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My Husband is Addicted to Pornography {What Got Me Through}

Editors Note: This post was submitted by a woman who has a husband with a pornography addiction, and as such has chosen to remain anonymous. 

If you or someone you love it struggling with this particular issue, you can connect with many other LDS women who are facing this trial in an online forum for LDS women who are married to or dating men with pornography problems. Hope and Healing and more specifically their online forum will help you come to understand that you are not alone!

It's important when dealing with addiction to understand that the scriptures alone won’t cure everything, but even so, there is still tremendous power and healing in the gospel. It's been interesting to me through all this how the scriptures can take on new meaning. One of these for me was Alma 14.

This is the chapter where the women and children get thrown into the fire while everybody else watches. Not usually one of my favorite chapters, but I found some additional meaning in this for addiction.

First of all, Alma (the same Alma the Younger who actively destroyed the Church until he cried out to Jesus for help) and Amulek are bound with "strong cords" v. 3. They are helpless, powerless to do anything. They can't take the actions they usually would. They are led around from one place to another by people who want to destroy them. Sound familiar?

Then they make Alma and Amulek watch the women and children get thrown into the fire. They are innocent victims. They didn't do anything to cause this to happen, and yet they have to suffer. Ever felt like you're being "consumed" by the addiction? That it's causing you excruciating pain? That there's nothing for you to do except take it? Ever wonder why your spouse sees your suffering and doesn't seem to care or do anything to stop it?

Then they get taken to prison. They're mocked, asked why they don't do anything to stop it. Maybe people have asked why your husband doesn't just stop, or thought if he was really faithful, he could save himself from the addiction. Maybe your spouse has thought the same thing. But Alma and Amulek still couldn't do anything. They're hungry, naked, thirsty. They're suffering enormous pain, indignity, and humiliation. And nothing changes.

Here's where things change. Every single guard, lawyer, and teacher smites Alma and Amulek. They suffer every single last amount of pain as possible. They go to the very bottom, to the depths of hell (which the women and children already suffered in the fire). Then, and only then, they stand and call upon God.

The standing part is interesting to me. In the scriptures, people stand to receive covenants ("stand as a witness of God", "stand in holy places", "stand before the judgment seat"). So they called upon their covenants and asked God to help them. That's what they had, and that's what gave them the power of God--their covenants. We can also call upon God to help.

Then, that's when the prison collapses. Sometimes, with us, the process doesn't happen instantly. But it does happen. The bonds are broken, the walls are rent in twain, and our enemies are slain.

But it isn't just Alma's power that does this. It's Alma and Amulek together. Back in Alma 8, when Alma found Amulek, it was at a low point. He was feeling like no one was listening to him, that he was failing at his task (I relate to that). But the Lord prepared someone to help him--a person with ties to the community, a person with food and water to nourish him, a person with the resources to turn things around. The Lord gave Alma power and succored him more than once through another person. Addicts, when they are spiritually hungry, thirsty, and naked, need an Amulek in their lives to help them recover. And so do their spouses. Maybe that's a bishop, a friend, or a recovery program. Maybe there are lots of Amuleks, and maybe you'll need to call on their help more than once.

So Alma and Amulek emerge triumphant while their enemies are slain. And what about the wives and children? Those poor, innocent people are still dead, right? Well, here's how I look at it.

If they had gotten pulled out of the fire, they would have emerged broken. They would be scarred forever. In movies and books, survival is the greatest good--will the hero save everyone in time? But not so in the eternal plan. If they had come out of that fire too soon, they would be injured forever. The scars would form, but those women and children would always be in pain. They could be missing part of themselves. The only way for them to emerge from the fire, healed and whole, is for them to return to their Heavenly Father.

It's the same with us. When we go through pain and anguish, when we feel like we're being consumed in the fire of addiction, our pain is very real and raw. And yet the Atonement is there to restore not just us, but ourselves and our children. We can be made 100% whole, not just of our sins, but our pain. We can find forgiveness and peace again. And just as resurrected people are themselves, only with perfect bodies, we can walk through the fire and come out of it not just healed, but even better than we were. Some spouses I've met talk about the addiction as a gift. It's not a trial they would have chosen, but after going through it, they change and they become so much happier than they were before. Spiritually, we need the Atonement as much as our husbands do. The Lord will give us power and make ourselves, our husbands, and our families stronger than they ever were before.

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