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Everything posted by SoCal_Counselor

  1. So the cycle is: 1. You catch him cheating, looking at porn, etc. - He denies it, or makes up an excuse. 2. You push further with the evidence - He eventually give in and admits the truth 3. You say you are not sure if you want to go on, thinking about divorce, etc. - He says he will change, this time will be different, etc. 4. You believe him, feel guilty, don't want to give up on your marriage, feel bad for him, etc. 5. You give him another chance - He is good for a little bit, and maybe you even see some changes he is making. 6. You start to "relax" about wanting a divorce, or separating because you see he is doing a little better or 6a. You have a child, or some other big event and believe that this will change him. - He feels like the marriage is stable again, and starts looking at porn, talking with other women, etc. 7. Rinse and Repeat
  2. Thoughts from a marriage counselor: Beccanne, Yes continue to work on improving yourself. Marriage counseling for both of you (or just for yourself if he doesn't go) could be helpful. The proclamation states that "Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." You are a daughter of God, and deserve to be treated with respect. From what you have said, your husband is not being respectful of you. He is demanding changes, ignoring you, and not investing in his relationship. It is perfectly okay to put your foot down and say, "It is not okay for you to treat me that way. I am a daughter of God, please treat me as such." Don't get angry, but be firm. Don't attack him, but be assertive. Work at not whining or being defensive. If you are talking about him and he changes the subject be firm and say, "We can talk about ______ later, right now we are talking about _______." Go into your bathroom, look yourself in the mirror and say, "I am a daughter of God, and and heiress of His Kingdom." Repeat it back until you believe. Talk to your husband with confidence, firmness, assertiveness, and love. You can do this. Stay strong!
  3. I have been working on a presentation that I have been preparing for RS and YW leaders in a Stake here in California. The topic is on the growing problem of women who struggle with pornography. I thought I would share some of my resources here: This is a blog of one woman's experience of healing from a pornography addiction. By the Light of Grace A number of women blog at this website talking about their experiences of healing and struggle with pornography. LDS Addiction Recovery Blogs Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts Pamphlet
  4. Journeying, You talked about "recently" finding out about your husband's pornography use. It sounds as if your world has been turned upside down. The trust in your relationship has shattered. You have probably had sleepless nights since finding out. Eating is not appealing and you probably force yourself to eat something. You are tired of feeling empty, alone, betrayed, depressed, and so on. Your mind immediately goes to how to get rid of these thoughts, and one of the only thoughts that brings any amount of hope is the thought of divorcing him. You then ponder these thoughts even more and think of how you will survive without him and maybe even begin planning where you will live, who will take care of the kids, etc. It is almost like you have been hit by a truck and don't even know how to get up. Be patient, and your strength will come back. Instead of looking for hope through divorce, look to your Savior and the scriptures. As you are patient, and turn to the Lord, you will begin to gain a better picture of how to move forward. While pornography is horrible, it does not have to destroy a marriage. There is hope and healing. Again, turn to the Lord until this emotional storm has passed. Once it passes (and it will pass), then you can start thinking of solutions to your husband's problem.
  5. Divorce is a scary thing. I am guessing that the reason he is being a doting and good husband right now is because you continually let him know that the marriage is over. I imagine if you were to "recommit" to the marriage and not divorce him that your husband would go back to the way he was. Truthfully, no woman (or man for that matter) should have to put up with constant belittling, abuse, infidelity, and alcoholism. It sounds like divorce is the best option for you and for the children. Maybe divorcing him will also allow him to hit rock bottom and seek the help he really needs. Tell yourself that you are not part of the problem (in divorcing him), but are part of the solution for all parties involved.
  6. I have my Master's degree and never regretted getting more education. I like what Skippy740 said in terms of time being your greatest asset right now. Student loans usually come with a low interest rate. For me, coming out of graduate school, I had almost $50,000 in debt. I currently have a 15 year student loan at an interest rate of about 3.5%. (There are a number of different loans, and different interest rates, but this is the average for me). I am paying about $275 per month for my student loans--essentially a car payment. Was it worth it--absolutely. But I was able to get a job after graduating. We also lived very frugally (with a couple of children at the time) and also sought help from other people (including family members--of whom we have since paid back). It was a struggle for us, but I will always cherish those times with my wife. We had certain obstacles and we had to diligently work together in order to get through those circumstances. It made us stronger as a couple.
  7. I would strongly suggest counseling. What you can do in order to find the right counselor is set up an appointment to "interview" the counselor. Most counselors will provide a 10-15 min. free interview if they are interested in your business. Ask them questions about their views of marriage and divorce. Ask them if they ever take sides when doing marriage counseling. Ask them what their approach is to marriage counseling. I would suggest interviewing at least 3 different counselors and then decide together with you wife on which counselor you would like to see. This same process can be applied for finding an individual counselor. Does she have suggestions on what needs to happen in order to fix the marriage? Also trying and loving unconditionally means that you are not expecting anything in return. If you are giving it your all, that might mean that you have to put your "unmet" needs on the back burner for a while. A suggestion, would you ever consider using this awakening and desire for knowledge to learn about what really makes a marriage last throughout the years. I would suggest some peer reviewed journal articles about marriage satisfaction. You could also read some of the following books: The Case for Marriage by Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman Getting the Love you Want by Harville Henrix Do you really have different goals? It sounds like you both want to be happy, and I imagine that you both want your spouse to be happy. I imagine that you both love your children and want them to be successful members of society, etc. It sounds like you may have similar goals, but different thoughts of how to actually achieve your goals. I would suggest focusing on the similarities you both have instead of your differences. I would further suggest serving your wife (without expecting anything in return). Changes happen in every marriage. The couples that make their marriages last are the ones who are persistent and committed throughout these changes.
  8. Presiding ultimately means that you are leading by example. When a husband/father presides over his family it means that he is setting the precedent for proper behavior. He should be the one who is reading his scriptures the most and praying to know God's will for his family. He is the one who strives every day to be like Christ. He sets the example. He calls on family members to say prayers. He uses the priesthood to bless his children and his wife. Control is something completely different than presiding. In terms of running the family, husbands and wives should be equally yoked. They work together for the benefit of a family. This article in the 2004 Ensign is very helpful: Presiding Righteously in the Home - Ensign Feb. 2004 - ensign
  9. Spiritual manifestations are very personal. I don't know if anyone can really answer why you saw your grandfather except for your Heavenly Father. I would also suggest praying to Heavenly Father to know his will concerning you (and your future baby). Pray to him with a broken heart, being willing to follow any direction he wants for you. He loves you, and will NEVER steer you wrong.
  10. It sounds like you want your wife to understand where you are coming from. I think your letter is great at expressing your feelings, but do not think that you will get understanding from her. She is not in the right mindset to understand you. She also probably feels like you don't understand her. If you or the children are in danger, or if she is a danger to herself, you need to call the police and/or social services. There are LDS Family Services in various parts of Canada. They may have more information on who you can call or where you can get help regarding this situation (the office may not be close, but you can just call the office that is closest to you): Vancouver - 604-585-7735 Calgary - 403-255-0153 Edmonton - 403-328-8263 Ontario - 416-741-6382
  11. I imagine that the poking fun at your decision happens in a group setting, and probably happens because they are uncomfortable and afraid as mentioned by Suzie. I wonder if it would be helpful to talk with members of your family (privately, not in a group setting) and let them know why you are joining the Church. If you are able, share personal experiences (again doing this privately) of why you think the Church is good for you and your son.
  12. Yes. With depression, sometimes the medication can stop working or people's body's can develop a tolerance to the medication. It is perfectly normal for this to happen. How long has it been since he received a medication evaluation from his prescribing doctor and didn't just get a refill on his current prescription?
  13. There is a lot going on with your husband that is questionable. Is he telling the truth? Who knows. Here are a couple of things that you can do: 1- Let him know that you are not okay with that behavior (be firm, but not critical or mean). 2 - Give him a For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and let him know that if your youth are expected to live those principles that both of you should as well. 3 - Let him know that you are uncomfortable with him having "friends" of the opposite sex. (I wrote a blog post about this Blogs » Boundaries with Members of the Opposite Sex » LDS Social Network) 4 - Work on yourself. Him seeing someone who lacks confidence in herself could push him farther away. Do things that help build you up such as exercising, positive social relationships with other women, healthy eating, doing things that you enjoy, etc.
  14. Carrolllkn, Wow that definitely can make you question some of the doctrines of the church. It does not make sense that a child would be sealed to someone other than his biological father. The blessings of the sealing covenant are more than just being together in the eternities as a family. They are necessary ordinances in order to reach the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. When your child is born, he will receive those blessings from the sealing between your wife and her ex. Think of it like a baptism (which is also an ordinance). If you are baptized by someone and then the person who baptized you falls away from the church, it does not impact the blessing you receive from the baptismal covenant in any way. The same is true with the ordinance of being sealed to one's parents. Your child will be able to receive the blessings from the sealing covenant (i.e. able to achieve the highest degree of celestial glory). Being sealed does not mean that you are doomed to spend the rest of your life with that person. As you live righteously you WILL be with your child in the eternities. What you do as his father on earth will be crucial to his development and to his progression to reach the celestial kingdom as well.
  15. So it sounds like you don't want this relationship to go too fast because you crashed and burned in the first relationship, right? You had a crush on this guy in elementary school, but are unsure if you still have those feelings? Do you feel like this would be a rebound relationship? Make sure you have dealt with the issues from the previous relationship. Getting into a new relationship to solve problems from a different relationship is not a good idea.
  16. If you are still looking for an LDS Counselor, here is the phone number for the LDS Family Services in England: 011-44-121-712-1188 They are located in Birmingham. If you do not live close to them, still give them a call, and they might know of counseling resources where you live.
  17. Kat, thank you for coming here for answers. Is it possible to overcome sexual addictions--absolutely! Is it easy--NO WAY! If I didn't believe that change from addictions was possible, I would be a lousy counselor. I know change is possible because I've seen it in my counseling office and experienced it myself. That you are willing to seek help for these problems shows a tremendous amount of strength and integrity. Stay strong! Keep at it! Our Heavenly Father is someone who wants us to be hopeful and happy. Satan wants us to be discouraged and miserable. When you get those thoughts in your head that you are a __________, or a ____________, or whatever it may be, push those thoughts out quickly. They are only coming from the father of lies. He tells lies to help you feel miserable. When you sin, Satan wants you to think that all hope is lost and that you are completely worthless. On the other hand, Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ want you to know that there is hope after sin. Jesus doesn't shun you when you sin, but says, "Come unto me." His atonement is real and is part of our eternal plan of happiness. Let him heal you. Your Bishop is available to help you access the fullness of the Atonement. Let him help you. He is the Lord's servant and is there to help. Let Christ's Atonement heal you. As you put your trust in him, he will lift your burdens and help you find true happiness. You are a strong woman (tell yourself that). Stay strong, and don't give up.
  18. You need to have a frank conversation with her. Let her know that you are also uncomfortable with the level of physical intimacy in the relationship. I can almost guarantee that you are both thinking different things when you are making out and touching each other all over. I imagine in those moments that she is thinking, 'This feels so good. He must really love me!' In your mind, you might be thinking, 'This feels so good, I want more.' Getting aroused and wanting more is completely natural for men when they are with another woman. There is a time and a place for those activities, and it is after marriage. Don't arouse those feelings before getting married. Getting involved too much physically before marriage can quickly open the emotional floodgates, and once they are open, they are VERY difficult to close. Your a man, and have a pretty good indication of when you are aroused. Set up appropriate boundaries to limit that arousal. If you get aroused when she touches your leg, then that is off limits. If you get aroused when kissing passionately, than that is off limits. There is nothing wrong with being sexually aroused, it means that your body is working properly. There will be a time and a place for that. You just have to make sure you are in control. Setting appropriate boundaries can help you stay in control.
  19. I've worked with numerous individuals who thought they had kicked a bad habit, and then they fell back into it again. I think the key is to get back up again when you fall. When we sin, Satan wants us to be discouraged. He wants us to be miserable and hopeless. The Savior on the other hand wants us to be loving, happy, and hopeful. Saying we will never sin again is just simply not possible (though I do recognize that we can rid ourselves of sin and addictions). Instead of saying, I will never do ______________ again, say "If _________ happens again (which I hope and pray that it won't), I will repent, and get back on track again. I will utilize the Savior's Atonement and continually strive to draw closer to him." For those dealing with any kind of addiction, I would strongly suggest going to one of The Church's Addiction Recovery Programs. You can find all of the groups at LDS Addiction Recovery Program. The groups are free and anonymous. You do not need a bishop's recommendation to go, you can just show up.
  20. With relationships, God wants us to be happy, and he wants us to be obedient. He wants us to fall in love, get married, become one through sexual intimacy, have children, and endure to the end; but he wants us to do it in the proper order. He has set up commandments (including the law of chastity) for our benefit and our own happiness. Being faithful and following him will help us to be happy. I can't emphasize how important it is to have appropriate boundaries in a relationship before getting married. A few examples might be: Never being alone with her. Bedrooms are especially problematic. Be in a public place.Know the difference between appropriate touch and inappropriate touch (If she is touching/kissing you in a way that is arousing you, it is probably inappropriate for now. If you are touching/kissing her in a way that is getting her aroused, it is probably inappropriate)Setting the limit on physical touching (i.e. kissing is okay, passionate kissing is too far)Make sure you discuss these boundaries togetherIn the early stages of my relationship with my wife, we discussed some rules and boundaries before getting married. I told her that I was uncomfortable with her touching me anywhere my garments were, except for giving me a back rub. We determined that we would not engage in any kind of passionate kissing. We were also always in a public place. We found that our friendship and communication really developed as we were "unable" to take the relationship further physically. After getting married, we allowed the sexual aspect into our relationship and it strengthened us even more. The foundation of our relationship was spiritual closeness, friendship, communication, love, trust, understanding, and respect. Sex and physical closeness is an important part of our relationship, but it is not the foundation.
  21. Lil-Kliz, I am glad that you are looking outside of yourself. Here are a couple of my thoughts: 1. First of all, I believe that "soul mates" are formed, not found. President Kimball said "'Soulmates' are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price." 2. With relationships, God wants us to be happy, and he wants us to be obedient. He wants us to fall in love, get married, become one through sexual intimacy, have children, and endure to the end; but he wants us to do it in the proper order. He has set up commandments (including the law of chastity) for our benefit and our own happiness. Being faithful and following him will help us to be happy. 3. Does God want your relationship to work? Maybe. Ask him. When you do ask him, let him know that you are committed to following his commandments and doing things the right way. 4. If you feel like you should be with this person, make sure you set up appropriate boundaries to avoid making the same mistake again. A few examples might be: Never being alone with himKnowing the difference between appropriate touch and inappropriate touch (If he is touching you in a way that is arousing you, it is probably inappropriate for now. If you are touching/kissing him in a way that is getting him aroused, it is probably inappropriate)Setting the limit on physical touching (i.e. kissing is okay, passionate kissing is too far)Make sure you discuss these boundaries togetherTurn to God and follow his counsel, and you will never go wrong. Good luck.
  22. There is a time and a place for everything. Wanting a temple marriage is a righteous goal, but there are other things to worry about before that happens. Right now, you are preparing yourself for a mission. This is your focus. Don't worry about what the future entails. If you are faithful now and work hard at your current responsibilities, you will be blessed in the future. Focus on the here and now.
  23. Whenever it comes to dealing with exes, I always suggest planning a time to run into them. After you run into them, make sure you put it in reverse and run into them again. In all seriousness, it is completely normal to have these feelings. I also agree with the thoughts from Eowyn. If we are struggling with something presently in our life, our minds will often go back to a time when we felt happy, content, or comforted. This is our minds way of dealing with our individual or relational problems. Take a close look at what stressors you are currently experiencing. Are you struggling with individual worth? Are you struggling in your relationship? Work at improving your life and taking care of the problems in an appropriate manner. I would especially suggest working at drawing closer to the Savior as he is the ultimate healer. Drawing upon the powers of the Atonement can help us to feel happier about ourselves.
  24. A little while ago, I worked with a couple in counseling where I was helping them strengthen their marriage and improve their communication. As we were looking for exceptions to their negative communication problems, I observed that they each tried harder in their marriage when they knew the other person was having a bad day. When the wife recognized that her husband was not feeling well, she worked harder at nagging him less and being more appreciative of him. When the husband recognized that his wife was not feeling well, he worked harder at appreciating her and doing more chores around the house. I then made the suggestion to both, "Why don't you always assume that the other person is having a bad day and make it a habit to put forth more effort in how you treat your spouse?" Both thought that this was a great idea and began implementing this strategy in their relationship. Recognizing how your spouse is feeling, and responding to such emotions is called compassion. Compassion is crucial to having a healthy relationship. It is essential if you want to have an eternal marriage.
  25. USS Thunderbird. I thought the posts from annatess and aaltjmom were insightful. From what you have said, it seems like his mother did a disservice to him by taking care of his every need. He became dependent on her and did not learn how to do things for himself. He has also trained you (not intentionally) to be his pseudo mom who takes care of all his needs. I would suggest sitting down with him, and outlining your various responsibilities with the household. Listen to his thoughts and suggestions in terms of what he wouldn't mind doing. After you have established your different responsibilities, DO NOT EVER DO HIS RESPONSIBILITIES. If he is in charge of doing the dishes, and the dishes are piled up all over the place, DO NOT TOUCH THEM. Gently let him know that he made a commitment to doing the dishes. As he is learning to do things for himself, more than likely, the things he does will not be up to your standards. That is ok. He is learning. If he asks for help, you can teach him what to do, BUT DO NOT TAKE OVER HIS RESPONSIBILITIES. Be patient and kind with him. Be optimistic and faithful. Take care of him as a WIFE and not a MOTHER.