Comments | Meridian Magazine

Sign up for our newsletter

   

Signed up, but still not getting our newsletter? Click here.

 

August 18, 2022

Comments | Return to Story

anonimousMay 5, 2016

As the wife of a man who was a pornography addict for 15 years of our marriage, he too a returned missionary... with a, good heart? I know of the pain involved. I agree with some of the comments here , specially "there are a lot of women who think that as long as their husband is going to the temple, all is well and porn isn't an issue." and also this one directed to the mother "I hope YOU have enough integrity to tell her the truth" My husband withheld truth, he though that by doing this he wasn't lying, deceiving not only himself but his whole family. He broke covenants, got diseases that he covered very well because of the actions pornography led him to.....Because of his self absorbed behavior we lost 3 of our children to the world....he didn't know how to be a father or a husband, spiritual intimacy didn't exist, and if he was an actor I would have given him an Academy award. Nothing compares to the pain of betrayal, you just never recover from that. Your heart is shattered to pieces and I am thankful the Lord truly understands this pain and he hears the cries from heaven. Every tear shed will be accounted for. I never knew what depression was until a few months after I found out of his complete betrayal. Of course I "wasn't the problem" according to our leaders so nobody helped me with my Post Traumatic Syndrome. I know that you should never go into marriage with this horrible issue hoping it will resolve once you are married. I doesn't. It is completely egoistic to bring such selfish behavior into the sacredness of marriage. My youngest daughter is 13, pure and clean, whose only desire is to do the will of the Lord...she dreams with marrying a return missionary in His temple, where you are supposed to be clean to enter...so I say to your son: Learn to use the Atonement in your life and clean yourself first by taming your passions before breaking anyone daughter's heart.

DaveApril 23, 2016

As a retired deputy sheriff, I have seen many instances where individuals, mostly men, get into pornography, then go to child pornography, then progress (or regress if you want to call it what it is) further into solicitation for sexual acts. I say men mostly because in my experience I have seen of only a few women do so. Once a person starts with child porn they cross the line from legal (but wrong) to illegal. Some of these attempt to solicit minors online. As one reader stated, there is a direct link to porn, sex trafficking, sex slavery, & even murder in order to cover up crimes & hide from the world. It is so important for parents, in this time of modern technology, to monitor what there children innocently or purposefully see on their smart devices & computers. It is not snooping, it is called parental supervision, & it is absolutely necessary to do until your child is an adult. Don't just teach them that porn is wrong, teach them that it is powerful, seductive, & temporarily gives them a high type of feeling, but that the low right after is much more powerful than the high. Teach them that it not only ruins marriages, but that it can destroy their eternal life. Watch out for depression because it often is the result that happens to our young people when they feel filthy after doing things that they know brings them self shame.

MichelleApril 22, 2016

Re: The temple recommend question: The Handbook states something to the effect that pornography is not an automatic reason to lose a temple recommend. I think the leaders understand that there is a spectrum of engagement with pornography (see Elder Oaks' article from last fall along those lines). That said, there is also often a misunderstanding about the difference between repentance (stopping behavior) and recovery (getting to the roots of why the behavior was there in the first place -- as someone mentioned above, life coping skills and spiritual health (real connection with God, not just going through the motions). Someone can be temple worthy and still not be in recovery. That is one thing that can make this tricky. It's why this series can be valuable - to learn from those who have walked the path what recovery looks like.

AnonymousApril 19, 2016

"When the time for marriage comes, I encourage young women and young men to be careful to select a partner to be their companion through eternity who is clean and pure before the Lord and worthy to enter the temple. Individuals who fully repent from pornography are worthy of these blessings." - Elder Oaks, New Era, October 2015

Betrayed wifeApril 19, 2016

I am loving this series. I am married to a sex addict and it hasn't been an easy road for me. I've wanted out of my marriage many many times over the last 3 decades. When I've asked Heavenly Father what I should do I have felt him encouraged me to stay. Now my husband has been in recovery for the last 2 1/2 years and he has become the man of my dreams. All that therapy and 12 step work has helped him be empathetic and connected. He is making up for lost time and I feel like I am watching a miracle from the front row. I'm also thankful for what I have become through this process. We had a trek meeting for youth in our ward this past week and the leader said that he had been on many treks and there are 3 typical responses from the youth after their trek experience. The first, is that they did it and they are glad it's over. The second, is that it was the hardest thing that they have ever done and the third is that they made every step count and learned as much as they could and have become a new person. As a betrayed wife, I have done all 3 of these things during my personal trek of being married to a sex addict. The last choice is working out the best for me. Every story is unique. Thank you again for this helpful post!

anonymousApril 19, 2016

I agree that anyone who has a pornography addiction should be honest about it, especially when it comes to a potential partner. The only part that gave me pause was the repeated mention of the addict as "having a good heart". I have worked as a substance abuse counselor and I can't tell you the number of times I have heard these exact same words used to describe an addict, usually from a codependent parent or spouse. Most of the time it's "he just got out of jail, but he has a good heart." OR "She's addicted to heroin, but she has a good heart." OR "He molested my daughter, but I stayed with him because he has a good heart." A "good heart" is not enough to make a marriage. It takes effort, obedience and a willingness to go well beyond one's heart condition. Addiction and the special challenges/dangers that go with it cannot be summarized in one paragraph, but certainly one needs to be open about it so that an informed decision can be made. Women, watch out for a mother who says her son has a good heart, as a great deal of personal bias probably exists. If you really want to know what to do, stay close to the Holy Ghost who can righteously guide you with out any personal bias. These types of decisions should ultimately be between you and God...and no one else, not even a well meaning mother.

AnonymousApril 19, 2016

Although I'm sure it wasn't the intention of the author to suggest this, I think we need to be absolutely clear about one thing. A young woman is in no way obligated to accept the proposal of a young man who has a past or present struggle with pornography, no matter how good his heart is. It is not being judgmental for that reason alone to end a relationship. It is not her obligation to help fix him. No marriage is easy, and one with pornography in one of its partner's history is even more challenging. A woman needs to seriously consider whether she is prepared to deal with the emotional stress and trauma that come with having a partner who has struggled with this addiction. That stress could be part of your life every day for a long time. A young woman who has kept herself morally clean and pure (or through the Atonement has become so) has every right to wait for a partner who has done the same. We cannot pressure these sweet sisters to expect less because, well, "it's a boy thing" and he is otherwise a good guy. If, with all the cards on the table and eyes wide open, she chooses to accept this responsibility, she will be strengthened by the knowledge that she chose this path herself. I married a man with the very best heart, Eagle Scout, returned missionary, student at BYU, who chose to keep his long addiction to pornography from me for the first six years of our marriage (and only admitted it when the Spirit bore undeniable witness to me that there was a problem). Although we are fighting hard to keep our family together and help him overcome his addiction, it is a struggle I would never want anyone to feel pressured to take on unwillingly. Perhaps part of the reason for this pandemic that is sweeping the earth, and hitting hard members of the church, is because we are too willing to write this off as to be expected, just part of the world we live in, implying to our daughters that they can expect no better of their future spouses. Our daughters have a right to better. We can love and support the sinners in this scenario without making our daughters (or sons, in the case of a women with a history with pornography) bear the weight of sins they did not commit.

AnonymousApril 19, 2016

@warbunny, Pardon my bluntness in return, I feel that this is a very important issue and needs to be addressed with the utmost honesty and openness. I have struggled for a long time with pornography. I was very very blessed to get into a serious relationship several years ago, but before I did we had an honest discussion about my use of pornography, and went over every one of these questions. I brought them up voluntarily and consider this discussion the minimum standard for an honest discussion between people who are considering a serious committed relationship. If you want to have an eternal relationship with someone you absolutely must be able to be honest and forthcoming about your struggles, with pornography, with self doubt, with anger issues, road rage, that you had a bad day, about anything and everything. Part of being an eternal companion is being there for your spouse when they are having a hard time or struggling. Nobody should ever enter a marriage without knowing what they are taking on in terms of the past and thereby likely future, struggles of their partner. My significant other knew what I was struggling with BEFORE she decided to commit herself to our relationship, she took that knowledge to the Lord in prayer, and decided to work with me. We agreed on some clear boundaries, and I sent her an accountability report every week so she knew where I was at, and what progress I was making. Her help and loving support became an imperative aspect of my recovery. After I had been clean for some time, and was confident that I could remain so, my bishop and I agreed that I was ready to get my temple recommend again. Shortly thereafter I was blessed to be sealed to my dearly beloved. We continue to have open and honest discussions on the subject, it is by no means easy, but it brings a great deal of depth and trust to our relationship. In my opinion if you can’t have an honest conversation with your significant other about these things then you are not prepared for the intimacy of a marriage relationship.

Fuller'sApril 19, 2016

Sadly I have known many people, both married and single, young and old who have fallen into this trap. It can wreck marriages, destroy happiness and can lead to criminal prosecution in many cases for sexual assault or rape. The cultural impact of a permissive sexual society where anything goes contributes mightily to this problem. Takes a long time for many to overcome this compulsive and addictive behavior. Guess our experience seeing both LDS members and others deal with it, has very similar in its effect on users. Knowing lust from love is critical - and understanding how this literally affects the brain like other addictions is vital. The National Center for Sexual Exploitation has a newsletter with many good articles as well. Connects the dots between pornography, sex trafficking of minors, prostitution and many other legal issues. Wasn't it Pres. Hinckley who described it in a conference talk years ago as a dark and ominous plague cutting across races, cultures and all boundaries, wiping out families and society? You can look around you and see someone who has been affected. In America 2 in 5 (or 4 in 10) underage young girls are sexually molested by someone they know - the porn connection is in the high 80's percentile. Something to think about...safeguard your children and educate them on dangers.

GoodwinsApril 19, 2016

Great article on authentically talking about pornography with a potential spouse. In answer to the question, "What are you doing about it?" I would add the following. 12 step programs can be helpful but have a high relapse rate. There are complementary programs that work well and have lower relapse rates. One of the best is in the book Power Over Pornography. If you want to help someone overcome pornography viewing, refer them to this resource, not just to 12-step programs or to therapists.

B CrawfordApril 19, 2016

If your "good hearted" son doesn't honestly open up or his sweet righteous fiancé doesn't ask the right questions, I hope YOU have enough integrity to tell her the truth. You know the truth about your son, you know the pain and degradation that lies ahead for an unsuspecting, naive or hopelessly/ignorantly in love young girl. Don't shirk your responsibility to a young girl interested in your son and require her to find out information about a person who knows how to hide his darkness. Would you want a mother who knows her "charming" son physically abuses women to hope YOUR daughter asks the right questions? No! If you have damning information about your child, you must be forthcoming.

JimmyApril 19, 2016

Struggling with porn and has a temple recommend? Why? Do alcoholics who struggle with booze have a temple recommend? Does someone who struggles with murder (only a step higher than adultery or anything like unto it) have a temple recommend? What does "worthy to enter the temple" mean? Have we relegated pornography to a minor sin on the order of failing to do our home teaching? We can love the sinner and try to help, but there are standards, aren't there?

just a thoughtApril 19, 2016

Interesting that the author mentions her son having a temple recommend. I think there are a lot of women who think that as long as their husband is going to the temple, all is well and porn isn't an issue.

just a thoughtApril 19, 2016

Another question that needs to be asked is about their coping skills. How do they deal with stress, disappointment, etc??? Do they have a pity party and use that as an excuse for these behaviors and choices or do they do something healthy instead? Also, apostles have promised greater protection from the adversary for people who do indexing and family history work so that is another tool to put in the toolbox aside from arp meetings, scripture study, prayer, etc.

CharlieBrown2292April 19, 2016

As much as we want to fight the terrible effects of this pornography plague, let us never forget Elder Boyd K. Packer's recommendation ("Little Children" - October 1986 General Conference): "the study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel."

warbunnyApril 19, 2016

Pardon my bluntness. I believe this is very important to state. The suggested conversation is an interrogation! The son and Bishop, not a third party, are responsible for his own repentance and spiritual progress and personal accountability. Many temple interviews are not even as intense as what you suggest. Any sincere answer from the brother could become a non negotiable to a sweet sister unable to understand and quick to judge if she has no similar testosterone driven experience. Relationships fail when either partner develops contempt or becomes a warden,judge or police officer of the intended or actual spouse. That is not a proper role for either partner. If a man did this interrogation, the woman she would probably worry or complain about "dominion" or control of her. That is not harmony, helper, supporter, lover, facilitator. Several years ago a RS lesson made a powerful point with an important slogan: "The wife is NOT the husband's Holy Ghost!". The interrogation you suggest will work well if the intention is to find a reason to chase a spiritual woman away from her son....or him from her.

ADD A COMMENT

  • INSPIRATION FOR LIVING A LATTER-DAY SAINT LIFE

    Daily news, articles, videos and podcasts sent straight to your inbox.