To Roommates of Those Who Are Addicted

Open letter to roommates of those who are addicted to pornography,

Dear Roommate:

The Problem

You may not realize it but you are in a position to be either a blessing or a curse to your roommate. Pornography addiction is a disease—a lifetime disease.  It can’t be cured but it can be controlled. So telling your roommate to just stop it would be like telling a diabetic to just stop having diabetes.

You can be a Blessing

You can be a blessing in the life of your roommate by setting a positive example.  You can do this by sharing your faith and testimony of the atonement of Jesus Christ.  You can invite your roommate to attend regular ward meeting with you. You can encourage him to participate in 12 Step Recovery Meetings. If you hold the Melchizedek Priesthood you can offer to give your roommate a blessing when he needs one. You can also set a positive example by not sharing any of your unfiltered Internet-connected devices with your roommate and making sure those devices are secure when not in your hands.

You can be a Curse

You may not realize it but you can also be a curse in the life of your roommate. You can totally demoralize and impede his recovery from addiction by leaving any unfiltered and unlocked digital device around your house or apartment where your roommate might get access to it.

Reason being, your roommate is actually powerless over his addiction.  It would be like bringing an unlocked liquor cabinet into the apartment of an alcoholic and then leaving. Or like you bringing adult magazines into your apartment and laying them on the kitchen table and then walking away. Or for those familiar with the book: “Sitting in a Rowboat Throwing Marble at a Battleship;” your roommate is sitting in a rowboat in your apartment with a small bag of marbles. Then you come through the front door dragging a huge battleship behind you.  He doesn't have a chance. Your roommate already receives enough temptations from Satan without someone living in the same apartment adding to them.

You need to realize that you are partially responsible for anything your roommate does with your digital devices. It’s not unlike a mission president reminding companions that they are their brother’s keeper.

If the digital devices in your apartment belonged to your roommate, he would have the option to put filters on them or give them away if he felt threatened by them. But since they belong to you, he has no control over them—only you do.

As a minimum, I ask you to pray daily for your roommate and about what you can and should do to assist him in his recovery from this addiction.

Since few non-addicted roommates will see this post, please share it where appropriate.

To Bishops

I wish every bishop of a single student ward, or a ward where single guys are roommates, would give a talk on this subject, at least to the men. It should be directed to anyone who owns a digital devise that could end up in the hands of someone with an addiction.

Friends don't let friends do porn.


Vivienne said...

This is so interesting! I'm not a PA's roommate but my best friend is married to a PA who's currently under the GreatnessAhead program, and I've witnessed the struggles she had to face upon discovering his addiction. It's true that a great support system- of loved ones, friends and even roommates can be a significant factor in a PA's recovery. Thanks for this write-up.

Unknown said...

Hey man - not sure your living situation currently, but I wanted to comment about the roommate thing. One of the better things I did a while ago was tell one of my roommates at the time about my problem and ask him to put a password on his computer. I wish I would have done it sooner. Anyway, it puts more responsibility on us instead of acting as the victim, which I am way good at haha. Best of luck man