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Dear Gramps,

How I wish that I really had a sage grandfather who would answer this question with a personal feeling attached, witnessing the anguish and sorrow caused by his granddaughter’s husband. We hear many talks in Sacrament and in General Conference about what we should do and not do… the men are counseled to honor their priesthood and to shun the evils of the world; especially pornography….. What is left out of the talks is to what point does a wife take the lying, the deceiving, the discovery of a husband looking at pornography again and again, a husband–a high priest that refuses to pay tithing… He has told me that he feels dead inside and I can see it…. If you were to meet him you would never think that he has this double life. He is a good father and I believe him when he says he wants to change but it’s been 13 years since I met him and I see no change in sight. We have tried counseling and the bishop(s) have spoken to him where he says…he wants to change, but then doesn’t … I feel it affecting me very much. We were married in the temple in 1992. He went to the temple knowing he was very unworthy to go. He kept things from me and led me to believe that he was someone he wasn’t. So I ask, until when do I stay in a marriage that I feel so miserable in. Yes, he does have good qualities but these other things seem to overshadow them… Another question is IF I ever do get divorced, does that mean that unless I get a temple divorce that I can never be civilly married again without committing adultery because of my temple covenants? Any advice would be most appreciated. Thank You,

Myra

 

Dear Myra,

The addiction to pornography is a very difficult practice to overcome, especially if it has gone on for years. Your husband needs all the help that he can get. If he is really serious about wanting to overcome this debilitating, evil habit, he needs competent, professional help. If he is willing to do that, I would recommend going to LDS Social Services for a reputable counselor.  He needs to realize that there are severe consequences related to his actions and will need to accept responsibility for these consequences.

To suggest any counsel on how you might handle your relationship with your husband is also an extremely difficult matter. But I would recommend the following.

Stay as close to the Lord as you can in your own personal life, complying with all the principles of the gospel.  Attend the temple on a regular basis,  immerse yourself in the scriptures daily, especially the Book of Mormon.  And above all else go to your Father in Heaven in prayer, realizing he is your Father, he will comfort you and guide you in the decisions you need to make.  Also seek counseling from your Bishop and Priesthood leaders.

Support your husband in all of his worthwhile activities, especially as he seeks counseling for his addiction.   Let him know that pornographic material of any kind is not acceptable in your home and will be destroyed when found.

If you were to obtain a civil divorce but not a cancellation of your temple sealing, you would be free to enter into another civil marriage. The blessings promised in the marriage covenant are conditional upon the worthiness of the parties involved. If your husband remains unworthy, he will forfeit all the promised blessings. If you remain worthy, no blessing promised by the Lord will be denied you

Gramps

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