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Things I've Learned the Hard Way

It's true that in our trials our greatest lessons are learned. My husband is addicted to pornography. Although his choices affect me greatly, I am able to choose my attitude about them.

Here are some things I've learned:
  • Pornography is a real addiction. And no, he can't "Just stop doing it". Even if he really wants to. It's a long process that takes time.
  • Don't become his parole officer. Though it's difficult, don't try and control every move he makes. It isn't good for either him or you.
  • Although porn may consume his life, don't let it consume yours. Make sure you have time for yourself doing things you enjoy. It's important to keep a sense of who you are outside of his addiction.
  • Friends mean well, but unless they've been there they don't really understand. Don't be offended by the comments they make (whether they're aware of your situation or not).
  • Most people are helpful and understanding when they find out.
  • The Lord knows him better than you do. Remember, that although he may not always be telling you the truth, the Spirit will. That does not mean the spirit will become a lie detector for you. But it will always let you know what to do if you take the time and calm down enough to listen.
  • Educate yourself. There are a lot of books out there. Although very few are directed specifically to the wives, it's important for you to understand what he's going through.
  • Encourage him to seek counseling from both his Bishop and a professional counselor. Remember that in the end it has to be his choice, but strong encouragement doesn't hurt. The same is encouraged for you.
  • Remember that HE is not the addiction or problem, he just has one. Separate the loved one and the addiction. Remember the good qualities and encourage him to cultivate his talents. Recovering from his addiction includes replacing it with something productive.
  • It is difficult for an addict to love because their perceptions have been so twisted. Be understanding that he truly may not be able to show you that he cares. But if you stick with him he will someday be able to appreciate what you have done with him.
  • Do not, do not, do not, enable him in his addiction. Love him, care for him, encourage him, but do not engage in anything that you are uncomfortable with, whatever that may be.
The most important thing for you to do is to listen to the Spirit. You will be guided through this trial if you are humble enough to listen.

Be strong. Strengthen your testimony. As long as you are standing firm, you can not fail.

*image via Google

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