Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Is it really possible? Is it possible to control same-gender attraction within a mixed-orientation marriage? I've already made a lot of the hard decisions. I've been able to marry an incredible woman, have children and have an incredible family life. I've been attracted to my wife and able to perform sexually. But, with all this, I'm still attracted to men. I've been through bouts of moderate porn addiction. I've been through occasions where I nearly hooked-up with another guy. I've chatted on-line with other gay men. I've met other gay men with whom I was attracted and would have liked to pursue a friendship and possibly more. But, I never seem to follow through on any of these. I've been able to put the internet porn and chat rooms at bay. I no longer chat with gay men, but I do look at the occasional porn - maybe once a month - and even then it's not really graphic porn. Is it okay to view a little porn once a month in order to keep any more serious transgression at bay? So far, it has worked for the most part, but not without damage to my spirit.

I want to be completely clean, all of the time. I don't know if I will ever be free of same gender attraction, but it seems that I can keep it "under control" to a certain degree. Will it always be a struggle not to look at any porn and/or masturbate? And if so, do I consider this a small trade-off for being able to have a wife and family? Does this mean I will never be clean in this life, no matter how many times I repent, because I know eventually that I will make a mistake? Are there others, in my same situation, who are having better success? I think that overall, I can live a happy and fulfilled life in a mixed-orientation marriage, stay active in the church, true to my beliefs, attend the temple and serve in callings. But can I raise the bar? Should I try harder with the potential of greater success but also a greater possibility of failure? Or do I just continue on my current, relatively successful course, accepting my weaknesses, and perhaps knowing that this is the best I can do?

8 comments:

Abelard Enigma said...

Does this mean I will never be clean in this life, no matter how many times I repent, because I know eventually that I will make a mistake?

I think you are being overly harsh on yourself. You say you have abandoned some questionable activities and you have reduced the amount of time you spend looking at porn. It seems to me that you are 'raising the bar'. Is the bar as high as you want it to be? Can anybody truthfully answer 'yes' to that question?

One of So Many said...

When I started working out 5 months ago. Walking at 3 miles an hour for 20 minutes 3 times a day (at best) caused me to be covered in sweat, and exhausted.

I did it though for a while, and added a day or two a week. Then I went up to 30 minutes. Then 3.1 mph. It took a long time and now I can do a lot more. I push myself but not insanely.

It looks like you have already made some good progress. The monthly porn may turn to every other month, then once a quarter. It may take years (I know, you wanna be perfect tomorrow) but eventually it will not be so much of an issue. You've already cut out the chat and other more at-risk behaviors.

You are doing great give yourself credit. Eventually you will become perfect. You just need to be willing to give yourself about a million years time. (I need about 4 or 5 trillion).

One of So Many said...

Not a day. A week. Sorry.

MoHoHawaii said...

One thing I know about repression is that it builds up pressure over time. Your once-a-month indulgence in nongraphic sexy pictures is your way to relieve a bit of that pressure in a safe way. Which is worse, letting off a little steam once a month or eventually exploding?

Perfectionism (endless bar raising) seems in this case more like a risk than a success factor.

Beck said...

Forester - you and I are very similar in these feelings of fruitlessness in our efforts to come to terms with this. Perfection is not obtainable. We can and should seek to be perfect (continually raising the bar), but being perfect is not required of us. We will NEVER work our way into the celestial life we desire. You know it doesn't work that way.

As I write this, I know I'm speaking to myself - we need to just take courage in the progress, however small, we are making in continuing to continue on... the two steps forward / one step back kind of thing.

You're not alone! This is the story of my life. Sometimes it's one step forward / one step back... not much progress, and that gets discouraging. Then the discouragement makes you think it's hopeless or not worth it and you're never going to beat this thing... so you cave.

Just keep keeping on! I'm with you!

Neal said...

Many of us struggle like you do. And many non-SSA people struggle with like issues. I'll never forget sitting across from my Stake Pres. and having him tell me how many straight guys had sat in that same chair telling him about the same porn problems I had (except with straight porn). It sort of put it all in perspective.

We don't have to be perfect, we just have to be trying. I heard Bruce R. McConkie give a talk once at BYU - it was very informal - more like a discussion. He actually came down off the podium and was walking through the audience taking questions. Someone asked a question similar to yours dealing with gaining the Celestial Kingdon, perfection, etc.; and he answered this person with a story. He said his wife had come to him one day distraught that they were not doing enough genealogy or missionary work. She was fretting that they "wouldn't make it" if they didn't kick it up a notch. Elder M said, "Honey - not to worry - we are ON THE PATH!". He then explained to us that we only need to be ON the path and moving forward - not all the way to the END of it. JUST ON IT. If we're on it, then Christ and the Atonement will make up the difference, and "all things will be perfected in Him." I liked that talk!

So don't fret! You're a good man.

Regards,

Neal

Parallel Mormon said...

Forester,

We are so much alike. Ideally, I'd like never to masturbate, always to turn around instantly from any inappropriate image that comes my way, never to seek it. I agree with our brethren here, stay on the way, and we'll eventually get where we want to be.

X-Height said...

I have been reading your blog for sometime. I keep asking myself who am I fooling. Are we not justifying who we are. Hiding our true identities.

Being who I am and trying to believe in the LDS faith, I am struggling, or white knuckling as some say. I just wonder if we are hiding from what we are meant to be. How are you holding on so well to your faith, marriage, and the internal infernal of being attracted to men?

Since July 15, 2007