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Comments about ‘Ask Angela: Fiance calls off wedding when she opened up about past porn addiction’

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Published: Monday, April 28 2014 10:38 p.m. MDT

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LittleStream
Carson City, NV

Angela is right on in this one! The young man needs to read his scriptures. If Jesus had walked away from the women who was going to be stoned, how different her life would have ended. And Jesus asked who among them was without sin, let him cast the first stone. This young man obviously sees himself as being without sin and is willing to leave this young woman. Jesus also forgave the woman and said go and sin no more. I hope the young woman listens to Jesus's words and lives her life in a way that she will get her temple recommend and have a temple marriage. I don't believe it will be the this young man.

raybies
Layton, UT

Great advice from Angela. I hope it works out. I don't know if people should divulge every deep dark terrible things that's been in their past to their partners. If it is something that still bothers you, then you should maybe talk with your bishop. In fact, your bishop might be able to talk with both of you, it sounds to me like your fiance' needs to learn about the nature of the Atonement, too.

Moontan
Roanoke, VA

Sounds like this man entered the conversation with his mind made up, looking for an excuse to make the announcement. Rather than 'man up' about his change of mind, he blames the woman. An "Eve made me eat it" type of scenario. Come on, no man in love walks away that easily. This young lady shows more class and maturity in confessing to past struggles than the man can hope to exhibit with that type of behavior. As for the actual confession, there is a lesson, too: past issues that have no present consequences are nobody's business. Leave them in the past and forget them. Whenever a man starts asking his lady about her past, let red flags wave.

Bill McGee
Alpine, UT

She is better off without him. Clearly he does not understand the part in the Proclamation about equal partnership. Self-righteousness is harder to get over than her having watched some porn, and THAT should be a deal breaker.

(BTW, we toss the term addiction around a little too easily. It is a clinical diagnosis and most people's behavior does not rise to the level of obsessiveness required. Seeing some pornography is NOT the same as having an addiction.)

jeanie
orem, UT

This will be an issue confronting many couples. Yes, it is worth pausing to consider because porn addiction is not a small matter. I agree with Angela that this woman's former fiance handled the situation poorly and maybe for her sake it's good they did not end up marying.

If a potential mate has had problems with porn before you dump them get educated. Attend a 12 step meeting. Read about it and about real recovery. Know all the facts you can before you make any decisions. Most importantly, talk to your potential spouse and pray for discernment about their honesty and recovery.

People who become ensnared in porn are not evil and doomed to failure in life. It is conquerable and those who really have overcome it and have learned how to manage this weakness are worthy of considering.

Stormwalker
Cleveland , OH

My advice: if she marries him this would be the pattern of the relationship. Any transgression of his rules by her would result in emotionally abusive behavior. Furthermore, her honesty about her past would be brought up over and over as proof of his moral superiority in all things.

I hope she realizes she got out without years of pain and an expensive divorce. I also hope she was able to tell friends and family "I realized he is controlling and was already starting on a path of being emotionally abusive. I was not willing to live with that. In a conversation this week he confirmed his problems with his responses to some things and I broke it off. I can do better."

Or, a short version: "I took a long look at who he is and who I am and realized I need to make a better choice."

idahojohn
Nampa, ID

The beauty of the atonement is that it covers her issues with pornography. She had no obligation to share her past with him but trusted in him enough to confide in something that she felt he should know now rather than later. Perhaps she thought he would feel as though she had hidden something from him. If he had been through a similar problem with pornography, would he have shared with her? If so, why? If not, why not?

If we have enough love for another person, we will respect that person's decision to confide in us regarding very personal details such as these. In turn, we will be mature, loving, and forgiving enough to not penalize our potential mate (or current mate if the issue were to come up after marriage) for her/his openness. As was mentioned in another comment, how would the Savior have handled this situation? Emulating him is one of our goals, not easy but desirable, necessary, and beautiful.

booksB4bread
cypress, TX

I've known a few people who married a person addicted to porn (seeking it as a release of stress and as an escape, so it was a real addiction), and their marriages are really hard and their children are suffering. All marriages have some trial, but I don't think we can blame this young man for ending the relationship when he learned porn is a factor. Yes, people can be healed and recover and marriages can be saved. Unless you've been through it or have shouldered the tears of a friend who's been through it, we don't know the heart-ache that results from dealing with a spouse's (or in this case, future-spouse's) porn addiction. Marriages should be completely transparent, so we can say this break up is a good thing for both parties - for her because he may not be able to handle future trials in marriage, and for him because her fidelity may always be in question. The trick is to porn-proof ourselves and our youth. Women For Decency is a group that provides information on protecting yourself, your family and your community from porn.

gwenmangelson
Rogersville, MO

he was looking for any excuse that is why he initiated the conversation- you can and will find a better man.

Classic Mom
Grants Pass, OR

While not impressed with the way the young man handled it, nor do I believe they were really in love...he is wise. It's not about forgiveness and repentance here - it's about making wise lifetime choices in partners. Pornography is an addiction which doesn't go away. Pornography is responsible for 56% of divorces. Pornography is triggered by stress and hard times, which all marriages see plenty of. Pornography is devastating to be married to. We can repent of our poor choices, and be forgiven, but we cannot control the residue and challenges those poor choices leave behind. Once you give in, you will always be more easily hooked into porn even after abstaining and overcoming. Condemning the young man because he didn't want to marry himself to that challenge for the rest of his life is not fair-minded. This young lady needs to find someone who understands it may come back, love her anyway and be willing to struggle through it with her. If it never comes up, awesome, but that isn't usually how it rolls. Both have tried to make it about him, but the true issue is about the young lady.

Spikey
Layton, UT

I realize this is not going to be a popular comment on the Deseret News, but I am hoping that this will be of some comfort to "The Past" who wrote she had a pornography addiction:

You do NOT have a pornography "addiction." You cannot become "addicted" to pornography. Addictions require a growing tolerance requiring you to need more and more, and "worse and worse" pornography, and you would have severe withdrawal symptoms, such as the sweats, the shakes, etc. Physiological withdrawals that are dangerous and sometimes require medications and even hospitalization. THERE IS ZERO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE showing Porn or sex is 'Addicting.'

That being said, some people do have compulsive behaviors that interrupt their daily life. They may use sex or porn to cope, or as an outlet. Personally, that is BETTER than using drugs or alcohol, and sexuality is healthy. Please get a healthier outlook on your sexuality, and why you were using pornography in the first place. Were you using it to deal with sexual repression? High sexual desire? (everybody is different, some women have stronger sexual needs than men). Please do a search on "porn addiction myth" and you will see the evidence.

Gemini
Australia, 00

I totally agree with everything Angela said. This guy is not worth the trouble if they had gone ahead with the marriage. I will play devils advocate for a moment...

I know someone who married a young man with a diagnosed porn addiction - she knew. 3 months into their marriage committed a bigger sin related to his addiction. She stayed with him and they are working on it together. I have seen members of his extended suffer from this too and with children in the mix, made things very difficult for the families.

Back to the young man in this story - we do not know his background or family. Maybe somewhere in the past he made a decision that this would be a 'deal breaker' for him as it had caused suffering in his family?? We don't know - it may be his addiction? Yes, he handled it terribly but once you make a decision I guess you should be strong enough to go ahead with it. Personally, I agree with Angela's advice on the matter - but isn't judging this young man without more information like holding that stone towards the sinner?

Casman
Provo, UT

Wow - just, wow. My wife and I opened up to each other while engaged also - because we know it is right to not have secrets. Shame and skeletons have no place in a happy marriage. My wife had a couple things that she actually thought would be "deal breakers" but shared with me anyway. I am thankful she did, and it taught me that redemption and atonement apply to everyone. It helped me with my testimony. 14 years (and three children) later we love each other more than ever. It is said that those who truly love you - know what you think is the worst thing about yourself, and love you anyway. Him leaving is a good thing. Move on.

J-TX
Allen, TX

I agree with Moontan, that it seems he was just looking for an escape clause, and this fit the bill. Here's news for you, Dude: If you are looking for a partner who is perfect, you're out of luck. And don't look in the mirror, either. You need to read The Miracle of Forgiveness.

LittleStream: you also need to again consult your scriptures, if you think The Lord "forgave" the woman caught in adultery. What he said was, "neither do I condemn thee, go thy way and sin no more", allowing her time and the opportunity to move on and repent and seek forgiveness. He, and frankly all the men around him, was within his rights to have killed her by stoning. But he came to fulfill that law and replace it with a higher law of compassion, love and forgiveness.

Seems like the guy in this situation has a lot of maturing to do.

Livingglad
Graham, WA

Though sad for her, she was lucky to find out early that he would bail at the sign of trouble. Having weathered 51 years of married life, I know I wouldn't like to have been married to one who couldn't share the ups and downs that surely come.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

In A A, I learned that the 1st step to recover any addiction is to admit you have a problem. Your doing every thing right. Turn it over to your higher power, Let go let God. Sorry for your loss. But betrayal is worse than rape is what I heard. Try to keep the faith in people. Never give up. You mater.

RR_Xing
San Diego, CA

Having an honest talk about past relationships and issues prior to marriage is absolutely the right thing to do. Marriage is a close and intimate relationship, and any skeletons in the closet are going to find their way out sooner or later: better to make it sooner.

baddog
Cedar Rapids, IA

gwenmangelson hit it head on, in my view. If he loved you as you thought he did, he more likely would want to help you stay away from anything you had worked to overcome.

Perhaps the fiance had his own porn addiction. No matter, she deserves better than to be judged so harshly without being permitted a complete explanation of then and now.

It's difficult not to judge unrighteously sometimes. It sounds like her former fiance might be a stone thrower. I wish him well in finding a perfect mate. And I wish the young woman good hunting for a mate who will love her for time and all eternity.

Hoss817
Queen Creek, AZ

Because I am a senior adult, I have a lot of miles under my belt. My rule to my kids when they were dating is that if the addiction was less than three years away, they need to put the brakes on the relationship and wait. In regards to confessing sins to our intended spouses, serious sins is always shared. However, if it was a long, long time ago, perhaps not. I think the young man is a little bit crass, nevertheless, for the young girl, there are consequences to sins, even if they were a few years old, and even if the repentance process required by the church is complete. If a young man or a young woman are uneasy about a partners past, for the sake of those yet unborn, it is best not to go on. One of the mistakes young people make all the time is that they think that love conquer all. In many cases it does not. I think that this young lady needs to woman up and accept full responsibility for her choices and the resulting consequences. It is not fair to put any blame on her former boyfriend at all.

dotGone
Puyallup, WA

I agree with Bill McGee - She dodged a bullet on this one. Marriage to a punitive, exacting person would be awful! I also agree with Moontan - the decision was probably made before the conversation began.
Losses like this are tough to process, but better to get out at this point than after 10 years of marriage and some kids. not to mention, that his actions show how he would treat mistakes their children make! Furthermore, someone who bolts from a sensitive discussion doesn't seem able to address the many sensitive situations that come up in marriage and family.
My bet is he is already seeing someone else..... :)

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