As a fairly regular visitor to Rausch Creek, I can certainly say, that bigger tires won't stop you from breaking or bending stuff on their trails. I'm on 35's and I seem to end up with issues every trip.
Get some heavy duty skids and rocker guards first, and keep running your 31's. You will be surprised how many places they will get you. You should be able to run all the blue trails with 31's and armor. Then, upgrade parts as needed as you wheel more. I am constantly finding out new things I want, simply because they will make my rig more capable for the trails I run. As far as bending the control arm brackets on the frame, I wouldn't worry too much. It's a way of life for anyone running through rocks regularly. Mine are bent up pretty good.
It's not an addiction. It's a way of life.