Thursday, May 9, 2013

Eyes Wide Open

I will never forget the night Edmond confessed to me that he had been viewing pornography again.  I had been under the impression that he had been clean since his last confession more than 10 years earlier.  Edmond admitted that his actions could put his career, marriage, and salvation in jeopardy and that he was committed to change.

I wanted to be angry--- to be livid; to scream, kick, hit and generally rip into him.   How DARE he risk our family's welfare!  How DARE he lie to me for years!  But in that moment, I was enveloped in an embrace of love.  I was given the gift of feeling God's deep, abiding love for His son.  I was powerfully reminded that I had married a GOOD MAN; and that good man still existed beneath the sin.  That gift of love silenced my anger, doubt and fears and allowed me the opportunity to express my love and the love I knew the Lord had for Edmond.

The next morning my new reality started sinking in, and I began to feel despair, worry and frustration.  In search of peace, I spent the day at the temple praying for the peace of the atonement to work in my life and in the life of my husband.  That day, I was the sobbing mess in the far corner of the Celestial Room.  But again I was given the gift of peace-- this time in comforting passages of scripture-- reminding me that my struggles and pleading and prayers were known to my Father in Heaven.  He would provide for and care for me.

Later that day Edmond revealed in an email that his addiction included masturbating, that the addiction had begun long before we even met and that while he had been clean when we married, he had struggled for most of our marriage with this problem.  At that point I broke down, again, in a ball of tears wanting to scream to the world, "MY LIFE, MY MARRIAGE HAS BEEN A LIE!"  I hid in my room, let my kids run wild and sobbed like a baby.

Yet again, peace was poured out into my soul.  I was able to be composed and call Edmond, thank him for his honesty and reassure him that, yes, I did want him to continue to be part of my life and that working together we could climb this mountain.

Looking back, I am overcome with gratitude at the tender mercies the Lord sent me in those early days.  The healing balm of love was able to overcome the hurt, confusion and fear.  In moments of panic, I would remember a favorite verse, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6);"  or, "Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid (John 14:27);" or "God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)."   "My God hath been my support.... He hath filled me with his love (2Nephi 4: 19-20)."

To the other Edmonds out there:  be honest, frank and open.  Answer your Haydee's questions without guile.  What helped me most to trust Edmond again was his absolute honesty, even when he knew it would hurt me.  He understood that I deserved to know and understand how his actions had affected and infiltrated seemingly innocent aspects of our marriage.  When I questioned Edmond's past motives or wondered if his random spurts of depression were part a trigger or a side affect of the sin, he answered.  From the excuses he made to avoid temple attendance to the obsession with certain aspects of foreplay, Edmond was HONEST with me.  Be open and hide not in the darkness that tells you not to trust your Haydee.  Believe in her ability to love you despite your weaknesses.

To the other Haydees reading this:  be kind and be loving.  Your reaction and your ability to love at the time of confession-- your Edmond's moment of complete vulnerability-- is crucial.  Pray for God's ability to love to bless you as you love your spouse.  Satan will teach you to despair, hate and fear-- but "fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear (Moroni 8:16)."  Be a manifestation of God's divine love.  What greater gift can you give someone in the depths of despair than your love, faith, hope and encouragement.  When you doubt your ability to show love, remember Christ has said, "if ye have faith in me, ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me (Moroni 7:33 and again in Moroni 10:23)."  Have faith and hope in the power of atonement; Christ can and will teach you to love and trust again.

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