Please help me...i'm tired of it
By scottm
1/14/2007 2:31:52 AM
This is probably a much echoed message, but I need help. Unfortunately I started looking at porn at the age of 13 and have tried countless amounts of time to stop the urge with no success. I'm not almost 23. Last year I fell in love with a girl and told her openly that I had looked at it before. I erased all that I had on my computer in front of her and told her, and myself, I was done because I loved her so much. One month later I was looking it up again. I tried so many times to fight it while we were together. We both were doing drugs and alcohol as well, but we knew our ultimate goal was to stop one day. We moved in with eachother, and after life had hassled us a little bit we decided to quit everything - this was on May 10th of 2006. Again I said to myself no more, and actually did well for a few months. We ended up getting married with the goal of being wed in the temple, and I was good until August.

Ever since then it's been a two month free of it, and one week on event. We finally got settled just barely in a good ward, and we're supposed to talk to the bishop soon. She's asked me here and there if it's hard not doing it anymore, and painfully all I reply is no. My heart aches every time I look at her beautiful face. I'm scared to lose her. She has anxiety, and just got a new job which is mainly commission, and I'm scared if I tell her right now she won't keep her focus straight, and that she'll always be worried about me instead of on her job. I know Heavenly Father is there, but I feel only numbness and guilt. How do I tell her? What do I say? How do I throw this demon from my mind and soul and come to feel peace again? I feel hopeless and extreme. I've tried all that I can think of and know that I can't do it alone. Will someone please help me, or atleast head me in the right direction?


I know how you feel    
"I know all too well how you feel.

What I had to do in the end is tell the complete and honest truth no matter how scared I was of being rejected. I thought those same things about my wife. I had told her so many times of slip-ups that I was sure she would leave me. But I finally found that being honest and getting help to overcome my addiction was more important than losing my wife. Sometimes that fear attempts to creep in again, telling me that she will still leave me and that she is disgusted with who I am but that is Satan's trick to get me to return to my addiction.

I know how you feel. I knew I had to stop but I didn't know how. Everything I tried did not work. UNTIL I resolved to tell my wife about my last relapse and to go to an addiction recovery meeting. Everthing changed once I admitted I was an addict and started to get help by turning to the Savior and others.

Some things that helped me:
Go to addiction recovery meetings
Get an addiction recovery manual and work the 12 steps
Pray as hard as you can
Get a priesthood blessing
Talk to your bishop on a regular basis
Check in with your wife every day
Resolve to tell the complete and honest truth, no matter what"
posted at 11:19:45 on January 14, 2007 by doanair
You can do it    
"Doanair made some great points. The church's Addiction Recovery Manual (the 12 steps) is great, especially when coupled with the recovery meetings. That was probably the biggest thing for me. I was consistently amazed at how well the words in the manual described me, and how much strength I gained from the commonality I had with others in the meetings. There are so many points in that manual that helped me immensely; one quote I will mention: "People say individuals finally become willing to abstain when the pain of the problem becomes worse than the pain of the solution." That was very profound to me. It was very painful talking to my wife, deciding to attend the meetings, talking to my bishop, and in short, finally becoming willing to do ANYthing and EVERYthing necessary the Lord required. Like you, I was sick of it, and the pain of the problem became worse than my anticipated pain of the what I knew the solution to be, but was too afraid to embrace.

Another important help for me was journaling, and this site played a big part. Writing down my thoughts so often helped me clarify what I was really thinking and feeling, and often helped me remember my goals and true desires, particularly in times of temptation.

Donair already mentioned honesty, but I think it's worth repeating. You have to be honest with yourself, and your wife, no matter what.

One last quote from the Pres. Benson (also in the Addiction Recovery manual):
"The Lord works from the inside out. The world
works from the outside in. The world would take
people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out
of people, and then they take themselves out of the
slums. The world would mold men by changing their
environment. Christ changes men, who then change
their environment. The world would shape human
behavior, but Christ can change human nature. . . ."

Have faith in the power of the atonement to change you. I've learned that while I might be able to change my behavior temporarily, maybe even for a long time, only Christ can truly change my nature (Mosiah 3:19), and take away not just the sinful behavior, but the sinful desire itself."
posted at 21:55:36 on January 14, 2007 by josh
Focus on you    
"I know how you feel. It seems like these problems are really overwhelming. We feel powerless because we feel like we are having to take responsibility for not just our own happiness but everyone in our world's happiness. If we screw up then, like dominoes, we will ruin life for everybody. Thinking this way makes this addiction impossibly heavy. We get obsessed with changing the world then give up and relapse when we get too tired to hold it up on our own.

Ironically, focusing on yourself - despite what others may think or feel - is the only way that you can put this into perspective and begin to heal for both you AND YOUR WIFE. You can't control what she will say or feel - not now or ever. When you slip up your wife might choose to leave. You can't control that. But you can focus on you getting better. When you decide that you are ready to change and when that change is most important to you, like DOANAIR said above, the problem becomes manageable because it only involves what you can control - YOUR choices and your relationship with the Savior.

Surprisingly, for me at least, my wife is so much happier with me focusing on me. She calls it "honoring yourself" and so far, it has brought her more peace than before when I was so afraid of hurting her. She respects me more for my willingness to do whatever it takes and she wants to be with me more as a result.

Good luck. I echo the counsel above - go to recovery meetings and work the 12 steps. Start there. You'll find support and courage to start to heal. We're all fellow travellers on this road and there are many of us here walking this path with you. You aren't alone."
posted at 10:02:24 on January 15, 2007 by matt2
A Wife's Point of View    
"Hi, this is Andie. I just can't log in on this computer.

I understand that you are probably petrified of what your wife will do and how it may affect her ability to work and think straight. I might be wrong, but maybe you are trying to use your wife's projected mental condition and how it will subsequently supposedly affect her work as an excuse not to tell her right now...just a thought.

I want to tell you how I felt as a wife in a similar situation. My husband told me that he had a struggle with porn also since he was very young, but that he was trying hard to do the right thing and not look at it anymore. At the time I had no idea that it would be so difficult for him to leave it alone. I thought that what he was really saying was, "Now that I've met you I realize that I don't need porn anymore and I'm not going to look at it anymore because I know it's wrong and I want you to be happy." I was so naive, and perhaps he was too, to think that just because we got married and just because he wanted to be better that all of a sudden he would just be able to leave porn alone. It's like believing you can scale a 1000ft rock face with no climbing equipment and no harness. (There are a lot of implications for this analogy).
Sorry I'm rambling on, so to get to the point...of course he failed. When he first told me I was shocked and hurt. But you know something? I already knew. I did. I knew that something wasn't right. I knew that he wasn't telling me everything. I sensed when there were days that he didn't feel well because he was guilty about the things he had done. It's that intuition that women have, and there's no way of getting around that. So, If I could give you any advice it would be this:
1) She's going to be hurt, at this point there is NO way you can NOT hurt her. But I promise you this...every day that goes by that you don't tell her, it will compound her hurt even more. There are people on this site who didn't tell their wives for YEARS!. YEARS!!! Do you know what that translates into? YEARS of lying, deceit, of not even knowing the person you are married to. Some of these wives, they are patient, and they work with their husbands, and I suppose that they forgive them, but as for me, if I was in that situation, it would be my reflex to walk out the door and never look back, because what does it mean to leave someone that you never even knew? You have to tell her and tell her ASAP because every day you wait will compound the hurt. The same applies to if/when you slip up, tell her right away and if nothing else it will at least start to rebuild the trust that you have destroyed. If you read the wives' posts it is clear that what hurts more than their husbands looking at the porn, is to have husbands that lie to them (perhaps because in looking at the porn we realize they were fulfilling some carnal desire, but in lying to us it seems they WERE really trying to hurt us personally).
2) Trying NOT to do something isn't enough, you have to DO things that will improve yourself and your abilities to resist temptation, especially those things that DOANAIR listed.
3) It might seem counterintuitive, but before and after you tell your wife you need to show her affection. She probably won't always return your affection, and she might not always want it, but when my husband has a relapse he seems distant and that hurts as well. Even though he has hurt me I want to feel his love, and when he doesn't hug me or cuddle me, or kiss me I start to feel like he doesn't like me anymore. I know that he just doesn't feel worthy of my love and that is why he is distant, but times like those are when I need to feel his affection the most (not necessarily sexually).

Good luck, I wish you the best."
posted at 11:02:09 on January 21, 2007 by Anonymous
Thanks Andie !    
"I wanted to reply to this plea for help from Scott M sooner, but I only have internet access when I am at work and the past few nights have been too hectic for me to respond, so I appreciate Andie taking the time to give a wife's point of view. This addiction recovery process is very difficult. Scott, I encourage you to talk to your wife ASAP as well. I understand that it is scarey and painful to anticipate disappointing your wife, but it sounds like the two of you have already been through some tough things together. I pray that she will continue to be understanding and willing to work through this with you.

I can tell you that until I was actually confronted with my husband's pornography problem, I honestly was a crusader for the fact that I would walk if I ever found out this dark secret about MY own husband. Now after knowing about it for almost a year I am glad to say that I am still with him. It has been some of the hardest things we have ever been through in our marriage. I honestly never thought that I could do it, but I have learned a whole lot about the healing power of the Atonement --not only for the sinner, but for the sinned against. I have experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows in the past year. This process is just that---- a process. I don't think that any of us will really be able to say that we have completely arrived. it is just a road that we have to take little leaps of faith as we can, and then if we fall we have to have the determination to pick ourselves up and brush off the dirt and try again. When we stop trying to overcome this, Satan wins. He wants you to be scared to talk to your wife, because then you will continue to find excuses to rid your life of this problem. He only finds happiness when we allow him to make us unhappy.

I know that as you begin to take the steps that you need to to clear your life of this addiction, you will be blessed. --Satan won't stop trying to drag you down, but As you take the steps and show the Lord that you are serious about it, you will feel His spirit return and you will feel fortified to move forward. Surround your heart and mind with spiritual things so that you have them strongly in place as you go forward .

Good Luck, --all of our prayers are with you. "
posted at 02:57:34 on January 22, 2007 by achar
"My husband also started looking at porn when has was 13-ish. For him it is giving up what has been constant in his life. It is a challenge. My husband also thought if he got married his desire for porn would go away. We were naive about how strong his addiction really was.

Just to give you hope… This weekend my husband relapsed. He didn’t wait to tell me. Right then he called me and told me what he had done. In the past, if he told me, it was days, weeks, and months after the fact. When he finally decided to tell me I had to deal not only with the relapse but the dishonesty that accompanied it. Usually it was more than one relapse and the “what counts” stuff as well. Over time and a lot of hard work relapse has become a time where we refocus together. It is no longer him fighting alone but us fighting together. It is not EASY work but it is so worth it. There are lots of tears, heartache, disappointment, frustration, depression etc. Not just for me but for him also. From experience (and a lot of it) it is substantially easier when he is upfront.

The 12 step program was a life saver for me. Working out my feelings and being with other women who also faced the same challenge gave me strength. I did not feel alone. There are other programs for couples through LDS Family Services. They have a group session that works on both marriage and porn addiction. Two professional counselors run it. It takes about 10 weeks.

The atonement is an amazing gift. Even facing multiple relapse he can bring peace, comfort, strength and more. I have felt it. I know it. If you turn to him he will help. I testify of that. "
posted at 11:52:11 on January 22, 2007 by Anonymous
What program is that?    
"Anonymous above wrote,
"There are other programs for couples through LDS Family Services. They have a group session that works on both marriage and porn addiction. Two professional counselors run it. It takes about 10 weeks."

What is this program? I've not heard of it. Is it offered throughout the Church?"
posted at 08:32:27 on January 24, 2007 by matt2
"We also went through this course. I am not sure if it is offered throughout the church. I am sure the Family Services in your area would have information about the class. That's where I would start."
posted at 17:02:33 on January 25, 2007 by Danielle o
You Are SO Not Alone    
"I'm sure your story is going to be similar to many stories on here. And the struggle to "be good," is one that I'm sure all of us addicts (and recovering addicts) share. I know that my struggles are so intense that sometimes I think I need to just give up and accept how bad I am. IT'S A LIE. Don't listen to those temptations, if you have them.

Other respondents are right. But in addition to focusing on you, focus on the Savior. Give the problem to Him. He will repair you if you let Him. Sometimes it's not easy to figure out exactly how to "give it to Him," but my advice is to figure it out. Give it to Him. The atonement is infinite. It is powerful. It counts for you and me and all of us. It's easy to think we've "done too much." But let me reiterate: THE ATONEMENT COUNTS FOR YOU, TOO. YOU. YOU!

In case there is any question: You are not the "exception" to the atonement. There are no exceptions. The Savior will help you, forgive you, strengthen you.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with the: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

If you relapse. If you stumble along the way. Remember this scripture. God will never forsake. We do the wrong things that we do, but His "hand is outstretched still." You can do it, but you cannot do it alone. Nevertheless you CAN do it."
posted at 13:22:59 on February 5, 2007 by FightingIt
Tell Her Sooner than Later    
"As a wife who just found out my husband has spent more than an hour looking at p-rn, a year ago, I am more upset with him for waiting so long to tell me, then the act itself. Tell her, the longer you wait, the more she will doubt herself and your past relationship"
posted at 14:47:53 on March 12, 2007 by Anonymous

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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