Advice to My Younger Self

Dear TC

Dear TC,

So your world just came crashing down, didn’t it? Everything you thought was real in your life really wasn’t, huh? I bet you don’t know where to go from here, where to turn, who to trust. I bet you are feeling insecure and scared and unsure. I know what you are going through, and here are some things I want you to remember as you start this journey to healing. You are not alone. I don’t just mean that Heavenly Father and Jesus are there for you, because at times that might not feel like enough. What I mean is you are literally not alone. I know you feel like isolating yourself and hiding away, but please reach out, search, find, and talk to other women that are going (or have gone) through what you are facing right now.

Trust yourself. I know that you doubt your ability to identify truth. You feel like you should have known what was going on all along, and because you didn’t, you are doubting if you are capable of having intuition, and you are doubting if you are even capable of feeling the Spirit. I am here to tell you that you are capable and you do have the ability; don’t doubt yourself. You know what you need in order to get through this and heal—you just need to trust yourself.

This is not your fault. It is his addiction. These were his choices. You have nothing to do with this, and there is nothing you could go back and do “better” that would have prevented this. You are not the cause; therefore, you are not the solution. Don’t try to “fix” him by changing who you are. You can help him, and you can support him, but this is his battle, not yours. You have your own battle to fight now.

Let yourself feel. Don’t push away emotions that feel “wrong.” They aren’t wrong; feelings aren’t wrong. You will heal faster if you lean into the anger and if you lean into the pain. Find a therapist or a trusted friend with whom you can share raw emotion, because it’s okay to feel anger. You have been betrayed, and you have been hurt.

As you embark on this journey, you will receive a lot of information and a lot of advice. Remember that, in the end, your marriage is unique, and what works for one marriage may not work for yours. Take what applies to your marriage and leave the rest behind.

Lastly, take care of yourself. This sounds selfish, but it’s not. It is essential to healing your heart and your marriage. Your husband is incapable of taking care of you at this time, and even though he is responsible for this pain, he isn’t equipped to be there for you. I know this sounds scary, and it makes no sense, but don’t worry; if he is truly in recovery, he will learn how to be there for you, and, eventually, he will be capable of filling the role of husband. In the meantime, you need to take care of you.

All my love,