workingonit

Relapse - Tell me its going to be okay

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Last February I disclosed to my wife about a pornography addiction and multiple same sex affairs.  She decided to stay with me and help me work through these problems I had caused.  I recently had a relapse with pornography.  I haven't told her yet.  I'm scared to tell her.  I had been clean for about 8 months.  I feel angry at myself, I feel terrible about the pain this is going to cause my wife, I feel terrible for taking a step backwards.  Inside I want someone to tell me I dont really need to tell her, but I know that I really want her help, love, and support to keep moving forward to beat this addiction.   I hate this because it probably changes my timeline to be re-baptized.   I think I'm still on track spiritually, but keeping this from her is eating me alive, or the fear of telling her is...i'm not sure.    

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Has your bishop counseled you and her about relapse?

My understanding is, when dealing with a true pornography addiction, the parties involved need to realize that short relapses are a distinct possibility in the early months and prepare for the same.  How do you deal with relapse?  You repent (which DOES involve telling your wife), get back on the wagon, and keep pressing forward.  Ideally, your wife will know what you are up against, that relapses do sometimes happen, and that this may soften the blow.

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@workingonit, the sooner you confess, the sooner you'll feel better and return to the progress you have been making!  It seems like most addicts experience a relapse at some point, the key is not to let it pull you down farther than necessary.  Try to figure out why the temptation succeeded this time - so that next time, you can recognize the risk and prepare for it.

If you tell her this:

2 minutes ago, workingonit said:

Inside I want someone to tell me I dont really need to tell her, but I know that I really want her help, love, and support to keep moving forward to beat this addiction.

I think she'll prove to be as noble as she has been to date (based on your report of her sticking with you despite the same-sex affairs).  (My personal opinion, the porn is much less hurtful than that would be.)

Anyway, the important thing is not to wait - waiting makes it worse for you and her.  Waiting makes her more likely to question whether you're committed to change and whether there's more you haven't told her.  Telling her right away gives her confidence that's not the case.  Don't make it worse.  Go tell her.  Right now.  Immediately.

Whatever else you do, don't let Satan convince you this alters your value or ability to get back on track, or God's love for you - tell him to take a hike if he tries telling you that.

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9 minutes ago, DoctorLemon said:

Has your bishop counseled you and her about relapse?

My understanding is, when dealing with a true pornography addiction, the parties involved need to realize that short relapses are a distinct possibility in the early months and prepare for the same.  How do you deal with relapse?  You repent (which DOES involve telling your wife), get back on the wagon, and keep pressing forward.  Ideally, your wife will know what you are up against, that relapses do sometimes happen, and that this may soften the blow.

No, This whole thing really shook my Bishop up.  I think I must have been the first to ever confess anything to him.  We do have a good counselor though.  We haven't really talked about relapse to much with him, but I'm sure it will be the topic next week if I can find the courage to tell the Mrs. .

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3 minutes ago, workingonit said:

find the courage to tell the Mrs.

Just remember, it's far worse if you don't, and gets worse the longer you wait.  Let that and her history of staying with you, and the fact that this is not unusual, and God's love give you the courage!  Go do it!  We'll pray for you both.  And for your bishop. :)

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In politics, in business, in marriage, in all sorts of stuff, it often seems that the cover up and denial generates more anger and mistrust than the act that is being covered up.

I suspect that it would be helpful for both of you to educate yourself together on the nature of addiction, how/when/why it occurs, and what can be done about it. I'm sure there are a lot of good resources, both in the church and in the community that you could watch/read/listen to together, and then discuss together. A lot of fear and uncertainty is generated by ignorance and misunderstanding, whereas an informed understanding is more likely to lead to compassion, support and empathy.

ps

Don't discount the possibility that she already knows or suspects, based on changes in your behaviour, and is just waiting and hoping for you to come forward and tell her. Sometimes observant partners can know when these things are happening.

Edited by askandanswer

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19 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

In politics, in business, in marriage, in all sorts of stuff, it often seems that the cover up and denial generates more anger and mistrust than the act that is being covered up.

 

Perfectly said. 

We all make mistakes and many addicts of all types have relapses. It's not so much the relapse (though that's important) it's how you deal with it afterwards. Part of dealing with it is accepting that you did it and telling others so they can help you in the future. 

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8 hours ago, workingonit said:

Last February I disclosed to my wife about a pornography addiction and multiple same sex affairs.  She decided to stay with me and help me work through these problems I had caused.  I recently had a relapse with pornography.  I haven't told her yet.  I'm scared to tell her.  I had been clean for about 8 months.  I feel angry at myself, I feel terrible about the pain this is going to cause my wife, I feel terrible for taking a step backwards.  Inside I want someone to tell me I dont really need to tell her, but I know that I really want her help, love, and support to keep moving forward to beat this addiction.   I hate this because it probably changes my timeline to be re-baptized.   I think I'm still on track spiritually, but keeping this from her is eating me alive, or the fear of telling her is...i'm not sure.    

Well, you certainly have a contrite spirit, and your conviction inside must be the callings of the holy spirit to complete repentance. Look, you want to open up to your wife, God wants you to open up to your wife,, so, open up to your wife.

 

Stop looking at porn! It's not like you accidentally bump into it, you're actively seeking it, making an effort. To not look at porn requires no action on your part. Pray to the father to make you clean, to heal you. Get CLOSER to your wife, lean on her through this. Don't go it alone. Talk to her, tell her what you're feeling, thinking, what's going on inside of you. 

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I read this a few minutes ago in the online Deseret News and thought it might be helpful for you and your wife. Its a report of Elder Ballard's remarks at a recent BYU Devotional

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865692742/Elder-M-Russell-Ballard-tackles-tough-topics-shares-timely-advice-with-BYU-students.html

Answering the question, “My boyfriend struggles with pornography, what should I do?” Elder Ballard encouraged transparency and complete honesty — especially to anyone who is considering marriage.

“Talk with each other and find out where a person’s heart is and what he or she is doing to become a Saint through the Atonement of Jesus Christ,” he said. “However, you shouldn’t be asking these kinds of personal questions when you first meet someone — and certainly not during the first date!”

Recognizing a person may be able to help another person who is sincerely trying to find freedom from habitual use or addiction to the “new drug” of pornography, Elder Ballard said that “too many men and women suffer in silence because we have unintentionally demonized those who are addicted to pornography.

“Parents, family members and friends can do much more to help those in trouble by being willing to listen and offer support and encouragement. Nevertheless, boyfriends and girlfriends are not responsible to ‘save’ their friends from sin, each person has that responsibility.”

To those wondering about if they should proceed in a relationship where pornography is a factor, Elder Ballard said “only you can decide, with the Lord’s help.”

“If you choose to remain in a relationship with someone struggling with this temptation, help him or her turn to God in prayer, in fasting and in regular scripture study,” he said. “Additionally, encourage visits with parents, family members, priesthood leaders and/or professional counselors to get additional help and support. There is always hope if they sincerely choose to fight this battle. It may not be easy, but it is worth it!”

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@workingonit First of all, thank you for sharing with us. Please take this from someone who knows, but a relapse does not erase the good you've done to this point! It may delay things, that's up to your bishop and the direction of the Holy Ghost, but that still means you went 8 months without looking at pornography. That is a great accomplishment! The Lord is much more interested in where we are headed than where we are and according to what you said you are on your way up. Don't let Satan convince you that your relapse means you've failed completely. He likes to do that, because if he can convince you that you are lost it's much easier for him to convince you to go right back into your addictions. Tell your wife as soon as you can. Addiction thrives in darkness, and darkness is banished by the light. She may well be dissapointed, but how much more disappointed would she be if you didn't tell her and she found out on her own? She stuck with you through your affairs, so she sees something in you worth fighting for. I'm going to echo Elder Holland and say "Don't you quit!" You fell down on your journey upward. But our Savior is standing over you with an outstretched hand waiting to pull you back up again and continue your journey to salvation. With His help brother, don't go backward, keep going forward. I know you will find the salvation you seek if you do.

Edited by Midwest LDS

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On 11/17/2017 at 3:00 PM, workingonit said:

Quick update:  I told her and she didn't kill me.  She was disapointed in me, and it made her sad but she actually handled it way better than I did.  Long story short, we are going to continue fighting this together.  

Sound like you married an amazing woman.  Well worth fighting this for.  Keep it up!

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On 11/17/2017 at 12:54 AM, Bad Karma said:

Stop looking at porn! It's not like you accidentally bump into it, you're actively seeking it, making an effort. To not look at porn requires no action on your part. Pray to the father to make you clean, to heal you. Get CLOSER to your wife, lean on her through this. Don't go it alone. Talk to her, tell her what you're feeling, thinking, what's going on inside of you. 

Bingo. There is something inside of you that still desires the sin of pornography . . .you have to figure out from whence, i.e. what source that desire is coming from and then through Christ's Atonement overcome that evil desire.

https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/face-to-face/oaks-ballard?lang=eng

~-56.00

Elder Ballard:

Draw a line that tonight you won't go over that line that you will stay on the Lord's side and not go to the Devil-b/c he is the author of it.  Get over it.

Edited by JoCa

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