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The Impact of Pornography on families

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I'm going to post this as a sticky and hope that those who struggle with this subject will watch this and it will have some impact. Thanks to a member of this site for sending me the link to this. It is an excellent video.

Edited by pam

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Thank you for posting the link to that beautiful video. This is such a troublesome topic and I have seen a couple of info programs on tv on it. What is hard is that it doesn't seem at first that there is enough help to get out of this kind of addiction.

For example in my dad's family there was a big problem with alcohol and I know that I was very blessed to know the church at a very young age, so the word of wisdom protected me, but at the same time I never have an alcohol at home, because it would be too much of a temptation. Even if you are an alcohol addict already, you can join a Alcoholic Anonymous group and follow the steps and one of them is not to be around alcohol.

But how can you do that with porgnography. There are computers anywhere. Most people have a computer at home. So the way to satisfy the addiction is always only a click away.

If this message could help only one person, I would be extremely happy. I wish the best to anyone reading.

Edited by pam
No links for solicitation purposes

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Livelaugh,

About how to keep away from this...being that not being around a computer is next-to impossible these days, one can install this incredible software FOR FREE called K9 Internet filter. It's amazing!!! You just need a trusted someone to keep the password safe and sound. :-)

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This is such a huge problem. I loved/hated that movie. I am currently the single mom of 4 little boys because of this very thing...divorce pending. The only way I know how to help someone "stay away" is to make the decision now...just like you do with everything else. Alcohol, tobacco, drugs, premarital sex...the decision needs to made now. Before the pornado starts popping up on your computer. The internet is called a web for a reason. It can trap, ensnare and kill us just like a spider web. Maybe not physically, but spiritually. It is Satan's world wide web and it is huge and we are all walking right into it.

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Thanks Pam for posting such a needed thread. I am surprised at how little activity it has received given the severity of the problem.

I am a recovering pornography addict myself, and am obviously very open to talking about it. It needs to be talked about. There are far to many people that need to talk about this to keep quiet.

I was introduced to pornography at the age of 5, well before the internet, talk to your kids about it! While I very much liked this video and hope that it will influence many people to make good choices before they are addicted, I think it will have little to no effect on those who are already entrapped in the web of addiction. They know the severity of the problem and how destructive it is on families. The problem is, they have lost all control over the problem, and have lost the sense of self worth to muster the courage to battle it on their own.

It breaks my heart, brooklynbw, to hear your story; and it breaks my heart to know the pain that my addiction has caused my own wife, but by the grace of God, we are working through it together.

Livelaugh, there is actually a lot of help and support available out there for those who suffer with this addiction and also for their spouses. The church does have a 12 step program specifically for pornography addiction, it also has support groups for their spouses. here is a link if you are interested in finding one in your area Addiction Recovery Support Groups

I know how difficult it was for my wife to not feel like she had anybody to talk to about what she was going through. If you are a spouse of an addict, please go to a support group, you will find great healing there. If you are an addict, please go to a support group. You cannot beat this on your own, you need help! If you are embarrassed, know that everybody there is in the same boat. If you are worried that you might see someone you know, yep, I did. Our friendship has turned into more of a brotherhood through this, as we have bonded on a much deeper level. Not to mention, your wife, or future wife is worth the embarrassment. There are also support groups for women who are addicted to pornography.

JenGuarisco, internet filters are great for children, but if you are an addict actively looking for pornography, filters won't keep it all out. Pornography is devastatingly addicting, partly because it is everywhere, but even so, it is possible to overcome it with help. The desire, a supportive spouse that will not pretend like it will just disappear, professional counseling, 12 step program, bishop, and lots and lots of prayer!

Edited by pogi

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Thank you Pogi! I think the thing that has done the most harm in my marriage is that my husband won't admit that he has a problem. He refuses to use the 12 step program that the church has to offer. He refuses to get counceling. He refuses to do the things that all of our

Bishop's have asked us to do and he doesn't want to involve me. It wasn't until I finally left that he even disclosed how bad his addiction really was and that it started when he was 12 years old. I have known since 6 weeks after we got married that he had a "little problem"...14 years later and 4 kids later, every bishop and every home later...I wish that the church had had more information and help all those years ago. He is so deep into it now he can't hold a job, finish his schooling or muster even the desire to come see his boys. I am working through this with the help of the Lord. I couldn't do this alone. I have been to counceling, my bishop, my stake president...

I appreciate that you are so willing to just admit it. I think that is so key. I think that if pride could just be let go of (I personally know how difficult that is - Im ruining a 14 year marriage in the temple...) that the Lord can work in us to help us to overcome anything. I wish that my husband was willing...I certainly have given it my all...but it just wasn't enough I guess.

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(I personally know how difficult that is - Im ruining a 14 year marriage in the temple...) that the Lord can work in us to help us to overcome anything. I wish that my husband was willing...I certainly have given it my all...but it just wasn't enough I guess.

It's not your fault... nor are you "ruining" your marriage.

LDS Marriages have certain standards of behavior that are expected of one another... and addictions of any kind (porn, adultery, abuse [spousal or child], alcohol, tobacco, drugs, reckless spending) aren't acceptable behavoral traits in a marriage relationship.

You've finally "drawn the line in the sand" to no longer accept that behavior in YOUR spouse. You may be filing the papers, but your spouse's actions and attitudes caused the divorce.

The truth hurts and it stings.

(I know because I caused my divorce that's in process... and I was served with my papers a couple of weeks ago. My changes come too little, too late. But I'm not losing hope! I've got 3 kids that I want to be sealed to... and so does she.)

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brooklynbw,

The wonderful thing about the spouses 12 step group is that it is there for people who are in all stages of their spouses pornography addiction. While attending the spousal support group, my wife met woman that were in many different stages, everywhere from "I just found out my fiance has a problem, should I marry him?" to "I've been divorced for 2 years now and I still come to this group because of how much the 12 steps help me." The wonderful thing about the 12 steps for spouces is that it teaches you that you have the ability to step off Satan's emotional roller coaster of your spouses pornography addiction. My wife often told me that, at first, she felt like a balloon tied to a cinder block, desperately wanting to snip the ribbon so that she could fly, and the 12 step group taught her that it was ok to do that. The biggest thing that the 12 step group does for spouces of addicts is that they can lovingly detach from the darkness and depression of their spouses addiction - no matter what you decide to do. While it's nice to be able to talk to your bishop and stake president, they are not going to be able to give the empathy and understanding that other woman can that have been exactly where you are. My wife often told me that the women moderaters are "angels in disguise", non-judgmental and so loving. Testimonies are strengthened in those groups. If you are going through a divorce, you may consider finding one to attend, because you deserve to be happy regardless of your husbands circumstances.

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skippy740, would you marry your spouse again? According to my husband I have ruined his life. This is all my fault, and, and, and... I don't want to play games with my husband. I can't put my eternity on hold though. I did tell him that I would marry him again...if he could be porn free for awhile. When he stops saying, "I can't promise you I won't ever look again..." I'm not out looking for a new spouse. I'm not looking to replace my boys dad. I just need to be completely free of the evil that has taken over my husband. If he can get rid of it...which I believe in a Savior that has the ability to do that - I would marry him again. Is that playing games? Divorce is a big fat deal. I don't think that it is too light for what we have been through though.

Pogi, I would so love to go to a spouses group, but finding the time is a different story. I am single, four boys, working and going to school, holding a calling...Im going crazy! I want to...there just aren't enough at the right times. That's why I came here. Hoping to find a support group in the few minutes I get in between all the madness. Your posts have been very helpful. Does the spouses group use the same manual as the actual addict group or do they just get together and talk?

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skippy740, would you marry your spouse again? According to my husband I have ruined his life. This is all my fault, and, and, and... I don't want to play games with my husband. I can't put my eternity on hold though. I did tell him that I would marry him again...if he could be porn free for awhile. When he stops saying, "I can't promise you I won't ever look again..." I'm not out looking for a new spouse. I'm not looking to replace my boys dad. I just need to be completely free of the evil that has taken over my husband. If he can get rid of it...which I believe in a Savior that has the ability to do that - I would marry him again. Is that playing games? Divorce is a big fat deal. I don't think that it is too light for what we have been through though.

Yes, I would. But there are 2 things that need fixing: me and her! :P

Me: I need to work on me so that I'm not doing the things that drive wedges between us.

Her: We need better communication between the two of us. She tends to "bottle" things in and not fully express her frustrations, concerns or other thoughts. She'll try to "hint" at things to get a 'clue' of how I'd react... but she doesn't talk about what's really on her mind. When we talked about serious things that I bring up... she would be "supportive on the outside" but probably harboring her own feelings and thoughts later on, resenting the previous decision.

I take responsibility for my actions. I'm still learning how my actions have affected our marriage. (In fact, I'm learning more about how my ADD has affected the marriage too.)

It was not her fault in the least. It wasn't like she wasn't pretty or wasn't good in bed. (Quite the opposite!)

Personally, I think she is taking her response too far. There are many other marriages that have survived much worse than what we've had going on. (Of course that's "comparative worthiness and feelings" instead of what she feels.) When I went to my meetings, I've heard of MUCH worse coming from the other attendees than what I have done to our marriage.

Also, her mother was divorced from a man who cheated on her. She'll say that this has nothing to do with her decision... but I think it plays a part.

Bottom line for her: she did not feel secure in the relationship.

Bottom line for me: divorce is not in my [immediate] family, nor is it part of my vocabulary.

We would definitely need a counselor-guided reconciliation.

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Skippy this is all earily familiar. My husband also has ADD and we too had a great life behind our bedroom door. In fact, that is one of the only things we had going for us. We aren't fighters so we rarely spoke unkind things to eachother but that always meant one of us was holding something back and frustration was rampant.

It breaks my heart that we couldn't figure it out. In fact, we are almost better friends apart than we were together. It is just lame. I take that back...he is still mean sometimes. I think that is just because he is angry at the situation and himself. Am I wrong? Can you tell me why you think he doesn't want to see me or the boys at all? He hasn't seen us since May and doesn't even want to come for Christmas. He is 1900 miles away... Our boys miss him and he said he would come and now he is saying that he doesn't think it is going to happen.

I feel dumb and whiney, but it is nice to talk frankly with someone instead of holding it all inside. I try to be careful about who I say things to so I don't shmear his reputation all over the place. He is a great man who made some really bad choices. So thanks for responding. Thanks for being willing to be open. Thanks for listening to me go around and around and reminding me that I didn't ruin things. Sometimes I need the Lords gentle assurances that what I'm doing isn't crazy. That I'm not the only one.

One thing that I wanted to ask is if you are going to the ARP meetings? Is your wife (or used to be wife) going too? How are you working on your addiction? What has been helpful to you? Do you still talk to her? Do you still get to see your kids?

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I just finished reading this book a couple of weeks ago, and I would suggest that you pick up a copy:

Amazon.com: The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps (9781886941977): Melissa C. Orlov: Books

One of the things I recognized in myself in this book... is the base, general feeling of a low estimation of myself. (I try not to use the overly used word 'self-esteem'.)

Yet, in the church, we have a VERY high sense of moral responsibility - family, church, callings, tithing, moral agency, etc.

Here's MY "guesstimation", based on how I could (and have) responded to such an invitation: seeing my (ex)wife and kids reminds me of my failures... and further cycles the feelings of inadequacy in my own life. Why would I want to be reminded of all my failures?

I see my kids about every 2 weeks. I'm unemployed and have very little resources of my own. I'm living with my parents right now... who help to make it a point that I see my kids. I'm only 20 miles away from them, so distance isn't much of an issue.

I haven't been going to the ARP meetings lately. And no, my wife hasn't ever gone to a spousal support group. In fact, just yesterday, I quoted pogi's post to her in an email along with the PDF of all the support group locations, days & times - noting that the closest spousal/family support group is in my area. (If a group was closer to her, I would suggest the closest one.) She has SAID that she wanted to go in the past... but never went. The times & days are at the same time of another calling I have (I'm an assistant cubmaster & asst Webelos Den leader). If she'll go, I'll request to be released because this would be much more important. (And no, I haven't yet gotten a response from her.)

How have I been working on my addiction? I must confess that I don't work very hard at it. I've been focusing more on the other stresses in my life and addressing the base-line mood that I'm usually in - which is more depressed than I'd care to be.

I can talk a good game... but I know I'm depressed. I've been taking some St. John's Wort to help... and I believe it has helped... which has also helped in the addiction.

How? When you feel better about life, it helps with the cravings of things that you know are missing in your life or other addictions.

One of the things that I'm discovering (for me) is the separation between my mood and my spirituality. If I'm in a depressed state of mind... does that mean that I'm unworthy of blessings? What if I'm "feeling great" but still committing sin? My spirituality is my relationship with God and the Spirit. My mood is just 'how I feel'. They are separate... at least they are to me.

So, I'm trying some appropriate supplements to help me be in the better moods that I need to be in to function in my life. It's "taking the edge off" of the cravings... but it's not a "cure-all". So St. John's Wort, Vitamin B-complex and B-12 are helping... at least it seems to.

I don't talk to her much... because I'm still trying to "fix me" and I don't want to come off as "begging" or "need for approval" from her at this time. It's just not a good way to attract someone back into your life. But I do keep in touch with her through facebook and the occasional phone call. She is busy taking nursing classes and with the custody of our three kids.

I love my kids and I want to stay involved in their lives. I think that if Chris Gardner could do it while being homeless while taking care of his 2 year old son... there is no excuse for me to spend time with the kids on some kind of regular schedule.

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brooklynbw,

The spouse group uses a seperate manual geared specifically toward the issues of the spouses, but still incorporates the 12 steps. Their manual, as far as I know, is not published yet so they are just using manuscripts until it is fully edited etc. In group, they all take turns reading a paragraph in the step that they are doing that week from the manuscripts. they then take turns (if you feel comfortable) sharing their experiences with that step or can share whatever is or isn't working for them, if not, you can just say pass and don't have to speak. Sometimes it is nice to just listen to what others have to share from their experiences.

If a day ever becomes available, don't let it pass. I know it may just seem like another thing to do, but you do so much for everybody else, you really should give yourself a little attention in your busy schedule.

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I looked into the book. I think I want a copy for both of us. I hadn't thought of any of this as a health problem. That sheds a whole new light on things. I don't know if my husband will believe that...he is very skeptical about everything. (He won't even have a facebook account) He has even stopped taking anything for his ADHD, depression, high blood pressure...everything. I also hadn't considered that he might be feeling like a failure and that is why he doesn't want to come see us. I just thought that he resented me in general and the thought of seeing me revulsed him. We spoke on the phone tonight as we are trying to get things separated and shipped to us since we are so far apart and I'm the one who left. He was asking about things I wanted and the topic of Christmas came up. He said (I will leave out the vulgarities...), "what good is Christmas for without family?" I don't know how to respond to him when he says things like that. What should I say to him? This whole thing is tearing me up inside and out and he thinks I'm doing it for kicks and giggles? I have no response. So now I'm home aching inside because I miss him and know he is unhappy, I'm unhappy, kids are unhappy...I hate this!

Pogi, I think I need to go to a meeting for me so that I can get on with my life...

Edited by brooklynbw

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Okay, let me give you my own thoughts (and you can take it for what it's worth).

Don't try to "fix" him. He needs his own motivation and needs to feel respected as a man.

If you want to give him a copy, you can do it. Do it in a way that says: "Here's a book that I've been reading. I've been learning a lot. I thought you might like a copy too. It may help us both."

Notice that that kind of note sounds better than "Here's a book that'll help you." That sounds like trying to "fix him".

Bringing up Christmas... here's my perception based on your post: Why would he travel 1900 miles to be reminded of a life that he is no longer worthy to live? Why fake it? The internal stress and anguish is probably something he'd rather avoid - especially if he's comparing himself and the family to having a "perfect Christmas"?

Don't respond to him. He is grieving the loss of his marriage. Pretending that "everything is okay" for a few days... is probably too much.

If it were my wife trying to get me to come over for the holidays... I'd want her to tell me how helpful I could be. This would set an objective, and a purpose for being useful. I don't want to just "be there" - especially if I would feel uncomfortable being there in the first place.

Men want to be useful, so help us feel useful. We would rather have an "advisor" instead of a "nag". Point out things that are helping you and share them with him. Don't nag him to do things. Don't bring up things that "if we would've read this before, or done this before, it could've saved our marriage." Don't bring up anything that could be about new regrets.

The good thing about ADD/ADHD is that we forgive and practically forget very easily. We don't "live in the past" except to 'relive our mistakes'. Help him to adjust to your current relationship... not the relationship of the past.

That's my best insight. I hope it helps... coming from a separated ADD/ADHD man.

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BTW, I think, to really get insight into an ADD marriage... watch old episodes of Home Improvement. If anybody has ADD... I think Tim "the Toolman" Taylor DEFINITELY has ADD/ADHD. And it would be fun! (Keep in mind that Tim always had a job... so that made everything easier with HIS marriage/sitcom.)

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It does help skippy, that's why I keep asking...I have learned some valuable things the last few days. My mother-in-law says I don't nag and that's why my marriage is a shambles. I always figured that he was a grown up and he felt bad for the things he had said and done (or not said and not done...) and that he didn't need me to say them out loud. I think he knew when he had let us down. I didn't need to bring it up too.

I have tried to be understanding and forgiving and supportive (we've moved across country 5 times in his pursuit of growing up) I guess the hard part is that I don't have ADD/ADHD and I forgive and I try to forget, but it isn't as easy for me. After four kids (2 of which already have ADHD) it is hard to just excuse the behavior and move on.

It is hard to teach kids that "monkey see but monkey can't do too and this isnt how we treat a wife and this isn't what we do as grownups and your daddy loves you but just can't get it together..." I don't want to do that and that is the direction I am heading as my kids grow older. My ten year old whips out the "but dad does it" card all the time lately and I want to tell him things like, "look what it got him..." but I can't nor will I ever do that to him. The kids don't even know that divorce is in the mix. My husband doesn't want anyone to know much less why and I understand that and I have been trying to be respectful of that.

I have always been wary of offering him anything, much less a book because he is the kind of person that if you tell him to do something, he will do the opposite. So I appreciate the approach. I won't wrap it up as a gift either. Maybe I will even tell him about it, and then let him go after it himself.

I also think you are right on the Christmas trip. I can appreciate that, but when will he get that spark that you have about your kids (I watched the youtube)? Will he ever feel for us what we feel for him? I don't want to bring it up again. I didn't respond to his comment. I just soaked it in. It is just painful. What do I ask him to do? What kinds of things would you be willing to come and do for your family?

Enjoy conference today. I hope that there are some answers there for all of us. I know I have them stacking up in my head. I am ready. Are you?

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Such are the problems with an ADD marriage - raising kids without setting up double-standards and dealing with oppositional defiant disorder (and yes, I'm familiar with that one in myself too).

I wish I had advice for this... but the only thing I can think of is getting an ADD coach or marriage counselor with an emphasis in ADD. I think this will take a 3rd party to help preserve the marriage relationship "team" while transferring the "accountability" to another.

As for what I'm willing to do... I've always been willing to do whatever I could. I've always been restrained financially... even when I was employed. (Remember that I did mention reckless spending in those habits that can destroy a marriage too.) Right now, I just wish I could pay my child support as an evidence that I am willing and able to fulfill my fatherhood responsiblities. One step at a time... but patience is NOT my strong suit!

With ADD comes hyperfocus... which is great during courtship! But it transfers to another area... and for me, it transferred to building my career. I became engrossed in this... to the lack of proper and sufficient attention to my wife and children. I began to see them as interruptions and destractions to my focus... which I was trying to chase "so we can be happy".

I think the book will be a great help for you. Not everyone with ADD has the same values or priorities. If you've seen 1 person with ADD... you've seen 1 person with ADD.

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i recently uncovered that a good friend of mine and her husband are swingers. they are active lds and i am at a loss to what to do.

Why do you feel you need to do something?

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you are right, i cannot judge others.

I just meant it in the sense that they are adults. While you may not agree with their choices..it still remains to be their business. That's the hard part about being friends with people who are making choices contrary to what we know to be right.

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i recently uncovered that a good friend of mine and her husband are swingers. they are active lds and i am at a loss to what to do.

Some friends of mine made a group of friends in the Air Force and were horrified to discover that they were all swinging with each other. They just quietly withdrew from the friendship because they felt like they were trying to recruit them.

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