Alcoholism in a marriage IS a betrayal of marriage covenants.
I am LDS and married to an alcoholic and it absolutely IS a betrayal of marriage vows. I don't believe my husband to be a bad person, but his lies and deceit surrounding his substance abuse are 100% a betrayal of trust in our marriage. I believe he does have a disease and I have empathy and love for him and have stood by him in a healthy way for 9 years, knowing and preparing myself and my children for the reality that one day I may very well have to walk away because of HIS choices. HIs initial CHOICE to use alcohol to begin with was exactly that.....a choice!!! His first 9 months of drinking while looking me strait in the eyes and telling me that nothing was wrong ..... betrayal. The things that he does while intoxicated are 100% a betrayal to marriage, family and Temple covenants. Not holding a temple recommend, or being able to perform ordinances or give priesthood blessings to myself and our children....all betrayals of covenants.
Charlie Brown, "we" cannot walk away from using a term which is in common use among the professionals who are studying what makes marriages succeed or fail. Perhaps your definition of "betrayal" is too narrow, rather than too broad. In John Gottman's book "What Makes Love Last?" betrayal is identified as the toxin that undermines every failing relationship, even when both partners say they have been faithful to each other. He says, "pervasive coldness, selfishness, unfairness, and other destructive behaviors are also evidence of disloyalty and can lead to consequences equally devastating as adultery."
Christ seemed to identify adultery as a sin of the heart, whether acted out or not. Why wouldn't sexual deviancy (or lying, or negativity, etc.) be considered betrayal? They all undermine trust and are a cancer to healthy relationships.
During last General Conference, our Prophet recommended that we use different words to describe our Church membership, from "Mormon" to "Latter-Day Saint," from "Mormon or LDS Church" to "Church of Jesus Christ," etc. Can we as Latter-Day Saints walk away from the term "betrayal" for any form of sexual deviancy that does not cause a spouse to commit adultery? Do we label people who have a problem with alcohol or drugs as "betrayers" of their marriage vows?"
Rather, we consider them as people with an addiction that deserves tender and loving support. Year ago, alcoholics were also considered as selfish people without will-power, until it was admitted that alcoholism was a disease and that some people were indeed chemically allergic to alcohol as some can be allergic to penicilin.
This completely changed the way society looked at alcoholics, and this enable many to recover their self-confidence and overcome their dependance. Nobody pretends that pornography is not potentially extremelyl destructive, but so are alcohol and drugs. Yet society has a different approach with those substances we would do well to adopt to people who have a problem with porn, rather than sytematically labelling them as "betrayers."
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