Well, the day has started off ok.
I woke up early, went to play basketball, played pretty well, and came home in time to eat breakfast with the kids, say our prayers, watch Mormon Messages, and send them off to school.
I showered and am dressed for the day.
But the day feels sad to me because I know Beck is having a hard time and it’s my fault.
I really am trying to be my best self. I really am trying to stay within the boundaries she and I agreed on. Here they are again for review:
If Nate feels triggered by feelings of lust or has a slip, I need him to tell me about it within the day (perhaps at our nightly AEIOUY discussion). If he fails to disclose the trigger or slip, then he will need to stay in the guest room for a night.
I feel I’m going pretty good here. The AEIOUY’s help a lot to share my feelings and what I’m dealing with that day. I’m working hard at submitting and surrendering to God via prayer in the moment of any temptation. I’m still practicing the “chin up” approach consistently and haven’t given in to those types of temptations.
If Nate picks up one of his “weapons of war”, such as Facebook, Twitter, staying up late after I have gone to bed, excessive phone use, he needs to tell me about it and discuss what happened within the day (perhaps at our nightly AEIOUY discussion). If he fails to disclose what has happened or why he picked up the weapon, then he will need to stay in the guest room for a night.
I’ve been on Facebook a couple times for work and Becky knew about those times. I then ask her to block the site again. I’ve been on Youtube as well one or two times but have told Becky about each time (the Jimmer highlights from ESPN email and the WS tutorial, which didn’t work). I feel pretty good about my phone usage. I’m trying religiously to get to bed early and follow the routine we’ve established at night. To my knowledge, there is nothing that I haven’t revealed to Becky about this boundary.
If Nate is exhibiting addictive behaviors such as anger, irritability, blame, stonewalling, defensiveness, selfishness, etc., then I will detach from the situation and write a letter explaining what behavior I am seeing, and why it is triggering feelings of fear for me. I will give Nate the letter, and we can discuss it at an appropriate time. If the discussion goes well, then we will both come to a place of greater trust and understanding. If the discussion does not go well, then we will probably both need some space to reflect on the status of our own perceptions and our own relationship, and he will sleep in the guest room until we can resolve the feelings/behaviors that are occurring.
I do feel angry sometimes. I do get irritated sometimes, with the kids especially, blaming is something I’m trying to be aware of too. Stonewalling and defensiveness haven’t happened that I know of, at least not intentionally. I’m trying hard not to be selfish either. My hope is that if any of these tendencies come up, that I will recognize them and try to repent immediately, which I’ve done recently with Caleb and the van incident, or Becky will alert me of the issues she’s seeing and do as the boundary says, talk to me or write me a letter.
If Nate is consistently exhibiting addictive behaviors such as anger, irritability, blame, stonewalling, defensiveness, selfishness, etc., without being willing to admit these behaviors or address their cause, then I will ask him to remove himself from our home during the work day, sleep in the guest room at night, and commit to begin seeing a counselor weekly.
I hope none of these things are happening and feel they aren’t right now.
If Nate begins habitually acting out with pornography, Facebook, or any of his other weapons of war, or habitually exhibits addictive behaviors which create a contentious and toxic atmosphere in our home, then we will separate.
Thankfully, none of these things have happened since my initial recovery date.
If Nate has an extramarital affair of any kind (this would include a pattern of texting, instant messaging, communicating on Facebook) on any level (even if it has not reached a level of a sexual nature yet), then we will begin mediation for divorce.
Thankfully, none of these things have happened and I am very aware of communication I have with others.
Obviously, the inherent consequence of any of these actions will be to further damage the already obliterated trust in him as a person, as well as between us in our relationship, and further prolong the healing of our relationship and decrease the likelihood of our marriage being able to move forward.
–These are things Nate can do to help increase the feelings of safety and security in our home and relationship, and help rebuild my trust in him as a person of integrity and hope in our relationship
If Nate shows commitment to his own personal recovery by:
– proactively attending 12 Step Meetings
Doing this, although I need to have a plan for when I know I’m going to be gone on a Thursday.
– personally working the program consistently with a sponsor
I’ve talked with Alan but haven’t proactively scheduled any meetings with him.
– initiating our couple scripture study
I am doing this I feel.
– initiating full disclosure and ongoing check-ins with the Bishop, and AEIOUY nightly discussions it will help me to believe that his heart is in recovery, and he is not just “going through the motions.”
I’m doing this I feel
If Nate continues to be patient with me and my recovery, to seek the Spirit to listen to me and guide me to answers I need, to take accountability for the pain and fear he has brought into my life, and to show remorse for the way he has broken my heart, it will help me to be able to believe that he could truly love me.
I hope Becky feels that I’m doing these things. I do feel remorse, more now than I did even when I revealed what had happened. I feel I have feelings back. I have tasted the sweet and the bitter and recognize the difference so much more. I want to help Becky. I want to show her I love her through my actions. I want to love the kids and be someone they look up to and respect.
If Nate shows consistency in his ability to have patience and love for our children (particularly Caleb), it will help me believe that his continued efforts for repentance and consistency in keeping the commandments are allowing the Spirit to return to his life and change his heart.
I feel this is an ongoing struggle but I am really trying. This last weekend was a good experience for Caleb and I. We ran together, we biked together, and for the most part, I was patient with him. When I did lose my patience, I tried to ask his forgiveness right away and let him know I was sorry. I’m trying everyday to be the dad that I want to be.
If Nate can continue to bridle his passions and keep them “within the bounds the Lord has set,” if he can establish a new way of thinking where his sexual needs are not the predominant force in his life and the predominant demand and problem in our relationship, then it will help me to trust that the Spirit is helping him to come to a place of righteousness and selflessness, and that we can build a healthy relationship that I can trust.
I feel like I’m facing the right direction here. I honestly don’t feel any expectations for sex, but instead feel it’s a privilege to even be with Becky, let alone be close to her in those ways. As I told her the other night, our sex life is so different because we seem to always connect emotionally first and then sex is just an added bonus to other ways we’ve connected. I no longer keep track of when the last time was that we had sex nor do I feel like it’s what is “missing” in our marriage. I love Becky as a person and want to respect her and cherish her.
If Nate can continue to fulfill his role as husband, father, and protector without feelings of resentment or feeling that he is underappreciated or not getting enough recognition, but rather with a sense of gratitude to have the honor of filling that role in this eternal family, it will help me trust in his ability to be a righteous patriarch in our home, and that our family has a good chance to grow and learn together in the protection of the Lord, and that Nate will honor his stewardship, protect us, and lead us back to Father.
I’m trying hard in this area. I don’t always know how well I’m doing but I don’t have resentment or feelings of underappreciation or lack of recognition. I feel our family is growing together more and that the culture is changing little by little. One of the things I want to work on most is the “blame and shame” game. I want us all to take responsibility for our actions and work on ourselves instead of quickly pointing the finger at one another.
Now to a bit of study about the talk titled “The Reason for Our Hope” by President Packer.
President Packer shares some great scriptures about Christ’s role in the Plan of Happiness:
…from the Book of Mormon, He declares: “Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. … In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters” (Ether 3:14).
In His own words, the Savior has declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
“We preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26).
What does the Book of Mormon teach about the Atonement of Jesus Christ?
The Book of Mormon teaches, “For it is expedient that an atonement should be made … , or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement … an infinite and eternal sacrifice” (Alma 34:9–10).
President Packer goes on to remind us:
We may not live perfect lives, and there are penalties for our mistakes, but before we came to earth, we agreed to be subject to His laws and to accept the punishment for violating those laws.
As I reviewed the boundaries today, I realize that I’m not living perfectly; I’ve made terrible mistakes, almost life-threatening mistakes that have hurt me and hurt my family even more. I am paying the penalties for those mistakes and suffering the punishment for violating God’s laws. It reminds me of the scripture “Wickedness never was happiness.”
Sin is the opposite of happiness.
Sorrow that I’ve caused to Becky is the worst pain I could feel.
I don’t want to EVER cause pain like this again. I don’t want to even get close to the edge of the “cliffs of temptation”.
The good news is, there is hope:
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:23–24).
The Savior wrought the Atonement, which provides a way for us to become clean. Jesus Christ is the resurrected Christ. We worship and recognize Him for the pain He suffered for us collectively and for the pain He endured for each of us individually, both in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. He bore all with great humility and with an eternal understanding of His divine role and purpose.
And I really love this statement:
Those who will repent and forsake sin will find that His merciful arm is outstretched still. Those who listen to and heed His words and the words of His chosen servants will find peace and understanding even in the midst of great heartache and sorrow. The result of His sacrifice is to free us from the effects of sin, that all may have guilt erased and feel hope.
The keys to using the Atonement:
- Forsake sin
- THEN: Find that His merciful arm is outstretched still
- Listen to His words
- Give heed to His words (apply them)
- Listen to His chosen servants
- THEN: Find peace and understanding, even in the midst of great heartache and sorrow.
…the true success of the gospel of Jesus Christ will be measured by the spiritual strength of its individual members. We need the strength of conviction that is found in the heart of every loyal disciple of Christ.
I’m grateful for the study and review I did today.
I’m grateful for Becky – that she loves me and is trying to forgive me for my terrible mistakes.
I’m grateful for my family.
I’m grateful for the Savior, who has paid the price for my sins and mistakes and is there with “outstretched arms” to help me.
I’m grateful for how I feel when I do study and write.