Advice to My Younger Self
This is a hard day, but it’s also the beginning of understanding and growth. You have a long, hard journey ahead of you. Do not underestimate the power this addiction will have on your husband. His admitting to little things and being sorry is only the tip of the huge, ugly iceberg you will hit soon. There will be more lies, manipulations, and disclosures. I have some advice to help you prepare for what is headed your way.
Trust yourself, and, most of all, trust the Spirit. Your Heavenly Father will never steer you in the wrong direction. As much as it pains you, your husband cannot be trusted. Know that the only one you can trust completely is the Lord.
It is so important for you to know that this is not your fault. No matter what others—even family—tell you, you could not have prevented your husband from using his free agency to do this. Take a deep breath and focus on yourself and your daughter. This is affecting her too. Pay attention to her and do everything in your power to bring the Spirit into your lives. I know you feel alone and lost and are unsure how to tackle this. Do what you can to research this addiction and the effect it has on your husband. This and the Church’s addiction recovery guide will give you silent strength to trust yourself and to recognize truth. I know it is hard to go through the 12 steps because this isn’t your addiction, but it will help you understand your husband’s recovery process and will start your own journey in healing.
You have relied a lot on your husband to bring you back to the light of the gospel, but this experience will force you to take this spiritual journey of testimony and strength on your own. You will obtain a great testimony of the power of prayer and the Atonement.
When you move, find a Church support group of women going through the same trials. They will inspire and teach you. I get that it’s embarrassing and it’s hard to be vulnerable, but these groups will help you feel validated, and you will feel the Spirit strongly in the meetings.
Take advantage of the temple being so close. It’s hard to go to because you will feel like nothing applies to you because your marriage is broken, but soon you will see things differently and it will be a place of peace and comfort even in the most challenging times. You will have strength you didn’t know was possible. Keep strong, beautiful! It is okay to cry and to feel weak, hopeless, and angry. It is okay if it takes time to forgive. The Lord is there to help and comfort you and to make you strong when you are not. You will feel a love from the Savior that you never knew before, and, slowly, through the refiner’s fire, you are becoming stronger. I love you so much.