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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A small look at how pornography/sex addiction affects the spouse

WARNING: This post is full of potential triggers for the spouse.

Finding out that your spouse is a pornography/sex addict messes with your entire life.

For starters, many feel like they loose the "safe place" that they thought their marriage was. Physical safety is complicated, since your spouse is going outside of your marriage for sexual activity. Yes, that is what viewing pornography is. Many people just don't understand the whole pornography-sexual gratification connection. But, in blunt words, the whole point of pornography viewing is to get your system going and experience a perverted version of the reaction that many feel should be kept within a marriage. This is not simply looking at pictures. If that were the case, we'd have Picasso addicts.

And we haven't even started talking about the side effects of affairs.

How is the wife or husband supposed to react to that? That their spouse, for whatever reason, is going outside of their relationship.

It's hard. Seriously hard.

Mental Safety is out the window. Addiction is greatly made up of lies. Lies that grow as the addiction grows. How do you trust your spouse that has been lying to you for months, years, decades? How do you confide in them when you know that they have a very serious second life? There are addicts that view pornography, go to massage parlors, chat rooms, strippers, hookers, sex phone lines, "work wives," etc. etc. etc. And how do they generally do all of this? Through lies. And it makes their spouse question everything in the past. They question happy memories, family pictures, vacations. Because these things now symbolize mementos from a time when they didn't know they were being lied to. "At the time this picture was taken, he was actually seeing this other woman..." that kind of thing.

And, speaking of mental safety, there is nothing like a porn addiction to make a wife feel like she is inadequate. Intimately, physically, she questions her looks and body figure. Lots of women start thinking "If only I was a better..." Housekeeper, wife, listener, mother, etc. etc. etc. Your self esteem plummets. Strong, strong women get pummeled under the crushing blows of a partner's pornography and sex addiction, and it is all they can do to not grimace at themselves when they walk past a mirror. Sometimes a woman will feel that their reflection symbolizes what their husband rejected, what they feel their husband thought wasn't good enough. Because that is how they feel. Rejected. Not good enough.

And then you get the addicts who outright tell their spouses that the addiction is their fault. That they aren't good enough. That they aren't satisfying. That if they could only give them what they want then there wouldn't be an issue.

Not all addicts are like that. But lots of them are.

They don't get that they could be having intercourse with a different woman every day and they would STILL have the addiction. Because the addiction is NOT about the spouse. It's about the addict being caught up in this never ending, addictive cycle where the addict has to keep climbing the steps and trying to find "the next best thing."

Addictions are a cycle. They go round and round, up and down, up and down. It's tiring. Lies, followed by lies, followed by admission (sometimes), followed by lies. The addict's anger, followed by moodiness, followed by a brief moment of peace, followed by anger, followed by moodiness, followed by a brief moment of peace.

And addiction builds upon itself. Once one kind of pornography doesn't work for an addict anymore, he or she will move on to another, worse type of pornography. Before long, the addict is into some really disturbing, unnerving things to be able to get his or her fix. These kinds of addictions lead to acting out, going deeper into the addiction, etc.

And then, at some point, it may all stop working. These stories of addicts who have to watch porn while they are having intercourse with their spouse to be able to get roused are unfortunately very common. Addicts often lose their sense of empathy. They lose their ability to see humans as humans. People become un-unique, dis-enchanting, things.

Pornography is a crash course in learning how to view people as objects.

And then you get the addicts who want their spouses to reenact what the addict saw in the porn.

The whole 50 shades thing... people have died from those types of addictive relationships.

Pedophelia? From what I have been told, you don't come back from that. It isn't the same type of addiction. There are some lines that, once crossed, cannot be crossed back over.

There are different levels of sex addiction. Pray that no one in your family ever has to experience them. From either the side of the spouse or the side of the addict or the side of the kids.

There was a visitor at my church who once described the addict's admission as throwing up. The addict tells all of these details, things they are into, and then after they throw it all up they feel better. But all of that throw up has to go somewhere, and it ends up all over the wife.

Some addicts are really bad about things. They can be aggressive, abusive, mean. And some addicts seem to hit a point where they turn a new leaf. Not that they can let down their guard. Addicts can relapse after years of sobriety.

There are so many things I can write here. So many things I haven't even touched base on. But lots of people just don't get and understand all of this until they've gone through it or been close enough to watch someone else go through it.

And, I know this was a post of doom and gloom, but there really is hope for many marriages. Lots of marriages come back stronger for working through this. And some REALLY great guys and girls have this awful addiction. The addict is in pain, too. They aren't happy, they aren't fulfilled, they aren't getting anywhere good. I feel for them. Luckily there are places, therapists, church leaders who can help them figure it out.

But don't forget these spouses. One thing I tell any spouse of an addict that I meet is that they are very strong. Even if I don't know them I know that they must be a strong, super-hero type person. Because no one can go through the Hell (literally applied here) of a partner's sex addiction and retain even the smallest ounce of normalcy without them being anything less than a warrior.

Lots of spouses hide their addict spouse's activities. They are embarrassed, afraid of it reflecting on them. But really they need support. Support from people who understand what the spouse goes through.

A while back I wrote an article called,

"Your spouse has a pornography addiction, now what?"

check it out here on

It goes into this topic a little bit more.

I also wrote a sister piece for the addict, which you can find here

Monday, June 29, 2015

"You Is Smart, You Is Kind, You Is Important"

Self Affirmation time!

You is smart, You is kind, You is important.

And don't you forget it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It is important to...

Things have been crazy for me the last few weeks or so, and it has been a few days since I have blogged. So, I figured that a post on remembering what is important would be an appropriate comeback post. Of course Family and church are the most important things, but there are some other points that you may not have thought of.


It is important to. . .

. . . only eat Sushi that is COOKED.

. . . put your SodaStream in an easily accesible place.

. . . never put a bumper sticker on your car. It's tacky.

. . . dust the tops of your fans. Otherwise they get gross.

. . . NEVER announce your vacation plans on Facebook. Post pictures AFTER you are home.

. . . never put your feet on the back of someone's seat at the theater. Rude!

and, finally:

. . .  realize that Star Trek is so much better than Star Wars.

Sorry, but it's true.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Glitter and deep roots: dissecting this quote by J.R.R. Tolkein

"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost."

"All that is gold does not glitter"
How true. The most important things in life cannot fit into your bank account.

"Not all those who wander are lost"
None one really has any idea what life has in store for them. That doesn't mean that they can't go forward with resolve, beliefs and purpose.

"The old that is strong does not wither"
Age alone does not have to effect resolve. 

"Deep roots are not reached by the frost"
I love this one. The tree with the strongest, deepest roots will better weather the storm. And storms will most definitely come. 

I love this quote!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Possible side effect in children: low self esteem

I remember going to an assembly in middle school that was all about accepting each other and accepting ourselves for who we are. 

It's a pretty common theme these days.

1. Just be yourself. Stick to your beliefs.
2. Don't change yourself just to fit in. 
3. You are special and you should embrace that. 

There's a common Christian addage that goes right along with this: God does not make mistakes. 

Before you read on, answer me this: do you agree with the above statements? These are points that really hit home for kids with the issues of low self esteem, bullying, depression. 

Love yourself. 


That's a huge part of what I blog about. Don't let the world determine your worth.

But, how about if we told children the following.

1. Just be whatever version of yourself that you want to be. There is no value in sticking to a belief or moral system. Stick with it one day, let it go the next. That's up to you.

2.You should change yourself to fit in. As long as you are comfortable with the change, you should go ahead and take the steps necessary to look like the people you want to hang with, act like the people you want to hang with, talk like the people you want to hang with. If you want to be in the popular crowd and the popular crowd all have to have ear gauges, then you should get them. So you can fit in with the crowd and have them like you. If you want to be Barbie, then you should definitely get a chest enhancement because, truthfully, you aren't good enough right now.

3. There really is nothing special about you. Don't spend the energy trying to love yourself or embracing what you were given. There is nothing special about the human body, you should throw caution to the wind because none if it, including your personality, matters anyway. It can be changed on a whim.

And, oh yeah, God must make mistakes. And boy did he do a doozy on you. Ha! Tough luck, kid. 

. . .

That would be nuts, right?! Who in their right mind would say that to a kid?
Oh, wait . . . Bruce . . . I mean . . . Caitlyn . . . I mean . . . Bruce Jenner would.

Pretty sure I just offended someone. Before you get all in a tissy, I want to specify something. I am not going to talk about whether or not what he is doing is right or wrong. I'm not going to talk about my personal feelings on the subject. 

But, whether or not you support what Bruce is doing, I think it's important to pay attention to the side effects of this. 

On one hand, you could say that he is following the first list I mentioned. He says he is staying true to himself, he is trying to be who he affirms is the true him, and he is embracing that.
On the other hand, he is only following the first list by adhering to the second list. What he had is not good enough. He needs to change himself to be a part of the group he wants to fit into. It isn't even a matter of him changing his personality, he is trying to change the basic structure of gender. What he had to offer is not good enough, so thus he must need to change.

Lots of people are doing this. They are trying to change something that is very, very basic. They aren't just talking about who they are attracted to, but what gender they are.

Now, as I said, I'm not going to get into my personal convictions on this. But just realize what message we are sending, especially to the kids.

If you love who you are, great. But if you don't fit into a certain mold, then you should change yourself. Don't be satisfied with being you, change anything you need to feel better about yourself.

And where does that stop? 

There was a story out a few months ago about a mom who was giving her young daughter plastic surgery vouchers so she could get enhancements. Everyone flipped! How dare she do that, how aweful is that, she's teaching her daughter to feel that she is not good enough. That she needs to change to fit a certain mold.

Calling Bruce a hero teaches kids the exact same thing.

I am not trying to convince you to feel one way or the other about this. I'm more just telling you to be aware of the side effects that decisions like this will cause.

All decisions, whether they are good or bad, have consequences. This is just another example of this.
Personally, I suggest still telling your kids that they are special just how they are. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I am a writer . . . huzzah!

I am half way through my kid's visit with my ex. Part of my plan was to do a lot of writing durring this time and boy have I succeeded. I am almost finished with the first edit of my middle grade manuscript, I have written a couple of articles, a couple of blog posts, and a whole list of other things.

It's alot!

I used to think, "Ah, people are going to scoff at me when I tell them I'm a writer." It's like telling them you want to be a pop-star. They give you that patronizing look that says "Sure you are."

But I love writing. And there are lots of opportunities for writers, which is nice. Not just writing novels, but blogging and articles and all sorts of fun stuff.

So I ignored the patronizing looks from strangers I barely knew and stuck to it. I say I am a writer. Because I am. Sometimes I get very specific and say that I just had an article run in KSL or that I blog at Get to the Gist or that I am working on a manuscript or something else direct and to the point.

And I love saying that. I am a writer!

And then, talking to someone at the media company I write with about one of my articles, she called me a writer. She then also made a reference to their writers as a general group.

And then later, someone else from a news outlet refered to me as an expert in my field (the field of writing and interviewing people about addiction and the anti-pornography movement).

I cheered inside! Someone legit called me a writer! I'm official!

But it was official before, wasn't it?

Even if no one else recognizes your dream, it doesn't mean you aren't legit.

Life is like that too. Most people go unrecognized for the awesome things they do. It doesn't make what they do any less real.

Monday, June 1, 2015

. . . that's disturbing.

There are some really disturbing things in life.

Like speedos.

-No offense to anyone who likes to wear a speedo.

Or people who have ear gauges so large you can see through their ears.

-No offense to anyone who wears gauges.

Bikinis. People think they have the body for it. They don't.

-Again, no offense.

Hamburgers with two or three patties.

-Eww! But, again, no offense if you like a grotesque ratio of meat on your sandwich. I'm Just sayin.

And seriously, I have never liked paisley patterns.

-They're like little amoebas with flagella sticking out of them. No offense if you like to wear it, I'm sure it looks great on you. . .


-Go ahead, be offended.

Some things in life are just sick and wrong. Stand up against the double patties! Rage against the speedos! Toss the paisley shirts! Use your gauges as frizbees! Life is too short to try and heal from the shock and trauma of seeing someone in a bikini!

Maybe if we start small with something like trying to show the world how demeaning and harmful pornography is, then we can do something really important like convincing people to not eat sushi that hasn't been cooked.

I mean seriously, people. It's raw fish! Get the cooked rolls, they're yummy too.