The women who have been affected by the addiction of a spouse are most often faithful covenant-keeping women. Because of the trauma associated with their situation, these women frequently question their own self-worth and even their testimonies. We cannot afford to lose these faithful sisters and mothers of the rising generation to the effects of this plague.
Please understand that my husband’s problem is not in any way associated with my appearance or behavior. I did not cause and cannot change or fix my husband’s addiction. My husband most likely developed this problem long before he knew me and because of his agency has chosen to act as he does. Please do not suggest that I just “need to love him more,” and he will not act out. This only adds to the craziness that I already feel.
Help me to understand that I have been traumatized, and, with kindness and concern, help me to find resources to begin to heal. Having a person to talk with who has experience in these matters, a 12-Step group, and education about what I am dealing with will be helpful. I need someone who understands the magnitude of this problem and is able to hold my husband accountable for his actions. As our bishop, you can firmly, directly, and lovingly do so because of your concern for his spiritual welfare—and mine also.
Help me to feel safe. My confidence in priesthood leadership has been shaken because I believed all along that my husband was being true to his covenants, only to discover that he has been untrue to me. I need to believe that there is a kind and honest priesthood leader whom I can trust. Encourage me to slow down my life and my emotions and help me to have a glimmer of hope that the dream I have held so dear of a loving, eternal marriage can be realized with time and effort by both my husband and me.
In the meantime, help me to set and keep appropriate boundaries. These boundaries will help me to feel safe, while I learn that I truly am a beloved daughter of God. Through that knowledge, I can recognize my ability to make choices and find happiness through being true to Him and to myself.