EPISODE 20: Build Trust in Your Relationship in Spite of Unwanted Porn Use

Feb 03, 2020

Artwork for podcast Thrive Beyond Pornography:The Self Mastery Podcast


Check out Darcy and I discussing trust, intimacy and connection in our relationship.


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You are listening to the Self-Mastery Podcast, where we break through barriers holding you back from becoming who you wanna be, whether you're struggling with pornography, overeating, social media addiction, or just wanna get better at succeeding at life. This podcast is for you. Now, your host, Zack Spafford.

Hey everybody. Good morning. It's another beautiful Mastery Monday here on the Self-Mastery Podcast. So this week, last week, we said that we were gonna talk about relationships, and really what we're gonna talk about is our relationship. I brought Darcy back. Hello. So we had an episode about relationships.

It was number 16, just four episodes ago, so we're not gonna rehash all of that. You can go check that out. It's called Relationships Three Truths. What we are gonna talk about today is the complicated and really somewhat difficult task of getting back to a place where you and your spouse can feel love and trust again.

It's complicated because it, this is a place where you and your spouse need to decide on some important boundaries and how you are gonna handle missteps going forward, and even whether you want to stay together. And I think it's difficult because there are a lot of emotions that need to be dealt with, and most of us aren't really that good at dealing with our emotions.

So the first question that I want to talk about is how does trust work? We talked about how your relationship in episode number 16 is your thoughts about the other person well trust, it's just your thoughts about what you think the person's gonna do when someone says something like, I can believe what he says, or I know she will do what she said she would.

Those are thoughts that tell you, yeah, I trust this person. When we were going through the thick of it, Darce, what were the big trust issues that, that we dealt with? Before I answer your question about the trust issues that I went through when we were going through the thick of it, I wanna go back to how trusting someone is really just our thoughts.

An example that comes to mind is that we all know that one person we, might even look up to or is a prominent member in the ward, or a family friend or even a close family member that we all totally trust and we. And we respect and we clearly even look up to them. And then we find out that they've been doing some things that are not trustworthy and that it's been going on for a long time.

During that time when they were very untrustworthy, we all trusted them. And so during that time that they were doing all those things, you still trusted them? Yeah, because. Your thoughts about them were that they were a trustworthy person. And I mean that's just a little example of it's really just your thoughts about that person.

It's not the reality. There's no like trust scale or there's no external measurement that you can use to say, yeah, that person is trustworthy. They are an X on the trust scale, and so I can actually give them my baby and they will not run away with it. Or whatever. Yeah, that's a good example of, so when we are going through the thick of things back in the day,

An area that I really struggled with, with trusting Zach was when I would go out for girls night out or shopping with my sister or visiting my family in Wisconsin. And it was really, really hard because those were all things that were really good for my soul and were uplifting to me, and that brought a lot of joy into my life.

But on the other hand, I knew when I would leave that there was a good chance that Zach would turn to pornography to escape his feelings of loneliness or boredom. For its period of time, I would just not go. I would just try and stay home as much as possible. But that really wasn't good for you? Yeah, not at all.

And so I had to get to a point where I was just like, you know what? I'm just gonna trust him. I'm just gonna go and I'm gonna trust him. If something happens, we'll deal with it. But if not, then that's another way he can make me think he's more trustworthy is if I. If I go out and he doesn't turn from pornography, so it was a chance for me to grow.

It was a chance for you to grow in terms of just choosing to trust rather than worry about, okay, how can I keep him from using pornography? Because in reality, you couldn't keep me from using pornography that wasn't a possibility. You began to just say, okay, I'm just gonna do what I'm gonna do.

Yeah, for sure. It's interesting to me because again, we go back to those principles that we talked about in the last episode where it was, or in episode 16, where it was you can't control your spouse and your, so it wasn't as though I was automatically more trustworthy. The moment that you decided, okay, I'm just gonna trust that he's gonna choose to do the right thing.

it was simply that your experience of our lives became better, right? I mean mm-hmm. . Well, yeah, and I guess I'm kind of thinking about the idea of if I didn't go, I was automatically not trusting him ahead of time. Whereas if I went, I was giving both of us an opportunity, one for me to trust him, and two, for him to know that he could be trusted.

Right. I was having faith that he would do the right thing. Well, and also our experiences were better because if you went out for a girls night or whatever, you would have a good time. You'd enjoy hanging out with the girls, chitter chatter as you do. Of course that would give me a chance to take care of the kids.

And if you didn't go, then there was automatically resentment, right? It was like, I can't do that. This is not fair to me that I can't just go out and have fun with my girls, cuz he's gonna screw up. Yeah, for sure. And then it was more, I'm gonna resent you, and then it actually brought us even further apart because Yeah, it was separating us.

Yeah, yeah. Rather than bringing us together because you're there trying to control me, and I'm there trying to just be like, why doesn't she just go out and now she's mad at me for no reason. Like I didn't make her not go out. So trusting someone is really just a matter of choice. Trusting someone.

Is this place where you go and you say, this is how I'm going to live my life and believe in people, and believe in the people around me. If your spouse has cheated on you, if you're saying no, you know I can't trust him cuz he cheated on me. Well, I mean, you're putting yourself in a place where you are trying to control his behavior in a way that you have no control over it.

If he's going to cheat on you, he's going to cheat on you. Now you're an adult and you get to make your own decisions about whether or not that's something that you will put up with. But in the short term, if you choose to believe and trust in that person until you feel like the boundary has been crossed one too many times, or the boundary has been crossed at all, that's the opportunity for you to make your own decisions.

When it comes to am I going to have a relationship where. I have the best possible experience for me choosing to trust and love the other person, even though they will make mistakes, cuz we all make mistakes. Choosing to trust that person. That's a hundred percent your choice and it is a hundred percent going to create the experience that you have in that relationship.

Ultimately, when it comes to trust. I think we all just wanna get to a place where we feel love and connection with our spouse. Love and connection is a really interesting topic because the reality is that when I feel love, it's not something that's transferred directly. Like it doesn't come from Darcy into me, like there's no love transfer via Bluetooth.

That doesn't happen. And so the reality that we all have to kind of grapple with is, , our own thoughts are the thing that create the love and the connection that we have. In fact, it's interesting because I have a friend from high school who just instant messaged me and she said that she she had been dating a boy for like a week and then she decided she couldn't date him anymore because he looked too much like her brother and that, kind of turned her off.

And I'm just like, girl, you have been trying desperately to find a man for, for as long as I've known you. Really she's consistently out of love. And I hope she's not listening to this podcast, , but she's consistently out of her relationship and when she finds one and the guy seems to be nice and he's a good guy, and I mean, everything that she says about him is the kind of stuff that she has been looking for.

And then, yeah, but he looks too much like my brother, so I can't kiss him. That's all in her head. That's a thought that is not serving her right. And love and connection is the same thing. When we think I love my spouse, that's where the love comes from. It doesn't come from my spouse saying, I love you, or their feeling of love for you.

That's not where it comes from. And so when it comes to intimacy and connection, In relationship to trust. It's about you choosing to say, I feel love for that other person. I know that they're not perfect and I know that they're not always going to do, they're not always gonna do exactly the right thing because people are people and they make mistakes, but feeling the love for them comes from inside.

It doesn't come from them. For instance, when your husband is hugging you in a nice, warm embrace and he says, oh, I love you.

Okay. Or he says, I love you, and your initial thought about that is, well, if he loved me, you wouldn't look at pornography. It really boils down to you loving yourself and feeling lovable. Yeah. Not necessarily what he thinks about you, but a lot of times it's internally what you're thinking about yourself.

You know those days where you get ready and you just feel beautiful And I do. You do? Yes. Yes. Always. Always. And you're, someone comes up and they go, oh my gosh, you look beautiful today. And you're like, yeah, I totally do. Like you, you believe it. Cause cuz that's how you feel. Versus, you're in sweatpants and you haven't gotten ready for the day and someone's like, you're so beautiful.

Your initial reaction is Yeah. Right. Like, you are just not feeling it that day. Right. Right. And it's all in your head, because I think you're quite beautiful almost all the time, except for when you're mad at me and even then I think you're beautiful. But it's all in your head. It's all in that space between I'm choosing to believe I look beautiful regardless of what I'm wearing.

Or I'm choosing to believe that I'm beautiful only because I wear X Y, Z L N O P. And the same goes for your relationship with your spouse or with that significant other who is, they're saying, I love you, and you're like, no, I can't believe that. Because you look at porn, well maybe they do love you, and they look at porn.

Yep. And that gives you a place to go in terms of a choice of how to behave. Rather than saying, because they look at porn, clearly, they don't love me, so I have to disbelieve what they're saying. Instead, you can say, well, maybe they do love me. Maybe they also look at porn.

Now I can choose how to behave. I can choose to behave in a way that's either loving or I can say, you know what I know that you love me, but this is not something I'm willing to tolerate, and I'm going to, I'm gonna go away if this continues right, and those are your choices. Think about your relationship in the, in terms of those two things so that you can really, as a pornography user this was a struggle for me to become a better person and to become the person that I wanted to be.

And to, as I fi started to figure out, okay, really what do I want in life? And how do I meet my needs without using pornography, without using sexual gratification to be this, pivot point, this center of my universe. Then I was able to become a much more, I think, full person, less selfish, more desirous to meet the needs of my spouse, more desirous to work on myself as a human.

And then I think, from your part, what did that look like? When I was able to get to a place where I was operating out of love and connection and not fear and resentment, we were able to really, Connect with each other and I was able to feel so much more love and appreciation for Zach. Aw, you like me?

A little bit? A little bit. Awesome. Hey guys, this has been a great mastery Monday. Always great to have you guys listening. If you need something from us, feel free to reach out. Feel free to go on my website, set yourself up with a free mini session. I'd be happy to meet with you. Help you overcome your addictive behavior, whether it's pornography or even overeating, or whatever it is that you're dealing with in your life.

I'm happy to help you begin that process of, working on your own thoughts and your own process within you to overcome that. Again, thanks for listening and we'll talk to you next week. Bye.

Hey, thanks for listening to the Self Mastery Podcast. Every day I get requests from people who are looking to change something in their life. If that is you, if you need help overcoming your addictive behavior like pornography use, sign up for a free mini session at That's

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