Dear Addi

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 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.


  1. Ugh. I SO get it. Every. Word. I so desperately just want to UNDERSTAND. Like you said, I want an explanation. Something that makes sense. Something that will let me say, "Oh. OK. Now I get it." Sadly, I don't think we will ever get that. Not here at least. I have been so angry at the Lord too. I've screamed at Him many times saying, "Why?! How could you not tell me?!" And you know what? Its OK. He can take it! He knows we are angry. He knows we are heartbroken. He gets it. And I know He just beams with such love to see us trust in Him our best anyways and realize that He could not overstep the gift of agency--the thing He promised to let us and our husbands have. I know it must kill Him to see us suffer so and see husbands treat their wives so disgracefully. And yet He loves them just as much too and knows they suffer as well. As for the Apostle telling that story--to me that is a total prompting. He may have not known why he was sharing it either. And like you said, your husband did a lot of good and maybe it was needed at that time. Like you said, maybe he needed that stake president/friend to get him through, maybe he needed to fall so greatly in such a big calling to receive the maximize punishment so he could be fully washed clean. A chance to start over. A clean slate. I wish my mind would be wiped clean too! I so admire your faith. This is all so hard. You are so amazing and your story and advice have helped me so very much. Recovery is not clean like I thought it would be. It is downright messy and we can be all over the place. The important thing is that we are headed in the right direction and even have a desire to believe and have faith and trust in the Savior. I love you my fellow trauma trooper.

  2. I have asked God too "why didn't you tell me." Here I am, teaching little kids in sharing time in primary that the Holy Ghost will warn you of danger while sin and danger were in my very own home for 20 years. Someday I will ask God that question. But for now the only thing I can come up with is this: God will never, ever mess with the agency of another human being. Ever. My little primary lesson is still true: the Holy Ghost will warn me of dangerous decisions in my path that I can control, but He will not warn me of others decisions. I don't like this answer at all but I want peace so badly as to why God never told me that I would rather believe the whole "he doesn't mess with anyone's agency ever" rather than "He didn't tell me because.....fill in the blank."

    As far as the apostle extending a calling, well, I choose to believe that they are human so either 1) he made a mistake or 2) this was God's way of giving your hubby one more change to confess. Again, this is just my opinion but it's how I sense of all the leadership callings my hubby served in as well.