When J came in to see me on Monday, he was full of strong emotions. This is not our first visit. He came to see me the first time about 6 weeks ago after his wife learned that he had spent a large amount of money on sexually deviant media for the last 3 years of their 5 year marriage.
J has done a good job over all of staying humble and taking responsibility for his misbehaviors. I believe that if anyone can pull of the miracle of repairing a broken marriage, J can do it. During Monday’s visit, some important things surfaced that I was able to address and empower him to conquer in the future.
J’s strong feelings came from his fear that his wife might be planning to end their marriage permanently. Together, they have a little boy, and J is afraid of losing both of them. J’s body language and speaking style could be described as “agitated”. I asked him what he might be mad about and he responded with a common shift of language used by LDS men, “I am not mad, I am frustrated.” In my experience, frustration is a mini version of anger. The only reason a man needs to know this is so that he can defuse it correctly.
He went on to describe the things he is seeing and hearing that are giving him reason to fear. He sees his wife expressing strong feelings in the category of hopelessness. He is making the mistake of basing his own thoughts, feelings and decisions on her thoughts, feelings and decisions. I have met with his wife and I am confident that her “Celestial Orientation” (a topic for another day) is in tact. Basically, what this means is that if he does his part correctly, it is almost 100% likely she will be inclined to keep the family together, will be healed through the atonement for what he has done, and the miracle of bringing a marriage back to life from the dead (like unto Lazarus), will take place.
In order for this process to work out correctly, he must focus all of his attention on eliminating all factors that contribute to his past misbehaviors in order to ensure the safety (emotional, spiritual, sexual) of his wife for the future. The part that J needed to learn for today was how strong negative feelings can lead to “Lost Battles”, or name for sexual misbehaviors.
J needed to learn that all of us get his with ideas that cause almost instant strong negative feelings several times per day. We have lots of names for these hits. I will describe them as we go. The important thing to realize is that the unfortunate thought came from an outside source. Thoughts that are not edifying are by definition, destructive. And that which is destructive is not of God. And that which is not of God is of Satan. In other words, the idea did not come from himself, but from Satan – even though is came in the sound of J’s own voice.
We use a numeric scale that helps addicts know where they are on the path to their next “Lost Battle” It is a 0-10 scale. We don’t talk much about the 5-10 range (To be Continued)