Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How do I love thee, let me count the ways.....

Several years ago I was sitting on the back row of the overflow at Church listening to our bishop share his testimony when I heard him say, "In the last 28 years, my wife has probably only criticized  me 2 times."

I leaned over to my husband and said, "Please don't bear your testimony today." I knew that he could truthfully say that in the last 2 months his wife had criticized him 28 times.

I wanted to be better. So a few days later I wrote on the top of a piece of paper, "How do I love thee, let me count the ways...." and had a goal to write down 10 positive qualities that I admired about my husband.

I could only think of one.

I had become so comfortable in fault finding that I was unable to see any good. With some time and effort, I did eventually come up with 10 things and set the list on my husband's dresser so that he could see it. A day or so later I thought of a couple more so I wrote them down. Then wondered if I could think of 25 wonderful qualities in my husband. And I did. A few days later I thought of a few more. A few weeks later I was at 50! It was satisfying to watch my husband sneak peeks at the list each day to see what new incredible quality he had. When the list hit 87 amazing qualities, he picked up the paper and sat down on the bed to look at it and to soak in specialness. Then he said. "This is really nice of you because I'm sure that you could make a list of the bad things too." I thought for a minute and I couldn't think of any. Not one---- all those bad qualities had somehow just disappeared.

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. " Gal. 6:9

Monday, June 23, 2014

One-Liners from the Crazy Lady living in the House of Mirrors

There are not too many people that have attended more therapy than I have.

Call Me Crazy if you want

but being married to a sex addict is like living in a House of Mirrors--I am not always sure who I am, who my husband is and which direction to step on the shifting floor in my daily maze.
I've probably been to 10 plus therapists, attended S-ANON groups , LDS 12-step groups, Rory Reid's Women's group, Addo and Life Star.
and what have I learned??
I feel like after 30 years of marriage and all this therapy, I am finally in recovery.
I went through all my journals, memory and workbooks and collected many of the one-liners that aided little "Aha" moments for me.
I share this list with you in hopes that it will help save someone at least one $100 visit to the therapist or a moment free of the Fun House, but if not, know that you aren't crazy.

Recovery One-Liners
Boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out.
Don’t interrupt the law of sowing and reaping in others.
Don’t let others’ chose your happiness.
It’s not your job to be the Holy Ghost.
Don’t tolerate abuse.
Rescuing is not an act of love.
Don’t offer sex as a service.
Many sex addicts are looking for sexual experiences but what they really want is love and affection.
Don’t give cheap forgiveness.
Have direct, open, honest, clear and appropriate communication.
There is nothing more earth-shaking then a confident woman who speaks her truth.
Don't take things personal.
Be available and supportive of his feelings.
Do what is best for me because what is best for me is what is best for my family.
The person who cares the most is held hostage by the one who cares the least.
Trust has to be earned.
If husband withholds love---ignore him.

 If you don’t grieve what you have lost, then you can’t move forward.
It’s healthy to take time to lick your wounds.
Change comes when the pain associated with persisting in the behavior exceeds the pain associated with change.
Be comfortable feeling guilty.
Zen of Control—when you finally stop controlling others, you gain control.
Don’t criticize—it kills the desire to change.
Life is a classroom, not a testing center.
When a wife sets boundaries, a husband grows up.
When the fear of losing yourself is greater than the fear of abandonment, then change starts to happen.
People who get angry at others for setting boundaries have a character problem.
Don’t let others anger get in your walls.
Seek out soothing environments.
When we avoid conflict we can’t grow--We grow in the battle.
What does the Lord want me to learn from this experience?
What do I need to change?
Be Patient.
Pain is inevitable---misery is a choice.
You get respect when you give it to yourself.
It is easier to change in an environment of compassion.
Be authentic.
Codependency is being so attached to someone else that we forget who we are and what we want.
Drama doesn’t solve anything.
You can’t argue with an addict.
It’s our responsibility to train others how to treat us.
Close eyes and take 3 deep breaths.
Anger doesn’t just disappear. If it is not processed in a healthy way it will come out sideways.
Sex is not one of the love languages.
Co-dependency is inadequate love for ourselves.
Having a loved one who is a sex addict is not my fault.
Sex addiction is about emotional mismanagement.
You can tell when you are enabling because it is comes with feelings of resentment.
Surrender is letting go of the outcome to God.
Live in the present.

"And now, verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you;D&C 61:36

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What I have learned.

This will probably be my last post for a while.
I've got to unplug from the Internet and plug into my teenagers more. They'll hate it but it will be GREAT! :)

But before I go, I want to share an update on where I'm at-----My husband and I have been separated for the last 6 months. I first asked him to sleep in the guest bedroom but then I asked him to move out. It was good for me and him to have some space to read, think and heal.

Sometimes people don't change until the pain of changing is less than the pain of remaining the same.

 Recently I invited him to move back home.
My soul missed him. 
He has worked really hard, has done some courageous things and as a result is in recovery.
Things are not perfect but I believe at this point that
we can work on things better together, hand-in-hand, than apart.

I hate to brag here but this trial has been long and excruciatingly hard but I feel proud of my self. I did a pretty good job of keeping my side of the street clean. I've been kind and loving through it all.
And because he likes my meatloaf, my homemade bread and me, he came back a better man.

Since this is my last post, I want to share some of the things that I have learned over the past 6 months from LifeStar, therapy and God.

  • I am just where I need to be. God has customized challenges for each of us. He knows just how to sanctify, purify and perfect his kids.
  • Doing more than I should, fixing others problems, taking the consequences from others and doing things I don't want to do for others is being an ENABLER...this is my talent if I have any. I am trying to fix this in me.
  • My intuitions are usually dead on.
  • I have a voice and it's okay to use it to stand up for righteousness.
  • Living in the present is where the gift of happiness is found.
  • 5 deep breaths are good medicine for hard moments.
  • God loves me. Why else would he bother to create a snowflake, a daisy or a mango?
  • Self Care = eating a bowl of ice-cream while doing yoga and whatever else sounds fun to me.
  • I am not better than anyone else but no one is more incredible than me.
  • Stressing out makes my body hurt.
  • Sisterhood is powerful. I love my daughters, my mother, my biological sisters, my RS sisters and my dear friends.
  • I can be okay no matter what choices my loved ones make.
  • I'm not a victim. My husband is not a victim. We are stronger than that.
  • I need to be the REAL me.
  • Recovery can be expensive.
  • The SA 12-step group is divine. My husband loves his brotherhood there. I love that they sing Happy Birthday to each member when they hit the year anniversaries of their sobriety. :)
  • Bishops are great First Responders. They can listen, assess the problem and provide outside resources for deeper healing. I've been to lots of bishops over this same problem and it's always nice to leave some of my pain on their desk and walk out feeling a little better. My current bishop has been fabulous. On my last visit he introduced me to this video:

and the story behind it:

I still have so much to learn.
I am thankful that I can change and be better tomorrow than I am today.
I will continue to fight for a healthy husband, a healthy marriage,
a healthy family and a healthy ME.

~daisy unplugged

"With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our god to help us, and to fight our battles." --2 Chr. 32:8

Friday, March 7, 2014

Do we like the term "WoPAs"?

WoPAs (Wives of Porn Addicts)

When I was in labor with my first child, I remember standing with my nose to a brick wall in the hospital and feeling my Spirit trying to pull away from my body. I just couldn't take the pain any longer.
When I look at the term "WoPA" I feel a similar pull to separate myself from that term.

I think I don't like this label for 3 reasons---

First, the word looks and sounds UGLY.
To this point I have not met an ugly wife or an ugly loved one of a lust addict.
Our lust addicts make some poor choices but the one thing that they do well is choose beautiful, smart and strong companions. REALLY they do! We deserve a name that reflects how amazing we are. The word "Wopa" doesn't mean anything (in English) but the word "Wop" is a contemptuous term for an Italian or other southern European.
It just doesn't fit.

Second, I'm not married to just a porn addict----He is a lust addict. His career of being an addict didn't start with porn and it didn't end with porn. Porn was just part of the issue.
Do we call a Chef a Steak cook? Do we call a Mom a Carpool Driver? Do we call an alcoholic a Coor's addict?

Third, Wopa is a term for just Wives. We are not all wives of lust addicts. Some of us are former wives, mothers, spouses, daughters, sisters and lovers.

Is there a pretty acronym that would reflect how amazing we are and would be a bigger umbrella to cover all of us loved ones that are affected by this problem?

How about LoLA. (Loved One of a Lust Addict).
"Lola" means "Strong Woman" and it also means "Sorrow".

In the Urban Dictionary it says, "This is the type of girl that once she’s in your heart she’ll stay there for ever; she’s everything a guy could ever want/need.... This girl is hard to come by, if you’ve got this girl you’re the luckiest guy in the world."

Although......it also sounds like a name of a stripper.....
I guess.... I don't have the answer to this issue. 

Ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls. --Alma 17:11