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This is a very tender thing for me.

I've long since thought that I am a forgiving and compassionate person; that I will not judge someone unrighteously and allow those who have made mistakes to move on without my weighing them down.

But... I'm bitter... and I'm having a hard time letting go.

I grew up striving to do the right things. Never smoked or drank alcohol or did drugs of any kind. No relationship i had advanced beyond a romantic kiss as far as the physical intimacy went. I always have had a strong testimony and hunger for greater knowledge and faith.

My wife grew up in the church but had a rebellious period. She used drugs, mostly drank alcohol, had multiple sexual relationships prior to me, has had piercings, and tattoos.

Now when I met her she was on her way back. She was getting away from her troubled last relationship to a man she was engaged to, she was all but stopped drinking/partying... she just wanted to make get back on track. Without being involved too much in the repentance process, I was nevertheless a part of her journey back.

She was a lot different than any girl I had dated... notwithstanding her indiscretions she was very, VERY smart. We had many things in common and after months of consecutive days I was in love with this strong, beautiful girl. We've been married for about a year now, and I love her more now than I did then; however, it has been a nearly constant struggle for me to forget the past.

I'm embarrassed, and I wish it were not the case, but I find myself putting myself in a position of judging whether her attitudes and guilt are sufficient for repentance. That is NOT the role I want to be in, while at the same time, I feel a responsibility as her eternal companion to help her develop spiritually.

I just want to be the best companion that I can be to her. I recognize very well that I am not perfect, while at the same time I feel like I have a lot to offer someone who fell in the pitfalls that I avoided. I DO feel at times that I can identify certain tendencies that explain and were potentially the cause of her indiscretions in the past, and it's very hard for me to prevent my mind from flooding with visions of what could result if I don't at least say something. BUT it's at this point that she feels like all her effort to become better is set at naught because of something I can't let go of.

So here I am... I feel like I can do better than I am, and that our relationship would be that much better if I could just get over my own stumbling blocks. Any advice, thoughts, personal insights that may help me?

Thank You!

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Put her past in the right context:

What she has done in the past, what she has experienced in her past, what decisions she's made in the past make up who she is today. A smart, wise, lovable woman who is a choice daughter of God and who has just as much right to the Atonement as you or anyone else. Thus is it not for you to judge her at all for those things she has given up. Rather, it is for you to celebrate her having gone through the darkness of all the adversary was allowed to throw at her. In the end, she picked herself up, dusted herself off, turned to the one and only person who could take away all the sins, pains, habits and nightmares.

If you can't do that, then all I can say is she deserves better than you. Get over your pride and accept her, or let her go. She doesn't deserve to live with a person who will consistently judge and look down on her.

Sounds harsh? Well, that's what you are doing. I'm one who has done a LOT of bad, vulgar, sinfull and illegal stuff in my past. I've been judged, dismissed and disowned by those that supposedly loved me. I've been and am at where your wife is now. So get over yourself, grow up and love her unconditionally.

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You focus on her strengths. Let God focus on her weaknesses.

All of us fall short. Your description shows her weaknesses, but in it, you missed how Pharisaical you sound. Of course, I also sound Pharisaical on many occasions, as well. Consider your sins on the same level as hers. Any and all of them would keep you out of the celestial kingdom without repentance and faith in Christ. And if her repentance has been good enough for the bishop (judge in Israel), and for Jesus, then it should be for you too.

As I said, focus on her strengths. Every morning when you get up, look in the mirror and count out 5 of her strengths, 5 good things she's done, 5 things that you admire about her. This will help both of you to heal.

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