Friday, May 24, 2013

How did you...?

I'm putting this out here just as it is because it's perfect.  Have we not all asked these questions?  Searched for the answers?  Found some and not others?  Been tumbled up and down and caught in the whirling spin cycle of the "nightmare proportion of a washing machine"?

A reader writes:

Hi Scabs, 
I am in a nightmare proportion of a washing machine, with hot water one minute and cold water the next. I'm up then down, left then right, sad then angry. I know this is 'normal' for the place I'm in, but jeeze man, I'm loosing it. 
I'd love to ask you and anyone else who reads this some questions...
-What was your marriage relationship like before your whole world blew apart?
-Do you believe you are/have been codependent?
-Why, exactly, did you choose to stay in the marriage and to forgive?
-How did you manage to forgive?
-How did you overcome the repulsion you felt for your husband?
-How do you live with the problem of lost trust? 
-How do you cope with the risk of not knowing if and when he will relapse?

As for me,  I'm mulling over these questions as I clean my embarrassingly messy house and prepare for my daughters 11-year old birthday party camp-out.  This holiday weekend I hope to get to all the unanswered emails that have been sitting in my inbox and usher in summer by laying in a hammock, drinking lemonade and grilling a hot-dog or two.

Hope you weekend gives you the clarity and peace you're looking for.


  1. That's a lot of questions. ;)
    But, I've asked them all.

    -Before my marriage blew apart, I was blissfully clueless. I realized we had 'issues' to work on, but my husband was masterfully deceitful so it wasn't until the, um, crap hit the fan that I could attribute those 'issues' to his sex addiction.

    -I don't believe I am co-dependent (I relate better to the trauma model) but I do believe co-dependency exists and every one has to figure out for themselves the best model they fit and the best way they need to heal.

    -I choose to stay, because I love him. And I forgive, because I love myself.

    -I haven't fully forgiven him yet, and I'm okay with that. It's a process.

    -Somebody said to me once, "try and separate the man from the addiction." It's hard to do, because the man that has the addiction is the same man that can confess his undying love for me and also confess to such vile things... But, when I realize that HE hates the addiction as much as I do and he fights it every day, it is easier for me to see that he is not his addiction.

    -I think the last two for me come down to surrendering. I had major issues with the loss of trust (I even emailed Scabs about it ;) but I finally realized that I didn't loose the trust so I can't rebuild the trust. I relinquish that responsibility to him. I can watch for trustworthy actions and behaviors but I surrender the worry.

    And the worry of relapse is the same. I fully understand that it COULD happen, but I know more now. I have support and boundaries with consequences. It could happen and it will SUCK, but I will be supported and loved and I will LIVE. I will be happy. I may not know hours later, maybe even not for days, or weeks or YEARS, but I will know when God is ready for me to know and I trust that. (we always find out eventually). So for today I can surrender the fear to my higher power. I can watch for trustworthy behaviors and the change of heart that accompanies true recovery, but I don't worry about it. I leave that up to my addicted husband, it is his burden, and I find strength and support in my network, my support, my knowledge and my higher power.

    I know this may come off sounding like it all so easy, but be assured, it is not, but it is what I am working on and the better I get at it, the happier I am because it works for me. But, it takes time and effort, a lot of daily jogs, a lot of phone calls, a lot of prayers, and lots of ice cream.

    Good luck! And I'll be praying for you!

    1. 1. Our relationship was good (I thought), but I knew I was dealing with a husband deep in depression. We didn't fight much, but I knew he was not in a very good place a lot of the time. I learned over the years to detach when he was in a 'depressed' mood. I was ignorant to the fact that for 12+ years he had an addiction. I had checked computer histories over the years and never found anything. I was ignorant. There were other signs, and so i did suspect that there could be a pornography problem, but he denied if I ever asked, and again, I had never come across any, until my discovery, followed by disclosure of things I would have never thought possible. (My husband's addiction parallels Scab's husband's addiction, if that helps). But I felt pretty happy in the relationship, despite the fact that we were dealing with some issues. I felt happy but also felt frustrated at times with his inability to connect emotionally with me and that he could become angry and irritable at times.

      2. I don't feel I was or am co-dependent, but I'm willing to look at that closer and if I do have some of that in me, I will work on that.

      3. After stressing about whether I needed to stay or leave, my mom told me that it is okay to not decide right this second. I can take my time to decide. That was very helpful to me. My decision has been to stay for now. (Discovery was less than a year ago). I am observing behavior and gathering information and thinking a lot and getting therapy and working on recovery. I believe a marriage is worth fighting for. I also admit that a part of me is afraid to leave. But I'm becoming more comfortable with the idea that if that is right for me, then I will be able to do that if that is what I'm prompted to do.

      4. Forgiveness is coming. I am forgiving because I know that is what is best for me to do and honestly best for my health and happiness. Letting go of the anger and hurt was so empowering for me that I continue to try and do that as the strong emotions continue to come.

    2. 5. The repulsion -- I try not to go over the details of what I know in my mind. I think it's wise to not ask for too many details too. The more details you get, the more vivid of a picture you can put into your mind. I think getting as much education as you can about addiction helps because you begin to understand the nature of addiction.

      6. This is a tough one for me. I don't trust him at all. And as soon as I begin feeling confident that I can trust him, I get triggered and don't believe a word he is saying. Yesterday, I was asking for receipts because I didn't believe he went to a store when he said he was. My 12-step sponsor reminds me that when you are triggered, you need to take time for yourself, and work your program. I can journal, reach out to a friend, exercise, pray, do my step work. I feel like these are healthy coping mechanisms and they also help me in bettering myself. It is often through this process that I learn to "let go" of the distrust and hurt and turn my trust to the Lord. So, no I don't trust him, but I DO trust that the Lord will watch out for me and guide me through each day.

      7. I have heard/read that relapse is part of recovery. Yuck! I was so mad when I heard that the first time. So I should expect it will happen at some point?? But it comes back to letting go and learning that I DO NOT have control of him. I just don't. This whole process has helped me recognize that the only thing I can control are my choices. I don't want to get so enmeshed with how he does his recovery that I don't let him discover and make his own mistakes through this process for him. That is so much easier said than done, but that is the thought that keeps coming back to me. "Let him figure it out." In my opinion, he could be doing a few things different in his 12-step program. I'm afraid that if he doesn't do it how I think he should do it, then he will relapse. That is so hard to let go of, but I do think it is a key in this process, again believing that God will take care of you.

      Thanks for the questions! I completely relate to the ups and downs of dealing with all of this. I have loved doing the Addo Recovery because I feel like I'm getting more education on how to take care of myself. In an addiction course that I took a few months ago, the speaker was a doctor who worked 30 plus years with addicts, and he said the number one thing you (a loved one of an addict) can do to help change the addiction cycle in your family, is to slow down and start taking care of YOU! When you do this, it starts to change the old patterns and family dynamic just enough to start influencing the addict. Best of luck to you and everyone dealing with this! You all have angels by your sides!

    3. re: relapses are part of recovery, Rhyll Croshaw writes this about that topic:

      "Relapse is a part of the addiction cycle, not a part of recovery. A relapse occurs when a person is in the addict cycle (preoccupation, ritualization, acting-out, shame and despair). We could replace the word “acting out” with relapsing. The person may have long stretches of white knuckle sobriety, but every relapse does not indicate recovery starting again. . . it indicates a pattern in a cycle."

      I think different people talk about recovery in slightly different ways. Someone can be working recovery, or taking steps toward recovery, but Rhyll defines recovery as actually staying in a healthy place one day at a time, with both sobriety AND recovery behaviors, which include humility, accountability, empathy/compassion, etc.

    4. p.s. She also talks about the difference between lapses and slips and relapses.

    5. ooh, I'd forgotten that part in her book. that's good and makes a lot of sense now with what I've learned since I read her book. thanks!

    6. Yes, I now remember that from Rhyll's book. I mentioned earlier that relapse is part of recovery. I had heard that somewhere, but maybe that is inaccurate. If an addict chooses recovery every day, then he will stay in recovery...and not relapse...? I guess I feel like there will likely be relapses in my particular situation. Does anyone know of someone who went into recovery and from day 1 never relapsed? (sorry for being cynical, but I actually really am curious if this has ever happened)

    7. Rhyll's husband didn't relapse once HE entered into recovery. I asked her. That's a little bit of hope, but not normal. It seems too often that the wives hit their rock bottom before the husbands....

  2. ^^ you are inspiring! I am also wondering these same questions and will enjoy reading the responses and reflecting on them. I have just started reading your blog Scabs and thank you so much for writing!

  3. I THOUGHT my relationship was really good before Discovery Day. Now, two years out, when I look back on the relationship, I can see all of the red flags. I thought that distant and polite were signs of a good relationship. I thought that Husband had become increasingly distracted and irresponsible, but I just picked up the slack and hoped that he would change. He was always kind and thoughtful, and so I felt guilty for thinking anything bad about him. Part of my journey in therapy has been learning what the signs were and understanding how clueless I was about the reality of my marriage.

    I think that there is a part of me that is codependent. I now realize how much I enabled his addiction by taking over all responsibilities of our family. By the time I found out about his addiction, he didn't really have any responsibility. I made the money, paid the bills, took care of child, etc. I was also good at using the right words to shame him, which unfortunately also fed the addiction. The best thing I ever did to fight these codependent behaviors was tell Husband to move out. My recovery has improved exponentially having addiction out of my life, and Husband has had to take responsibility for his own life.

    I don't know yet if I will choose to stay in the marriage, and I haven't forgiven yet. I think that's a process that will take some time for me, even though I've seen at least 6 months of total recovery behavior on Husband's part. There were 8 years of non-recovery before that, so I'm not sure if I'll stay ultimately or when I'll be able to forgive.

    I didn't necessarily feel repulsion for the behaviors because I understood how addiction makes people do crazy things (Husband's addiction progressed to multiple infidelities, and addiction runs in my family). I was repulsed by the way he played me for a fool. I'm repulsed by the idea that he thought he could continue this game of secrecy and not expect me to find out.

    I don't trust Husband. I don't think I ever will fully, but I've made modifications to my life so that my happiness or well-being is NOT dependent on him being truthful. That has eased my worry.

    I have boundaries in place to deal with if/when he relapses, many of which include an end to the marriage. But I had to become comfortable with the idea of divorce before putting boundaries into place. I now know that I will be OK, even if Husband ultimately chooses addiction.

    Good questions!

  4. -What was your marriage relationship like before your whole world blew apart? My husband and I had been best friends since high school. I'd known he'd had a problem with pornography, but never thought of it as an addiction. We talked regularly and had open conversations so I believed that things were well. However, other things in our life were struggling... finances especially. He would forget to pay bills. Having your power shut off in the middle of a Vegas summer with little ones at home is no pleasant experience. We weren't ones to really 'fight' but if there was anything we fought over it was money- or his lack of responsibility. We went on regular date nights although looking back I can see how they seemed to have become less important to him. Just before it all blew apart I actually felt like our sex life had been at its best in years. We had 5 pregnancies in 5 years and that had taken a toll on bedroom fun but I felt like we were back in a Honeymoon area or something. Yet, even in the moment, I knew that if I was really being honest with myself I knew something felt 'off'. I couldn't have pinpointed it then because I was so desperate to get back into the groove and anxious to meet the world's standards and recommendations of a healthy sex life that seemed to be essential for a healthy marriage. So I was thrilled we seemed to finally be there even as I saw us spiraling into an abyss of inappropriateness or pushing the boundaries.

    1. -Do you believe you are/have been codependent? I never believed I was codependent until I attended PASG meetings. I only began attending those to support a friend who had been through a trauma survivor 12 step program with me as well. I was the trauma survivor. I was not a codependent. However, I started feeling a lot of validation in my feelings and recognizing a lot of thought patterns that I'd had myself. Working the PASG 12 steps and treating myself as a codependent opened my eyes and brought tremendous healing- so I guess I was. It was only after I worked those steps and found that healing that I began to see my own personal addictive behaviors and gain the courage to face those. That is where I am now and having gone through those previous programs I recognize my husband's codependency as I deal with my addiction recovery. I believe all addicts are in codependent relationships but I do not believe they need stay that way.

    2. -Why, exactly, did you choose to stay in the marriage and to forgive? I did not decide at any one given time. It was a process and it changed from day to day. I recall in the early years of our marriage when I first learned he had a problem with pornography. I was very angry even though I knew he felt very bad. I wanted to continue making him feel bad because I felt he deserved it. I received a distinct impression from the Lord that it was not my place to decide that and that I needed to let go of that and give it to Him. Years later, when it all hit the fan, I did remember that. However, I had also grown up a bit and knew that this was more than just a problem. I did not want to be married to an addict. My dad had had a problem with pornography and my husband had known that and known that I never wanted my mother's struggle to be my own. I took things one week, one day, at a time. I prayed and went frequently to the temple just for rest because I recognized that I was in no emotional or mental state to be making decisions of any sort. So I let my Heavenly Father tell me what to do and I went with it. Some days I felt like I really loved my husband and wanted the best for him and could feel it in me. Some days I felt like I loved him but only because he had been my friend for so long and that maybe we shouldn't be together because if we were good for each other then we wouldn't be in this mess. Some days I couldn't stand him to be in my presence. I came to understand that Satan was waging a VERY REAL war against MY family. This was personal. I HAD to pray and attend the temple frequently because he was so actively putting thoughts in my head and he was very good at confusing me about how I felt and what I should do. The temple was the only place I could be certain that those thoughts and feelings were coming from God. I will tell you that about a year after D-Day I had been really struggling with the hot and cold of it all. There was an unresolved issue that I could not let go of- at his work (and he works for family but there are some non family members who work for them) there was a desk in a warehouse covered in highly inappropriate images. It's a long story but I was not okay with that being there, even if it wasn't his, and was unsatisfied with his responses of having tried to get rid of it. I took matters into my hands and wrote a letter to my in-laws about this desk and my boundaries and that I did not want their husband to have to choose between his job or his family if it didn't go but that I was prepared to do that. I just could no longer feel powerless. He was furious with me. It was about this time that I went to the temple and received the distinct impression that I had 'done enough' and that the choice was now mine to make and that if I needed to leave, my Heavenly Father would support me. Having that be an actual reality terrified me suddenly. I had to truly figure out how I felt. I had been preoccupied with feeling like he'd gotten nowhere in his recovery and how I had but couldn't just sit around waiting for him forever. Even though things were 'good'. It was not two days later that we were sitting in our therapist's office and just having conversation that I suddenly had my eyes opened. I HEARD the change in his thinking patterns. I SAW his humility. I realized I had been so occupied by this 'situation' that I had not seen the small changes that had been taking place in him and building up to be more important. THAT was the moment that I decided to stay. I still wasn't sure that I was in love with him anymore, but I knew I could stay and see, at least for now. About a month later I was headed for a PASG retreat at Kolob and as I drove, alone, through the beautiful scenery I was overcome by my desire to share that beautiful experience with my husband. I wanted him there to experience it with me. THAT was when I realized I did still love him, that I was still IN LOVE with him.

    3. -How did you manage to forgive? Forgiveness is an ongoing process requiring a lot of regular prayer. I would say that there is not a way to forgive but that there is a process to it. My bishop helped me with it a lot. As I laid my pains out before him and he validated me and supported me, I was able to let go of them a little bit. That allowed me to more easily turn over what wasn't mine to hold to my Savior and to let Him take it on Him. My bishop once told me that I was an elect lady for having been given the opportunity to come to know my Savior in such a real way as to carry the cross of another's sins- to carry the burdens placed by the choices of someone else. That was a very real image for me. As I imaged my Savior carrying that cross for my husband's sins AND my pain, I couldn't keep it for myself anymore.

    4. -How did you overcome the repulsion you felt for your husband? Educate! There is some really great information about the way addiction works, especially sexual addiction. The more you come to understand that, the easier it becomes to separate the two (Read "Confronting Pornography" and "He Restoreth My Soul"). Oddly enough, watching my husband 'detox' helped. On the one hand I felt repulsed that he had been so addicted that he had actual withdrawal symptoms- night sweats, lack of sleep, jitters, uncontrollable moods etc. On the other hand, I saw how this was such a physiological thing and that allowed me to realize the separation of the two. I remember asking him how he could become so addicted when the topic of pornography was such an open subject in our marriage. He said that when I had asked once how he was doing (our 'code') he had responded with a lie before even thinking about it. He said that he became afraid to then disclose that lie and it was from there that it all snowballed and he found himself increasingly acting and responding without thinking first- as an addict does.

  5. -How do you live with the problem of lost trust? This is the hardest thing. You learn to trust God. It will be a small step at a time, line upon line and precept on precept. You develop your relationship with God so that you can trust Him to guide you as to whether you can trust your husband with this thing or that thing. That is the only way.

    -How do you cope with the risk of not knowing if and when he will relapse? This is SUCH a codependent question. I do not mean to sound harsh but you have to understand that if you think along those lines, you are codependent. It needn't be like calling a person a bad name. Slips will happen. Relapses don't need to. Relapse is when the person continues into addictive thought patterns and behavior with lying and repeated addictive behavior. Expect now that a slip will happen. Have a plan for when it does. Prayerfully set boundaries for a slip and for a relapse and be prepared to act upon them. Then trust that the Lord will see you through whatever may come. His recovery may enhance your happiness, however your happiness cannot be dependent on his recovery. Learn to recognize the voice of the Spirit versus the whisperings of Satan. Learn to see how small actions and changes in behavior may reflect a changing heart. As you improve upon those you will have a better sense of where his heart and mind really are. Only the Lord knows the inner workings of His heart but He will help you to see what it is you need to. I LOVE the explanation of Slips and Relapses found in the "Healing through Christ" manual. Read that. I would copy and paste it here but I've already written a novel.

  6. I am the queen, seriously! of the cheated on wife. This is how I cope with the whole situation; I constantly remind myself that I chose to stay and therefore it is my responsibility to work to improve our relationship to a better place than it has ever been. I stayed first because of the children, even though they are adults, since I know firsthand what devastation a divorce can do to a family even when the kids are grown. The finances were a factor, also, but ultimately I had to have it set in my mind and heart that I was staying because I love my husband. Keeping the past and present separate is a necessary battle I face constantly. Sometimes I like to pain shop and wallow in self pity when I'm alone. Most of the time, I feel grateful that I can live this experience and still feel happy. Trust is gone, sad to say, but it is. My husband still has a problem with not telling the truth. He told a "fib" as he called it, the other day, about something that was so obvious to prove that it was funny. I have to gently tell him that trust is an issue, yada yada yada. I have never verbally attacked or criticized my husband, just told him how much the actions hurt. I gave him love when he knew he didn't deserve it. I enjoyed the hysterical bonding! We've both learned to appreciate eachother in ways we never did. Life isn't perfect but it's better than being old and bitter!

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  8. What was your marriage relationship like before your whole world blew apart? Amazing, but full of half truths about who I am (someone perfect to catch the perfect guy) and who he was (someone perfect to catch the perfect girl.

    -Do you believe you are/have been codependent?: It really depends on how you define codependency. If you think about it as a behavior or behaviors that put someone else above God, then yes and always was before working on my trauma. If you think about it as me wanting to or some how enabling and controlling and causing my husband's addiction- that doesn't sound logical does it? If I did any of that second definition it was a part of my trauma.

    -Why, exactly, did you choose to stay in the marriage and to forgive? Forgiveness is necessary if I stay because I'll drive myself crazy holding on if I don't. I stayed because I wanted to. I love him, and I wanted to see if it would work out- turns out it did.

    -How did you manage to forgive? Lots of honesty about my pissed=off-ness, anger, and hurt. Walk through the swamp and you'll get to the other side.

    -How did you overcome the repulsion you felt for your husband? One day at a time- one trust drop at a time. After basically demanding it and setting hard and fast boundaries in love, he had a wakeup call. Since then he has fought for me and me for him. That brings us closer together.

    -How do you live with the problem of lost trust? Accept it and wait and see if he rebuilds it. If he doesn't I'm honest about it and do what I need for my health and healing.

    -How do you cope with the risk of not knowing if and when he will relapse? Boundaries. Set them in love, for your safety. Hold to them. Then you have real power. - and prove to yourself that you're worth respect, honesty, and accountability.

  9. Rhyll's husband did relapse, three times for 7 years each. But none of those times did he have access to or was he ready for true recovery. Once someone is in true recovery they don't relapse (or go back into the addiction). If a husband is in the addiction without any humility, accountability, or willingness- then he isn't in recovery.

    The third time was his rock bottom, and her's too. The moment they entered true recovery and thus he had no full relapses after that. To me it actually seems like husbands and wives often rock bottom at the same time, because often her "the buck stops here" moment, it when he gets a wake up call. Just because we are in trauma doesn't mean we've hit our rock bottom. Rock bottom is the moment we say "I can't do this any more the way life is right now and so I have to set boundaries to make changes." I didn't set boundaries to change my husband, I set them for my safety, but it just happened to be a wakeup call for him too.

  10. How was you marriage? I thought it was good. I knew it wasn't perfect- we had ups and downs, but overall I thought we had a solid marriage. I didn't realize that a portion of it was based on lies and half truths until about 10 months ago.

    Do you believe you are co-dependent? Yes and no- I believe I did things that kept us in a negative cycle. I should have responded differently the second time I discovered pornography on our home computer. I threatened to leave and didn't follow through- there have been many days that I think I should have demanded he leave or left him until he could prove he had been to counseling and made significant changes.

    Why did I choose to stay? Once I knew everything- that some of the reason he had issues with pornography were linked to being abused as a child- I knew he needed help. He need counseling and had never received it. His parents knew of the abuse but thought it they ignored it that he would forget that it happened and move on with his life. We still have hard days- there were still many lies and harmful actions that should have never taken place. But I understand better now. He has been to counseling and so have I. He is proving everyday that he wants to be the husband and father that our family deserves. I still love him and believe that this part of our lives is behind us.

    How did you forgive? I still have hard days. I still get upset and distant from time to time. I have started doing more for himself and the kids and have shown him on several occasions that we will move on without him if he lies or deceives us again. Forgiveness is a work in progress and I continue to remind him that it is his job to prove to me that he is still OK and in a good place. I am lucky that he continues to try and reassures me as often as I need it.

    How do you overcome the repulsion? I still have issues with this as well sometimes. I have flashes of imagines that I have seen on our computer and I have a hard time getting them out of my head. Typically I try to let him know that I am having a trigger and I withdraw until I can work through it. Usually I have to force the images out of my head by thinking of or doing something else. This is a hard one- I still struggle with it almost once a week at least.

    Living with lost trust? I continue to put the burden of rebuilding the trust in our relationship on his shoulders. I have reminded him that he damaged us with lies and deception- it is mostly his job to help us to recover as a family. This had included his commitment to continue counseling. I also created and had him sign a pornography contract that outlined my expectations and the consequences of future deception. He signed it and understands that I will enforce it if I need to. He really is working to help us recover as a family- he is trying everyday to prove how much we mean to him.

    Relapse- Our counselors explained early on that relapse was expected. That was when I created the pornography contract and outlined my expectations surrounding disclosure of any relapses or deception. So far, he has not relapsed that I have found. The only access to computers that he has now is through work and he knows that his company closely monitors all systems. He has seen people get caught and terminated for it- so he is afraid to use a company system for porn. So far, this is working for us. All PC's and electronics with internet access are password protected in our home and he does not have access to the password. I know it seems controlling but until I can trust what he does and says when I am not home, this is what I feel is necessary.

    Good luck to you. I wish you well and hope that you and your spouse will be on the road to recovery soon. I will say- it took us 10 years to finally get to a place where my spouse could be fully honest with me and was ready to get help. I don't know how I managed to stay but I am glad that I did.

  11. I just have to say this - if my husband was "only" looking at porn and masturbating, I would be so happy....going beyond that sends you into a whole different universe

  12. Please know i type this with a humble heart. I am the recovering addict. My wife showed me "eat my scabs" when i was compelled to come clean over a year ago. I cleaned up my life multiple times with my preistood leaders and am so grateful for the Atonement. I am praying and waiting for the day i will become a member of the gospel again.

    I know that i will never comprehend, understand or feel the pain of my wife that i caused. I do know that she is an AMAZING woman!! She is by my side daily! yes, we have our rough days and good days, like so many of us fighting in the war of sex, lust and fantasy addiction. I truly know that if it were not for my Savior and my loving wife I would not be where i am at today.

    I am learning daily as i did last night to lose my pride and be humble. It is hard work that i was not ready or willing to put in years ago. That realization has been so hard to accept that it takes EXTREME hard work to stay sober and be honest in everything in my life. I cant imagine going through all this alone. My wife has truly been AMAZING!

    I know every situtation in marriage is different. But, I can testify that when my wife and I are together in this fight we are a powerful team. We have grown closer but we also know the road is long and not over by any means. She refuses to quit on me and refuses to see me fail. She is my strength in so many ways. I am only now beginning to see her true beauty as a wife and wonderful mother. I was to blind in our early years of marriage to see all this (because of my addiction).

    I only know that the Savior is the only way to heal ANYTHING!! there is no other way! There are classes, therapy, counseling and preistood leaders. But it takes a choice to change and reach out for that help that the Lord has placed in front of me to heal.

    Please know Scabs and others that you all have made an impact on me and my wife and i thank you. PLEASE dont quit on your addict if you can. I do know there are circumstances that obviously can not be overlooked.


    1. Thank you for that. That really touched me and reminded me how we as a couple/team can really fight this. I really needed that today!

  13. -What was your marriage relationship like before your whole world blew apart?
    My marriage was great in the beginning but after the first year I began to notice my husband's problem with porn. I didn't know how deep the problems were until several years later. He was truly leading two different lives.

    -Do you believe you are/have been codependent?
    This took me a long time to admit. I hated the word codependent with a passion and denied it with a passion. I was a codependent for about a year. I did whatever it took to make my marriage survive. I went against every fiber of my moral being. It took a long time to forgive myself too.

    -Why, exactly, did you choose to stay in the marriage and to forgive?
    This is a long and complicated answer. I had to separate the addiction from my husband. Once I was able to do that it made it easier to see that I loved him both with and without the addiction. I first had to forgive myself for doing what I did in our marriage before I could forgive him and the other women. It took more than just love for him.

    -How did you manage to forgive?
    I worked through my forth step. I examined each piece of my life and as I did I saw my flaws and my part of the relationship too. I saw that his actions were not intentional. He didn't wake up and decide to hurt me. He's an addict. His addiction is just more personal than most. Plus, he works his ass off in recovery and that helps me. He's always been remorseful too.

    -How did you overcome the repulsion you felt for your husband?
    This took time. I took it slowly. I began by keeping it simple. I held hands first. Then when I was comfortable with that we kissed and so on.

    -How do you live with the problem of lost trust?
    We both understand that trust will never be 100%. We put things in place to make sure I feel a sense of reassurance. He texts me to let me know where he is or texts to let me know he loves me, we use FANOS conversations as a way to check in a few times a week.

    -How do you cope with the risk of not knowing if and when he will relapse?
    I have come to a place where I know that his addiction has nothing to do with me. It's not my fault. I can't control it. I have tools in my toolbox to help me deal with a relapse if they occur.



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