From the Blog

Married to a Sex Addict? 3 Important Tips to Help Your Relationship

After you learn of your spouse's pornography addiction, you’ll probably experience a whole gamut of emotions including shock, anger, desperation, depression, and more. You may feel like distancing yourself from your spouse and marriage, but there are better things you can do for healing.

 

Follow these three tips to learn how you can slowly, but surely, improve your relationship and begin to move forward on the path of forgiveness.

 

1. Educate yourself on addiction. The first thing you can do when you learn about your spouse’s addiction is to educate yourself on what addiction is, how it starts, and why it’s so hard to stop. Learn about the symptoms of relational trauma you may be going through during this time, such as fear, obsession, the need for control, and the unhealthy actions that might go along with these emotions.

 

Speak to a professional therapist for answers to your questions and to get the support you need, which can include a support group, therapist, spiritual leader, or trusted friend, in order to move forward on the road to forgiveness and healing.

 

2.  Distract yourself. At this time of struggle it’s easy to get into the trap of analyzing every last detail of your spouse’s sex addiction. Resist the urge. Dwelling on unpleasant details won’t help you and will probably make you feel even worse.

 

Instead of keeping yourself in misery, now is a good time to invest more energy in yourself. Here are a few productive ways you can build your spirits up during this difficult time:

 

  • Set recovery goals and write them down
  • Connect with a support community and/or clergy member
  • Set up a weekly night out with yourself or with friends
  • Learn a new skill or start a hobby you’ve always wanted to have
  • Start a new exercise regime
  • Get plenty of good sleep
  • Serve others who are in need

 

By giving yourself a positive distraction from the struggles, you’ll replenish your soul and have more energy to effectively deal with your relationship.

 

3. Work to rebuild trust. The most important thing you can do for your spouse and your marriage is to encourage them to seek professional help from a marriage therapist (preferably who specializes in pornography and sexual addiction) to help them quit porn.

 

At the same time, the two of you can talk openly with your therapist for relationship guidance and healing. Set boundaries with your spouse to stop behaviors that make you feel uncomfortable physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Once these are set and followed, trust can start to build up again.

 

Communicate openly and non-aggressively throughout the healing process. Have the hard conversations. Learn to use “I” and “me” to avoid sounding accusatory, such as “I’ve noticed that…” or “Lately, I’ve been feeling…” By formatting your sentences more around your feelings, your spouse will not go on the defensive and will, more likely, hear what you have to say.

 

This is not an easy time, so remember to practice patience with yourself and with your spouse. Each day is each of you must recommit towards healing and working together (and individually) to rebuild the trust, improve communication, and focusing on your future.

 

About the Author: Danielle Adams is a freelance writer who works with Lifestar Therapy (http://www.lifestartherapy.com/). She is committed to helping people practice open communication and build healthy relationships.

 

 

 

 

The (Porn) Battleground – The Mind

By: Dan Wobschall

Quite literally every decision, conflict, battle and resolution to life's situations, begin and end in the mind.

Therefore, if you and I are to walk in purity with Christ and honor our wives, children and above all else, God, don't you think we should be on a vigilant watch over what we introduce our minds and thought life to? (might be a run-on sentence, but oh well) 

Here's just a couple of verses of New Testament scripture on the subject.

Mark 12:30  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."

2 Corinthians 10:5  "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

Romans 12:2  "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

I could stop here and let us ruminate on these verses. In fact, do that. Read them over a couple of times. Digest them a bit before moving on.

Mind Power

The brain performs an incredible number of tasks including the following:

  • It controls body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.
  • It accepts a flood of information about the world around you from your various senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching).
  • It handles your physical movement when walking, talking, standing or sitting.
  • It lets you think, dream, reason and experience emotions.

All of these tasks are coordinated, controlled and regulated by an organ that is about the size of a small head of cauliflower. And it does this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and never shuts off to rest!

Understanding a small bit of the science behind the mind gives us a pretty good insight on the power of the mind. It also tells us that we need to care for this body organ quite well. So, 'take captive every thought' to protect yourself from letting creeping crud enter your mind. 

Be mindful (pun intended) of what you watch, read, listen to, and think about. Everything you take in via your senses affects how you view the world around you. The avenues from which we receive information are nearly endless. From newspapers to the highest of tech methods to intake news, entertainment, music and you name it. 

Old but true

As the old saying goes, accurately so, garbage in - garbage out. Out of our mouths come that which dwells in the heart and mind. What dwells in the heart in mind is what the mind receives and we feed it. 

What kind of mind food are you feeding on today?

The Mind on Porn

The neural pathways of the brain are much like roads that take us to and from places, with the option of a few to choose from to make the journey. And the shortest path or most familiar roads are often what we choose. We're familiar with that road. We know it well. 

So it goes, as we create pathways of thought and behavior in the mind. 

Neuroscience Speaks: How Using Porn Destroys Your Willpower

Neuroscience now knows that willpower is a function of the prefrontal lobes of the brain. Scientific studies have also confirmed that using porn over and over actually reshapes these areas of the brain, literally eroding our willpower and our moral compass.

Neuroscientists call it hypofrontality. Hypofrontality is a state in which there is decreased blood flow to the prefrontal lobes of the brain. Hypofrontality is observed in schizophrenia patients, and is also observed in all manner of addictions.

What is Hypofrontality? In his book, The Porn Circuit, Sam Black explains what hypofrontality is for the porn viewer.

“Compulsiveness is a good descriptor of hypofrontality. Many porn users feel focused on getting to porn and masturbating even when a big part of them is saying, ‘Don’t do this.’ Even when negative consequences seem imminent, impulse control is too weak to battle the cravings.”

The porn-addicted brain has trouble thinking logically. When impulses and desires come from the midbrain, instead of being moderated, the brain feels these desires as compelling needs. The prefrontal region is supposed to be able to weigh consequences and situations and judiciously shut down cravings, but hypofrontality means the addict’s ability to do this is impaired.

To the addict, when the craving for porn surfaces, their whole body gears up for action. As unhindered hormones are released and neurotransmitters fire, the craving consumes them. The heart begins to race, blood pressure rises, and the addict is consumed by a single thought: “Just one more time.”

Speaking from experience

Changing my thought processes was the single hardest part of recovery from my porn addictiveness. My ability to think logically about sexual needs, desires and behaviors went out the window when the impulses were running with a head of steam. 

The addictive pornography behavior cost me valuable, unretrievable time lost away from my wife and children. 

What I found myself capable of thinking, watching, saying and doing on the internet is today scary and honestly sickening. Yet I did them over and over and over again, seeking relief from the very pain the behavior was bringing me. 

How to break the cycle

Just how do we abandon the old pathway of thinking and build new ones? That's a huge question with multiple correct answers. See the three verses at the beginning of this post, and start there. Here are a few others: 

  • Install filtering & accountability software on all computers & smart devices 
  • Daily time spent reading & meditating in the bible
  • Listen to Christian music and talk radio
  • Choose to watch safe & clean television, if any
  • Join an accountability group and get an accountability partner
  • Learn how to be held accountable effectively

We are and will become a product of our own self imposed mental environment. That is truth and fact. Choose wisely.  

Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

 

Sources for this article:

EveryMansHope.org

BibleGateway.com

CovenantEyes.com

How Stuff Works - Human Brain

PORN - The New Four Letter Word in the Church

Ignoring a life threatening problem that you know exists, is tantamount to a slow suicide. Yet, many churches refuse to deal with such a threat.

Sexual sin and pornography are that sickness.

Much like mold that's growing behind a wall, under a floor or in a dark basement corner, are pornography discussions in the church. They are icky and people would rather not hear about it and, want someone else to deal with it, if at all. 

In other words, it's left up to those who are willing, if any, to get their hands dirty, messy and to clean it up. 

Far too often, no one is willing.

Continue Reading >

Porn: The Intimacy Killer

There are few words that can bring men’s conversations to a grinding halt. Intimacy is one of them. Speak the word, intimate, in the setting of a man-to-man talk and hear the deafening silence.

If this conversation makes you a tad uncomfortable, that's probably a good thing. Intimacy and pornography are diametrically opposed to one another. The two are mutually exclusive. Like light and dark. They can’t occupy the same space. 

Ok, the point is this. Fact: Viewing of pornography kills the intimacy you have with your wife.  If you’re having intimate (sexual that is) outside of the bonds of marriage, you need to revisit God’s design for relationships. Marriage, then sex. 

Evidence
How do I know this to be fact? My personal experience, which I’ll address shortly, and this article from Resurgence is another solid piece of evidence.  http://theresurgence.com/2011/11/19/7-negative-effects-of-porn, Journalist http://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Paul/e/B001H9Q502/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1 Pamela Paul writes: “pornography gives men the false impression that sex and pleasure are entirely divorced from relationships.”  

The Resurgence article accurately states: “Sex becomes self serving. It becomes about your pleasure and not the self-giving, mutually reciprocating intimacy that it was designed for.”

Continue Reading >

Let's Call It what It is...Sin

Nearly 12 million people in America today fight a sexual addiction, according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Pornography is recognized as an addiction in the counseling and psychological community. It has been treated similarly by Alcoholics Anonymous since the late 1970’s.

Addictions are labeled as diseases and disorders by the medical community. I’m not writing this to dispute those labels, but to speak to what my experience and education by said experience has taught me about addiction. And in particular, my (past) addiction to pornography (sexual addiction).

Pornography in and of itself is sin. Therefore, a pornography addiction is sinful. The bible teaches us this in 1 Corinthians 6:18 “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” Galatians 5:19 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;”

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To The Husband Who Has Been Caught....

I want to write to you frankly and honestly from a wife's perspective.  A wife who has seen her porn addicted husband delivered and her marriage restored.  A wife who has endured the brokenness of this kind of betrayal  and experienced the healing, redeeming power of Jesus Christ. I want to give you hope. So let's start at the place where most husbands addicted to porn eventually find themselves........

 

You've been caught.  Your wife now knows your secret.

 

Now what?   Is there hope for your marriage? Will your wife always be this angry?  Will your wife ever be able to forgive you? Will she leave you?

Continue Reading >

Handcuffs

Below, is a message from my friend Matt!

I have always been a church going person; emphasis on CHURCH GOING. I went through the motions but really didn’t understand the reasoning behind Jesus Christ or what it really meant to be a Christian. I was born and raised into the Methodist faith. I loved going on youth trips and helping others out. Our youth group even help start up a soup kitchen in Springdale which is still going on today. I think part of that “helping others” out wanted me to become a Police Officer.

 As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a Police Officer. Well there was a time where I wanted to be an artist like my dad. One art class later, I realized that I would not be good in that field so I decided to go back to wanting being a Police Officer, I mean come on; who doesn’t want to drive fast, shoot guns, and eat donuts. I always walked the straight and narrow and for the most part stayed out of trouble. I wasn’t perfect but I wanted to do and did the right thing.

               Almost 10 years ago I got to fulfill my career dream of becoming a police officer. I graduated from the academy and began my career doing what I wanted to do. When we get hired on as Rookie Officers they give us all sorts of equipment to keep us safe. We get a bulletproof vest, a handgun, a taser, pepper spray, a baton, etc. etc. These tools are “cool” and have evolved over the years and some are fairly new to Law Enforcement. The one tool that has been used since the inception of Law Enforcement and the concept has been around long before then has been handcuffs. We use these tools on a daily basis; like a builder uses a hammer or a mechanic uses a wrench, this tool is on our belt and we know where it is at all times. Most everyone knows by just seeing a pair of handcuffs early in their life what they are used for. Once handcuffs are on, our movements and freedom is limited or gone and we are at the mercy at the Officer who has placed the handcuffs on us. Physical handcuffs usually lead us to a place that is cold, lonely and dark, then onto a path of uncertainty.  

      

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