Your answer is perfect, with one addition - I highly recommend that the spouse (and soon-to-be spouse) also attend the 12 step program meetings. In our area there is a separate group for spouses of pornography/sex addicts. These are extremely helpful, and the person works through the 12 steps themselves, which brings them closer to the Savior, and to a better understanding of the atonement, which will help them make decisions now and in the future.
Every situation it's different. It's easy with this to focus on his sin and make judgements. Inversely, how would we feel if strangers we didn't know could look in at our darkest moments in our life and base their entire reception of us based only on that information. Imagine being at the judgement seat of Christ, and he pulls out a list of our wrong doings and doesn't even glance at the list of good things we've done. We would all feel horrible. Imagine he then instructs his angels to RUN. The fact of the matter is we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, yet through the atonement we can all make it back. It is unfair to look at the mote in his eye, ignore our own beams and tell this woman to run because of what might happen. It might go bad, true, but it might be the best decision she ever makes. Every situation is different. I don't know this couple, and maybe it it's in her best interest to find someone new, but maybe not. God knows, and He's the only one who does.
Imagine if we had turned away the apostle Paul, or Alma the Younger, or Corianton? All of whom made pretty major mistakes, including sexual sin, yet they all overcame and became great men.
Man is more than his shortcomings, and with God all things are possible.
Agree with the other posters -- run far away, young sister! There are so many worthy young men who do not have these problems, why would you even consider taking a chance with this one?
If the daughter had written in, Abby would tell her to run. But, she's not the one who wrote. If the fiance is typical of most abusers, the daughter is probably already set to defend him against her family who just don't understand him or don't want her to be happy. When they're that far gone, all you can do is try to keep the lines of communication open, be ready to give what warnings you can without getting her defensive, and be ready to help her when the time comes.
I disagree that she should make her own decisions. She has no idea what she's dealing with. If you burned your hand on a stove, would you not do EVERYTHING in your power so your children don't get burned?!? Would you say, ok, you make your own choice. I can't help you (?!?)
I have spoken with women dating men like this. Some of them in college--all RMs who I don't know know why they were permitted to serve missions. You don't commit adultery with pornography and repent to go on a mission. It takes YEARS of therapy--and commitment--to REPENT after adultery. Her daughter was betrayed MANY times, not just once. Porography addiction automatically means MANY PARTNERS. Viewing pornography is not passive, like viewing TV. You are an active participant. The fact that he cheated on the daughter means he is in the stage of porn addiction where he needs to "act out."
My advice--YOU'RE NOT MARRIED TO HIM!! RUNNNNNN!!!!! FAST!!!!
I speak from experience
I loved the answer to this question. As a father of ten with three still at home and at age 54 I learned something in the past year (ya, better late than never) when my teenage daughter became pregnant out of wedlock. I just cannot coerce my kids even when we see possible troubles ahead for them. Our heavenly Father has blessed us with a most precious gift, the gift of agency. Yes, I will counsel and warn but I also let go as they become young adults, serve missions, date and ponder marriage . I have learned that what I learn from my kids is as important as what I can try and teach them. Joseph our prophet taught this principle; “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.” and the apostle Paul taught this is a parents gift of charity in raising kids, "Charity suffereth long, and is kind". One thing I've noticed among church members, more than I'd like to admit, are parents who even after their children marry just cannot seem to "cut the apron strings". Jesus said, "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh". "Cleave" being the optimum word. Of course we worry, it's natural to want to spare our children pain if it can be avoided, but they are "to act, and not be acted upon". As Jacob taught, "Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life". The prodigal son was given what he wished for from his father and sent on his way (I'm sure by a very heavy hearted dad). But when the errant boy "came to himself" (which probably means he finally remembered his parents warnings growing up) he returned and the love this father demonstrated was pulling up his robe from his ankles and running to embrace and welcome back his wayward son. Our loving father sent us here to depend on him but also to use our brain. Some kids need to learn that lesson on their own or they might have always wondered if my forcefulness to keep them out of harms way (emotionally especially) was warranted and might have turned out better than I had predicted. In fact, it might.
Everyone has weaknesses, some more obvious than others. If you are looking for a man unblemished by pornography, you may have to search far and wide. Men are visual creatures and the world is pornographic more than ever. The only opinion that really matters is the Lords. If the Lord says marry him, that's all you need to know. It doesn't mean the young man has overcome his problems. It means he is a Son of God and matters to the Lord. And the Lord is giving him a loving supportive wife that he may have the best chance of getting through mortality with the least bumps along the way. The Lord loves both of them, and wants both of them to return to him. This is why the Lord left the 99 for the one. This is why we reach out to the less active/ inactive through home-teaching, because everyone is important to the Lord. The Lord knows who this young woman should marry.
As an Addiction Recovery Program Missionary I cannot second this answer enough. I see the young men involved in this addiction on a weekly basis in the Addiction Recovery meeting. I observe those who have been coming for years yet are in various stages of their recovery but they have not given up. I observe their loved ones come to the Spouses meeting and then seeing them walk out hand in hand! I also observe those dragged to the meeting by their spouse and angrily walking away. I have personal revelation that they are still sons of the living God and some of his most treasured souls!
The ARP weekly meetings are a spiritual well that the participants both give into and draw from to strengthen themselves and others. It is a place where addicts share experiences and successes in an open honest anonymous forum. Stories of close brushes with temptations and moments of strength are shared. I personally am strengthened each time I go and come away with more knowledge of the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
From my experience you can lead them to repentance but they have to want it themselves. As an inspired Bishop once told me the Repentance process works on a circle and one has to experience their lowest point on that circle (Hell) before they will take advantage of the Atonement and work their way out. The depth of that circle is different for each person. Also in my observations those who do take advantage of the Atonement are relieved of their cravings and will go on to become Heavenly Father's most valiant servants.
I also observe that this is a team effort. It takes a willing participant/addict, an inspired Bishop, a dedicated sponsor, loving support family members, and some times it also takes a dedicated professional counselor. Most of all it takes Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to complete the repentance process. The important thing is that it is a team effort.
Do not give up but do take advantage of the ARP support group and your Bishop's inspired advice. Those afflicted CAN be healed as I am an example. Personally I have not experienced the exact same problems but I am a recovering sailor. I joined the Church after 14 years of a 20 year Navy career so I have experienced similar problems. I am now serving my sixth mission and intend to serve until the day I die. I still feel the effects of the Atonement in my life.
I bear fervent testimony that the Atonement of Jesus Christ does work! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
I'm with Margaret - Run, as fast as you can. I know too many young girls that their life be turned upside down and being in that situation keeps you from being your true best self....too much drama and heartbreak.....so yes....be loving to yourself and find someone who is on your same emotional and spiritual level and make your life one that is peaceful.
I have had the same experience as Margaret--a daughter who married an RM (who she had been in a relationship with for nearly 2 years--knew him very well) in the temple, he had had a porn problem but assured her he was over it. The marriage lasted 2 years. Turns out because of life stress he had returned to the porn and the shame & self-loathing eventually resulted in infidelity & seeking to feel better about himself by leaving both the church & his marriage. That was a year ago and she will be suffering the consequences for a long, long time (she is doing well putting her life back together, but still...trusting anyone again will be very difficult). I know men who have healed from a porn addiction, but it is very hard to do. It is such a pandemic--SO MANY young men (& even young women) are being affected by this plague. 'RUN!!' is a natural response, but it's not going to solve the problem. My daughter says there are hardly any young men that she's met (she's back at BYU finishing her degree) that haven't have a porn problem. Scary stuff, and we have to figure out how to deal with it--'run' isn't the solution.
If the Young woman had written letter to Dear Abby the response would be run, don't walk to the nearest door.
Knowing what I now know, from the experience of my pure daughter's disastrous first marriage, to a returned missionary in the temple, and the painful on-going effect in the subsequent years, without having yet read your article, but just from the headline, my immediate reaction, sadly, is, "RUN A MILE....."...... !!!!!!
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