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"The Atonement" and "Wives, Forgive your Husbands"
By lawrence
12/14/2010 11:59:57 AM
Angel mentioned the truth that the effect of the Atonement comes after the sin is forsaken with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I would amend it a bit to say that we first start feeling the powerful beginning cleansing effects of the Atonement after our sin is forsaken with a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

In reality, the power of the Atonement transcends time, so we cannot say, "before, after, during" or any other time-related adverbs. His atonement is. It always was. It will ever be. His sufferings began before the world was. When He volunteered to be our Savior to fulfill the will of the Father, He started atoning for our sins. He has atoned for sins we haven't even thought of committing yet. He atoned for sins that His children will never repent of. If you want to say the Atonement "began", I can say I felt the atonement in the moment on February 4th, 2010 when I was ready to take my own life over the pain it would cause to my family to know I was involved in porn. But I didn’t. Christ came to me in a powerful way, in the very moment of acting out. He personally cast out those evil spirits, eager to get their unembodied vicarious jollies one more time. He stopped all that. I have reflected back and I know there were angels there in the room. I just couldn’t figure out who they were. I knew that I knew them. My son who died? My grampa? My mom’s aunt? No. It was the Savior himself. When it comes to saving souls, in that department He employs no servant there. Was I forgiven for my sins at that moment? No. Did the atonement have an effect in my life at that moment? Yes. And it has effect at every other moment of my life, 24/7, constantly forever and forever. Never does Jesus give up on me. Never does he have one iota of condition attached to His infinite love and atonement for me. Is the love of God the atonement? Is the atonement the love of God? Do you want to get technical about it or can I just say yes, and yes. My source for a small beginning of an inkling of understanding the atonement comes from “The Infinite Atonement” by Tad R. Callister.

The Atonement is infinite. Let us put no limits on it. Do we believe that the sufferings of Jesus were not "good enough" for wives to be given the power to forgive their husbands? Did repentance seem too easy for your husband? Is he all happy now, claiming to feel clean and you are still suffering the pain? Then you must believe Jesus Christ is not powerful enough to forgive him if you are unable to. God Himself must be limited in these unique beliefs of yours. Of course this isn’t true. None of us believe that, but we often still want retribution of some sort. We want to see some pain, at least as much as we are feeling, right?

There has been a lot of discussion on this site about the tremendous pain of the wives and the huge damage that our unacceptable behaviors have caused to our families. I agree; it is immeasurable. Although this might be better coming from a wife, let us talk about a different subject for just a minute, putting aside that very real pain. In the following, let me emphatically state I cannot possibly understand the pain you loving wives of porn and sex addicts suffer. You should tolerate zero abuse. There is a lot of talk along those lines. It is all true. But bear with me for a minute.

I am a husband, but let me speak as a wife for a minute. I know I may be out of place. I am a generic wife. Nothing personal to any of you beautiful sisters. Remember President Packard’s parable about the creditor and the debtor? We always put ourselves in the place of the debtor. Well, half the time we are the creditor. (“for you it is required to forgive all men”) Jesus paid us the money we were owed. All we wanted was justice. We cannot be justified in demanding this low-life scum of a debtor who got off easy by getting bailed out by this Jesus fellow be thrown in prison, can we? We have our money. If I don’t have my money, Jesus is offering it to me. I just need to take it. Of course that is easier said than done. Part of the debt of sinning against a spouse is restitution and reconciliation to the hurt party. But I, the wife will never be able to squeeze that turnip of a porn-addict husband to get a single drop of blood. He should be punished. He brought evil spirits into my home for many years. Yes, and the punishment for that horrendous sin is spiritual death. The punishment is eternal damnation. The money I want, the punishment I demand from this fake, porn-addicted, masturbating hypocrite of a so-called husband is that he must bleed from every pore on his body, be stripped naked and beaten with a multi-strand whip with chunks of sharp bone and metal interwoven in so as to rip the very flesh from his back as he is beaten 39 times, and the money I the merciless creditor must be paid for this debt is that this guy must be nailed to a cross and berated for hours and hours on end. This guy was so bad, and did such awful things that God the Father should withdraw His Spirit from him, leaving him utterly alone to personally suffer the tortuous fiery darts of Satan himself. Oh wait. Jesus paid that debt.

Easier said than done: I should forgive him. How? I believe the atonement unlocks the power in all of us to both forgive and be forgiven. It is a personal journey; I can’t give the specifics. I have read many hundreds of posts on this site and the mega-site 10 times bigger npsupport.net, and I find many husbands who feel forgiven by the Lord. The atonements works. It is rare to find a wife who has trusted enough in Christ to be relieved of her pain. It turns some so bitter that truly theirs is the “greater sin”, not to forgive. Did Jesus really suffer for the sin of not forgiving too? Yes. The born-agains have it a bit too simple. Say you’re saved and bam it is done. We LDS often have it much much much too complicated. My opinion is that all we need to do is step 3 (husbands and wives). We have been bitten by an evil snake, yes. But all that is asked is to look at the brazen serpent that has been raised up for our own salvation.

Comments:

Healing    
"You have made some excellent points and I believe you speak the truth. However, healing takes time. I think it is reasonable to expect the wife to forgive the husband and together they can work toward healing their relationship. I also think that it is reasonable for a husband who has indulged in porn and masturbation for 10 years to only be patient with his wife who may take another 10 years to heal after he has repented. That's only fair.

For true healing to take place, the husband must take total responsibility for his sins - and patiently help his wife heal by staying sober, embracing the Gospel, and working to fix what he has broken. In a meeting last week someone said that trust is lost in miles and gained back in inches. That's true. Husbands who truly repent and forsake these sins can hope for their wives to heal - over time.

The healing can be accelerated by the husband accepting full responsibility for all the damage - including the months and possibly years of grief and anger the wife may feel over his betrayal. When he supports her in her healing by humbling himself before her, and surrendering to God, then living every day to repair the damage, she will begin to trust him again over time.

It's what you do, not what you say. Husbands if you want to fix what you broke, stay sober, shut up and listen to your wife. Hold her when she cries, love her when she freaks out, never shame her for her feelings and take responsibility for all of it - because you caused it. Doing these things consistently and with your whole heart will accelerate her healing.

Wives - believe your husband's behaviors. When he is truly repentant, he will change. He will humbly admit full responsibility and work to repair the damage he has done.

For both the husband and the wife, it takes work and time to repair the damage. The good news is that it can be done and love can return to your marriage.

And yes, through the Atonement all sins can be forgiven, all wounds can be healed, and marriages can be saved. "
posted at 12:41:57 on December 14, 2010 by BARM
agree    
"Barm,

Yes. Very nice. I totally agree. Awesome post.

But you broke my rules. I said let's talk about something else in this BLOG. j/k :-)"
posted at 15:57:45 on December 14, 2010 by lawrence
tongue in cheek    
"Well at least you didn't say Dr. W."
posted at 16:00:19 on December 14, 2010 by Anonymous
ok    
"ok ok I admit that was my anon post. (could you tell from my tone?) (some of these anon's are obvious. ha ha ha"
posted at 16:01:08 on December 14, 2010 by lawrence
furthermore on forgiveness    
"from the pamphlet, let virtue garnish...

HELPING OTHERS

If you learn that a family member or friend is involved with
pornography, you may feel discouraged, betrayed, or distressed.
In these difficulties, you may find strength as you counsel with
your bishop. You may also want to ask for a priesthood blessing
from a worthy priesthood holder. You should not blame yourself
for the actions of others. Each individual is responsible for
his or her own behavior
.
You can help your friend or family member as you continue
to increase your own spiritual strength. The light of the gospel
in your life will lift you and do much to dispel darkness in the
lives of those you love. As you seek the companionship of the
Spirit, the Lord will guide you. Seek His help through prayer,
scripture study, and temple attendance.

The following principles will also help as you interact with
your friend or family member:

Listen carefully. Do not respond
with shock or anger. Do not rush
to give advice. Talk with the person
in a loving and confidential way.

• Be kind and loving, but do not tolerate
or join in inappropriate behavior.

• Avoid being critical or controlling.
Your friend or family member will be
less likely to discuss problems if you
respond in a critical or punitive way.
Criticism may lead others to hide
problems instead of seeking help.

• Support efforts to repent. Express
confidence in your friend or family
member. Pray for him or her. Help
him or her come up with a solution
to solve the problem, including specific
plans to avoid pornography
and to repent. Encourage him or
her to speak to the bishop.

• Compliment specific strengths and
positive actions.

• Talk together about ways to remove
temptation.

• Learn to forgive.

If your friend or family member
speaks to a bishop and the bishop
does not impose a visible or obvious
punishment, you may feel as though
the problem is not being taken seriously.
Recognize that a bishop is to
rely on the Spirit to determine what
will best help each individual.

end quote.

I'd say "friend or family member" = husband here."
posted at 16:04:50 on December 14, 2010 by lawrence
Forgiveness 4 years later    
"Thank you for your thoughts on forgiving the spouse for the hurt and damage done. It took me almost 4 years to forgive my husband. It was a very slow process. It was a miracle and only because of the Atonement, that I am finally at peace within myself. My husband was not a porn addict, but was a drug addict and alcoholic. Unspeakable pain and heartbreak was at one end of the spectrum. Undescribeable joy and peace is at the other end. The journey, long and hard. Worth it? You bet.
My husband died because of his addiction. It took my breath away. It has been very difficult to forgive him without being able to talk to him or see his face and reaction. Instead, I can feel his spirit. At first he was just as angry as I was, slowly, I have felt his soul is at peace too. I can honestly say, I am grateful for his addiction. Grateful, because it has brought me on this journey. I am closer to the Savior than I otherwise would be. I am grateful for the process of recovery. It isn't an event, it takes time and energy. Be patient with the process and it will be alright."
posted at 18:51:37 on December 14, 2010 by BTTB
Lawrence that passage from let virtue garnish your thoughts    
"sent me to hell. When my husband bomb exploded and my house, I was holding my bleeding heart in my hand, and wishing I could die from the excutiating pain. I was not at that moment and for the following weeks angry at my husband, I was Angry with God. I felt so uterly abandonned and I cried for weeks in desperation for help. I just did not understand what had happenned, at all!!! I would get in the car and drive for as lond as I could go and cry and cry so the kids would not see me break down in front of them. I ripped my patriarcal blessing, I did not believe in the church anymore, did not believe in HEavenly father's promises....I just did not understand where was Jesus when I needed him, where were the promised angels. It was just 3 days after the confession and while I was just surviving this, my bishop came with this panplhet to read. It left me so confused, feeling even more forsaken. That is not what I needed to hear. The panphelt is made for women who are not going trough post traumatic shock. They work for women who are in control, have done some healing, etc.. How could I apply any of this, when I just did not even believe that the church was true, that the Atonement could heal me, etc.... I mean this had shaken me trough the core of my beliefs and it took many months of praying and calming down, therapy for my shock for me to have faith again. Many months before I could really feel my savior's love. Sorry, your post about the let virtue garsnish your thoughts reminded me why it had not been effective for me and brings back the darkest time of my life. I actually think that the councils there do not take into account the pts some wives are going trought and today my bishop is very sorry that he brought this to us when it was not appropriate. All I needed him to do at that time was to take me in his arms and reassure me on my Heavenly Father's love for me. That the Lord had not forsaken me, taht he still love me. To tell me how to get some faith back....
You can not ask a baby who does not even hold her her head to just run....This panphlet assumed that wives are already healed, they are not spot on with the turmoil that is going on inside the broken hearts. I was not trying to go into to feel sorry for the me , I just wanted to give a glimpse of another reality.
got to run fixing food, kids screaming"
posted at 16:48:47 on December 15, 2010 by Anonymous
anon    
"I am so sorry for your pain. I am sorry that I made you relive it.

The pamphlet is definitely made more for either the addict or as a warning to someone who may be tempted to look at porn. It is useful, but not in situations like yours. I wish you the best healing with our Savior standing near you always."
posted at 15:59:45 on December 16, 2010 by lawrence
late forgiveness    
"Lawrence, thank you for your sincere post. BTTB, I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. I frequently wonder if my spouse would heal better without my face to look at. Is it easier to be able to move on? I ask this with all sincerity. I often wonder if my spouse will forgive me before I die? Hmmm"
posted at 17:12:41 on December 16, 2010 by Anonymous
Anon Thanks you for sharing!    
"The bomb is exactly that! Damaging every aspect of a woman and who and what she is, even her testimony.

God is many times the first one we have to forgive.

So please guys cut your wives some slack. Give them all the love and concern you would if they were recovering from a serious auto accident. One that broke several bones causing her to have to learn to walk again, this accident was so serious that she had brain, damage and internal bleeding. Struggling to even to talk coherently, feed herself and could not possibly attempt to take care of someone else.

You would HAVE to take charge. Help her in every way. Do her work for her. etc..... And everyone would comment on how wonderful you are. What a great husband. She is so lucky to have a guy who loves her sooooo much. So caring, so thoughtful.....So SELFLESS!

HUMMMMMM!"
posted at 17:17:52 on December 16, 2010 by hero
ok    
"I am feeling nervous. Should I remove the post? It seems I've been requested to remove a lot of posts."
posted at 17:30:39 on December 16, 2010 by lawrence
NOOOO!    
"It is real!"
posted at 18:26:41 on December 16, 2010 by hero
Forgiveness! Step 3!!    
"Yes, that is all we need to do. That is what the spouses program is about. Accessing the Atonement to take away all the issues all the spouses talk about. BUT, it is layer by layer, hear a little there a little,yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, second by second. Step by step and it cannot be rushed.

The addicts heal much faster! I repeat the addicts heal much faster. If they do the work."
posted at 18:33:57 on December 16, 2010 by hero
Lawrence do not remove your post    
"I posted the anon comment and did not sign in because I had to attend quickly to my kids. And what I really wanted to say by sharing my experience is that still the leaders of our church (local leaders) and the panphlets do not recognize the huge shock and trauma that you are going trough. At that time, we had no idea what was happenning to me. I just knew it was the end of the world, and we did not know what to do to help me. The bishop came home and was well intended but he had no idea what I was going trough, he'd never encounter a situation like this and went with the pamplhet telling me that I needed to forgive and support. Which left me feeling even more forsaken. My pain, my anger, my shock was not aknowledged. Only when we went to a counselor, then was he able to tell me that I had Post traumatic stress disorder. Same as those people on 9/11 seing their loved one dying on tv. It is the same symptoms. You just feel like you want to die, it is not rationnal, it is not logical, it is emotionnal. Knowing what was hapenning to me was so relieving and enable me to go and get the help I needed. But it took so many months, there were all the stages of grieving, exactly as when someone you love dies. Anger, denial, etc... and finally acceptance. There was a lot of back and forth between different stages. So, one day I'll be accepting and normal, another day extremely furious and angry, and the next one completely depressed. You can imagine a recovering addict who is expecting support and a wife going trough pts under the same roof, not a happy home. He expected love and support and all I wanted to do was beat him up and chase him out of my life. I know it sounds brutal, but those are the raw emotions we go trought. I had to detach a lot, a lot, a lot in order to feel better and get some healing on my emotions. I finally feel better, I feel closer to my saviour but I am still keeping a distance with my husband, not because I am witholding love, punishing him, or not forgiving ... it is because I DO NOT TRUST MYSELF!!! I do not trust that I will be able to survive another betrayal, it hurted so much before. So until I feel like I am strong enough (emotionnaly healthy enough and spirtually strong enough) I do not want to risk getting closer to him who had already broken my heart and sent me down to hell. It is also a spiritual journey, there is lot of spiritual healing for me to do or rather for the Saviour to do . He has done already done so much, he's lifted me out the hell I'd been in for so many months. And I know it is a Saviour that saves. Still there is a long road ahead of me and I am still far from becoming the forgiving wife I need to be. But I pray and please pray for me that I can one day forgive because I really want to. I'm sharing this with you husbands, so that you can see and not take personally if your wife feels like she has to detach and distance herself. Sometimes it has to be part of the healing process.
I'm glad Lawrence you gave me the opportunity to share, maybe understanding more what their wives is going trough can help some husbands not take rejection personally and take a more active role in helping her heal."
posted at 21:50:30 on December 16, 2010 by crushed
you make it real    
"My wife doesn't articulate very often what she is experiencing. I am very impatient with her and I need to repent of that impatience. She asked me to leave once, then recanted that same evening and I need to forgive her for that. I am an immature brat and keep holding that over her head and asking if I should leave. Even packed my bags up last night, but then my sweet 19 year old daughter came in and discovered what I was up to and started sobbing. I am far from being recovered. I am a selfish jerk. I felt so awful last night, I just kept saying sorry, and all she said was I know you said that. Now I'm starting it all over with her. Texted her that I "kinda like" her and thought she was a pretty cool chick, and wondered if she would go on a date with me. Kinda like a little game, but in reality we are starting over. I will fight to get her back and I will romance her and I will be patient and when I'm in trouble, I won't go to her; I'll go to the Lord."
posted at 12:21:48 on December 20, 2010 by lawrence
Hey Crushed    
"My reaction is a little different (as opposed to a lot of other fellas) I feel. I don't ever expect my wife to forgive me. And her detaching make sense to me. Maybe to much. For example if you were my wife (which obviously your not I'm just having a hard time making sense here so bare with me) I'd probably just die to my feelings...detach?

I don't know what I'm trying to say. I guess my question is how do I love (show) you when you need space or whatever and I can't see why you'd want anything but all the space in the world and I'm totally happy and comfortable giving it to you (detaching myself?). Like what, Crushed, would you have me do if I, given the tiny info you have about me here, was your husband?

I don't know if any of this makes sense."
posted at 14:08:10 on December 20, 2010 by cool hand luke
I think    
"...i get where the women are coming from.

Its kindof like the men are saying "and besides that Mrs. Lincoln how was the show?""
posted at 15:14:06 on December 20, 2010 by They speak
brilliant    
"Yes. I'll never understand, but I do "understand". Is that possible?"
posted at 15:25:39 on December 20, 2010 by lawrence
I'll try to answer some of your good questions    
"Cool, you say you do not expect her to forgive, is it that you do not dare hope that she will?? To protect yourself from disapointment? When my husband is discouraged, he gets there really quickly that is what he tells me, that he does not expect, etc... but I think he only says that to protect himself.. Cool, it sounds to me like you are scared of being rejected or disappointed. You do not want to open up to her because you are certain you will be rejected. If you were my husband, I would like you to fight, and really show me that you have changed and that you want to change, I would want you to focus on your recovery and help me with myne, to get 100% with ARP and 12 steps, and to let the Saviour really change you. When you change, she will notice it and as you really change the Lord will inspire you as to how to help her. What I really want to say, is that if you do not learn now, sometimes we think that with another women you will not make the same mistakes, but you will, if you do not change it now, you will always repeat the same mistakes, so why not change now?? REally change?? That is what I would want you to do, to show you love the Lord, the Saviour, the gospel, to hold on very tightly to the arp and the 12 steps and really change. You must not take the anger too personnal and the rejection either, but you must detach so much that you appear to not care, if you are too aloof and relax, you are showing you do not really care and that is not good at all. Believe me, it is hard already because of all the betrayal to believe he cares, so if he is to detach, it kind of confirms to me what I believed all along, that he really does not care. CAre and show it and be patient.
Ok, now my dear Lawrence, I'm sorry that yesterday, you had a spat and that you daughter witnessed that, I know it must be heartbreaking for both you and your wife to have your daughter go trough that as well. I'm glad thou that you experience a chagne of heart. If you must know, I treathen my husband to leave him everytime I am angry and upset, in those moments I mean it, why? because the pain is so great and I want an escape, thou I know it is not the right thing to do, all I want when I'm in pain is an easy way out. I also say that when I'm trying to communicate something to him, my counselor said to my husband that in those moments, he needs to pay attention, it is because there is something that needs to be attended to. So my counsel to you will be not take them personally, the treaths, the distance, the silence, the ignoring, etc.,, enlist help, get a sponsor and work extra hard on your recovery. Do absolutely everything you can to have the spirit with you, loose yourself in the Lord's love and his plan for you to fight this (the arp and 12 steps), focus and concentrate on your recovery and just be patient and understanding with her pain. I know that right now, I do not want anything romantic with my husband, I just want to see that he has changed, that he serves more and is more patient and is commited to change. If my husband tries a romantic gesture, I feel extremely unconfortable, because I am not there yet. I need more time and I think a good thing, would be to ask her what she needs right now? What does she expect or how can you meet some of her needs. Ask her, everyday and then do what you commited to do!!!!
I think you understand, without understanding everything, it is absolutely possible.
Good luck to you all. I hope and pray you will be guided. But I am glad to see how eager you are to help. I can not imagine that the Lord would not attend to your prayers and inspire you and strenghten you."
posted at 21:33:34 on December 20, 2010 by crushed
Well said    
"Everything crushed said it true. I experience it every day. My husband does all of these things & more, and it amazes me on a daily basis. If your really have a change of heart, you will not care about your feelings anymore you will live each day to make her happy. You will be humble, and she will love you more for it.

Husbands, what is your motivation? Are you the guy who wants her to hurry up and forgive so that you can have sex with her? Or, are you the one who could care less about sex anymore because all you care about is her and her needs? Who do you think Heavenly Father wants you to be? When you are at that point, you are having a true change of heart. And believe me the physical relationship will improve in a way you never imagined. God takes care of everything, and I mean everything.

Please be honest, please be humble. We will love you more for it."
posted at 22:59:34 on December 20, 2010 by Anonymous
to all    
"I love you. All of you. Thank you."
posted at 08:51:27 on December 21, 2010 by lawrence
Your Most Welcome.    
"Lawrence, I am thankful for your ability to "Let your light shine". I belong to Toastmasters International and when I read a blog post, I not only read it for content but also for it's method of delivery. You have a gift of the Spirit that allows your words to penetrate to the center. May the Lord continue to bless you and all those who may find a glimmer of hope through your words as a servant of the Lord. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."
posted at 08:58:00 on December 26, 2010 by 3R's
My current life situation    
"First of all I would like to say I have read all of your comments and agree with each of you separately and collectively as a group. I do not have time to write at this moment as much as I would like. But I do plan to be an active member of the group and I do enjoy writing. As an introduction I have struggled with addiction from about age 6. I was sexually abused by another boy at this age. Later I developed an addiction to pornography by about age 10. I have struggled till about now age 45. Currently I have a membership in the church. I am a High Priest and temple worthy and have a recommend and I do use it monthly. I currently have been separated from my wife since 2007 from addiction. I see my children as often as I can. I live with my parents and life has not been easy. Lets just say because of my choices a beautiful life has become much more difficult than I ever could have imagined. In spite of all this, I am grateful for the process of understanding I have received. I am grateful that through the LDS ARP I have finally been given tools that I can actually have a better life with. Tools that have helped me to be able to see light at the end of a very dark tunnel. To finally know that the Savior is the only one who can save any of us and he has taken my darkness from me and literally shown me the light. So now I finally know what light to share with others, His. I am grateful this process, I was truly lost but now have been found. I now understand what it means to lose our lives. I had to lose mine to find Gods life for me. I seek that now on a daily basis through prayer and scripture reading. I walk with God by my side. It is a much better life. I look forward to sharing and growing and healing with each of you by my side. Here is to recovery... I call myself the Prince because I am a son of God born to be a King...I am just not there yet and have much learning to do but I am aware of my destiny and potential.

Prince Frederick"
posted at 10:54:38 on January 4, 2011 by theprince
Welcom Prince Fred    
"I am sure I can learn good things from you. If you have found a magic time machine so that I can take me back to the crunch time decisions and reverse them with better ones, I will call you sire!"
posted at 12:34:00 on January 4, 2011 by ruggaexpat


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"One of the great myths in life is when men think they are invincible. Too many think that they are men of steel, strong enough to withstand any temptation."

— James E. Faust

General Conference, April 2002