Thoughts on the week
By andie
9/21/2006 6:00:07 PM
This was a hard week for me. I've been much less than productive, and when I don't get anything done then I get even more depressed.
My husband has been having a hard time with pornography for awhile. The interesting thing is that he admitted that this was a weakness of his even before we got married. I had no idea at the time what that meant. I had no idea how hard this would be on me, or how hard it would be for him to give it up. I should have, I should have known. For almost 2 years now I have been working with people who are trying to quit smoking. It is so hard for them to quit, even harder for them to quit smoking than quit drinking or using hard drugs. Porn, or smoking? Which one is worse? If you had asked me that last year I would have said smoking, but now I'm not so sure.
The first few times my husband came to me admitting that he had "messed up" I was hurt, but understanding. We talked about what we could do to help prevent problems in the future. But whatever we have done....well, it just seems like it's never enough. Dedicating ourself to prayer, and scriptures, to family home evening and time together. I'm attentive and try hard to be attractive to my husband. I try not to burden him with extra stressor, or even to drag up past problems. I pray for him, I go to the temple and put his name on the prayer roll, but nothing is enough. I assume that because he hasn't told me for a few months that there has been a problem, that that means everything has been fine. I ask if everything is okay and he says yes, but then every time I have really pressed him he confesses that he has had a problem lately.
It really hit me hard when I asked him this weekend what "doing good" is for him and he said going a couple of weeks without looking at pornographic materials. A COUPLE of WEEKS! That is doing good? That's not my idea of good. And if that's true, why won't he come to me when he has a problem? I've never yelled at him, I've never tried to shame him, but still he doesn't tell me when he has a hard time. I'm left to wonder what is going on.
I feel like an intruder on his secret life and affairs. I want to trust him. Trust that if he has a problem he will come to me, but I can't. Increasingly there is a distance between us. We talk about his problem, but I feel no nearer improving. But the worst part is when he tells me it's not my fault. My logical mind may be able to agree. It's not my fault, it was his choice, he has had a hard time with this since before he even knew me, etc. But my emotional mind says, "I'm not good enough for him, I'm not pretty enough, he's not attracted to me, I'm too fat, I don't have enough in common, he must not love me, he must not care enough about me to change, I'm not important enough for him to make me his priority." It comes down to trust. I have a hard time enjoying being with him because when he says, "You look pretty tonight, or I love you." I don't believe him anymore. How can I believe him when he wants to look at other women, and he doesn't even care about me enough to honor his marriage vows?" I don't want to be intimate with him, because after I know he's looked at other women I don't want him to look at me with his same eyes.
The worst part is that he's my best friend, so at the same time that I'm mad at him, he's the one I want to run to for comfort.
How can the one that hurt's you, comfort you?


"I have had a lot of the same feelings that you have had. Its hard when the one you love and care about the most is the same one who betrays those feelings of love, concern and trust. It is hard to believe anything they say. How do you know what is really true sometimes. This addiction is so hard to understand. Sometimes I just think why can't you just stop! and see all the pain you cause those you love, yourself and God. There are so many why questions for me and I have come to know the answers to some, not that they make things any better but I also know that I can't comprehend everything, but God does. "Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend." (Mosiah 4:9) I just have to trust that God knows what is happening and as long as I stick with him everything will be okay. "
posted at 11:37:26 on September 22, 2006 by julieann
"It has been so hard to see the pain I have caused my wife. We are older and this cycle of pain has gone on for a long time. describe what I have heard many times. The loss of trust is what makes it all so evil. It does mess up intimacy. It does take away security and confidence. When you said that you have never yelled at him when he was honest with you...well I really relate to that. It has been so hard for my wife to understand why I have a difficult time "bothering" her with this struggle. It's not about being yelled at. It's about the "distance"...the witness of the pain that it causes. The feeling that your "tainted" and "tarnished" because of the problem. It is rejection on both parts. It creates a diliema in how to pull together and not keep traumatizing each other. You would think that witnessing the pain in my wife would be enough to make me run from temptations and problems. But in a way the shame and pain and struggle creates a deep void. I have often discribed my acting out as "spiritual suicide". Sometimes through the stress and pain of life I feel driven to the behavior. I always feel bad's insanity. It creates a hell that forces you back to try again. At least it does for me. "
posted at 20:17:07 on September 23, 2006 by Anonymous
So similar to my wife    
"Hi Andie. What you have said is so similar to things my wife has said. The thing that is so sad about addiction is that it's not just the addict who suffers. It is their spouse and kids and co-workers, etc. The list could go on and on. My heart goes out to you wives who are also dealing with our addictions in your own way. We had a really cool talk in our last stake conference. One speaker talked about how the atonement isn't just for sinners. It is also for those who have been victims of others poor choices and sins. Just as the Lord can heal us, he can heal you too. He can bless you with a forgiving heart and with understanding and empathy. Of course these things take time and practice. Your healing will be a process just as our is. I just find it interesting how much we all have in common. In our meetings it amazes me how someone else has gone through the exact same situation as me and has had the same feelings when I thought I was the only one. I'm sure our wives have had very similar feelings too. It's interesting how you mentioned intimacy. My wife and I have also had problems with intimacy since my addiction to pornography surfaced. It's such a double edged sword. When we are intimate and things are going great in that area, my addiction is much better and my efforts to repent and change are much more successful. However, knowing of my addiction causes my wife to NOT WANT to be intimate which in turn causes me to want to act out. So it seems like it's a no win situation. I think one of the hardest things for my wife to understand is that I truly love her and am truly attracted to her despite my addiction. It's totally understandable why she would feel that way and I don't blame her one bit for having those feelings. I lust after beautiful women with perfect bodies and then she is supposed to believe that I also find her attractive! Totally understandable. About the only way I can describe it to her is to compare it to alcohol or drugs. If I were addicted to drugs would I automatically find my wife unatractive? No, of course not. Well, pornogrpahy just happens to be my drug. When I look at my wife I really am in love with HER and am really attracet to HER and I'm not comparing her or sizing her up to other things I've seen. And when I look at pornography it's just the opposite. I'm not wishing that my wife looked more like this or that, honestly I'm not really thinking anything at all. I'm just numbing my pain is what I'm doing. For me, porn has always been an escape. I'm escaping the stress in my life just as an alcoholic would do. It's not really the porn that I want. It's the high I get from it. I imagine I'd be a pretty darn good alcoholic or drug addict because the symptoms and reasons I look at porn are the exact things you see in a different kind of addict. Sorry I'm rambling. I can't speak for other men of course but that's just how it is for me. My wife is starting to understand (though it's difficult) that the porn is a drug and isn't about her. It's so hard to describe what goes through our minds and why we do the things we do but maybe that can help you see it from a different perspective. Hang in there Andie. I pray for my wife and for you guys as well every day. "
posted at 13:44:01 on September 24, 2006 by Anonymous
It's hard...    
"One thing I have been blessed with is never (at least not more than a second or two) feeling like any of my husbands behavior was my fault. Your husbands addiction has nothing to do with you. (repeat that often) Sometimes I feel so hopeless, but I have realized that it is at those times when I am not as close to Heavenly Father as I could be. I remember thinking once (or several times) that I didn't want to do this anymore, that I couldn't keep going through the pain. I had a thought come to me that I should pray. So I did. I prayed that I would be able to deal with everything I needed to deal with. I realized that even when I feel so alone, I don't have to face my husbands addiction alone. Heavenly Father wants to help me. He wants to make it easier for me, but I have to let him. This whole experience has made me realize that it's not only my husband that needs to become closer to Heavenly Father to overcome his temptations. My temptations are to wallow in self pity. If I let Heavenly Father help me, He will. I've often felt like pushing Te away, his choices have hurt me and part of me wants to keep him away so it doesn't hurt so much. Like you said though, he's the one I turn to for comfort. I have to tell him that I am hurting, that he has hurt me, but that I love him. He's been pretty good about being there for me even when I know I am hurting him too. One thing I've realized about this type of addiction, is that you have to hit it with everything you can. Visits with the bishop, professional counseling, weekly support groups, daily prayer and scripture study. We need to have as many defenses as we can, because this is hard to overcome. It is possible though. Hang in there."
posted at 12:59:47 on October 2, 2006 by Sophie
now what?    
"Well, what does a wife do then? If my husband were a drug user or an alcholic I would take my three children and leave. But, it's porn. This is not what I want my sons to learn on how to treat women, it is not how I want to be treated. So how do you take these feelings and build trust in the man who has lied to you.

It was a problem once in the beginning of the marriage an he said he would change. I trusted him, I thought about staying/leaving, but decided to stay. He lied and lied and lied. Four weeks before I found the videos on the computer I thanked him for changing. I told him I didn't feel the need to search our browser history anymore and he said nothing. Apparantly hes known computers much better than I did forthe last nine years.

Then I am subjected to the awful images. When I look into his eyes, I see him sitting in front of the computer lusting...

Tell me what is an LDS wife supposed to do and how do I learn to see him??? It seems there are no answers."
posted at 22:01:49 on December 14, 2007 by Anonymous
"That’s a really hard question and I don’t think anyone here will have an answer for you. There is a lot of things I would like to say to maybe help, I see myself and my soon to be fiancé in the same place in a couple of years and that scares me to death to think that her heart might hurt like yours if I can’t overcome this addiction this time. As I read what you said the only thing that came to my mind is the 5th principle of the Gospel which is Endure to the End. It sounds almost impossible maybe but Christ has an amazing power to turn what seems to us a hopeless situation into a miracle. What you could possible gain from this hardship is priceless because of how much closer you will come closer to Christ and understand the atonement in a way you just can from reading, it most likely doesn’t sound that great or any good can come from where you have been placed not by choice but if you stick to living the gospel and being faithful I can echo the promises of the prophets in the Scriptures by saying in the end somehow you will gain more then you lost.
You never know but you might be the one that saves your husband. I know that in my life Heavenly Father sent this girl to me because I don’t know if I could do it without her. God sends help in ways sometimes we see and sometimes we don’t and I know he sent me her. So you never know what’s in your future but I know that one of the most important principles after the atonement is Endure to the End.
A quote that came to mind that might give some hope. Elder Clayton M Christensen
“When Moroni foresaw that many in the last day would believe God had ceased to be a God of miracles, perhaps he had in view not just those of other faiths but some of us as well. When we are doing all we can and God asks us to do even more. MERACLES ARE THE ONLY OPTION. That is why the savior asked us to forsake the rational limits of our adult minds and employ the faith of little children”
Id say you’re doing all you can to do what God has asked, believe he will perform a Miracle. Like I said nobody here will have an answer for a question like that but I just felt like I needed to write this… just follow the spirit and you won’t be lead wrong."
posted at 04:05:37 on December 28, 2007 by Anonymous

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"Brothers and sisters, let's sell that summer cottage in Babylon. Let us be not "almost" but "altogether" Latter-day Saints. "

— Larry W. Gibbons

General Conference October 2006