Are you caught? Did you begin by just glancing at a picture now and then? Has it progressed to hours spent in the dark in the middle of the night, going without sleep to indulge in your addiction? Do you find yourself thinking about it until you can get back to it?
Is it really an addiction? There are those who stand on both sides of the argument on this one. To class porn with alcohol, cigarettes, or other drugs seem unrealistic since those other substances actually do interact with body chemistry to create a craving for the substance. Some studies seem to show that sexual “addiction” really exists; that there is a chemical reaction to ogoing use of porn that creates a need to continue in order to get the “zing.” Others feel that there is no chemical addiction, but that the behavior simply becomes habitual rather than addictive. I don’t know what the whole truth is; I’m not sure we need to resolve that here. I typed “is porn really an addiction” into my google search, and came up with hundreds of sites that discuss the issue. If you’re interested, it isn’t hard to find information.
The truth is, people do get hooked. Call it addicted, trapped, habituated, whatever; the end result is hours and hours of time and often a lot of money invested in a secret activity that destroys the fabric of relationship between husbands and wives, between fiances, and other relationships as well. The user is focused on the porn, and his intimate relationship with his wife suffers as a result. Either he asks her to do things she finds uncomfortable or hurtful, or he simply has no interest in her because he’s been masturbating while he looks at porn. Either way, it’s not a behavior that affects only the user.
So, if you know you’ve become dependent on pornography, or even if you suspect so, you must do some things
1. Acknowledge that you are caught. You need help. He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. – Proverbs 28:13
2. Admit that what you are doing is sin. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. – I John 2:16
3. Quit blaming others. It’s not your spouse’s fault. It’s not because someone else introduced you to porn when you were too young to resist. It’s a choice you’re making right now, and you KNOW you need to stop.
4 Find someone who will be a spiritual mentor, an accountability partner for you. This person needs to be someone you can trust completely. He needs to be a person who will tell you the truth, and will hold your feet to the fire. There are groups that meet just for this purpose. Talk to your pastor, or go online and look for accountability groups for pornography addiction. You obviously can’t get the victory over this alone. Get some help.
5. Prayer and confession to God is the most important step you must take. You need to study the Word to learn everything you can about sexual purity and holiness. Prayer and God’s Word will strengthen you and enable you to continue to fight.
6. Get rid of all your porn–books, magazines, pictures, videos. Keep nothing at all. Replace all of that with materials that will help you, like the “Every Man’s Battle” series from the New Life Clinic, or Mark Laaser’s Faithful and True. There is a lot of literature out there, because you are not the only one who is struggling with porn. You are only one among hordes of other people who have been caught in Satan’s trap.
Finally, learn to be a Joseph and flee the temptations that Satan will continue to place in front of you. He’s not going to give up easily. Neither should you. Continuing down this path will eventually destroy your marriage, your relationship with your family and friends; it will make a real relationship with a normal woman an impossibility.