According to the English dictionary, the definition of Addiction is: "the continued repetition of a behavior/rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences."
Ldsmag definition "Addiction exists when the repeated use of a mood altering substance or behavior (of any kind) has created a dependency on itself so intense that the person doing the behavior cannot find the will-power to quit, even when the behavior is causing serious damage to one’s relationships, health, employment, and personal sense of serenity and spirituality."
There's tons more definitions online if you'd like to check em out
My question is, If pornography addiction really didn't exist, like you stated, then a person could essentially use will power to stop watching it. Right? They also wouldn't have the long list of destructive "Addiction like" behaviors that come with watching porn. Correct?
And furthermore, if pornography addiction didn't exist, then it certainly wouldn't closely resemble heroin addiction on the brain scans....RIGHT? :)
Yet......it DOES resemble heroin addiction on brain scans. And millions of people really CAN'T stop through willpower. And it really DOES destroy lives.
I don't know. The evidence is pretty clear from my view. But maybe I'm biased because I'm a porn/sex addict and also an alcohol and drug addict, so I have something to compare it to?. Who knows.
Hemlock1: You say: "Michelle, your comment "Women who react strongly are not overreacting" is exactly the issue I have with this article (and series). Overreaction is not exactly how I read Jesus' reactions to sinners. In fact it's under-reaction that I see. It's forgiveness 7 x 70. Why? I imagine because he sees us as who we were and will be 10, 100, 1000 years in the future. As I said before I'm sickened by the pride of those that choose to "overreact."
One of the key things I have learned as I have read and heard hundreds of stories of loved ones of people with addictions of all sorts is that loved ones need Christ, too. Your comment to me makes it sound as though people in hard situations are supposed to automatically know how to deal with them.
I am concerned that often people don't understand the predictable fear, pain, and confusion that loved ones experience. (See principle 1 in the family support guide at arp.lds.org for an list of the predictable impacts addiction has on loved ones.) This is true in the large majority of situations; it's why family support groups exist.
The shock, fear, anger, etc is more common when people are not educated about how addiction works. Education and seeking personal healing are key. Then someone is able to start to discern how to be Christlike -- because knowledge can help them start to know how to let Christ heal them so they can then respond in more Christlike ways.
These women writing these posts are sharing knowledge and information that could have helped their marriages (which are now doing so much better because they have information and support!) The intent is not to stand on a pedastal, but to share from the trenches with those who are wondering about what to do in dating situations with someone who has had a porn problem.
I firmly believe that young adults who go into a marriage situation armed with knowledge can have a better chance of weathering the storms that will come if pornography has been a problem in the past.
Please know that this series is about wanting people to be able to work through this wherever possible, because with knowledge and with support and with Christ's healing grace, there is hope for both addict and loved one, both the one with the porn struggles and the loved ones affected by those struggles.
I hope you will give this series a chance.
Hemlock1, would you mind sharing the research that suggests pornography isn't really an addiction? There is a lot of research out there showing that pornography does have the same impacts on the brain as addictive substances do. My husband has struggled with compulsive sexual behavior for 23 years and he was never able to find recovery from this problem until he started to treat it like an addiction. Personally I don't really care what we call it (addiction vs. unhealthy coping vs. whatever), I only care that people have the information they need to overcome behaviors that are ruining their lives. I think addiction is a helpful word, because for me it highlights the physiologic changes that have occurred in that person's brain as a result of that behavior (changes in brain chemistry, shrinkage of frontal lobes, etc).
Also, I disagree with your statement that we as parents can control what our children are exposed to. We have some control, but the idea that we can control everything is just simply untrue. We cannot control what our children are exposed to at school, at friend's homes, etc etc. Many people who struggle with compulsive sexual behavior were sexually abused as children or adolescents or were sexually assaulted. This is not something we can control as parents unless we plan on being with our children 100% of them time. The only thing we can do is try to educate our children and make our homes safe places where these things can be discussed openly, without judgment or shame.
A US military study showed youth extensively exposed to porn before age 14 routinely viewed porn while in the military. Those that had minimal exposure before that age, showed little if no interest in the barracks or while deployed.
Immature brains can get hard wired to both good and bad "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
The fact is we parents can control what our children are exposed to. We may be too busy or we may be too permissive in who we let them hang around with. Or we don't love them enough to really give them consequences for their choices (confiscating a cell phone for a week or a month can be a beautiful thing).
Newer, and I think, more correct research with results on the problem(s) of pornography is that it is NOT an addiction. It is destructive and can be an all consuming coping mechanism, but it is NOT an addiction. Labeling it an "addiction" makes the person an addict, which with all other addictions, teaches them that "once they are an addict, they will be one the rest of their lives". Some twelve step programs work as do some weekly porn addicts anonymous programs, but this just gives them the structure they need. Heck 12 steps would help any of us exercise more and waste less time but participating doesn't make me/us an addict/s.
Calling it an "addiction" gets it so much more attention than calling it "inappropriate coping skills due to stress and boredom". The labeled "porn addict" when he/she is alone will reflect on other "addictions" that others have with them thinking, "I am just an addict, I am this way, I have this disease". False.
I have counseled many and helped them out if porn use. That said, I don't think anyone needs to start a marriage with someone that has a problem with porn.
Comparing this to Corianton is a stretch. The prodigal son and his "riotous living" is more appropriate.
"a man", please get help. I know it may seem impossible at times. But as an addict 8 years sober myself, I promise there's hope.
The church is pretty clear on the subject of pornography, divorce, marriage etc. If you have any issues with the church, prophets stance on divorce, pornography etc, I sincerely urge you to take it up with God.
Here's some church material that may be helpful in better learning the church's stance on these subjects. You CAN do it!! :
LDS Addiction Recovery Principle 8 for spouse's of porn addicts:
"Truly showing love may require us to do hard things, like setting limits, enforcing consequences, and obeying civil laws. Elder Russell M. Nelson taught that “real love for the sinner may compel courageous confrontation—not acquiescence! Real love does not support self-destructing behavior”.
We have a responsibility to set limits, make rules, and hold family members accountable for their choices. This is not done to control but rather to help our families stay safe and to minimize the negative impact of the addiction.
Limits or consequences should be clear and concrete. They may involve a natural result of actions taken. We can start with simple and specific limits we can implement. For example, an appropriate place to begin is to insist that our homes be free from pornography, addictive substances, or related negative influences.
******Any abuse we experience at the hands of our loved ones is unacceptable. “Abuse is the physical, emotional, sexual, or spiritual mistreatment of others. It may not only harm the body, but it can deeply affect the mind and spirit, destroying faith and causing confusion, doubt, mistrust, guilt, and fear”. Addiction itself can be a form of abuse. While we pray that our hearts will be filled with “tolerance and love” we know the Lord does not expect or want us to endure abusive behavior. It is important for us to take necessary steps to be safe and to stop the abuse. We need to seek help from Heavenly Father, Church leaders, or other trusted individuals about how to protect ourselves. In some instances separation or divorce may be justified. Elder Dallin H. Oaks has said, “We know that many of you are innocent victims—members whose former spouses persistently betrayed sacred covenants or abandoned or refused to perform marriage responsibilities for an extended period. Members who have experienced such abuse have firsthand knowledge of circumstances worse than divorce. When a marriage is dead and beyond hope of resuscitation, it is needful to have a means to end it” ******
Margaret Hoopes - Ensign - Alone through divorce:
"The traumatic experience one goes through in divorce seems little understood and not well enough appreciated; and certainly there need to be much more sympathy and understanding for those who have experienced this great tragedy and whose lives cannot be reversed. "
Michelle, your comment "Women who react strongly are not overreacting" is exactly the issue I have with this article (and series). Overreaction is not exactly how I read Jesus' reactions to sinners. In fact it's under-reaction that I see. It's forgiveness 7 x 70. Why? I imagine because he sees us as who we were and will be 10, 100, 1000 years in the future. As I said before I'm sickened by the pride of those that choose to "overreact." And yes to AJ I do understand the porn issue, what type of prideful comment is that? Do I need a resume listing all my sin appearances and battles before I have credibility? No. But perhaps we all need to step back and pull moats out of our own eyes before we "overreact" to beams in others'. See to me the "overreaction" is as much a sin of pride as the sin of porn. And unless we all understand this, then there are a lot of people who are in trouble on both sides. A quick example...how long have church members argued and judged others regarding the drinking of caffeine? In today's world in light of the church's written stance of "no stance" on caffeine I suppose we can see clearly the pride on both sides of that issue. What about those that idle their days away, or watch rated "R" movies, or don't apply themselves in school and don't get a good job, or eat to much and get fat. Women, should a man leave you because you break the word of wisdom and get fat? Should we leave our spouse because they have a low paying job resulting from screwing around in school? etc etc etc. How absurd. Those of you that "overreact" are not looking at things from an eternal perspective. Yes porn is a cancer of the spirit, without question, but ALL of our sins, all of them that we each have, are any a reason to overreact? I'm sorry if life is not fair and "whoa is me" for having to go through life with someone bound down with sin. I'm sorry if I offend, I'm not trying to belittle anyone. But I am saying that we forgive 7 x 70 and view with an eternal eye. I can't imagine how it would feel should a woman ever see her ex husband in the celestial kingdom that she left because he was going through a moment of addiction and she was not willing to suffer through it with him. It's about as crazy as a man seeing his beautiful resurrected wife he left because she couldn't live the word of wisdom. In both scenarios I think it more unlikely that the one who left is not the one that makes it there.
The following advice shared by Newly Wed, "The best thing you can do with being married to someone with an addiction is work on yourself" is wise indeed and I would add that there are many wonderful Twelve Step Programs and Community/Fellowship Meetings that can be explored as complimentary resources for “Recovery” outside of the Church's ARP program, and which have facilitated the healing and enabling power of The Atonement in my life. The Promises of "Relief and Recovery" are not just for those human frailties that we as a society are currently labeling "addiction" but for ALL of us who are working out our salvation from the effects of The Fall and the oppositions inherent in the "Natural Man/Women." Below is a link to one such Official Twelve Step sight with links to documents that are known as "The Problem" and "The Solution." The "Big Red Book" and accompanying “Workbook,” which serve as the approved literature for this 12 Step program, are easily accessible online and worldwide and always include the 12 Traditions, that are not currently emphasized in our Church Programs, but that I have found to be beautiful principles of truth and simple patterns for family living. The available resources for this particular 12 Step Program, are outstanding, comprehensive and easily the best scholarly literature and blueprint for life that I have ever discovered outside of the Scriptures and words of our modern day Prophets and Apostles. As I work daily in my own life to "increase my conscious contact" with my Heavenly Father and The Savior and practice the true Principles outlined in the Twelve Steps and Traditions, I have found a simple pathway to increased joy, happiness and freedom. Not that my life is free of "Opposition" (Elder Oaks "Opposition In All Things" Conference April 2016) quite the opposite actually.... ;) However through daily application of the simple principles outlined in The 12 Steps and Traditions, continuous prayer and scripture study, weekly partaking of the Sacrament, weekly Temple Attendance/Family History Work AND the group “Fellowship” meetings of 12 Step programs, I have found and am "inching" my way along the path that Elder Bednar so beautifully outlined in his General Conference address entitled."Always Retain a Remission Of Your Sins." For this I am so very grateful!
CD, I am sorry for what you are going through. The reality is that everyone is susceptible to the adversary's skills. In recovery circles, women in need of support are encouraged to reach out to other women, never to men. I hope you can find support in your healing process. Rejoicing Ex-Fiancee and Newly Married -- your experiences show how the Spirit really is key and how each person can seek and find personal revelation. There is simply no One Right Answer for what a woman should do when she is dating someone who has dealt with porn issues, or is married to someone with them. God will guide you. That is the bottom line. Again, thank you so much for sharing your stories.
The comments are a bit out of order (and hard returns don't show up) but I want to respond to what has been said.
A man (cont) -- shame definitely can hinder communication, but there is an equally true statement that the trauma of learning about a spouse's or loved one's addiction is also real. There is a saying in recovery circles that it is when the pain of change is greater than the pain of staying the same when recovery comes. In the series, you will hear from men who came to realize that even if the reaction was awful, coming clean as part of the healing process was more important than staying in addiction. Women who react strongly are not overreacting. They have their own process of healing that they need to go through. (Or women in their own addictions need to come clean, too. The principles are the same for everyone.)
This is more than a "man's disease". The female sex addicts are nearly equal to men, so don't let this article fool you. The impact is just as great when it's a woman. Please focus on the issue as a whole rather than pin it only on the men. I'm a female sex addict in recovery (3 yrs) and I know that women are far less likely to seek help than a man. Being a sex addict in any form carries with it a moral weight that exceeds even drug or alcohol dependence. It's "nasty" and we don't like to talk about it. When a man seeks help, it's "to be expected because men have a one-tracked mind". But when women seek help from their priesthood leaders, there is something 'wrong' with them. Please --- when it says "everyone should be educated" --- that goes for priesthood and auxiliary leaders as well! Leaders and others need to attend ARP meetings regularly to see what it's all about and know what it means to be an addict. It's not about "sex". It's about "lust", which is a form of greed, as are all addictions. They work the same way in the brain. The method of addiction doesn't matter -- the brain responds the same way. At some point, agency has been given away.
This response is for "a man". I do understand the point that you are making. As the spouse of an addict much of that was my reaction. But that is not the type of person that I am. Quite honestly, I didn't know I had it in me! No one knows how they are going to respond to trauma and tragedy. You can try to prepare for it, you can think that you are level headed and think that you can face anything, but until it comes, you really don't know. I did not know rage until I discovered my husband's pornography addiction. There is understanding that needs to come from both sides. This is why counseling is an absolute must for the marriage to make it and for the addict to recover. There is a lot of hope. One of the sites that has helped me a great deal is www.salifeline.org and one of the very BEST things that I have ever read is their flyer that covers all aspects of this addiction for the addict, spouse, marriage and family. Here is the link: https://salifeline.org/salifeline.org/Flyers/Recovery_Brochure_P9_Spreads.pdf
"a man", the battle rages on both sides. I am trying desperately to see my husband's side as I am trying to recover myself.
Sister Reeves touched on something that is far more common than people are willing to talk about: Married women reconnecting with former boyfriends. It should never happen. Do not delude yourself in to thinking you can be "just friends" because, as soon as your spouse disappoints you, instead of forgiving them you will turn to this "friend" and use that disappointment as justification to carry on what becomes an affair. My sons and I are suffering because my wife has done exactly that. It has gone on for years. Our oldest is preparing for a mission. I recently asked her where she was going to be when he got his endowments: "I don't know" was her reply. She cannot get her recommend renewed as both the Bishop and Stake President know. Please, forgive your spouse and do not turn to anyone else for "support" whom you may fall for! It is adultery.
What is my point? Porn comes in many packages and this is one of them. Women are falling for it more than ever before. Sister Holland said if she were Satan, she would target the woman in the family. Guess what? Satan is doing exactly that.
I wanted to add just a bit to my comment yesterday. Women cry out asking why boys/men seem to be so secretive about porn use. Is it any wonder why, when the reaction to admitting is one of gnashing of teeth, tearing of clothes, placing of ashes on head, or possibly walking out the door? What man, knowing of the reaction awaiting him, would come forth to admit to a woman with that attitude. Women, change your reactions and you will get more communication. Women, be very aware that any time a man comes to you to admit to wrong doing he is coming with a full understanding that the reaction may be very very harsh. How many of you women would come forth with your addiction to social media and fifty shades of gray deviant fantasies if you knew your life could be shattered at the confession? I think its time to realize how huge it is to a man to confess. And how absolutely necessary it is for women to stop their typical overreaction because all it does it keep things hidden.
Ric, thank you, thank you for sharing your experience! I could not agree more about the need for more compassion and mercy. It is the small minority, at least in stories I have seen/heard/read where the seeds of sexual addiction aren't planted at young and tender ages. Andrew at Rowboat and Marbles was the one who first helped me understand this when I first started doing research and sharing information at mormonwoman.org And I will just second your plug for 12 steps. I feel like I was so blessed to feel pressed to help get more information online because I was exposed to stories of recovery that moved me so deeply that I chose to attend meetings for myself to learn how to access the Atonement better in my life. (Another Meridian series is in the works about 12 steps, in fact!) It is one of the greatest blessings that has ever come my way. I can feel the spirit of recovery in your words, and I hope you will keep sharing your story. We worship such a merciful God.
Douglas, thanks for sharing what has helped you navigate your life against the challenges and temptations that come to us all as mortals.
Debra, it is true that women struggle with this, too. There are a growing number of resources out there to help women. As part of the 12-step series I mentioned above, I will be sharing a story of a woman who is finding recovery from her addiction. You can also read stories at ldsaddictionrecoveryblogs.blogspot.com. I would also recommend the documentary "The Heart of the Matter" that shares a couple of incredibly moving and hopeful women's stories. The LDS ARP site also has stories of women who have struggled.
A wife in the trenches -- obviously the Hope and Healing forum women will agree with you, and so do I. I also believe that every parent should learn about how addiction works (not just pornography/sexual addiction but any addiction) so as to help children learn resiliency and healthy coping skills. That's not to say we can make our children not have addictions, but it can help to know how to talk about addiction with them. A good book for talking to kids about porn addiction is Good Pictures, Bad Pictures.
Thanks for all the comments. It's great to see discussion about this important topic.
lulu, I'm so sorry for what your son and family have gone through. I believe God is always reaching out, and I hope that your son will be able to come to himself and find that loving God who is waiting for him.
a concerned dad, my heart goes out to you, too. The reason I created the Hope and Healing site is because I had seen a lot of hope as I researched the topic for readers of another site that was getting a lot of traffic from wives (mormonwoman.org). There IS hope, and these women who are walking the path have both hard experience with the challenges and experience with healing and recovery. I will be sure to pass on your hope about the series. I agree that hope is so important when dealing with this hard topic. God bless you and your family. (Have you attended any family support meetings?)
a man -- you are right. I hope you read the post, and read Sister Stephens' words. Addictions are present in both men and women, and they can cause heartache to their spouses and loved ones. Please know that we are aware of this. This particular series has a particular focus because the group of people who are sharing happen to be wives of those who have dealt with pornography or other challenges. The intent is not to suggest that men are the only ones who have such challenges.
Kate, I am sure that every woman who has walked this path would agree that this should be discussed before and after marriage. This is one reason they want to do this series; your daughter's experience of marrying someone who thought he had overcome the issue is unfortunately very common. It is said that her ex did not share with his wife -- those who don't try to fix the problem alone and don't hide have a lot better chance of finding recovery.
(More responses below....)
a man - I find your comments a bit shallow. In case you're not aware, it's not just the porn itself that is the problem. The lying, deceiving, blaming, etc is as well. I'm not saying women are justified in the things you mention but the porn issue is a lot deeper than you seem to understand.
I would have been married 10 years ago, tomorrow to a wonderfully talented and sweet man with same-sex and hard-core female pornography addiction issues. He was my best friend, at the time and I loved him more than anything. I prayed and hoped to be that woman who would facilitate healing and wholeness within him. Sadly, when I asked for safeguards, communication, counseling, and time for healing to be implemented, I was told that I was "crazy" to expect that from him. It was like seeing Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde replayed over and over. Frightening and heart-wrenching. My being felt utterly shattered...for us and for his personal decisions.
The decision to continue/discontinue an intimate relationship with an addict of any type is very personal and has possibly serious ramifications. Addiction is a big deal. Let us not underestimate how challenging it really is--even for Corianton. I believe an individual, showing forth true fruits of change can occur. Lives are made beautiful by embracing the light and strength of the Savior. I believe loved ones receive discernment as they pray for it. God will guide us in our close relationships. My decision to leave that relationship, though bitterly devastating was right for me. It's not what I wanted but I knew very deeply that my Heavenly Father had a different path for me. I have felt such peace and freedom to move forward and flourish in a life of purpose. I'm glad that I kept asking questions, trying to reach out, love him as best I could. I am also very glad that I kept asking Heavenly Father for knowledge of my personal truth and that I followed the convictions of that truth. For such guidance, my soul rejoices!
I've been married to my husband a little over 6 months. At the beginning of our year long courtship, he told me about his pornography addiction. He had also committed some serious sexual sins too that kept him from taking the Sacrament for a year and was being seen by church counsel. It was a lot of work for him to become worthy again.
I fell in love with him. He has many qualities I admire. He now is a temple worthy member. I am writing to tell you that there is hope in dark times. My husband knows the Saviour and he knows the atonement. He has never stopped believing when everything was falling apart. I love him and am so grateful for the man he is today.
I was comforted by that Sisters response to the question about dating a member with pornography addiction. I was not wrong to marry my husband and sometimes I did feel judged by close friends and family for marrying an addict. His heart is good. We all struggle with sin. Just because his sin is "louder" doesn't make me more of saint.
The best advice I have gotten came from my mother in law. She said, "the best thing you can do with being married to someone with an addiction is work on yourself." I can support my husband but I do not need to bear his cross. The Saviour has done that already.
He still struggled with porn sometimes, but it doesn't make him a bad person. I can't imagine my life without him. We have too much good in our relationship. We both love God and have faith in Jesus and that is the most important thing.
I love my Corianton.
I have a son, "Charles," in his mid-30s who's been struggling w/a sexual addiction for about 25 years. My husband & I knew he had problems, but could never put our finger on what was wrong & Charles never said a word to us. By the time he was in his teens he was trying to access porn websites & spending time w/an acquaintance (also LDS) who managed to get hold of magazines. Charles' grades in schools were terrible, he had a hard time making friends, no one his age wanted to be around him, even his sisters avoided him. We knew there seemed to be an obsession w/sex, which resulted in his getting his high school girlfriend pregnant when they were both seniors. We saw it coming but couldn't avoid it. They were married a few months before graduation, he went into the Armed Forces to support his family, served 4 years, had 2 kids, the marriage had trouble from the beginning, as he was unfaithful to his wife, kept porn all around, his wife was crying all the time. Once discharged he got a good job, then quit a year later, kept going from job to job, got an online girlfriend who just fed his fantasies. No employer in the area would hire him. His wife had to divorce him & no one blamed her. Eventually he was charged w/attempted sexual assault on his ex-wife & was sentenced 8-10 years in a correctional facility (reduced to 18 months for good behavior). It was in prison that Charles finally admitted that he had been molested by neighborhood boys when he was about 10 years old & instead of saying no or telling us about it, he just got more curious about sex. We never knew, he never told us a thing. His father & I divorced ages ago, I moved thousands of miles away. Charles is out of prison, has had difficulty getting & keeping any job, has been homeless, every dime he makes goes to the kids for support, has had a restraining order against him, his life has been an absolute, total disaster since that day he was molested--and it's gotten worse every year. He's even threatened suicide. The church runs an addiction program in his community but he refuses to go. Even his sisters hardly speak to him because he did something to them long ago--and they won't ever talk about it. I wish I could go back to that one day all those years ago and stop what had happened. How different his life would be now! And I can't help him, I can't do anything but keep him in my prayers. I ache & sympathize for anyone struggling with these issues.
I look forward to this series. Most of our children have struggled with this issue, despite my wife and I having a fairly high level of awareness and being tech savvy. One adult child has a serious addiction and has been going to treatment for a long time. We work continuously to develop and implement Christlike love for our broken children, but sometimes it's heartbreaking work. We hope for happy healthy marriages for our children but wonder whether each of them will ultimately manage it. I guess I'm hoping for some hope from this series.
When I hear/read advice to women to run from a man they love who views pornography it sickens me. When I hear/read of women who leave their husbands because they are addicted to porn but are great men it sickens me. Enough of this crap. Women need to get off their high horse. I think its time church leaders stood up and said women have an addiction as well...its called social media. Its called romance novels. Anyone that thinks that porn to a man is not the same thing as these to women are full of pride. I can't imagine advice given to men saying leave your wife/girlfriend as soon as you see them reading a romance novel or if they spend 3 hours a day on social media. No no no no. We are all sinners. We are all imperfect. We all make mistakes. But are we striving, are we making strides, are we endeavoring to endure, are we raising good families?
It is vital to discuss porn both before AND after the wedding. My daughter's husband had a problem with it before his mission, was open with her about it and she was assured it was in the past. He shared all his passwords and such before they were even married. The stresses of school and work and life took their toll, however, and after they were married he began using porn again (yes, it is definitely used as a stress reliever) but he hid it from her, being far more computer-savvy than she. After all, he had hid it from his very computer-savvy dad since he was 13, so his trusting wife was easy. He told himself that he would fix the problem himself, that he would never have to tell her, that she would never know that he had messed up. Well of course that meant the Spirit was no longer with him, and he felt ashamed and hid further and so on. She had no idea what was going on. In the end he left the church (sure that it was the church making him feel guilty--"everyone knows it's natural to look at porn!") and before long decided that he didn't want to be married anymore ("My 20s should be spent experimenting!"). So, so sad--for both of them. We need to be open about porn with all of our kids and between adults--it's insidious. And if anyone thinks any of their kids over 12 (maybe over 8) haven't seen porn, they are in a serious state of denial.
I am grateful that this topic is being discussed because it is sadly something that is becoming much more prevalent than in the past. In my opinion that is a good thing because more men (and women, which is sad that this article doesn't address the fact that women are dealing with sex addiction at alarming rates today also) are confronting their problem and being willing to talk about it and work through it much sooner than they used to.
I am in recovery from sexual addiction. It started when I was young and I learned to hide it from the beginning. I never told my wife I had an issue because I assumed that marriage would help fix the problem. She learned about it in our 2nd year of marriage and obviously was devastated. I don't know what would have happened if I had approached her about it when we were dating, but I do know that we had confirmations that we should get married. Now in our 17th year of marriage we have worked through this addiction and I am in strong recovery. I never could have done it without her help and support! I am not condoning addiction, but I really believe there needs to be more mercy and grace and less condemnation and judgment in the church with all sin and especially addiction. When a child at the tender age of 10 or younger enters into this not realizing the impact of the decision or what it will do to his future we have got to support and uplift and not chastise and scorn. If I had not been blessed with supportive family and spouse, I would probably be in prison today without family and without hope. That is where addiction leads and all who do not seek and receive help end up there.
I want to say thank you to the Church for creating the 12-step program for both addicts and loved ones. That program is absolutely necessary for both sides. If you are struggling with a spouse that has an addiction, go to these meetings and use the healing power of the atonement. It works!!
Addiction thrives in secrecy so communication is the key. I won't say that every couple should just try and work through this if there is an addiction because sometimes that isn't the best, but the addicts need help and support even if marriage ends in divorce or engagement is broken.
I am a father of 10 children and I'm 70 years old. The one scripture I found which ALL members of the Church should memorize is 1 Cor. 10:13-14. This ought to be memorized, understood, used in prayers, and most of all practiced. In 13, we are told by Paul, "There hath no temptation taken you but is common to man." This means that EVERY man and woman can not think or see or read of any sin or terrible acts without them being common to everyone! Here is where it should be introduced that the greatest blessing given to mortals which we experience is the blessing of procreation. Yet, this has to be controlled and used righteously. If we use it inappropriately, according to the commandments of our Heavenly Father, our actions lead to sadness, years of anxiety, heartbreak, and nightmares. Used appropriately within marrieage, they represent the joy of being human in a pleasing way to our Father in Heaven. The rest of 13. is fairly easy to understand. In 14. we read, ..."FLEE idolatry." Substitute evil for idolatry and we have the finest tool known to flee from evil. In Olympic measured time, or 1/100 of a second, flee any evil thoughts, pictures on the t.v., internet, speaking regrets about another person (think divorced people,) speaking about anger for many years towards another, or any other impure thinking. That, my readers, works. Please, memorize these two scriptures, pray that you can learn to flee from evil. It (learning how) is a process. After a short period, it works and will work for your entire life. Remember, anyone can view or participate in evil, the faithful will, with the Lord's help, be able to resist ANY evil, even a seductive Potiphar's wife. In addition, do you think slavery and abuse of women is all right in our live and let live world? Did you know that experts tell us that there are over 25 million women and children of both genders who are slaves and held captive? With the help of illegal drugs these people are asked to pose in pictures and have illegal relations with sex addicted people. Next time someone has the urge to view pornography, remind therm that such evil exists. Don't view, embrace that which is good, and most of all, FLEE from evil in any form. I love the Church, I have taught this for over a decade. It works.
Love this article. The church is working hard to address recovery from sex addiction and I am grateful for that. But women are struggling with this on a larger scale than men so please find stories about women who are addicted
This is a fantastic idea! I am really looking forward to this series. It is my heart-felt opinion that every LDS couple considering engagement and marriage should discuss pornography first, as directly and openly as possible, and with the Spirit at your side. And married couples who haven't had the conversation yet need to as well! It's a widespread problem, and openness is one of the main keys to surviving this plague.
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