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Gramps,

We were sealed 4 yrs ago, after 7 years of marriage. It was an outcome of him trying to prove to me he had stopped his porn, alcohol, smoking addictions. but he hadn’t. I later had a thought come and hit me that I wouldn’t make it to the celestial kingdom with him. I love him dearly, but also want my kids to see what a righteous marriage looks like. He also has started emotional abuse at times. How do you know when to stay and keep praying, or to let the natural consequences of a person`s actions happen?

Heartbroken

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Answer

 

Dear Heartbroken,

My heart breaks for you as well as I read this question. It never is easy to answer these types of questions because there is a lot riding on an answer, and thus the length of time in answering your question. I do hope that, having said that, I provide you with guidance and solace in knowing that the only person qualified to assist you is the Savior Himself, even the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let me begin by saying this: Our Father in Heaven loves you so much. A kind of love you probably have not felt before. I know, being a mother is pretty close but, I can assure you, His love for you is even more intense and palpable than anything I could describe here. So, any trial that comes to us here on earth is not unnoticed by Him. There are things that even Gramps doesn’t quite yet know, but I do know one thing, His love for you is as real as the air we breathe, the sun that shines, and the plan he created for you and me and all of his children.

One of the key points of doctrine we believe in is found in the second article of faith:

2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

Your husband is also a son of God, with all of his faults and imperfections… God still loves him. He does have his Moral Agency and he is still expected to use it wisely, especially as a father and a husband. Not knowing his side of the story, I would assume you have spoken to him about his various addictions and have supported him through them all. You state that you love him dearly and that’s what any counselor looks for when assisting any couple through their marital challenges.

So, why did I bring up the second Article of Faith? As much as eternal life is a team effort, we must first work on it individually. Regardless of whether or not your husband does or doesn’t change, you will still make it to the celestial kingdom as long as you keep your end of the deal you’ve made with the Savior  which started at baptism and through to the sealing covenant between you and your husband and The Lord.

If I were your Bishop, I would counsel you to be patient and understanding and to continue to help him through his vices. The one red flag I see here, however, is the fact he’s getting more and more abusive to you (and perhaps the kids?).

In such a case, this is what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has stated:

Abuse: Help, Healing, and Protection

 

Abuse is the neglect or mistreatment of others (such as a child or spouse, the elderly, the disabled, or anyone else) in such a way that causes physical, emotional, or sexual harm. It goes against the teachings of the Savior. The Lord condemns abusive behavior in any form.

 

“The Church’s position is that abuse cannot be tolerated in any form” (Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops [2010], 17.3.2). Abuse violates the laws of God and may also be a violation of the laws of society. The Lord expects us to do all we can to prevent abuse and to protect and help those who have been victims of abuse. No one is expected to endure abusive behavior.

Again, this is such a delicate subject to talk about and since we are all different, what may work for you perhaps doesn’t work for someone else.

I strongly suggest you talk to your bishop and to pray to Heavenly Father for guidance. Your righteous desires are well acknowledged by God and he knows, you want things to succeed.

I would strongly recommend that you remain steadfast and immovable. Do not allow Satan to distort your view of the future: “Hope always points towards the future”.

With a calm, yet, firm determination, have a sincere talk with your husband and give him some options, and allow him to respond with honesty as to what he wants to do with his life. Assure him that you love him, but will not tolerate abuse any longer.

His increasing use of pornography does shorten a man’s temper. There are many people who have been affected by this disease and modern-day plague.

Here are some resources you could perhaps share with him, if he hasn’t seen this already

I really hope your situation changes to bring you peace and love in your home and that your children see what a healthy and stable marriage looks like. You and your family are in my prayers and may God bless you.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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