Dear Addi

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Equal Priesthood time!

(His story)

I just posted step 8 in "How do I help my wife Heal."  It's called...Make sure she gets time with her priesthood leaders too!  You can find it here:

http://dearaddict.blogspot.com/2015/12/step-8-in-how-do-i-help-my-wife.html

I have written it from the perspective of me...the husband, trying to help his wife heal.  This can also apply if the roles are reversed.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Dear 'Addi', Step 7 in Helping Wives Heal - Make New Memories!

It has been  several months, but my husband has finally found time to sit back down and answer some questions again. His next  2 posts will be to finish up the series he has written called 'How can I help My wife heal?'.

In the next few days he will be returning to answering questions submitted to him about Pornography addiction from his perspective as an addict in recovery. His first post will be titled, 'The anatomy of a slip'. In this post he has dug deep into the process of a slip to better understand the stages an addicts mind goes through as he progresses from firm to faltering. 

Please feel free to send him your questions, read the answers to previous questions, or to add your own 2 cents to his. 

Here is the newest post. 


Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween Haunts

So, two years ago, my husband's future mistress showed up at our home for trick or treating, not knowing that he lived there.  Since they had only exchanged pictures and messages on line, the two of them were shocked to see each other face to face that night.  (I of course was oblivious).  The physical affair started the next day.  Now that I know this, Halloween has for the last 2 years been a huge trigger.

This year, I woke up in the morning with a huge knot in my stomach and a tightness in my chest.  I wanted to blame it all on the Halloween candy that I had been gorging on all day but I knew it wasn't that.  These anniversaries are so hard sometimes. This year, I went to our adult session of Stake Conference at night (they held it early so that parents could get home to trick or treat with their kids) and my husband left extra early to get our house ready.

When I came home from the Conference,  Jason was visibly shaken.  I just KNEW that she had stopped by our house.  She always trick or treats in our neighborhood with her children but last year, she stayed clear of our home.  (We think...we saw her kids, just not her)  She must be feeling extra bold this year as she and her kids were one of the first to stop by our house.  Jason said he walked outside to check on the candy and there she was, in the clear daylight, standing in front of our house.  He was so angry.  Sure, she has a right to trick or treat anywhere she wants, but common sense and a sense of courtesy say you don't make your first stop your affair partner's home as he is trying to put his family and marriage back together.

To his credit, Jason grabbed the younger kids and bolted down the driveway in the opposite direction to go trick or treating.  Though they saw each other, no words were exchanged and he later told me that he felt "repulsed" when he saw her.  I know that is a harsh way to talk about a daughter of God, but it made me glad.  To relieve some of the tension, we grabbed our little ones, grabbed each other's hand and marched back out into the neighborhood to finish the trick or treating.  If she was going to see him again, she was going to see him hand in hand with me!

This whole incident was a very bizarre beginning to this, the 2nd anniversary of the worst 2 months of my life.  How fitting that on the day of the 2 year anniversary, she shows her face.   Is this indicative of what the next 2 months will be like?  I know we are gearing up for the big finish (though not really a finish)...the 2 year conclusion of his excommunication and loss of priesthood/temple blessings and I just hope that as Satan throws more fiery darts our way, that we don't get derailed.  Here's to the added strength that I pray we are both getting from Heaven!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Becoming a "Master"

I read this quote the other day on Facebook.  I'm not sure who said it but it goes like this:  "The master has failed more times then the beginner has even tried."  How does that apply to me?  How does it apply to my husband?  In truth, finding that quote came at a really good time.  My husband has begun to get discouraged that the battle to stay clean is sometimes just as hard today (20 months later) as it was on day one.

How many times does he get triggered in a 24  hour period?  He no longer tells me because it makes me worry.  I know he wishes that with repentace,  this burden would have been removed from him.  I know now that that may never happen.  The truth is, this addiction may never fully go away...in fact, it probably won't.  It has festered and grown for too many years to just be eliminated overnight.  And that is where that quote comes in.

My husband has had several "slips" since his rebaptism.  Some have been minor and some have been full blown, addict behavior slips. They have each been intensely painful to us both but for him, the slips have also been learning tools.  He tells me that with each slip, he learns something new about himself and his weaknesses. Now, I'm not saying that slips are good and that they should be sought after...but if they are used as a learning tool, they can be helpful.  In order to "master" something, we have to fail...numerous times.

That principle goes for me too.  I still have moments when my thoughts get away from me.  I ask myself..."Could I have done anything different?" or, "If I only would have followed my instincts sooner, perhaps the affairs wouldn't have gone on for as long as they did."  I catch myself wanting to feel that pain again, to open up old wounds, to berate myself, to look in the mirror and call myself ugly.  When the images that once tormented me pop into my mind, sometimes, I let them stay.  When those images are allowed to stay, that old pain returns and instead of chasing it away, I wallow in it for a while.  Those moments are slips for me.  I become like Lot's wife...experiencing the damaging consequences of "looking back."  But, just as my husband learns from his slips, I learn from mine.

By the time I am past this trial, I am truly going to be a "Master" at trauma..not because I am good at handling it..but because I have failed so many times, that I have learned what to do and what not to do.  I hope that instead of having this addiction removed,  the Lord will instead (through failure) help my husband become a "master" at recovery.  Had my husband just decided on DDay that that was it...he was done and was never going to mess up again, what would he have learned? If I had decided after DDay that I was just going to forget about it, forgive and move on, what would I have learned?  It is through the struggle, the failure, the low moments that we learn the most.  The knowledge that I have gained through my bad days has so outweighed the knowledge that I have gained in my carefree ones.  

May we all become "masters" at recovery...not because we have won every battle but because we have learned from the ones we have lost.
 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Weakness or Strength?

Josh Duggar Story

Is "Staying" a sign of weakness?  This Josh Duggar scandal is driving me crazy.  When I read the stories, I scroll down to the comments and am reminded why I should never view the comments.  Every one of them is either calling Josh a "deviant" or calling his wife the "uneducated, submissive wife that has to stay because she has no other options."  When I read these comments encouraging Anna to leave Josh immediately and that she would be a fool to stay with him, I get so triggered!  I have immense compassion for Anna because my story is now hers.  Every discovery about her husband's on line accounts and recurring affairs is my story exactly.  Affairs, fake identities, meaningless hook ups...it is all a sign of the horrible disease that is sex addiction.  I've seen it all, felt it all and I have chosen to forgive it all and save my marriage.

Does that make me weak?  Does that make me submissive?  Does that mean that I am an uneducated simpleton that can't make it on my own without my husband's income?  I say no and I am guessing that most of my fellow WOPA bloggers would agree.  I would guess that the majority of us (whether it be porn addiction or sex addiction) have chosen to stay and try and work things out.  Granted, not all of it is in our control.  Many husbands aren't willing to do the hard work of recovery and choose their addiction over their family and if that is what Josh chooses, then yes, Anna...get out. But if Josh is willing to repent and do the hard work of both recovery and helping Anna heal, then she is not weak for staying.  She is powerful.

I am trying to remember that today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Wife In Mourning. Step 5

How can I help My Wife Heal? Step 5

A Wife in Mourning.

'Addi' continues to lay out the steps the steps he believes will help to mend a relationship broken by pornography, infidelity, or adultery. Read the newest post here.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Get Into The Game

How Can I help My wife heal? Step 3, Get Into the Game.

Dear Addi, has posted the 3rd step in the series on how we as husbands can help our wives heal from and through our addictions and infidelity.


Click here for the most recent post.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How Can I Help My Wife Heal? - 'Step 1'

(his story)

It has been a couple months since I have had time to update our 'Dear Addi' blog. I have received several questions that all lend themselves to this topic so, I am happy to return with a new 12 Part series on how we as husbands can help our wives heal.  Part one is available by following the link below. I will be posting a new step every couple of days.

Step 1 can be found here.




Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Making my Peace with God

(her story)

I'm going through this weird phase right now in my ongoing (and often slow) recovery.  We are 15 months down the road from DDay and I feel like it has been a hard fought battle for each and every one of those 450 or so days.  Some days are easier than others and some days, I find myself struggling with unexpected feelings and angers.

This anger and doubt is unfortunately directed at the one person that I should have total and perfect faith in and that is the Lord.  There is a reason for this and perhaps many of you betrayed wives or addicts have often felt the same.  I feel like there were only two people that knew of my husband's 17 year addiction to pornography (and the eventual affairs) and those were my husband and the Lord.  These are the two most important people in my life and both chose to keep me in the dark.

It actually gets worse then that.  When my husband was in the throes of his addiction, he was asked to serve in the Stake Presidency.  I am sure the Lord hoped that that call (from an apostle no less) would spur my husband into confessing instead of accept a call that prominent and heavy.  But, my husband didn't say anything and the calling went through.  Our Stake president was prompted to call him as his counselor and an apostle of the Lord laid his hands on my husband's head and received no revelation or prompting that something was amiss.  I don't get that.

What is interesting is that when we were sitting with this apostle just hours before the Stake Conference that would see the new presidency sustained by the body of the Stake, the apostle told us  (what seemed at the time) a strange story.  He talked of a brother in a stake that was asked to serve in a calling only to have it revealed that he was having an affair with the Relief Society President.  The apostle told of how the man's wife fled to the church bathroom on hearing this news and was found there, vomiting and in deep distress.  I scratched my head in confusion at this story and why it was being shared now, at this very spiritual meeting.  (I also remember thinking, "thank goodness that will never happen to me.") Perhaps there was a reason for that.  Perhaps this was a direct warning to my husband.  He had not yet committed adultery at that point but would succumb just seven months later.

Did the Lord know that this was going to happen?  Surely He must have suspected that my husband's addiction would eventually lead to adultery if not treated properly.  So why allow the calling to go through?  It would have been so easy to not give the Stake President that prompting to call him as a counselor or for the apostle to receive a prompting during his initial interviews with my husband (and there were several.)  And yet, the Lord stayed silent.

I wish I understood why.  Sometimes it feels like it was an effort to maximize the painfulness of the whole experience.  We didn't get the luxury of handling this in private.  Because my husband was very dramatically  and suddenly released, everyone in the stake either knew or suspected what happened.  The sympathetic looks or the basic avoidance of some members was terribly hard.  It has improved significantly now but it is still hard for both of us to be at Stake functions and not feel eyes on us.  Are they judging us?  Are they disgusted?  Do they admire us or pity us?  Hard, Hard Hard.

Anyway, I am finding that I am reluctant to go the the Lord in personal prayer because I don't know that I trust the promptings I get.  How could so many of us get it so wrong?  Perhaps though, I need to change my perspective.  Did we get it wrong or is there some higher plan here?  Was there a reason that my husband needed to serve in that calling and then fall so brutally in front of all those people?  Did he need that friendship with the Stake President to facilitate his confession?  Did he do some good in the calling , despite what he was doing on the side?  I want to believe that those promptings are the true ones.  I just am not confident in my abilities to tell the difference between what I want to believe and what actually is.

And truthfully, I may never know why the Lord stayed silent.  I have to believe that had He truly not wanted my husband to serve in that calling, He would have spoken to the apostle and the apostle would have listened.  So, if I am being faithful and trusting that the Lord knows what He is doing and always has a higher plan, then there must have been a reason for it all.  I hope that someday i can have an explanation that I can trust.

I need to make peace with the Lord.  I feel angry at times and betrayed.  There is something so utterly terrifying about being in the dark.  When there are bad things going on all around you that directly affect your health, your safety, your family...and no one says anything...it makes you feel like you have no control over your life.  I am at the mercy of the honesty of others and that' s not a place I want to be.

So, now that we are almost a year and a half into this journey, I want to know for sure that should my husband fall into bad paths again, that someone will let me know.  I would hope that that someone would be the Lord.  Do I have faith that He will tell me if something goes amiss?  Not yet.  I wish I did but I don't.  I wish I understood completely His 17 year silence.    Either way, I need to go to Him in prayer and try very hard to listen.  Nothing is going to change if I don't start trusting Him again.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Telling our family

(Our story)

We have a big family.  Jason has six sibling and I have 3.  Over this last year, a few of them have found out about our struggle from people that did not have the details and wanted to gossip.  But a majority of our family members are clueless as to what we have been going through this past year.  Now that the first 12 months have been completed and Jason's membership has been restored, we have felt a need to fill them all in on what has happened.

There are a couple of reasons for this.  The most important one for me is to feel like I could stop lying to everyone.  Last summer I attended his family reunion in Nauvoo.  (Jason stayed home)  A couple of times, the brothers-in-law would ask me how Jason was doing in his calling in the Stake Presidency.  After that inevitable moment of panic, I had to lie to them and say, "he's doing great."  Had I told them he had been released, they would have asked what his new calling was and I would have had to either invent a new lie or let them ask more questions that would surely lead them to realize what was going on.  We didn't want to taint this wonderful reunion with this kind of news and disappointment.

The second reason for telling our family now is that we feel like we have achieved some success (despite last week's minor setback) and we worry that perhaps members of our family are struggling with similar things and are just afraid to come clean about it.  Perhaps a full disclosure from us could help one of them have the courage to come forward.

 Jason was insistent that we wait until he could be re-baptized so that he could speak with some authority on the subject and not as an excommunicated addict.  So, we waited and prayed that in the meantime, no one would ask us questions that were too deep and probing.

So, with courage and faith in the love and compassion of our siblings, we moved.  Jason wrote a 13 page letter to each of them and sent it...of course, calling each of them beforehand to let them know a letter was coming.  Once sent, we could only nervously wait for the fallout.  I have to tell you, the repercussions of the letter have been wonderful and healing.  Both of his sisters that did not know called almost immediately, so grateful for our story and so compassionate.  Instead of asking "how could you do this?" or expressing their disappointment, there was only love.  His brothers sent emails back also expressing their love and support.  I kind of wish we had done this sooner.

One of Jason's brothers is a bishop and he was right away able to share a part of Jason's letter to a member of his ward that is struggling with addiction.  We invited our siblings to share the letter with their married children in hopes that they can start their new marriages free of pornography.
It has been good and it has been a huge weight lifted.

I hate keeping secrets.  I hate not being able to speak freely to those I love the most.  So, this has been healing for me and I know it is a relief to Jason.  I know that for a lot of you, telling your family is not a good option.  Perhaps they will judge you too harshly or encourage you to end your marriages.  I completely understand the need for many of you to keep this addiction private.

If you are interested in reading the letter that Jason sent to his family, you can find it in our Dear Addi blog.  Here is the link:  http://dearaddict.blogspot.com/2015/03/how-do-i-tell-my-family-about-my.html

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Not so perfect streak

(her story)

Well friends...I have had a string of positive, happy emails surrounding my husband's recent re-baptism.  For the most part, the afterglow of that experience has stayed with me.  I am going to try and hang on to that happy feeling as I write this post.

 I wish I could say that my husband's 13 months streak was still intact, but alas, it was broken this morning with a slip.  Sigh.  I felt it coming.  He has been struggling since his rebaptism with urges and aches that seem more powerful now then before.  It was just a movie that he stumbled across but it led to a full blown slip up.  I want to be angry and hurt but I'm just not feeling it.  Disappointed? Yes.  Uneasy?  Yes.  Empathetic?  Double yes!

Here is something that I haven't divulged to you good readers yet but I too struggle with this addiction.  It is not all the time and not as aggressive as my husband's addiction, but it is there nonetheless.  The truth is, last week, I had a slip and I did not tell  him about it.  It has haunted me for the last week and when he called me this morning to tell me of his issue, I came clean about mine.  I hate to say this but when you understand the addiction because you have it yourself, it makes empathy and compassion so much more attainable.  I wish I didn't struggle with this.  Truthfully, it has become a little worse since my husband's affairs of 2013 and revelations of 2014.  I have talked a little about it here:  playing in the dirt

So, why now?  Why after 13 months are we both struggling?  When he received his post baptism confirmation blessing, the Stake President warned him in that blessing that the adversary wasn't done yet and that this would be a challenging year as the temptations were going to be harder.  So far, that has been true.

So, what do I do?  I guess we double down on the safeguards and barriers that we built so forcefully last year.  We have been relaxing a little bit in our habits and we just can't do that.  Last year we turned the TV off by 10:00 and we both went to bed together.  We have not been doing that lately and my husband has been up later then me, watching TV.  He has been home sick for the last 2 days while I have gone to work.  I knew that that too was playing with fire but what choice did we have?

I have to say that I am proud of him for telling me minutes later.  (He called me at work).  Just that act of telling me has filled up my trust bucket.  Since he hasn't slipped up since his disclosures of last year, I have often wondered and worried if he would actually tell me if he had a mess up.  I worried that maybe he was having slips and not disclosing them to me.  But now, I  know what he will do when he slips.  He will tell me...and quickly. Thank heavens for that!

So, slight bump in our winning streak but that's okay.  I will try and love him all the more and be grateful that he forgives me of my errors.  We are both two broken souls traversing this difficult path together.  Tough day today but onward we move.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I have been snatched

(His story)

It has been just over a year since I sat before the stake high council and became an excommunicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I will forever be grateful for that day. That day marked the beginning of what I can only describe as a miraculous year. In fact, it was one of the greatest years of my life.  You may ask, “How could a year marred with the loss of so many things be seen as miraculous?”   While it was not a year filled with seeing angels, walking on water, or turning water to wine, it was indeed a year of miracles for me and my family.


I am always cautious when talking about my success in too much detail as I never want anyone to see me as prideful or wanting praise.  But since I am not trying to seek praise with this post, nor do I even know who any of the readers of this blog are, I think it is safe for me to share a few of the successes of the year.


  1. The first has to be the way my family has grown closer together. My wife has been the most amazing cheerleader a man could ask for. We are not free of the pain and memory of the past. On the contrary, it is a daily struggle for us. But somehow, my wonderful wife has been able to envision a future, our future, free from all of the pain. With that vision and focus, she cheers me on through difficult days and heavy moments. Furthermore, she is willing to listen to me spill the painful details and secrets of my past. She continues to be there to listen as I struggled daily with temptation and urges.  I will forever be in debt to her for the miracle she has been this year.
  2. My sobriety. The Addiction recovery program is an inspired program that forces us to focus specifically on both both pain and healing. Sobriety has been a challenge this year. I will openly admit that there were many, many days when I felt that the urges and aches were too strong for me to handle on my own. But, with my new found relationship with both my wife and my Savior, I realized that I could actually speak about the hunger and ache.  In sharing my struggle with another, it lightened my load and eased the burden. The Program also helped me focus on what it really means to turn my burdens over to my Father in Heaven and embrace the gift of the Atonement. This program can change the lives of those who do all they can to live it completely. Thanks to my wife, the program, and my Savior, as of tomorrow I will have completed 13 months of sobriety. Through this program I have also gained a great friendship with several men whom I call or connect with daily, both to encourage them, and to seek strength.  We are men of one mind, working towards the same goal: that of a life free of addiction.
  3. Clarity of mind. With some distance between myself and from acting out in my addiction, I am able to see the repercussions of my choices with a hindsight that’s clear. Simply put, the fog of addiction skews judgment and impairs vision. I am so grateful that I can see the horrible choices I was making for what they were. Somehow in the middle of it, I thought my decisions made sense. I felt that I had no other options than the ones placed before my eyes. How blind we become when we can't see past the fantasy distracting us from the goal.
  4. A Clean Conscience. I am not sure I can remember a day, let alone a year, that went by without lying about something. Usually my lies were to cover up my habit. But I recall lying about things for no reason at all.  I lied about things that made no difference.  But when lying becomes part of your habit, it just seeps into everything. I recall my wife asking me if I had eaten lunch one day and I lied and said no… when in fact I had grabbed a burger an hour before dinner. Perhaps I was ashamed that fast food was my lunch or that I spoiled my appetite for her home cooked meal, but why did I lie about that?  It was silly really…but I did. This past year has been a guilt free year in so many ways, but the lack of deceit has been the most freeing part of this recovery. Oh how I hated the lies. I am so grateful they are not a part of my life any more.


These are just a few of the miraculous changes I have experienced this year. There is one more of course and it is the most important one of all.


5. Freedom from bondage. This one may go without needing to be said but I really feel the need to express just what a difference it is. Those chains of addiction…. they are so heavy. The amount of weight that an addict chooses to carry is unimaginable. I remember a discovery channel documentary I watched one time about ants. There was a tiny little sugar ant… and he found a large chunk of an Oreo cookie. The cookie piece was at least 10 times larger than the ant. But he still clamped on with his pincers, and tried to drag that enormous crumb. He was able to pull it a little distance but it was huge and awkward and clearly more than he could handle. He couldn't see that though so he just kept trying to carry it, making no distance at all until he realized that it was just too much for him to carry and he gave up. I have felt exactly like that ant. I tried to carry that invisible weight for far too long.  I dragged that corpse of sin and addiction through every phase of my life, thinking I could carry it alone and that no one would notice. But it is so heavy. Guess what though?  That ant came back a few minutes later and with him were 4 other ants. Together they all lifted and drug that cookie. The weight was dispersed and the help he needed came to the rescue. He shifted the weight. And so did I… Finally.  When shared, the weight of sin is so much lighter. Through the help of my Bishop, Stake President, my wife, my friends, and of course my Savior, the chains and weight of my bondage fell away. That, in and of itself has been the most freeing and refreshing experience of all. Now I know once and for all that the chains of hell no longer have claim on me.


So with this year complete, and my leaders satisfied that I had done my part to prove myself worthy, I was able to have my disciplinary Council reconvened one week ago today. After speaking with the High Council for about an hours time, I was blessed to have my excommunication come to an end. Then, yesterday just after 2:30 in the afternoon, I, with a small group of close friends in attendance, was baptized for the 2nd time in my life.


I can not express how grateful I am for this process. I can not begin to put into words the feeling of freedom that comes with knowing that my sins are no more. In the eyes of the Lord, my past has been erased.


I used to think that 2nd chances at eternity did not exist. But that is just another foolish lie of the adversary. In truth,The Lord grants us 2nd, and 3rd, and 4th chances. Our opportunities to change, heal, and mend are free. If only I had opened my eyes to that reality instead of being paralyzed by pride and fear. So many years were wasted…. but I digress… I have nothing but gratitude today because I know of the reality of my Savior and what He can do for me.


Today, my first Sunday in full fellowship, just happened to be our ward conference. One of the counselors stood and, after reading off their names one by one, allowed us the opportunity to sustain the prophet and apostles. This is something I lost with my membership. I had not realized until then, just how important that tiny privilege was to me. It was a tremendous pleasure to sustain the man I know to be the prophet of God.


Not many minutes later, the sacrament was passed down my row and again, for the first time in a year, I was able to eat and drink the emblems that represent that sacrifice made for me. It was a powerful experience, filled with new meaning for me.


It may be weeks before I receive a calling, and at least one more year before I am able to have my priesthood blessings restored. But today, for me, it was an enormous victory in my personal battle against the adversary.


I am not foolish enough to think that all is done. I know that this is the beginning. My wife and I will continue to fight the battle daily. I know that even though my sins are erased from the book of life, that they are still very present in my wife's mind. I know that trust will continue to take time. I expect this next year to be filled with traps and pitfalls and temptations as well. I am just grateful that I get to navigate them with the full and complete presence of the Holy Ghost.

It’s been a hard year. But also, as I said, one of the best years of my life.  I have been reclaimed… I have been snatched… I have been saved.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Re-baptism

I have been so excited to write this post.  It has been a year and change in the making...the hardest, most horrific year of my life...but it came!  My husband was re-baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 2:30 this afternoon.  He can now take the sacrament.  He can now sustain church leaders and pray when asked.  Most importantly, he now has the gift of the Holy Ghost again.

It has been a hard fought victory and the battle lasted right up until baptism time.  Even last night, the adversary was planting these thoughts in our heads:

"What if he is baptized and then falls heavily back into addiction?"
"What if he is still keeping secrets from you?"
"Was a one year excommunication enough?  Did his actions and sins require more time?"
"He may have been baptized but you will never be able to fully trust him again."
"This is not a big moment, this is an embarrassing moment that should never have had to happen in the first place."

...and so on, and so on.  I really hate the adversary.  There was a palpable gloom that settled over us last night.  We both felt it but we both recognized it for what it was: a last ditch effort to either prevent this vital ordinance or to dampen it with doubts.

In then end, it was a wonderful day.  It was very small...just the members of the Stake Presidency, their wives, our bishop and 5 members of our 12 step group.  (4 of them drove an hour south to be here with us.)  Our sixteen year old daughter gave a talk on the Atonement that left me weeping.  We were so glad to have included our three oldest girls in this year's trials and triumphs.  I think they are better for it.  Actually, I KNOW they are better for it.  They will never forget this day.

Yes, I still worry.  I know the battle is NOT over.  We have another temptation filled year to wait before he can return to the temple, reclaim his sealing to our family and regain his Priesthood.  In the confirmation blessing, the Stake President warned my husband that the adversary still desperately wants to "claim" him and he was advised to be ever on guard and aware of the weaknesses still present that the adversary may exploit.

Despite the worry, I have great hope.  He will soon get a calling.  No, it won't be as a member of the Stake Presidency  (he'll probably never serve there again) but no matter how small the calling, I know he will be grateful to magnify it.  I also have more confidence now as my husband once again has the gift of the Holy Ghost and is worthy of it.  Hopefully, he will remain worthy of the warnings that the Spirit will undoubtedly send when danger/temptation is near.

It's been a great day.  I am so grateful that we made the decision to stick this out.  (I know that not everyone can make that choice and that's okay.)  I know that we have rocky times ahead of us.  My healing is not done yet.  His sins may be forgotten but the damage those sins have done is not yet gone.  We have much work yet to do but we are one step closer to our eternal family and for that, I am so thankful.


Friday, January 23, 2015

It's really Happening!!

This is going to be a short and sweet post but I am overwhelmed right now with a mixture of feelings that  I just need to share.  We just got word that a week from this Sunday, my husband will have his concluding "council" and it will be determined whether or not he will be able to be rebaptized.  I have been asked to attend this time to share my side of the story and to act as a witness.  I am SO SCARED!  If any of you have gone through this, please tell me what to expect?!!

Here's why I am scared.

 Number one: I don't want to have to face those men.  My husband faced his friends on that high council in complete and total humility and shame one year ago this Sunday.  I have imagined how that meeting must have gone without ever fully knowing because I was outside, nervously waiting...not wanting to even look one of those men in the eyes.  (I remember as we sat there waiting for the verdict, one of the high councilmen had to excuse himself to use the restroom.  He is our neighbor and our kids play together all the time.  He passed us as we sat in the foyer and I will never forget how he glanced at us and quickly looked away, hastening his walk to get away from us as fast as possible.  It was so sad.)  This time, I get to sit in that room and look at all fifteen of them. My heart races just thinking about it.

Number two:  Our Stake President thinks that it is going to be a good outcome and he assures us that he wouldn't call the court if he wasn't certain that it would be a good result.  Even though he says that, my fearful mind wonders, "What if something happens?  What if they bring us back in to the room and tell us that we have to wait ANOTHER 12 months?"  I know what will happen...I will fall apart for a while but we will accept the verdict.  I just don't want more heartache so I am hoping and praying that those fifteen men can listen to the spirit and can understand how far we've come in a year.

Number three:  Once the council decides that it is okay for my husband to be rebaptized, it has to go to the First Presidency for approval.  Of course, that is another set of people that hold our fate in their hands.  What if they say "no?"  I HATE this whole process.  I hate that we can't do anything until up to 20 different men agree on our fate.  I know that this is the process and I support it fully.  It is just hard to feel so helpless when you are the one going through it.

 I want to be 100% confident that this is going to go well and that within a month, my husband will re-enter the waters of baptism. (Of course, this is just a baby step.  He doesn't get the Priesthood back or his temple blessings back for at least another year.)  But, it is hard to feel that confidence when so much has gone badly this last year.  I have had to accept disappointment, heartache and humiliation this year on a scale that I've never before known.  It's hard to imagine that there won't be more of that as we move forward.  But, that is just my pessimistic, damaged self talking.  Please pray for us friends, if you wouldn't mind!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Good, Bad Ugly 2014

Guess What!  In two days we will have hit our one year mark!  In two days (one year ago) my world came crashing down, was fundamentally changed and my course in life altered completely.  DDay 2014 was the WORST day of my life for sure, followed by months of equally bad days.  But, for Jason, DDAY 2014 was the BEST day of his life.  I hate that a day that caused me the most heart wrenching pain is the best day of his life but I understand why.  It is his FREEDOM day.  It is the day he decided that this addiction was going to cost him everything he loved and it was time to stop.  He has been clean since that horrible day.

So, in honor of my ridiculous 2014, I wanted to record the top ten worst moments and the top ten best moments. I think I will just do the worst moments with this post and the best moments in another.  I don't want to dwell on the bad stuff but when I lay it out there, I marvel at what we have passed through in one single year and that we are still doing okay.  I also realized with each one of these awful memories, there was good that came out of it.  That's a testament to the power of the Atonement and the Savior stepping in to carry some of the weight.

The ten worst moments of 2014:

1.  DDay.  You can read about that horrible horrible day here: http://www.ouraddictionjourney.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-war-begins-with-revelation.html
What followed were long weeks with no sleeping, no eating and lots of crying.  I lost 15 pounds in a couple of weeks.  (Sadly, I've gained that back)  The good:  I like the path that I am now on.  I like that I have proven myself in an earth shattering trial.  I like that I feel that my Heavenly Father is proud of me for handling this in a Christ like way.  I LOVE the marriage that I have now.  Perhaps one day I will say it was all worth it.  I hope so.

2. Visiting with our Stake President on Dday:  My husband was his second counselor.  The SP was rocked by Jason's admission and shed many tears.  I hated watching my husband hand over his temple recommend that very day.  The good:  I came to appreciate that my husband had been called to this calling as we had a very special relationship with our Stake President. He gave us more attention than he perhaps would have given others because he was personally involved.  My husband was also more comfortable confessing to him because he was a friend.  Did the Lord set it up that way, knowing that Jason would need that extra support to kick this?  I would like to think so.

3.  Getting tested for STDs: This day sucked.  I sat in my OB's office with all of the pregnant women and their adoring husbands waiting for my name to be called so I could get tested for those horrible diseases.  Having to tell my beloved OB (the women who delivered my children) that my husband had cheated on me was equally awful.  The look of pity on her face I will never forget.  The good: I was so overcome with grief and my body was so exhausted that I passed out cold in that appointment.  Jason had to come back and face my OB after all as they called him back to help me wake up.  That is now a memory that we can even laugh at. (And we both tested negative)

4.  Telling our teenagers:  We ordinarily wouldn't have done this but since Jason was in the Stake Presidency and would be very publicly released, they had to know.  We gave them very few details but they were made aware that an excommunication was coming and why.  There were so many tears shed that day.  The good:  My daughter came to us soon after and admitted that she had had a five year addiction to something as well.  Had Jason not confessed things to her, I doubt she would have confessed to us and gotten help.

5.  The night my husband was released from the Stake Presidency:  Because they need to have a "body of the Priesthood" present for a Stake Presidency change, they had to call an emergency meeting with all the brethren in the Stake.  There, our Stake President wept at the pulpit as he released my husband and called another.  (I wasn't there but was told how it went.)  I am not sure that the men came away with the idea that adultery was the cause, but I am sure they had a good idea because after that, we received many sympathy cards and uncomfortable looks at church.  The gossip rumor mill had begun.  The good:  My kids have never known life with Dad at home.  He was called to be bishop when my oldest was eight.  None of them remember sitting with him at church or even going to church together in the same car.  He was gone every night but Monday doing church stuff.  So, they are LOVING this new, more present dad.  

6.  Stake temple day...all eyes on me, there alone: This day was so hard.  I was determined to show my face even though my husband was not there.  There were many looks of surprise, pity, and sympathy as I sat there alone in the chapel session.  Thankfully, the Stake President's wife came right up to me and sat next to me.  The Good:  I did it!  I was brave and I proved to myself, my leaders and my Heavenly Father that I will be at the meetings that I should be at even if my husband can't.

7.  The day I realized that the gossip was spreading to family out of state:  When there is such a public release from a prominent calling, of course the rumors are going to spread. The men in Jason's council were told to not tell anyone, even their wives.  But, as mortals are prone to do, some talked.  I am sure they told wives and wives told friends and before we knew it, people that didn't even live in our same state were calling our family members (who we did not want to tell and who lived far away) and spilling the beans.  Jason's brother called one night and told Jason that he had been told by a friend who lives in Arizona.  That is five states away!!! The good:  That brother told another brother who called Jason and admitted that he has had a pornography addiction his whole life and that he wants to get it under control now that he has heard our story.  So, that is good...though I still seethe that these family members were told by someone other then us.

7.  The night of the excommunication:  This night was awful, awful, awful. I was invited to go into the council but I couldn't.  I was too afraid so I wrote a letter instead and I spent the hour playing "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" on the piano in the chapel.  I remember after the council concluded and the men came out, that they were all crying.  They loved Jason and had worked with him daily for the last 2 years.  There were looks of shock, devastation, pity and grief.  I hated those looks. I hated that those same men held our fate in their hands though I completely understand the process.  I hated the pain that followed as I realized that my sealing had been broken and I didn't have the Priesthood in my home anymore.  There was a huge sense of loss that night as that verdict came down to add to the loss I was already feeling. I still struggle with not feeling like I am being punished too.  The good:  I have a fond memory of coming home from that meeting and making "scrambles" for us as we had been fasting all day.  We were so hungry and the food tasted so good.  I also was impressed that Jason immediately came home and removed his garments, putting them away for at least two years.   He was immediately being obedient to the instruction given him!

9.  Girl's Camp meltdown:  I was asked to be the Girl's Camp photographer this year.  I think they did this out of pity as I am usually a unit leader and the powers that be knew that I might not be able to handle that responsibility this year.  Anyway, the last night, the Stake Presidency got up and did a skit for the girls.  I LOST it.  My husband was in charge of girl's camp and was incredibly involved in every aspect, immersing himself in the week of camp completely.  It was tough not having him there this year.  It was tougher watching the Stake Presidency do that skit together and having my husband missing.  It just all became so heavy and hard.  I fled the meeting as fast as I could and ran into the woods to the archery range.  There, I wailed and howled, not caring who heard me.  It was horrible.  The good:  the theme for camp was "superheroes" and on one of the days there, my husband wrote me a letter on how I was his hero.  

10. The first day back to church:  We were given the counsel to not go back to church for a few weeks after DDay...mostly because they were in the middle of Ward Conference and the new counselor would be sustained and our leaders just felt like that may be a good day to miss.  So, we skipped church for three weeks, sending our kids with other families that "knew."  The day we returned to church was tough.  My husband was so nervous.  I had to march back up to the front of the congregation to play the organ, with all those curious eyes on me.  My husband had to obstain from taking the Sacrament for the first time.  The good:  For the most part, the members of our ward treated us normally.  We had a few people avoid us but it wasn't as traumatic as we expected, though still weird and awkward.  Now we sit in the front row every Sunday.  No hiding and lurking in the back for us and thankfully, the ward members are not so curious anymore as to our status.

So, that's it; ten of the toughest moments of the year.  I am happy that I can find good in all of them and even smile at the memory of some.  I know that this year has a few more tough moments in store.  My daughter is to be baptized in the next few months and she will be the only one of our children whose Grandpa has to do it.  That will be a challenging day for sure.  We have another council in a few weeks that I hope will be a good experience.  I have another year of attending the temple alone and going to other men for Priesthood blessings.  That's okay though.  I have already been through the toughest year of my life.  I pray that this next year can be a little bit easier and that no matter what happens, I can find some joy in the journey!