I too am a porn addict. I am tempted to think that my situation is unique, that I am the only one going through my specific struggle, but that would be naive. I also have blamed my wife for my issues, I have regarded her as cold and unfeeling. That is not true. She feels a lot--she feels hurt. That hurt has turned to bitterness. Three months ago I filed for divorce. My wife had decided, with the help of her mother, that the best way to 'fix' me was to emotionally abuse our children. While that tactic certainly has scared me into remission, it also cost her custody of the kids. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, yes, there is fault on both sides. I am responsible for my mistakes. I am not responsible for hers. If you find yourself in a relationship with a sex addict and you believe that your problems are all his fault, feel free to cast the proverbial first stone. We are all sinners when compared to Christ.
My family of origin was also torn apart by porn. My dad was addicted. He had affairs and sexually abused his daughters. He was excommunicated and over a decade later was finally able to be rebaptized after a LOT of work and change. So yes, the atonement can help people change and heal all hearts. And I'm glad of that, and I'm glad my dad is back in the fold.With that said, I admit that when I read that the children forgave Tray easily, my first thought was that "of course they did! It's easy to forgive him because they aren't married to him. It's his wife who is going to feel the most betrayal. He made a vow, a covenant, with HER." I'm glad the wife learned something from that, but with my past experiences it's not one that would have worked for me.I do take issue with this comment: "It’s easy in circumstances of addiction or chronic bad behavior to believe that only one person is at fault, but the couple communicated in their recounting of their story, how they were able to get back together because they both owned up to their own mistakes."They both needed to change to have a healthy marriage, yes. HOWEVER he WAS the one at fault since he was addicted BEFORE they got married and he withheld that information from her. They both needed to change because they both were putting on the image of perfection and that alone does not make a healthy family, but his addiction to porn and the affairs had nothing to do with Melody.I do want to acknowledge that Tray coming across porn at the tender age of 8 was NOT his fault. He was too young and naive to even know how to handle it. This is partly (and sadly) the reason why it's increasingly important to talk to our children from a very young age about what to do when we come across inappropriate material. It's important to tell them they can talk to you, they can ask questions, it doesn't mean they are bad that they came across it, etc. They need the tools to handle it and avoid it so that addiction doesn't become an issue for them.
The Church researched, evaluated and created The Addiction Recovery Program (arp.lds.org) about 16 years ago. The program follows an adaptation of the 12 Steps from Alcoholics Anonymous, focusing its message on the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. Through our participation, we have come to realize that all of us have addictions (food, technology, TV, impatience, anger, etc.) and weaknesses we need to overcome. Just because we stop doing something does not mean we are free from it, unless we have completely repented using the Atonement, we have not been forgiven and/or overcome it. We feel that this program could aptly be named “Live My Gospel: A Guide to Enabling the Atonement in Our Lives.”My wife and I have had the wonderful calling of serving as part-time Church-service missionaries in the Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) for almost four years. In the Salt Lake Valley alone there are over 170 meetings conducted a week. Many of the meetings are specifically for pornography addiction. They also have classes for spouse and family support for those with loved ones suffering with addictions. There are also call in meetings.
We are and will be eternally grateful to the Lord for allowing us to participate in this program. We bare testimony of this wonderful ARP program that teaches through Our Saviors Atonement all addictions can be overcome.Church Website is www.arp.lds.org. Addiction Recovery Manuals can be purchased from the Church Distribution Center for $1. The Spouse and Family Support Guide can be found here: https://addictionrecovery.lds.org/spouses-and-families?lang=eng
Many say that pornography necessarily equates with severe choices such as deviance and extramarital affairs. That is a great leap. To combat porn use, a smaller stance needs to be taken. First, porn really is irrelevant. Take it or leave it. It isnt real, wastes time and money and doesnt help anyone. Looking at it as information, data if you will, a person can unemotionally disengage from attaching any meaning to it at all, positive or negative, as it is irrelevant. Saying that it is so evil ironically may make it harder to give up as it becomes large in the minds of people. Make it a small problem, as it is, and eliminate it. Men need to not justify its use if their wife is frigid as many are. Perhaps she is going through menopause or is in pain during coitus. This lack of coitus doesnt necessitate the husband victimize himself by looking at porn. Boyd K Packer advocated fasting in 1976 as a way of abstaining from porn. I think this is sound advice. The last part is that porn is not love. Just like meaningless coitus has no love, as it is with porn. Love really is what people are seeking with coitus, to connect to be with another person. It really isnt the physical act they are after, because that is no different really from eliminating waste from the body. And therefore because porn has no emotional worth it doesnt offer love.
@David. I don't know of any leader in the church who would condone or whitewash pornography addiction unless they were involved in it themselves, thus denying their promises and power of having the priesthood of God. The church emphatically teaches that pornography, lust, or adultery is a grave sin which is hurtful and damaging to all involved.
Thank you David for your response. I too think there needs to be more talking about this and ways offered for those in this trap to understand HOW to escape. I know of one who greatly desires to escape a long addiction buy for some reason still uses it as an escape from stress (even though it makes everything worse and MORE stressful)
I guess that is the nature of an addiction. But it would be wonderful if BYU researchers or LDS scientists could find/recommend something successful for blocking this brain addiction. I would welcome hearing from you David, how you accessed/felt the power of the Atonement in helping you overcome this addiction. Like you, I think that along with warning the boys/YM/men to avoid porn, there needs to be as much time and effort given to specific ways to overcome this. The 12 Steps program may work for those who CHOOSE to view porn, I feel some have been addicted so long that they fall back into it for re-wired brain reasons, not weak spiritual agency reasons. Again, thanks for your response.
@hollandpark, I don't know of any scientific studies but I was young and I was ashamed in my teens. Of course, when I was about 9 years old, my friends and I came across porn, at that time we were innocent and I recalled feeling nothing. We laughed as we looked, tore it to shreds and even burned it. I don't recall shame, I don't even think I knew what it was but a bunch of women.I felt shame in my teens but when I took my first look out of sincere curiosity, I had enjoyed what I saw but was shameful. At that moment on, I couldn't stop. Though, the atonement works wonders, something to not only know about but my discovery of that 18 years later, is that it's a life changing experience.I have been trying to have open porn discussions in the Elders Quorum in my ward, most brethren would rather keep these conversations with the Bishop but knowing the addictive nature, I know it has to be an open discussion within the church. If 5 in 8 men are addicted to porn, that is about 62.5% of male members that look at it (not counting adultery through sexual intercourse outside of marriage).What is more troubling, when I brought the discussion up for engagement, a member of the E.Q. presidency and a member of the high counsel tried to create some kind of justification for porn. As a recovering porn addict, I'm greatly disturbed by this trend. Some Brethren are creating justification, even stating that it's not as bad or even close to fornication.Jesus did say that if you look upon a woman to lust, then you have committed adultery already in your hearts. What Jesus said is that if you do one or the other, it is the same.How should looking at porn be any different from what Jacob, The Book of Mormon, spoke painfully boldly to the brethren when they were taking up multiple wives and concubines. He state to the brethren:"For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem, yea, and in all the lands of my people, because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands. And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people, which I have led out of the land of Jerusalem, shall come up unto me against the men of my people, saith the Lord of Hosts."Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds." (Jacob 2:31-32; 35)For anyone in this discussion, how is this different from taking on multiple wives or having concubines? Isn't looking at porn and fantasizing about it the same according to the words of Christ?Porn is a pandemic. We need to be talking about this more openly, especially among the priesthood brethren.(FYI, I have seen more discussions about this in Relief Society than priesthood. Time to be a man and own up to our major issue so there can be true healing as a church through the atonement.)
Does anyone know if there is research on shame of a porn addiction in achieving healing and recovery?? This man in this article realized early on porn was wrong. The couples I know where divorce has happened because of it--the husband liked porn and was not ashamed, and thought he did not have to change or repent, even members of the Church. They felt their wishes were more important than keeping covenants.
After 12 years of marriage and multiple STD's my X husband came clean, sort of. We continued to try for another 8 years. He was never interested in stopping. I kept going to church and going to counseling and he would not go. So after 18 years of marriage I kicked my porn addicted Sex addicted husband out. My kids were better off. I was certainly better off. Unfortunately, he has not changed. At least not from the little I hear from our kids. I remarried a great man and we have a wonderful life. Not prefect but what it should have been like. I am so amazed by all the aspects of a marriage porn addition can touch. I stayed as long with my X because of my children and when I got health enough I left because of them.
Great story of redemption and forgiveness. God helps us when we admit our weaknesses. Pornography tears families apart but there are solutions.
Power Over Pornography is a book that provides a step-by-step formula for overcoming pornography. It is available today, 3/15/16, as a free Kindle download.
That's awesome that your family got the healing and understanding that most families and couples in this situation never see.
My ex-husband also had an addiction to pornography that I was unaware of.
We had been married almost 8 years and had two children together and he had adopted my daughter from my previous marriage.
I found out about his addiction after he told me that he has been molesting my oldest daughter (the one he adopted).
I was hurt, devastated and sick to think that I had put my daughter into a harmful situation.
I kicked him out and that very day I received a phone call from his mother telling me that I needed to forgive him and let him move back in! That was NOT ever going to happen.
He had a daughter from a previous marriage an his first wife then started to question if he had also done the same tho their daughter.
About 6 months to a year after we got divorced I ran into a cousin of his and was talking about it, as she had no idea why we got divorced so suddenly. It was then that I found out that he had also molested her when she was my daughter's age and his entire family knew about it and covered it up. He never received help or counseling.
I prosecuted him and he only received a six month jail sentence and only served four months in jail.
If it had not been for our faith, our friends and family for support, we would not have been able to heal from this.
I eventually got remarried almost 11 years ago to a wonderful man and my oldest daughter got married almost a year ago.
There can be healing and every situation is different, resulting on a different outcome.
Where can I find the podcast? Thanks!
We all are tested! the question is, How do we react to the test? This was a couple,both heavily involved in the Gosple, who forgot one of the most precious of all gifts we have received from our Heavenly Father. The Attonement and what it means and provides for all of us. This couples children clearly understood the princple of Forgiveness. The adults, so wrapped in "What wii people think?" actually forgot to think and to pray for the things they valued most., their family! The children knew what they, the children valued most, their daddy and mother-their family. What a sad event to occur. What a wonderful event as result! A family saved. I'm thankfull to have read of this not common occurance with an even more "not common" ending.
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