18 June 2012

Just So Ya Know

Do you ever find yourself fiercely defending your husband?  In group meetings? To a family member who "knows"?

"He has this problem, but otherwise he is a great guy. He is a good husband, hard working, a great dad..."  etc...

I have.  I do.  Even on this blog I've done it.  It's like we have to prove their worth and potential in spite of their obvious weaknesses.   In this blogging environment it's even harder because there is so much focus on their problem. 

Let me just say this:

I love Pete. I believe in him.  He has infinite worth and I am grateful for his many redeeming qualities.

I believe in your husband too.  He has infinite worth, and I am certain that he has redeeming qualities. 

I just want you to know that.  There are a couple women in my ward whose husbands I have seen at group meetings.  I don't think of them as perverts.  I don't think of them as sinners.  I love them, I admire their courage, and I am cheering for them and their wives.  So I hope this can still be your safe place, where you can share your feelings honestly without being afraid that I will judge your guy.

Which brings me to my next point.  I have constant inner turmoil and conflict about finding the balance between validating your feelings and perpetuating your frustrations.   If I come down harshly on the men, it's out of infinite compassion for the women.  But at the same time I don't want to contribute to any animosity or anger that is festering in our hearts. 

SOOOOOOO... what is this all about?  If you followed the comment stream on my last post (very thought-provoking) an anonymous reader shared some things about her husband.  She wanted to come to his defense after I called him out, but due to some technical difficulties we weren't able to post her comments: so here they are, I hope she doesn't mind.  But I want her to have her say.  (It might not make sense if until you go back and read our thread.)

Haha, maybe shouldn't have swung they counselor comment out there so quickly.  Don't worry, you can trust counselors!!! We have traveled a long road and as you can see from my comment I am probably not completely healed (kind of hard to find support when all of the counselors are your husband's colleagues).  But the sin really is behind him now...it is possible. Some of his perceptions still drive me nuts.. I think he was trying to tell me that he could see that guy's perspective...but the way he said it struck a wrong chord.  But he knows when he's off and he doesn't let it get into therapy.  He believes in healing families not tearing them apart. But just in case I I totally destroyed a layer of trust for anyone out there...as an FYI...he works for the church and he has to have a temple recommend at all times or he loses his job...and they check often.   Kind of a nice perk, if you ask me.  Nothing like having your livelihood depend on it to keep you in check.  And we've been to hell and back, so he knows his stuff :).

Anon:  no harm done.  I believe you that he knows his stuff.  A little empathy goes a long way and I imagine his ability to relate to his clients can help quite a bit.  I hope you find the healing you need.


  1. Jane, you come across beautifully if you ask me. You seem to have such a gift for managing this balancing act. I look forward to continue learning great things from you.

    1. Thank you S. It's always nice to get a little validation.

  2. I SO find myself defending my husband! It's my biggest thing holding me back from sharing our experiences more openly, is that I'm so afraid to have people think poorly of him when I think he's one of the most amazing men I know. So yeah, I totally relate to that.
    I love how you expressed such compassion and empathy for both spouses -- if only everyone had this, then we could talk about this openly in Relief Society or wherever and really start addressing the issue like it needs to be talked about!

  3. "I just want you to know that. There are a couple women in my ward whose husbands I have seen at group meetings. I don't think of them as perverts. I don't think of them as sinners. I love them, I admire their courage, and I am cheering for them and their wives."

    I love this! Another way to put it is that we are all sinners. In my view, addicts in recovery can teach us more about repentance and hope and humility and redemption than almost anyone. I feel like I learn so much from reading the stories of both addicts and their loved ones.

    Love is the antithesis to shame. And I agree with S, Jane. Your love comes through so clearly in your writing.

    And Pete's goodness does, too, in his writing ;)

  4. Hello my darling Jane! I have to say that although I get exactly what you are saying and agree that this is really the path i should choose to take...my first thought when i read this was, "nope...I don't defend him at all, let the wolves eat him if that's where his choices lead him." My empathy is small. You're example of love.

    1. I have to say though, that April stole the words from me. This is the path I am trying to take - empathy is not usually my first choice.