cotopaxi

Depression, pornography, and marriage...

Recommended Posts

Gospel Principles Chapter 31:

"When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest."

"Honest people will recognize Satan’s temptations and will speak the whole truth, even if it seems to be to their disadvantage."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, mdfxdb said:

You don't know...

You are correct, I don't know the OP, however, I don't need to know him to fully know what common and consistent fruits manifest themselves as a result of pornography. It's pretty much a universal freebie that these fruits follow during porn use. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, NightSG said:

Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest."

"Honest people will recognize Satan’s temptations and will speak the whole truth, even if it seems to be to their disadvantage."

 

Like Abraham saying Sarah was his sister.  Or like Nephi pretending to be Laban to Zoram.  Right? :D

I'm not advocating we should be deceitful by telling partial truths.  I don't know if I've ever had any reason to withhold truth like this, but you have to use some wisdom and look at intent.

I don't think it's right to insist that the OP must disclose every detail to his wife by saying it's a matter of honesty.  Whether or not he should is a matter between him and the Lord and the correct course of action for him might not be the same as for others in a similar situation.

 

=== edit ===

Before anyone feels the need to explain, yes I know what Abraham said was correct in a sense.  However, it led people to believe something that was not true and as such was deceitful.

Edited by Rhoades
Added extra about Abraham at the bottom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Rhoades said:

Like Abraham saying Sarah was his sister.  Or like Nephi pretending to be Laban to Zoram.  Right?

 Y'know, compared to decapitating an unconscious drunk, a lie may not be that big of a deal.  Nice thing about being God; He gets to suspend the rules from time to time as needed for His plan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, NeedleinA said:

If someone functions at 100% with or without porn, why stop then? Why repent? If no one is getting hurt, great! - lets all watch porn, what is the difference?

Fundamentally we all agree that watching porn is a sin.  I do not think I said any different.  

 

However, the OP has repented.  Much as if he had taken to having 2 shots each night before bed, as a coping mechanism, and then one day once medicated properly he decides to stop.  He stops, he repents.  The end.  It's over.  What would be gained by anyone if he went and confessed his closet alcohol consumption to his wife?  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

zomarah, all adultery happens in the heart.  Sometimes it manifests itself in a person's actions too.  A woman who is raped is not guilty of adultery even though she had sexual intercourse with another man.  It was against the desire of her heart and not her choice.  Matt 5:28 clearly lays out that lusting after another woman is a form of adultery.  It is willingly letting into your heart an adulterous desire.  You wife has claim on your desires,your loyalty not just in body but in your mind and heart too.  Nobody else is entitled to it and when you give it to another woman you betray your wife and I think deep down you know it.  I gave you a quote where Elder Scott laid out that the path of pornographic addiction starts with the very lie you are defending, that it doesn't hurt anybody.  

The more you talk, the more you convince everybody that NeedleinA is right that you have a vested interest in selling these lies as the truth.  In a way, you are an example of exactly why the OP needs to go tell his wife.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, NeedleinA said:

Having sat on many disciplinary councils, both Stake and Ward, your responses to this thread strike me as oh too familiar. They come across almost word for word as someone who has struggled with porn themselves. Struggled to the point of doing everything in their power to "justify" things in their mind and not to take "full" responsibility for it, only "half" responsibility. Giving the outward appearance of full repentance, they wrestle the subject in their minds until they can find what they think is a gospel loophole to excuse themselves from the demands of justice. They hear what they want to hear, what sounds pleasing unto themselves and rationalize that they have not hurt others. Those who can not get over this hump, rather than listen to Church counsel, then produce statements like, "The subject of marriage, adultery, fornication etc has been a subject of my research for some time...Church disciplinary councils may do what they want. According to my own experience they are hardly indicative of the Lord's will." 

If I had to guess, it would not surprise me in the least to find out, that this subject isn't simply one of curiosity, but rather something that is very personal to you for a personal reason. 

I've been thinking the same thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Quote

The fact that something is true is not always a justification for communicating it. I rely on the teaching in Ecclesiastes: To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. (Eccl. 3:1.) Specifically, there is “a time to speak,” and there is also “a time to keep silence.” (Eccl. 3:7.)  Dallin H Oaks

Even though this is regarding criticism I think it applies to other areas as well. I can easily see the sense on both sides of this argument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


The church has a website for those struggling with pornography, and their spouses/family members

https://www.overcomingpornography.org

Having a section dedicated to helping people 'overcome the effects of my spouse or family member's pornography use' kind of says something. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is the spirit of God that moves the OP  to want to tell her and come clean.  If he doesn't harden his heart against it then he can fully repent of what he did and he opens the door to perhaps a better marriage than before after that.  If she is unforgiving then the greater sin in on her. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, NeedleinA said:

The wife deserves and is entitled to an apology, an apology for his: spiritual absence, his physical absence while off viewing porn, his diminished affection towards her, his decline in patience and long suffering with her, his reduced tenderness during intimacy, his desire to place his needs above hers, etc. etc. 

One can attempt to argue "maybe not" for all the others, but not the spiritual absence.

Just as there are sins of commission and omission, so there can be harm done by commission and harm done by omission.  (Difficult as that may be for all of us to face (with regard to all sin), I cannot find a way to deny its reality.)

FWIW, and not that it will make any difference, but was talking to my bishop tonight (about a calling) and asked his opinion on this.  In addition to quoting many of the scriptures which have been quoted here, mentioning temple covenants, and referencing an April 2005 talk by Elder Oaks titled "Pornography", he said that he counseled every married person who confessed sins related to pornography or masturbation to tell their spouse (for all the reasons which have been shared herein).  As a judge in Israel, his judgement carries more weight, IMO.  His suggestion to those who think one should not tell their spouse was to go discuss it with their bishops (who happen to have priesthood keys related to repentance)...

My other thought on this was to remember who it is that suggests hiding is a good idea, and who it is that says one day all things will be revealed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, NightSG said:

 Y'know, compared to decapitating an unconscious drunk, a lie may not be that big of a deal.  Nice thing about being God; He gets to suspend the rules from time to time as needed for His plan.

 

3 hours ago, Rhoades said:

Like Abraham saying Sarah was his sister.  Or like Nephi pretending to be Laban to Zoram.  Right? :D

I'm not advocating we should be deceitful by telling partial truths.  I don't know if I've ever had any reason to withhold truth like this, but you have to use some wisdom and look at intent.

I don't think it's right to insist that the OP must disclose every detail to his wife by saying it's a matter of honesty.  Whether or not he should is a matter between him and the Lord and the correct course of action for him might not be the same as for others in a similar situation.

 

=== edit ===

Before anyone feels the need to explain, yes I know what Abraham said was correct in a sense.  However, it led people to believe something that was not true and as such was deceitful.

Abraham was commanded by God to hide that she was his wife, if they knew that they would have killed him.  Likewise, what Nephi did (both killing Laban and posing as him) was done to save a whole nation from perishing in unbelief (and also commanded/prompted by God who has every right to take anyone's life anytime, any way he sees fit).  It is perfectly moral to kill a person to save someone's life, so lying to someone to save a life doesn't give me any moral qualms.  If I was hiding Jews in Nazi Germany and was asked if I knew where any were, I would have no problem saying I didn't know of any around.

What we are talking about here is trying to hide one's sins to avoid the consequences.  Apples and oranges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Latter-Day Marriage said:


The church has a website for those struggling with pornography, and their spouses/family members

https://www.overcomingpornography.org

Having a section dedicated to helping people 'overcome the effects of my spouse or family member's pornography use' kind of says something. 

Why apologize to her? 

" Although downplayed and dismissed by many, pornography consumption by a spouse is devastating and should not be underestimated in terms of the far-reaching consequences it has on trust, intimacy, family life, children, finances, the marital friendship, and, in a growing number of cases, the existence of the marriage itself. Aside from abuse, I know of no other marital issue that affects the very soul of women more than pornography consumption by a spouse. "

" Pornography, by nature and name, diminishes: virtue, love, creativity, healthy sexuality, personal and relational growth, and honesty."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, zil said:

was talking to my bishop tonight...he said that he counseled every married person who confessed sins related to pornography or masturbation to tell their spouse (for all the reasons which have been shared herein). 

Thanks for sharing this Zil and having the presence of mind to talk to him about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Latter-Day Marriage said:

It is perfectly moral to kill a person to save someone's life, so lying to someone to save a life doesn't give me any moral qualms.  If I was hiding Jews in Nazi Germany and was asked if I knew where any were, I would have no problem saying I didn't know of any around.

What we are talking about here is trying to hide one's sins to avoid the consequences.  Apples and oranges.

Suppose you lived in a war torn area and you took some money that did not belong to you to feed your hungry family.  This was wrong and it hurt others.  Suppose you feel bad about it and forsake it and have not done anything like this in years.  Suppose you have confessed your sin to God, yet you wonder if you should confess to those you harmed.  Even though it has been years, suppose according to the laws of society doing so will land you in prison separated from your family.  Although no one will die from it, it would be devastating to your wife and children.  If you came to me and asked if you should disclose this transgression, I would not give a definitive answer one way or the other.  I would offer some guidance both ways and urge you to counsel with the Lord and your Bishop about it.

I wouldn't demand that those you offended must know you "as he really is" or on judgement day you will be revealed and it will "hurt even more" (your words).

I think there are situations where it could go either way.  And if you knew me you would know that I am not at all the type of person that keeps things from people.  We don't even do the Santa Claus thing because I wouldn't feel comfortable deceiving my children in this way.  We do a variation where we fully disclose it is a game that mom and dad do because we want kids to enjoy it.  They still get excited and love it even though they know the truth.

My point was simply that it depends on how it will help and/or hurt others.  You have to use wisdom and guidance from God.  It sounds like the OP is trying to do that, so that's great!

Edited by Rhoades

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2016-05-20 at 8:02 AM, Rhoades said:

Suppose you lived in a war torn area and you took some money that did not belong to you to feed your hungry family.  This was wrong and it hurt others.  Suppose you feel bad about it and forsake it and have not done anything like this in years.  Suppose you have confessed your sin to God, yet you wonder if you should confess to those you harmed.  Even though it has been years, suppose according to the laws of society doing so will land you in prison separated from your family. 

That's a pretty unrealistic hypothetical case you have to construct to try and bolster your argument.  There is also a moral difference between taking something because you need it for your survival, and stealing for personal gain.  Protecting life trumps a LOT of things.  David and his soldiers essentially stole shewbread that was intended to be ONLY for the priests for their survival, and Christ referred to that approvingly in Matt 12 to justify what his apostles were doing.  Stop thinking of sin as the outward act and look on the heart.  Killing somebody to protect your life is no sin, killing somebody because you are solider in a war ordered to fight for your country is no sin, killing somebody so they can't rat you out on your sins is a sin.

If somebody has robbed another in the past (not a case of survival) and are repentant and are in a position to confess to the person they stole from, they should do it (as well as make restitution).  If the consequences are harsh, that is all the more reason not to do it in the first place but it doesn't give you an exemption on that step of repentance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2016-05-20 at 8:02 AM, Rhoades said:

I wouldn't demand that those you offended must know you "as he really is" or on judgement day you will be revealed and it will "hurt even more" (your words).

I think there are situations where it could go either way.  And if you knew me you would know that I am not at all the type of person that keeps things from people.  We don't even do the Santa Claus thing because I wouldn't feel comfortable deceiving my children in this way.  We do a variation where we fully disclose it is a game that mom and dad do because we want kids to enjoy it.  They still get excited and love it even though they know the truth.

My point was simply that it depends on how it will help and/or hurt others.  You have to use wisdom and guidance from God.  It sounds like the OP is trying to do that, so that's great!

It isn't me demanding anything, it is God, the prophets, and apostles all laying out what a person must do to repent of their sins.  Show me even one place where they say it is OK to skip out on confessing a sin to a person you sin against because it will hurt their feelings.  You can't.  Saying you don't have to confess because that will just hurt their feelings is an excuse to avoid that hard part of the repentance process. 

Likewise, it is God saying that every deed done in secret will be shouted from the housetops.  If something like that gets left to judgement day and is only revealed then, then it is too late for them to repent of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe repentance isn't just about the sinner gaining forgiveness.  Maybe it isn't just about the sinner restoring what they took / harmed.  Maybe it's also about giving everyone involved a chance to progress, to learn greater humility, to forgive, to trust, to restore, to recover, to love, to show mercy, to rely more on Christ.  In every sin confessed to a person against whom we have sinned but who doesn't know the full details (who did it, the extent, whatever), there's a chance it will hurt them when they learn who it was (and the full extent), but there's also a chance it will ultimately bring them closer to Christ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's easy to think of things in terms of 'I give you X amount of repentance and you give me Y amount of forgiveness in return', but that isn't really how it should go.  Forgiveness should come with or without repentance, repentance is about reaching a point of reconciliation between the offender and ofendee, where the harm to the relationship caused by the offense is healed.  That harm can't be healed if it is kept hidden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Latter-Day Marriage This discussion motivated me to further study the role of confession in the repentance process.  I have a renewed appreciation for the value and benefit that comes with confession to those we have offended.  It not only helps them, but it also helps us acquire sufficient humility.  Thanks!

 I obviously did a poor job explaining my thoughts.  I do NOT think one should avoid confession to those offended for fear of consequences to themselves.  Nor do I think the unrepentant will be without consequences at judgement day.  In addition to poor explanations, some of my thoughts were off the cuff and maybe not appropriate for the topic.  We must overcome the fear of the consequences of confession with hope and faith in the consequences of full repentance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading with my daughter in Alcoholics Anonymous and it discusses the importance of confession and this jumped out at me

"...we can not disclose anything to our wives or our parents which will hurt them and make them unhappy. We have no right to save our own skin at another expense. Such parts of our story we tell to someone who will understand, yet be unaffected. The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others

I think this is what I'm getting at. My concern is that there are those who struggle with this who get the idea it's perfectly acceptable to torment their wives with a constant barrage of confession with no thought or consideration of the burden it places. I've seen too often right here on this very forum those who blame their wives for their sinful habit and frankly it disgusts me. In the same vein, there are those who hold their spouse blameless yet constantly nag and vex their spouse with endless confessions of every wayward thought in an attempt to unburden their guilt and force some kind of coddled compassion and these are no better. 

I do think if directed by the Spirit and by a Bishop that we need to discuss our failings with our spouse make sure our intent is pure and if it's pure be prepared to accept the consequence that the burden we unintentionally place may be too much to bear. 

 

 

Edited by Windseeker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Windseeker said:

"...we can not disclose anything to our wives or our parents which will hurt them and make them unhappy. We have no right to save our own skin at another expense. Such parts of our story we tell to someone who will understand, yet be unaffected. The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others

I think this is what I'm getting at. My concern is that there are those who struggle with this who get the idea it's perfectly acceptable to torment their wives with a constant barrage of confession with no thought or consideration of the burden it places. I've seen too often right here on this very forum those who blame their wives for their sinful habit and frankly it disgusts me. In the same vein, there are those who hold their spouse blameless yet constantly nag and vex their spouse with endless confessions of every wayward thought in an attempt to unburden their guilt and force some kind of coddled compassion and these are no better. 

I do think if directed by the Spirit and by a Bishop that we need to discuss our failings with our spouse make sure our intent is pure and if it's pure be prepared to accept the consequence that the burden we unintentionally place may be too much to bear. 

 

 


Is it fair to assuage our guilt buy burdening another?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, omegaseamaster75 said:


Is it fair to assuage our guilt buy burdening another?

There is worlds of difference between telling every little detail and cluing her in that you are dealing with a problem...  (A problem which many wives do take personally)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, estradling75 said:

There is worlds of difference between telling every little detail and cluing her in that you are dealing with a problem...  (A problem which many wives do take personally)

In the op's case the problem has been dealt with.....so the question is why now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now