Utah native Corrine Stokoe found peace and happiness after seven years of struggling with her husband’s recovery from a pornography addiction. In a Valentine's Day post on her blog, Stokoe opened up about her family's experience in an effort to provide others with hope.
Stokoe, who runs the high-end fashion blog Mint Arrow, published a blog post on Wednesday detailing her experience as she and her husband, Neil, went through the 12-step Addiction Recovery Program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“We are sharing this because someone else shared before we did, and that brought us hope. That brought us to a meeting where we found hope and healing. And so I hope that by sharing this story, we can inspire hope in others too,” she wrote.
Stokoe opened up about first learning of Neil’s addiction, how he tried various recovery programs without much success, and the ups and downs of breaking off an engagement and getting back together.
“I remember so vividly the day we got married that I felt 1 million percent right about it, I knew God was happy, and I knew he was totally worthy to be in the temple with me that day. I knew it in my heart and in my gut and right down to my bones," she wrote.
Though Neil was trying, he continued to relapse and Stokoe was hurt. She said she began to emotionally detach from him as she relied on friends and family for support. Three years into their marriage and with an 18-month-old daughter, Stokoe said she reached out to her blogger friend Mandi, who had gone through a similar experience, for help. Mandi encouraged them to go to an Addiction Recovery Program meeting together.
Though it was awkward and uncomfortable, “I remember feeling 'the spirit.' I felt something. I knew there was something special about these meetings,” she wrote.
Stokoe described the way in which she came to feel love and compassion towards other addicts, and eventually her husband, by attending the meetings when they moved to Southern California. She, too, began the 12-step program, after a breakdown following another one of Neil’s slip-ups.
“In those ARP 12 steps, I found the most thorough repentance and healing process I’ve ever found in my life. … I found the action steps to REALLY trusting God, that He knew me individually and had a plan for ME. I found that peace and happiness was something I was entitled to, regardless of Neil’s choices," she wrote.
She saw change in herself and for the first time, in her husband. As the two went down their own recovery paths, they found healing for their family and marriage.
“How do I know Neil will never relapse again? I don’t," Stokoe wrote. "But I know that I’ve never seen him happier, or felt more trust and love in our relationship as we have after doing the 12 steps."
Read the entire post here.