(another) argument with spouse
By hk-47
11/6/2011 1:30:49 PM
Not a lot of fun, but my wife and I had yet another argument this morning. The main idea was about helping with housework, helping more with the kids, etc. What came out of was that (a) she didn't want to go to church today (4th week in a row), doesn't want to move with me when I have to move (again) due to work next year, and feels I don't appreciate anything she does.

For the record, we both work full time (both have master's degrees). I was saying to her that I would like her to help a little more with the kids and with housework. The short version is that I feel that she leaves a lot for me to do. We have had this discussion many, many times over our 14 year marriage.

And, of course, my addiction doesn't make anything easier. She knows about it but I don't tell her every time I have a slip. She has known for several years. We have had varying degrees of success in communicating about it. I've had a few slips over the past year.

It has been difficult since I got back from Iraq a year and a half ago. I'm not dealing with any kind of PTSD or anything. I was gone for almost two years and it was difficult for her. I feel like she is still angry with me for being gone. But she will not admit it.

Instead, I get a lot of hostility over little issues. As long as I do much more than my share of the housework and child care, and I don't complain about it, she's pretty much OK. As long as I put my job (Army officer) as second to hers (teacher) she's pretty much OK. But, whenever I point out the inequality or ask her to do more, it gets ugly.

I do feel like there is probably a connection between my P/M addiction and our marriage problems. I feel like it is, consciously or subconsciously, an excuse she uses to justify some unreasonable expectations she has.

So tonight I'm sleeping on the couch, again, over a conversation that started with me asking her to help me with the kids, after they'd been up for two hours and I'd already fed them breakfast. Maybe I should have just let her sleep in (again). But I don't think I can continue indefinitely in a relationship where I get treated as the hired help.

I just don't know.



Marriage is work!    
"I hope both of you are in a recovery group with a sponsor. That you are seeking counseling for each of you individually and as a couple. You are both well educated. Seek through prayer the right resources for each of you and your marriage. If you both invest your time and talents in recovery individually and work on your marriage you will find the kind of love that is sustained by the Lord himself. You will understand each others needs and truly feel the intensity that love and commitment, sustained by the gospel can bring.

"When both members of a sexually addicted relationship can see their need to be in recovery, then they have accepted that they are mutually responsible for their relationship. This does not mean that the co-addict is responsible for the behaviors of the sex addict. Neither does it mean that the addict is responsible for the unhealthy or addictive behaviors of the co-addict. It does mean that they are both responsible for the state of the relationship."
Lasser, Mark (1992) Faithful & True. Zondervan.p.174. (video)

I personally do not like to refer to the spouse as a co-addict. It is a label that seems to negate her natural responses to dealing with SA in her marriage. It is a trauma, a life changing trauma that causes responses that are natural to a human who is going through a traumatic life changing event. Some would refer to these responses as un healthy, or negative emotions, crazy, but in reality they are normal responses to trauma. Your spouse may be exibiting some of these behaviors. PTSD takes years, up to five years, to recover from and it takes action, knowledge and love.

posted at 21:45:01 on November 6, 2011 by Hero
Staying on your side of the street...    
"Focus on the things you can change (yourself), accept the things you can't (her). What am I doing that could be contributing to her attitude and approach to our marriage? Do I owe her an amends? Is there something I am doing that is sabotaging our marriage?

If we look, there is plenty of crap on our side of the street to keep us busy without having to focus on what our spouse is or isn't doing."
posted at 23:37:56 on November 6, 2011 by Anonymous
well she needs to understand    
"army life isnt easy for anyone. when duty calls, guess what? you gotta go. i had a short time in the army (2000-2005) i wish it would have been longer but it wasn't. its a good job w lots of benifits...

as an officer you should be bringing the bacon. they make pretty good money even at an o2 level, o3 is where you're doing pretty good, at least in my book. maybe she should quit her job. and consolidate your life style. thats my 2 cents.

Hope u can work it out. Women communicate different then men. They play these games like we are mind readers, and were not. Men are easy, women are complex. Men have like 2 buttons + women have 20."
posted at 00:48:21 on November 7, 2011 by skyteamst90
sounds like some therapy would help...    
"Wow, first let me say I'm sorry for your situation. There is nothing more awful then fighting with my wife. It ruins everything. It does sound like there are some deeper issues here that maybe your wife hasn't been able to articulate. A wise counselor/family therapist might be able to provide some neutral ground where you can communicate and do some healing together.

It sounds like you have a lot of stress factors in your marriage (both working full time, children, your a war vet, the addiction, probably church callings, the expectation of church attendance and activity in general). My guess is all of things are compounding into her current emotional state. I imagine the military and/or your local church has contacts for good therapists. If she's willing, then it can't hurt, right?

Saying a prayer for you man! Good luck."
posted at 08:52:21 on November 7, 2011 by addictionfoe
"It is hard for anyone to give advice on the site, but I just want you to know that I am sorry you are having a hard time.
It will pass one way or another.
We have similar chores issues and work has been a trying one too but the more I see her grateful to the Lord that I have the job I do, it strengthens me to not complain and get things done.

My wife is good to me in reminding me that there is a time and season for everything. Right now it is her time to heal and not for my career or my calling.

Things are hard but they will pass. I sure hope so anyway."
posted at 13:35:36 on November 7, 2011 by ruggaexpat
"I totally relate to this post including the military thing. I am going to read it again before I respond because I think there is a lot of stuff here. Hang in there HK. Be kind and true to yourself and charitable to that wonderful wife of yours. More later...
posted at 08:43:05 on November 8, 2011 by maddy
We have talked, a little    
"Thanks for everyone's comments. We do have some more to work on.

Skyteam, there was a point when I really wanted her to quit teaching, but not now. It is not about the money (I'm a senior O4). It is about what a great teacher she is. Children and parents love her, she is so good at it and so passionate about her students. I honestly think that on any given day she does more good and contributes more to society than I do.

I do see clearly how my P/M addiction affects the family, and my ability to be the spiritual leader in the family. I will continue repenting and working on it. I just wish it felt more like she was working with me.

posted at 14:40:47 on November 8, 2011 by Hk-47
keep talking    
"i guess for alot of people boils down to what the lord wants or the spirit. o4 is doing good. but doing good outside the family is ok, but if things are broken they need to get fixed, the armys not easily quittable, so a leave of absense for her.......or go on one of those army retreats they have all the time thru the MWR programs.the army help busted my marriage, it broke my brothers too as he was a navy recruiter for 3 years...i guess the choice is whats more important teaching or marriage?"
posted at 00:10:05 on November 9, 2011 by skyteamst90
I think the problem is deeper    
"Skyteams, good points, and it's always great to hear from another soldier.
I don't think the problem is really her teaching. We've had years when she wasn't teaching, and we still had similar problems.
Some of the surface issues (like the housework) are just based on history. I'm the oldest of 5 kids and I grew up doing housework all the time; it's easy. My wife is the youngest of 3 who never had to do anything like that as a child. Consequently, it takes more effort and she hates doing it. I don't blame her for that. I don't think it means she loves me or our children any less. But it is frustrating, as I've told her, when I feel like I'm working a full time job and having to do most of the work of a home maker.
I think some of the issues come from our backgrounds. Her father was a baptist minister who basically never provided for his family, financially. In their family, the women wear the pants and do most of the work. The men get (and really earn) almost no respect.
Even though my wife was baptized 15 years ago, there are some things that we've never really gotten resolved. I don't think she really sees, or wants to see, any man as a priesthood holder and leader in the family.
Of course, my addiction issues don't help. I do realize that I need to get completely clean, and do so in a spiritual manner, in order to provide the spiritual leadership that my wife (and children) need.
We have done some of the retreats and trips, as well as different counselling. It is good, and it helps. But it is clearly not enough.
And, while it would be easy for me to say that she should choose between teaching and marriage, I don't think it is that easy.
Then there's the physical health issue. I've always been pretty healthy and fit, physically. Running marathons, yoga, boxing, etc. as well as eating healthy.
My wife, while she looks great (petite figure, the envy of most of the Relief Society) frankly does not take care of herself physically. It is not a matter of being unattractive (she's absolutely beautiful, not that I'm not biased) but she gets no exercise, eats mostly junk food, stays up most of the night watching TV or surfing facebook, and is generally unhealthy.
This exacerbates the problems when she has no energy, spends most of Saturday and Sunday in bed, and is usually overstressed and irritable. It has an effect on our kids, as well.
My side of the problem is, of course, the P/M addiction. I really cannot mention anything to her about the benefits of exercise, eating healthy, or regular sleep without her reacting negatively. She feels it is only because of my addiction that I say this. I can't really blame her for feeling this way. So I generally leave her alone about it.
But the effect is that she is usually exhausted, both physically and emotionally, and it takes its toll on the whole family.
The problem I deal with this that, while I am trying, really trying, to change my own behavior and be a good, worthy priesthood holder, I don't think that is going to fix everything.
I love my wife and my children. I'm willing to do whatever it takes for them. I just hope that I'm not the only one trying.

posted at 08:19:09 on November 10, 2011 by hk-47
I don't have a lot of advice . . . .    
"but thought I would recommend a book. My therapist recently had both me and my husband read a book called "The Peacegiver" by James Farrell. I would recommend it to you, and your wife as well . . . it has helped me think a little bit differently about my relationship with my husband."
posted at 19:36:08 on November 11, 2011 by crushedwife
"Crushedwife, thanks. I'll definitely take a look at it. I saw it is available on Kindle edition, which my wife and I both use."
posted at 13:24:50 on November 12, 2011 by Hk-47
Now that you've thoroughly taken her inventory, take your own.    
"Remember that story about the mote and the beam?"
posted at 01:17:41 on November 14, 2011 by Anonymous
"Sometimes people just need to vent. HK has a right to come here and talk about the problems in his life just like anybody else. Who are you to tell him to take his own inventory? Are you HK's sponsor or his counselor? If not, then you should keep your condescending remarks to yourself."
posted at 15:26:13 on November 15, 2011 by ETTE
No contention guys    
"I didn't take it as condescending. It is important, always, to be aware of my own shortcomings. Believe me, I'm painfully aware.
My wife and I have been together for a long time. She knows me better than anyone, and I know her.
We are doing well. We have had a few good talks and we are both trying to work on it.
As much as I recognize her not taking care of herself has an effect on our whole family, I also know that will not change until she wants it.
She has been patient with me. She has known about my addiction for years and has been more patient and tolerant than most LDS women are. That is not a judgment either way, just an observation.
I owe her at least as much patience as she has shown me.
But as the priesthood leader of our family, I also owe her leadership. If I can give that to other soldiers (who I don't love half as much as I love her) then I can give it to her. Not because I like being on charge (I don't, honestly) but because that's the role God has ordained. And, if I can follow the orders of officers above me, I can certainly follow His.

Sorry if this is rambling, just a stream of consciousness.

posted at 14:15:13 on November 16, 2011 by Hk-47
Efforts in Recovery    

I am making a few assumptions based on your posts. I don't have the luxury to talk with you about where you are in recovery, so I kind have to guess. I am mainly basing my feelings on this comment.

"She knows about it but I don't tell her every time I have a slip. She has known for several years. We have had varying degrees of success in communicating about it. I've had a few slips over the past year."

I think you really need to take a look at your efforts in recovery. I hear alot of denial in your comments, like minimization, avoiding, omitting and blaming. As well as a victim mentality. These types of comments are evidence that you are not taking your recovery very serious. I would encourage you to step up the game and work your recovery out of your own head. Your wife needs to know every time you slip. She doesn't need to know what you looked at, but she has a right to know where you are in recovery. You can't deprive her of this information, it is not your job to decide what she gets to know. A program of recovery is built around 100% honesty. I would also encourage you to find a SA group and start working the steps of recovery. Connect with men who have this problem and begin utilizing their strength and hope to lead you down a path of recovery. It sounds like your wife is carrying a huge burden, she may have pent up anger, frustration, and fear around your acting out and may not know how to communicate this to you. Perhaps when she does, you don't validate her emotions, maybe you use tactics of denial to squash her emotions. She may be feeling helpless and hopeless. She could use the strength and hope of a support group like S-Anon to work through some of these issues as well.

Here are a couple resources that you might want to consider.

All of these sites are going to have great information that will help mend the struggles, wounds that you and wife are facing. I can promise you that there is more out there for you and for your wife. Most of which will not come until you begin to connect with real people who are working and striving for recovery."
posted at 16:35:01 on November 16, 2011 by jblackb
"I've been married 9 years and my wife has yet to need any leadership from me. Of course, it's a completely different situation but sometimes we men mistake our shortcoming of "control" for wanting to lead. Might be worth looking at.

(I like you and I know you can take it otherwise I wouldn't bother commenting)"
posted at 20:01:55 on November 16, 2011 by Anonymous
"Some wives don't want to know every instance. Each couple is different in how they handle the others recovery."
posted at 20:04:22 on November 16, 2011 by Anonymous
You will not be able to lead    
"Your family back to FAther you do not take recovery seriously. You will continue to have slips and relapse if you do not go to a 12 steps and work the steps. You also need a counselor to help you heal. You might think that your wife and family are taking it well. From what you have said, she does not appear happy and fullfilled and I bet this addiction of yours is at the root of the problem. My husband and I for years were in denial of the effects of porn because it happened now and again (like those binge drinkers), most of the time, it seemed under control. Not so, any sort of porn and breaking your temple covenants even now and again, eats at your marriage and family. And one day, you have lost everything. It gradually happenned to us, anger, resentment, etc.. everything seemed ok, but we were spiritually dying. GET HELP!!! GO to recovery and heal yourself so that you never have another slip ever again. So that you can honor your wife the way the Lord wants you to do it (with all your heart, soul and body). That is the only way, you will ever lead your family back to Heavenly FAther. A father on porn is like a father who is letting the enemy within the walls of his home, and believe me the enemy is determined to destroy your family!!"
posted at 21:57:04 on November 16, 2011 by Anonymous
never intended this to turn into such a long thread    
"Well, that's more attention than I'm usually (or ever) comfortable with. Never intended this to go so long. This started about an argument my wife and I had almost two weeks ago.
Just an update - we are doing better now. We have talked, we are talking, and we're going to continue talking.
Part of a normal relationship, I think (not that I'm an expert) is understanding that we're going to have ups and downs. There will be days we can't get enough of each other and days we disagree or just need some time apart. Me, personally, I'd like it if the ups and downs were more moderate and not quite so ... intense.
But, I'm also working to accept that Heavenly Father gives us what we need, not always what we want. My wife and I have very different personalities. She's definitely more outgoing and has more highs and lows. The lows are sometimes rough but the highs are fairly

Regarding a husband's leadership role, I didn't make this up. Pres Hinckley, in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, said it "By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness ...." Believe me, I understand how a father and husband who does not honor his priesthood vows, acts out on a porn addiction, etc. is not doing anything in "love and righteousness." He went on to say that "In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners". This role of fathers is repeatedly reinforced throughout the scriptures.

If anyone disagrees with me, you're entitled to do so. If you disagree with the prophet that's between you and him.

Being in a leadership role is something I've been doing my entire life, and usually not by choice.

I didn't choose to be the oldest child in a large family with an inactive father. Nor did I choose all these church callings, everything from deacon's quorum president, 1st assistant to the president as a priest, institute president in college, being in the young men's and branch presidency, or any others. I didn't turn them down, either. I've commanded american soldiers in both combat and in peacetime. Trust me, I have had more than enough opportunities to give orders; I don't need or really desire it any more.

I'm not saying any of this to show credentials to anyone. Just putting it in perspective; I have no need for control.

The point is that if I could go the rest of my life without having to give instruction or counsel to another person, I'd be okay with that. If I could just sit back and let my wife take charge, I'd probably be okay with that, too. She's smarter and more type-A anyway. I've always been so in awe of what she can do. She's a great teacher, BTW, absolutely loved by all the kids (and other teachers) in the school.

She's always done a great job of running the family while I've been gone, deployed, in Iraq, or travelling. I have often just sat back and allowed her to run things while I'm here, as well. It's easy, she's good at it. But she's not the priesthood holder that God has ordained.

Two Sundays ago was a great example. She was too upset/angry to go to church. I quietly accepted that and told her I'd take the kids to church so she could have some quiet time to herself. She insisted that I leave the two youngest children at home so that when she called to have someone else cover her calling at church, she'd have an excuse.

In retrospect, I should have (a) lovingly told her that she would probably feel better if she did go to church (b) accept her decision either way, but (c) let her know, politely, that the children needed to go. Instead I just relented and let her do what she wanted.

But the realization I've recently come to, through quite a bit of prayer and scripture reading, is that I've been shirking my responsibilities as a priesthood leader in my family. I didn't make up the rules on this, Heavenly Father did. He knows better than I and has a better plan than I.

Trust me, what I said in an earlier post was speaking more to myself than anyone. I'm understanding now that part of the allure of using porn, for me, has been the "easy" path of not being what my wife and children need. They need a worthy priesthood holder who worthily holds the keys for the family and exercises them with love and righteousness.

Whether this is called "leadership" or "service" or "presiding" is just a semantics game. Wives and children need this from a worthy priesthood holder. In my family, that's supposed to be me.

I do not blame my wife for not respecting me as a priesthood holder in the family. I have not earned it. But I need to do just that, not just for myself, not just for her, but for our children. They are entitled to that in a father.

If this comes across as acting like a victim, you're entitled to your opinion. If you think I'm some control freak, you honestly don't know me. And if this is too long, frankly, no one is making you read it.

- HK"
posted at 14:18:41 on November 18, 2011 by hk-47
This is so familiar - it's scary!    
"I've been where your wife seems to be. You admitted that you don't always tell her when you have a slip so I'm basing what I'm about to say on that.

She has no idea where you are in your recovery. She doesn't know if you are slipping every day or have gone weeks, months or years. I think she is protecting herself. She is throwing herself into work because she probably wonders if she is going to be a single parent and need her career to take care of herself and the children. You mentioned you were military and that she didn't work for years.

She doesn't want to be around all of those other "perfect" families at church because she is worried that hers is falling apart. She can't talk to anyone about it because she truly has no idea how well or how badly it's going. Just based on your description, she probably has very few or no girlfriends in Relief Society. I didn't either when I was where she was. I couldn't trust anyone with my worries about my husband and I didn't want anyone to say "You should just leave him." This is a huge cloud over her life that she can't be herself 100% right now because she is consumed in worry. If she can't be herself, then friends are going to be hard to come by.

She resists your leadership because she doesn't know if you'll be around to lead the family or if this addiction will consume you to the point that it destroys your marriage.

She sleeps late because she is up all night worried about your addiction, the state of your marriage and if she will have to do it all on her own without you. She's probably a bit depressed because she sees her marriage struggling but doesn't know all of the possible factors causing the strain. Because she doesn't have a clear picture of all that is going on, she can't begin to try to fix it.

You described what a let down the men in her family have been. Don't be a let down to her. I really think she is just scared because she has no idea what is going on with you and she has been let down by other men in her life. She probably feels frustrated that you are bringing up her short comings but are not talking about yours. She is left just imagining how bad things are/are not with you.

This very thing nearly destroyed my marriage (got over the whole shock of the addiction but then there was the silence that followed). He didn't want to upset me or cause me to worry and I was panicking in my mind not knowing if he was going to lose his job, leave me, if I would need to leave, etc.. I've seen it destroy marriages. I was doing what I needed to do (meetings, working the steps, etc but I didn't have all of the information I needed to move forward). There is a difference between knowledge and understanding what is going on with your husband and obsessing. I just needed the knowledge from my husband to understand (that he was trying and he wasn't in denial acting like he alone could overcome this without ever talking about it again) so I could stop worrying.

I'm not going to speculate WHY you aren't sharing it. It could be pride. I could be that you don't want to burden her with it. It could be something else. But I think she is stressing about it 1000 times more than she needs to if, based on your own description, it's been a few times over the past year. Unless she is stalking your internet history, she probably thinks it is MUCH more often!

I REALLY REALLY think that if you can show her the imperfect you and be honest about where you are in your recovery, your slips (I doubt she will want details), etc, she will respect the Priesthood holder you are striving to be and will probably accept the concerns you have about housework, etc. I also think the not taking care of herself, sleeping, etc will solve itself when she is not so worried about all of the what ifs.

I think when you can open up and be honest and TRUST her, she will in turn begin to trust you. Then I think you will see things turn around in all areas. Otherwise, I think you may be headed in a direction that neither of you want to go in.

Please understand that I'm not saying that the marriage issues are all the addiction's fault. I just see what I went through and that was the worry and the unknowns consumed me and affected how I felt which affected my moods which affected my relationships.

Since it's been so long since your last post, maybe this is no longer an issue. I just was struck by how familiar this was to my own life."
posted at 18:49:44 on January 17, 2012 by Anonymous
""Presiding" is not a one size fits all. You don't have to call all the shots to magnify your responsibilities as outlined in the proclamation. Presiding might not mean making executive decisions about where to live or what job to take or even about how often your family will pray together. Here are some synonyms: counsel, guide, and influence -- these words sound a lot like the words in the scripture I referenced in my title.. So next time you are reminding your wife that you are supposed to "preside" over the family, consider whether you have given her any other reason (aside from your gender) to listen to your counsel, guidance, and influence. Are you counseling with the spirit? Guiding by example? Influencing gently?"
posted at 20:46:14 on January 17, 2012 by Anonymous
to be fair...    
"Anonymous (two posts up, Jan 17) you make some very good points and I do think that some of that is accurate. My wife does have quite a few friends in relief society. She's always been excellent at making friends and becoming part of the group. But I do think that she is somewhat uncomfortable around the church and some of the reasons you list are likely part of it. I do think that my behavior has been part of it as well.
I would not describe anything that I or my wife do as presiding, or reminding anyone that anyone (she or I) are supposed to preside. We've never had a relationship like that. We have talked about it, the other day we had a relatively good calm discussion where she explained her issues and I mine. What bothers me (as I told her) is HER need to be in charge and HER need to have everything her way. This would include which clothes our kids wear, what order we do the grocery shopping, how the kids take their naps, what I cook for breakfast, etc. Sometimes it is to the point of being excessively controlling. And she's working on it. I'm working on showing her I appreciate everything she does, on supporting her, on encouraging the children to support her, etc.
The last few months have gotten better. We have talked, a lot, about various issues, and she has been to church much more. I've made it a point not to push. If she says she isn't feeling well and isn't going to make it that Sunday, I just smile, give her a hug, tell her I love her, and take the kids with me to church.
I know this is going to sound defensive, but at no point in our relationship (14 years of marriage preceded by 4 years of dating) have I ever told her or implied that I am supposed to "preside" or that she has to listen to me or that I'm in charge, etc. That has never been my way with my wife or with anyone else. I've never liked doing that; I've never enjoyed callings that put me in charge, in any type of presidency either as a president or counselor.
I honestly think that may have been part of the problem.

posted at 22:00:57 on January 22, 2012 by hk-47
HK-47, I'm glad you are one of the good guys!    
"You sound like a gentleman. I'm glad things have been a little better lately. I think you have the right approach."
posted at 06:22:21 on January 23, 2012 by Anonymous
Next step!    
"If you haven't done so yet, sit her down sometime and tell her how your recovery is going and I think you'll see even more improvement! It doesn't have to be a perfect record, either. Just be honest and I think you will see some more improvements."
posted at 10:18:49 on January 26, 2012 by Anonymous
Want to share HK    
"You wife sounds like how I was.

I was a control freak. I now see that it was a coping mechanism, albeit a very unhealthy one. Looking back, I can now see that I did that because the rest of my life felt out of control and like my husband buying into the lie of porn, I bought into the illusion of control over my family. I too did not trust my husband to make decisions. I fought him on just about every level. I did not trust him in our marriage, and that mistrust spilled over into other areas of our lives. It was a sick cycle that we are now breaking as he stays sober and we go deeper into our individual recovery.

Funny because he too is not comfortable in leadership rolls and did not use his "Priesthood" to rule over me. And he too would go to Church without me with a kind attitude.

My Path to healing began before his. I was desperate and my "control" in my family was no longer working for me, and I crashed. Shortly after I began this journey, my husband began to be serious about his recovery. It was not because I nagged him into it, it was his decision. He was coming to terms with and could no longer bear the pain he caused me and our children. He was beginning to see the fruits of his addiction played out in various ways in our family. For him, it was no longer about his pain, and how hard this was on him. It became about the pain his addiction caused me and our children.

It was at that point and with the help of a counselor who is also a recovering addict that my husband came to me and took complete accountability for his addiction and what being a part time priesthood holder cost all of us. This Dr. called BS on my husband, and told him that it was time for him to Be a Real Man! I was shocked when this happened. I had never heard or seen this before in over 20 years of marriage. He helped my husband to see the truth according to God's plan.

It was at this time when my husband said that he spent all of these years hurting me and that he would give me free reign to call all of the shots! Whatever, I wanted, whatever I needed, or thought I needed to say or do, there would be no arguing from him. What? He is giving me control? He opened the flood gates and with a sincere heart said " he was giving me permission to hurt him back if I wanted to. I could yell and scream and whatever. He said that it is only fair that he give me the same amount of time he spent in his addiction to do whatever I needed to do, including blame him. He said that he will just take it, he will just let me purge at him. What? I never asked him to do that. I never wanted to yell at him, although there were times when I did. But, a funny thing happened as he was true to his word.

As he completely threw himself into recovery and got sober and stayed sober over a long period of time, I started to trust him. There even came a point where I went to him as we were struggling with one of our children and said that I do not trust my decisions with this child and that I was turning all decisions (control) over too him. He never asked me, I just did it. And... it was one of the best decisions I ever made. He now leads our family with the spirit of the Priesthood, and little by little, I am letting go even more.

Our lives are ever changing as we both walk the path to recovery, but I feel that it was our recovery, and especially the trust he is building with me through his sobriety that is helping me to heal and trust him enough to let him be the Man and Priesthood holder he was meant to be . My husband's plan is to show God and me that he is worthy of that trust. My healing is separate from his and it is my path to walk with the Lord. But the trust he needs from me is his path with me and he is earning it through sobriety. I do not drive this, it is all him.

You and your wife reminded me of us in many ways, so if sharing a piece of our recovery helps you and your wife, I will count that as a blessing in my day. If not, maybe someone on this blog needed to hear it.

Either way, I can see that you love your wife and I will end in agreement with anon, that you do sound like a gentleman (just like my husband)."
posted at 02:16:37 on January 27, 2012 by angelmom

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"The excuse is given that it is hard to avoid, that it is right at our fingertips and there is no escape. Suppose a storm is raging and the winds howl and the snow swirls about you. You find yourself unable to stop it. But you can dress properly and seek shelter, and the storm will have no effect upon you. Likewise, even though the Internet is saturated with material, you do not have to watch it. You can retreat to the shelter of the gospel and its teaching of cleanliness and virtue and purity of life. "

— Gordon B. Hinckley

General Conference, October 2004