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hello everyone
By HK-47
1/31/2010 1:49:46 AM
Hi there, everyone. I'm new to this group.

I'm an addict. I've been an addict (porn, masturbation) for a long time, and I've been trying to get clean for a long time. The longest time of "sobriety" I've ever had is 8 months, right now I've got about 1 hour.

Yes, it is frustrating. I've tried many times and had varying degrees of success. Right now it's tough, though. My job has me away from home for another month or two. Can't wait to get back to them, either.

It's frustrating because in every other aspect of my life, I'm very disciplined and "in control". Just not in this area.

- I read the scriptures daily, no problem.
- I follow the Word of Wisdom, never had any real temptations in that area.
- I keep myself in shape (competitive distance runner/ yoga instructor) with no complaints.

My wife, I miss her. She's great, by the way. She knows about my addiction problem, but still keeps me around.

I'm just powerless over the temptation of pornography. I admit that. I have no ability, by myself, to resist this. But I'm trying. I'm going to pray tonight that tomorrow I'll be able to say I have 24 hours.

Sincerely,
HK-47

(yes, I'm a Star Wars fan; my wife puts up with it, like she puts up with so much)

Comments:

Welcome    
"Hi HK-47. I think I know what you are going through. I too have only struggled with that one problem area.
I am at home all day with my son, basically the house wife. My wife has wanted to divorce me since the second week of our marriage(for reasons not relating to my problems with mb and such). She just doesn't want to be married. She has blamed it on a lot of things like our age difference and education differences but I don't know what the true problem is. But it has been three years now that we have been married so I don't know what it is like to have a spousal support, you are very blessed.
I never fully understood the law of chastity until my mission. I had an idea but when I learned on my mission I was shocked and repented. In all the other areas I was keen. I knew tithing, word of wisdom, fasting, revelation, the prophets, etc. Growing up my parents I guess didn't quite know how to talk to me about it. My dad had the same problems I do but he was a convert to the church. (He has since over come by the way and my mother was a great help). My mom always told me that I shouldn't be shy of mb but that I should learn to control it, but that it was still ok if I messed up and did it. My priesthood leaders shyed away from telling me about the law of chastity(I grew up in a small town) I remember being in an interview to go to the temple and when asked if I followed the law of chastity I said no. I had no idea I thought that was the right answer, the bishop look at me and said just say yes. At another time I asked specifically what it meant and my leader just said well just answer yes in your interviews. Now, I have ultimately made the decision so I don't put the all the blame on my leaders but it would have helped.
I served an honorable fulltime mission without any problems, although the country I served in had tons and tons of porn everywhere I was strong.
When I got home I wasn't so strong and fell back into old habits. I talked to my leaders and they said it wasn't a problem but to try to control it. So I did.
Before long I was married, clean to enter the temple and clean after our sealing. My wife encouraged me to masturbate and explore my sexuality. I was a little hesitant but figured well we are married, I guess it is ok. I have struggled a lot. and know that the spirit is not around when I am involved with masturbation and porn.
Lately I have gained much strength though. I don't know exactly how but I have prayed for a strong desire to have no desire for those things. I have worked with a bishop in my area who has helped me a lot and has worked with me and has set me up with a counselor who has helped. Ultimately I have found it is my decision. But I know what you are going through.

The toughest times for me are at night. My wife no longer wants me to sleep in the bed. I haven't even held her hand in over a year, so at night I get lonely. But lately I have tried to work on my music or read spiritual articles. And that has helped.

You may be powerless HK-47 but the lord isn't. If the lord has commanded us to repent and set up a way to partake of the atonement even before the world began, he already knew that we would feel powerless. But don't feel powerless, the only time you are powerless is when you reject the lord, but he is always so willing to invite you back in his arms.

The lord loves you. We hear love you and believe in you. If Christ himself could raise Lazarus from the dead, if he could walk on water, if he could heal the lame, if he could rise from the dead and take up his body again, if he has power to rise us all from the dead both righteous and unrighteous, then surely he has the power to help you and I overcome the addictions that hold us from back from his blessings. It will be hard, but it is possible.

Welcome"
posted at 03:31:02 on January 31, 2010 by gettinthere
thank you    
"GETTINTHERE,

Thanks for the encouragement, and for sharing. I am so sorry to hear about the problems with you and your wife. Very sorry. I honestly don't know what to say.

That is so true what you said about the atonement and repentance and the Lord's plan. I forget that sometimes. Well, a lot of times. He does have a plan for us, and that plan takes into account all of our (my) imperfections.

HK-47"
posted at 06:42:15 on January 31, 2010 by HK-47
Two thoughts    
"1) There are probably a few of us who believe we, "only struggle with [this] one problem area." I know I've thought that numerous times. "There are so many things I don't struggle with, if I could just get past this one thing, I'd be almost perfect."

But, what do you all think? Is that really true? Are we doing ourselves a disservice by telling ourselves, "Well, this is my only problem"?

I know in my case, those thoughts have at times prevented me from seeing that the root of this problem is selfishness, and there are other ways I demonstrate selfishness, as well. Another problem of mine is pride.

I guess what I'm getting at is that my addiction is just one little part of me. I am not my addiction. And sometimes, when I choose to make my addiction the only part of me I'm focusing on, I get all wrapped up in myself and my own problems--and my problems seem to get worse when I focus on them. Instead, when I focus on being more unselfish and humble, trying to anticipate other people's needs and to help them, I find my own problems become easier to deal with.

What are your thoughts?

2) Gettinthere, I'm curious, does your wife pretend to be in love with you in public? Does she go out in public with you? Does she attend church?"
posted at 17:08:13 on January 31, 2010 by BeClean
an answer    
"I should be more careful with my wording but I do have many other faults. The bad thing about this one fault is that it is helping the other good things I can do deteriorate. But I have noticed when I focus on other areas and especially service for others, you do forget about your problem or you at least are able to set it aside to think through things clearly and gain a different perspective.
My wife is very different in public and does go to church. I feel awekward when we invite other couple to our home and they are happy and in love or at least are showing signs of love and affection, and it comes across from my wife to others that we are this strong companionship. She acts all nice and happy around others but she is so very cruel to me. I have never even seen her treat her worst enemies this way, yet she says it is all me and that she has always been in love with the men she is with and has treated them right yet with me she just can't because of who I am. It goes back to the age and education difference a lot."
posted at 19:07:25 on January 31, 2010 by gettinthere
Yuck    
"Man, Gettinthere, that stinks.

Have you looked into Fireproof (from my earlier post)? I wonder if that stuff is for real in its power to help a marriage like yours."
posted at 11:18:03 on February 1, 2010 by BeClean
...    
"I saw the movie a while back and really liked it. In fact it made me want to smash my own computer but if I did that I couldn't get to this website hahaha. but I have wanted to buy the book but we are poor college students. I have been reading the book "how to hug a porcupine" which is really good. It's hard though, I find myself burnt out from the whole situation but I don't want to give up. Everytime I feel motivated to work hard my wife shuts it down with a huge fight and threat of divorce. I am a pretty calm and easy going guys. It takes a lot to get me upset. I have never hurt my wife physically in anyway and I don't curse or yell at her. But sometimes the insults she throws my way are so hurtful and damaging that it does make me upset. I guess I just feel like man, how could someone do this to another human being."
posted at 16:20:52 on February 1, 2010 by gettinthere
Hello    
"HK-47,

Nine years ago I could have written your post almost word for word. OK, except for the Star Wars thing. I enjoy them, but not enough to recognize your handle. I had to look that up. At first I thought the ‘H’ was an ‘A’ and wondered why you had named yourself after an automatic Kalashnikov, model 1947. Something I am more familiar with. It was interesting reading what you had written. I kept saying, “that was me, that was me…” I was really big into self-improvement and the “anything a man can conceive he can achieve” philosophy. If I just found the right book I could accomplish anything or change anything about myself. Well, except for this one thing. I always thought that the key to overcoming my porn and masturbation “habit” was to find the right goal setting formula.

I agree with BeClean that we probably all have multiple issues to work on, but when one is taking up the whole view it is hard to see the rest. It is like having an elephant right in front of us. That is where all our focus is. I didn’t have a pride problem until I got into the recovery program. =D Then I realized I suffered from pride of self-reliance to the extreme. Some degree on a temporal basis is a good thing, but it had gotten to the point that I wouldn’t accept help when it was offered even when I desperately needed it. I definitely didn’t turn to others for help, even my Lord and potential Savior. Other characteristics like anger and depression that I did recognize as problems, I thought were just side affects of my “habit” and they would go away when I got it in control. Fortunately the 12 Steps can be applied to anything we struggle with and the Lord and I have made great progress on those parts of my personality. You don’t have to worry about what is lurking on the other side of the elephant right now though. I’ve heard a lot of people describe recovery work like peeling an onion. You peel off what you can see and then realize there is another layer to work on. For me, God has brought things into my mind and life as I become ready to deal them. Eventually we get to the root causes. The things we have been running away from all our lives and using addictions to medicate and hide so that we don’t have to face them.

On the bright side you aren’t dealing with anything that the Atonement can’t fix and hasn’t already taken care of in many addicts. If you can let go of the control and work the 12 Steps as God directs you’ll be surprised at how much easier it is than trying to exercise self control. I sure was. For months in the meetings I kept saying, “this is too easy.”

I had one last thought I from what you wrote. I’m wondering, would you be interested in taking a run from the Henry’s Fork trailhead to Kings Peak and back one day this summer? I have been thinking about a Friday or Saturday in the first half of August. It will be better if I am out there with others in case something happens. I may have a lead on someone already, so you don’t have to feel obligated if it doesn’t interest you. I don’t know if you are even in the northern Utah area, but I thought I would give it a shot.

Take care, it gets better."
posted at 14:55:21 on February 2, 2010 by justjohn
Be the Change you wish to see in the world    
"That is a quote by I think buddah. I use that line for marriage especially. Be the Change you wish to see in your marriage. Sometime couples can get caught in the tit for tat and years later not even know what set it all off. It takes 2 to ruin a marriage, but only 1 looks good doing it. If you are going to be married, make it great. If you want your wife to treat you like a king, then first treat her like a queen. Masturbation in marriage most of the time is a symptom of thinking. It is you saying that you are frustrated with the way you are being treated, and that you actually don't NEED her at all. You don't need anyone when it comes down to it, but you should WANT your wife. And if you don't then you have a lot of work to do with her, because the likelyhood is, she doesn't want or need you either right now.
Love your wife the way she needs to be loved. Serve your wife. And realize that what you put out their comes back 10 fold, maybe not right away, but eventually.
FASTING is God tools to overcome physical temptation and become more spiritual. FAST every weekend for a month and you will be suprised how you have overcome your temptation."
posted at 09:50:13 on February 3, 2010 by daneadams
thanks    
"Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I really appreciate it. You have given me a lot to think about.

- Gettinthere - I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through. You're in my prayers. I truly hope you and your wife can get help in this.
- JustJohn - I'd love to, but I'll be out of the country by then. My job keeps me overseas most of the time. Hopefully I'll be running some trails through Europe at that point. Good news is that my family gets to go with me for that one."
posted at 10:49:53 on February 3, 2010 by HK-47
I appreciate it    
"Thank you DANEADAMS. I think your thoughts are relevant and come from wisdom. It has been hard to put my wife first. The deepest level of intimacy she will share with me is looking at each other. There are no hugs, noholding hands, and especially no kisses. I agree with you and I can do better. I have felt down in past years beause my wife would always talk about her guy friends and how great they are, and this was as we were having bad problems. She then went to a high school reunion and stayed with her boyfriend who she slept with before she became a member of the church. It didn't go over well when I expressed my dislike for the situation. I was told I was not understanding and selfish and all sorts of things that I believed, at least I believed until I had a reality check. I am gonna work harder. And I am going to try the fasting once a weekend for a month. My wife and I actually did that together one year, but on the last day that we were gonna fast my wife backed out. Things were going great in our marriage too and there was a big change but after backing out, things went right back to how they were.
Thank you for your encouragement. I will love my wife the way she needs to be loved. I did once before but I guess it is time to renew that desire."
posted at 02:29:14 on February 4, 2010 by gettinthere
Welcome    
"HK-47,

Thanks for posting and welcome to the site. I can imagine it would be difficult to be away from your family for so long, but I admire your strength and willingness to reach out for help and support through this site. I regularly attend 12-step meetings, but whenever I can't make it to a meeting (and sometimes even when I can) I use this web site as a reminder of the importance of staying sober and as an opportunity to support others. It's not quite as good as the 12-step meetings, but it keeps me going.

I can empathize with being disciplined and controlled in most areas of life--I was very similar. But, as has been said in this thread, recovery involves a process of peeling back the layers, all of them. The first layer honesty, the second layer is hope, the third trust in God, and so on ... eventually, you've peeled back all the layers and are experiencing strong recovery. I've been sober for about 7 months now. At one point in my life I made it 5 years, but I was going on willpower alone and hadn't peeled back enough layers, so I had a relapse. It was very difficult and depressing to realize that I couldn't beat this on my own, despite having strong willpower and being completely in control in other areas of my life. That's when I reached out to my bishop and the LDS addiction recovery program. It's helped me understand a lot about my addiction and, most importantly, I realize now that I am anything but alone. Having a web-based support group and meeting with folks in real life have made a significant difference for me.

GETTINGTHERE,

I read through your posts yesterday and my heart goes out to you. I wasn't going to reply, because I didn't know what to say, but I thought about your situation all evening and woke up thinking about it this morning. There has been a lot of advice given in this thread so far, but I wanted to add my own. Bear in mind that this is advice from an anonymous person who hasn't experienced your challenges and isn't trained in counseling. However, perhaps you will be able to take something useful from it.

The first thing I would say is that you should seek counseling, if you haven't already. Even if your wife won't go with you, you should go. What you are going through is very difficult--perhaps even abusive. A trusted counselor can help you see your situation more clearly and work through your emotions. If nothing else, having someone to talk to will be helpful. You mentioned that you are a poor college student, so paying for help might be hard but WORTH IT. Find low cost counseling through your university or a charitable organization if you can, go into debt if you have to.

Second, while I believe it is good and noble to want to save the relationship, there may come a point where all you can do is save yourself by getting out of it. Only you know when that point is. You deserve to be loved, first by God, then by yourself, then by your wife. But if that last one doesn't happen, you can still be whole and live a good life. I would encourage you to find happiness on your own terms and, as you've already seen, pornography addiction is the very antithesis of happiness.

Also, IMHO, you are 100% within your rights to question your wife's spending the night at an old boyfriend's house. It's entirely inappropriate for a married person to behave that way. I would never want my spouse in that situation, and I would never ask her to accept that behavior from me. I don't even talk to my old girlfriends via email, much less spend the night at their homes. From reading your posts I believe, as you do, that the "age and education" complaint is a bluff and there is something else going on. If you get a Ph.D. will she love you more? I doubt it. She knew how old you were when you were dating and got married, and she knew how much education you had. None of those things should have been a surprise--they're just excuses. I'd call her bluff.

Lastly, and most importantly, the pain and challenges you are going through are nothing new or surprising to the Savior. He knows your pain, he knows your heart and he knows you are worthy of the love He offers you--unconditionally. In the LDS Addiction Recovery manual, there is a great quote from Boyd K. Packer: "For some reason we think the Atonement of Christ applies ONLY at the end of mortal life to redemption from the Fall, from spiritual death. It is much more that. It is an ever-present power to call upon in everyday life. When we are racked or harrowed up or tormented by guilt or BURDENED WITH GRIEF, He can heal us."

May God bless you my brother and may you indeed, as your name suggests, "get there.""
posted at 10:29:42 on February 6, 2010 by finallyfree


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