I'm a wife dealing with her husband's addiction to pornography. I hope to be a resource for wives (and family members) dealing with similar struggles. Please join in the conversation and leave comments--even if you are here for curiosity's sake and are just learning about this kind of struggle! You can read my story here and the 4 things I think every addict's wife should know here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lest You Think We're Perfect

I've been meaning to write this post for some time now. I know I'm quite positive on this blog, but I don't want to give the impression that my husband and I are perfect. We certainly still have our struggles, but I have been learning to deal with all of this for almost a decade and I am more at peace with this now than I ever was before.

But I have to be careful not to fool myself. I like to think that I'm okay. In fact, most days I really do feel okay. My husband and I talk about his problems quite often. He is opening up to me more than he ever has in the past. However, I realized the other night that the scars run deep for me. I was in bed falling asleep and started to imagine what it would be like if I walked out into the living room and found my husband looking at pornography. (Keep in mind that my husband was at work at the time, so I really was just imagining this.) To my surprise, I envisioned myself smashing the TV. Yep. Smashing it. Violently. To smithereens. This kind of surprised me.

Does this sound like the reaction of a woman who is okay? I don't think so. It was a rude (but much needed) reminder that I have a long way to go.

You see, I have never caught my husband in the act. (I've mentioned in previous posts that I don't think trying to catch your husband in the act is healthy, but that's another matter.) My husband has never come to me and told me that he slipped up. I've never actually known until much, much later when I get a really strong feeling that he's not telling the truth and I practically beg him to be honest with me.

I've been lied to more times than I know. I tell you this not to make my husband look bad, but for you to remember that I'm just like you. I feel the pain. I experience the anger. I have the trust issues. But I have also learned so much throughout this process and am attempting to share what I've learned and how I've grown.

I am in a very good place right now, and I attribute much of that to the degree to which my husband and I have truly relied on our faith this year, praying together, reading scriptures together, and listening to inspiring words on our ipods as we drive our separate ways to work. I also attribute much of the peace I currently feel in my life to my outlook on life. I don't know where I'd be without gratitude. Gratitude doesn't just keep me going, it makes me happy. Truly happy. My life has so much good in it, and I concentrate on that. Our lives aren't magically perfect just because we concentrate on gratitude, but if we do, we can be happy in just about any circumstance.

Earlier this week while I was out on a run, I listened to a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland (an Apostle of the LDS Church) from 1974 titled Call Upon God. I'll refer you to the audio file since I can't find a written version online. While the entire talk is great, I recommend you listen at 28:11 to hear how Joseph Smith reacts to a mob outside his jail cell who taunts him (after he has been sentenced to death and been torn from his family). And then listen again at 38:11. Elder Holland says, "If you love well and you speak well when you feel well, what do you do more than others?" and "May God bless you and me to love much and to speak well and to endure greatly and mightily..." It's not what actually happens to us in our lives that matters (even though what happens can hurt more than we every imagined). It's how we react to what happens. It's how we "love much and speak well" even when we're tired of dealing with life. Concentrating on our blessings and all the reasons we have to be grateful make this possible. The more I work on this, the more okay I really am. But I'm not perfect. I'm working on it just like you.

1 comment:

  1. I've noticed this lately in the way I look at others. I see so clearly how they (my sister in particular) are not "loving much and speaking well" in the tough moments, but then it clicked in my brain as if someone were laughing at me and saying "Oh yeah? Since when did love and forgive IN the tough moment?", or even shortly after. Anger comes so quickly, what have I learned if I can't find the love instead of anger when I have been hurt?