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

Many women wonder how they can know whether their husbands are in true recovery. The answer is listening to spiritual inspiration, responding to gut feelings and keeping in mind a simple riddle from Alcoholics Anonymous:

Question: What is the difference between an addict and an addict in recovery?

Answer: You can’t get the addict to talk about his recovery and you can’t get the addict in recovery to shut up about it.

If your husband is in recovery, he will attend 12 Step meetings, he will read the literature, he will get a sponsor and work the 12 Steps with him, and eventually he will become a sponsor and help other men get sober. Most importantly, if he is in recovery he will spontaneously share with you new experiences and insights of sobriety as he progresses in recovery.

If he is not sharing spontaneously it is because he has nothing to share. If he has nothing to share, he is not in recovery. There are only two possible camps in the sex addiction recovery world. Either the addict is actively working toward recovery through a defined program and will stay sober, or he is not working toward recovery and is basically blowing in the wind. This second guy is either acting out currently or merely treading water until the compulsions once again overwhelm him and he slips up as he always has.

As you said, you can’t work your husband’s recovery for him. He has to do that. One thing you don’t have to do, however, is pretend along with him that he is getting better when he’s not. Everything you’ve described about your husband indicates that he’s not in recovery and never has been. Sure, he’s been penitent at times. Sure, he’s desired to change at times. But he’s never been in recovery. You can tell him that. Because you know he’s never been truly sober, you can tell him that all your decisions from now on will be based upon the fact that he is not in recovery.

You can also tell him that other LDS husbands are achieving complete sexual sobriety now and that you deserve nothing less than that. Now means now, not three months from now, or six months from now, or a year from now. By the way, in case he wonders, complete sexual sobriety means no pornography and no masturbation—ever. It also means progressive victory over lust. Recovery does not mean trying really hard and only slipping up once every three to six months. We have another name for that: active addiction.

You deserve nothing less than a sexually sober husband. Ask him if he is willing to do whatever it takes. He owes that much to you and he has the ability to give you what he owes—if he is willing to do whatever it takes. If your husband wants to talk about what it takes, he can e-mail me.

If you feel like talking with an LDS woman who has achieved recovery from her husband’s sexual addiction, my wife would be happy to visit with you by phone or e-mail. She will give you a strong plug for attending S-Anon meetings, a safe and inspiring place where LDS women are finding strength and healing from the trauma caused by their husband’s behavior.

As you know, she can’t guarantee that your husband will get sober and stay sober. What she will help you do, however, is learn how to recover from the bombs your husband has been dropping on you for your entire marriage and even before that.

God bless you and every woman currently suffering as you are. We’re praying for you. Don’t give up hope!


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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