Friday, January 31, 2014

Owning Our Stories

A friend of mine put together an awesome resource. It's a blog full of letters, stories, and resources written by us (WoPAs) and for us to help get us through this tough battle fighting our husbands' addictions.

Check it out!:

You can even add your story (anonymously, of course). Owning your story is one of the bravest and freeing things you could do.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hell Week’s Gift: Understanding

Words can’t even describe the past week. I’ve been majorly depressed, but it’s been really weird because I’ve had some moments of extreme happiness too. It’s been an emotional roller coaster if I’ve ever seen one.

During this depression, I’ve hit the lowest of lows for me. I thought I struggled with depression before, but this week proved to me that things can always get worse. On the bright side, however, I’ve studied my scriptures every day before school, and I’ve definitely reaped the blessings of putting God first in my day. I’ve seen so many expressions of His love all around me, and I’m grateful that I can lean on that to know that He is still there lifting me up every day. I thought I had seen light in the darkness before, but this week also proved to me like never before that there is always light. And I’m clinging to it for dear life.

While I was at times paralyzingly depressed, I did a lot of soul-searching. I hate to admit this (can you say pride?), but after everything I’ve gone through over the past three years, I still have room for humbling and using the Atonement. I still have room for my testimony and strength to grow. I’ve been studying hope and faith this week, and I’m seeing how powerful they can be. I’m learning how  truly humble I have to be to let faith and hope work and to really turn to God and accept His will for my life.

Everything feels so hard right now. I have good days, even great days, at school, and yet it is a daily struggle to even think about going back the next day. I’m trying to focus on one day at a time, yet I can’t seem to slow down and not think about all the responsibilities that await me each and every day.  Behind it all, I’m anticipating what could be a slightly horrendous move (horrendous for reasons that I don’t want to get in to right now). And Ben is leaving in possibly a week. As funny as it may sound on this blog, he is a rock to me in a lot of ways. We complete each other. And he is so good to me when I am depressed. I’m scared to face this depression without him, but I know that it will force me to lean on God more, which will only be a good thing.

Yesterday when I got home from school, Ben told me about his relapses.


My instinctive, initial reaction, though, was peace. As he told me about the tough temptations, how hard they were—the hardest he has faced in a long time—along with how hard he fought, I could only think, “Man. I can relate.” As he expressed his disappointment in himself for falling hard this week, I could only think about my depression. I thought about the duties I had neglected at home all week, and how he had to pick up the slack. I thought of the relatively mean and manipulative things I had said and done because I was so depressed. I thought of the inner struggles I had, fighting the depression because I did not want to let it win, and the pain I felt when I realized depression had won and I had lost.

I felt like I understood him.

I know that I can in no way understand exactly what is going on from his perspective, just like he can’t completely understand my perspective of this issue in our marriage. But I did feel like in some ways my depression was perfectly timed so I could have that experience of understanding.

On another note, when we break it down, all of my worst moments of depression this week seem to be in direct relationship with his relapse moments. In the past, when I’ve gotten severely depressed, my instinct is to think that something is going on with him—and that is usually a valid feeling. This time I didn’t go there in my mind. I was caught completely off-guard with his confession. On one hand, that is good because I was so full of trust (which is major progress) that I didn’t think my depression had anything to do with his addiction. On the other hand, it scares me that it could be hidden so easily. All week, he was so loving and supportive of me while he was dying a little bit inside, and I had NO CLUE.

Progress is being made, though. He told me about the relapsing when he felt it was most appropriate (although, to be fair, if he had told me right away rather than letting it build up, it probably wouldn’t have escalated to where it did). And even though I’m not 100% sure I agree with his timing, He told me, rather than me questioning and pestering him. That is good.

We almost separated about a month ago. It’s been a little rough, but I’m still seeing progress being made. I’m so happy for him.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Don't Be Perfect

I'm not quite sure why I am the way I am, but I just am.

I'm [kind of?] a perfectionist. And by kind of, I mean I am one.

There could be numerous reasons why this has become one of my personality traits, but that is not the purpose of why I am writing. I'm writing to give a shout out to all of you other beautiful people who might be struggling with any type of infidelity in your relationship and possibly think that if you become more perfect, he/she will love you more and the porn/sexual behaviors less.

That's not all of why I'm a perfectionist, but it is certainly a driving factor [or at least has been in the past].

I'm not perfect. I will never be perfect in this life. I wasn't made for that.

I was made to be me. Some of my traits are better than others, and that is okay. I'm a work in progress.

Don't stress about being more perfect. Just don't. Whatever. It will come. Focus on YOU. Allow yourself to just BE.

You are beautiful the way you are. You aren't perfect, and that's okay. You weren't meant to be perfect right now. You are growing. You are becoming. You will become your best self, and that is the person you were destined to be. Perfection will come later. Right now you are discovering!

Don't stretch yourself too thin, trying to achieve things that are really insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Don't allow yourself to be bullied or manipulated into things that are not necessary.

And DON'T dwell on how much of a failure you are. Because you're not. If you're reading this blog, you are most definitely not a failure, and you are probably way stronger than you imagine. If you're reading this blog, you're likely in a similar boat as me, and you are most definitely awesome.

We are in a tricky situation, you and me. It's more than a tough boat to find yourself in.

So, you know what? You can be tired. You can cry. You can punch pillows and scream at your dog. You can break dishes and throw things at the wall.

It's okay.

You don't have to be perfect and pulled together all the time. You actually don't have to be like that ever. You can be barely skating by, and it may be your best self that day. Just take care of yourself. Find yourself.

If you're messy, that's okay. Life is messy.

But whatever you do, don't try to be perfect. Try to find yourself and be happy with who you are.

[It's a lot more fun than trying to be perfect.]

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Betrayal Trauma Is Real

Sometimes I look at my life--my reactions to things, my thought processes, my ideas and ideals, my desires and motivations, my depression and lack of motivation--and I'm a little surprised at myself. I'm in such a different place than I expected I would be at this point.

I've been betrayed by my best friend, the man to whom I promised my life and gave all my trust. I've suffered in ways that I never imagined would occur to me. I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I had planned and acted in ways that would protect me from stuff like this. I know it could be worse, and I'm grateful that it's not worse right now. And I pray that it won't get worse.

But still, I was betrayed. By the guy who I never would have least expected this kind of betrayal. By the guy who I thought I was safest with.

People who don't know about our situation ask me, "What are you going to do when he moves to Texas? It's going to be so hard." You have NO IDEA. My answer probably confuses them: "I'm a little excited about it. I think it will be good for us to have some space and find ourselves a little bit again." That's being optimistic, and it's as honest as I feel like I can be.

People who do know about our situation ask me, "Aren't you scared/nervous for him to move to Texas without you?" Yes I am. I am actually terrified.

Because betrayal trauma is real.

I think his longest period of sobriety of late has been something like 36 days. And that amount of time isn't very common. And it's definitely shorter than the 4 months we will be living apart...

Granted, he is doing well right now, and I'm trying to focus on that and live in the present. He is trying, and I'm seeing real changes in him. I'm so happy for him and the changes he is making. He is happy about it too, and I think that is honestly what makes me the happiest.

But I've been betrayed. The betrayal trauma tells me that this won't last. The betrayal trauma shudders when he kisses or holds me. The betrayal trauma draws back when my heart starts opening up to him again. The trauma has had such an impact on me that my body and mind are trying to protect me. The more open and vulnerable we are, the more there is this part of me that shrieks, "Be careful, KILEE!"

I'm trying to push through it. I'm trying to exercise my agency to choose to have a good day every day. I give myself pep talks. They don't always work, but I desperately try to find things that will work. I'm trying to kick Satan to the curb--with all his baggage.

But it's so hard.

I'm trying to accept myself the way I am

I'm trying to accept Ben as he is.

I'm trying to develop positive coping methods with my stressors and depression.

I'm trying to be joyful and optimistic.

I'm trying to keep the Spirit of Christ in my heart.

I'm trying to take advantage of every opportunity to serve others around me.

I'm trying to smile more.

But it's so hard. Because I've been betrayed. And betrayal trauma is real. It has an impact on all aspects of my life. It's basically hard to function on a daily basis.

I'm learning so much, and I'm trying to let my learning help me find what is truly important. I'm trying to see the light every day rather than dwell in the dark places that are so easy to slip into.

But it's so hard.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I promise I won't write a novel like I did in my last post... ha :)

BUT seriously?! Thank you all for reading it! I know it was long, and I really appreciate the feedback and support I received--in comments, emails, phone calls, and texts. Y'all are seriously the best!

I just wanted to take a quick minute to express how grateful and happy I am.

I have received so many tender mercies over the past week. To every single one of you who reached out to me in any kind of way, THANK YOU. To every single one of you who has been praying for me and Ben, THANK YOU. I have felt it. I feel very loved, both from earth (you) and Heaven.

A couple things that I want to share:

First of all, some things came up with Ben's future job, and he won't be leaving next Monday as planned. While that presents other potential problems, I am grateful to have a few extra weeks with him. Even though four months is a long time to be living without him (minus, of course, the times we are able to drive and visit each other), and I am grateful that it has become four months rather than five. Despite the other problems this latest development presents, I felt that it was a tender mercy. I was really stressing about him leaving, especially because, you guys, we have been doing so well over the past couple of weeks. I'm talking about our relationship. We are being more vulnerable with each other. We are communicating better. I feel strength. And I feel my love for him growing. The fact that I feel any love is better than where we were about a month ago.

The other thing I wanted to share with you is about the power of scripture study. Last semester, I really struggled with studying my scriptures because I was so tired in the mornings and couldn't get up. But then I was so tired from my long day at night, that my scripture study wasn't very fulfilling. It was usually just checking it off my list because I knew I needed to, but half the time I was too tired.

But this semester, I decided I will get up at 5:00 every day (okay, actually, I've been getting up at 5:07. But still) and shower, study my scriptures until 6:00, and then finish getting ready for school. There have been a couple of times that I cut my study a little short to take a quick power nap, but overall, I'm sticking to it. I've been dedicated, and I've certainly felt the power of putting God first every morning.

It excites me! I'm still fighting depression every day. I'm fighting demons. I'm fighting trauma. But I'm feeling more joy than I have in a long time, and I feel like I can make it.

That is all.

Oh wait, you can make it too! We're making it together.

Maybe it's also because I just got this bad boy in the mail last week. That does contribute to my strength. I feel powerful when I wear this shirt.

I'm laughing because I tried doing a flexing pose, but I just looked dumb. So I'll settle with my happy laughing face. Perfect for this post.

Do you feel like a room without a roof?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Another Big Change and Leap of Faith

Writing is therapeutic. I need to write about something big. My mind is just spinning today, and I think I'll feel better after I write. This may be a long post. Hang tight :)

We moved to Arkansas a little over a year ago. That was not on our post-graduation radar. Ben had a job, and he loved it. We had a plan. But then, he received a recruiting email from Walmart.

"I'm not working for Walmart," he said. He kept telling me that, as if he were trying to persuade himself. Eventually, the opportunity for that particular job passed. But the seed was planted.

"I keep having this nagging feeling that we are supposed to go to Arkansas," he said.

"Why? You have a job. You like your job. Why would we move to Arkansas? Sure, my family is there, but you don't have a job. Do you realize how hard that would be?"

We didn't want to move to Arkansas. He said it was the armpit of America. No one just moves to Arkansas with no job potential. No one just moves in with their parents right after graduation just for kicks (especially when they have a fine job in another state).

But we did.

We had all these reasons why we shouldn't. People told us we were crazy. They told us exactly what I just told you, and we really struggled with the idea. But during General Conference, President Eyring gave this talk. During that talk, we both had separate but similar personal revelations that we were supposed to move to Arkansas. We went for a walk in between sessions to talk about it. We prayed. And we knew in that moment that we were, indeed, being called to Arkansas. It didn't make sense, but it did. It felt right in our minds and hearts. Even though so many things didn't make sense, to us, it made perfect sense.

So we packed up and moved across the country.

"It will work out," I said. "God wants us there. He will make things work out."

I was recovering from a terrible back injury. I was also recovering from the last set of relapses and lies. But I had faith that God would take care of us, and He did in His own way.

In the year that we've been here, we have seen tremendous blessings. However, things have certainly been hard. While I love my family, living with my parents and sisters wasn't an easy nine months. Despite the times I struggled there, I loved it. I grew closer to my family. After five years of being away at college, it was nice to get to re-know my sisters and parents.

Living with my parents was also a blessing because they got to know Ben--the Ben whose potential I see. We kept the addiction a secret while we lived with them. They might have known or suspected we struggled, but they didn't know we struggled in the ways we do. They did get to know the good parts of him--the parts I fell in love with. They got to know him as a brother and son. I'll be forever grateful for that.

After I told my parents about his addiction, my mom said to me later, "Maybe part of the reason you moved here was so we could get to really know Ben. I can't judge him because of his addiction. I know too much about him." I think she was right.

Shortly after moving here, I decided I wanted to start substitute teaching a few days a week while my back continued to recover. People told me it would be easy for me to get a job in the big district because they were in desperate need for subs, and I have a teaching license from a great university. I applied for that district, but I never received a phone call for an interview. I tried calling and pursuing the job, but I could never get through. It seemed that it was not meant to be.

A woman my mom worked with in the Young Women's organization posted on facebook that the district in which her kids attended school (a very small district: the town has 5000 people) was hiring subs. I applied and got through the process very quickly. The day after finishing my paperwork, I received a phone call from the principal of the high school.

"Is this Kilee?"

"Yes, sir."

"Kilee, my name is ________________, principal over here at ______. I see that you are certified in Family and Consumer Sciences."

"Yes, sir, I am."

"Well, how would you like a long-term sub job? Our counselor is out on medical leave for the rest of the school year. We moved the FACS teacher to that position, and now we need a FACS teacher."

I told him of my back problems and said I needed to think about it because I had really just wanted to sub a few days a week. He understood (he also has major back issues) and gave me a couple days to think about it.

I ended up taking that position. Of course, I had to interview, but it seemed like it was pretty much just a formality. Plus, I blew them out of the water anyway ;)

That was a tough few months. I started mid-February and finished off the school year. I was pretty much a full-time teacher but only got paid $70 a day (minus taxes, of course. Isn't that fantastic?).

Ben didn't get a job until June, and then, it was just as a bank teller. During that time I was subbing, we were living off of my measly sub income. We wanted so badly to have our own place, but we simply couldn't afford it. I was working my heart out, and it was very discouraging because I felt like we weren't really reaping what I was sewing.

My sub position turned into a full-time teaching position (Yes, I had to interview. No, it wasn't a formality. It was real. I even had real competition, and it was very stressful). I worked hard all summer long to prepare for the school year, and didn't get paid for it all summer.

Meanwhile, Ben was job hunting. We were very grateful when he got this teller position, but we eventually became discouraged with the situation because it's not what he wants to do. It's not what he went to college for.

People have told Ben it's crazy how hard it's been for him to get a job down here. He has so many resources. He has had so many people pulling for him, but nothing has worked out. He has had interviews. He has gotten to the final rounds of interviews. He has applied for over 100 jobs, and all he ended up with was a bank teller position.

After being here and getting to know the companies, Ben realized he really doesn't want to work for any company here. That left us...stuck.

We've prayed. We've talked about our attitudes. We've fasted. We've worked really hard to stay positive and faithful while still hoping for something better.

We've struggled financially. We've struggled emotionally. He has struggled with addiction stuff and depression. I've struggled with my side of the addiction stuff and my own depression. Things have been really HARD.

But we've also been so blessed.

We've seen God's hand in our lives.

I've seen it in my job: how impossible it was to get a job in the first district, but then how easily it fell into place with this small district. I've seen it in my students: the love I have for them and them for me. I've seen it in Ben helping me with grading or taking care of things at home when I'm super stressed out. Teaching at this high school has been such a good experience. Sometimes I want to rip my hair out, but I wouldn't take back any second I've spent with my students or the relationships I've developed there. I've learned so much in so many aspects of life while teaching there.

I've seen God's hand in the beautiful nature that surrounds us. Can I just say how much I love that about Northwest Arkansas?

I've seen His hand in the tender mercies that have gotten me through serious bouts of depression.

I've seen His hand in the beautiful people I've been surrounded with: both at school and at church.

I've seen His hand our bishop and ward members.

I've seen His hand in my family and close friends here.

I've seen His hand in the spiritual growth Ben and I have both experienced here. We've struggled, but I have no doubt that we needed to struggle. I'm a lot firmer in my faith than I was a year ago. I have a lot deeper understanding of things than I did a year ago. I understand the Atonement better than I did a year ago. There is so much beauty in the things we have struggled with. I'll be brave and say I actually love the trials we have faced. They suck, they do, but I've discovered strength I didn't know I had. And I've discovered/developed a strong faith in God and His will.

Being in Arkansas has been an amazingly beautiful experience. I'm so grateful for the friendships I've formed and the lessons I've learned. I'm grateful for the experiences I've had that have brought me closer to God.

And now our time here is coming to a close. Ben was offered a position with Capitol One in Plano, Texas.

It's crazy how this has happened. I kept encouraging him to apply for jobs other places since nothing was working here. He did so, but it was a little reluctantly. When he received the phone call to interview for this job, he told me, "I remember applying for other jobs at Capitol One, but not that one." His interviews were last Friday (he had two interviews for this job), and he was offered the job on Monday.

As soon as he told me he was offered the job, I knew it was right.

And it doesn't make sense to some people. Even to me, it's hard to comprehend that we would move here for a year and then get a job elsewhere. It doesn't make sense to invest all that we have here and then just leave it all behind. I've worked so hard with my job. I've made friends and created a good circle of support for the pain of the addiction. We've grown closer to my family.

It's going to be painful to leave everything we've found here behind.

We know this is the right, choice, though. He fasted and prayed about it. I didn't feel like I needed to fast about it because I felt like I just knew. But I did pray about it, and I know it's right. When we make decisions like this, we take it separately and come to our own conclusion, then we talk about it together later and see if we have reached the same answer. We always work that way, and we did for this situation too. We know it's right.

And now Satan is fighting us hard. Or at least he is fighting me.

I'm getting scared. Rightly so. Cost of living in that area is higher than here. Rent will be higher. And even though he has a job, it's not one that pays super well (but way better than being a teller), so I know we will struggle financially. I'm going to have to go through the process of getting a teaching license in Texas, which will likely be painful. There are a lot of things about this that are going to be hard.

Plus I'm really going to miss a lot of things about Arkansas.

I grew up in Frisco, Texas. It's the town directly north of Plano. I'm nervous about moving back to the area because it's a place that I swore to never return to live (for personal, teenager reasons). I'm having to face some anxiety about going back, but I'm also really excited to return to some old friends and experience things there as an adult. And I feel potential of having a good recovery circle there as well, which excites me.

Just like when we moved to AR, I'm trying to have faith in God providing for us. This move seems a little lot scarier (probably because I won't have mommy and daddy to lean on there).

I admit it seems a little crazy. I feel crazy. I mean, we just moved a year ago. And we just moved into this house a little less than four months ago. So many things seem so crazy.

I think Satan is trying to make me feel crazy, doubtful, and fearful. So I'm going to keep pulling the faith and living with the knowledge that this is part of God's plan. And every time I act on personal revelation, no matter how hard or scary it is, it always pays off in the best way possible.

Ben is moving in a week and a half. I'm following after I finish the school year. I see potential with that situation. It will give him the opportunity to work some things out that he needs personal space and time for. It will give me some good opportunities here too. I'm nervous though... I'm nervous for relapses and pain and all that lovelies that fall in that category. I'll miss him a lot, but I think it will be good for us. I hope it will be, anyway.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

An Almost-Separation

I've been on [avoiding?] step 11 for a while.

I got to step 10. Practiced it. Wrote about it. Looked at step 11, and just could not go on. Part of me felt like I wasn't quite ready for it, and I wasn't sure why.

Well, now I know why. I was being prepared. I stayed in this funk of "daily accountability" while pondering and meditating on the idea of "personal revelation" and fully giving up my will [can you say scary?]. I've read through step 11 a few times this round, but I haven't been ready or able, or something, to write about it on here. I just couldn't. I felt something stopping me. It just didn't feel right yet.

So I've let it sit on the back burner while I studied the life of Christ in the scriptures and have been writing in my personal journal about the qualities in Him I want to emulate and become better with practicing in my life. I've studied humility and pride a little bit too. I've just been waiting for whenever my body, emotions, and spirit feel ready to hit up step 11.

And here I am. I've gone through a whirlwind of trauma, and personal revelation has carried me through.


This is the gist of my week: Ben's parents are in town. Ahem. We almost separated while they were here [wouldn't that have been fun?]. We didn't separate and are now working on some things in our marriage [and yes, they don't know about any of this. Crazy, huh?].

I keep writing and erasing the story of the almost-separation. But I decided if you have questions or would like some insight on the personal revelation that went into this whole thing, you can email me. It's too much, emotionally, to rehash it and try to get the wording right so you understand what I'm trying to say. Plus, it would make this post way too long, and you might get bored before I really got to the point.

This is what I'm trying to say: the ability to receive personal revelation is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. Were it not for my ability to follow the Spirit, we would be right where we were last week. I would be trying to fight the addiction and trying to figure out what we could do to actually make changes for good in our lives. I would be dealing with crap and accepting his behavior because I didn't know what else to do. I would be feeling frustrated and irritable while playing nice and acting happy when people ask me how it's goin'.

Instead, I had the courage to listen to a prompting. I addressed all the reasons why we needed a separation. I told him the things I would not be standing for in our marriage. He almost had to pack up and move back to Utah for an indefinite amount of time while he put some things in his life back in order. We were so close to a separation, you guys. So many things could have happened. It was unbearably scary.

As we (really, I, because I had the final say in the matter) tried to figure out what to do, I felt like we both needed to pray. He needed to find for himself whether or not quitting his job and moving to Utah, facing the shame of the situation to a great number of people, would be the best thing for him in regards to real recovery.

Personally, I felt like that could be a good option. It was horribly terrifying, but it had the potential to work out. He could take the time he needed to improve his relationship with God, overcome some pride, sort out some priorities, and get reset in the right direction. Or it could not work out and then I would know his heart was not truly set on recovery, which gave this plan the potential to completely destroy our marriage.

When we realized this plan would be the only option for separation (he couldn't live here if we separated. Literally the only place for him to go would be back to Utah), I instructed him to pray while I went into a separate area to also pray.

The whole day was a series of following personal revelation and relying on God. In the end, the revelation changed, but I think that was because Ben had a soft heart and some other things came into play that were game-changing. After I made the final, final decision to separate (after the late-night prayer), I also had the feeling that I needed to really listen to whatever he had to say after his prayer.

His answer to his prayer was overwhelming. He had committed to some things and great personal sacrifices that completely touched my heart. As he cried and poured out his heart, agreeing that he hadn't been trying very hard to overcome the addiction and that he had not been spending the proper time or doing the things necessary for a change of heart, he made commitments that I've longed to hear. And he did it all on his own (well, through the help of personal revelation and a softened heart). It wasn't through me pushing or nagging him to make these changes: that has never worked. It was simply through me following my prompting that we needed a separation. I was so serious, and he knew it. The very idea pushed him to evaluate what he wanted in this life and in our marriage. He could have chosen to be done with me (and don't think for a second that the idea has never crossed his mind. He has entertained the thought of leaving me to live the life of his sex-addict brain more than once). Or he could have chosen to agree with the separation and then felt too weak and depressed to make any changes, and then chose to live in addiction sin. But he didn't. He chose to follow his own promptings of the Spirit, and in that moment, I followed the prompting of the Spirit to hear him out.

As he talked, I felt complete peace and a final stamp of this is right. Let him try to keep these commitments. As he talked, I saw the picture of Christ on His knees in the Garden of Gethsemane. I had the distinct question come to mind: what would Christ do with a man begging forgiveness, promising change, and asking for another chance before cutting him out of his life, even if only temporarily? The answer was strong: Christ would give him another chance. God wanted me to give him another chance.

In the past 24 hours, I've seen a changed man. I'm still a little uncomfortable around him, and I'm still feeling awkwardness due to the trauma of everything, but I'm seeing change. And I know, because I can feel it in my heart, that it's honest change. I'm trying not to doubt what I feel in my heart, and I'm trying to trust. Satan keeps filing me with fear, that little bugger.

I have hope. Ben has made commitments, and I've made boundaries. We have a long way to go for our marriage to become what we've dreamed of, but I can see the potential of that a little clearer. I have a stronger hope.

Today I studied the section on personal revelation in my 12-step book (step 11). My spirit finally feels ready for this. The experience I had this week taught me that I can follow God and do His will. I can give up my will and do hard and scary things. I know that I have the ability to discern the Spirit. And I've learning that revelation can change when new circumstances arise. If Ben hadn't used his agency to turn to God and allow his heart to be softened, we would be separated or planning for separation.

I have a renewed longing to follow God. I know that His way is the best way. He may ask me to do hard things, and those things may seem impossible. That's because they are impossible--without the Atonement. But I can do all things when I rely on the Atonement, and I know that right now, there is hope for our marriage. When things get tough, I can rely on my Savior, and He will help get me through.

I've made a new commitment to stay close to the Spirit so I can always have the ability to receive guidance.

Things are going to be okay.

Cheers to another year together! I love him.