Friday, August 5, 2016

Can Masturbation Cause Sexual Dysfunction?


I started masturbating when I was 5 yrs old. I had no religious church induced shame nor any parental induced shame over masturbation because I didn't even know that I was masturbating until my late teens. My parents never knew I masturbated. They didnt have sex/masturbation talks with me about what was right vs wrong, NOR did I hear much about
masturbation/sex at church. And even after I DID found out that what I was doing was masturbating, I thought it was healthy and that it caused no harm. I'd say to myself "Yea right, like touching myself is going to hurt myself or anyone else haha, that's so STUPID. Its helping me learn my body and practice for when I have sex. Those are good things! 👍"...

It wasn't until 7 yrs ago when I got sober that I started looking back and discovering that no matter how OK I thought masturbation was, it still in and of itself brought shame. And I never in a million years would have believed masturbation could have caused such negative horrible effects on my bodies ability to function properly.

Ive already wrote the post about what the LDS Church thinks about masturbation here, so now I'm gonna talk about the medical side of masturbation and how contrary to current popular belief, the studies actually show it is NOT healthy for the body, and masturbation DOES cause Sexual Dysfunction in both men and women.

First like always, let's look at some official definitions of Masturbation. You know, just for clarity. 😉
MASTURBATION -
1. To stimulate yourself sexually. In other words, to have sex by yourself, with yourself.
2. Get sexual gratification through self-stimulation
3. Excitation of one's own or another's genital organs, usually to orgasm, by manual contact or means other than sexual intercourse."
4. Erotic stimulation especially of one's own genital organs commonly resulting in orgasm and achieved by manual or other bodily contact exclusive of sexual intercourse, by instrumental manipulation, ...or by various combinations of these agencies.
(***Note they use the word "usually" and not "always". Sexually stimulating oneself with, or without orgasm, is still masturbation.)

Covenant Eyes states,

"All Orgasms Are Not Created Equal : When sex educators claim masturbation in men is healthy, they are referring to research about ejaculation. One study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, says, when you look at the various studies on this subject, the results are quite mixed. Some show a positive correlation to reducing prostate cancer risks, some a negative correlation, some no correlation at all.

Conclusions from the research about ejaculation are mixed because researchers often assume all orgasms are created equal. They aren’t. Even the makeup of semen is different when you compare masturbation to vaginal intercourse.


Once researchers started differentiating between masturbation and vaginal intercourse, they noticed more consistent trends regarding health benefits. Compared to sexual intercourse, .....Dr. Brody says masturbation is actually associated with more symptoms of depression and more prostate abnormalities."


Dr. Norman Doidge, author of The Brain that Changes Itself, says there are two separate pleasure systems in our brains: one for exciting pleasure and another for satisfying pleasure. Masturbating to fantasies and especially pornography activates the exciting system, but leaves the satisfying system starved for “the real thing.”


The exciting system is fueled by the neurochemical dopamine. Dopamine focuses our attention, giving our brain a little feel-good reward, helping us become sexually aroused, gearing up for sex. The satisfying system involves actually having having sex—touching, kissing, caressing, and really connecting with someone—which provides a calming, fulfilling pleasure. The problem with masturbation is that the satisfying system is never activated.


The more one masturbates to porn, the more dopamine is released in the brain. Eventually dopamine receptors and signals fatigue, leaving the viewer wanting more but unable to reach a level of satisfaction. This desensitization in turn impacts the prefrontal cortex—the “executive control” center of the brain—causing what is calledhypofrontality. This means a loss of self-control and a propensity to addictive behavior." http://www.covenanteyes.com/2015/04/13/the-great-masturbation-hoax-is-not-masturbating-unhealthy-for-you/

"Brody & Kruger (2006) showed that the magnitude of prolactin increase following intercourse is 400% greater than that following masturbation. Kruger believes that prolactin increase is an objective neurohormonal measure of sexual satiety. Thus, intercourse was shown to be much more physiologically satisfying than masturbation."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16095799

Dr. Susan Spadt, a director of sexual medicine in Philadelphia who believes masturbation IS healthy and doesn't cause sexual dysfunction ADMITS "What can happen with either sex is you masturbate frequently and become used to a certain touch, whether it's vibration or your own hand." Because of this, she says, "You may become habituated to that sensation and find it more difficult to have an orgasm with your partner."

What's funny though is Dr Spadt claimed this "wasn't" sexual dysfunction. But if a person becomes habituated to the sensation of their hand and can't orgasm with their partner, by very definition that IS a Sexual Dysfunction!
SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION   "Boadly defined as the inability to fully enjoy sexual intercourse.A dysfunction can be life-long and always present, acquired, situational, or generalized, occurring despite the situation." - Medical-Dictionary
   "Persistent, recurrent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm or pain — that distress you .." - Mayoclinic
   "Sexual dysfunction name is given to a number of sexual disorders seen in a sexual-response cycle. Some include hypoactive sexual disorder, sexual aversion disorder, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, orgasmic disorders"-Psychologyonline .org 
   "The inability of a person to experience sexual arousal or to achieve sexual satisfaction under appropriate circumstances.." - Britannica 

Yep. Sounds like sexual dysfunction to me!👍 Is it a coincidence that statistically 70% of women now masturbate, and oddly enough at the same time "..Roughly 70 percent of women rarely or never have orgasms with intercourse.", says sexologist Carol Queen.

Maybe it's just a crazy fluke?

Along with masturbation, Pornography can cause sexual dysfunction as well, and I find it interesting that many people who are against pornography, or who can agree that pornography causes erectile dysfunction, will still claim masturbation is totally fine as long as pornography isn't involved.

(???)

So for sake of argument lets say the act of masturbation by itself with zero pornography IS healthy. Ok? If pornography is bad and masturbation is healthy, then what about fantasy? Can someone masturbate without fantasizing in any way? Or do some adults really think we are to believe that when they masturbate they think of absolutely NOTHING??? (I can't even think of absolutely nothing if I tried, let alone when I used to act out 😁)

Yourbrainonporn. com states:
    "Research on mental imagery indicates that fantasizing or imagining an experience activates many of the same neural circuits as performing it. In other words, fantasizing about pornography reinforces your addictive pathways.

When you’re addicted to something, your brain's dopamine goes all out of control. This is what causes the problems in the first place. So what happens? We decide to quit the pornography and masturbation. That’s a great start.


If you read the science literature you'll find that small amounts of dopamine are released just anticipating a stimulus (i.e., wanting a piece of chocolate cake, or in this case porn or sex).


Put it this way: If you quit smoking or alcohol would you spend all day staring at their containers? Probably not, because it creates temptation. It creates that same rush in our brain. You see? Once you quit pornography and masturbation, if you're still looking at regular women and imagining them in pornographic scenes, that’s not really quitting.


Fantasies can lead to relapsing. They can reinforce the screwed up neural circuitry that we're attempting to undo. Your brain doesn't make a distinction between imagery that comes from a computer screen or inside your own mind, so running Pornography like imagery through your brain is little different from watching pornography."



Lets let's think about what fantasy REALLY is. Fantasy doesn't solely have to be strictly about intercourse. As a kid I NEVER FANTASIZED ABOUT INTERCOURSE!!!

But I would fantasize about feeling loved. Sometimes the fantasy was only about holding hands, or hugging, or someone SAYING they loved me. And Sometimes it was just fantasizing about things I saw on TV or in movies but didn't quite understand. As a kid when I saw sexual scenes, some only of mild kissing, those women seemed so powerful. I wanted to be POWERFUL like them. And since everyone always falls in love with the woman in the movies, I wanted to be LOVED like were. I grew up thinking "sex/sexy/sexual attention = Love", so sometimes I only fantasized about BEING sexy.

Fantasy can be about a whole wide range of things!


There's a reason why God gave us the ability to orgasm: to help us literally BOND with our SPOUSE. If an adult is masturbating, even IF its possible for them to think of "nothing", they are still chemically wiring their brain to RESPOND to themselves. They are bonding with their hand. (Yippee, how exciting)

So although some might see my childhood fantasies as seemingly "innocent", nonetheless they were still fantasies, and I was programming my brain to bond with something that WASN'T REAL.

And since studies show orgasm by masturbation is actually different chemically than orgasm by sex, masturbation is sending signals to your brain saying "Yes this is good. Your bonding. This is love", it's actually chemically a LIE because masturbation doesn't give you the satisfying "love" chemicals that orgasm by intercourse with someone you love gives. Masturbation only tricks your brain into THINKING it does.



** (Note: In this article, I am NOT talking about small children who discovered masturbation without any outside influence, and I am NOT talking about someone who may have a medical condition that produces unintentional orgasms etc etc etc. Sometimes small young children innocently masturbate as a form of self soothing, and will often outgrow it, unless negative attention is brought to it)


A list of TONS of articles showing masturbation is unhealthy and causes problems
http://www.howtostopmasturbation.com/is-masturbation-healthy-science-says-no.html

Can you masturbate without lusting?:
http://www.covenanteyes.com/2013/01/14/masturbate-without-lusting/

The great hoax
http://www.covenanteyes.com/2015/04/13/the-great-masturbation-hoax-is-not-masturbating-unhealthy-for-you/

Changes caused by masturbation
http://www.herballove.com/articles/hormonal-physiological-changes-caused-over-masturbation

Masturbation and prostate cancer risk
http://www.m.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/news/20090127/masturbation-and-prostate-cancer-risk

Interesting: http://www.sciencedaily.com//releases/2009/01/090126082343.htm

Article just about DHT , imbalanced levels of DHT cause hairloss. What's interesting is that masturbation causes imbalanced DHT.
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/68082.php

Man's experience of hair loss from masturbation: http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1758872/pg1

Interesting. Masturbating damages nervous system:  http://www.herballove.com/case-studies/excessively-masturbating-does-damage-your-nervous-system

Ha love the persons comment at the very end:http://www.herballove.com/case-studies/effects-chronic-masturbation-young-age

Symptoms:
http://www.herballove.com/guide/over-masturbation-symptom-and-solution-guide

(Trigger warning)
http://nymag.com/news/features/anti-masturbation-2013-4/index2.html

Masturbation side effects
http://side-effects.owndoc.com/masturbation-side-effects.php (be careful, has one graphic small drawing)
http://drlwilson.com/Articles/MASTURBATION.htm

Masturbation and negative side effects.
http://www.9jatc.com/t1752-all-about-masturbation-and-the-negative-effect

If we imagine ourselves involved in improper things, our thoughts may influence our heart’s inclination and perhaps even our future behavior. Dr. Maxwell Maltz underscores the connection between our thoughts and our body’s nervous system: “Experimental and clinical psychologists have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the human nervous system cannot tell the difference between an ‘actual’ experience and an experience imagined vividly and in detail.”
The Higher Law
https://www.lds.org/ensign/1991/02/the-higher-law?lang=eng

"In addition, for both boys and girls, engaging in masturbation was associated with a greater odds of engaging in sexual relations with a partner, compared to adolescents who did not masturbate. For boys, masturbation was linked to higher odds of engaging in oral sex and vaginal intercourse, while for girls it was linked to higher odds for oral sex, partnered masturbation, and both vaginal and anal intercourse."
https://consumer.healthday.com/women-s-health-information-34/abortion-news-2/study-tracks-masturbation-trends-among-u-s-teens-655445.html

Sunday, July 31, 2016

LDS Mormon View On Masturbation


"Masturbation is sex with self. Sex with self is sex with someone other than your husband or wife to whom you are legally and lawfully married.Therefore, masturbation is a violation of temple covenants."
- LDS author Andrew Pippanne, creator of the website rowboatandmarbles.org


One CANNOT masturbate and still enter the temple worthily and the LDS Church has been VERY clear on this. Going to the temple unworthily not only hurts oneself, but it hurts one's family and children . But just because an unlearned bishop, ward member, friend, therapist etc. gives permission (or doesn't specifically "ask" it in a temple interview), that doesn't mean God gives permission. It is a huge sin to enter the temple unworthily.

MASTURBATION

1. To stimulate yourself sexually. In other words, to have sex by yourself, with yourself.

2. Get sexual gratification through self-stimulation

3. Excitation of one's own or another's genital organs, usually to orgasm, by manual contact or means other than sexual intercourse."

4. Erotic stimulation especially of one's own genital organs commonly resulting in orgasm and achieved by manual or other bodily contact exclusive of sexual intercourse, by instrumental manipulation, occasionally by sexual fantasies, or by various combinations of these agencies.
(***Note sexually stimulating oneself with, or without orgasm, is still masturbation.)

The LDS church states:

" Those who enter the temple must be worthy, which means that they keep the commandments and are prepared to make and keep sacred temple covenants."

"You do not have to be perfect to enter the temple—the temple is there to help us become perfect. The Church member who is living the basic laws such as **chastity**, tithing, and the Word of Wisdom, and who answers the interview questions honestly, should feel worthy to enter the house of the Lord."
- Quorum of the 70, President Carlos E Asay https://www.lds.org/new-era/1997/03/the-temple-the-place-for-you?lang=eng

WORTHY, WORTHINESS

To be personally righteous and to stand approved in the sight of God and his appointed leaders. - LDS. org

CHASTITY

Chastity is sexual purity. Those who are chaste are morally clean in their thoughts, words, and actions. Chastity means not having any sexual relations before marriage. It also means complete fidelity to husband or wife during marriage. - lds. org

SEXUAL PURITY

The sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. - lds. org

CHASTE

What does it mean to be chaste?

“To be chaste, you must be morally clean in your thoughts, words, and actions. You must not have any sexual relations before you are legally married. When you are married, you must be completely faithful to your husband or wife” (True to the Faith, 29).

What exactly are the limits of appropriate physical affection?

We have been taught a clear principle: “Never do anything outside of marriage to arouse the powerful emotions that must be expressed only in marriage. Do not arouse those emotions in another person’s body or in your own body” (True to the Faith, 32).

What does it mean to break the law of chastity?

“The Ten Commandments include the command that we not commit adultery, which is sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband (see Exodus 20:14). The Apostle Paul said that it is ‘the will of God’ that we ‘abstain from fornication,’ which is sexual intercourse between an unmarried person and anyone else (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Latter-day prophets repeatedly speak out against these sins and against the evil practice of sexual abuse. (Self abuse)
https://www.lds.org/youth/ask/top/sexual-purity?lang=eng#what-does-it-mean-to-break-the-law-of-chastity

RIGHTEOUS, RIGHTEOUSNESS

Being just, holy, virtuous, upright; acting in obedience to God’s commands; avoiding sin. - LDS .org

VIRTUOUS

Virtuous behavior implies..pure thoughtsand clean actions.Will not lust in his heart for to do is to "deny the faith" and to lose the Spirit. (See D&C 42:23.)

He will not commit adultery “nor do anything like unto it.” (D&C 59:6.)This means fornication, self-abuse, child molestation, or any other sexual perversions.. - lds. org

PROCREATION

1. The process by which an organism produces others of its biological kind
2. The sexual activity of  covering and bearing biological offspring.
(Wiki & Freedictionary .com)

SELF ABUSE

Masturbation, a rather common indiscretion, is not approved of the Lord nor of his church, regardless of what may have been said by others whose "norms" are lower. Latter-day Saints are urged to avoid this practice. Anyone fettered by this weakness should abandon the habit before he goes on a mission or receives the holy priesthood or goes to the temple.."
- Spencer W Kimball

The Lord condemns self-abuse. Self-abuse is the act of stimulating procreative power of one's own body. President Boyd K. Packer,President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said,

“Do not be guilty of tampering or playing with this sacred power of creation.
“… It is not pleasing to the Lord, nor is it pleasing to you. It does not make you feel worthy or clean."

DEFINITION OF "SEX"

sexual activity, including specifically sexual intercourse (Oxford dictionaries)

Sex is shorthand for sexual intercourse and other forms of sexual stimulation. (vocabulary. com)

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"The Lord has made it clear that immorality involves more than extramarital sexual intercourse. Some other things that the Lord has clearly told us to refrain from include necking and petting, masturbation, pornography, etc.

The world rationalizes that masturbation is natural and healthy. However, President Spencer W. Kimball states the Lord’s view as follows: “Prophets anciently and today condemn masturbation. It induces feelings of guilt and shame. It is detrimental to spirituality. It indicates slavery to the flesh, not that mastery of it and the growth toward godhood which is the object of our mortal life. …No young man should be called on a mission who is not free from this practice.”
(The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 77.)
https://www.lds.org/manual/family-home-evening-resource-book/building-a-strong-family/teaching-about-procreation-and-chastity?lang=eng

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“When you sign your recommend, you make a commitment to the Lord that you sure WORTHY of the privileges granted to those who hold such a recommend. There are several standard questions that I will ask...You are to respond honestly to each one"..

“One who goes into the house of the Lord must be free from any unclean, unholy, impure, or unnatural practice."..

Remember the Lord knows all things and will not be mocked. We are trying to help you. Never lie to try to obtain a call, recommend, or a blessing from the Lord.

If an applicant is not keeping the
commandments or there is something unsettled about his or her life that needs putting in order, it will be necessary for that individual to demonstrate true repentance before a temple recommend is issued."
- LDS. org

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" If the adversary could succeed in any way to overcome you, it would be to keep you from the temple or to entice you to go there unworthily."
- Elder Kent F Richards
LDS. org

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"Some of the questions a bishop may ask in temple interview are (church quote):

1. Your testimony of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.

2. Whether you sustain the President of the Church.

3. Whether you live the law of chastity, pay tithing, are honest with others, and keep the Word of Wisdom.

4. Whether you strive to attend church, keep the covenants you have made, and keep your life in harmony with the commandments of the gospel.

"The Lord has set the standards of worthiness to enter the temple, as expressed by the Psalmist:
  'He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart' (Psalm 24:3–4).

Let me give a word of caution here. We cannot go to His holy house unworthily without bringing upon ourselves the judgments of God. For God will not be mocked.

When couples who have not fully repented of past sins go to the temple to be married, they are starting their marriages on very shaky ground. I believe this is one of the main causes of divorce in temple marriages. If a man who is dishonest in his personal life, as it pertains to his wife and children or his business dealings, goes to the temple, he is heaping damnation upon his own soul and is in great need of repentance.

President Hunter said: “It is the deepest desire of my heart to have every member of the Church worthy to enter the temple.”! If our young men or young women on their way to the mission field, go to the temple unworthily, it is a great mistake. We must prepare them for the temple first, and then they will be prepared for missions. President Hunter said, “Let us prepare every missionary to go to the temple worthily and to make that experience an even greater highlight than receiving the mission call.”
- Elder J Ballard Washburn
(in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 12–13; or Ensign, May 1995, 11–12).
LDS. org

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"We have..had young men go out into the mission field unworthily, who lied to the bishop and stake president to get there. It is certainly not right and is most displeasing in the sight of the Lord...
...It is much better to postpone a mission for a period than to go unworthily. In almost every case he can repent and prepare himself for a mission."
Elder N Eldon Tanner
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1978/10/the-blessing-of-church-interviews?lang=eng .

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"Personal worthiness is an essential requirement to enjoy the blessings of the temple. Anyone foolish enough to enter the temple unworthily will receive condemnation."
Richard G Scott
LDS. org

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"He or she should know that unless there is true worthiness, there will be no blessing gained, and condemnation will fall upon the head of him or her who unworthily crosses the threshold of the House of God.”
- David E Sorenson
LDS .org

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  "Holy temples may also be defiled and desecrated by members of the Church who go into the temple and make covenants unworthily, or which they are not prepared or willing to accept and carry forward. When people go to the temple and then make light of its sacred principles, they are defiling it. When unrepentant people accept the holy ordinances without full determination to prove worthy of them, they are helping to violate the sacredness of the holy temple and they are desecrating holy places.
When promises are made and covenants are entered into without serious or pure intent to magnify them, pollutions may occur in the holy temples. It is not only a matter of receiving a recommendation to enter the temples of the Lord, but it is also a matter of one having a pure, sweet, and repentant spirit as well."
- Spencer W Kimball

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The scriptures repeatedly teach that the Spirit of the Lord will not dwell in an unclean tabernacle. When we worthily partake of the sacrament, we are promised that we will “always have his Spirit to be with [us].” To qualify for that promise we covenant that we will “always remember him” (D&C 20:77). Those who seek out and use pornography for sexual stimulation obviously violate that covenant. They also violate a sacred covenant to refrain from unholy and impure practices. They cannot have the Spirit of the Lord to be with them. All such need to heed the Apostle Peter’s plea: “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee".

"When persons entertain evil thoughts long enough for the Spirit to withdraw, they lose their spiritual protection and they are subject to the power and direction of the evil one... "
- Dallin H Oaks

"The scriptures often refer respectfully but plainly to the body and its parts. There is no embarrassment and often there is sacred symbolism. It is the world that makes the divinely created body an object of carnal lust. For example, it makes the female breasts primarily into sexual enticements, while the truth is that they were intended to nourish and comfort children. It promotes male sexual aggression in contrast to Christ’s example of tenderness, long-suffering, kindness, and steadfastness in the home.

.. Teach your children that they will find joy in their bodies when they use them virtuously after the manner taught by Christ.

Also teach your children that they cannot separate sexual behavior from other aspects of relationships, roles, and values. This is one of the false assumptions of those who promote selfish and indulgent behavior. This is not only wicked, but it negates the true purposes of sexual intimacy, which are to create families and strengthen bonds between husband and wife.

Your children will see in movies and magazines and in the lives of some people around them those who seem to be able to break the Lord’s commandments concerning sexual expression and still live happy, prosperous lives. Make sure they understand that they must not be misled by appearances, for “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10). They cannot expect to break the laws of God in one area of their lives and have the rest of their lives unaffected.

Latter-day Saints subscribe to a total morality"
https://www.lds.org/manual/a-parents-guide/chapter-5-teaching-adolescents-from-twelve-to-eighteen-years?lang=eng

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“‘The Bible makes plain that evil, when related to sex, means not the use of something inherently corrupt but the misuse of something pure and good. It teaches clearly that sex can be a wonderful servant but a terrible master: that it can be a creative force more powerful than any other in the fostering of a love, companionship, happiness or can be the most destructive of all of life’s forces.’” - Spencer W. Kimball

Being morally clean implies physical restraint and self-control. Our children need to see that control of these feelings is not a negative thing any more than controlling certain motions of leg or hand muscles in athletics is negative."
https://www.lds.org/ensign/1986/12/talking-with-your-children-about-moral-purity?lang=eng

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A boy should be taught about the power of creation within his body and that the Lord intended that this power should be used exclusively in marriage. He should be cautioned against sexual self-stimulation (masturbation).
https://www.lds.org/manual/family-home-evening-resource-book/building-a-strong-family/teaching-about-procreation-and-chastity?lang=eng

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President J. Reuben Clark gave me great light many years ago on a great tremendous subject. He said (and these are my words, not his) that the sex urge does not have to be satisfied, that Satan’s old lie is that itdoes have to be satisfied.

I am sorry to tell you that there are men in high places who have some fairly major moral problems, even as youth have the same problems.

We shouldn’t have a problem with masturbation.
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1975/04/a-self-inflicted-purging?lang=eng

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Aaronic Priesthood Manual 2 :
 ...Being morally clean and virtuous requires self-discipline and self-control. For example, President Spencer W. Kimball spoke plainly about sinful sexual desires and practices. Explain that you are going to read a number of President Kimball’s statements regarding morality and self-discipline.

Note: If you think the young men do not understand the terms used, read the definitions below to clarify the terms. Then read the quotations following each definition. Present only the prophet’s statements. Emphasize self-discipline,and limit the discussion, if any is necessary, to defining the terms used in the quotations.

1. Our Conduct toward Our Own Bodies

Definition
Masturbation: stimulating oneself sexually.

Quotation
“Masturbation … is not approved of the Lord nor of his church, regardless of what may be said by others whose ‘norms’ are lower” (President Kimball Speaks Out [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], p. 10).
https://www.lds.org/manual/aaronic-priesthood-manual-2/lesson-25-personal-purity-through-self-discipline?lang=eng

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Young Women Manual:
"Sometimes young people do not understand the specific definitions of words they hear describing immorality. If questions arise during the discussion, you may want to use the following definitions given by President Spencer W. Kimball.

Masturbation: To sexually stimulate oneself. “Masturbation … is not approved of the Lord nor of his Church, regardless of what may be said by others whose ‘norms’ are lower” (Spencer W. Kimball, President Kimball Speaks Out [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], p. 10).
https://www.lds.org/manual/young-women-manual-2/living-a-virtuous-life/lesson-33-the-sacred-power-of-procreation?lang=eng

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Do you understand that sexual transgression—whether masturbation, homosexuality, fornication, adultery, or the use of pornographic materials—can lessen spiritual strength and lead to apostasy?
https://www.lds.org/manual/the-life-and-teachings-of-jesus-and-his-apostles/section-11-the-early-apostles-send-their-witness-to-the-world/chapter-53-for-there-are-certain-men-crept-in-unawares?lang=eng

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God’s Law of Moral Cleanliness

God has never changed His laws and commandments concerning sexual sin, although man has tried to change them to suit his own pleasure. The law of chastity means that a man must not have intimate physical relations with anyone except his own wife. The Lord has commanded, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). The law of chastity is not limited to just adultery, however. It extends to all improper uses of the divine power of procreation. Among the other ways man misuses this sacred power are fornication (including living together without marriage), homosexuality,abortion, and masturbation.

Chastity also includes cleanliness in thought ..."
https://www.lds.org/manual/duties-and-blessings-of-the-priesthood-basic-manual-for-priesthood-holders-part-a/gospel-principles-and-doctrines/lesson-34-moral-cleanliness?lang=eng

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"Our youth seem confused about the definition of moral cleanliness. Some young men and women take a certain definition and then push it to its limits to see how far they can go without being immoral by that definition. I suggest an opposite approach."
- Russell M Ballard

Some have suggested that pornography should be a separate question in the temple recommend interview. It is already. At least five different questions should elicit a confession and discussion on this subject if the person being interviewed has the spiritual sensitivity and honesty we expect of those who worship in the house of the Lord."
- Dallin H Oaks

C.S. Lewis has a wonderful passage in which he describes what may be the root reason that God gives us this commandment:

"For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back: sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no real woman can rival. Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect love: no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself….
Masturbation involves this abuse of imagination in erotic matters (which I think bad in itself) and thereby encourages a similar abuse of it in all spheres. After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the little, dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison."(C.S. Lewis, letter to Keith Masson (3 June 1956); cited in Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C.S. Lewis (HarperOne, 2008)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Is There Something Wrong With Me That Attracts Sex Addicts?


Do I attract dysfunction?

I used to believe so. And yes, this may be the case with some people. With my first husband I definitely sought out a person who would let me drink and not protest it (turned out he was an addict too)

BUT hear me out.

If statistics say 70-80% of men are looking at porn now days (and those are only the ones who admit it)........

Then you could be the most healthy person in the world and guess what? The odds are still against you. :(

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Commanded To Forgive: Must We Forgive Those Who Harm Us And Is Forgiveness The Same As Trust? LDS.org Quotes


The quotes below have brought me comfort. At first, I honestly didn't even know what the word "forgive" really meant, despite hearing the word so often growing up.  I think it's important to remember that forgiveness doesn't have a timetable. There's no allotted time ---- "Oh, your husband cheated on you? You have 6 months to forgive"---- ha. No no it doesn't work like that.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pornography Addiction Statistics 70%

These are some more recent statistics from all around the world (and some old stats taken before smart phones) that show a general pretty consistent 70-80%-ish range of men look at porn at the very LEAST once a month. Addicts are notorious for lying about the frequency of porn use, kinda makes you wonder what the REAL percentage is.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Is it My Responsibility To Have Sex With My Husband? Quotes From LDS Church Leaders

Many wives struggle with feeling like it is their responsibility to have sex with their husbands. Thankfully, I believe the LDS Church is very clear on this subject.

If anyone ever tries to convince you that your husband needs sex and that it is your duty as a wife to be "available" for him, please refer them to these lds. org quotes. ✌😁

Friday, April 1, 2016

Is the Addict Label Helpful or Hurtful?

Many people believe that using the term "sex addict" is detrimental, and should no longer be used when treating sex addicts because it causes them to feel too much shame.

I can definitely see how someone could feel shame by calling themselves a sex addict. I can also see how someone could feel shame by saying "I look at pornography all the time and can't stop".

Monday, February 29, 2016

To The Wives: Anger Can Be Healthy

To the innocent wives suffering Betrayal Trauma ❤

Is ALL anger bad? Should we always avoid anger at all costs? Why would Christ show anger with the money changers if it's so wrong?

Lds. org states:
"Anger is an emotion everyone experiences. Dealing with it in healthy ways is an essential life skill to learn." - New Era

&

An lds. org article about living with an alcoholic parent states:
(To the friend of the abused)
  "Drunk people do disgusting things. They may even abuse their children.
   Your friend will be both shamed and angered by these actions. And she may feel guilty about her anger. Let her know that she has a right to be angry.
   Just help her direct and control that anger so it doesn’t cause her serious trouble."
(To the abused)
 "..Don’t feel guilty about it. It’s okay to feel angry. Anyone in your circumstances would feel that way.
   And if you haven’t been able to forgive him, keep trying, but don’t feel guilty about that either.
   Forgiving is not an easy virtue to master, and nobody’s timing you." - Living with an alcoholic parent by Anne Lawrence https://www.lds.org/liahona/1989/08/drunk-again-living-with-an-alcoholic-parent?lang=eng

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Why Do Addicts Lie?


Why do sex/porn addict husbands lie?

Because their brain believes complete honesty will kill them.

Haha no, seriously.

It seems silly to think that the brain would really think it would die from being honest.

Hear me out...

Sunday, January 3, 2016

STOP Those Annoying Advertisments & Friend Suggestions

 Make Your Computer Safer!
Here is a list of ways to Opt-Out of many different types of "Interest Based Ads". I suggest opting out of all of them for every browser (chrome, Firefox, etc), and on every computer and/or iOS/Android device.

Ever go shopping online for something, for example let's say "shoes", only to then see ads for shoes pop up everywhere online afterward?
Yep. Those are called Interest Based Ads. Companies track your data (age, location, online history, your online likes and interests etc etc) and they use this data to send you advertisements customized to YOU and your computer's Advertising ID/IP address

Lame, right?


While this feature may seem harmless to someone who doesn't care to see innocent shoe ads, sadly this feature can be very dangerous to unsuspecting victims when there is someone viewing pornography in the home. No one wants their kids to get online and see those dang inappropriate sex/dating ads all because a family member was surfing porn an hour earlier ha, ok? No bueno :)

While using these steps to protect your computer won't completely remove the threat of unwanted exposure (Don't get me started the havoc pornography viewing has on the nasty spam emails that can get sent to everyone who uses the computer and the computer viruses pornography causes), these will definitely help reduce accidental exposure.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

PTSD Diagnosis Criteria: Is My Betrayal Trauma Actual PTSD?

(****Attention: Before you automatically rule yourself out after reading Criteria A, read the definition of Sexual Violence at the bottom)





"CURRENT DIAGNOSIS OF PTSD IS BASED ON 8 CRITERIA FROM THE DSM-5 :

* Criteria A - Exposure to actual or threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury (or "or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others" according to the DSM-IV) , or actual or threatened sexual violence in one (or more) of the following ways:

    1. Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s).

    2. Witnessing, in person, the event(s) as it occurred to others.

    3. Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend.  In cases of actual or threatened death of family member or friend, the event(s) must have been violent or accidental.

    4. Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse, etc.)
Note: Criteria A4 does not apply to exposure through electronic media, television, movies, or pictures, unless this exposure is work related."

* Criteria B. - Presence of one (or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred:

     1. Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s).

     2. Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s).

     3. Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event(s) were recurring.  (Such reactions may occur on a continuum, with the most extreme expression being a complete loss of awareness of present surroundings.)

     4. Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s).

     5. Marked psychological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s).


* Criteria C. - Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Addiction Dictionary : Definitions of Common Addiction Terms


ADDICTION - 1. "Addiction is the continued repetition of a behavior/rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences."
2. LDSmag. com Addiction Definition:
Addiction exists when the repeated use of a mood altering substance or behavior (of any kind) has created a dependency on itself so intense that the person doing the behavior cannot find the will-power to quit, even when the behavior is causing serious damage to one’s relationships, health, employment, and personal sense of serenity and spirituality.
3. LDS. org Church Guide Definition:
Addiction is a persistent dependence on a harmful behavior or substance. It can disrupt the ability to listen to the Spirit and limit agency. Many who struggle with an addiction suffer from shame or a sense that they are unlovable. They may feel discouragement and despair that recovery is not possible. Yet with God, nothing is impossible"
(Note: *** Lack of fequency is not always an indicator of addiction. Acting out can be once a day, once a week, once a month, or even once a year etc. and still be an addiction)

PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTION -  1. Pornography addiction is a behavioral addiction characterized by compulsive, repeated use of pornographic material until it causes serious negative consequences to one's physical, mental, social, and/or financial well-being.         
  2. Sexual addiction is best described as a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts
  3. A condition that has been defined as a psychological addiction to, or dependence upon, pornography, characterized by obsessive viewing, reading, and thinking about pornography and sexual themes to the detriment of other areas of the viewer’s life
  4. Prolonged viewing or pornography - books, magazines, movies, or Internet pornography - that has destructive effects on the life of a person"

SEX ADDICTION - Is a term used for any addiction that is sexual in nature. Therapist Doug Weiss CSAT PhD states "Since pornography is sexual, we consider a person who is addicted to porn a sexual addict or sexual compulsive."
Includes but not limited to, sex, pornography, or masturbation addiction, prostitutes, brothels, voyeurism, or sexual fetish addictions etc etc

ACTING OUT - Intentionally seeking out any erotic and sensual stimulus, even if "accidental" at first. DEFINITE lines of acting out: Pornography, Masturbation, Infidelity, Emotional infidelity, Inappropriate relationships with opposite sex, Chatting, Flirting, Sex ad browsing, Forcing anyone to have sex (yes, even if it’s your own wife), & Massage brothels.

PORNOGRAPHY - 1. Any material depicting or describing the human body or sexual conduct in a way that arouses sexual feelings. This includes scantily dressed women in bikinis, lingerie or revealing clothes, scantily dressed woman in comics, cartoons, or art, sexual content in books, risky material in movies, TV shows, phone apps, or games. For many men this also includes scantily dressed women at the gym, women's UFC fights, & the dancers during sports games.
2. LDS .org Church Definition of Pornography -
  "Pornography is any visual or written medium created with the intent to sexually stimulate. If the work was not intended to stimulate but nevertheless causes sexual arousal in an individual, it constitutes pornography for that person."
&
  "Pornography is any entertainment that uses immodest or indecent images to stimulate sexual feelings. So even a mainstream television program or advertisement can be pornographic. If images trigger sexual feelings in you, you should avoid them."

MASTURBATION - 1. To stimulate yourself sexually. In other words, to have sex by yourself, with yourself.
2. Get sexual gratification through self-stimulation
3. Excitation of one's own or another's genital organs, usually to orgasm, by manual contact or means other than sexual intercourse."
4. Erotic stimulation especially of one's own genital organs commonly resulting in orgasm and achieved by manual or other bodily contact exclusive of sexual intercourse, by instrumental manipulation, occasionally by sexual fantasies, or by various combinations of these agencies.
5. Lds author Andrew Pippanne/Rowboat&Marbles Masturbation Definition:
"Masturbation is sex with self.Sex with self is sex with someone other than your husband or wife to whom you are legally and lawfully married.Therefore, masturbation is a violation of temple covenants."
6. Lds .org Spencer W Kimball:
" Masturbation is not physically necessary. There is already a way by which the male system relieves excessive spermatic fluid quite regularly through the nocturnal emission or wet dream. "
(***Note they use the word "usually" and not "always". Sexually stimulating oneself with, or without orgasm, is still masturbation.)

S.L.I.P -- "Sexual Sobriety Lost its Priority" - A slip is a one-time unexpected unplanned break in abstinence. Slips are significant events that call for immediate attention because they can easily lead to relapses. Since it is acting out in ones addiction it requires a restart in sobriety. (Learn more HERE)

RELAPSE - A relapse is the recurrence of symptoms of a disease or to resume acting out after a period of abstinence. Since it is acting out in ones addiction it requires a restart in sobriety. (Learn more HERE)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Codependency vs. Trauma

I first learned about the term codependency from the book Codependant No More. I like the book Codependent No More. It taught me some very interesting good concepts that I loved. It helped me be more aware of myself. But does the term Codependent automatically apply to spouses of sex addicts too?

Most likely not.

Instantly labeling a spouse of a sex addict "codependent" the moment she finds out the world has flipped over can run the risk of indirectly putting inappropriate blame & shame on the spouse, and can in turn indirectly cause the spouse to tolerate and enable the addict, which puts themselves in further danger.

PTSD Trauma vs. CODEPENDENCY

According to the DSM-5, PTSD moved out from under the class of Anxiety Disorders into a new class called Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders

PTSD is also considered a Psychiatric Injury not a mental illness. The cause is external not internal. It is not resulting from the individual’s personality.

"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a natural emotional reaction to a deeply shocking and disturbing experience. It is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. Any human being has the potential to develop PTSD. The cause is external not internal. It is a Psychiatric Injury, so It is not resulting from the individual’s personality. Individuals suffering from PTSD are injured, not mentally ill.  PTSD indicates severe trauma and stress which causes a weakness in the individual, and not the reverse. "

Whereas CODEPENDENCY is more of a Personality Disorder and under the DSM-5 is called Dependant Personality Disorder.

Historically, the concept of co-dependence comes directly out of Alcoholics Anonymous which was founded in 1935 and was later used by Al-Anon when it was formed in 1951. Al-Anon holds the view that alcoholism is a family illness.
"The language of, symptoms of, and treatment for codependence derive from the medical model suggesting a disease process underlies the behavior."

"Personality Disorders are a class of mental disorders characterized by enduring maladaptive patterns of behavior, cognition, and inner experience, exhibited across many contexts and deviating markedly from those accepted by the individual's culture. These patterns develop early, are inflexible, and are associated with significant distress or disability. They are defined as ingrained patterns indicated by inflexible and disabling responses that significantly differ from how the average person in the culture perceives, thinks, and feels, particularly in relating to others. Hence, personality disorders are defined by experiences and behaviors that differ from societal norms and expectations. Also, particular personality features must be evident by early adulthood. The personality disorders in general are defined as emerging in childhood, or at least by adolescence or early adulthood."
** Note: Personality Disorders are "not due to use of substances or another medical condition", and they do not seem to have a direct effect on Sexual Dysfunction.

Types of Personality Disorders are paranoid, dependant disorder, schizoid, dissocial, borderline personality disorder (ughhh), narcissistic, passive aggressive disorder, obsessive compulsive personality disorder (diff than ocd) etc etc etc



Codependency and PTSD are two DIFFERENT diagnosis. Its like telling someone who has ADHD that they are Bi-polar. Yes many symptoms overlap and are very similar, but they are two completely DIFFERENT diagnosis and they both require different medications and treatments.

It matters GREATLY to be diagnosed correctly because being diagnosed as Codependent when someone really has PTSD can run the risk of not fully being able to heal. "Behavior modification (typically used with Codependency) can be functional in terms of bringing about a temporary change in a person’s behavior but unless the causes are addressed there is no real fundamental healing that takes place."


Let's call it like it is. If 70% of sex addict wives have PTSD, then let's call it what fits the symptoms the best.....PTSD. Not Codependency OR "Co-addict". Most of us did not have these symptoms and behaviors present before our lives were shattered by addiction. They were not a part of our personality before we were married.

I know what its like to do lots of codependent things. I'm a sex, alcohol, and drug addict in Recovery, I've been on both sides of the road. I was a pro at being codependent with my ex husband who was also a sex addict. But with my current husband, the codependent model just felt.....wrong.

I got into long term Recovery, I went to countless hours of therapy, I got healthy, and then later on down the road I married my 2nd husband who I thought was temple worthy. Before marrying him I screened him in depth (im a ninja with questions 😉), my bishop screened him, and I had my psychologist screen him. -------- 2 yrs in, I found out he was a pornography addict, and it felt like I got "hit by a drunk driver" out of nowhere.

I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't do anything to cause it. It was traumatizing and I just desperately needed to feel safe again.

I was experiencing an actual form of PTSD called Betrayal Trauma.




My life was continually shattered over and over by my husband and it was an extremely traumatizing experience, what's real, what's not real? What's up, what's down?

Me thinking and wondering about my husband was just a desperate attempt to find SAFETY. I was trying to assess threats before they happened so that I could find a way to be safe and not be hit with, yet another, shattering surprise.

There was nothing wrong with me. 

My behaviors weren't "wrong".

They were normal behaviors of trauma. Almost like a reflex. If someone throws a ball in my face, my body is going to flinch.  If someone cuts me, I'm going to bleed and feel pain. If my husband continuously lies to me and makes me feel crazy, I'm going to desperately try to find any way possible to keep myself safe and make sense of my world. I'm going to frantically hold onto any lifesaver I can find, while kicking and screaming and choking on water.

Yes , I occasionally did a few things that resembled "codependent" behaviors, but I am not a codependent person, I am NOT "Hi my name is ___, I' am Codependent and will be for the rest of my life", ha um, no :) My behavior was the natural byproduct of PTSD Betrayal Trauma.

Healing from trauma is about knowledge, love, and acceptance. Its a process, it takes time. Everyone is different. I believe the the most effective healing comes from loving and accepting wherever we are at, VS. telling ourselves (and risk shaming ourselves) "I shouldn't do this" "I shouldn't do that", "I need to do better" etc.


THINK of it this way--------If a woman got hit by a drunk driver, out of no fault of her own, and ended up in the hospital with tons of broken bones, cuts and bruises......would it be wrong of her to be in pain? Or to feel angry? Or to be scared? 

No, its just the NORMAL effects of trauma and pain, right? Its a natural process the body goes through.

Could the woman "should" herself better? Would telling herself ------- "I shouldn't be in pain. I shouldn't have been driving. I should have paid more attention. I need to be a better driver. I should be better by now. It shouldn't take this long for bones to heal. I should have known he was drunk and was gonna hit me. I shouldn't feel this angry and scared. I shouldn't think about what the drunk driver is doing. I shouldn't think about him hitting other people either. I shouldn't hate him, I need to love and trust him." -------- would any of these thoughts HELP her to heal faster and keep her safe? 

No, probably not, because those types of thoughts usually bring shame.

Shame is toxic for the body and can actually make healing SLOWER and more painful. Shame and fear perpetuate trauma. 

Knowledge, love and acceptance of ourselves, no matter where we are at or how we feel (and therapy ha), are keys to healing. BOUNDARIES are the key to our SAFETY. I know we can't control our husbands, but we CAN control what dangers/ behaviors we allow and tolerate in our homes.



BEEEEEEEEE nice to yourselves. Your just reacting normally to an abnormal situation :)



"As wives of sex/porn addicts, we deserve and have a right to know the type of relationship we are in. We DESERVE to know what kind of danger our addict husbands are putting us and our children in by viewing pornography, masturbating, or having any contact with other women. "Keeping someone in a relationship under false pretenses represents exploitation".

*RESOURCES* (Read Therapist's Take at the bottom):

How to Set Boundaries (I posted additional resources & links at the bottom)
http://makemyburdenlight.blogspot.com/2014/12/how-to-set-boundaries.html?m=1

To Filter Internet or Not :
http://makemyburdenlight.blogspot.com/2014/11/to-filter-or-not-part-2-is-computer.html?m=1

Excerpt from Rhylls article on Codependency vs. Trauma.
http://rhyllrecovery.com/codependency-and-trauma/ :

"A Therapist’s Take
I believe that trauma is often mis-labeled as co-dependency.  It may be best explained by understanding the criteria for a diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.  This diagnosis is separated into the following four assessments:
First, the individual needs to meet both of the following criteria:
1) The person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved … threat to the physical integrity of self or others.
2) The person’s response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror
(Spouses of sex addicts certainly meet those two criteria.)
Now lets look at the next criteria.  In this part of the evaluation the clinician looks for signs that the traumatic event is being re-experienced.  Only one of the five need to be present.
1) recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions,
2) recurrent distressing dreams of the event,
3) acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring,
4) intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external curs that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event (For example, husband texting on phone late at night.)
5) physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event (For example, feeling nauseous at the site of massage parlors.) 
The third area is where the clinician evaluates for whether the individual is numbing.  One of the three needs to be present:
1)  Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma.
2)  Efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma (So, a counselor without a thorough knowledge of trauma may say that a spouse is being uncooperative when they choose not to attend S-Anon, counseling or discuss the situation with an ecclesiastical leader.  This assessment would not help the spouse heal.)
3)  Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma.
4) Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities
5) Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others
6) Restricted range of affect
7) Sense of a foreshortened future.
Finally, a clinician will need to assess for the following symptoms and if two or more are present:
1)  Irritability or outbursts of anger
2)  Difficulty falling asleep
3)  Difficulty concentrating
4)  Hypervigilance
5) Exaggerated startle response
So, why does it matter if the spouse is considered co-dependent vs. traumatized? For a variety of reasons, if we get the diagnosis wrong it is like giving antibiotics to a Stage 4 cancer patient.  Because the spouse can feel like she is equally to “blame” because her behaviors were just as “bad” as his, because trauma is visceral and cellular and our bodies remember so all the teaching about changing co-dependent behavior will not heal the bodies memory of the trauma. Because having a spouse labeled co-dependent doesn’t help the addict see the very real consequences of his behavior, it is kind of like saying, “I had an emotional affair.”  Rather than, “I broke sacred covenants.”

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Unconditional Love and Boundaries

"And know ye that ye shall be judges of this people, according to the judgment which I shall give unto you, which shall be just. Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am." 3 Ne. 27:27

un·con·di·tion·al:
1. without condition or limitation; absolute.


Christ's love for us is unconditional. It's a beautiful thing. His love is not based on us being perfect, or whether we go to church or not, or whether we accidentally say SHIT very loudly during church volleyball :) We are His children and He loves all of us sinners. His love knows no bounds. (For the sake of simplicity, I'm using the word unconditional, although the more appropriate word is Divine Love https://www.lds.org/ensign/2003/02/divine-love?lang=eng)

We are also commanded to become like Christ. In order to become like Christ we must learn by His example.

And what is one of Christ's loving example's?

Unconditional Love

We must learn how to love others unconditionally. Including our husbands. And not just others and our husbands, we must learn to love ourselves.

Self-Love

President Howard W. Hunter:
“It has always struck me as being sad that those among us...will nevertheless be cruel and unforgiving to themselves. When the scriptures say to judge righteously, that means with fairness and compassion and charity. That’s how we must judge ourselves. We need to be patient and forgiving of ourselves, just as we must be patient and forgiving of others.”
Elder D. Chad Richardson
"Apparently, many individuals do not understand the importance of self-forgiveness in the process of repentance. The Lord, however, makes no exceptions when He declares, “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men”. This includes forgiving ourselves."
Cheryl C Lant LDS .org
"As we love ourselves the way the Lord would have us do, we are prepared to truly love others. Self-love and a love of God should become the foundation upon which a life of love and service to others is based. 


Another one of Christ's loving examples is:

BOUNDARIES

We NEED Boundaries in order to become Christ-like. Without Boundaries we wouldn't be following His example.

Is this not the best and greatest example of a Boundary? :

"And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.
And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. " 3 Ne. 11:33

God is the ultimate CREATOR of Boundaries. He tells us that if we want to live with Him, we must do what He says , ie. "keep His commandments". If we don't keep commandments we simply just can't live WITH Him where He lives (nor am I sure we'd want to....awkward)

He will still love us unconditionally either way.

In addition, the Lord asks us to NEVER Tolerate evil.

Tolerate Definition:
"To allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of without interference; To accept or endure"

These LDS .org quotes may better help explain this concept :

Elder David E Sorenson

"I would like to make it clear that forgiveness of sins should not be confused with tolerating evil. In fact, in the Joseph Smith Translation, the Lord said, “Judge righteous judgment.”  The Savior asks us to forsake and combat evil in all its forms, and although we must forgive a neighbor who injures us, we should still work constructively to prevent that injury from being repeated. A woman who is abused should not seek revenge, but neither should she feel that she cannot take steps to prevent further abuse. Forgiveness does not require us to accept or tolerate evil. It does not require us to ignore the wrong that we see in the world around us or in our own lives."
Sister Aileen H. Clyde ensign:
"If charity is not always quick to our understanding, it may occasionally be quick to our misunderstanding. It is not charity or kindness to endure any type of abuse or unrighteousness that may be inflicted on us by others. God’s commandment that as we love him we must respect ourselves suggests we must not accept disrespect from others. It is not charity to let another repeatedly deny our divine nature and agency. It is not charity to bow down in despair and helplessness. That kind of suffering should be ended, and that is very difficult to do alone. "
LDS P.A.S.G - "Pornography Addiction Support Program" Manual for wopa's/wives/women (it's amazing) says:

PRINCIPLE #8
"The love of God does not supersede His laws and His commandments, and the effect of God’s laws and commandments does not diminish the purpose and effect of His love”
" Truly showing love may require us to do hard things, like setting limits, enforcing consequences, and obeying civil laws. Elder Russell M. Nelson taught that “real love for the sinner may compel courageous confrontation—not acquiescence! Real love does not support self-destructing behavior”
We have a responsibility to set limits, make rules, and hold family members accountable for their choices. This is not done to control but rather to help our families stay safe and to minimize the negative impact of the addiction. Establishing clear limits and consequences may be necessary in order to help our loved ones find recovery and healing. Setting limits will also help invite the Spirit into our homes and in the lives of our family members.

An appropriate place to begin is to insist that our homes be free from pornography, addictive substances, or related negative influences.  
We Need Not Endure Our Loved Ones’ Abusive Behavior: Any abuse we experience at the hands of our loved ones is unacceptable. “Abuse is the physical, emotional, sexual, or spiritual mistreatment of others. It may not only harm the body, but it can deeply affect the mind and spirit, destroying faith and causing confusion, doubt, mistrust, guilt, and fear". Addiction itself can be a form of abuse.....the Lord does not expect or want us to endure abusive behavior. It is important for us to take necessary steps to be safe and to stop the abuse. We need to seek help from Heavenly Father, Church leaders, or other trusted individuals about how to protect ourselves. In some instances separation or divorce may be justified. Elder Dallin H. Oaks has said, “We know that many of you are innocent victims—members whose former spouses persistently betrayed sacred covenants or abandoned or refused to perform marriage responsibilities for an extended period. Members who have experienced such abuse have firsthand knowledge of circumstances worse than divorce. When a marriage is dead and beyond hope of resuscitation, it is needful to have a means to end it”
PRINCIPLE #9
"... Because relapse is so common, some may rationalize that it is part of recovery as long as they are doing their best. However, it is important to remember that relapse is part of the addiction process, not the recovery process. We should be careful not to condone our loved ones’ excuses or justifications for their poor choices. Chronic relapse into addictive behaviors indicates that our loved one has not yet fully recovered. It may mean that loved ones need to make greater efforts and receive more intensive treatment. We may need to set additional boundaries or limits with them. If our loved ones try to minimize the seriousness of a relapse, our clear and honest perspective can help them see that they are deceiving themselves and need additional help.
Enabling or ignoring their behavior may perpetuate their addiction and increase our suffering. They need to understand that we love them but that continued addictive behavior and rationalizing their actions is not something we can condone. We can lovingly and honestly respond to their relapse and rationalizations to help them understand how their actions affect us and themselves. The Lord counsels us to support others with “love unfeigned” while also clearly communicating our feelings of disapproval of the addictive behavior"


So in order to truly TRULY love someone unconditionally as Christ does, Self-Love, Boundaries, and not tolerating evil is not just recommended, it's NECESSARY.

Enabling or tolerating our addict husband's behavior is actually, by very definition, the OPPOSITE of unconditional love and being Christ-like.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Recovery: What It Is and What It Isn't

Wanna know what the grande ol' mystery to Recovery is? The answer we all search for when figuring out if our husbands are in Recovery? Yes?

This may be hard for some to accept.

You ready?



Sunday, August 2, 2015

Does Your Addict Loved One Have These Symptoms?


Does your sexually addicted loved one have any these symptoms?:

Lots of anxiety

Racing thoughts (mind won't shut off)

Mind goes so fast it becomes flooded and too overwhelmed, which often leaves one feeling tired and sluggish (aka. Feeling of running in water)

Poor reality testing skills, and avoids reason or logic.

Feels depressed and hopeless from feeling overwhelmed.

Simple tasks bring lots of anxiety (groceries, walking dog, paying bills, social activities, talking about feelings, yard work, dealing with kids etc)

Often gets "glazed over" look when being spoken directly to.

"Lazy"

Impulsive

Forgetful

Loses things easily

Constantly late

Disorganized

OVER-organized

Overwhelmed by responsibilities

Always moving and restless (tapping toes, nail biting, tidying up, bouncing leg while sitting, cleaning, fidgety etc.)

Tendency to become absorbed in tasks that are stimulating and rewarding. aka "hyper focused".

Underestimating the time takes to complete tasks

Interrupts or intrudes on others.

May have zero concept of boundaries and other's personal space.

Sense of underachievement

Doesn’t deal well with frustration

Easily flustered and stressed out

Irritability/Defensiveness

Emotional Dysregulation/ Mood swings (which can sometimes mimic bi polar)

Trouble staying motivated

Poor planning abilities, unable to follow through consistently or complete tasks. Ie. Making plans one day, and then completely changing their mind the next, therefore things only getting done depending on mood.

Hypersensitivity to criticism

Short, often explosive, temper

Low self-esteem and sense of insecurity

Bored easily

Doing a million things at once

Poor sleep patterns, often not rested.

Difficulty in making up their mind, or making choices without undue anxiety.

Impatient, continuing difficulties in delaying gratification.

Overly demanding may become self-destructive and aggressive.

Unable to follow simple tasks and directions if the task does not hold an interest.

Gives up easily on tasks, assignments.

Can't keep a job

OR

Overworks and uses working as an escape/ At the end of the day they can't leave "work" AT work.

Friday, July 17, 2015

I-Statements: How to Communicate

"We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we move from the passive voice to the active voice — that is, until we have stopped saying 'It got lost', and say, 'I lost it.' ” - Sydney J. Harris

Let's face the facts. Communicating is FREAKING hard. It can leave us feeling exposed, and being vulnerable is terrifying and uncomfortable.

Frankly, most of us were never taught how to communicate properly and
are often using the skills we learned as children from our parents...... who also didn't know how to communicate properly. :)


I-statement's are a helpful communication tool wrapped in pure golden magical goodness. They are statements or responses that refrain from saying "you" or "your" as much as possible. They force us to think about how we are really feeling.

I-Statements -
Dispute resolution conversation openers that can be used to communicate clearly and boldly about how we feel and how we want something to be, without putting the another person on the defensive. They are also used to acknowledge and take ownership of our own feelings.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

My Response to The Likely Cause of Addiction. And It's Really Not What You Think...


I felt I needed to write about this article going around,

The Real Cause of Addiction, AND It's Not What You Think :
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html
(***Warning: Be careful of the thumbnail articles on the right hand side of the article. Sometimes they are risky)


I am a drug, alcohol and sex addict and have been in Sober Recovery for 7 years.

Yes most of what this article is saying is true. Its not a new concept that addiction is caused and fueled by disconnecting debilitating negative beliefs. This is exactly what Andrew Pippanne explains in the ABC's of Addiction on http://rowboatandmarbles.org/abcs-of-porn-addiction

A) Debilitating Negative Beliefs, which causes > B) Lust, obsession, preoccupation, isolation, yellow light behavior, entertaining ideas, detachment etc., which leads to > C) Acting out.

Every addiction is caused and fueled by debilitating negative beliefs. And where did those negative beliefs come from? They came from some type of past traumatizing/scary/stressful event or events which made us not feel attached/connected to our loved ones, and left us in fear. Abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, bullying, neglect, accidents, addict parent, over controlling strict parents, extreme shame, early pornography exposure, death of a loved one etc etc , basically any those things can cause someone to feel not connected/attached, aka not "SAFE".

This article makes it seem like this is a "new" concept. Haha there's a reason why addiction is referred to as "self medicating".


Here are a few things I did NOT agree with tho :

Thursday, July 2, 2015

How To Respond To Your Addict Spouse


First off, his behavior is not your fault.

What?

HIS BEHAVIOR IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

Remember, HE LEARNED THIS BEHAVIOR AS A CHILD. YOU DID/DO NOT CAUSE IT. He is going to always find a way to self sabotage himself so he can find someone to blame. He will always find a way to be the victim.

This is important, I'm going to tell you how to respond to an addict....ready?



When an addict blames and turns into a victim and becomes defensive, it is very very important that you do NOT own his sh!t.

Do not act defensive back.
Do not react to his "hurt and shock".
Do not argue or respond frustrated.
Do not show him your upset.
Do not use sarcasm.
Do not criticize him.
Do not shame him.
Do not condescend him.
Do not coddle him when he feels betrayed, hurt or depressed when you lovingly stand up for yourself.
Do not try and prove him wrong.

If he sees that he can get ANY reaction of emotion out of you, then it lets him know that his blame worked and that you doubt yourself and feel guilty, which MAKES HIM FEEL HE'S IN CONTROL OF YOU. And if he's in control of you, then he gets to continue on in his negative behavior.

Ok? Do. Not. React.