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Chapter 1: Where To Start
Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:02 pm
The beginning. I think we will all remember “D” day or disclosure day. For me it was the day my husband disclosed to me all that he had done in the first twelve and a half years of our marriage. I was in complete and utter shock. Time stood still. I was lost.
Being the type of person I am - I decide to get my hands on all the information I could. I read probably 20 books on se~ual addiction. I wish I would have access to this book at the time. I felt so alone. I felt like there was a lot of resources for my husband, but very few for me.
How grateful I was to find Heart t’ Heart and S-Anon in July of 2009. I finally felt like I found a place where I could talk to people who would understand where I was and would not judge me. I was broken and I did not see how I would ever feel whole again.
I quickly learned that my husband’s addiction brought me to Ht’H and S-Anon, but what keeps me coming back is me. I soon discovered that my husband wasn’t the only one in our marriage that was sick.
If there is anything that I can leave with you from my first post in this forum is to keep coming back for yourself. This book will help you learn a lot about your husband’s addiction, but it will also help you learn so much about yourself. Each time I read this book, I learn something new about myself. I no longer apply things to just my husband. As I reread, I can see how things apply to my relationship with our children or with others in my life.
Throughout the past year and half - I have met so many women that feel that if they just get divorced or if there husband just stops acting out their life would be happy. I do not believe this to be true. We both are responsible for working our own programs. I cannot keep him sober and he cannot keep me sane.
I can honestly tell you that by working the steps I now know that recovery is a life long progress. I attend my meetings each week and work with a sponsor so that I can become the best me I can possibly be.
I now know that no matter what happens in my marriage, my Heavenly Father is there for me and I will survive this.
There is support out there - find it.
Keep coming back, because your program only works if you work it.
Your sister in recovery,
Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:26 pm
On March 31st, it will be two years ago that my husband disclosed his addiction.
My sponsor told me that anniversaries can sometimes bring up things that we still need to process. She said that anniversaries can be hard on us all.
I was thinking back to that night. A night I will never forget. We were watching a show (I’ve never watch that show again) in our room and getting ready for bed. The next thing I now my husband is looking at me all serious and said we needed to talk. I honestly thought he was going to tell me that he was going to leave me. I never in a million years thought I was going to hear that he had cheated on me.
Can you believe I didn’t cry. He put his head in my lap and I just held him as he confessed everything. I comforted him. I listened and told him that everything was going to be ok. Later after he went to sleep, I went downstairs.
I went into a dark corner and just rocked back and forth. I just remember being stunned. Dumbfounded. I think a tear or two dropped, but that was it. Nothing like I thought I would have done.
I had always told my husband from the get go that I wouldn’t forgive a cheater. If he wanted someone else he needed to leave first or we couldn’t be friends. I guess that all goes out the window - when you really are in that situation and you have four young children.
The next three weeks were all about him. He had a meeting with the Bishop and we knew he would have to go through a court. My only purpose in life at that point was to keep him sober. To take any and all extra burdens from him. To give myself to him as much as he needed. I just wanted him to feel loved and to never want to do those things again.
After those three weeks it hit me like a ton of bricks. Nothing I could do could keep him sober. If he chose to stray he would stray. I couldn’t keep him from clicking the mouse. For the first time I crumbled. I cried so hard. He held me and we talked. He agreed with me.
Almost three months later was our anniversary. 13 years. I felt it was all a lie. I still had not found anyone to talk to - my bishop talked me with me briefly and asked if I was ok. Well, that was during the first three weeks when I was my husband’s champion. I was great - would be fine no problem. Now that I knew I could fix everything. I didn’t feel that way come our anniversary. Our son had turned 8 and wasn’t able to be baptized. I was angry. I had finished many books by this point, so I had a little understanding about the steps and this addiction, but it was miniscule. I told my husband that I didn’t want to celebrate our anniversary this year. I couldn’t. He had broken the covenants that we had made to each other and the Lord. He was hurt.
In July, I found HtH and S-Anon. I was starting to feel. The emotions that had been turned off were coming to life. I was really starting to grieve. It was a good thing, but my husband got very angry. He didn’t understand why it just couldn’t go back to how it was right after he disclosed to me. He said we were so close and we were happy. I told him that I wasn’t happy I was sick. I was trying to save him and didn’t even think about myself. He has said that many times through the last two years.
I just tell him, that I’m doing the best I can. I go to one face to face meeting a week and one telephone. I love my meetings. I always leave them feeling rejuvenated. I can face the world or rather go back home and face my husband and children.
I am getting better. I would say that I have more good days than bad. It still hurts when he hides his slips. I still do not trust him. I think if he could be honest with me and tell me things within say 24 hours it would be a lot easier than 3 to 4 months later.
But, I’ve decided to just work the best program I can and work hard on my steps. To continue to pay it forward. It is my prayer that fewer and fewer spouses will feel all alone when they find out about their spouse’s addiction. I truly feel that is why the Lord let His word’s flow through Colleen and Phil. He wants us to know that we are not alone. We can totally isolate ourselves if we are not careful.
Often our church leaders just do not know how to help us. They are not trained in this area. They are human as well and I think sometimes we just have to give them a pass when they say things that make us feel like it was our fault.
So, where am I today. I have meaningful discussion with my kids about the gospel. About putting the Lord first and no other human being first. I’m striving to teach them about the tools without being able to come out and tell them what I’m teaching them. When I get upset and yell or say something, I make amends as soon as possible and tell them that I am human and that I’m trying to become a better mom with the Lord’s help.
I do not know if my husband is sober. We talked in January and he admitted that he had a slip for 3 or 4 days about three months ago. He no longer works with his ARP sponsor. He said his sponsor just wanted to talk about himself and didn’t listen to what he needed him to listen to. That’s not my problem. I told him how I’ve gone through each step and question with my sponsor and he thinks I’m nuts. He thinks you only need to do step 4 and step 9 with a sponsor. Supposedly he goes to his weekly meeting, but I do not ask. I figure if he wants to share - then he will. I will not police him. I tried that and it failed miserably.
Are we better off than we were 2 years ago. Yes, in many ways we are. At least I know the truth that he has told me. I can get help for myself. I learned so much about me. I become the best me I can be and I am so thankful that the Lord is patient.
I’m still very young in my recovery. I am so thankful that it is a marathon and not a race.
This is my truth,
Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:13 pm
Thanks for sharing your journey. Your voice is a testimony that this awful situation does not need to destroy people. You are a survivor, and are doing beautifully. I think you have the right focus--on your own recovery and relationship with the Lord. I hope your husband will see his need for the same focus, too.
Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:54 pm
Thank you for your inspiring words about recovery. I am emotionally stuck and I so enjoy your posts. I just ordered this book. I wish I could find someone to talk to. I haven't told anyone, and I loose sleep. I have lost a lot of motivation to just function. I am very heartsick and depressed. You wouldn't know it, I don't go around sucking the life out of anyone, I know that I have many blessings. I just can't get past the rejection feelings and the unattractive/inadequacey feelings. I also feel like a jerk, cause I don't even feel compassion much for my husband. 2 times ago I did. I prayed for him and prayed for him while he was confessiong to the bishop and that sweet bishop, shook my hand and told me thank you. I don't have it in me right now. I lay on the couch a lot. I read in the ARP in the morning and I have been turning to the Lord more, and I do feel the strength beyond my own at times during the day. Grateful
But man oh man. I just pace a lot and stare at the ceiling fan a lot. This post is sounding more depressing than I intended! Sorry. Anyhow, love your posts, dear. Keep reminding me about the word, Recovery. Much love to you.