40 and scared

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I've never posted on any post before, so don't know if I'll do this right. I'm very confused right now, so I might just be confusing.

I've been married 16 years. And like other marriages we had our smaller issues. But we had one big one that I worked hard to help him overcome for the first 14 years of our marriage. He was addicted to Porn since he was a small boy. He told me right before we got married, and in my own naivety, I thought he'd overcome that as he experienced the physical love we would share. Long story short, I was wrong. I tried everything, I went to the temple regularly, I fasted, prayed. I went to different bishops for help. I pleaded and begged. And of course I never felt good enough for him. I never felt pretty enough, or sexy enough. I would try to do what I was told by bishops and others, never let him be alone. So if he stayed up to play a video game, I waited up all hours in the morning with him, so he wouldn't be alone. But I'm sure anyone can guess how that worked. He was addicted, he would take care of it at work, or in the bathroom. I couldn't hold his hand no matter how hard I tried.

Well 2 1/2 years ago he met someone on a game. She and her husband had an "open marriage". They didn't believe in Monogomy. She had played the game before and she knew how to get what she wanted. Long story short, they had an on line affair for about 5 or 6 months. Then my husband had a business trip only an hour away from where they lived.nHer loving husband drove her up to meet mine, and I don't think I need to say where it went.

The confusing thing is, is that I thought our marriage was fine, I still got twitterpated when he'd come home from work. We'd stay up late talking and dreaming. Our sex life was normal, (at least a few times a week). So I really didn't see this coming.

However after all this, he came to me and confessed what he had done, and went to the bishop. He was excommunicated which he said he'd accept it and work hard if that's what they felt needed to be done. However when he was ex'ed he complained about how some other guy just got a slap on the wrist and he'd slept with more than just one other woman.

He did work really hard trying to make me happy for the first year. Doing anything I wanted, just trying to make me comfortable. My depression was so bad he really did try. But now after 2 years he is frustrated with me still having depression. He has been doing everything he possibly could. Which believe it or not, the shock of what he did also helped him overcome his pornography addiction.

The hurt I felt from him, I also feel at church. So I haven't gone in almost 2 years myself. It hurts to be told if I do everything right, God will help make things easier for us. I know it's wrong to talk like this, but I truly felt and still feel forgotten and unloved. And now that I'm not active I feel I have no right to ask for help. Part of me feels if I do this I won't be tempted to feel any hurt or anger toward God. Because I know that's wrong. I have wonderful neighbors, and honestly the best ward I could ever ask for. But I am so spiritually hurt.

I know I haven't made correct decisions lately, but most of them have just been to help me not contemplate suicide. Which I did try about a year ago.

Now after all my talking (sorry if anyone made it this far), I'll get to where I am now. I'm tired, my house is a mess, I don't really have anyone but family. But I'm scared to vent about my husband to them, if things work out, I don't want anymore hurt, anger or hate. Especially since they've all noticed huge changes in my husband now also.

However lately we've had financial struggles. (like most people right now). Since he's self employed he tries to work a lot. But I still feel like I'm a single mom of 4 kids. He comes home after we're all in bed, and leaves before we do. So we don't see him much.He does try to take me out on the weekends. But for the most part I'm home all day with 4 kids. And since I got sick last week, the house got even messier. He's been so angry about having a messy home he told me he was going to leave. He told my kids that the messy house is why he doesn't want to come home. He's been extremely angry for the last couple of months. Shouting and swearing all the time when he is home. I think he tries not to shout or swear because of me, so he blames the kids for everything.

I just feel like I've tried so hard these passed two years, and he's giving up now.

I really don't know what I can do. I don't know how we could afford to be separated. I've loved being a stay at home mom. I do have a beauty license, but I feel the same there as everywhere else in my life, insufficient. I really don't think I could support myself and 4 kids on a beauticians salary. I feel I'm out of options. I've almost accepted the fact that I won't have the eternal marriage I thought I would have. Now I feel I've got to live the rest of my life like this, married to someone who is angry at me and the kids all the time. All I can think is this is what God wanted me to have. And I guess the good news is I won't think of suicide now, because I don't want to leave my kids with someone so angry.

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First, Read the scriptures daily, Pray at least twice daily, attend church regularly. It may seem extremely simplistic, but I cannot tell you how important it is to start here. This will put you in the mindset, and make yourself available for Heavenly Father to let you know not only what it is you need to do, but to also speak peace to your soul.

Second, take care of yourself. Your husbands problems are his, not yours. You need to take care of you first, then the kids will follow as you put yourself back together.

I can tell you as one who was like your husband, you need to think and do things to fix you. If he comes along, great! But you cannot live your life through him, and you cannot define your life by him. You have you and the children to care for. And you can't take care of your children until you make yourself whole again.

Get a hold of this manual (download link on the right of the website) put out by the Church. See if there is an active Addiction Recovery Group for pornography in your area. If there is one, there should be a companion group for spouses and loved ones. This is a great place to be since it's Gospel centered.

Please know that your Father in Heaven want's the best for you. But you need to let him help you. Start off doing these things and he will whisper to you comfort and guidance. I know others who have been in your situation. They have not only survived but thrived at their new-found spirituality and self esteem. Hang in there and start up on the journey to wellness. It is a process so be patient with yourself, but you can to it. Just start off with the basics and go from there.

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It sounds like you are using your pain as an excuse to hide away from everything. Do not use it as a crutch, or you will become even more debilitated. Pain can be good if it gets us to the doctor. But if it just has us getting addicted to pain medication, then it causes harm, not healing.

After two years away from the Church, you have become addicted to the need for the depression and sadness. It is your way of punishing your husband and perhaps yourself for his straying. You even said that you do not believe you are worthy to approach God for help. That is a sign of someone who has been deceived by an addiction.

You are an addict. Time to come to grips with it. The pain and depression started as normal outcome for his sins. Yet, instead of allowing the Master Physician to heal you, you used the pain as your crutch. It is now your wheelchair. If you do not give it up, it will soon debilitate you to the point you will be emotionally bed-ridden.

That means you must go to the Lord for healing. You have had years of pain and addiction to pain. The healing may not occur in one visit to the Physician. It may take years to get back out of the emotional wheelchair and back onto your feet. But with Jesus' tender care, you can make your way back.

This means you have to take your medicine: prayer, fasting, attending Church, scripture study. And you must enter therapy: exercising your atrophied spiritual muscles, receiving counseling from your bishop and perhaps a mental health specialist.

Your husband is giving up because you quit two years ago. You have not really tried. You have instead sunk into your depression, rather than doing the things necessary to forgive yourself, him, and receive peace. You ran away from the Source of Peace: Jesus Christ and his gospel. You refused to be healed. I know that depression can be debilitating, and sometimes is a lifetime event. But there are things even the depressed can do to at least manage much of that depression. If you stop taking medication and therapy, you won't easily heal. And the missing part is the spiritual medication and spiritual therapy. You have to heal both heart and spirit, or a full healing cannot occur.

Start serving your husband and those around you. Quit being a victim. You are not a victim. You are a daughter of God going through a difficult mortal experience. Yet, when you focus on who you really are, you can transcend the mortal experience, and find many moment of peace and joy. If you lose yourself in Christ and serving others, you will find yourself. But as long as you focus on yourself, you will stay lost. Rise up Oh daughter of Zion. Shake the dust off yourself. Be the strong and virtuous woman you were in the premortal existence. Such faith in yourself and God will give you strength to overcome the depression and all other trials. It will heal your marriage, as you step up to become the wife your husband needs and he can reciprocate without being rejected. You can become whole again, if you but let God back into your life.

He's waiting.

Edited by rameumptom
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I'm very sorry that you've had to go through as much as you have. It's really just not fair what some people have to deal with, but unfortunately we don't get to choose our trials.

I have a distant aunt and uncle who had to deal with pornography addiction and infidelity several years ago (I didn't even really know them back then) and today you would never have any idea how close their marriage once came to utter ruin. Not everyone is that lucky, but it IS possible to overcome these sorts of things.

And now that I'm not active I feel I have no right to ask for help.

If that's really the way you feel, I urge you read Luke 15 as soon as you get the chance. That chapter contains three famous parables -- the Prodigal Son, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Sheep -- that hopefully will change your outlook on how willing God is to hear and answer your prayers. God is always reaching out to us. If you open your heart to Him you will be amazed at how quickly He will fill it with His Spirit.

It sounds like what you need more than anything is to bring the Holy Ghost back into your home, for your sake, for your kids' sake, and for your husband's sake. You won't be able to change him on your own, but you can bring the Spirit back into your life and into your house. Your husband will be sure to notice, and hopefully that will inspire him to soften his heart. But even if he doesn't, you will still be able to find great strength and happiness if you focus on nourishing your own spiritual needs.

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I'm sorry to hear about what you've been through. First of all, I know your bishop meant well, but he was actually teaching you to be responsible for your husband's addiction. Not only was that unhelpful to you, it was unhelpful to your husband. If he thinks the responsibility is with you, that just helps him feel like engaging in the behavior was your fault because you weren't there to stop him.

I would feel like a prisoner in my own home if I had to be there all the time to watch my husband, plus that wouldn't feel like a marriage. It would feel like I'm his mommy or his guard. You really have to look at this like alcoholism. Who would ever tell an alcoholic's wife to watch him ALL THE TIME and make sure he doesn't drink? Or for an overeater, is the spouse supposed to monitor everything they eat? No. They have to figure out what their plan of action is and be responsible. Support is great. Words of encouragement are wonderful. Expecting the spouse to be the guardian is ridiculous. Professional counseling would be the way to go. I think bishops are getting more educated about it, but I have met women whose bishops told them all sorts of odd things such as, "He needs more intimacy" (This is a myth. Many women have plenty of intimacy with their husbands and they still turn to pornography.) or "You need to cry more so he feels bad".

So where to go from here? Do you know the saying, "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face"? You can't hurt your husband without hurting yourself. It's hard to serve someone who has deceived and betrayed you, but when you don't keep up your home, that hurts him and you. (I'm sure your kids too.)

It sounds like your husband was remorseful. He told you voluntarily. I would be furious if it happened to me too and I would have to decide if I'm done with the marriage. If I decided to stay in it though and forgive, I couldn't spend the rest of our marriage reminding him how much he hurt me. Your husband has tried to make things right. There is no way to undo what he did, but he is trying and feels like there is no hope in making you happy again. That is why he's losing it.

I think in these situations, it's hard to be an awesome wife because you fear being hurt again and the thought of putting your whole heart into the marriage is scary. To think that if you did so many wonderful things for him and if he were to treat you like that again, he would have the best of both worlds - acting on his addiction and coming home to his amazing wife. Deep down, is not cleaning kind of your way of punishing him? If so, he knows that. It would be hard to come home to that atmosphere.

I think excommunication is a rather complicated issue and sometimes it's confusing as to why one person is and another isn't, but it sounds like that was definitely the appropriate action for your husband since it put a shock in him and caused him to change. If the Spirit was followed, that decision came from Heavenly Father and knew what your husband needed to fully repent.

Please come back to church. You are denying yourself so many blessings. Ask for a priesthood blessing and professional counseling if you can. If you can't afford it, the church can probably help. I haven't met a woman who wasn't affected by this as a mother too. Your children need you to get all the help you can. Share your feelings with your husband and decide that you are going to live in a way that is good for you. And if he ends up royally screwing things up again, you can leave him as a strong, confident woman instead of a completely broken woman who no longer has her sense of self.

Also, remember you are not alone in this. You might feel like the other women at church have such perfect marriages, but it's not true. Our stake president said at least 50% of the men in our stake were addicted to pornography. You might even have a support group in your area for spouses. Go get the help you need! I'm begging you!

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What wonderful compassionate people here. I agree with them all. Depression is a scary condition as I fight the battle daily. You may need to see a Dr to balance yourself out. Also start getting into a routine with your kiddo's Flylady is a great site to help. Your concentration needs to be on you first and your kids... i have been through many rough times..... You deserve and should seek joy and happiness like everyone... say to your self and put it on a sticky I AM A CHILD OF GOD.... to remind yourself. Pray... study and get in a good routine it really helped me and I continue to struggle but am in a better place.

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