How good is good enough??
By Warrior
10/1/2011 2:01:20 PM
I am brand new to this site. Signed up after the first session of conference. I have been bothered by a this question a long time and I needed some feedback. So in a safe environment and with a prayer before logging, I googled how people, especially women view this.
My story; addict for a long time. The usual story. Since I was 12/13. Went through bishops growing up. Went through great sobriety and earned a testimony to go on mission. Lost battles all through mission and battles since. I've been home 5.5 years now. I have been seeing therapists for past 3 years. I began 12 step at that time but never went all the way through. I am working on getting the recommend back.
My longest relationship is 2 months. I sabotage every one. I am charismatic and girls have enjoyed dating me. I have NEVER touched or advanced on a girl inappropiately. (in fact, I have only kissed one girl in my life, and only because she begged me too :)
I live a very disciplined lifestyle. No media. No certain sites. Internet in public areas. I have 15 alarms that go off on my phone a day that remind me to pray. I modify/monitor mood shifts. I go to bed at 1030 and get up at 515 everyday. Since emotinonal attachments have been a waste of time/ energy I focus on school, career, physical ability. I graduated with excellent grades a year ago. I have a full-time career making good salary. I did 3 triathlons this summer and excelled.

I am still an addict. I battle daily. I don't always win. I know the stories of women. I know what it does. I saw what it did to my mom for 10 years of marital strife. I would just as well live like a monk the rest of my mortality and contribute to the world as a single man in other ways, but the Prophet says I should get married. :(

How good is good enough?? I can't take what I have done back. I will fight to the death with the Demon. I will win one day at a time.

But what would a woman expect?? Fair enough you want someone righteous. Fair enough you want someone strong with zero issues.
Should I go a year clean before my next first date?? Should I go through the 12 step 10 times first?? My current policy is two dates are okay, maybe a third, but if I act out once, fourth down....i punt. I went out with this really cute, sweet girl recently but after reading some of this....I am punting her too. Better now then before she gets attached.

Any feedback?? I don't care how brutal you want to reply. I have learned to take it.


Your promise?    
"You are giving away your promise to addiction. You are doing everything to be clear of this addiction except a couple of very important, steps.(no pun intended). Yes warrior you are not prepared for your battle. You have not finished your training for this marathon against addiction. What is good enough! RECOVERY! Attending 12 step meetings regularly, ARP, PASG, SAA, having a sponsor. Getting clean and staying clean. That is what is good enough. You cannot cover addiction with mighty service, awards, money, or position.

When you have a virtual mistress or sex with self there is little need for a help meet.

You are giving your most powerful possession away! You can stop it though.

Instead of taking a weekend for a triathlon, check out Dr. Doug Weiss. Take a 3day intensive instead. Shock therapy for SA, (my analogy). It seems to me you are the kind of guy that goes after the best. If you are serious about wanting to rid yourself of this addiction put you money and time into what I have experienced to be the best program to successfully come in 1 st place.

I pray you will consider this advice and pray. The Lord will guide you! You are to valuable to loose.

That is what a woman needs, that is what a wife needs.......what is ENOUGH.....Recovery shown by your commitment to and actions taken and adhered to.

Love and prayers to you...."
posted at 16:52:19 on October 1, 2011 by Hero
"Do not forget HONESTY! With the Lord, with yourself and whom ever you bring into your life."
posted at 16:55:20 on October 1, 2011 by Hero
good advice    
"thanks Hero. i probably sound really proud in this article. Some fancy pants guy who thinks he can win on merits alone. I agree with you on the true recovery thing. i don't really know what that is. I have studied and studied the atonement and yet I fail to truly understand it. I am not really sure what God will do. I feel like I have to do it all myself.

Tomorrow I am going to go to 12 step. I used to go alot more. I am going to do the steps this fall. that is my goal the next month. I seek the deeper transformation. Other people talk about it so I will just have to trust that it works. I might as well. I will live at the highest level of spirituality that I can ever accomplish. God will simply have to help make up the difference.

And true on the honesty. I have only ever confessed to one girl and should handled it well. (maybe bc she is a former addict, which I didn't know, and has more issues than me). I never let anyone else close enough to find out. I have sworn that I will not get serious with someone unless they know exactly where I am at with recovery. Looks like it will be a bit longer until Im ready for that...."
posted at 18:46:58 on October 1, 2011 by warrior
My opinion,    
"I've actually been through a lot of what you're going through. At the point when I was doing best with my addiction, I was also struggling a lot with whether or not I should try to date and get in a relationship.

What I discovered was that most girls in the church expect men to be clean, but they understand if men have problems as long as they are honest about it and trying to improve. I think you are selling yourself short by avoiding relationships, and it's also possible that you're breaking girls hearts by not showing interest in them after the first couple dates.

I would imagine that there are loads of young single LDS women who would enjoy being with a well educated, athletic, recovering addict."
posted at 18:49:56 on October 1, 2011 by ETTE
my thoughts,    
"thanks ETTE, yes, sadly I have hurt quite a few girls. several. I usually chat less and less or just bail without any reason that they know. It is rather annoying. I feel super bad about that. I find it easier to just be the good "guy friend" but that complicates things too. I usually just end up switching singles wards. I've been to 8 different ones since i've been home. My therapist says that I need to give the girl a chance to decide for themselves. I always feel like they don't know what they are getting into. but I suppose that isn't fair. I read way too many blogs about women who are completely ruined by an addict. It breaks my heart. I don't want my wife having to go to therapy or support groups to deal with my addiction. Obviously, eventually some girl will know our addiction, she will know what is at stake, still fall in love with in love with us, and still decide to be eternally sealed to us. It seems so incredibly intense to me. The idea of having some girl attached to me sends me into an anxiety attack.

I want to do better first. There are a number of measures that I really haven't put my heart/soul into. Like the 12 step. I got tired of hearing the stories of married guys explaining how they got kicked out of the house or how devastated their wife is. Forget that!"
posted at 21:39:25 on October 1, 2011 by warrior
Walls up and Giving your Heart    

I admire you so much for your kind heart. You care so much for the wives on this site, and that make you a great catch for the right young lady.

In your conversation there is one thing missing...What's that you ask?. Giving your whole heart to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It seems like you have given some, even much to Him, but, I think you are holding a piece of yourself. You have the check list down like no other, but so many off us forget the one thing that is the most important thing on our list. And what is that one thing?, That we do give our whole heart, without holding back one bit of it, to the your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Doing that one thing tears down walls like no other thing can.

I am married to amazing man so much like you. Successful, handsome hardworking, intelligent, loyal, and everything else on the check list, he also happens to addicted.... And that addiction has caused more pain and destruction in my family than I will relate here. Let's just say, it has been a most excellent adventure...sigh...

All along it was not necessarily the Pn & Mast that was the problem. It was that he gave the Lord, and Me everything we asked for. Everything except for the one think we really wanted in the first place,we wanted his heart. He was holding back a part of himself from me and from God. I am guessing he put that barrier in place out of control, fear, and lack of trust.

Almost one year ago, and after attend 12 steps for 6 months, my husband and one of my addict sons we to visit Dr. Douglass Weiss in Colorado for the 3 day intensive, and it was there that my husband learned to give his whole heart to his God and his wife. It was there that he came to the realization that he had so many walls up, he could not let either one of us in.

That has all changed now. He came home a different man. Now, I don't know if that happens for everyone who goes there to learn from Dr. W, but whatever he taught my husband had a profound impact on the love he now freely gives his God, his wife, & his children.

I think you may have a similar problem, only you are better off because you are not married yet. You can start fresh and clean. Will you be perfect as a husband? well, from the likes of the priesthood talks I have been listening to in recent years, maybe not. But you will be the best husband you can, and then the Atonement covers the rest.

Once you give your WHOLE HEART to the Lord, you will be then completely fee to share that same love with a beautiful forever bride to be.

I love my imperfect, addicted husband, I always have loved him. But what is so great now is that he loves me back just as deeply. And..... he is not afraid to be humble and take all of the walls down, and show me! It is a beautiful place to be and a true miracle in my life

You are an amazing son of a Heavenly King, Now let's get moving so you can share all that you have with the Lord and a sweet wife to be :)

posted at 09:11:17 on October 2, 2011 by angelmom
Listen to Angel    
"She is very wise and I think she is giving good counsel here. When I first read your post, I wanted to respond, but didn't know how to put into words what my thoughts were. I get what you are saying, and have a lot of respect and compassion for your perspectives, but there was something...well, off that I just felt was missing. Everything you said seemed to be in the intent to do righteous things, but in the end Angel defined it perfectly. I am not saying this is missing in your heart, but Christ was missing in your post and in the question you asked. He is the answer here. Don't worry about marriage or how good you have to be before you get married. Just focus on Him. The rest will fall in line. If your heart is focused on Him then love and relationships align in beautiful ways. Follow the Spirit, nuff said.

I will add though that I commend you for not getting into a serious relationship until you have real sobriety. This addiction becomes much harder for 99% of men after they get married. Take recovery very seriously, because if you are not on a very solid foundation, it is too easy to fall.

Good luck and welcome to the site."
posted at 19:08:57 on October 2, 2011 by maddy
right on the money    
"Wow, you guys are super in tune. All through conference the same thought came to me as well....I don't fully understand the atonement. i want recovery to be like training for a race or getting an A in a class. Just work super hard and diligently and all works. Recovery is a much different dimension. And this is the best advice I have ever gotten from women! Very wise counsel. I will continue to ask questions. There only two women in the world who know of my addiction, my mom and a girl I dated earlier this year. Here is what my mom says, "Im sick. Just sick. Clean the hell up! Damn you. Damn all the men with this addiction." Not a very good topic to discuss. So I simply based life on my own efforts. But tmy efforts just aren't good enough. I don't like that. I don't like NOT being able to accomplish something.

I have so much to learn about relying on God and Christ. I have already sworn an oath that I will not bring this into a relationship. But I want to learn how to love again. I want to love God like you all write. How do I do so?? Where do I start?? I am filled with emotion and tears now writing this. It has been so long since I have allowed someone to love me. I will take the advice and focus on God. The rest will have to work is literally going to take a divine miracle."
posted at 22:21:10 on October 2, 2011 by warrior
"I didn't read most comments so this might have been said. I talked to my bishop about my addiction for a bit. He was very helpful. He concluded by saying I need to look out to date more often. Honestly when you are dating a cool girl you don't get bored or depressed as much which is a good way to get into the mood for pornography. Just try to date girls more often, it brings more focus into the real purpose of that sex drive you are struggling with, which is of course eventually to get married. Girls these days should understand that there are a lot of dudes struggling with this same problem. Its generally not a secret anymore. Don't let fear of her thinking you aren't good enough work against you cause a lot of people are in the same boat"
posted at 11:39:22 on October 4, 2011 by Anonymous
The roots and the source    
"Pornography doesn't just attach to us out of thin air. It grows because it is rooted into something.

Many times, addicts take a weedwacker to the stalk of the problem and cut it down, but it grows back after time. Even if you pull it out by the roots it can have ground to grow again. As long as there is a source for it to grow then it can come back. There are different steps that can happen in addiction recovery and everyone's road is personal. Sometimes, the pornography plant is so full of thorns and tangled weed that we have to cut it down first and then we can get close enough to start digging at the roots. Sometimes we can go straight for the source. It doesn't really matter how, and the MASTER GARDENER, our Savior Jesus Christ will guide our hands...

But what I want to say is each addict has to figure out what the source of pornography is for them. For some, it is low self-esteem, which is in essence, not understanding and therefore not believing in our role as a child of God. For others it is pride, which is enmity for God. For others, it may be abuse from their past that leads to a variety of negative process.

We have to find a way to be like Nephi who said, "give place no more for the enemy of my soul". There is place where pornography grows from. Don't just treat the symptom. Find the source and 1)Let Christ remove it 2)Fill it with righteousness with an eye single to His glory.

Side note: I am so sorry about your mom's reaction. She may have wounds herself or she may just not understand this issue, but my heart goes out to you because that must have been painful.

I always thought of myself of a strong individual. But recently I've come to learn that maybe, just maybe this trial has come into my life and my marriage as a way to teach me to not lean on my own strength. This is so much bigger than I am. I cannot fix it. I cannot even put a dent in it. But what I can do is kneel before my God and cry out in my need for Him. There is more safety and peace and joy there than there ever was in trying to stand on my own two feet. You sound like a strong individual. When this is all said and done and you are healed and pure and whole, you will be able to testify that it was by God's strength and no others that you were able to overcome. You will know for a surety that He saves. He is the only way and the only hope. Addiction recovery leaves no room for self-deception. You cannot fake recovery and think you are the one healing yourself.
That is why the first step of the 12 is: I am powerless over my addiction."
posted at 13:22:13 on October 4, 2011 by maddy

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"In recent years, as I have sung the hymns of the Atonement, it has been with an especially full heart—and also with full voice, when I can continue to sing—lines such as “How great thou art,” “I scarce can take it in,” “To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,” “I stand all amazed,” and “Oh, it is wonderful!”"

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987