deserve' it, He gives it to all of us freely.

Things between B. and I are not good right now. I feel hopeless that things will ever be better between us. I haven't however given up hope. I know that seems like an oxymoron, but it's not. I feel hopeless, but I have not let that feeling rob me of my hope. I do hope that we can salvage our marriage and make it strong and healthy. I have also however, accepted the fact that this is where we are right now. Satan really does not want us to heal our marriage and is trying extra hard to prevent it. Despite all of that I can feel Heavenly Father's love for me. His hand guiding me is ever present. His answers for me are clear.

Reach out to Heavenly Father. Talk to Him. Rage at Him. Yell and scream at Him. Praise Him. Thank Him. Ask Him for hope. Whatever you do just know, you are loved by Him. You are precious in His sight. No matter what you have done or said, no matter who you have hurt or neglected, no matter the burden of shame you carry, NOTHING can undo His love for you. Jesus Christ has already carried those burdens for you. Lay them at His feet, you do not need to carry them anymore.

Feeling known,


Wednesday, February 3, 2016


This entry might be brief because I am fighting a migraine tonight. I am feeling a bit like I am staying afloat lately, and that's about it. I don't feel stuck necessarily, but more like I'm treading water to stay up. There have been so many tender mercies from my Heavenly Father. I know he sees me. He knows me. He is aware of my struggles. He loves me.

Even with all the evidence I see of Heavenly Father around me, I am struggling with nurturing my faith and turning my will over to Him. It's not that I am unwilling, it's just that I am so weary that it feels like keeping my head above water is about all I can do. I have stronger faith now than I remember having in my life, and I know it will continue to grow as I nurture it. I feel like at this time in my recovery, He is reaching out to me. He knows how weary I am. He knows how much help I need. It is right now that He is carrying me.

I honestly didn't realize I felt that way until just now, as I typed those words out. I don't actually feel I like am just keeping myself afloat, I feel like He is sustaining me and keeping me afloat. He is helping me keep paddling. He is my life preserver that I can rest on for now.

I will have to work to not become complacent, but for now He knows I am doing the absolute best I can. My Heavenly Father loves me and has led me to rest for a season in his arms as he carries my load for me. If I allow Him, he will always carry my load, this will allow me to work on my recovery and grow.

I am truly blessed and humbled. I am loved by my Heavenly Father and He is looking out for me.

Humbly grateful,


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Different Kind of Grief

I have wanted to post here for weeks because there is so much I want to record. I have let life and death get in the way however. Let me briefly explain. My father in law had some abdominal pain on Thanksgiving night. They went to remove his gallbladder in early December and found tumors on his liver that were likely cancerous. We go the news mid-december that it was in fact cancer and that it was Stage IV meaning it had spread to the liver from somewhere else. After his CT scan on December 23rd we were told that it was throughout his liver, had started in his gallbladder and had spread to his abdominal lymph nodes. The prognosis wasn't good. My FIL started on hospice care at home the week after Christmas. He passed away surrounded by his loving wife and some of his family on January 4th. From the discovery of the nodules that were likely cancer to his passing was less than a month. We didn't even have 4 weeks to say goodbye. But we got to spend some quality time with him and the whole family. What a blessing. Right now we are grieving this loss and trying to figure out our new normal. Recovery is still our goal and we are continuing to try and make it our priority, but it's a different balance we are looking for right now. Thank you for any prayers or positive thoughts you can send our way.