Lola3345

Lying, drinking, confrontation, and failure.

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A little background: My husband is a convert. He joined in 2008, served an LDS mission, and we have been married since his return (2011). We have 2 daughters here on earth and 1 angel in heaven. 

He has been lying and drinking behind my back for the past six months and I finally confronted him. He's not sorry for drinking and breaking his covenants, or for being unworthy of the priesthood. He doesn't really want to change. He's only sorry for how it has made me feel, and has said just that.

It feels like everything church related has been for me, to get me. I wouldn't date him cause he wasn't mormon. He became mormon. I wanted to marry a returned missionary. He became one. I thought no one would do that just to be with me, but currently, it sure feels like he did all that just for me. Which is never what I wanted. So in addition to having the burden of doing everything gospel related in the home, I also feel like it's  my own fault.

He lied to me for 6 months. He doesn't feel like he needs to talk to the bishop, or stop drinking, since he isn't addicted. But he'll do those things if I want him to. I told him I don't want him to do it for me. That he needs to do it because he wants to, not for me, and that until he gets there he should do what he wants. But despite all this, he says he has a testimony. 

He also got really angry at me and said what have I done for the church, since I didn't go on a mission and he did.

Where do we go from here? Counseling? Divorce? Who can I turn to? Who can I tell? I feel all alone. And that I am failing everyone around me. 

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25 minutes ago, Lola3345 said:

Where do we go from here?

25 minutes ago, Lola3345 said:

He doesn't feel like he needs to talk to the bishop, or stop drinking, since he isn't addicted. But he'll do those things if I want him to.

I'm sorry for your pain @Lola3345.
Where do you start? If your husband is willing to talk with the Bishop even if it is only to please you... well start there. Talking with the Bishop is one more step in the right direction. Some spouses won't even talk with the Bishop, but if he is willing then take your husband up on the offer as soon as possible before he changes his mind. Both of you are too close to the situation and it often takes an outside perspective, especially from someone like your Bishop, to help try and bring the Spirit to the conversation.

It sounds like your husband needs someone else apart from only his wife letting him know he is headed down a destructive path.

 

Edited by NeedleinA

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31 minutes ago, Lola3345 said:

A little background: My husband is a convert. He joined in 2008, served an LDS mission, and we have been married since his return (2011). We have 2 daughters here on earth and 1 angel in heaven. 

He has been lying and drinking behind my back for the past six months and I finally confronted him. He's not sorry for drinking and breaking his covenants, or for being unworthy of the priesthood. He doesn't really want to change. He's only sorry for how it has made me feel, and has said just that.

It feels like everything church related has been for me, to get me. I wouldn't date him cause he wasn't mormon. He became mormon. I wanted to marry a returned missionary. He became one. I thought no one would do that just to be with me, but currently, it sure feels like he did all that just for me. Which is never what I wanted. So in addition to having the burden of doing everything gospel related in the home, I also feel like it's  my own fault.

He lied to me for 6 months. He doesn't feel like he needs to talk to the bishop, or stop drinking, since he isn't addicted. But he'll do those things if I want him to. I told him I don't want him to do it for me. That he needs to do it because he wants to, not for me, and that until he gets there he should do what he wants. But despite all this, he says he has a testimony. 

He also got really angry at me and said what have I done for the church, since I didn't go on a mission and he did.

Where do we go from here? Counseling? Divorce? Who can I turn to? Who can I tell? I feel all alone. And that I am failing everyone around me. 

First off, I'm praying for you. Your situation seems very stressful and difficult. What you are going though right now is not your fault. 

I would strongly advise against divorce-at this point. He's human, and like all of us he is subject to the weaknesses and failures that come with it. A divorce at this point would complicate your life further and would take two precious daughters away from their father. If the drinking slides into addiction or it becomes habitual, than you can proceed with other options. 

Have you spoken to your bishop about it? 

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@MormonGator, I haven't talked to my bishop about it, I'm not sure I should. I feel it's a conversation my husband should have with him--since they're not my sins, you know? @NeedleinA, are you suggesting we sit down with the bishop together? Or that he goes on his own? I'm not sure he feels like it's necessary to tell the bishop even one on one. 

I did suggest he talk to someone other than me, but he doesn't want to. I have thought about telling my brother in law, a mormon he actually seems to respect, to just push it, but I don't know if that's crossing the line.

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For starters: *hugs*

Second of all, the past is the past.  If someone did something stupid then, it's done and nothing can change that.  Beating yourself up over the past today IS stupid and destructive to your life right now (and your family's life).  I know it's completely natural to want to pick at scabs and tear yourself up that way, but you got to resist that natural man urge.

Besides what the others of said, I would also suggest a good martial counselor to work on building communication between you two -- so whatever path each of your faith goes down, you can talk through things and be a stronger team. 

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If it helps, your situation seems similar to this one from last winter:

My advice to you would be similar to what I suggested to the other person. You need to look deep inside yourself and see how you really feel about living with a man who drinks. I could certainly see visiting with your bishop to talk about this, but I might also suggest counseling with some outside of the Church where complete abstinence is not expected. What are the boundaries (besides complete abstinence) that you can and cannot live with? The Bishop may also have some good ideas for how to manage the "mixed-faith" kind of marriage that may fall out of something like this (mixed-faith including those where one spouse believes in being very active in the LDS Church and the other spouse is lukewarm towards Church activity).

IMO (assuming the drinking is appropriately moderate), the lying is more destructive to your marriage. The goal of the previous exercise is so that you can go to your husband and have a conversation about what you learn about yourself. "I can live with moderate drinking and you following a different spiritual path, but I don't want you to lie about it to me. I want to know and love the real you and not the caricature that you have presented to me up to now." kind of conversation. And then really mean it.

Ultimately, I would hope that the first goal is to keep the marriage intact.

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@MrShorty, I don't know if I have a tolerance for any alcohol. His dad is an alcoholic, my grandpa had alcoholism. It's a sore spot for me, and has been since we very first met. I've been up front about my distaste for alcohol and it isn't all because of the church. It may be in control now, but how do I know he won't become his dad? He says it's not an addiction, but he craves and wants it. So I don't feel okay with it, but on the other hand I don't want to lose him either. I don't know what I want, really.

Yes, the honesty thing is worse than the drinking. We did have a nice chat about that, and I don't feel like he will lie to me anymore. 

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1 hour ago, Lola3345 said:

@MormonGator, I haven't talked to my bishop about it, I'm not sure I should. I feel it's a conversation my husband should have with him--since they're not my sins, you know? @NeedleinA, are you suggesting we sit down with the bishop together? Or that he goes on his own? I'm not sure he feels like it's necessary to tell the bishop even one on one. 

I did suggest he talk to someone other than me, but he doesn't want to. I have thought about telling my brother in law, a mormon he actually seems to respect, to just push it, but I don't know if that's crossing the line.

@Lola3345, that is a great point. Clearly, you care deeply about your husband and your marriage. I can tell by your posts. I admire that so much. He's very lucky to have you! 

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1 hour ago, Lola3345 said:

@NeedleinA, are you suggesting we sit down with the bishop together?

Yes. Together.
Something along the lines of, "Hello Bishop, we are facing a some struggles as a couple and would appreciate your guidance as we try to work through them together."
Together there is no ambiguity in what was said or not said if only one of you goes alone. This is your chance to stand by your husband and show support. This is also your chance to be explicit in your feelings and find comfort in having someone else with you, who's calling it is to help guide you and your husband to a better place.

Edited by NeedleinA

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Oh my goodness.  It reminds me of my story with my ex. the difference is that he was cheating.

I do not recommend divorce, because I promise you (and I never make promises) it will be the most painful thing you will ever experience. BUT... you will grow sooooo much too.

Look,  I think, YOU NEED to worry about yourself, focus on your healing. Don't make him do anything, don't punish him, don't be mean, don't act like a policeman, don't push him to do anything he doesn't want to do. He is a grown up man, and he knows whats right. Do not enable him either, nor make him feel guilty. Hes going through things, and I think he needs your love and patience.

Imagine you have two buckets on each hand. In the left bucket I want you to place all the things you have NO control over, ex: the weather, your kids behaviors, what your husband says or do, or doesn't do. You can place in that bucket what happens in this country, I mean, every little thing you have no control over and place it in this bucket, and that includes your husband's behavior. 

Now, in the bucket on your right, youre gonna place everything you do have power over like, what to eat, what to wear, how to react to others, what to say, how to feel, all of those things are things you can control.

Look at the buckets from the outside, can you see? See what I'm trying to show you? You have no control over your husband, and you don't have to take over his agency.  Trying to make him do things he doesn't want to do or trying to control him will drive you crazy. Focus on the bucket you DO have power/control over.

Show him love. Be patient. And take care of yourself, I would recommend for you to find a support group, and specially a therapists. You have some healing to do. You don't want to choose to stay or leave when your heart is broken. You need, I think, to wait. Focus on your healing.

Talk to your bishop. He might be able to help you too. but again, don't make your husband do anything he doesn't want to do, don't push him. FOCUS ON YOUR HEALING.

I'm attaching a file, its a workbook called healing through Christ, it's focus on the healing of people that are struggling with loved ones' addictions. I know your husband is not an addict, BUT the book is for you, not for him. This is about you getting stronger and heal.

Please, reach out to me if you need anything.

 

Love,
 

The Chilean.

Healing through Christ.pdf

Edited by Chilean

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This is not easy.  You have a spouse doing something that you don't want them to.  Doing something that they shouldn't be doing.  And he gets angry.

And you are 6-7 years into marriage... 

My guess is some of the love magic is gone in the marriage.  Most marriages experience it and different people react differently to it.  It is much like a flower garden.  At first it is new and exciting... starting to grow.  6-7 years down the line the garden is established and the gardeners stop tending to the garden as much as they used to.  Complacency sets in and weeds start popping up in the garden and the gardeners do do anything about them.  The weeds will continue to flourish if nothing is done.  And eventually the weeds will take over to the point that it is hard to save your flower garden.  

At your stage, either one of you can manage the weeds for a while.  And that is what you may have to do.

Love is not a 50/50 proposition.  It is a 100% proposition.  Not a 100/100.  Just a 100.  You give your 100%.  That is what you need to be worried about.  If you worry about your partner's 100%, chances are you won't give your 100%.  You look at your husband and you think, he isn't giving his 100%...  So your inclination is to not give your 100%.  He may think he is giving his 100%, but sees you slacking..   So now he slacks a little more...  And you experience the love death spiral.  The only way to break out is to stop basing your actions on your spouse's actions.

Yes, it hurts that he isn't where you would hope he would be.  Here is the real hard question..  Are you where he would like you to be?  Are you providing the same love and support you did when you first got married?  Is much of your focus on the kids and not on him?

I am not trying to say you are responsible for his actions.   He is.  I am saying that you may have to take a large step back and really look at your relationship.  Take the emotion out of the analysis. Emotion will just cloud your analysis and you will do dumb things.  Really look at it.  You can't change him.  You can only change you.  Remember that the reason you are married is because you loved your husband.  It is not because you love your kids.  As long as mom and dad's relationship is good, the kids will be just fine.  But parents can neglect their partner for the kids thinking that they are doing well.  This is not a good thing to do.  Keep your partnership strong and the kids will be fine.

So now that you are looking at this from a neutral perspective...  What would the savior have you do?  He treated those he loved (he loved everyone) with kindness.  He healed the ungrateful lepers. And never complained to them.  He fed 5000 people and a week later they had forgotten about it.  He loved without expectation of love in return.  This is hard to do.  This is heavenly thing to do.

My guess is that your husband needs help.  Nagging him and riding him are only going to drive him to hide it.  You definitely don't want that.  You need him to trust you.  And trust is only going to come through love...  but he is drinking..  why should you love him?   Why should the savior love you?  The savior loves your husband.  He is not going to give up on him.

Love him.  Help him in positive ways.  If he is going to change, it is going to be because he loves you.  And wants to make himself better.  If he doesn't feel your love, things are going to spiral out of control.

Why should you have to do all the work?  It absolutely sucks.  Been there done that.  But we really aren't alone, are we.  Know that the Lord is with you.  Let him guide you.  He guides through love.

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Thanks, all! My husband surprised me. When I came home from a class last night, he had his scriptures out along with preach my gospel. He said he has a goal to go to the temple in 2 months time. I said I would support him. We also discussed our poor communication skills, and things we can do to support each other in our marriage.

I know it won't all be rainbows and sunshine, but it feels like we're finally on the same gospel page. And I think the best part is that he came to the decision on his own. Yes, I'm sure I influenced it, but I made it clear that I was willing to go along with him at his own pace before he surprised me with this.

We're going to read scriptures before bed. And maybe add some things in as we go, but for now, I think this is a good start. We had a wonderful discussion last night about our families, the gospel, and teaching our children. Sometimes it does take something bad to happen to bring people closer together, and I hope that is the case.

Thanks for your love, support, and encouragement. 

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If he will change his habits because you want him to, use that to your advantage.  Glad to read you latest post.  Hopefully, you can keep it all together for the children  

Alcoholism is to some degree hereditary, so be careful of that aspect of his “reformation “.  Alcoholics get real good at hiding their habit. 

 

Good luck!

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8 hours ago, Lola3345 said:

Thanks, all! My husband surprised me. When I came home from a class last night, he had his scriptures out along with preach my gospel. He said he has a goal to go to the temple in 2 months time. I said I would support him. We also discussed our poor communication skills, and things we can do to support each other in our marriage.

I know it won't all be rainbows and sunshine, but it feels like we're finally on the same gospel page. And I think the best part is that he came to the decision on his own. Yes, I'm sure I influenced it, but I made it clear that I was willing to go along with him at his own pace before he surprised me with this.

We're going to read scriptures before bed. And maybe add some things in as we go, but for now, I think this is a good start. We had a wonderful discussion last night about our families, the gospel, and teaching our children. Sometimes it does take something bad to happen to bring people closer together, and I hope that is the case.

Thanks for your love, support, and encouragement. 

What great news, I'm so happy to hear you guys are doing better! 

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On 8/15/2018 at 1:54 AM, Lola3345 said:

I feel it's a conversation my husband should have with him--since they're not my sins, you know?

If I am interpreting it correctly, you seem to be suggesting that his sins are his sins, not yours, and therefore you don't need to do anything about it. This would be a concerning attitude if true. Something that I have learned from one of the members of this forum is that one of the responsibilities of a husband and wife towards each other is to help bring each other to Christ. You cannot do this by ignoring, and not acting on, the other's sins. 

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