PORN IS LIKE A DRUG

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This article is from (fightthenewdrug.org)

PORN IS LIKE A DRUG

On the surface, cocaine and porn don’t seem to have a lot in common. One is purchased
in seedy alleyways; the other is free to download. One habit can get expensive pretty fast, while the other is about the price of a high-speed Internet connection. Besides, Hugh Heffner doesn’t exactly conjure up images of a cartel drug lord.
So where’s the similarity? Inside the brain.

In case you’re not a neurosurgeon, here’s a crash course in how the brain works. Deep inside your brain, there’s something called a “reward pathway.” You’ve got one. Your cat’s got one. For mammals, it comes standard. The reward pathway’s job is to help keep you alive by doing exactly what its name promises: rewards you, or more specifically, rewards you when you do something that promotes life, such as eating food or achieving something you’ve worked hard for. And the way it rewards you is by releasing chemicals in your brain— mainly one called dopamine, but also others like
oxytocin [See page 15 Porn Is a Lie].

Normally, these chemicals are really handy. They help us feel pleasure and to bond with other people, and they motivate us to come back to important activities that make us happy. The problem is, the reward pathway can be hijacked. The way substances like cocaine and opioids make users feel high is by triggering the reward pathway to release unnaturally high levels of dopamine without making the user do any of the work to earn it. Want to guess what else does that? Porn. And that surge of dopamine is causing more than
just feelings. As it goes pulsing through the brain, dopamine helps to create new brain pathways that essentially lead the user back to the behavior that triggered the chemical release. The more a drug user hits up or a porn user looks at porn, the more those pathways get wired into the brain, making it easier and easier for the person to turn back to using, whether they want to or not.

Over time, the constant overload of chemicals causes other brain changes as well. Just like a junkie will eventually require more and more of a drug to get a buzz or even just feel normal, porn users can quickly build up a tolerance as their brains adapt to the high levels of dopamine that porn releases. In other words, even though porn is still releasing dopamine into the brain, the user can’t feel its effects as much. That’s because the brain is trying to protect itself from the overload of dopamine by getting rid of some of its chemical receptors, which act like tiny catcher’s mitts that receive the dopamine released. With fewer receptors, the brain thinks less dopamine is there and the user doesn’t feel as strong a reaction. As a result, they have to find more porn, find it more often, or find a more extreme version—or all three—to generate even more dopamine to feel excited.
And once a porn user becomes accustomed to a brain pulsing with these chemicals, trying to cut back on the habit can lead to withdrawal symptoms, just like with drugs. While people often think of porn as something that’s been around forever, today’s version of porn is a whole new ball game. Thanks to the Internet, porn now mixes the most powerful natural dopamine release the body can produce with a cocktail of other elements—endless novelty, shock, and surprise—all of which increase the dopamine surge. And because Internet porn offers an endless stream of variety, users can flip to a new image every time their high starts to fade, keeping dopamine levels elevated for hours.

Describing porn’s effect to a U.S. Senate committee, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover of Princeton
University said, “It is as though we have devised a form of heroin 100 times more powerful than before, usable in the privacy of one’s own home and injected directly to the brain through the eyes.”

On the surface, cocaine and porn don’t seem to have a lot in common but studies are showing that viewing pornography tricks your brain into releasing the same pleasure chemicals that drugs do. What’s more is your brain actually begins to rewire itself because of this artificial stimulation. It may sound crazy, but it’s true.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
• To your brain, porn has the
same effects as drugs.

• Porn hijacks the reward pathway
in the brain.

• Just like drugs, you build up a
tolerance so you need more porn
for the same effects.

• Withdrawal symptoms can occur
when you try and walk away.
Get the Facts on Pornography © 2013 FIGHT THE NEW DRUG™ WWW.FIGHTTHENEWDRUG.ORG 2
Citations Learn more at http://www.FightTheNewDrug.org
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Source of arcticle:  http://fightthenewdrug.org/porn-addiction-escalates/

 

Sexual Sin in the Ministry

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The following article is shared from the blog at God over Porn:

For the last twenty years thousands of men from across America struggling with sexual sin have come to our intensive counseling workshop. Over half were pastors and missionaries.

I wish our experience was unique.

Several years ago a seminary professor told me: “We no longer ask our entering students if they are struggling with pornography, we assume every student is struggling. The question we ask: ‘How serious is the struggle?’”

One missions agency told me that 80% of their applicants voluntarily indicate a struggle with pornography, resulting in staff shortages on the field.

Pornography is just one level of sin, a form of visual sex, or heart adultery. Physical adultery includes an affair, multiple affairs, prostitution, and homosexuality. Other sexual behaviors within the ministry are such heinous “unfruitful works of darkness . . . it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret” (Ephesians 5:11–12). To face the crisis we must correctly understand the nature of the problem, ask God to search our own hearts, and be committed to restore each one caught in sexual sin “in a spirit of gentleness” (Galatians 6:1).

I have pondered long and hard two questions: Why do people repeatedly return to sexual sin and why do people turn away from sexual sin?

LURED TOWARD SIN

First, I would say that after two decades of helping set free those held captive by sexual sin, I’m convinced that the concept of sexual addiction as a diseasedoes not fully identify the seriousness of the problem. If we are going to get serious about the problem in the church we can ill afford to be misled in our thinking. The real problem is hidden deep within. The least bit of lust is an indication of vast corruption in the human heart. It is an enslavement that cannot be broken through any form of behavior management, recovery program, or counseling. The inside is so ravaged by sin that we can do nothing to change it.

When one is held in the grip of sexual sin, there is no hope of self-reform or self-efforts, for those living according to the “passions of their flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and mind” (Ephesians 2:3). To put it bluntly, those living in habitual sexual sin are “dead in their trespasses and sin” (verse 1). Dead, in a loss of spiritual life. Dead to finding satisfaction with God. Dead to living for his purpose. Holiness is dead. Wisdom is dead. Purity is dead. Love is dead. Like David, the sexual sinner has sinned “against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13), and in so doing has “utterly scorned the Lord” (verse 14). The horrible fact is they are “by nature children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3).

I believe addictionology plays down the seriousness of sin and the necessity of the work of God when it encourages the sexual addict to accept the theory that recovery will only be successful when they begin to believe that they are a good person at the core and just have a disease.

Diagnoses always determine the method of treatment. So ‘good’ people only need to get serious, follow the steps of recovery, and remain in recovery. The opposite is true. When dealing with sexual sin we must hold fast to the teaching of Jesus Christ, “For from within, out of the heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, . . . adultery” (Mark 7:21).

By nature and by choice we satisfy ourselves, rebel against God, and have no accurate understanding of the depth of our problem. The heart is deceptive, and without supernatural change it will grow worse. The only hope is “the grace of God . . . training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:11–12).

Look closely and you will see that the sexual sinner is disappointed with pleasure in their pursuit of what is essentially false intimacy. As one pastor, who was living in two adulterous relationships, put it: “This was the insanity; I no sooner finished the sexual act and immediately broke into tears, devastated by what I had done, but I only returned again and again to the same sinful relationship.”

As sinners we are created with desires for intimacy and for delight. Therefore, “The way to fight lust is to feed faith with the precious and magnificent promise that the pure in heart will see, face to face, the all-satisfying God of glory” (Future Grace, 338).

Yet the sexual sinner, finding no pleasure in real intimacy with God, ultimately finds no pleasure in false intimacy. Real intimacy has both pain and pleasure; false intimacy offers the illusion of no pain, but in the end there is no real pleasure! A part of exchanging the “truth about God for a lie” (Romans 1:25) is that you end up with pleasure now, pain forever!

DESCENDING DECEPTION

Deception runs deeper than we think. Deception is inherent to the problem of sexual sin on two levels.

First, there is the double life with clandestine liaisons, endless hidden hours on a computer, or the misuse of unaccounted time away from the office or home. The behavior is carefully hidden from view, but there are lies, then more lies to cover the lies. Face the facts: the motive for secrecy is to keep doing it. But secrecy of sexual sin also indicates a person’s commitment to flee from the light. “And people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (John 3:19).

The second level of deception is self-deception. If the heart is deceitful, it impacts the way we want to see the secret things in our lives, particularly secret sexual sins. The missionary can justify going to nude beaches; a pastor sees the value of an affair because it makes him happy; going to a prostitute on Monday is just a reward for hard work on Sunday.

When you say, “I will keep this part of my life a secret,” what are you hiding?

Hidden from view is a scandalous behavior that would certainly horrify any congregation or spouse. It is also a calculated contradiction of one’s public image that if revealed would bring ruin. It also may be a relationship that you believe is so fulfilling you can’t imagine ending it.

Everyone thinks they are hiding their acts of sin: lust, cheating, porn, and adultery. Such thinking makes it easier to justify the secrecy for the greater good of one’s marriage, family, ministry, job, and future. Such rationalization is universal to all secret sexual sin. “After all, a lot of people would be hurt if they knew what I was doing.” As one pastor put it, “I was in a six month affair, at the same time preaching and counseling against adultery, and telling myself that God didn’t care because the church was growing.”

In reality, it is not the behavior alone that is hidden.

Secret sexual sin is an invasive poison to the soul, mind and the body. It is a poison deep within the recesses of the soul that keeps one from finding satisfaction in God and meaningful intimacy with others. This is a poison that will kill not only in this life, but also life eternal! “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure . . . has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). Sexual behavior that is indistinguishable from the unbelieving world may indicate a person is not truly a child of God.

THE TURN FROM SIN

Why do people turn away from sexual sin?

In thousands of cases that I have counseled, only about one-percent of the men have come to us voluntarily and preemptively. Ninety-nine percent of the men were caught.

Getting caught in sexual sin doesn’t change the heart.

I can’t prove it, but I believe that God will providentially expose the secret sexual sin of his children.

It staggers our finite imagination that God will allow his chosen ones to go deep into brazen sexual sin, live in it for many years, and have so many people badly hurt. And no matter how difficult it is for spouses and church members to see it in the moment, God is at work when a pastor’s sin is exposed. Exposure is a sovereign act of God. God’s ways are not our ways! In all the vileness and rebellion against God that is a big part of sexual sin, exposure is showing us the perfect patience of Christ.

Many times I’ve been asked, “How can you keep dealing with such sinful men?” There are two reasons: First, I have seen over and over again the power of God to change the darkest sinner. Second, restoration with God is more important than anything. It is more important than career or marriage. God cares more for you, your soul, and your wife than he does your gifts and calling. You are his child before you are a pastor or a husband.

CONVICTION

After secret sexual sin is exposed we can make the mistake of focusing on the actions and attempt to eliminate behavior. We may be inadvertently feeding a false conviction rather than aiding true conviction.

False conviction is a reflex reaction caused by self-disgust, a sorrow over the consequences of sin. True conviction is an abiding sorrow over the offence against God, and while not the natural response, it does demonstrate that God has begun a good work that he will complete. True conviction is followed by true repentance. False conviction is followed by counterfeit repentance that only sees the consequences of sexual sin and the pain it caused others. Often this leads to a temporary change in behavior without a heart change.

Heart change is critical, “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexual immoral (Gk. porneia) or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater) has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). There is no room for error when it comes to dealing with sexual sin. There is a demand to either repent or perish (Luke 13:35). So there must be inner transformation of the heart because it is “deceitful above all things and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9).

Christians must take severe measures in killing this sin. This is the real danger: “Every unclean thought would be adultery if it could” (John Owen). “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality . . .” (Colossians 3:5).

The cross isn’t a recovery program, the place to improve on what good is already there. It is a place to die. It is not a question of giving up sexual sin, but of giving up one’s rights!

“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:17–18). As dead sinners we lived “in the passion of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind” (Ephesians 2:3). Deceived, we foolishly think we can use our bodies as we choose when we are in love, when it brings us pleasure, when it makes us a whole person or feeds our spiritual well being. The truly repentant sexual sinner begins to grasp, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:1920).

True repentance is radical change from the inside out. “The basic meaning of repent is to experience a change of the mind’s perceptions and dispositions and purposes” (What Jesus Demands, 41). Repentance is not just becoming sexually pure, but an inward change, “so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10). Inward change leads to sexual purity. Repentance happens on the inside where heart change includes the development of an ingrained attitude to flee sexual immorality.

DON’T WAIT TO GET CAUGHT

Some time ago I met a pastor who told me that he had two or three affairs in each of the several churches he had pastored. He said, “My reputation in my denomination is to take a small struggling church and see it grow, only to again take another small church and see it grow. I’ve made that move three times, but in fact, I was only moving to a new church before I got caught in those affairs.” That man has no reason to expose his sexual sin or leave the ministry. Why should anyone know?

Why should anyone turn from sexual sin before being caught?

First, don’t let yourself be deceived. “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil . . . No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:89). While not completely free from sin, the heart of the true believer has been transformed, and they cannot live in a pattern of continual sexual sin.

Second, the exhortation is to “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16).

Third, fear is not a virtue. Yes, exposure will be costly, but right now you are dying on the inside. It may not feel like dying right now, but you are, you are slowly killing yourself, your spouse, your family, and your congregation.

Fourth, if secret sexual sin has severe consequences, it is worth dealing with before the devastation occurs. Obvious examples come to mind to get help before: your Internet browsing history is discovered and shared; the prostitute turns into an uncover police women and you are arrested for soliciting; you contract an STD; or you are publicly exposed, humiliating yourself, your spouse, your family, and your congregation.

Fifth, it will come out. God is never mocked. “Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness” (Romans 11:22).

Sixth, getting caught shatters trust and honesty in marriage, embarrasses your spouse, and makes reconciliation more difficult.

Seventh, there is hope. It begins with facing the truth. It is never just a struggle with your thought life; like all sexual sin, it is evil. If there is an old self to put off, there must be a new self to put on; that is the gospel.

HEAR THE BETTER WORD

Christ bears the wrath that will come for all sexual sin. If you are a true believer and real change has occurred, you are called to put off the old and put on the new. Killing sexual sin starts with exposure; it ends with no longer being enslaved (Romans 6:6). Exposure is painful, but it is better to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” than to hear, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”

If you are a pastor stuck in sexual sin, no matter how well you have attempted to cover those sins with layers and layers of lies, I plead with you, step out from the darkness of those sins. Step into the light. Get help. You will never find life in the shadows.


Written by Harry Schaumburg / This article was also published on desiringGod.org.

– See more at: http://www.godoverporn.org/blog/sexual-sin-in-the-ministry#sthash.GUDw8Knp.dpuf

5 Stages of Pornography Addiction

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**this article originally appeared here:  http://newsok.com/article/5407775

About 83 percent of pornography addicts are men, and one in three is a woman. The largest users of online pornography are 12 to 17-year-olds. Teenagers. Fifty-six percent of divorces involve one spouse with a pornography addiction (mind-armor.com). Yes, addiction—not just viewing for recreational pleasure, but viewing it because it becomes a compulsion and the addict can’t think of or do anything else.

Do you think you, your spouse, or someone else you know might be addicted to pornography?  Read below about the five stages of a pornography addiction.

STAGE 1. Early exposure. As was stated, the largest users of online porn are children ages twelve to seventeen. Most boys have a curiosity about the opposite sex and, unfortunately, think they can learn more about them on Internet porn sites. They yield to the enticement offered by non-human, unemotional contact. Unless they can navigate away from this temptation, they are seduced. There are new statistics that teenage boys are being diagnosed with erectile dysfunction due to advanced pornography abuse.

STAGE 2. Addiction. Addiction takes place when the initial naïve curiosity turns into a physical dependence for this degenerate type of sexual arousal. In a pornography addiction, the habit-forming “substance” is explicit sexual material. To satisfy the addiction, the addict relies on the Internet, DVDs, uses his smartphone or looks at magazines or books.

Using porn increases to more than recreational exploit. The addict loses control of his or her thoughts in pursuit of the drug. The images establish themselves in the brain and are hard to shake for visually-wired males. Porn is needed for arousal and is used on a regular basis. Instead of a vein or a lung, the substance is taken in via the eyes directly to the visual cortex in the back of the brain, releasing neurochemicals like dopamine and endorphins, producing a “high.” All addictions share the same brain changes.

“Constant novelty, at the click of a mouse, can cause addiction,” said Gary Wilson of TEDx, in “The Great Porn Experiment.” Dopamine rewards you for seeking the visual pleasures porn presents. It makes you feel good. The brain chemicals motivate some to repeat this behavior. You keep coming back. You can’t stop. You’re hooked. Because of this chemical release — and the consequences of behavior — pornography addiction is considered to be a form of chemical brain damage. People become dependent on pornography for physical and emotional satisfaction.

STAGE 3. Desensitization. Just as in any chemical dependency, the amount of pornography the addict previously used is not enough to stimulate these brain chemicals. Dopamine loves novelty. When the reward wears off, the dopamine release declines, therefore pleasure declines, the libido declines, and may cause erectile dysfunction in males. Less gratification leads to the desire for greater amounts of hardcore porn. A vicious cycle reigns. Addicts need to intensify reaching the pleasure points in their brains again, only on a more advanced level.

STAGE 4. Escalation. The addict desires greater pleasure, expanded novelty, so he or she ups the dose. They pursue pernicious, indecent images from the Internet. Porn has become their drug of choice, and self-medication rises to new levels. Licentious sexual images, urges and fantasies dominate the thoughts. This over-stimulation interferes with the normal balance of the addict’s brain chemicals. They now crave extreme novelty. Most viewing is done in secret.

STAGE 5. Acting out sexually. Acting out is the next stage of escalation. The addict moves from viewing pornography to seeking a real world experience. It leads to risky behaviors, like stealing from joint bank accounts to pay for prostitutes, binge drinking for heightened courage to act out, unexplained anger or promiscuous sex. The latter may, and does, cause STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). Leaving their boring spouses behind, who long ago failed to fulfill sexual gratification, addicted men and women actively seek other live sex partners. If married, the addict will think nothing of committing adultery to satiate the craving for intense sexual novelty. Men will visit prostitutes, women will pick up men in bars or at the gym, or resort to cyber porn (including email, chat rooms, and social media). Chatting with strangers who vicariously satisfy sexual needs behind closed doors is adultery—ask any spouse who is victim of their partner’s porn addiction and has acted out in the cyber world. It’s emotional adultery and may lead to acting out with live partners.

Depending on the level of graphic, hardcore porn the addict has viewed in order to spiral to the acting out level, some escalate to the deviant sexual behaviors and perversions of rape, child molestation, incest and even murder. Pornography could be considered a gateway drug to severe criminal behaviors.

In Ted Bundy’s final interview on the day of his execution, James Dobson uncovered the knowledge that the impetus of this serial killer’s criminal rampage began with an addiction to pornography which escalated to acting out.

A pornography addiction is about selfishness—getting, taking—not giving, as it would be in a normal intimate relationship with a spouse. The addiction makes it impossible for any emotional or marital familiarity, closeness or love.

The admission of addiction and desire to be rid of it is the beginning of recovery. It’s the beginning of renewal, mending of self and relationships. In a perfect world, the addict will crave freedom from the addiction and seek help.

For more information about pornography addiction and recovery:

“Taking the power away from porn—for good.”

Fight the new drug

Morality in Media/Porn Harms

Finding a Great Accountability Partner

Posted on Updated on

This article is from the blog at covenanteyes.com

10 Steps to Finding a Great Accountability Partner

finding-an-accountability-partnerWhen you are using Accountability Software, the most important question to ask is: Who should receive your Accountability Reports?

For some people the choice is an obvious one: a parent, a best friend, a spouse. But a lot of people simply don’t know who would make a good Accountability Partner.

Here are ten steps to get you started.

1. Understand relational accountability

Before you can choose a good partner, you have to know what accountability is all about.

Accountability is the ability and willingness to give an account to someone else of your actions and motives.

There are several key aspects of this definition:

  • Ability: This is what Accountability Software gives you. It summarizes what you do online into an easy-to-read report and automatically sends it to your Accountability Partner.
  • Willingness: True accountability is not forced. It is chosen.
  • Actions and Motives: Accountability is about being open about what I do and why I do it.

2. Take personal responsibility

When relational accountability is divorced from personal responsibility, you will be disappointed every time. In the end, it is not an accountability partner’s job to change your life. You must completely own your mistakes, your messes, your weaknesses, your habits, your character.

Many end up looking to accountability partners as scapegoats. “I didn’t meet my goals because my accountability partners fell through.” Wrong. If you are unwilling to own your shortcomings, how can anyone hold you to task on your goals?

3. Take stock of what motivated you to find accountability

Ask yourself why you signed up for Covenant Eyes in the first place. Were you struggling with porn? Were you venturing into morally “gray areas” online? Were you spending too much time playing online games and neglecting your family? Were you hoping to establish good habits by limiting your time online? Did you choose accountability to serve as a good example to your family or others?

You should be able to state very clearly what your objectives are in very specific words.

4. Formulate two to four questions based on your motivation

Your partner should know your goals, your weaknesses, and your biggest potential pitfalls.

Get started by writing down two to four questions you want your partner to ask you. Make the questions detailed enough that you can’t answer them with a simple yes or no. This will help you talk about not just your actions but your motives as well.

Here are some examples:

  • “What was the most tempting thing you encountered online since we last spoke?”
  • “Tell me about a choice you made online this week that compromised your desire to be [insert character quality here].”
  • “What on your Accountability Report should draw my attention?”

Having specific questions gives you a place to start and keeps you focused on the goals at hand. Eventually, accountability conversations can evolve from a routine list of questions to richer conversations about transparency, honesty, and character.

5. Find someone trustworthy

You should choose someone you can trust to keep your Accountability Reports and conversations confidential.

6. Find someone challenging, not condemning

Pick someone who will be challenging but not condemning. They shouldn’t be timid, but willing to ask you questions. Good accountability partners are not cops who are just looking for you to slip up, or who jump to conclusions about your Report, but more like coaches who are challenging you to live with integrity.

The best Accountability Partners take their role seriously and responsibly. They want the best for you. They are willing to be accountable for you just as you are willing to be accountable to them.

7. If needed, find more than one person

One person might not give you all the support you need, so consider asking more than one person to be your Accountability Partner.

By the way, if you’re married, your spouse should know who your Accountability Partners are, and your spouse should determine whether he or she wants to receive your reports. It is good to be honest with your wife or husband about your online life. But remember, spouses occasionally can be too close to a sensitive situation to give you constructive feedback. Don’t necessarily lean on your spouse for the same kind of support as you do other partners.

8. Customize your Accountability Reports to match your goals

Talk to your partner about how frequently they should receive your Internet Reports and how often you’d like to talk about them.

You should also tell your Partner which sensitivity level is best for your Reports. Covenant Eyes rates each website for mature content and gives each site an age-based rating. Your Partner can choose the minimum rating they want to see on your reports. Do you think your Reports should be set at the Teen level? Mature Teen? Highly Mature? Give your partner an idea what would be appropriate for you.

9. Set up times to meet and/or talk

How often do you want to meet with your partner? What makes sense given your goals? Talk to you partner and suggest a regular day and time to talk.

10. Tell your partner(s) how to challenge you

Finally—this last step is critical—tell your partner what you expect them to do if something questionable appears on your Report or if you admit to a failure.

Your partner might see a questionable search you did online, or a questionable website, or a questionable time of day or night you were online. Should they call you? E-mail you? Talk to you in person?

Setting expectations gives your Partner an open door to have conversations with you.

One size does not fit all

Remember, accountability will look a little different for everybody. What’s important is that you and your partner find what works best for you.

Original article can be viewed at:

10 Steps to Finding a Great Accountability Partner

 

The Recovery Process in 5 Short Chapters

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This really speaks to me.  This is how recovery really works for most of us.  At first, we keep falling for the same things and maintain the same rituals.   Then, we begin the process of recovery and continue to fail, (but learn from our failures) until we reach the end of the journey, like Portia did, and decide to take another street. 

An Autobiography in Five Chapters
by Portia Nelson

Chapter 1
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in. I am lost….I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the side walk.
I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I fall in….it’s a habit…but my eyes are open.
I know where I am. It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter 4
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter 5
I walk down a different street.

New Research Shows that Teens & Young Adults Use Porn More Than Anyone Else

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Sex sells. Or, to put it in 21st century terms, sex gets clicks.

Smartphones, tablets and laptops have revolutionized the way people encounter images. Pictures and videos are easily accessible with one swipe or click; it takes very little effort to encounter sexually explicit content on apps like Snapchat and Instagram. Even mainstream media is infused with sexualized images and ideas—one needs only to see an Axe commercial, a primetime Miley Cyrus performance or a “reality” show like The Bachelor for confirmation.

This “pornification” of popular culture means younger generations are coming of age in a hypersexualized cultural ecosystem. They, in turn, tend to be more open to sexual experimentation and self-expression—leading to further social acceptance of sexually explicit content. One cannot help but wonder where this self-perpetuating feedback loop will end.

For a landmark study commissioned by Josh McDowell Ministry, Barna Group interviewed American teens, young adults and older adults about their views on and use of pornography. Among many notable findings, researchers discovered that teens and young adults have a more cavalier attitude toward porn than adults 25 and older. In addition, young adults ages 18 to 24 seek out and view porn more often than any other generation.

For the full article, click on the link below to read on the Barna Research Group website:

https://barna.org/research/culture-media/research-release/teens-young-adults-use-porn-more-than-anyone-else?utm_source=Barna+Update+List&utm_campaign=12f5e718ce-BU_Teens_Young_Adults_Use_Porn_More_&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8560a0e52e-12f5e718ce-172052121&mc_cid=12f5e718ce&mc_eid=101fe519bf#.Vwmd3kcqmb8

 

 

Barna_Infographics_Porn_05

What the Research Means

“There appears to be a momentous generational shift underway in how pornography is perceived, morally speaking, within our culture,” says Roxanne Stone, editor in chief at Barna Group and one of the lead designers and analysts on the study. “This shift is particularly notable when it comes to personal choice regarding pornography use. But these attitudes and preferences toward porn among the younger generations need to take into account the broader social and cultural context that American young people inhabit.”

“For one, they are coming of age in a culture that has given preference to personal experience and personal morality,” continues Stone. “Amy Poehler summed it up nicely, ‘Good for you, not for me.’ Americans are increasingly uncomfortable prescribing a morality for other people—and aren’t eager to have someone else prescribe one for them. Teens and young adults have embraced this ethos and in turn place a high value on personal freedom and autonomy, tending to shirk restrictions, particularly censorship.”

“Further, the mainstream acceptance of pornography, and the broader pornification of popular culture send a powerful message to young people about the moral condition of porn. We’ve seen cultural icons such as Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus generously rewarded for their public displays of private moments. And now, with broadcast tools at their fingertips, young people have the ability to produce their own personal pornography—via Instagram, Snapchat or just plain ‘sexting.’ Such personal, interactive porn is something we are calling ‘Porn 2.0’ and we will be releasing more of our research on that in the coming months.”

“These realities are fueling more cavalier attitudes and high rates of porn usage among the younger generations,” says Stone. “This is concerning for a number of reasons: studies have shown that seeing a vast amount of pornography long before becoming sexually active can have damaging effects because of the amount of sexual conditioning that occurs in adolescence. Ill-timed exposure to explicit material could cause lifelong problems with relationships and personal sexual health, and create unrealistic beliefs about sex and sexuality.”

“In our research, we’re finding that many adults—especially parents and even pastors—feel ill equipped to face the reality and ubiquity of porn and its use,” continues Stone. “But, without guidance, today’s young people are often left to their own devices to navigate the complex task of developing beliefs about sexuality. As young people develop beliefs and behaviors in a hyper-sexualized technological age where pornography is more accessible than ever, parents must be willing to discuss sexual topics with their children, and the church at-large needs to provide a robust—and appealing—counter narrative to the one perpetuated by pornography. This would entail challenging the distorted narrative of the porn industry by creating realistic expectations for sex and its purpose, and acknowledging the beauty and promise of sex within its proper context.”

How Do I Escape the Trap of Pornography in My Life?

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This article originally appeared on Familylife.com.  

These five steps will help you break free.

Pornography has become one of the most destructive forces in our culture today. Never has it been so widespread … and never has it been so easy to find.

What we would call “hard-core pornography”—the more explicit images, videos, or descriptions of erotic behavior—has grown rapidly during the last two decades. In the past, pornography was available only at stores or through the mail. But the pornography industry is often the first to take advantage of new media technology—and now with cable television, DVDs, cell phones, iPods, and especially the Internet, it is easier than ever to find, and harder than ever to resist.

Internet pornography has earned itself a reputation for being the crack cocaine of sexual addiction. “It works so quickly and it’s so instantly intense,” says Dr. Robert Weiss of the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles. “We’re seeing a whole population of clients who have never had a history with the problem, but for the first time, they’re beginning one particular activity and getting hooked.”1

Jesus said in Matthew 6:22-23, “The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.” This is a perfect description of what happens when you choose to view pornographic material—it brings darkness into your body.

Pornography takes something that is beautiful when it occurs between a married man and woman and makes it dirty. God created the act of sexual union as a special gift for a husband and wife. It is a celebration of love that strengthens a marriage and builds oneness.

But pornography twists and perverts the beauty and biblical design of God’s creation. The focus on sensual pleasure becomes such a powerful drug that it destroys all that is important in the rest of their lives. It leads men and women to look at each other as nothing more than sex objects. It causes them to fantasize about sexual relationships with other people, and that’s a terrible blow to their marital commitment.

Whenever ®FamilyLife Today airs a program on this subject, the letters and emails we receive confirm that pornography can tear apart a home, and it can tear apart a person’s soul. Here are a few examples:

“Before we were married, my husband had confessed that he was into pornography “somewhat”, but it stopped once our relationship grew. I found out that wasn’t the end of it. A few months back I was heartsick to find almost 100 photos of graphic nature on my computer. A lot happened since then, a confrontation, many fights, but the hardest for me has been the lost of trust and feeling I truly was my husband’s best friend and fantasy. It hurts a lot and I don’t see how our relationship will ever be the same or I can have that total trust in his character and integrity again.”

“Please pray for deliverance. I am a Christian that is addicted to pornography, especially on the web. Pray that God would give me the power to withstand under the temptation and be victorious. I know that this is hurting my marriage.”

“Your broadcast on pornography over the last two days has had a profound affect on me. I was amazed at the accurate description of how pornography affects your whole being. The last 18 months have been the worst because of the easy access I had to pornography on the Internet. I progressed to the point where I would spend hours at a time to find pictures that would stimulate me. Just as with a drug addict, it took more and more pornography to satisfy my addiction. I began to push my wife away in many direct and indirect ways. I would delay going outside to play with my six-year-old son because I was on the Internet …

“My wife gradually spent more and more time with her best girlfriend across the street because I was emotionally dead inside. The life had literally been sucked out of me. I felt as though my ability to think clearly was greatly affected. I had trouble repeating phone numbers because I was consumed with guilt and shame. I gradually lost respect for my wife as a person. It was almost impossible for us to carry on a conversation. These changes occurred so gradually that I did not realize it was the pornography that was affecting me.”

These are just a few examples of the frustration, shame, and guilt that habitual use of pornography brings to a life. Sin can be alluring, and can bring temporary pleasure, but in the end sin will destroy you. James 1:14-5 says, “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” Sometimes pornography is described as a “victimless crime,” but in reality you are a victim, your wife is a victim, and your marriage is a victim.

Breaking Free From the Trap

If you want to break free from the sexual sin and lust fueled by pornography, the first thing you need to realize is that you can’t do it in your own power. You need the presence of God in your life. In fact, if you have never understood what it means to be a Christian, and how you can know God personally, please read this clear presentation of the gospel. It will be the most important decision of your life.

If you know Christ lives within you, here are some suggested steps for dealing with the trap of pornography:

Step One: Confess Your Sin

When you try to keep such sin secret, your spirit will become increasingly troubled. Remember the comment from one of the e-mails above, where one man said he became “emotionally dead” and that life was “sucked out of me”? Compare those words to those of King David in Psalm 32:3-4:

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.

David realized he could not go on until he confessed his sin to God:

I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’; And You forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:5).

On one hand, confession is simply agreeing with God about sin in your life. Jesus said in Matthew 5:28, “Everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” When you look at those pictures or images to stimulate you sexually, you are committing adultery in your heart. When you confess this to the Lord, you simply say, “Yes, I was lusting after that woman. I sinned against You, Father.”

You may be thinking, “I’ve done that. But nothing changed.” That’s because, when faced with a deep-rooted sin such as this—one that has involved numerous poor choices over a period of time—your confession must come with a broken heart that shows that you are repentant—ready to turn away from your sin. Repentance means “to turn around.” When you have a habit of sin in your life, it is like getting in a car and driving away from God. When you repent, you stop moving away from God and turn around to face Him, and through His power start moving toward Him again.

Repentance is a sorrow that comes from realizing that you have offended the very holiness of God. You must be willing to turn away from your sin and toward the life God wants for you. If you are going to deal with your sin successfully, repentance is essential.

What does God do when you come to Him with an attitude of brokenness and repentance? He offers forgiveness and cleansing. 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You may not be freed from the desire to commit this sin again, but you can be freed from the crushing weight of guilt and shame.

At some point, you also need to confess to your wife. You shouldn’t tell her all the sordid details of your sin and entrapment by pornography. But if you don’t confess your sin to her and ask for her forgiveness, the air will never be clear between you and your relationship will not grow and prosper as it could.

You may be thinking, “I could never share these things with my wife.” It will be the hardest thing you ever do and one of the most courageous. Steven Fetrow writes, “Confession may lead to a period of profound pain and disappointment, but without full disclosure, the marriage cannot be authentic and will never become the type of relationship that God desires for us.”2

Step Two: Make no provision for the flesh

In Romans 13:14 Paul tells us, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Having acknowledged your sin of lust, and admitting your weakness, you need to devise a strategy for reducing the temptation of pornography.

Not only do you need to remove every trace of pornography from your home or office, but you also should take practical steps to put barriers between you and any sources. If magazines or books are a temptation, stay away from the stores where you purchase pornography. If you’ve been watching erotic movies on cable or satellite television, downgrade your service to eliminate the offending channels … or get rid of the service altogether if necessary. When you travel start staying in hotels that can block or turn off the pay-per-view movies in a given room. Ask the desk clerk to do that before you enter your room.

If you are involved in computer porn, you may need to change your Internet service provider, your e-mail address, and even your credit card so that porn sites cannot contact you. Find a blocking or screening program or even an ISP that screens Web sites. If you have used a computer at the office to view pornography, then ask about getting a screening system for the office.

Move your computer into an open area of the house. Tell your wife or children to come and ask you what you are doing on the computer anytime they want to. You can also teach someone in your house to check the history in your Web browser.

No matter what you do, you won’t be able to avoid seeing sensual images altogether. When you find yourself looking at something involuntarily, follow the advice of 2 Timothy 2:22, to “flee youthful lusts.” You must run from pornography as if you are running from a rabid dog.

Step Three: Find an accountability partner

You need a godly man who will walk with you through this battle for your purity. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion, but woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” Fighting a battle is easier when you don’t have to do it alone.

Accountability is a scriptural principle that tells us to ” … be subject to one another in the fear of Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). This means you choose to submit your life to the scrutiny of another person in order to gain spiritual strength, growth and balance.

If you do not go to your pastor first, I recommend that you do so immediately after making open confession to the Lord. He is spiritually responsible to pray for you and teach you God’s truth. If he is the man of God he should be, he will gladly pray for and with you, and exhort you in your spiritual growth.

Ask your accountability partner check with you anytime, day or night, about what you have been doing on the computer. Tell him to ask what you watched while you were traveling. Call your wife each night from the hotel room.

Step Four: Build biblical truth into your life

If you’ve been filling your mind with pornographic images, chances are that you have not been spending much time reading God’s Word. Begin spending time every day reading the Bible, chapter by chapter. Start with a book you like to read—the Gospel of John or the gospel of Matthew, or maybe even Genesis. Expose yourself to large portions of God’s Word.

I also encourage you to read one chapter from Psalms and one chapter from Proverbs each morning before you begin your workday. After reading Psalms and Proverbs, spend ten minutes or more in prayer. If you find a particular verse that ministers to you, then use it in your prayer as you ask the Lord to strengthen and protect you throughout the day. Set a time and place to read those two chapters and spend time in prayer every day. If you are not sure how to get started, ask your pastor or a godly friend to talk to you about it. You may not feel comfortable the first few times, but God is not judging your performance anyway. He is only interested in meeting with you, one-on-one. Try this for a month, and I’ll bet you want to continue it at the end of the month.

If there is any way, get involved in a Bible study with other men. If you get the chance, attend a Bible conference with your wife or with the men in the Bible study. As you look for these opportunities to build truth into your life, you may have to look outside your own church. You are fighting for your life and that of your family, so don’t be afraid to search beyond your normal sphere of activities.

Step Five: Begin to rebuild your marriage

Your wife may not be able to respond openly to you at first. She needs time to heal. But one thing you can start doing right now is to begin praying with her. It may be embarrassing, it may feel awkward, or it may even be frightening, but do it anyway. Your wife needs to hear you pray and she needs to hear you pray for her. There are few things in a marriage that can draw your wife to you and to your heart like prayer.

FamilyLife offers a number of conferences and resources to help you reduce the isolation you are experiencing in your marriage. Our Weekend to Remember® conferences may be the best place to start the rebuilding process. At some point, you also should become involved in a small group using a study from HomeBuilders Couples Series®. We can help you find out if there is a group in your area of the country.

God will honor each small step of obedience you take. He has the power to change your heart … to help you experience the joy of a cleansed heart … to wash away your sin and guilt and shame … and to help you experience oneness again with your wife.

Copyright © 2006 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

Footnotes: 

  1. “Dangers and Disappointments,” Ryan Hosley and Steve Watters, Pureintimacy.org
    2. “Bold Next Steps, Steven Fetrow, Pureintimacy.org

 

Source: http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/life-issues/challenges/pornography/how-do-i-escape-the-trap-of-pornography-in-my-life

Retrieved on November 3, 2015

The six most important things to do after learning that your husband has a pornography addiction

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1. Physical self-care is probably the most overlooked aspect of early recovery for women. Trauma is mostly experienced in the body. The body is designed to protect us from danger. If an individual experiences a serious threat to their safety (emotional or physical), their body will become tense, flooded with adrenaline, and have difficulty calming down. To ignore the body is to ignore one of the greatest resources for healing. I have found that women who make physical self-care a priority heal much faster from the impact of their husband’s secretive behaviors. Many women find that getting more sleep, eating healthy foods, exercising, meditating, stretching, soaking in warm water, and slowing down to nurture their physical body can help them shift out of survival mode so they can think clearly.
2. Spiritual grounding provides feelings of peace, hope, and reassurance in the face of so much uncertainty. Meditation, prayer, seeking comfort and counsel from words of ancient and modern prophets, and counseling with church leaders allows women access to power and strength beyond their own. Seeking a priesthood blessing from a home teacher, family member, or church leader is another powerful source of comfort and strength for many partners. Some women feel forsaken by God when they’ve been betrayed by those closest to them. Spiritual healing is essential, even if it takes time. Some women find it hard to attend church and spend time with others when they feel so low and vulnerable. If this is difficult, remember that being around others can be healing even if you don’t reach out and share. Also, it can help to spend time where spiritual feelings are easier to access, such as visiting peaceful locations in nature or listening to uplifting music.
3. Emotional expression is critical throughout all stages of recovery, but especially in the early stages. Many women find it helpful to write their feelings in a new journal that they have the option of throwing away at a later date. Emotions can be so strong early in this process that some women worry about putting raw feelings in their regular journal. It’s important to have the freedom to express feelings in a healthy, non-aggressive way. Recognize that no feeling is inappropriate. Feelings come and go like the waves of sea, so it’s important to give them full expression and movement. Holding on to any strong emotion with the hope that it will disappear only keeps it stuck. Talking with others can also help, which is explained in the next item.
4. Connecting to others who can help is also difficult to do, but offers tremendous benefits. It’s not recommended that a woman who learns about her husband’s behavior broadcast her pain to just anyone who will listen. Instead, it’s important to identify a few key individuals who: 1) will keep confidences, 2) can provide a safe place to talk, 3) won’t negatively judge her or her husband, and 4) can offer some support and direction. It can be beneficial for the long-term stability of the relationship for a woman to inform her husband that she will be speaking to specific individuals about her struggles. Helpful individuals often include ecclesiastical leaders, therapists, parents or siblings, 12-Step support groups, therapy groups, and close friends.
5. Simplifying life is certainly a goal for most people, but this is an excellent reason to begin. This is the ideal opportunity to begin saying “no” to extra commitments, evaluating the schedule, and looking for things to cut out. Dealing with the trauma of betrayal is so physically and emotionally exhausting that everything that used to feel easy will suddenly feel impossible. It’s important to keep a simple structure in place so there is order and predictability in life. However, a frenzied pace only functions as a distraction and eventually catches up in the form of more hopelessness, feelings of failure, and powerlessness. Helping others can create a sense of purpose as well. It is better to slow down and prioritize those things that will bring the greatest peace, joy, and comfort.
6. Education is critical in the early stages of recovery. There are many good resources available to help women understand the scope of the problem. I maintain a readings list for partners available on my resources page of http://www.LifeSTARstgeorge.com. Education can help validate common feelings and clear up misconceptions about addiction and recovery. One of the best resources available to partners is the book “Your Sexually Addicted Spouse” by Barbara Steffens and Marsha Means.
Long-term Healing
Healing from the effects of a husband’s pornography addiction is best compared to grief, loss, and bereavement. The discovery of a partner’s secret sexual behavior can cause a woman’s life (as she knew it) to flash before her eyes. Recovering from this loss is a process of understanding the shock and anger, processing the sadness of what was lost, and moving toward acceptance of the new life. The new life may or may not include a husband who is committed to long-term recovery. Regardless of that outcome, it’s still critical for women to do the long-term work of healing from the impact of secret pornography use.

 


 

This material is taken from the article The Effect of Pornography on the Spouse of an Addict by  Geoff Steurer, MS, LMFT

Source: http://salifeline.org/article/effects-of-pornography-on-a-spouse/help-for-spouses

How to Recover from Your Husband’s Pornography Addiction

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Another article I found online that needed to be shared.  The original author is:

Fred Stoeker.  Find out more about him at http://www.fredstoeker.com

READ ON:

When a wife discovers her husband is hooked on pornography, she’s instantly tossed into an unintended journey by a blistering sense of betrayal. My wife Brenda shares about a similar journey in The Healing Choice, co-written with Susan Allen:
Any wife who is enduring the pain of a husband’s porn addiction is experiencing the most shattering, deep kind of pain she may ever encounter. One day her marriage seems normal, and the next perversion seems to have broken out everywhere. She hasn’t a clue how to find her way out, and is likely unprepared for the crushing pain of betrayal that has her buried deep in an emotional wasteland. What happens if she doesn’t have what she needs to pull through and get her heart back?
Once that storm crashes in and she realizes she doesn’t have the knowledge she needs about her husband’s sin, or the connection with God that she requires to handle this kind of trauma, she must immediately begin to learn and to build up her own intimacy with God, just like I did in the middle of my grief. She must choose to move in to God with all of her heart. That’s the key.

Steps to Recovery
Perhaps you’ve begun a similar journey. If so, what immediate actions can you take to move in closer to God? Obviously, you must dive deeply into prayer and into the Word. On my wife Brenda’s journey, she began praying at the top of every hour for five minutes, transforming her spirit. She found the stress made it difficult for her to remember the Scripture she needed for support, so she wrote out the verses on sticky notes and posted them all over the house to keep his Word alive throughout her day. Get creative and run to him with all of your heart. As you run, be careful to do these three things as well:
1. Get Knowledgeable About Male Sexuality
When your husband turns to porn for sexual pleasure, it’s common to blame yourself for it all. Don’t. At its root, it isn’t about sex at all, so it isn’t about your attractiveness or the extra 20 pounds you’re carrying since the baby, or what you do or don’t do in bed. Trust me. You have what it takes sexually, so don’t worry. He’s the issue—not you.
Of course, you must believe this inside and out, so get knowledgeable. Start by reading Brenda’s book, Every Heart Restored, which includes nine chapters on male sexuality. You’ll soon recognize that your husband’s sexual sin likely spawned from past wounds inflicted upon him long before he ever met you—wounds that taught him to use his sexuality as a crutch to medicate the emotional pain in his life. Such knowledge changes everything, freeing your heart to move more quickly from judgment to mercy, which is exactly where God wants it to be.
Don’t get me wrong. Your frustration and anger at the betrayal are natural, and you needn’t feel guilty about it. In action, porn and masturbation are betrayal, stabbing at the female heart and crushing marital oneness. It must stop. But in motive, it’s rarely betrayal. Let me explain.
When I engaged my battle for purity as a young husband, I soon had my eyes retrained to bounce away from the sensual imagery around me, and quickly learned to take lustful thoughts captive. I figured these victories would eliminate all traces of sexual sin, but the masturbation habit retained its grip on me. I couldn’t understand it.
At the time I was in full-commission sales, which meant that if I sold nothing, my kids ate nothing. That’s pressure, so on many nights I tucked my kids into bed, gave Brenda a kiss and headed off late to my office to prepare for the next day. That’s where the masturbation occurred.
Why was this happening? I loved Brenda, and our sex life was wonderful. My actions surely betrayed her, but my motives were pure. I wasn’t chasing sexual betrayal.
When I looked more closely at those late nights, I noticed a pattern. I always felt lonely and disconnected, and as the hours wore on, my sense of stress would multiply. I hadn’t yet learned to trust God with financial pressure, or to lean on him as a son. I could only hear the haunting cries of my childhood, sneering that I just didn’t have what it takes to succeed out there or to stand at my dad’s side in the world of men. I just didn’t measure up in his eyes, and because of my job stress, I seriously doubted whether I’d ever measure up in my own eyes, either.
That’s where the masturbation came in. Somewhere along the way, I’d “learned” that masturbation provides a very real sense of intimacy and connection, and that orgasm gives a guy a strong sense of manhood, dominance, and control, even though it’s fleeting. That’s a pretty strong draw for a frightened man who feels like a loser night after lonely night.
In truth, I didn’t have a sexual sin issue after all. I had a financial trust issue, and a desire to reassert some control over my stressful life. The masturbation was only a symptom, something I used to medicate my pain instead of allowing God to heal it. When I changed my focus from the masturbation to my lack of my intimacy with God, I soon began turning to him in prayer during those moments of fear and temptation instead. The masturbation soon vanished on its own.
2. Relish Your Role as Helpmate
Your role is to lift your husband to Christian greatness and oneness with God, whatever that may entail. Of course, your motives are everything. If your motives are love, you’ll remember his wounds and speak from an encouraging perspective instead of harshly speaking in ways that tear and destroy. Memorize 1 Corinthians 13, and continually assess your motives from this foundation of love.
As you approach your role, what behaviors can you expect to see in your husband if he is truly committed to change? First of all, he’ll be open and honest about his sin, and will share any level of detail necessary to help you heal. If he stumbles again, he won’t wait for your interrogation to reveal it. He will immediately come to you to tell you. All lying will stop.
Second, he’ll be very patient as you heal, which is a sign of deep repentance. He’ll know that since he created the mess, he’s the one who must clean up the mess, no matter how long it takes.
Third, he’ll perform trustworthy acts regularly. He’ll eagerly read the books you give him, like Every Man’s Battle. He won’t wait for you to place the computer in a high-traffic area and purchase the filters. He’ll seek out accountability relationships with other men, and will regularly ask you for other ways he might help rebuild your trust.
If these aren’t happening, bring them up to him. Your voice is critical in his life. Refuse to be muzzled.
3. Develop Close Friends on Your Journey
You may find it difficult to talk to other wives about your husband’s sin, but it’s urgent to develop friendships for support on this confusing journey. Push through these feelings until you’ve found true Christian community, that life-giving connection that’s part of healthy support groups.
After learning of her husband Clay’s addiction to porn, Susan Allen restored her heart in this kind of community through the help of other hurting sisters in Christ. Before long, Susan began leading her own groups and soon created a nonprofit organization called Avenue that distributes support group curricula and provides mentoring help to group leaders through their volunteer staff in California. If you can’t find friends locally, join a small group community via 800-number. Simply contact Susan’s volunteer staff at women@avenueresource.com.
Fred Stoeker is founder of Living True Ministries and author of best-selling books Every Man’s Battle and Every Young Man’s Battle.

Connect online at http://www.fredstoeker.com.
Source: http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2013/december/how-to-recover-from-your-husbands-pornography-addiction.html

Healing Concepts for Wives Impacted by Pornography

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This is an article I found online, but the content was good enough to share here, on my blog.

The author of the article below is:  Jill C. Manning, PhD, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

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As a marriage and family therapist who works with women directly impacted by pornography, I am continually struck by the profound damage it causes.

Although downplayed and dismissed by many, pornography consumption by a spouse is devastating and should not be underestimated in terms of the far-reaching consequences it has on trust, intimacy, family life, children, finances, the marital friendship, and, in a growing number of cases, the existence of the marriage itself. Aside from abuse, I know of no other marital issue that affects the very soul of women more than pornography consumption by a spouse.

Too often, the discovery or disclosure of a pornography problem in marriage causes women to slip into unhealthy comparisons; to engage in inappropriate behavior themselves; or to spiral downward into depression, self-doubt, and in some cases, even suicidal thinking. These responses, although unhelpful, are understandable when the magnitude of damage, betrayal, and hurt are understood. Pornography, by nature and name, diminishes virtue, love, creativity, healthy sexuality, personal and relational growth, and honesty. Consequently, responding to pornography problems in marriage requires that we be exceptionally honest and clear about what pornography is, what it is not, how it has impacted our relationship and self-concept, and what is the best way to respond.

The following three concepts, among many others, have been helpful for women to incorporate into their healing and decision-making process:

  1. Clarify the Motivation. In many cases, pornography use is more about seeking an escape or mood-altering effect than it is about sex itself. Although pornography use often starts out as a youthful curiosity about sex, in most cases it develops into a way of escaping certain emotions and stressors. Looking at pornography can even be used to self-medicate depression and anxiety and to self-soothe loneliness or poor self-esteem. Understanding this can help cut through the faulty belief that being more sexual with a pornography user will reduce consumption, or that if someone is using pornography, his or her spouse must not be sexually available or attractive. In addition, understanding the non-sexual motivations behind pornography use can help a woman understand that her partner would have likely turned to pornography regardless of whom he married and that his pornography use is not a commentary on her attractiveness (even though it feels like an attack). Erroneous assumptions about the motivations around pornography use not only promote misplaced blame and shame, but also detract from holding the consumer responsible for choosing to deal with life’s problems in maladaptive and harmful ways.
  2. Beware of Comparing Reality to Fantasy. Many women will tell me they feel insecure and intimidated when they compare themselves to the pornography stars their husband lusts after. There are two issues here: (1) the destabilizing hurt caused by a husband’s infidelity and (2) the dynamic of comparing oneself to someone who has prostituted herself in a pornographic scene. Let’s look at the second part of this assumption. Many women believe they don’t measure up to what their husband is neurotically and narcissistically seeking out because they think the porn stars represent a sexual ideal. This is one of the biggest lies pornography invites women to believe. Most pornography stars have histories of sexual abuse, drug use or addiction, mental health problems, failed relationships, cosmetic surgery, and/or sexually transmitted diseases. In short, the only thing that is modeled in pornography is sexual brokenness and spiritual disconnection. Men who recover from a pornography habit also come to this realization and ironically begin to “see” the beauty of their spouse as what they desire and need.
  3. Ignore Comments That Invalidate the Seriousness of This Problem, and Seek Out People Who Understand the Issue.When a woman takes the risk to share this marital problem with a trusted friend or family member, it is not uncommon for her to encounter statements such as, “Boys will be boys,” “All guys are into porn,” or “At least he isn’t cheating on you.” Comments such as these not only demoralize and invalidate, but they also reflect a lack of understanding about the addictive potential this habit has and the impact pornography use has on relationships. Pornography use represents a serious breach of the marital bond and pulls sexual energy away from an intimate relationship. It is important to ignore comments that dismiss or invalidate the seriousness of this issue and to actively seek out the opinions and support of individuals who understand this issue well. As a woman sifts through the constraining and erroneous beliefs that compound the pain associated with a spouse’s pornography use, she is better able to make healthy decisions and take steps that will facilitate healing. Although it is troubling to consider that an increasing number of women are facing this issue in their marriage, it is reassuring to know there are also a growing number of resources to support women and families dealing with this issue. With our continued support, the Lighted Candle Society will not only be able to help women get the support they need, but also be able to continue its unique fight against the pornography industry at large.

 

 

Article original source: https://overcomingpornography.org/spouses-and-families/articles/healing-concepts-for-women-impacted-by-pornography?lang=eng