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Scared and Escalating
By TimeToStop
1/27/2014 6:21:41 AM
So this is my first time on here. I have looked up a LDS PASG meeting in my area and I am planning on going on Tuesday. I have struggled with addiction to pornography since I was about 14. I am now nearly 30. There have been long periods, including during my mission, and during the first year and a half of our marriage, that I have abstained. I have been married for over three years and I have two kids.

For a long time it has only been images and videos, but recently I will video chat with random strangers, searching for girls to convince to engage in sexual chatting and more. My mind has escalated to actually fantasizing about having an affair (in aroused moments). I love my wife, and we have a healthy sex life, but I am so afraid I am going to soon ruin that.

I, of course, hate how this all makes me feel. I know I am distanced from God, and I have decided to not attempt to do this alone. But I am afraid. I am afraid to talk to my Bishop. I am tremendously afraid to talk to my wife. I am scared that she will think that she has done something wrong, or that she isn't enough for me. I am worried that she will think I am comparing her to what I have seen. I don't want to hurt her.

I just want some help. I want input. I want to get back to the man she married and the son of God that He expects me to be. I want to be whole again. Any help out there? Any advice?

Comments:

Welcome    
"I'll let others give their best advice. I'll point you towards the free program at http://abettermormon.com . It's very helpful stuff. Completely free and anonymous. It continues at http://curethecraving.com."
posted at 07:57:32 on January 27, 2014 by beclean
My recommendations    
"TIMESTOP,
thanks for sharing a little about yourself. I hope you find hope and healing here. I think I have had some of the same feeling you are having right now and can understand your being without options. i can tell you it is better when you come clean.

i am struggling as well myself right now with relapses that have brought the evil spirit back into our home. I am struggling trying to turn my life over to God, and finding that it is a moment to moment choice

Something I would recommend is the curethecraving.com program. It has been helpful for me. The other thing i would recommend is getting someone to be accountable to, it is too easy to stay in the dark and say it is not that bad. Until we have to look someone in the eye and tell the truth we can continue to manipulate the situation to our advantage. Good luck to you, you are in my prayers.

Hang in there"
posted at 08:47:44 on January 27, 2014 by sjanderson
My thoughts    
"My story shares several points in common with yours. Addiction to porn for well over a decade? Check. Periods of abstinence over the years, but still a compulsion to keep going back to porn? Check. Love my wife and have a good sex life? Check. Afraid to talk to the bishop? Check. Terribly afraid to tell my wife? Major check.

Last year I finally got so sick and tired of my addiction that I was finally ready to do whatever it took to truly become clean, no matter how far outside my comfort zone it was. I made lots of changes in my life, especially a significant increase in scripture study, and deep, heartfelt prayers while kneeling, every day without fail. I also significantly rearranged my sleep schedule, picked up some new hobbies, and completely cut out "gateway activities" that often led to acting out for me, including surfing the web for the purpose of killing boredom (no matter how innocent those sites are/were).

The more I was serious about finally overcoming my addiction, the more I couldn't shake the feeling that I had to talk to my bishop and my wife. I just knew I had to do it, no matter how much I didn't want to. For 17 years I convinced myself that this problem was between me and the Lord, and for most of that time I was OK with that idea. But when I finally got serious about real change, I just knew I had to confess. My prayers went from "help me put this issue behind me so I don't have to break my wife's heart", to "help me have the courage to do the right thing no matter what, and please give my wife the strength to understand and eventually accept this".

The night I told my wife was by far one of the hardest nights of my life. But it was also one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. Yes, I totally broke my wife's heart, but I knew I was finally doing the right thing. We went together to meet with the bishop the next night, and I told the bishop everything. Sure, I was nervous about what might happen... getting released from my highly visible calling in the ward, going through church discipline, embarrassment, etc., but none of that mattered nearly as much as becoming clean once again.

It's been almost 11 months since I last looked at porn, and almost 7 months since I told my wife and bishop. My only regret is that I waited so long to finally do what I should have done many, many years ago.

My advice? Stop hiding from your wife and bishop. Addictions thrive in secrecy, and hiding your addiction just makes it worse. Turn your life over to the Savior, and be willing to do whatever it takes to make things right. Engage in the 12 steps. Check out curethecraving.com. Don't just say your prayers, but really talk to your Heavenly Father, and let him talk back to you. Completely cut out all of your own personal gateway activities, and focus hard on the DAILY activities that keep you strong, like scripture study, and taking good care of yourself.

Oh, and listen to this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClSQ2SkS-uE
And this: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLXr9it_pbY

You can do it! There is definitely power in purity."
posted at 01:40:41 on January 28, 2014 by rmww
Please tell her    
"Hello timetostop.

I am the wife of a recovering porn addict. I found out after 23 years of marriage. She may not know it yet, or will feel it right off, but your wife wants to know. She knows that something isn't right and she has probably asked you several times what is going on.
Telling her will accelerate your healing. It will give you a greater level of accountability and a real chance of success.
Hard? Of course! Impossible? No way! My husband was going to take this secret to his grave, but the reality is that he would have escalated his addiction and that would have ended our marriage. I discovered his addiction. That was harder for me than if he had been the one to tell me.
Here are some books in the order that I read as soon as I found out about my husband's addiction:
LDS ARP 12 Steps
SAnon Green, Blue and Multi colored book (thoughts for each day) I have all three.
Heal My Broken Heart - Davidson/Davies
Love You, Hate the Porn - Chamberlain/Steurer (read this one together)
But If Not Volume 3 - Joyce and Dennis Ashton
Lord I Believe; Help Thou Mine Unbelief - Rod Jeppsen
The Peacegiver - James Ferrell
By far the best help for me was Lord I Believe. There are many websites, SAnon meetings, ARP meetings and lds.org resources that I use as well. The help is there and it is possible. But please please please tell her. Her future self would be pleading with you to do so.
It will be hard. No doubt. But there are those who have gone before her and know that the way is possible.
"God never bestows upon His people. or upon an individual, superior blessings without a severe trial" - Brigham Young Journal of Discourses vol 3 pg 205
March 11th will be 2 years since I found out. Real healing is happening in my heart. Our relationship is growing into something that is better than we ever had before. Because it is real now.
You can do it!"
posted at 07:00:19 on January 28, 2014 by 1stepatatime
Bishop    
"See your Bishop. He may not have all the answers but I promise you it will help stop or even slow your downward spiral."
posted at 12:59:37 on January 29, 2014 by jakey
Please, Please tell your wife:)    
"I am the wife of a recovering porn addict. I wish he would have confessed to me everything all at once. It has been almost 4 years since discovery day. Honesty is the first step."
posted at 18:26:07 on January 29, 2014 by momof5
Please, Please tell your wife:)    
"I am the wife of a recovering porn addict. I wish he would have confessed to me everything all at once. It has been almost 4 years since discovery day. Honesty is the first step."
posted at 18:29:34 on January 29, 2014 by momof5
Thanks for the comments    
"I really love having people to converse with and provide some great insight and support. I am going to talk to my bishop. I want to talk to my wife, and I think I will, but I have some fears. For the wives that responded (and men, too, if you have some insight) I have some questions:

1. Were you uncomfortable be intimate with your husband after you found out? What emotions did you feel regarding your own intimacy?

2. How do I avoid making her feel inadequate or not good enough. I love her, and she is everything I could ask for. She is gorgeous and amazing and I don't want her to feel sub-par or worthless in any way shape or form.

3. What do I do to help her trust me once again after I tell her?"
posted at 04:10:26 on January 30, 2014 by timetostop
I am so proud of you!    
"Hello Timetostop,
I can only answer your questions based on my own experience. The book that I talked about "Lord I Believe Help Thou Mine Unbelief" helped me with all of the questions that you asked.

First of all, your having the courage to tell her instead of letting her discover it is HUGE! I am so proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Second, her emotions are going to swing to extremes like a pendulum. I was told this on the second day after the discovery and I am very grateful for that little bit of knowledge. It is an injury and the brain is trying to make sense of it. The emotional swings are super common. So one day she will want to be with you and the next she won't want you to even touch her. Just realize that this is normal. I decided that I needed to know everything that my husband did. I felt that way because if I didn't hear it all I would have assumed worse and just left him. I needed to know what I was dealing with. Not everyone is this way.
Third, she will feel inadequate and not good enough. That is just part of the recovery. Your assurance in telling her what you did above that she is everything that you could ask for will be very helpful. Sometimes she won't believe it and others she will be clinging to that fact as though it was the very air she breathes.
Fourth, Trust. This takes time. Do not expect this to come quickly and do your best not to get discouraged. Continue to go to the ARP groups and take her with you. As she is able to attend the groups and see that you are attending yours too the trust will grow. You will also be able to discuss the principles from the 12 steps together. Be proactive with this. If my husband got at all complacent about the meetings, that would be a warning sign to me that he has relapsed and then trust would take another huge hit.

Something that has been helpful is that my husband is keeping track of his recovery on a missionary countdown chart. This is on the wall of our kitchen. It is almost full! He put himself as the missionary and his mission is recovery. It is nice for me to look at that and know that each time he fills in a circle he has made it through one more day.
Fifth, be patient. She will desperately need this from you. Listen to her. This is a grieving process and everyone goes through it differently. If you ask her what you need she will probably not know the answer.

There is a great CD set done by Skinner/Steurer that you can purchase online at salifeline.org
It is called, "Strengthening Recovery through Strengthening Marriage"
Another great website that my husband has found very helpful is rowboatandmarbles.org
The more supportive you are of her, the better.

I also needed additional help. We confided this in our family doctor and he put me on antidepressants. I am not big on taking a lot of extra medication, but this was a situation where I needed the help. Follow the advice of your doctor.

We have been in counseling since the discovery. At first it was separate, and now we meet together. I HIGHLY recommend the counseling!

I cannot express how proud of you I am! In your words I hear the tenderness that you feel for your wife. That is awesome! Stay close to the Lord! Kneel at your bed with her everyday and have couple prayer morning and night, even on days that she doesn't want to. (which I had many). Praying together regularly will create a great bond.

I will be praying for you and for her!"
posted at 09:50:29 on January 30, 2014 by 1stepatatime
Little correction    
"Sorry, under "sixth" I meant if you ask her what SHE needs."
posted at 09:54:05 on January 30, 2014 by 1stepatatime
Ok, one more little correction    
"Apparently I can't count. I didn't put in a sixth. It is fifth. Sheesh! :)"
posted at 09:59:30 on January 30, 2014 by 1stepatatime
I can relate    
"Sexaholism is progressive, incurable, and fatal dis-ease. At least, that's what they say in SA. But recovery is possible. Most likely you'll need to watch out for your addict for the rest of your life. When you feel good, he'll be hiding in a corner somewhere, doing pushups, just waiting for you to have a weak moment so he can make a comeback.

What's helped me is the decision to do everything it takes for as long as it takes on order to achieve a sober life. Been chasing recovery like I used to chase the drug.

So, now is a good time to start going to meetings. I've found SA meetings to be the most helpful type of meeting. Get the SA White Book.Find a sponsor. Therapy may also help.

Of note, the White Book gives advice to be cautious about disclosure to one's spouse. Timing is important. Too soon of disclosure may make your spouse feel like they are repeatedly getting dumped on. Your sponsor can help you figure out when and how to talk to your spouse about this.

You can do this, Timetostop :-). If I, a very low-bottom drunk can do this, so can you.

Take what you want, and leave the rest."
posted at 08:18:42 on February 2, 2014 by Anonymous
An account of pornography and wicked spirits    
"I am reading a story of a man who claimed he had several out of body experiences in which the LORD and angels showed him different things. I believe it to be true, and knowing of the widespread use of pornography, even among members of the L.D.S. faith, I have decided to post it here. Share it with those who are mature enough to handle it. As Gordon B. Hinckley said about it: “Pornography, with its sleazy filth, sweeps over the earth like a horrible, engulfing tide. It is poison. Do not watch it or read it. It will destroy you if you do. It will take from you your self-respect. It will rob you of a sense of the beauties of life. It will tear you down and pull you into a slough of evil thoughts and possibly of evil actions. Stay away from it. Shun it as you would a foul disease, for it is just as deadly. Be virtuous in thought and in deed.”

Below is most of the account:

The next awareness I had was of being back in my bedroom at the foot of my bed. My body was still in bed. I looked at the digital clock on my bedroom table. Exactly one hour had elapsed, though I had the sensation that we had been away for days and days.

I knew that my body was dead according to the worldly measurement, but I was so thrilled with what I had just experienced that I wanted to wake up with my wife and tell her everything I had just learned.

Without verbal language, my guide told me that if I wanted to talk to my wife, I would need to go back into my body, and this experience would be completed.

I realized there was more he wanted to show me and that it was not time to return to my body, but for some reason we needed to visit it—perhaps to keep the link between my spirit and body strong while he took me on further journeys in the spirit.

I told him, “If you have more to show me, let us go; I’m ready!”

We didn’t walk out the door; I just found myself in a different place. We were in a small home office. It was late at night. A young man in his underwear entered the room quietly looking around him stealthily as he entered. He closed the door softly without turning on the light. He went to a computer and turned it on. As he waited for the computer to warm up, I felt a growing sense of excitement coming from him. I knew that his wife and two sons and a baby daughter were asleep elsewhere in the house, and that he intended to view pornography. I understood this just by being in the room with him. As with previous experiences, I understood everything about him—his life, his decisions, his desires, his distress. I perceived that he was a good man, a returned missionary, and presently serving in his quorum presidency.

My guide said to me, “He is here to view pornography.”

I saw eight spirits enter the room. Four of these were evil spirits who had once been mortal, the other four were unborn evil spirits—Satan’s minions. The disembodied spirits looked human and wore clothing of typical of the period in which they had died. The evil spirits were less substantial, generally smaller, with misshapen features, making them look slightly inhuman. They were agitated, active, jumping around in a frenzy, shouting their commands to the young man in excited voices.

The disembodied spirits said little at first. They had little ability to be heard by the young man. They were trying to satisfy the sexual passion they had developed during their own [past] lives. They were both male and female spirits. Their sexual addiction had followed them into the spirit world. Their addiction was unending, painful and impossible to satisfy. It haunted them. They were desperate to try and satisfy it endlessly. They were pleased they were shortly going to experience it through this young man. They were intent on watching him, urging him on though he could not hear them. They were not looking at the pornography on the computer screen; they were watching him closely, putting their face in his face and screaming at him, mocking him and taunting him. They … cared about sharing the body sensation of sexual gratification.

The unborn evil spirits were there to trap him, to entice him on, to remind him of the upcoming thrill. They cared nothing about experiencing his passion. They had never had a body and were not capable of understanding the thrill—they were there to control him, to make him obey their words, to keep him involved and under their “spell” as long as possible.
They gathered around him, waiting for him to become fully involved in the sexual ecstasy he hoped for by viewing these images. The evil ones were reminding him of certain websites, urging him to go on, whispering to him how thrilling it was going to be. They told him what images to view and how he should feel about them. They argued against his conscience, giving him many reasons to ignore the voice of his conscience and carry on. They placed their hands on him time after time, causing him to feel thrill after thrill . . . They were most interested in keeping him focused on his own body, and his own thrills so effectively that he could not feel his relationship to Christ, the Holy Spirit or remember his family . . .
The more excited he grew the more frenzied the evil spirits became. They became more aggressive, jumping at him hitting him with their hands and cursing. It was a loathsome thing to see.

I realized even more powerfully from seeing this that all addictions are purely selfish; they guarantee instant gratification of the flesh . . . By accepting the temptation, and deciding to do it, he had given [the unclean spirits] permission to enter him and experience his sexual thrill with him. I saw many disembodied spirits competing to enter the room with him. The evil spirits remained at just four.

. . . When he was at a pinnacle of lust in his body, a black tear or rip appeared at the crown of his head. In that instant the disembodied spirits began to attack. They looked like football players tackling the guy with the ball. They were hoping to share just a moment of his physical feelings and excitement. They acted like hungry dogs going after the same carcass. There was fierce competition among them to be in him longer. They fought to be next, screaming and cursing, throwing each other aside to enter. As soon as one or two spirits entered no more could enter. . . . It seemed to me that ones who were expelled [from his body] were exhausted, jerking on the floor as if they were in a sexual thrall themselves, mimicking the actions of the young man at the computer. I tried to turn my face away in disgust, but I could not. The image was before me not matter which way I turned.

The lust and addiction that these disembodied spirits had built up in themselves while alive as mortals still haunted them. They could not get rid of the lust because they did not turn to Jesus Christ who could have healed them even after their mortal lives had ended. Without His grace they couldn’t satisfy the powerful need of the addiction. They couldn’t escape it.

. . . The disembodied spirits were surrounded by darkness, and as they passed through this man, the darkness they possessed went into him. He could feel it as waves of dark longing, and it urged him to seek harder for more thrilling [and wicked images] . . . I could see the light that was in him being dimmed as he sat there. I saw there was far more glee in Satan’s minions that he was breaking his covenants than that he was viewing pornography . . .

One of the most tragic aspects of this scene was that these spirits from the unseen world . . . [were beginning to be accepted] as his companions, and he was starting to enjoy having them, welcoming their influence in helping him to decide to partake once again in his secret world of filth. "
posted at 18:38:44 on February 9, 2014 by Anonymous
Visions of Glory    
"Just be careful when relying on this book, Visions of Glory. It doesn't completely agree with the words of God as given in scripture. There is a lot of exciting stuff in the book--some great philosophies, mingled with scripture.

I'm sure the visions were very valuable for the man who experienced them, but he was commanded not to share them, and yet he has done just that. If the storyteller says God commanded him not to share the visions, and then he shares the visions with us, how trustworthy does that make him and his stories?"
posted at 22:36:24 on February 9, 2014 by Anonymous
I hope you are still there    
"Hello Timetostop,
Just want you to know that my husband and I are constantly praying for you. This is a difficult moment, deciding to come forward and how, but is so important. You will receive so much relief when you do. Go forward! You can do it! We are making it through this and you can too! Our Heavenly Father loves you. This is why he sent his son. For you!"
posted at 16:53:43 on February 10, 2014 by 1stepatatime
Visions of Glory    
"I think the quote from Visions of Glory is excellent. Understanding the role that these evil Soirits are playing can empower a person to break free of this addiction. I am supervised that someone said not to trust his account. In the book he tells everyone this was a revelation for him, and he didnt share it until The Lord gave him permission.
The bottom line is that all true heing comes through Christ. Getting rid of these evil spirits will make it easier to connect to Christ and do what you know you should do. There is an extent blog that discusses this: http://wholesomelives.wordpress.com. I hope it is helpful for you. God bless you."
posted at 14:48:26 on April 5, 2014 by Anonymous


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"The Savior teaches that we will have tribulation in the world, but we should "be of good cheer" because He has "overcome the world". His Atonement reaches and is powerful enough not only to pay the price for sin but also to heal every mortal affliction… He knows of our anguish, and He is there for us. Like the good Samaritan in His parable, when He finds us wounded at the wayside, He binds up our wounds and cares for us. Brothers and sisters, the healing power of His Atonement is for you, for us, for all. "

— Dallin H. Oaks

General Conference October 2006