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sin is never ever a good idea

One of thee worst phrases in all of Mormondom is “You chose this trial.” I have heard this phrase many, many times from well-meaning but ignorant people–especially when we found out we couldn’t have kids. Somehow assigning some nobility to my suffering made them feel better. Well, that stupid phrase never made me feel better. Someone has watched Saturday’s Warrior one too many times if they believe we chose everything before we came to mortality. I don’t even care if it is (I doubt it) true because that doesn’t help me get through today’s troubles. It’s akin to rubbing my face in a bowl full of pain.

The second worst phrase in all of Mormondom, the one that makes me bristle because it is so common, is: “I am grateful for my trials.” Now I believe you can be grateful for the lessons you learn from trials; I believe you can be grateful to feel God’s love for you so acutely in your moment of suffering that you can never again doubt His, or your divinity. And maybe when the trials are just a part of everyday life you can be grateful for the actual trial, but I do not believe for one minute I need to be grateful for the sin that, unbeknownst to me, has been a part of my 20-yr marriage.

I will never, ever be grateful to know that my husband is capable of lying to me.

I will never be grateful to know that my husband has seen and lusted after thousands of naked women.

Sin is never a good idea and we don’t have to go looking for it, nor love it to prove that the Atonement works. As Elder Holland has said, “We don’t have to look for sorrow. We don’t have to seek to be martyrs. Trouble has a way of finding us even without our looking for it.”  Bingo Elder H.

men are that they might

To be grateful for this filthy trial that my husband chose (God did not send this to me) would be to be a martyr, happily suffering because of his misuse of agency. We just read this scripture from 2 Nephi 2:27 with my children the other night “…..men are that they might have joy.” We are supposed to have joy in this life–we are not here to embrace suffering as martyrs because of someone else’s sins. The Gospel makes me happy, sin does not.

Martyrdom is overrated.

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refining myself

A few years ago I decided I wanted to accept my husband for who he is and not who I think he should be. (I didn’t know about his addiction then.) It took me over 15 years to decide that I could love him just the way he is, which, considering I am very independent I’m surprised it took me that long! I wanted to stop trying to change him. To make him into a man who would share his feelings. And to turn him into a romantic who would plan weekend getaways. He is never going to do that. Accept him for all his goodness and move on lady! After all, he listens to my feelings as I am the talker. He doesn’t like to talk about his feelings so get over it!

And as far as planning romantic getaways or even dates, he is willing to do anything that I plan. So plan it, quit being resentful that he never has and maybe never will, and move on. I have an amazing life and knew it was time to let some things go. I think infertility taught me that. That I can be completely devastated that Plan A didn’t work out but happily move on to Plan B. That’s what I was trying to do.

Then about a year ago I decided I didn’t want to be angry at him anymore. I am terribly impatient and highly driven. My hubby is calm, relaxed, and he will admit, a bit lazy. So I would often find myself getting angry at him because he wouldn’t mow the lawn when I asked; wouldn’t get out of pajamas before 10am on a Saturday; wouldn’t offer to do any DIY project around the house unless I got going on it first. He was my sweetheart, my eternal companion and I wanted to rid my heart of anger towards him. Not necessarily because he deserved it, but because I deserved it. I don’t want to be angry. I don’t want to be resentful. So I found myself saying “This isn’t worth getting angry over. Calm down and move on.” And guess what? It was working. I was finally controlling my patience and my temper. Hooray!

Here I was polishing a beautiful car, rubbing out the dings, making the chrome shiny and beautiful. Basically, putting on the final touches to really make the car what it should be. And then I found out the car never had an engine. Or rather that my husband was daily taking an axe to the engine. I was spending loads of time and energy refining myself and guess what, I don’t regret it at all. Even if hubby didn’t deserve it, I deserved it.

 

getting what you deserve, part 2

los angeles temple

I shared a previous post, getting what you deserve part 1, with my husband  the day I wrote it and it did not go well. He said I was lashing out at him and being mean just to be mean. He was angry that I thought he should have to go live with a trashy woman. Funny, I don’t remember saying anything about trashy, all I did was describe some of his addictive attributes. Anyway, I felt stabbed through the heart. I wasn’t lashing out–I was opening up about my own problems and how I’m trying to give them away to God. I cried like I haven’t cried in front of him ever. I usually save those wracking sobs that bring on dry heaves when he’s at work, but not that night. I screamed “Damn you” and cried until I thought I would throw up so I had to run to the bathroom. He felt horrible, tried to apologize, but I couldn’t even look at him. I went and slept on the couch that night in the office. That velvet couch that I love is so soft but boy is it hot to sleep on!

It was a horrible night’s rest. In the middle of the night, wide awake, I bought a book on the Nook called The God who Weeps. So far it is pretty fantastic. Another wife of a porn addict recommended it on her blog.  I was drawn to the title because somehow that comforts me to know to that God weeps with me right now. Anyway, the next day I woke up to a note he had written over night. He talked about how wrong he was and he quoted lots from the book He Restoreth my Soul from the section about the trauma inflicted on wives.  He acknowledged that he was the cause of my pain and that he stomped on my feelings when I tried to share them. I just couldn’t say “I forgive you”. Now I have one more thing I need to forgive him for and just can’t.

I feel cold and numb towards him. This is kind of what I wanted to feel from the beginning–detached so that I could kick him out. And finally I feel those feelings only it’s too late to kick him out. He is on the road to recovery. He is trying so hard every day. He reads and studies his scriptures, has gone to the temple, once with me and once alone, prays daily–really truly heart-felt prayers, and attends his recovery meetings. So today I am praying for all the usual–asking God to take away this pain, after all, Christ already suffered for it so why am I still carrying it? But how do you give away something invisible? And in addition to all that now I am just praying to even like my husband. I’m afraid at how cold I feel towards him sometimes.

I keep doing this. I keep bringing up memories and asking him if he was using at the time–ordaining our son to be a priest (no),  business trips (mostly yes), etc. Why I need to know I don’t know. It only hurts to ask. Everything hurts these days. Every damn thing.