Seeking Support from Others
It’s OK to get help. We don’t need to deal with this alone. In addition to relying on the Lord, seeking support from others can be helpful as we face the effects of our spouses’ pornography use. President Henry B. Eyring said: “All of us will be tested. And all of us need true friends to love us, to listen to us, to show us the way, and to testify of truth to us so that we may retain the companionship of the Holy Ghost” (“True Friends,” Ensign, May 2002, 29).
Sharing our struggles may be uncomfortable. Many of us feel fearful or ashamed about our spouses’ pornography use. We may be concerned that others will judge us or our spouses. Our spouses may ask that we not tell anyone. However, it is acceptable and important to ask for the help we need or desire.
President Spencer W. Kimball said this about how God often answers our prayers: “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball , 82). God has and will put people into our lives to help us and support us during our trials.
Ponder the following:
- What support or assistance do you feel you need?
- How will you seek support from others?
Finding the Right Support
Reaching out to others may not always be a positive experience. Even though many people care about us, they may also be misinformed, misguided, or unable to help. However, a bad experience should not deter us from finding support if we feel we need it.
It is important to consider what resources or individuals are appropriate sources of help, when and how to share personal struggles with others, and how to use wisdom in deciding what is safe to share.
Some questions to consider include: Will the person I’m sharing with be able to provide me with support? Will he or she have my best interests at heart as well as those of my loved ones? Will he or she keep the information confidential and be nonjudgmental? Is he or she mature enough and ready to receive the information, or will it be harmful to him or her?
Some of us might not need or desire as much support as others. To share or not share is an individual choice that we can seek the Lord’s counsel on. If we feel in need of support, the Lord will guide us to people who can help us. Consider family, friends, priesthood and Relief Society leaders, mentors, support groups, and professional help as sources of support. As we share our burdens with trusted individuals, we can feel supported and uplifted.
Ponder the following:
- What types of support have been helpful to you in the past?
- What types of support would be most helpful to you now?
- Whom do you feel prompted to reach out to for support?
Ideas for Taking Action
Here are some ideas that others have found helpful. Prayerfully consider what actions might be best for you, taking into account that they may or may not be listed here.
- Identify healthy relationships that feel supportive and nurturing. Some have found it helpful to consult with priesthood or Relief Society leaders for help in determining whom they might reach out to. Spend appropriate time with those who nurture you and validate your worth.
- Search for and study truth regarding your individual worth and value to God as taught in the scriptures and other reliable sources, including your patriarchal blessing.
- Seek out others who are in your situation and moving forward in healthy ways. Are there support groups or programs you might join?
- Set goals for proper self-care, including nutrition, healthy sleep habits, exercise, and time for personal reflection.