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Plastic Surgery
By sierra
7/17/2008 8:19:28 PM
I have a question to ask of any man that is a recovering porn addict. I would very much appreciate an honest answer even if it's not the "correct" answer.

After I had my children, I began to have some self-esteem issues. I had never struggled with self-esteem before. I was always happy with how I looked even though I recognized that I wasn't perfect. After I had my kids, my body inevitably changed and I became really unhappy and critical. I lost all the weight I gained during pregnancy but I was still critical of things that no amount of exercizing will fix.

My husband constantly told me I was beautiful and he loved my body and the way it looked. Still I was bothered by it. Then I found out that my husband had been watching porn. For YEARS. I caught him...he didn't fess up until I had the proof. He admitted that he started watching when I was pregnant with our first child and he never stopped.( I gained 55 lbs with each pregnancy)

This hurt me beyond words. I have heard over and over that porn has nothing to do with me and how I look but it's just a little convienient that he started with it when my body began to change. Lets just say that the whole thing has left me even more resolved to "fix" my body.

My question is this. Would having plastic surgery hurt or help a man trying to recover from this addiction. It has taken awhile but I have decided to try and stay with my husband for the sake of the children. I want to have a tummy tuck and breast implants. I was planning on doing this even BEFORE I found out about the porn. Now I want it even more.

My husband says he doesn't want a wife that looks like a porn star. He's trying to forget and is afraid it will remind him. I'm not going to get huge implants. I don't want to look like a porn star either but I want to not have to lock the door when I'm in the shower for fear that my husband might see me naked and compare me to the things he has watched. I want to be happy in my own skin. Yet I don't want to hurt his recovery.

Part of me thinks that he doesn't get a vote. He lost his right to tell me what I can and can't do. It's my body and my choice. Then I feel selfish and wonder if it's the right choice. Am I condemning myself to a lifelong struggle with my husband. Will he look at me and have a "trigger"? Or will he be so happy with my new body that he will be faithful to me as he once was before our children were born? I think secretly he WANTS me to get it done because he keeps asking me about it. He says he doesn't but his word doesn't count for much these days. Any opinions?

Comments:

NO PLASTIC SURYGERY!    
"First off, his little habit didn't start when you were pregnant with your first child. Second, you could be americas next top model and it wouldn't impact his addiction for the better or the worse. You're beautiful just the way you are. Don't let the devil get a "two for the price of one" deal out of the destruction that he's caused. He likes nothing better than when addiction causes insecurity in the spouse. He knows that will lead to endless hours of comparing ourselves. Trust that the trash that's out there can't hold a candle to what you are and represent. Your husband knows that, too."
posted at 23:48:40 on July 17, 2008 by Anonymous
The only change will be how you look    
"I realize I don't have any background information or any right to say this, but I don't think that your husband suddenly started looking at porn while you were pregnant with your first child. It really isn't the porn that drives us, it is the lust. Lust is like a drug. I can feel it flow through my veins sometimes even to the point that it makes me shake like I've had too much caffeine and sugar. It is a direct line to some of the feelings that God gave our bodies so that we would want to reproduce. The problem is that totally kills our ability to have relationships or think rationally. Lust is a drug.

Okay so why did I say that? I think that probably most porn addicts started with something a little softer. It is easy to lust after any images that are even remotely suggestive. I'll bet that your husband was as good as I was at lusting long before he even met you. The way you look has nothing to do with his addiction. Lust is bad. I don't think that you want to become a person that your husband lusts after. You might think that you do, but it wouldn't last anyway. Addicts are never satisfied with their objects, we always want more.

His change has to come from God. I wish it was fast. I think I am pretty humble about this stuff, but I am still struggling after about 5 years of going to meetings and working the program. It is a long road. I think it takes all I can do and then all that I will allow God to do for me to keep me sober.

My wife struggles with the same questions, and I would feel enormously guilty if she had surgery. I hate porn, I hate what I have let it do to me. I also get angry with our society because it is so focused on outward appearances. Yet I am one who has taken the bait and I am still trying to get the hooks out. I love my wife. I think she is beautiful. When I am with her I don't want to lust after her. That is treating her badly, like a commodity or an object. She is not an object, she is a person who I love, and whom I have hurt more than anyone else has hurt her. It is a terrible truth to live with. I know that I should forgive myself, and I try to move forward, but ... it is a long road.

These are my opinions. You know what they say about opinions..."
posted at 00:11:59 on July 18, 2008 by panshrdze
Not for him..for me.    
"You are right Panshrdze, he began looking at porn in his high school years, repented and went on a mission and then was clean for 4 years after his mission until I was pregnant. So I realize that it happend before me. Yet, he was faithful to me when my body was perfect. Now it's flawed and he's not. My brain tells me it's not my fault but my heart tells me if I could have just not gained so much weight with that first child then he never would have started up again.

I want plastic surgery for ME. Not for him. I just don't want it to hurt him in the process. I want to feel beautiful again. I've done all I can...exercizing and taking care of myself but you can only do so much. I don't want him to lust after me. But it would be nice if he NEEDED to look at a naked woman he could come to me and I would have the type of body that satisfies him...and there would be no sin in it. I just don't know."
posted at 10:19:25 on July 18, 2008 by sierra
I know how you feel    
"I can relate 100%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have felt the same exact way. I KNOW my husband finds me extremely attractive, and I know he doesn't "need" me to fix myself. BUT I know how I looked before children and I look now, and I say, "What happened!?!?!" (in a funny voice we do). He has told me he LOVES my breasts, my tummy, my bum everything, but it's my confidence that would be my reason. I don't think you would be a "trigger" no matter how you looked. Once again, the addiction is something that needs to be dealt with from the inside out. Yes, it might hurt or help to have outside influences or not, but the root of the problem is what needs to change, you have only a tiny influence over him. NO MATTER WHAT you do, or don't do he has an ADDICTION. I wouldn't base too much of your decision on him. I would say, pray about it a lot and pay attention to your feelings. It's between you and the Lord, he knows your intentions, your insecurities, your heart. I have found so much strength doing this and going to the temple. You are awesome, so much love!!

("wise" username...)"
posted at 11:34:40 on July 18, 2008 by Anonymous
Hi Sierra,    
"I'm all for making yourself feel more beautiful. Do you think your husband may have had a sober spell right after your marriage and before your first child because of the novelty of new marriage?
Pornography exists in a world that is so foreign to the marital relationship that there is simply no use in trying to imitate it. It is like trying to control a gambling addict by setting up a poker table in your living room. It's not really the gambling that he's addicted to; it's the ride to the casino, the flashing lights, the smell of cigarrette smoke, the sin of entering a forbidden place. The actual gambling is what keeps him at the table until morning but it's the flash and sparke that's addictive.

Conversely, Recovery is being in your eighties and holding your wifes hand and wanting nothing more than her. Recovery is being free from the desire for anything more than what we have.

People who are addicted to porn are alot like children stuck in adolescence. These are things that are somewhat understandable for young people dealing with a rush of hormones and confusing messages out there. Most people have encountered pornography and simply turned the other way and gotten on with there lives. Addicts however are stuck in a compulsive need to return to that adolescent thrill. When they recover they begin to see the world through grown-up eyes. True and long-lasting recovery is recoiling from anything that resembles that world like it was a hot flame.

On a more personal level, in my youth I've has sex of the lustful variety and in later years real God-given sex with my wonderful spouse and the former definately can't hold a candle to the kind Heavenly Father intended. They are two entirely different entities.

I understand whatever you decide. The support groups for the loved ones might remind you of the three C's. You didn't Cause his addiction, You can't Control his addiction, and you certainly can't Cure it. The sooner we accept this the happier we are. Good luck, Sierra"
posted at 12:02:15 on July 18, 2008 by Anonymous
All the comments are so appreciated...    
"I really thank you all for the comments. I really have been torn over this issue. I want to make the right choice. I want to be happy but I don't want to offend my Heavenly Father or make things worse for my husband. I appreciate all the opinions.

This morning as I was taking a shower my husband walked into the bathroom and was watching me shower. When I opened my eyes as saw him I freaked out and told him to "Get out!" He was hurt. He doesn't understand how I can be self concious around him after 15 years of marraige.He's like "I've seen you before, you know. It's no secret!" I never was self-concious before I found out about his problem. I was so stupid and innocent that I really thought that I was the ONLY naked woman that he had ever seen so if I had a problem or two with my body that he wouldn't know the difference! I can't bear to have him look at me. After he hastily exited the bathroom I stood in the shower and cried. Cried that I have to feel this shame in my body. I know I should be grateful that it's healthy and strong and not worry about some loose skin and stretch marks. But I can't control how humiliated that I felt to know he was standing there watching me and could see all those imperfections. I really was horrified. I've told him that I need privacy in the bathroom now...even though we are married. Is that too much to ask? I think he should respect that until I can get my confidence back. It kind of strengthened my resolve to go ahead with the surgeries. I don't want to be like this.

The money is a concern. I feel selfish spending it on me when we have about $40,000 worth of debt (from his porn watching) to pay off. Then I get furious because I have saved and saved to have this done (from even before I knew about his problem) and to have to spend it to pay off debt he created cheating on me...well... it really rubs me the wrong way.

I'm so scared that even after I fix my body that it still won't be enough to keep his attention on me and away from porn. Then I think I truly will feel helpless and hopeless because I will know I have done all I can do and it wasn't enough.

I don't go to support groups but I like the three C's that were mentioned. It's hard to leave it up to him to fix this and not try to control it. I wish there was something I could do. It's my eternal future after all. I want to spend eternity with my family and now I might not get that even after all I can do. It's hard to let go of control. I will try to work on that."
posted at 18:06:53 on July 18, 2008 by sierra
If you had a S-Anon support person they might suggest...    
"that you wait a year before making any big decisions. I totally understand your reasoning, though; about his debt and your wanting to do something for yourself. The part that concerns me a littlle is where you said you were scared that even with the surgery it wouldn't be enough to keep his atttention. If you get the surgery it needs to be for you. Please don't do it to accomodate his lust. This is something you might regret. I am all for spending the 40 grand on a 2 week cruise for yourself or a sports car. Ha! That's probably bad, though. Just give things time. They seem to get better when we stop concentrating all our energy on the problem and more energy on the solution. (And the solution has nothing to do with him staying "sober".) The solution is doing our best to leave his addiction in Gods hands and work on our own "emotional sobriety" Just because he doesn't go to the support group doesn't mean you can't. I know how hard that can be. I've found that not going, so as not betray his confidence, isn't a good reason not to go. He automatically gave you permission to do what you need to do for support when he went down the path he did. Good luck to you whatever you do, Sierra."
posted at 18:46:06 on July 18, 2008 by Anonymous
to answer your question    
"There is a lot I could say about this, but I will abstain from rambling for once and just answer your question.
"My question is this. Would having plastic surgery hurt or help a man trying to recover from this addiction"
To me personally, a recovering porn addict, I would answer no. It wouldn't hurt or help my recovery in any way. My recovery is based solely on my relationship with God and Jesus Christ. Thoughts of my wife and our future together can help motivate me, but the physical appearance of my wife has absolutely no sway whatsoever in my attempts to achieve long-lasting sobriety."
posted at 01:14:27 on July 19, 2008 by roast_rump
You Still Won't Be Happy    
"I totally ralate to how you feel. I feel like I could have written those things myself. As a spouse, we all think if only we were just a little prettier, we could satisfy his needs and he wouldn't look elsewhere. And since we can't, we know that we're being compared to all those "perfect" women at some level and it makes me, anyway, full of shame. But I think plastic surgery does indeed offend our Heavenly Father. He made your body and it is a temple. If you can't accept yourself now, surgery won't help. When you've done your breasts and tummy, you'll be critical of your thighs, face, bum, or whatever. You'll never see yourself as good enough. You have to learn to love and accept yourself for who you are. And as someone who's been so terribly hurt by porn, why would you want to encourage the "image culture" by becoming part of it?
I know it's easier said than done. We all have a long road of healing ahead. Both the addicts and their spouses. Maybe if we tell ourselves enough times that this has nothing to do with us, we'll believe it. I'm still working on that one myself."
posted at 23:29:59 on July 20, 2008 by Anonymous
Just a thought...    
"You're absolutely right..I don't want to become part of the "image culture". The last thing in the world that I would ever want to do would be to cause other wives pain by drawing their husbands eyes to me. I'm not talking drastic surgery here. Me and my husband would probably be the only ones who would be able to tell.

My main worry is offending Heavenly Father. I have thought a lot about this issue. My sister and I were discussing it the other day and she had some points I'd like to share.

We've been taught that our bodies are temples and that we should take care of them. It could be argued that this includes looking our best as well as feeling our best. If you are born with crooked teeth...you get braces to fix it. Braces aren't necessary in most cases. It's totally cosmetic. Does this offend God when we change the crooked teeth he gave us in order to look better? If you are in an accident and are disfigured in some way I think most would agree that plastic surgery would be completely acceptable. I wasn't born with the body I have now. I was disfigured by childbirth. Is it really wrong to want to fix that? Would Heavenly Father really care if my intentions were good..to feel better and to have more confidence? We dye our hair and change the color of hair that we were given by God. Nobody thinks this is wrong.

I really don't think I would go crazy and start fixing my face and other things. I know that happens though. It is hard to just accept yourself. I want my husband to love me. I want him to desire me. It's hard to believe he finds me beautiful...no matter how many times he says it. In my mind if I was so great he would come and look at ME when he has needs. But he goes and looks at other women. How can that make me feel anything other than inadequate?"
posted at 10:51:42 on July 21, 2008 by sierra
Inadequate    
"I know, girl! We all feel inadequate. I've had this same conversation with my husband and I always get the same dumb answer: "It's has nothing to do with you" which Makes. Me. Crazy!

Anyone with a rational brain knows it has everything to do with me. One of the reasons God instituted marriage is so that there's a proper outlet to those needs he gave men. So if my husband isn't satisfied with that proper outlet, aka "me", how exactly does it have nothing to do with me? But then we know we aren't dealing with rational minds. Our spouses are addicts. We women aren't entirely rational ourselves when it comes to body image. Especially when we feel compared to porn stars.

All I'm saying is that after the surgery, your husband will still be an addict and you will still have all the issues of jealousy and inadequacy you have now.

As for offending God, it's just my opinion. I have some vague memory of plastic surgey being discussed at conference last year but I don't even remember if it was implicit or explicit. You could try doing a search of conference talks if you felt like it. Ultimately, it's between you and God and I'm sure that if you ask with "real intent" He'll tell you what's right for you. And then it's nobody else's business, least of all mine. I think we all just hope that if you do it, you won't have unreasonable expections about how it will affect your husband."
posted at 13:27:56 on July 23, 2008 by movingon
I agree    
"I'd like to second everything movingon said. Amen. If you get the surgery, he will still look at porn, it will not fix that. I would definitely take some more time before making that decision. I felt so comfortable letting my husband see me naked before I found out about the porn. Now I can't stand the thought of him seeing me naked let alone touching me. This addiction is so destructive."
posted at 13:45:45 on July 24, 2008 by Anonymous
Hi Sierra,    
"Look at it this way...What if your husband was into circus clowns or farm animals for that matter? I know it sounds sick. That's exactly what it is. His addiction is a sickness. For the addict it's not simply the desire to view a perfect body. That is a lie the devil tells the spouse. You know how a heroin addict isn't concerned at all with the quality of the drug he can get his hands on, the sex addict is the same. They're not very discriminating about what turns them on. The guilt and shame is why they often can't continue engaging in the proper sexual relationship with their spouse. That can change in time if there is recovery taking place. I know you understand on an intellectual level that plastic surgery is not the solution. But there's still the strong desire to DO SOMETHING that may alter his addiction. It won't. Period.

Your self-image has had a severe blow recently. You need to give yourself time to recover. In the meantime it would be unwise to make an impulsive decision. Give things some time. You will feel better about yourself again."
posted at 19:09:48 on July 24, 2008 by Anonymous
A sickness or a choice?    
"This is what I have a hard time with. Every time my husband has relapsed he says the same thing to me..."it's a disease. I can't help it." Cancer is a disease. Diabetes is a disease. These are things that afflict people through no fault of their own. A cancer victim can't just say "I'm not going to have cancer anymore." It's beyond their control. What I have a hard time with is comparing watching porn to a "sickness". It seems to me that when my husband says that he is taking his accountablility in the situation away from himself. He once said to me "If I had cancer you would stay by my side and support me. This is no different." Of course I would! No question. But he would have NO choice in the matter if it was cancer. With porn HE HAS A CHOICE! Is someone putting a gun to his head and making him watch? NO. This is what is hard for me to understand.

I get it that it is an addiction. No doubt about it. I know all about addiction. I have one of my own...Diet Coke. I've been drinking Diet Coke since I was 14. I LOVE it! I crave it and am not happy if a day goes by that I can't have it. Without it I get headaches and just don't feel good. I KNOW addicton is real and a hard thing. However, if my addiction to Diet Coke caused my husband unbearable pain, to the point where he was curled up on the bed crying so hard he was physically ill. To the point that he didn't want me to touch him. To the point that he didn't trust me or respect me. I think I would choose to NOT drink it. I think I would rather poke my own eye out before continuing to do something that cause that much pain and suffering to the one I love. If drinking it risked my ETERNAL salvation and the opportunity spend eternity with my husband and four kids...I would quit it! It would be uncomfortable. I would endure the headache. I would probably crave Diet Coke until the day I died but for heaven sake it's not worth losing EVERYTHING! My husband has said to me before when he relapses..."If you had to give up Diet Coke there would be days where you would sneak a sip." Maybe so. But Diet Coke won't break up our marraige. It won't get me kicked out of the church. When I was pregnant I DID give up drinking Diet Coke. It wasn't fun but sometimes you have to put another persons welfare above your own. He chooses to watch porn time and time again. Even knowing how much it hurts me. Even knowing that it could cost him everything. It's hard to feel loved when I know he's willing to hurt me like that.

I am learning a lot by reading the blogs. I really am. Someone posted that lust was like caffeine running through your veins. I could relate to that. I understand that lust is probably a lot more potent than caffeine. More like heroin. Since I've never felt that feeling before I can't really truly comprehend it. My husband won't talk about it so I really have relied on the addicts that post on this blog to learn more about this addiction. I don't claim to understand it AT ALL. But I know a LOT more than I did a year and a half ago when I first found out. I know it must be unbelievably hard to control. I just wish my husband would ADMIT that it was his choice to sit and the computer and it was his choice to download porn and it was his choice to watch it and all that goes along with it. It just rubs me wrong to blame the "disease" instead of accepting blame. Thats all. Done venting...:)

On a different note. I have decided to hold off on the surgery. I think because I keep going back and forth and don't know whats right that maybe I'm experiencing a "stupor of thought" so to speak. I think if it was right I would have more peace about it and not keep worrying about it and second guessing myself. I realized there really is no rush. I think I wanted to do it NOW because I want to feel better.I may do it in the future but for now I think it's best to wait and just work on healing my heart.I thank EVERYONE for all the advice, encouragement, support...ect. Once again I hope I didn't offend anyone whose addicted. It helps me to vent but my intention is not to make anyone feel bad...."
posted at 11:22:20 on July 25, 2008 by sierra
Cancer and Choices    
"Addiction may be a disease, but here is the kicker: If your husband had cancer, yes you would stay with him. But if he had a cancer that was treatable, and the treaments could save his life, yet he refused the treatment, and instead let the cancer ravage is body; would that be acceptable? Absolutely not. He may have a sickness, but there are treatments for this sickness. Would he refuse treatments for cancer if it could save his life? My guess is no. He is using the fact that addiction is a disease as a crutch, an excuse.

As far as him having a choice in the matter, this one is a hard one for me to swallow as well. There is a talk by Elder Russell M. Nelson posted on the LDS family services website about addiction. This talk refers to drug addiction, but drug addiction and sex addiction are pretty much one in the same, (my husband has both). It talks about choices and has helped me to understand what happens to an addict after they make that first choice. Here is a small quote that I found to be helpful:

"Agency, or the power to choose, was ours as spirit children of our Creator before the world was (see Alma 13:3; Moses 4:4). It is a gift from God, nearly as precious as life itself.

Often, however, agency is misunderstood. While we are free to choose, once we have made those choices, we are tied to the consequences of those choices.

We are free to take drugs or not. But once we choose to use a habit-forming drug, we are bound to the consequences of that choice. Addiction surrenders later freedom to choose. Through chemical means, one can literally become disconnected from his or her own will!"
Russell M. Nelson, “Addiction or Freedom,” New Era, Sept. 1989, 4

When you said you would rather poke your own eyes out than cause anyone pain like the pain you have experienced, I completely agree. It's hard to imagine how anyone can continue their behavior knowing how much it is hurting someone else, knowing what is at stake. On the flip side, I have never experienced the kind of craving an addict has for their drug of choice, whether it's porn or heroin. I have heard stories of drug addicts doing unspeakable things in order to obtain the drug they feel they so desperately need (and in some cases, their body has become so dependent on the drug that they actually do need it). Things they would never imagine doing if they were in their right minds. Those must be some powerful chemicals working. I have never experienced those cravings, so it's hard for me to say how much choice is involved. I know there has got to be some choice involved, especially after they have been sober for a while. Like you said, no one is holding a gun to their heads. It's all very hard for me to wrap my head around, it's a subject that I struggle with as well."
posted at 14:01:17 on July 25, 2008 by Anonymous
...    
"I think you're half way there. You ask the right questions...how could he do something so hurtful and destructive? The power to refrain has been snatched away. The addict acts out even when every fiber of their being is telling them not to!

I was molested at 8 years old by a family member. I was introduced to sex way to prematurely and with it came an obssession for sexual things. I know now that I was trying to make sense out of what happened to me; somehow I had to justify the molestation in my mind. Meanwhile my subconcscious made every waking minute painful and lo and behold, the only time I felf OK was when I was doing sexual things.

Is my addiction my fault? I take full accountabilty for the sins that resulted from my addiction but, really, does a child have the power to overcome an incident like that? It's not my fault that I'm an addict but it's absolutely my responsibilty to do something about it.

Comparisons to diet coke and even cancer are inaccurate judgements. I'm not offended because it's normal to think and feel the way you do. But a more accurate description would be
: having a disease that tells you that you don't have a disease yet, knowing full well that what you're doing can ruin your family, your health, the safety of those around you and hot having a shred of agency to do anything about it.

Then hopefully someone comes along and tells you that you aren't inherently a BAD person who's trying to be GOOD. Instead they tell you that you're a SICK person trying to get WELL.
That makes all the difference in the world. I have always secretly felt like a disgusting creature that deserved to be forsaken by God and man. It made so much more sense when someone told me that I had a disease and that the sexual acting out was a "symptom" of that disease and with the help of others who had gone before me I could get down to the "causes and conditions" of what made my life so completely unmanageable. For the first time in my life I felt like a child of God. Instead of an outsider looking in on the mormon faith I felt a part of something. My wife is truly a saint. She attends her support group and I work my program to the best of my ability and I'm given a daily reprieve from my addiction so long as I stay spiritually fit. It's been six years clean. Life is good. My wife is my best, friend. She is my hero and my teacher and she trusts me. I have my agency back to recoil from things that used to bind me. I hope and pray each day to not go back to that hell I came from. It's a healthy fear. It helps me to stay vigilante in my recovery.
I hope things work out for you, Sierra. I know it's hard to think of your husband as sck. Despite what you may see he's suffering too. If the tables were turned what would you hope your husband would do for you?"
posted at 17:17:56 on July 25, 2008 by Anonymous
Anonymous...    
"What you wrote touched my heart and softened it a little. I'm SO sorry about what happened to you when you were 8. I can't imagine. In a lot of ways I know that this is not my husbands fault as well. His mother is a member of the church but his father is not. When he was 12 his father took him into the bathroom with some Playboy magazines and told him that to become a man he should look at them and touch himself. When he told me this story years and years ago I was horrified! Maybe thats why he lied to me and and told me that he told his dad NO WAY and ran out of the bathroom. Now he admits that he did go in and do what his dad said to do. My mind accepts that he was exposed to sexual things WAY too early and this is why he has problems. It's just so hard not to take it personal. I want to be his best friend, as your wife is to you. I want to be his hero and his saint but he doesn't trust me. He lies to me. Granted when I first found out about this all I could have handled it better. I may or may not have thrown a shoe at him. I don't remember. I do know I yelled and cried and called him names. OK...I know now that this is the wrong approach to take. But I was so distraught! After I calmed down and with a LOT of prayer I wrote him a letter telling him that I would help him. I would support him. But he COULD NOT lie to me any more. He had to tell me even when he made mistakes. He told me he would...long story short... he kept lying to me. Every time he had a relapse I would ask him about it and he would deny deny deny until I showed him hard proof. Then he would admit it, cry, beg for forgiveness. It seemed to be this cycle we couldn't break. I know he's suffered too. Sometimes I get caught up in feeling sorry for myself...If the tables were turned I would want my husband to stay by my side and help me. I guess I just don't know how to help someone that wants to do it themselves."
posted at 18:38:03 on July 25, 2008 by sierra
Adam and Eve quote    
"If it wasn't for our transgression, we would not have joy.

Remember all trials are lessons to be learned, not situations to throw shame and blame. We all have issues in our life that we want to keep hidden so we won't feel shamed by others. I believe that part of our life's lesson here is to learn to help someone who has hurt us, or at least forgive them. I'm not saying it is easy and i have mastered that, cause i haven't. I just think the more we can learn to help someone struggling the more we will get help with our struggles.

Here's a quote from Bruce C. Hafen's book, Covenant Hearts. page 116
"Children need love like fish need water. If (because of what happens at home or in other relationships during childhood) they don't get the real thing, they reach out for substitutes such as food, sexual self-gratification, and pornography. Some love substitutes are even worse. . ."

If we truly want to heal we have to look on the inside. Alma chapter 60 talks about cleansing the inner vessel first then the outer vessel will cleans. What is the inner vessel? I personally feel it is the spirit and the outer vessel our physical body. Why do we need to cleans the inner vessel? I feel the spirit can be hurt just like the physical body, but unless we are really in tune with ourself we will not notice anything wrong with the spirit. Our society teaches us to focus only on the physical, and when we focus only on the physical we do not heal.

Sierra, your husband does have some real issues, but in my opinion pornography is not the real issue or core issue. His core issue is no self love. But as i listen to your story of wanting surgery to make you look better it seems to me you have the same issue, no self love. You are trying to make the outside look better with out working on the inside.

If we just look at the outer vessel nothing will change. If you had these surgeries i don't think it would be long before you would realize you still don't like yourself. When a person has a healthy self love, loving one self as Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother, and the Savior would love us, we would not need to turn to pornography, drugs, food, sex, or surgeries to make us feel good about ourself. The scriptures talk about loving thy self as thy neighbor, how can i love my neighbor any more than i love myself. Oh we put on a good facade, but the truth is we do not love ourself and life becomes pretty miserable trying to love the neighbor.

Sierra, you said above the you feel to some degree that your husband is just justifying some of the things he is doing. You, to some degree question if it is a real disease or if he is just making a excuse to not take responsibility for his action. This is very understandable. But are you doing the same thing to him, blaming him for your unhappiness, and justifying it because he has an addiction. If you keep throwing your unhappiness on him you will not find the answers, just as he is not willing to take responsibility for his actions, it seems you don't want to look in the mirror yourself.

If seems to me that you are caught up in the perfect body addiction. How many people do you know who have the perfect body, male or female, who's life is in turmoil, but they sure look good to themselves in the mirror. They will do every thing they can to keep that image going for themselves, but refuse to see the tornado going on in there life.

If you got this surgery, is there a part of you that wants it because you want to look good so your husband will want you, but will you refuse to give yourself to him? Are you wanting it to punish him? Or are you truly wanting it for the right reasons for yourself to have a better relationship with him? Facades do not help relationships, if the structure isn't sound the facade will not keep it from crumbling.

The only truth that we need is to allow Christ into our lives, he never did say come to me when you are perfect, he said, just come. He knows we all are imperfect and he still accepts and loves us just the way we are. I think many of us in the church believe that we need to be perfect right now, oh how impatient we can be. We need to get over this being perfect and just realize we don't need to be perfect and we can't do it without Christ's help. We need to realize that pointing the finger at someone else only delays me taking responsibility for my actions. Remember when i point the fingers of shame and guilt i to let go of the iron rod.

It may be beneficial for both of you to attend a Addiction Recovery Program, if your husband won't go, go anyway and learn what good people are there struggling with their own issues. It could be a great help for you of understanding others.

Be patient and seek to love yourself and then pass it on."
posted at 02:39:12 on July 26, 2008 by john
John,    
"Fair enough. I guess I can't really expect you to understand what it's like to be the spouse of a porn addict. Just as I can't really understand what it's like to have this addiction."
posted at 12:09:19 on July 26, 2008 by sierra
-    
"How do I say this in the gentlest way possilbe? There is an art and a fine balance in giving someone valuable suggestions and "preaching". One thing the addict has in common with the familiy of the addict is we both don't like being "preached" to. It doesn't feel nice and, well, we're already in alot of pain. We seem to respond better to people sharing their own personal experience or making suggestions in a gentle and loving way. It's best to stay away from phrases like, ""You should...", or "You are...", "You need to...," etc. We ALL think we know what's best for other people. Alot of our points may have value. To be heard, we speak the language of love and empathy. It's an isolating disease. Some addicts and loved ones of addicts simply won't listen to anyone except someone who knows how they feel. (Observe how, Sierra instantly shut down.)

That being said, I know your motive is love. You'll get the hang of it."
posted at 13:29:04 on July 26, 2008 by Anonymous
My bad    
"Sierra
Sorry i came across so strong, i did not mean to hurt or offend you, which i did. I realize you are going through a very tough time, sorry i made your side sound not important. All i was trying to say is if i want compassion for me i need to learn compassion for others.


Anonymous

Thank you for you kind words and patients with me. You are right in all you said. I am still learning to share with love. I wish someone had sat me down years ago and help me see that both sides of all stories need to be heard. If i only chose to see my side of the coin then nothing works. I understand about preaching, sorry. Most of my marriage i have been blamed for everything that was wrong in our marriage. For many years i believed i was the problem, but me believing that and staying in denial was just as much of the problem of those blaming me. Both side were the problem, my wife and me, not just one of us.

Anonymous let me ask you, should we reject the truth even if it is true, or it hurts? Would you not agree that all of us in this country, including me, have problems and issues we don't want to face? If i blame my wife, how is that any different than what she was doing to me? Sometimes i didn't want to face myself in the mirror because all i could do is blame my wife.

My point with Adam and Eve was if we don't have trials we will not grow, we will not have joy. Adam and Eve did not have joy until after they had sinned. I am not trying to preach or point the finger to anyone but myself. All these issues in my life that i have brought or someone else brought in my life is a lesson for me to learn, it is a teacher for me not my wife. My wife and i have spent many years blaming each other and it has only delayed our coming together and kept us playing the shame and blame game with each other.

Sorry i will stop preaching, sorry for offending."
posted at 23:05:57 on July 26, 2008 by john
Thanks, John.    
"Now I hear ya.
Thanks for your service."
posted at 01:50:20 on July 27, 2008 by Anonymous
John,    
"It's all good! I didn't mean to come off snippy or shut down. I wasn't offended...I promise. Some of the things you wrote were hard to read and maybe I did shut down a little bit but honestly I thank you. We're perfect strangers and you took the time to write a comment with the good intentions of helping me. How could I be offended? I have often worried about hurting someone with my comments and I need to be more careful as well. I appreciate the advice. One thing you wrote has me wondering...if it's none of my business that's okay. You wrote that maybe I need to take some responsibility for this situation and "look in the mirror myself". Everyone that I've talked to (the Bishop, my husband and people on this blog) have told me over and over again that it's not my fault. I'm not to blame in any way, shape or form. I've struggled to believe this because I DO feel like maybe I could have done something to prevent this. Even when I ask my husband what I can do to help him not watch porn anymore he says "It's not your fault BUT maybe you could be more affectionate." Or "It's not your fault BUT maybe you could initiate intimacy more and be more spontaneous." I can read between the lines. If I'm reading your comments right (and if I'm not please let me know) you feel that your wife shares some of the blame for your situation. I assume you have a pornography problem because you're on this blog...maybe I'm wrong. So what exactly could your wife have done to help? What blame does she share with you? I'm just curious. You're the first person that hasn't said "It's not the wives fault."

Again, thanks for your comments. Anonymous- thanks for sticking up for me. You're great. Everyone is wonderful and supportive and I don't know how I made it the last year and a half with absolutely NOBODY to talk with or vent with. So...thanks!"
posted at 11:46:22 on July 28, 2008 by sierra
Sierra,    
"I think you may have misunderstood. I think John was explaining what recovery for the spouse looks like. For myself, it is when I am able to take the focus off of my spouse and leave his addiction in Heaenly Fathers hands and take a good look at my own weaknesses and the character flaws that I need to leave at His feet. To name a few, I found that I am a proud person, I am selfish, I am judgmental of others, I have control issues, etc.

When I'm working on my own shortcomings I feel like I am on the same playing field with my husband. It just "feels" alot better than the times when I am on my perch looking down on my husband and his weaknesses. It took a long while before I was able to really see that I may have some issues of my own.

I really don't think John meant that you played a part in your husband becoming an addict. I think meant that when we can see eachother as Heavenly Father sees us- as two people with things to overcome then we begin to feel better about the addiction. Part of the hurt for me was agonizing over, "How could he do something so hurtful and disgusting?" I began to feel better with the realization that I wasn't above some pretty hurtful sins of my own. There was always this unspoken thought of "I would never do that" and therefore I was better than my husband. This was a lie that I harbored and it festered.

These days, I have a support group. I work the 12 Steps for my own powerlessness and unmanageability. I am not constantly obssessed with his behavior and his addiction. There's been relapses. I have people I can call to help me through the rough spots. Life isn't perfect but it's not nearly as painful as it was in the beginning. My prayers are with you, Sierra. Please find yourself an S-anon or LDS group for the spouses of addicts. They help enormously."
posted at 13:25:45 on July 28, 2008 by Anonymous
Sierra,    
"I have been worried the last few days thinking i ruined the only safe place for you to come and vent. This is a great place to discuss things, if everybody could open their heart like you did the world would be a greater place. As you and anonymous commented i just felt like crying, i'm not sure why, maybe i was just feeling love from both of you. Thank you anonymous, you hit the nail on the head. Sometimes i struggle with putting my thoughts to words in good way.

Sierra, sorry it came out that you were to blame, or you could have done something to prevent it. The people you have talked to are 100% right, he would have had this problem married to you or anyone else. There is nothing you could have done to stop this boulder rolling down the hill that was started when he was a child. The thought that was confusing to you is like anonymous was saying, if i always point the fingers at my wife i let go of the iron rod myself, and that is my choice not hers. The more i can look in the mirror and see what i can heal or change to meet Heavenly Father's plan for me, the more i can help someone else heal in the same way. We all have been raised in a society that does not teach that, our society teaches us to always look outside ourself for happiness. That thinking will destroy anyone, addict or non addict.

For years my wife and her parents looked down on me, was very critical of me for not being like her dad. No i do not have a issue with pornography and never have, my wife and i have been called to be missionaries over the ARP program were we live. I like coming here and reading comments to see if i can find things that i can share with the group. I think some of were i was coming from is that i still haven't let go of being blamed for everything that was wrong in our marriage. I have a father in law who many times has over stepped his boundries and feels he has a right to do so. Then justifies himself by saying he is older and has read the scriptures more than me and has had important callings in the church so that justifies what he does, in his mind. Sorry if that came out at you, i am still learning to let go of this. It really has only been the last two years of our 28 year marriage that we have started to come togeother, so i have alot of anger built up, but it is alot better than it was two years ago. So sorry, sometimes my anger comes when i hear a spouse jumps on theirs spouse and what may look like to me that they do not want to look at themselves. And some times i get a little one sided.

Sorry, i still feel like crying. I am really feeling of your spirit and your struggle. Here is some thoughts for you.

Just know that Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother, and the Savior are proud of you for sticking with it. They know it is tough. In Second Kings 6: 15 it tells the story of Elisha's servant who woke up one morning to find they were surrounded by an army. And they weren't the friendly type, they were not coming to watch the ball game later that day. Sorry i had to lighten it up a little. The servant ran to Elisha and told him what was going on. Here is the interesting part for me, Elisha did not have to call time out and go to his bedroom and kneel in prayer and ask Heavenly Father what he should do. Elisha already knew, he already knew he had the assistance from angels. He states, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. Still the servant did not get it, Elisha prayed and said, Lord open his eyes, and his eyes were opened and he could see host of angels standing ready to help them.

I also like to talk about the pioneers who were struggling with their handcarts, they could feel as if some one was pushing the handcarts for them, they looked around but saw no one. There were angels there to assist them in their life's journey. Now if Elisha and the pioneers had angels come to their aid, I promise you they are there for you and your husband. Just because you and i do not see them does not mean they are not there, trust me they are there. They are there to help you, your husband and me in our struggles in life. It does not matter what we have done, the Savior just wants us all to return to him and recognize we can't do it alone.

What was neat for me was last sunday i was talking to one of the bishops in our building, asking him if he needed any information to help him with those struggling with addictions. He opened up to me, we had a great talk. He told me that before his mission he struggled with pornography. He stated that some how he was able to whip it before he went on his mission and has not had a problem with it since. Now here is a humble servant of the Lord, one who struggled and overcame a weakness. I love stories like that. I personally believe he has a greater compassion for those who struggle with that issue than others have. He is a great influence to those who struggle. Sorry i'm probably preaching again but i just love people who have overcome a trial and now are assisting others.

Last months ensign has an article that has some thoughts for the person who's spouse struggles with an addiction, you might read that. And as anonymous said, find a group to go to and get help, you do not have to go through this alone. That is one blessing for us to live in this day and time, that there is help for anyone who seeks it.

Sierra, Anonymous, love ya, thanks for your great spirit."
posted at 09:02:45 on July 29, 2008 by john
...    
"Thanks for your thoughts and the article suggestion. I am so grateful for the service of the ARP missionaries. They really are pioneers because the program is yet, in it's infancy. You will make a great missionary, John. I, personally think it is one of the greater callings in the church today. It's definitely not for the faint of heart and it takes a humility few possess. Good luck!"
posted at 00:03:28 on July 30, 2008 by Anonymous
Sierra,    
"I have been worried the last few days thinking i ruined the only safe place for you to come and vent. This is a great place to discuss things, if everybody could open their heart like you did the world would be a greater place. As you and anonymous commented i just felt like crying, i'm not sure why, maybe i was just feeling love from both of you. Thank you anonymous, you hit the nail on the head. Sometimes i struggle with putting my thoughts to words in good way.

Sierra, sorry it came out that you were to blame, or you could have done something to prevent it. The people you have talked to are 100% right, he would have had this problem married to you or anyone else. There is nothing you could have done to stop this boulder rolling down the hill that was started when he was a child. The thought that was confusing to you is like anonymous was saying, if i always point the fingers at my wife i let go of the iron rod myself, and that is my choice not hers. The more i can look in the mirror and see what i can heal or change to meet Heavenly Father's plan for me, the more i can help someone else heal in the same way. We all have been raised in a society that does not teach that, our society teaches us to always look outside ourself for happiness. That thinking will destroy anyone, addict or non addict.

For years my wife and her parents looked down on me, was very critical of me for not being like her dad. No i do not have a issue with pornography and never have, my wife and i have been called to be missionaries over the ARP program were we live. I like coming here and reading comments to see if i can find things that i can share with the group. I think some of were i was coming from is that i still haven't let go of being blamed for everything that was wrong in our marriage. I have a father in law who many times has over stepped his boundries and feels he has a right to do so. Then justifies himself by saying he is older and has read the scriptures more than me and has had important callings in the church so that justifies what he does, in his mind. Sorry if that came out at you, i am still learning to let go of this. It really has only been the last two years of our 28 year marriage that we have started to come togeother, so i have alot of anger built up, but it is alot better than it was two years ago. So sorry, sometimes my anger comes when i hear a spouse jumps on theirs spouse and what may look like to me that they do not want to look at themselves. And some times i get a little one sided.

Sorry, i still feel like crying. I am really feeling of your spirit and your struggle. Here is some thoughts for you.

Just know that Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother, and the Savior are proud of you for sticking with it. They know it is tough. In Second Kings 6: 15 it tells the story of Elisha's servant who woke up one morning to find they were surrounded by an army. And they weren't the friendly type, they were not coming to watch the ball game later that day. Sorry i had to lighten it up a little. The servant ran to Elisha and told him what was going on. Here is the interesting part for me, Elisha did not have to call time out and go to his bedroom and kneel in prayer and ask Heavenly Father what he should do. Elisha already knew, he already knew he had the assistance from angels. He states, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. Still the servant did not get it, Elisha prayed and said, Lord open his eyes, and his eyes were opened and he could see host of angels standing ready to help them.

I also like to talk about the pioneers who were struggling with their handcarts, they could feel as if some one was pushing the handcarts for them, they looked around but saw no one. There were angels there to assist them in their life's journey. Now if Elisha and the pioneers had angels come to their aid, I promise you they are there for you and your husband. Just because you and i do not see them does not mean they are not there, trust me they are there. They are there to help you, your husband and me in our struggles in life. It does not matter what we have done, the Savior just wants us all to return to him and recognize we can't do it alone.

What was neat for me was last sunday i was talking to one of the bishops in our building, asking him if he needed any information to help him with those struggling with addictions. He opened up to me, we had a great talk. He told me that before his mission he struggled with pornography. He stated that some how he was able to whip it before he went on his mission and has not had a problem with it since. Now here is a humble servant of the Lord, one who struggled and overcame a weakness. I love stories like that. I personally believe he has a greater compassion for those who struggle with that issue than others have. He is a great influence to those who struggle. Sorry i'm probably preaching again but i just love people who have overcome a trial and now are assisting others.

Last months ensign has an article that has some thoughts for the person who's spouse struggles with an addiction, you might read that. And as anonymous said, find a group to go to and get help, you do not have to go through this alone. That is one blessing for us to live in this day and time, that there is help for anyone who seeks it.

Sierra, Anonymous, love ya, thanks for your great spirit."
posted at 19:34:16 on August 1, 2008 by john
John    
"If you are posting the same thing until you get the answer you want you just may be an addict yet. Welcome!"
posted at 21:54:06 on August 1, 2008 by Anonymous
Sorry    
"I didn't know i posted twice, not even sure how i did that.
Sorry

But anonymous, wouldn't argue with you at all.

Thanks"
posted at 15:57:34 on August 3, 2008 by john
Sorry John    
"It was a dumb joke"
posted at 18:41:32 on August 3, 2008 by Anonymous
Anonymous    
"Caught that, i was trying to be funny back."
posted at 08:46:51 on August 5, 2008 by john


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"Man has a dual nature; one, related to the earthly or animal life; the other, akin to the divine. Whether a man remains satisfied within what we designate the animal world, satisfied with what the animal world will give him, yielding without effort to the whim of his appetites and passions and slipping farther and farther into the realm of indulgence, or whether, through self-mastery, he rises toward intellectual, moral, and spiritual enjoyments depends upon the kind of choice he makes every day, nay, every hour of his life"

— David O. McKay