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Everything posted by Misshalfway

  1. It hurts me a little to hear you blame yourself so intensely. Not that it isn't good to take responsibility and not that it's not normal for what you are going through now, but it just seems like there was a lot more going on that just your hurtful reactions. I mean when you are in a marriage with porn addiction hiding in the undercurrents, it's hard to know how to react. You know something is wrong....that something hurts...that you don't feel loved or safe. But you don't know what it is. Stuff comes out your mouth before you've really got a hold of what it all means and what the enemy really is. And then the truth of his addiction comes out and of course your defenses are going to go up! It's like learning your house is on fire and you are stuck inside. And somehow you are expected to be calm and supportive? I mean you can't do that until you feel safe again. Right? I mean did he ever try to make you safe or was he so focused on his own needs in those early days? Yeah...maybe you could have handled it better but give yourself a little compassion. And let me say this, at least in my experience, men who struggle with porn also tend to struggle with distorted and exaggerated fears about rejection and expectations about being loved. Wives are not suppose to have feelings or needs. She's suppose to be there for him. Period. So when she has her own struggles or gets hurt by his behavior...he experiences a narcissistic wound of sorts and the resentment builds. It's like she becomes objectified as having all the responsibility for his needs/comfort, etc, and therefore his scapegoat when things do go perfectly. Going to therapy sounds good, but if he was trying to use that as another way to blame you or control to make you into object, I can see why your insides might have resisted. If any of this was going on with you two, it would make sense why resentments would resurface and why he couldn't forgive you. That distorted thinking doesn't allow for mistakes or repairs. It doesn't allow for the other person to learn, grow, or regroup with better information. It's absolute. Once you blow it, it's over. He sees the weakness and withdraws his love. Just like he did to himself when he saw his own weakness. And just like he might do with the next person. I have no idea if what I've offered is relevant to your situation, but whatever happened, I'm sorry he wasn't able to empathize with what you went through...see how his behavior might have contributed to your pain or imbalanced reactions. And I'm sorry he couldn't forgive you. It sounds like you've tried everything humanly possible to make things better. May angels attend you as your mourn this loss. But gosh...you don't have kids and you are 28! You have your whole life ahead of you. It's probably so hard to see the hope but maybe this divorce is a blessing. I think good things will come to you.
  2. I'm with Parakeet on this one. As hard as it is, I think it's important to understand that it's not your burden to carry. It's hers. She must decide what to do. Your job is to help her carry her own burden, not take over and override her. If she were underage, that would be different. Then it would be your responsibility. I think it's key that she came to you as a friend. Perhaps the lines of where your EQP duties begin and end are muddled for you. So, I guess I'm saying that yes you can hold this information and do nothing. Well, maybe not do nothing. Encourage her to go to the police or get counseling or comfort her fears. But you have to do what God has to do....respect the agency.
  3. Coming from a kid who got ignored a lot from my mother, I'd have given anything for a mother who fussed a bit over my welfare. Just the argument of "Ma! Stop it." Makes me jealous. I had some visiting teachers a while back who were both experiencing their first tastes of empty nest. One was talking about how her daughter had a new baby and didn't want mom to hover because she wanted to prove to mom she could do it herself. This woman felt rejected and excluded and it was a really hard transition. Now that I'm a mom and my kids are bringing home girlfriends and I'm thinking about losing my first in a year, who knows. I might just be fussing over his laundry when he gets home from his mission. Silly. But I think I get it.
  4. My son has had his license for six months. So far, he's blown the clutch in the old pick up. It's dead in my third garage. $800 to fix. Just drove in his first snow. Bent the front tire on car #2. Just dropped $600 to fix that. All I can say is that i'm feeling a lot of "good feeling gone...".
  5. My 10 year old painted a poster sized picture of me and her together holding hands. It was astonishingly beautiful. Maybe it's because she is budding as a little artist, or maybe I could feel the emotion she used to paint it. All I know is that tears flowed out of my eyes as I took it all in. Best present ever because it came right from her tender little heart into mine.
  6. Folk Prophet...does sustaining the brethren, to you, mean that you believe everything they say is gospel fact? Where do you draw your lines? With me for example, I don't include Deseret Book into the cannon. I only accept what is said in GC or when a formal letter is read to the congregations. For me, sustaining is a different thing than idolizing or idealizing. I find it difficult to idealize in my adulthood but as a child I was very much taught that was the essence of what sustaining was about. What are your thoughts on the nuances? I'm not even sure "support" means "agree".
  7. Yeah...you can set boundaries. But my guess is that it won't turn out the way you want. Not that you shouldn't set them. Just that I think something more fundamental is in play. So maybe ask a different question like.... ....What attachment need is your mother trying to fill? to feel needed? valued? What is her fundamental fear if she loses this access to your "laundry"? If you can figure out the answer, perhaps you can help give your mother the reassurance she needs and then her pressured helping behaviors might naturally relax. I think setting boundaries is important but my feeling is that we miss other important components of the process when we set them. And then we end up frustrated and confused. It's like we say "Here's my boundary! Respect it! It's the most important thing to me. Forget about you." Then the other one feels the hurt but stays fighting for something more fundamentally important to them. Attachment needs are survival. We fight for these just like we fight to breath. So, while you are saying no....it'd be cool if you could add some comment like "mom, I love what you give me. You've taught me selfless service. I need some independence but I don't want to lose you. You are so important to me." Get my drift? You are saying my boundaries are important but you are important to me too. Comfort the attachment need and the defenses relax. BUT you have to understand her first. So get curious instead of furious. I mean maybe this is the time in your life where you realize more about the humanness of your mother ....and if you have the courage, perhaps you'll be willing to learn how to love her without requiring her to change first. That's harder work that requires more selflessness but it's actually gives birth to sweeter interactions and more peaceful interactions than stark boundary setting alone.
  8. I like this thread. I think the ideas presented by the OP are important ones. At least they've been important for me to consider as my testimony and religious practice has evolved. I remember listening to Elder Oaks once. I'm sorry I can't post a link but I believe he was asked if people should sustain the brethren even if they were off or wrong in something. His answer was "yes". I think there is something important here. That we are suppose to "sustain" the brethren through it all. He didn't say "to agree with absolutely". Just sustain. And I can do that. I do that when I honor my human parents or my human bishop or my human VTers. I can do that with the brethren too even if I think they miss the mark a little. I mean I look at every General Conference I've witnessed since I can remember. I don't have one moment where I came away feeling anything less than uplifted. There have been times that some speakers didn't resonate with me in the moment. Or speakers that I didn't feel as much spirit with as others. But that never bothered me. I've assumed that those sermons weren't expedient for me but might be for someone else. I've seen the church evolve and will admit that some of those changes have caused me to pause and consider....even doubt. But at the end of the day...I still feel Father in Heaven stop my criticisms with a firm hand as He instructs me to follow the priesthood and it's respective offices and hand the humanness to Him. That direction means more to me than any intellectual measure of "correctness". At the end of the day, Father commands and I must heed his voice. And if I'd been an early Saint, I would have sold my farm, smashed my dishes, and left it all for a pipe dream in SLC. "and shall we die before our journey's through....happy day. all is right." Prophets are humans. They have a job to do. A really hard one, at that! And I have a job to do too. And sometimes believing is hard too. So, I guess it's hard all over. :) Makes sustaining each other so important! Maybe that's why I think this thread is important. I'd like to see the church do a better job at sustaining each other through our seasons of doubt or trial or midst of darkness. I'm wearied by the way we judge each other with such superiority and harshness. I wish instead for a body of the church that meets such weakenings/or strengthenings (depending on how you look at it) with understanding and sustaining encouragment, love, and support. I think if we could understand this principle and apply it, we'd be better off. Maybe even a little more like the city of Enoch. At least I hope so.
  9. You and I must be having the same week. We worked science fair last night until late and we have a like a million recitals, school concerts, and stuff the kids forgot to tell me until 5 mins before it's due. And I'm with the rest of you on wanting my babies home with me and out of all the school environment. I will say I'm happier this year than ever. I've found two charter schools that are excellent and my kids are really thriving. My older two are doing a hybrid schedule with half homeschool and half local school. That seems to be working well. I actually think my kids are learning and thinking! Not all that going through the motion drone training stuff.
  10. I'm sorry to have rocked the thread by my less than specific statements. Perhaps "wrong" was the wrong term. :) What I meant to say was that in some of Kimball's writings, like the Miracle of Forgiveness, he was rather, I don't know, perfectionistic, rigid, or black and white about the subject. And I think his writings contributed to a lot of misunderstandings and unnecessary shame about sexual feelings and actions. I remember reading once that even Kimball himself thought he had been too harsh with gay people in his earlier writings. I'll add too, that I've spent long hours studying these writings and asking Father to please help me understand and I believe my spirit communications about sexual feelings, development, and behaviors feel a little more balanced than what I felt reading Kimball on the subject. But this is just me as I try to understand the truth about these things so I can guide my little family. Please know. I love president Kimball. He was the prophet of my youth. My point was to illustrate that prophets are humans. That's all. And that sometimes their efforts to communicate are flawed. And I meant to express that I personally don't need to idealize them in order to follow them. How many times do the prophets in the BofM asking us not to condemn the writings because of their imperfections? It's the same thing. I don't condemn any of them for their imperfection. But I don't deny the imperfection either.
  11. I get it. She's changing the game and you aren't prepared for that. And your concerns are valid. The kids need stability anywhere they can get it. I also honor your courage to try to slowly adjust to these new changes. You said that she was able to calm a bit and start to respect your wishes. Perhaps she is slowly moving towards what you need as well. Sounds like there might be a little spark of hope here that might lead to mutually beneficial negotiations. Am I right? Is this a place of softening that could be nurtured? I'd love to see you through your energy towards building this bridge. In regards to your last statements, I'm not sure it's "wrong" to put wife 3rd. But I'm concerned that your statement is really only about you and your emotional survival and protection. Maybe you've lost trust in your wife's devotion to you. Or maybe you had trust issues before you got married. I couldn't know. But this is concerning especially for the children. The children's greatest protection is a the safe haven of a strong marriage. Don't think the kids won't sense your disloyalty to each other. They absolutely will! And it will instill inside of them a strain of insecurity and teach them not to trust relationships. I really like Estradling's post. It feels like really good counsel for you. Maybe when you are ready you'll have the courage to rise to it.
  12. Hi Priesthoodpower. Looks like it's been a few days since anyone has posted on this thread. Don't know how you are feeling now, but it sure sounds like the communication between you and your wife has really taken a turn for the worse. It's like you both have stopped listening to each other. And like you are starting to go to war. And that makes me really sad for you and your wife and those beautiful kids you have. Don't go to war Priesthoodpower. I know you are hurting and feeling betrayed. I know you are afraid. But don't let those feelings overtake your wisdom and cause you to stop practicing love. Slow your reactions. Calm your indignation. Don't let yourself blame or attack or withhold your patience, kindness, or long suffering. Your feelings are understandable and valid. I'm not suggesting you have lie or dishonor them in any way. I mean this challenge you've been given is very difficult and heart-wrenching. But remember you ALWAYS have a choice as to how you handle it. We don't always get to choose our problems but we always have a choice as to how we'll react to them. Reach out to your wife. Soften your heart. Soften your words and your judgments and your protests. The church is important. But not nearly as important as learning the lessons of love. Don't get stuck in a right fight. You'll win the battle and lose the war. There are no winners in wars like this and the ones who lose the most are those sweet kids. Try empathy instead. Try slowing things down. Try getting curious instead of furious. Try getting to the heart of the matter and validating your wife's feelings. Support her. Be her soft place to fall. ANd then ask for what you need. It's ok to ask for her to negotiate a new way to raise the children. It's ok to ask her to watch her mocking tone. But do so from a place of gentleness and peace. OK? I know it's hard what I'm suggesting. Selflessness is one of the hardest things Father asks us practice. But it works way better than the stuff our natural man comes up with. When stuff like this happens, it's so easy to feel like the victim. To feel like all this stuff is happening to us. But maybe it's happening FOR us. Maybe we need to be rocked on our heads so we can see our rough edges and realize our need for repentance or change. Pain tends to be like mud on the windshield and we panic and start swerving all over the road! Don't panic. Settle down and let the spirit teach you what to do next. Then follow those dictates. And grace will attend you.
  13. Well, at least you are learning that using fear to manage the natural man doesn't really work so well. It wears you out! What if you tried a different psychology when evaluating your behavior? Like love for example. Working with the natural man is a lot like working with kids. You can scream at them, punish them, and threaten them. Then they will hate you and rebel. Or you can let them walk all over you and watch them become spoiled entitled brats. Or you can love, support, and guide them with good counsel and proper limits. And lots of times we just have to trust them. I have no clue whether a confession to the bishop would help you or not. But don't you think you should stop all this worry and just trust yourself? Why fear the natural man more than you trust your spirit self? Half the problem with self mastery is all the fear. Fear just makes us weak and reactive. Trust makes us strong and flexible and wise.
  14. Three of my kids like school. They're weirdos. :) It's me that's chomping at the bit for the vacation. I'm feeling burnout and really wanting fun. And sleep.
  15. I was thinking too that there are so many possible reasons for no sex. No one tells us that sex is challenging in marriage. No one tells us that it isn't like it is on TV and that most of the time it's a very human experience that changes over time. They just say "don't do it before" and "You better do it after". And no one warns you that sometimes your body betrays you. I think people get married and think that it's going to be easy And then reality hits and we don't know what to do. So we panic and blame and demand and mope and withdraw and sometimes we even coerce or guilt or even tantrum by acting out. Yuck, if you ask me. I mean its not like any of that stuff works. So why do we do it? Probably cuz we don't know what else to do. But I think it could help if we all understood that sex is challenging and that struggle is way more common than no struggle at all. Long ago, a poster on this site recommended "Constructing the Sexual Crucible" by David Schnarch. It's a lot to digest and not by a mormon author....but it might be one of the best books I've ever read on the subject. It taught me loads. So much I may not have been ready for my first year of marriage, but still really valuable stuff like how sex is suppose to be challenging. I remember my grandpa telling me at the dinner table how frustrated he was with his prostate cancer and how it was interfering with his performance. I was 17. It was....you know...the most uncomfortable conversation of my life. Lol! But gosh his feelings were so so normal!! Maybe if we understood this we'd give our spouse a break once in a while.
  16. Well, I'm a counselor so I might have a little idea. People come to me to tell me what they say to their bishops. And....what their bishops say back. :)
  17. Wow! That sounds so happy! I hope they get good wedding presents! Our neighbor gave us a set of rusted steak knives I'm pretty sure he had stored in his garage for 40 years. He wrapped it with a pretty bow though.....
  18. Personally, I think you are thinking too hard about this. Go to the meeting you want to go to and don't worry about it.
  19. I was praying to God the other day and full on whining about the difficulties in my life. I must have said, "That's not fair!" at least 5 fives. And then God said back to me, "Who do you think you are, sweetie? Who promised you an easy life? Who promised you that all your dreams would come true?" And so I was humbled yet again. :) It's so easy to get stuck in the wallowing place. Isn't it? But gosh it's a trap. Gratitude works better. It helps us tame our unruly expectations and it keeps us from suffering unnecessarily. Sorry rejection has happened so much. Sorry marriage has been elusive. Sounds like you really really wanted your happy dream. I wanted my happy dream too. But I got my life instead. And I'm better for it. Even if I am a little sad about the whole thing. Don't give up. Maybe you just need to change your brand of breath mints. :) And, If you get married, happy new year! If you don't, it can still be a happy new year cuz life is good!! (and cuz marriage is kinda hard sometimes. Sometimes I've wondered if the single folks have it easier. You know what I'm saying???)
  20. The polygamy question is a tough one for a lot of people. Many have been thrown off by it and have had their faith shaken too. So know that your experience is a common one. I really think this question can be solved the same way every other question is resolved and that is through the Holy Spirit. God said He would teach us the truth of all things. So...prove him now herewith. Right? At this point in my grapplings with Joseph Smith, I've come to a place where I don't need the guy to be perfect anymore. I only need to know that God trusted him to do some work. And I need to know what was God's work and what was man's fallibility. I look at all the prophets. It seems to me that all of them got it wrong on something. Noah, Peter, Paul, all the guys from the scriptures. Frankly, I think Brigham got it wrong on race and I wonder if Kimball got it wrong on sex. Maybe Joseph got it wrong on polygamy. It certainly seems the church was confused about sealings for a while because they started sealing everybody to Joseph but soon discontinued the practice when they understood better. And I think about the scriptures and what God does to try his people. He does some pretty radical stuff like chopping off Laban's head and killing Pharaoh's kid and going to war with people and asking prophets to marry their servant woman cause wifey couldn't have babies. Frankly, I have moral concerns with all this stuff! But apparently God asks His people to do questionable stuff sometimes. The only thing we need to know is whether or not God is the author of it. So to the spirit we must go for the answer. All the research or reading apologists can't give the reassurance we really need. For me, a little study was helpful to give a context but it's really been the spirit that I've leaned on to tell me the truth about stuff. And I'm not even saying I have perfect clarification on this issue. But I've gotten enough that I'm not really worried about it anymore.
  21. I think God obeys eternal law. And I think that opposition in all things is part of the structure of all things. I think God knows that. I think he works inside the "truths" or the facts of the universe. And I think that God knows what creation looks like on the Telestial level and the limits to the kinds of refinement that are possible in this realm. It seems to me that in this telestial sphere that there are births and deaths. And that there has to be something that generates the births and that leads to the deaths. Whether its the birth or death of a star or an earth or a life. But it also seems that there are higher levels of creation or development for all matter. So maybe in the higher refined sphere's there aren't such agents of death.
  22. You know, sometimes we humans are really good at causing our own suffering. You'll have to forgive me. I'm a little bit of a Byron Katie (writer/guru person) follower and after reading your post, I'm thinking about her writings. She does this exercise where she asks her readers to "judge their neighbor". So basically you pick someone and go to town indicting their weaknesses. Kind of like what you've done with this woman in your neighborhood. "she's a hypocrite" or "she's unloving" or "she ignores me". Then Byron Katie tells you to turn it around. So, you turn it around onto yourself. "I'm a hypocrite" or "I'm unloving" or "I ignore me". It takes a load of courage to really look at yourself this way. I'm sure you'll agree. But what I've learned that what we see in others or hate in others or love in others has a lot more to do with us than with them. And even though it takes courage to look within in this way, when we take responsibility for our own judgments of others and maybe of the unloving way we treat ourselves, we can change that and help ourselves feel better. Sweetie, it sounds like you are or have really struggled with depression and suicidal feelings. That's hard stuff. It really is. I've struggled with some of that myself and I sympathize. But if you are like me, depressive headspace can kinda warp ones perceptions on things. I remember being so offended by others. So offended because I was reading their mind and guessing about all sorts of things I feared might be true. It really didn't have nearly as much to do with them as it did with me and my faulting expectations and beliefs. Is there a chance that might be happening here with you? I read once, "There are no stressful circumstances. Only stressful reactions to circumstances." It kinda feels like your suffering might be due to your stressful reactions, not so much due to this woman and her seeming indifference. I mean, if I do another Byron Katie......Who are you without this dreadful story you are telling yourself about this woman and how she hates you? Blessings.
  23. I really hope that God will be the judge. He knows me best. And frankly humans are kinda bad at this kind of stuff, even if they are trusted by God to do important stuff on earth. If Father is who I go to now, who I bow before, who I counsel with.....He has to be the one that talks to me again after it's all over.
  24. It does sort of seem like you are swinging from extreme to extreme, at least in your descriptions. And it's interesting that your definitions of what makes things good has only to do with whether or not your wife is able to make you feel good. Like it's somehow her fault you don't feel good sometimes. Or that it's her fault for not solving your shame problem. Or like it's her responsibility to make sure you never feel bad ever again. Frankly, that's a lot to lay at the feet of any new spouse. Having a helpmeet is a great thing that does provide a lot comfort and support. But if you've objectified her into the source of all of your emotional comfort and given her the responsibility to keep you feeling "high", then sweets, you might have a bigger problem than just whether or not you married "the right one". Yeah, it wasn't all that mature to throw the ring at you, but then again, I wasn't there. I don't know what you said that triggered such a response. I'm with others. If you've got a porn history or a drug history or a another potentially disturbing history, you gotta understand that these things scare people. It's kinda interesting to me how you expect her to react perfectly and balanced and to always respond in a way that comforts you, but you don't seem to see how you might be overreactive or how you might not be responding in a comforting way to her. My gut tells me, you could use some counseling. It might be good for you to look at how you cope with imbalanced emotions and why you seem to need other people to regulate those emotions for you. I certainly don't think your answer is getting another wife. If you are doing this stuff now, you'll just take that pattern with you and get disappointed when your next girlfriend can't be your 24/7 soother.