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Monday, December 29, 2014

Is it cheating on your spouse if you watch porn?

Everyone debates the question: Is it cheating on your spouse if you watch/ look at pornography? Lot's of people say that it is absolutely cheating. That anything intimate that is not done with your spouse is cheating on them. Lot's of people say that it is not cheating.

I want to write more about my personal views on this subject, but I thought that I would start by posting this link to Fight the New Drug. They ask the question "Is Watching Porn Cheating On Your Partner?" I think their answer is so basic and honest that it is great. In a nutshell: When you do these actions or view porn, you are releasing hormones that create an attachment to who or whatever is involved. In essence: using porn is creating an attachment between the user and the pornography.  They go on to say that creating an attachment to anything other than your partner is absolutely cheating. Of course it is.

Isn't that such a basic answer? Of course intimately attaching to something other than your partner is cheating on them.



http://fightthenewdrug.org/is-watching-porn-cheating-on-your-partner/#sthash.vvZX0lg1.dpbs

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Through the Atonement

I have heard multiple times that one of the keys to fighting addiction or going through any traumatic situation is to turn to your "Higher Power." They suggest this no matter what religion you belong to.

I found the following Link on LDS.org. It speaks about the atonement of Jesus Christ and how we can be cleansed through him. Through the atonement we can be freed from addiction.

I personally do not know how I would get through the trials in my life without my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope that, no matter what religion you are, you can find hope and help.


https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-03-001-you-will-be-freed?cid=HPTH121814573&lang=eng


Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's not about being the bad guy

I love to read the comments that people make on my articles. Whether or not the person who commented liked my article, what their thoughts are, comments about their experiences. All that Jazz.

That being said, there are a couple of common misconceptions that frequently pop up in the comments. Today I am going to address one of these. The misconception that every time someone mentions an addict, they must be demonizing the addict and assuming they're a bad guy.

This is ridiculous. Seriously. Just because you mention that someone is an addict does not mean that you are making them out to be awful. Just because you say that they need to get help does not mean you are demonizing them. And just because you tell the honest truth and say that their decisions have led to traumatic consequences and have affected everyone else around them does not mean you are calling them a bad guy.

Now, there definitely are bad guys out there. Guys that do awful things on purpose. I am not saying that everyone is a good guy. I wish that everyone was a good guy, but unfortunately there are some bad news bad guys out there.

But, there are also good guys that have made some very bad choices and that suddenly realize they've tripped up somewhere. Choices that they now have to own up to and do some diligent work to try and counteract.

Basically, it is what it is. You may be a good guy, you may be a bad guy, I don't know. I am not saying you are either one. What I am saying is that there are some issues (like addiction) in which you need help to get through.

Speaking about the spouse of an addict and the trauma that they go through doesn't change a thing. The spouse's of addicts get torn apart and have unfathomable hardships thrown at them. Because of their spouse's addiction they suffer very unfair things. Is that to say that their spouse is a bad guy? Not necessarily. But they have made some very bad decisions which have undoubtedly led to some very bad consequences and those have to be addressed.

Here is a link to drive home the point:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RntRKQpuodw

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's not your fault

One of the most comforting things I have ever heard in my life is that your spouse's addiction has nothing to do with you. The therapist who told me this then went on to say that who you are does not affect your spouse's addiction, and that your spouse could marry a porn star and he would still have his addiction.

I think as spouse's of addicts, the fear that you are the problem, the fear that you are not good enough and the fear that you could not satisfy something is very real. Notice that I said the fear is real, not that it is correct.

The addiction is in itself a beast. Addicts do and say crazy things, it doesn't make any of it real or true.

I think it's helpful to hear that you could look just like the pictures your spouse is looking at, and they would still have the addiction.

Because it means that you have nothing to do with it. Even if your spouse tells you that it's your fault, it's not.

It's not your fault.

Saying women, but this applies to men too:

Every woman is special. We each have our own qualities, strengths, and infinite divine worth. Just because your husband or anyone else is being disrespectful to that, doesn't change those qualities.

How you look, who you are, has nothing to do with your spouse's addiction. This is not about you not measuring up to something. This is about your husband (or wife) being in the grips of addiction.

It does not reflect on you. And you are not alone.


Monday, December 15, 2014

A letter to her pornography addicted father

I found this link the other day.  It's an anonymous letter from a daughter to her father about how his porn addiction has affected her and her life. It is very eye opening and heartfelt. I highly recommend reading this.

http://www.faithit.com/an-open-letter-to-the-dad-looking-at-porn/

How to talk to your spouse about your pornography addiction

This is something that I had to leave out of my last article. It would have just made it too long. But, I had asked the therapists that I interviewed at LifeStar about it and they said to go to someone for help in deciding the best way to do this. Like a qualified therapist or at least your church leaders.

So many addicts tell their spouses about their addiction in a toxic way. After all, it is probably something the addict doesn't have a lot of practice with. That's why you need to go to someone who can help you figure out a good way to tell your spouse about your addiction. 

Plus, your Spouse may be thrilled that you are already going to someone to get help. It may help to cushion the blow of finding out about your addiction.

But, if I can tell you anything in this post, it is to be understanding with the spouse that you are telling. They will probably be upset. And understandably. This is one of those hard pills in life that you just need to swallow.

And for goodness sake, don't wait until your spouse catches you in the act. That would make it ten times worse!

Be understanding, be humble, and be kind to your spouse. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The spouse's worst kept secret

So many out there don't tell ayone about their spouse's pornography and sexual addictions. Sometimes they feel like the people they tell might feel negatively towards their spouse, maybe they feel that the addiction reflects poorly on them, maybe they are embarrased, the list goes on and on.

This kills me. When your spouse has an addiction, it puts you through the ringer. The spouse ends up needing just as much help to heal as the addict does. Did you hear me? THE SPOUSE NEEDS HELP TOO.

The addiction does not reflect badly on you. The addiction itself has nothing to do with you.

Find someone that you can confide in that is trustworthy. Not the town grapevine.  Maybe you have family members or a friend that would fit this bill. I would personally suggest a qualified, therapist-run spouse-of-addict support group. I'll be talking more about these later.

A word of advice when choosing someone to confide in: The best people to confide in are those that are very good listeners. The people that I confide in have lots of good qualities, some of which are:

1. They are good listeners
2. They don't mind if I need to cry on their shoulder
3. (And this one is very important) They are supportive of the decisions that I make. The people that I confide in have an excellent track record of specifically trying not to say things that might influence my decisions. Not to say that they can't give advice, but the advice has ended up being more general. These are also people that, as my circomstances changed, were able to give specific advice when I asked for it.  In otherwords, these people are supportive.

Speaking of decisions though, some women will stick with an abusive guy no matter what anyone says. If you are in a dangerous situation, get to some-place safe. And don't get mad at your friends if they point out to you that you are in a dangerous situation. They may just be looking out for you.

In conclusion, the spouse of an addict needs help as well. Therapy, church leaders, someone you trust, someone else who has or is going through it.

To the addicts: Having an addiction in the marriage effects everything, even if your spouse doesn't know about it. The addiction changes things. It sets up an unhealthy situation in ways you probably don't even realize. Both you and your spouse are going to need to do your therapeutic work to heal. That is just the way it is. It doesn't make you a bad guy. If anything, supporting your spouse in their healing process is extremely helpful. Whereas not supporting your spouse is not helpful.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Consequences


Crying over spilled milk won't fix it!



Good consequences, bad consequences, neutral. Everything we do in life has consequences.

Sometimes we know what the consequences for our actions will be, and sometimes we don 't.

But, just in case you have been living under a rock or have never seen a drama movie, things are always better if you face your consequences head on and immediately. Trying to hide from your consequences inevitably makes them grow into an unmanageable mess.

Examples!

Like in "Emma." Even though Emma knows that her attempts at matchmaker will cause trouble, she continues to try to set people up. She doesn't accept that she should stop trying to match people up, even though it hurts them, and at the end of the movie . . . well, you should just watch it.




Like in Veggie Tale's "Larry Boy and the Fib from Outerspace." Junior tells a little fib and then he feels like he has to keep telling lies to get out of trouble. All of a sudden his "little fib" is a big, monstrous lie!





Or like in the current season of "Once Upon a Time." Captain Hook is keeping secrets from Emma (with a little help from Rumpelstiltskin). The more lies he tells, the worse he knows it will be with Emma. Unfortunately, he just can't bring himself to tell her. Unless he did this last Sunday, in which case I haven't seen the episode yet. Sorry! :) No one tell me what happens!





So, face your consequences head on and right now! My last article talked about getting help for a pornography and sexual addiction. If you are in this boat and you need to tell your spouse (or parents) about your addiction, start the process now. I will talk about this in more detail later, but go to a therapist or church leader and talk to them about the best way to tell your spouse. The longer you wait and the deeper you get into your addiction, the worst it will be.

Our consequences are there to help us. Lots of consequences are there to help us get back to a point of health, some are there to help us remember something, and many times it just is what it is. Don't be afraid of them. The longer you ignore them, the worse they will get.





Friday, December 5, 2014

UPDATE: EXPIRED. DISCOUNT for the LifeStar Intensive Outpatient Program !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I am so excited about this! The awesome people at LifeStar agreed to offer a 10% discount toward their 6-day Intensive Outpatient Program. This is such an amazing deal! All you have to do is call 888-980-1600 through February 2, 2015, mention this blog and coupon, and they will give you a 10% discount. How awesome is that!!!

The 6-day Intensive Outpatient program is for pornography and sexual addicts who need a boost in their recovery.

This is such an amazing deal! Go check it out, tell your friends, tell your family. You never know who may be struggling with this type of addiction and who may benefit from this discount.

Call the number - 888-980-1600

Visit the website - http://www.lifestartherapy.com/take-your-life-back/

Learn more about it and don't forget to mention the Get to the Gist blog to get your discount. Do it quick, because this offer is only good through February 2, 2015, Ground-Hog day.

I have been so excited to be able to post this. I hope that someone can benefit from this awesome opportunity!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Anti-Porn Clothing (and other Merchandise)

I am sure there are more stores than this that sell anti-porn clothing, but these are the ones I know about. Please comment or message me if you know of any others.

1. This week, Morality in Media is giving 10% off of all of their orders.

Go check out their store here:

http://pornharms.com/save-store-help-save-world/


When you get there, click on the "Save At Our Store" button and it will take you to their catalog. Looking through, my personal favorite is the "She is Worth More" shirt.


2. Fight the New Drug has a store at the following link:

 http://store.fightthenewdrug.org/

Remember that they are just coming off of "NoPorNovember," so they have released some new styles. Looking through here, I think that my favorite shirt is the basic "Porn Kills Love."


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving!

So, I am always on the search for new statistics. Sadly, many of the statistic sources are extremely out of date.  However, that being said, I recently stumbled upon this Graphic:

http://www.techaddiction.ca/files/porn-addiction-statistics.jpg


It compiles a bunch of different sources into one. Which is nice for a quick look.

As Thanksgiving is around the corner, I thought I'd share one of the points on this graphic. It says that "The Least Popular Day of the Year for Viewing Porn is Thanksgiving."

I'd like to think that this is because, on thanksgiving, your mind is full of what you are grateful for, what is really important to you, and what matters the most. Pornography does not fall into any of those categories. It does not give true happiness.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

"How could I not have known?"






You will often hear a spouse of a pornography and sexual addict say, "How could I not have known?" They find out about their spouse's addiction and they are blind-sided. They feel like they should have known, like they should have seen something, like they should have had clues.

Then, as they think about it, they may realize that there were clues. Their spouse was withdrawn, money went unaccounted for, strange adds popped up on the computer, etc. etc. etc. But, the hard thing is, these clues don't always mean that your spouse has an addiction. For instance, stress can cause someone to be withdrawn, adds pop up on the computer for tons of reasons, married couples don't always ask each other before they spend money on things.

But, in the world of "hind-sight," things that made no sense before can suddenly become clear.

1. Things always look clearer in hind-sight.


2. Many addicts are good liars.

Addiction breeds in secrecy. LifeStar's website calls it the "Life Blood" of addiction. And many addicts get really good at spinning webs of lies and leading double lives. It is sad, but true.

3. You trusted your spouse.

I love this point. Why does, let's say a wife, get mad at herself for trusting her spouse when she didn't even know about the problem to begin with? She gives her heart, wishes for the best, trusts in her husband, and then when she finds out that he had this addiction she gets mad at herself. WHAT?!!!!!

This is not the spouse's fault. They put their emotions out there, trusted in their spouse, and assumed the best. Things like, they assume that the reason their spouse is so grouchy all the time is that they are so over come with stress at work. Because you know what, it very well could have been that reason.

You are supposed to be able to trust your partner. You can't get mad at yourself for not knowing about something like this. Plus, ideally, you'd always be able to assume the best.

This is one of those "easier said than done" practices. But none of this is the spouse's fault.


Reagan's Philosophy

My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out.
Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

"When I'm stuck with a day,
That's gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin,
And grin,
And say,
Oh, the sun'll come out tomorrow."

-Annie
(The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Setting Boundaries






Setting Boundaries is a huge part of life. (And also dealing with a spouse's or your own addiction).

I was thinking about this yesterday after church and how we all have to set boundaries. For instance, one of my personal boundaries is that I simply do not drink alcoholic beverages. Now, that boundary is partially attached to my religious beliefs, but not all boundaries are. For instance, you might set boundaries at work or school. Like deciding that you won't go to the football game if you aren't getting your work done.

Lots of boundaries are there to help us. Like, the speed limit! Or when your doctor makes sure that you aren't taking medications that shouldn't be taken together. Or signs that say, "Road Ends, Beware of Cliff." I'm just saying.

Lot's of boundaries are extremely personal, and it is important to decide ahead of time  what your boundaries are. Like, what kinds of movies you are willing to watch or music you are willing to listen to.  What actions are you willing to participate in or not? Are there places you refuse to go to or people that you know you shouldn't be around? Decide now so that when you are faced with a dilemma you will know what your boundaries are.

Boundaries apply to every circumstance.

You might say, "I refuse to lie" or "I will not hang out with Joey because he always tries to get me to ignore my boundaries" or "I refuse to wait for more that two weeks before watching the latest Downton Abbey." Okay, that last one was silly. You get my point.

In addiction or dealing with a spouses addiction you may decide that "I refuse to miss a therapy session," or "I refuse to watch explicit movies." A spouse may decide that "I will not entertain worries that I am not good enough." We could talk all day on this subject, and there are things you can do to back your boundaries up here and help you stick to them. But holy cow, that's a whole other post.

So decide now what your boundaries are. That way when you are faced with a decision you will already know what your answer is.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Warm and Fuzzies

Right now I am working on an article that I am super excited about! More to come on that later. However, I will tell you that I interviewed multiple therapists from LifeStar therapy network for this article, and they gave me tons of really helpful information. One of the things I asked them about is the whole "personal affirmations" thing, On the website they suggest that both the sex addict and the spouse do personal affirmations durring their recovery.

What is a personal affirmation? I don't know what the technical definition is, but I think of them as warm and fuzzy thoughts or thoughts that boost your self esteem.

Think about the scene from "The Help": "You is kind, You is smart, You is Important."

That's one of the reasons I like to post quotes and "affirmations." 'Cause whether or not you are going through something traumatic, little pick-me-up thoughts can make a big difference in your day. Just think of me as affirmation central.

So  . . . stay tuned for more personal affirmations. :)

And Remember, "You is kind, You is smart, You is important."

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans and Basketball



I saw a Jazz Basketball game the other week (Go Jazz!) and noticed something interesting during the national anthem. The Jazz players had their hands over their hearts as they listened to the singer. The other team did not. As I looked down the row of players I saw that each one had both hands clasped behind his back. All of them but one. One lone player stood with his hand over his heart. What courage is that!? It takes guts to stand alone while every  other member of your team is doing something else. Even if the rest of the team wholeheartedly supports him, I think his actions showed a lot of courage.

Way to go lone player. Way to go. I don't know your name, but way to go.

Then, I saw another Jazz game this last Friday (Go Jazz!) (and no, I don't have season tickets. I was just lucky enough to be given tickets for each game). I missed the beginning, which really stunk because I wanted to see what happened this time during the national anthem.

 I will say that I was very impressed with all of the Veteran's day related celebrating that they did. When we first got there, they handed out pins to everyone (pictured above).


Then, during the game, they had anyone who had served or was serving in any of the armed forces stand up and be honored. They also had everyone stand up who had ever had family members serve. At one point they even lit up all of the screens with the red white and blue.




I was very impressed.

So, since it is Veteran's Day, I thought I would say thanks to all of those men and women out there who have served our country. Also, a big thanks to all of those who do things to honor and support our Veterans!

Specific thanks to my two Great-Grandpas and my Uncle who served and my Cousin who is serving in the Marine Corps, and multiple cousins who have served or are serving in the Air Force.

Monday, November 10, 2014

No Pornovember!

Fight the New Drug, a "Hip" organization that fights the Pornography problem, has proclaimed this month "No PorNovember." They are coming out with shirts and corresponding blog - posts all month.

Here is the No Pornovember announcement:

http://fightthenewdrug.org/ftnd-announces-no-porn-november/#sthash.H5AcU3BC.dpbs


Here is the t-shirt from the first week. It addresses what Pornography does "to the heart" and some of what it does to the Spouse of an addict. I think they are calling it "Arrows to the Heart."

http://fightthenewdrug.org/no-pornovember-week-1-arrows-to-the-heart/#sthash.L5H8sp7E.dpbs


Go check it out, and "Fight the New Drug!"

No Porn - November!

Friday, November 7, 2014

10 Things You Should Know About Your Mate

Ok, so before I stared this blog, I wrote an article for KSL.com called "10 Things You Should Know About Your Mate." The response was crazy! I got people who loved it, people who ripped into it, people who agreed, people who disagreed. The readers were all over the place on that article.

The link to the article is Here:  http://www.ksl.com/?sid=19940242

Lots of people thought I was telling them not to marry people with certain attributes. Really though, It's none of my business who you marry or don't. Whatever the case, whoever you marry, there are certain conversations you should have with each other before you tie the knot. I'm not a therapist or anything, but I think it's good for you to know some of these things before getting hitched.


It's like the quote from Downton Abby:

Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham: "One way or another, everyone goes down the aisle with half the story hidden." Thank you IMBD :)

Though don't you think that it's our job to learn as much of the story as we can?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

"Pornography Pandemic"


The Blaze ran an article the other day with a very interesting look at internet pornography. I especially found the comments about its affect on young people to be very telling. It teaches them the wrong things about intimacy and relationships. I have an article I am working on right now that briefly touches on this as well. It is a serious concern and problem as all these people don't know what a healthy, realistic relationship is because they are being taught completely wrong things.

Reading this article makes me want to read the original paper that it talks about. I am sure that I will.


http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/11/03/pornography-pandemic-new-article-reveals-eye-opening-dangers-of-internet-porn/

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Morality in Media: waging war against pornography since 1962

Morality in Media: waging war against pornography since 1962

Morality In Media

A couple months ago I wrote an article for ksl.com about the organization Morality in Media (Porn Harms). It was so interesting to talk to them and research their site. All I can say is this: The world is nuts! The world is nuts and thank goodness there are people and organizations like Morality in Media out there trying to fight the sexual exploitation.

One of the most interesting things on their site is their Dirty Dozen List. It lists 12 leading contributors of sexual exploitation. (Read the description on their site, they describe it better). 50 shades of Gray, Facebook and Eric Holder are a few examples of things on the list. 

Have I peaked your interest? Go check out my article here:
 Morality in Media: waging war against pornography since 1962

Or you could check out the article here on their website before you go check out the rest of what they are doing: http://pornharms.com/morality-media-waging-war-pornography-since-1962-ksl/

Monday, November 3, 2014

"Whatever You Are . . . Be a Good One"



There is a quote I like by Abraham Lincoln. It says:

 "Whatever you are . . . be a good one."

I like this because it is super vague, and yet very specific. Whatever you aspire to in life, whatever your goals and dreams are, do it well. It doesn't say, "If you are a Doctor . . . be a good one" or "If you are a Politician . . . be a good one." Whatever you are . . . be a good one. Do it well. You won't get any happiness from a job half done or a job ill done.

Have you ever eaten at a fast food restaurant and found that the cook didn't "be a good one?" Eww!

Have you ever, I don't know, lived anywhere in the world and watched a political leader not "be a good one?" Bad news!

Have you ever walked into a store bathroom and found that the Janitor didn't be "a good one?" Yuck.

Have you ever seen a parent that just didn't try to "be a good one?" And look what they mess up!

Have you ever had a doctor that didn't "be a good one?" Ouch!

No one is going to be good at everything, but we can sure try! So, Whatever YOU are . . . be a good one." Even if it's only for you, what you do is important to someone.

(Disclaimer: This post does not apply to serial killers, offenders, terrorists, haunted house employees, people who make sales calls to my cell phone, and the like)


Thursday, October 30, 2014