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Friday, September 5, 2014

One Girl's Story - Part 9: How Does She Deal with His Past Pornography Problem?

Dear Bro Jo,

Hi Bro Jo, Me again.

I'm still dating the man I last emailed you about.

He's wonderful, and we're really really happy together.

He makes me a better person, and I do the same for him.

We complement each other very nicely, and we're definitely falling in love.

We've only been dating for about two months now, but we've discussed marriage.

We both agree that if we keep going the way we're headed, we'll get married.

So with that in mind, our dating has shifted a little from "Could I marry this person?" to "What can I learn about this person before we get married?"

We have very similar goals and opinions and background, so it's easy to discuss life and future life.

However, the other night, I asked him what had been his experience with pornography. He said that he'd had a problem with it before his mission, but he had gone to his bishop and resolved it before his mission and hadn't had a problem since.

He's been back from his mission for about 6-9 months now. He's an active member and is currently serving in the EQ presidency.

He treats me sooo well and he's very close to his mom and sisters.

We also have boundaries for our physical affection, and he's never pushed them.

I'm really not super concerned about it, because he did the right thing and I fully believe in the power of the Atonement and repentance.

But I know very little about pornography and what its long term consequences are. So is this something I should be worried about?

Should I ask more specific questions?

(I don't know what I need to know, and what would just be prying into something irrelevant.)

Can you point me to any conference talks or research about it for information that I should know?

(I'm a student- I research stuff.)

At the moment, I don't feel like it's a deal-breaker, but just knowing that his brain has had an addiction scares me just a little.

Any advice or information you can give me will be appreciated.

 Thank you,

- CG

Dear CG,

In a world where not enough young people think before they leap into a relationship, you're thinking a little too much. Two months ago you weren't certain you should tell this guy that your parents are getting divorced; now he tells you a personal secret and tells you he's repented (and he's got the worthiness to prove it); give the guy a break! 

Past transgressions that have since been properly dealt with are best left in the past.

Let it go.

He's trying to.

The Lord has.

You need to, too.

If he feels the need to share details, he will.

And no, this is not a deal breaker.

If he still had a problem it would be a deal breaker . . . or at the very least a deal postponer.

Addictions stay with us forever, but as more time passes they become easier to conquer, so long of course as one never gives in.

But consider this, CG: it sounds to me like you may have found a man who has a strong testimony of the Savior and the Atonement, and that little sister, is a Very Good Thing.

- Bro Jo

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And may I add that in this world today, your chances of finding a guy who has *never* had at least a smidgen of curiosity in porn are not the greatest? It's certainly not impossible, but it's important to understand: EVERYBODY has a run-in with porn. What makes the difference is how they handle it. The right way to handle it is to hit the power button, look away, leave the area, or whatever else it takes to distance yourself from it. But Satan is cunning, and more people than we realize fall into the trap and don't make the right choice first. Let me say, I'm a woman and as a teenager, a few different times, I fell for the curiosity. I later had to talk to the bishop over a few things because of where that tiny curiosity lead me.
My husband also developed an addiction at 16, but was introduced years earlier. Both of us felt the darkness it caused in our lives and turned our lives around. Met years after each occurrence and are happily married. We know Satan will never give up on us though, so even though we are a covenant keeping couple, we still have to keep our guard up.

I would say, if anything, let his testimony of the atonement in his life be something you can relate to. The pain and frustration with your family. The atonement can heal that pain, too. Always let the atonement work in your life, and you'll begin to understand other peoples' lives as well.