Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Latter Day Saint: To stay or leave? Can a spouse heal while living with an addict who refuses to seek recovery?

**This is my personal experience and does not imply what anyone else should do, that is between them and God. This just happens to be what God told ME**

It depends on what a person can, or is willing or not willing to handle, and most importantly: what God says.

I fully believe someone can heal and live a happy life despite their spouses decision to not seek recovery. However I know myself well enough that I could not. It would destroy me. And not only me, but it would destroy my kids. Perhaps if I did not have kids I could tolerate alot more but my kids were my biggest driving force in my decisions.

When I was contemplating whether to stay or go, I felt inspired to ask myself these questions:

- What does it teach my kids if I stay and put up with this negative damaging behavior? What does it teach them if I leave but life becomes different and harder temporarily?

- What does it teach my kids to see their father belittling and objectifying their mother and other woman? Will they grow up thinking this is OK?

- What does it teach my kids to see their parents in a loveless marriage? Will they grow up thinking this is normal?

- What does it teach my husband if I threaten to leave, and then don't? What does it teach him if I say "no more" and leave? What does it teach ME?

- How would I feel about MYSELF if I stayed and continued to be emotionally abused and neglected? How would I feel about myself to stand up for myself and say no to abuse?

- If I stay, am I prepared for the greatest likelyhood that my children could be exposed to pornography in my home and could grow up sex addicts and emotionally abusive (or will marry someone who is) ?

- If I stay, am I prepared for my husband to possibly treat me and my kids worse considering addiction is a progressive disease?

- If I stay and 20 yrs years from now my kids become insecure and addicts themselves, and they come to me and ask "Mom why didn't you just leave before things got worse????" ........what good answer will I be able to tell them? Because I didn't have money? Because I did it for them? How would this answer make them feel about themselves?

- What ultimate goal do I want for myself in my life? What ultimate goal do I want for my children? Which decision (stay or leave) brings me closer to these goals?

Although I desperately wanted to stay married and for my kids to have a father in the home, God gave me a thought, or premonition of what things would be like and I could see it unfold in my mind. I knew that if I stayed with a lying non recovering addict, then my kids WOULD be exposed to pornography in my home and would eventually turn out to be just like their father---- or marrying someone like him. I didn't want to have to stand before God after this life and have Him lovingly and sincerely ask me,

"Oh my special important daughter, I entrusted you with the greatest responsibility of raising MY amazing beautiful children. For your protection I helped you to learn your husband was an addict, a liar, and unwilling to change. Why did you allow my children to continue to be exposed to this filth and abuse? Why didnt you do all things possible to to keep my children safe in your care?"

What would I say to Heavenly Father? What good answer could I give Him? I knew in my heart I would never be justified in saying to God, "Because I was too scared to leave and too worried about what my husband/other people thought, instead of what You thought Lord".


  1. I have been married to my addict husband for almost 32 years. Almost 6 years ago I finally "realized" he even had an addiction. The crazy thing is, I felt impressed to stay in the marriage the whole time. We were not really active all of the time, but many times I prayed to know what to do. My husband didn't really look at porn, but acted out with women, had many affairs, that luckily didn't include sex, but devastated me for the number of women and length of time some went on (1 over 20 years and ended because she died!) He lusted and masturbated often. I did know about a few but had no idea what was really going on until about 6 years ago. He's not been acting out with women anymore but never went to any real "recovery programs". We were still able to make alot of progress in our relationship. We had gotten to a place where we were doing" ok" until other family members drug us into their drama...his widow father remarried and they are very selfish and inconsiderate people. His father always treated him poorly and my husband allowed it until a year ago. Instead of talking to his father he is now ignoring him and says it's working great for him. (Awful for me at family functions AND his father can trigger me just as bad as seeing my husbands old girlfriends can be, he is so toxic) Then our oldest daughter married the "temple worthy priesthood holder" got pregnant right away and he's controlling and verbally abusive so she's been back and forth many times with her 1 year old son and to say having her here while shes extremely stressed out is an under statement. I would rather she had just stayed here but she kept going back and forth. Hopefully that will no longer be the case and she can start moving forward. Other family members drama has been extremely tough on our struggling marriage. I am now wondering why Heavenly Father didn't tell me to run like hell years ago?!!!! Now my health has deteriorated and I am totally dependent on my husband financially. You are blessed to be having insight into asking these questions. I worked part time while all my kids (5) were young and I was just on autopilot doing the next thing that needed to be done. Much more connected than my mom ever was, or still is to me, but I had so little insight. Unfortunately I did not have a real support system. Our youngest son also told us recently he is addicted to porn but still plans to work on it and go on his mission. This is alot to be trying to deal with and still find the energy for my own healing and recovery. Good luck to you and anyone needing to ask these kinds of questions at some point in this journey. The answers will be different for some of us, but the questions are really good ones. (For me finally having insight and learning to set boundaries is crucial, but hard to implement as a codependent mom and now grandma who wants to serve her family) My husband is also such an enabler to our youngest son and oldest daughter so just "that" can be crazy making. It seems odd but maybe the answers to these questions will mean it is now time to leave, but the kids already went through things I can't change because I felt impressed to stay with him for so long. I have alot of questions I need help answering too. I don't think I came to your blog by accident. This is hard stuff, good luck to you. I wish I had stayed more active and closer to My Father in Heaven and our Savior. I know my journey would have been different even though I stayed.

    1. Thank you for your comment!!! Im sorry you've had to endure so much pain. I'm sorry it hurts :(

      So what kind of person do you want to be? What do YOU want for your life?

      And is it ever too late to be the person and example you want to be, not only to your kids, but to yourself? :)

      Whether you stay or go, that's up to God, ha he has the final say. There's nothing shameful about either option. They are just different paths. Both will have good and both will have bad.

      Either way, what matters is YOU. Think of how inspiring it will be for your adult children to see their mother rising from the ashes and loving herself and finding joy, despite allll the crap she's had to endure. What a beautiful example!

      And you are already on your way, GOOD JOB for reaching out! :)

    2. Hello Anonymous , It is very helpful to hear your story, So many similarities, it is kind of odd. I am married going on 32 years also , the older children have been unsupportive at best and outright abusive at worst . Way too much lines up with the pain you have been through . The regret after going on like this for so long . Feels like a whole lifetime is lost . Having no clue to the magnitude of his " little problem " , and my deeply ingrained ability to deny my own gut feelings . I wish we could talk , but hope it helps to know I am in there with you in the childrens ages , and so many family dynamics . Every situation is so unique and our Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for us all.Keep up the fight .

    3. Thank you for commenting. All that matters is that we are fighting now! Im thankful for hindsight, although its extremely painful at times. We CAN make a difference :)

  2. I have now read a few more of your posts this morning. I am so impressed with how brave, strong, courageous, honest, and insightful you are! You have been through so much and are willing to share your experiences and knowledge, thank you! You are fortunate to have such awareness, but I know it's because you have stayed strong and let the Savior and Heavenly Father help guide and influence you. What an example you are! I KNOW had I done the same my life would still have been hard but it wouldn't have had to include so much torment. I didn't have enough faith and didn't trust allowing the process to unfold.

    I am grateful to have found your blog and to know your experiences can help me. I'm anxious to spend more time reading posts I didn't have time for yet. I'm finally ready for recovery. I'm blessed to be living close so I'm attending The Togetherness Conference Sat. in Midway. I told my husband this morning I KNOW I will come home with lots of new tools and I want to quit being such a dysfunctional family, but I need HIS help! He can't continue to allow the children living here to be so abusive to me. My 29 year old daughter has been awful to me, instead of grateful she can stay here with her son. My addict son is very disrespectful as well. My husband is passive/aggressive but is more apt to be quiet and ignore things instead of be verbally abusive like the kids, but is guilty of physical abuse so I see how tolerating that definitely affected my children and how they obviously have less respect for me for having tolerated it.

    Lots more to his story but about a year ago when our son was a VERY BRAVE SOUL and told us about his porn addiction, I immediately wanted our family to attend the add/recovery meetings. The spirit was always so strong and I LOVED being able to feel so much love and compassion for "strangers". My son ended up getting a job working nights after school and could no longer attend. Hubby didnt want to go if our son wasn't, he was going to support our son. I tried to get him to go to weekend meetings but my son felt awkward with all older men. (I should have kept going for me and need to go back, but was so set on healing as a family I was devastated they weren't part of the process.) I recently heard about The Sons of Helaman group by Maurice that will be there Sat. I know that will help him and he can feel more comfortable with young men his age. I'm so grateful to have found this out for him. It breaks my heart to know if he can't get into real recovery now when he marries their lives will be so much harder. I know I can't control the situation but want to do whatever I can to help him, my husband just ignores it like going on a mission will make it go away.

    As I go through this journey of healing and recovery I will know what is best for me at some point. Right now I want to run as far away from everyone in this house and just deal with my own "stuff" not be working hard on myself while these 3 sabotage and manipulate everything, instead of work to have real harmony and peace. I have my hands full! I also know I have not turned to the scriptures. Your story inspired me and made me realize I have done things to heal but really reading and studying the scriptures has not been 1 of them. I believe that's the missing piece. I'm grateful to have found your blog now and can connect so well with your posts. I really admire you and wish I could have been as brave as you at a much younger age! Hugs! (sorry for another novel here)

    1. Yay you were at the Togetherness!? Me too!!!! Did you go to Maurice's first or second class? Haha I accidentally mooned everyone with my spanks in his second class. What other classes did u like?

      You are awesome :)