Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Worth 2 seconds of your time

Saw this posted on facebook. It took me literally 2 seconds to sign. Definitely worth my time :). Hope you will do the same!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dear Husband

This morning my husbands uncle died. It was completely unexpected and shocking to everyone. He is young. Early 50's. I haven't dealt with a ton of death in my life, thankfully, and this is about the closest it has hit. We know him and hi kids quite well. As I have reflected on death today and how it would be to not have someone around that I truly love I thought of my husband. I thought about how difficult it would be to lose him. For him to be completely gone and out of my life. Of how hard it would be even with my testimony and knowledge that I would be with him again. Then I thought if I were to die would he know how much I truly loved him? Have I shown my love and appreciation throughout our marriage or would he be left to wonder? He knows I love him but does he really know? I don't mean this to be morbid at all but as I have thought about it today I wanted to write a letter to my husband. Telling my husband what I hope he would know if I were to be gone in an instance.

 Dear Husband,

 I love you more than my actions have ever shown you. I respect and appreciate you. I thank you for being a great husband and an amazing father to our children. I love you for providing for us. For doing everything in your power to allow me to stay home with them. For loving me and caring about my wants and needs. For sacrificing some of your dreams for the things I want. For listening to me. For encouraging me in my silly endeavors. For playing with our kids and being crazy with them. They love watching out the window waiting for you to come home each night. I love your fun surprises and corny jokes. I love you for striving to be a better man each day. I love you for forgiving me when I make mistakes, which is a lot. I love you for holding the priesthood in our home, for being willing and able when we need blessings. For being honest with me. For trusting and confiding in me. I love you for taking me to the temple 4 plus years ago. I thank you for doing your best every day. I thank you for making scriptures and prayer a priority in our home. I love you for helping instill the gospel into our kids lives. You are an amazing man and I love you for the person that you are. We have had our up's and down's but I love you. More so than I actually ever knew. Trials have been hard and not always enjoyable but they have made us better. They have strengthened you, me, and our marriage. I love you more than words can express. I appreciate and respect you more than you will ever know. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for putting me and our family first. You are an amazing man and I am a lucky woman. I love you!

 Love, Your Wife

How we communicate

I want to write about how my husband and I personally communicate in hopes that if you are struggling it will give you a few ideas. Some background: Before I was informed of this addiction we had a good marriage but communication was something we were not great at. We talked about what we needed to but never devulged our deepest darkest emotions. I like to appear that I have it all together all the time. I would usually talk with my sister or mom if I needed an opinion that didn't need my husbands ok. We were able to communicate about major decisions just fine (children, jobs, schooling, etc) but the small day to day things I typically went to someone else because I didn't think he really cared too much nor did I want to burden him. Since this addiction has come to pass we have had to learn how to communicate. Here is what I have learned: We first started by talking about his addiction almost every night, usually for hours. It was filled with tears and heartache. It was not enjoyable but it was needed. I got the information that I needed and have stayed unaware on details that I really don't want. I asked questions and he answered honestly. It was hard but it has proven worthwhile. We set up a weekly time that we would discuss how the week went. He would tell me if he messed up at all. We have now made the agreement that he has to tell me if he messes up by the end of the day. This has been huge for his recovery. When he feels vulnerable he will remember that he has to tell me. This is something that helps keep him strong. When he has told me it hurts. It is hard and I am literally speechless for a few minutes, sometimes sharp daggers are being shot from my eyes.... I thank him for telling me and then we discuss what led up to it and how we can avoid it next time. I couldn't tell you the last time we had to have one of these conversations :). Learning to communicate kindly can be tricky. I would tell my husband horrible things that had to have been killing him inside but I hope that I did it in a manner that was not deceitful but rather in one that informed him. He needed to know what my heart was thinking, how I was truly feeling. The more the subject is talked about the easier it is. At first the word pornography and addiction were like swear words to me. They felt uncomfortable. I would find words to avoid them and when I did have to use them I would whisper them. After LOTS of discussion on the subject we can now talk about it openly. We have told close friends. We share our stories when appropriate and possible. We discuss it easily in the privacy of our home and we plan, when our kids are older, to inform them of this. If nothing else learning to talk about pornography is vital for the sake of our kids. Our husbands were sucked into this addiction because no one knew it was happening and no one talked about. As we can learn to talk about it and discuss it openly we can prevent what has happened to us. That right there is reason enough for me to learn how to communicate about this. As my husband and I have learned to talk about his addiction we have now become more open with every aspect of life. The trivial trials that I use to seek others help with, I now seek my husbands. I feel closer to him and I actually trust him more than I use to... strange I know. Open communication is VITAL to a successful recovery and healing.
Find a time that you have a lot of time to sit down and talk with your husband without distractions. Tell him that you want both of you to heal and recover and that you want to learn how to talk about this so that you can help your kids in the future. I always preface (because I come off abrasive with no intent of doing so at all) with 'I don't want this to offend you but I need to talk about....' Ask the questions you need to know. Let information that will hurt too much or that is unneccessary go. Share your heart to him. Your true, raw emotions. It's hard but try it. Listen to his feelings. Ask what you can do to help him in his recovery. Tell him what you expect of him. Set realistic boundaries that both parties can agree on. I know how hard it is to share your real feelings with anyone but who better than your husband? Build or rebuild a good relationship filled with honest good communication. It is never too late to start! Once it is started, don't ever let it end.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What if...

What if I start acting happy, what will my husband think? Will he remember how miserable he has made me? Will he think this is all ok? I know I definitely had these thoughts.
What if I start acting happy, what will my husband think? My husband was grateful and relieved that I was being happy again. He didn't think, 'why isn't she miserable still, she should be miserable forever!' That's just ridiculous. No one likes to be around people that are sad alllllllll the time. As I became happy again we were able to get back to our 'normal' life. He wasn't always tip-toeing on egg shells around me waiting for my next meltdown. We were able to laugh again and talk about whatever we wanted to. We didn't have the white elephant in the room of 'what do we talk about now?' I think all of our husbands are happier when we are happier! Happy wife is a happy life, and ain't that the truth! haha
Will he remember how miserable he has made me? YES!!! He isn't stupid or naive. He knows the pain he has brought upon you. He see's your heart suffering and it is killing him inside. For me, realizing that my husband truly hurt from this addiction helped. That sounds awful, I know but as I learned how sad and miserable he was inside it made me realize that we both needed to heal. I wasn't the only sad and hurt one. He knows he broke my heart. My husband never wanted this addiction. He never wanted to bring it into a marriage. He never wanted to see me sob uncontrollably because of his actions. This addiction hurts our loved ones just as it hurts us. I don't think our husbands will ever forget the misery that this addiction causes. Becoming happy again does not erase their memory.
Will he think this is all ok? NO! He know's this is not ok. He knows that he has caused more pain in our lives than any other person on this planet. He knows what will happen if recovery is not acheived. Our men know that just because we become happy again doesn't mean that this doesn't still hurt. They have seen our pain and anguish and they are sorry for what they have done. Communicating to him that you are happy but that this is still not ok and that it does still hurt from time to time is also a huge recommendation of mine (future post coming soon).
Basically what I think it comes down to, whether you agree with my opinion or not, is that we cannot withhold being happy because of our husbands. My husband is in recovery and doing well for which I am very grateful. Honestly, this does make it easier to be happy. But regardless of whether your husband is doing great or is still struggling you cannot withhold your own healing. In order to more forward, in my opinion, you have to be happy again. Do not withhold your own happiness because you fear your husband will think 'this is all ok afterall, I'm off the hook.' We all have agency. Your husband is going to recover or stay addicted whether you become happy again or not. Do not let his actions rule your attitude on life. If you are ready and wanting to be happy again, DO IT! Be happy. Your husband, children, friends and YOURSELF will be so grateful!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ask and Tell

I have always been taught and I believe that Heavenly Father knows what I want and need. We need to express what we want and need in order to get it from Him however. Heavenly Father knows us so well. He knows our hearts. He knows our deepest desires, pains, and fears. He loves us more than any of us can comprehend. I have always been taught to ask Heavenly Father through prayer for what I want and need. I was recently taught that telling Heavenly Father what we want and need is perfectly acceptable as well. This was a strange concept for me. I always did the, 'Well I'd like this, but whatever your will is would be great too,' kinda thing. Sound familiar? Anyways after hearing that I can tell Heavenly Father what I want and need I decided to give it a try. Let me tell you, it was hard. I remember my husbanda and I telling Heavenly Father what job we wanted and for us to get it. It felt strange and kind of awkward really. But we kept at it. With certain aspects in my life that I really do want and that I feel are incredibly important. I have to say that I love it now. I feel closer to Heavenly Father. I tell him what I truly need not just what I would like to happen. I know Heavenly Father can do anything. I have seen miracles in my life, small tender mercies that remind me that Heavenly Father is aware of me and that He loves me. Telling my Heavenly Father what I need rather than whatever His will is has been so eye opening to me. Of course just because we tell Him what we want/need does not mean in any way that it will happen in the time or way we expect. I encourage you, if you don't already, to try it. Tell Him when you need help. Tell Him when you need a friend, an answer, comfort, anything. Whatever it may be, tell Him. I love my Heavenly Father and know that is He is there. He loves and knows us individually. He will provide what you need in just the right moment. What a blessing it is to be able to communicate with our loving Father in Heaven. I know I personally would be very lost without it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


"Many of you suffer needlessly from carrying heavy burdens because you do not open your hearts to the healing power of the Lord... Lay the burden at the feet of the Savior. He has invited you to do that so that you can be free from pointless worry and depression." - Richard G. Scott

Isn't this the truth in every aspect of life? So many times we worry about every little thing. If we turn our burdens over to the Lord we can be free from pointless worry and depression. That is quite the promise if you ask me. David A. Bednar said,

"No one understands. No one knows. No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did."

I think we all tend to forget this from time to time. Christ has felt our exact pain for us. He knows the burden we are carrying and he will take it from us. We can give Him any burden large or small. He will never leave us and may we always remember to never leave Him.

"Lay the burden at the feet of the Savior. He has invited you to do that..."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fake It Til You Make It

The turning point in my journey was me 'choosing to be happy'. I personally could not live a miserable and sad life. I don't like crying and I don't like being sad. Therefore I had to figure something out. When I read the Ensign article about choosing happiness, I decided that this was exactly what I needed to do. No matter how out of control or awful my life seemed I could choose otherwise. I could choose to be happy and to enjoy life. I can remember how beautiful my kids are. I can remember how amazing my husband is and that he does love me. That I have a home, the gospel, health, family, etc, etc. I get to stay home with my babies and raise them. I have so many things to be happy about yet I was letting my husbands pornography addiction consume me. I was using it as an excuse to be miserable. In the addiction recovery program manual Healing Through Christ it states, "We can stop allowing their choices to be the determining factor in whether or not we find joy in our own lives." We have to do this in order to heal. Every person on this Earth has been given agency. We all get to make our own decisions in life. Our decisions may affect others as well as their decisions may affect us but we all get to choose. You can choose to be miserable because of our circumstances or you can choose to be happy even though life isn't perfect. For me choosing to be happy was the best option. Don't get me wrong, I still cry and have bad days. I still get frustrated and annoyed about life but for the most part I am happy. I enjoy life and I am trying to learn and become better from my trials.
So back to what I actually wanted to get to, sorry side-tracked there for a minute... Anywho faking it til we make it. We have all heard the term and know what it means. The way I got to real happiness was pretending I was happy until I actually was. I made myself be happy. I would (and still do) list all my blessings when I am annoyed or frustrated. I did things that made me happy (hair cut, actually got ready for the day, shopped without children, etc.). I researched the topic of happiness and basically just told myself I was happy. I have eventually gotten to the point where I am actually happy. I no longer have to fake it because I have made it. Life will continue to throw curve balls and at times I will be sad, irritated, frustrated, and hopeless. In those moments I hope that I will be able to reflect on how I changed my attitude during this trial. How I used my agency to be happy. How I faked it until I made it and how by telling myself I was happy I eventually became happy. If you've made it, YAY!! If not, keep faking it. You will get there, you will be happy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More ways to Help!

Hey the LDS Addiction Recovery Program is looking for stories. Head over to this link to read about it and send over any words of wisdom that you can. Thank you for helping this plague get fought!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Please Read

The producer of the Shamed movie has contacted me and would like me to get this information out to anyone who might be of help. Please read and respond if this is something that will work into your life and recovery process. If not, I (and the Shamed movie staff) understand. I am excited to see this movie come to pass. It is so very needed. Here's the info!

My name is Jordan Harker. Jessica Mockett and I are producing a feature length documentary film entitled SHAMED which focuses on the debilitating effects of shame surrounding pornography use & addiction in conservative Christian communities. The intent of our film is to help people be supportive of those seeking recovery.  We want people to understand pornography addiction by learning to SPEAK openly, LISTEN compassionately and HEAL completely.  You can learn more about the film, the renowned experts and organizations who are on board, and read crew bios at out website:  shamedthemovie.com
We are reaching out to you for some much needed help.  We are currently searching for  individuals (pornography users, addicts, & loved ones of addicts) to share their experiences on-camera.  This is one of the most important aspect of the film for reaching and informing viewers who want to learn about porn and its harmful effects. We ask you to please help share the following information in a personal way through your outlets and networks (blogs, email subscriber lists, website, etc.).
Below is an over-all "wish list" of criteria that will aid us in creating a film that spotlights individuals from varied ethnicities, ages and Christian religions. Our goal is to have these subjects informed, contacted, and solidified by March 24 so that we can comfortably plan/pay for their travel and lodging preparations before our first in studio shoot at the end of April, 2012. 
If you know of anyone who meets the following criteria (or other friends/organizations that would be eager to help), we ask that you share this information with them and encourage them to contact us by the following email or phone number as soon as possible. 
From their initial contact we will make further communication arrangements that are most appropriate, timely, and comfortable for the potential interviewee. 
We are looking for:

- female, 17-21 years old, any Christian faith, any ethnicity
- female, 30-35 years old, any Christian faith, non-white
- female, mid 20s, LDS (Mormon), non-white
- male, teenage boy, any ethnicity, any Christian faith
- male, mid 20s, non-religious/atheist
- male, Hispanic, Catholic, between 25-35 yrs
- male who really pushed the limits of their pornography/sex addiction
(prostitution, child porn, etc.) so as to best address the escalation process,
under 40 years and white, any Christian faith
- parent/s to appear with user/addict teen, any Christian faith
- 2 other sets of parent/s to appear without user/addict child (parents of
very young children…8-14 yrs), any Christian faith
- 2-3 couples to appear together, under 35 yrs of age, one spouse is an
addict, any Christian faith, fairly new to recovery phase
- 3-4 wives of addicts to appear alone, under 35 yrs, any Christian faith,
their addict spouse does not have to be in recovery
- 2 divorced couples (split b/c of addiction) to both appear on camera, they
can either be interviewed together or separately, under 35 yrs, any Christian
- 2-3 couples who are well into recovery, who can exemplify how couples can
get through the addiction together and be better for the experience, under
50 yrs, any Christian faith

This "wish list" is not set in stone.  Any individual who isn't an exact match, but a good choice is needed for this project.
We assume that those willing to go on camera with their stories will likely be far into recovery, but we are very interested in those who aren't quite all the way there yet to speak on their experiences as well.
If you have questions for me, please let me know.  I very much appreciate your help and hope that you will consider this information and respond as quickly as possible. Our search is time sensitive and we need your support. We believe with the right stories, individuals and experts involved, this film will change so many lives for the better.

Please contact them if you are willing and able. If nothing else I hope that we will all be able to see the film and watch the effect it will have on the many who desperately need it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Today was ward conference for us so the stake president spoke to all the men and women during the third hour. He spoke on a variety of things but I wanted to share an excellent story that he conveyed to us today. He spoke of a woman who was in his office a while back who was ready to leave her husband after a long fight against pornography. He wasn't finding recovery. She had stuck by him but she was at her last wits end and was done (needless to say my attention had been caught). The woman continued telling my stake president how enthralled she would become when the news began covering natural disasters or other big issues. She would watch all day and night, waiting to see what would unfold. As she watched a story about miners stuck hundreds of feet below ground she was hooked. She watched for 3 days as loved ones held vigils above ground, crews worked tireously to rescue these trapped men. Finally as the men began to be pulled up something hit her. These men were covered in filth from head to toe. All you could see were their eyes. As one of the men was pulled up a woman ran through the crowd and grabbed her husband. She sobbed and wrapped her arms around him. She helped him to the gurney of fresh white linens to seek medical attention. She didn't care that he was covered in total filth. She had been waiting to see him alive for days and now that he was here she wasn't letting him go. As this woman watched this story on the news unfold she realized how similar it was to her. How filthy and trapped Her husband was. He needed rescuing. He needed someone to help him to the white covered linens. She was that person. She could help and support him. Someone had told her shortly thereafter what a good man her husband was, no idea of this addiction. She told that person that he was. People make mistakes, people have addictions. We can and need to forgive. We can stand by them and support them to the gurney. We can be like this woman and her husband. As my husband and I listened to this story (no one knowing about his addiction) he turned to me and said, "Thats a great story." I immediately knew I wanted to share it. I was happy that we could sit together and listen to a story about pornography recovery and after have my husband lean to me and say how much it meant to him. It's a strange thing to explain but it made me happy. I feel like we have come so far. I feel like I have stood by him in his darkest hour. When he was filthy and needing assistance. He has stood by me in many dark moments and supports me as well. Standing by them can be difficult at times but I thank my Heavenly Father that I was able to do so. I hope this story lifts your spirits like it did mine today! Happy Sabbath Day/Night ;).

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I am Human

In case you read this blog and think, "Geez Wife A is always encouraging and sharing uplifting messages," I will now show you that this is not always true. Maybe you don't think that haha but I do really try to share uplifting messages that can help us all in our sometimes not so wonderful moments.
For the last few days I have just been down in the dumps. There really is no reason or anything big behind it. Just little things that over time build up and evenutally catapult out of my body. I have been sad, frustrated, and annoyed. Small things will make me want to cry, I'm not a cryer. It's like pregnancy hormones without the being pregnant part ;). Last night as I was once again crying to my husband about quite insignificant things he was trying to reassure me. Encourage and boost my self esteem. Then he said something to the effect of, "In reality this is probably Satan working on you. Trying to make you feel insignificant and worthless." I fully believe that and even know that yet somehow it is still hard to 'just be better'. Satan really is a bugger! He knows how to push our buttons better than anyone in this world. (And that's sayin something). I know that the things I am doing right now are right. I know that Heavenly Father is watching over me and is proud of the person I am. I like the person that I am. I am grateful to be a wife, mom, and friend but sometimes it is just so overwhelming. Sometimes there are too many people to worry about. My house is never going to be clean, I mean really, never. I'm not going to get thanked for everything I do, big or small. I am not going to get an award everytime I make a meal for someone or watch their kids. Dirty diapers and wet underwear are going to continue. Hardships in extended family members are going to keep coming through the years. And big decisions are going to have to be made. I am however going to be blessed by my Heavenly Father. I am going to be provided for. I can be in tune to know what I need to be doing and who I can be helping. I am going to help someone in need whether they verbally say thank you or not. I do get to stay home with my kids, which is very difficult at times, but something that I am most grateful for in this life. Occasionally my sink will have no dirty dishes in it and the floors will be crumbless, well maybe for 30 seconds. Maybe there will be one day, or one hour, of no toddler fit throwing. I guess what I am getting at is that I know life is overwhelming. I know it is difficult and I know that Satan is a nasty conniving little bugger that sometimes I really don't like. Through all of this I know that it will be ok. I can be sad and frustrated but I have to remember that life is good. I am more than blessed. I have everything I need and a lot of things I want. I trust in my Heavenly Father and I do ask him to guide me to people who need me. Therefore I should 'listen and obey' as I tell my kids and do what my Heavenly Father is asking. Life is a roller coaster of that I do know. May I cast Satans thoughts out of my head and remember what a truly blessed life I live.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Simple Secret is This...

"...Put your trust in the Lord, do your best, then leave the rest to Him.” This is what Joseph B. Wirthlin says in a talk called Come What May and Love it. I recall bits and pieces from this talk a few years ago but someone in the 12 step group I go to last week mentioned a part in this talk that I think it so important for everyone and something that I did not remember hearing. After reading through the entire talk I feel that it is a great source for each one of us in every aspect of life. I would strongly reccommend reading through it. He says so many things that I have felt or tried to convey in my life but of course he does a bagillion times better. I am truly grateful for inspired leaders of this wonderful church who can teach us and lead us through word and example.
The part of this talk that I want to focus on is what he calls the principle of compensation. I have never remembered learning this and when I heard it was relieved honestly and it helped me understand life just a little more. I have a testimony of this principle and have seen it in my life just the way he explains it.
"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."
Isn't this amazing? As you read through his entire talk you read that everyone will experience loss and disappointment but that through faith we will be returned rejoicing a hundredfold!! What a promise. I have seen this so strongly in my life within the last 8 months. By going through the hardest trial so far in my life (learning of my husbands pornography addiction) we have been blessed more than a hundredfold. I have been in the deepest darkest hole I have ever experienced and as I have had faith, trusted in my Heavenly Father, and continued to keep truckin' I have been enormously blessed. One of the biggest, tanglible blessings if you will, is that my husband has been given 2 'dream' job offers. Never in a million years did we think we would get one of these let alone 2 at the same time. We have seen Heavenly Fathers hand in our life as we have been in tune with the Spirit to make simple decisions which have led up to these offers. We have done things that our brains may have asked why but our hearts told us to proceed. Another example is that since this trial I have been able to find another purpose in life. Most importantly I am a mom and wife, which I believe is the greatest job any woman can ever do, but I now feel as though I am helping many women whose shoes I have and am in. I enjoy sharing my testimony of this gospel and the blessing that it is in my own life. I love meeting with my 12 step group and learning from amazing women. We have been blessed in other ways as well but I am not going to ramble on and on.
I know that the principle of compensation is real and true. If you are still in the thick of despair, know that these blessings will come. You will be compensated and blessed a hundredfold, yes A HUNDREDFOLD for your faith and endurance. Please read this talk in it's entirety. It is not too long and will give you the hope that you may be needing today.