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I'm going to break her heart (advice needed)
By begood
1/9/2013 6:51:17 PM
(Background)
I have been married (in the temple) to my best friend for several years. She is near perfect. We have awesome kids and all in all we have a great life. I am religiously active and have been harboring something I should have taken care of properly long ago. And I'd like your advice.
Like most, I was introduced to pornography & self abuse (masterbation) at a young age. A couple years into my marriage, I fell into old habits (pornography & self abuse). I would act out then would go from a couple months up to a year or so between incidences. I have not spoken with my bishop about this issue, I've only tried to repent on my own when I have an incident.
My wife has had multiple friends & family that have just recently divorced due to pornography, and other issues. As we were speaking about their situations, she mentioned that the offender had to confess to their spouse. This had me question if my independent repentance had been in vain. Which brought me here. And with reading other experiences, telling her is the only thing to do.
I made an appointment to speak with the bishop, and will most likely wait till after that to break the awful news to her. So, if anyone has any experience with this extremely sensitive conversation please let me know what are good ideas and perhaps what you thought was a good idea, but it ended up not working. I'm thinking about writing a letter so I can work through my thoughts.

Thanks

Comments:

"Telling her is the only thing to do"    
"Beautiful!
As a wife of an addict, honesty is my #1. U sound like a good dude. Read all you can about Paul. Prayers summer

http://ldsar.com/ViewBlog.aspx?EntryId=7615"
posted at 20:11:17 on January 9, 2013 by Summer
What she needs to know    
"Thanks Summer, that link was good to read.

Does anyone have the link to or list of the things the spouse needs to know? I want to make sure I cover everything. I'm planning on speaking with her tomorrow. The bishop can't meet till Sunday, and I don't want to live a lie anymore. It's not fathomable how I have done almost the worst thing I could do to the love of my life. Anyway, please post the link or list of items she needs to know that was published by the church. Thanks!"
posted at 00:34:08 on January 10, 2013 by begood
church stance    
"I don't think there is any official church stance on what needs to be confessed to a spouse. Even in the addiction recovery manual put out by family services, if I'm not mistaken, I don't think it explicitly out lines what needs to be confessed to a spouse and even then it's not till step 5. Get the SA (sexaholics anonymous) White Book. It has a section to the new comer in the beginning. If you Google sa white book pdf a pdf download is the first link on the list. If was you I'd get my hands on one of those before you tell her. It will help you go about it in the right order.

If you can't read it before you talk to her my only suggestion and I think the gals will agree, I know my wife does, avoid details like the plague. If you've lusted after the woman in porn tell her you've looked at porn. She doesn't need to know you've also lusted after her sister (hypothetically). She doesn't need to know the real reason you burnt her birthday cake is because you were busy looking at porn and forgot it was in the oven. She'll cry ever time she sees a birthday forevermore. She doesn't need to know what even draws you to porn - like what you're attracted to. Stuff like that. She's gonna have her own fight ahead of her and ever detail you tell her creates an emotional trigger she's going to have to deal with. No need to make birthday cakes and sisters an absolutely unnecessary emotional trigger. Ya dig? Even if she asks for details... she doesn't want um. I'm telling ya, if you mess up on telling her unnecessary details you're literally adding years to her recovery based on what I've seen."
posted at 07:45:51 on January 10, 2013 by they_speak
Allow her to share her pain with you    
"Good for you for deciding to tell her. As a wife of a p/m/lust addict my heart breaks for you and for your wife. You both have a very hard road ahead of you.

My advise is to be completely honest with her upfront. Don't let things trickle out over time. tell her what she asks for. You don't have to give the nitty gritty details, but she is going to have questions and you need to validate those. Let her know as sincerely as you can that SHE didn't cause this, that is has NOTHING to do with her. She probably won't believe you, I didn't, but she still needs to hear it. Honor her wishes, if she doesn't want you to touch her, don't, If she doesn't want to sleep in the same room, YOU sleep on the couch. As hard as it is to hear, you are the one that has hurt her and you need to be willing to deal with the consequences of that. Allow her to feel what she is feeling. Pray before you speak with her and ask that the Lord will help you know what to say. He is there for you. Show her that you are committed to fighting of this addiciton with the Lord's help by attending meetings, working the 12 steps, studying, complete transparency with her, etc.

She needs support during this time. If she is like most wives she is going to feel like your whole marriage has been a lie, that she isn't "enough" for you, etc. I would recommend that she attend 12-step support meetings for spouses (S-Anon, PASG, LDS ARP, etc) or study the manual at the very least. There is a great LDS support forum for wives that I would be happy to give you the link to. She needs to know that the Lord is there to help her, to heal, her.

You are more than welcome to give her my email if you would like.

My prayers are with both of you."
posted at 14:21:42 on January 10, 2013 by hopefulwife
Hi again    
"Another link. This one is to the churchs combating pornography website. It has questions a spouse should asked the addicted loved one. Might be a good idea to offer up the information it suggests as questions, if that's what she wants. I'm always impressed by a spouse wanting and following through with being truthful. Don't let the truth trickle in...that is an unnecessary pain she doesn't need. If I think of anything else I will post. You can do this!


http://www.lds.org/topics/pornography/audiences/spouses/what-do-i-do-if-i-discover-my-spouse-has-a-problem-with-pornography?lang=eng"
posted at 15:14:43 on January 10, 2013 by Summer
Just do it    
"Free her - simple as that.

She will heal and so will you - I know it gets better but not for a long time."
posted at 21:23:24 on January 12, 2013 by ruggaexpat
How much    
"That's always a tough thing I feel, because some women are content only knowing a bare minimum and others want to hear more. In general though:

Not important:
The content or what type of porn you watch isn't important (unless it's homosexual or children)

Important:
How many times have you done it (both watching porn and self abuse). How often? When was the last time?
What have you done/are you doing to stop it? What is your plan?

Make a commitment to tell her if it EVER happens again - instantly. She needs to know that you will be honest, it's WAY more important than anything else. No more repenting "on your own." Good luck - and if you already did it - if there's anything else you need to tell her or you feel like you didn't do a full confession to her, fix it now - because it will come up in the future if you don't. It's a rough business but we enlisted ourselves. Good luck!

Also, I'd suggest seeking out a 12-step group and working through the steps on your own so you can discover why you keep falling every few months and become more aware earlier on when signs start happening instead of being caught off guard."
posted at 20:31:34 on January 13, 2013 by recovery.gdo
Good Luck, you are doing the right thing!    
"I was posting similar things on here for the first time nearly a year ago. I was terrified. And in all honesty telling my wife was the worst day of my life...bar none.
But 2012 was the best year of my life so far. I am finding true healing. I am learning so much. She is healing and we are growing closer as a couple. If you haven't read "He restoreth my soul" do, its great. Also, check these out, http://vimeo.com/channels/shamed . They are wonderful videos of hope and enlightenment.

My heart goes out to you and her. It hurts like hell. But it has been 100% worth it.
I wrote her a letter, detailing my whole story from when I was a kid til now. It totally blindsided her. She had no idea. But the fact that all the details were out from the get go and that I was the one that came to her, instead of her catching me, I think has really helped.
Counseling will likely be VITAL to your success and accountability. Be humble.
Be teachable, be patient with yourself and with her.

Again good luck! You are doing the right thing!!!!!!!"
posted at 17:42:52 on January 14, 2013 by WHATTODO2
It is for the best    
"I have found until I tell the proper people (ie my bishop and sponsor). I have a hard time in maintaining my sobriety but when I do I feel committed and ready to go on for the rest of my life."
posted at 17:56:51 on January 15, 2013 by Liberation
Don't tell her    
"I would recommend just not worrying about it. As long as you love your wife and can maintain a healthy sex life, she doesn't need to know if you 'take care of it' occasionally. Millions (billions?) of men who look at porn and masturbate are in extremely happy marriages. My sense, though, is that Mormon women don't tend to handle these things well. The best thing I ever did for my marriage was to stop worrying so much about it and get it over with quickly so I could get back to working, taking care of kids, doing things for my wife, etc. Saves a lot of time when you stop trying to resist."
posted at 13:22:38 on February 6, 2013 by Anonymous
some men    
"Are more comfotable doing it their own way. Others have a higher standard and are more concerned becoming clean before God. You can hide
The truth from her now, but on the other side of this life, perhaps God will give her a Man who honors her how God expects."
posted at 16:12:07 on February 6, 2013 by Anonymous
"Don't tell her" Lol    
"Uh..? he's tried that. And I'm guessing he's tried "to stop worrying so much about it". Hence, the post."
posted at 17:46:25 on February 6, 2013 by Anonymous
"Don't Tell Her" cont.    
"True, it is not easy to stop worrying about it, especially for men who are brought up LDS. But I can testify that it works. I wouldn't be surprised if probably 50-75% of active LDS men under 50 look at porn and masturbate--or at least masturbate--at least once a month. My singles ward bishop once basically told us that if it wasn't interfering with our lives not to come to him to discuss it because he just didn't have time to talk to everyone who was worried about it. That means that 50-75% of LDS men are torturing themselves over something that is extremely common. I just don't see the point. I find it funny that posters here call fulfilling this basic biological drive shared by all men (to masturbate--porn is a different question, I guess) an "addiction.""
posted at 18:23:29 on February 6, 2013 by Anonymous
Who said    
"...they don't look at porn (just jerk off every once in a while)? What do you call destructive patterns of obsessive compulsive thinking and acting out? Do you suppose you're enlightening us with new and progressive thinking (that we haven't all heard a billion times over? Think it's funny that your waisting your time here on an "addiction" blog"
posted at 19:02:25 on February 6, 2013 by Anonymous
and so Esau lost the birthright    
"When he decided that his bodily urges were more important than "all that the Father hath," Esau traded his birthright for some red pottage.

Mr. Anonymous would say, "Good trade."

Is it really that important to overcome masturbation?

I guess I don't know for 100% sure, but I don't want to find out that I gave up all that the Father hath for some self sex.

Mr. Anonymous is just as worried about his indulging as the rest of us, but doesn't want to change and needs to assuage his conscience. That's why he's trolling this site trying to upset people with more integrity then himself and hoping one might agree with him and justify his thinking."
posted at 23:18:07 on February 6, 2013 by beclean
I'm being serious    
"I'm sorry that you feel I am trolling. I do feel like this site is dominated by one point of view. I don't think it is trolling to ask whether the assumptions shared by most of the posters might be reexamined. Your own personal history and that of most of the posters on this board suggests that this is a losing battle. How long have you been trying to stop? I wish we could check in after twenty years to see if you've had any success or if you have just made yourself and the people around you miserable through your perpetual guilt. The fact that people have *divorced* because of pornography/masturbation boggles my mind. Doesn't that suggest that this issue is a little bit overblown?"
posted at 10:50:13 on February 8, 2013 by Anonymous
why are you here?    
"All 3 years of high school and into college I smoked over a pack of cigarettes a day. Ya know how I quit? I stopped doing it, thinking about it, and worrying about it. I was never an addict that I can tell.

As for lust when I tried to quit doing it, thinking about it, and worrying about it (and quit talking about it with my wife to serve the purpose of not thinking/worrying about it) I went from the extremely common use of pornography/mastubation to the extreme use of strippers and prostitutes. Although I have no proof that the correlation necessarily equates to causation I beleive it was part of the recipe for disaster. Because, unlike tobacco i was addicted to lust. The Same program will not produce the same results. So, powerful as your testimony may be it falls flat with me personally.

However, no one in their right mind here (I don't think) will disagree that our obsessive worrying about it IS part of the problem. If not the entire problem. And i agree divorce over "just pornography" is extreme (although I don't beleive anyone gets divorced over just that they have other problems - even if just ignorance). BUT just turning a blind eye to it and moving on with your life is not the right prescription for an addict. Sorry doctor, you're wrong. We have chronic migraines. Quit offering us baby asprin. It's kind of annoying."
posted at 12:58:13 on February 8, 2013 by they_speak
...p.s.    
"If this isn't a problem for you why have you apparently invested enough of your time to know beclean's history and many of the rest of the posters? Why are you...worrying about it (snide innuendo I know but really, unless you're doing it for some college research paper or something)?"
posted at 13:31:44 on February 8, 2013 by they_speak
Why?    
"I guess mainly I'm taking the time to comment because I wish someone would have told me when I was younger. My life would have been so much better if I had taken the more healthy and reasonable approach to the topic of masturbation in my teens and twenties (as I do now). Don't get me wrong, I do think it is possible to become "addicted" to porn, but it doesn't seem like that's what we're talking about here--many many hours per week, bankrupting yourself, inability to maintain health sexual relations with your wife, promiscuity etc. are generally associated with sexual addiction.

I'm sorry that porn and masturbation lead to strippers and prostitutes in your case, They Speak, but I can tell you that's not the case for everyone. I, personally, have been "indulging" for many years and it has not sparked an interest in strippers, prostitutes, affairs, etc. (maybe because I'm very happy in my marriage, sexually and otherwise).

Anyway, I know that I can only speak from my experience , but I just want people on this board to know that there are many many men who live happy, well-adjusted lives (including family and spirituality) that include porn and masturbation in moderation."
posted at 14:24:42 on February 8, 2013 by Anonymous
so what brought you here?    
"You just casually thought one day "hey, I wonder if there is an lds addiction recovery forum where other non addicts like me congregate to freak out about common and normal things creating and compounding their problems? Maybe I can help."? I guess I just don't understand.

I get that not everyone follows my path. Just like not everyone who smokes a cigarette occasionally (or in high school) will start and continue smoking until they get esophageal cancer and have to talk through an electronic voice box. But my guess is most people here are here because it's become distructive on a level they are not comfortable with. And if where Begood is at is no big deal (in spite of church doctrine culture and teaching) then why shouldn't he tell his wife? I still think your original advice doesn't really follow the premise. If it's all good then who cares? Why not tell?"
posted at 16:59:28 on February 8, 2013 by they_speak
if you cant tell your wife who you really are, you're not a man    
"Forever Trying to stop? Have I had Any success? Make myself and people around me miserable? Do I suffer from Perpetual guilt?

Dear Esau (since you do not name yourself),

Maybe I haven't made my personal story clear enough...but you don't know me at all.

Currently, I am clean. The past 6+ years have been the best, most successful, cleanest years of my life, and I feel closer to God than I ever have. I wouldn't change it for anything. I am happy, not miserable. I have no guilt and nothing to be guilty of. My wife knows me 100% through and through. She knows everything there is to know, and we are very happy. (She voluntarily started rubbing my feet while I was writing this.) Does your wife know you? Are you guilt ridden? Don't project yourself on me. I am not guilt ridden.

There is truth mingled into your words. I have argued before that we are too hard on ourselves. We are not perfect. No one expects perfection of us, and we should not expect it of ourselves. Only Christ can make us perfect. When we mess up, we must get back up and move on. I recommend not starting the clean count overc when we fail, just being honest and chalking it up as one bad day against dozens, hundreds, or thousands of good days. We all make mistakes and lose some battles. We need to worry less about our failures and let Jesus take care of them for us.

But the day we say we don't care any more, the day we decide we are going to live a life of selfish lust without caring what that filth does to our minds, our Spirit, our marriage, our wife, our children, our home, etc., is the day we lose our birthright, our soul, and the people most dear to us. We cannot keep our sins to ourselves permanently. All hidden things will be revealed, and if we have not been honest about who we are with those closest to us, our wives and children, we may be shocked to hear them echo the Savior when he says, "Depart from me. I never knew you."

My wife knows me and loves me anyway. Does your wife love the real you, or someone you invented for her? I truly hope you are honest with her."
posted at 01:10:36 on February 9, 2013 by beclean
been thinking about this    
"You may be right, Esau. Your "moderate use" of porn and masturbation is probably not going to ruin your marriage by itself, especially if you manage to eventually wean yourself off the stuff by simply losing interest.

But your encouragement towards personal dishonesty and secrecy reveals an unfortunate lack of integrity which, without correction, will eventually end your marriage (in this life or the next).

That's what has been worrying me.

But, I can understand honesty is difficult for the majority of people. Many problems would be solved if people would openly and honestly admit they aren't perfect, and they need help. But our individual pride and aspirations make that very difficult."
posted at 21:23:50 on February 10, 2013 by beclean
Sorry, should have clarified...    
"...my wife actually knows. "Sometimes its easier for everyone if you just 'take care of it'" is a funny quote from her. Maybe your wife will also take it well and "the conversation" won't have any long-term repercussions on how you interact. Sorry for presuming that she would not. I was going on your initial post which suggested that she took the issue pretty seriously as well as my experience with mormon women in general who often seem to think porn and masturbation are worse than almost anything else. Based on knowing and interacting with many mormon women over the years, I can see it being a pretty big deal for a long time in your relationship. I guess I'm lucky that my wife understands the male brain better than most and is pretty pragmatic. Also, even though she has a pretty strong libido, I think she prefers it if she only has to have sex/give handjob/other relief a couple times a week instead of five. I can't blame her. Anyway, every couple has to work things out for themselves, I guess. Only you can decide how much drama there will be and whether it will be worth it. Again, sorry for presuming too much, though, to be fair, you guys are pretty quick to presume a lot about me based on some of these posts over the weekend."
posted at 13:17:59 on February 11, 2013 by Anonymous
so, what brought you here?    
"I echo They Speak.

Sorry for false presumptions.

BTW, something you said made me want to claritlfy: BeGood and BeClean are two different authors. I did not author this thread."
posted at 19:27:22 on February 11, 2013 by beclean
not to be    
"... too presumptuous, but by the way you write it makes me wonder if you are active in the church (I'm not judging - Nether am I nor am I a member). It doesn't really matter except it would explain how you seem to gracefully take the teachings of the brothern (and Jesus for that matter) about pornography with a grain of salt. You're giving advice that seems to require an according attitude. And frankly i don't think most seriously believing members could adopt that attitude and still say they take Jesus at his word. In my opinion nothing Christ teaches is a "reasonable approach" to any matter of life. He's a radical dude. And I've found no reliable evidence that porn is "healthy". Although i think you were taking more about how we respond to indulging and I'll give you that a true addicts response to acting out is the most unhealthy thing in the world and I'm not convinced the explicit teachings of Jesus or other wise are conducive to a healthier response from an addict. So in that we may agree I don't know. Anyway, I digress. Just the way you talk made me wonder. For example you talk about Mormon women almost as if you're wife is not one. Or not like the rest of them perhaps? Anyway, all this just lends itself more to my curiosity about what brought you here and where you are coming from both as it applies to lust and the teachings of the church"
posted at 14:33:57 on February 12, 2013 by Anonymous
^ That's me    
"Don't why it posted anonymous I logged in I thought"
posted at 14:36:24 on February 12, 2013 by they_speak
by the way    
"Not that I would imply inactivity in the church or religion is necessarily indicative of a lack of spirituality or true connection with God. You indicated you feel confident about your level of spirituality and I trust that and take you at your word. I'm just trying to understand."
posted at 14:45:19 on February 12, 2013 by they_speak
.    
"I thought one of the goals of life is to bring our body into submission of our spirit."
posted at 17:30:51 on February 12, 2013 by Anonymous
Lets keep it simple    
"Cherish your wife and don't have any other thoughts that exclude her. Enough said."
posted at 21:37:10 on February 13, 2013 by ruggaexpat
amen, Rugga. Amen.    
"Good to see you, friend. Hope things are OK at home."
posted at 01:51:01 on February 14, 2013 by beclean
Why do it by yourself?    
"Gee, why don't you have little wifey give you hand jobs? Maybe the both of you can explore new and exciting experiences together. Get a 'blue' movie and watch it together, late at night when the kids are asleep. As you watch the movie, make your move. See how she reacts. I will bet you dollars to do-nuts, she will be wet and ready. Stop sitting infront of your laptop, watching 'yougizz' or youporn and get little "Molly Mormon" involved."
posted at 18:44:10 on February 14, 2013 by Anonymous
^ Fail    
posted at 19:18:54 on February 14, 2013 by they_speak
SHE KNOWS    
"she already knows as a wife of an addict ,, trust me she knowa"
posted at 12:26:27 on February 15, 2013 by Anonymous
What about what Jesus said anonymous    
"I think you do not belong in this forum. Here in this forum are good men trying to overcome their weaknesses and get closer to God and follow Jesus. He said: He that lusted after another women has commited adultery in his heart. Adultery is a grievous sin in our religion. Here are men who do not need the world point of view of this addiction. I am so glad my husband is one of those good man who has repented and is committed to follow our saviour. He has given our family a chance to survive and our marriage a chance for real love and intimacy. What a betrayal of everything that is honest, virtuous and good in life if my husband was to ever invite that filth back into our lives, where we strive to rear daughters of GOd with a respect and honor for their bodies and themselves. Where Sex and love are one and not separate. Where passion and purity go together.
I do not have an account so I have to sign anonymous. But good luck to all of you who are trying so hard. I know the Saviour is aware of your struggles and he will bless you. You will Win the fight."
posted at 21:07:07 on February 19, 2013 by Anonymous
Dude . . . tell her.    
"As a girlfriend of an addict, it brings you both down if you let this go on. Tell her so you can fight it together. There's a strength in working as a team to accomplish a degrading, self-serving habit."
posted at 00:10:05 on May 3, 2013 by Anonymous
Dude . . . tell her.    
"As a girlfriend of an addict, it brings you both down if you let this go on. Tell her so you can fight it together. There's a strength in working as a team to accomplish a degrading, self-serving habit."
posted at 00:12:52 on May 3, 2013 by Anonymous
How'd the talk go?    
"Wondering how it went."
posted at 20:48:13 on May 3, 2013 by dstanley


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