Done with it all


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After spending most if my life under the burden of a compulsive behavior pattern with pornography, a couple of years ago I was finally able to get myself out from under it.  I spent a year in therapy, both by myself and with my wife, I spent a year going to the church's recovery program at least once a week, every week, and I used a multitude of others tools that I searched out. Basically, anything I thought would help.  And by the way, the church is horrible at dealing with this and no matter what anyone says, church leadership still stigmatizes those who are dealing with this, even when it started at an age when the person struggling did not even know it was something to be on guard for.

The thing is, during the most difficult part of my life, when I was waging a war, minute by minute sometimes, every single person in my life that I reached out to completely abandoned me.  Priesthood leaders, family members, friends, even my therapist decided that I was not worth her time and refused to schedule any more appointments.  My wife has completely abandoned our marriage as well.

While trying to get healthy I was desperate for at least one person to step up and give the support I needed.  Every single person I reached out to left me on my own to fight this battle.  So have fought it by myself.

Porn is first and foremost an intimacy disorder and I am desperate for real human connection.  I now have a permanent room mate instead of a wife. She is now "married" to her best friend, who she gives all her attention to, spending almost every evening with her after the children are in bed, sitting with her at church, etc.  There is no affection or intimacy.  Having been the child of divorce, I will not put my children through it, but I wonder if it is more damaging for them to see the relationship their parents are modeling. There is no fighting, just 100% apathy.

A several years ago I was 24 hours away from leaving her because of how unhappy I was in the marriage, but I chose to stay because of the children. During my recovery process, I have listened to her complaints about my behavior, apart from the porn, without judgment.  I have made an honest effort to change and in a lot of ways, have made significant progress.  She cannot tolerate the thought that I was unhappy.  She will not listen to anything I say because PORN, so I have given up. I can't compete with her inner monologue, especially when therapists, priesthood leaders, and friends tell her that everything wrong in our marriage is my fault because PORN.

So I have given up. Hope is too expensive a commodity for me anymore.  I no longer believe that I am worth loving.  I no longer believe that God has any interest in me, my happiness, or my family.  I no longer believe that marriage is meant to be happy or that such a thing as a happy marriage even exists.  I no longer believe that church members have any real affection for each other.  Going to church only makes me angry because all I see is hypocrisy, and I don't excuse myself from that.  I can't bring myself to shake hands with anyone because no one there talks to me unless they want something from me.  I'm done with it all.  I still go because that is the price required by the woman I live with, but I don't feel it anymore.  I recently met with a member of the stake presidency to be released from a calling. He asked me to close with prayer and I flatly refused.  I can't think of a single time in my life when prayer has accomplished anything.  God is not interested in what I want or need.  I understand that now.  I was actually happier when I was using because I actually believed that someday somehow I would get past it and I would finally be able to be happy.  Now I am on the other side and I realize there is no happiness to be had.  Just more misery.  This isn't where I want to be, but it's where I am and I don't know how to get past it.  I don't trust anyone anymore which is why I guess I am reaching out to random strangers on the internet.  Do I stay in the home (I won't call it a marriage) for the children, or do I break their hearts so I can chase the mirage of a happy marriage with someone else?  I don't have any answers anymore and I don't have any faith left that there will be any answers coming from on high.

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I'm trying to understand the big picture. Marriage is in trouble. Porn is a huge issue. Wife, family, church and therapist have all backed away. Hope is gone. So, what was the initial hope? Was it deliverance from porn addiction? Restored family love and wholeness? Worthiness in the church world? And then, is hope gone for everything? Are you saying the porn addiction cannot be beat? That, given patience and work, the family cannot be restored? That the church will not forgive and support? Are there any areas of hope? My own thought would be to narrow the focus--probably to overcoming porn addiction. Do what it takes to get there. You are worth it. Once headway is made, perhaps perspective will become more hope-filled.

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6 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

I'm trying to understand the big picture. Marriage is in trouble. Porn is a huge issue. Wife, family, church and therapist have all backed away. Hope is gone. So, what was the initial hope? Was it deliverance from porn addiction? Restored family love and wholeness? Worthiness in the church world? And then, is hope gone for everything? Are you saying the porn addiction cannot be beat? That, given patience and work, the family cannot be restored? That the church will not forgive and support? Are there any areas of hope? My own thought would be to narrow the focus--probably to overcoming porn addiction. Do what it takes to get there. You are worth it. Once headway is made, perhaps perspective will become more hope-filled. 

PC, my understanding of the OP was that he beat the porn addiction, but in the middle of the battle, all others abandoned him and left him to fight on his own, so he did, and overcame.  But now he's still alone - wife isn't a wife, ward members aren't friends.  And this has caused him to lose all faith and hope.

I have no clue how to help you regain hope, @ByAThread, but I will point out two things:

1) The Savior knows what it's like to have everyone abandon you.

2) Hope and faith are choices.  So is happiness.  They are exceedingly difficult choices when you are all alone, but they're still choices.  If you can find it in you to choose them, I believe things will get better.

IMO, (assuming all this is accurate - not saying I doubt, just saying I have only one perspective on the situation), your wife needs counseling to help her be a wife again - but, of course, that will only help if she chooses to be helped.  Somewhere, she forgot that she's your partner in the battle against sin - that sin is the enemy, not you.

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And I don't blame my wife for where she is.  I see that I was a horrible husband, for many reasons, not just the porn.  I understand that I can't change her and I don't try anymore.  While I am still here I am doing my best to be a good husband in the limited ways she will allow.  I am not here to disparage her.  I am just trying to figure out whether I stay or go.

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28 minutes ago, ByAThread said:

I won't say that I have it beat, but I have matured beyond it. I haven't used in years, and while I don't subscribe to the addiction model for this behavior, I do believe that it is something I will need to be mindful of, probably for the rest of my life.

Thank you for this clarification. You have far more experience than I, so I tread lightly here. Porn, from what I have read and heard, is a far worse "addiction" than drugs. It literally changes the way brain waves travel. Further, while a drug addiction might scare a spouse, the discovery of porn results in feelings of deep betrayal and inadequacy. It would not surprise (though I am not diagnosing) if many spouses would not set up strong boundaries of coldness/aloofness to protect themselves from their own sense of not being good enough.

Bottom line: I still sense that the porn use/abuse/addiction (choose your poison term) is at the root of this. Your therapist bailed, so find another. Fight for yourself first. Then, if there is anything to save, you can determine that. Again, I say, you are worth it.  Also, and I speak as a non-member, I would urge you to find your peace with God. Seek His face. Afterwards, you can figure out what role the church plays in your life, and in the grand scheme of the cosmos. We all believe God is love, so find your place with Him first. The rest should follow.

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45 minutes ago, ByAThread said:

I won't say that I have it beat, but I have matured beyond it. I haven't used in years, and while I don't subscribe to the addiction model for this behavior, I do believe that it is something I will need to be mindful of, probably for the rest of my life.

In other words: you'll always be an achololic, but you haven't touched a drop of the stuff in 20 years.  Moving beyond that horrible behavior, but still acknowledging that weakness and being wary against it.

Fantastic!  

12 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Bottom line: I still sense that the porn use/abuse/addiction (choose your poison term) is at the root of this. Your therapist bailed, so find another. Fight for yourself first. Then, if there is anything to save, you can determine that. Again, I say, you are worth it.  Also, and I speak as a non-member, I would urge you to find your peace with God. Seek His face. Afterwards, you can figure out what role the church plays in your life, and in the grand scheme of the cosmos. We all believe God is love, so find your place with Him first. The rest should follow.

I second this 100%.

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@ByAThread

Hello

Such a heavy story.

I am glad you are done with porn. I totally get where you are coming from (I think). Finding healthy ways to express your disappointment, loneliness, anger and rejection is the key here. So easy just to drink, porn binge, smoke, get lost in a book, eat, etc. When you are in crisis (no matter how brief or the size of crisis) Right now it is time for you to dig deep and push yourself to continue the healing process. Get back in shape, read more scriptures and spend more time with the kids. Right now your wife is hurt and she probably has her own problems she is dealing with but refuses to change because PORN (as if that justifies being horrible in return. It doesn't, at all) Take away her ammo and let her issues be revealed for what they are. STOP Sharing with people outside of a professional setting (you have us now too) honestly most members don't want to hear about your porn/masturbation sessions. Especially if you keep reporting that you messed up again and again and again. It's easy for people to assume that you just want someone to tell your porn escapades to instead of being truly interested in quitting. 

God hasn't abandoned you by the way. Only person God has ever withdrew from completely is Jesus (when on the cross) Everyone else chose to leave God or shut out His influence by making bad choices. He is there, He very much is watching over you. You just have to decide to let go of this bad habit for good. 

I really don't know what you are looking for at this moment. It sounds like you are beating this vice. Keep up the good work and show more love to Heavenly Father. He was there the whole time, you just couldn't feel Him because you were caked in filth and darkness. Also, stop being so hard on yourself, EVERYONE makes mistakes.

*Just went back and read it again.

Stop having high expectations for everyone else at church. You have to learn to be your own man. Find a positive hobby and become good at it. Stop seeking the approval of anyone else but God at the moment. Sounds like your wife is just throwing a fit. If you didn't commit physical adultery with another woman she honestly needs to get over your old porn addiction. Her bruised ego will heal in time. Also, try to put yourself in her shoes, imagine if every time she was mad at you or sad she went to go look at random naked men on the internet. That would get annoying and would be hurtful I imagine. Stay in your marriage and earn back her trust. If she decides not to forgive you then, of course, go from there. Pray always and believe you are being heard. 

If anything at all just know you were an average Male while you were looking at porn. Honestly, you were just as telestial as any other sinning gentile. Stop beating yourself up. As a Son of God you are not average, you hold yourself to a higher standard. Others hold you to a higher standard. It is our lot in life. We lead from the front not from the rear. In this battle of ideas and mortal agency, as a priesthood holder, you ARE the tip of the spear.

Edited by Overwatch
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As the ex wife of a porn addict I would tell you: Give her a break!
She needs to heal. 

I would recommend for you to watch a movie, it's called: Fireproof. It's like a evangelical movie. I think it's pretty good. 

Just love your wife, treat her with love, be nice, and give her some time, meaning... if she needs many months or even years to forgive, then you wait (If you truly love her)

 

Edited by Chilean
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14 hours ago, ByAThread said:

After spending most if my life under the burden of a compulsive behavior pattern with pornography, a couple of years ago I was finally able to get myself out from under it.  I spent a year in therapy, both by myself and with my wife, I spent a year going to the church's recovery program at least once a week, every week, and I used a multitude of others tools that I searched out. Basically, anything I thought would help.  And by the way, the church is horrible at dealing with this and no matter what anyone says, church leadership still stigmatizes those who are dealing with this, even when it started at an age when the person struggling did not even know it was something to be on guard for.

The thing is, during the most difficult part of my life, when I was waging a war, minute by minute sometimes, every single person in my life that I reached out to completely abandoned me.  Priesthood leaders, family members, friends, even my therapist decided that I was not worth her time and refused to schedule any more appointments.  My wife has completely abandoned our marriage as well.

While trying to get healthy I was desperate for at least one person to step up and give the support I needed.  Every single person I reached out to left me on my own to fight this battle.  So have fought it by myself.

Porn is first and foremost an intimacy disorder and I am desperate for real human connection.  I now have a permanent room mate instead of a wife. She is now "married" to her best friend, who she gives all her attention to, spending almost every evening with her after the children are in bed, sitting with her at church, etc.  There is no affection or intimacy.  Having been the child of divorce, I will not put my children through it, but I wonder if it is more damaging for them to see the relationship their parents are modeling. There is no fighting, just 100% apathy.

A several years ago I was 24 hours away from leaving her because of how unhappy I was in the marriage, but I chose to stay because of the children. During my recovery process, I have listened to her complaints about my behavior, apart from the porn, without judgment.  I have made an honest effort to change and in a lot of ways, have made significant progress.  She cannot tolerate the thought that I was unhappy.  She will not listen to anything I say because PORN, so I have given up. I can't compete with her inner monologue, especially when therapists, priesthood leaders, and friends tell her that everything wrong in our marriage is my fault because PORN.

So I have given up. Hope is too expensive a commodity for me anymore.  I no longer believe that I am worth loving.  I no longer believe that God has any interest in me, my happiness, or my family.  I no longer believe that marriage is meant to be happy or that such a thing as a happy marriage even exists.  I no longer believe that church members have any real affection for each other.  Going to church only makes me angry because all I see is hypocrisy, and I don't excuse myself from that.  I can't bring myself to shake hands with anyone because no one there talks to me unless they want something from me.  I'm done with it all.  I still go because that is the price required by the woman I live with, but I don't feel it anymore.  I recently met with a member of the stake presidency to be released from a calling. He asked me to close with prayer and I flatly refused.  I can't think of a single time in my life when prayer has accomplished anything.  God is not interested in what I want or need.  I understand that now.  I was actually happier when I was using because I actually believed that someday somehow I would get past it and I would finally be able to be happy.  Now I am on the other side and I realize there is no happiness to be had.  Just more misery.  This isn't where I want to be, but it's where I am and I don't know how to get past it.  I don't trust anyone anymore which is why I guess I am reaching out to random strangers on the internet.  Do I stay in the home (I won't call it a marriage) for the children, or do I break their hearts so I can chase the mirage of a happy marriage with someone else?  I don't have any answers anymore and I don't have any faith left that there will be any answers coming from on high.

I have been in a similar situation.  My wife and I were basically roomates for a long time.  There were things she held against me for 10-15-20 years.  Whenever I would try to do something nice for her, eventually she would drum up my ancient past deeds.  You get to the point where you don't see it worthwhile to try anymore.  She would spend hours chatting with her friends online, but not me.  She ended up finding a guy friend to chat with and occasionally hang out with.  I didn't find out about the guy until it was over between the two.  They didn't have a physical relationship, but it was certainly emotional.  She would plan vacations with her girl friends.   And she doesn't go to church anymore.  

So I think I know a bit about where you are coming from.  Marriage sucks and you don't know whether to stay or go.  You have changed, but your wife doesn't seem to care.  yup, been there done that.  I decided earlier this year that I would make one last mega effort.  I decided that I would try my best to love her for one year, and if things didn't get better, I would finally end it.  I wanted intimacy.  I wanted romance, I wanted my friend back.  So I prayed and prayed and I felt inspired that I had to love her unconditionally.

This meant a few things.

1) I had to show her love everyday whether I felt like it or not.  And some days I really didn't feel like it.

2) I wouldn't hold the past against her.  unconditional love is about forgiveness and holding her past against her is not forgiveness nor is it love.

3) I would not fight with her.  I would get angry and still do sometimes, but I committed to shut my pie hole and take a few steps back and analyze the situation from a different perspective.  And then approach the conversation in the most loving way I could.  We often don't see the whole picture and it frustrates us.  Anger is just frustration that has boiled over.  stay away from the "You always"  or "You never" statements.

4) I would find ways to sincerely compliment her.  Never once did I ask for one in return.

5) I started doing things specifically for her.  Making her breakfast.  Making her dinner.  Doing more house cleaning.  washing her car.  Just helping out where I could.  I never asked for anything in return.  Didn't tell her I was doing this stuff, just did it.

6) I would buy her flowers once a week.

7) I would take her on dates.  The dates at first were not enjoyable, but I figured we needed to spend some time together.

😎 I would try and talk with her more.

Essentially I asked myself, "How would Jesus treat her?"  I made kindness my motto.

I did this religiously for 4 months before the ice started to break.  Those were a sucky four months.  But slowly the ice started to thaw.  That gave me some hope.  because even though I had committed to doing this for a year, I was feeling like I couldn't keep it up.  One of the things that kept me going was thinking to myself how God never gives up on us regardless of how bad we are.  He always provides a way back.  So I kept at it.  never saying a word about what I was doing or why.

Things did start to get better.  They continue to improve.  She eventually did ask me about what I was doing.  She had noticed essentially from day one that I was trying, but she didn't have any faith that I would continue on this new path.  Heck, I wasn't sure I would.  But I did.  

I changed a lot about me.  I am not the same me that I used to be.  I don't have the same relationship with my wife.  It isn't the relationship we had when we first got married.  Nor is it the terrible relationship we had for the past few years.  It is new and different.  But I know she loves me.  She has never been the type to initiate physical contact, but occasionally she does now and intimacy has returned.

I truly believe that this was the only way back for me.  I had to toss my ego out the door and forget myself.  If you are looking for something in return, it isn't going to work.  Of course I hoped for something in return, but I didn't base my actions on whether I got something in return.  I guess I kind of based my actions on what I thought the perfect husband would do.  I guess I tried faking it tell I made it.  I am not the perfect husband today, but I am much more closer than I was.

There are no guarantees that the method above will work for you.  But at this point I don't think you have much to lose.

As for therapists and what not.....   no comment.

Things between my wife and me are certainly not perfect.  We have a long way to go, but I believe we are now on the journey together and that is what is important.

Your wife is not going to change over night.  She is emotionally attached to her friend now and it is going to take a long time.  and I mean long time for you to replace the friend as her emotional go to person.  Be patient.  It can certainly happen.

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14 hours ago, ByAThread said:

And I don't blame my wife for where she is.  I see that I was a horrible husband, for many reasons, not just the porn.  I understand that I can't change her and I don't try anymore.  While I am still here I am doing my best to be a good husband in the limited ways she will allow.  I am not here to disparage her.  I am just trying to figure out whether I stay or go.

You asked for her to love you while you beat your demons.  She fails because of those demons.  The answer is not to let the demons win.  The answer is for you to LOVE YOUR WIFE.  Like you said, you can't control what she does - she's struggling too.  But you can control what YOU DO.  Love is not just doing the things you're supposed to do with apathy.  Love is to change your heart.  Stop blaming people who fail you.  You should join them and say... dangit PORN!  Put the blame squarely where it belongs so you can beat it.  

Now go.  Love your wife.  Not just in actions but IN YOUR HEART.  Love her without worrying that she loves you back.  Stop looking at joy as something others give you.  Rather, take joy in every single day that you have the opportunity to love your wife despite your failings.  That's what your children will see and learn - how to love properly.

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This is coming from someone who is currently "married" to a porn addict - not really a marriage - I view my husband as a room-mate, not as a spouse, because he broke his covenants with me.  How many years were spent "cheating"?  That might be the number of years it takes to heal.  

Take a walk in her shoes - for me, my entire marriage was a lie.  I did not understand why my husband did not love me, did not want me, ignored me - was never emotionally intimate with me, rejected me even though I exercised and kept myself thin etc. etc. .  Kids and covenants kept me in the marriage - trying not to let other family members down - stayed married to "look good" to others,  it was always a marriage in name only - I never felt close to him even though I tried.  I found ways to cope, learned to live "alone", learned to just be polite rather than hoping for ever being or feeling like anyone's wife.  After years and years living with porn, I redefined myself, became my own individual who did not need support or love or anything from him any more.  He does do a little for the kids, helps provide (I work full time too as I cannot trust him to support or protect anyone.).  I calculated what divorce would turn into - who would win the custody battles etc. and it is just easier to stay married and treat him as a room mate, treat him as a friend.  We are fairly good friends, are polite to one another etc. but it is not a marriage.  I do not wear my wedding ring.  

I have forgiven him, but I do not trust him.  I am my own person now.  I have had to redefine myself.  Not sure if it is similar in your case, but change is not going to come over night.  You cannot learn to play the piano over night.  You cannot become an Olympic athlete over night.  Someone who has spent a lifetime defining a relationship - establishing character / trust ...?  To know the darkness of being rejected - that is what porn makes a spouse feel - rejected, cheated on, lied to, hollow and worthless - I felt this way for years.  YEARS.  before I redefined myself.  That does not turn around over night.  

 

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porn is hard like drugs to quit and get rid of it. i quit porn nov 12th 2012. i think your going in the right direction with quiting it and getting rid of it. its evil its nothing but spells lust and fake videos that are shot over a course of 12 days or a month. your better off sticking to your wife. no to be rude. but porn is evil may god bless you ill pray that you stay away from it forever and pray you can pratice chastity.

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I'm sorry you have to go through this.  Please recognize that the actions of church leaders do not define how God feels about you.  I doubt your experience would have been the same if you were in my stake.  As for God, you are his son.  How would you feel if one of your kids were struggling with this?  Would you cast them off and stop loving them?  No, I don't think you would.  Neither would God.

Everything you have felt, Christ felt when he atoned for your sins.  He knows perfectly you pain and your struggle and nobody, not your wife, bishop, stake president etc. can get between you and Christ.  He also knows what you are capable of, your hopes and desires, he knows you better than your know yourself.

You want your prayers to be heard?  Then don't pray what you think God wants you to say and pray what you really feel.  Go off to some private place and kneel down and vent it all at God,  unload all are hurt and anger on him.  Tell him in no uncertain terms what you think of it all.  He isn't going to answer a prayer when the prayer is a lie.

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22 minutes ago, Searching said:

This is coming from someone who is currently "married" to a porn addict - not really a marriage - I view my husband as a room-mate, not as a spouse, because he broke his covenants with me.  How many years were spent "cheating"?  That might be the number of years it takes to heal.  

Take a walk in her shoes - for me, my entire marriage was a lie.  I did not understand why my husband did not love me, did not want me, ignored me - was never emotionally intimate with me, rejected me even though I exercised and kept myself thin etc. etc. .  Kids and covenants kept me in the marriage - trying not to let other family members down - stayed married to "look good" to others,  it was always a marriage in name only - I never felt close to him even though I tried.  I found ways to cope, learned to live "alone", learned to just be polite rather than hoping for ever being or feeling like anyone's wife.  After years and years living with porn, I redefined myself, became my own individual who did not need support or love or anything from him any more.  He does do a little for the kids, helps provide (I work full time too as I cannot trust him to support or protect anyone.).  I calculated what divorce would turn into - who would win the custody battles etc. and it is just easier to stay married and treat him as a room mate, treat him as a friend.  We are fairly good friends, are polite to one another etc. but it is not a marriage.  I do not wear my wedding ring.  

I have forgiven him, but I do not trust him.  I am my own person now.  I have had to redefine myself.  Not sure if it is similar in your case, but change is not going to come over night.  You cannot learn to play the piano over night.  You cannot become an Olympic athlete over night.  Someone who has spent a lifetime defining a relationship - establishing character / trust ...?  To know the darkness of being rejected - that is what porn makes a spouse feel - rejected, cheated on, lied to, hollow and worthless - I felt this way for years.  YEARS.  before I redefined myself.  That does not turn around over night.  

 

Why is it that LDS women equate watching porn with their husbands not loving them?  Just because a spouse watches porn does not mean he or she doesn't love their wife or husband.  

There is an evil statement out there..  "If he loved me, he wouldn't do it."  Jesus didn't say "because you sinned, you don't love me"  he said "If you love me, keep my commandments"  

So here is the question.  Do you love the Lord?  Do you keep all of his commandments?  I would like to believe I love the Lord, but I am not about to say I keep all the commandments.  I am imperfect.    Some people think of looking at porn as cheating.  Some do not.  One study says that 70% of the male population watch porn and 1/3rd of the female population does as well.  I am not stating this to say porn is ok.   I am stating it saying that watching porn is not the same as having an emotional relationship with someone else.  Cheating with someone is two way and there is emotional bonding that takes place.  With porn, there is no emotional bonding.  There is no two way interaction.   Don't get me wrong, it porn is definitely bad, but viewing it does not mean he doesn't love you.

What it means is that at some point he got hooked on it.  Probably before he knew you.  I don't know the typical reaction of LDS women, but in my mind I see it playing out this way.  First they think their husband doesn't love them, that they feel inadequate, that covenants are broken and all is pretty much lost and so in order to fix him they chastise him.  Tell him how he makes them feel...  gives him a complete guilt trip on it.   "Aren't I enough for you?"  This of course fixes nothing because he feels absolutely worthless at this point.  And she feels absolutely worthless at this point.  She says no sex unless he promises to stop.  So he promises the promise he can't keep.  He watches porn again and she feels even more betrayed.  They both feel that neither can love them.  They may "try" and love the other, but it doesn't work because it isn't unconditional.

I wish guys didn't get into porn and I wish women wouldn't take it personally.  But they do.  There is a way out of porn.  It isn't easy, but they husband will be eternally grateful if she continues to love him throughout his battle.  But that is not what we are really taught in the LDS culture.  We are taught that he is scum and not worthy to be your husband.  The truth is that he is still God's son and God still loves him.  And he needs help and support out of the hole he got himself into.   I would guess that most of the time both husband and wife take the wrong approach to it and both suffer. 

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12 minutes ago, Lost Boy said:

Why is it that LDS women equate watching porn with their husbands not loving them? 

It's not the addiction, but what the addiction does to the addict. It makes them secretive, mean, defensive, it's the behaviors that come with the addiction, and it cane be any addiction, it doesn't matter, but the addiction will make the addict behave in ways that loved ones cant understand, and cant justify.

14 minutes ago, Lost Boy said:

There is an evil statement out there..  "If he loved me, he wouldn't do it." 

I don't think it's evil to think like that, but it is a sign of codependency. Whomever is thinking like that need to get therapy to stop being codependent.

 

17 minutes ago, Lost Boy said:

I don't know the typical reaction of LDS women, but in my mind I see it playing out this way.  First they think their husband doesn't love them, that they feel inadequate, that covenants are broken and all is pretty much lost and so in order to fix him they chastise him.  Tell him how he makes them feel...  gives him a complete guilt trip on it.

You're pretty right one that, but remember not everyone is a therapist, not everyone knows how to cope with loved ones addiction. When women find out about any addiction they go through trauma, and women (and men) do not know how to react to trauma. Give me a break!

 

20 minutes ago, Lost Boy said:

But that is not what we are really taught in the LDS culture.  We are taught that he is scum and not worthy to be your husband.  The truth is that he is still God's son and God still loves him.  And he needs help and support out of the hole he got himself into.   I would guess that most of the time both husband and wife take the wrong approach to it and both suffer. 

That is not true. I am sorry if brothers have felt no support. But there is help, and yes there is a stigma as well, but if everyone was to be honest and talk about the elephant in the room, wouldn't it be easier for brothers to get help? wouldn't it be easier for sisters to get support as well.

The fact that por n addiction is so shameful makes it hard to be open about it and get help, when the truth is many are struggling with it and feeling alone, when there are so many going through the same.

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@Lost Boy, here's what I hear you saying (and I'm only saying this to make a point, so please read the whole thing before your knee-jerk reaction sets you to typing):

  • Women think wrong
  • Women should understand how men think
  • Women should change their thinking to be compatible with how men think1
  • Men don't think wrong, they just do wrong (sometimes)
  • Love is an emotion and one's behavior has nothing to do with said emotion

Now, if I wanted to, I think I could go and pick apart what you're saying and change my bullet list to match how you perceive what you're saying.  Instead, I'm going to suggest that you (a) recognize that how a woman's brain works is as designed by God (or as eternal / natural) as how a man's brain works, and that if either needs changing, they both need changing; (b) that understanding will get you farther than criticism / complaint (same could be said of the wife of a porn addict); (c) that intentional or not, porn use inflicts pain on all involved; (d) that love is not an emotion, it's behavior, and what we love, we serve (aka spend time, energy, and attention on).  Alternately, you can define love @anatess2's way - is your porn bringing your wife closer to Christ?  No?  Are you spending your time, energy, and attention on her as a wife?  No?  Then you're not loving her.

As a final note, modernity (at Satan's bidding) has royally messed up the way men and women think about each other and their relationships.  The ways in which this has been done are so subtle that I doubt the vast majority of the population are remotely aware of them, let alone how to properly think / overcome them.  Complaining about the outcome, as if it were a conscious choice, is not helpful (on either side).  See above.

1I expect men would really dislike this, regardless of how much they complain about how women think.

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5 minutes ago, Chilean said:

It's not the addiction, but what the addiction does to the addict. It makes them secretive, mean, defensive, it's the behaviors that come with the addiction, and it cane be any addiction, it doesn't matter, but the addiction will make the addict behave in ways that loved ones cant understand, and cant justify.

I don't think it's evil to think like that, but it is a sign of codependency. Whomever is thinking like that need to get therapy to stop being codependent.

 

You're pretty right one that, but remember not everyone is a therapist, not everyone knows how to cope with loved ones addiction. When women find out about any addiction they go through trauma, and women (and men) do not know how to react to trauma. Give me a break!

 

That is not true. I am sorry if brothers have felt no support. But there is help, and yes there is a stigma as well, but if everyone was to be honest and talk about the elephant in the room, wouldn't it be easier for brothers to get help? wouldn't it be easier for sisters to get support as well.

The fact that por n addiction is so shameful makes it hard to be open about it and get help, when the truth is many are struggling with it and feeling alone, when there are so many going through the same.

I don't think we are too far apart on the thinking here.  It really is an issue of shame.  That is a huge problem for the LDS culture.   Sin is so regarded as shameful and none of us like the feeling of shame.  The thought goes through the mind, am I going to get kicked out of the church?  Am I going to be looked down on at church?  Am I going to get a scarlet letter?

I doubt most guys know the answer to these questions, nor do the women in their lives.  

We are all human and have our demons.  It would be great if we could look past those demons and see we are all children of God who need his help.

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7 minutes ago, zil said:

is your porn bringing your wife closer to Christ?  No?  Are you spending your time, energy, and attention on her as a wife?  No?  Then you're not loving her.

"I love my girlfriend so I'm going to have pre-marital sex with her",  "I love my wife.  I'm just joking around with my friends when I call her my b*ch", "I love my wife so I'm going to literally beat some sense into her.", "I love my wife.  Porn has no emotional component to it."

Makes you wonder what they mean when they use the word Love.

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On 9/30/2018 at 6:07 PM, ByAThread said:

Porn is first and foremost an intimacy disorder and I am desperate for real human connection.

No it is not.  It is first and foremost a gross sin, a wickedness. I was steeped in that filth for decades and I gave the exact same excuses. I self-deluded myself, I lied to God about it. It wasn't until I finally came to understand it for what it really is that I was able to cast it from me forever-to where like the Scriptures say, I no longer desire to do wickedness. The same self-delusion, lies and excuses can be used for any sin.  Adultery is first and foremost an intimacy disorder. Going to a nude bar is an intimacy disorder. It covers up the responsible party, which is you.

Once I saw it for what it is, the lies and self-deception go away.  Why did I look at pornography . . .it's simple because I liked it!  I enjoyed the sin, boy did it feel good to fantasize about indulging in the natural man! It wasn't because of some mythical "addiction" (that was just another excuse), going to it every night, spending hours . . .why b/c I liked it!! There is no other reason why, there is no "intimacy disorder", anyone who claims otherwise has not fully conquered the sin (maybe in action but not in heart).

I started when I was young too-I wish to God my parents had helped me out better-but I don't fault them b/c they did the best they could at the time. Then I became an adult and the excuses about blaming others, shoving the responsibility of my actions, my sins onto others could no longer work.

No, the problem isn't that you don't have a real connection with another human being-it's that you don't have a connection with God.

On 9/30/2018 at 6:07 PM, ByAThread said:

I was actually happier when I was using because I actually believed that someday somehow I would get past it and I would finally be able to be happy.  Now I am on the other side and I realize there is no happiness to be had. 

Yes exactly right, because you stopped the action, but you haven't change your heart. As such, there is a high likelihood you will return to it. Been there done that, returned to it like a dog to his vomit.  

On 9/30/2018 at 6:07 PM, ByAThread said:

And by the way, the church is horrible at dealing with this and no matter what anyone says, church leadership still stigmatizes those who are dealing with this, even when it started at an age when the person struggling did not even know it was something to be on guard for.

I agree the Church is horrible at dealing with this, but not in the manner you think. They are horrible at it because they don't teach true doctrine about it-they have gone along with much of the world in trying to solve this problem (addiction recovery programs and the like). The addiction model of this is flawed to the nth degree.

On 9/30/2018 at 6:07 PM, ByAThread said:

So I have given up. Hope is too expensive a commodity for me anymore.  I no longer believe that I am worth loving.  I no longer believe that God has any interest in me, my happiness, or my family.  I no longer believe that marriage is meant to be happy or that such a thing as a happy marriage even exists.  I no longer believe that church members have any real affection for each other.  . . . 

You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself. The reason you feel like this is because the inner vessel is not clean.

A favorite scripture of mine: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."

A couple of pointed questions.  How is your scripture study?  Do you read the Word of God every day?  Do you say a prayer morning and night?  Do you say a prayer before your meals?  Do you prayer together as a family? Do you read scriptures together as a family?  Do you have Family Home Evening?  Do you as the head of household take the lead in setting the example of righteous living?  Do you lead your family? 

Of course your wife doesn't respect you.  She has been married to a wicked man for years and as such whether she will admit it or not she will reject any of your counsel.  Nobody wants to be lead by wicked leaders (except the wicked).  But brother, you start becoming a Man of God and if she is righteous I guarantee you she will follow you anywhere!

Convert yourself to Christ, convert yourself to knowing that it is only through Him that we can be cleansed.  Start with something simple-start having family prayer.  There is just something intangible about someone who is converted to Christ.  People recognize it-they see it, in some way they know.

Do I want people to know about my past sins, not particularly.  Do I really care? No, I don't.  I don't blast it out b/c most of the time it isn't relevant to who I am, where I am.  My past sins aren't who I am now, my past wickedness is not who I am now.  I still fall mightily, I still have plenty of my own weaknesses and sins.  But I can truly say, that wickedness is gone.  It's gone b/c of Christ.  Because I was in the gall of bitterness, I was in the depths of hell.  I saw myself stripped of all the excuses all the lies all the self-delusion, I saw myself standing before God at the end of my mortal existence and I was sore afraid.

Change the inner vessel, become a man of God and I promise you in a couple of years when you look back you will be amazed at the miracles God has worked in your life.  The happiness you seek, can't be found in other fantasies of the flesh, it can't be found in your wife, it can't be found in job.  It can only be found in a living a life according to God's laws, being in compliance with His will. It can only be found in the peace that the Savior gives to those who repent, forsake their sins and come unto Him. 

It is my testimony, my witness as someone who has traveled down that path, changed my life and now I'm a much, much happier person.

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2 hours ago, Lost Boy said:

Why is it that LDS women equate watching porn with their husbands not loving them? 

Why is it that LDS women equate cheating with their husbands not loving them?   Did you really just ask that?

And yes, porn is cheating, as clearly stated by Christ Himself.  This isn't "LDS culture" thing, but about following Christ.  

Yes, porn is an addiction.  So are other forms of infidelity.  And while the addicts motivation may have nothing to do with lack of affection toward their spouse, that addiction does indeed warp the addicts brainwaves, how they view/treat their spouse, and shatter the spouse's self esteem.  

2 hours ago, Lost Boy said:

I wish guys didn't get into porn and I wish women wouldn't take it personally.  But they do.  There is a way out of porn.  It isn't easy, but they husband will be eternally grateful if she continues to love him throughout his battle.  But that is not what we are really taught in the LDS culture.  We are taught that he is scum and not worthy to be your husband.  The truth is that he is still God's son and God still loves him.  And he needs help and support out of the hole he got himself into.   I would guess that most of the time both husband and wife take the wrong approach to it and both suffer. 

Hey @Lost Boy, your wife is sex with random men.  But there's no emotional attachment at all.  I wish you don't take it personally.  Just keep loving her the exact same as when you thought she was faithful to you.  Don't say how her for the continual affairs hurt you.  Just ignore the culture that says she should only be yours and not continually have sex with random dudes. 

(the above is me making a point, in case that wasn't obvious).  Yes we should always love any child of God.  But that doesn't mean denying that horrible sins bring horrible pain.

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21 hours ago, Searching said:

This is coming from someone who is currently "married" to a porn addict - not really a marriage - I view my husband as a room-mate, not as a spouse, because he broke his covenants with me.  How many years were spent "cheating"?  That might be the number of years it takes to heal.  

Take a walk in her shoes - for me, my entire marriage was a lie.  I did not understand why my husband did not love me, did not want me, ignored me - was never emotionally intimate with me, rejected me even though I exercised and kept myself thin etc. etc. .  Kids and covenants kept me in the marriage - trying not to let other family members down - stayed married to "look good" to others,  it was always a marriage in name only - I never felt close to him even though I tried.  I found ways to cope, learned to live "alone", learned to just be polite rather than hoping for ever being or feeling like anyone's wife.  After years and years living with porn, I redefined myself, became my own individual who did not need support or love or anything from him any more.  He does do a little for the kids, helps provide (I work full time too as I cannot trust him to support or protect anyone.).  I calculated what divorce would turn into - who would win the custody battles etc. and it is just easier to stay married and treat him as a room mate, treat him as a friend.  We are fairly good friends, are polite to one another etc. but it is not a marriage.  I do not wear my wedding ring.  

I have forgiven him, but I do not trust him.  I am my own person now.  I have had to redefine myself.  Not sure if it is similar in your case, but change is not going to come over night.  You cannot learn to play the piano over night.  You cannot become an Olympic athlete over night.  Someone who has spent a lifetime defining a relationship - establishing character / trust ...?  To know the darkness of being rejected - that is what porn makes a spouse feel - rejected, cheated on, lied to, hollow and worthless - I felt this way for years.  YEARS.  before I redefined myself.  That does not turn around over night.  

 

The problem is that you have termed the porn as a rejection of you.  It's not a rejection of you; it's a rejection of God.  Too many woman, do not understand this simple fact.  Porn does not have anything to do with the wife.  Yes there are things that a wife can do that would drive a spouse towards committing adultery, towards porn, towards alcohol.  But the actual sin itself; no one is responsible for that sin other than the person who commits it. And sin is a rejection of God.

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25 minutes ago, iamdiamd said:

The problem is that you have termed the porn as a rejection of you.  It's not a rejection of you; it's a rejection of God.  Too many woman, do not understand this simple fact.  Porn does not have anything to do with the wife.  Yes there are things that a wife can do that would drive a spouse towards committing adultery, towards porn, towards alcohol.  But the actual sin itself; no one is responsible for that sin other than the person who commits it. And sin is a rejection of God.

Paraphrasing: The problem is that you have termed [cheating] as a rejection of you.  It's not a rejection of you; it's a rejection of God. 

While cheating is a rejection/betrayal of God, it is also a rejection/betrayal of martial covenants and the other spouse.  Such a rejection is in NO way the non-cheating spouses fault, but responsibility last solely on the sinner's shoulders-- that is true as well (as you said). 

Edited by Jane_Doe
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