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I’m Dating a Porn Addict

LJ writes:

Hello sisters. I’ve been dating a guy for two months now and I really like him. He’s a great LDS guy and things are progressing. I think we have a future together. The only problem is that he has had a problem with pornography addiction over the past ten years. Some of my friends think I should dump him because of that, but he’s been sober for three months now with only a couple of slip-ups and is really open and honest with me about his temptations and mistakes.

We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. I think that he deserves a chance to be happy and to have love and a family, just like the rest of us. But two of my friends won’t let it go. I’d ask my mom, but I don’t want to cloud her perception of him with his past mistakes. Could you tell me what you think?

Tracy says:

It may not seem so now, but I can tell you without any equivocation that the decision you make about dating this guy will be a major contributing factor to the rest of your life, whether you end up marrying him or not. Because if your willing to continue to pursue this relationship, knowing what you know, then it says a lot about who you’re likely to date in the future.

First, let’s start with the last thing you said, “I’d ask my mom, but I don’t want to cloud her perception with his past mistakes.” First, we’re not talking about “the past,” are we? In three months he’s had “slip-ups.” So he might have slipped up last week? Yesterday? Ten minutes ago? Second, think about what you said: you “don’t want to cloud her perception.”

You don’t? Isn’t that exactly what you want to do? Telling the truth won’t “cloud her perception.” Hiding the truth will cloud it.

For her to have an accurate perception, she’d have to know the truth. The truth is how things really are. She can’t have an accurate perception without the truth. You’re only allowing her to see and know, what you want her to see and know.

Be honest with yourself. You don’t want her to know how things really are; you want to cloud her perception. You want her to think that he’s this great guy with no serious hang ups. You like him, so you want her to like him. You’re not allowing her to have a true perception. And you know she wouldn’t approve of him if she knew the truth, so you’re clouding her perception of him, by withholding the truth.

I promise you, you have no idea the huge problem that pornography is in this young man’s life. For you to say “he’s a great LDS guy…” and “the only problem is a pornography addiction” demonstrates that you don’t understand how horrible and far-reaching such an addiction really is.

You said that he’s had this problem for ten years. Someone with a ten year addiction is not “sober” in three months. Besides, you can’t be sober and have a few “slip-ups”. Slipping up means that he’s not sober. Don’t you see that? You’re either committing the sin or you’re not, right? You’ve either fully repented, or you haven’t. If he’s “slipping up” then he hasn’t fully repented. He hasn’t had the change of heart that comes with true repentance.

He might want to stop, but the pornography has such a huge power over him, that he’s continuing to do it. And I can almost guarantee you that he’s looking at it more than he’s admitting. People with addictions do this all the time. They admit to “a little something here” and “a little something there.” But they never tell the whole truth. They only tell just enough to make you think they’re telling the truth.

And you must know that looking at pornography is not an isolated sin. I’m not trying to gross anyone out, but the truth is the truth, and this is too important to not address. People don’t just “look” at pornography. They do “other things” while they’re looking at it. If he’s been looking at pornography for ten years then he’s been those “other things” for ten years, too. And if he does that, then it’s likely that he’s been committing several other sins of immorality with other people.

You said “he deserves to be happy.” Do any of us “deserve” to be happy?

Happiness isn’t something that we deserve. It’s something that we pursue, something that we earn. If you really think about it, happiness is almost like a reward. Isn’t happiness the result of the good and righteous choices we’ve made? Remember the quote “wickedness never was happiness”? He can’t be happy as long as he continues in his sin.

Does Heavenly Father want him to be happy? Of course! Does Heavenly Father want this young man to do as you said and get married and have a family? Of course he does…. eventually, after he’s fully repented. Plus, any therapist will tell you, he’d have to go for at least a good two years to be considered “addiction free.” This young man can’t even go for three months! Families are ripped apart and destroyed by this. Is that a chance you’re willing to take? Especially when he’s still dealing with it and hasn’t given it up yet?

He’s a tormented soul right now. The last thing he needs is to be dating. But you know what? The person I’m the most concerned about right now is you. Think about some of the things you said:

  • You’ve only been dating him for two months.
  • Already, you’re talking about possibly having “a future together”
  • And that’s despite the fact that he’s had a pornography addiction for ten years

Sweetheart, think deeply about yourself for a minute. What is it about you, that makes this picture look attractive to you? Why, once you found out about his problem, would you continue to be interested, when there are young men out there who are worthy now, who don’t have this problem, and won’t suffer the effects of it for the rest of their lives, the way this young man most likely will? Why are you so desperate for a relationship that you’re willing to accept this, instead of pursuing a different guy who doesn’t come with so much baggage? Why have you set such a low standard?

What makes it worse, is this guy is still involved in the sin. So he can’t worthily exercise the priesthood, bless the Sacrament or pass it. He can’t worthily hold callings, or say an opening or closing prayer at church….why is that attractive to you? Don’t you want more than this?

I’m going to make a huge leap. And forgive me if this seems too forward, but remember, you have complete anonymity. I don’t know who you are, and neither does anyone else.

I have the feeling that things have already gone too far between you and this young man.

To what extent? I can’t say. Only you know the answer to that. But let me tell you why I feel this way.

First, a young woman who has kept herself morally clean and has no feelings of shame, would not continue to date a young man once she found out that he had such a horrible and wanton addiction, one that’s lasted for so long, and one that he continues to “slip up” on. It would be an automatic turn off. And second, it would explain why you already feel so attached to him, that your willing to sort of “brush off” one of the most far-reaching, and life altering sins.

Please don’t misunderstand, I am not saying that someone who’s kept all the standards of chastity could never be interested in someone who hasn’t. Someone who has repented is clean before the Lord. He remembers it no more. That’s the miracle of forgiveness. And there are plenty of people who have truly repented of sexual sin and were then worthy to marry in the temple, to someone who’d remained clean. But, if this guy had been shooting up with heroine for ten years, and was sober for only three months (except for a few slip-ups here and there when he gave in to the temptation) would you have written in telling us that you think you might have a future together? That everyone makes mistakes and he deserves to be happy and have a family and children?

Well isn’t this the same?

Sweetheart do you feel so unworthy that this looks “good” to you? If so, why? Whether your lack of self-worth is from sin or something else, please don’t settle like this.

If you have need to repent, repent. Stop torturing yourself. Bishops don’t yell at you like some angry parent. You know what they do? They cry with you. Literally. They pray with you. They pray for you. They help you to become clean and truly happy.

If I was completely wrong and you’re relationship with this man is totally innocent, then keep it that way and call it off. Because I promise you, you can’t be in a romantic relationship with a man who has an addiction to pornography and sexual sin and maintain you’re own virtue. He’ll pressure you, push you a little further each time, slowly knocking down your defenses and in the heat of the moment, you’ll eventually succumb.

Your friends are right. And you know what? I think that when you’re laying in bed at night, and your all alone in the quiet, you know you shouldn’t be in this relationship. You probably tell yourself you’re going to make some changes, that you’re going to be strong and do what’s right. But then in the morning, your determination seems to have faded away right along with the moonlight.

I wish we were in the same room. I’d throw my arms around you, look you straight in the eye and beg you to end this relationship.
You’re a daughter of God. A spark of the Divine is woven through your entire soul.

Come on girl, dig deep. It’s in you. Find that, and you won’t ever have to ask this kind of question again.

Alison says:

LJ, would you be offended if I beat my head against a rock and then chased you down the street with a pea shooter?

Here’s my advice:

  1. Dump
  2. Run

Any questions?

{ 153 comments… add one }

  • SilverRain May 14, 2007, 11:21 am

    Hmm – I can’t add much that hasn’t already been said. I used to have this romantic idea of marrying a guy who was “experienced,” but I came to realize it is not romantic in the least. There is nothing more sexually romantic than a guy who is honest with himself and with you, who comes to a marriage completely clean and wanting to discover sex with you. There is nothing romantic in experience. There is nothing romantic in “knowing how to please” himself or you. There is nothing romantic about sexual baggage, whether it is physical or mental.

    Pornography supercedes unrealistic expectations on a man’s (or on a woman’s) mind and sexual responses. Although (s)he may repent, the web strands of visual or mental sexual sin are nearly impossible to clean away in this life. If you decide to marry, the rest of your life will be colored by his addiction. You will become intimately acquainted with a heartache that cannot be fully explained or understood until you are in it. Please, don’t enter this pool with your eyes open. It’s bad enough if you don’t know what you’re getting into.

    Of course, Christ can cleanse even these sins from a man’s mind and heart. That cleansing is not easy, and the recipient must be completely devoted to change before it can happen. Such devotion is nearly nonexistent. In addition, the process completely removes the desire to partake in that sin again. I agree with others in saying that it doesn’t sound like your date has gone through that refining fire.

    Not yet, anyways. Perhaps not ever. Don’t gamble your eternity on his desire for repentance.

  • zmg May 14, 2007, 11:33 am

    My heart goes out to LJ.

    There was a time when I dated the “bad boys”. It’s really easy to think that they are just being misunderstood. They might have done this or that to others but I’m the one they really loved. (despite being treated badly). I finally had to make a decision to look for a different type. Someone who might not be as exciting but who could be relied upon. In the end I knew, that life might not have those big highs but it wouldn’t plummet to the same depths either.

    Lj, that’s a decision that you need to make too. This man has a problem. Some day if he is sincere in fighting it, then God will place someone there for him. But that isn’t today. Not if he’s slipping. Remember, he’s placed you on that same slippery slope. You’ve accepted him in spite of this sin. He will continue to push the envelope until you slide down into that pit with him. Then he’ll leave.

  • zmg May 14, 2007, 12:21 pm

    One more thing. You say he deserves happiness. But look at it this way. People don’t change easily. So if you are so sure that being with him is the right thing. Start planning now. What are you going to say to your son or daughter the first time they find the pictures Daddy has downloaded? How are you going to explain to your children to keep themselves pure although Daddy doesn’t practice what he preaches? Do yourself a favor – imagine the future should he be unable to change himself. What kind of future will your children have?

  • partone May 14, 2007, 1:15 pm

    I think this site has some of the smartest readers of any I’ve visited. Maybe the wisest is a better way to say that. I learn a lot from reading everthing.

  • partone May 14, 2007, 1:16 pm

    Oh, I was going to ask LJ something. Don’t YOU deserve happiness too? Do you think you’ll be happy with a guy who gets sexual fullfillment from other women?

  • mlinford May 14, 2007, 2:14 pm

    I have said in other threads that we have serveral people in our circle of friends who have experienced problems with porn in their marriages. We have seen the suffering and destruction of marriages (some are divorced over this, led out of the marriage by God). Those who have stayed married have walked a painful, difficult road. Watching what they have gone through, I would be VERY, VERY hesitant to recommend that anyone knowingly choose such a life. Not that you couldn’t marry someone who had that problem in the past AND TRULY OVERCAME IT (for years, not a couple of months). In my mind, it would be one thing if he had had a problem 10 years ago and had had a couple of slip-ups during that decade that were minor. It’s concerning to me, though, that with a 10-year problem, he’s only been “sober” for three months, with slip-ups at that. Not a good track record to go on. Not yet. Tell him you’ll check in with him in a couple of years if you are still around.

    While I believe this is a problem that can be overcome, I am particularly concerned about the fact that he claims that he has only been “sober” for almost the same time you have known each other. This suggests that he is trying hard, and perhaps trying hard for you. But remember that courtship is not reality; life is life and it’s challenging and after the honeymoon, it sets in (and sometimes fast). The stresses of life can cause addictions to rear their ugly heads. I don’t think you can base your decision on what he has done during your courtship. I personally would not feel enough confidence in a man who is suddenly shaping up now that I’m in his life. He might very well be sincere, and I believe he does deserve a wonderful life, but something this pervasive and powerful needs more than a couple of months of soberness. YOU deserve the best you can get. I don’t think you can appreciate how potentially this could define your life if you choose to marry someone who is not completely free of this problem.

    None of my aforementioned friends to my knowledge had the luxury (or burden, depending on how you look at it) of knowing before marriage about their husbands’ problems. I am not sure if they would have done something different had they known. I can’t imagine choosing such a life unless the Spirit made it so absolutely clear that it was the right thing to do.

    One of the key things to remember is that pornography distorts a man’s view of healthy sexuality and often of women. This in and of itself is a serious problem to consider and decide if you want to choose for your life. Three months trying to quit porn is not long enough, in my opinion, for him to have cleared his heart, sould and mind of the poisonous perspective that comes with porn problems. He could even not be looking at anything but still not have a healthy understanding of what sexuality is supposed to be.

    So, in short, I really dont know that I would recommend choosing a life where that is looming over your head. If you are still thinking you may want to stick with it, I would pray your heart out, talk to your bishop and parents for counsel and help with discernment, and really seek the Spirit to let you know if this is even worth continuing at all. My gut reaction is to walk away and let him get things figured out first, to make sure that the repentance is genuine, consistent, and long enough to be trustworthy (I’m talking a matter of a year or two of truly free behavior).

    Best to you.

  • Diana May 15, 2007, 10:12 pm

    I also think it’s important to realize that porn addiction seldom, if ever, stays at the same level it starts at. I don’t want to be too graphic, but what I mean by that is I HIGHLY doubt that he’s still looking at the type of porn now that he was looking at 10 years ago. In fact, it sends chills down my spine to imagine the depravity he has sunk to in order to feel the same, uhm, stimulation that originally snared him in this net called pornography.

  • mlinford May 16, 2007, 1:40 am

    Diana — Probably seldom, not never. One of the aforementioned friends we know really did keep issues at a level that didn’t sink into unthinkable depravity. Not all porn problems are created equal. NOT trying to minimize them at any level (after all, Elder Oaks said that even “soft porn” is porn and it’s a problem), but just to say that there is no way to really know how severe the problem is in each situation. The severity would impact the level of addiction and the corresponding time and effort and help that would be required to overcome the addiction.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 16, 2007, 2:29 am

    Diana did say “seldom.” She didn’t say “never.”

  • mlinford May 16, 2007, 11:57 am

    Yeah, I know, Alison. She said, “seldom if ever” and so I was sharing something to eliminate the “if ever” option. ;) (Am I annoying people with my comments?)

  • Alison Moore Smith May 16, 2007, 12:29 pm

    LOL no. I gotcha. I thought you had misread her. Instead, I misread you. Sorry.

  • Diana May 16, 2007, 2:55 pm

    I didn’t mean to make such a broad generalization. I’m sorry. I just truly believe Satan starts with the little things until the little things gradually grow into great big things, like in the ole Camel in the Tent allegory.

    “…yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever. “

  • Alison Moore Smith May 16, 2007, 3:02 pm

    No need to apologize. You are right on. He’s gets us where ever he can and once we justify moving our standard on inch, is easier to justify moving it an inch more. We’d rarely ever leap a foot at a time, but each little fraction of an inch seems meaningless.

  • mlinford May 16, 2007, 3:25 pm

    For the record, I don’t disagree at all about that general concept. At all. It’s scary to get even one inch into the devil’s territory, with ANY problem. And frankly, I think most of the time you are right about the specifics as well — porn is often (if not almost always) a downward spiral kind of problem that often leads to terrible consequences. I just think that it’s good to hold that chance in our minds that not all people who have porn struggles are in the worst mode possible, ya know? And to remember that the people struggling are people who need love and support, too…I can’t imagine being caught in such a snare. And my heart aches for anyone affected directly or indirectly.

  • Grace May 18, 2007, 9:34 pm

    The fact that the man has been honest about this problem to you shows that he is not trying to keep it a secret from you and he may be suffering from guilt feelings and shame and those can cause a heavy burden. I would say that he loves you or he would not trust you with this information.
    My husband is 5 1/2 years sober from alcoholism and I know from experience that love and support (not enabling) and prayer can lead him from this destructive sin. Don’t judge him – we all have sin, no matter what it might be – but if he is in denial and refuses to go for help, I would question whether he is truly repentant and willing to submit to changing. Satan wants us to be weighed down by guilt and be ashamed to come to the Savior for forgiveness. Encourage your fiance towards recovery because there is hope.
    There is help for the problem he has. Look on the internet or in the paper for a support group in your area called Celebrate Recovery. It is a Christ-centered support group for people with hurts, habits and hang-ups, and it is for anything from substance abuse to emotional pain – anything that may be keeping you from a fulfilling relationship with the Savior. There is forgiveness through sincere repentance and the atonement of Jesus. People don’t change, but the Lord changes people. If you really love him and believe he wants freedom from this habit that truly has him in bondage, pray for him and support him through repenting and recovery.
    Celebrate Recovery is Eight Recovery Principles based on the BEATITUDES that Jesus taught:

    R= Principle 1 –
    Realize I’m not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and my life is unmanageable.

    “Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor”

    E= Principle 2 –
    Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to him, and that he has the power to help me recover.

    “Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”

    C= Principle 3 –
    Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.

    “Happy are the meek”

    O= Principle 4 –
    Openly examine and confess my faults to God, to myself, and to someone I trust.

    “Happy are the pure in heart”

    V= Principle 5 –
    Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.

    “Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires”

    E= Principle 6 –
    Evaluate all my relationships; Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others except when to do so would harm them or others.

    “Happy are the merciful” “Happy are the peacemakers”

    R= Principle 7 –
    Reserve a daily time with God for self examination, Bible readings and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.

    Y= Principle 8 –
    Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.

    “Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires”

    I will keep you both in prayer so that your lives will be happy together.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 19, 2007, 11:38 am

    Welcome, Grace. Thank you for the really wonderful information.

  • AnonymousGuy May 25, 2007, 2:54 pm

    Tracy,

    I am a male who is currently struggling with this problem of pornography addiction. After reading your response, I felt I had to respond. Maybe this might fall on deaf ears, but I feel that you have very little real knowledge about this addiction (besides what you’ve heard in general conference or read in the Ensign), and I am glad you will not stand in Jesus Christ’s place at my judgment, though you seem quite anxious to do that now for LJ’s boyfriend.

    You and the people like you are part of the reason that addictions like these are so hard to overcome. If someone like me or LJ’s boyfriend were to ask you for help on an issue such as this, you wouldn’t know where to start – I bet you think you do – but in practice, I guarantee you that you have absolutely nothing to offer but condemnation and judgment.

    Where do you get off accusing LJ of breaking the law of chastity with her boyfriend? Those accusations are unwarranted and insidiously offensive.

    I can easily picture you among those wanting to stone the woman accused of adultery. You would have been among those who tried to hold Jesus back from healing the unclean leper. I am far from perfect, but I have learned to recognize the Spirit – and it is completely absent from your response.

    Please take an honest look inside your heart, because you will be judged with the same judgment that you make.

    Sincerely,
    An Anonymous Guy

  • Alison Moore Smith May 25, 2007, 3:22 pm

    Welcome, AnonymousGuy. Your input is appreciated and welcome, my response notwithstanding.

    Posted By: AnonymousGuy
    I am glad you will not stand in Jesus Christ’s place at my judgment, though you seem quite anxious to do that now for LJ’s boyfriend.

    We have to start with some intellectual honesty. Tracy is not trying to make final judgment on LJ’s boyfriend anymore than you are trying to make final judgment on Tracy. We DO judge, we’re supposed to. Point to someone who didn’t make an judgments before deciding whom to marry and you’ll be pointing at an idiot. Tracy is just as welcome to make judgments here as you are.

    You and the people like you are the reason that addictions like these are so hard to overcome.

    Again, let’s be honest. Addictions are not hard to overcome because people speak out about addictions. That is an irresponsible position to take–which may be one reason that your addiction is “so hard to overcome.”

    I guarantee you that you have absolutely nothing to offer but condemnation and judgment.

    This may be true. Speaking for myself, I certainly do not claim expertise at helping anyone to stop viewing porn. My thought is, well, to stop looking at porn. Get rid of the means to view porn and refuse to be in situations where there could be porn. Likely too simplistic a view for you and many others.

    Still, this column was not written as a self-help tool to assist porn-viewers in their quest to be porn-free. It was addressing a question from a woman who couldn’t understand the outside pressure for her to break up withe the addict and to settle down with a guy who wasn’t into porn.

    Honestly, AG, I’m not convinced that porn-viewing is an “addiction” and, if it is, I think we’ve expanded the term to include almost anything that we shouldn’t do, but find hard to give up. But, for the sake of argument, let’s say you ARE addicted to porn. For heaven’s sake, why would you support the idea of anyone marrying someone who had any unhealthy, sinful ADDICTION? Is that the kind of guy you’d choose for your daughter?

    “Sure, honey, he gets off on other women every day, but he’s a great guy for the most part. That’s probably the best you can do anyway. And he deserves a faithful, virginal wife, who won’t condemn him. Who better than you?”

    You would have been among those who tried to hold Jesus back from healing the unclean leper.

    You are following the same faulty thought process that LJ had. Marrying someone is not the method to heal them. Porn addicts are children of God, but they aren’t the best marriage choice for faithful, LDS women who want temple marriages, priesthood leadership, and fidelity.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 25, 2007, 3:22 pm

    Welcome, AnonymousGuy. Your input is appreciated and welcome, my response notwithstanding.

    Posted By: AnonymousGuy
    I am glad you will not stand in Jesus Christ’s place at my judgment, though you seem quite anxious to do that now for LJ’s boyfriend.

    We have to start with some intellectual honesty. Tracy is not trying to make final judgment on LJ’s boyfriend anymore than you are trying to make final judgment on Tracy. We DO judge, we’re supposed to. Point to someone who didn’t make an judgments before deciding whom to marry and you’ll be pointing at an idiot. Tracy is just as welcome to make judgments here as you are.

    You and the people like you are the reason that addictions like these are so hard to overcome.

    Again, let’s be honest. Addictions are not hard to overcome because people speak out about addictions. That is an irresponsible position to take–which may be one reason that your addiction is “so hard to overcome.”

    I guarantee you that you have absolutely nothing to offer but condemnation and judgment.

    This may be true. Speaking for myself, I certainly do not claim expertise at helping anyone to stop viewing porn. My thought is, well, to stop looking at porn. Get rid of the means to view porn and refuse to be in situations where there could be porn. Likely too simplistic a view for you and many others.

    Still, this column was not written as a self-help tool to assist porn-viewers in their quest to be porn-free. It was addressing a question from a woman who couldn’t understand the outside pressure for her to break up withe the addict and to settle down with a guy who wasn’t into porn.

    Honestly, AG, I’m not convinced that porn-viewing is an “addiction” and, if it is, I think we’ve expanded the term to include almost anything that we shouldn’t do, but find hard to give up. But, for the sake of argument, let’s say you ARE addicted to porn. For heaven’s sake, why would you support the idea of anyone marrying someone who had any unhealthy, sinful ADDICTION? Is that the kind of guy you’d choose for your daughter?

    “Sure, honey, he gets off on other women every day, but he’s a great guy for the most part. That’s probably the best you can do anyway. And he deserves a faithful, virginal wife, who won’t condemn him. Who better than you?”

    You would have been among those who tried to hold Jesus back from healing the unclean leper.

    You are following the same faulty thought process that LJ had. Marrying someone is not the method to heal them. Porn addicts are children of God, but they aren’t the best marriage choice for faithful, LDS women who want temple marriages, priesthood leadership, and fidelity.

  • AnonymousGuy May 25, 2007, 3:25 pm

    LJ,

    I believe you are very Christ-like in trying to be understanding of your boyfriend. My advice would be to forget about everything that old bag Tracy said, and to talk to the Lord and your Bishop about this (and not because I believe you need to confess your supposed immorality). People like Tracy can’t understand why you would even consider continuing to date your boyfriend, and so they insult your intelligence. I have learned in life that such people usually have very little of real substance to offer you. The reason Tracy and other’s can’t understand you is because they have never been in your place, or else have never experienced the same feelings that you feel. (Maybe Tracy had some kindness in her once, but lost it during menopause, I don’t know). I would suggest to you that there is a divine aspect to your tendency to want to extend mercy and help to your boyfriend in this case.

    That said, I think you should be very cautious, and make no definite commitments or promises of something beyond dating, and recognize that an addiction like pornography takes time to conquer. Just how much time, I have absolutely no idea, as I’m still not through it. I do know one thing, however, that messages and ideas like Tracy’s do very little to shorten that time period.

    You have to understand the magnitude of what you are getting yourself into. It is completely within your power to end the relationship at this point, and I know it will hurt your boyfriend, but you should seriously consider that option. The longer you stay with this guy, the harder it will be to end it down the road.

    If you feel that staying with him is what the Lord wants you to do – make sure you do so after significant fasting and prayer, and counseling with your bishop – because you want a decision such as that to not be tainted in any way by emotion. Make sure it is the right thing – not just what you might want emotionally.

    I agree with what many have said at this point, that your boyfriend does not deserve to be happy. Don’t stay with him out of obligation, or because you would feel guilty about leaving him.

    I guess what I’m saying is you need to figure out the right decision for yourself – and to do that with the Lord’s help, through the power of the Holy Ghost – not to have the “obvious” solution crammed down your throat by a bunch of judgmental, self-righteous Mormon pharisees.

    Oh, and one last thing, if you do decide that you guys have a future together – do not settle for anything less than a Temple Marriage – and inform your boyfriend of this standard. This will require your friend to truly repent and overcome this, at least I believe that his bishop and stake president will have the wisdom given to them to be able to know and understand when he is fully cleansed – and only then will they approve you guys to be sealed. Pray for them to have discernment and wisdom. If your boyfriend is not able to meet the worthiness requirement for a Temple Marriage after a long time, you will know that he is not right – don’t ever settle for anything less than the Temple.

    Anyway, I hope my comments were helpful – I at least think they carry a little more weight than some of the previous comments – as I have dealt with this issue personally.

    Your friend,
    An Anonymous Guy

  • AnonymousGuy May 25, 2007, 3:34 pm

    Hey Alison,

    You and the people like you are the reason that addictions like these are so hard to overcome.

    I was going to edit this line before I posted and then forgot – thanks for pointing it out. I would have said, “You and the people like you are part of the reason that addictions like these are so hard to overcome.” In fact – I just edited it out. I don’t believe in blaming others for my actions – I only point it out, because it represents an absence of genuine help.

    As for the rest of your message – I think you’ll see from my response to LJ that I don’t advocate she marry a porn-addict. I believe he needs to overcome this before that point – I don’t believe that marriage is the method to heal him. Just how you got the impression that I believe that is beyond me.

    -AG

  • AnonymousGuy May 25, 2007, 3:42 pm

    And, take it however you want, I am going through hell to overcome this – and until you know what that’s like – I’d be very cautious.

    -AG

  • Alison Moore Smith May 25, 2007, 4:30 pm

    I at least think they carry a little more weight than some of the previous comments – as I have dealt with this issue personally.

    Actually, from what you’ve posted, you haven’t dealt with her problem. She has the problem of wanting a future with a guy who’s a porn addict. I assume you haven’t been in that position.

    I don’t advocate she marry a porn-addict…Just how you got the impression that I believe that is beyond me.

    Perhaps its because you have resorted to ad hominem in your disagreement with her, even though her main point is to advise LJ to call off the relationship rather than marry him. You went so far as to accuse her of not wanting people to be healed simply because she doesn’t advise women to marry those who are sick.

    Feel free to point out particular points of disagreement to discuss, but the general, overreaching name-calling isn’t appropriate.

    I appreciate that you are “going through hell.” I sincerely hope you can put this behind you. But understand that my hope for you is utterly distinct from what I hope for LJ or other LDS women. I don’t want any faithful, LDS woman to have romantic entanglements with you, with someone else who is addicted to porn, or with any man who has a serious, sinful situation–until the sin is clearly repented of and the addiction overcome.

  • SilverRain May 25, 2007, 4:42 pm

    do not settle for anything less than a Temple Marriage – and inform your boyfriend of this standard. This will require your friend to truly repent and overcome this,

    I know from experience that this is not true. A temple marriage should require sincere repentance, but anyone can lie to get what they think they want. I’ve seen it time and again.

    I, personally, think that it the cost is too high to marry someone addicted to anything, especially when there are so many out there who are pure and clean. And this is coming from someone who has had to go through the struggle to get over an addiction (insignificant though that addiction may have been in my bishops’ eyes.) When I was struggling with it, I wouldn’t have wanted anyone romantically entangled with me, either.

  • facethemusic May 25, 2007, 5:09 pm

    Anonymous Guy, you could NOT be more wrong about me and my knowledge about this subject.
    I have very close family members and friends who’ve dealt with this, and have someone very close to me who’s suffered from this in a way you probably haven’t. You know how I know that?? Because I doubt that you have access to our website from a prison cell because your porn addiction led you to more serious sins and crimes, like his did.
    Also, one of the people closest to me is the Head Nurse at a residential treatment center, and she deals with this all the time, so I’m also very familiar with the clinical and psychological side of the issue. On top of THAT my husband is a police officer, and he too is constantly dealing with perps and their addictions, whether it be porn or drugs. He takes them back and forth to rehab, back and forth to the psych wards and treatment centers.
    He knows some of them personally, from outside of his job. When a local member of the church has issues with the law regarding crimes, porn and addictions, the local Bishops often ask the member’s permission to bring my husband along as a police officer/priesthood holder, who can counsel them at the treatment center or jail cell, from both the legal and the spiritual side .
    So you have NO idea how much I DO know about this.
    I didn’t actually accuse LJ of anything– just expressed concern that she was involved with him in a way she shouldn’t be. I even said that I was making a huge leap, and apologized if my leap was incorrect. My concern that LJ was sexually involved with her boyfriend was a real concern based on common sense, from their short dating period, her too soon assumption that they had a future together, and her obvious misunderstanding and dismissal of how serious her boyfriends problem really is. I WAS a young woman, I’m a YW leader now. And I talk with the girls about this stuff all time. (They talk very openly late at night at Girls’ Camp) I know how they think–the ones who are on the straight and narrow and the ones who aren’t.
    I made frequent reference to the Savior in my response to LJ, about forgiveness and repentence… that even her boyfriend could be made clean, could repent and have a happy life, with a wife and children. So I don’t know where you got the idea that I was unforgiving, would cast stones, was devoid of the Spirit…. were you trying to read my response on a computer with the contrast turned all the way down to 5, and a pair of very dark sunglasses on?
    I was simply saying that right now… this guy is not someone she should be involved with or be considering as a possible future husband. Would YOU choose him for YOUR daughter’s spouse? If you had a daughter dating someone with his 10 year addiction that he was STILL into, would you be happy she was dating him?
    What’s ironic is that you say I’m casting erroneous judgment. Nothing I said was “judgmental”– other than the fact that what her boyfriend was doing was a sin. And it is. If you want to call that unfarily “judgmental”, go ahead.
    But let’s look at how you judged ME:
    You say I’d be one of the first to cast stones at a woman taken in adultery?
    That I hold the Savior back from cleasning a leper?
    That if someone were to come to me for help with a porn addiction that I would have nothing to offer but condemnation and judgment?
    I HAVE friends that have committed adultery. Do you know they came to me FIRST?
    They were afraid to go to the Bishop, but I’M the one who encouraged them to go.
    I’m the one that sat beside them in Sacrament meeting because they were afraid that other members would SEE that they couldn’t take the Sacrament. I told them not to worry about what other members think or do. If the LORD could forgive them, then so should everyone else, and I was one of them.
    Holding the Savior back from healing someone?
    First of all, you’re putting leprosy in league with pornography and adultery. Having leprosy isn’t a sin. And one doesn’t GET leprosy from sinning.
    Second, I’ve BEEN healed– from spiritual illness and physical illness. I’ve seen others healed, and have watched my husband place his hands on the heads of HIS friends who are struggling with pornography addictions. And believe me, I didn’t hold his hands back. You know what I did?
    I sat by his wife through the blessing, gave her a hug after the blessing, then hugged him as well.
    We’re still great friends, get together often, and I love them dearly.
    As for someone coming to me about a porn addiction? The guy who was sitting in a prison cell because his addiction led him to commit perverse sexual crimes… he admitted them to me.
    I encouraged him to talk to his Bishop. He ended up going to prison because it caught up with him. I wrote to him while his was there. I sent him cards of encouragment, sent him a copy of Believing Christ, (probably THE best book explaining the Atonement and how Christ could heal him) and have KEPT contact with him since he’s been out. My husband and I took him out to dinner to catch up and see how he’s been doing since he’s been out, to encourage him to keep going to counseling even though it’s really hard for him to talk about it. Does that sound like someone who “in practice… have nothing but condemnation and judgment”?
    Lastly, I was a victim of a sexual abuser as a child. Because he’s a relative, I’ve had frequent contact with him at family reunions and such. I always just acted like nothing had happened or like I didn’t remember. But I noticed, and it was known through the family that he was struggling in his own life, was unhappy in his marriage and his life in general, nor was he going to church.
    I couldn’t help but think that some of that was because of his past with me; that he was consumed with guilt, that maybe he hadn’t confessed to a Bishop, that maybe he hadn’t been forgiven by God, nor had he forgiven himself and maybe THAT was the reason he wasn’t happy. He had a good job, a nice home, a nice family… there didn’t seem to be any other reason for his depression.
    So I decided that I needed to let him know that I’D forgiven him. So after a barbecue at a family reunion, I pulled him aside and told him, right to his face. He broke down into tears and literally sobbed, his torso lunging forward because the sobbing was so heavy. I told him that I hoped he’d talked to his Bishop, and if he hadn’t that I hoped he would. He didn’t say anything the whole time except for “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry” over and over again.
    He started going back to church after that. (Though his life has once again gone seriously down hill.)
    From the experiences in my life, and the experiences I’ve had with family and friends who HAVE been addicted to porn, and who HAVE committed adultery, and who HAVE committed sexual crimes against me, and others, I DO know what I’m talking about. I’m very familiar with their struggles and their pain. They’ve cried on my shoulder.
    So you can say what you want Anonymous… you can assume what you want about me and what I’d do in any given situation. But I know it isn’t true. I know, because I’ve been there, and I know how I responded. And I’ll feel very confidant in front of my God and my Savior when they ask me about these things. Will you?

  • mlinford May 25, 2007, 6:48 pm

    Anonymous Guy,
    For what it’s worth, I don’t think people here are trying to be self-righteous. They are deeply concerned about LJ, as you are, too. I think we will all be able to help her more if we focus on her and her situation and not on trying to assess others’ hearts. You know addictions are tricky and as women, I think we are concerned about a sister getting into a situation that may be more than she bargained for. I will speak for myself, though, and say that such concern is not meant to be something to undermine you or your sincere efforts to overcome this. I wish you the best.

    Honestly, AG, I’m not convinced that porn-viewing is an “addiction”

    Hm. Haven’t our leaders made it clear what an insidious addiction it is? (See this page for some quotes.) I think I remember hearing about studies that have shown the change in brain chemistry that mimics drugs (could be mistaken there). I think we ought not dismiss porn addiction as a reality here, because I don’t think we would see such trouble with it and such repeated counsel about it if it weren’t really, really tough to overcome. And realizing that fact, IMO, can help LJ realize how serious the situation is, and to approach her decision very, very carefully.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 25, 2007, 10:01 pm

    I wouldn’t characterize my statement as a dismissal and I think you left off a crucial part of the sentence. I said:

    Honestly, AG, I’m not convinced that porn-viewing is an “addiction” and, if it is, I think we’ve expanded the term to include almost anything that we shouldn’t do, but find hard to give up.

    Nowadays, most everything is a disease (measles, cancer, and obesity) and everything else is an addiction (drugs, sex, and porn). It’s not a bad choice or bad behavior. You may recall that Clinton wasn’t really an adulterer, he was a “sex addict.” I’m pretty sure brain chemistry changes during marital, monogamous sex, too. Mine does. So? The terms have become almost meaningless and I don’t think it has helped us overcome or even cope better. Where ever the truth lies, I think the result of this labeling or expanding of definitions over the past decades has been that we are (or believe we are) powerless to change or move forward.

  • mlinford May 25, 2007, 10:57 pm

    Alison, I think there are situations where addiction is a copout label but many times it’s not. In fact, I think it’s healthy more often than not to recognize something as an addiction if someone will actually use that to get real help, not just to say, “Oh, I’ll just do better tomorrow.” Porn is that kind of potential addiction that only professional and spiritual help and a LOT of effort will change, in spite of all the desire in the world to do so, some addictions can’t be tackled simply by undoing the choices that were once made.

    The whole powerlessness culture is an important one to remember, though, so I understand why you are bringing that up. I’m just not sure it’s something that is so far from the truth with severe porn addictions. People ARE powerless to change on their own at a certain point, because they have lost agency and are in Satan’s grasp/chains. That’s sobering, scary stuff.

    I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir so I guess I think we probably don’t need to be having this little interchange, though…. ;)

  • mlinford May 26, 2007, 2:49 pm

    BTW, Alison, I’m sorry for misrepresenting what you said. Hope we are OK. :)

  • Alison Moore Smith May 26, 2007, 4:03 pm

    No problem, Michelle, of course.

    I’m not convinced that most porn addicts cannot change without professional help. I don’t care at all if people choose to get professional help, but the idea of helplessness in the face of sin doesn’t sit well with me.

    If someone is addicted to pain killers, what happens if they have no access to them? Do they die? If the power goes out, do all the neighborhood porn addicts rush into the streets screaming and clawing themselves bloody?

    As I’ve posted before, the husband of a friend began with mild web porn, more serious web porn, porn “addiction,” and eventually was busted when he propositioned a police decoy over the internet for sex. We’re talking returned missionary, married in the temple, with multiple kids. He spent six months in jail, excommunicated, and is now on the sex offender registry.

    The important part in this context, is to tell you what he’s been doing since to get his life back. The first thing he did was to get rid of the internet. Completely. Totally. And every other porn access point that was available to him. Everything he does now is an open book and public. His money, his cell phone logs, and he never goes anywhere alone. And on and on.

    Is this all annoying? Inconvenient? Embarrassing? A hassle? Yea, sure it is. It really puts up a barrier to his freedom and to his access to things in the digital age–even some good things. It has made aspects of his work very difficult. But to him, it is worth it to save his family, his marriage, and himself.

    Not to pick on AnonymousGuy, but while he’s “going through hell to overcome” porn addiction, he’s still surfing the web. Now maybe he’s doing it with his mom or his bishop standing behind him or maybe he has a filter on and a log that he can’t hack and that someone else is monitoring. If so, great. But if I was a “porn addict” and I spent any amount of time with internet access–knowing that feeding my addiction was about .05 seconds and two mouse clicks away, I wouldn’t be overcoming the addiction anytime soon.

    Do we send coke addicts to crack houses to sober up? Do we sign up those with the “disease of obesity” as employees at Baskin Robbins? Do we ask pedophiles to babysit?

    It sure seems that our treatment mode lacks some common sense.

  • mlinford May 26, 2007, 6:44 pm

    Not to pick on AnonymousGuy, but while he’s “going through hell to overcome” porn addiction, he’s still surfing the web. Now maybe he’s doing it with his mom or his bishop standing behind him or maybe he has a filter on and a log that he can’t hack and that someone else is monitoring. If so, great. But if I was a “porn addict” and I spent any amount of time with internet access–knowing that feeding my addiction was about .05 seconds and two mouse clicks away, I wouldn’t be overcoming the addiction anytime soon.

    Aha. The light goes on. I get it and now all your comments are making more sense. You’re smart, ya know that?

  • agardner June 12, 2007, 3:09 pm

    I realize that this thread is a few weeks old (sorry, I’m just getting through some of the older stuff), but I just had to give my opinion on this.

    Someone I am very close to has an addiction (habit??) to porn. It has caused unimaginable stress in his own and his family’s lives (including his extended family). He also allowed himself to spend money he didn’t really have on his habit, which nearly drove his family to bankruptcy in addition to dealing with the emotions of all of it.

    He was first exposed to porn as a very young boy (10-11). Through his growing years, he occasionally indulged in it through magazines and movies (this was in the days before the internet was widely available). He confessed this to his bishop before serving a mission, thought he had overcome it, and went on his mission.

    It wasn’t long after he returned home that his habit started again, this time via internet pornography. Like I said, he put a lot of charges on credit cards through the years and nearly ended up bankrupting his family (would have if not for the help of some of those close to him) over it.

    He married in the temple (I’m certain he had to lie to his leaders to do this, in hindsight, although neither we – nor his wife – knew it at the time). Eventually, a few years and a few children later, he got caught in a very deep and expensive problem. He was able to hide it for quite a long time before it all came to light.

    His dear wife has stood by him, although few of us would fault her for leaving. Her husband betrayed her trust and ruined their credit. They are in counseling now and will be for a very long time. He also attends a support group for men with sex addictions, run through LDS Family Services. That has been a great help to him. He has very strict limits on what he can do now (no internet, accounting for his time, etc.) in order to keep with his treatment plan. It is our hope as his family and friends that he, with his wife’s help, will be able to overcome this at some point in his life. But it is now something he has struggled with for many many years and is not in the least an easy thing to remedy.

    My sister and I once went to a conference at BYU where Victor Klein spoke about this subject. He mentioned a case in which he had counseled with a man. He offered this man $20,000 (I think that’s the correct amount) if he could go one year without viewing porn. Through counseling and support, he made it for more than 360 days, and then relapsed. To me, that’s a pretty powerful habit.

    My advice to anyone dating a porn addict would be to consider very prayerfully what you are doing. I am thrilled that in the case I am close to, the wife decided to stay with the husband – but if she would have known about it before they married I could not have faulted her one bit for running the other way as fast as she could. Pornography is not a victimless thing. People are affected in ways that you might not foresee. It would take a pretty powerful manifestation of the spirit for me to stay with someone who I was only dating if I were aware of this problem. A marriage, I think, is different. If this comes to light at that point (especially if there are now children in the picture) I would hope that most women would try to keep the relationship together and help the husband recover. That’s just my experience.

    BTW, in my case, this problem was discovered about 4-5 years ago and it is still a day-to-day struggle. Of course I don’t ask about the progress every day, but I do know that he still attends the support group and still advises everyone he sees not to even ‘”take a peek”, lest you find yourself in deep.

  • Sharilee10 June 13, 2007, 2:34 pm

    Mark Kastlemann has some excellent books out on this topic as well. Drug of the New Millenium is very informative and interesting.

  • tc2007 June 19, 2007, 4:15 pm

    To LJ and Tracey,

    First of all LJ, I feel your pain. When I started dating my boyfriend, he told me right away that he had been seeing the bishop for the past little while and was going through the repentance process. Things seemed to be going well and I even talked to his bishop and we were encouraged to continue as we were. I didn ?t know the details but he was honest and, like you described your boyfriend, I could tell that he was a good LDS guy ? in every way that I could see. The fact that he had gone to the bishop and had admitted what he had done said a lot to me. After we had been dating for about 2 months I decided that it might be time to find out more details and to see how he was doing. I found out that he had a pornography problem for a couple of years before his mission, and that it had begun to be a problem again after he got home. He said since he ?d been to the bishop he ?d felt so strong and determined and had no slips, although the temptation was still there. It really seemed like he was on the way to improvement.

    I wish I could give you an answer, but instead I’ll just give you my story and suggest that you (with the help of Heavenly Father) come to a solution that will work for you. We continued to date because, just like you, I believe that everyone deserves a chance to be happy if they are constantly striving to be worthy of that happiness. He really seemed to be trying, and my rationale was: If he wasn’t sinning anymore, and he had repented and his bishop told him that he was worthy to go to the temple again, who was I to tell him that it wasn’t good enough or to judge him? So we continued to date, but eventually he slipped up ? more than once. At this point, we had been together for about 5 months and had actually started to make plans for a wedding (he had taken me to pick out a ring and everything). I was devastated. It was like everything we planned was suddenly yanked from us. And I also worried for him. By this point I was emotionally involved and loved him and didn ?t like the fact that he was putting himself in a situation where he was going to be denied blessings. It was just horrible in every way.

    Tracy – Here is where I have a bit of a problem with your advice. I live by the law of chastity, dress modestly, respect my body and myself, and eventually want to marry a worthy priesthood holder in the temple. My boyfriend and I have not been immoral or “crossed the line”. However, I did stay with him when I found out about his slip ups. I found it very offensive that you would say that a young woman who has kept herself morally clean and has no feelings of shame, would not continue to date a young man once she found out that he had such a horrible and wanton addiction ?. There are many reasons why I girl might stay with someone who she knows is struggling with this. Some reasons may be better than others, but it ?s unfair for you to judge so harshly. Have you been in this situation yourself? When you get to know someone (even if it is only for a few months) and you start to care about them, you learn to separate the person from the problem. Ever heard of hate the sin, not the sinner ?? You can be with that person and think they have a horrible, destructive, filthy habit ?, but you also can see their good qualities (something I think we should all be striving to do as members of the church).

    Yes, repentance does mean not committing the sin again, but I believe that if you have made a major life change (i.e., going from being addicted to pornography without remorse to having minor slip ups here and there with decreasing severity and talking to the bishop right away and continually repenting ? repentance is an ongoing process!) the Lord still recognizes your efforts. His bishop also agreed, and he was actually encouraged to go to the temple more regularly to gain more strength which he did. Who can look at a guy who is seeking help, talking to the bishop, receiving priesthood blessings, reading the scriptures and MOST IMPORTANTLY who has been deemed worthy to enter the Lord ?s house by his bishop ?who can look at this guy and NOT say that he is a good LDS guy ?? What person with any amount of love in their heart can watch someone they care about go through all of this can look at him and say Yeah he ?s trying, but I could find someone else without the baggage ?. I really hope with all of my heart that someone doesn ?t look at me, or you, or any of your children that way one day, because believe me, we ALL have baggage, and I would want someone to look at me for me, and my efforts, and not judge me solely on the basis of what I have done wrong in my life.

    The fact that I kept dating him didn ?t mean that I was brushing it off ?. I researched every talk that I would find on the subject and shared them with him. We talked about how it was destructive and the different ways that pornography can ruin a relationship. We started reading scriptures together and just trying to work through it. We both realized how bad it was, but sin and Satan are real, and so even though he knew it was bad and wanted to stop, the slips kept happening. I would ask him periodically and he would always tell me. I know you said that chances are they are lying to you when they admit their slips, but he would give me details of the severity of the slip, how many days, what he was thinking and what had triggered it etc. Nothing was sugar coated, so if he was lying he sure chose to include a lot in his selective truth. Also, I don ?t think you can really assume that someone is lying, especially someone you ?re in a relationship with. There is potential for everyone to lie. I ?ve heard of worthy ? couples who have been married in the temple, and 10 years down the road the guy admits that he ?s been looking at pornography his whole life. No one really ever knows. You just have to trust the person, listen to the spirit, and hope for the best.

    All that being said, fast forward to where I am right now, 9 months down the road ? the reason why I am searching this subject online and writing this lengthy comment. It has finally gotten the best of us ? No, we didn ?t break the law of chastity. I mean the problem itself has started to take its toll. There have been more slip-ups and an increased severity, resulting in less of a desire to try, and that is what finally did it. When I could see a genuine effort to improve, I could deal with it. I would pray every night to have the faith in repentance that was needed in order to forgive him of the past, and to be able to withstand the effects of the sin. I would pray for him to have the strength to avoid temptation, and to continue improving. That was the key: CONTINUE improving. Improvement sometimes takes a long time, but we were getting there inch by inch. We decided to put of all of the wedding plans and just focus on dealing with the problem, and that ?s what he was doing. But when he started to express a lack of desire to change, and started to get comfortable back in his old ways, THAT is what I couldn ?t take. THAT is when it becomes important to remind yourself of your self worth, because being in a relationship with someone who wants to sin is not respecting myself.

    LJ, I don ?t know your exact situation, and whether or not you are still together with this boy, but here is what I would tell you. Go in and talk to his bishop together. Ask him his advice. He knows the severity of the situation and whether or not this guy should be dating right now. Talk to your boyfriend about the problem regularly. Do things to strengthen yourself so that you ?ll be able to deal with whatever happens. Pray, and also become informed. Learn how destructive this sin is so that you don ?t downplay it to him. Monitor the situation and watch your behavior ? it is possible that he may have different ideas about morality than you because of what he ?s been exposed to, so remind him of the church standards and their importance and let him know where you stand just in case. Then, just wait. Time will tell whether or not this is a genuine change and what should be done. I would not suggest forgetting about him completely, but I also would really urge you NOT to start planning to get married. I am so glad that I waited it out and that we didn ?t just say things are going alright, let ?s get married ?, because this problem does take time, and getting married will not solve it.

    I have to tell you that unfortunately, there is not always a happy ending in these situations, but I have to believe that when the Saviour suffered the pain and temptation of even the worst of our sins, this was one of them so we (and those we love) are not alone. No sin is unforgivable, and no person is a lost cause. I am still not exactly sure what the future will hold for the boy that I mentioned and myself. Perhaps now is just not the right time, but maybe the relationship that we started to build now will eventually continue someday when he has REALLY dealt with the problem. Until then, I need to respect myself. You do the same.

    Tracy, I am not trying to attack your comments, but please watch what you say. This is such a sensitive topic for a lot of girls and woman. To even suggest that these women are immoral or lack self-worth does not help. We just do the best we can in this life and each situation needs to be dealt with on an individual basis. Nothing is cut and dry, black and white with one simple solution. As sisters we need to support and love one another, not point fingers and suggest things that can make people feel worse. I doubt that that was intentional on your part, but PLEASE watch your words more carefully because they can hurt.

    Best of luck to everyone who is struggling with this..

    T

  • agardner June 19, 2007, 4:26 pm

    T, thanks for your honesty and I wish you the best as you get through this situation.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 19, 2007, 4:47 pm

    tc, welcome. It is so good to have such a thoughtful, personal perspective represented. I know you were looking for a specific topic, but I do hope you join us again. You have brought such a good balance of mercy and forgiveness with common sense and intelligent analysis. I would say one of the great weaknesses of women is that we often let our emotions utterly take over our brains. You are an exception and that it admirable.

  • mlinford June 19, 2007, 5:00 pm

    T., thanks for sharing your experience. I agree with what you have said. This is not a cut-and-dried situation that can have generalized answers that will always work for everyone. I think you made a wise choice. The fact that you are aware that problems will not go away after marriage is also sooo critical. With the friends I have watched go through this, that point has been etched in my brain.

    I think your example also illustrates that there are different degrees of this problem. There are men who lose temple privileges and such because of where they are and how severe things are. Not all porn problems are going to require forfeiture of temple privileges, etc., which I think is sometimes a misconception about this problem. Again, with at least one situation we are aware of, the husband never lost temple privileges or opportunities to serve. This isn’t a problem that always goes away in an instant. It’s often a process, and the key is which direction the process is going — forward or backward. And hearing now another example of a man who struggled, and was still deemed worthy because of his heart and desires was interesting to me (which is what happened to one of our friends).

    Best to you, T.

  • Sharilee10 June 19, 2007, 6:59 pm

    I have not read this thread in its entirety. The one thing I would add is to keep in mind the effect that pornography has on the participant’s view of reality and how that could potentially affect the women he dates. I have been close to a number of women who were the spouses of men with pornography addictions to varying degrees and I, personally, would never even consider continuing a dating relationship with someone who had that particular issue. It just is one of those issues that I would never want to deal with. Most of the situations I have seen have not ended happily. That said, there is one man I know who suffered with this addiction, went through repentance and recovery and has done a great deal of good in helping other people. So . . . it can be done.

    I just know that for me I would not choose to continue a relationship if I knew about it (and, yes, I say this from experience and I know how hard and heart breaking it is to find out after you have already begun to have feelings for someone).

    Just my thoughts. Be very aware of what you may be choosing and the impact it could have on you, your future and the future of your children. Research shows that pornography literally alters the brain. Men addicted to pornography do not have an accurate view of women, and it often takes a very devastating toll on the women and daughters.

    Best of luck to everyone . . .

  • mlinford June 19, 2007, 10:49 pm

    Just my thoughts. Be very aware of what you may be choosing and the impact it could have on you, your future and the future of your children. Research shows that pornography literally alters the brain. Men addicted to pornography do not have an accurate view of women, and it often takes a very devastating toll on the women and daughters.

    This is a key reason why marriage doesn’t change anything. The problem is not a need for sex, it’s a distorted view of women and sex, and having the need filled in ways that only perpetuate the wrong view and perspective and even brain chemistry/connections.

  • mlinford June 19, 2007, 10:51 pm

    One more thing…one of the situations I know about it ended in a nightmare. I think she married him thinking she could fix him, that he could/would change. I wouldn’t recommend marrying someone unless it really is in the past, because like T experienced, so often it rears its ugly head and breaks hearts. And I’d hate to see a guy try really hard to get the girl and then stop caring once they get married. We are always on our bester behavior in courtship, right?

  • threedee September 30, 2010, 2:18 pm

    Have you ever tried watching it yourself, you know, maybe to understand him a little better? This might help you to connect with his way of thinking and then you can help him overcome it…….

  • Lewis_Family September 30, 2010, 3:30 pm

    Posted By: threedeeHave you ever tried watching it yourself, you know, maybe to understand him a little better? This might help you to connect with his way of thinking and then you can help him overcome it…….

    Maybe if you are dating a drug addict, you should try that too, yanno, to understand. Or perhaps a serial killer? pedophile?

    Really?

  • Kayla June 2, 2011, 12:42 pm

    Hi LJ :)
    I don’t know if you’re still dating this guy but I just want to let you know I’m on the same boat with you. A lot of girls have been telling you to run, but you feel like you care enough for him to stay. I’ll tell you my story a bit to maybe give you a bit of the future.
    I met a home schooled 19 year old when I was 17. We became friends and decided to date. at first we were both so shy, and I’d never slept with anyone before… so I made him wait as much as possible. and I guess he didn’t mind because it was his first time too.
    After we’d been together for 4 months, his secrets began to spill and I found out some shocking, insane, details about his past. His parents know he’s a porn addict and they are christian, but I’m not so much into that faith. they’ve done their best to protect him, and I’ve tried my best to too. He doesn’t do “other things” like what Tracy had said. He’s addicted to the pictures, and has looked at every porn known to man.
    My boyfriend has hurt me emotionally a few times. he’s made up story’s too, and that’s one that’s hurt me the most. I’ve lost friends, and I refuse to tell my mother myself. It’s not easy. I’ve dealt with his problems for the first year or our relationship. It was awful and haunting but I’m starting to forget. because, my boyfriend is realizing he’s hurt me, wants to protect us all from it. And you’re new boyfriend will try to force things on you, but most likely regret it majorly later. it will happen im sure but you just need to look him in the eyes and say NO. I’ve had a series of time when my boyfriend isn’t himself anymore. He turns into a completely different person and he has horrible dreams about me and other people too. I feel so bad for him but I’ve stayed with him through this crap, and after losing friends I realized weren’t my true friends.. he’s really stood out and is always there for me. He’s done so much for me and regrets a great deal.
    This past month I’ve spent with him I’ve felt like I finally know the real him. No more depression, he’s been clean. and I STRONGLY ADVISE that you get him to see an expert. because he will look at things and not tell you the truth, cause he’s afraid he’ll loose you in the mist of it.
    His parents know I’ve dealt with horrible things he’s done, and luckily for me, they are wonderful people. So, I’m hoping that your boyfriends parents or your own could be the same. because my boyfriends cousin, they were really close.. had the same problem. My boyfriend has enormous guilt because he showed his cousin and feels he got him addicted. My boyfriends cousin committed suicide and deals with his loss everyday. I’d never thought it could be so serious… believe me it will be painful. but I’m so happy with him right now I finally feel no reason to leave because I’ve helped him through his depression and guilt. and I would do it all over again just the same. So I hope that with whatever choice you make, you understand that he’s a person in serious trouble and needs to be helped because he can’t do it on his own. and if you really feel like not staying with him, than just let him off easy and say you’ll still be there for him. help him get help :) and I hope that for your sake, you’ll feel as happy and as close as me and my boyfriend are now.
    Have a happy life and be responsible :)

  • Mac185 August 11, 2011, 12:51 pm

    I think that we are in a huge predicament these days. I do not want to over shadow the fine points that were made in the first post about him not really being sober, because I think she is right, and I do not want to down play the realities of having a porn addicted spouse. However, the realities of our day are that men in our faith have a significant problem with this, and the likely hood of finding somebody who doesn’t who is not either a recent convert or a non member are slim. I think if you want to get involved with somebody like this though you need to educate yourself on the problem, learn about addiction, learn about the effects of porn, learn about treatments that are affective, and understand that this is an addiction exactly like being addicted to crack but will affect you as his spouse in a more cutting manor. However, we all believe in the Atonement and if he is serious about getting help then after all that he can do we know he can be helped in this life and possible healed. I would start your research by looking at the website Porn Harms, and reading the talk “We are all Enlisted” that you can find on SALifeline.org
    Good luck!

  • Jae October 24, 2011, 12:10 am

    Hello, I have recently gotten a divorce from a man who is addicted. He has been addicted since he was 7 years old. He and I had the exact same conversation while we were engaged. He was “sober” for a few months with a few “slip ups”. I believed him and we gotten married in the Kona, Hawaii Temple.

    2 months later things went south. He confessed in watching Porn again almost daily. He did the whole song and dance crying, pleading me to forgive him and to give him another chance. I believed in him and that he can change so I stuck with him. This happened about 5 times, and two of those times he packed up his bags and said that he needed a few days to think because he isn’t sure if he wanted to stay married to me anymore. Sex was never good. He even told me that he would think about the porn during sex with me. That broke my heart. He became critical of my body, really gotten to be verbally and emotionally abusive.

    Last February I asked him point blank if he’s been watching porn that week. He looked at me right in the eyes and said “Yes” only this time was different. There was no remorse, no sorrow, no tears, nothing. His eyes was just dark. I then asked him if he wanted to change and he said that it’s too hard. I asked him if he wanted to stay married and he again looked me in the eye with no emotion and said “no”. I packed my stuff, moved out. 3 months later we were divorced. He never begged for me to come back, never really made any real changes to show that he is serious about fixing his addiction.

    Scientist has found that for a person who is addicted to porn needs 2 years of NO porn watching (and that includes no slip-ups at all) for his brain to go back to normal.

    I love my ex-husband so much, that is why I left him. To save him, and to save me.

    Basically I’m saying, if the man you are dating is addicted, the BEST thing you can do is walk away. Tell him that you love him enough to leave him alone because alone is the ONLY way a man can ever change. No girlfriend or wife will ever be enough to change him. He needs help, he needs professional help, and he needs to understand that you deserve a husband that is FREE from that horrible dark addiction. You deserve your first marriage to be done right with no darkness brought in because of his addiction. 10 years is a long time. My ex was addicted for 20 years and he still is. It’s not as simple as 3 months of no porn then he’ll be fixed…he needs years and years of professional help. If you don’t care about your well-being, then think of your future children. No child should be in a home of an addicted father. In fact that is how my ex started his addiction. His father is addicted as well. Don’t pass on that horrible addiction. Love your future children enough to date and marry a man that is free from any sinful addiction.

    Good Luck.

  • Mother of an LJ October 31, 2011, 2:05 pm

    I appreciate many of the comments here. They are the same I’ve tried to desperately convey to my own “LJ”. What Tracy had to say was spot on, other than the fact that it seems you don’t always lose many of your privileges as far as the church goes, apparently. Not only does my daughter have her very messed up boyfriend wining and dining her, she also has his mother, carefully leading down to hell with her son by trying to convince her that she should “allow him the atonement” and trying to convince her that all the guys out there are as messed up as her son. Satan has no need to whisper in her ear when she has this woman.

    Yes, I do acknowledge it’s a significant problem with many men. HOWEVER, do we believe that the Lord speaks through his servants as His mouthpiece? If you do, this is what He has said on the topic:

    Be a Young Man of Virtue
    The girl you marry can expect you to come to the marriage altar absolutely clean. She can expect you to be a young man of virtue in thought and word and deed.
    I plead with you boys tonight to keep yourselves free from the stains of the world. You must not indulge in sleazy talk at school. You must not tell sultry jokes. You must not fool around with the Internet to find pornographic material. You must not dial a long-distance telephone number to listen to filth. You must not rent videos with pornography of any kind. This salacious stuff simply is not for you. Stay away from pornography as you would avoid a serious disease. It is as destructive. It can become habitual, and those who indulge in it get so they cannot leave it alone. It is addictive.
    It is a five-billion-dollar business for those who produce it. They make it as titillating and attractive as they know how. It seduces and destroys its victims. It is everywhere. It is all about us. I plead with you young men not to get involved in its use. You simply cannot afford to.
    The girl you marry is worthy of a husband whose life has not been tainted by this ugly and corrosive material.
    -Gordon B. Hinckley

    Men, are you becoming the kind of person who could ask a girl to take a chance on you?
    Men, as your aunt who will now speak plainly to you, I hope you understand that there is no worthy woman who will be charmed by dirty laundry, unpleasant habits, or a sloppy appearance. Yes, a righteous woman will love you for what is in your mind and heart, but she would very much appreciate your sincere efforts to display good manners and thoughtfulness to her. You should also know that there is no mate who will cheerfully overlook selfishness. Please remember that there are no righteous daughters of God who will willingly tolerate a pornography habit in the young men they date and marry. In fact, if a young woman has any hint that a young man she is interested in is involved in pornography in any of its forms, I would tell her to consider it as a flashing red light, which means “stop this relationship.”Now is your season to develop righteous and respectful habits and Christlike qualities that will bless your future marriage and family.
    Julie B. Beck

    Certainly I am in agreement with the Lord that my daughter, the apple of my eye, deserves so much more. It is one of the most heartbreaking situations I’ve ever been in and every day I pray that she sees the light before she makes the biggest mistake of her life by marrying this guy.

  • jennycherie October 31, 2011, 4:03 pm

    Mother of an LJ – so sorry you are facing this difficult situation – it is painful from any angle. I love that quote from Sister Beck. That’s a new one to me.
    jennycherie recently posted…Fear 101My Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith November 1, 2011, 10:49 am

    Mother of an LJ, thanks so much for your contribution. What a great talk! I found the link, in case anyone wants to read the entire thing:

    Unlocking the Door to the Blessings of Abraham
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Alternative Wedding Ring MetalsMy Profile

  • anonymous girl November 23, 2011, 12:37 am

    I didn’t have time to read all of these comments…although the ones I read had a lot of good points. I find myself in the same position as you LJ. I have been dating this guy for a year and a half. He has a pornography addiction. I am not as naive to the subject as I was prior to this relationship, but I still don’t know as much as I’d like to, and I dont think the people speaking on this page have an idea either. I agree that the fact that he can’t be clean for very long isn’t exactly reassuring, and can be a major red flag, but this is YOUR decision. Stop listening to the people on this page, or your friends, or your mother. Talk to your heavenly father and he will guide you in the right direction. If this young man can get his life in order and become clean and take you to the temple, GREAT. But the problem does not end there. I just need you to be informed and aware of the fact that if you choose to pursue this relationship, it is a HARD road you are choosing. It will not be easy, and you must be a strong person to go through that life with him. You must stand by his side, love him, live your life worthily, and hope that he will do the same. But again, this is you and the lords decision. Don’t let outside influences make you think otherwise. I have decided to marry my boy, and I know it won’t be easy. But I know that we are both working as hard as we can to be clean and pure so we can marry in the temple. If that changes anytime between now and our temple date and I see him struggling more than before, I will not continue to date him. As long as their is progression, and hard work. I have a question for every person on this page speaking…Are you saying that any person that has ever had an issue with pornography should never have the sweet joy of marriage and raising a family together? Are they bound to live of sad and lonely life because they are men with natural man desires that they succumbed too? In no way can their sins be justified are perceived as an “okay, no big deal” situation. But I also don’t believe that they should be doomed to a life of misery and loneliness. I believe the atonement is real. And Heavenly Father will help you in this decision. Make sure their is progression or I would advise you to run. If you do stay, be strong. Stand by his side, and love him.

  • Alison Moore Smith November 23, 2011, 1:17 am

    anonymous girl, I love advice that advises not to listen to advise. Of course, your advice is the exception.

  • Tracy Keeney November 23, 2011, 9:45 am

    “Are you saying that any person that has ever had an issue with pornography should never have the sweet joy of marriage and raising a family together? Are they bound to live of sad and lonely life because they are men with natural man desires that they succumbed too? In no way can their sins be justified are perceived as an “okay, no big deal” situation. But I also don’t believe that they should be doomed to a life of misery and loneliness. I believe the atonement is real”

    Anonymous girl, you said you didn’t read all the other advise given…. but if you had, you’d have realized that no one said anything even close to what you said in the above paragraph.

  • anonymous girl November 23, 2011, 9:58 pm

    Allison- I just got the vibe that everyone was telling her to run from this guy. I never told her that that decision, or the other, was what she should do. Because it’s HER decision. No one else’s. I merely told her my story in hopes that she would make a good decision that was good for her.

    Tracey- then what is everyone saying on this page? “If I was completely wrong and you’re relationship with this man is totally innocent, then keep it that way and call it off.” (first comment on page) No one knows the situation personally, and I just feel the second anyone hears “porn addiction” they tell that person to run from that man, no matter what. Regardless of any effort or progress that man might have attained. My boyfriend still struggles. But He has been clean from it for a six months, is going to the meeting every week, meeting with bishop and stake president every week, and doing the best he can. I’m not saying he is sober, and never going to slip up again, but I know he is trying and doing his best. If that were to change, and I saw him stop trying, THEN I could understand people’s input advising me to break it off. I just wanted to make the point clear that judging someone before understanding the full situation is wrong.

  • Angie Gardner November 24, 2011, 10:43 pm

    I think the main point is just to be very careful in this situation. While I don’t discount a 6-month recovery as progress, do realize that it is typical for those who struggle with this problem to relapse. Someone close to me started with this problem as a teenager, then was able to distance himself long enough to serve a mission and marry in the temple, only to fall back into it as a married man with children. It nearly cost him his family and many other things. Thankfully, his dear wife has forgiven him and stood by his side through his recovery, but it is still a day-to-day struggle for him and he is very open about sharing his experience with others and encouraging others to stay away from this because it is difficult to get away from it for good. This is after a lot of therapy and I’m sure a lot of grief in trying to repair his marriage and family. So, while I think you are right to say that each situation is different and you need to make your decision through prayer, you also need to be realistic as to what is ahead of you and that this is going to be an ongoing battle for a long time. I might have typed this already somewhere in the thread (don’t have the time to go back and read it) but I was at a conference once where Victor Cline and he said that he offered 1 man a large amount of money (I think $10,000) if he could go a period of time (I believe a year….it’s been awhile, my memory fades) without viewing porn, and he made it up until a day or two before the deadline and then faltered. It’s that powerful. Just be careful. This person close to me now has very severe restrictions (has to check in with the wife often, cannot have internet access at home unless his wife is in the same room, etc.) Not a fun life trying to get over this.

  • anonymous girl November 25, 2011, 2:04 am

    I appreciate your response. I don’t believe it needs to be rude or condescending like some of the other ones I have received. So Thank you. I do disagree though with one thing. Six months is definitely progress. In no way is he healed or recovered, but that is definite progress and true effort that I have seen on his part. Now I am very aware that this isn’t an addiction that you overcome, and then it never creeps back into your life. In my above comments I stated the fact that I do know this will be a hard road. But I also believe that through the atonement he can be healed, and we can attempt for a Christ-like, gospel oriented life as does any other couple. I have made my decision and I intend to stay with it unless I see a lack of desire to be healed, or him discontinuing his progression. And in my eyes, I believe that is the important thing. The effort, and improvement. And I am fully aware of possible relapses, or “slip ups” for I have had to endure them already. My best friends husband cheated on her and left her due to his pornography issue. My brother in law molested me because of his porn addiction, and almost destroyed my entire family. So I am not exactly naive to the possible outcomes, or to the addiction itself. I literally HAVE to be realistic with the things I have already seen destroyed to this horrible issue. The difference between my boyfriend and these men, is his progression. I’m not saying he is going to be perfect, but I love him and I know he is going to fight this. With the lords help he can be healed. And I love him enough to fight this battle with him, and stand by his side like so many others have yet to do for someone with his problem. I find that so sad that a man offered so much money couldn’t even last a few days. It literally breaks my heart that something so evil can ruin the best of people. I just hope and pray for every individual who faces this problem can eventually overcome it.

  • Angie Gardner November 25, 2011, 9:44 am

    Good luck to you. I might have worded that strangely, but I do think the progress he is making is a good thing. Unfortunately, progress is a not a cure, and I am glad that you realize how damaging this can be and how years can go by and still a relapse can occur. The fact that he is talking to you about it and not hiding it is a good sign that he is serious.

  • anonymous girl November 25, 2011, 11:40 am

    Yeah I think so too. Thanks for your input and advice, it was needed :)

  • Tracy Keeney November 26, 2011, 12:56 am

    Anonymous– what you quoted me saying doesn’t have anything to do with what you said. You’re conflating two different issues and points. I suggested she call off the relationship. But advising her to call off the relationship is NOT the same thing as saying the guy “should never have the sweet joy of marriage and raising a family” like you suggested I was saying. Advising her to call off the relationship is NOT saying that the guy is “bound to live a sad and lonely life”. Nor does it “doom” him to “a life of misery and loneliness”. And certainly no one ever suggested that the atonement isn’t real. If you go back and REALLY READ what I said, you’ll notice that in addition to suggesting that she end the relationship, I also said this: “Does Heavenly Father want him to be happy? Of course! Does Heavenly Father want this young man to do as you said and get married and have a family? Of course he does…. eventually, after he’s fully repented.” Later in the same post, I said ” Someone who has repented is clean before the Lord. He remembers it no more. That’s the miracle of forgiveness. And there are plenty of people who have truly repented of sexual sin and were then worthy to marry in the temple”. At no point did I or anyone else that I recall for that matter, suggest for one second that someone who’s been addicted to porn can’t be healed and forgiven, and should spend the rest of eternity miserable, lonely and single.
    The point was simply that happiness comes AFTER repentance. The “sweet joy of marriage” as you put it can only come AFTER he’s fully repented and COMPLETELY forsaken the sin. Not partially, not most of the time, not for the few days before and after a Bishop’s interview, not for 3 months, not 6 months– but entirely. An addict isn’t considered “recovered” after only 6 months. That is still in the early stages of recovery– and even then, those 6 months have to be completely FREE of relapse. Saying “I only messed up once in 6 months” means the person has NOT been clean/sober for 6 months. They’ve only been clean/sober since the day AFTER they last gave in. Now, sure, if the person was looking at porn EVERYDAY, then only looking at it ONCE in 6 months would certainly be a major improvement, but they couldn’t say they’ve been “sober” for 6 months. If in the past 6 months they “messed up” once on Oct. 5th, then if they are being honest, not only with others, but with themselves, then they can only say they’ve been “clean” for 42 days. If they say “I’ve been clean for 6 months– well, I messed up once, but other than that, I’ve been clean for 6 months” then they’re deceiving themselves.

  • Mother of an LJ November 26, 2011, 9:05 pm

    To Anonymous Girl: Yes, you are entitled to personal revelation and indeed you have your agency to decide whom you will marry. However, it would be a huge mistake to overlook the advice of those who love you, including your parents, friends, prophets and church leaders. I know you have dealt with some sad circumstances that have opened your eyes to some things, but unfortunately when people are in relationships, as Tracy pointed out, their vision is skewed by the circumstances of the relationship. Maybe she wasn’t describing your situation exactly, but she was definitely describing my daughter’s to a T. Tracy was saying, in other words, just what Sister Beck had said: Get out of a relationship with someone who is dealing with a pornography problem. A righteous daughter of God wouldn’t tolerate such a thing. As a mother, it is heart breaking to have a daughter who is willing to tolerate that (and there is more, but to put it all out there would give too much identifying information). I’d be willing to bet that your parents would grieve your decision to be involved with a young man with that problem. They might know that pornography is like a nuclear bomb to a person’s brain, and they want their dear daughter to not have to deal with all of the fallout that too often results from it. I’m not sure if you read my post, but I quote our church leaders because you can’t argue with God. You said that LJ shouldn’t listen to her mom or others. What does the Lord say about that?

    “In making a decision as momentous as whom to marry, I suggest you seek the help of your parents. Take the time to confide in them for they will not leave you or forsake you. They love you dearly and want for a precious daughter or stalwart son the best in life and the ultimate promise of eternity”. _President Thomas S. Monson

    It is important to have family and friends on our side and supportive of the upcoming marriage, Elder Richard L. Evans (1906–71) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles advised. “Don’t let this choice [of a marriage partner] ever be made except with earnest, searching, prayerful consideration, confiding in parents, [and] in faithful, mature, trustworthy friends.” 14 Loving parents who genuinely want the best for us, and “faithful, mature, trustworthy friends,” can often act as a sounding board and counsel us on how best to proceed.
    From: Choosing and Being the Right Spouse, Ensign 2002

    Sometimes when we are “in love”, we can’t see the forest for the trees, as emotion rules us. Those around us can see more clearly at times. Your parents DO want you to eventually marry and they DO want your happiness. If they are giving you advice, don’t blow it off, because the Lord knows that sometimes you won’t listen to His voice when it’s not what you really want to hear.

  • Tracy Keeney November 27, 2011, 12:44 am

    Well said “mother”. :)
    Your point about how being IN the relationship skews a persons view, allowing emotion to rule over TRUTH is spot on. And LJ’s initial question and story proves that. Her post is FILLED with self-deceit. She’s lying to herself. She’s so caught up in the emotion of the relationship that she’s lying to herself (and others), and blinding herself to the truth.
    I’ll point out a couple very obvious examples. And “anonymous” I hope you’re still reading– because I think you may have missed the several times that LJ “lied to herself” right here in print– the examples are outright and obvious, but she was completely blind to them.
    LJ said: “he’s been sober for three months now with only a couple of slip-ups”
    Sober, in this context means FREE of the problem. But if he’s had “slip-ups” then that means he has NOT been free of the problem. She’s trying to use words to make it SOUND like he’s sober, but the end on her own comment proves that he’s not. She’s deceiving herself.
    LJ said: “I’d ask my mom, but I don’t want to cloud her perception of him with his past mistakes.”
    But that’s EXACTLY what she’s doing– she WANTS to cloud her mother’s perception of him. She’s purposely not telling her mother the TRUTH, so that her mother WON’T KNOW he has this problem. She’s trying to give her mother a FALSE perception of him– that he’s a morally straight guy. That’s the very DEFINITION of “clouding” her mother’s perception– but LJ is saying she’s trying NOT to cloud her mother’s perception. She’s TOTALLY lying to herself— and her mother— and us. She’s didn’t realize that of course– but that’s EXACTLY the point that “mother of an LJ” was making. She “can’t see the forest for the trees”. She’s blinding herself and hiding from the truth.

  • Angie Gardner November 27, 2011, 12:11 pm

    You all make great points. This is a hard topic for me because it does hit close to home – although for me the person with this problem is the man who is struggling. It’s tough for me to say that I wish his wife would have seen the red flags and run the other way – certainly she would have saved herself a lot of heartache had she done so. And yet, I know this man has a good heart and is trying his best to eradicate this from his life. He’s father to 5 children that he is raising in the gospel and as I said he now has very strict restrictions as to what he can do with his free time. So while I would not fault her if she had left the relationship (when she was dating him and found out he had struggled with this…or several years later when she found out he was again involved in it) I personally am glad that she stayed because it helped make him a better person and to deal with this addiction head on finally instead of skirting around it as he had for so many years. Bottom line, I just think it is sickening that people expose very young children to this filth and create an addiction that is very, very hard to break. The person close to me is a fantastic individual – first exposed at approximately 10-12 years old, “clean” for many years, and then back into the throes again. It’s tough. I’m glad someone loves him and stuck with him. I don’t get day to day updates, but as far as I know he is clean again for several years now…but like I said it is a battle. I know he still has restrictions on his computer use and such. No fun.

  • Tracy Keeney November 27, 2011, 10:46 pm

    I totally understand what you’re saying Angie. And it’s a valid point. Having support and people standing by you is always a good thing.
    However, I think it’s important to stress, and I’m pretty sure you agree, that those things– being supportive and ‘standing by” someone doesn’t have to mean romantic involvement.
    I would hope for example, that a young woman in the position of LJ or “anonymous” who’s so “sure” that this is the guy, could see the wisdom in putting a hold on the relationship. Detach themselves, even temporarily, to give the other person the SPACE to REALLY WORK on themselves and their relationship with the SAVIOR. How much of their time is spent on the relationship? A romantic relationship that likely feeds their sensual desires? It’s very possible that for every time the girl is trying to be an influence for good, they’re also serving as a temptation for sin. When you’re dealing with someone who has a pornography addiction, you’re dealing with someone who is obsessed with lustful thoughts and actions– so much so that they become a SLAVE to those thoughts and actions and can’t control them. So it’s very possibly if not likely, that a romantic relationship just serves as fuel to the fire. Hugs, kisses and cuddling
    very likely just cause them to have EXACTLY the thoughts they’re trying to rid themselves of.
    Here’s an interesting thought. A lot of therapists would say that to REALLY call yourself “sober” from an addiction, it takes at LEAST a good year and half to two years of being “clean” — (and that means NO slip-ups). Heck, in that time, the girl could go on a mission! What better example could she possibly be? Supportive letters of true Christlike love and concern for his spiritual well-being while sharing her testimony and experiences of seeing the change in people’s lives as they repent and come to Christ would probably help him more than she could ever know. She’s out serving the Lord, becoming a tower of strength and testimony, while he’s back home working on becoming a man worthy of her, who can take her to the temple.
    What happens for HIM in the time she’s gone would prove whether or not he’s really the one.
    — Just a thought on what she COULD be doing, instead of waiting around waiting for him to become what she hopes for him to be.

  • Angie Gardner November 28, 2011, 7:47 am

    Grrr…just lost a whole reply to your post Tracy and don’t have the time to do it again. I love the mission idea. In a nutshell…the problem I see is that many people with this addiction are able to go a period of time “clean” only to relapse again later. The person close to me did have periods of abstinence during his approximately 20 year battle (so far)….long enough to go on a mission, marry in the temple, etc. The key as far as what I can see is taking the secrecy out of it and, unfortunately, almost having someone babysit them. Now that his wife is aware (she had been aware that he had struggled with this as a teenager, but didn’t know he was involved in it again until she caught him after they had been married for several years and had children) she has been instrumental in helping with his recovery, including attending therapy sessions and monitoring his computer use. Interestingly, part of the recovery from this is actually feeding a healthy sexual relationship. Anyway, don’t have much time right now but I just wanted to say that I would rather be married to the man who has this problem and is open with me about it, than to be married to the guy who is hiding it. And a LOT of men (even LDS men) are hiding it. Ideally, you will find someone without the problem AT ALL, but those men are becoming rare, even in the church. I haven’t seen statistics but I know it must be a high percentage involved in porn or we wouldn’t hear about it so much from our church leaders.

  • Angie Gardner November 28, 2011, 8:03 am

    P.S. I do also want to state for the record that I don’t condone the behavior at all – just because a of people do it does not mean it’s okay. I also realize there is a huge difference in knowing about this before you marry someone and after you’ve made the commitment and had children with them. Generally, I would tell girls to run the other way if they find that someone they are dating has this issue. I just see both sides, as someone I love as struggled with this. By the time you are at a stage in your relationship that you are intimate enough to share something this personal about yourself with the person you are seeing, you very well may see the good in this person and their progress enough to know that they can make it with your help. That’s a good time for a mission, I agree!

  • jks November 28, 2011, 3:07 pm

    I agree except you insisting that the guy is deceiving her and that he is definitely doing other sins. While it may be probable that he is doing porn & masturbation, it doesn’t mean he’s getting doing more than that.
    I think it is more helpful to talk about the actual problems of the porn, not imagine additional fictional sins. And he could be being honest about his porn use and willing to admit to slip ups.
    It can be very difficult to be a girlfriend/wife of a guy with a porn problem. You could discuss that. Also, the years of porn use will affect the guy in a negative way….how he views women and how he views sex.
    Finally, if he’s had the problem for 10 years he might have been very young when introduced to it. That is a significant fact that gives us compassion for his problem rather than just talking about it being a sin, but it doesn’t change the very real side effects of years of porn use and if he is addicted how to deal with that addiction for the rest of his life.

  • jennycherie November 28, 2011, 5:17 pm

    jks – you said, “I agree except you insisting that the guy is deceiving her and that he is definitely doing other sins.”

    Who said this? Where? I am not seeing it, especially not in the recent discussion.
    jennycherie recently posted…Fear 101My Profile

  • Tracy Keeney November 28, 2011, 6:06 pm

    And *I* agree– except I didn’t “insist” or say that he’s “definately” doing other sins. My exact words were “IF he’s doing that, then it’s LIKELY that he’s been committing several other sins of immorality with other people.” I didn’t say “definately” .
    You have to remember two things about the time line here— she said he’d been addicted for 10 years, and she’d only been dating him for 2 months. Surely there were other girlfriends before her in that 10 years. With his past, there was a very good chance that things had gone too far with some of them.

    ” And he could be being honest about his porn use and willing to admit to slip ups.”

    Yes, he COULD. But again, it’s unlikely. The chances are against it. Typically, they WILL admit “a little here” , “a little there”, because they KNOW you already know. So they’ll say things like “Well, I’ve been trying really hard–it’s been 6 weeks and I only messed up a couple times.” When really, they may have “slipped” once a week — which would be 6 times, not 2.
    And I said what I said for a reason– I’m not just making up random, additional, “fictional” sins. You don’t have to take my word for it– a 2 minute conversation with any Bishop or therapist would reveal that my statement is accurate. Is it possible that every now and then “other sins” don’t accompany pornography? Of course. It’s just highly improbable- especially as time increases. The longer the person has the addiction the further into depravity they sink. One sin leads to another. So if you’re talking about someone who’s just begun to look at porn, then yeah, “looking” may be the only thing that’s happening. But 10 years? The chances are extremely slim if even barely existent.
    Now, I’m not sure what “more” you meant by “While it may be probable that he is doing porn & masturbation, it doesn’t mean he’s doing more than that.”
    I was talking about sexual sins within real relationships and not just from computer images.
    I understand your point about having compassion– and I agree. BUT, this wasn’t a blog post about HOW people get addicted to porn, or about having compassion for people caught in sin. Of COURSE we should have compassion. But that wasn’t the direction I was trying to take my response. A girl wrote in asking for opinions about her decision to seek a future with a man who has a 10 year addiction problem with porn. I was answering her question and telling her the different reasons why I thought she shouldn’t pursue the relationship, and honestly, I was more worried about HER and her reasoning for doing so– that was my focus.

  • Alison Moore Smith November 28, 2011, 9:30 pm

    Are you saying that any person that has ever had an issue with pornography should never have the sweet joy of marriage and raising a family together?

    “Should never”? I don’t know. All I know is that for me it’s a deal breaker. And I’d tell my own children they should NOT marry someone who is/has been a porn addict, a drug addict, a pimp, a convicted felon, a homosexual, a registered democrat, a liar, a cheat, or an abuser.

    I’m more worried about the “sweet joy of marriage” for the person who is NOT all of the above. And, statistically, someone marrying someone with such “issues” is far more likely to NOT have the “sweet joy of marriage” than someone who comes to the table with less serious problems.

    Look, anonymous, you seem to think your fiancé’s “progress” is enough to warrant choosing the road you admit won’t be easy. So be it. I wish you the best. I just wish more women knew that there were plenty of great guys out there who aren’t yearning to go snatch off in from of a silicone hussy. They don’t need to settle for that future. (And, no, there really aren’t any great qualities you could enlighten me with that would offset the porn issue.)

    I kind of hope you won’t bring kids into that time bomb until he’s been certified “sober” for a decade — so they don’t have to go through the drama you’re choosing — but, obviously, I don’t get to decide. Do realize that “addicts” of any kind are expert liars. That’s another great quality to bring to marriage.

    This post was published years ago, but here’s something more recent:

    Three arrested on child porn charges in Utah County

    What’s the big deal? Oh, nothing. Except that the guy pictured is a returned missionary who married about a year ago — in the temple. I was his mom’s visiting teacher and helped set up their wedding dinner.

    He had a “porn problem” before his mission and then “got clean.” One day searched out “small boobs” and eventually ended up with kiddie porn.

    I had a friend in Eagle Mountain whose husband is now on the sex offender registry — for soliciting sex with a minor (who happened to be a police decoy named “Butchie”). He had a “porn problem” too.

    Are they bound to live of sad and lonely life because they are men with natural man desires that they succumbed too?

    LOL That’s one way to look at it. But, yea, choices have consequences. And sometimes the consequences are, “I don’t want to deal with all that baggage the rest of my life.”

    Besides, there are plenty of women out there willing to take a chance on these guys. (Just look at the death row inmates getting married!) My daughters don’t have to sign up for it.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Why I Do Not School-at-HomeMy Profile

  • partone November 29, 2011, 5:38 am

    You said it, Allison!

  • Tracy Keeney November 29, 2011, 6:01 am

    Oh Alison– you kill me. I got to the lined-out “registered democrat” and just about fell off my chair laughing.

    You DO however bring up a valid point– just how FAR into depravity porn can lead. I’ll have to see if I can find the study again– (I’ve actually researched this quite a bit several years ago, because as I pointed out– we’ve had this issue in our extended family too. A person addicted to porn since youth, supposedly “overcoming” it, but never really did, getting married in the temple and sexually abusing his 2 year old until she was 5 and old enough to say something about it to her mother. When the mother confronted the father, he ADMITTED it to her. There’s your “truth” here and there. But, he said it only happened “a couple times”. No– after several interviews with police, they learned from the little girl that it happened frequently over 3 years, and when the police were able to present him with the details from the girl that proved that it went alot further than he claimed, and happened much more frequently, he admitted it– and when they wanted to do STD testing, he confessed he COULD have one, since he’d also been soliciting prostitutes.) — anyway, there have been studies that show how addiction to pornorgraphy is like the “starter drug” that can lead to other sexual perversions.

  • x1134x January 3, 2012, 4:44 pm

    Just as the children of alcoholics blame the inanimate substance in the bottle for the behavior of their otherwise “good” parent(s), many new wives blame the inanimate video screen for the behavior of their otherwise “good” spouse.

    That being said there is not one wife on this message board who’s husband does not view other women “sexually”. PERIOD. The only variable. . . is *depth*.

    This may explain the high importance many Mormon men profess to hold for “pretty faces” as the face is one of the least covered feminine portions of a woman’s body that are commonly revealed even with strict Mormon dress, but I digress. . .

    The issue here is not PORN nor PORN ADDICTION, it is a MASTURBATION HABIT. It was usually brought into the relationship from long before the relationship’s beginning. The issue of its continuance into the relationship is simply a matter of habit. The male who has been using masturbation for “relief” of sexual hormonal urges finds it difficult both to give up the “on demand” nature of his previous relief method. Its that simple. He’s built up a habit of needing to vent the urge just like he needs to urinate. It doesn’t go away until “taken care of”. Its the same with women, it just takes them a week to a month to get the same insatiable urge. (ahem *healthy* women.)

    From the man’s perspective the couple isn’t having sex enough, from the woman’s perspective, his demands from a horny 13 year old twice – a day masturbation champion are unrealistic.

    They’re both right. Mix in a COMPROMISE, and welcome yourself to marriage. (meaning GROW UP! BOTH OF YOU!, this should take all of 1 hour to solve including the makeup sex.)

    Stepping down off of soap box.

  • Creole Williams May 12, 2012, 6:10 pm

    What is being said on this site is beyond my comprehension. Have a heart women. I used to be addicted to heroin, cigarettes, porn you name it. I grew up and have not messed with any of that stuff in over 3 years (being 23 that seems like a long time to me) . Some “young men” are able to avoid all of this, many lie about this, and some are open and honest then able to grow past it. Refrain from stereotyping “addicts”, I have a strong feeling the vast majority of you have any real knowledge on the matter.

  • Follower2 May 14, 2012, 10:25 pm

    The comments on here make me sick. I am a man in the Church who has struggled with pornography addiction for a long time now as well (thank you, AnonymousGuy from some years ago). It’s sickening to know this kind of judgement goes on among those who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus sought out the “unclean,” those who were sick, those who were struggling, those who were not perfect. Alison I hope you find your PERFECT husband and that you live the fairy-tale perfect life you obviously think you get to have, while you condemn the rest of us poor souls to the misery you have declared we deserve. People like you are reasons people hate the LDS Church and call us judgmental bigots. Maybe you’d like to just live in a utopia with all perfect people who live perfect lives with perfect smiles and have never sinned. You need to get a life. “With what judgement ye judge, so shall ye be…”

  • Follower2 May 14, 2012, 10:36 pm

    Oh, and additionally, it is blatantly obvious that you people have absolutely NO idea what addiction is about at all, this is all hot air, quoting the Ensign and appealing to emotions of how you women only want a perfect man. And then people wonder why the men don’t date.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 15, 2012, 9:42 am

    Creole Williams and Follower2, thanks for commenting. (Follower2, it’s always super amusing to have such judgmental comments from readers screaming about judgmentalism. You go!)

    Here’s the deal. This isn’t a post about the redemption of porn addicts. It’s not a post about the worth of the soul of a porn addict. It’s a post about MARRYING someone who is addicted to porn, when you don’t want a spouse who’s addicted to porn. (And, heads up, it’s an ADVICE column — where people write in asking for our OPINIONS on various topics.)

    Choosing whom to marry (please note that super big word “choosing”) is 100% about JUDGMENT. It’s a CHOICE with very long-lasting affects. And, of course, habits, behaviors, addictions are a huge part of that CHOICE.

    Obviously LJ had a problem with the porn addiction or she wouldn’t have written to us. Obviously it wasn’t the dream life she planned. And our advice — because she didn’t WANT to be married to a porn addict — was to NOT marry a porn addict.

    You’ll also note she was completely deluded in rationalizing that a 10-year problem was pretty much solved with a three-month “sobriety” — with a few “slip-ups.” Hello?

    She didn’t WANT to be married to a porn addict. We agree this is HER choice, right? And we agree that she can use JUDGMENT in making the choice, right?

    One of the dumbest things people can do is to marry someone who has traits they do NOT want in a spouse and thinking that somehow love will magically work everything out. It doesn’t.

    Creole Williams, congratulations on your progress. That is incredibly commendable. May you have continued success as you move forward. The more time that passes between addictive behavior and new behavior, the more you become a completely different person. We are cheering for you.

    P.S. Follwer2, I already have the perfect husband — coming up on 27 years. Thanks for your good wishes in that regard.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…7 Steps to Selling a Digital Product OnlineMy Profile

  • Follower2 May 15, 2012, 8:07 pm

    Alison, I admit to my sensitivity in my previous posts, particularly from the long string of comments wherein the unspoken words were basically “dump the rotten S.O.B.” It might surprise you to learn that I know a great deal (more than a dozen) couples where the husband has worked through same-sex attraction feelings and sins, pornography addiction, Word of Wisdom problems, cheating, etc. Yes it happens even in the Church. And the couples were able to work through it. No doubt there was betrayal, pain, mistrust, and everything else, but it does not HAVE to destroy anything necessarily. After all, there has only ever been one perfect Man to walk this earth. The rest of us are–to one degree or another–wounded, struggling souls. The lists of “deal breakers” that some posted here sounds like the immature “checklists” that the young men and women draw up for themselves as teenagers of the perfect wife or husband…only to find out down the line there is NO perfect spouse until eons of time from now when we receive the glory of the Lord. And it saddens me that some women (and men) in the church are so hung-up on the perfectionistic attitude that we Mormons are known for that they would automatically ditch a person because that person sins differently than they do. Consideration and prayer should be involved, yes. But not an reflex classify, judge, dump. “Are we not all beggars?…”

    Some in the church love to, in a hush-hush way of course, shun those whose particular variety of sin is more culturally taboo–porn, homosexuality, Word of Wisdom issues, etc. To say nothing of the LOADS of backbiting, gossiping, Sabbath-breaking, love of money, hypocrisy, and other things that Jesus seemed to spend a lot of time on. But since those aren’t specifically mentioned in the temple recommend interview I suppose we can just gloss over them while feign gasping when we hear of someone who struggles with porn, same-sex attraction, anger issues, or has a criminal past? It’s so fake, and although no one but the addict is ultimately to blame for their own addiction, such environments of shaming the person (such as were dished out on this comment thread) certainly do NOT help the problem either. I speak from experience, which I am confident to say most on here (and other forums like it) do not.

    I am glad you have a happy marriage. May God bless us all to have such, either in this life or the next. Yet it still might serve better in the Church for 1) those who don’t really know what they’re talking about to not talk so much and 2) remember the adage about not judging someone whose shoe’s we haven’t walked in. Only the Savior, having walked in all of our shoes through the Atonement, can judge fairly and perfectly.

    For the record, being an addict myself I know many other men in the church who struggle with porn. Given the statistics we have, and the emphasis the Brethren give to it, chances are a good chunk of the men in your ward have struggled and/or currently do struggle. And, most likely one or two also struggle with same-sex attraction, and/or Word of Wisdom issues. Multiply that by the number of wards… As I said, I know MANY men who struggle. They are honest, good souls who, like all of us, have wounds and sins. They strive to repent. They love the Lord. They don’t “automatically” cheat with another person on their wives (as was insinuated on here). They aren’t “automatically” unworthy to attend the temple or exercise the priesthood. Who died and made the people on here priesthood leaders? In many cases men who strive to repent but still slip sometimes are ENCOURAGED to attend the temple to gain strength (I am one of them and I know MANY others). Again, people talking about something they really don’t know about.

  • Follower2 May 15, 2012, 8:21 pm

    You also said in one of your posts,

    “I just wish more women knew that there were plenty of great guys out there who aren’t yearning to go snatch off in from of a silicone hussy. They don’t need to settle for that future. (And, no, there really aren’t any great qualities you could enlighten me with that would offset the porn issue.)”

    I am not trying to be nasty here, but that is a blatant insult. Do you really classify all men who struggle with porn or other issues in this manner? Our Church culture might deem your judgement OK, but in most cases it is a flat out lie. No other good qualities that would offset the porn issue? Really? So I am not the loving, prayerful, striving soul my friends, bishops, and patriarchal blessing declare me to be? I have no worth since I struggle with porn?

    WRONG.

    Your statement that a woman would be “settling” were she to marry a man like me? Do you feel justified in such a broad sweeping statement when you know nothing about any of the men you are talking about other than ONE thing? What’s YOUR big sin Alison? What’s YOUR hang-up in life? You don’t have to tell me, I don’t care. But we’ve all got one. Or two, or three, or a hundred. Do you presume to know the hearts of all of these men you lump into a category of “less than?” (Not your words, but using the words “settle for” kind of has the same meaning). Do you know of blessings that these men may be promised? Do you know of the current workings of the Atonement in the lives/hearts of these men, notwithstanding their flesh is still weak (like Paul, Peter, Nephi….)? Surprise, one does not have to have so many weeks or months or years (whatever time frame you set) of being “clean” to be under the care of the Savior, be penitent, and even be retaining a remission of their sins.

  • jennycherie May 16, 2012, 6:34 am

    what a cycle – this thread was started FIVE years ago and it still gets resurrected, repeatedly, by porn addicts who spew such vile, hateful comments while accusing the previous posters of being hateful and judgmental. As Alison has said, this isn’t a post about redemption or repentance or forgiveness or how to recover from addiction – maybe we could start one of those just to give Creole Williams and Follower2 and all the others who will come a place to talk about that aspect of the problem.

    Think for a moment, what do we teach our children? What is the DOCTRINE of our church? Our doctrine is to marry in the temple. We teach our children, especially our young women, to find a young man worthy to marry in the temple. The general authorities teach this in every general conference. They also teach repentance, and forgiveness, and yet, they don’t recommend that young women marry a man who is currently not worthy to marry her in the temple.
    jennycherie recently posted…Joy to the WorldMy Profile

  • jennycherie May 16, 2012, 8:18 am
  • Alison Moore Smith May 16, 2012, 9:56 am

    It might surprise you to learn that I know a great deal (more than a dozen) couples where the husband has worked through same-sex attraction feelings and sins, pornography addiction, Word of Wisdom problems, cheating, etc.

    Follower2, of course it happens even in the church. The question, again, isn’t whether Mormons mess up or whether those who do can be redeemed. The question is whether or not a person considering marriage wants to accept particular known behaviors and patterns.

    You call checklists “immature.” I suggest NOT having a list is actually the immature behavior. Jumping into a lifelong (and eternal) commitment WITHOUT an idea of what is fundamentally important to you is the behavior that’s stupid.

    Let’s look at reality. Most men are heavily influenced by the visual (or so all the porn info says). A disproportionate amount of their attraction quotient is based on how a woman LOOKS. In other words, men have checklists with regard to hair color, skin color, facial beauty, bust size, hip size, height, weight, all sorts of extremely superficial things.

    But if a woman has BEHAVIOR and CHARACTER checklists, you’re actually going to call her immature?

    Get serious.

    If you want to have a real discussion, you must acknowledge a few basic things:

    1. Saying you don’t want to MARRY someone, isn’t remotely the same as saying they are a total piece of garbage, shouldn’t have a temple recommend, or are destined to rot in hell.
    2. Deciding not to MARRY someone who has demonstrated particularly problematic behavior, isn’t the same as shunning them.
    3. Discussing how particular behaviors can harm marriages isn’t gossip.
    4. Noting that porn addiction can ruin marriages and lead to other harmful, wrong, sinful, even illegal behaviors has nothing to do with diminishing other harmful, wrong, sinful, even illegal behaviors.
    5. While shame actually can have a positive communal affect on behavior, discussing problematic behaviors isn’t equivalent to shaming.
    6. While we all sin, some sins are far more likely to negatively impact marriage/family than others.

    I’m well aware that many men struggle with the issues you discuss. What you may not know, is that I know MANY women who struggle with the after-affects of being married to men with porn issues. It is not a problem I would ever knowingly accept. And that is absolutely my (and every woman’s) prerogative: to determine, to choose, the kind of person we want to marry.

    Do you really classify all men who struggle with porn or other issues in this manner?

    No, not all. Just the (huge) percentage for whom porn and masturbation go, ahem, hand in hand. Oh, and also for the percentage who look at kiddie porn as opposed to full-figured porn.

    No other good qualities that would offset the porn issue? Really?

    Really. You may well be a “loving, prayerful, striving soul” and your friends and bishops might think you’re super awesome sauce. And your patriarchal blessing might say you could be the prophet some day. But if you’re addicted to porn, I’m still not marrying you.

    I have no worth since I struggle with porn?

    Again, you’re conflating two different issues.

    You are of infinite worth. Everyone is. But that doesn’t mean everyone has to marry you and your issues. Just like you don’t have to marry a 500 pound woman of infinite worth. Or a bearded woman of infinite worth. Or a woman of infinite worth who’s into male domination and painting her man’s toenails pink.

    For the record, I’ve got a heap of sins. More than most people. My husband knows all about them and he’s OK with them. That is HIS choice.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Simulated LoveMy Profile

  • Follower2 May 16, 2012, 10:14 pm

    I certainly agree that it is every woman’s (and man’s choice) to marry whomever they will. We all have free agency, and we do not live in a society of arranged marriages. And I certainly hope that the woman who posted the question on this site 5 years ago made a decision that worked out for the happiness of all parties.

    Thing is, people are quick to condemn, but not so quick to step back, consider how it might be to walk in the shoes of the other person, and extend compassion and empathy. I had a bishop once tell me (when I was talking to him about my issues) that there was a sister in the ward who had repeatedly committed fornication. But after learning about her childhood and past, and the hell she had been through, and remembering that often, sin is a (vain) attempt on the part of the sinner to find love, he was moved by the spirit to just love her rather than hold a disciplinary council and excommunicate her. That’s what I would call “understanding.”

    And this goes beyond this thread or blog or marrying someone with a porn problem. And perhaps, since this thread is old dead, I am beating a dead horse and should just shut up. But I see it often enough in the church that it saddens and frustrates me and perhaps that is why I wrote on here in the first place after randomly stumbling across this blog.

    Certain sins have more cultural and societal “taboos” on them than others (different than the actual doctrine, or the mind of God, if you will). Pornography, homosexual behavior, anger issues, Word of Wisdom issues are a couple examples. People don’t mention these as their hang-ups during a comment they make in Sunday School. Why not? SHAME. I totally disagree with you that shame does any good at all. Guilt and godly sorrow are different than shame. Guilt and godly sorrow says “I did something bad.” Shame says “I AM bad.” As an addict I speak as one who knows that someone feeling deep inside that they are a jacked up, fundamentally bad piece of crap b/c of their addiction does nothing–absolutely nothing–to help that person repent or come close to the Lord. ZERO. And yet people do it all the time.

    I would rather know a man who honestly admits his fallen-ness (even it may be porn), yet is kind, strives to do God’s will (although he may keep slipping at it, keeps getting back up), and loves God and others, than someone who may keep the “letter” of the law (perhaps to impress everyone else in the ward on how righteous he is) but when you get to the heart, he is cold, calloused, and dead. Give me the first man! Reminds me of the parable of the publican and the pharisee…the publican admitting his sins before God and the pharisee so content and proud in his keeping the letter of the law. Remember who the Savior said was “justified.” There are a lot of “pharisees” in the church, and it’s sad.

    How many gay young men in the church have committed suicide or gone into deep, deep depression b/c their families basically disown them or throw them out? Yes, it happens. I know several such men personally. Yet, somehow such parents or others who judge and condemn so harshly aren’t held responsible for their actions. The child who comes out as gay is the villain, the “sinner,” the vile one…and we are quick to quote Alma about “these things being most abominable above all sins…”

    He that is without sin cast the first stone. Thank goodness the only One who meets that qualification doesn’t cast stones.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 17, 2012, 10:39 am

    Guilt and godly sorrow says “I did something bad.” Shame says “I AM bad.”

    Follower2, I’m not much into pop psych. People actually CAN be good and bad. To the extent that we do bad stuff, we ARE bad. The whole, “I’m not bad, I just do bad things” is a very odd distinction. And meaningless, IMO.

    The important issue, I think, is to acknowledge that bad people can become good people. We don’t have to be static. We’re all bad to some extent and all of us can improve.

    Shame is: mortification, embarrassment, indignity, discomfort.

    Of COURSE those things can provide positive results. You’ll notice that on the internet, where people (like you) can remain anonymous, many will say things they would never say face-to-face. In my experience, that is a good thing only a small fraction of the time (like with whistle-blowing). Because I put my name on everything I say, I’m more careful than I would be otherwise. Knowing that I could (permanently) embarrass myself, my family, is a powerful force in tempering what I say.

    Shaming can be abused, but it’s a matter of opinion when that occurs.

    For the record, one of my favorite testimony meetings was one where a woman “confessed” to having had an abortion years earlier. As in this case, I have sincerely, not known a single case where someone “honestly admits his fallen-ness” who was “shamed” for it. Rather, they were loved.

    On the other hand, loving someone doesn’t require they be treated as if the fallen-ness doesn’t exist.

    I have a friend whose husband served jail time for porn-turned-solicitation-of-a-minor. I love her, but my kids do NOT go to her house to play unless I am there. Period. Shaming? Maybe, but I’m not putting my kids at risk in order to be seen as accepting.

    I have a friend whose husband was indicted on a kiddie porn charge. My kids will not be babysitting for her. Ever. Shaming? Perhaps, but would you send a young teen girl in to a home where a guy can’t control his urges to look at nude children? Um, no.

    I haven’t seen anyone suggest we put porn users in stalks so we can walk by and point and mock. But, you know what? The fact that porn issues create social consequences (like those mentioned above) CAN be a strong deterrent for many people. The fallout just isn’t worth the titillation.

    The same thing can happen to drug abusers. They hit rock bottom. They lose everything. Their friends and family can’t take it anymore. And they want to redeem those things, so they change.

    Same thing can happen to people who have bad tempers or obesity or just about any other things considered socially unacceptable behaviors/conditions. I know a teen guy who refused to shower, until people just got too grossed.

    I have gay friends, Follower2. At this point none of them are active in the church, although one still calls himself LDS and is very positive in describing how being LDS has “made me who I am.” (His mission experience was particularly important.) But the facts that I have gay friends and that their difficulty is painful, doesn’t make people who, correctly, note that the church declares homosexual behavior to be sinful.

    Yes, I also know people who have been disowned for claiming homosexuality. But how are you now set up to judge the situation?

    I know parents who are in incredibly difficult situations trying to teach their children a particular standard of behavior, while one older child is openly living a gay lifestyle — which, as we know, is CONTRARY to that standard.

    If one of my older kids starting using drugs and wanted to discuss it with his younger siblings, I’d show him the door. EVEN THOUGH the other kids will hear about drugs in school and in media.

    If one of my older kids was living with someone and wanted to sleep with them in our house over the holidays, I’d tell them to get a hotel. EVEN THOUGH the other kids will hear about fornication all over the place.

    Yet anyone who says they don’t want to have open homosexual behavior brought into their homes is somehow mean and nasty and harsh.

    It gets tedious to hear homosexuality constantly being addressed as if it’s in an entirely different class than ANY other behavior.

    He that is without sin cast the first stone. Thank goodness the only One who meets that qualification doesn’t cast stones.

    What you fail to realize is that YOU are casting stones constantly. You accuse commenters here of being judgmental (and of casting stones), parents of being harsh, etc. Why does your supposed counsel not apply to YOU?

    The truth is, there is nothing wrong with discussing what constitutes sin or how sins (even particular sins) impact us and our families.

    I realize that porn carries a personal element to you, but the truth is (assuming you aren’t married now), when you decide you want to marry someone, she will have to decide whether or not she can accept the impact your past and present behaviors and habits (all of them) will have on her and your future family. And porn will be on that list.

    We all have to do that Follower2. When my husband and I were dating, we did the same thing. He had to decide if he could live with my baggage. I had to decide if I could live with his.

    As I’ve said before, I wouldn’t consider marrying someone with an addiction until they had been 100% clean, sober for a number of YEARS. Three months with a “few slip-ups”? Not a chance in your life.
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  • George June 7, 2012, 10:32 pm

    Tracy you dont understand how addiction works. its true that this guys isnt sober. Men need to show a certain level of sobriety before being considered “dateable material.” But to say that if he “slips-up,” he isnt repentant is not only harsh, it is incorrect. This young man is going to be struggling with his addiction for the rest of his life. It is not a matter of if he “slips-up,” it is a matter of when. This young man’s brain has been chemically altered and will never be the same. He will always be prone to relapse, and he will slip up. But to say that he is unrepentant is inaccurate. He has repented, but he has been unable to forsake (abandon) his sin.

  • George June 7, 2012, 10:37 pm

    Also you are a cold woman who doesn’t understand the atonement.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 8, 2012, 12:25 am

    George, I think you’re arguing semantics. D&C 58:43 says:

    By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.

    From this statement — along with myriad authoritative statements — it’s fair to say that without forsaking, repentance is incomplete.

    The dictionary defines “repentant” as “remorseful; ashamed, regretful.” In this context, feeling repentant — which seems to be what you are referring to — and fully repenting (which requires forsaking the sin) aren’t the same thing.

  • George June 8, 2012, 6:50 am

    actually I am referring to the proper translation of the word repentance. It comes from two words “shuve” a hebrew word meaning “to turn” and “metanopo” meaning “to have a view.” the modern term “repent” has the negative connotation of “penitence ” and “punishment” because of that mistranslation. In Alma 39, Alma tells his son to Repent and Forsake his sins. He uses both words because there is a distinction. When one repents, he turns away from his own view on something (in this case perhaps that porn is good) and turns and embraces the Lords view. One can actually have repented and completely agree with the doctrine of the law of chastity without being able to forsake (abandon) ones sins. Yes forsaking does indicate repentance, but in the case of addictions, forsaking is problematic. There are people who genuinely hate committing the sins that they do, and genuinely understand and agree with the doctrine and have confessed, but because of the brain chemistry addicts experience (i.e. severe dopamine deficiency in the pleasure center of their brain) it becomes nearly impossible to completely forsake their behavior. In all honesty people who do not understand addictions and , such as yourself alison, do more damage than good in the fight against pornography. Most men hide thier addictions from their girlfriends and future wives because they feel like the second anybody finds out, they will end up being condemned by the people they love and then abandoned. and, sadly this does happen. does that help the addict overcome the addiction? no it drives him deeper into the abyss. Honestly, the more open women are able to be with their husbands and the less they freak out about this sin, the more they are going to be able to help their husbands overcome it. By the way, that is exactly what most men with this addiction want more than anything. They just want to be free from it. The only real success stories i have ever heard of come from married couples who are open and supportive with each other and seek professional counseling.

  • George June 8, 2012, 7:28 am

    Alison what do you understand about how addictions work? Do you know what is going on in the brain of an addict?

  • x1134x June 8, 2012, 1:43 pm

    glad to see my comment was glossed over. you must then agree?

    A potential husband that “takes the name of the lord in vain” on occasion is JUST as “poor” a choice for a husband as one with a masturbation habit. The sins are EQUAL. If you marry a potty-mouth you may as well have married someone who engages in homosexual sex. They are equal sins in the eyes of God.

    Same with the sin of SLOTH or GLUTTONY. See obese people married all the time.

    The point that I see trying to be made is “there are no perfect people”. EVERYBODY has sins. EVEN the lady who’s worried about her porn-perusing boyfriend as marriage material. SHE brings SIN into the relationship AS WELL. What that SIN is, we don’t know but we DO know that it is SOMETHING.

  • jennycherie June 8, 2012, 1:47 pm

    Wow – this is truly the thread that just won’t die. George – this thread was originally about whether or not a woman should marry a man who is still struggling with porn. That doesn’t mean he is not repentant or that those who advise against marriage are being condemnatory, it just means, there are many who would find marriage to an addict of any sort who is still having frequent slip-ups to be inadvisable.

    It seems like people come online, struggling to find support because they struggle personally with pornography or because someone they love struggles with pornography, they find this thread, and because the answers to the original poster (or the dozens since) is not “it’s ok, he’s wonderful, your love will fix him,” people like George, Follower2, Creole Williams, jks, and others decide to post and condemn everyone here for ‘condemning’ people who struggle with pornography. Why not just start from the beginning, re-read what’s been said, and skip the ‘new’ argument. Alison has already been called every kind of awful thing for having an opinion and stating it. Alison is *not* the one who is cold, vicious, or doesn’t understand the atonement.
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  • George June 8, 2012, 5:07 pm

    Thanks for the “straw-man fallacy” jennycherie. No i do not think just loving someone will fix a pornography addiction. That would be just as stupid as a wife thinking that yelling or belittling her husband would fix his porn problem. People who have this problem need counseling and support groups, and yes if they are married that includes support from their wife.

    Actually yeah i don’t mind condemning opinionated ignorant women who don’t understand addictions. I also don’t mind condemning a cowerdous man who lies about his addictions until after he is married. I can understand why a woman would be furious in a case like that, but the man that the original poster was talking about had the decency to be open. As such she and only she can receive the personal revelation if she should stay with him. And quite frankly she needs to take that task seriously, thoughtfully and prayerfully, and not be deluded by ignorant self righteous women who were lied to until they got married.

    and yes i do agree with you x1134x.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 8, 2012, 5:42 pm

    Like I said, George, a semantic argument. You can try to pretend that common usage — and even regular authoritative church use — is meaningless, but it’s not. Words are intended to communicate and, of course common usage and context are as important as hebrew and latin roots.

    In all honesty people who do not understand addictions and , such as yourself alison, do more damage than good in the fight against pornography.

    Hey, don’t denigrate my junior high Tab addiction!

    George, you need to read the entire thread. This post isn’t about a “fight against pornography.” It’s about a women deciding to marry someone, while delusion about their condition.

    It may well be that men are more likely to “recover” with a good woman supporting them. But no way in hell am I going to suggest a woman should subject herself to being married to a porn addict in the name of someone else’s recovery.

    In the context of the actual question, I don’t give a hoot what is “going on in the brain of an addict.” What I care about is women making sound decisions for their futures. It’s not LJ’s job to fix her boyfriend’s issues.

    x1134x, let me explain how blogs work. Ahem. people comment about the things they want to comment about and don’t comment about things they don’t want to comment about. Nonresponse doesn’t necessary indicate agreement.

    On your second comment, however, I find it interesting that you’ve set yourself up as ultimate judge on the ranking of sin. Cool. So, tell me, is it better to overindulge on cupcakes or sleeping? I’m thinking of doing one or the other tonight, so it’s timely.

    On the other hand, I think it’s probably a good idea to let people decide for themselves which flaws are deal-breakers in potential spouses. Determining which things you can live with and which will make you miserable are probably within the realm of acceptable human discernment.

    jennycherie, bless you. :)
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  • jennycherie June 9, 2012, 4:41 am

    x1134x – we were posting about the same time so I missed your comment earlier. I agree that we all sin, but all sin is not equal. I get your point, but I don’t think that is supported by our doctrine. Swearing, being obese, overindulging in sleep or cupcakes are sinful, but will not keep you out of the temple. Engaging in homosexual sex or looking at pornography will keep you out of the temple. Some sins *are* bigger than others.

    George – if you came here looking for a pornography support group, this just isn’t it. If you came to open the eyes of “ignorant women who don’t understand addictions,” you are not likely to have much success when you are so terribly rude and condemnatory. Again, it amazes me that you think the responses in this thread are condemning of people who struggle with addiction, while yourself speaking only in the most hostile and condemnatory words. If you want to persuade people that your point of view is correct, you will be more successful if you can find a way to be more diplomatic in the way you speak to people.
    jennycherie recently posted…Joy to the WorldMy Profile

  • George June 9, 2012, 12:48 pm

    Actually Allison, I’m not arguing semantics. Nor am i trying to bring to light some obscure meaning of repentance from the latin and hebrew roots of the word. I am merely illustrating the opinions of people like Elder Russell M. Nelson and Dr. Saterfield of Byu. Elder Nelson gave a great talk back in 2007 called Repentance and Conversion. In it he details the meaning of the latin and hebrew roots of the word “repentance.” Among them being “shuve” and “metanoeo”. Its a really great talk. you should check it out.

    Also I would also like to point out that I agree that no woman should marry a man for the sole purpose of helping him recover from his porn addiction. That just seems completely outrageous. Marriage is a serious matter. and one should always seek the best spouse possible.

    What really bothers me about what the whole pornography situation is the amount of lying that goes on. Most men lie to their girlfriends and fiancee’s until they are married. It is a terrible act that essentially is stating that the guy does not love his wife. or at the very least he doesn’t respect her enough to tell her the truth. To be honest such actions need to stop.

    In a recent peer reviewed journal i was reading i noticed that 90 percent of men and 30 percent of woman have problems with pornography. Almost everybody has been exposed to it, but in the study it showed that 90 percent of men have viewed it in the last year, and 30 percent of men are daily viewers. There has also been considerable research done which indicates that there is a strong correlation between religious people and pornography. Many leading experts on the matter who are members of the Church such as Dr. Donald L. Hilton Jr. are convinced that as a church we are not doing any better than the world.

    Essentially pornography has become widespread across the church. Woman are likely going to have to deal with this problem at some point in their lives. It is a sad reality but it is the truth. Pornography is a new and dangerous illness that has swept across the church like the black plague.

    You made the comment that you don’t care how the addiction works. The problem with that is that ignorance about this problem just fuels the progression this epidemic.

    For example one of the comments i have read on this blog is that men view pornography for sexual fulfillment. And i bet there are some Mormon men who do view pornography because their sex life with their wife is absolutely terrible. But, another startling fact is that the average age men begin viewing pornography is at the age of 8. Is an 8 year old looking for sexual fulfillment? or a 10 year old? Most men become addicted before puberty when they do not even have a sex drive yet.

    Sex causes the largest release of dopamine and oxytosin in the brain. These are the chemicals that make one happy. overstimulating the pleasure center of the brain causes one to stop producing dopamine. The natural sex response cycle is what the human mind can endure. but what the human mind cannot endure is the hours and hours of pornography that is overstimulating the minds of children, young and adult men. When the brain stops producing dopamine one is miserable. This is why men are drawn back obsessively to pornography. in their mind it is the only thing that alleviates the misery.

    The most common story in the church is of a young man who becomes addicted as a child and grows up hating himself and trying to quite. He goes through several bishops who all recomend things like willpower and scripture reading. but he never can quite quite no matter how much he reads or prays. Dr. Louann Brizendine made the observation that this is why men in their adolescence tend to become more introverted. They don’t want to talk and risk anybody finding out their secret.

    The point of the matter is that pornography is ruining the lives of young men. by the time they need to get married they realize that nobody is going to want to marry them if they knew the truth, so they lie. and then women end up getting their hearts broken after they are married and men debate committing suicide.

    i think you will agree that this whole process of children getting hooked on porn has to stop.

    One of the biggest problems we face in stopping the epidemic of porn is our culture. Porn is one of the most taboo and demonified sins in the entire church. as such when people talk about it, they not only demonify the sin but the sinner as well. All this does is create an environment in which the sinner is trapped in silence. and young women are trapped in the false idea that marriage will solve all their problems.

    As a church we teach about prevention. we teach not to get involved in it. but most of the church is already involved in it. we need to get educated on how to repent and heal from hit. even young women need to be experts on it, because the likelihood that they will marry a guy who has or has had this problem is incredibly high.

    obviously in marriage one should always search for the best possible spouse. but not everybody has the opportunity to marry the ten percent of men who do not have porn problems. Most women are going to have to learn how to help heal their man. Condemning and demonifying men who have this problem only makes them more miserable and makes them search out their coping mechanism (porn) more often. that is why understanding the addiction is important. so that young women and you children will be able to avoid and/or fix the problems they will face. you cant fight the problem without understanding how to fight the problem.

  • George June 9, 2012, 12:51 pm

    Actually jennycheri i did come here to educate ignorant women. quite frankly ignorant women only help spread the plague of pornography that is consuming our church. Getting educated about how the addiction works is the only way to fight it. No man can be saved in ignorance.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 9, 2012, 5:27 pm

    George, discourse works better when you actually read before replying.

    I did not suggest you were trying “to bring to light some obscure meaning of repentance from the latin and hebrew roots of the word.” Rather, I suggested that you were trying to “pretend that common usage — and even regular authoritative church use — is meaningless.”

    I followed that with “common usage and context are as important as hebrew and latin roots.” [emphasis added]

    Insisting that the definition from your conjugation is the only appropriate usage is simply fallacious. And, yea, it’s a semantic game.

    I agree that it’s a problem in the church. I think the frequency of conference talks would easily verify that. And I agree the dishonesty around it is as much of a problem as any dishonesty in a relationship.

    You made the comment that you don’t care how the addiction works.

    Here’s where reading carefully comes in again.

    No, I don’t care about how addiction works — now please, this time read what comes next — when answering the particular question being posed by LJ. It’s not relevant — again, keep reading — to the question she asked.

    For the sake of conversation and honesty, let’s not confuse that with (a) never caring about how addiction works, (b) claiming that addiction is never, ever relevant, or (c) any of the other erroneous readings of my statement.

    And let’s be clear, when I man gets involved in pornography, it’s not a woman’s fault. Let’s once and for all stop the incessant passing of blame.
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  • George June 9, 2012, 6:33 pm

    For someone who advocates careful reading, its funny that you don’t practice what you preach. I never said it was the woman’s fault if a man looks at pornography, but she can make the problem worse. Which by the way is what many women do in ignorance.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 9, 2012, 11:23 pm

    people who do not understand addictions and , such as yourself alison, do more damage than good in the fight against pornography.

    Most men hide thier addictions from their girlfriends and future wives because they feel like the second anybody finds out, they will end up being condemned by the people they love and then abandoned. and, sadly this does happen.

    it drives him deeper into the abyss.

    the more open women are able to be with their husbands and the less they freak out about this sin, the more they are going to be able to help their husbands overcome it

    there are some Mormon men who do view pornography because their sex life with their wife is absolutely terrible

    Condemning and demonifying men who have this problem only makes them more miserable and makes them search out their coping mechanism (porn) more often.

    Check out how many times you say “because” and “make.”

    George, even if your stated stats are true, there’s a huge difference between having “viewed” porn in the last year and having a “porn problem.” Stats can tell you anything you want them to tell you.

    By your calculation, *I* have a huge porn problem. I make a living on the computer. I get porn spam email multiple times a week (it used to be multiple times a day) and at least a couple of times each week I get a redirect to a porn site. (Heck, the grocery checkout line is often pretty salacious. Oh, yea, and remember all women are pretty much walking porn.)

    George, your behavior isn’t justified by implicating nearly every other man on the planet and you aren’t made more attractive by claiming that pretty much every other guy is guilty of the same sins. Pull on your big boy pants and take responsibility for your own actions.
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  • George June 10, 2012, 11:58 am

    You have a very interesting logic. Actively viewing something is different than seeing something. Viewing pornography means that one has sought it out and is committing sin. This indicates a porn problem.

    what you described on the other hand is called “seeing”. everybody sees pornography, but they aren’t seeking it out. Obviously you don’t want to look at porn, but you see it. As such you are not sinning. oh and btw you might want to get some spam blockers put on your computer. not only is spam obnoxious too look at it slows your computer down. so for the sake of your computer get some spam blockers.

    The statistics i reported came from the Church. I hope they are true. If not the church lies to us. but on the other hand if they are true it is kind of depressing that so many of the priesthood is being involved.

    Oh haha don’t flatter yourself. I am pretty sure nobody considers you walking porn.

    Wow haha you kinda decided to throw that “thou shalt not bear false witness” commandment right out the window and assume I am addicted to porn huh. Actually I gave the statistic that I gave just to let you know how serious the situation with pornography is. It also ties in with the original post on whether or not the woman should stay with a porn addict.

    most men in the church have this problem (in other words they are ACTIVELY VIEWING PORNOGRAPHY). as such the situation on whether or not to stay with a porn addict becomes more complicated than just, “he’s not worthy and therefore i will not stay with him.” it turns into a more complex situation of having to judge his level of repentance.

    Having a porn addiction is like having diabetes. It is manageable but there is no cure. if you are thinking about staying with a porn addict you have to be extremely careful and make sure he is managing his addiction well. you have to consider the type of things he looks at, how long he has been sober for, if he has talked to the bishop, if he is currently attending support groups. you cannot just base your judgement off how long they have refrained from looking at pornography, because one can forsake his sins but not repent of them.

    I agree with you jennifer that not marrying a porn addict would be the first and best choice. however due to the statistice the church news comes out with, which are supported my many peer reviewed journals, it seems unlikely that all women in the church are going to marry a perfectly worthy man. All i am saying is that as a woman it would be stupid not to be an expert on the subject of pornography. We are getting closer to the second coming and things are going to get worse. the more knowledgeable your daughters are about sin, the more likely they are to avoid marrying someone who has a porn problem. And, even if they do marry a guy with a porn problem on accident, they will have the tools to help him manage it.

    Oh believe me, my big boy pants are one and are quite comfortable. thank you. My knowledge of pornography comes from helping my brother in law overcome it. and it comes from many hours talking with my fiancee about how we are going to educate/ help our children with this problem.

  • Janiel Miller June 10, 2012, 12:39 pm

    The answer to all of this is the atonement. If it is true that there is no cure for pornography addiction (as there is no cure for diabetes–per George’s statement), then that means the atonement doesn’t work. But the atonement does work. For every sin except denying Christ after a perfect knowledge. And in some cases, murder.

    Pornography is scary and hard to overcome. But not impossible. Nothing is. Should you go into marriage knowing it is a problem? That’s between you and God. And it might be good to ask what you’re in for if you feel you should do it, and be prepared. Because your husband will have his agency.

    Nothing in this world is easy. But it is downright impossible without the Savior and his atonement. If your marital sexual relations are “terrible”, that’s no excuse to dive into pornography. It is, however, a GREAT excuse to dive into the atonement. Together. As a couple. And heal from whatever is causing it to be “terrible.” If you have a porn addiction, or any kind of addiction, it’s a great excuse to find your relationship with the Savior and work out your personal and personalized salvation with him.

    That’s what we need to be teaching our children. The Savior is their best friend because he knows them best. Yes these are the last days, and yes things are getting more and more interesting. But God is God. And he can turn every despicable thing the adversary throws at us to our good–every thing–if we turn to him and to the atonement of the Savior.

    With God, nothing is impossible. Which means, there IS a cure.
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  • George June 10, 2012, 2:18 pm

    Janiel i agree with you in that those who have addictions need to dive into the atonement. whether it be pornography, substance abuse, or homosexual tendencies, diving into the atonement will allow the Lord to help.

    undoubtedly the Lord does have the power to heal all things. he also has the power to forgive. But, let us not forget the situation of Paul the the 12th chapter of Corinthians. Paul had a particular infirmitiy which he pleaded with the lord to take away. In response the Lord essentially told him that he was given the infirmity to be humble and so he would rely on the Lord. this caused Paul to say in verse 10 ” Therefore I take pleasure in ainfirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” yes the lord strengthens those who have infirmities, but at times he does not remove them in order to make us humble and to rely on the Lord like it says in Ether 12:27.

    Accessing the atonement is part of what makes a porn addiction manageable. but its like being healed from a physical injury. obviously we want to bless the sick and afflicted with an anointing of oil, but we also want to take them the the hospital. much the same way those afflicted with porn addictions need to go to the hospital (aka therapy and support groups). also they need the support and help of their family.

    With all this help, their addiction becomes manageable. but the likelihood they will relapse in the future is still pretty high. Just like a diabetic’s blood sugar needs to be checked and monitored and maintained frequently, a porn addict needs constant help and support from his family and needs to keep himself in check because a relapse could always happen.

  • George June 10, 2012, 5:55 pm

    btw really great post Janiel

  • Alison Moore Smith June 10, 2012, 7:53 pm

    Spot on, Janiel. :)

    Actively viewing something is different than seeing something.

    Actually not. To view can be “looking at something” or “the action of watching something” or “the opportunity to see something,” etc. When I open my email and it’s porn, I view it. That’s how I know it’s porn. That’s how I know to delete it.

    However, the next time someone handcuffs me, props my eyes open with toothpicks, and I see the porn BECAUSE I have exhausted my ability to roll my eyes back in my head, then, yea, I’d call that passive viewing, as opposed to “active.”

    Viewing pornography means that one has sought it out and is committing sin. This indicates a porn problem.

    That might be what you mean, but it certainly wasn’t specified.

    so for the sake of your computer get some spam blockers.

    Thanks for the super tip. I’ve actually heard of spam blockers! Due to the nature of my business, I can’t employ the most virulent blockers because it blocks too much legitimate information.

    The statistics i reported came from the Church. I hope they are true. If not the church lies to us.

    Good. Then for the sake of discussion, please cite the sources that indicate that 90% of men “actively” view porn. That will help the conversation.

    assume I am addicted to porn huh

    George, given that ALMOST EVERY SINGLE MAN ON EARTH IS NOW ADDICTED TO PORN (according to you), I’m pretty safe in assuming the anonymous guy spending so much time calling everyone who thinks porn is a deal-breaker to repentance is probably one of ALMOST EVERY SINGLE MAN ON EARTH WHO IS NOW ADDICTED TO PORN.

    if you are thinking about staying with a porn addict

    It bears repeating (for the umpteenth time), this post isn’t about “thinking about staying with a porn addict.” It’s about DECIDING to GET TOGETHER with a porn addict.

    I agree with you jennifer that not marrying a porn addict would be the first and best choice.…the more knowledgeable your daughters are about sin, the more likely they are to avoid marrying someone who has a porn problem.

    What kind of a self-righteous, hate-monger are you? Suggesting that women avoid marrying porn addicts???

    George, you seem to have misunderstood the original post. Please read it again. LJ wrote to us, asking for our (the Circle of Sisters columnists) opinions about her boyfriend. Our opinions were (and still are) not to marry someone with a harmful addiction. Period.

    Since you’re involved in recovery, go out and get all those men to ACTUALLY be clean sober for a DECADE. Then they might be good marriage material.
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  • George June 10, 2012, 8:40 pm

    Wow again with the bearing false witness. Really?

    Ive been helping my brother in law get sober for months. My sister asked me to do it because she cant handle hearing about his temptations. Quite frankly after having hours of conversations with him i realized there are “self righteous hate mongers” like yourself who quite simply don’t get it. you and all the others like you do not understand the nature of addiction. you do more damage than good in this fight.

    so yeah after seeing what my brother in law went through, i decided to look up some blogs about what momon women think about porn. and i figured i would correct some of the false thinking. and then i ran into obnoxious people like you and yeah i decided to be a little abrasive because i have seen your comments and i have seen how thick headed you are. but you don’t understand addictions and you never will. I’m sorry that LJ came to such an uninformed place for help.

    funny thing about addictions is that they never go away. if someone is sober for a decade, it means very little. the likelihood of relapsing is the same for a year of sobriety as it is for 10 years. and people do relapse after years and years of sobriety. they are never really free. so i guess that means that 90 percent of the male population of the church will never be worthy of one oh so perfect women like yourself.

    but i guess that’s OK. men can just keep doing what they have been. they can lie until they get married. i mean after you get sealed you are stuck with the person. its hard to get a temple divorce. man, getting lied to is so much better than solving the problem.

    (btw this is the kind of behavior the actions of obnoxious women like you promote, just in case you didn’t understand the sarcasm.) Good luck in your circle and continual spreading of problems.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 10, 2012, 9:58 pm

    George, we all know every man on earth is a porn addict. It’s fine, really. Relax. We understand.

    so yeah after seeing what my brother in law went through, i decided to look up some blogs about what momon women think about porn.

    But you can’t tell what “momon [sic] women think about porn” if you won’t read what they actually say.

    What these particular Mormon women think about porn is that marrying a guy with a porn addiction is NOT a good place to start a marriage. In fact, it’s a really sucky place to start a marriage and probably a really dumb idea — i f you want to be happy, that is.

    And it’s weird, but for all your name-calling and ad hominem, YOU said the same thing! I know, right?

    if someone is sober for a decade, it means very little

    It means a heck of a lot more than a guy who’s been “sober for three months now with only a couple of slip-ups.”

    There you go with the 90% figure again. Please cite your source so we can have a reasonable conversation.

    But it’s nice to be warned there are still misogynists who insist on blaming women for causing, making, and furthering men’s problems when they actually have the gall to “demonize” evil behavior — or in other words, call a spade a spade.
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  • George June 11, 2012, 6:03 am

    Jason S. Carroll, Laura M. Padilla-walker. Larry J. Nelson, Chad D. Olson, Carolyn McNamara Barry, Stephanie D. Madsen, “Generation XXX: Pornography Acceptance and Use Among Emerging Adults,” Journal of Adolescent Research, Vol. 23(1), 2008 6-30.

    also

    “Defending the Home Against Prnography,” Chruch News, April 21, 2007

    also

    Protecting homes against Pornography,” church news, March 10, 2007

    And by the way what you do is not the demonization of evil behavior. What you do is demonize people. and yes demonizing people does adversely affect those in the repentance process. A porn addict has no less value in god’s eyes than a pharisee like yourself. call a spade a spade all you want (aka call porn evil all you want, because it is), but there are many good men in the church who have this problem and are trying to get out. And when people like you go around jabbing at them and telling them they will never be worthy of the blessing God intends for all his children to have, yeah it inhibits their progress. You aren’t causing porn problems, because well lets face it you aren’t exactly walking porn. but you are slowing the progress honest and good men make.

    and again i forgive you for bearing false witness. Have fun reading.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 11, 2012, 11:01 am

    Protecting homes from pornography Church News

    At a time when an estimated 8 to 10 percent of Americans are dealing with compulsive sexual behaviors or addictions…

    This article also notes that “Pornography destroys family relationships, harming personal and spiritual progression. It promotes themes that are degrading and violent and fosters unrealistic expectations for intimacy.”

    Sounds like the kind of thing you’d want to avoid when deciding whom to marry.

    Defending the home against pornography Church News

    Experts say that as many as 40 percent of Americans suffer from a compulsive sexual behavior or addiction.

    The article also notes that “Wives whose husbands are viewing pornography suffer as much as if the men were having on-going affairs, and will need the love and support of others and, possibly, professional help.”

    Sounds like the kind of problem you’d want to avoid, if at all possible.

    Generation XXX: Pornography Acceptance and Use among Emerging Adults A paper not connected with the church

    This paper surveyed 813 university students ages 18–26 at six colleges. This is that paper that reported 87% porn use among these particular men. So let’s discuss:

    (1) Are these stats “from the church”? No.
    (2) Are these kids LDS? Likely at about the same percentage as the population.
    (3) What is the value of self-reporting? It’s one of the least reliable forms of “research.”

    This study also notes that “Results also revealed associations between pornography acceptance and use and emerging adults’ risky sexual attitudes and behaviors, substance use patterns, and nonmarital cohabitation values.”

    Still sounds like the kind of thing you’d want to avoid in a potential eternal partner.

    And by the way what you do is not the demonization of evil behavior. What you do is demonize people. and yes demonizing people does adversely affect those in the repentance process.

    Pop psych, George. I find no meaningful difference between demonizing behavior and demonizing people who engaged in the demonized behavior. It’s “a difference that makes no difference.” People are bad to the degree they engage in bad behaviors. And of course I include myself in that definition. We all have good and bad. And part of putting on our adult pants is to recognize that and address it, rather than to spend our lives stroking ourselves (no pun intended) and assuaging our guilt.

    A porn addict has no less value in god’s eyes than a pharisee like yourself

    Of course, but — and I’m stunned that I have to keep reminding you about this — this post isn’t about “value in god’s eyes.” It’s about making sound decisions about whom we choose to spend our lives with and commit to and have children with. While everyone may well be equally valuable in God’s eyes, not everyone makes an equally great spouse.

    …here are many good men in the church who have this problem and are trying to get out.

    They are “good” to the degree they DO good and bad to the degree they DO bad. Porn isn’t good. And porn addicts don’t make good husbands. We can all love porn addicts, just as we are commanded to love everyone. We don’t have to MARRY them. (Did I mention that this post is about selecting spouses?)

    And when people like you go around jabbing at them and telling them they will never be worthy of the blessing God intends for all his children to have, yeah it inhibits their progress.

    Let’s analyze this statement fully.

    “people like you go around jabbing”: certainly this is intended to be inflammatory, but what does it mean? Did I poke a porn addicts eyes out? How is stating that porn addicts don’t make good husbands equated with “jabbing” — particularly in the context of answering a question from a non-porn addict?

    “telling them they will never be worthy”: could you please point to where I said this? I’ve forgotten.

    “the blessing God intends for all his children to have”: Does the fact that God “intends” for us to marry in the temple and procreate somehow mean that this intention should be manifest in spite of behavior? So, when God intends for people to go to the temple, they should be given recommends even if they are screwing around, committing fraud, or smoking pot? When God intends for men to serve missions, they should be called even if they are pedophiles? When God intends for us to become gods, he should forgo judgment and just get on with the coronation?

    And — more to the point and n the context of this post — should women accept porn addiction, just so these men can get what, apparently, they deserve?

    You aren’t causing porn problems, because well lets face it you aren’t exactly walking porn. but you are slowing the progress honest and good men make.

    Further ad hominem doesn’t support your point. It’s interesting that you think continuing to denigrate my appearance is somehow going to make your argument sound. George, seriously? What kind of mental gymnastics brought you to that conclusion?

    To be clear, though, I’m a hot momma. But feel free to tell us your real name so we can do a complete side by side comparison. Ready. Go.

  • jennycherie June 11, 2012, 11:41 am

    I disagree with George. I’ve seen the picture of you in sequins, Alison. You are definitely walking porn.
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  • Oregonian June 11, 2012, 11:54 am

    george. what a brain fart. you give men a bad name.

  • BMXDesigner June 11, 2012, 7:30 pm

    I don’t get what all the fuss is about. First off i think LJ should marry the guy. Secondly Me and my wife have been happily married for 4 years and we watch porn together. Its been great for our marriage. It gives us great ideas, and it spices up our sex lives. Why are you guys freaking out so much on whether or not this is a good thing. Of course it is a good thing. It increases libido and helps couples come closer together.

  • bmxdesign456 June 11, 2012, 11:44 pm

    Haha i found this place actually looking for porn. first off LJ should marry her guy. There is nothing wrong with porn. I have been married for four years and me and my wife love looking at it together. It spices up our love life and gives us great ideas. Why is this such a big deal? everybody is getting pissed over something that has helped my marriage a lot.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 12, 2012, 10:26 am

    Funny, bmxdesign456, that you were searching to watch other people, rather than off having sex with your wife. But, yea, I know, looking at other naked women makes you a better husband. Yea.

  • Tracy Keeney June 12, 2012, 11:04 am

    Let’s see…. my mother was the head pysch nurse at a residential TREATMENT FACILITY for over a decade, my husband is a police officer who works DRUG COURT and works with the mandated rehab programs, I have an extended family member who’s been addicted to porn since he was about 12 years old and is now a registered sex offender because he spent 3 years making his daughter perform oral sex on him from the time she was about 2 1/2 until she was 5, I was a foster parent for 3 years to a boy who is addicted to porn, and I’ve spent several YEARS studying the research about addictions and how they affect the brain. Yeah— I know NOTHING about how addicitons work.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 12, 2012, 11:23 am

    jennycherie, thank you from all of us for whom sequins is a way of life. :)

    oregonian, is “brain fart” a curse word?

    Tracy, Tracy, please. George helped his brother-in-law. What could you possibly know that he doesn’t?
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  • bmxdesign456 June 12, 2012, 12:20 pm

    Actually we do have sex. many times while we are watching porn. it gives us ideas. and its been great for us.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 12, 2012, 12:45 pm

    That’s what he said.
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  • George June 12, 2012, 5:25 pm

    Well I’m back. i read Tracey Keeney’s comment and it made me laugh a little. only parts of it mind you. she listed as a reference to her expertise on on addiction as her nurse mother and her husband who worked on drug court. honestly… that really inst impressive. if that makes you an expert, than by your logic, because my father owns a clothing store and because my mother is a couples therapist, i must be an expert on fashion and all things pertaining to relationships and psychology. i love how that works. by the way alison i am apparently an expert on fashion and as a word of advice you might not want to shop for clothes at k mart. oh by the way alison that third reference the 87% one came from a book at Deseret book. so its loosely associated with the church at best i know, but i figured I’d include it anyway.

    as for your other credentials of having studied for YEARS and having taken care of kids with porn addictions, i do respect that. honestly, good for you.

    oh by the day Oregonian i was going to call you a poopy but face but then i realized I’m an adult, not turning six.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 12, 2012, 6:03 pm

    I read George’s comment and it made me laugh a little. Only parts of it, mind you. He listed as reference for expertise on addiction a brother-in-law whom he “helped” as well as talking to his fiancée.

    I kept laughing when he posted his 90% stats:

    The statistics i reported came from the Church. I hope they are true. If not the church lies to us.

    I laughed harder when I found the church’s stats (from his listed sources) are much, much lower and the “church stats” that are almost as high as his are defined as “church stats” (by him) because they “came from a book at Deseret book.”

    I laughed harder still when “brain fart” was identified as 6-year-old behavior, while extensive ad hominem is somehow thought to be adult. (For the record, I NEVER shop at K-Mart. I am a 100% Wal-mart girl, thank you very much!)

    But, once again, George, my identity is known. Please share yours and we’ll be happy to let you strut. Or maybe we’ll just keep laughing. Who knows?
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  • Alison Moore Smith June 12, 2012, 6:08 pm

    And you might laugh even harder to find out that George and bmxdesign456 are…ahem…one and the same.

    George, what was that, again, about bearing false witness? If it looks like a duck…
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  • George June 12, 2012, 7:44 pm

    hahah yeah actually speaking of bearing false witness bmxdesign456 is actually my Asian friend Mike, whom i call Asian Mike. Close though. My hats off to you for associating him with me. and again being as you have born it twice, i forgive you for the false witness.

  • MangoMammy June 12, 2012, 10:36 pm

    ROFLMAO Yea, bmxdesign is George’s “friend”. Probably just like his “brother-in-law”.

    George, you sure hang out with a lot of perverts. I can see that you – I mean “Asian Mike” – has really been moved by your expert help. I guess you and your “fiancée” need to have more porn chat. I’m sure that will help.

  • partone June 12, 2012, 10:56 pm

    This just gets better by the minute.

  • Oregonian June 13, 2012, 7:52 am

    george-bmx-brother-in-law-porn-addict, you guys are all alike. liars, fakes, frauds, self-centered people who waste everyones time trying to justify your actions.

    your wife-fiancee-whatever – if shes not also imaginary – does not like having you -get ideas- looking at other women. she despises it and only goes along because shes stupid enough to think she cant do better. i guess you brainwashed her with your fake numbers.

    i guess tomorrow youll be posing as your wife-girlfriend-whatever and posting how awesome porn is. yeah.

  • Tracy Keeney June 13, 2012, 11:47 am

    For goodness sake George– did I say it made me an “expert”? No. YOU’RE the one who said “Tracy, you don’t understand how addiction works.” I DO understand how it works. Of course merely having a mother who’s worked in the field for years doesn’t make me an expert. I never said it did. But I’ve had COUNTLESS discussions with her about it and I’ll bet I know more about it than most people do because of those discussions. When you have a family member who’s a registered sex offender, are fostering a teenage boy addicted to porn, AND have a mother who can explain the psychology and neuroplasticity behind it all, you do a LOT of talking.
    Why can’t you guys come here and READ what we say without dishonestly characterizing what we’ve said? How many of you are going to come read here and whine and complain about our “lack of compassion” while conviently skipping over or ignoring everything we said about BEING compassionate?
    How many are going to claim we’re saying that guys addicted to porn will “never be worthy”, and should live single, lonely lives for the rest of their existence, that they could never overcome their addiction, etc, etc, etc when we’ve never said anything of the sort?
    You’ll notice readers, a trend of people who are THEMSELVES addicted to porn, who can’t come here and read what we’ve said without mischarcterizing things — accusing us of saying doctrinally incorrect things we DIDN’T say, unneccessarily harsh things we DIDN’T say, etc, and accusing us of being cold and incompassionate while conveniently ignoring all expressions of compassion that were made.
    1 Nephi 16: 2 … wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center. So they find excuses, blame others, and dishonestly criticize those who speak the truth and mischaracterize their words.
    Yeah– I added that last part. But it’s the truth. I have every confidance that Nephi’s “got my back”.

  • Follower2 June 17, 2012, 6:22 pm

    Me again. For some odd reason I decided to check back here and see if any further discussion was taking place about this delightful topic.

    Pornography truly is, as George said, demonized in the church. As is homosexuality.

    Odd, that to the woman taken in adultery the Savior did not condemn but told her to “go and sin no more.” Yet to the self-righteous Pharisees who felt justified in condemning everyone around them while they stood content in their own “righteousness” he had some pretty harsh words.

    There’s no question that pornography and extra-marital sex is a sin. One would have to be a complete idiot or brain-dead to not know that in the church. But so are a lot of other things SINS that the Savior spent much more time on–things like self-righteousness, gossip, backbiting, covetousness, and love of money (all of which are RAMPANT in the Church, especially in Utah). It might be tempting to look at these as “lesser” sins, and so gloss over them, since they are not specifically mentioned in the recommend interview (probably because no one would get in the temple if they were), but I’m not so sure that might not be an area in which the church could “wake up” a bit. We can be very, VERY self-righteous and judgmental.

    Sex in general is such a *taboo, hush-hush* topic in the church that those who have sexual addictions or homosexual tendencies sadly often seem to be “cast out” (even if only energetically) and/or looked down upon. Since it is he that fails to forgive in which lies the greater sin, I wonder what the Savior would say to those who “cast out” their brothers, sisters, spouses, children, etc., who struggle with these things.

    The CULTURE of the church is often (especially in Utah) quite different from the actual GOSPEL. Having lived in other parts of the country myself, I know that of which I speak. That’s a whole OTHER topic, but let me say that personal discomfort or cultural taboo’s do not mean squat when it comes to a person’s heart and where they are at on their personal journey of coming unto Christ.

    Let’s not forget that the Savior dined with “publicans and sinners.” Since I am a man who has a pornography addiction and (according to the women on this blog) am thus depraved and will not have any worth (much less as a husband) until my 10-year sobriety mark, maybe I should consider myself blessed–that, were the Savior here, I might have gotten to be in that dinner group.

    I also personally know a dozen women who in spite of their husbands’ pornography addictions (and in some cases homosexual problems) chose to stay with them. They didn’t ditch and run. They didn’t shun and condemn. They stayed, loved, found Christ in their own way, and things are progressing in a majority of these. As a culture we swoop down like vultures for the kill on a man who has a pornography addiction (or a homosexual problem), but these wives I know didn’t. God bless them.

    At the end of the day, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” That includes Sabbath-breakers, murderers, those who gossip, porn addicts, backbiters, and even those who do the dreaded “M-word” that virtually EVERY teenage boy on the planet (and in the church) has done at least once in his life.

    Alison you have repeatedly emphasized this thread’s focus on *marrying* someone with a porn addiction. Yet in the course of the discussions you have revealed that not only would you not marry someone with a porn addiction, you don’t think they have much worth either. Well, sadly, it is this kind of attitude that makes the church an UNSAFE environment for struggling members. Were you to be in my ward (and given the anonymity of the internet, for all you know I might be), you would NEVER be someone I would open up to. It’s obvious what you think of us poor “sinners.” People have to go to OUTSIDE support groups and have to be hush-hush at church for fear of their ward serving, in a very nice Christ-like manner, as prosecutor, judge, and jury.

    And Alison, I emphatically disagree that a person’s worth is based only on what they do. It’s also not doctrine. What it IS, is a reflection of the perfectionistic, works-obsessed cultural Mormonism.

  • Amy Lockhart June 17, 2012, 8:09 pm

    Hi Follower2,

    I have not read the original post, nor any of the comments other than yours. I want to be clear that having no idea what else has been said, I am commenting only on your comment.

    I hear your message that this is a taboo and hush hush subject. I am conflicted about that because I understand what it does to those that feel they need more of an open outlet, but I also understand the need for a cultural norm within the church.

    That being said, I know a wife that was told by her Bishop not to talk to anyone about her husbands pornography addiction. This person was is very close to me and we always talk about everything. It ruined her having to keep a secret and not talk to the person she trusted most, and trying to deal with such a heavy matter on her own.

    I also have a friend that was counseled by her Stake President not to talk of her husbands pornography addictions (that eventually led to an affair). Her husband was a Bishop at the time. She has since confided this in me and told me that she feels she would have fared much better had she been able to speak with me about it.

    I know yet another person that was counseled to stay with her husband even though he had “received his own personal revelation to reinstate polygamy”. He took on “wives” as she was reeling with self doubt and questioning everything she ever thought she knew. He was even placed in the Bishopric for a time in hopes that it would “heal him”. After years of nasty mess with 5 children being drug through, there was finally a divorce because she “went against counsel based upon her own personal revelation”.

    I am not sure that there really is a perfect answer because we are talking about people. People make mistakes. It doesn’t matter if you are a Bishop, Stake President, or the hymn book coordinator. This church is made up of people and things happen. What matters is what we do with the things that happen.

    In each case I mentioned above, there was a lot of heartache and much turmoil as things were sorted out, but each person on the receiving end of “imperfect counsel” (as it was seen), ended up in a better place because of their willingness to look beyond the fault of one and seek what was best for their personal growth. They are all active members of the church and continue to do all they can to be contributing members of their wards and grow in their relationship with Christ. In two of the cases, they are still with the person struggling to overcome addiction, and although the road is hard, as you mentioned, they have found that it is what is best for them.

    The church does offer an addiction recovery program. I can’t speak from experience, but I do know people that have found great comfort, help, and support through it.

    Whenever you are dealing with something on a large scale (such as millions of members in a worldwide church) it is quite impossible to make sure that each individual circumstance is handled in the best possible way. I do believe that as a whole the church’s policies and practices are the best way to go about running a worldwide church. We are all personally responsible for our own salvation, “works” or otherwise.

    Not knowing the original post, or other comments, I could be way off base, but, it seems you may be taking something personally, and attaching far reaching messages to, things meant more for an individual circumstance.

    In any case, It may be beneficial for you to consider if this particular place is the best way for you to express your thoughts and feelings on a matter that is obviously close to your heart. It can be difficult to heal and move forward if the goal is to change another’s opinion or try to prove you are right and they are wrong. If that is not your goal, and I have misread your intentions, then I apologize. To be clear, I am not saying you are not welcome here, at all, but just offering a thought to ponder.

    Doing what is best for you is what is going to get you closer to Christ. I wish you all the best in your personal journey :)
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  • Alison Moore Smith June 17, 2012, 10:15 pm

    For some odd reason I decided to check back here and see if any further discussion was taking place about this delightful topic.

    Can you say, "addiction"? ;)

    It might be tempting to look at these as “lesser” sins, and so gloss over them, since they are not specifically mentioned in the recommend interview …

    Follower1, thing is, LJ didn’t write in saying, “Oh, my goodness me, I am dating the mostest awesomest guy IN ALL THE WORLD and I want to marry him forever. The only teeny weeny problem is that he has this incredible lust for money, which he will do ANYTHING to satisfy. What should I do???”

    Sticking to a given topic in a given thread is simply good discussion.

    Sex in general is such a *taboo, hush-hush* topic in the church

    The four billion talks/lessons on the topic notwithstanding…

    that those who have sexual addictions or homosexual tendencies sadly often seem to be “cast out” (even if only energetically) and/or looked down upon.

    It is the nature of labeling something sinful/wrong/problematic that those who engage in the behavior won’t like it and will feel “cast out” of the circle of those who don’t engage. And I don’t say this as someone IN the circle, I say it as someone who plenty of times, with regard to plenty of sins, has been OUT of it.

    The problem isn’t that being “cast out” of the “circle” of the obedient makes us feel cast out. The problem is that sometimes we don’t want to be cast out, but still want to engage in the behavior that cast us out in the first place.

    The answer for me and everyone else to stop being “cast out” is to change our behavior.

    Since it is he that fails to forgive in which lies the greater sin, I wonder what the Savior would say to those who “cast out” their brothers, sisters, spouses, children, etc., who struggle with these things.

    I suppose it depends on what you mean. As above, I think it’s God’s LAW that truly casts out, not people. Sure, people can mistreat others. But is choosing not to mary someone who engages in particular sinful behaviors the kind of “fails to forgive” that you are talking about? If so, I wonder what righteous criteria you think is allowed when making such a choice?

    Since I am a man who has a pornography addiction and (according to the women on this blog) am thus depraved and will not have any worth (much less as a husband) until my 10-year sobriety mark, maybe I should consider myself blessed–that, were the Savior here, I might have gotten to be in that dinner group.

    Isn’t it funny that the guy who indulges in porn — and can’t tolerate those who think it’s an enormous problem — sets himself up as the judge and jury on particular geographic members of the church? But good on you for being in that “inner circle.” I’m sure it’s OK to “cast out” Utah Mormons.

    I also personally know a dozen women who in spite of their husbands’ pornography addictions (and in some cases homosexual problems) chose to stay with them. They didn’t ditch and run. They didn’t shun and condemn.

    First, this post isn’t about a married woman deciding to stay or leave her husband. It is about a woman dating a man under the delusion that he’s sober with multiple slip-ups. You’ve read the OP, right?

    Second, you do realize that you are condemning people all over the place, don’t you? The weird thing about pulling the “don’t judge” card (other than the lack of doctrinal integrity) is that in doing so you break your own rule.

    Third, for every porn addict who gets sober and has a super happy, loving, faithful marriage, I can probably raise you a handful for whom that isn’t true. You know how addiction is.

    At the end of the day, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” That includes Sabbath-breakers, murderers, those who gossip, porn addicts, backbiters, and even those who do the dreaded “M-word” that virtually EVERY teenage boy on the planet (and in the church) has done at least once in his life.

    Yup. And every woman who wants to “live happily ever after” needs to wake up, open her eyes, and look squarely at the person she is considering. She needs to decide that she is HAPPY to accept the person AS THEY ARE.

    I think it’s the height of hypocrisy (and stupidity) to choose to marry someone, all the while hoping and praying they will be someone DIFFERENT. It’s unfair and wrong. If you want DIFFERENT, you should marry DIFFERENT. If you want to marry a porn addict, go ahead. If you want to marry someone NOT addicted to porn, it’s idiotic marry a porn addict — and hope they stop being a porn addict and harass them every time they “slip up” and cry and make a scene when the porn addict does what porn addicts do.

    If you want to marry a guy not addicted to porn, the best way is to marry a guy not addicted to porn. Outside that, I’d say a guy would need to be sober for a decade to give a real indication that they won’t act on the addiction any longer. Sure, they might, but at least you’ve got some kind of track record to go on.

    Yet in the course of the discussions you have revealed that not only would you not marry someone with a porn addiction, you don’t think they have much worth either.

    Follwer2, feel free to address anything I’ve actually said. Do not feel free to fabricate things to try to make yourself look like a sympathetic character.

    Porn addicts are worth every bit as much as anyone. (Duh.) But they don’t have much “worth” as a husband to people who don’t want to live with the behaviors of a porn addict. (Duh.)

    Well, sadly, it is this kind of attitude that makes the church an UNSAFE environment for struggling members.

    Well that does it. NOW I’m crying for you.

    I know, I’ve made it “unsafe” for porn addicts in church because I say that women who don’t want to deal with a porn addicted husband (and all the baggage that goes with it) should not marry a porn addict. UNSAFE!

    Now, let’s talk about another super sensitive, unsafe issue. Fat women.

    Listen up, men of the church. You should all marry very fat women. Now. Not doing so for any reason — such as not wanting to be married to a fat woman — will make the church UNSAFE for millions!!!

    Were you to be in my ward (and given the anonymity of the internet, for all you know I might be), you would NEVER be someone I would open up to.

    Follower2, ad hominem and falsification don’t prove a point. I haven’t asked you to open up to me.

    And Alison, I emphatically disagree that a person’s worth is based only on what they do. It’s also not doctrine.

    Follower2, I might just start deleting your future comments if you insist on selective incompetence. It’s a serious waste of time. We’ve already gone through this and here you are again with the same old tired message. This time, try actually reading the response. (Check comment #79, for example.)

    I’ll repeat that response, just for fun. Next time, come up with some new material and accusations. Just to keep it interesting.

    I have no worth since I struggle with porn?

    Again, you’re conflating two different issues.

    You are of infinite worth. Everyone is. But that doesn’t mean everyone has to marry you and your issues. Just like you don’t have to marry a 500 pound woman of infinite worth. Or a bearded woman of infinite worth. Or a woman of infinite worth who’s into male domination and painting her man’s toenails pink.

    For the record, I’ve got a heap of sins. More than most people. My husband knows all about them and he’s OK with them. That is HIS choice.

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  • Follower2 June 17, 2012, 11:26 pm

    Alison, I get the point that this thread started because of a woman asking advice about marrying a man with a pornography addiction. And yes, I have read all the comments on this thread. Thing is, that in the course of the oodles of comments about said topic, other things have come up–some of which reveal a very negative attitude (cultural/personal/whatever) towards said addicts. That’s the point I’m trying to make. And yes, *changing the behavior* is of course the goal here–and, as we know, that can be VERY difficult to do and take a lot of time, patience, and TLC. (I’m sure you’ve read that sex addiction is more difficult to break than heroin or cocaine? In case you haven’t, I heard it first hand in a support group from a man who has done both). Impossible? No. A snap? Hardly.

    My post was mostly a lamentation on the attitudes (culturally and personally) of some church members feeling somehow “justified” in shunning, gossiping about, or ousting their brothers and sisters whose sins are different than theirs. I also never said I can’t tolerate those who judge porn to be an “enormous problem.” As an addict, I AGREE it is an enormous problem. What saddens me is when, either as a culture or personally, said “enormous problem” becomes justification for any level of cruelty, mistreatment, or sweeping judgments about the person. No one but God and Christ (and perhaps the bishop, to an extent, if the person is working with him) knows the person’s heart, how much they have fasted/prayed for help, the tears they cry because of their addiction, any abuse they may have experienced that factors in, and a host of other things. That’s the point I’m trying to make. “Being a porn addict” is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Many cry tears of hopelessness. Most, I believe, would stop if they knew how. Most are not secretly snickering and giving an “up yours” to God, the church, and their loved ones. Addiction is a very, very complex thing. You can write that off as a sob story, or you can recognize the reality of what I’m saying.

    Amy, thank you for your sensitivity and understanding. The church has a pamphlet on porn addiction called “Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts.” In there it states that in each individual case the Spirit of the Lord may direct different courses of action to help each person. As I see it that would apply to all who are associated with the addicted person. The “ditch him and run” philosophy, I would venture, may not always apply.

    You said, “It may be beneficial for you to consider if this particular place is the best way for you to express your thoughts and feelings on a matter that is obviously close to your heart. It can be difficult to heal and move forward if the goal is to change another’s opinion or try to prove you are right and they are wrong.”

    You are right about that.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 18, 2012, 12:05 am

    Follower2, I appreciate your comment. Thanks. for the civil tone.

    Thing is, that in the course of the oodles of comments about said topic, other things have come up–some of which reveal a very negative attitude (cultural/personal/whatever) towards said addicts. That’s the point I’m trying to make.

    Follower2, but of course we have a negative attitude about a sinful behavior. Of course! If we try to be followers of Christ, we have very negative attitudes about all sinful behavior, our own included.

    Do you have a positive attitude about porn?

    Do we also have a “negative attitude” toward the addicts themselves? Sure, to the extent that their sinful behavior will impact their ability to be good husbands/fathers — particularly in the context of a discussion about someone trying to decide whether or not to marry an addict.

    This “attitude” isn’t reservers for porn use, but for any sinful behavior. Too many women and children have been irreparably harmed because they do NOT have enough “attitude” about unacceptable behavior BEFORE marriage.

    And yes, *changing the behavior* is of course the goal here–and, as we know, that can be VERY difficult to do and take a lot of time, patience, and TLC.

    Absolutely. So, the question is, does LJ want to start out her marriage with a “VERY difficult” situation?

    My post was mostly a lamentation on the attitudes (culturally and personally) of some church members feeling somehow “justified” in shunning, gossiping about, or ousting their brothers and sisters whose sins are different than theirs.

    I understand, but Follower2, no one here has justified any such behavior. And in all my years in the church, I’ve never heard ANYONE justify such things.

    Choosing not to marry someone with an armful of baggage that you don’t want to deal with isn’t “shunning” by any reasonable stretch of the definition.

    What saddens me is when, either as a culture or personally, said “enormous problem” becomes justification for any level of cruelty, mistreatment, or sweeping judgments about the person.

    Follower2, there had been no cruelty and no mistreatment. As for “sweeping judgments,” you can’t logically employ them when it suits your interests and decry them when it doesn’t.

    Everyone who comes here to defend the addict, gives all sorts of stats, all manner of declarations about how porn addicts really are, what their situations are like, how their brain chemistry has changed, how hard it is to change. But as soon as someone uses the same info to say that an addict needs a lot of time to prove he’s changed, we’re somehow evil hate mongers. When we point out that porn addiction takes over and leave the woman feeling hurt and betrayed, we’re making unfair generalizations.

    You can write that off as a sob story, or you can recognize the reality of what I’m saying.

    I don’t remotely deny this is the reality for some. Perhaps many. I’m sincerely sorry that you are struggling. In fact, I hope you know you are loved and have hope for your future.

    Let me tell you a story.

    When I was a chubby, red-headed, bespeckled, befreckled, kid in late elementary school — who was taunted every day in school and at church — I had a Sunday School teacher who I’ll call Ben. He was a newly returned missionary, single, smart, and a total “fox.” I had a secret, write-in-your-journal crush over this “older man.”

    While he never, ever did anything remotely inappropriate, apparently he could tell that I didn’t get along so well with some of the kids, one boy in particular. He never confronted the boy or stopped him (or those who ganged up with him), but he did do things to make me feel special. For example, he asked me (and one other child) to help plan a big class party. He picked us up and took us to the planning meeting and used our ideas. I imagined I was going on a date with him. I was thrilled.

    He also was a loyal friend to my brother when he had some difficulty in school.

    A few years ago, this man showed up on the sex offender registry.

    It broke my heart because I know what a good man he is in so many ways. I am still grateful to him for so many things. I wish him well.

    But I still wouldn’t recommend him as a great potential spouse, nor as a babysitter.

    Does that make sense to you?

    This thread is about deciding whom to marry. Don’t you see that someone who has an addiction as overwhelming and difficult as you (and others) claim, probably isn’t ready to build a great marriage?
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  • jennycherie June 19, 2012, 1:33 pm

    “He’s a great LDS guy and things are progressing. I think we have a future together. The only problem is that he has had a problem with pornography addiction over the past ten years. Some of my friends think I should dump him because of that, but he’s been sober for three months now with only a couple of slip-ups and is really open and honest with me about his temptations and mistakes.

    We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. I think that he deserves a chance to be happy and to have love and a family, just like the rest of us. But two of my friends won’t let it go. ”

    Just got home from my first night (ever) at Girls’ Camp. There weren’t enough available leaders to spend the week, so the parents are each spending one night at camp as chaperone. As we walked into breakfast this morning, I noticed the decorations around the room – pictures of our new temple, all around, with the caption “Let this be your castle.” There were also a few frogs scattered around with little signs to the effect of “if he can’t take you here (the temple), he’s not your prince.” It made me think back to this never-ending thread. In all of the attacks, I’ve not yet seen anyone refute the doctrine of temple marriage and how this is impossible when someone is in the grip of pornography use. If we teach our youth to always plan to marry in the temple, and to always stay worthy, (and we DO), we cannot simultaneously teach them that it is a good idea to date or get engaged to or plan to marry a young man who is not temple worthy. And again, it IS doctrine, that one who is currently using pornography is NOT temple worthy. This is NOT related to understanding the eternal worth of a soul or the atonement.

    I knew a woman in the singles ward when I was a new member who had suffered through a young marriage and quick divorce. I believe she said she had rushed into the marriage and made a bad decision. She quickly met a wonderful young man and fell in love, but, learning from her previous mistakes, she told this young man that he needed to “prove himself” and show her what he really was. He took a year or so, got a serious job, and showed that he would work for their relationship and that he could provide for the family they would have together. I had never heard anyone respond this way to a marriage proposal, but I thought it was brilliant. I wonder how LJ is actually doing now. Did she marry him? Did he “prove himself” to her? Is he better now? I’d love to know.
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  • Amy Lockhart June 19, 2012, 2:34 pm

    Excellent post Jenny!

    Anyone can be temple worthy, no matter their sins. Making sure the people we date are temple worthy is crucial. Not only that, but that they are temple worthy independently of our “help”. We are each responsible for our own salvation. Whom we marry has everlasting effects on how that plays out.

    I was wondering bout LJ last night too. I finally read the original post and was hoping for her.

    Again, excellent post.
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  • Tracy Keeney June 19, 2012, 5:13 pm

    “In all of the attacks, I’ve not yet seen anyone refute the doctrine of temple marriage and how this is impossible when someone is in the grip of pornography use. If we teach our youth to always plan to marry in the temple, and to always stay worthy, (and we DO), we cannot simultaneously teach them that it is a good idea to date or get engaged to or plan to marry a young man who is not temple worthy. And again, it IS doctrine, that one who is currently using pornography is NOT temple worthy. This is NOT related to understanding the eternal worth of a soul or the atonement.”

    BAM!!!! 100% ON IT girlfriend! My point exactly and Alison’s point exactly, from the very, very beginning. You said it very accurately and very concisely. The latter, I’m afraid, is a skill I’m horribly lacking in.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 19, 2012, 5:16 pm

    The latter, I’m afraid, is a skill I’m horribly lacking in.

    LOL I’ve always said brevity is not my strong point.

    jennycherie, would you consider a job as a ghost writer? ;)

  • jennycherie June 19, 2012, 7:59 pm

    Alison – I actually have some experience as a ghost writer/idea condenser/editor for my husband. ;)
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  • Follower2 June 23, 2012, 12:14 am

    Just for fun I thought I would respond again. Can’t let the thread die.

    Jenny you said: “And again, it IS doctrine, that one who is currently using pornography is NOT temple worthy…”

    Well, not necessarily. Quoting from page 11 of “Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts” (the Church’s booklet on pornography):

    “If your friend or family member speaks to a bishop and the bishop does not impose a visible or obvious punishment [such as, I would venture, restricting access to the temple], … Recognize that a bishop is to rely on the Spirit to determine what will best help each individual.”

    I have, myself, (as have other men I know) been in the situation where the bishop actually *encouraged* more frequent temple attendance as a (hopeful) measure of fortifying oneself *against* pornography. So it’s not an automatic.

    As I have said before, “having a pornography problem” or “having an addiction to pornography” is not a one-size-fits-all issue. Being involved in support groups myself, I could tell you of many, many men who HATE their addiction, cry tears of desperation and hopelessness every time they “slip,” and yet (due to the addictive nature of the thing) just can’t seem to shake it yet. All men (and women) who are addicted to pornography are not the stereotypically lazy, testimony-lacking bums secretly snickering against God, their wife, and the church. I promise, they aren’t. Many respond well to encouragement rather than an immediate “stripping away” of all church privileges–and in all honesty that rarely helps anyway. You can’t shame someone out of an addiction. Been there, tried that…doesn’t work.

    I certainly concede (and Alison you brought this up) that, GENERALLY speaking, a man who has a current pornography problem (or addiction–and there is a difference), *probably* is not in the best shape to start marriage. Even in sexual addiction recovery many times we are advised to “not get into relationships.” That’s certainly true for myself. And yet even this is not a one-size-fits-all because I know of situations where things HAVE worked.

    At general conference (and other large-scale events where church doctrine/policy is set forth), the Brethren speak in generalities. They have to. Many years ago Elder Oaks gave a YSA fireside talk about “hanging out” (you probably will remember). At the conclusion of his remarks he said the following:

    “As a General Authority, I have the responsibility to preach general principles. When I do, I don’t try to define all the exceptions. There are exceptions to some rules. … But don’t ask me to give an opinion on your exception. I only teach the general rules. Whether an exception applies to you is your responsibility. You must work that out individually between you and the Lord.”

    So…what applies to ONE man or woman who is addicted to pornography in ONE situation with ONE bishop may certainly NOT apply to another situation. Because every heart, every circumstance is unique.

  • jennycherie June 27, 2012, 10:21 am

    “I have, myself, (as have other men I know) been in the situation where the bishop actually *encouraged* more frequent temple attendance as a (hopeful) measure of fortifying oneself *against* pornography. So it’s not an automatic.”

    I have to say, that’s the first time I have ever heard that. It seems like looking at pictures of naked women would be an obvious breaking the law of chastity (TRI question) but, if it happens. I can see temple attendance to fortify a person against pornography, if it was a one time slip (vs. a habit that has continued for a period of time) or if they’re in the process of getting through the long process of being truly done with it and they have stayed “sober” for short time. It’s just hard for me to make sense of that *while* a person is still looking at it. Does the Spirit depart when we sin or not? If _________ (insert your sin of choice) does not keep us out of the temple, why aren’t we all doing _____ if it’s so much fun? Does that make sense?

    I think stripping church privileges isn’t about shaming anyone – it happens in varying degrees to many people for a variety of reasons. My experience has been that many people get repeated chances (with little to no stripping of privileges) before there is any official discipline, and even that happens in degrees.

  • jennycherie June 27, 2012, 10:23 am

    Crud – I meant to say in the first paragraph:

    but if it happens sometimes, there must be a reason or some serious inspiration involved. There have been many times where the bishop has given me an assignment that surprised me greatly, but the Spirit confirmed it was right.

  • Follower2 June 27, 2012, 2:13 pm

    “I have to say, that’s the first time I have ever heard that.”

    Count yourself blessed that you have never had the personal experience (as an addict) to have been the recipient of such counsel. I would venture that many things are discussed between addicts and their priesthood leaders (and others) that might surprise you.

    We often hear “the spirit departs when we sin.” While I feel it’s true that sin is a separation from God (and thus his Spirit), I wouldn’t apply this across the board as another one-size-fits-all circumstance. Many people (and I am one of them) have felt God’s love (which is a “fruit” of his Spirit) even when not sober–due to their sincerity and contrition in approaching him and pleading for help. These are private experiences. God is more generous and loving than many in the Church are ready to believe. Thank goodness he is.

    It is easy in our church culture to categorize every person who deals with pornography or sex addiction to be a stereotypically degenerate, Spirit-lacking hopeless case. As I have mentioned before, we very easily demonize pornography and sexual sin, yet we give very little attention to other sins that the Savior (as recorded in scripture) spent a LOT more time talking about (hypocrisy, Pharisee-like self-righteousness, love of money, unwillingness to forsake all for him, etc. — which are just as rampant in the Church as pornography is). If these were mentioned in the recommend interview, the Savior would be pretty lonely in the temples because no one would “qualify.”

    Yes, it does make sense to have standards for attending the temple. There is a spiritual purpose in such and I agree. The problem arises, I think, (and perhaps this is part of the reason interviews are kept private), when members involve themselves (even in speculation) about the “worthiness” of other members, when chances are they don’t have all the facts. Every heart, every person, every circumstance is as unique as the individual(s) involved. Perhaps that’s one reason the Brethren speak in generalities but leave the specifics to local leaders who are familiar with their people.

    If the Spirit of God truly “departed” from every person across the board every time they sinned, not one person would ever have the Spirit. Not one would ever be motivated to repent. We all sin, all the time. Every day. Just because it’s not a “big” sin like chastity issues doesn’t mean it’s not “significant.”

    At the end of the day, no one qualifies for eternal life BUT the Savior. He is our only hope. No one “deserves” the Spirit. We are all under sin. Those of us who are addicts need a special measure of his love in order to progress and get sober, and I know he grants it to those who are penitent and seek him.

  • jennycherie July 1, 2012, 7:13 am

    “God is more generous and loving than many in the Church are ready to believe.”

    I tend to agree, although I don’t think so ill of our Church members. I think that human beings often expect more judgment than mercy from Heavenly Father, mainly due to our shame and upset with ourselves when we sin. I am not convinced that the members of the church are overall as judgmental as you perceive.

    “Those of us who are addicts need a special measure of his love in order to progress and get sober, and I know he grants it to those who are penitent and seek him.”

    I absolutely see what you are saying, and I agree – but I don’t know that addicts of any kind are more needful of love than any other person with their particular sins. Does God show more love to his children who struggle with serious addiction than he does to children who have different struggles? Does he show more love to the addict than to those who have been hurt by the addict’s behavior? What about those who have gone out of their way to avoid ______, to never put themselves in the path of that kind of sin? Are they less needful of that special measure of love? In the story of the prodigal son, the father rejoiced over the return of the son who was lost, but all that he had belonged to his son who had remained faithful. His love for the repentant son did not diminish the love and inheritance of the son who remained faithful.

  • Anna Gibson October 9, 2012, 11:38 am

    never lower your standards!!
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  • Another anonymous guy May 13, 2013, 11:43 pm

    So I am replying here simply to the OP and my reading of the first few comments.

    My girl friend, who has been helping me with my addiction, sent this to me and asked me what I thought about the discussion and what I would say to the OP. I think she may be posting her own thoughts as well.

    First, a few facts about me. I’ve been looking at porn since I was ten or eleven. My older brother introduced it to me while he was on his way out of the church. At first it was scary and consisted mostly of a habit of looking up pictures of pretty girls. It wasn’t until I was seventeen or eighteen and had reached sexual maturity that what people normally think of as pornography had any real appeal. It was at this point that porn started to become an addiction for me because it became a coping mechanism to deal with grief and family strife. Ironically, it has been this addiction that has likely kept me in the church and sent me on a mission and brought me to where I am today: an active member of the church who serves in church as I am able.

    I want to reach out to the OP and assure her that people do change and make progress through the Atonement, especially with the love and support of those they love and those who love them. If I had been ostracized, as some of the first posters after your response recommend, by the first people I reached out to for help, I would never have known how to look to the Savior to help. You have an opportunity to be a minister and stand in the place of the Savior in accepting, loving, and helping one of his children, one for whom he bled and from whom he would not shrink or turn away. (Remember: his arm is stretched out still)

    People who recommend never dating people with porn problems do not live in the real world. I attend BYU and serve in an awesome singles ward with probably the highest concentration of return missionaries, elders and sisters ever–wonderful committed saints. I have a candid relationship with my bishop and many of the elders in the ward and I do not know a single one who has not to some degree struggled with pornography. According to my bishop, at any given time about twenty five to thirty percent of the elders in the ward are working on or repenting of pornography use. Notably, he says, a similar, though slightly smaller, proportion of sisters struggle with the same problem.

    When I first shared my history with pornography with my girl friend, I had nearly kicked the habit and drawn myself out of temptations grasp; however, with all the best intentions, she became involved in trying to ‘help’ with the problem. Her involvement created such an unhealthy emotional environment that temptation returned with a vengeance, I fell back into addictive cycles, and I eventually broke up with her, vowing never to date again until I had conquered my addiction and was master of myself. What a vain and proud ambition.

    Christ is the master of my soul. As of now I am still in the process of recovery from that traumatic experience. I have forgiven my girlfriend and she me and we now share a wonderful and dear relationship, though we are still figuring out our future.

    I urge you to listen first to the spirit when evaluating how to proceed with your relationship. The sentiments of that second post, whoever wrote it, are exactly the thoughts that Satan uses to bind addicts. What that women says about porn users is actually what porn users say about themselves, to themselves. We don’t need anyone to tell us how much we suck. We do need someone to tell us about our divine worth and our potential. That is a message that can only be carried into the heart of another through action.

    Proceed with love, of yourself, or your BF, but most importantly of God. You will not be led astray.

  • Angie Gardner May 16, 2013, 10:29 am

    Welcome, another anonymous guy. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    You said something that I’d love to hear you expound on:

    “Ironically, it has been this addiction that has likely kept me in the church and sent me on a mission and brought me to where I am today: an active member of the church who serves in church as I am able.”

  • Follower2 May 17, 2013, 12:09 pm

    Another anonymous guy,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Your thoughts reflect my own. Although it is a slow process, I believe the culture of shame (as you put it, telling people how much they suck) within the church is starting to give way to the more realistic and compassionate view that we are ALL in need of God’s mercy (“there is none righteous, no not one”) and this whole cultural business of “ranking” sin, basing people’s worth on where their particular struggles or problems fall on the cultural scale is some measure of their value as a child of God, disciple, worker in the kingdom, or spouse is rooted in pride and does not edify the body of Christ.

    Thanx again.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 20, 2013, 2:41 pm

    Another anonymous guy, thanks for posting your thoughts.

    You know, it gets more than a little tiring when people don’t take the time to read carefully before commenting. Here we go…

    I want to reach out to the OP and assure her that people do change and make progress through the Atonement, especially with the love and support of those they love and those who love them.

    This implies that anything has been said to the contrary. It hasn’t. However a guy with a ten-year problem who’s been “sober” for three months — um, well, with just a few slip ups — is NOT someone who has changed sufficiently to be a safe bet for an eternal marriage. Or civil marriage. Or any marriage where the wife hopes porn isn’t part of the mix.

    If I had been ostracized, as some of the first posters after your response recommend, by the first people I reached out to for help, I would never have known how to look to the Savior to help.

    The woman who wrote to us wasn’t a 12- step mentor. She wasn’t a buddy, a sibling, or a parent. She was a woman in the throws of romance thinking about getting MARRIED.

    People in highly emotional states, ignoring in-your-face obvious red flags, making excuses for and stupid nonsensical comments on behalf of someone with serious current problems, fantasizing that a ten-year addiction is over because of a faked three month kind-of-sobriety — for the sake of getting support in making a stupid decision — are NOT the right people to call as “ministers” for people with serious addictions.

    Should people with addictions have help to overcome their problems? Yes. Should they have support in changing their lives? Yes. Should they have that help and support from people who are not equipped to do so or who risk their own futures over emotionalism? Um, no.

    People who recommend never dating people with porn problems do not live in the real world.

    Good, then Tracy and I can just stay in lalaland with our very decent non-porn addicted husbands.

    Her involvement created such an unhealthy emotional environment that temptation returned with a vengeance, I fell back into addictive cycles, and I eventually broke up with her, vowing never to date again until I had conquered my addiction and was master of myself.

    So, on one hand you’re saying that having your girlfriend serve as your “minister” wasn’t a good idea. And on the other, you’re saying it’s her fault you started whacking off to pictures of naked women. Alrighttee then.

    Christ is the master of my soul. As of now I am still in the process of recovery from that traumatic experience. I have forgiven my girlfriend and she me and we now share a wonderful and dear relationship, though we are still figuring out our future.

    I can seem how traumatized you must have been. How noble of you to forgive your girlfriend for continuing to date a porn addict who didn’t quite recover and then blamed her. I’m sure the future is sparkling bright for her.

    We don’t need anyone to tell us how much we suck. We do need someone to tell us about our divine worth and our potential.

    This isn’t about sucking being mutually exclusive of worth. Everyone sucks to some extent — and still we are all of infinite worth.

    But LJ wrote about MARRYING a NONRECOVERED ADDICT. So the question was about whether her boyfriend’s marriage potential is sucky. And it is. (Or at least was when this was written.)

    LJ DID need to hear that her boyfriend’s marriage potential was freaking sucky because she was considering marrying a guy who hasn’t solved the problem.

    It’s a mistaken notion to say that, in the name of individual worth or something, we can’t make honest assessments about the people we are considering as potential spouses. Of course we can. That is exactly the kind of judgment we are supposed to make.
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  • Follower2 May 29, 2013, 11:43 am

    “Everyone sucks to some extent — and still we are all of infinite worth.”

    This is probably the crux of the whole matter relating to pornography (including being married to someone who struggles therewith). Humans–including members of the church–struggle with a multitude of sins, weaknesses, and problems incident to the flesh and the fallen nature of the world. Pornography is just one drop in this proverbial bucket. It, along with sexuality generally, has been demonized in church culture to the point that people who struggle chastity issues are almost viewed in the same way that lepers were viewed back in the day.
    “Don’t touch!” (or “Don’t marry!” “Don’t date!” “Stay away!”)
    “Unclean!”
    “Unworthy!”
    It’s a cultural thing, and even a casual reading of the New Testament indicates that it’s not the approach the Savior took with contrite (but as of yet still imperfect) sinners. Remember the Publican & Pharisee in the temple? The woman who anointed Jesus’ feet? The leper who the Savior cleansed? Other stories that indicate the Savior dined with publicans and sinners? The church is not a museum where we all show off how “righteous” we are. “There is none righteous; no, not one.” “Everyone sucks to some extent.”

    Perhaps you were lucky, Alison, in that you have a marriage with no (or very few) issues. That’s certainly a rarity. I have been around enough to know that *most* people in the church who are married deal with problems and stresses on the marriage. Emotional problems, crises of faith/doubt, divorce, chastity issues, word of wisdom problems, and dissatisfaction are things that most people have to struggle with (or against).

    This is your blog, and as such you have the right to voice your opinion on the matter. But just because YOU feel that the OP (or anyone) shouldn’t touch a man who struggles with a pornography problem doesn’t mean that it’s a one-size-fits all approach for EVERY woman to take (or that every woman even SHOULD approach the matter that way). Ironically, some of the best marriages I have witnessed among friends have been where one or both partners struggle with various things (including porn, homosexual feelings, severe depression/emotional trauma), and yet they loved each other enough to work through it all together. Kind of a far cry from a “ditch him!” (or her) philosophy. (And yes these are real people I know; I’m not making this up for effect. I can think of 5 couples offhand where this is the case).

  • Alison Moore Smith May 29, 2013, 2:58 pm

    Follower2:

    Humans–including members of the church–struggle with a multitude of sins, weaknesses, and problems incident to the flesh and the fallen nature of the world. Pornography is just one drop in this proverbial bucket.

    Of course we do. Some sins just happen to be falling in the really-damaging-to-marriage bucket. Porn is one of those.

    It, along with sexuality generally, has been demonized in church culture to the point that people who struggle chastity issues are almost viewed in the same way that lepers were viewed back in the day.

    Demonized? As in “this is a serious problem that’s going to cause enormous problems unless it is actually resolved before you get married”?

    I disagree that sex is demonized. I think that’s an utter misreading of actual church dogma. And by struggling with chastity issues, I assume you mean actually being unchaste, right? Not just finding it hard NOT to be unchaste.

    If so, so what if people actually see church counsel as meaningful and decide they don’t want to get involved with someone who is unchaste and, in fact, want to see a pattern of chaste behavior before committing for eternity? What, exactly, is your beef with that — other than the fact that YOU don’t want to be judged on your actual behavior?

    I get that someone who’s into porn and screwing around doesn’t want anyone to think that being into porn and screwing around is a big deal. But in the church it is. So if you don’t want to deal with the perception, get your act together long term.

    It’s a cultural thing, and even a casual reading of the New Testament indicates that it’s not the approach the Savior took with contrite (but as of yet still imperfect) sinners.

    Really? Can you show me an example of Christ telling a chaste woman to marry a guy who’s whacking off to naked women’s pictures? Or to marry a guy who is messing around with the townsfolk?

    Do you really think dining with someone is the same level of commitment that marrying them and having a family with them is? Do you really think that the same criteria would be involved? So even though we are told we should marry in the temple, we shouldn’t pay attention to whether or not the person we’re dating can actually GO to the temple? Or whether or not they are a good long-term marriage prospect?

    Perhaps you were lucky, Alison, in that you have a marriage with no (or very few) issues. That’s certainly a rarity. I have been around enough to know that *most* people in the church who are married deal with problems and stresses on the marriage. Emotional problems, crises of faith/doubt, divorce, chastity issues, word of wisdom problems, and dissatisfaction are things that most people have to struggle with (or against).

    I am lucky. I’ve said that often. But that’s beside the point. You’re more likely to have continued marital “luck” if you go in with minimal problems. Marrying a guy with a porn issue that is unresolved — and which the guy isn’t even intellectually honest about — thinking it won’t be a future problem is just stupid. Marrying a guy who’s been sleeping with your best friend — assuming you value fidelity — is just stupid. Marrying a guy in a civili ceremony — if temple marriage is important to you and you’re assuming it will all happen later — is just stupid.

    Now if the women who wrote to us has no problem with porn or is happy to be married to a guy who is in the other room most nights checking out the pole dancing on BabesRUs.com, then that’s her business. If she’s happy with that, she is. Go for it.

    But if you actually read the OP, you can tell she wasn’t on the happy with porn train. Instead, she was delusional. Because she was “in love,” she let her brain drop out of her head and actually proposed the idea that a guy with a 10-year problem who had stopped doing porn, almost, kind of, most of the time, for three months was ready to go.

    You can give all the pronouncements you want, but it’s deluded thinking.

    This is your blog, and as such you have the right to voice your opinion on the matter.

    I most humbly thank you for your permission!

    But just because YOU feel that the OP (or anyone) shouldn’t touch a man who struggles with a pornography problem doesn’t mean that it’s a one-size-fits all approach for EVERY woman to take (or that every woman even SHOULD approach the matter that way).

    Follower2, you might notice that LJ wrote in asking us for our opinion. She didn’t ask for yours. She didn’t ask us for a range of possible choices and consequences. She asked us for our opinions on it. And we gave them.

    Sincerely, when someone asks for your best advice, it’s because they value your opinion and it might be OK to actually give it.

    Ironically, some of the best marriages I have witnessed among friends have been where one or both partners struggle with various things (including porn, homosexual feelings, severe depression/emotional trauma), and yet they loved each other enough to work through it all together.

    So. The fact that you know people who have thrived in their marriages in spite of challenges doesn’t mean you jump into challenges you don’t want to deal with, with your eyes closed and screaming “lalalalalala.”

    Bad stuff happens to everyone and you do your best to deal with it. Sometimes you know about bad stuff and you decide to deal with it. (I was a bridesmaid at the wedding for my best friend and a quadriplegic. They knew the deal and decided to handle it together.) Anyone who decides to get married is deciding to deal with existing and future problems.

    The situation here — for the umpteenth freaking time — is that the guy already HAD a problem that the girl did NOT want to deal with. And she let her FEELINGS persuade her into thinking the problem wasn’t really a problem and wasn’t going to smash her in the face. She ALSO decided to deceive those closest to her on the issue. She ALSO convinced herself that it was her job to make the unrecovered porn dude happy because he “deserved” it.

    So, if you want to look for a woman who doesn’t have a problem with you looking at porn or “struggling” with chastity, do it. And if that woman tells me she doesn’t want to deal with a porn addict who is unfaithful, but wants to marry you, I’ll tell her she’s an idiot.

    I don’t care what the issue is. Replace porn with anything, hunting, sports, tickle fights. If your potential spouse is really into something you don’t like and you think they’re not going to be really into it after you marry, you’re setting yourself up for a rough time.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…This is What Pro-Choice Really MeansMy Profile

  • Get Off The High Horse October 27, 2013, 2:23 am

    First things first. Porn is a male / female issue. We need to take great care when talking about this to start the discussion by clearly pointing out that it’s just as big a problem for women as it is for men – with the added note that very few women will admit to it. Very few – but the credit card data from porn sites does the admission for them. About 30% of all *paid* porn is aquired by women, that does not include the ones who *aren’t paying*, or the ones addicted to novelized porn, or having real sexual flings (far more easily aquired as a woman)… I would safely say its a 50/50 split for porn, with women making up the majority of people living sexually promiscuous lives (again… men have a harder time finding a sexual partner).

    I’m concerned for the brothers out there. How many women are lying about their addictions? It would seem, from the numbers I’ve come across, that a staggering number of women have masturbation, porn, and ertoic novel addictions. We don’t hear about it because they are far more likely to burry those sins, never to admit them to anyone due to the taboo nature of a woman having these types of problems. It’s anticipated a man will, so we get a social pass. I know this from experience with women I’ve been close too. It astounds me just how far women will go to cover it – honestly, it’s self brainwashing. Some call it “compartmentalization”. I call it lying to the point of triggering amnesia.

    As for the post, well… at least the guy is honest. I wish I could assume the girl is about about any sexual issues she brings to the table, but I just don’t believe it these days.

  • Alison Moore Smith October 29, 2013, 10:35 am

    GOYHH:

    First things first. Porn is a male / female issue. We need to take great care when talking about this to start the discussion by clearly pointing out that it’s just as big a problem for women as it is for men – with the added note that very few women will admit to it.

    While that is a cogent point, in the context of this post, it’s NOT a “first thing.” The question was from a WOMAN who asked about a MAN with porn issues. So we addressed that specifically.

    We don’t, in fact, need to “take great care” to make sure we cover, point out, or discuss all aspects of a problem when dealing with a particular one.

    If you’d care to write a post dealing with female porn problems or female infidelity (in a mainstream gospel context) we welcome it. A couple of conditions:

    1. We require authors to use real names.
    2. Anything posed as fact needs to be backed up with sources.

    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Ethnic Halloween Costumes – Honor or Offense?My Profile

  • He's not like the liars November 25, 2013, 2:41 am

    I think this advice to leave the man is misguided advice – not saying it isn’t without merit, but not really the best. Why? Simple. This advice is usually inspired by addicts who meet this list of traits:

    1.) Lied / hide the issue while dating.
    2.) Lied / hide the issue while engaged.
    3.) Lied / hide the issue after being married.

    If that’s your real world experience or basis for the advice, then I can respect your anger / point of view. With that said….

    He’s not like that guy!

    Any man who is man enough to share this with a potential future spouse is a VERY different type of addict. There are basically two major types of addicts.

    1.) Those who are addicted, admit it, and seek recovery – that’s this young man being discussed.
    2.) Those who are addicts but won’t admit it or seek recovery (the pathological liars) – the type of man I suspect is the inspiration for this kind of response.

    What this guy has is really an intimacy issue. That fact that he’s actually seeking a REAL flesh and blood relationship is actually a big sign of recovery. Huge in fact. This is an addiction that incourages self isolation into fantasies. Yes, it can become “real world” with escorts, but remember, those are also fake paid for fantasies too.

    Now with all that said, she can leave him for someone “who doesn’t have this issue”, but you know what? I doubt she’ll find a guy who doesn’t, not in her generation she won’t. I see it this way. She can marry a guy who is honest and seeking recovery, or she can risk marrying a liar – he could be full blown addicted or maybe just have the seeds planted in youth… wating for the right mix of stress to make it bloom. Sure, it’s a black and white way to paint the options, but given the sheer data floating around, it’s the most likely situation for BOTH genders in her generation. They are either struggling, honest and seeking help, or they are lying about it (or maybe they have zero sexual urges – not a realistic option!).

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll diverge a bit…

    3 months and a few slip ups is actually really good. It’s not uncommon to hear about men and women suffering this addiction who can’t go more than a day or two. That should put this mans addiction into better perspective. The once every few months person is drastically different from the once every few days person, but I don’t get the sense that the author(s) has enough experience with this subject to really discuss it, because let’s be honest… If slipping up once or twice in 3 months means he isn’t sober, then what IS sobriety? Who get’s to define it? If you’ve ever been to an addiction support group, you’ll know that people say they are X time sober. It can be a week, 3 months, a year – any amount of time. You are sober when you aren’t using. It’s really important, especially after a slip up, for the addict to remember that they are “X days sober – with only C days not being sober”. Addicts have an all or nothing mindset, so they tend to think that slipping up means starting over from day 1 – that’s incorrect for them to think that… and it’s also incorrect for **anyone else to think that**. Progress is progress. You can claim he’s not being totally honest about his slip ups. The fact that he’s even talking about it means he’s probably being honest. I’d be more worried if he wasn’t talking about temptations and struggles.

    Last but not least, let’s try to change the tone. Addicts are people capable of great things. The scriptures teach us that our weakness will become our strength – I never hear this mentioned much when women talk about men and porn issues, much less, sadly, the atonement, of all things. Some of the greatest porn recovery therapists are recovered porn addicts. You don’t have to look very hard to find a few. I like to say addicts are people with massive potential in this life. They can either build a mountain, or dig an abyss. Is it really any surprise that people who have achieved much in their lives often times struggle with addictions? I don’t think it’s a coincidence at all, but rather something to be expected.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 3, 2014, 2:44 pm

    Just wanted to pop in and link to a great post on the porn topic:

    Married men: your porn habit is an adultery habit. One more cheer for Matt Walsh.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…The Ethics of Business on Thanksgiving (and/or Other Holidays You Like)My Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith January 3, 2014, 2:58 pm

    He’s not like the liars, you present a false dilemma on a couple of fronts.

    1. Yes, there are guys who don’t have porn addiction. In every generation.
    2. Even assuming your (false) premise is correct, there is a third option, choosing a guy who isn’t in the throws of addition and slip-ups. So, just like drug addiction, if the guy’s been “sober” for, say, 10 years, he’s probably a good risk. Otherwise, you’re choosing to marry a porn user.

    What you and all the porn defenders don’t seem to get is that this woman did not want to be married to someone who indulged in porn. She didn’t want someone who would cheat on her every once in a while when, oh, the stress got to be too much.

    That said, understand that you’re actually supporting the main view here. If she marries a guy who is addicted to porn, she’s marrying a guy who will indulge in porn — at least every few months or so! And that’s what she said she didn’t want. She actually fooled herself into thinking that the slip ups were going to stop. And you’ve supported the fact that his behavior indicates otherwise.

    The tone won’t change because you misunderstand the “tone” in the first place.

    Of course addicts have great potential. We all do. But an addict who is still “slipping up” does not show signs of having great potential of being a faithful, non-porn-using spouse. And if a woman wants those things, the porn addict is a stupid place to start.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…70% Off Entertainment Coupon Book + Free ShippingMy Profile

  • Actual Useful Information February 13, 2014, 3:04 pm

    Check out this BYU Woman’s Services & Resources guide for pornography and dating advice that’s actually useful. You can download the paper, it’s very well written. (I can’t link apparently, so google “Discussing Pornography in Dating”, first result).

    Unlike what the author of the article on this site suggests, porn is anything that causes sexual arousal – ANYTHING – showing nudity and sex are not a requirment for it to be considered porn. So the guy “who’s never seen porn” but been turned on by a hot cosmopolitan cover actually has seen porn. Once you understand what porn really is, you understand that in our society, you are very unlikely to find a person who hasn’t been exposed. Plenty of addicts get their start by masturbating to non-nude swimsuit pictures in non adult mags… but I guess if you’re defintion of porn is super narrow, he’s a “white knight” still. The paper above is fantastic, give it a read, it’ll open your mind up more. Just because you might be marrying a guy or girl with little exposure dosn’t mean your in the clear. Many women and men get hooked after marriage. This paper presents a real deal, no BS look at the realities of porn addiction among women and men. It gives great adivce on what couples should do, and unlike this site’s author, does not take the “cut them off at once” plan – that’s very harful to the addict and can actually cause them to really spiral.

  • Alison Moore Smith February 13, 2014, 4:35 pm

    The downside of blogging is that sometimes you have to deal with people who refuse to read and think before they respond.

    “Actual Useful Information” (aka “He’s not like the liars’) is just beside himself with trying to prove that women shouldn’t write off porn addicts — their personal desire not to be married to porn addicts be damned.But, again the argument is full of straw men and silliness.

    Unlike what the author of the article on this site suggests, porn is anything that causes sexual arousal – ANYTHING – showing nudity and sex are not a requirment for it to be considered porn.

    Given that this post has multiple authors (per the byline), I have no idea what you believe you are contradicting. I don’t want to take the time to reread every word by both authors, but I’m guessing neither of us said “porn requires nudity and sex.” Can you produce that quote?

    Once you understand what porn really is, you understand that in our society, you are very unlikely to find a person who hasn’t been exposed.

    AUI or HNLTL or whatever your name is, again, I refuse to reread the entire thread, but I’m pretty sure neither of us said, “Don’t ever go out with anyone who’s ever been exposed to porn.” Because, well, who hasn’t been? Because I run my business on the internet, I don’t filter my email and I get hundreds of emails per day. I get unsolicited porn email every single day. And until I train my spam list to recognize it, it keeps showing up.

    Here’s the key, the tipoff, the clue: the title says, “I’m Dating a Porn Addict.”

    To refresh your fuzzy memory, the woman who wrote in was DATING A PORN ADDICT. Not someone who saw Cosmo in the line at Target. Someone who had been a PORN ADDICT for a DECADE and was STILL having “slip-ups” — meaning he was STILL getting off on porn. Again, he was not just accidentally glancing the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue while innocently standing in line to buy curtain rods. He was WHOOPSY looking for porn and getting racked off by it.

    Just because you might be marrying a guy or girl with little exposure dosn’t mean your in the clear. Many women and men get hooked after marriage.

    Like I said, I’m not rereading the thread, but I’m PRETTY sure we already addressed this. I’m PRETTY sure that we already mentioned the fact that there are no guarantees in life. But, you know, if you don’t want to be married to a junkie, you’re probably better off marrying a guy who’s clean and sober than a guy who’s buzzed. And, in fact, you’re probably better off marrying a guy who’s never used drugs, than one who used heavily for a decade and now goes to narcanon once a week and only “slips up” on holidays.

    Seriously, if you want to have a conversation, at least don’t act like an idiot and take the time to not the obvious.

    …unlike this site’s author, does not take the “cut them off at once” plan – that’s very harful to the addict and can actually cause them to really spiral.

    You must’ve spent serious change on the dried weed today, because I can’t remember the last time I read a comment so filled with straw men. It’s kind of laughable. Kind of, because I think you’re sincere in your unwillingness to see reality. A couple of points:

    1. Again, unsure who you are referring to as “site author”
    2. Don’t recall your professed “cut them off at once plan” given that the entire post is about a DECADE LONG ADDICTION WITH CURRENT SLIPUPS
    3. You know what? Women shouldn’t choose a spouse based on how much help men need. Women aren’t supposed to be built-in 12 step programs. If they guy is going to “spiral” because a woman decides she wants someone who isn’t dealing with addiction issues, it’s just further indication that he’s not great spousal material.
    4. Get clean, stay clean, get a life. THEN prove to a woman that you’ll be a great lifetime/eternal partner. (Same goes for women.)

    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Judging the Judgmental: Telling Women to Stop Thinking Is Not My Profile

  • Ma Hui Ling March 3, 2014, 5:05 am

    I love the way this thread ended. But I’m sick today, so I’m going to rant. I’m sure the moderators will know best what to do with this comment.

    “Women shouldn’t choose a spouse based on how much help men need. Women aren’t supposed to be built-in 12 step programs. If they guy is going to “spiral” because a woman decides she wants someone who isn’t dealing with addiction issues, it’s just further indication that he’s not great spousal material.”

    And there’s the bottom line right there. “[Wo]man will be punished according to [her] own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” If not the porn addiction itself, the self-serving, self-righteous misogyny of the porn defenders on this thread is a staggering indicator that a porn user is thoroughly unsuitable for temple marriage. Their collective mantras have all been used to silence and suppress women’s needs for aeons. “All men are like that – deal with it.” “You’re a cold bitch.” “What about MY happiness?” As if a woman’s desire for a stable family life makes her nitpicking, unforgiving, unloving, condemning, judgmental, unChristlike. (I get that women also struggle with porn; but we seem to be all on the same plane of stereotypes here.) The You’re Judgmentalites on this thread are dismissing women’s inalienable rights to avoid disaster, pure and simple. I don’t know, maybe it’s the porn talking.

    HEY, DUDEBROS! It’s not always about you! I’m sure impassioned murderers/pedophiles feel pretty awful, too (did anyone else see _M_?), but no one’s asking THEIR victims to stifle like Edith Bunker to protect THEIR feelings. Because they did it, and what they did was wrong, and they know it. You can’t make the “what about me?” statements that have been made without minimizing or completely overlooking the toll porn use takes on innocent bystanders. Lest we forget, IT TRAUMATIZES FAMILIES. Yeah, it has a stigma attached! Yeah, it’s shameful! And we’re supposed to be more worried about the shame than about the pain that porn uses causes Church members? Child. When I was shedding tears over MY addiction, I was worrying over the potential harm I would cause my loved ones, not pitying myself because someone might judge me or because I was missing opportunities as a result of my unfaithfulness. That’s what it means to be repentant.

    Furthermore, it seems that the fact of many of these addicts discovering pornography as young children would support the writers’ assertion that porn users should not marry before regaining control of themselves. How many children first became exposed to salacious material because a guardian had a tab open or a magazine stashed? Wouldn’t they have been spared soul-wracking torment if their family member had not invited it when they were still vulnerable?

    I know I come across as unsympathetic and, as a former addict, hypocritical; and I do not, in fact, dismiss all porn addicts wholesale the way I seem to be dismissing those who have criticized the writers’ comments. It’s just hard to take their supposed contrition seriously when their focus is so clearly on themselves rather than on the future families who stand a great deal to lose if they “slip up.” It’s a big, hairy deal. Let that act as motivation instead of cause for complaint. It will be easier for mean, coldly-practical monsters like myself to pity this thread’s “sympathizers” when they stop exhibiting enough self-pity for the both of us.

  • DHH March 10, 2014, 2:05 pm

    [Note: This was a total spam comment, but it was so funny in context of the subject of this post that I decided to remove the URL and links and let it through. Yea, dude, if you're trying to get the porn to show up, it's your problem. :)]

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

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