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flygirl

Need advice, how to trust and forgive

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I don't know where to go from here. I'm praying daily for strength and guidance.  My husband has been involved in pornography our entire marriage.  He hid it for several months after we married and when I discovered it I was devastated. I'm past Satan's lies that it had to do with me or that "all men do it".  I just don't know that I can ever trust him or respect him again. I can't take the hurt, anger, and fear anymore. The negative emotions are so intense I don't think I can peel them away to feel love again.  Just when I think I've let go and can trust I discover more.  He has worked with multiple bishops, but they were of no help. He'd get at most a few months of not taking the sacrament.  I feel he's just gone through the motions and pretended to quit and faked change.  I understand mistakes, but this has happened over and over. Years ago, he "supposedly" quit to perform baby blessings (first his nephew, one our 1st baby). With my second baby, I discovered that he looked at porn a few days before the blessing.  We've been inactive on and off.  I'm no saint, but I do expect honesty and intimacy in my marriage.  We were sealed in the temple while I was pregnant with my 3rd baby, and I remember feeling such a disconnect with him and lack of the spirit- I had a strong feeling he wasn't worthy.  Another baby blessing and my oldest's baptism, all while hiding the truth that he was still looking at porn on a consistent basis.  13 years of catching and discovering the porn and then with my 4th baby I find more porn (second trimester having moved a few weeks before).  Another discovery of porn 2 days before her baby blessing. I told him he wasn't worthy to bless her and I didn't want him to.  After much thought and prayer I told him he could decide if he was going to still bless her and the night before her blessing he said he was going to.  (My mother was in town)  So, what I thought was a problem for him, has turned out to be a major problem that is never resolved and has not been sporadic or bingeing, but a consistent ongoing problem. (Weekly)  He wants to baptize our daughter, who has waited a year.  He says he's been clean 6 months. The bishop said he's good to go and can also start taking the sacrament and I feel AWFUL.  This is so counterintuitive. It is what it is.  I haven't seen repentance/change and it makes me sick inside to think I'm repeating the past with him.  I feel much guilt over the fact that I can't seem to forgive or trust, and that I look back at ordinances he's performed with such sadness.  He has fought me on my boundaries and needs, pushes me away, and truthfully I feel the "actions" he has taken to stop accessing porn I forced on him.  He quit the therapy I asked him to start. He hasn't done what the original bishop and the new bishop asked him to do. I just don't understand how this has been handled correctly.  This is how he has fallen back into it before.  I can't let this cycle continue.  I feel I might be leaving this marriage.  I've tried, I've stood by him for 13 years hoping he'd change.  I took my vows and covenants seriously, but I cannot disrespect myself and hurt like this anymore.   

 

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I'd put forgiveness and trust on the back burner for now as those are things that can take a long time. Remember, you are commanded to forgive but not necessarily to trust and your husband can't get your trust as a freebie. I think your desire to trust is getting in the way of the forgiveness process which can take awhile by itself.

You are standing by him, yes, and props for that. How much of your marriage is not dwelling on the porn? You may need to find away to separate the porn problem from the marriage. What do you do as a couple? How does your husband treat you and the kids? What do you do for your husband beyond monitoring his porn usage?

I'm sorry to hear this. Porn in a relationship is neither normal nor healthy and is nothing pleasant for the other partner to wade through.

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One thing you need to remember is: This is NOT your sin. Wives are so prone to take on guilt. You did not introduce him to porn. Not your fault. 

 

The one way I got my hubby away from it was to absolutely flood his emails [yep he had 4 email addresses) with conference talks about the addiction of porn. In researching for all of these articles, the good side for me was I learned that I was not guilty, nor was it on MY shoulders to carry the guilt.

 

I talked in length to his Dr.; to our Branch President (who at the time was a man near the same age as hubby) and to a trusted Sister in my Branch and in my life. I also told hubby if he didn't Cease and Desist, then I would get rid of the internet at home. I can do without it. He would be hurting because he does Day Trading- or did.

 

We got rid of internet for about a year. His excuses that Porn is actually art was discounted by his mentor, dear friend and patriarch of our last ward.

 

By accident, or would it be considered providence?,  that I found a group of women whose husbands had been involved in porn. Nearly all of them discovered that their husbands testosterone levels were extremely low- as was my husbands. The husbands ages ranged from 30's to 80's - Once they were in treatment to raise those levels the porn viewing pretty much disappeared.  

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I have needed to forgive people who have hurt me very severely. I was not able to do it for a very, very long time. I didn't even know how to approach forgiving. I learned that I could put "forgiving" others on the back burner as I took time to heal from the affects of abuse in my life. Your husbands actions are very harmful and traumatic to your spirit and to your relationship. You need time to heal from these affects.

 

Learn to trust in God and in yourself. You will not be able to trust your husband while you feel the way that you do. I learned from my experiences that God will carry the burden of you needing to forgive a spouse while you heal through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

 

You may want to join a Healing Through Christ program in your ward or branch. These can be very helpful in providing YOU the skills you need to deal with your husband's addiction better.

 

It is so very hard, but you need to understand that your husband is sick and ill. More than anything he needs our sympathy and not our condemnation. He is suffering greatly because his addiction is like living in hell. 

 

-Finrock

Edited by Finrock

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When  you learn how to forgive, let me know. It's something I struggle with all the time. Me being unforgiving is by far my worst trait. 

 

Praying for you. 

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Don't be so hard on yourself. You have way worse traits.

 

 LOL! That's awesome. 

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 LOL! That's awesome. 

 

You recently blogged about Master of Puppets. I first heard that song decades ago, and dismissed it as a noisy waste of time. I rediscovered it about a year ago. Great song. I realize you are a bigger fan of other songs on that album, but I just thought it was funny that half a lifetime later, I say, "Hey, you know what, that's a good song."

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Yup. Outstanding album and that's a great song too. It's not as good as Kill em All, but it's still A+.  

 

And thanks for reading my blog! You just made my day! 

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Oh my gosh. I just realized that Master of Puppets is about cocaine addiction. Duh.

 

I'm not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but I get there eventually.

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Oh my gosh. I just realized that Master of Puppets is about cocaine addiction. Duh.

 

I'm not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but I get there eventually.

 

What!? I thought it was Master of Puppies.

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What!? I thought it was Master of Puppies.

 

Yeah, that's it. That line about chopping your breakfast on a mirror refers to Purina.

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And thanks for reading my blog! You just made my day! 

 

I love your blog. Reading it has been an inspiring and humbling experience.

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I found myself wondering how you got the authority to decide when he has repented or not?   (It's a rhetorical question, and not meant unkindly.). 

 

As to your question.  You don't have to trust.  You simply have to let go of being his enforcer, critic, decider of worthiness.   And if you are concerned that dh is less than truthful with the bishop or his bishop just doesn't understand how important this is to FIX him and hold him accountable, then prayer for both of them regularly and fast regularly for both of them.  

 

If you turn your energy to living as close to how your Heavenly Parents and Savior intend for you to live, you'll become better able to see other's sins without personalizing them to yourself.  You'll have more joy, whether or not your dh is or does what you believe he should.   And that may be more of the beacon of light and hope and goodness that will also bless the lives of dh and your children.

 

The world is full of critics, who remind us of our flaws and sins and failures. Few of us get the desire and ability to be all we can be from them.

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He has fought me on my boundaries and needs, pushes me away, and truthfully I feel the "actions" he has taken to stop accessing porn I forced on him.  He quit the therapy I asked him to start. He hasn't done what the original bishop and the new bishop asked him to do. I just don't understand how this has been handled correctly.  This is how he has fallen back into it before.  I can't let this cycle continue.  I feel I might be leaving this marriage.  I've tried, I've stood by him for 13 years hoping he'd change.  I took my vows and covenants seriously, but I cannot disrespect myself and hurt like this anymore.   

Why are you owning his problem? It is his problem not yours. You want to not own it-give it to God.

Why are you allowing his problem to destroy your marriage and prevent you from being a wife and a mother?

You've got 4 wonderful, beautiful children and you are going to throw away all the good and make your life extremely painful because of this? 

 

It is a serious problem, however just like with all addictions there varying levels. There are high-functioning addicts who can hold a steady job, fulfill their primary role as a provider and do a good job at it. They might get a nightly fix but unless someone else discovers it-it is pretty hard to detect. There are also low-functioning addicts who must spend many hours a night, they are sleep deprived, they will look at porn at work-get fired from their jobs, they will end up having affairs etc. where it actually hinders their ability to function.

 

Low-functioning addicts chances are they will end up destroying their marriage through the multitude of other problems that the addiction brings. High-functioning addicts on the other hand-bring distrust, dishonesty and many other secondary problems into a marriage (mood changes)-but they still bring a lot of good into the marriage.

 

Only you can decide what path you can choose-but chances are on this issue he probably sees you more as his mother rather than his wife. And if that is the case (that you are being his mother on this issue and possibly on other issues), he will never conquer it; allow him to be a responsible adult, husband, father and he just might conquer it.

Edited by yjacket

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I don't know where to go from here. I'm praying daily for strength and guidance.  My husband has been involved in pornography our entire marriage.  He hid it for several months after we married and when I discovered it I was devastated. I'm past Satan's lies that it had to do with me or that "all men do it".  I just don't know that I can ever trust him or respect him again. I can't take the hurt, anger, and fear anymore. The negative emotions are so intense I don't think I can peel them away to feel love again.  Just when I think I've let go and can trust I discover more.  He has worked with multiple bishops, but they were of no help. He'd get at most a few months of not taking the sacrament.  I feel he's just gone through the motions and pretended to quit and faked change.  I understand mistakes, but this has happened over and over. Years ago, he "supposedly" quit to perform baby blessings (first his nephew, one our 1st baby). With my second baby, I discovered that he looked at porn a few days before the blessing.  We've been inactive on and off.  I'm no saint, but I do expect honesty and intimacy in my marriage.  We were sealed in the temple while I was pregnant with my 3rd baby, and I remember feeling such a disconnect with him and lack of the spirit- I had a strong feeling he wasn't worthy.  Another baby blessing and my oldest's baptism, all while hiding the truth that he was still looking at porn on a consistent basis.  13 years of catching and discovering the porn and then with my 4th baby I find more porn (second trimester having moved a few weeks before).  Another discovery of porn 2 days before her baby blessing. I told him he wasn't worthy to bless her and I didn't want him to.  After much thought and prayer I told him he could decide if he was going to still bless her and the night before her blessing he said he was going to.  (My mother was in town)  So, what I thought was a problem for him, has turned out to be a major problem that is never resolved and has not been sporadic or bingeing, but a consistent ongoing problem. (Weekly)  He wants to baptize our daughter, who has waited a year.  He says he's been clean 6 months. The bishop said he's good to go and can also start taking the sacrament and I feel AWFUL.  This is so counterintuitive. It is what it is.  I haven't seen repentance/change and it makes me sick inside to think I'm repeating the past with him.  I feel much guilt over the fact that I can't seem to forgive or trust, and that I look back at ordinances he's performed with such sadness.  He has fought me on my boundaries and needs, pushes me away, and truthfully I feel the "actions" he has taken to stop accessing porn I forced on him.  He quit the therapy I asked him to start. He hasn't done what the original bishop and the new bishop asked him to do. I just don't understand how this has been handled correctly.  This is how he has fallen back into it before.  I can't let this cycle continue.  I feel I might be leaving this marriage.  I've tried, I've stood by him for 13 years hoping he'd change.  I took my vows and covenants seriously, but I cannot disrespect myself and hurt like this anymore.   

 

First, your husband isn't here posting... you are.  Therefore, YOU are who we can communicate with, not your husband.

 

You've sure got it tough - choosing to be so critical, judgmental, and vindictive of your husband.  So much that it's probably a bigger cancer in your marriage than your husband's use of pornography.

 

My recommendation:  Go see a marriage counselor by yourself... and talk about how YOU are dealing with this problem.  You don't have to own your husband's problem.  That part is not your fault.  You have to own how you're dealing with the problem.

It *seems* as though pornography in a marriage feels like it's a 'free pass' to criticize a spouse's righteousness... as though such criticism helps anyone.  Yes, lots of talks and articles about the dangers of pornography.  But... there isn't much about how a spouse should be HELPFUL and not give in to FEAR.

 

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

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For some clarification: My husband has not done what the bishops have asked (Bishop(S)=new bishop, a few weeks after his confession).  He has stopped looking at porn and that is the first of many steps to repentance and rebuilding trust.  He hasn't attended sacrament (usually only attended the last hour of church), doesn't pray, read scriptures, doesn't communicate with me, avoids talking about our relationship or problems within the relationship, and will not attend counseling. He has replaced the porn with video games. He found a counselor a few months ago at my request and attended 8 times. The counselor wasn't Christian, certainly didn't understand Mormonism and felt porn is a non-issue.  My husband also didn't do the counselors assignments and quit going.  My husband continues to lie to me and withdraws and avoids.  There has been no action on his part, other than what I have requested him to do (including the confession to the bishop).  So, the bishop recently told him he could start taking the sacrament again and baptize my daughter.  Im a little confused, since everything the bishops said he needed to do he hasn't done (other than not looking at porn).  This only helps this cycle of abstaining and using porn repeat itself. I call my husband out when he doesn't keep his promises now (in the past I was naive and believed what he said and was too patient, only to be walked all over and lied to time and time again). This causes problems with rebuilding the trust.  Maybe I confuse trust with forgiveness?

 

I have been seeing my own therapist to deal with all the hurt, anger, resentment, fear and to help detach from his problem, but there is no denying his problem has effects on me and affects our relationship. Perhaps I need to detach further and move out and let him sort out his problems?  Perhaps I need to realize he is not sincerely sorry for the porn use and perhaps is not willing to change; or this is going to be a really SLOW process that may take years.  I just want to see us moving forward and we are certainly stuck.  I don't want to bring him down, or criticize him, but I also have to protect myself from further damage and arguments that we have.  I found a marriage counselor that we're going to start seeing, I just need more to see my husband actively take a part in fixing HIS problem so WE can move forward and I can trust him again.  

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For some clarification: My husband has not done what the bishops have asked (Bishop(S)=new bishop, a few weeks after his confession).  He has stopped looking at porn and that is the first of many steps to repentance and rebuilding trust.  He hasn't attended sacrament (usually only attended the last hour of church), doesn't pray, read scriptures, doesn't communicate with me, avoids talking about our relationship or problems within the relationship, and will not attend counseling. He has replaced the porn with video games. He found a counselor a few months ago at my request and attended 8 times. The counselor wasn't Christian, certainly didn't understand Mormonism and felt porn is a non-issue.  My husband also didn't do the counselors assignments and quit going.  My husband continues to lie to me and withdraws and avoids.  There has been no action on his part, other than what I have requested him to do (including the confession to the bishop).  So, the bishop recently told him he could start taking the sacrament again and baptize my daughter.  Im a little confused, since everything the bishops said he needed to do he hasn't done (other than not looking at porn).  This only helps this cycle of abstaining and using porn repeat itself. I call my husband out when he doesn't keep his promises now (in the past I was naive and believed what he said and was too patient, only to be walked all over and lied to time and time again). This causes problems with rebuilding the trust.  Maybe I confuse trust with forgiveness?

 

I have been seeing my own therapist to deal with all the hurt, anger, resentment, fear and to help detach from his problem, but there is no denying his problem has effects on me and affects our relationship. Perhaps I need to detach further and move out and let him sort out his problems?  Perhaps I need to realize he is not sincerely sorry for the porn use and perhaps is not willing to change; or this is going to be a really SLOW process that may take years.  I just want to see us moving forward and we are certainly stuck.  I don't want to bring him down, or criticize him, but I also have to protect myself from further damage and arguments that we have.  I found a marriage counselor that we're going to start seeing, I just need more to see my husband actively take a part in fixing HIS problem so WE can move forward and I can trust him again.  

 

I'll be blunt; you are focusing on porn as the problem in your marriage.  It is not; it is a symptom of a much larger problem. You yourself said he replaced porn with video games. Until you admit that simple fact, you will be stuck.  Stop blaming the porn for your marital issues.

 

I'll be blunt again-as of right now you say you want to move forward-but if you look deeply enough you don't mean it. You don't want your husband to be his own man, you want him to be what you want him to be (instead of letting him figure it out himself).

 

You've got 4 kids and quite frankly if your marriage is anything like most modern marriages, you don't identify as a wife-you identity as a mother first.

 

The past 13 years or so you felt your 1st responsibility was to your children (which once they get past about 18 months is completely wrong), rather than to your husband. Therefore instead of building up a solid marital relationship you built a relationship where your husband was (and is) only an appendage.  You don't appreciate the major focus of his energies-which is to provide primarily for you and then secondarily for the children. And quite frankly a man who is married to a woman who doesn't really appreciate the enormous amount of strain it takes to be successful to provide necessaries of life, is a man who completely undervalued.

 

If every conversation you have with him is about porn or his lies, or this or that or the other thing-then no wonder he goes in his own world.

 

Trust is built over time and when you have a complete and utter breakdown of it you have to start small... you can not start big.  Simply back off!!! To build up trust, do this.  Every day when he comes home, great him with a big smile, and ask him honey what can I do for you today? Ignore all the rest. If he says nothing, that's fine, just keep doing it. Then after several days, he'll finally say something and then you do it.  Once you have done it, you ask him to do 1 thing.  I guarantee you- if everyday you ask what you can do for him and then do it, he will begin to do things for you when you ask him.

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For some clarification: My husband has not done what the bishops have asked (Bishop(S)=new bishop, a few weeks after his confession).  He has stopped looking at porn and that is the first of many steps to repentance and rebuilding trust.  He hasn't attended sacrament (usually only attended the last hour of church), doesn't pray, read scriptures, doesn't communicate with me, avoids talking about our relationship or problems within the relationship, and will not attend counseling. He has replaced the porn with video games. He found a counselor a few months ago at my request and attended 8 times. The counselor wasn't Christian, certainly didn't understand Mormonism and felt porn is a non-issue.  My husband also didn't do the counselors assignments and quit going.  My husband continues to lie to me and withdraws and avoids.  There has been no action on his part, other than what I have requested him to do (including the confession to the bishop).  So, the bishop recently told him he could start taking the sacrament again and baptize my daughter.  Im a little confused, since everything the bishops said he needed to do he hasn't done (other than not looking at porn).  This only helps this cycle of abstaining and using porn repeat itself. I call my husband out when he doesn't keep his promises now (in the past I was naive and believed what he said and was too patient, only to be walked all over and lied to time and time again). This causes problems with rebuilding the trust.  Maybe I confuse trust with forgiveness?

 

I have been seeing my own therapist to deal with all the hurt, anger, resentment, fear and to help detach from his problem, but there is no denying his problem has effects on me and affects our relationship. Perhaps I need to detach further and move out and let him sort out his problems?  Perhaps I need to realize he is not sincerely sorry for the porn use and perhaps is not willing to change; or this is going to be a really SLOW process that may take years.  I just want to see us moving forward and we are certainly stuck.  I don't want to bring him down, or criticize him, but I also have to protect myself from further damage and arguments that we have.  I found a marriage counselor that we're going to start seeing, I just need more to see my husband actively take a part in fixing HIS problem so WE can move forward and I can trust him again.  

You knew he viewed porn shortly after you were married.  For some reason you decided he was good enough to make a baby with.....

 

Then you had another baby...

 

After more "relapses"  You had another baby

 

Then you had another baby....

 

So he is good enough to make your babies, but not good enough as a husband because he watches porn?

 

Does he have a job, pay the bills, provide?  If so, then you need to take a step back and re-evaluate.   

 

Sounds like he is seeing the bishop, you don't know his conversations with the bishop.  How do you know he doesn't pray?  

You point to Porn as this big issue in your marriage yet you continue having babies, and are now contemplating leaving???  Maybe he watches porn, and it bothers you, but this is probably not even close to the biggest problem in your marriage.  

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One of the biggest problems is that I believe what he says- that he'll never do it again or that he'll at least be honest and not hide it from me anymore.  Another problem is I believed he was repentant and changing, when all along he was just getting more and more secretive.  He's able to hide it from me on and off because I've chosen not to look for it or question him for years.  I've accidentally discovered it maybe 7 times over a 13 year marriage.  I didn't know it was a continual problem that he was never resolving, I thought he was relapsing because that's what he told me.   

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One of the biggest problems is that I believe what he says- that he'll never do it again or that he'll at least be honest and not hide it from me anymore.  Another problem is I believed he was repentant and changing, when all along he was just getting more and more secretive.  He's able to hide it from me on and off because I've chosen not to look for it or question him for years.  I've accidentally discovered it maybe 7 times over a 13 year marriage.  I didn't know it was a continual problem that he was never resolving, I thought he was relapsing because that's what he told me.   

 

 

Flygirl... just one simple advice from me.  When you treat your husband like one of your kids that you can discipline and mold into who you want him to be and if they do bad things then lecture them and put them in the corner or some such, it will always fail.  Always.  When you treat your husband like your husband - partner, helpmeet, team mate, best friend, better half, the love of your life - then you'll react differently to his weaknesses.  Rather than being the cop in the house and write him tickets when he breaks the law, be his team mate and let him know you are on his side and that you are there to help him overcome his weaknesses just like you hope he'll be there to help you overcome yours.  This should not be you versus him with him hiding things from you because he sees you as his mother or a cop.  This should be your marriage versus porn, with both of you fighting on the same side for marriage.

 

When you're a team-mate, he will trust that you will help him win over porn and he will give you the ball when he loses sight of the goal.  He will come to you to coach him when he feels that the enemy is winning.  But that can only happen if you are willing to take the ball or give him coaching, instead of acting like the referee who is ready to pounce on his mistakes or worse - acting like the enemy ready to boo him when he drops the ball.  This may even be bigger than porn... this may be an obsessive compulsive disorder than is manifesting itself in porn so that when that avenue is removed, he picks up something else to obsess on.  As his team-mate, when he closed off the avenue of porn and it manifested as video gaming, instead of boo-ing him about it, you can be a team-mate instead and acknowledge the positive direction and celebrate - when he's obsessing with video games he's not in porn!  Hurray!  Then take the next step of helping him identify what causes this compulsive behavior and see if you can redirect it to more positive things. 

 

A husband who knows he is failing at a weakness will not feel good about reading scriptures or attending church, etc.  That's a good thing - that means he knows he is doing something wrong.  Instead of being the enemy and boo-ing him over this, be his team-mate and help him regain his spirituality by loving him.  Letting him feel that the Atonement of Christ can work in his life when he feels your love for him. 

 

And lastly, instead of being his enemy just waiting for the next time he fails so you can boo him again, be his team-mate and celebrate that he has overcome his weakness enough to baptize your kid and go on your knees and thank God for bishops and their authority and promise to sustain your bishop by looking at your husband in the same manner that the bishop sees him - looking at the good stuff instead of piling on all the bad stuff.  If he does fall off the wagon again, then you are there, ready to be his coach, team-mate, physical therapist, and all that good stuff so he can overcome it again - you've been through it once, you can do it again.  Both of you can map out the game plan to win!

 

The only thing that will derail this plan is when you think in the line of... "But what about me???".  Don't worry about you.  God has your back. 

 

And here's a fun video for you:

 

 

 

Do you understand what I'm saying?

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By accident, or would it be considered providence?,  that I found a group of women whose husbands had been involved in porn. Nearly all of them discovered that their husbands testosterone levels were extremely low- as was my husbands. The husbands ages ranged from 30's to 80's - Once they were in treatment to raise those levels the porn viewing pretty much disappeared.  

 

Wait a minute Iggy, it is my understanding that when a mans testosterone levels drop they are less horny (for lack of a better word). I am 38 yrs old and recently been experiencing a low sex drive, which I attribute to low testosterone, I havent been officially tested or diagnosed as such but this also rid me of any desire to view porn, I have been porn free for a year now and love it.

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Wait a minute Iggy, it is my understanding that when a mans testosterone levels drop they are less horny (for lack of a better word). I am 38 yrs old and recently been experiencing a low sex drive, which I attribute to low testosterone, I havent been officially tested or diagnosed as such but this also rid me of any desire to view porn, I have been porn free for a year now and love it.

 

Yeah, I agree here. What a strange idea - a testosterone increase for porn treatment? That's...odd.

 

Edit: Note...the polite word you're looking for is...amorous. That would be, once again, amorous. ;)

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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flygirl, I want to ask you some questions but I want to tell you a little about my experience so you don't think I've fallen off the spiritual cliff. I was one of six kids in an active LDS family. My dad was a mechanic and my mom stayed at home, but she was college educated and had taught college courses prior to having children. For some reason we had a multi-volume medical encyclopedia set in addition to many other good books in our home and so I grew up knowing more about anatomy, biology, and sexuality than most kids. My teachers had no idea how much I knew about bodies and I always found it condescending when they would try to "hide" knowledge from me. My very shy mother did not do this. She always answered my questions in a plain straightforward manner.

 

Over the years and having raised six kids of my own (two sons and four daughters) I have learned that truth conquers error, but sometimes you have to search very hard to find the truth as to why people actually behave in certain ways. Whether part of it is the God-given biology that people are endowed with, or one's upbringing or thought processes, we often need to look beyond the black-white good-bad analogies and find more meaningful and targeted solutions. I'm a nuclear engineer and physicist by trade so I believe that easy explanations for complex subjects like pornography will leave your search for answers very empty.

 

The extent of the pornography problem in society and even in the church, and the ineffectiveness of the simple "stop" solutions that we often turn to serves as evidence that simply feeling hurt and mad at your spouse is not the way. I have children with depression, I used to think people with depression could just think themselves out of the problem. They can't. They need non-judgmental love, understanding, and help. And they need it forever. I have a cousin who has struggled with substance (alcohol and drugs) abuse. I used to think addicts could just stop. Many can't. They need non-judgmental love, understanding, and help. And they need it forever. 

 

That being said, now let me ask - how many times have you sat down and just discussed with your husband in an exploratory and non-judgmental way what he finds interesting about human bodies and sexuality? No decisions to change, just learning about every thought process he goes through, why, when, and where. That is where I think you need to start.

 

Go back to day one. Instead of having your world collapse when you learned that your husband liked viewing pornography, what if you had simply said, "Oh, that is a challenging problem. I love you and want to help you in any way I can. Would you be willing to talk to me about this?"  and then sat and listened, for months or more if necessary. Would opening up those communication channels in a much broader way have helped lay a foundation of trust and love to deal with the issue rather than hurt and frustration? 

 

It's just some of my thoughts. I don't know if they help, but I pray for you both to find a way to put sexuality in it's proper context within your temple marriage. Feel free to ask more questions as you search for help and answers.

Edited by clwnuke

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