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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Should She Wait for Him to Overcome His Addictions?

Dear Bro Jo,

I have not always been a member, but I was raised in the Church. I had to fight for these beliefs and because of parental dissension, I had to wait to be baptized until after I was legally an adult.

Being temple worthy and a good member is so important to me.

I have not always dated members, and the last guy that I dated seriously was verbally and emotionally abusive.

I broke up with him right before FHE one night this last summer, and a friend of mine went with me because I was afraid I would be struck by this boy I had thought loved me.

After I ended that relationship, I had a blessing that told me God would reveal himself to me in the form of a friend, and I immediately pictured the friend who accompanied me to protect me from my ex.

A few months later, and that friend and I had been going on a few dates and flirting, but he was struggling with a masturbation and pornography addiction.

We prayed about it and decided to enter into a relationship because we brought each other closer to God, we both pushed each other to be better, and we both wanted to give each other a healthy relationship.

After a month of dating, the physical temptation was too strong and we broke up rather than make a big mistake.

During the break up it was difficult because we both still had feelings for each other and still had to see each other at Church.

We both felt it was imperative to stay in each other's lives, especially since he had just been called as my home teacher, literally that morning.

So during this break up we came up with a deal. We agreed to be in "waiting."

He and I would be single people, not attached to each other, yet we would be "waiting" for the other one.

Single, yet unavailable to other suitors.

We gave ourselves a one year time limit, if we aren't ready to date once again within a year, we will move on for good.

Bro Jo, am I insane?

Waiting for a boy who can't go on a mission and has had these serious addictions for years?

I tell myself that I'm young, turning 20 in a month, and that I have only ever dated seriously, so some single-time would be wise, but am I just waiting for more heart break?

I know you've said that boys with these issues look for girls like me, ones who want to fix them or to hold their hand while they get better, but I just keep hoping that he's different.

Am I insane for playing the waiting game?


- Waiting

Dear Waiting, 

Well ... I certainly wouldn't recommend the course of action (or lack thereof) that you're taking. 

(You know what the definition of "insanity" is, right?) 

I'll be candid (I'm sure you expect nothing less), I think your "promise" may be hurting the both of you. See, by telling an addict that you'll "always be there" for them, we often give them permission to continue the behavior. 

It's as if there's no consequences for the addiction, so there's no motivation to change. 

We think we're being helpful and supportive, but often we're enabling them. 

And what if you meet a great guy? 

Are you going to let that opportunity get away because you've roped your boat to this anchor? 

I'll go a step further. I think you need to let your Bishop know that because of the sexual temptations in the past that you don't think it's a good idea that this guy is your home teacher. 

What happens if, in a moment if horny weakness, he comes over? 

What if you invited him because you're feeling lonely? 

Never date or wait for an addict. 

Insist that they get clean first, then you'll think about it. 

If you were already married and the addiction was new and he was seeking help I could understand sticking it out for a little while ... as long as honest progress was being made. 

But that's not the case here. 

(You do realize I hope that there are only two reasons for him to tell the girl he's dating about his problem: either A) he wants you to encourage him to see his Bishop and get his act together, or B) he's hoping it will lead to fooling around.)  

Don't shun him or completely cut him out of your life. 

Recovering and repenting people need to know that they're lived and have friends. But one can be a friend without being the girlfriend. 

And as long as your commitment is to him, and you can't possibly be dating anyone else, that's exactly what you are. 

You're too young to not be going out on dates with nice guys who ask. 

- Bro Jo

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