Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright © 1999
I read your article about divorce. My daughter married a returned missionary in the temple. After 5 children she found he had been involved with pornography since his youth. She feels that she has been lied to through her whole marriage. He is pretty selfish. He makes decisions that suit him without regard to how they affect his family. He has done this about employment, where to live, and mainly everything.
They have been to counseling, but he doesn't change. He thinks she needs to change. Her mother-in-law criticizes her and her husband takes his mother's side. They are now living separately and she is contemplating a divorce. She worries because she was married in the temple and obviously she doesn't want to explain to her children their father's bad habit. What would your advice be in this situation?
Dear Worried Mother,
As I see it there is one major issue in this marriage that will always cause divorce and that is: the husband's choosing not to change despite counseling due to eroding factors of the marriage that cannot be tolerated which are:
1. Husband's involvement with pornography.
2. Husband's selfish decisions.
Since the husband refuses to change the burden for change is on the wife. Either she must either accept the pornography and the selfishness on the part of the husband or she must reject it. There are no good reasons for accepting these behaviors. Here are reasons for not accepting them...
Reasons for Rejecting these Behaviors
1. The change the mother-in-law and husband are be proposing for the wife are against the laws the Lord has set up. The wife in good conscience cannot lower her standards to met the husbands for two reasons:
1. She will be choosing a lower kingdom than the Celestial Kingdom.
2. She will be exposing her children to those lowered morals and values, also highly reducing their chances of gaining exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom.
Why She will be Choosing a Lesser Kingdom...
The world would have us believe that there is nothing wrong with the use of pornography. We know differently!
In 3 Nephi 12:28-30 it says:
28- "But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart."
29- "Behold, I give unto you a commandment, that ye suffer none of these things to enter unto your heart;"
30- "For it is better that ye should deny yourselves of these things, wherein ye will take up your cross, than that ye should be cast into hell."
Whether the Lord will condemn the individual the same for committing adultery in his/her heart as He would if s/he committed the act is a moot point. Pornography cankers the soul, pollutes the mind, and removes the spirit of God from that person. What person will obtain the Celestial kingdom in this state? NONE!!!
The wife needs to decide if she wants to settle for the lowest kingdom by changing the way the mother-in-law and her husband wants her to. To find any happiness at all in this marriage she must embrace the behavior she is opposed to. This happiness will be short lived as we all know because: "... wickedness never was happiness." Alma 41:10
I say it will be the lowest kingdom because Satan uses a person's appetite for pornography to drag him/her into acts that he would not have otherwise been induced into. The worst of these are the actual act of adultery, lying, stealing, and murder. "And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well - and thus the devil cheatheth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell." 2 Nephi 28:21
She will be exposing her children to those lowered morals and values, also highly reducing their chances of gaining exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom.
Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." This is true whether these teaching are good or bad. In this case the father is training his children how to be selfish just like he is. Much work will have to be done on the part of each child with the Lord to overcome these teachings.
It is hoped that they have not picked up their father's love of pornography also.
Married in the Temple
Being married in the temple does not mean anything if the covenants made through the endowment and the marriage are not kept by both of the marriage partners. In this case the husband has not lived up to his covenants so there is no eternal marriage.
It is up to the wife then to separate herself from the partner that will eventually drag her down so she will not be able to obtain the celestial kingdom, separately.
To have eternal progress or the ability to become a Goddess in her own right and have spirit children with an eternal mate, she must first obtain one.
As blunt as this may seem, she will not gain eternal progress with her current husband because he refuses to change, but chooses to remains in his filthy state.
She must therefore rid herself of this filth and live an exemplary life to be worthy of her personal covenants, thereby retaining all the blessings of the temple save that of eternal marriage.
She should strive for an eternal marriage but need not accept an undesirable match just to have a temple marriage. Any woman who is living worthy of a temple marriage but does not have the opportunity to find an acceptable celestial mate will have all the blessings of the Celestial kingdom. She will have the opportunity whether in this life or the next from now through the Millennium to select a worthy husband.
Five Children & a Divorce
The only problems I see are threefold:
1. Does she have the money, education, and/or family of origin support to be able to support five children. See:...
2. Will she have the quality time needed to assure that the teachings of the Lord are set in the hearts of her children and practiced in her home whether she is there or not.
3. Will she have the quality time needed to assure her children of her love.
Explaining to Her Children Their Father's Bad Habit
She needs to warn her children against the usage of pornography so that they are inoculated against it in case they come across it in their visits with their father. This is important!!! Most ward libraries have a video that explains the reasons for not being involved in pornography. Members can check it out for free out of the library and use it for Family Home Evening.
She can choose to tell the children that there were irreconcilable differences between their father and her and leave it at that. If older children should pestered her in the future for more information, she can say that in good conscience she could not live the life their father wanted her to. If pestered further she could say it was because she would be going against Heavenly Father's teachings for their and her eternal happiness she choose not to stay in such a marriage.
She should make it very clear to her children that:
1. Just because she has left their father, that she will never leave them. They are of her blood and her children and she will always love them forever.
2. They had no part in causing the divorce. There is nothing they could have done to stop it from happening. i.e. better behavior, loving their parents more, etc.
Since the husband continues to commit adultery in his heart and will not stop. To me he is an adulterer that won't quite the extramarital relationship he has vicariously with other women. I believe the only thing left is for the wife to get the divorce and get on with her life. She deserves better than this.
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