Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Boundary #1

So when the hubs and I got married 4 plus years ago we discussed the importance of not being alone with the opposite sex, regardless of who the person was; neighbor, friend, getting a ride home, church member, blah blah blah... I had no idea of the addiction at that time but agreed that it was a good rule of thumb to adhere to. I'm a youngin' so when my friends starting coming home from missions I would facebook them or run into them places and chat for a few minutes and go along my way. When my ex-boyfriend from high school came home I friended him on facebook, quickly realized it was a bad idea and unfriended him. When my best friend from high school (a guy) came home we said our hellos and kept in contact again. He married a great girl from high school and so we (my hubs and I and my best guy friend and his wife) got together one time to have a game night. After that night my husband informed me that we would not be having them over again. I was annoyed beyond belief. 'Um, they are my friends, what is the big deal?' My husband felt uncomfortable with how well we knew each other (the guy and I). It wasn't that we were lovey dovey, even sat too close, or ever even did a darn thing romantically during high school. It was the fact that we had too friendly of a connection. Something that is a problem for a guy and girl to have if they are not married. We knew each other so well, too well for married people to know about another married person. We were the type of friends that told each other about what we did during the weekend with my boyfriend, and his girlfriend. We gave each other advice during high school. We were always each others back up dates. We would hang out because no one else could. We took easy classes together so we could just hang out. I finally understood my husbands point. My husband was not concerned that I would leave him or go sleep with this friend of mine. It was the fact that I might call him if I was frustrated. That I might rely on him for advice. That I might hang out with him without our spouses around (even innocently). In my husband and I's opinion this is not ok. We do not lean on another person of the opposite sex for support. Even if we know nothing bad will ever happen, the fact that you are telling someone besides your spouse your inner most feelings is not good for a marriage. Our spouses are the ones we should be leaning on, asking for support, hanging out with when we are bored, lending a shoulder when we are sad. Now, you might be saying, 'Ok, crazy Wife A, my husband is the source of all my pain, the reason why I need a shoulder to cry on.' We have all totally and maybe still are there. We do need other support besides just our spouse, espeically when our spouse is creating all the problems. However, during these times that our spouse is creating all the heartache on us I think it is the time to be EXTRA cautious of who we seek out. I can't imagine if I had stayed buddy buddy with this guy from high school, the addiction came to light, and I turned to my guy friend for support. The bond between the guy friend and I would have grown immensely when the bond between my husband and I would have continued down the drain... Not good!!! Does that make sense? I guess I just feel sooo strongly that it is so important for the man in your life to be the only man in your life! Whether he is the source of all your pain or not. At one point in the past and hopefully again, he will be the source of all your happiness. Do not let another man step in to your husbands role and be the listening ear. By all means we need listening ears, we need shoulders to cry on. We need support in times of greatest trial. Turn to your mom, sister, friend, blogging, 12 step meeting, Heavenly Father, Bishop, me :), or another support person of the same sex. Do not put your marriage in more jeopardy that it already is. As with all my posts, this is my opinion. This is what works for me and what I know to be true for my life. Please do not take anything I write offensively for I know we all walk different paths. I write only the things which I feel strongly about and that are important to me. I do write them however to possibly spark an idea to change someone for good.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Let go

This week I have been realizing that everyone, but especially us women, seem to hold on to every little thing. We remember the day and time our husband forgot to run an errand he promised he would do. We remember the only time he ever called us a name, we remember the times he has slipped, we remember every little negative thing that the man we love has ever done to hurt us. Do we remember all the times he brought us flowers, did the dishes, bathed the kids, watch them so we could have a girls night, sent an 'I love you' text, watched some stupid chick flick with us, or any other of the many things he does daily? No, we mostly remember the bad things. How sad is that? And kinda pathetic if you ask me. We are so good at holding grudges and resentment. We are so quick to forget the good and remember the bad. Well, my dear virtual friends, this needs to stop. It needs to stop if we want to have a whole marriage again. If we want to be happy. If we want to love and respect that amazing man we married. If we want to move away from the bad and continue towards the good. Do what you have to do to resolve the past and then MOVE ON. I was telling my husband tonight that in so many situations I have seen lately that it is usually the guy who created the problem but the woman who won't let it go. So our hub brings a pornography addiction into a marriage, tries to overcome it with the wifes help, and meanwhile the woman is sitting in the corner so irritated beyond belief that she can't allow their marriage to get past it. (yes, I know, total dramatization there but you get the point.) We need to make amends and allow good times back into our lives. Neither party is going to be perfect after amends are made but we can continue to try. We can continue to forgive. We can continue, or restart, to love again. Whatever is holding you back, change it. Deal with it. Acknowledge it and let it leave you. Rid it from your system. Grudges and resentment are so stinking easy to hold on to, especially for us women. Let them go, rid them forever, and you know what? I think you will be happy with the results!

Monday, April 16, 2012

What Helps

Sometimes what helps me the most is to not think about it. My mind will occasionally go places I do not like. Sometimes thoughts of how horrible and degrading pornography is creep into my mind. I have to quickly push them away because it makes me distraught. I do not like to think of what pornography actually is. Maybe this is unhealthy, I don't know, but it hurts me to actually think of what images my husband has seen. I cannot let myself go there and so I don't. I know what pornography is. I know how degrading it is. I know how addictive it is. And I do not want to waste my time thinking about it. When these thoughts come to mind I get frustrated that I have them whatsoever. I push them away as quickly as possible. I do not let myself become irritated about it because there is no use. Me being annoyed makes no difference, it just harms my mood. I have also found when these thoughts come to my head it is so much easier to dislike my husband. I don't let the thoughts of 'how could he do this' and 'why' even be answered. Pornography is an addiction! Push them away. Run away. Run towards healing, recovery, and advocacy against this awful plague.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Where's the off switch?

So sometimes I feel like, and maybe it's just me, that we except our husbands to be able to flip a switch and have no more problems with pornography, masturbation, or whatever else this addiction has brought into our lives. Well, unfortunately this isn't the case. Many of these men have suffered from this addiction for more than a decade and for them to just 'flip a switch' really isn't possible. Addiction rewires the brain. To heal they have to rewire it again. Their addictions have taken years to escapade and in order to truly heal, it will take time as well. I know, what a bummer. Sorry. Whomever finds a cure to addiction will be rich! If only they could confess and be 'fixed' right? We, as wives need to be supportive and understanding of the time this will take WITHOUT putting ourselves in a dangerous place. We all differ in severity, recovery, willingness to recover, and actual sobriety. I cannot speak for everyone by any means but I do feel that it is important that we all understand that healing and sobriety are not immediate. Just as healing for ourselves will not be immediate. Healing our hearts is similar to healing our physical wounds. It physically hurts at times, does not happen in an instance, and occasionally leaves a scar or does not work exactly the way it did before. Time is one of those answers that honestly annoys me. Maybe because I know it is so true. Whether you have stayed with or have parted ways with your spouse you have to heal yourself. He has to decide ON HIS OWN if he is going to heal himself. We can love, support and encourage him but we cannot expect an overnight miracle. Choose what will work for YOU. Do what YOU have to do to heal yourself and realize that your husband is not going to be better by tonight. He can do this if he chooses but it may be a longer process than you had hoped for. I personally have chosen to stand by my husband. I encourage and support him. I go to 12 step recovery meetings for myself. I blog for myself. I pray and ask for guidance for both of us. We chat about how he is feeling and what tempts him. He trys again and I continue to support if he slips. We have realized that this is forever part of lives. Something that we want to make sure we are aware of and teach our kids about. He will not slip his whole life but it is something that will be discussed and watched out for. The world we live in makes this a very difficult addiction to overcome. They don't simply get to avoid the bar they got drunk in. They have to somehow find other outlets and activities to avoid what no one can miss if they are living breathing souls. Immodesty, television, internet ads, Victoria Secret, the swimming pool, etc. We do not live in a condusive environment for healing but with Heavenly Father's help we can be whole again. Our life may be different but who knows, maybe different is better. Be patient with your husband. Be patient with yourself. The wound is open and will heal as long as you allow and assist it to.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter

Today we had some fun Easter madness. Neighborhood Easter egg hunts, city Easter egg hunts, and then of course turning ourselves into the Easter bunny and scattering eggs about the house. It has been a fun filled day. Easter candy is my personal favorite candy all year! Tomorrow in church I am teaching and obviously the lesson is about the first Easter. About Jesus Christ's ressurection. As I read through the lesson it dawned on me about how important this holiday is. Usually (sadly) I don't think much about it. When in reality it is so truly important for us to remember. What a blessing the knowledge of the ressurrection is to us.
Our Savior Jesus Christ died for us. For you. For me. For our husbands. He has felt every pain for us, whether it be for our sin or for our heartache. I know that Easter is more for focusing on the ressurrection but tonight I have focused on the Atonement. The knowledge I have that Jesus Christ died for us. That He died for my husbands sin's. He died for my sins, and more importantly for me right now, He felt the hearthache that I feel through this trial. Jesus Christ knows exactly how I feel. The Atonement is not only for the purpose of forgiveness. I have felt Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through this trial. I have had tender mercies, prayers answers, and yes even miracles during what has been one of the hardest years of my life. I have been able to rely on my Heavenly Father, trusting in Him, leaning on Him. I have prayed for help and strength. Begged and pleaded at times for the things I thought I needed. He has never left me. He has provided for me in more ways than I asked. I know Jesus Christ has felt your pain. He has felt mine and he knows ever so well our husbands pain. The Atonement is real and I know it. I hope that you know it too and if you don't, seek it out. This Easter weekend remember Him. Remember Jesus Christ and what He has done and does for us. He loves us and wants us to be happy. We can lean on Him in times of trial or happiness. This I do know and hope that you can too. Happy Easter! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Don't Bash

So let's just start by saying I am totally not perfect at this but it is still one of my pet peeves. What is this pet peeve you may ask... Let me tell you. Bashing and complaining about our husbands. TOTALLY not necessary and a terrible idea really. This applys to everyone regardless of an addiction or not. It applies to all of us as humans too, not just in a marriage. There is always something to complain about in life. There is. But complaining just makes things worse. Like I said, I am not perfect at this but sometimes listening to someone complain about their husband is just ridiculous, uncalled for, and annoying. I feel like so many of us (me included) expect our husbands to be super-human and perfect in every way. Doing every little thing we ever dreamed of or see on tv. (Those characters on tv, they're characters, NOT rael people... just a little fyi for ya.) Our husbands are suppose to make millions of dollars, do the dishes and take out the garbage without being asked, be chipper after work allowing us to rest from our exhausting motherly duties, rub our feet and back every night, get the children to bed without any fits, etc, etc.  Well guess what? They are not super-human. They are just like us. They have weaknesses, they have tempers, they have addictions they are working on, they have a need to be appreciated/loved, they get hungry and tired, they get worn-out, just like you and me. Therefore, complaining about them is totally hypocritical. I lose my temper at least once a day. I am exhausted all the time. I want to feel appreciated and loved, and most of the time I am quite worn out. And do you know what the last thing I want? Is to be complained about by my spouse. I don't want him to be critical of me and I especially don't want him degrading me to his friends. So let's not do that about them. May we all give our husbands a break. May they give us a break. Let's be a partnership to help ease the load on the other. For those of you doing this alone right now, keep fighting. I don't know the pain and heartache you carry but I know you are amazing and that you can do this. So many people love you and support you. I don't mean at all to leave you out on this post but I just feel like writing about this today. Something that I have found to work for me is that when my husband doesn't do something that I 'expect' him to do, I do it myself. I am a capable person, I can do it, just like he can. I need to work on my attitude when I do it myself because I am onery for about 5 minutes but then get over it because the task is done. Rather if I wait for him to do it (not knowing how long it will take) I am onery that entire time! Not good. Then I usually remind him when I am cooled down that, 'hey I would really appreciate it if you did such and such'. For me personally, I was suuuuuper independent before I got married. Apparently me signing the marriage certificate told my brain to become completely dependent on my husband. We absolutely need to depend on each other but to some extent. For example, today one of my kids bike needed some adjustments. No big deal right? So I got out the tools and did it instead of waiting for my husband to come home and do it. Typically my brain would tell me, that's a dad thing just wait. But no I could do this. My child wanted to ride the bike and I could do this easily and I did. I feel like this post is going no where but I guess I just get so annoyed when woman complain about their spouse (legitimate reason or not). You chose to marry this person. Don't degrade them, espeically in front of your kids or to other people. They are people just like me and you. We all have weaknesses. We all have rough days, weeks, or months. Don't complain about the great person, who is trying really hard, that you married however long ago.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Don't Worry...

I know you have all been so panicked, probably losing lots of sleep at night (haha)... You probably thought I feel off the planet or something... Nope, still here just been busy I guess, or maybe I haven't known what to blog about. Anyways here I am again. I feel like I kind of repeat myself over and over on this blog about the same things but I guess it's because that is what's always on my mind. A while back I had the crazy idea of making my blog known. Like Jacy has done. I love it because putting a name, face, and story together is so much more real. I have thought on occasion as well, 'What if my best friend reads this blog and has no idea that this is me? She might need help, support, things which I could do for her but she doesn't even know this is me.' I mean what do I have to lose? Everyone who reads this thing is in my boat. If they read it so that they figure out who I am and judge me that is a little messed up right? Anyways it is still a little frightening to me. My husband and I interviewed a few weeks ago to possibly be part of the Shamed movie (who knows if they'll need us or not) but if we did that everyone would see our faces and names, yet we don't care. We want to help someone, anyone. We know the misery and we know the joy of recovery as well. If people choose to judge us that is there problem rnot ours. So anyways, back to showing myself on this blog... I will think about it. Chat with the hubs... Make a decision... And who knows... Maybe you might know me... Maybe I am your best friend... Maybe your neighbor... Maybe I am your daughter or sister... Or maybe I am a stranger... But a stranger who knows your pain, who knows your journey, who knows your heartache and who also knows your joy (or the joy you will soon have again). Whether I show my face and share my name I guess it doesn't really matter. My story is still the same. Pornography addiction sucks, it's difficult and painful, it's miserable and degrading, it's 'a million unkind words, HOWEVER happiness is possible again. Recovery is possible again. That 'perfect little mormon family' is possible again. Fight this plague. Support your hubs through his recovery and more importantly (hey happy wife happy life, right?) help yourself. Make yourself a priority and do whatever you have to to be happy again. I promise you it is possible and it is so incredibily worth it!