HELL . . . I think I have arrived
By change4good
8/9/2012 9:05:07 AM
I know that some of you will be frustrated with me for continuing to sit on the fence with my problem. The solution is there but it requires walking miles over hot coals while feeling constant shame and remorse. It is so excruciating to think about that journey and it causes me to tremble.

Will I be excommunicated? I'm not sure what the church consequences will be but if I am, then it will be nearly impossible to conceal my sinful past from my friends and family. It would be bad enough that I need to confess to my wife but my friends and family too? It is so humiliating and soul wrenching.

I have been thinking about my life and the way that people perceive me and the way that I usually perceive myself. My family all respect and love me and think that I am funny and easy going. Someone who would be willing to help anyone. A leader. It seems, from the outside, that I have been living my life exactly the way that Christ taught and I feel like a total fraud. These thoughts of how people see me should be uplifting and encouraging but they are having the exact opposite effect. I feel like everything from my past would be erased and I would have to start my life from square 1 because all of my relationships would be tainted. I looked in the mirror this morning and reflected on my life and what I wish it had been and I felt my insides become hollow and cold.

Last night, I was with my wife and I was thinking about how there is just a sliver of glass that could easily shatter to reveal the truth and I find myself hovering over that glass and protecting it at all cost. I can even still be intimate with her without thinking about porn. I never really ever thought about porn when I was with her. It was part of another compartment of my brain that I did not allow to touch the other parts. How did I live with her for so long while I was acting out and feel no remorse but now that I have quit and have not looked at anything remotely inappropriate or masturbated I feel loathsome? That is one of the main issues I believe my wife will have. She will ask, "How is it that you could go behind my back and look at people having sex for so long while pleasuring yourself and act perfectly normal and loving around me?" I have asked myself this same question over and over. Why is my guilt so incredibly palpable and agonizing now when I felt just a tiny bit here and there all during the times that I was going behind her back? I feel like there are so many questions that will go unanswered or they will simply have the answer: "the dopamine made it so that my remorse left me and it was difficult to feel sorrow." I'm not sure if that is even the case. She will think that everything I have ever told her is a lie and that if I have lied up til now that the lies are surely going to return and destroy our marriage.

I cannot sleep at night. My mind will not allow me to rest and regenerate because of the crushing guilt that is always present. Sometimes when she stirs and awakes slightly in the night, I have to change the way that I am breathing so that she doesn't think that I am just lying in be awake. I have even taken sleep aids and they worked on the first night but they haven't worked these last two nights. When I get up, I immediately look on here to see if anyone responded to my previous cries for help and I pray that God will lift enough of this weight so that I can at least get the things done throughout the day that need to be done. This is hell. If it isn't then I don't want to know what is.

I have already wrecked my life and I selfishly brought my wife into the destruction without her knowledge. She must suffer for the foolish things of my past? How dare I do this thing to her. She has lived her life obeying the commandments and was faithful in keeping herself free of the sins of this world and I come into her life only to reveal that she will have to suffer for what I have done. It is an impossible position that I have put both of us into.

I thought that I felt joy and peace when I got married. I have felt joy in the life that my wife and I have shared. I felt that "joy" if it was joy during times that I was sinning on a regular basis. Now that I am trying to forsake my sins, all joy has left me. I feel wretched every day and I act normal and focus on saying things to my wife that will make her smile or make her feel closer to me because I am trying to see to her every need. I want our relationship to be fixed before it is broken. Once I confess, the hours of preparation are finished and I must face the unknown. We are actually trying to start our family because we planned to do it around this time in our marriage. I feel like if I keep this from her even still that having children is going to amplify the problem. If I tell her, we may not have kids for a long time from now or perhaps not at all. All I want is a normal life and to be rid of this sin. I keep thinking to myself, "if only I had known how to combat this thing a long time ago!" I didn't realize I was addicted until recently. I thought that I just had an intimacy problem that would be solved with real intimacy.

Thank you for listening. As always, your thoughts and experiences have really helped.


Guilt is only meant to be felt for a very short time...    
"don't let it fester or it will turn into compulsion. Guilt is meant to be acted on. You're feeling guilt because you ARE a good person and you are in the thick of the repentance process. Keep going. There's light at the end of the tunnel. All those fears you describe are so much worse than the reality of it will actually be. It will lessen the blow when you can tell your wife that you have been clean for awhile and you are telling her because you want to be honest."
posted at 10:01:40 on August 9, 2012 by Anonymous
Don't worry about the haters.    
"Haters gonna hate. Yeah, that sounds cheesy but...

Don't worry about naysayers on this site. Pay ZERO attention to them.

Realistically, do you really expect to undo years of self-inflicted injury of addiction in a relatively short period of time? Probably it will take some time. At least that's what the White Book says. And for me it is taking time.

You can do this. There is a way."
posted at 13:27:11 on August 9, 2012 by Anonymous
"I guess it would be unrealistic and selfish of me to expect to change everything instantly. My main concern is that it wont change. Or that my wife will separate herself from me. I know that she loves me. We have a wonderful relationship and we tell each other that we love each other all the time. We spend every moment together. That is what makes this whole messed up thing so unbearable. The more love you give to someone the greater that person's capacity to hurt you. That is what I believe anyway. And I already ache for her."
posted at 14:24:04 on August 9, 2012 by change4good
HAve you considered professional counselling before you break the news?    
"That's one thing I wish I would have done more of before coming out.
Doug Weiss has some phone therapy that I've heard good things about.

best of luck."
posted at 15:52:42 on August 9, 2012 by Anonymous
Some people change almost instantaneously, others do not    
"Just so you know. For me, it seems like a rather long and arduous journey. Still fighting. Remember that your "failures" are really just successfully finding a way that something doesn't work. And remember, "Easy does it!" (I read this in the Big Book from AA)

(Also a marriage counselor told me and my spouse that most marriages to not end where infidelity occurs, including porn and masturbation as infidelity).

"Be patient with yourself. Perfection comes not in this life, but in the next life. Don't demand things that are unreasonable. But, demand of yourself improvement. As you let the Lord help you through that, He will make the difference."

--"Men's Hearts Shall Fail Them" Elder Russell M. Nelson"
posted at 16:23:54 on August 9, 2012 by Anonymous
"If what you have shared here is all that has gone on... meaning, struggling with pornography and masturbation the there is pretty much no chance you would be excommunicated. The Lord doesn't reject people for mistakes... He loves you. He wants you to heal. He wants you to get better. For me, when I confessed I had a good 7 years of struggle under my belt and I had my recommend back within a six months and once I had 2 months of sobriety. All it took was my willingness to change and my hard work. I had a slip later and I immediately went to my bishop. That very day... sobbing my face off... I couldn't believe it had happened. I tossed my recommend on his desk fully expecting him to keep it and he looked at me and asked me what I learned from it... after stumbling over superficial answers I finally paused and said "that i can't do it on my own"... and at that very moment he pushed my recommend back over to me. (I'm totally tearing up telling this story). The Lord just wants us to trust Him and rely on Him. That. Is. All."
posted at 21:20:58 on August 9, 2012 by siouxsie
"What is interesting about what you wrote about the sliver of glass that could shatter and reveal your hidden life is that there is only a sliver of glass that seperates you from the hell you are in and the heaven that you want as well.

Change - you are closer than you realize to peace. You just have to fully let go of the fear and the lies. Freedom is a breath away.

I am not suggesting that it will be easy. It wont. Recovery will be the hardest thing you'll ever do, but there is such liberation when you stop worrying about the 'what if's'."
posted at 11:32:18 on August 10, 2012 by maddy
Thank you as always. . .    
". . .for your words of advice and encouragement. Lately, I have felt ups and downs in my remorse. Today for example I feel between neutral and good. I don't know why. I prayed to God that I would feel the remorse fully when I talk to my wife because I have felt it so deeply in the past but I want her to realize that I am taking these sins very seriously. I have actually written my wife a 12 page letter that explains how my addiction started and explains how I wish to change for good and to use the atonement to clean myself. I talk to her about how horrible I feel that I have involved her in this without her knowledge and I try multiple times to assure her that my sinning had nothing to do with any dissatisfaction that I had with her. I tell her that her forgiveness would be the greatest blessing I could ever receive from her. I share a lot of feeling in this letter. Would this approach be good for me? Should I confess by voice and give her the letter? Should I just have her read the letter and then talk afterward? I want to do it the best way possible. Thanks again"
posted at 12:10:23 on August 10, 2012 by change4good

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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