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The Problem (from the SA White Book)
By they speak
6/28/2011 3:10:58 PM
"Many of us felt inadequate, unworthy, alone, and afraid. Our insides never matched what we saw on the outsides of others.
Early on, we came to feel disconnected-from parents, from peers, from ourselves. We tuned out with fantasy and masturbation. We plugged in by drinking in the pictures, the images, and pursuing the objects of our fantasies. We lusted and wanted to be lusted after.
We became true addicts: sex with self, promiscuity, adultery, dependency relationships, and more fantasy. We got it through the eyes; we bought it, we sold it, we traded it, we gave it away. We were addicted to the intrigue, the tease, the forbidden. The only way we knew to be free of it was to do it. "Please connect with me and make me whole!" we cried with outstretched arms. Lusting after the Big Fix, we gave away our power to others.
This produced guilt, self-hatred, remorse, emptiness, and pain, and we were driven ever inward, away from reality, away from love, lost inside ourselves.
Our habit made true intimacy impossible. We could never know real union with another because we were addicted to the unreal. We went for the "chemistry," the connection that had the magic, because it by-passed inti­ macy and true union. Fantasy corrupted the real; lust killed love.
First addicts, then love cripples, we took from others to fill up what was lacking in ourselves. Conning ourselves time and again that the next one would save us, we were really losing our lives."

While doing my daily of 5 minutes of recovery studying I read The Problem from the SA white book. The part that stuck out to me was "Our habit made true intimacy impossible. We could never know real union with another because we were addicted to the unreal. We went for the "chemistry," the connection that had the magic, because it by-passed inti­ macy and true union. Fantasy corrupted the real; lust killed love.

I thought "wait...aren't we supposed to have 'chemistry'???" My next question was naturally "what is 'true intimacy' then???"

Is true love limited ("limited") to suffering long, being kind; envying not; vaunting not itself, not being puffed up, not behave itself unseemly, seeking not her own, not being easily provoked, and thinking no evil; not to mention rejoicing not in iniquity, but rejoicing in the truth; bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things? All that with no chemistry - is that the kind or love God expects for married couples? What about romantic love? Is that romantic love? What is romantic love?

I guess i'm confused because chemistry and the connection that has the magic is what I thought I should be after all these years. In spite of the addiction I thought those things were of the utmost value. That seems real to me? It's probably obvious to you on lookers how dumb I am but I genuinely don't get it I guess. I feel like someone is explaining the taste of salt to me and I've never had salt but all these years I've been eating and searching for sugar thinking it was salt and what salt was supposed to be. Does that make sense?

What are your guys's and gals's thought?

Comments:

Intimacy    
"I am not in a position to advise but This is where that Doug guy has helped me a lot.

Intimacy anorexia - check it out."
posted at 15:20:48 on June 28, 2011 by ruggaexpat
This is what I think    
"They speak, I think this is such an interested post and excellent questions.
I think in a relationship where your heart and spirit connect, the chemistry and connections are all there. That comes from really loving someone. I loved my husband for a long time, many years. I was so excited to spend time with me. When he paid me a compliment, I thought about it the whole day. I reread his letters and would really look foward to time spent together. Especially, romantic times, like going to a favorite restaurant. A walk in a beautiful forest in the fall. Taht is what I usually asked for my birthday,was a whole day just the two of us. I think he never realised just how I loved him. In the good moments, (when I think he was sober), I was excited about sharing spiritual stuff, a good talk, a learned principle, etc,..
In the first few years of our marriage, I looked foward every evening to the time spent just the two of us. These moments with the years dwindled and almost disappeared as he was engrossed in his addiction. So, our relationship never was able to blossom. But I know from the way I felt, that with real intimacy, comes true love, it is everything. It is patience, longsuffering, patience, charity, seeing the best in each other, being there for each other, building things together, achieving success together, being kind, uplifting one another, all those things... but it also comes with great magic and connection.. This person, who is so good to you, is the most wonderful and beautiful person on earth... When you are grateful like that and see the best, the magic is there.... and from what I hear.. it carry's on trough the bedroom. You can only make love, when you truly love that person and your souls and hearts touches.
They speak, you did run after the wrong things, that was a lie Satan fed you. He presented you with a beautiful apple, it looked so shiny and great on the outside but was full of worm. Where as the Lord presents us iwth apples that are not as flashy, but they taste so sweet and are able to fill our souls and our lives. If you do not know how to distinguish between the different apples, you will make that mystake, if you somehow integrated in your brain when you where wrong,t hat the shinier one were the best. Then, it is an endless cycle of always reaching for what is bad for you, always eating worms, your soul and body and mind get sick.. and you just do not know why... You have started to realize that you are looking for happiness in the wrong place, you are making the changes, but it is hard, your brain identifies the shiny with the sweet taste ... but as you make those changes and look for happiness in the right places... you will find it.
The happiest people are the happily married ones....
cheers and good luck on your recovery... you have come very far"... I am proud of you"
posted at 16:18:00 on June 28, 2011 by crushed
Excellent question    
"It is hard for me to talk about this, but I am grateful that you are asking because it makes me ask questions of my own.

As a loved one of an addict, I wonder if what I felt was just one sided now that things have really fallen apart...but I remember feelings so intense and so pure and so exciting...

I think that they were real. At least they were real for me. Though the down side is that maybe they weren't there for my husband like I thought they were. At the time, I thought it was a shared experience and that is so much of what makes it magical. I hope that they were real for him also. But the upside is that means that if he recovers that the intensity can only increase from what I felt previously if he joins me in the type of affection that comes when addiction has no place in our relationship.

What I kind of hear you asking is "Is there real FIRE and PASSION to a pure relationship?" Correct me if I am wrong on that. I don't want to get lost in semantics over the words used, but I have felt romance in a sense of such total intensity that it surpassed anything my mind had ever imagined before I got married. That intensity was reflected in the physical relationship but that was just a natural extension of the feeling and not at it's core at all. I believe that is what Heavenly Father wants for us.

True romance is based in the Spirit. I personally believe that all aspects of a celestial marriage are sanctified by the Holy Ghost and romance is no different. That doesn't mean that a celestial marriage is uptight or prude or 'boring'. Exactly the opposite. It is a relationship that connects on a physical, mental, emotional AND spiritual level all at the same time. Not just one of those areas.

I appreciate you blogging about this...it makes me remember the beautiful times in my marriage..."
posted at 22:00:29 on June 28, 2011 by maddy
I really, really like this topic    
"I'm just a kid in the back row on this discussion... but man.. it's the class I NEED to take right now in my life... seems like there are 20 different ways to comment on this.

It seems easy to say what LOVE ISN'T... (porn, addiction,etc..) but to really say what LOVE is.. Intimacy... that's hard.. because I have soooo few really great examples.

I have been thinking about the new testament scripture...
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church

and feel like it's a calling to me to really BE DIFFERENT... than what is expected. By nature of my recovery process I AM different already (I just don't do certain things, can't do certain things)... and so I feel like I'm learning how to LOVE in a different way than I've ever been taught. I'm trying to learn how to LOVE by the virtues of the Priesthood (does not seek to cover up sins, or abuse authority, patient, meek, long suffering, gentle, etc... ) . rather than try to emulate the Hollywood virtues (elusive, mysterious, wealthy, confident, etc...)

It reminds me that I need to daily take up my cross... and find wholeness with Christ and noone else... I feel like for LOVE to truly exist (in all of it's amazing ways) I really need to learn how to channel this love ( to receive it from God) as the potential head of the household... and then use this love/Grace (whatever you want to call it) to LOVE my family/friends/etc....

Vine and the brances types of thinking.

this seems to be different than the 50/50 type of relationship... where man and the woman are playing power games... creating momentary sparks... and fleeting pleasure... based on their ability to enhance themselves as a sex object OR a success object.

We are so much more... all of us... and have so many lovable qualities/gifts/talents/virtues.

By putting Christ First, woman second, all I can hope for is that spiritual attraction will spill over into romantic attraction. I can live with a less rocky romantic life... if I have stable spiritual life.. thats a deal with GOD I made.

and the good news for me.. is that I've been finding myself increasingly attracted (turned on) by GOOD people...
Healthy attraction (Light attracts light) seems to be a big blessing... in the larger scope of things...

may God bless us all with all the LOVE we need."
posted at 01:42:19 on June 29, 2011 by gracefull


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"Lucifer will do all in his power to keep you captive. You are familiar with his strategy. He whispers: “No one will ever know.” “Just one more time.” “You can’t change; you have tried before and failed.” “It’s too late; you’ve gone too far.” Don’t let him discourage you. When you take the path that climbs, that harder path of the Savior, there are rewards along the way. When you do something right, when you resist temptation, when you meet a goal, you will feel very good about it. It is a very different kind of feeling than you have when you violate commandments—an altogether different feeling. It brings a measure of peace and comfort and provides encouragement to press on. "

— Richard G. Scott

General Conference May 1990