Stories

Steve wrote:

Most stories start in the beginning. Mine starts toward the end. That's when the secret of my sexual addiction was no longer a secret. At the time, I was deeply involved in a vibrant church. I felt like I was giving it my all and I remember worshiping on Sunday mornings when?I prayed eagerly that God would use me. His response to my active seeking came completely unexpected and with such a jolt that it shook at the very core of who I was and how I perceived myself as a man. In my search, God began to ask me if I really loved Him. And, like Peter, I emphatically answered, "YES, LORD, I DO!" And, again like Peter, He didn't just ask me once. He asked me several times. I found myself getting frustrated with this nagging question, "Do you really love me?" I really didn't see what was coming next when God simply proposed to me (and there was no way denying it): "If you love me, then what about this??" He took a flashlight and shined it on a dark part of my life that I felt I had kept secret from everyone, from Him, from my wife, and perhaps even unwittingly to myself. I was nailed. I cannot begin to say how immobilized it made me feel. How could I hide the secret anymore? There was a part of me, I guess, that was relieved I no longer had to live in the secret but at the same time, if I had to be honest, there was a part of me that really didn?t want to give it up. What I was doing seemed pleasurable for the moment but in the end it was only temporary and ultimately it only brought about more emptiness and more isolation So, out of nothing else but fear I guess, I took the next step. Because I had to! I joined a group of men who were total strangers to me - men who were struggling with and recovering from their own sexual addiction. Never in a million years would I have ever imagined being this honest and transparent with other men; seems like it?s against our nature?Perhaps freedom began there, but in the early days I didn't feel freedom at all. I felt nothing but shame, guilt and condemnation. It was even weeks before I could muster up the courage to tell my wife of what I had been doing. The hurt and pain and anger and sadness she felt was deep, all because of my ?secret sin-life?. Whether it?s an actual physical affair, an emotional one or a fantasy one that comes about as you fill your eyes and your mind with porn, it?s still adulterous. My wife was able to share with me that was exactly how she felt. For me, it hasn't happened overnight. I've learned that I can be forgiven of my sin but the consequences of the sin remain. I sometimes wish I could magically make these consequences go away but I cannot do this any more than I can make my addiction just go away. So I work recovery. I continue to work at restoring my marriage but it's not been easy for me or for my wife. It grieves me that I have hurt her in this way. I have to remind myself that perhaps she may not ever understand my struggle but that?s ok. I just want her to understand how deeply I love her and that there are times when I marvel and I am perplexed at how fortunate a man I am to have her in my life. When Satan tries to tell me none of this will work out I try to remind myself that God?s desire is to redeem all of this. I am finding this redemption as I surrender to His will each day. My wife and I have settled the commitment issue in our marriage once and for all. We want our marriage to last. So we both work through this. Above all else I am realizing that there is no way I'm going to make it on my own or by my own willpower. God knows where my own willpower got me to in the first place. When I acknowledge my willpower has failed, it turns me to God. At the end of myself, I find God and I have to trust that He will do for me what I could never do for myself. I have to have other men in my life that I can be completely truthful and completely transparent with, even at those times when I don't feel like it or want to. And my freedom began there?

 

Scott wrote:

I am 39 and for the last 25 years I have pretty much grown to be a real life Ned Flanders (from the Simpsons) He's the christian widower who "loves Jesus, loves his dead wife, loves his children and all left-handed people of the world." Though not a fundamentalist I do go to an evangelical fundamental Bible church. I have been married 16 years and have 2 awesome kids. Porn has always been a huge temptation but I wouldn't call myself an addict. I was a binge porn addict. If I had a way tp go back and see how many times I have viewed porn I woudl probably be surprised but for the last 12 years it has been anywhere from once a year to once a month... sometimes with months in between. I started counseling recently and have just now discovered the connection between stress and masturbation. If I could go back and see the times I went on-line I am almost positive it happened during a stressful time in life. When your stressed you want relief. Masturbation gives you a "hit" of dopamine for a thrill and then gives you a "hit" of seratonin to relax and sleep. Because I needed these hits - regardless of the frequency - maybe I am an addict. Last year stress went through the roof for me personally and I felt the need to do something more thrilling and I almost "hooked-up" with a stranger on-line. Stress and it's connection do not relieve me of my personal responsibility but it has given me alot of clarity on why this "apple" has been so tempting. I'm a hot mess, I am just starting... The holy spirit and my counselor have a tough job ahead of them. I am broken, tired and have severley damaged my marriage which other's admired before I confessed to my wife. So the next time you see a real life Ned Flanders... remember we are all jars of clay. This jar of clay is just starting to recover, confess and admit the mess sin and my choices have made. Warning Will Robinson! Warning!! Warning!! ANY porn is to much porn, any repetitve sin is to repetitive. Find a safe friend, pastor or counselor and get help. Don't wallow in self-pity... you're not alone.

 

Haley wrote:

My best friend has an addiction to porn. I am just finding out about his problem. What can i do to help him?

 

Paul wrote:

I first encountered a stash of Playboy magazines at a relatives house one holiday in the late 60's. I was about 8 years old. Granted the level of explicitness was tame compared to today's standards, but I was hooked nonetheless. Over time I proceeded to find pornography everywhere. In my father's closet, at friend's homes, in books at the library, even in movie theaters (when I could sneak into an "M" movie). I vowed by the time I reached the 6th grade that I would be a Playboy photog as a career man. Little did I understand the re-wiring I had gone through. Little did I know how intense the hunger and thirst for sexual stimulation would be. My Boy Scout leader captivated us with stories of his sexual exploits (he was lying). In high school, we began to experiment with marijuana, alcohol and pornography as a dangerous combination that quenched spiritual life, inhibitions, and common sense. I lost my virginity in the back seat of my parents Olds Cutlass. Most of my friends did, too. I suffered from depression after acting out and tried to explain my moods as the creative angst of youth. Right. I hid my behavior well enough to not get caught. I figured this was just the way it was going to be. With the advent of home video came the beginning of the end for me. I was already over stimulated by still images and personal sexual encounters. But video opened a completely different doorway for me... I began to lose myself for hours and days. I lived in a fraternity house where even worse behaviors ran rampant. Although I never stepped beyond the bounds of heterosexual behaviors, the fraternity brothers had many aberrations to share. I began to retreat into my personal sexual fantasies. I began to die. During this time period, close friend shared his newfound relationship with Jesus Christ and encouraged me to read my Bible. I would read the Word, remember the early days of religious training, pray to Jesus, thank Him for dying on the Cross for me, all the while a stack of pornography lie under my bed. I was a double minded man, completely unstable in all my ways. At the end of that school year I moved back home. I was no longer sexually active (aside from self gratification) and became more depressed, working three jobs and focusing on everything but the source of my pain. But during this time, I slowly began to move from darkness into light and committed my life to Jesus Christ in March of 1980. I have struggled on and off with pornography over the subsequent years. The ease of availability on the Internet posed a particular problem for me. Anonymity and no cost made for a dangerous combination. I have had several key encounters with Christian leaders who lovingly and gracefully showed me a better way and have held me accountable for my time online. My wife has stood with me, has loved me despite past mistakes and willful wanderings. Today I am a staunch advocate of accountability software and radical accountability to keep my life pure and to help others do the same. I am walking in freedom from the nagging itch to look, lust, and lose the battle of personal holiness. And I am engaging others to step into the higher calling of walking free from pornography and sexual sin. By God's grace, I am free!

 

 

Adam wrote:

I am Christ Follower and a porn addict. I am married, and I love my wife. Porn is a temptation in my life. It is not a failing of my wife. It is a pattern of sin my body learned before I found a new life in Christ. When my walk with Jesus is strong, fleeing from temptation is easy. When I walk away from Jesus's side, down life's dark alleys, I cannot fight the call that porn has on me. I am not strong enough. It consumes me. I don't want to stop. Then comes guilt and shame and loss of fellowship with God, which is unbearable. I am blessed that my valleys are shallow. I don't ever seem to walk too far away that I cannot run back to Christ when I find myself in the gutter. I live the song "Undo" by Rush of Fools. To label me a prodigal or hypocrite would not scratch the surface of what's inside of me. I am going through a Bible Study group that is challenging us to be true Christ followers, giving our lives in total surrender to Christ. It has been exactly what I need. I am ready to find freedom in Christ. I read the Bible each day expecting to receive a message from God. I pray immediately in response to my reading, answering God in relationship. I start my day expecting the events of the day to continue the conversation. I only had the radio on for 5 minutes the other day. Just long enough to hear Rush of Fools talk about Freedom Begins Here. I know God was talking to me. Directly. I am a leader in my church. We are starting a mentorship program, and I was chosen to be one of the first to be mentored by our church leaders. I am praying that I can finally find an accountability partner that I can feel safe confessing my sin to. Our church has a "Celebrate Recovery" ministry that I am a worship leader for. I have never been able to admit my sin there. Doesn't that say something? Not only is church not a safe place to find healing, but not even in a recovery ministry at church... I don't feel safe letting anyone know that I struggle in this way lest I be cast out as garbage, unfit for service or any good use. It has prevented me from getting the help I need. I have learned a thing or two about recovery along the way. Every addict needs to commit to being clean and sober, beginning today. We all know what it means for an alcoholic to be sober -- they stop drinking. Even one drop is one drop too many. A drug addict stops using drugs. The only way a porn addict can escape sexual images in our culture would be to poke his or her eyes out! Instead, the definition of sobriety for sexual addicts is "no sexual act outside of a marriage relationship." You can see things... you will see things, but the only release is in marriage. So it is better not to see. It only leads to frustration. Accountability to sobriety is a key to recovery. It is a hard path to walk alone. Anyone who says they want to change but hasn't gotten rid of books, magazines, movies is still in denial. The first step to recovery is admitting that you are an addict. Often it takes hitting rock bottom before an addict will admit their sin and look for help. A spouse may have to show tough love to help their spouse. But they need to help their spouse find the right help and resources, and remember that we all are sinners in need of God's grace. Addicts are great at hiding their tracks. But honestly, I welcome support and help and openness with my wife. I can tell her what are my triggers --when I am tempted, what things tempt me. I can tell her how I hide my tracks, what I do so no one will know, how to tell when I am slipping, though I think she can tell now. I love my wife. I don't want to bring this up with her on my own because it is so hard to convince her this is my problem, not a problem with her. I am just not strong enough to fight temptation without a disciplined life. Most days are fine, but then in a weak moment I fail. Her help is the best help, but there are times she doesn't realize how much a magazine cover or even a sales paper left out can cause me to slip. I am hoping to find a safe accountability partner. I can't even imagine finding a safe accountability group. For now, my best accountability is first to God and second to my wife and third to my children. But more help would be a blessing.

 

 

Eric wrote:

I was one who struggled with pornography for about 15 years, and 7 of those years were after I was married. It came to the point where my wife told me that she was finished with me because she did not want to see any of our three boys get caught up in the same thing. I made the decision to seek out our pastor and get help. Through prayer and support I have turned my life around. It has been about a year and a half now. My wife and I have been a sponsor for our youth group and a lot of the boys have come to me seeking help from this same problem. During my prayer time God has placed it on my heart to start an outreach for men and teens in our church and local town. I went to my pastor to get the ok and he hands my a packet with the freedom begins here dvd and devotional journal, and said lets get it going!!! I have also talked with my wife about doing the same program but for women and girls in our church.

 

Mike Waggoner wrote:

I am a 44 yr.old man who has struggled with pornography most of my life. I was 5 yrs. old when a neighbor kid smuggled one of his dad's Playboys out to the "fort". I can still see the first image as though it was yesterday. As strange as it may sound, I was addicted at first sight at the age of 5. It continued to get worse as I got older. By the time I was 20, I viewed pornography as often as possible, and in my later 20's and early 30's the internet made it easy and cheap. My wife has always known of the problem but always believed my lies that I was through with it. Why wouldn't she believe her "loving, deeply spiritual, Bible teaching husband"? Three months ago our business partner discovered on the company computer, pornography. I have since been dismissed from a job that I loved. Thankfully, my wife has stood by me and helped me find the help I needed. I have found a 12 step group and I have been sexually sober from my porn addiction for 3 months now. I must tell anyone reading this...Jesus is the answer along with friends who understand the addiction. Look for the help, because it's there.