Tuesday, September 25, 2012


It can be so frustrating to see things that are so obviously triggers or patterns of habit that can lead to acting out.

For example, my husband loves keeping up with the news.  I don't have a particular problem with that. I check the news online too.  But where it gets frustrating is when repeatedly there is a link on CNN that is clearly going to lead to somewhere not good.  (Since when does anything with the word "topless" need to be headline news?)

When he looks at the news at home, half the time CNN is blocked by the filter.  Which is frustrating, I know.  I get sites blocked all the time when I am trying to do regular things on the computer.  It's definitely annoying.

So he is having a stressful day at work and needs to relax for a minute . . . so he goes to CNN.  And clicks on a link.  To me, I feel like it should be so obvious that he shouldn't ever look at CNN at work.  #1 - there is no filter at work.  The filters are there for his protection, which he asked us to put on our computers at home.  And #2 - it's at work!  So if he's going to get in trouble for looking at inappropriate things on a computer, I'd rather it not result in him losing his job as well.

The co-dependent me wants to show him how destructive it can be to "just check out the news for a minute."  Sadly, we live in a world where that isn't innocent.  The not co-dependent me, well I'm not sure what she would do.  I haven't actually said anything to him about it, but it doesn't mean I haven't played out the conversation in my head about 20 times.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Letting Go

Tonight my husband and I were reading out of the appendix of He Restoreth My Soul and in it there is a man discussing what has worked for him as he has worked on his recovery.

He was talking about letting go of lustful thoughts.  There is a difference between just saying "ok, I let go of that thought" and doing something more with it.  The man suggested visualizing handing over a lustful thought to the Savior and watching Him struggle with it.  My husband and I had a good conversation about that and what it meant for him.

Well immediately after we did our reading for the night, my husband talked to me about a struggle that he had today.  I felt his humility and his honesty while he was telling me, but yet I was still just feeling the usual hurt that comes along with the questions of "why would you do that?!"  I thanked him for telling me then left to go have some time to myself so I could process my thoughts and emotions.

I have had lots of questions before about what it means to let go of something and truly, completely forgive and how do you know when it has happened.

So tonight as I was thinking, I went in my daughter's room to hold her while she was asleep.  There is something just so sweet and peaceful about a sleeping baby.  As I was holding her, I was saying a prayer about how I didn't want my husband to have to carry the guilt and the pain and temptation around with him any more than I wanted to have the hurt and pain.  That was when I made the connection that I could use that visual imagery to hand over my pain to my Savior.

One point the book makes is that Heavenly Father can't force you to let go of anything, and He won't take it from you unless you give it up.  I am now trying to figure out what exactly I need to do to completely let go of whatever I may be holding on to from the past, and then I can do as I did tonight.  I pictured myself walking up to my Savior.  I told him what was going on and how I was feeling, adding that I knew He already knew all of that.  Then I asked Him if He could take it from me, since He has already suffered for it anyway.  It was an incredibly powerful experience and for me it just gave me a little bit more of an insight into the Atonement and forgiveness.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Filling in the holes

I realized something today that I thought was interesting and I wonder if anyone else has had a similar experience.

A few weeks ago I was in Manhattan and saw something that triggered very intense emotions for me. At the time, I wasn't really sure why. I started to cry and my chest tightened and I just wanted to walk away from the reminder as quickly as I could, without letting on to anyone that I was with that anything was wrong.

I've thought about it a few times since, trying to figure out what was going on there. It was something sexual, yes, but nothing that relates to my particular story (at least as far as I know). It made me think of Scabs, as it was more closely related to her experience than my own.

I feel a little silly that it took me so long to figure out why I kept relating to Scabs' story, and why that was affecting me so much, because now it seems obvious.

I don't know much about the woman my husband had an affair with. I asked a few questions, needed to know about their "courtship" and put together some pieces that hadn't added up at the time. But I got to a point where I felt I knew enough and just wanted to let it go without adding more and more details that would just be that much harder to forget. Their affair was in a different state. Aside from thinking about that state, I don't think about places they have been together or see reminders of her, because I just don't know it.

I was essentially taking a piece of Scabs' story and making that be a thing that triggered my feelings of hurt and betrayal regarding my husband's affair.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this before? Taking someone else's experience and filling in the gaps in your own with their details?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


There have been so many times I have thought of something I wanted to write on here, blog posts I started in my mind or even an actual post online. However, we are in the middle of an international move and quite frankly, I haven't been able to dedicate as much time as I'd like to recovery activities.

Last night, after 2 very busy days of moving out of our apartment, we crashed into bed at our hotel at 10, which is about 3 hours earlier than we've gone to bed in a week. I was exhausted.

I woke up sometime in the middle of the night after a horrible dream. In it, I had just discovered my husband acting out. When I was shocked that he didn't seem too broken up about breaking his streak of sobriety, he just laughed and said I was foolish for believing he hadn't all this time.

I'm not one who feels like I get inspiration from dreams necessarily. But it was just a vivid enough dream that I can't shake it from my mind. It just reminded me that I have reason to doubt him. I am trying to rebuild trust but in the back of my mind I am often worried that I am going to discover that my trust has been broken again.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Today I am really having a hard time figuring out forgiveness.  I have been thinking about it for several months now.  I wish I could say that I was one of those people who are able to just forgive without even giving it a second thought.

In the beginning, I kind of felt like because I was willing to work things out with my husband, that was a sign of my forgiving him.  But then as the days and weeks and months went on, and I continued to feel so much hurt and pain and even anger that I started really thinking about it and wondering.

What is forgiveness?  Am I ready to forgive my husband?  Have I forgiven him already?  If I did - when was it?  Was it when I stopped feeling anger and resentment, and just started feeling hurt and sadness?  (I don't think those things will ever go away completely, I think they are there for me and him as a reminder of what happened and hopefully they will help safeguard us in the future. - So I am not waiting until I no longer feel hurt before I feel like I've forgiven). If I haven't, how do I?  Is it just something you decide to do?  How do you reconcile feelings with the desire to forgive?  I know that I want to, I know that I need to, and in a way I feel like I have.

I took a class about Forgiveness from Danny and Mara and they had some great points that helped me consider forgiveness in a new light and think about what forgiveness is all about.  (It was a great class and I highly recommend it!)  I thought I was doing pretty good because I was still feeling good about the progress my husband and I were making.  I still was happy with him, I still wanted to be married to him, I was working on my own recovery . . .  I understand now though that forgiveness is not tied to our reconciliation.  Even if we chose to divorce, I could still forgive him.

Then last night, he was talking with the Bishop and they discussed the possibility of him being reinstated in the Church sooner than had previously been talked about.  When he told me about that, I suddenly had a sinking feeling in my stomach.  That would mean that he would be able to attend a family wedding that we weren't counting on him being at.  We already have an "excuse" of why he won't be able to make it which we have told family members that don't know what is going on with him.  So he asked me how I would feel about that.  I told him I honestly didn't know.  I just kept trying to picture me sitting by him in the Temple and I feel so uncertain about that.  I think that was when I realized that I haven't completely forgiven him yet.  The thought of sitting by him in the Temple should make me overjoyed, right?

Then he went on to tell me that he doesn't feel like I've forgiven him.  He said it doesn't matter to him, but that he wants me to be able to feel that peace for myself and that he prays for that, for me.  I don't consider myself to be this bitter, damaged person, but when I look at it that way and think about if I have peace, no, I don't.  Not consistently anyway.  It comes in moments, but then I start feeling so hurt and it makes any hope or peace or faith that I have been feeling seem so diminished.  (Faith and fear can't co-exist, right?  I felt like I was on the right track because I wasn't feeling angry, but I think whatever it is I'm feeling probably can't co-exist with forgiveness.)

I feel horrible about this.  I want to be free from the debilitating hurt and feel the peace of the Savior.  I want my husband to know that not only do I love him and want to stay married to him, but also that I completely forgive him.  I had a wonderful experience in the Temple and I have developed a more sure understanding of the Atonement.  I know I have many weaknesses and I want to be forgiven.

So does anyone have any tips about forgiveness?  What are things you did to help you get to the point you could forgive?  How did you know that you had forgiven someone?  I am really afraid of saying "I forgive you" then continuing to feel all that hurt and then worrying if I haven't really forgiven.  I want to feel it in my whole heart without doubt and because I don't yet, that's how I know I'm missing something.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Faith vs Fear

A woman speaking in church today said "God is so good, I could never be unhappy with anything He chooses to give me."

While I personally can't say that I am never unhappy with anything God chooses to give me, it was something interesting to think about.

God wants us to be happy, He only wants the best for us. He knows that by sending us the trials He chooses to send us that it is the best thing for us at that time in our lives. That doesn't suddenly make things easier, but to me it does bring hope.

Tonight as we did family scriptures before putting our daughter to bed, we were reading in Helaman chapter 5. It is where Nephi and Lehi are in prison and are overshadowed by a dark cloud (verse 28). Then a voice speaks to them in verses 29-30. Verse 34 talks about the people being immovable because of the fear that came upon them. Then Verse 41 really stuck out to us. It talks about how they needed to "repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ."

It was a nice comparison for me from verse 34 to verse 41 to show that faith and fear cannot coexist. They were afraid and unable to move, then they were told to pray until they had faith.

I can take the small glimmers of hope that I get every once in a while and use them to help me pray until I have faith, driving the fear away. I would love to be able to say that I am not afraid of anything God chooses to give me, because I know He will also help me get through it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Not sure how to feel

It has been 8 months since I found out about my husband's affair and pornography addiction. So many changes have happened in those 8 months. As a couple. As a family. As a mother. As a wife. As a daughter of God. I have learned new things about myself in all these roles. And yet with all the learning there is still so much uncertainty. I am unsure of "us", unsure of myself, unsure of my mothering abilities, unsure of logistical details with our family right now. Just so unsure. 

I had so much confidence until quite recently. I thought we were doing well. I was doing everything I thought I should for my own recovery. It has now become clear to me that I may have just been burying my resentment and hurt, rather than letting go of it.

I talked to husband about my feelings and it did not go as well as I was hoping. I asked him to spend more time talking with me about the affair and how we can recover from that as a couple. He agreed. We started reading a book together, alternating every other night with the book we'd already started on pornography addiction. It is hard to read. Even harder to read with him. Tonight he commented that the book seems like it's full of despair. And while I agree that the book seems to not focus on as much of what to do next, we are still in the very beginning. It is still discussing all the possible ramifications of affairs. It seems logical to me that it would feel full of despair. I've felt those feelings in real life, not just reading about them on a page. I still struggle with them often. I still doubt him. I still doubt myself. And I thought having something on a page, written by someone else, would make it easier for me to tell him "yes, I agree with that. I have felt (or still do feel) that way." But it isn't how I feel. I blame it partly on the weekend we had. Full of tears and anger and sadness and hurt and lack of sleep. But also because it's such a fine line to walk between wanting him to understand how his actions have made me feel, and trying to be careful so he doesn't throw his hands in the air again and say "it's just too hard. I don't think we can do it. I don't think our marriage can be saved."