Friday, February 26, 2010

Still Surviving

So, it has been many months since my last post. I have kind of fallen out of the blogging world, but I am still surviving as far as my marriage goes. Max has had ups and downs and it has been depressing and difficult at times, but both of us have become more and more steady. We both have learned to be less codependent on each other and on each other's feelings. It is continual hard work, but worth it.
One other thing I try to remember is that I need to be the woman that my husband wants to be with. I need to not be depressed and questioning him all the time. I need to be upbeat, positive, cheerful, fun and understanding. At times, it is impossible to be happy. But, at those times, I can still stay out of the codependent mode, and do my best to focus on myself and what "I" can do to help my own situation. It is times when I focus on what Max should do when I fall into a rut, sometimes a swamp.
Just in any marriage, I need to be a wife that he wants to fight for and work hard for. I need to create a marriage that is worth saving. That is what I try to focus on, along with focusing on the future and not the past.
I have made peace with the past, and I can not change the past, so there is no use worrying about the past. I will never forget the past and that is important, so I don't make the same mistakes or enable Max in any way.
The point is, that I am trying my best, each day. I am working hard and I am trying my best to improve me and my part in our marriage.

Friday, October 10, 2008

"WHY DO THEY DO WHAT THEY DO?" wholesome, self-respecting women wonder...

How can a woman who is in the commercial pornography industry with any respect for herself, any woman, man and the human race do what she does, you wonder? How can she tear apart marriages, families, and poor, innocent children's lives whose parents split up because of what they provide? Is she possessed, you wonder?


The sad truth is, these women don't have self-respect because they were not taught how to have any. They were taught the opposite. They are victims of sexual abuse. They do not know how to cope or deal with thier lives, so they go on destroying others by receiving sexual attention from others. This makes them feel wanted, even thought it makes us want vomit. They do not know how else to express themselves or to get attention and feel wanted.

The interesting thing is...Men who have sexual addictions are men you would never think would.
Many of them are active church members who hold signifigant callings or who serve in any calling. They are great fathers and hard workers at their job (minus the time spent on pornography.)
The truth is: they feel they have to make-up for the terrible mistakes they continue to make, yet they feel they have no control over the addiction. This leads them to working extra hard at work, working extra hard at parenting, even trying to be a better husband (although, because their minds are so distorted, the wives usually know something is seriously "off." It is just difficult to pinpoint what is wrong with the husbands.)
Many women who find out of their husbands pornography additions are SHOCKED because their husbands learned to hide it so well and cover it up by being a "saint" in every other area of their life.
The problem is, addiction progresses and for those men who are too overcome with shame and guilt, yet they can't admit thier wrongs and that they so desperately need help, something needs to happen to stop all of the pain of the guilt and shame, so...
some men have committed suicide,
or finally, they admit thier problem,
or they get caught in thier addiction.

The second scenario is the best case because they have come so extrememly low, they humbled themselves enough to actually tell someone.

When they get caught in their addiction, by their wife or someone else, they are angry, and reluctant to change. They may even resent what they learn about how to get out of it or resent the person who caught them. (It is a scary thought for them to have to "give up" their COPING MECHANISM that they have used for so many years.)

But, the great truth is that, through the mercy of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the men can come clean, repent, and heal. It is a long, difficult road, but the road of recovery is the only road to happiness and pure joy for them.

For you women who have husbands trying to repent...
Once the men confess to the bishop, you may think it is all in the past. What they have done is is the past, but their addiction remains. They may be in abstinence, yet their distorted minds remain the same until they are taught and given recovery tools to get out of the addiction, and get control of their lives and their minds again. It is not a simple process and no man can get out of the addiction with out learning how. Confessing is only the first small step. If that is as far as a man gets, he will resort to his addiction the next time he is overwelmed with stress, anger, fatugue, boredom or loneliness. He needs to learn about and learn to apply different coping tools in his life. It takes years and years of practice. It is hard work for both the man and his wife.

Do not just sit home and think it is over. It won't be until you get help. See a counselor who specializes in sexual addictions and don't just send your husband. You need to get out of "codependency." Now that is a word that involves a whole book. You are a co-addict when you have lived with an addict. We don't realize it, yet we are.

We, as women, need to get help also, to learn how to take control of our lives and learn to not in any way manage our husbands lives or their recovery. They need to take control of thier own recovery or it will not last. But, we need to learn what not to do and what to do so we can get out of the codepency mode. It is also very hard work, yet so enpowering.

Codependent No More by Melodie Beatie is a great book on codepency that every co-addict should get. Any person should read it for that matter. We all have codependent traits that we don't even realize.


This is the greatest lesson I wish I didn't have to learn firsthand, but I did, so hopefully, you can benefit.
If your husband has a pornography addiction and you know about it or only suspect it may be going on, you must know that ADDICTIONS ONLY GET WORSE!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In Response to Some Comments and To Any Woman Whose Husband Has Been Unfaithful in Any Way...

Thank you for your comments. I can not tell you how much it means to me to have your support. I do not always feel strong at times, but women like you lift me up.

As I was reading your comments, I was thinking how much I wish you could both go through the Lifstar Program along with attending 12-Step Groups. They are both so -oh what should I say -mandatory - for anyone who has had a husband with a pornography addiction - especially who has had an affair. For us, I can not see how I could be healing without both of those groups.

For both the ADDICT and the COADDICT (maybe you):
Attending and working in your Lifestar Group and your 12-Step Group keeps the addiction in remission, just like cancer goes into remission.

By taking these pro-active steps and becoming educated on addictions - ie, sexual addictions, you are able to learn, cope, forgive and heal. These addictions never go away. They just go into remission. It is not a comforting thing to hear "Once a sex addict, always a sex addict." but it is true. But the comforting thing is that it can be in remission for the rest of his life. He and you just need to learn how to keep it in remission. And it is hard work, but obviously better than him not being in remission.

I hope so deeply that you can at least order the Lifestar Workbooks online and talk with a therapist who specializes in Lifestar or sexual addictions. They are so beneficial - that is an understatement. They not only are saving my marriage, but my life as well. Thank you and keep in touch.

If your husband will not go to counseling or attend Lifestar Groups or 12-Step Groups, then you just go. You may think, well HE is the problem, but you can learn so much that will help you as you live with him and the pain he has caused. There are many women who go alone to each of the groups. I attend the 12-Step Group as often as I can, but I miss when I can't make it. I go to my Lifestar Group once a week. I still go alone to counseling. I have dragged Max along half the time (I do recognize it as a blessing he will come.) But, Max will not go alone. He committed to go to individual therapy sessions after he slipped and viewed pornography and masturbated in July. But, he only went one time and hasn't made an appointment since.

I do only what I can do. I can not control Max. It can be depressing, but I will not live with it forever. If he did refuse to go, then things would change. I would not let our marriage continue if he stayed in his addiction. No woman should. You deserve to have a husband who is either in recovery (he views pornography less and less and there is an end in sight) or in remission completely. Talk to people. Talk to your church leaders. At least go to a Lifestar therapist one time. You will never regret it. Every session I have had has been life-changing and worth it. You wouldn't think a 1 hour session could change your life, but the things you learn will change your life. It is true.

Another option is to get him to committ to only going to Phase 1 of the Lifestar program. It is only once a week for 6 weeks. It is sooooo educational and incredible. Yes, it costs money, but is the best money ever spent. I mean that more than anything. I would have paid tens of thousands of dollars for Lifestar, yet it is only a few hundred. Yes, it is money, but well worth every cent. And, if you can not afford it, talk to your bishop and the church will pay. No one needs to know but he bishop. He (and God) would rather pay and have you go to Lifestar than have you not go because you don't have the money.

12-Step Groups are free! Just look up one in your area. The LDS Services has lists of groups in your area.

You would think they are paying me. But, nope, my life is real and I, myself, benefit from these groups.

I attend a 12-Step Group that is for women whose husbands have struggled with pornography addictions. Max goes to the 12-Step Group that is basically an addiction recovery group for men who struggle with pornography addictions.

Anyway, last of all, DO NOT LET YOURSELF GO INTO DENIAL. If you know your husband has a pornography problem, and your first instict is to knowingly ignore it or your frustrated, but don't do anything productive about it, then you are in denial. I was in denial 5 1/2 years ago. I was there in the thick of it. I did not know what else to do, so I went into denial.

What I did not know is that ADDICTIONS ARE PROGRESSIVE! If I would have known that, I would not have let it go on!!! If I would have known that no sex addict can look at pornographic pictures for ever and be satisfied, I would have done something pro-active about it. Eventually, the pictures are not enough to satisfy the man. So, they start watching 20 second videos on the internet. (Some soft-porn videos are on Then, they start renting, ordering or buying full-legnth porn videos! Then, the videos are not enough, so they start visiting strip clubs or getting prostitutes! They look at strip clubs as "the same as pictures, just live women." Then, they start touching the women! Before they know it, they are so deep, they can not get out and it is miserable. When men have affairs, it is just taking their sex addiction far enough to satisfy them!

Pornography Addictions turn into Prostitutes and Affairs!!! Get help now!

I have to go, but more is to come. I want to reach out to all women and support each other.
I would love any comments...

Friday, August 29, 2008

I Can Have Peace When Max is in His "Addict-Self"

Sometimes it is as if there is no end. It is miserable. I wish this were not a part of my life and that I did not marry him. But, that is not God's plan. I guess He knows more than I do. I have faith that through this trial, I will be a better person. It is that exact faith that I have to cling to. I am trying. It is most difficult. Through the power of prayer, I feel His faith in me. I know I can go on even in my deepest despair. I will not let Satan win. He wants me to get down and stay down. Satan wants me to give up. Satan wants me to run away from this situation and ultimately divorce Max and let our children suffer. Satan knows that not only will our family suffer, but our future posterity as well.

I will fight to the end. I will do my part to keep our family together. I will be the strong, noble woman Heavenly Father has designed me to be, no matter how painful and no matter how hard. I will not let him beat me to the ground. I am better than that. I deserve more.

I am not going to let anyone ruin my life or my destiny. I am not going to live with a pornography addict for longer than this trial period. I am worth more than that. I have a life to live. I have kids to raise, and I need and they need a priesthood holder who is worthy to give us blessings when we need them and to recieve revelations for our family. Right now, I feel like I am the one who gathers the family for family prayer and scripture study and Family Night. I feel like I am the one who is keeping our family together. If it weren't for me, our family would not be together.

Part of the peace I feel when I need it most is knowing that I should not be codependent forever. I feel peace when I set boundaries and limits that are within my control even though the outcome may not be what I want. I can distance myself from Max when I need space when he is in his "addictive-self." I feel peace knowing I can choose what I need to do to make me feel safe and comfortable even if it is alone in bed instead of warm in his loving, committing arms. I feel peace knowing I am still here, yet I am not being smothered into the ground. I am standing up for myself and for my worth, even if Max doesn't recognize it. I know I can only control myself. That gives me peace.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lifestar Groups and 12-Step

After 5 months or so of knowing of Max's addiction and where he's been and what he's done, it seems strange, but we are actually closer. There is a closeness in our relationship that was not present before. There is a peace that almost feels tangible at times. I'm sure part of it is from 100% honesty - finally. He feels such a huge burden lifted from his shoulders just from confessing his double-life. He doesn't lose the sleep, energy or money that the addiction took. So, he feels a peace from that. I feel a peace from knowing that I have made the decision to forgive because I know that is what God wants me to do and I know I couldn't be happier any other way. Divorce is not the answer. At least not in our case. Divorce is such a dark and dreary word. Divorce is literal destruction of the family and of the kids lives and their self-esteems. Not to mention the depression it would cause me and Max. Letting the option of divorce go, back in March, was one of the best decisions I ever made. I am so happy that I have been taught by my parents and church leaders the power of forgiveness and repentance. The peace that follows is irreplaceable.
So, Max and I both go to individual counseling. I go more often because he thinks he doesn't need as much help, even though he does. I am not pushing him to go because I want him to make the decision, and act on it, on his own. We are both in our Lifestar groups. He is in the Men's Group and I am in the Women's Group, of course. It is so beneficial and incredible. The workbooks and discussions and therapy are amazing. They are so insightful and helpful. I can not describe enough of how Lifestar has literally saved our marriage. If we did not decide to go to Lifestar, I don't know where we would be, but it would not be in a good place. Lifestar is so deep and really challenges our core beliefs and habits. I feel like I have learned more in Lifestar than in any psycology class I have ever taken in high school or college. And, I am not even talking about the addiction part of it for Max. He is actually accountable to his group. It is wonderful! If he looks at pornography or does something he said he would not, he has to talk about it with his group! Many times, it has prevented him from doing something more. 12-step groups are wonderful too. We both go to those, but 12-step with-out Lifestar is like going on a backpacking trip with out a backpack. I know that metaphor sounds silly, but Lifestar, for us, has taught us the tools we need to get over the addiction and to get through this trial period where Max is not completely sober and I have not set all of my boundaries in place yet. We are both working hard and progressing.
I hope that those of you who have husbands who are addicted to pornography will use all of the tools and resources you have to get over it. Do not only attend 12-step and not Lifestar. And furthermore, if you are already in Lifestar, 12-step is beneficial also and really roots you spiritually. We have learned to work on each area of our lives: Mental, Emotional, Physical, Spiritual, Social and Sexual. If we only work on some, we will only improve some. If we work on all six areas, we will improve in all six areas and have the peace from knowing we are trying to do all we can do with out over-committing ourselves or setting too high of expectations. It is really enpowering to set limits, goals and expectations that make us stretch to become better, yet do not stretch us too thin. We do what we can do living on a prayer the whole time. In that frame of mind, is where the peace comes and it makes it all worth it.
Please post any comment you may have and I pray for all of you who are struggling with husbands who have let themselves fall into the trap of pornography. Do not give up. There is great hope and things can be better than you ever have imagined. There is just hard work required. But, with great sacrifice brings great rewards.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where was Max?

Dear Journal 2-22-08
Max got home last night, actually this morning at one in the morning. The kids have all had a pretty good day...

So, a few weeks later, Max told me that the night before I wrote this journal entry, the reason he got home so late was because he was at a strip club. WHAT!? A WHAT?!! WE WERE MARRIED IN THE TEMPLE! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!??! HOW COULD YOU!?

I thought there was no way it could be MY husband who said he had gone to a strip club. Not my life. No, not me. It is too much to bear. We have a great life. We have a family. We are a family. We go to church every Sunday and partake of the sacrament. How could this have happened.
He explained to me that at first, he only looked at pornographic pictures, then after a few years, movies, then he finally started visiting strip clubs.



This has been the hardest year of my life, but I have also learned more about life than ever. I have learned more about how to choose to come out on top. I never thought I would experience a trial like this one. It is most devastating.

More to come...