Another Letter to the LDS Woman Who Suffers in Silence Because of Her Husband’s Porn Addiction

Again, if a guy says he’s all fixed—no more porn urges for him—and yet he can’t articulate how he is treating and monitoring the lust addiction and the debilitating emotions, we know he’s dreaming or lying. We have to treat the emotional turmoil, the lust addiction and the compulsions to act out sexually—all three—if we want to recover. It appears your husband isn’t doing this.

So many LDS men aren’t getting sober because they are trying to do it on their own in isolation—or else confiding only in people who have no experience in dealing with sexual addiction. If your husband will get an LDS sponsor who has walked the road to recovery, the sponsor will look him in the eye and tell him:

• I know what you need to do to get sober because I’ve done it.

• I know when you’re lying because I’ve lied about the same things.

• I know how you think you’re smarter than everyone else just as I used to think I was smarter than everyone else, too. That’s how all addicts are.

• I know how you objectify the women around you just as I used to do.

• You can’t fool me because I was who you are. I know you.

• I know what the overwhelming compulsion to act out sexually feels like and I know what to do to make it stop—forever.

• I can show you what to do and it’ll work for you, too, if you’re willing to work it.

I am one of those guys. I can look your husband in the eye and tell him what sobriety feels like and what it takes to get it. Those of us in recovery are out there and looking to share the message of hope. In fact, it is our experience that in order to keep what we have, we have to give it away to others.

You mentioned that your husband always takes full responsibility for his conduct. I’ve done some writing about the myth of “accepting personal responsibility” and urge you to read it in “The ABCs of Addiction.” It turns out that “accepting personal responsibility” is a hallmark of LDS men who want to be left alone so they can isolate with their addiction. They’ve conned themselves and those around them into believing that because they’re “manning up,” they’re taking this seriously—and this time it’ll work—if only everyone will just leave them alone. Their addiction admires and appreciates these men immensely when they “man up”—it means more time acting out and more of the drug it craves.

I think you’re absolutely right to ask yourself the questions you ask and to feel the emotions you’re feeling. When wives ponder their future with their addicted husband, it is vital that they protect themselves—physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually—from their husband’s behavior. One way they can protect themselves is to understand reality. This is reality: A man cannot get into recovery and stay there simply by prayer, scripture study and willpower. Like diabetes, addiction requires treatment and monitoring. That treatment includes therapy and one or more 12 Step programs. Any man who is not following an active recovery program specific to sexual addiction but who is telling his wife that he no longer has any compulsion to act out sexually is unduly optimistic or simply lying—or both. Addicts who aren’t in recovery are liars. It’s part of being an addict.


Comments

Another Letter to the LDS Woman Who Suffers in Silence Because of Her Husband’s Porn Addiction — 35 Comments

  1. I just found out that my fiancé “used to” have a pornography addiction. I had to find out myself. I came across this because He gave me his phone to look something up on Instagram and I saw that he looked up porn. I wasnt purposely prying or anything..he forgot to clear his searches. This happened about 3 months ago. I went into denial and didn’t address him about it until two days ago because it kept eating me up inside. I met him while he was on his mission and he is the most amazing, spiritual, most religious man I’ve met, and I didn’t ever think this could happen to someone as good as he is.
    At first when I asked him about it..he denied it, and I told him I would ask him one more time and that if he lied to me it was over because I had proof. He confessed, and told me that he had a bad patch after his mission for about a month or so, but that he hadn’t looked at it since (he repented before he went on his mission). I’m honestly scared. I’m young, engaged, clueless, and I don’t know what to do. I feel like he is being honest and not looking at it, but there’s always the chance that he may be lying to me. I don’t want him to touch or hug me. I can’t even kiss him without thinking about him looking at other women(or men). I love him more than my own life, and I want to help him. I want him to be honest with me.
    But I’m just scared that this will tear us apart. Does anyone have any advice?

    • I would say share this sight with him, tell him if what he is saying is true, he might just be at the beginning, but if he is willing to nip it in the bud now, and actually takes action by taking these steps, you might still marry him, because you do love him, but you should start off right. No secrets, for secrets will destroy your future. Trust me, he will thank you for it later. Stand your ground, and make sure he knows how much you love him, and believe he can do this IF he will take steps to address it by going to a 12 step program that can set him up with a mentor. He has already shown that there is at least some inkling of addiction within him, and left alone, that WILL grow. But if he can get into a state of recovery now (no denial) then you have a GREAT advantage to a long and happy marriage, because you already know you have addressed the great issue most common among young lds married couples. (50-80%)

    • dear lady who is engaged to the guy with porn on his phone. I’m a porn addict/ lust addict. this was a secret for about 2 years of my marriage. My wife stumbled across some disturbing internet history. At that stage in my life its no guess, but should be obvious that my spirituality and emotional health was very poor. The first thing an addict does in this situation is to minimize the sin/crime. Why? i don’t know but its what we do. How do i know this? because the very next day after “D” day(Discovery day) i started attending the lds 12 step meetings at the stake center down the street. I went every day for months, then it tapered off as the semester started up again. (UVU). in the 12 step recovery manual it address this minimization that addicts do especially when shame is involved. i am willing to bet a large sum of something worth something very valuable that he minimized his sin/crime. its just the statistics. and statistics are statistics for a reason. He more than likely has a porn addiction. I do not consider my self to be in strong recovery, i am approaching a more solid state of recovery, this pornography is extremely powerful. it is THE tool satan uses this day and age to ruin the priesthood, marriages, lives, and families. THE tool… My advice… love him. if you decide to stick around i would certainly post pone the wedding date. just plan on not getting married in 2015. If you really want to marry a man that is in recovery or that is not involved in pornography or sins of lust it will take some real time to prove him. just follow the spirit on this one. don’t get too excited about having the dream life and being the dream wife. i can imagine that this feels like a big rock just got thrown into your soup. i am truly sorry that you are experiencing this. as my wife and i have entered the world of sex addiction recovery it is common knowledge to us now that almost every marriage has been affected by lust/porn or will be affected by it. in the book “He Restoreth my Soul” Thalmage states that a study done on pornography shows that by 12th grade of highschool 100% of boys have been exposed to pornography. So now the question is how do you keep from going crazy? Go to meetings for victims of sex/porn/lust addicts. Educate yourself on the matter. Your not alone. This is a very common thing. Most who face this challenge shrink away. This is a real test of faith. But thats why He put us here.

    • This is a long time after this post but here goes. If it is on the phone he wants it ever with him. Also, having been married to a man with the same problem, the phone was only the tip of the iceberg. I wish I married a person who devoted their time to me and our family rather than sneaking off to do what he did. Addicted persons can do this for years only thinking about themselves and their own wants. No one else matters ever. My husband neglected me and our marriage and children with ongoing excuses and lies, I stayed because I loved him-not knowing this was going on- If I had known that he was such a great deceiver, I would never have married him. What a waste of me…..

  2. What if it’s the wife who’s struggling with a porn addiction? I don’t see that addressed anywhere on your site. Sorry this comment is so late in coming. I just recently stumbled on your site. I don’t know if you’ll see this or not. Thanks!

    • Most of the posts on the site are written from the perspective of an LDS man who is working in his own recovery from sex addiction. There are other sites written by LDS women who are recovering addicts.

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