My Porn Addiction Story

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Porn Addict

That is an unpleasant term.

There are some people who’ll say, “There’s no such thing”.

There are some people who know exactly what I am talking about.

I wouldn’t have said, “Hey, I’m addicted to porn,” when I was growing up. But, I realized I’ve been an addict most of my life.

While I have struggled, I’ve also had freedom. The freedom showed up in several different ways, but, sometimes for months and sometimes for years.

Since July 2010, I have led a life without watching porn.

How it Started

When I was a kid, I was home alone for some reason. I was bored, so I did what most children do: I got curious and started to explore my house. I didn’t go anywhere I hadn’t been many times; this was not a looking-for-trouble kind of curiosity. But, as I looked through my father’s desk, I found a couple of magazines.

I started looking through them and found pictures of women–naked. I think my brain shorted-out. I don’t know how long I looked at those pictures. I know I got excited and got an erection. I really didn’t know what I had gotten into.

Secrets

From that time on, I started to find more pictures and get more exposure to porn in all of its forms:

  • bikinis
  • underwear models
  • comic book heroines
  • nudes

While one side of me found this to be a great way to get aroused, the other side of me knew I couldn’t or shouldn’t tell anyone.

The secrets kept piling up. I kept a part of my life hidden. It was OK to tell my friends about those types of magazines. But, I still didn’t talk about it with my parents. My brain kept telling me, “Keep it hidden and you will be fine.”

Teenager

The world was my oyster. I could do just about anything I wanted. I stayed out late on weekends and had friends who could do the same.

Sometimes we would sneak out and wander around the neighborhood or go to the house of some girl’s whose parents were out of town.

During this time, I tried smoking, drinking, drugs, shoplifting, sex, vandalism … you get the picture.

The only thing that came close to the power of porn was marijuana.

I could get high at my friend’s house because his parents were “cool.”

But when I realized what weed was doing to me, I quit. There was no struggle and little if any desire to go back

Sex and Becoming a MAN

Around this time, I started dating. I knew I wanted a relationship with a girl. But, I had zero idea what a relationship looked like.

My wife tells me, “we always find people at the same level of cluelessness.”

One of the girls I met actually told me she wanted to have sex with me.

Cool.

I was 16 and still a virgin, and in my world there was something wrong with me for taking so long.

So, even though I knew that I had nothing in common with this girl, I had sex with her. I broke up with her the very next day. (What a MAN I had become.)

From then on, I tried to date the girls who wanted sex. It was OK if they didn’t but I wouldn’t stay with them very long. I found a few before I went off to college. I’m so glad I didn’t get anyone pregnant and didn’t catch anything.

College

My university experience was quite different than most. I went to a small school that was 90% men, and the 10% women attending had “the pick of the litter.”

The school was not located in a geography where it was easy to get to other schools or public places. (No, I was not in prison, it just felt that way.)

Anyway, I maintained a couple of long-distance relationships with girls at home, and I met a woman who would become my first wife. We saw each other when we could, but there was still a lot of cluelessness about relationships for me. I didn’t see the red flags and didn’t realize I was a RED flag.

January of my senior year, I started going to church.

I really enjoyed it and found some good support and leadership.

During one of our meetings, all of the pain and loneliness I kept hidden rose to the surface. Everyone circled around me in support. I felt loved by them.

I went back to my room and threw away a stack of porn magazines. (My roommate later found where I had thrown them and was delighted with his discovery.)

From January until maybe August or September, I didn’t look at porn. I didn’t even want to.

After months of being clean, I was back into porn. Since I’d been “delivered” I didn’t know what had helped. Or hurt.

I knew porn was back on the menu.

Marriage

I thought marriage would be great. We got married, but both of us had unresolved issues in our lives. We had secrets and hurts and habits we were trying to manage.

Marriage is a good/bad environment for self-discovery. It is a lot less painful if the discovery is done when you are single. We lasted less than 2 years.

During the first 9 months I was free from porn, again. And not because I could finally have guilt-free sex; we weren’t having sex.

Real life seemed to block out the craving. The downside was: once the stress was gone, the habit was back. (I tell my mentees about it now: Be careful when the stress comes off.)

Divorce

I wouldn’t wish divorce on my worst enemy. It sucks. Being married to the wrong person sucks too, but at least the other person can be blamed for why it sucks.

Starting Over

I went back to church. I got a new job, a new career. I found new friends. I still struggled with porn, but I was getting healthy in other ways. I was figuring out my own life.

I still dated and looked for the “right” relationship to come along. I started to do a lot of things I had wanted to do but hadn’t made time for. I got in shape.

The ONE

Then I met her.

The ONE.

She didn’t like me much, and I really wasn’t interested in her.

At first, anyway. 

While it sounds like an impending train wreck, both of us found the other’s redeeming qualities.  We got married six months later.

We have been together ever since. She is the biggest blessing in my life. She has been with me through thick and thin and pain and misery and joy and hope.

She is fantastic. She is the ONLY ONE for me.

Marriage Isn’t a Cure

We talked about my struggle before getting married. We went to counseling before and after. There were times when I was clean.

When I wasn’t clean, I lied.

When she asked me about it, I got defensive.

When she wanted to understand, I blamed her.

Between 2006 and 2010, I lied to her almost every single night. Direct lies, not lies of omission.

I had her so confused, at one point she said, “I don’t think porn is your issue anymore”.

And still I lied.

My porn use and the shame I felt was destroying my marriage like an undetected cancer.

I was using porn at work. I started thinking about other women. I allowed my lust to take my thoughts away from my wife.

Confrontation

In June 2010, she asked me to tell her the truth. All of it.

I did.

And it crushed her.

Repeatedly. Because, I drip fed my confession little by little. Always revealing just one more thing I “forgot” to tell her.

We had some very bad days at first. On July 4th, 2010 we had a really bad one. I chose that day to be my last of allowing my porn use and shame to ruin my life.

I am not sure why she stayed, but I thank God that she did because she’s helped me to break the chains of this struggle.

Now I am free from porn.

I don’t struggle with lust or fantasy or sensual thoughts. Sometimes, I feel the pull to return to that life.  

But, I am free at a level that I didn’t think would be possible.

The ONE

If you are fighting to overcome your porn use and shame, you are not alone.

Your marriage may be in complete disarray from your lies and sexual sin.

I have been there. I can help.

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