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Shock was a gift

I actually told someone just 2 months after D-day “I am beginning to feel happiness again.” And I had it planned out one Friday night to tell my husband that I had forgiven him! (Thankfully I didn’t.) That was shock, not happiness and forgiveness.

I believe now shock was a gift from God. Spencer W. Kimball taught that God “will not ask us to bear more than we can bear nor thrust upon us that for which we are not yet ready“. Once I was ready to absorb the enormity of my husband’s choices the shock went away.  In some ways this trial has gotten worse, the gravity and enormity of it has sunk in slowly as I have been given more tools to handle the problem. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I was not ready those first few months, but slowly with added tools and knowledge I became ready.

Had shock not been present I would have kicked out my husband, hands down. In some ways I wish I had, at least for a few weeks but I didn’t want to scare the kiddos so I let him stay.

Had shock not been present I would have called my husband worse things than ‘you lying bastard’.

Had shock not been present I would have taken a baseball bat to his car or to him. (Shock was a gift to my husband as well, ha ha!)

Had shock not been present I think I would have run away.

Had shock not been present I think I would have followed through with the revengeful thoughts I had–betraying him because he betrayed me.

But luckily, or rather blessedly, God shut my body and brain down. I laid on the couch all day watching TV, reading novels, eating bad food, and no exercise for months. I was able to function in my busy calling and even show kindness towards my husband. When the shock ebbed and anger and confusion took over, that’s when I was ready to ask for help, get counseling and begin my education on addiction and what I would personally need to heal. God is indeed merciful.

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wasn’t life busy enough?

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I’ve been married nearly 20 years and have been a mom for 16 of those years. By far this is the busiest I have ever been as a mom. There are countless activities–church meetings for me, activities for the children, a busy calling at church for my husband, track meets, soccer games, parent teacher conferences, back to school nights, helping children with Math every night, signing off homework projects, a part time job for a teenager, a busy career for my husband, my own small business, a house that gets messier as the kids get older, children in braces, piano lessons, and the list goes on.  Most days I just feel like I am treading water–never swimming forward, just avoiding drowning.

Then add to that my husband’s pornography addiction. He needs to get well. I need to get well. And there goes any free time that ever did exist. It’s all swallowed up in recovery. Sundays he goes to church meetings early, I prepare anything for my calling. We go to church for three hours. I make a hot meal for dinner. Mondays are Family Home Evening. We have always had it; I hope we always do. Tuesday nights my hubby attends his Addiction Recovery Meetings, sometimes I go as well to the women’s support meeting.  Wednesday night is YM/YW for the older kids, Thursday night is my presidency meeting. Friday and Saturday are the only nights “free” and even then there is usually an activity with family, his work, etc.

Now add to this list our daily check-ins with each other. Every night after the kids go to bed, usually around 9, my husband and I talk for at least two hours from 9-11pm. Sometimes even more. I talk about my fears and frustrations with his problem. He talks about his recovery, what went well that day, and the lessons he is working on from his Addiction Recovery manual. Usually one of us cries.  I need these two hours each evening. I couldn’t go on nor continue to be married without these nightly check-ins. It’s currently the most essential part of the day but I am always exhausted. And then it all begins again at 6:15 the next morning. Sometimes even earlier, depending on whether I couldn’t sleep and we begin talking again at 4am.