A young bride-to-be has raised a few eyebrows by cancelling her wedding, which she had invited 300 friends and family members to, on the grounds that her fiancee had been searching for pornography in the weeks leading up to her big day.
I know what you're thinking - surely an overreaction, right? Perhaps exacerbated by the stress of coming up to the wedding day? Well, according to her, it was a much bigger deal than that - it comes down to her religion, and her personal principles.
The would-be-bride in question, 21-year-old Clare Dalton, is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and explained her decision in a blog post, which got a fair amount of backlash over social media.
She has since come back with another post, in which she reflected on the abuse she had received for sharing her views, and went into more detail on why she made the decision that she did:
"Most of you have figured out by now that I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love my religion, and it brings me great joy and happiness. No, the "Mormons" are not a cult, and just because someone is religious and believes in God does not mean we automatically belong to a cult. It does mean that I believe in a most high God who loves ALL of his children, including my ex-fiancé and every single one of you."
She then went on to explain how her faith ties into her decision to call off her wedding:
"It means I value chastity, which means abstinence from sexual relationships before marriage and complete fidelity after marriage. One thing I want to point out is that true love does not and cannot exist unless it is governed by God’s law. "
" The reason I wrote these articles is because there are hundreds of women out there (and I’m sure some men too) who have been through similar things."
"Some of these people that I have met personally have continuously told me they have experienced so much pain from their loved one’s pornography addiction, but they can’t talk about it precisely because of the social backlash I have received from this topic (...) I write for these women so they can see that despite the men or other people in their lives who betray their trust, they still have worth and there is hope that their hearts will be healed."
This is clearly a social issue that Clare feels very strongly about, and given the extent of her feeling on the issue, it's not surprising that she chose to cancel her wedding.
"Pornography addiction does not just affect you," she continued. "Pornography addiction affects the people around you, and it’s only so long before the truth is going to come out."
"Because of the nature of my situation, it’s not a secret among our friends and family. It never was. I didn’t write the articles to bash my ex-fiancé. And the things I did write simply stated what happened and how I felt about it. That’s it! I forgive my ex-fiancé, and I hope the best for him and his life."
She went on to express her sympathy with those suffering from porn addiction, which as far as she's concerned, includes her ex-fiancee:
"I recognize that pornography addiction is a massive struggle for some people, and I want to point out that my heart goes out to anyone who is caught in the grasp of it. I do NOT feel hatred toward the people who struggle from addiction. I feel sad because I know how much it destroys love, family, and happiness. But I don’t feel hatred."
It's not like Clare is making up the issues around modern pornography use, either:
"There are HUNDREDS of statistics on how harmful pornography is on the brain, relationships, and the world. If you don’t believe me, you can visit fightthenewdrug.org where it outlines and explains what pornography does and why it’s so harmful. There is nothing natural or healthy about indulging in pornography. To say that "all men look at porn" is to say that all men care more about self-gratification and sexual desire than they do about their wives, daughters, sons, and the other people they love in their life. I don’t believe that all men are like that."
Clare wrapped up her latest post by thanking those who had got in touch with messages of support:
"I want to conclude this post by thanking all the wonderful women and men who have positively reached out to me in the past few days, and I want to offer tremendous love to all the people who have given support and banded together on this issue. Keep on keeping on and stay strong! There is always hope and happiness ahead!"
Clare seems like a very well-rounded young woman, and although it may seem extreme to call off a wedding over something like, I admire her principles, and her willingness to stick to them no matter what.
What do you make of Clare's decision folks? AAx