If you came to my blog looking for a specific topic or area of my work, you may want to start by checking the page links above or by checking my topic list below and to the right.

Friday, October 30, 2015

A year with the spouses of addicts

Hello, All!

Guess What? Guess What! Guess What! Guess What!

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of my blog! Celebrate!!!!!!  A year ago today I wrote a 1 or two sentance post welcoming you to my blog and telling you to stay tuned for posts.

It's been a crazy year!

It's very interesting to look back at my blog's stats. Almost all, with I think 2 acceptions, of my top viewed blog posts are about dealing with a family member's sexual addiction or fighting the pornography or related industries.

What are the 2 acceptions? My "finding the Real Deal" posts where I did my ice cream sandwich experiments. Find it here:  Finding the Real Deal Part 2

But I suppose that is to be expected. How do you beat ice cream?

I wanted to say thank you. I have had some great experiences through this blog, and I appreciate you all. There is definitely a club of sorts, a group of people out there who are all dealing with similar issues.

If there is one thing that I have learned, and that I hope you have learned too, it's that no one is alone in this endeaver.

There are many out there who are hurting, many out there that are healing. Many out there who feel that their marriage is hanging on a thread and many out there who are looking for help.

I talk about no one being alone all the time because things like pornography addiction in a spouse tends to make you feel isolated. To put it bluntly, sexual addictions are designed to do 3 things to the spouse: 1) destroy self confidence 2) knock you down 3) make you feel isolated . That is why I will say it until I am blue in the face and mistaken for a broken record.

You are not alone.  All you have to do is walk down the street and you'll probably pass multiple people who are hurt, heartbroken, and dispairing over their spouse's addiction. Many of them are hurting financially, having spent most of their money on expensive therapy or maybe their spouse spent the money on his or her addiction. They feel as isolated as you do, probably not talking in any detail to anyone about what they are going through. Because they feel it reflects on them.

And yet, if time could pause itself and all of the family members of addicts were the only one's not frozen, I would guess that everyone would find themselves un-paused. If only spouses were un-paused even, you would find how many men and women were there with you.

Because everyone is affected in some way. Everyone has a connection to some heartache caused by addiction, whether they know it or not. There are just too many people who are suffering under the weight of sexual addiction. Too many addicts who are going through their own version of hell, too many spouses and families who are unfortunately taken along for the hellish ride.

But, if there is one thing to take from this all, is that you are not alone.

I wish with all of my heart that I could tell you that you are by yourself in this. That no one else is dealing with what you are dealing with. Because I wish this wasn't such a widespread problem. But that isn't the case. And you are not alone, not even close.

There are a lot of people in the same place as you, glad to know that they are not alone.

This has been a great year. But this next year is going to be even better. I have some fun things planned, and I can't wait to see how they go!

Thanks again!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Would you say your trial is a blessing?

A couple of nights ago I heard someone ask another person if they would consider their trials a blessing. I have been asked this question as well and now I ask you:

Would you consider your trials a blessing? Would you consider what you have gone through as beneficial?

If you are human, your first reaction was probably to say "No. No, of course I don't consider this horrible, awful, condescending thing I am going through to be a blessing." Followed up with one raised eye brow and a resounding, "Are you kidding me?"

I write a lot for the spouses of addicts and I can almost guarantee that most spouses of addicts would first want to say, "Are you serious? This is a curse, not a blessing."

But I have to pause when someone asks me this question. Not just because I know that I should find some way to be thankful for my trials, but because some honestly good things have come from them.

I'm being serious.

First of all, I have been able to share what I have learned with others, and hopefully help them as they help me. I write articles, I write this blog.

It is important to share your story.

Second of all, I have developed relationships with some amazing women. Friends that whether or not we spend a lot of time together, we are now connected in a much deeper, serious way.

Third of all, I have developed relationships with some awesome organizations. People who are trying to fight the pornography industry and help those who have found themselves run over by it.

Though I wish that my family never had to go through what it did, what it is still going through. I now am aware of a whole scary, serious world out there and how the laws affect and don't affect it. It has been a learning experience to say the least.

But it is still a trial that we have to deal with. Someone else makes their own decisions and, especially in circumstances like this, it affects you and your family forever. We will always be dealing with ramifications.

The hardest part of everything is to see how it effects my family and my little one. My kid. I have a harder time being grateful for my family's trials when it comes to the pain it has caused my little one and my family. My family has suffered a lot through this, and that just kills me.

Remember though, that being grateful for a trial does not mean that you turn a blind eye to it. Or that you stop putting in safeguards for your family. It definitely does not mean that you accept it.

Hear me:


Being grateful does not mean that you are perfect.


For me, I have come to realize something. And though I say it with a deep breath, I am grateful for my trials. I am grateful for the strength and protection that my Heavenly Father has given me and my family. I am grateful for the opportunity to come closer to God. I am grateful for my ability to share what I have learned with others. And I am grateful for the ability to forgive those that have given me these specific trials.

On a closely related note, I am also grateful for ice cream and caramel sauce. :)

I think it is legitimate to consider your trials, especially depending on the trial, both a blessing and a curse.

Which I think I can say with sincerity: My trials are both a BLESSING and a CURSE.

 And this does not make it ok. 

I don't like my trials.

But, if you can, use your trial to bless someone else. Turn your curse into someone else’s blessing.

Monday, October 26, 2015

If you contact me...

I have recently gotten a couple of emails that I can't tell apart from spam. Many spammers say something like, "I need to talk to you, please contact me." Or what they say is so vague that I am not sure what they are talking about or where they are going with it.

Not that you have to go into every single detail of what you want to talk to me about in an e-mail, but do something to let me know that you are not spam and what your purpose is in contacting me. If there is any question whether you are spam or not, I won't answer. There are too many risks in answering if you are spam.

If you are contacting me about ideas for an article, say so! I love these types of emails.

If you are contacting me to tell me your story about you or your loved one's addiction, that is obviously fine and would show me that you aren't spam.

If you are contacting me over a specific post, just say so and then I'll know you are legit.

But I don't respond to mean emails or spam. So, don't be in one of those categories.

If you have sent me an email and it is legit, and I haven't responded, send it to me again and be more specific.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

If you can't say anything nice...

Ever have someone that just can't be nice to you to save their life?

You can be out of your way, awkwardly nice to them and they are still nasty. In fact, they go out of their way to be mean.

Am I right? Do you know someone like this? To the point where it just isn't a tuesday if you don't get sworn at?

I've known people like this, and usually their behavior reacts like a rollar coaster ride. Up and Down, Up and Down. One day they are swearing at you, the next they are suddenly acting abnormally nice.

You can get whiplash from this kind of thing.

So, what is to be done? How do you surive this kind of onslaught?

From my experience I have learned to do the following things:

1. Smile. Though not sarcastically, and not if it isn't appropriate. But, when the occasion is correct, having a welcoming smile can be good. Don't stoop to their level. Just because they are nasty doesn't mean you have to be as well.

2. Take a deep breath. Pause before you respond.

3. Don't get into a screaming match.

4. Think before you speak. Don't say anyting you will regret later. Everyone respects a person who can handle confrontation with grace. No one respects a person who handles confrontation with petty jabs.

And, in the end, remember that the person who treats you like this is probably not a reliable source for an opinion of you. It is hard to not take someone else's nastiness personally. Especially if it is very blatent. But the simple truth is that the person who can't be respectful to you, also can't be trusted to give an accurate representation of you. If they can't be nice, why would you care what they think?

This is harder to practice than to say. If someone tells you hat you are stupid, you're going to take it personally. Even if you don't believe them. But don't believe them. Someone who is diminished to the point of calling names is not qualified to give a character reference for you.

And, just because, I had to include the following clip. I love Steel Magnolias. Though I have to be in the mood to bawl. 'Cause I do. buckets and buckets of tears near the very end.

If you've never seen Steel Magnolias, and you don't mind crying, go check it out:

Friday, October 16, 2015

When Church and prayer seems like the worst, remember it's the best.

There is a certain amount of peace that comes from going to church. I love to learn about a God who loves me and a savior that loves me so much that he would give his life for me. I love to learn ways that I and my family can be happier.

But sometimes those things make it HARD to go to church, too!

Soon before my divorce process started, things at home were rough. To say the least. It was traumatic, it was sad. During that time it was hard to go to church because I felt like all I did at church was try not to cry. I'd hear a song that reminds me that Heavenly Father will support me during my trials... and I'd cry. I'd hear a lesson on marriage... and I'd cry. I'd feel the peace that comes with going to church ... I'd cry. I'd feel the peace of praying... I'd cry.

You get the point. Generally it wasn't full out crying, but trying NOT to.

I basically went to church and continuously tried not to cry.

But I went anyway. Because I knew that feeling that peace and crying because I felt loved was better than not going and not feeling the peace of going to church and still crying anyway. I still needed the truth I learned at church, I still needed that help.

And eventually it got easier. And then easier turned into easy. Going helped to boost me up.

Of course I still run into things that remind me of heartache. And that is hard. But then I turn to God again and he helps me through it.

I think that is why some people have a hard time praying or attending church, even when they know it is true. Because, especially with praying, you put your self out there and feel vulnerable. This can sometimes seem scary when you are just trying to hold it all together.

But remember that church, prayer, reflection, taking a deep breath, resting, its all there to help you and sort things out.

Use these tools to help you get through your trials and find some peace. Do it now so that you save yourself some pain and heartache later.

If you could do something to help ease your pain, wouldn't you?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Do's - Etiquette according to Jimmy Johns

My favorites are "Offer your seat to... people with fire arms" and "Put your napkins on your lap-and leave other people's laps alone."

No one teaches etiquette any more, do they? While growing up I was always taught to put a napkin on my lap while eating, especially at a nice restaurant. No one else does that any more. You should say thank you, push in your chair after you leave a table, have a general respect for others, etc. Etiquette, manners, they are quickly becoming lost art forms. 

I can picture our great great grandmothers, were they in our position, telling their children to sit up straight, not to use slang, and to put that cell phone away.

Do you still teach your kids etiquette? Did your parents teach you?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

What is a WOPA?

It may surprise you to learn that I had never heard the term WOPA until reading some of the WOPA blogs that I follow. It's pretty self explanatory:

WOPA: Wife Of a Porn (and sex) Addict

Though the title brings with it a mixture of emotions, I think there is value in feeling and knowing that you aren't alone. That this is a thing, for good or bad, and that there are other WOPA's out there who share in your type of experience.

It's like a club that no one wants to be in, but those who are in it can take comfort from each other.

Being a WOPA does not define you, though it will try.
It simply describes your situation, your trials, and your marriage.

If you are a WOPA you have already survived a great trial. You obviously have great strength and endurance (even if it doesn't feel like it). Many women, whether married to an addict, divorced from an addict, or having dated an addict, should realize how strong they are from having gone through that struggle.

Just because you can't see your own strength does not mean it isn't there.

Without even having met you, I can tell that you are strong. No one survives being a WOPA without having a massive inner strength. Of course that strength is tested, of course that strength is stretched. But it is there. Whether or not you can see it, it is there.

On a totally different subject, can you find the bee in the flower picture at the beginning (or end) of this post? I promise it is there. Even if you can't see it. :)