Porn almost killed my marriage.
I have struggled with porn since I was 14. This blog is not an easy one to write but it is something that desperately needs to be addressed in our culture. Over the years I have sought help with my problem from many people and found very few with any idea of how to deal with the issue of pornography. The first time that I started finding freedom from porn was when I was at school in Memphis and had the support and accountability of some amazing Christian brothers. That lasted about a year and a half until I was living with my brother in MN. We were almost never home at the same time so it was very easy to give into temptation and slowly I began to fall back into my old habits. There were times off and on that I would resist for a while but the temptation was always there and eventually I would give in again.
When I met Rebekah and we got engaged I told her that I had struggled with pornography. She forgave me and assumed it was something in my past. I had been doing pretty good at resisting temptation and I thought it would get easier once we were married. I was wrong.
Rebekah got pregnant shortly after we were married. The stress of a new marriage on top of the extra stress of dealing with Rebekah's hormone changes only made it easier for me to give in to temptation to try and find a distraction from the stress and the struggles of life. Don't get me wrong here, I am not trying to make excuses for myself, I am just trying to tell you some of what goes on inside that pushes me towards pornography.
I would tell Rebekah when I gave into the temptations because I knew I had to be honest with her. It hurt her so much, I would give anything to be able to go back and undo the damage that my sin did.
After Mercedes was born I knew something had to change. I talked with my pastor and we started meeting on a weekly basis. From then on I started to be able to fight the temptation. I took steps to make it difficult for me to get easy access to porn. I stayed strong for about a year. Then the lust started to creep back in. I would watch movies that I knew I shouldn't be watching. The times that I failed where not very often but every time it happened it broke any trust that I had with Rebekah and tore down her self esteem more and more. Finally we hit a breaking point. I had been clean for several months but our marriage was a mess. Rebekah had no faith in me and for good reason. She was constantly waiting for my next confession of guilt. She was completely closed off. We didn't talk about anything that mattered any more. She told me she couldn't go on like that, that pornography was adultery and that there was no room for it in our relationship. Something finally clicked in my head, to my shame that it took so long, but I knew she was right. We started talking about things again and trying to work on our marriage. One night I wrote her a long note, I told her I was done with the pornography and that it wouldn't happen again. I asked for her forgiveness and for another chance.
That was the turning point. We started working towards make our marriage happy and healthy again. We still have a lot of work to do. The damage that I did to Rebekah and our marriage will be something we have to deal with for the rest of our lives. That is why I am writing this blog. Because one: there is still hope for anyone of you that is struggling in this area. And two: I want to share with you some of the things that have helped me to have victory and to break free from this addiction.
Matthew 5:28 - But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.The thing is, when men look at pornography and their wives find out it attacks her where she is most vulnerable. Her self-esteem and her self-worth. If they find out what their man has been up to it cuts right through their heart. It makes them feel worthless and inadequate. There is no place for pornography in a marriage or in a Christians life. It will destroy you.
If you are married and you struggle with porn, stop now before you do any more damage. If you are single, get this taken care of before you get married. It will save you and your wife from a world of hurt.
So how do you stop?
You can't quit on your own. You can't keep it a secret. You will always tell yourself you can handle it, this is the last time, it won't happen again. Those are lies from Satan. Porn thrives on secrecy. You have to get help. You need support and accountability. You cannot do this alone.
Start by telling someone. I would suggest your pastor or someone that is close to you that you trust and that is spiritually grounded. You are going to have to tell your wife too. You may not want to start there, but trust me, it will be way better for her to find out from you then for her to figure it out on her own or for her to catch you in the act.
Pray all the time!
1 Thessalonians 5:17 - Never stop praying.Another thing that helped me was constant prayer. All day long I would pray: "God kill my lust." Whenever I have a lustful thought I ask God to give me strength and to heal me in that area.
There is no easy road. You have to be ruthless. You have to do whatever it takes.
Mark 9:47 - And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell.I had my wife password the computer so that I couldn't use it unless she signed me in. Make it hard for yourself to get porn. Do you need to get rid of your internet? Your cable TV? Your smart phone? Do what ever it takes.
I had many times when I would sense what I needed to do. I would get the feeling that I shouldn't get on the computer right then, or that I shouldn't turn on that movie. Listen to the little voice inside you. Almost every time that I went ahead anyway and thought: "It will be fine." That was when I would mess up. You need to learn to listen to and trust the little tugs and nudging from the Spirit.Mark 14:38 - Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
Another thing that helped me was exercising self control through fasting. There is a lot of stuff to write about that and I am going to be writing a blog about fasting soon. It would be a good idea to start by doing a 40 day media fast. Separate yourself from the lust saturated media that surrounds us. No TV, no movies, no video games, no secular music. It will help on multiple levels. It will keep all that stuff out of your head and you can use the time that you spent on that stuff to spend time with God and with your family.
If you have more questions please feel free to send me a message through my Facebook page or my Google+ profile. I have also updated my resources page with some new books and things. Don't let it go for another day. Get help!