Comments about ‘Wife of religious leader recounts her family's private battle’

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Published: Saturday, Sept. 18 2010 11:00 p.m. MDT

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nottyou
Riverton, UT

A very interesting and well written article. As to how LDS co-workers will react, I'll never forget the analogy that a leader in the LDS Church once used referring to someone in the congregation judging someone else that might smell like cigarette smoke. Elder Hartman Rector Jr. said, "If our sins hand an aroma, we'd all have quite a stench about us." That statement has always impressed me to try to not be judgmental of others and to realize we are just a bad choice away from perhaps being in the same circumstance. I hope the Lord continues to bless Pastor and Sister Anderson in this very challenging battle against a very destructive choice.

FRED8
Oakland, CA

I believe Pastor Anderson owes thanks to God for giving him such a strong and understanding wife and acting on his problems when realizing he was in the process destroying love and marriage.To his wife I give accolades for her love and understanding.You have my prayers.

Chickenchaser
Centralia, WA

" . . .because she knows there are many other women like her." So why was this woman singled out? I dare say every denomination in the world, let alone in Zion, has its share of addicts.

Walt Nicholes
Orem, UT

Pornography is a huge problem. Some say that it is a bigger problem, per capita, among men in Utah.

What is a woman to do? One could consider that this series of articles will serve to help women leave their husbands - which no one would dispute their right to do. But what will be the impact on society of an increase of divorced women? And more particularly, what will be the impact on society (let alone the children involved) on the increase of the "fatherless" children of these divorces?

I hope the Deseret News also encourages articles that will show these unfortunate women how to save their families rather then how to sever them.

Even though the burden of change is on the addicted husband (in most cases it IS the husband who has the addiction) the effect is on the wife and kids, and, ultimately, society.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

It's not just the internet. It is also prime time TV and movies (both cable and at the theater). Pick ANY TV drama in the evening and you have the same rotten stuff interlaced throughout the plot and it is right there for all to see. The reality TV stuff is also propagating the problem from "The Bachelor" to all the other copy cat reality garbage. Women seem to be drawn to this reality stuff like nats to a light and I am sure that is who these producers are targeting (girls to adult women). There is a simply solution - JUST TURN IT OFF and find something else to do with your life. Get regular exercise - walk the dog - do something as a couple regularly .. whatever just turn the TV off and get a life!!!

EgbertThrockmorton
Layton, UT

I once had an LDS religious leader comment to another LDS member, who "objected" to the smell of cigarette smoke clinging to a man's clothing, who was attending that meeting. "Brother, that IS the best smell in the entire Church!" Meaning, we need to reach out and embrace people, rather than "objecting" to their personal struggles and demons. I applaud this family in this story for their courage and open manner in dealing with an addiction. I have seen in our "LDS culture" here in Utah (as a non-native) quite the opposite, when a child, sibling or spouse has ANY addiction, seems that turning one's back if culturally preferred to turning the other cheek, and a refusal to offer support and friendship, fellowship, instead offer exclusion and derision. "There but for the grace of God, go I." We need to be better people and reach out to those suffering from all addictions. It won't "taint" us at all.

Lindsay
Payson, UT

If your spouse is involved in porn or other addictive behaviors it is imperative that you find a support group. SA-Anon is free and is for spouses of sex addicts, and it is the best thing in the world for wives because they learn that they are not the only one going through this, that it's not their fault, and they have someone to talk to about what's going on.

Sokol
Las Vegas, NM

I wanted to tell men to please ignore the false reasoning that justify's pornography. I think
it diminishes the romance that you have with the woman you love.
As a father of two precious daughters, I despise
the tawdry diminishment of females to be tools
for the twisted satisfaction of vile, vulgar,
and lucivious individuals.
Women have to be respected and cherished from
pornography.
I believe a strong fight against it in every aspect
of our lives needs to be started.
I have not understood the silence of women's organizations against pornography and the degradation of women.
Pornography is a world wide problem and its time this excriment got cleaned up and sent back to
the dark alleys of the past.

Kaye Possa
South Jordan, UT

Kudos to the commenters.
All reasonable, positive so far.
Let's keep it that way.

DeseretFlower
Nutley, NJ

This was a very painful article for me to read, but I am grateful for it. Mrs. Andersen describes it exactly as it is. I recently divorced an adored and still-loved husband because of his horrible addiction to pornography. It not only filled his life, but led him to devalue me. We had no marriage; we were barely roommates. I left when he told me I had no value. The sad thing is that he still attributes his inability to love me to other issues and still cannot even see the damage that pornography worked. I congratulate Mrs. Andersen and thank her from the bottom of my heart for her courage. My ex-husband sent me the link to this article. I hope that one day he will see the damage wrought by his fantasy life. Perhaps reading this article was his first step in that direction.

mtymouse
Salt Lake City, UT

I admire the courage of Mrs. Anderson to discuss a topic so personal, all in the hopes that her experience may be helpful to other women. I would hope that her co-workers, other church members, family, and friends would be supportive of her. I also hope her husband doesn't have a relapse, that he is able to continue to be free of the filth of pornography.
I get annoyed when comedians, sitcoms, movies, etc. make jokes of pornography--it certainly is not a laughing matter. It sickens me to see the type of people that our society honors and supports financially (example--Lady Gaga, who definitely is no lady!), as well as others. I no longer view any award programs because of the attire of celebrities, lyrics of songs, and the dances. I also think women need to wake up--cover up your chests, midriffs, and backsides. If you want respect from others, dress like you respect yourself!!

Juana DT
Provo, UT

My husband and I have been serving as missionary group leaders in the LDS 12-step Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) for nearly 3 years in the Provo South Mission. Our meetings include PASG meetings--gender specific meetings for sexual addictions for addicts and their spouses, children, parents, friends. We have seen so much progress in addressing this challenge through the implementation of the ARP. These meetings are the most heavily attended of all the meetings offered several times each week.

THANK YOU for this article. Everything which can be done to raise awareness--not only to the issue, but to lower/erase the stigma attached in addition to the hope which exists for addicts and their families is of prime importance. There is hope!!

Hellooo
Salt Lake City, UT

Appreciate the articles that are appearing. And, admire both Mrs. Anderson, but, also the Pastor. Making any change is difficult. However, it is a mistake to think this is primarily a male and not a female problem. Males tend to be visual, but the "soft" porn industry of novels is the domain of woman. These have every bit as much impact on relationships, but seem to be sold openly and read with no understanding of the impact. So, to each with a problem, male or female may you see it and through his grace and your strength follow the good Pastor's road.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

My memory of the "sexual revolution" of the 1960's is still bright and clear in my memory. People made claims about rights to privacy, consenting adults, and victimless crimes. Some said we can't legislate morality. Love was redefined to include lust.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Seductive, deadly, and false. We need to turn ourselves around or see our civilization destroyed family by family.

katydid
Salt Lake City, UT

Sister Anderson needs to know she is not alone. There are many wives--LDS or not--that feel the same. I understand your pain. Glad your story was told and that your husband faced up to the fact he had a big problem and got help. There are many men who have NOT faced or don't want to face their addiction that can destroy families--especially the husband/wife relationship.

Burghmom
Pleasant Grove, Utah

This is obviously not just a problem for religious people but is a universal problem. I applaud both Mrs. Anderson and her husband for having the courage to speak out about it. It will give many people hope. Both of them are courageous, but it does say something very wonderful about him that when confronted, he didn't try to hide the truth about it. It is a terrible addiction that took time to begin to conquer, but his reaction when confronted spoke volumes about his the person he really is deep down. I wish them continued success and happiness. This will inspire many to deal with their issues.

Alberta Reader
Magrath, Alberta

It would/should break every parents heart to see one of their children used as an object of lust for another through pornography.
The ability to work with God to bring life to this earth and be a family is to me one of the highest joys that can be obtained.
The misuse of power often brought on by pornography has the most power of anything out there to destroy the self worth of individual as well as families. The effects last for such a long time and can be so far reaching

terra nova
Park City, UT

Porn promotes dishonesty. In essential ways, buying more than we can afford in houses, cars and clothing promotes a similar kind of dishonesty. The complex threads of beauty and reality in art and life are woven most powerfully in honest acknowledgment of who we "really" are. Jesus was a carpenter. He never tried to look like anything more than he was. Yet, he was so much more. And to our utter surprise, so are we... if we will become his sons and daughters and shuck the false notions, the lies, the pornography of our foolish covetous, false lives and live for Truth.

I wish the woman about whom this article was written all the blessings she wants and deserves and hope for her husband's recovery. I am glad the DN is publishing articles like this.

MrsH
Altamont, UT

Bravo for such a well-written and sensitive article.

What a brave woman to open up to the media on such a sensitive topic.

And I love the first comment about the "stench of our sins"...ain't it the truth!

Bethanymom
Murray, UT

Dr. Laura Schlessinger once said that romance novels are women's pornography. She went on to elaborate that anytime you are placing an unhealthy, unobtainable ideal on your spouse (current or future) you are setting them up to fail.

I know that there is a lot of focus on men and pornography. Several posters for this article, and the other articles in the series have mentioned what about the women. I know that women tend to be stimulated by different things then men (i.e. men are visually stimluted more than women). Many women who have marital problem due to unhealthy ideals would not necessiarily fall into the "hardcore" porn end of the scale. Rather they would fall toward the "soft core" side. For example romance novels where the guy always knows exactly what to do, say, be, and sweeps the lady of fher feet so perfectly. What guy can complete in reality?!?

Just like women are demanding that we be viewed realisticly, and not held up to the impossible standards of the porn industry, men should be demanding that they not be held to the standard of a romance novel hero.

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