You know me.
You go to church with me. I teach your children. I brush shoulders with your parents. I see you on the street and at the store. We've been inside each other's houses. We've served together.
And in all that time, I've never told you.
My husband has a lust addiction. He looks at porn. He likes it when he does it -he gets caught up in the moment and he stares at other women, lusts, leers, and lingers for hours. He flips through their pictures, studies their videos.
And I sleep. or do the shopping. or take the kids to the park.
I wish I could say I was blissfully unaware. I'm not. I know -much like the woman who knows her husband is cheating on her though she may lack physical proof.
I can't tell you that because you wouldn't understand. You would think he was a pervert -a bad, disgusting sex maniac.
He is human. He's a great father, a protective husband. He's a caring, thoughtful son. He tries. When he isn't acting out, he hates his addiction. He hates himself.
Our home is a sanctuary only so far as I can make it. I can set up filters, throw out DVDs I don't feel comfortable having... but where there's a will, there's a way.
He can upset the beautiful sanctuary of my home in a few clicks of a button, a few taps on a screen...
And the sacred sanctuary is obliterated.
Our home is infiltrated with filth.
It doesn't matter how much I clean, organize, or let light in... the spirit of porn settles into the cracks, as filthy as nicotine stains.
I crave true sanctuary.
I close my eyes and imagine myself walking the halls of the Temple. I can feel the cleanliness and purity surround my soul, and all is well.
I weep for sanctuary lost. I weep because no matter how hard I try, I can't keep lust out of my own home. And I'm angry because I can't keep lust out of my church building.
I'm angry with you.
I shouldn't be. I shouldn't be angry with you because it isn't Christ-like.
But you're making my life so much harder... you're so beautiful. I can't compete with you, and I refuse to try. I'm not glamorous. I won't wear flowers in my hair the size of cantaloupe. My heel-height is limited by my already towering frame. I will never own a pair of shiny red stilettos like yours.
You're married, and your children are so beautiful. Of course they are -they get it from you.
So why? Why is your skirt so tight that the fabric is stretched to the MAX over your perfectly fit and plump booty? Why is your blouse cut so low that we can see down into the valley? Why is your make-up so smokey-eyed?
Do you know the young men are looking at you? Did you know they're preparing for missions? Do you know they HATE that they want to look at you? It makes them feel dirty -it makes them feel bad. They're staring at the body of a married woman. They're good boys.
Do you know that my lust-addicted husband is looking?
It irritates him that you dress like that, and at the same time... it's HARD for him. He attends church for sanctuary. He does not find it.
What he does find is a thong line, perfectly visible through a tight khaki skirt.
I watch you jog by my house. You're wearing a sports bra, or a tight tank top. Your shorts are so short. So very, very short.
You are tan, and your body is disciplined and taut.
I wish I didn't know all of that. I wish I didn't know what the bottom of your rear end looks like -what your stomach looks like, what the top of your breasts look like.
I don't need to know all of that.
After I come home from church or see you run by, I have to face myself in the mirror.
For years, I battled not being good enough... not being sexy or glamorous or taut or tan. It was ugly, very very ugly. Today I'm much better, but the old feelings return now and then, usually after I come home from church or see you run by my house.
I spend an hour in front of the mirror trying to give myself smoky eyes, and in the end I only end up with a look that screams "battered hooker."
I try to put on my tallest heels, and I totter slowly forward and stumble and finally kick the damn things off.
I'm too pregnant to be sexy.
I have tight clothes. I put them on, thinking, 'I could pull this off, right?'
But I can't. Literally. Once I get them on, I can't pull them off.
I want to feel badly about the whole thing, but when I look in the mirror again -when the make up is gone and I've got my style of clothes back on and my ballet flats back on: I feel that old familiar homey comfort and I'm home again. I'm me again. I love me.
You aren't healthy for me to have around, and I want to tell you to stop. I want to tell you to go shopping for new, looser clothes. I want to tell you that PORN and LUST are running rampant and that you're feeding the beast.
And when I say "I want to tell you" what I really mean is "I want to YELL at you."
Is it your fault my husband looks? No. It isn't.
Am I still angry at you? Yes. I am.
Is it your fault you're gorgeous? No. It isn't.
Am I still angry with you? Yes. I am.
You would understand if your husband had spent your entire marriage looking at other women -lusting for them, wanting them, dreaming about them...
It's a horrible ride.
Please look in the mirror and ask yourself why you do it and BE HONEST. Are you trying to look your best for YOU?
I don't think you are.
Are you trying to look your best so men will notice? I do believe so.
Please understand that we are all susceptible to lust. Please understand that someone just like you almost lost her entire family to a flippant affair.
And she was just as beautiful, just as fit, and just as church-going as you are.
Her skirts were just as tight.
They made me equally uncomfortable.
I wanted to write this letter to her, but I never did. She's a good woman. You're a good woman.
But I'm still angry.
I don't expect my anger to be validated...
I just expect to air it out in this letter and be done with it.
I also expect it to be renewed every time you run by my house in a sports bra and cheeky shorts.
If you're not doing anything today, would you mind reading THIS? and then THIS?
I don't believe you are oblivious to what you are doing, and that makes me angry.
I also don't believe you realize the extent of the horrible effect you are having, and that gives me some degree of compassion... but not enough to override the anger.
And so I say, because I can't say it to your face:
You're making a spectacle.