In light of the massive upheaval that has arisen since my last series on betrayal trauma, I feel the need to make a general overall statement, mainly because it would take years to respond to the thousands of comments, and some of them I don't feel are worth responding to anyway.
I've officially been bashed by the internet for my religion, my personality, my values, my mind, my writing, my experiences, my dreams, and anything else that people could manage to find wrong with me and those articles. Congratulations, you've officially covered all of your bases. I suppose most of you who made the rude comments, (if not all of you) feel like they're deserved, and you completely have a right to your own opinion. But if you feel the need to write any more nasty comments on my blog, they are now immediately deleted on Chronically Beautiful simply because as the author of my own website, I have the freedom to choose what is shared and what is not, and I don't write things for the purpose of spreading hate.
The things that people are willing to say to a complete stranger are quite shocking, and make an overall general negative statement about our society. I find it ironic that for a society that is big on #noshame, everyone seems perfectly okay with shaming and harassing innocent people on the internet. It's okay to have differing opinions than mine. In fact, it's more than okay. But there's certain class, civility, and eloquence that anyone can demonstrate when stating their different opinions, which some people showed in their comments. You can absolutely state how you think or feel without brutality. Nobody deserves to be treated in such a way, including myself.
I want to take a minute to address the religious aspect of the argument. Most of you have figured out by now that I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love my religion, and it brings me great joy and happiness. No, the "Mormons" are not a cult, and just because someone is religious and believes in God does not mean we automatically belong to a cult. It does mean that I believe in a most high God who loves ALL of his children, including my ex-fiance, and every single one of you. It means that I value chastity, which means abstinence from sexual relationships before marriage and complete fidelity after marriage. You do not need to agree with my values to respect my values. And just because I have a high-value system does not mean that I'm "self-righteous" or that I believe that I'm perfect. Of course, I have my flaws... but there is a major difference between making mistakes, and sexual promiscuity.
One thing I want to point out is that true love does not and cannot exist unless it is governed by God's law. This includes chastity, fidelity, loyalty, and honesty. Without those things, TRUE love does not exist. And those who proclaim that it does are usually not very happy themselves. Of course, marriage is hard and there's no perfect marriage. But overall, marriage was created to bring more joy and happiness than pain and heartache. But to those who think I "jumped ship," you're right... I did. Because when someone in an engagement decides to violate God's laws, honesty doesn't exist. And neither does love. At that point, because we were not yet married, it was not my job to "fix him." (When has a woman ever tried to "fix" a man and it's actually worked anyway!?) It's his job to fix himself. That doesn't mean I can't offer love and forgiveness. Which I did at the time and still do... but forgiveness does not equate to sticking around where I can be hurt multiple times over. You don't reach repentance and change by being coddled every step of the way. Leaving was an act of love because I care more about what happens to him in the next life than I do about having a "picture perfect wedding" in the here and now. No woman should ever be guilted into marrying anybody.
I also want to state that I think a large majority of people are missing the point of why I wrote these articles. I was completely aware when I posted these that I would get some backlash. But those people that are whipping me with their tongues are not the audience that I wrote this series of articles for. So honestly, if it makes you that angry, there is literally no reason why you have to read what I write. I didn't write them to shame men, women, or porn addicts. I didn't write them to shame my ex-fiance. I didn't write them to get attention (why on earth would anyone actually want this much attention?).
The reason I wrote these articles is because there are hundreds and thousands of women out there (and I'm sure some men too) who have been through similar things. Some of these people that I have met personally have continuously told me that they have experienced so much pain from their loved one's pornography addiction, but they can't talk about it precisely because of the social backlash that I have received from this topic. I write for these women. I write for these women that finally have a voice now (as you can see from the comments on LOVE WHAT MATTERS). I write for these women so they can see that despite the men or other people in their lives who betray their trust, they still have worth and there is hope that their hearts will be healed.
I also believe it's quite appalling that anybody invalidates anyone else's pain. Everybody feels and expresses things on different levels, and just because we live in a society that is insanely numb, does not mean that everyone has to be numb and emotionless. Nobody would ever laugh at someone who was in a car accident and lost an arm. So why is it okay that we mock other people's emotional pain? If the shoe was on the other foot and it was YOUR emotional pain caused by someone close to you betraying YOUR trust, it wouldn't be so funny now would it? I also want to point out that I suffer from a chronic illness called Chronic Lyme Disease. The nature of Lyme disease itself is that it can drill into your nervous system, and therefore it causes a heightening of the senses. This is usually accompanied by deep negative emotion, anxiety, or depression. So when a Lyme patient's life is thrown a hardball, it is extremely hard to process at first. So to those who think I'm "immature" and "overly dramatic"... That's not exactly a card you can play if you don't live in my own skin. I simply wrote what I was feeling at the time, and if you actually read the other two parts you would find that the conclusion was that I'm happy with the decision I made, and that I did overcome the pain I was feeling.
Okay, let's address the pornography issue for a minute here...
First of all... to those who think I just destroyed my ex-fiancé's life... Let me clarify: We already had over 300 invitations to our wedding sent out. We had to call every single one of those people and tell them what happened to inform them that the wedding was off. Pornography addiction does not just affect you. Pornography addiction affects the people around you, and it's only so long before the truth is going to come out. Because of the nature of my situation, it's not a secret among our friends and family. It never was. I didn't write the articles to bash my ex-fiance. And the things I did write simply stated what happened, and how I felt about it. That's it! I forgive my ex-fiancé, and I hope the best for him and his life.
I recognize that pornography addiction is a massive struggle for some people, and I want to point out here that my heart goes out to anyone who is caught in the grasp of it. I do NOT feel hatred towards the people who struggle from addiction. I feel sad because I know how much it destroys love, family, and happiness. But I don't feel hatred. If you read the whole post, you would have read that eventually I had to stop seeing myself as the victim in the situation because that's part of moving on and healing. Similarly, the people who are addicted to porn need to stop seeing themselves as the victim too. Because if you say that a porn addict is a victim, you're not giving them any hope to overcome the addiction. Clearly, there needs to be MORE HOPE in this world.
Pornography addiction is a very difficult plague. I will never claim that it's not. And whether you believe that pornography addiction is an illness or not is irrelevant, because the problem is that so many people use the word "addiction" and "illness" as a way to justify their actions, in which case they will never overcome it. There are two roads you can take when you find yourself in this place. One road will always lead back to the addiction. And the other road leads to Christ who paid the price for ALL pain. One road leads to shame, isolation, and other sexual addictions, and the other road leads to repentance and change. Christ paid the price for those struggling with pornography. Does it take some stretching and some difficulty to overcome? Of course, it does! But it isn't impossible. It's possible with Christ's enabling power. You don't have to live life with a serious sexual addiction. There is life without porn addiction, and believe it or not, there can be life AFTER porn addiction depending on how YOU CHOOSE to get help and how YOU CHOOSE to help yourself.
I also want to take a minute to address the people who claim "it's just porn." There are HUNDREDS of statistics on how harmful pornography is on the brain, relationships, and the world. If you don't believe me, you can visit fightthenewdrug.org where it outlines and explains what pornography does, and why it's so harmful. There is nothing natural or healthy about indulging in pornography. To say that "all men look at porn" is to say that all men care more about self-gratification and sexual desire than they do about their wives, daughters, sons, and the other people they love in their life. I don't believe that all men are like that... In fact, I know some incredible men who are not like that, and porn is not a part of their lives, or they're trying incredibly hard to eliminate it from their lives. Kudos to those men. Kudos to them for valuing greater things in their lives. The reason why pornography is such a massive epidemic in society is because it's so socially acceptable. There is nothing wrong with hoping for a greater future for our world than one filled with porn, addiction, and adultery.
I want to conclude this post by thanking all the wonderful women and men who have positively reached out to me in the past few days, and I want to offer tremendous love to all the people who have given support and banned together on this issue. Keep on keeping on and stay strong! There is always hope and happiness ahead!
As a Christian myself I have to ask if you ever considered that your response is unbiblical. According to the Bible if you have a problem with your brother you should take it to him one-on-one. If he doesn't listen you take another believer to confront him. If he still doesn't listen you bring him before the elders and the church for discipline. If he still does not listen then the church is to treat him as an outsider. Now I think your response of breaking off the relationship was absolutely right on the money and I can imagine it's very hard all the way around. But what about you making his sins so public? What if someone you had wronged in the past documented everything you did that was being and put it on the internet for the whole world to see? I do not wish to blaze you for his poor choices. He betrayed you and was very obviously in the wrong. But from Christian to Christian, I have to be frank and tell you that I think this public display is more gossip and slander of your brother who fell into sin, and that by calling him put publicly you are also sinning against him. Again, if we're talking about things from a Biblical standpoint, you have every right to break off the relationship and move on, but you don't have the right to call out another believer in front of the world, especially in front of non-believers. I'm sure you will delete my comment, but I hope that you will at least read it and think about it and let it sink in. Two wrongs never make a right.
"According to the Bible if you have a problem with your brother you should take it to him one-on-one. If he doesn't listen you take another believer to confront him. If he still doesn't listen you bring him before the elders and the church for discipline. " (which obviously the 'elders' are also 'brothers' right? :) )
First of all, I am a woman. My parents named me James after my grandfather, but I usually go by Jamie. So as far as my comments being abusive, your assumption of me being a man is a bit funny. Also, I clearly stated that I thought she was right to break off the relationship and get rid of this man that did this to her, and that I did not blame her for his actions. However, she's using the Bible to defend her decision (that he lusted after other women), but her putting this man's sins out for the world to see is just as biblically wrong as him doing what he did. I absolutely support her decision to heal and do what she needs to do privately. However, as a woman that has gone through this myself, I do not agree and will never agree to a Christian (woman or man) putting another Christian's sins on display for everyone else to gawk at. It's a terrible example.
James there is no 'Reply' button (at least presently) under your last post, so I'm replying under your original comment regarding your last reply.
Hello. I was addicted to Porn since high school. I was brought up in church all my life, was involved in high school ministry since high school, played in church as a musician and still do. Porn is one of the worse things that can take hold of a person. I compare it to a drug that shows no outward effects, but one that consumes the mind. I hid this addition from my family, and my wife. When confronted one day, I denied it and tried to gaslight my wife. I was so ashamed, that i thought the only option was to hide it, thinking that telling my wife would be worse.
"He didn't do it because he thought you were not attractive, or he valued porn over you. It is a temptation that he could not control, and it will also be there unless he can overcome it through counselling, accountability and believing in Jesus."
Righteousness Is Not Right Doing But Right Being
I'm a former LDS bishop, and current physician living in Salt Lake County. Here are my observations hopefully they can help.
Oh a 'bishop' I can't pass a chance to reply to someone so deluded as you.
I am glad to see that you are beginning to heal from this experience. God loves all of his children the same and I am glad to see that you are growing from this experience, I know the road for you has been long and hard the past couple of years. Good luck with all of your endeavors!
Belzebub F Nurdledurdle
Are you autistic?
Julie, I was a bishop for five years and have been a lawyer for forty years. Based on my understanding of things, I think you're headed in a direction that will bring you a life of loneliness and frustration. In spite of all you've heard, and just for the sake of our discussion here, there are no evil men or good men, per se. There are only men where the line between good and bad goes down the middle just slightly to the right or left. There are sexless men out there. But for the rest of us, and any man you want to marry, we are sexual creatures, capable of honor, fidelity, loyalty, etc. As I would tell any young man, try to keep control of your passions, but don't beat yourself to death over the small things. And, yes, these are ridiculously small things.
Another silly bishop, they definitely swarm onto young adults as soon as they get a chance! At least you have formal legal knowledge so you'd KNOW that if a partner is feeling pain and suffering from a claimed pornography addiction (and by the way YES obviously just like gaming, pornography CAN be an addiction - how wouldn't you know this??).
The author should read "Shadow or Reality" by Jerald Turner. But even this tome does not go near far enough, there's a much deeper explanation in regards to religion, found in these books: https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/14447
I obviously fully agree JR (as a passing commenter).
@Johnny (now deleted reply, possibly due to understanding you are in error?).
I totally agree with your actions. People don't understand unless it's happened to them as it did to me. I felt betrayed and deceived that my husband had been viewing porn constantly behind my back, even whilst I was sleeping.My trust in him was greatly damaged and my feeling about myself was very low. How could I compare to these young women when I was so much older than them ? Who was this man that I was married to ? Was there anything else he was keeping from me ? I am sure you have felt the same way about your fiancee. Good luck and I wish you all the best.
Wow! You clearly devote A LOT of time to your blog. It’s like a job, even an addiction...
Claire stands by her faith, her wishes and way of life. She's my friend and I support, respect and honor her in her decision and what she believes in. None should ever be compared or compete with such trash of evil and darkness, in any relationship and marriage. I believe she did the right thing and to do what was best. I also value the same thing she values in a relationship and marriage. I stand by and with her, as she continues on through her journey in life. I believe in and I'm proud of you Claire! 1Timothy 4:12 :)
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