www.TrueKnights.org Purity News Archive

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Thoughts and good sites

So, today I found a good starting place and resource sight, This is War. If it has happened to you, meaning something bad, they probably have a link here. They have an entire page devoted to Sex Addiction. I will say that it does include links to some of the 12-step groups I don't entirely agree with but I will also say that you are only as addicted as you are willing to admit. What I am really saying is that I can't make you give it up until you realize that certain behaviors are a problem.

If you are considering working on the Twelve Steps, I have found some worksheets here. Just change Alcohol to whatever your addiction is.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I don't go anywhere fast

You and me we're goin' nowhere slowly
And we've gotta get away from the past
There's nothin' wrong with goin' nowhere, baby
But we should be goin' nowhere fast

This is the problem with addiction , not finding contentment in the place that you are. Not wanting to rest in solitude. Not being comfortable with yourself where you are. At some point when I was younger something in me clicked or snapped or something, I don't know why it did but it did. At this point I don't think that is the most important thing for me to worry about. I think its more important to learn how to deal today. Anyway, after that happened I knew what I wanted and I just wanted it and it didn't matter the cost, and I have been fighting that desire ever since. It is much easier today and I can surrender it away.

I didn't care where I was going, I just wanted to get to it quicker. Today, I care where I go, and I fight to go where I ought and not to wander nowhere fast. Nowhere is the road of addiction, nothing gained and it all becomes lost.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dealing with expectations and lust

A little advanced warning, this may be a bit long but hopefully I won't ramble too much.
Yesterday the odds were stacked
In favor of my expectations
Flyin' above the rest
Never fallin' from the nest
Tuesday came and went and now
I'm in a little situation
Maybe it's for the best
I can live alone, I guess
Maybe I can stand alone
Maybe I'm strong as stone
Even though the bird has flown
Maybe he'll fly on home
Forgive me if I'm keeping you
Apart from Better conversation
Hung up on all my doubt
Trying to sort the whole thing out
Tell me that I'm smart enough
To deal with all the information
Spinning inside my head
Every word he ever said
Maybe I can stand alone
Maybe I'm strong as stone
Even though the bird has flown
Maybe he'll fly on home
I think one of the biggest problems with living life, especially when you have lived a life of erotic fantasy is dealing with expectations. I found this definition here:
The noun "expectation" has 4 senses.
1. expectation, outlook, prospect -- belief about (or mental picture of) the future
2. anticipation, expectation -- wishing with confidence of fulfillment
3. expectation -- the feeling that something is about to happen
4. arithmetic mean, first moment, expectation, expected value -- the sum of the values of a random variable divided by the number of values
As an addict I built a fantasy life. My addiction was taking lust and living out fantasies in my mind. How would sex be this way or that way? Combine this with pornorgraphy (video, magazine, "literature") and the fodder for fantasy just continues. I can take images of people walking past or just delve into my mind, I can perform better than any porn star and have more "glorious" sex than any porn star ever could. I can satisfy every partner and be ever satisfied. Then I step back to reality and find guilt shame and the like.
Well, you say, fantasy is good for a healthy sex life. Yeah, I have used fantasy in my sex life, it worked for awhile and made it "hot" but then shame and guilt crept in, we didn't want to go that way, we didn't really want to do those things and we couldn't see a sign that said this road only goes so far. Who knows where that road ends. As a recovering addict I know that it doesn't, you keep looking for the "perfect" event, the one that lives up to all the expectations, the one that throws you into the perfect union and perfects you as a human being. An addict lost in fantasy trying to connect to the unreal, stuck in the world of the real, resentful.
The fantasy makes my expectations unreal, the fantasies are "perfect" and I am not. The fantasies are all about me and love isn't about me. I have to surrender (that word keeps popping up in recovery) my expectations to the real. Love is sacrificial, its about doing the dishes when I get home and they need done (takes 20 minutes) and not being mad about them for the next two hours until someone else does them or I begrudginly spend an hour washing them.
If I truly believe my higher power is God who made everything (that means he made it to work a certain way) then surrendering to Him means that I have to accept the real, I have to make my expectations fit the way the world works. I can no longer expect to do what I want, but I must do what I ought. As my recovery progresses and my life becomes more real the points that lust used to creep into my life increasingly strike me as odd. I am not saying that in a heartbeat I couldn't fall but it is only through continuing surrender that goes deeper and deeper into every part of my life (work, parenting, friendships, marriage, entertainment) that I am able to keep walking the path of recovery.
I can't play with lust and become disillusioned and let expectations about sex creep into my mind. Real sexuality and sex with my wife is meaningful and more beautiful than anything I could do as the pornstar of my mind. When I am really sacrificially expressing my love for my wife I do want to hold her and cuddle with her and spend time with her in other healthy and meaningful ways (yes, talking with her and helping her with chores). Play the tape to the end.
In my mind the sex is 'glorious' all the way to the end but I don't know what happens when it is done, I only know the shame, guilt and resentment that comes from filling my life with the lust. When I am truly loving I know how it ends, I can play that tape to the end, I feel close to my wife and I love her more and more. I accept her for who she is and how she is made. I am truly free, free to be who I am supposed to be and that is my fulfillment.
Under the Mercy,

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Best Defense is a. . .

. . .Good Offesnse? NO, more surrender. Surrender more: deeply fully, completely and more of yourself.

I had begun to notice that I was surrending more and more of myself but resentment had looked for a door to get back in and found one: expectation of return.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.

When I begin to expect in return then I drain my emotional bank account if I do not receive as I expect. I need to fulfill my duties because they are my duties and not because I believe I will find "happiness" in the form I dictate.

Under the Mercy,

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Practical Atheist

Many of the people that I know in the program are practicing members of their faith that will verbally express a faith in God. I do believe that they either really do believe or want to believe in God. However, and for a variety of reasons we act in a very practical matter as if God does not exist when it comes to lust.

It could be a lack of conviction, compartmentalization or a lack of faith. Whatever it is, its painful and the steps are part of the road back. We have to understand that we can't do it (I am not a God), since others have made it, something has to be able to do it (something is more powerful than me) and then we have to let them step in the door (surrender to the higher power).

At first part of me was bugged by the used of the phrase higher power instead of God, however, we have a few agnostics in our group and some people don't realize it but at times the group or something else has to be the higher power when they start, until they can really turn their life over to go, as they know HIm.

Under the Mercy,

Monday, September 24, 2007

Meeting last night on Step Two

"Came to believe that a power reater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

When I first started the program ever so long ago I wanted 12 steps, 12 things I had to do that would save me and change me and then I was done. What I got was a way to make me whole again in every part of my life: a father, a son, a husband, a co-worker, an employee and on and on.

Instead of trying to do this myself and changing how I dealt with stress by being a butthead or acting out in a different way I needed to realize the need for surrender. I was trying to do it my way.

I Their are two types of crosses, the human cross is the one I make. When I want things a certain way or try to deal with things on my own. The other is the human and divine cross, it is the one set for me by God. In it I can find true freedom and true joy and true peace. When I surrender my right to do it my way and accept who I am made to be and how God made me.

Under the Mercy,

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Yes, free will is something that is necessary for recovery but so is surrender. I ammust surrender my right to feel this way, surrender my right to be pleased, surrender my right to lust, surrender my right to be lusted after, surrender my right to be right, and the list goes on and on.

No matter how terrible it may be, I have to surrender my right so that I can recover, possession is the addicts weakness, as long as I feel I have a right to possess I am possessed by lust.

Under the Mercy,


Sunday, September 2, 2007

What do I do??

One of the reasons that this is an anonymous blog is that many people don't know about my addiction. The list of people that know about it is very small. That is a very comfortable place for me to be and I like it that way. I was over at my parent's house today with the rest of my family and it came time for me to leave for my meeting. I can only attend one meeting a week due to my schedule and it is very important to me to make it.

I didn't know what to say when I was asked where I was going other than to a meeting. The obvious follow-up is, "What kind of meeting?" Not that my paretns are being spiteful about me leaving but I think they are genuinely curious as to what is taking me away from family time.

Well, I lied. I am not comfortable to "outing" myself to my parents, brother and sister-in-law and so I lied. I said I was writing a book (I am) and I was going to a meeting about it (not true but these meetings help me be introspective and thus write). Well, I guess after they left and they were stil curious and asked my wife about it more. I feel bad about doing that I don't know what to do about it. I know I need to apologize to my wife but I need to know how to handle this in the future and I don't know how.

I know I have something to think about, I have to come to grips with my fear or I have to plan an answer.

Under the Mercy,

Friday, August 31, 2007


Its been a long two weeks but life is well, if not hectic. Lots of small choices coming up and lots meditating being done in my life. More to come soon, for now I think about this:

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are the meek: for they shall posses the land.
  • Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
  • Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have
    their fill.
  • Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
  • Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
  • Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is
    the kingdom of heaven.

Really, its simple but hard.

Under the Mercy,

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Journal 20070822

Its been a long week and its not going to slow down as I am still trying to recover from being sick. I was so worn out at work yesterday and i twas such a busy day due to the move to the new building and working to bring the new systems online. I am well, too tired to act out, tired enough to be mad or angry but I am working to keep that under control, my wife is a blessing in letting me rest.

Under the Mercy,

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Conference at Lambeth

Hi all, sorry I haven't written much but it has been busy and I am actually writing a book to help me bring the inside out in regards to the spiritual basis of addiction and working tons of overtime. Ok, well I am not writing on that topic, I am writing on parenthood but it is helpful and inspiriational, at least I think it is, when I get some done I may excerpt it. If you are wondering, its on the beatitudes and fatherhood.

I did find this article at cnn.com and thought that some of you may enjoy reading it as its is about sex and money. I will include one good quote from it here:

Now let me be clear: I like money and sex. No, I LOVE money and sex! But what
happened to the notion of restraint or doing things within boundaries?

I think the thing that is the problem with people using restraint in sex started with Margaret Sanger in 1914 and then started sliding in 1930 at the Anglican Conference in Lambeth when they decided that use of contraception was okay in certain cases. Lets just say that its use has spread across society since then and its removal of consequences has caused things to get out of hand. I need to write more about the connection between objectification and contraception later.

Under the Mercy,

Monday, August 13, 2007

Psychology Today interview about "crying over spilled semen"

I find the below article very interesting from a natural law perspective. Women who have sexual relations without a condom are happier and less suicidal than woman who are celibate or use condoms.

As a sex addict and a Catholic I think that contraception is morally evil and that it is bad for a sex addict to use. It removes total giving, total acceptance and consequences from sexuality. When I have to make a decision to have relations in the fertile time or only in the infertile time I am taking responsibility and thinking outside of my gratification. This is a blessing for a sex addict in recovery. It brings me to know that sex is indeed optional and when I embrace it I grow.

It appears that a woman who is having sex with her spouse (a truly committed stable relationship and not just living together) would be the happiest if she accepts sex the way it is designed. No putting anything into the middle of it. This recognizes the unitive (mutual self-giving) and procreative design (mutual self-donation) of the marital act.

It also shows how the woman who has sex without a condom doesn't become as depressed when she ends one relationship, hmmmmm, accepting sex is more bonding?

Link below.

Under the Mercy,


This link is from Psychology Today

Click the link above (or copy-and-paste into your internet browser)
to see the full article of:

Title: Crying Over Spilled Semen

Summary: Why women who don't use condoms feel happier.

Journal 20070913

I just don't know how to really deal with resentment, its hard because its an engrained pattern in my way of being. I get frustrated and resent a situation or person, dwelling on a real or imagined wrong, I live in it and make it the focus of my mind. What is it going to take to overcome this. I am fightingalmost 30 years of living and behaving this way. So, I surrender, I make amends and amend my life to do better, it is still hard because I fall down again.

Resentment is the basis of my addiction, I acted out to get away from the resentment, the physical high is unreal and it cemented the pattern in my being, I can deal with lust, but it makes the resentment bubble to the surface and I have to deal with it.

Under the Mercy,

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Do I really have to start over????

I hate being an addict! I really don't think you understand that I HATE being an addict. You see, the problem is that I think that I have this under control and have 8 months of sobriety under my belt (my drug of choice is fantasy with being lusted after as the major element) and I am thinking that I am getting things under control and working the program like it needs to be worked.

Well, in some ways I get to start over, back to the beginning. Re-work the steps, learn a new perspective and keep working on my life. I had a busy weekend and figured out that I had failed in not doing more to work on an honest, open and strong male relationship I had promised my wife I would build.

I publicly got irritated at this person's, what I was calling harrasment, insistence that I do something when I am not currently able to commit to it for a weekend. My wife confronted me for embarassing her by raising the tone of my voice, I wasn't derogatory but I was tired, annoyed and louder than conversational. I tried to justify my lack of response to one line e-mails asking how I was doing by pointing out the fact that I was promised more by him (in person or phone contact) but in reality I was making little to no effort on my part. I also got agitated by my wife bringing this up and delaying my leaving for my SA meeting.

My wife, God love her, saw this and called a time-out. I was going to simply drag myself to and through the meeting and go straight to bed out of spite to her. However, the meeting was on the spiritual basis of addiction and I ended up getting the shell broke down of the fortress I had built up. The section we read from takes the sexual acting-out out of the addictive process and shows the cycle of resentment (the underlying factor in toxic shame) and shows how it works in the addictive process.

I realized that I was holding resentment and breaking away from others, using it as a barrier to intimacy with people around me. I was going to then be in a position to be resentful and anything I didn’t like in an agitated state I would resent more. This is the underlying cycle of toxic shame, act out then feel bad so I need to act out. In a way I was acting out without participating in my addiction of fantasy and masturbation.

So, I begin again but I am not starting over, I am just going deeper. God love all of you that read this, and your many notes of encouragement. It has been busy around here and it has been slow blogging.

Under the Mercy,

Monday, July 30, 2007

Nobody Knows it But Me

This song really speaks to me, and of course not the way the song was intended. As an addict, Nobody Knows it but Me, the outside not matching the inside. Below are the lyrics, with commentary from me and the actual song below so you can listen to the song if you would like.

Kevin Sharp - Nobody Knows it But Me Lyrics

I pretend that I'm glad you went away
But these four walls close in more everyday
And I'm dying inside
And nobody knows it but me

The insides of ourselves never matches what we saw on the outsides of others. As an addict at times it feels as if part of you has gone away, either into hiding or that you have gone into hiding.

Like a clown I put on a show
The pain is real even if nobody knows
And I'm crying inside
And nobody knows it but me

I want to be the happiest person in the world but I am in so much pain from guilt and shame on the inside. I am never truly happy while I am inside my addiction.

Why didn't I say the things I needed to say
How could I let my angel get away
Now my world is a-tumblin' down
I can say it clearly but you're no where around

We never really want to share who we are because that would hurt too much, we push people away from us, not on purpose but we don't know how to relate. Our life has to become unmanageable in a way, then we are alone.

The nights are so lonely the days are so sad
And I just keep thinking about the love that we had
And I'm missing you
And nobody knows it but me

Everything always seems in the past, the addict never lives in the present. We are sad and we do want to be better, the problem is that the only way we know to feel better makes it worse. Our drug, lust, is horrid.

How blue can I get you could ask my heart
Just like a jigsaw puzzle it's been torn all apart
A million words just couldn't say just how I feel
A million years from now you know
I'll be loving you still

As an addict its hard to express myself, and I have done so much damage to myself, I know that I am here somewhere and I know what I truly need but I have to get outside of myself and that is very hard to do. Its painful to gut yourself (figuratively) and bring the inside out.

The nights are so lonely the days are so sad
And I just keep thinking about the love that we had
And I'm missing you
And nobody knows it but me

The nights are so lonely
The days are so sad I just keep thinking
About the love that we had
Nobody knows it but me

Life is hard but its harder when you are in your addiction. That is why I choose recovery.

Under the Mercy,
Keep coming back it works if you work it and you are worth it.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Of Late

Life has been hectic around the house. I was up late as I worked overtime last night. When I last entered into recovery I told my wife I would be accountable to her for my actions. This worked well for a time and I had measures in place. This is not an excuse but an accounting of what has happened recently.

Things have been pretty busy around here recently. As such I wasn't as forthright and regular on my being accountable. Between house guests and overtime I just plain forgot somedays. Some of the safeguards I put into place (e-reminder on the Zaurus) somehow got turned off (I had set it up to synchronize with Outlook and Google and that is what did it) and it never struck me to turn it back on. None of this is an excuse because I didn't adjust and keep doing what I had said I would do, regular (daily) accountability. This just means that I would touch base with her and let her know what was going on with me.

So, yesterday (Sunday) morning before Mass my wife tells me that she needs to talk to me and that she didn't feel safe, was feeling anxious because of my failing at being accountable and boundaries were reestablished until I had that habit back (i.e. sex was off limits). I immediately became volatile with emotion, this is a very hard place for an addict to be.

"I don't like her attitude about this." "She is just being mean and treating sex as an object, wow, maybe she is the addict." "I have dignity and she is treating me like something to be manipulated." "I am working recovery here and yes, I had a minor chink but she is being a *^&%&%*&." All of these thoughts and more racing through my head, I had just told her that I knew I had been lacking in my accountability and would do a better job, oh wait, that had been three days ago. It didn't help any that I had lots of things to do and I had a sore part of my body that was causing me a decent amount of pain.

Their is a principle for an addict, HALT, Hungry Angry Lonely Tired, that is a warning that acting out may be something that will be tempting. I was ANGRY, TIRED and LONELY. It was tempting when my wife left to go spend time with her brother, mother and sister to just sit down and act out, just plain straight-laced go at it. I knew that I wouldn't get another thing done. Soooo, I sat down, still mad as all get out but not having given into the temptation to lash out, and picked several things to do that would be of benefit to and that my wife had wanted to get done. I moved a sleeper sofa, began to steam clean it, weeded the frontyard and began to clean the garage. I really busted my tail, the only thing I didn't get done was emptying the dishwasher and reloading it.

I did make it to my meeting last night, and I had a chance to talk to my wife. I was able to surrender my anger, righteous or not it doesn't really matter, and ask for forgiveness for my failing. I am further or more deeply surrendering my sex life with my wife, it is indeed optional and can be taken from me at any moment. Sex is not something I or anyone else have as a right.

I would say that in some ways it is currency. Its not something we buy and sell or use to get what we want, that is the counterfeit that society has bought into. No, it is part of the currency of love, giving of oneself for the benefit of the other. It is the fruit of the harvest, it takes lots of work to get their but if you do the work, the bounty is plentiful. Back to doing more work.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Monday, July 23, 2007

Jounral 20070723 Surrender/Attatchment

Attachment, I think, is a very basic component of my disease. I believe that it is part of my fallen human nature, disfigured and deformed from what it was designed to be. In its most basic form it is simply me wanting to reach out, take hold of and possess something. That is the basis of sexual addiction, taking something for sexual power/fulfillment, to just yearn to possess it.

I am attached to the way I want my Sunday to be, the way I am woke up, the way I go to sleep, the way my food tastes, the way my children behave, the way my wife treats me, and the way I want God to act. What happens when I don't get my way is a problem. At this point I feel bad, angry or resentful.

The great escape is now the temptation, move away to something that is always perfectly the way I want it. Fantasy is my great escape, one of the guys I know talks about the paper models. Paper models are never on their period, only say what you want and you never have to cuddle with them. Other people I know can put together whole videos in their head just the way they want them to work and play them over and over again. They are able to make these things work just the way they want them too, no questions asked. For me, it is the want to be lusted after, I don’t know why but that is my great escape, my great desire or fantasy.

At times I don’t want to go to meetings. I want to be normal, I want to have my life back and be like everyone else. However, I am not like everyone else, I admit I have a problem and I have to take ownership of it. It is hard to give up what I want, time to relax or whatever, stop what I am doing and go to a meeting. Every time I go to a meeting I am throwing up a reminder of my defects, my faults and my failings. However, going to the meeting is a way to reset my life, to re-orient to what I am supposed to be doing and do it.

This is my place to surrender, to ask for serenity, I am not lusting now but this is where I could make the wrong turn, go down the wrong road and the hurt would be back. After you go to meetings, acting out is never the same. Its always more painful, more depressing, and shameful. Meetings are admitting its wrong, they make a different.

Under the Mercy,


Friday, July 20, 2007

Step Six

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

As an addict I can say that I felt I was at this place for a long time before I started working the steps. Some addicts don't want to get better and only want to learn to control their lust, to enjoy it without the negative consequences, at the beginning of every meeting we even read a passage that mentions that specifically.

I felt and would say for a long time that I wanted God to remove these defects of character. I didn't want to deal with the problems they caused and I simply wanted to live life without the hassle.

Now, I realize that I wasn't truly ready to have God remove these character flaws, I was ready for him to remove the trouble they caused. After seeking out true contrition towards God I was able to really come to a place where 8 could say that I wanted to be done with lust and the behaviors it caused.

For the longest time in recovery I had come to a point where I could admit my life had become unmanageable and it was due to lust. The problem was that I would have been perfectly content with having the lust without the problem. As I mentioned in my prior post, after I asked God for forgiveness for not living as he intended did I come to realize in my heart that lust is unmanageable, not the consequences.

Now, I am in a place where I wouldn't want lust without the problems, I have surrended to the way I am made. I must decrease, He must increase. I must accept myself and be who I am to be.

Under the Mercy,

Keep coming back, it works if you work it and you are worth it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Step Five

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Forgive me Father for I am a worm. This is a dangerous and crucial step for recovery. By the time the addict gets to here they should/need to have lots of support around them. The danger is depression and temptation to relapse as the addict's drug is how they deal with feeling bad ("The only way we knew to be free of it was to do it." P 203 SA White Book). That is why this step should not be walked alone.

Their is something that is freed when another person knows that I have done wrong, done really wrong ("The Sexaholic takes himself or herself out of the whole context of what is right or wrong." P.202 SA White Book) and still looks at me with accepting love for me as another human being. When they see me as a human being and not the worm I see in the mirror it allows me an opportunity to see myself as human.

The other important thing that occurs here is honesty with God, He already knows but now I am being honest with the One that knows me and made me. Here I ask for forgiveness for not being who I was made to be. I think that is at the heart of addiction, not being true to who you are made to be. My root addiction is lust, inordinate sexual craving, and I act outside of what my sexual passion should be, and I cannot stop but I must ("So it is with the sexaholic, or sex drunk, who can no longer tolerate lust but cannot stop." P. 202 SA White Book).

I have taken myself out of reality, here I know where I am so that I can begin the journey to who I am supposed to be.

Under the Mercy,


Friday, July 13, 2007

A quick note

I am still here and very much alive, overtime is making things rough to get done but I am getting a routine down so that I can keep up posting. My biggest fear right now is getting tired and worn out. I am fortunate that I have my wife, she is a gift from God that helps me keep my mind straight. I have chores to do and must get to them but I thought I would drop a note in and pass along this news item that I found.

Under the Mercy,


Monday, July 9, 2007

Step Four

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Now we get to some hard work. In some ways this could easily become a list of faults and failings and nothing more. I think that would be a mistake, a missed opportunity for growth. I am not saying that it is unimportant to know where you have failed but I think we need to dig deeper.

In step one we recount places that we have failed to show how our life has become unmanageable due to lust. Here we can take that and see where our insides our and see what our true moral standards are, we can learn our true current standards by how we act and not what we profess. This shows us where we truly are on the journey.

For me I professed that masturbation was inherently wrong. However, in reality I didn't have a problem with it and in reality my behavior made it look like a good thing. It wasn't just masturbation but objectifying women and thinking of them doing things to me, lusting and wanting to be lusted after.

This point of my inventory wasn't to show me that, "Oh well, I guess masturbation is okay and this isn't a problem." The point was to show me that I had work to do, I may fail but I need to work myself back to my standard. The other thing it showed me was how lust allowed me (lust didn't do this but I did) to take steps away from Truth.

This shows me that when I began to lust and masturbate I lowered my standard. This allowed me to take further steps from pornography to fantasy. I began to lead a double life, a life of secrecy, and secrecy is a hallmark of lustful actions. Now the question laying in front of me and seperately in front of my wife was: How far away will you go?

Would I go to an affair when fantasy didn't bring the high and an opportunity presented itself? What was I capable of? This helps to build resolve in my being, to make me stronger to not go further than I am now.

However, I have to take that resolve and stand up with it and work to reclaim what I profess in the actions of secrecy, they must, one at a time, begin to match what I profess.

I must not see a beautiful woman and wonder what she wants to do to me sexually but instead thank God for her beauty, have awe for His creation. I have to attatch feelings of respect and remember that she is someone's daughter and was lovingly held by a father who, not unlike me, loves his daughter completely.

I don't want my daughters to be hurt the way I have hurt my wife and in some ways I have to surrender the ultimate fact that this is partly out of my control. On the other hand I have to have the courage to be a man of integrity so that my daughters will see that, respect it and come to be attracted to or have that as their standard.

That is what is important about this step today, to keep going on the journey back to morality. To striving day by day to be the man I profess, it will be the journey of my life but it is the journey I am choosing. I choose the narrow way, the road less traveled.

Under the mercy,


Friday, July 6, 2007

Journal 20070706

This week has been a long week, I haven't been able to do much blogging here. I have been in training for work this week, it has taken up most of my energy and my wife and I have been having some great talks after work. I am getting ready to go into a period of intense overtime and I know that I need to keep working the steps or even though I am having a good week I will end up reverting and lusting. Keep praying for me as I pray for you.
Under the Mercy

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Step Three

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

At times it seems that the journey to recovery requires what seems like superhuman abilities to me, the addict. Step three is a place to learn that we don't have to be superhuman to be in recovery from our addiction. Trying to be superhuman hasn't worked, we can't be in recovery and white knuckle it. Here we are asked to come as you are.

As love cripples not only do we not know how to love but we really don't know how to be loved. Here we are able to admit that we don't fully understand God. In truth, we hardly know him and we definitely don't feel loved by God. As an addict at times and it is very easy to feel this way, I feel very alone and unloved.

Here is were I extend what little I know of intimacy and make myself vulnerable to God. As a Catholic, that is confession and adoration of Jesus. I have to rend my garments, the defenses and secrecy of lust, and present myself naked before God. This is an act of surrender, coming to God as I am as I know Him. This is how I can begin to grow personally and in knowledge of Him who saves me and helps purify my defects.

Under the Mercy.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Journal 20070701

Tonight, I went to my weekly meeting. Tonight one of our members gave his first step. I know that this was hard for him to do. It took up most of the meeting and his recounting encompassed probably over 30 hand-written pages. This step was a recounting, a disclosure, of how life had become unmanageable by lust. It is amazing how deep his hurt had become. How much pain had he experienced in his life. How lust had overcome him. Many people I know and popular culture would have you think that all of these activities: pornography (still and video), fooling around, masturbation and yes even some people prostitution; are all perfectly normal and legitimate activites for people to partake in.

This realization hascome to me that those of us in the meeting are sexaholics. Just like those working steps in AA are alcoholics. Their are many people out their that are drunks that are not alcoolics, alcoholics go to meetings. Many people in our society are sex drunks, sex addicts, they just haven't admited that they have a problem. Their are people I know that sexual fulfillment is how they feel loved or how they find meaning in their life. They do not see the bigger purpose and that sexual fullfillment comes out of their intimacy with another. Being "intimate" isn't about laying someone down, spreading their legs and ravaging their body so that you have a pleasurable experience.

This is not to say that one can be in the fruits of intimacy in one moment and then something can change or happen that makes them begin to lust. I have had that experience and it was hard to surrender it. WIth his mercy and the true love of my wife I was able to get to that.
I love you, my dearling.

And to those out their struggling, keep coming back it works if you work it. And you are worth it.

Under the Mercy,

Saturday, June 30, 2007

New member to the blogroll

I haven't done this for anyone yet but this blog particularly touches my heart (from what little I have read, ahhh, love being busy) as I can see the fire she posseses. The blog is written and called, The Wife of An Addict. I will have to put together a permanent post that has a little bit about each member. I found The Wife of An Addict through one particular post that I commented on over at her site about Birth Control and being an Addict's wife. As a Catholic I have some strong beliefs about Birth Control, they are not just dogmatic but I continue growing in understanding them. If you want a little more insight a good place to start is at Christopher West's website, he has free audio files and links to his cd talk series (when I bought his 10 cd talk series it was at another website and was extremely economical..let me surf for it). His 10 cde audio set is available for only $3.90 each here. I don't get kick backs from any of these places but I firmly believe in the message. God bless.

Under the Mercy,

p.s. I have met Christopher West and listened to him in person and he is awesome and on fire with the Holy Spirit and has had his own struggles with this affliction/achilles heel.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Journal 20070628

One of my favorite songs from adolescence is For Crying out Loud as performed by MeatLoaf. It still to this day strikes a chord in my heart. However, as I grow and mature I have come to realize that it describes the addict in me and my true self. It is a portrayal of the conflict inside my being.

I am thankful that I have found my wife for she found me at a time when I was able to give myself to her but the addict soon returned, and I didn't realize I was an addict. I am thankful for her as she has helped/pushed/moved me to work this program of recovery. I have learned more about myself by knowing her, by having children with her and by experiencing true love from her.

I was lost till you were found
But I never knew how far down
I was falling
Before I reached the bottom

I was cold and you were fire
And I never knew how the pyre
Could be burning
On the edge of the ice field. . .

I truly felt this way, I had a poor self image of myself, I placed my self-image in her. In some ways my self-image is still tied to her, I am still working on my own self-image. Having a positive self-image is something that is hard to do when you are an addict, you hate yourself for the pain you cause and the slave you are inside.

. . . Oh I know you belong inside my aching heart
cant you see my faded levis bursting apart
And dont you hear me crying:
Oh babe, dont go
And dont you hear me screaming:
How was I to know?

I'm in the middle of nowhere
Near the end of the line
But theres
a border to somewhere waiting
And theres a tankful of time
Oh give me
just another moment to see the light of the day
And take me to another land
where I dont have to stay

I tied up all my fear and all my hope and ll my being in my wife and her approval, I was alone without her adoration of me. I wanted to be lusted after, I made myself a God. Really, I wanted myself to be a God to her. In reality I was all alone and a crying little boy, I had stopped growing up. Lust had stopped my development as a person.

And Im gonna need somebody to make me feel like you do
And I will receive somebody with open arms, open eyes,
Open up the sky
and let the planet that I love shine through

For crying out loud
know I love you

This is the thing that every addict says. Everytime they are asked to stop, they mean it when they say they will. They really do mean it. The problem is that they mean it so that they will have your approval and the high will come from you, they are still searching for the high. They have to admit that seeking the high has made things unmanageable. They have to surrender it, show real intimacy and not seeking the high.

For pulling me away when Im starting to fall
For revving
me up when Im starting to stall
And all in all
For that I want you

For taking and for giving and for playing the game
For praying for
my future in the days that remain
Oh lord
For that I hold you

To hold and to want. Two of the things that addict always wanted, these actions are things that can be a product of addiction and they can be a product of intimacy. I can participate in the marital embrace and it can be the most lustful acting out ever or it can be a fruit of intimacy and love between my wife and I. Sex is not inimacy, it is a fruit of intimacy. I thank my wife for sticking with me and praying for me and for keeping me going forward in recovery.

Ah but most of all
For cryin out loud
For that I
love you

When youre crying out loud
You know I love you

I really, really love my wife, she is my other half, I do not know where I end and she begins. That is the truth, even when she is not by my side she is on my heart, pressed upon it. My thoughts are of concern for her, for her welfare.

Under the Mercy

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Lust Versus Intimacy

One of the biggest things addiction to lust, more commonly know as Sex Addicts or Sexaholics, does to a person is it makes them incapable of sharing with anyone else who they really are. It could be due to embarrassment, shame, guilt or a variety of other reasons but the sex addict disconnects and begins to connect to the unreal to make him or herself feel real or whole.

Don’t get me wrong, at times the Sexaholic can connect with other people very well. I have personally experienced many times that I connected to those around me; the problem was a small period of time that came afterward when I would have self-doubt. That self-doubt is about the other person not connecting with the real me, with what I really wanted, the pleasure, the lust, the acting out. In reality the other person had connected with the real me, the cripple, the part of me that I allowed to define me that was not the real me.

I was ashamed of the things I had done in secret, those were the things that I kept to myself and never shared with anyone else. If I had ever shared them I would have risked my status as a person, the funny thing is that it increased the addiction, allowed it to have more control over me and made the risk greater, I just thought I was controlling it.

The answer to the problem is sharing oneself, your true self. I had to learn to share all of me, who I am and the addict. The true me was on the inside, I was scared of the acting out and the addiction, the things that I had done in my life or fantasized about. I was beginning to let the addiction define me; I was losing my life and my identity.

The sharing of ME is where intimacy comes into play. Lust, the addiction, was where I took from others what I wanted of them as an object and took from them what I wanted for me. My conscience was withered inside me but it made me feel bad in what small ways it could, because I never felt quite right about having used someone, be it internet pornography or any other way of acting out.

I had to learn to integrate myself and be honest with those closest to me. I had to learn how to share myself, this is intimacy, the SPICES of life (Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Sexual). This began in the group. This began by sharing all of who I was in the group. I came to learn to share myself, my sins and my successes, I learned it didn’t kill me for others to know how bad I was. I have learned to replace old patterns with new ones. Instead of internet pornography, I share some of myself here. Instead of using the internet in secret I am here with my daughter across from me working on her schoolwork and my wife a little further beyond her.

Instead of lusting after women, I attach feelings to them. They are someone’s little girl and I know how I would feel about someone who treated my little girls the way I have treated others, even though the little girl in question is a “consenting adult”. I am surrendering myself and amazingly it has been given back to me.

Under the Mercy.



Avoid Consequences

Accepting Consequences

Protect Self

Make Self Vulnerable



Share Part of Self

Share Whole Self







Reacting to Feelings

Attaching Feelings



sex+addiction sexaholic sexaholism lust intimacy step+one secrecy 12+steps meetings journal

Monday, June 25, 2007

The road is long....

I don't know if any of you have the song running through your head that I do right now:

The road is long, With many a winding turn, That leads us to who knows
where, Who knows where, But I'm strong, Strong enough to carry him, He ain't
heavy, he's my brother. So on we go, His welfare is my concern, No burden
is he to bear, We'll get there, For I know, He would not encumber me, He
ain't heavy, he's my brother.

by Sidney Russell and Robert Scott

At times it is easier to bear other people's burdens then our burdens. The things that are the cross on my shoulder are the things that I don't want to deal with anymore, but because they are on my shoulder I must carry them. However, I can not carry them on my own. Well, I can but its like walking a tightrope.

Walking the tightrope up higher and higher without a safety net and without a balancing pole to keep me steady. When I have others around me, accountability partners, my recovery fellowship and I am accountable about who I am that is my safety net, just knowing it is their makes a difference. My balance pole is another wonderful thing, it is what keeps me steady, it is my sobriety. Sobriety is the momentum that keeps me moving forward with my eyes on the prize.

The burden is lighter when the fellowship helps. Kind of backwards because when I step into the fellowship I put my burden in a pile of burdens and help carry a much larger pile, but working together with others makes it lighter.

One thing that I have talked about before is the fact that we are love cripples, that we only know lust, and not love. Intimacy is something that we refuse to follow, I am hoping to post on the differences between the two and show how true Intimacy is the road to overcoming lust, or at least that is what I think right now. I will say that it appears that the fellowship is that place where we start practicing intimacy, we begin to share ourselves and accept others and what they share as gifts.

Under the Mercy.

Keep coming back, it works if you work it, and we are worth it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Journal 20070621

The kids are sick, one of them just vomited on the carpet in the front room. I just finished cleaning that up and I am working on school assignments with the oldest child. I am exhausted, probably ready to come down sick myself but unable to as every instance of sick time at work has a negative impact this year. It is just the way the policy is. Needless to say part of me is all out of sorts and the other part of me is fairly calm. Its just the out of sorts part of me is retty big.

Its not like I am chomping to act out or going crazy or anything but I just want to get in bed, pull up the covers and be left alone for about 15 hours. With my job, a short temper is a recipe for acting out or getting in trouble. Something to surrender I guess, hopefully I will have some quiet time to pray before I take off for work, but I doubt it. Will have to do that as I work. I pray for strength, I am tired.

Under the Mercy

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Journal 20070620

Today my life is a just a little bit harder in some ways than it was yesterday, but it is easier or more normal in other ways. It is time for me to integrate living in a more normal life and keeping up sobriety. This is one of those ways, replacing the old habits, the bad ones, with new ones. Honesty is replaced by deception, reality by a counterfeit. I wish some of my coworkers would learn this lesson as well, I don't want them to learn it as painfully as I did but I wish they would learn it.

Two related articles on addiction, though it just calls it "pornography" addiction and a silent killer, remember that the real problem is lust.






Under the Mercy.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Jounral 20070618 "The F-word"

Today, my wife and I had our couple’s counseling appointment. I really didn’t want to go, not in the least. Well, not because I am through with my marriage or anything but because I just want everything to be back to normal, I want the magical pill, the Viagra of relationships. I want the magical pill that cures everything wrong between us and makes us magically back together during a 30-second commercial.

Anyway, we are more and more hopeful, less fearful, resentful and angry. The session went
well. However, the dreaded F-word came up. This word is probably the one that a sex-addicts wife has the hardest time with, it is something that an addict truly craves. The F-word is
FORGIVENESS. Forgiveness is something that is hard to define, what does it mean?

Does it mean that we go back to the way it was before we had the blow-up? Does it mean that we choose to love each other anyway without regard for the fault? I am diving deeper into me for this one. When I forgive my wife, I give up any right I have to be angry. I may still be mad
about the situation and I still understand that there are consequences but I forgive the person, not the action.

In some ways it is something I do more for me than for the forgiven. Don’t get me wrong, I know it benefits them but it is for me and for my healing as well. L pointed out that there is a difference between reconciliation and forgiveness. D has always had trouble with what forgiveness means but I think we realized that reconciliation is what we are working on now instead of calling it forgiveness.

As we walked out we looked at the Lilies planted next to wheelchair ramp outside the building, they are bigger plants than the ones I have at home, they have had years to grow and mine are brand new this year. Dawn looked at me and stated that she felt even more hopeful for us. After reading last night’s post she said she felt more hopeful and now she is even more hopeful. Yes, through time we are growing, individually and together, bigger and stronger.

Under the Mercy.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dawn Eden hits the Nail on the Head

The linked article written by Dawn Eden hits the nail on the head. How many people do I know that work to find fullfilment in sexuality and are always chasing something better and never happy.

Under the Mercy

Journal 20071017

Sexual Emotions.

These are not emotions in the truest sense of the word emotion but are desires that can be triggers. In some way they are things that are out of control that sex addicts try to meet or find in lusting.

One of the hardest things about being a sex addict is that the ultimate expression of my addiction is something that is built into every human being. We are made as sexual creatures. Sex itself isn't the problem but misplaced driving forces behind it are the problem.

If I were an alcoholic I would be addicted to alcohol but the consumption of alcohol isn't coded into the very fact of humanity. Sexuality is coded into my very being. It is a strong power that God has given to us so that we can share our very being. It is so strong that it is designed to bring out new life in this world.

The "sexual emotions" are things that I mistake for true intimacy. Sexual intercourse, the marriage act, should be a fruit of intimacy (caring/giving/loving) my wife but I feel that at times my yearning is from these "sexual emotions". Maybe it would be better to call them sexualised desires, for that is what they really are. Emotionally, I have a need to be accepted, loved and wanted and that is a hard thing for me to deal with right now when my wife is sexually unavailable to me by her choice. I have assented to that choice intellectually but I also know that I desire her.

Earlier, I posted about my fear of having lust removed from my being. I wonder in some ways if what I was and still am holding onto is in some ways me wanting to retain my lust in a small way. I want my wife to desire to be with me, I want to feel accepted and loved by her. I wonder if that is in some ways lust. I already know the answer to that question. It is just another form of lust.

I am not saying that it is bad to be comforted by being accepted or to feel loved. What I am saying is that I have to surrender that feeling, that need so that it doesn't drive me. Otherwise, I will just end up lusting after the next fix.

My wife tld me the other night to stop pressuring her for sex. I didn't think I was doing that but now I see that I was. I wasn't telling her that I was struggling or needed her to keep from acting out but I asked her to make love with me. I was trying to have my desire to be loved, wanted or accepted fed.

I hate being abstinate with my wife when it is a choice and not for a "good reason" but I know that it is a good thing for me. It has given me a chance to dig deeper than I ever have before, it is boiling to the surface all the different ways that I have acted and the 'modes' of my addiction. I now know, by trusting in God, that I will not lose desire for my wife by the removal of lust from my being.

All of this is scary but it is making my life deeper and richer. I am understanding more about myself all the time. Eah step seems like it will kill or distort me but it is making me what I truly want. It is making me more and more who I am supposed to be.

I am grateful for my wife. I am grateful for the meeting I attended tonight and eceryone that was in attendance. K used the phrase "sexual emotions" in passing but God spoke it in my heart and it revealed something to me. God bless you. If you are reading this please say a prayer for me and please say one for my wife. Let us both find healing in ourselves and together.

Under the mercy.

Step Two

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Again, I find two things laid at my feet in this second step. The first thing is something that should be obvious from the condition the addict finds themselves.

As an addict I am fully aware that a power greater than myself does have an effect on my life. I believe it was Lewis that said something to the effect that a human being can’t be static. You are either are going to be becoming more saint-like or you will become more hell-like.

A power greater than myself will control my life if I decide to be in charge and have my way. This is the way of an addict. This is me when I act to take what I want. This is what happens when I succumb to lust, that becomes a power greater than me.

When I choose to surrender myself to a higher power, to let go of my hyper-emotional wants, to give of myself in service of others, which is when the other Higher Power takes over. This is the true higher power.

At first for some the higher power is the group, or an accountability partner. Remember, we are love cripples and our intimacy is broken, we don’t know how to truly connect. Eventually, God comes into the picture, it takes time though.

Under the Mercy

Friday, June 15, 2007

I would call it more a crisis of sin and addiction

Hey all, just wanted to touch base with everyone. Its been kind of a rough 24 hours, I was a little more than irritated at this time yesterday. However, its also really busy and today is budget day so the wife and I have been working on that. I am hoping to have a chance to write a bit more tonight while I am on overtime at work.

Oh, and this is realted and of interetest.

Under the Mercy

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Porn Stars up for execution

CHT to xxx Church's blog. Its a sad commentary but I imagine many people or it would seem due to the media would come foward decrying the death and punishment of a porn star but the ongoing death of Christian's is casually mentioned if at all.

Under the Mercy,

Ge the full story here.

Journal entry for the Morning of 6-14-07

Wow, I worked for 12 hours yesterday, skipped going and working out afterwards. Its probably a good thing as I hade to get up about 0900 as my wife had somewhere to go and someone needed to watch the kids. Just sitting here and drinking coffee, the kids are behaving well, just heard the trashman outside and remembered the cart needed to be at the curb and I forgot to do that last night when I came home in the pouring down rain. It wasn't a particularly hard day, I guess their is part of me that finds strength in physical touch. I don't think its lust but their is something about human connection that is comforting. I read something one time ( I will have to look it up) about the reason that some kids have sex at a young age is due to the fact that we no longer have the family bed, they each have their own room and minimal to no physical contact. Their is part of me that would like to have relations with my wife but it is not the driving force, at times their are passing moments that feel more animalistic but I "pray them away" with a prayer for God's will for my wife. Part of me just feels a want for closeness or oneness with her. I do't know if the desire for oneness could be a type of lust in disquise.

Under the Mercy

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Serenity. In searching for blogs that are out their with people in recovery I found this prayer again that I say so often.
This is a slightly different version than I know by heart, so I will post it here.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful worldas it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.
--Reinhold Niebuhr

Under the Mercy

An Era of Prohibition in my Marriage

"...this meant no sex with themselves or other, invluding not getting into
relationships. For others it also meant "drying out" and not having
sex with the spouse for a time to recover from lust."

--From "The Solution, Page 204 of SA's White Book

This was a really hard thing for me to deal with when it came up almost 2 months back. My wife and I are basically in a co-dependent relationship. She would be in a place in which she wasn't sure if she could trust me but she would give herself to me physically and all would be right for 10 minutes but then she would feel worse about us, herself and the situation.

When I had failed to do the things financially that I was supposed to do (not moving money to savings when it should have been and moving money out for things and not letting my wife know beforehand that savings is how we were affording these activities) I went to be that night in the front room. A few months prior when my "acting out"/fantasy/inappropriate banter had shown up (really it was lust pent up in me) we had been apart for a short period of time but our "need" for each other ended that quickly one night when I was invited back into the conjugal bed.

Now, even though we are at times sleeping in the same bed (more often than not) it has been right about two months. Though I yearn for my wife it is different now than it was before. Before I could have lust filled sex with my wife. Literally lusting after her and wanting sex to go certain ways because that made for the better high. I wanted the high to be with her but the high was for me. She was at best an object of my desire for my benefit.

Now I know something else and I am learning what it is to have physical attraction for my wife and to desire her but to want to do so intimately. I want to give myself to my wife. Words like tender have replaced words like animal. Now, physical intimacy is a fruit that will come from the other types of intimacy. As we plan for school next year, talk about our children's future and our future children, my wife has read this blog and she is free to continue doing so. I just want her to know and I will continue to tell her that she is beautiful and I desire to hold her again and to be able to tell her again, "I don't know where you begin and I end."

Under the Mercy

The problem with our culture isn't that it overvalues sex. The problem
with our culture is that it doesn't have a clue of the value of sex.

--adapted from Christopher West

Monday, June 11, 2007

Step One: My life is unmanageable due to what?

We admitted that we were powerless over lust -- that our lives had become
This step has two parts that are very distinct in it. When we begin this process it is out of an admission that our lives are unmanageable, but first our lives have to beome unmanageable due to lust. How does that happen?

In my journey of recovery I have met several people that exemplify several different types of unmanageability in life. I have met a few people that had abused children and had dealt with criminal consequences. Some were trying to heal marriages damaged by affairs or strings of affairs. Still others were driven by religious conversions of themselves or spouses.

My recovery was very motivated by my wife's conversion and in some ways what I would call my reversion to the faith. I had lived a wide and varied past and experienced things not uncommon to many teens and twenty-somethings today. I was caught in relationships of fantasy, use of pornography, erotic literature, strip clubs, using my wife as an outlet and masturbation.

These things were my "problem" to be fixed. Behaviors that needed stopping before they escalated further. Behaviors that harmed my relationships with others at the different stages of my life. My wife began to think ill of them, the ones she knew about and as she found out about others. For a time we explored some of the fantasies, for a time that is all they were but after attempting one of the more harmless ones things began to change.

Part of my insides saw a door opening and it yearned for fantasy to become real. Fortunately, the door was closing my wife made a definitive turn down the path of conversion and for that I thank give thanks to God to this day. Pressure from her was a large motivating factor for me to begin my journey to recovery. It is just now, years later that I am realizing that I was only really focusing on behaviors, not acting out, instead of what the addiction truly is, on what had made me a love cripple. That is lust. That is what has made my life unmanageable.

I have to admit this and it is not easy to admit but I am learning day by day to express myself intimately and not lustfully. To give without expectation of return instead of taking with the expectation of getting more.

Under the Mercy,

Friday, June 8, 2007

My fear about ridding myself of lust.

One thing that I want in my life is the removal of lust from my being. I struggle to surrender that to God and work to lessen its control over me every day. Lust is my vice that I struggle with. My fear is that in trying to remove the impulse of that vice I am afraid of what may happen.

Most people as a knee jerk answer will say that purity is the coresponding virtue that I need to develop to fight lust and its ill effects. Purity just seems to have such negative connotations for me or from how I hear it described. Purity seems so very dispassionate in my heart. My mind knows better but my heart doesn't.

An important item of note is that my wife and I are practicing continence (no sex) right now, by choice as we are healing the damage in our relationship. The physical expression of my desire for her is muted, and while I do not wish to lust after her at times I want nothing more than lust filled sex with her. Don't get me wrong, at times I have very pure motives of desire, self-donation and the want of union with the other half of me. The times that I most lust after my wife is when things are tense or stressful and these also happen to be during times that if we were being sexually active currently, it would be logistically impossible.

The problem that this lust for my wife creates a time where I am vulnerable or feel very weak in my ability to deal with lust if it should present itself at the store, on the way to work or wherever I may be. However, with God's mercy these times pass.

Returning back to my fear that with the removal of lust via suppression of sexual desire by promoting 'purity' I will end up with no desire for my wife. I feel that purity is a quality of my actions but not a way of life. I have started to think that the best way for me to fight and conquer lust is to promote a virtue that will combat all of my being a 'love-cripple'. I believe that the answer is practicing intimacy as a virtue.

Intimacy is the appropriate sharing of my being with others in all aspects of my life and in a special way with my wife. It is a gift of me to another person that they can receive or reject as they will. Lust is me taking from something for my own personal gratification. Intimacy is receiving another as gift but more importantly giving myself without demanding or expecting anything in return. Today I pray to God for the gift to worthily and freely offer myself to my wife.

Under the Mercy