If we find out that someone we are dating has an issue with pornography, should we continue to date them or should we run?
That was one of the questions asked at the first ever Face to Face event for young single adults in the Church. No doubt, it's a topic on the mind of many who are dating. And it's a question that cannot be answered simply.
Sister Carole M. Stephens tackled this topic during the Face to Face, but recently Latter-day Saint women with husbands struggling with pornography addiction have come together to share what they wish they had known when they were dating.
As LDS women who are married to LDS men who identify as having a sexual addiction to pornography and masturbation, we desired to share something that would be helpful to those who are still in dating relationships. The following are some of our top answers to the question, “What do you wish you would have known when you were dating?”
Because we wished we had known then, these are things that we want YOU to know NOW. We hope you will take them into consideration when you find yourself in a serious dating relationship, and address these things before engagement and marriage. We would also caution that young men, especially those who do not intentionally view pornography, would be wise to take these same points into consideration in their dating relationships, as the rate of sexual addiction among women is growing exponentially.
If the person you are dating is open to talking about the subject of pornography and brings it up on their own, then this is a good sign and if they have a problem with viewing pornography, they are still worthy of kindness and love. However, getting married to someone with sexual addiction is not a decision to take lightly. There is no quick fix to this problem and there are no words to describe how hard it can be to be married to someone with a sexual addiction. You would have to know for sure from God that he or she was the right one for you.
I wish I had known that when I married someone with a lust addiction, we both were signing up for a lifetime of hard recovery work. Even if he were to get into a place of long-term sobriety and recovery, there is always the possibility that he could relapse, and in order to prevent that he will have to employ his recovery tools and do the necessary work day in and day out, week in and week out. In order to get to a place of healing ,I will have to do the same. Although this work is the most rewarding work I have ever done in my life and I am infinitely grateful to God for this learning opportunity, it has been very painful,and is not for the faint of heart. It takes daily efforts, above and beyond prayer, scripture study, church and temple attendance.