32 year old male. LDS. Looking for someone to talk to

Discussion in 'Accountability Partners' started by electronicactivity3, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. electronicactivity3

    electronicactivity3 Fapstronaut

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    Maybe this isn't the right forum, but I'm looking for someone who can relate to my situation for an honest chat. I'm married with several kids. Active LDS, been trying to do what's right and have been mostly successful. Longer backstory, but really looking for someone to talk to with regards to the relationship with my wife, the continued desire despite doing what's right, and feelings of not having prayers answered. Hoping to find someone who can talk a bit about how this is addressed in a church context. I'm definitely pro-Church, but feel a bit jaded about things at times and feel alone/let down that I've done what I think I should do, but felt like I was left hanging. Let me know if you think you could help me.
     
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  2. IGY

    IGY Fapstronaut

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    @vxlccm may be willing to help you out, but I don't know if he has the time.
     
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  3. vxlccm

    vxlccm Fapstronaut

    Well, what I can definitely do is relate, my brother!

    Just so you know, though, this NoFap community is awesome. And, it's not because there's people of faith here, it's because we share a lot of the same burdens with the struggle of recovery. The best way to join the community is to start a journal and to read some others. I've been here for a long time and can suggest a few other journals for you to look at once we get to know you better :)

    As for me, briefly, I started a more earnest journey right about your age and have had a very different life since putting in really serious efforts. My efforts have led me to a much close relationship with and appreciation for Jesus Christ. Apart from that, the most important part of my experience has been the fact that my wife was exceptionally supportive whereas most ladies experience more betrayal feelings and other difficulties due to combined past traumas. AP isn't something I've ever done due to constraints of time, but there's other members of our church here who you can talk to when my time is short. Please do click the link to my journal and you have 4 years of history about my recent journey.

    Post again and let us know some more about what's going on with you this week.

    Thanks, @IGY for bringing this post to my attention!
     
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  4. IGY

    IGY Fapstronaut

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    You are welcome vxlccm. I had a feeling that you did not have a lot of time to commit to an accountability partnership. But I was sure you would extend a warm welcome and a few pointers to get the best from the community and find LDS friends.
     
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  5. electronicactivity3

    electronicactivity3 Fapstronaut

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    Thanks, guys. Yeah, I was just looking for someone to talk to. I know someone from a local 12 step group who is looking to be an AP for me and sponsor me. So I've got that covered.

    The short-ish version of my story for anyone who may care to read it: I encountered PMO as a teenager. Started with MO and added the P around 14-15. Guilt and shame. Didn't feel like I had the relationship with my parents to talk to them about it. Probably had periods of a few weeks or months where I was PMO free, but nothing too long-lasting.

    18 comes around and I know I'm headed towards a mission. Wanted to do it. Felt like I would rather go through the motions and hide my sins than confess and go through that. Figured I'd have space when I went back to college post-mission. Became PMO free during my first year of college pre-mission. Carried that guilt, though, (and the added guilt of lying along the way) through to the MTC. Quickly realized that it wasn't going to work that way and talked to the MTC president, ready to be sent home, but okay with whatever the outcome would be. Real quick meeting. Looking back, he saw a young man who had abstained and wanted to do what was right and hadn't covered the confession part of repentance. That was basically that and I went on to the mission field. Carried lots of guilt and wasn't really ready for everything there. But did my best on my mission and had some success, but hadn't really forgiven myself and felt like I had failed. MO a few times towards the end as I felt like I had failed. But was honest with my mission president. Not surprisingly, perhaps, relapsed within a year or so of being home. But worked with bishops. Was in that transient time of being a student. Never worked long-term with a bishop then. Looking back, I possibly lucked out when I see stuff about "bishop roulette" with regards to the honor code at BYU.

    But worked with my final YSA bishop as I prepared to get married. Got married about 2 1/2 years after being home. About 7 months into my marriage, I relapsed. I hid it again for 6-7 years. October of 2017 it was time for a recommend interview at church. I had let mine lapse, knowing I shouldn't have it. Went through the bishop portion. Guilty liar that I was. But vowed it was the end. By the time I was ready for the next interview, I sat in the parking lot deciding whether or not to go in. I canceled the interview, went home, and told my wife. "Do what is right, let the consequence follow." Through the following weeks, there was a lot of hurt and pain as all the disclosures came out. But we got through it. I did some counseling for a while (though I don't think I believe in the EDMR therapy that I tried). Went to 12 step programs, but didn't do the 12 steps officially. Worked with my bishop and checked in there.

    Kept on that path and eventually got back to having a recommend. Though I wish I had waited longer on that. I don't think I feel that I was unworthy, just not ready, yet. But my wife really hoped I could be a part of her niece's wedding. And I think this is the pattern I'm looking to really work on--doing things that are right because other people want me to. I need to be more willing to fight for the space so I'm making the decision because I want to do it. I feel like blessings may not flow as readily if our purpose is to satisfy others. It needs to be to follow Christ as a personal choice.

    So, anyway, I have been O free since coming clean to my wife a year and a half ago. As in no O outside our marriage relationship. As far as PM goes, there have been a handful of times in the last year and a half where I let my thoughts slip and my eyes wander. No hard core P, but definitely letting myself become aroused by images and thoughts. I guess by terminology here, it might be considered as a few resets vs. relapses (?). In any event, something where at times I've felt I needed to be honest again with my wife and told her I wasn't being perfect.

    So I feel like I've come a long way and made good progress. I'm not perfect, yet. I do think I try to send that outward signal as having it covered and that I'm all "better" or something. But I know it's an addiction and I've relapsed in the past and it's a constant battle to remember and keep trying and improving. I don't think my wife understands this, yet. I would like to be more honest with her and for us to really share this burden a bit more. Not that I want to burden her, but I wish she understood more that even if I fail, it's an addiction and it doesn't say who I am or what my full intentions really are. That I hope to be defined by my desires, not my weaknesses. But I don't have that confidence, yet.

    My brother has struggled with PMO. He went so far as to have an affair. His wife never really forgave him. He went to counseling, she refused. He did all the things he knew to do (at least from my perspective and what I could see). But I think not having his wife participate in the recovery hurt his ability to recover. We are all responsible for ourselves ultimately. But he lacked what could have been an extra support structure. Anyhow, he went on to have some additional affairs. This all surfaced recently. It's sending shockwaves all over the place. My wife has been conversing with my sister-in-law. She and my brother are getting a divorce now.

    I see my wife struggling to have compassion (perhaps charity) for my brother. Granted, he will reap what he's sown. But I have love for him regardless. I have compassion for his struggles and his situation. I wish he hadn't have done what he did. I wish I had been a better brother to try and go through this together with him and maybe helped him stay strong. Anyhow, my wife has been talking a lot with my sister-in-law. I think she's going through the betrayal trauma again.

    She's been accusing me of different things. Some is somewhat on track, but overall, I think she feels like I'm secretly in the throes of the addiction again and hiding it all. I haven't been perfect. But I feel like my intention and effort has been about as good as could be. I don't know that anyone would be perfect just because they want to be. So we've agreed to go to counseling together. I think I could use some more perspective and help. I think I have a lot of pent up feelings and still need to become more honest with everyone around me. I really want to be more of who I am. But I also want that to be something good. I think she has a lot of begrudging feelings that surfaces at times. I'm just at the point where having the same discussion and going in circles just is too draining. I'm hoping a therapist can intervene a bit to help us address the true underlying feelings in a healthy way.

    So that's my background. That's where I'm at.
     
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