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‘Addiction’ from Anonymous

Alcohol, smoking, gambling, speed, adrenaline, food, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, video/computer games, online games, internet, pornography, sex, plastic surgery, risk, sugar, shopping, inhalants, stealing, power, money, . . . the list of things one could become addicted to seems endless. It reminds me of what King Benjamin told his people during his great discourse at the temple: “And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them” (Mosiah 4:29).

Addiction is typified by neglect of loved ones or disruption of social interactions, inordinate amounts of time spent on the activity, and social dysfunction.Alcohol addiction is common in recent days which has numerous negative impacts on health, but treating at earliest stage can recover a person. You can click here now about addiction recovery.

My husband has an addiction and we got him into rehab in rancho cucamonga for treatment, one that many might not think of when they hear the word “addiction.” But it is an addiction nonetheless, one that is placing in jeopardy everything that is most important in this life. My husband is addicted to electronic games, specifically online games – even more specifically, to World of Warcraft. He disagrees with me, of course. “I need to be able to relax, to have some downtime. It’s just a game. I work hard all day and I need time to unwind after work.” I understand the need to relax, to have downtime, to unwind. But there is downtime and there is addiction.

My husband is also a workaholic. I used to hate the way he worked 12+ hours a day, many times six days a week. But now, I would rather have him be at work six days a week than working five days then home, glued to the computer screen, for two. I can barely stand the one day plus 5-6 hours every night that he plays now. When he gets home from work, typically about the time I’m putting the kids to bed, he comes in, changes his clothes, gets something to eat, then pulls up his game. I’m generally asleep when he comes to bed but the times I groggily open an eye to peer at the clock it is usually between 1 and 2am. There are days we hardly say 10 words to each other.

Oh, I know that playing electronic games doesn’t seem to be one of the big addictions. You can’t die from playing electronic games, can you? Well, it seems that you can. There have been reports in the news of people becoming so obsessed with their game that they forget to sleep or eat or drink. And they die. Not a lot, but some have. And that’s not counting the ones who kill themselves when the virtual world they accept as being more real that reality, is taken away from them. It’s scary. There are websites dedicated to people trying to wean themselves from WoW. It’s serious stuff.

But it’s not the fear that the gamer will die (that’s fairly rare) that makes electronic gaming so hard. It’s the disassociation, the neglect – time spent away from spouse and children. It’s the priority the game takes over church and family. It’s the immersion of the person in a virtual, fantasy world to the exclusion of reality. My husband hasn’t been to church in months. Before he stopped coming all together he only came because I had a very stressful calling and really needed help with the kids. Even then, after Sacrament Meeting he’d get the kids to their classes then spend the rest of the block dozing in the van, listening to jazz. Now Sundays are spent playing his game and taking five hour long naps – catching up on the sleep he has lost by playing late all week. Even during those times he decides to spend with us, he is on a short fuse, easily angered and annoyed.

I’ve never experienced the pain of knowing that my spouse has broken his marriage vows but I have felt the aching loss of self worth as I walk past our office to hear my husband laughing and talking with people he has never met face to face, never had interaction with outside of a virtual fantasy world. “What is wrong with me,” I ask myself, “that my husband prefers, night after night, to be with those people rather than me?”

The last time we went on a family vacation was in July of 2004. I’ve taken the kids on four camping trips, by myself, since then. If we go to the park, it’s without Dad. We do a lot of things without Dad. Frequently, on those rare nights when he is home in time from work, our dinner is without Dad as well. He’ll load a plate with food and quietly disappear into the office, back to his game.

Sometimes I can hardly bear the pain this causes me. I feel like I am raising the children alone. I feel like I bear all of the responsibility of teaching them strength of character and gospel principles all alone. I worry so much about the example my husband is setting for our sons – often the only interaction they have with their father is when they stand behind his chair and watch him play the game. Do I call them from the room and take away even that time they have with their dad or do I let them stay and eventually become him, set to break their wives hearts too? How will they learn that men have responsibilities around the house too? Many times I’ll ask my husband to help me with something around the house, he’ll ask for a minute to finish up something on his game, then hours later I’ll do it myself because he has never emerged from his fantasy world. How will our sons learn the importance of and how to honor the Priesthood? The importance of faithful gospel participation? How will they learn to be good fathers, good husbands? How will our daughter know what to look for in a good husband? These are only some of the hurt, angry, bitter thoughts that roil around my head too much of the time.

In the July Ensign there is a wonderful article entitled, “Hope, Healing, and Dealing with Addiction.” I have read it several times and not only has it given me strength and hope but it has validated my decision to get counseling. I have my first session this week. I’ll be going alone. My husband says he’ll see how I like it before he decides to go. Hummm . . . . But as Michael D. Gardner says in his article, I can’t change my husband, I can only change myself. I can learn to take care of myself, to control the way I react to his behavior, to forgive him and accept any steps he takes in the right direction.

My husband really is a good man. I believe he loves us and would be devastated if he lost us. But right now he is lost – lost in an addiction that is taking a great toll on him and his family. I hope we can all make it through.

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63 thoughts on “‘Addiction’ from Anonymous”

  1. Wow, I really feel for you. You're husband is clearly addicted, and really in this day and age it doesn't sound strange to me at all. I have know plenty of people who can get carried away with video games. Good for you for taking action and getting counseling, I hope your husband decides to join you soon!

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  2. At first I thought this was a joke because I often tease my husband about the same thing. I've never met anyone who wouldn't laugh at me if I mentioned this! My husband has the same problem. On our honeymoon I remember waking up to the sound of his computer turning on at 5AM so he could play his game. I was like, "Seriously? On our honeymoon?" A decade later he still wakes up super early to get in as much game time as possible, and he spends the evenings in front of the computer too. He is good at helping with the children and around the house, but it seriously seems like he just puts in "family time hours" to gain as many "alone with my computer hours" as possible. I call his computer his "mistress" because he spends more time with "it" than me (I almost called it "her") One thing I'm seriously disturbed about is the fact that he will have major outbreaks of anger (rage?) if he doesn't get in enough "downtime" with the computer. I'm already in counseling. He has attended as well, both with me and alone. I haven't really brought up his computer time as a major problem because I thought it might seem petty or silly… Honestly, I still feel weird bringing it up. I know if I called it an "addiction" he would roll his eyes and laugh.

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  3. Does your husband realize that losing you is a possibility? Maybe he needs that kind of wake-up call.

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. What an awful situation.

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  4. Oh, this was so honest and feeling. Thank you for sharing. I worry about the so so so many things we can become lost in. I think this issue is far more common and serious than most of us realize. I've noticed how much it has been discussed by the Brethren lately. I know you are far from alone, dear.

    This makes me weep. It takes a lot of courage to face this. God bless you and strengthen you in your effort to save your family.

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  5. I know lots of men who have admitted they were beginning to become addicted and chose by themselves to be disciplined enough to give up video/computer games. It absolutely can become an addiction! And like many addicts, the only solution for him may be to go cold turkey and completely abstain. Alcoholics don't have a beer every now and then. They realize that they cannot control themselves and stop and just one drink so they have to abstain completely. As for the example he is setting for the children, I think it is important to realize the example you are setting as well by "allowing" it. How will they ever realize that this behavior is destructive if their mom and their dad both allow it to continue? I hope that you can find some solution for your family. May God bless you.

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  6. We've gone through the same thing in my house, both with my husband and with my early-twenties brother who lives with us. Most nights they fight over who gets to use the 6 gaming consoles that we currently have plugged into the huge HDTV. When my husband recently came to me and asked to buy the newest, very expensive Playstation 3, I said no. A few days later he came to me with a "contract". It was a list of things that he had to do in order to be able to buy/play this new console. It included things like exercising, spending an hour with each kid on Saturday, no longer taking daytime naps unless we're all asleep, no playing video games while the kids are awake unless we agree that they're kid friendly and a few other important things. We were very specific about each of the requirements and if he doesn't complete each one then he doesn't get to play that day. He had to reach a quota of 31 days to be able to buy the console.

    The contract has seemed to work really well so far. We're almost two months in and he is continuing to follow the guidelines that he and I set out. If he tells me he wants to take a nap, I say "Ok, but that means no playing tonight." That usually keeps him awake. In 5 years of marriage I haven't been able to get him to do any of the things on his list of requirements, but apparently Sony has more influence than I do. Sad, but true.

    I've heard of people using this for their kids, but never for a spouse. I think that the twenty-something generation today has no self-discipline or self-control. We've been indulged in whatever we want, especially electronics, for so long that we feel entitled to it. I worry for our kids and what their expectations from life will be. One step at a time.

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  7. Oh, Barb, if you've never experienced this then you have no idea. This is a grown man, not a teenager. Anonymous is no more "allowing" him to play video games than a battered wife "allows" her husband to beat on her. You can't punish him by taking away privileges or grounding him. Short of physically dragging him away from the computer and chaining him to the wall there is nothing that anonymous can do. Yes, her children are seeing the damage that addiction can do and hopefully they will resolve never to do this to their families. I am already answering questions from my 3 year old as to why daddy is ignoring him or why he can't go outside and play t-ball with him right now.

    Hang in there, anonymous, and I hope things will get better. If you want to commiserate or share ideas, please email me anytime. I'm so impressed with you for going to counseling and I hope you learn ways to cope with your situation.

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  8. I did not do a good job of explaining myself, because that is not how I wanted to come across. Of course, this is a terribly difficult situation (one I am actually familiar with, as my husband struggled with this when we were dating- and I'm talking staying in his room for 3 days straight playing WoW) and I don't mean to cast blame here or seem insensitive. I guess what I was trying to say is that 1) video/computer game addiction is as real as alcohol or drug addiction; 2) spouses of video game addicts may have a codependent relationship that often is seen in spouses of alcoholics, etc. ; 3) the modeling her children are seeing is more than just the dad playing Wow constantly, they also see what mom does in response to it (which Anonymous brings up herself in the third to last paragraph)

    I do not mean to say it is Anonymous Guest's fault or to say that she is codependent. I just wanted to bring up that relationships that have addiction present in them cause other problems as well and those may need to be looked at.

    I wholeheartedly admire Anonymous for seeking counseling- that is a great message to send to her children that she wants to improve their situation and she's willing to work hard to do it. I hope that she can continue to find ways to show and tell her children that her spouse's behavior is unacceptable.

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  9. I really appreciate all of the comments and support this blog has generated. I especially like the dialogue between Barb and Jessie T. I understand about codependent relationships and I fully accept that I have played a part in this situation. In the beginning, I talked and talked and tried to get him to see how his obsessive gaming was hurting me (back then it was computer games), but after a time, beating my head against a brick wall just hurt too much and I withdrew emotionally. I blame myself that I'm not strong enough to keep talking. I blame myself that sometimes I'm too weak and heart sore to call my boys from the room for the fifth, sixth, seventh time. I blame myself for a lot of things because I'm just so tired – tired to the bottom of my soul – with the struggle. I'm hanging a lot of hope on counseling. I need tools to help me, tools I don't have now.

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  10. I can see how weary you are of carrying this burden alone. I am really so sorry. And of course you grew tired of harping on him and trying to improve the situation all by yourself. I hope that you can find great success in counseling and that you and your spouse can heal this rift. I will be praying for you.

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  11. This post scares me…Seeing my 4 year old watching my husband's violent video game playing at 6am broke my heart.The other time I found my son in there watching he said "it's just psychotic. I just wanted to finish and it was taking longer than I thought." It disturbs me that he puts his own entertainment before the good of our 4yr old who already has morbid tendencies. We don't watch have any rated R movies in our home…never have. I don't understand why he can justify Mature 17+ games here. Things aren't as bad as many of you are dealing with but I am still upset and worried. I do feel like the computer is his other best friend and get jealous of the attention it gets. My husband is a very active church member. This is my main problem with him. I've just started blogging more the entertain myself. I don't know what to do to reach him. I'm tired of complaining about it. I wonder if I'm too uptight about this. Any advice on what I could do before this really gets out of hand would help.

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  12. No words of advice. My husband struggles with addictions of his own. I don't know how to help him much, other than to be there when he wants to talk. I think most addictions are some sort of attempt to sooth some sort of hurt. Maybe pain from long ago, maybe something ongoing.
    In my attempt to deal with my husbands addiction, I considered divorce. I didn't go through with it. I've seen too many people completely self-destruct when they've gotten divorced. it's hard to imagine that it would get rid of some of the pain, though. At least the destructive behavior isn't so in your face. I'm not saying that's what you should do. Just that I've been there, am there sometimes still. So, so sorry for the pain it's causing you.

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  13. Maybe I am just a little too wild west about the whole thing, but lets say you utterly destroyed the computer? Wouldn't that be a good place to start? I know ultimately you want him to control himself, not be controlled by you, but maybe a little tough love would be a good starting point. There, the computer is shattered and soaking in the bathtub honey, its time to get real here. Of course he would be ticked, but eventually he would admit it was a needed wake up call.

    From that lovely starting point, maybe he could progress to some sort of contract as Jessie T shared. I know its not what the counsellors are going to reccommend, but I would do it. I am not being funny, either, I really would. Enough is enough. Whatever amount of loss, anger, betrayal, etc he feels from you doing that, would be a tiny fraction compared to what he's willingly inflicted on you. There is enough at stake here that I think drastic is the way to go.

    Surely there's someone out there who's tried something like that? How did it go?

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  14. If you haven't read the article in the Ensign this month, go read it.

    My heart goes out to you and I pray you will get the help and support you need…any and all of you who are in this situation. I think one point from that article that is so important is that no spouse can make the addicted spouse change. You can draw boundaries, which is an important skill to learn, imo, but you can't force change.

    I am so appreciative that there are women sharing their stories, so that people see that they are not alone.

    The Church has addiction recovery programs in many locations, which include support groups for family members. Regardless of what the spouse decides to do, I would recommend giving that some consideration.

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  15. I truly hope the best for all of you/us who are dealing with these things in our marriages. What about prayer and fasting? This could start the process of getting God more involved in our marriages, and it's something the non-addicted spouse can do alone. It is so hard to "do" anything. When the problems are this big, like one comment said, we just get so tired.

    Some of the comments mentioned divorce. That, in my opinion, has to only be considered soberly and with eyes wide open about all the problems that divorce causes. My best friend is dealing with the fallout of her husband's infidelity. She stays in the marriage because it has not yet gotten worse than it would be for her to be supporting her two very young kids on her own. (That of course is an over-simplification of a complex situation, but it really does boil down to that.)

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  16. Here are some questions to think about regarding any addiction. They are called the CAGE questions and were designed for alcohol abuse/dependence. I use them in my practice regularly and have even used them specifically for WofW.
    If a person answers yes to even one question, they most likely will meet DSM criteria for alcohol abuse:
    C–Have you ever felt the need to Cut down or Control your drinking? (insert game playing/sex/gambling/shopping/etc.)
    A–Have you ever felt Annoyed by others' comments to you about your drinking?
    G–Have you ever felt Guilty about things you said or did while drinking?
    E–Have you ever had an Eye opener in the morning (having a drink first thing in the AM)? Perhaps for gaming, do you game first thing right out of bed?
    What constitutes addiction in my mind is the relationship of the person to the object.
    When we think about blogging, some of us may answer yes to these questions, as well.
    If you have a behavior that is a big problem for your spouse, you have a problem–not necessarily an addiction, but there's a problem that needs to be addressed.

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  17. I've considered going postal on the gaming consoles before, but like I said, he's an adult. He'll just go use the credit card to buy a new one. He doesn't even have to ask you first or bum a ride to the store…he can drive all by himself! And then he's mad and you're out several hundred dollars…more if it's the family computer, I guess.

    I've also considered hiding all of the power cords. If he can't turn it on then he can't play, right? Then you just have a pissed off husband tearing the house apart looking for the cords. Plus you have to clean up after him because expecting him to act like an adult and clean up after his tantrum is totally out of the question. Talk about a backfire.

    I think the contract is working so well because I acknowledged that he needed time to unwind and goof off, but I got him to realize that I needed his help, too. I told him that he can have an hour of self-time when he comes home (he wanted 90 minutes and I wanted 30 minutes…so we compromised) and that after 7pm when the kids go to bed he can have all the time he wants to play. I usually amuse myself by heading to the gym (after all, he can listen to a baby monitor, right?) or reading a book or watching netflix movies that I've wanted to see. I've resigned myself to being on my own in the evenings and I actually look forward to it most days. And, since I've relaxed a bit, he has too. Occasionally he'll play for a little while and then come watch a movie with me. Or, at the very least, come to bed at a decent hour.

    Sure, I've considered divorce, but after what I went through with my parents I wouldn't wish it on any kid in the world. It's taken 5 years of marriage to work out this compromise/contract and I hope it sticks!

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  18. Thank you for sharing your concerns. What a heartbreaking thing to have to live with. Video game addiction is very serious–and is actually a very big problem among young men.

    I actually disagree very strongly with what has been said here about divorce. How fair is to the wife to sit day after day, neglected by a husband who plays hours and hours online–neglecting their children? Why does she have to endure patiently? Do we really win a medal for such behavior? Believe me, I know the emotional and physical toll on children is tremendous–not to mention the price divorce exacts on the divorcing couple.

    But, if an addicted spouse is not willing to try to change themselves and their behavior, I don't see how the marriage is worth saving. The addiction becomes more important to them than anything.

    Why is it wrong to sit down with a therapist and possibly even a bishop and determine some behaviors that are reasonable to expect, such as: therapy attendance, conscious effort to work on the problem, etc? Can you say to your spouse, your addiction to video games is hurting me so badly and our children that I can't live like this anymore? And why not stipulate a period of time to make certain changes, for example, therapy or whatever. During that time both partners can work toward a certain goal. But also during that time, I'd working be as hard as possible to set up things for a possible divorce–so that I could survive without my spouse. And if, by the end of the time period, things were better, I would have no problem walking away from my divorce plans. Making divorce plans doesn't mean that a person isn't working like crazy to make a marriage work.

    Please understand, I don't mean to criticize anyone here. I know this is horribly hard for you, but I don't see the value in being a martyr to a man that refuses to change. Aren't you worth something too? And do you really have an eternal marriage if your husband is neglecting you and refuses to change? And is divorce worse than a marriage to an addicted spouse?

    What if the addiction were alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography? Or do we downplay the impact of this addiction because it isn't one of the above, and so doesn't appear to have the same harm???

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  19. Okay, when rereading my comment, I thought I came across as militant. That was not my intent. I feel like a lot of women are so invested in bearing patiently and they end up getting the raw end of the deal.

    So perhaps, to understand better, can you tell me why you stay? Do you consider divorce as a viable option? Have you considered it?

    The reason I was so adamant is that I once listened to a very powerful talk presented at the Families Under Fire conference at BYU–(media archives are available at http://www.byubroadcasting.org) where the therapist talked about how too many women try to endure when they need to say "I can't live like this anymore." She gave an example about one woman whose husband was having an emotional affair with another woman. The first woman prayed, fasted and tried to patiently endure her husband's infidelity. She did this for a long time. And finally, she just told her husband that she couldn't do it anymore. It shocked him and they were able to save their marriage.

    I realize that it's not exactly the same thing, but I feel like what I'm reading is telling me that many of you think your love for your spouse is more important than the rights you have to have a husband who respects, honors, and loves you.

    Please help me understand.

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  20. Sadly, I've had several friends in the same predicament who ultimately resorted to divorce BEFORE there were kids involved. It's a tough call either way! And I commend you for taking steps to help the situation.

    I know that the internet can be addicting to MANY people for many reasons. Teenagers and adults alike become addicted to checking myspace and facebook. My boyfriend is addicted to looking up things on Craigslist and shopping for houses online. We all have our vices. I guess what it comes down to is managing our time. Provide ourselves with reasonable time limits for recreational activities. It reminds me of Elder Ballard's recent conference talk, which can be found on LDS.org.

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  21. Tiffany-
    Eternal Marriage is worth saving, even if it's hard. It should always be the last resort. Always. The problem is that now-a-days, it's the first resort. And threatening divorce doesn't always work –it can backfire, bad.

    To Anonymous who wrote this post-
    My heart is with you. I agree with what's been said about prayer and fasting; also keep going to counseling! I think you approaching this the right way. Keep your head up, do what you feel is right for your children (even if hubby thinks the games won't "harm" them), and follow the promptings of the Spirit. I really hope your husband is able to get help. Good luck!!

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  22. Dear Anonymous Guest–
    Bless you. This is a REAL problem, and I have seen touches of it in various lives and I hope you don't feel the least bit trivial taking this to therapy. As I read this, I thought: either hubby has NO idea what he is doing to his family or he does, which means he must have some REAL issues of his own. You are absolutely right that you only have control over yourself.

    I commend you for seeking counseling. I hope it helps. I also wonder if it might be possible to take your kids and go for an extended stay at grandma's or someplace? Maybe this would be a less destructive wake-up call–maybe your husband would realize that he is not being a family man, and that he really would miss you and the kids. I think you would then be on better footing to setting up some boundaries around the gaming, like that it ought not to be done while the kids are awake, or that he only play games kids can play, too.

    Last thing: what are you (and husband) teaching your kids about marriage? What kind of a marriage are you modeling for your kids? Would you like your daughters to choose similar spouses and end up like this? I think those questions are worth considering as you make future decisions about your family. Best of luck.

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  23. Cheryl, marriage is only eternal if both partners are working on it and keeping their covenants. I contend that divorce is an option where one partner refuses to work on that marriage. It is unfair and wrong to expect only one spouse to put all the work and effort into a marriage.

    A woman who is married to an addict has a reasonable right to expect her spouse to work with everything he has to overcome that addiction. If he does not, then she has the right to end that marriage.

    I have not advocated divorce as the first option. I am saying that an addict who refuses to put his family first and refuses to change does not have the right to continue to put his family through misery.

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  24. Sorry, one more comment.

    Please understand that my comments regarding divorce apply only when the addicted spouse refuses to work to overcome the addiction. An addicted spouse, willing to work on overcoming the addiction deserves all the love and support possible. There will be setbacks with recovery, but love and support make a world of difference.

    However, if once confronted with the addictive behavior, and the spouse refuses to change or even see the addiction, that is grounds for divorce, in my opinion. Of course, such things should only be considered carefully, with the guidance of the Spirit, counselling, and careful consideration with one's bishop.

    I am not advocating a quick-fix, rather suggesting that divorce can and should be considered a viable alternative when it is clear that the addict refuses to change, for such a relationship can be soul-destroying and very painful to all involved.

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  25. My apologies, I have allowed my questions and comments to constitute a thread-jack. I will stop commenting on the thread-jack, as the thoughts and needs of the anonymous poster are more important than my queries about divorce are in such a situation.

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  26. Jennie:

    "I think most addictions are some sort of attempt to sooth some sort of hurt. Maybe pain from long ago, maybe something ongoing."

    Good point. Also, a good number of them (estimates as high as 50% for chronic drug abuse, for example) can be understood as self-medication for borderline or clinical disorders as well. ADHD, anxiety, and depression are likely candidates. In my case, it was ADHD, and getting that treated nearly cured me instantly of all my addictions.

    I needed stimulation, and if I didn't get it, I was cranky. Of course, too much was just as bad, but you can't exactly reason with a brain that needs needs NEEDS.

    Living in a culture where what most regard as private vices are public sins, troubled Mormons often struggle for an outlet. My main ones were eating and video games. I'm not saying this is definitely the case, but it's something to think about.

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  27. First I'll admit I've only quickly read through the comments. But jumping on the idea of divorce so quickly isn't the way to solve the issue. This man will still be a father even if there is a divorce, then the children will have the added burden of a divorce to deal with. I think the guest poster is going about this in the right way, counseling, pondering, praying, working, doing all you can and sometimes just enduring to be sure before you speak the "D" word.

    There was a time in my life I feared this same pattern was emerging in my husband, but a few things changed in our life (beyond our control) now it is not as much of a fear. You never know what the days will bring, what ways God has in store to help you. Find someone you can confide in, someone to support you on those days you are spent.

    There is also an article in the June 28th 'Church News' by Elder Oaks- Avoid 'Voluntary Slavery', very applicable.

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  28. I have seen this problem around me. It makes me heartsick to hear it spelled out so well. While we don't struggle with this in our home, my husband is a Software Engineer and it is so prevelant with those he works with.

    Another similar problem (especially with women) that I have seen a bit of is a growing obsession with blogging/reading blogs/commenting. While not inherently bad, it too can be way overdone. I have recently deleted links to blogs that were not necessary for me to read (and didn't make me feel all that great -specifically those of women in my ward). Simply checking a few blogs everyday, let alone keeping up on your own, can really cut into family time.

    Really I think the key is: EVERYTHING in moderation. Reading this post is a good chance to ask what "addictions" we all may have.

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  29. There is so much more I want to say, but I don't have time to do more than say I really wish you well with this and I hope your husband has a change of heart soon. Best wishes with your own therapeutic process, too.

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  30. Have you spoken with your bishop about this? Does he have anything to add to help, I wonder? Some people click with their bishops, and others don't. But it seems like this issue is within his stewardship, and he might be able to receive some inspiration for you to guide you.

    I echo Wendy: I wish you well, and I know the Lord is aware of your heart and your desires for good, for yourself and your husband and your family.

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  31. My heart goes out to you and I wish you well. I realize it is especially painful to know the effects this has or may have on your children and your limited power to change it. I think it's very wise to seek counseling and I hope you get it for your children also.

    Tiffany, I think I understand where you are coming from, and I also think sometime divorce is necessary or is the best option, but. Divorcing in this circumstance will not provide the children with all the things they are missing in a father. It will not provide anonymous with all the things she is missing in a husband. Right now her husband is providing little to the family other than material support and a bad example. If they divorce, that list is likely to shrink to just the bad example, and the children will likely have less of their mother to guide and teach them.

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  32. "There was a time in my life I feared this same pattern was emerging in my husband, but a few things changed in our life (beyond our control) now it is not as much of a fear. You never know what the days will bring, what ways God has in store to help you. Find someone you can confide in, someone to support you on those days you are spent."

    This comment reminded me that God is directly involved in our lives. He can provide situations and resources that help us through.

    "Divorcing in this circumstance will not provide the children with all the things they are missing in a father. It will not provide anonymous with all the things she is missing in a husband. Right now her husband is providing little to the family other than material support and a bad example. If they divorce, that list is likely to shrink to just the bad example, and the children will likely have less of their mother to guide and teach them."

    This is the best explanation I have ever heard of the costs and realities of divorce.

    Reply
  33. that is a tough situation. I actually just listened to the best lecture on media aggression and violence form a 2004 playing for keeps conference. It was excellent it was by brad bushman a prof. at U of Michigan. It was really excellent to hear research in this area of growing concern.

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  34. You have written wrenchingly about your situation and your feelings. My husband was addicted to pornography and so I know whereof you write. The pain can absolutely consume you if you let it. That is just how Satan wants you to feel!

    What I want to share with you is my deep, deep, deep testimony that you are not powerless in this struggle. If you are willing to go whole-souled to the Lord and become partners with Him in helping your husband to overcome this, miracles can occur. I can promise you this! Not only can you and the Lord accomplish miracles, but you can come out of this stronger, wiser, with your husband and marriage healed. "Is anything too hard for the Lord" He asks with such tenderness? Believe Him!

    Great courage, greater than you have ever had to muster up, will be required. Great faith, greater than you have ever had to exercise, will be required. Great humility, greater than you ever thought possible, will be required. You will need to fast frequently with mighty prayer, attend the temple very frequently if you are close enough – if not, you will need to keep both yours and your husband and family's names on the prayer roll constantly. Your knees will become almost calloused! But, these will be beautiful battle scars!

    If you do this with all of your heart and all of your love and all of your faith and all of your obedience, the heavens will open and your heart will not be able to contain all the tender mercies that will be poured out upon you and your husband and your family.

    You will receive constant guidance from the Spirit. Comfort will surround you as warm and sweet as though the Savior Himself is walking with you and holding you close. You will be required to change some things in yourself. Yes, it is your husband's problem, but he is your other half, your eternal companion and he needs you just as he would if he were physically ill. He is way more helpless right now than you realize. And, way deep inside, he is calling for you to come to the rescue. The Lord is calling you also. Read the words to "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd." You are needed so much more than you now realize. This is why Satan tries so hard in situations like this to discourage sisters and to get them to think this is all their husband's fault. That way you distance yourself from being an integral part of the solution. Stop this vicious cycle!

    Your husband is caught in a trap. He cannot get out by himself. He needs you more than either of you realize. The fact that he is even considering going to this counseling with you tells you that at some level he is aware that he is caught. And you say he is a good man. Walk hand in hand with the Lord in full battle dress (read Paul's description)and you will come off victorious!

    I beg of you, do the things above and let the light in!

    With great love from someone who has been there and now is reaping the blessings of the sweetest, closest eternal marriage I really think is possible on this earth.

    Reply
  35. I really like what FAITH just said. Her remarks are right on. My son and nephew were once addicted to WOW. My son was 17, my nephew @33. At one time my niece and I wondered if our families would ever get back to normal again. With love and patience, and lots of prayers, they woke up and each in their own way pulled themselves away from WOW. My son doesn't have anything to do with WOW now, and my nephew chooses his hours to play. Hang in there, Satan would want you to give up. But they are adults, they need to find their way, and I agree with Faith, they need you more than ever at this time. It is hard, very hard. But if he is a good man, he is worth fighting for. And even if he agrees after realizing the problem to give you just 15 minutes a day, it will be a start, and it will soon grow into more time every day. Good luck and God bless you for helping your good man.

    Reply
  36. I went through this with my husband.

    We came out the other side and are better now than we ever have been.

    I prayed, sincerely, for years for his heart to be softened. In time it was. However, in the beginning of the process we didn't have kids and he began to slowly stop gaming after we had our first child. The one thing that killed it was that our computer semi-broke and we didn't have the money to get a new one.

    I'm so much happier and so is he.

    Don't wait, your children make this a situation that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. My husband wouldn't recognize he had a problem at first, so I'm sure you'll have the same fight on your hands. You will have to spell it out for him: either he agrees to start seeing a counselor, or there will be consequences. No need to set ultimatums, but he has to understand in clear and logical language that this behavior will cost him his family in one way or another.

    Email me if you'd like to talk, or even talk to my husband.

    Reply
  37. There are now 3 replies in a row all testifying to the blessings of sticking with a good man. These blessings are magnificent, just magnificant! The difference between pornography and gaming is that gaming does not seem to be as harmful at first. With pornography you have to deal with it immediately or it can lead to awful sins that will certainly destroy the individual involved as well as the family.

    You do have to "spell it out," but if this is done after prayer the Lord will give you the words to say as well as the appropriate time. It is an amazing and humbling thing. I can still remember thinking, oh, my gosh, this sounds so mean, but it had the effect the Lord knew my husband needed to get a "wake up call." It is Satan who tries to trick them into thinking they do not have a problem and he does not go easily. I can also still remember actually watching the struggle on my husband's face as the Spirit began to get through to him.

    But, for all of my life I will remember watching my husband come out of our bishop's office after getting his temple recommend renewed. His light was back and he actually had a spring in his step. He looked completely happy and completely free.

    Reply
  38. Yes, it is your husband’s problem, but he is your other half, your eternal companion and he needs you just as he would if he were physically ill. He is way more helpless right now than you realize. And, way deep inside, he is calling for you to come to the rescue.

    I love what Faith said about faith. But this above statement is something that I think we as wives need to be careful with. I have been attending the LDS family services support groups, and they actually talk about NOT taking on the role of rescuer. But as I read your other comment, maybe you mean drawing boundaries so you don't enable the behavior?

    One of the things that has helped me so much is to realize that ALL I can control is me. I highly, highly recommend the Church's 12-step program. It is powerful and clearly explores the doctrine of repentance, and helps addicts and their spouses come to realize the power of the Atonement to heal and change and rescue. I can't change or rescue my husband. And I can't make choices with that intent. I have to do what I do for the Lord and hope that the Lord can help my husband.

    And I second what has been said about the kind of faith this takes. We are experiencing an overhaul of our souls as we each figure out what the Lord wants us to do individually to deal with this (he with his addiction and me with my codependency) and also to figure out how to lovingly work through the effects of all of this together. I still don't know exactly how that will unfold for us, and I believe it's probably different in specifics for each couple, but I know the Lord is there to help us as we really, really turn to Him.

    And I will just say that group family support meetings are about the best thing I have ever experienced. I highly recommend them if you have them in your area.

    Reply
  39. Thank you so much to you last several commenters especially. I'm dealing with this, too, only it's a combination of media and gaming. I have needed to hear what you wrote, Faith. I recently did have an insight that not only is my husband dealing with his own insecurity/depression struggles, he also has a wife who acts liks she doesn't believe in him and thinks fairly lowly of him–the one person in his life who should be the most supportive, accepting, loving, etc. That helped me in the humility process, but I'm far from humble about this yet. It is so hard sometimes.

    Again, thank you all for your input.

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  40. I am participating in this because the outcome of our challenge with addiction was just so magnificent and I so want for other sisters to experience the joy my husband and I now have in our marriage. And it is joy! While we were happy in our early married years there was this "thing" lurking deep inside my husband (he was exposed to pornography as a young teen by his father) just waiting for the chance to jump up and try to destroy us both. It is gone.

    I do not want to question the help the 12 step program can be whatsoever – I know it helps people, but there is nothing in scripture that says that we are not to be "rescurers." In fact, the opposite is true. Read again the words to "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd."
    I think it is the word and the concept that needs to be evaluated more carefully. First, when someone is committing sin it is them and only them that can change this. With the help of the Lord's precious Atonement, of course. However, others can provide assistance in countless ways that can help the person caught in sin in inmeasurable ways. And, amazingly, the person who is helping is also blessed and grows!! This is the whole idea behind the Church's missionary program! The gospel of Jesus Christ is about saving souls – our own and assisting the Lord in His work of saving others.

    Now, it is very easy when a marriage partner has a serious problem to simply sit back and say, "Well, it is his/her problem." The horrible danger here is that you, the very person who can most bless your struggling spouse is separating herself from the situation. Both partners will lose and the family will lose. And, for a person caught in addiction, prior to owning up, it is easy for them to blame someone else for their problem.

    I think that when there is an addiction problem the other partner senses deep inside that he/she does have a part in the problem, and it could be many things. It is easier to deny any responsibility than to be humble enough to make necessary changes whatever they may be. Compounding this is the awful hurt that comes when a companion chooses something else over his companion. This is all Satan's territory and he can have a field day.

    I know I have been blessed with a lot of faith and I don't know that I have done much to earn this blessing, but I have studied my scriptures daily for years and years and I know this has brought immeasurable blessings into my life. I find in them just what the Lord promised to Joshua in Joshua 1 – vs. 7-9. The Lord counsels Joshua to study the scriptures daily and to be strong and courageous, to not be afraid – "for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." These are powerful blessings. Hold them close. Make them part of your very being.

    The other thing is that when you are suffering and doubting yourself and all else, if you will go to the Lord with these feelings, He will comfort you. Yes, He will let you know what you need to do to change, but it will be this tender, loving arm-around-your-shoulder kind of feeling, like "We will work on it together." I can't stress how important this is in this process.

    I was truly humbled as I asked the Lord to show me how He sees my husband (another absolutely essential aspect of all this). The Lord has an indescribably deep love for His priesthood holders, and an equally indescribably deep love for His righteous daughters. He needs, He needs for us to support each other and do all we can. When one is sick the other is to help. It doesn't matter who – just whoever is strongest at the time. Of course we don't beat ourselves up and wallow in self doubt – this is not from the Lord. But we also don't distance ourselves and allow our trapped husbands to struggle alone. Is this Christlike? Of course not!!

    Even if a spouse is left to fight alone and overcomes the challenge, there will not be the closeness that we experienced and experience. The marriage might survive, but it won't be the same. Do you really love someone you are not willing to fight for? Our Savior gave His life for us. Isn't this an example for us?

    When someone falls, there are tears in heaven. If we don't help each other up, and particularly, particularly, when it our dear spouse to whom we have been sealed for time and all eternity, what does that say about our strength, our commitment?

    After we overcame our challenge my husband related to me a dream he had had as we were on the upside of our struggle. He said he was flailing about in deep, dark water. There was a whirlpool and he was being sucked in. The waves were washing over him and he could not breathe. He was drowning. Suddenly he looked up and saw me standing on a bridge far above the filthy water. I saw what was happening and jumped in, wrapped an arm around him, and swam with him to the shore. We sat on the shore gasping for breath and then we walked off together arms wrapped tightly about each other. This is very sacred, and I would not want anyone to think either I nor my husband thinks I was responsible for his overcoming pornography. It was him who had to humble himself and repent, but I helped set the stage for this – no, the Lord helped me to do this. My husband felt the depth of my love for him and the Lord and this strengthened him. It gave him hope. It was the straw he needed to grasp. He heard my love in our family prayers, he saw it my eyes, he heard it in our scripture reading (which he resisted for some time before I figured out what the problem was – but I did the reading and persisted anyway during this time – so important, so important!). It was our challenge, not just his challenge. The Lord and I worked hand in hand, however, and still today I sometimes look at my sweet husband and think it is I that grew the most from all this!!

    In the healing process I worked hard to honor my husband's priesthood (and yes, this was hard sometimes, especially at first), but, you see, the Lord had shown me my husband as He, the Lord saw him, and it helped more than I can say. I hung onto this. I learned to really be more compassionate towards my husband (you already know that there are deep internal struggles that set the stage for addiction), but I also learned to be way, way stronger. When there were hard things to say, I said them. D&C 100 promises we will be given what we need to say at the time we need to say it. This was a great blessing, such a great blessing.

    I wrote an article about our experience for the Ensign (Fighting for My Marriage, Ensign/Liahona, Aug. 2006). Note the title. It was a fight – a battle! I had length constraints so I could not say all I wanted to, but the main ideas are there.

    I am not stronger than any other woman, nor more humble, nor more determined, nor do I love my husband more. I just have learned to trust in the Lord in my life. I trust what He says, I trust what comes to me from prayer from Him, I trust what He promises if we search the scriptures daily, I trust the blessings of obedience. I know He needs strong women! Sister Beck has been speaking about this very thing.

    I know counseling can be a help for some and if it is helping someone that is great, but I will tell anyone reading this that our outcome was fast and very powerful. Most of these things seem to take years. I think we just took the middleman out of the equation! But, don't misunderstand. I did counsel with our stake president a couple of times. Our struggle, once discovered and faced, took less than a year. Years later I am still reaping the rewards, my husband is still reaping the rewards, our marriage is still reaping the rewards. We are stronger, more humble, closer, there are no hidden wedges and we are closer to the Lord. Ever since I joined the Church I have had faith and have tried to be the best I could be, but this struggle took me places I had never been and I, personally, am better for it.

    Reply
  41. Faith,

    Thank you for what you have shared. Just so you know, I don't disagree with you at all. And the LDS Fam services program doesn't either. It's ALL about turning to and trusting in the Lord, loving as He loves, etc.

    The point of your story to me and of the core of this program is that WE don't take on the role of rescuers. We turn to the Lord and HE takes that role. We are powerless to even change ourselves, let alone others. And you have born witness of that — that it was the Lord who worked the miracle. You and your husband had to choose to turn to Him, but He did the healing.

    There is no question that He can and will allow us to be instruments if we are truly trusting in Him and loving with His love, but if we love with His love, we also respect agency. Your story is AMAZING. But it required your husband to do his part, and not all loved ones are at that place.

    It is so very common for loved ones of addicts to try to *control* or protect or remove consequences, and that is sometimes what is referred to as 'rescuing' and that, of course, is unhealthy.

    But I want to be clear that I do not dispute the reality that the Lord can work miracles, and that individuals and marriages can be rescued from the most difficult of situations if those involved turn to the Lord.

    For me, the 12-step program is a powerful exploration of how addicts and their loved ones can do just that. It's not a middleman to me, it's an inspired program to help me turn to God. And my husband is feeling that power, too.

    So, in the end, I really do agree with you. It's only because that word 'rescue' is one that can have negative connotations that I responded to it, because it's the negative rescuing behaviors that I am having to learn to root out of my life, and because I know that I'm not alone in that struggle. But I'm very sorry that the semantics got in the way, because I have appreciated so much your sharing. It's so powerful to hear real-life stories of those who have found peace and healing through the Atonement.

    Reply
  42. But it required your husband to do his part, and not all loved ones are at that place.

    Just a last thought…to me, it's about turning to the Lord regardless of what others do. I hope that they will also make that choice, but in the end, I am seeking to turn to the Lord, no matter what, and not have my motives for doing that to change someone else. As I turn to the Lord, *I* will be changed, and then I will be able to be as loving and caring as possible with my loved ones, and make inspired choices about what to say, how to respond, etc. And then I can also be at peace, regardless of if they choose to humble themselves or not.

    I can tell you that already, the choice to turn to the Lord has affected the dynamics of our relationship (as I seek not to just react with pain or fear, but truly seek God's will and guidance and help in what to do) but in the end, dh is the one allowing the Lord to work on him.

    I guess I also just want to say to those whose husbands haven't yet made that choice: Don't give up! Give all you can to the Lord and seek His guidance and His will. Seek a heart at peace with yourself, with God, and with your situation, and He can guide you each step of the way!

    Reply
  43. I was going to say this is the anon from comment number such and such, but there is no comment number…anyway, this is the most recent "anon." I'm liking what both of you are saying, Faith and codependent.

    I went to our bishop a couple of weeks ago for support and a blessing. I didn't feel like it was time to discluse my husband's addictive behaviors, so I focused solely on me, that I am an angry wife, and don't want to be, even if sometimes the anger seems justified.

    The very first thing he said was, "How is your relationship with the Lord?" We had a good discussion. It is not where it could be. Since putting more energy into my relationship with the Lord, I have received new insights into the situation, and felt greater peace and patience. So I guess what I'm saying is, your encouragement to not give up and give all to the Lord is the most important thing for me to do right now–and it helped to read your words. If I'm right with the Lord, I'll know what to do and say, and when to do and say it.

    Reply
  44. your encouragement to not give up and give all to the Lord is the most important thing for me to do right now–and it helped to read your words. If I’m right with the Lord, I’ll know what to do and say, and when to do and say it.

    I should say that I am writing in part because I need the reminder! 🙂 A constant reminder. I know that this is THE way to deal with all that is happening. (The way to deal with anything in life, really.)

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  45. Well, as to the rescuing idea: The first thing I felt strongly impressed to do when I discovered the pornography was to immediately terminate our Internet service. At first, I thought, boy, this seems controlling to me, so I prayed carefully and that was indeed what I was to do, so I did it. Must admit I waited pretty fearfully for what my husband would do and say when he came home!

    My husband was mad at first as he used the Internet in his work, but he quickly got over it and thanked me (and really humbly) for doing this. Said it was a great help – just removing the temptation. Said he knew I did it out of love for him. I told him then that this had come from the Lord. I could see on his face that this touched him – it is easy for a sinner to think the Lord has cut them off. So, better be careful with this "rescuer" idea.

    And, I had a co-worker who discovered her husband looking at pornography and she confronted him and he said he would stop and then he didn't. So, she told him that if were going to continue this, then he and the computer needed to move out because she was not going to have this in her home. Well, he and the computer moved out, but within a couple of weeks, he realized what he was going to lose and moved back in sans computer. Now, I think this is pretty tough and don't know if I would've had the strength, but this was her answer and she did what the Lord impressed her to do. There were never any relapses of the behavior and their marriage is like ours – happy and free and fun and good.

    The key, of course, is turning to the Lord. He very well may inspire you to do something strong like he did me or my friend, and if so, better do it and not worry about the semantics. The Lord is the ultimate rescuer and knows just what we each need and when.

    It just disturbs me that worrying about what and what is not "controlling" or "rescuing" is not very conducive to solving the problem and can easily interfere with listening to the Spirit. The key is relying on the Lord. He sometimes takes very strong measures (but He also sometimes gives people a rope and lets them hang themselves). Remember that He took all the wicked people out of the world in the flood before they could commit any more serious sins and then they got taught the gospel in the Spirit world. So, is what He inspired me to do any different? Would you call removing the people in the flood controlling? I think I would, but the Lord knew this was best for those people, so again, and again, and again, relying on the Lord for specific revelation in your particular situation is the answer. Some answers that come may well go against what current counseling is saying – why I personally think it best to leave this out and go directly to the source, other than of course, speaking to your priesthood leaders (but if you get the answer in prayer to go to counseling, well, then you do it).

    Also, just so you know, when I went to my stake president I wanted to just be sure I was doing the right things and so I told him what was coming to me. I asked if he thought we needed counseling and you know what he told me (and this is a seasoned 9 year stake president)? Said he had seen only mixed results from counseling in his years in Church leadership – said it did help some people but not others. He then grinned and told me that my marriage and husband were "my job" and he felt I was doing a great job and following the direction of the Lord. So, I just continued on as I had been doing.

    By the way, we did get the Internet again after awhile, but with some changes. Filtered (which is not the whole answer as anyone really computer literate can get around this) and put the computer in a public place. So, even this could be considered "controlling" couldn't it?

    If you just rely on and trust in the Lord without intermediaries, then you are just getting it straight from the Lord. Yes, men can give you some good ideas and if counseling is helping that is great, but it does not always help. What does always, always help with anything and everything is relying on and trusting in the Lord. If He says go to counseling, then you go, if He says do something about this that may seem hard or not according to what men might say or teach (remember Nephi being told to cut off Laban's head – wow, talk about being given tough direction and boy was that controlling!!!)you do it. Of course, it has to be squared with scripture and you won't be deceived as long as you are being faithful and obedient, but Elder McConkie said when people told him things if he could square it with scripture then he knew it was true, if he couldn't then he didn't believe it. This was not original with him, but it is powerful.

    You go to your knees and you listen and obey. You go to the scriptures every day, individually and with your husband, and you listen and obey. That is how miracles occur. I don't think our story is amazing, but it is just evidence of the Lord's tender mercies that are simply ours for the asking and the recognizing.

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  46. It just disturbs me that worrying about what and what is not “controlling” or “rescuing” is not very conducive to solving the problem and can easily interfere with listening to the Spirit.

    Faith, I really do agree with the fundamentals of what you are saying. The key really is turning to the Lord.

    But that doesn't change the reality that a LOT of women (people) turn to controlling behaviors WITHOUT turning to the Lord. This is very, very common when people are in crisis mode. The answer is to turn to the Lord, but it helps many to learn to recognize unhealthy patterns of behavior, and sometimes we need some help seeing and understanding those. You obviously didn't. 🙂 I believe the Lord has given us much light and knowledge related to these issues, and there is much inspiration in programs such as the Church's 12-step program, at least for some people. I am finding it an important part of what feels right for me. I have also been reading books that have helped bring light into my life and situation. The ultimate authority is still the Lord, but I myself have felt LED to these things, so they have been part of my process. And I think that is the case for other women as well, from what I have seen and read.

    For me, the 'right' thing has been both to turn to the Lord and be aware of behaviors that are based in control, fear, pain, or doubt and not inspiration.

    But once again, I will go to the fact that the solution for this problem and sifting through all the information and figuring out what to DO is to turn to the Lord.

    So, I'll say again that I actually agree with you a lot more than you think I do. 🙂 I'm not one to just jump on any bandwagon, whether from a counselor or not, nor to encourage such a thing. I don't believe counseling is a panacea. I am seeking to do what I feel the Lord is guiding me to do. And so, again, I agree with you that that, in the end, is key, even as some may seek professional or other help. We still should always turn to the Lord to help us figure out what the specifics are in our lives. But that is the case for any counsel we receive, no?

    Filtered (which is not the whole answer as anyone really computer literate can get around this) and put the computer in a public place. So, even this could be considered “controlling” couldn’t it?

    It could be, but that to me is just smart, and consistent with counsel we receive from our leaders.

    I fear that we have talked past each other because of semantics. I really think we basically agree, for what it's worth. I'm sorry if something I have said has made you think otherwise.

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  47. Faith, regarding what you said (sorry, I can't figure out the italics thing):
    But that doesn’t change the reality that a LOT of women (people) turn to controlling behaviors WITHOUT turning to the Lord. This is very, very common when people are in crisis mode. The answer is to turn to the Lord, but it helps many to learn to recognize unhealthy patterns of behavior, and sometimes we need some help seeing and understanding those. You obviously didn’t.

    You are right on. I have so many blind spots and was in such a crisis that I wasn't getting answers from the Lord. A counselor, good books, and words from friends who have attended the 12-step groups have helped me see my unhealthy patterns.

    Of course turning to the Lord is the key. Sometimes, however, we need additional input because we just aren't getting it.

    Actually, even when I was in a more spiritual place than recently, I had to have things explained in secular terms before I could see what the scriptures were saying. Different strokes for our different ways of thinking . . .

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  48. There is much of good to be found in many places and all that leads you to Christ is good – Mormon says so. I think I need to really bear witness of some precious and sacred things.

    I KNOW that at first it is difficult to get past the pain and not react in ways that are counterproductive, whatever they may be. But, it is AT FIRST that it so very crucial to go whole-souled to the Lord. It is AT FIRST that it is so crucial to get your spiritual house in order – to not just read the scriptures but IMMERSE yourself in them, to not just pray, but pray as Enos did, to really be obedient and keep all the commandments. It is AT FIRST that a pattern of more frequent than once monthly fasting can bring such great blessings as well as temple attendance. It is AT FIRST that you, yourself, have the precious opportunity for greater spiritual growth than you have ever experienced. Not that all this can't come later on, but it is AT FIRST when the greatest blessings can come. This is what I am so desperately trying to share. So, I will try harder:

    Every trial, every difficulty we experience in life has one answer. It is live the gospel, really live the gospel. This has always been the plea from the scriptures, the Lord Himself, and the prophets. When I first joined the Church for some reason I was aware of this, but also, for some reason, I was also aware that if I were to reap the promised blessings great change would be required on my part. I had no idea at that time what really was going to be required and my life has been full of challenges, but one thing has been so awesome and that is the power to be found in the scriptures. I can remember reading the Book of Mormon as a 19 year old college kid and coming to the story of Alma's conversion – good grief, wow, and double and triple wow – this kind of thing could happen? Here a guy who knew the truth and deliberately did very bad stuff could have an angel visit him as a result of the faith and prayers of his righteous father and others, be told he was not going to be allowed to continue to do the bad stuff but that he could still choose to be cut off himself, and so he chooses to turn to the Lord and repent and then spends the rest of his life faithfully bringing forth fruits for repentance!!! Wow!!! I was overwhelmed! And then King Lamoni's father – he listens to the gospel and then turns to the Lord and says he will give away all his sins to know the Lord!!! Give away all his sins? I thought, and still think about this often, I better be aware of what all my sins are and am I really willing to give them all away that I might know Him? The answer is yes, but it is very hard work to root them out and work on them, and the Savior is always willing and ready to help with this, but it is still very hard work. Yet, it is glorious work.

    "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me. . . I tremble to know that for me He was crucified, that for me, a sinner, he suffered and bled and died. . . Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget? No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat until at the glorified throne I kneel at His feet."

    "And when I think, that God His son not sparing, sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in, that on the cross my burden gladly bearing. He bled and died to take away my sin. Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee, how great Thou art, how great Thou art."

    Immerse yourself in the scriptures. You wlll find your Lord and Saviour there. He will hold you there, comfort your tears and fears and doubts, and encourage, lift, and teach you, and you will feel His kind and precious arms around you. He stands at the door and knocks but you must open the door for Him. He waits with loving arms. Don't worry if you don't understand everything you read. Persist in faith, determined to bring the promised blessings down upon yourself and all those you love.

    With great love and all the encouragement I could possibly offer to go to Him, your Savior and your God. He is only waiting to shower upon you all His tender mercies. On your knees, take your doubts and fears and whatever else you are struggling with to Him. His Atonement covers your pain, your anger, your frustration, your weaknesses, your sins.

    Soon after I joined the Church I began to really pay attention to people who had more of the Spirit with them than I did and I would pray to know what it was they had. In every case it was that they were immersing themselves in the scriptures. Oh sure, sometimes there are things that are a challenge to understand but if you accompany your reading with a humble prayer it will come – you just persist. I think by now I have read the Book of Mormon at least several dozen times and still each day when I read, something new hits me, lifts me, encourages me, teaches me, strengthens me. And I feel such joy! I have felt the joy Ammon describes.

    I think of all that went on with my beloved husband and I in our particular challenge it was the power of reading the Book of Mormon daily, both myself and with him, that really brought such great spiritual power into our lives. I think it will not be in this life that I fully see this, but I can bear witness of it.

    The gospel is the most treasured, most exciting, most glorious thing in my life. I love it, adore it, cling to it. I adore my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I stand all amazed and will always stand all amazed and even though I cannot sing well, my soul can surely sing! And it does, it does! May yours do likewise!!!

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  49. Ok so my Husband used to play way too many games!!! He would come home at 3am 4am from playing starcraft or more often counter strike! I hated it and had many of the same feelings you do.

    The only advise that I can give to you is reach out find some help and support! Don't quietly carry your burden! Talk to your husband and make sure that he knows what is at stake and how you feel.

    You may not think that your husband is listening to you but if it comes down to your family or the games he might try doing something about it.

    Maybe schedule a break like camping or backpacking where there are no electronics. Maybe he will realize what he is missing when he spends some time with the family.

    Don't give up my husband doesn't even play anymore except on rare occations that we visit his cousins. He has other hobbies now which often include the family such as fishing or golfing.

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  50. Ok so I just read a little more on the camping thing. Sorry I clearly don't know what to do…. Congrats on the counceling. I've never had the guts to ask. I think you're going to be just fine just hope your husband is too. I'll keep a silent prayer in my heart for you that's all I can give. I know how hard is is to feel left alone but Heavenly Father is always there at our darkest times. I know that to be true.

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  51. Faith, if you are trying to convince me personally of these things, you don't need to. I share your conviction – of turning to the Lord, of immersing oneself in the scriptures, of all that you have said.

    I am finding such amazing strength and guidance from the scriptures, and from the Lord.

    As a postscript, for any of you who hear me talking about the 12-step program it's because for me, it is another way to bring the gospel alive. It's not just another program, something less than the gospel, something good but not really the gospel. To me, it is an example of the gospel in action, the gospel in practice.

    I truly believe that our specific journeys may look a little different. The Lord can lead us in different ways. And that is important to remember, imo. Scripture study, of course, should be a foundation of all of our lives. I don't want to be misunderstood as saying anything different! But that doesn't mean that we can't and won't sometimes find truth and power and help and divine inspiration through other means as well. For me, the scriptures have come alive because of other resources that have helped me see things in a new way (books, group meetings, the 12-step program). And I believe God in involved in it ALL in my life, not just in my scripture reading and prayer (which, again, of course are vital to the journey).

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  52. It has been a year since anyone has added to this and I just felt to check again, hoping, I think, to see an update from the sister who wrote of her struggle. . . and hoping that she and others who wrote of theirs are feeling the power and incomparable blessings of the Lord in their lives. I imagine some marriages have ended in divorce – but even so, sisters who have turned to the Lord with all of their hearts, faith, hope, and obedience are reaping the blessings and power of so doing. So many mentioned precious talks by our dear apostles and I think, how blessed we are, how blessed we are, to have such strength available to us!!!

    If anyone reads through this, surely they will be uplifted because there are success stories here – quite a few of them from sisters whose husbands have come through this and their marriages are good and whole and healthy. Each of these referred to turning to the Lord and to the power of being humble enough to work on themselves, too, and being a support (maybe lifeline would be more accurate) to their husbands.

    I do so love my dear husband. The deep trust he has in me is a sacred thing. While one would never wish adversity on themselves, still, our marriage is better for the challenge we faced together. And, I am a stronger, more self-assured person now for my partnership with the Lord in our battle for my husband. I understand way more fully the power of putting on the whole armor of God.

    While we may not need to have the faith and resultant power to make the sun stand still so that a battle can be won, we most assuredly do need the faith and resultant power to assist the Lord in saving our marriages and families!

    So, if anyone reads this who is struggling with her husband's addiction and the effect this has on her and their children, have hope and faith and turn to the Lord with all you have and He will heal you, nurture you, strengthen you, teach you. Ask what you still need to do and He will tell you.

    "Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;

    "And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours" (D&C 789:17).

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  53. The trouble with the word addiction is that it removes the concept of personal responsibility. I have bad eye sigfht, but I still must meet my responsibilities in the world. I have a friend who has lost his leg in Iran. He is busy trying to learn new skills and strengths so that he can be a productive citizen. "Addictions" are just another mortal difficulty, and those who have them have the responsibility to learn to live with them. Calling their behaviors diseases do nothing to end them, and does a great deal to perpetuate the behavior.

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  54. I wasn't able to read the whole thread (I had to stop myself, as I have my own computer addiction), but I wanted to comment. My family has been fighting with addiction for years now. I don't know if there are any comments about this, but there are LDS Addictions Annon. Meetings all over Utah. I don't know where you are, but I am sure if there is not a group in your area, you could ask your church leaders to start one. My area has groups for substance abuse, sex and pornography, and food addictions, and even one just for anyone with an addiction. Honestly, I am so grateful that we came in contact with this program. The spirit is so strong there. At first I just went to support my husband and to see if I thought this program could help him, so I could have some hope for our marriage. That first meeting I knew this program for addiction recovery was not just for addicts. It lays out how to apply the gospel and the atonement to your life, to every situation, as regular people, addicts and victims too. We have come a long, long way in the last 3 years. My husband has been clean from his addiction for 3 years and is now a facilitator for one of these groups. I am now learning how to fight my own addiction to food and the other addictions I have run to to avoid my food addiction. If an addict doesn't rely on the Savior, this is what typically happens. I am glad He is so patient with me!!!

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