Saturday, August 30, 2014

Real Romance

I admit to having a guilty pleasure, it's all things related to The Bachelor. I know, it's a crazy reality program with no basis in reality. I know this. I have always viewed it as harmless, to me anyway, entertainment. I like to laugh with, cry for, be invested in and follow the couples from the show, even though the logical part of me knows that it will be difficult to sustain any sort of relationship when you are back in "real life". I guess it's the hopeless romantic in me that wants everyone to get their happily-ever-after. Yes, I can see you rolling your eyes and shaking your head…I'm doing it as well. It finally hit me tonight as I was catching up on 'Bachelor In Paradise' that the show really is just a highly publicized and funded opportunity to play-the-field. Let's not even begin to elaborate on the immorality of how many men/women the Bachelor/Bachelorette participants kiss and the three potential spouses that they spend a night in the 'fantasy suite' with.

I have previously eschewed the summer fill-in bachelor spin-off, because it really is all about hooking-up. I decided to give this season's new twist a try. Hook-ups, drama, sleeping together on the first date, going home with someone to meet their parents after knowing them only three days, women fighting over men, the provocative clothing. WOWZA! Is all I can say. And this is on primetime programming? Where my kids can see it? So not ok with that.

It's been easy for me to rationalize watching this franchise because of the "true love" element and the fact that I don't take it too seriously. I'm done rationalizing and minimizing the impact this has on my own view of relationships. It will actually be really hard not to watch the upcoming season, but I will find other ways to occupy my time.

I want to learn about healthy relationships and how to strengthen my own. In order to do that I have to rid myself of my 'guilty pleasures' and focus on more positive and uplifting fare.

Making better choices,


Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Load Has Been Lightened

I've created a support network for myself. It is one I wish I had had fifteen years ago. It is the thing I wish most for anyone whose partner is suffering from addiction. ANY kind of addiction, but especially a sex addiction. I wish everyone had a place they could share their stories, their experiences and their emotions that is free of judgement and censure. There are so many out there that suffer alone and silently, just like I did for over ten years, and they just don't need to. Everyone needs a support system that they can turn to no matter how ugly things get. I hope that by sharing my experiences here that y'all will feel like you can reach out to my husband or me free of judgement, especially if you aren't ready to share your trials with anyone around you. 

Back to my original point, my support network. It has only been in recent days that I have really felt able to voice some of our story to more than just a handful of people. Most of the people I have previously shared my story with, I shared because I wanted them to know that they had someplace to turn. It was so they would feel less alone, not so I would.  Well, that's changed in the last few weeks, I've needed to know that I wasn't alone. I've needed the people close to me to "see" me, the good, the bad and the ugly.  At the risk of losing some of my pride, I humbled myself enough to open up to a few people around me so that I could reach out to them for support. You may think that it was not a humbling that had to happen but rather a humiliation, but that is far from true. It is absolutely humbling to lay yourself bare and risk the judgement you are sure will come, even from those that you know truly care about you. I feel like every time I share with someone I care about I risk losing them in my life. That has never proven to be the case, but it's still a fear of mine. 

The first experience of true fear of sharing came a few weeks ago when I shared with B's sister a little of what we are going through. I'm not really sure she was ready to hear it and I'm sure it was not something she ever wanted to hear about one of her brothers, but she listened, and I didn't feel judged. I was so upset that night by some things that one of his other sisters had said that it just kind of all came out. The next day I shared an even smaller portion of our story with another of his sisters. I honestly didn't want it to come as a complete surprise if we did/do decide to separate. I was concerned that B would be upset with me for sharing with his family, and I'm sure it was difficult for him, but he wasn't mad. 

The next time was just this week. I have a co-worker that I really care about, who like me, doesn't sleep. Hers is for a different reason than mine but we often talk about how little we sleep. I felt prompted to share our story with her, so I did. I sent her a text that said something along the lines of, I don't know why I feel I should share this with you, but this is a big part of why I don't sleep. It included a link to the blog. The response I got from her was quick and was amazingly uplifting to me. She has no idea how many times she has lifted me up, how many times she has helped me feel safe to share, or how many times she's made me laugh when all I wanted to do was cry. I hope she knows that most days at work it's in part because of her that I survive the rough ones and love the good ones. Her friendship means more to me than she could ever realize.

The last time I shared a piece of our story was tonight. This was one of the most difficult times I have shared. I stood to risk the most I've risked so far by sharing, and yet here I am, feeling more buoyed up the the love and friendship of amazing women than I had hoped I could be. It was my book club tonight, the one night a month that B has learned over the years is mine no matter what. Well, almost no matter what. I wasn't planning on sharing any of this with them, but it just felt right. One of them already knew a bit about some of our past struggles, but the rest had no idea. I wasn't ready to share prior to now, the wounds were just to raw, and I just was not ready to open myself up to that kind of hurt from people I love. I didn't know I was ready tonight, but apparently I was. As difficult as it was, and as much as I risk upsetting B by sharing with more people, I am so relieved that I did.

I am truly sorry if it hurts B when I share and we lose some of anonymity, but if I can help anyone by sharing I will.

It feels like over the last few weeks my burden has been a bit easier to carry because of the amazing support network I have that has helped shoulder the load. Even some of those that don't know my story have helped carry the load just by being the amazing people they are. I am thankful every day that Heavenly Father has placed the people in my life that he has. I am surrounded by greatness and I try to remind myself everyday that I am not alone. Please, if you are reading this and you feel alone, know that you aren't. I am here. I will listen. I will help you carry the load because I am able to as mine has been lightened by others.
Lighter today,


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Blank Slate

I was lying in bed tonight thinking that I didn't want to blog tonight. I'm tired of thinking of this burden and tired of fighting this battle. That's when I decided I probably NEED to blog if I'm feeling that way. How many of us have ever wanted a redo…a blank slate with which to start over? I have…sometimes on a moment by moment basis. The thing is, we can have that. Our Savior Jesus Christ has made that possible. He sacrificed himself so that we might be able to wipe the slate clean as many times as we need to. He did that for us.

I know what you skeptics are thinking out there, oh great, another "Jesus freak" is going to preach to me. Nope, I'm not, a freak nor am I going to preach to you. I wrote that above because I'm the one that needs to hear it today. I'm the one that needs their slate wiped clean. It was a rough day at work, I didn't sleep much last night and things did not go according to plan tonight. I was grouchy and irritable and generally hard to be around. I didn't want to work tonight and felt truly overwhelmed by all the things I "needed" to get accomplished. Guess what? They are all still there and nobody was hurt, the house is still standing and they will all still be there tomorrow.

Some nights I think we need permission to take a break. Not a break from fighting for recovery, but a break from doing battle with the pressure we put on ourselves to get it all done. I think sometimes we need to take a vacation from the chores of life and just relax. Maybe that's me being selfish and giving in, but tonight I needed it. I needed to let the clean laundry stay in the basket unfolded and the junk cluttering the entryway stay there as long as it wasn't a hazard. I needed to put my pajamas on after dinner and watch some mindless t.v. Tonight I gave myself permission to take it easy and tomorrow I will tackle whatever I can get done.

Take the time to slow down. Give yourself permission to let the chores slide. Let go of the little things and take care of you.

Taking a break,



I think this is a good time to talk about shame. Shame is a powerful tool that Satan uses to keep control of an addict. From the start of my addiction I have always felt shame. I always felt like if people really knew who I was, they would be disgusted. What I didn't realize is that my pornography addiction is not who I am. The real me is a child of God. A man with infinite potential. If people knew the real me, I would have many friends that loved me. You see, the shame has made me withdraw into myself to the extent that I am very antisocial. I have very few friends.

The shame is what has made me hide my addiction. I have always thought that I was different than anyone else. I knew that other men were addicted to pornography, but no one was as cowardly and hid the addiction like I did. Now as I face recovery and learn from other men with this addiction, I find that this shame, this hiding, is the norm. Satan has had plenty of time to learn the best techniques to keep us down. I have hid this addiction from the world. I have hid it from my wife. She has known about it for many years now, but I have told her countless times that I am doing good, that I am not looking at pornography, nor am I doing that word that I have a real hard time saying. Masterbation. You see, admitting to looking at pornography is hard. Admitting to masterbation is almost impossible for me. I have lied to her so many times about my actions that she has a very hard time trusting me. I have discovered that this is a typical pattern in a husband-wife relationship that is struggling with this addiction. Many men try to tell their wife that they are okay. But they are not. Shame has got the better of them. It is much easier to hide, than it is to take the necessary steps to recover.

You might ask, how can you lie to the person you love the most in your life? How can you pretend that everything is okay? I don't know if it is the same for every man, but I can compartmentalize my brain such that it is like there are two of me. There is the loving husband and father. Then there is the selfish addict. I can go through the motions of being a husband and father and ignore the other issue. But like Mr Hyde I will turn into a sex crazed animal that just has to have another hit of porn. This is always when I am alone, away from my family. This is how I handle it. Unfortunatly, "Dr Jeckyll" is a very selfish person. I can't be two people. I can't keep the effects of the addiction from hurting my family.

I think I have finally discovered the key to recovery. I can't hide. I have to be open about my addiction. Someday I hope to be open about this to everyone, because I know there are others that I can help. For know, I  can be open to my support group. My support group consists of my wonderful wife, my Bishop, anyone that comes to the 12 step addiction recovery meeting, and to you, the readers of this blog.

Removing the shame makes it so much easier to live my life worthily. There are many more steps I must take. I need to look inside myself and try to find out how I can love myself again. I need to figure out how to reach out to others, how to be a friend to others. But I can't do any of this when I am filled with so much shame.

My advice to any man who is struggling with this addiction is to open up. You can't hide this. It will destroy you. Go to your Bishop. Go to your wife. Go to someone who will understand. Go to the 12 step addiction recovery meetings. The Lord will bless you. Just open up.


Monday, August 25, 2014

To Every Dating Woman

I feel like I'm obsessed, not really obsessed, but surrounded with constant reminders of battle we are facing. It seems like wherever I turn there are friends struggling with this. It allows me the opportunity to share my story, but it also keeps it in my mind a lot.

I love that I get to share our story with others. I know that may sound odd, but I do. Why you ask? (You did ask didn't you?) Because I was so very alone for so incredibly long in this battle and I don't EVER want anyone else to feel alone. I don't ever want anyone else to suffer silently when there is a whole community of us out there ready to support you, love you and be there for you. We feel your pain. We have cried your tears. We want to be here to hold you up and dry your tears. We want to help shoulder your burden.

Part of the reason I feel surrounded I think, is because I notice. I notice the blog posts on pornography addiction. I notice those reaching out for help. I notice that Satan is trying to infiltrate our families from every angle.

I read a post tonight that I wish someone would have written twenty years ago.  I don't think it would've changed my mind about marrying "B" but it would have enabled me to go in to our marriage without so much rosy tint to my glasses.  It's about having that difficult conversation with any potential husband. Read it, share it, practice it (I have linked to it above if you click the word "post"). It may save you heartache and pain and may allow you to seek help with and for the man you love.

Please reach out if you need someone to listen. If you need a safe place to share. I live in a glass house, so I won't judge you, I'm haven't collected any rocks. You can email either of us at nothingunsaid@outlook<dot>com. You are not alone.

Reaching out for you,


Kissing and a Prayer Request

I want to share a bit of my point of view from our conversation last night. I knew it was going to hurt "B" when I told him that I was struggling to want to kiss him. I've been putting off that conversation since he told me that. I don't want to hurt him, not intentionally (I will admit there have been times I HAVE wanted to hurt him, to get back at him, but I hope I've grown past that for the most part). I know he is trying to recover, I know he is working at it, but I didn't lose complete trust and faith in him overnight and it's not going to return that quickly either. I have been hurt by him so many times, that I'm afraid to hope. Don't get me wrong, as much as I tell myself that I don't have any hope right now, I do. I just try and tamp it down because it's so painful when he betrays me again. I want to hope and have faith that he is truly in recovery, but it is just too scary. It's too scary to open myself up to that kind of pain.

To me passionate kissing is a very intimate act. It is opening yourself up to being vulnerable, to trusting the person you are kissing, in my case "B". He revealed in his last post that we have an active sex life, we do, but for a really long time it has been about meeting a physical need, scratching an itch per se. We haven't "made love" in a really long time. For "B" it's because of the pornography addiction, for me it's because I haven't been willing to be that vulnerable. For me passionate kissing is part of making love, not having sex and I'm just not ready to be that vulnerable yet.  I don't trust him enough to not break my heart again. I asked him to be patient with me, because I'm just not there yet. I want to be, but it's going to take a while I'm afraid.

I have told "B" often lately that we will work through the addiction, but that I can't tolerate when he lies to me. He used to be honest with me when I would ask him if he'd slipped, but he has lied to me repeatedly over the last few years. It's to the point that I don't trust myself and my "gut feelings" anymore because for so long I trusted that he was telling the truth and therefore my gut must be wrong. Most of the time it wasn't. I know he started lying to me because of my reaction to his relapses, and that doesn't give him an "out" or an excuse, but I am accepting my responsibility to mediate my reaction. If I tell him that we will work through the addiction then I have to be willing to work without raging at him.

I want to work through this addiction, I really do. I don't want to give up, but some days I'm just so tired of fighting. I know this is going to be a long, hard, lifetime battle, and I need to plan on fighting the rest of our lives. I want to be able to let down my guard and trust again.

Please if you are on your knees today, put in a good word for us. I am really discouraged right now and could use a measure of faith if you have some to spare.

Asking for prayers,


p.s. "B" asked me when I got up this morning if I smelled the cookies…I think he must've been eating the sugar cookie scented soap in the bathroom or something…there was no cookies smell that I could tell.

Pornography Use from a Man's Perspective

Here is a great link. it seems that a man's response to a porn addiction will always follow the same pattern. He will try as hard as he can to hide it. He will lie about it even knowing he is betraying the woman he loves so dearly. I will write a post later some time to discus my shame which led to covering up this addiction for so many years.


The Long Road Ahead. Starting Our Journey Together.

What is a porn addict to do at 3:00 AM when he can't sleep. I don't know why I am awake, nor do I understand why I smell chocolate cookies baking. I had to get up to see if my 16 year old was up baking. No, I can only smell it right here in my bed. The brain can do weird things in the middle of the night.

In the past when I can't sleep I have turned to viewing pornography. Now I think this is a great time to work on recovery. T and I went to an addiction recovery meeting together last night. She has addictions also. Unfortunately I believe most people have some form of addiction. The church might do well to add an addiction recovery meeting one night a week as a normal part of church attendance for each member. This may seem like an exageration, but the statistics are very frightening. Pornography alone is a huge stumbling block for many men in the church.

The meeting was a positive experience for both of us. Afterwards we were able to open up more and discuss our feelings. One thing that came up was our lack of kissing. I don't mean the usual quick peck, but the passionate one that is part of the intimacy that a husband and wife enjoy. I mentioned to her recently that the longer I go without pornography, the more I desire to kiss her in this manner. I don't know when we stopped this kissing, I just thought it was part of us getting older. Like we didn't need to do it any more. I should state at this point that we do have an active sex life together, it is just less of an act of love than it should be. Last night during our discussion T told me that she would have a hard time opening up to me in this way and that I need to be patient with her. It hurt a little to hear her say this, but I understand. I haven't been honest with her for so long that she has closed herself off to protect herself from being hurt. This kind of sharing we are doing is an important part of our recovery. I am so optimistic that we are making progress. It is going to be a long road. We have a lot of work ahead of us. At least we have started our journey. It will be a difficult one, a joyfull one.

Now where are those dang cookies?


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Step 1

Tonight I asked "B" to switch what ARS (Addiction Recovery Services) meeting he attended so that we could go together. I was TERRIFIED to go, but I am so glad I did. I am starting to work the steps. I am just on Step 1, admitting I have a problem. I DO have a problem.  I am an addict. I'm not addicted to alcohol or drugs, I am addicted to food, Diet Coke and pornography. I'm sure there are other things, but those are the biggies.

For so many years I have blamed Brian for our marital problems. Saying that my lack of trust because of his addiction is what has made me such an angry person. That is a partial truth, but I am beginning to recognize the power that my own addictions have over me. I want to work on finding me, fixing me and being able to turn myself over to the Lord to accomplish both those things. I want to be whole and I am beginning to realize that I'm only going to accomplish that my letting go and having faith.



Sharing my Feelings

I think you can tell by now that I am much more analytical, while my wife is more emotional. I think there is value in both approaches, however I need to get more in touch with my feelings. I am not very good at opening up and sharing my feelings. Today "T" gave me a page out of her journal to read. It described exactly how she is feeling and how our relationship is going. She described my actions and how she feels about them. The most striking thing about this journal entry is that it wasn't written recently. It was written in 2004. Have we made any progress since then? We have had good times and bad times during the last 10 years. I guess I need to evaluate myself to determine if the "bad times" are getting less bad. I would have to say this latest crisis is as bad as the worst of them. How I respond to this crisis will determine our future. I feel I need to share my feelings directly with my wife.
"T," I remember when we were first married and so in love. As you know, I was an addict even then. For maybe the first 6 months to a year I thought being married to you had cured me. I don't remember even being tempted. Of course in any marriage at some point the "honeymoon" ends. I don't remember when I fell prey to my addiction again, but I know it was in response to some stress or challenge of daily life. You know this, but I need to tell you, nothing you have ever done has contributed to the addiction. It is all my problem. I truly believe this now. I have to admit that before, I have always felt you had some little part in my addiction. If only you were skinny, if only you were happy all the time, I would be more attracted to you and have more control over my addiction. This is a very destructive lie that Satan has used to keep me in bondage. "T," I know I have told you this many times before, but I have changed. Only my actions will be able to convince you of this. I can't tell you I will always make the right choice. Today I should have gone to church.  I know that, but I am really trying. Step 9 in the Addiction Recovery Program is to make direct restitution to those you have harmed. You are the person I have harmed the most. I want to show you that I can be that man you thought you were marrying. I want to be able to grow old with you and be able to look back on our life together with fond memories. I want the next 10 years and more to be the best of our life. Please be patient.  We have been blessed with wonderful children. I am amazed at the example they set for me. I know that is so backwards. I want to be able to set a good example for them. We had a wonderful day together yesterday. I know we can have many wonderful days together in the future. "T", I know that I can be healed through the Savior's love. He died for me. I will strive to look to him in the future. I love you very much.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hesitantly Hopeful

Complacent is an adjective that means; pleased, especially with oneself or one's merits, advantages, without awareness of some potential danger or defect; self-satisfied.

It's interesting that we both decided to blog about relatively the same thing today. This week has been very emotionally taxing for me. In addition to all that is happening in our marriage, it has been a really rough week at work. I've also had some emotionally charged conversations with a couple of different friends and my mom has decided that every time we talk we need to rehash her concerns and feelings on my husband's unemployment. I'm spent, so it's no wonder to me at all that I start to get wary when I start to see "B" becoming complacent.

It happens every time. He starts to rely on himself to change instead of turning the battle over to Heavenly Father. He has a few good weeks, even some good months, and starts to trust in his own ability to stay in recovery without using the tools that helped him get "sober" in the first place. It scares me when I see this happen because I know each day that goes by without him using his tools put him that much further away from where he needs to be. When this happens I start to close myself off again from him, which then pushes him even further away. It's a vicious cycle, and one I am happy that he chose to break today by blogging.

I had a small victory of my own today. I had a rough day at work and I needed to talk to someone. Normally I would call my sister because she just gets me. She will listen through my blubbering to hear what's behind my words. Today, when I needed to talk she wasn't the first person I called. I wanted to talk to my husband and get comfort from him. I don't know when the last time that happened was. I haven't trusted him with my feelings or my heart for a long time. I am so afraid to hope for change, and yet my heart felt otherwise. It was hopeful that if I called he would listen to me cry and just be supportive. He did. He was. I don't know if that has ever happened before, it most assuredly hasn't in a long time if it has. I turned to my husband for comfort and he provided it. That may seem like a no brainer to a lot of people, but it really hasn't been that way between us for a long time. It felt good.

This isn't even talking about the favor he did for me later in the day. I have told him time and again that it is the little things that make the difference. If I can trust him to keep his word and take care of the little things. I will start to be able to trust him to take care of the big things.

I don't want to hope, it's too scary. I have been hurt so many times before when I let a little hope in. I am hopeful though, despite my best efforts not to be.

Thank you hone for being there for me today. Thank you for being a man of action today and for shrugging off your complacency.

Hesitantly Hopeful,


Taking Baby Steps to Actively Recover from a Pornography Addiction

In my last post I discussed how an addiction to pornography changes an individual's brain. The brain is very resilient. Brain scans of individuals during an addiction can be compared with scans after an individual has stopped exposing themselves to pornography. The scans show a huge change after just a few weeks. My point with all this is that an addict can reprogram their brain. Abstaining from pornography in all its forms is part of this, but an addict must replace the negative thoughts and actions with positive ones.
I have been "sober" for about 3 weeks now. I feel great. I have been working very hard to do everything I can to beat this addiction. I have tried many times to change. It is at times like these that I usually become complacent. I feel like I have finally overcome the addiction and I let my guard down. This will lead me to slipping up. I missed several days of blogging because I have become complacent. My wife has a very hard time trusting me. While she has known about my addiction for many years now, I still have lied to her many times about my actions. This addiction has made me a very selfish person. It is hard for me to find joy in the things that would make a normal person happy.
Addiction recovery is an active process. I have to regularly evaluate myself to see how I am doing. Am I magnifying my callings? Am I trying to help others? Am I reading the scriptures and praying? Am I spending quality time with my family away from the TV or my iPhone? These are all things I struggle with. If my wife sees me making improvements in these areas, she will be able to begin trusting me. I will never be able to make improvements in these areas while indulging in pornography. Because of my selfishness it is very hard to change. I am taking baby steps. Today my wife asked me to do something for her. I had a legitimate reason to not do it. I initially told her I wouldn't do it. But then I realized what was really motivating me to not help her was my selfishness. I decided this was a good opportunity to show her that I am trying to change. It was a good time to show her though my actions that I love her. It was a very small thing but she has told me many times it is the small things that matter.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Unintentially Intentional Insomnia

It's 2:00 AM and I'm still awake. Forget the fact that physically I could have probably gone to sleep at 8:00 PM. forget the fact that I have to be up in the morning for work. Forget that I can barely move because I'm so exhausted. I'm awake. Why am I awake? It's unintentionally intentional insomnia. What? That makes no sense you say. Let me help clarify it a touch for you 

I really want to go to sleep, I do. The physical part of me does anyway. The anxiety ridden wife of a porn addict and sole bread winner part of me won't shut up. That tiny irrational part of my brain that whispers "Don't go to sleep, your problems will still be there in the morning. Eat, drink and be merry tonight and you won't have to face them." Well maybe not eat, drink and be merry, instead I watch bad reality tv while filling out medical paperwork for an appointment all the while playing some dumb game on my iPad. I unintentionally let that part of me override the smarter more rational part of me that knows that sleep deprivation will only compound my problems by making me less equipped to deal with them. There you have it. Do you understand? 

Put simply, I am unintentionally letting the part of me that intentionally wants to stay awake control my actions. I'm sure there could be a thesis paper in there somewhere, but I'm a bit afraid to dive into those muddy waters. 

Now that I've written all that down, I might be able to shut that bit if me off and go to sleep. Here's to not being awake at 2:30 AM.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Exhausted Beyond Reason

After our whirlwind weekend and working for twelve hours today I have nothing left to give. Not. One. Thing. Anxiety got the best of me today. I finally had to medicate when I got home from work. I am exhausted beyond reason and I only want to be taken care of tonight. I don't want to have to ask to be taken care of, for once I want him to notice me and read my body language. Yes I realize I sound like a petulant toddler. I know it's a lot to ask, but I'm just putting it out there. When you've had a rough day and you are exhausted, does your spouse notice without having to be told? 


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Milestone Moments

This may boarder on revealing to much about who we are, but it won't leave my mind because there was so much emotion involved, so I will share.  

We spent the weekend with my husband's entire immediate family. As children and children-in-law we threw my in-laws a Golden Wedding Anniversary party. It was stressful, but it turned out so amazing and they (who DO NOT like to be the center of attention) were so happy and had so much fun, it made it all worth it. My in-laws deserve to be honored, I think anyone who gets to 50 years of marriage deserves to be honored, it's an achievement…at least in my book it is.

The main emotions leading up to this event were stress, resentment, stress, excitement, stress, anger, stress and finally a feeling of accomplishment. I tend to stress about pulling off things like this because I inevitably over plan and under schedule. What I mean is that I over plan things that I think I can get done and under schedule time to get said tasks accomplished. This party was no exception. Resentment at anyone (especially my husband) who I felt wasn't pulling their load in getting ready for the party. Excitement at the prospect of being able to see the family and honor my in-laws. Anger, or more accurately frustration, at my husband's lack of participation in getting ready for the party, especially on the day of the party (these are HIS parents after all). Once it was all prepped and ready to go I had a feeling of accomplishment knowing that we had done everything we could and that it looked like it was going to be great.

The party was a huge hit and everyone had a lot of fun. My in-laws were touched by all the people that came and all the preparation we had done. It was just enough. My in-laws don't like being the center of attention, especially my mother-in-law, so they didn't want anything super fancy and we were able to find a theme and plan a party that was just enough to honor them without embarrassing them. 

The two overriding emotions by far for me this weekend were frustration/anger followed distantly by hope. I was so angry and frustrated with my husband because I felt he thought this was a vacation for him (we were away from home) and that whatever he needed and wanted to do should come first. The morning started off good but quickly went downhill.  He wasn't there to help when he should've been and I was upset. I know part of that is what I have seen in him for a long time, the pornography addiction has made him into a very self-centered and selfish person, and part of it is his built-in lack of awareness to what goes on around him sometimes (he has always had trouble being aware of what is going on and being able to just jump in where there is a need…but that's a whole other topic). It was no secret, to anyone, that I was pissed-off at him (I hate that phrase but it is the only one that adequately describes my mood at the time). I have calmed down today and have been trying to focus on the good things he did to help. 

The smallish part of me that felt hopeful is trying to fight it's way out. "B" did things to help get ready for the party at the end of last week that I have NEVER seen him do before. And he did it without complaint. I am so appreciative of that. He also did most of the driving, he always does most of the driving, which I more than appreciate because I HATE to drive, especially long distances. He never complains when I have to make frequent potty stops, which is always nice since I have a pea sized bladder and to be complained at on top of that, would only make it worse. I saw my in-laws this weekend, and despite the flaws that I see in their relationship (which I notice in any relationship close to me, even when I try not to), they have been married for 50 years, yes FIFTY YEARS people, FIFTY! That is a heck of an accomplishment. In another 30+ years I want my kids to be able to throw us a Golden Anniversary party. I want to make it to fifty years. I want to make it to eternity!

At the risk of losing some of our anonymity by sharing this story, it needed to be told. I needed to tell it. So thank you for tuning in.

With a margin of hope,


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Peeking Out From Behind The Mask

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who's husband is also a porn addict. She said to me "It seems like you are dealing with this better than I am." My first thought was, no freaking way am I dealing with this better than anyone else. But, even if that is the case, I have learned that I can't compare my reactions to anyone else's. They don't have my trials or my circumstances and I don't have theirs. All I can do is reach out and give what support I have to give. I want to let you see how I feel, how I've reacted and see into my eyes behind the mask I wear

The mask I wear makes me smile and laugh with acquaintances and coworkers. The mask forces me to be polite to others I encounter. The mask makes it look like I'm whole, like part of me isn't broken. Today I'm going to peel back a corner of the mask and peek out for you. I'm not ready to take it all the way off, I'm not ready to be that vulnerable. I'm not ready to go back to the beginning yet. Part of me doesn't remember it all that well and the other part of me is afraid that some of the numbness will wear off if I go back that far. I'll let you see the most recent part of me, the part I am trying to work through right now. 

It's not pretty and I'm not proud. I'm angry. Not like a little bit angry and I'll get over it right away, but boiling, raging, throw things at the wall MAD! The other day I got so angry about something so completely unrelated and was stomping around and slamming things down, it was so bad I scared my son. I scared my own child because I was mad about something completely unrelated to him. I didn't touch him, I didn't threaten him, I was just making so much noise to vent my anger that it scared him. That's not fair, nor is is the way I want my kiddos to see me. I don't want them to remember me as the angry mom that was scary to be around. I'm a work in progress and slowly but surely I am gaining control of that anger by sheer faith and prayer.

Here's another corner I'll peek out of, it's the corner that's gray and dented and it's called hopelessness. I have almost completely given up hope of recovery. I have had faith so many times, I have hoped so many times, I have believed so many times that he was truly trying to change…only to be disappointed and that much more devastated than the last time. It is so much easier for me not to hope. I want to hope. I want to heal. I want to trust again. I want to love my husband wholly and freely again without constantly feeling like the rug is going to be pulled out from under me at any moment, but right now I am too scared. I'm too afraid, of being completely crushed, to hope. 

That's enough of the ugliness that is behind the mask for now. I know the only way I am going to peel off the mask and leave it off is to begin to heal, begin to hope and let go of my fears. I'm not there yet. I hope that I will be someday soon.


P.S. I read B's post today and it made me cry. It touched me. Nothing he has done or said in a really long time has touched me, because I haven't let it. Maybe the hope is finding a pin prick to squeeze through my mask after all.

Inside the Mind of an Addict


Now that the science is out of the way, I will discuss what happens with me and my motivations. As I have said before, my addiction really took off with the advent of the Internet. Never before in the history of mankind has an individual had access to so many pornographic images. I am triggered by some image, be it an indecently dressed woman or an advertisement. Then I have a strong desire to begin looking. But what am I looking for? I am looking for the "perfect woman". In my warped brain I have created standards of what that perfect woman will look like. I then get on the Internet and begin looking. I have been searching for over 20 years and I have not found her yet. I can sometimes spend hours looking, but I am never satisfied. There is always some flaw. I know this sounds horribly sexist, and it is. But this is what the addiction has done to me.  An addict will never be satisfied. What I need to remember is that I found this "perfect woman" a long time ago. I married her almost 20 years ago. She may have flaws, but they are superficial. She has stuck with me all these years when she really didn't have to. I am so blessed to have a woman so strong and loving. She is great mother and wife. No, she is not actually perfect, but she is striving for perfection. The only perfect person to live on this Earth is the Savior Jesus Christ. Through his Atonement we can all be saved. I can be saved! It has been a long battle, one that has been lost for the most part. With the help of the Atonement I can finally change. I have heard that recovery takes as much time as the actual addiction did. I have a lot of work ahead of me. The important thing to realize is that I am not alone. I have the help of my wife, my bishop, the members of my 12 step addiction recovery group, and most important the Savior.Any addiction will alter the way the human brian will function. The biology behind this alteration involves the neurotransmitter dopamine, particularly its role in the mesolimbic pathway. For a more in depth discussion of dopamine and what is does you can go here . Basically your brain will release dopamine in response to something the senses detect. A healthy person may experience dopamine release when seeing someone they love. In this instance the dopamine will make them feel good. It is the brain's way of rewarding you for positive experiences. An addict will experience heightened dopamine release in response to certain "triggers". A trigger could be something as innocent as a beautiful modestly dressed woman, or a hardcore porn image. The results are the same for an addict. They will desire to see more pornography, and perform sexual acts. There is a debate about whether sex addiction is a real mental disorder similar to a drug addiction. I have experienced this disorder in my life. I know how destructive it can be. This link is just one study supporting the idea that sex addiction is a real mental health disorder.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Telling Secrets

I copied the name of this post from Glennon over at Momastry. I stumbled on her blog today and I have been eating it up. She is a real person. She has flaws and she willingly shares them. She is amazingly frank and I find it uplifting. She came to the realization that her outsides needed to match her insides, she needed people to know that she isn't perfect or put together most of the time. Her post called Telling Secrets inspired me today.

I want other women to hear me say, you don't have to be perfect, you don't have to look a certain way, behave a certain way or do anything that you are uncomfortable with. None of these things matter in the scheme of helping your loved one heal from their sexual addiction. You didn't cause the addiction. You don't make it worse. It's their disease to heal from. You can support them. You can love them. But their actions are not caused by anything you do or anything that you don't do. It took me at least ten years to learn that. Frankly it is something that I have to relearn at times. 

Now is as good a time as any to tell you my secret, my truth as it is. My name is T and I am not only married to an addict but I am an addict. I'm not addicted to visual pornography like B is but rather to both food and written pornography. 

My addiction to food started when I was an early teen. I was able to keep it "hidden" more or less until I got to college and it got out of control. I have never conquered that monster. I have taken baby steps in that direction and I want to take more. In a sense my husband's addiction has triggered me to turn to my own addiction to food to help me cope. It isn't his fault, I don't blame him. I did, oh believe me I did, but I have come to realize that just like his addiction isn't my fault, my addiction isn't his. 

My addiction to written pornography, well that was a much more tortuous road. I remember reading a book about seven or eight years ago that had some swearing in it and some mild sex scenes. I threw it away. I had paid good money for it but I was so disgusted with it that I threw it away. Over the last two to three years I have gradually let more and more sex creep into the books I read, or rather I have become more liberal in what I will allow myself to read. You might think that it would disgust me, and it did at first. However, just like with visual pornography, each time I encountered it I was desensitized to it that much more. It got to the point where all I wanted to read was "trashy" romance novels. I have e-reader accounts, and just like with visual pornography, the worst stuff is usually the free or cheap stuff. A lot of the books that have real value and don't contain the garbage are expensive. That's how I started justifying it. I even admit to not only reading all three books in the Fifty Shades of Gray series, but several books that were just as bad if not worse.

When B and I hit rock bottom I decided that I needed to take away as much temptation as possible for myself. For a week or so I deleted my e-reader apps so I didn't have any access to them. When I reinstalled them I went through and deleted all the books I knew had sex in them and all the books I couldn't remember for sure if they did. I didn't just delete them from my devices, but completely from my library so I have no access to them. This is my first step. I guess if I am working the program, I have taken step number one by admitting that I have a problem. I am working on step number two…hope. I want to believe in the power of God to restore me to spiritual health, but I'm not quite there yet. 

There is no less shame for me to admit to my addiction than there is to admit my husband is an addict. There is no less shame for me to admit to my addiction than there is for him to admit to his. It's hard for me to grasp the twisting nature of my emotions sometimes. Shame, hurt, disgust, betrayal, hope, pain, hopelessness, fear, defeat, and the list goes on…sometimes in relation to my own addictions and sometimes in relation to B's. I will leave all that for another post as it's more than I can write tonight.

Hoping for hope and putting my secrets out there,


Coping with Life's Challenges

In the past I have used pornography as a means to deal with the challenges I face in my life. The high I experience takes away the stress and pain I feel for a short time. Of course when the high is over, I am left with the guilt and shame, along with the original stress I was dealing with. I have often wondered what my life would be like if I had spent all the time I have wasted, viewing pornography, doing something even halfway productive. Would I have many of the challenges I now face?

Yesterday I spent several hours on LinkedIn updating my profile. I have heard that networking is a powerful way to break into the hidden job market. Apparently the majority of jobs are never posted, but are filled by people found through networking. It is important for someone with my challenges to stay busy and productive. I feel like yesterday I dealt with my anxiety very well.

Feel free to leave comments. I would like to hear from others dealing with the same issues that my wife and I are facing.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

You Are Not Alone

For years after I discovered that my husband had an sexual addition I felt so isolated, so alone. I didn't want to talk to anyone because I was too embarrassed, too ashamed. It felt taboo to bring it up to anyone, so for years I suffered silently and alone. The one thing I want you to understand if you are the  addict or the spouse of the addict, or maybe even both, you are NOT alone. There is a whole community out there waiting to support you and help you walk this road to recovery.

I'm not going to try and tell you it will be easy to pour your heart out and expose the dark underbelly of your relationship, because if it was we wouldn't be writing this anonymously. The shame is still there, the difference is that we are learning to work through it. Well, we are trying to learn how to work through it anyway.

Addiction is a disease, it's not something you can just "quit" on your own, you need support, you need understanding, you need love. Please don't be afraid to reach out. I will never forget the first time I shared this with anyone. We had been married probably 15 years by then. I had spent the entire weekend with a friend and kept feeling like I needed to tell her. It took me clear until Sunday afternoon to share with her. I told her that I didn't know why I felt I needed to share with her but she thought it was so that I had someone I could talk to. I'll never forget the text I got the following Wednesday that she had found pornography in the history of their computer. We had several conversations that day. Her stomach was in knots and her heart hurt with the anxiety she was feeling. That night after confronting her husband, he confessed that he had looked that one time out of curiosity but that it hadn't happened again and to my knowledge it hasn't. That was about four years ago or maybe a little longer, and that experience has still stuck with me. I knew on that Wednesday why I had shared our story with her, it was so she wasn't alone and so she had someone to talk to.  It has made it a little less frightening since then, to share our story at other times when I have felt inspired to do so.

If I could tell you anything, it would be find someone you trust that you can talk to. You'd be surprised how many times it turns out that you have this in common. I have only met one person in recent memory, who didn't have a story to share with me about how pornography has had an effect on their family in some way or another. I am willing to bet that she just doesn't know how it has impacted those close to her.

I believe that pornography is a plague that is corrupting our society so insidious and so covert that it is infecting our society faster than we can comprehend. There is not one sector of our society that is immune regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic status, marital status or age. It does not discriminate. Please just open up to someone that you trust. Let them listen, let them care and let your healing begin.

With a more hopeful heart,


Discouraged Today

I am very discouraged today. I am currently unemployed, and yesterday I found out that I didn't get a job I was 99% sure I was going to get. Life doesn't always go the way we want it to. The challenge is to not let the bad things in our life control us. Instead they can be character builders. In the past I have allowed my challenges to harm me. This time I am really going to try hard to rise above. I have a lot to say about my struggles with pornography, but today I am trying to focus on my current challenge, so I will end here.


Monday, August 11, 2014


I am married to an addict. Not a drug addict, well not in the literal sense anyway, but a pornography addict. I know many people don't think this is an addiction, that it is just some harmless entertainment. They could not be more wrong. The trauma this "harmless" addiction has caused me and my marriage is undeniable. It has left nothing but destruction in it's wake and we have hit rock bottom with nowhere to go but up.

Ok now that I've gotten the drama out of the way, well for now anyway, I'll tell you a little about myself. I married my husband nearly twenty years ago. We were young, as many in our culture are, but we were in love and looking through those rose colored glasses that the young tend to see life through. We quickly learned that life had a way of turning our plans upside down. As "B" said he finally told me after we had been married for a few years that he had a problem, what he didn't share with you was how I unknowingly contributed to his addiction. We had been married less than a year when I talked him into renting a pornographic movie from the local video store. Mind you, this was nineteen years ago, and pornography that was easily accessible then was much less aggressive and abusive than it is now, not a justification on my part, just an observation. This happened a few more times before I said "Enough!" Little did I know that this was just the tip of the iceberg of what we were to go through over the next nineteen years. 

I may not sound like the beacon of hope right now, and there is a simple reason for that, I'm not. I finally hit the bottom of utter hopelessness and I have nowhere to go but up or out. I am hoping by reading and writing this blog that I will regain that hope and the faith that my marriage can not only survive but thrive. I love my husband and I want to keep my Eternal Family intact. I want to feel something other than hopelessness and anger. 

Please pray with us. Not only our family but every other family out there that is suffering from this plague. Please pray that no other innocent families fall prey to this via addiction or, heaven forbid, losing a family member to the darkness that is the adult entertainment world. 

If you would like more information on the effects of pornography on the brain and body and how it is devastating our society then visit Fight The New Drug.  They are trying to get the message out one fighter at a time. 

I will share more about my journey and the roller coaster ride that we have been on and I will try and shed some hope on the situation, but right now I'm leaning on you guys to lend me support. I am leaning on the recovery community for strength and hope. Please know that I am here to talk to or listen to anyone who needs an ear, and I can listen to you and you can know I've been there, I AM there. I gain a little more hope every day, and whatever morsel I have I am willing to share because by sharing, my hope is not diminished but rather strengthened. 

Please feel free to email either one of us at nothingunsaid@outlook<dot>com. Ask us questions, send us links to any information you have found helpful. If you feel the need to argue with us, don't bother, the harm of pornography and the vice of addiction to it is NOT up for debate with us, we have seen it eat away at our lives for almost twenty years now. We will present our lives to you and any information that has been helpful to us along the way. 

May our Father in Heaven bless you with any measure of peace you are in need of today.


Hello My Name Is...

Hello, my name is…well I'm not going to tell you what my name is because this is an anonymous blog. You can just call me B. I am a middle aged LDS man. I have been struggling with a sex addiction for many years. I am at a point in my life where I am determined to change. This blog serves two purposes. First, I have a hard time being 100% open with my wife when talking face to face. I struggle with ADD and am a poor communicator. When I write I have time to slow my brain down and organize my thoughts. This way I can share what is going on inside of me with my wife. She will also be posting on this blog. The second purpose of this blog is to share my recovery with others. I would like to be able to inspire hope in others. An important part of recovery is to make restitution to those I have harmed. I can do this with my family, but what about all the women who have been exploited to satisfy my lusts. In these situations I can make restitution indirectly, by helping others to recover, and to fight against the proliferation of pornography.

My story begins many years ago when I was about 10 years old. A friend of mine showed me a pornographic magazine that was hidden in a wooded area near my home. The feeling I had when I saw these images was probably the most powerful feeling I had ever experienced. I knew that it was wrong to look at these images, but I was so curious, and it felt so good to see them. I was instantly addicted, just like an alcoholic that takes his first drink. 

Over the next several years I came into contact with pornography in its various formats. I was very curious as my parents never discussed sex or the dangers of pornography with me. There were several occasions when magazines would be hidden in the same wooded area. My father had several photography books that had pictures of which were supposed to be "art". I would often satisfy my lusts be looking at my mother's womens magazines. They may not have contained what is normally considered pornography, but advertisements for bras and other things would often work for me.  I also would sneak romance novels that my mother or sisters had. I somehow could flip through the book and quickly find the sex parts.

Throughout my teen years I wanted to quit. The shame that goes along with this addiction is as strong as the addiction itself. I was afraid to confess to my bishop or my parents. I was actually afraid that confessing would lead to excommunication. This may sound silly but I had no idea what would happen because it was never discussed in my family. I was afraid my parents would be very upset because I wasn't supposed to know about sex because they hadn't taught me about it. 

I managed through sheer willpower to quit my addiction for 6 months before I left on my mission. I confessed to my bishop, who thought that I was cured. I think it is very common for young men with this addiction to go on a mission and do very well. A missionary is so isolated from the media and life in general that it is easy to be good.  I thought I would never struggle with this again. This may have been true if it hadn't been for the internet.

When I returned from my mission the internet was just starting to become popular. Again, curiosity got the better of me. Suddenly I could access pornography very easily and not even pay for it. I quickly fell into the depths of addiction once again. I was able to "quit" long enough to be worthy of a temple marriage. For the first year of marriage I did great. I loved my wife and I felt like I would never need pornography again. What I didn't know at the time was that this addiction is something that I will battle for the rest of my life. At some point I began to view pornography once again. I hid it from my wife for a lot of years. Finally, when going through a struggle with anxiety and depression, I confessed to her. She was very hurt and angry. I confessed to my bishop, and began going through the process to overcome the addiction. I met with my bishop regularly for a while. But it just wasn't enough.

Since this time I have confessed to bishops several times. I even went through some professional counciling. Nothing I have done has seemed to help for very long. This brings me to this blog. This will be a very important tool for my recovery. I am attending the LDS church's 12 step meetings, for addiction recovery, several times a week. I realize I can't do this alone. I often wonder what I can become once I have this addiction under control. 

I would like to end this post with my testimony. I know the gospel is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. I know that it is important to attend church weekly even when I don't want to. I need the to feel the Spirit on a regular basis. I also know that I need to get back to the Temple. I haven't held a recommend for a few years. To all who struggle with this addiction, don't give up. Look to the Lord. Ask for his help. Let other appropriate people know of your struggles. You will need their help.