My story — by Alicia

This was shared by permission from one of the women on the Hope and Healing forum for wives/ex-wives/girlfriends/mothers of sex addicts.

My name is Alicia.

I am a stay at home mom and I (usually) love my job. I’m pregnant with baby #3, and the longer I live with an addict the more I come to realize that things get really tough when there’s something important coming up: a new baby, a new job opportunity…

When we were engaged, my husband told me he’d had a porn problem “in the past.” I prayed about what he’d told me and felt good about continuing on with the engagement and eventual marriage. After all, once he was able to be intimate with someone surely he wouldn’t need porn anymore. Marriage would fix it, right?

WRONG!

Five short months into our marriage, it became a problem. He was always honest about it, and I was determined to “save” him. We went from Mr. and Mrs. to Mr. Sinner and Mrs. Saint! Saving him was my duty!

Six years of wasted “saving” efforts later, I found myself crumpled up in the guest bathroom tub sobbing to my Heavenly Father. I had hit rock bottom. I didn’t know if my marriage was about to end… if my two kids and I were about to leave for good. At this point, I was led to involve my parents. I let them know what was going on.

I logged onto the computer and searched frantically for ONE success story. If I could find just ONE MAN who had come out triumphant against pornography addiction, I could stay for one more day.

I found Phil and Colleen Harrison, and glorious day! Colleen -the WIFE -had written a book!! I immediately ordered it. The day it came in the mail, I devoured it.

I had no idea the LDS church had a support group.
I had no idea there was a 12-step program for people like me.
I had no idea what co-dependency was.

Colleen told me that I couldn’t help him.
I wanted to cry foul. “Yes, I can! I have to! He’s not saving him, and SOMEONE HAS TO!” But deep, deep down the Spirit spoke the truth of it to me -I couldn’t help him.
Colleen told me that I needed to go through the 12-steps.
I wanted to cry foul. “The 12-steps are for people with problems. I don’t have a problem.” But deep, deep down the Spirit spoke the truth of it to me -I DID have a problem (a lot of problems, ha!).

After I put the book down, I told my husband I needed to detach myself from his problems. I had no idea how to do that, so I was going to physically remove myself from him for a full weekend. Going against anything I’d normally do, I stayed alone in a Bed and Breakfast near a Temple for an entire weekend. Two nights alone! I didn’t go out for a pedicure. I didn’t shop. I didn’t watch movies.

I went to the Temple.
I went to the Bed and Breakfast.
I prayed, I read, I wrote. I prayed, I read, I wrote. I occasionally ate.

Through blinding tears, I told my Heavenly Father that I couldn’t go through this trial. I wasn’t strong enough.

“You’re going to have to MAKE me stronger,” I said, and then waited in silence for the magical wave of his wand to bless me with strength unearned. I waited… I waited… and then I heard a voice speak directly to my heart.

“What do you think I am doing?”

THAT was NOT what I wanted to hear! RUDE! Though I didn’t think it was possible, I cried harder. Before going back home, I attended one more session (a Spanish session, oops!).

Once home, I was ready to face life again. The next six months were not easy. I cried almost every day. Every time the compassionate service leader called to ask me to give service, I wanted to say, “I know you can’t tell, but my husband hit me with a car. I’m laid up. Can you please have someone bring ME food?”

I couldn’t function. One day, I decided to fold laundry… that’s all I would do. Fold a pile of laundry.

I got out of bed.
Walked down the hall.
Took one look at the laundry.
Burst into tears.
Ran back to bed.

While visiting an out-of-town friend, I was talking about some of the things I was going through. I thought I was being smartly vague until she asked, “Does your husband have a porn problem?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“You should go to a support group. There’s one nearby…” and then she proceeded to save my sanity. I was embarrassed that she KNEW about us, but mostly I was just relieved! Oh, to look in the eyes of a woman who understood! I attended the group as often as I could -it was 45 minutes away (one way), but it made all the difference in my life!

It turns out Colleen was right -about EVERYTHING.

I’m in recovery from my codependency, and it’s going pretty well. I still have my own slips and even “relapses” but my relationship with my Savior is much better.

And wouldn’t you know it?

I’m STRONGER.

It turns out the Lord was right as well -about EVERYTHING.