In answer to a recent comment on an earlier post, I do believe that a wife can contribute to her husband’s feelings of low self-esteem, more so than any other person. Very much so. And I do believe that her disdain or coldness towards her husband can open a door to temptation for him. However, there is a fundamental principle here that we cannot set aside. As Thomas S. Monson said at our last conference: “If we make the wrong choice, we have no one to blame but ourselves.”
To me this means that, even though we may blame our bad choices on others, no one is responsible for our choices except ourselves. Blaming others for our choices is a classic self-deception. In fact, when we nurture a blaming attitude, it opens us up to temptation and sin and is often the fuel behind bad choices. It is subtle, but it is real.
Most youth, for example, get caught up in a web of blame, usually of their parents, before they get caught in the web of sin. Blame of others is the doorway to rationalization of sin. The truth is, as Pres. Monson said, we cannot lay the responsibility for our choices at any other door but our own. When we rationalize that someone else has hurt us or ignored us or whatever, and then we sin as a result, we have allowed ourselves to be deceived.
We can’t blame another unless we first judge them. And we can’t judge them unless we disdain them. And we won’t disdain them unless we have first been blinded by pride. And we cannot be blinded by pride without first accepting a falsehood as true, without willfully taking pleasure in sin of some sort.
When pride is present, the Spirit is absent. And the Spirit will be absent only if we set aside faith and the truth in favor of some sort of self-deception or illicit gratification, which may be as simple as being defensive, telling a lie, however innocent, or intentionally misleading another to protect our egos.
This is the chain that I see most often leading up to the rationalization of sin. If you recognize the start of the chain, you will be more likely to avoid reaching the end of it.
If you choose to indulge in pornography because you blame another for mistreating you, you have allowed Satan to deceive you.
The first step to recovery, I believe, is looking at ourselves straight in the mirror and taking full responsibility for our actions.
But this does not mean that a wife does not need to repent of her poor behavior toward her husband. No. It just means that we cannot claim that such behaviors are or ever can be named as the cause of our sin.