ByAThread

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  1. I am writing from my daughter's graveside. Today is her 5th birthday. I wish she could be raised in her eternal family after the resurrection but her family doesn't qualify for that. I have a strong testimony of the gospel but my faith has completely died. I go through the motions to set an example for my children, but I have no hope or energy left. My oldest son just went back to BYU this week so that means I'll have to bless the sacrament on Sunday and I don't know how I can do it. I can't think of a single good thing that has come to my life by trying to live the gospel, and that includes my children who will no longer be mine after this life is over. I was born in the church but wasn't really raised in it. It wasn't until I graduated high school that I really became converted and served a mission. I'm the only one from my family that's even active, but for what? My "eternal" marriage is completely busted and after years of putting all my heart and soul into trying to fix it, I have accepted that my "eternal companion" just doesn't care. There has been absolutely zero physical contact of any kind between us in over four years. She gets her need for physical affection filled by cuddling and holding hands with a friend of hers and everyone including our marriage counselor and priesthood leaders are perfectly fine with that, so who am I to argue? I have detached from her completely to protect my own emotional state and because I don't have the emotional energy left to try and bring her back into this marriage when she already considers herself "married" to someone else. So I am completely alone. I don't have a single friend in the world or in Heaven. During the entire pandemic I have heard from my fellow ward members exactly twice, but never to ask how I was doing or to check on my well being with my father (who lives with me) spending a month on what we expected to be his death bed. No, my EQ Pres, only cared enough about my family and me to see if I would help someone move. No one talks to me unless they want something from me. I don't blame God and I don't blame them. I have come to accept that I am just not good enough for Him or anyone else around me. If only I was a better human. I gave up praying a while back because I can no longer muster the hope to convince myself that God has any concern for anything I have to say, He's going to do whatever He wants to do regardless of my will or desires. My entire life I have always tried my hardest to do the best I could (which is why I'm the only one of my siblings still active) and it just hasn't been enough for Him. Three and a half years ago I got the distinct impression that the joy at the end of the road would be worth the pain, but I am burned out, broken and beaten and my road has ended as far as I am concerned. My faith has completely died and I have no hope left. What is the point to this life when there is no expectation left of being able to achieve exaltation because your partner has moved on completely? Everything else is meaningless. Why bother with any of the commandments when the best they will get me is second place? I'm not looking for marriage advice because no one who reads this knows enough about my situation to say anything meaningful and I am fully aware it took both of us to get this marriage to where it is today. I'm looking for answers on how to rebuild my faith from complete hopelessness. I don't want to be where I am spiritually, but I don't see any way to move forward. I don't need any meaningless platitudes or Sunday School answers. I need some nuts and bolts things to move forward in a hopeless situation because right now the only positive thing I can come up with each day is that it's one less day I have to live going forward. I will not divorce because it is more important for me to be present for my children still in the home, at least while they are still mine in this life. Plus my wife has already turned one of my children against me and I am trying to do everything I can to sustain the relationships I have with the others. And even if I did divorce that wouldn't solve anything for me because I no longer believe I am capable of creating a happy marriage (if such a thing even exists) so why put another woman through that heartache and misery? So there it is, how do I regrow a faith that is completely dead?
  2. And I don't blame my wife for where she is. I see that I was a horrible husband, for many reasons, not just the porn. I understand that I can't change her and I don't try anymore. While I am still here I am doing my best to be a good husband in the limited ways she will allow. I am not here to disparage her. I am just trying to figure out whether I stay or go.
  3. I won't say that I have it beat, but I have matured beyond it. I haven't used in years, and while I don't subscribe to the addiction model for this behavior, I do believe that it is something I will need to be mindful of, probably for the rest of my life.
  4. After spending most if my life under the burden of a compulsive behavior pattern with pornography, a couple of years ago I was finally able to get myself out from under it. I spent a year in therapy, both by myself and with my wife, I spent a year going to the church's recovery program at least once a week, every week, and I used a multitude of others tools that I searched out. Basically, anything I thought would help. And by the way, the church is horrible at dealing with this and no matter what anyone says, church leadership still stigmatizes those who are dealing with this, even when it started at an age when the person struggling did not even know it was something to be on guard for. The thing is, during the most difficult part of my life, when I was waging a war, minute by minute sometimes, every single person in my life that I reached out to completely abandoned me. Priesthood leaders, family members, friends, even my therapist decided that I was not worth her time and refused to schedule any more appointments. My wife has completely abandoned our marriage as well. While trying to get healthy I was desperate for at least one person to step up and give the support I needed. Every single person I reached out to left me on my own to fight this battle. So have fought it by myself. Porn is first and foremost an intimacy disorder and I am desperate for real human connection. I now have a permanent room mate instead of a wife. She is now "married" to her best friend, who she gives all her attention to, spending almost every evening with her after the children are in bed, sitting with her at church, etc. There is no affection or intimacy. Having been the child of divorce, I will not put my children through it, but I wonder if it is more damaging for them to see the relationship their parents are modeling. There is no fighting, just 100% apathy. A several years ago I was 24 hours away from leaving her because of how unhappy I was in the marriage, but I chose to stay because of the children. During my recovery process, I have listened to her complaints about my behavior, apart from the porn, without judgment. I have made an honest effort to change and in a lot of ways, have made significant progress. She cannot tolerate the thought that I was unhappy. She will not listen to anything I say because PORN, so I have given up. I can't compete with her inner monologue, especially when therapists, priesthood leaders, and friends tell her that everything wrong in our marriage is my fault because PORN. So I have given up. Hope is too expensive a commodity for me anymore. I no longer believe that I am worth loving. I no longer believe that God has any interest in me, my happiness, or my family. I no longer believe that marriage is meant to be happy or that such a thing as a happy marriage even exists. I no longer believe that church members have any real affection for each other. Going to church only makes me angry because all I see is hypocrisy, and I don't excuse myself from that. I can't bring myself to shake hands with anyone because no one there talks to me unless they want something from me. I'm done with it all. I still go because that is the price required by the woman I live with, but I don't feel it anymore. I recently met with a member of the stake presidency to be released from a calling. He asked me to close with prayer and I flatly refused. I can't think of a single time in my life when prayer has accomplished anything. God is not interested in what I want or need. I understand that now. I was actually happier when I was using because I actually believed that someday somehow I would get past it and I would finally be able to be happy. Now I am on the other side and I realize there is no happiness to be had. Just more misery. This isn't where I want to be, but it's where I am and I don't know how to get past it. I don't trust anyone anymore which is why I guess I am reaching out to random strangers on the internet. Do I stay in the home (I won't call it a marriage) for the children, or do I break their hearts so I can chase the mirage of a happy marriage with someone else? I don't have any answers anymore and I don't have any faith left that there will be any answers coming from on high.