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Friday, February 27, 2015

Ever Feel Like You're the Only One? A letter to Spouses of Addicts

Dear Spouse of an Addict, 


Do you ever feel like you are the only one out there going through this trial? Like no one else would understand what it's like to have a spouse with a pornography and sex addiction, even if you told them?

I think feeling like this is normal. Because, even though we are told this is a widespread problem, everyone keeps it a secret. Both the addicts and the spouses pretend that nothing is wrong. They put on a good face, no matter what is going on at home.

Admit it. You probably do this too. 

And sometimes it is for a very good reason. I get it. There are a ton of reasons (and many of them very valid and good) that you would want to put on a good face and tell the world everything is ok.

But, good reasons or not, it means that no one talks about it. Understandable or not, it means that most spouses feel alone in their trials. Like they are the only one going through this.

Every time you get together with your best friend Sally she talks about how gushingly amazing her husband is, how he always brings her a single rose when he comes home from work, how he makes her breakfast every Saturday morning, how he spends hours every weekend teaching their kids to play basketball.

It's hard to hear. Because Sally tells you about this perfect life with her husband that you feel you can only dream about.

But here is what's hard to tell. Sally may have the perfect relationship. Her husband may bring her roses because he loves her, he may make her breakfast every Saturday morning because he'd like to give her the chance to sleep in, he may be spend hours shooting hoops every weekend because he wants that quality time with his kids. 

Or... is she thinking the same thing you are? Is she looking at you and listening to all the things you DON'T tell her and feeling like she's all alone. Because how could you, her friend, understand what she is going through? You also always portray a great relationship with your husband. So then she does the same thing you do and puts on a mask. She doesn't say that he brings roses home because he feels guilty, she doesn't say that he makes breakfast on Saturday mornings because he likes to tell people that's what he does, and she doesn't say that he shoots hoops with the kids all weekend because things are so tense between them that they need a break.

Some people really do have a great relationship. And some people just put on a brave face. Is that so hard to believe? After all, you do it too.

There are some really great guys out there, and some really great relationships. But don't get down on yourself thinking that yours is the only one with troubles. 

It just isn't true. 

Especially in my position here, I meet people all the time who have gone through or who are going through the trials of having an addict partner. They are everywhere. And most of them are keeping their trials a secret. 

So know that you are not alone. I've talked before about talking to a trusted someone, church leader, or therapist or a therapist-run spouses of addicts group. Do it. Please do it. But even if you don't, just know that you are in no way the only one going through trials like yours.

Please, please don't feel alone.

Your friend,
Jenelle





Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"5 Tips to Help Parents Start the Conversation About Porn"

A good friend of mine sent me this link to pornproofkids.com:

http://pornproofkids.com/2015/02/05/ditch-the-dread-5-tips-to-help-parents-start-the-conversation-about-porn/

Lot's of parents get really scared or nervous when they consider talking to their kid(s) about pornography. And, seriously, that is understandable. It isn't a comfortable topic.

It is, however, a very important topic to discuss with your kids. The main point here is that if you don't talk to your kids about pornography, someone else will and they might not do it in a way you'd approve of.

In this day and age, everyone will be subjected to pornography at some point. Help your kids have the necessary tools to deal with those situations when the time comes.

My favorite suggestion, and one that I agree with tremendously, is #5: Name it when you see it. Call it what it is, don't skirt around the issue.

Go check it out and make sure you prepare your kids for when they encounter pornography.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Forgiving Yourself


Forgiving ourselves can be one of the hardest things we do in life.

Sometimes a spouse of an addict will change him or herself to fit what they think their spouse needs, and then later they regret it. Sometimes the spouse chooses to change herself. Like how some women decide to get implants or plastic surgery to try and better please their partner. Or some women try to do things they aren't otherwise comfortable with because they think that is what will save their marriage. And then they regret that decision.

Other times a partner of an addict will change unintentionally. I've have multiple therapists in the past tell me that the spouse of an addict will react and respond to their spouses addiction, even if she doesn't know that it is there. It is still a force in your marriage, and both partners respond to it.

Some of the unintentional changes I've seen or heard about are sadness, not doing the things you used to love anymore, keeping the peace over standing up for what is right, overlooking or being blind to more red flags and warning signs, etc. Or some women just can't believe they fell for the act in the first place.

These are all things that can be hard to forgive yourself for. You think, "I should have seen that coming," "I was blinded by love," "I should have had more respect for myself and not tried to change me."

I don't think I have met a spouse of an addict yet that didn't regret something or that wasn't having a hard time forgiving themselves. Which is really harsh considering that they were thrown into the situation. It's a little like saying, "I can't believe that guy pushed me out of the hot air balloon. How could I not have packed a parachute?"

This last week I found a blog post on Michelle Wilson's blog where she talks about forgiveness. My favorite quote from her post is this:

"I was and am imperfect, but I know Who makes me perfect. I have been forgiven. I have been changed. I know who I am now, and I like me very much."

I love that. "I know who I am now, and I like me very much."

I don't think having a little bit of healthy shame or regret is bad. But then we need to move on and take what we have learned in stride. Focus on the person who you want to become, and don't let your past hold you back from that. Especially if you are the spouse of an addict, remember that the addiction is not your fault. You were victimized and put in a very traumatic situation. But you need to stay true to what is right.

Stay Strong, Carry On. Be who you want to be. Do the things that can allow you to say, "I know who I am now, and I like me very much."

"After all, tomorrow is another day." - "Gone With the Wind"

Go check out Michelle's blog post at:

Change, Forgiveness, and Freedom - a Very Personal Post

Friday, February 20, 2015

"Say Something"






If you've listened to the radio recently you've heard the song "Say Something" by A Great Big World.

When someone is the spouse of an addict they often have many of their securities stripped away. They may feel like they have been discarded, shamed, disrespected and forgotten. Then, to add even more insult to the injury, sometimes addicts don't acknowledge that their spouses have been affected by the addiction as well.

Sometimes all you need is to hear an "I love you" or an "I'm sorry" or a "Hey, thank you for working on this with me."

Here you put all this energy into working through your spouses addiction and they barely acknowledge that you care.

Everytime I hear the song "Say Something" I am reminded of this. You want them to just say something!

I'm not suggesting that they say things they don't mean, just for the sake of talking. But a simple acknowledgement that their actions have affected others can go a long way.

Or sometimes they may say sorry at the very beginning, when their spouses find out about the addiction. But then they do everything to try and ignore the fact that their spouse has been effected as well and that dealing with the addiction is an ongoing situation for everyone involved.

This isn't always the case of course, but I've seen it happen many times.

I can appreciate that it is hard to admit when you've hurt someone. But sometimes the simplest forms of communication can help ease the pain of those you have hurt. A hug, a "sorry" a "thank you."

Now, remember I'm not a therapist. I'm just reflecting what I have seen.

For the spouses of addicts reading this out there, know that there are others like you out there. And just because your spouse may not aknowledge your effort doesn't mean it's not there. It takes a lot of strength to go through what you are going through.

You may not feel very strong in your situation at this time, but you are strong. There is no way you couldn't be.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Crazy Seeds!



Last year I planted a ton of seeds in one of my flower beds. Not just for one kind of flower, even. I planted three different types of seeds with the hope that when they grew we would then have a very floral, colorful, pretty flower bed.

Nope.

Nothing.

Not one of them grew. Instead all I got were weeds. Constant, never ending weeds that poke you when you try and pull them without the weed puller.

I was upset that all that work I had done with planting the seeds hadn't yielded any results. They had soil, they had water, they had sun. What was their problem?

Then winter came and dashed my hopes away for the little seeds. When we got snow I figured that the seeds would probably never grow.

Until this week. The flowers are growing! It's February and my little seeds are growing! What the crud!

While cities in the eastern United States are having above average freezing conditions and trying hard to get rid of their snow, some other cities in the country are experiencing abnormally warm conditions.

And apparently I'm in a warm city because the disappointing seeds I planted last year are growing in February!!!! The pictures in this post are the flowers I planted last year.




But my late flowers are a good reminder that once a seed (literal or figurative) is planted, you never know what results it will bring. Or when it will bring them.

This can be applied to almost everything. Ideas, beliefs, thoughts. It can be good or bad. Sometimes the seed of the beginnings of faith can be planted, and years down the road the person may join a religion. Or sometimes a person can feel pretty or smart or wanted because someone long ago planted the seed by telling them that they are.

Sometimes seeds are bad. Like when someone turns to pornography because they had happened upon on it once before (the seed) and now they want to find it again. Or when someone keeps thinking back to something mean that someone else told them once, and over time it eats at them and they wonder if it is true.

Be sure that the figurative seeds you are planting are good, because sometimes all it takes is one snow storm or abnormally warm weather to make them grow. If you want good results, you have to plant good seeds.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Red Flags





It's common to hear someone say that after dealing with an ex-spouse's addiction or after seeing someone else deal with their spouse's addiction that they would recognize warning signs and red flags in someone else. 

I think this is possibly a load of crud.

They may be able to recognize warning signs, they may be able to recognize red flags. But then again, red flags aren't always clear.

For instance. Sometimes a warning sign that someone has a sexual addiction is that they isolate themselves. On the other hand, many "sober," clean men are introverts. 

And then you have the addicts that are anything but isolated. They are the life of the party, outgoing. On the other hand, there are lots of non-addicts that are extremely social.

See what I mean? It's not always clear. And addicts can be really good liars, which confuses the situation. 

It's like when you learned in math class:

A=B, but B doesn't always = A. Dogs always have fur, but things with fur aren't always dogs.

Same thing with recognizing signs of addiction. 

Except for the signs of catching them in the act. I'd say that's pretty clear.

So where does that leave us? Can we learn from our situations? Of course. Dealing with someone who has an addiction may not give you magical addiction glasses that allow you to recognize other addicts right off the bat, but it does give you a sense of what to look for in the future. 

You may not be able to be sure, but you can recognize a need to look into those red flags further  before you become even more serious with this person.

I share this because many spouses of addicts say that they feel stupid that they didn't recognize red flags. 

What I say to that is that many red flags are only truly red in hindsight and that judging yourself in hindsight is harsh. And there are other flags that you didn't know were red until you learned more about the addiction.

But, if you do see what you think is a warning sign, please pay attention to it.

It would be nice to compile a list of red flags or warning signs to possibly share in a future post. If anyone reading this has anything they'd like to share or comment on red flags they've experienced, please send me a private message. You can comment if you want to as well.




Saturday, February 14, 2015

Day 6: True Love

This last week I posted a lot about abuse and abusive relationships. The thought kept sticking with me: this is not how it is supposed to be. Husbands and wives are supposed to love and respect one another. Neither one of them is supposed to belittle the other, demean the other, bruise the other, threaten the other.

Physical, sexual, emotional, or whatever kind of abuse. None of it is good. None of it is "True Love." It's the opposite of love. Abuse is the opposite of love.

So then I thought, if abuse is the polar opposite of love, what kind of love would be the at the other pole?

What is the best kind of love?

Some might say that service is the best kind of love. Or maybe a verbal declaration. Maybe it's priority or kindness. Perhaps it's when your spouse is faithful to you and your relationship. All of these are great answers. The world would be a lot better if everyone would give answers like these.

These are glimpses of the best kind of love, but not the complete package. Not by a long shot.

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the best love is charity. The pure love of Christ.

Whatever religion you associate with, I am sure that most of us would agree that our beliefs coincide with treating each other well, caring for each other and showing kindness.

I believe that Christ died for us and atoned for our sins and I believe that the abuse that goes on in this world is so far from what he wants for us.

This is not how it's supposed to be.

How can we live in a world where we have such a good example of love as Christ and still have people that try to degrade a fellow human being with such ferociousness? We have someone who atoned for us so that we can have eternal hope, and yet there are people who take pleasure in creating a situation seemingly void of hope.

And sometimes these abusers even claim to "love" their victim.

It's disgusting. It's humiliating. It's wrong.

This is not how it's supposed to be.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Day 5: How Do You Know Someone Loves You?

I'm a little late on my True Love post today. I ended up doing an interview on Talk 910, iHeart Radio San Fransisco this afternoon and then later realized I hadn't posted it. So, Here you go:

Today I thought I'd do a double post and share some thought provoking questions about love while at the same time sharing parts of awesome movies.

1. How do you know someone loves you? How do they know you love them? 



For that matter . . .

2. Do you love them? Do they love you? 



Love is about the sweet, real ways in which you show it. 

Day 5: The "Physical scars of abuse"

If there is any possible way that you aren't convinced of the horrible circumstances surrounding abusive relationships, follow the link below.

I found this project (Cosmetic and Reconstructive Support) on the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence's website. They work in partnership with a medical association to help reconstruct a victims head, neck and arms.

Here is a quote from their information sheet:

"The NCADV works in partnership with a medical association to assist survivors of domestic violence who cannot afford the cosmetic and reconstructive surgery needed to repair the injuries they have received from a spouse or intimate partner. Facial plastic surgeons from across the country volunteer their services to assist survivors in removing the physical scars of abuse."


The fact that this is even a needed service, that this is out there at all is tragic. That there is a whole project dedicated to helping people get the surgery they need to help repair their abuse injuries. That some spouses and intimate partners out there inflict this kind of damage on a person is horrible.

Here is the link: 




Day 5: The Psychology behind 50 Shades


Whew! Welcome to Day Five! It's the second to last day of our discredit 50 Shades/ Pro-True Love Week. For today's post on showing the true nature of 50 shades, I'm sending you over to the folks at LifeStar Therapy Network. They have written an article on, essentially, the psychology within and behind the 50 Shades books.

It analyzes Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Their past, their reasoning, their journey within the book.

It relates the story to real life situations and couples dealing with sexual addiction.

The article is called, "Fifty Shades of Grey: Why Unhealthy Sexual Addictions Hurt Both Men and Women.

Here is the link: http://www.lifestartherapy.com/fifty-shades-of-grey-why-unhealthy-sexual-addictions-hurt-both-men-women/#more-1396

I keep starting to write a little synopsis, but really you just need to go and read LifeStar's article.

Relationships like the Grey/Steele one are very real and serious. It isn't something that should be taken lightly.




Thursday, February 12, 2015

Day 4: There must be action behind the words: "I Love You"


Today I am sharing what another one of my cousins has to say about showing someone that you love them. I think this is such a great answer! Jared says:

“I see my wife's sacrifices for me, which I appreciate. But my son shows me a new kind of love. He has little to sacrifice for me, but when says, "Daddy, sit next to me," or "Daddy, play with me," I know that he loves me. I become important to them. I become a priority to them. I feel their love in those ways not because it is validating in some way, but because I know that of all the things my wife could be doing or of all the toys my son could play with, they chose me over all of it. It's humbling, because it's a constant reminder that though I don't deserve it, I need to be worthy of it.”

“It's hard to give a definitive answer to the "best" way to show love. But I think that it becomes love when another person is constantly at the top of your priorities—especially ahead of your own needs or wants. I can't always be with my family, but they are my priority and it is for them that I go to work for most of the day. It's not rare for me to say, "I love you," but there must be action behind the words so that the sentence becomes more of an explanation for everything I have done for them rather than an apology for what I have done for myself.”



I love the last words about there needing to be action behind saying “I love you.” It isn’t an explanation about why things aren’t a certain way, or as Jared says an “apology.” The words “I Love You” should just re-affirm what you have already showed them.


Speaking of Jared Heath, I want to give a shout out to him and his book. He’s the author of “The Sound in the Silence” and an awesome cousin!



Day 4: Statistics on Victims of Domestic Abuse



= Victim!!!!!!!!!!

The graphic above portrays Anastasia from 50 Shades. She is the victim in an abusive relationship. The real stories of victims in 50 Shade type relationships are living through their own little type of Hell.

For today's post on domestic violence victims, I thought I'd share some statistics. Follow the links for more.

These are so sad.



These Stats are from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (http://www.ncadv.org/learn/statistics)

  • "On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men"

  • "Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime."

  • "72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female."

  • "Almost half of female (46.7%) and male (44.9%) victims of rape in the United States were raped by an acquaintance. Of these, 45.4% of female rape victims and 29% of male rape victims were raped by an intimate partner"

  • Physical, mental, and sexual and reproductive health effects have been linked with intimate partner violence including adolescent pregnancy, unintended pregnancy in general, miscarriage, stillbirth, intrauterine haemorrhage, nutritional deficiency, abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal problems, neurological disorders, chronic pain, disability, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as noncommunicable diseases such as hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Victims of domestic violence are also at higher risk for developing addictions to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs


The Following Stats are from an article at the Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/23/domestic-violence-statistics_n_5959776.html
  • 3 women are murdered every day by a current or former male partner in the U.S.

  • "4,774,000 - The number of women in the U.S. who experience physical violence by an intimate partner ever year."

Day 4: Call for Boycott of 50 Shades of Grey


My article on the 50 Shades boycott ran yesterday on Deseret News National, and I am so excited about it. 1) Because I think this is an important topic and 2) because this is the first time I've ever been published with the Deseret News. So, all the way around it is exciting for me.

Just in case you missed the article, here it is:

Call For Boycott of "50 Shades of Grey"

I quoted many of the leaders in the 50-Shades boycott, and I say exactly how I feel about the 50-Shades Franchise. I would say more about it, but I really want you to go to the link above and read it for yourself. Then come back and drop me a comment here about what you think.

After I turned the article in for publication I found out about a petition on lifesitenews.com where visitors can sign the petition and add their name to the boycott. Go check that out too. But only after you read my article :)

https://www.lifesitenews.com/petitions/50-shades-boycott

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Day 3: True Love from a Guy's Perspective


Since I am not a guy I cannot give you the perspective of a guy.

But one of my guy cousins, Austin, had this to say about how to show someone that you love them:

"The best way to show that you love someone is to put them first in all things.  This does not simply mean that you cater to their every whim and desire, it means that you help them become a better person.  We hear frequently, "Just accept me for who i am," or "I'm fine the way i am," but both of these are baloney.  We love people for who they are and who they can become. If you do not allow your spouse/significant other to help you improve yourself and if you are not helping them do likewise then the relationship will stagnant and die.  True love is desiring the very best for and out of your spouse."

I love that! Now, obviously, don't get yourself into a relationship with a murderer because you think you can help them improve. That's not what this means. This means that you want the best things for your spouse and you want to grow together.

Day 3: Recognizing a Potential Abuser


=Abuser!!!


Here is an awesome article on WebMD on recognizing a potential abuser.



It has a lot of good points and things to think about. Like how some potential abusers try to isolate you and push the relationship faster and faster.

I highly recommend this article!!!!!


Also, I found another article from the perspective of a victim. It's about a girl who found out her boyfriend had a pornography problem and then that problem escalated to abuse. Check it out:

http://fightthenewdrug.org/true-story-my-boyfriend-porn-addict-turned-abuser/#sthash.xlGCWvfl.dpbs

Day 3: 50 Shades from an Author's perspective


One thing I find interesting about the hype around the 50 Shades franchise is the amount of authors speaking out against it and pornography.

I found multiple facebook posts, blog posts and articles about how lots of authors feel negatively about 50 shades. A common theme is: They all agree that the books are poorly written.

Many authors have commented on how shocked they are that such poor writing could become such a best seller.

Some of them have a problem with the thematic material, others don't. Some feel like the author is irresponsible for writing about dangerous acts in a way that they say doesn't portray the real danger.

Michelle Wilson, author of "Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat?" said in a facebook post from yesterday:
    "Pornography comes in many forms, but the damage is the same. It numbs the spirit. It thwarts the realness and power of love. It creates a need and desire for more of itself."

 Michelle's Author Page: http://www.michellewilsonatlarge.com/

Another Friend of mine, Tara Mayoros, Author of "Broken Smiles" wrote this blog post yesterday on "50 Shades of Grey". It is a very good post, from the heart, on how the book affected her. It has quotes from other authors as well. Here is the link:

"Fifty Shades of Grey... my $.02 from an author's perspective."

I also read an article on how the fan fiction site that the author of 50 shades started out on is essentially not happy about the 50 shades success. They site multiple reasons including bad writing (see, it's a common theme). I was going to post the link here, and then I saw a less than appropriate picture off to the side. So, I won't post that here.

But it is an interesting side of this story.

Personally, as an author, I think that writers have a responsibility to 1) tell the truth. Even if you have a fiction piece, or a character that lies like crazy, you should have truth behind the story. Some relevance, ability to relate, etc.

2) I think that all creators and artists across all media outlets and forms should be aware of the impact that their works will have on society. Some times the only impact is that the art or writings are fun and popular. Other times an author or artist can wear away at a part of society. Some times that's good, like when an author is advocating for a needed change. And sometimes that's bad, like when a movie pushes the line of indecency. Because next time someone goes to push the line it will be further down the road and eventually we won't ever be able to see the morals of yesterday.




Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Day 2: In the Theaters Now

If you are going to go see a movie on Saturday, but have joined the boycott against 50 Shades, here are my recommendations for what is currently in the theater. It doesn't even have to be a romance, all you need is a good film. I'm sure there are other good movies out, I just don't know.



"The Theory of Everything" - Some theaters still have this. I really enjoyed this movie, but it made me so mad! I'm not going to give away the ending, but I thought, "Seriously? That is how this movie is going to end? Amazing story, but holy cow!

"Black or White" - I really liked this movie. It's about a Grandpa who is fighting for custody of his Granddaughter whom he has raised for her whole life. The other Grandma wants custody as well, and this story is about their fight and interactions. I really like lots of the actors and actresses in this film. Shout out to Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer and Anthony Mackie. I've only seen a couple of movies with the last two actors, but I've liked them so far.

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" - Even though I read the books as well, the whole time I was like . . . Where's Pita? I think of him as the good guy. He might not have frills, but he's the dependable one.

"Paddington"- Cute but VERY Groan-worthy. Many times I wanted to say, What? Seriously? Eh, don't go see this one unless it's your only choice.

"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." - I think this one is still in Dollar Theaters. It was cute for the most part. I laughed out loud a couple of times. It had a few things in it that make me not suggest it for little kids, things that bothered me a little especially for the kids in the theater.


Day 2: Love and Respect: An Example From My Family Tree

When I first heard the story of James and Eden (names have been changed since this is a public blog) from my family tree, I wondered at their survival of such opposition.

James and Eden were married in 1659 in England and they had at least 10 children. In 1660, Eden was arrested for attending a Quaker meeting and extreme opposition followed them throughout the rest of their marriage. Because of religious persecution they had a hard time holding a house, running a business, and so their financial situation was in disrepair.

We think that Eden possibly had two of her children while in prison (during separate arrests, of course.) James was also later arrested while attending a meeting with Eden.

We have letters from or in behalf of the family asking for assistance with housing or trying to get their family to America. It's possible many people didn't want them for a neighbor because of Eden's beliefs, and many people wouldn't have wanted to support their business for the same reason.

It was a mess. All because she was strong enough to stand for her beliefs. And if memory serves me right, James did not share those beliefs, at least in the beginning. But that is a tidbit from my memory that I can't verify.

Even so, I remember thinking to myself that it must have taken a lot of love and respect for each other to get through all of it.






Day 2: The Power and Control Wheel

For todays post on the real victims of domestic and intimate abuse I am sharing the Power and Control Wheel. This was sent to me by Megan Walker from the London Abused Women's Center in London, Ontario. This wheel describes ways in which abusers gain and maintain power and control over a women.

Warning: if you are in any type of a relationship with an abuser or if you know someone in a relationship (so, in other words, everyone) this is kind of creepy to read. It is a very unsettling feeling to read this.


The Wheel Link- http://lawc.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/power-and-control-wheel.pdf

The Website- http://lawc.on.ca/

Day 2: Messages from 50 Shades

Welcome to Day 2 of "Discredit 50 Shades" and "Pro-True Love" Week. Wow that's a mouthful. 

I was just introduced to educateempowerkids.org and on it I found this article, written by a Dad. He talks about his feelings on 50 Shades of Grey and what affects he thinks it has on society. I decided to share this article for two reasons 1) He is exactly right and 2) It's written by a man, which I think gives a unique view point in and of itself. 

http://educateempowerkids.org/using-dangerous-messages-fifty-shades-start-dialogue-kids/


He raises a question that is commonly asked among the boycotting parties: Would you really want your son or daughter to be abused like this? Or, for that matter, the abuser? Because 50 Shades of Grey teaches that relationships like this are ok.



Monday, February 9, 2015

Day 1: Movie Suggestion

Today's Romantic Movie suggestion is . . . drum roll . . .

Sense and Sensibility!




or

Emma!




In both movies it is the good, stalwart guy that I cheer for. In the end, the more exotic or exciting male characters  are never as dependable or awesome as the guy that has no frills but that can be trusted.

Day 1: Examples of Real, true love

Love Vs. Lust.

Stories like 50 Shades of Grey are all about lust. Instant Gratification, performance performance performance, Selfishness, only pleasing yourself, etc. None of these qualities describe a relationship with true love.

Real relationships with real love are sweet, caring, patient, and the physical activities aren't hurtful or demeaning.

Real Love is when your spouse values your advice.

Real Love is waking up to find that your husband let you sleep in while he did the dishes.

Real Love is when your wife calls just to say she loves you.

Real Love is when your husband asks how your day went.

Real Love is doing chores, driving the kids around, making budgets, praying, worrying about a lost job or a wayward child, staying up all night with a sick child, etc. etc. etc. together.

It's real life, dealing with the day to day together and loving doing those things together that is true love.

Real love is respect.

My Grandma and Grandpa had a deal that he would never have to go with her into a fabric store if she never had to go with him into an army navy surplus store. I love that!

There's a place I used to go when I was younger that had a live band and dancing, only the band played exclusively oldies music, jazz and those sorts of things, and 99% of the patrons were over the age of 70. I loved seeing those old couples dancing around the floor. It wasn't fast, it wasn't very lively, it was sweet. They were there to spend the evening together and that's all that mattered.





Day 1: The Real Victims (of abusive relationships)

I found these accounts of domestic violence victims on blogher.com.  A friend of mine told me about this site, so I perused it and found these articles.

So many women are victims of domestic and intimate violence. They live nightmares and it is very hard, and many times unsafe for them to go public with their stories. I am grateful that these women were able to share their stories and help us to understand the danger behind abuse.

Words from the victims:

"Who Am I? A look at the Victims of Domestic Violence"

"I Survived an Abusive Relationship, But Many Women Don't"

"The Window Was My Only Way Out"

#WomensLives: A reflection of my experience with domestic violence

Warning: I cried while reading almost every one of these links.



Day 1: 50 Shades: A Story of Abuse



I thought I'd share some of my top resources on this subject with you. 

https://www.facebook.com/50dollarsnotfiftyshades    : this is the facebook page for the #50dollarsnot50shades campaign. They are asking that patrons skip going to the 50 Shades of Grey movie and donate 50 dollars to a domestic violence shelter/agency instead. Because that is where a lot of the woman who are in 50 shades type relationships end up.  

The facebook page is pretty cool, you can go and see some of the donations that people have given to Shelters as part of the boycott, they have links to articles and to other sites. 

One of their links leads to an article written by Dr. Gail Dines where she says that the movie's real title should be 50 Shades of Black and Blue.  

http://endsexualexploitation.org/fiftyshadesgrey/  : this page has a ton of resources on it. It talks about what is in the book, the abuse and male domination. It talks about how the book affects society and why it is such a big deal. There is a ton of information on this page. It is also who is sharing these awesome graphics in this post with us!




The last one I'm going to share with you today is https://www.lifesitenews.com/petitions/50-shades-boycott . It's a petition that visitors can sign to join the boycott. Go check it out.




The main argument here is that 50 Shades of Grey is being marketed as a love story, when in reality it is a story of abuse. The man Grey, does horrible horrible things to the woman, Anastasia and hollywood is trying to market those horrible things as romantic. They are trying to market domestic violence as romantic.

Yuck!


Discredit 50 Shades / Pro-True Love Week!

This week I am hosting an Discredit "50 shades of Grey" / pro-true love party here on my blog. 

Why? Because last week I wrote an article about a bunch of groups who are boycotting the 50 Shades of Grey movie which premieres on Valentine's Day. Before writing the article I didn't know much about the movie, or the book it comes from, except that I was told it has a bunch of in-appropriate, sexually abusive type material.

Well, now having written an article on the boycott and hearing a lot more about what is in the book, I am disgusted.  Groups on both sides of this argument describe the plot as something like the following: The main girl character (Anastasia) goes to interview a very rich business man and he introduces her to his world of BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sadism & Masochism).

The scary thing is that this type of story is real. So many women have to deal with an abusive spouse or boyfriend. This isn't something that holly-wood created. Each minute nearly 20 people in the US are physically abused by an intimate partner. (According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence) They also report that 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner and that  94% of the victims from those murder suicides are female.

These woman feel trapped in their abusive relationship. And the 50 Shades movie is making light of their trials and nightmarish circumstances by trying to romanticize abuse. 

This is pornography on a very public, very expensive scale. 

So, throughout everyday this week I will have:
1.  At least one post that shows the true nature of 50 Shades of Grey.
2.  At least one post that sheds light on the true victims of true 50 Shades relationships
3.  At least one post that highlights true, real love or ways to show it.
4.  At least one better movie suggestion from me! 

Stay tuned for the first real post later today!



Friday, February 6, 2015

Was I Stupid?

It's like fingernails on a chalkboard when the spouse of an addict says:

"How could I have been so stupid?"

Or just,

"I was so stupid."

I'll admit to saying this. And frequently. And even when I hear it come out of my own mouth I know how wrong it is, and the nails on the chalkboard sound in my ears.

Why do we say this? Sometimes because we feel like we should have known about our partner's addiction. I think sometimes we feel like we're stupid because the relationship changed us or because we don't know what to do about any of it. Sometimes I think spouses feel like they were stupid for having put their trust in someone that turned out to be an addict.

And even when you have the knowledge that it's not your fault and that your partner's addiction has nothing to do with you, it's hard to convince yourself.

Someone once pointed out to me that good marriages have partners who trust each other, who put their whole hearts on the line. This is what you are supposed to do. Otherwise you aren't trying very hard. You are supposed to hope for the best and trust your partner.

They said that just because you find out that your partner has a pornography addiction doesn't mean that you were stupid for doing the above things. You were supposed to trust your partner and give them your heart.

And I fully agree with them.

In fact, I think that the fact that you are hurting and sad over their addiction and/or behavior proves that you were doing things right. It proves that you put your heart into your marriage.

And that is the way it is supposed to be.

It doesn't make you stupid. Putting your heart into your marriage, trusting your spouse, and hoping for the best are all a part of a good marriage.

Besides, hind sight is 20/20. Judging yourself in hindsight is a harsh business.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Out with 2014, In with 2015.

Out with 2014 and In with 2015! Updates and reviews on the harmful pornography industry.

Morality in Media just came out with their 2015 "Dirty Dozen" list of 12 top contributores and enabelors of Pornography and sexual exploitation. See it Here: http://pornharms.com/dirty-dozen-list-top-sexual-exploiters-announced/ . One of the most eye-raising, but oh-so-true additions this year is that of "CKE" restaurants (Carl's Junior and Hardees) for their adds. Yeah, we've all seen them and know that to be true.


Check out this link at Fight the New Drug where they list the most popular pornographic search terms of 2014. It is so crazy. Seriously, our world is in dire trouble. http://fightthenewdrug.org/this-years-most-popular-genre-of-porn-is-pretty-messed-up/#sthash.vT516jCr.dpbs


For more 2014 stats from the pornography industry, go back to Fight the New Drug Here :http://fightthenewdrug.org/oh-the-irony-this-is-the-most-used-word-in-porn-comments/#sthash.PFiBu18z.dpbs . This just blows my mind. And the top ten countries with per capita page views? The USA tops the chart with Canada and the UK close behind.


Monday, February 2, 2015