No Comfort in Misery

My first exposure to pornography came at the age of 13 when I was on a class trip from school. As we settled into our room on the first night, I was shocked when one of my friends pulled out several porn magazines from his suitcase (this was before the days of the Internet). He explained to me that his parents were OK with him having these magazines, since they reasoned he had to learn about these things eventually anyway. I was of course extremely fascinated, and the images I saw in those next few days were burned into my memory.

Not long after this, a cable TV channel where I lived started carrying soft porn movies late on Friday and Saturday nights. So I would pretend to go to bed early, but then stay awake and sneak over to the TV room and watch these graphic films until the early morning hours. This went on every weekend for several years during my teenage days, and my mind was filled with pornographic images and scenes. Very early in my teen years I came to the point where I couldn’t fall asleep at night without masturbating, and this continued as my daily habit for many years. I would feel terribly guilty every time I did it and I vowed innumerable times to God and to myself that I would never do it again. But I simply didn’t have the willpower to stop, and so the pattern continued.

I shuddered to think of what people would think about me if they knew about it.

I was in my early 20s when the Internet became a widespread phenomenon, and of course with this new technology came instant access to every kind of pornography imaginable. I was quickly engrossed in watching new and ever-increasing varieties of sexual depravity on my computer screen. Though I often vowed that I must stop this behaviour immediately and permanently, I never did. I simply found it irresistible, and wondered how this cycle — of watching porn, masturbating, feeling tremendous guilt, and vowing never to do it again — could ever end. Outwardly I was considered to be a good guy, and I was even an up and coming leader in the religious community I was a part of. But inwardly I knew the dark secret I hid everyday, and I shuddered to think of what people would think about me if they knew about it. I had thought that getting married would solve this problem, but my addiction to pornography and masturbation continued even into my married years.

Perhaps the first real breakthrough in this battle was the realization that it actually wasn’t about sex, or beauty, or biology. In fact, it wasn’t at all about a woman so beautiful that I can’t resist her – it was actually about me. It was about my craving for acceptance, admiration, love, and power. The real reason that lust and pornography had such a hold on me was because it made me believe that even if the world doesn’t realize how great a person I am, at least the gorgeous women of my fantasies loved me and desired me. Porn was a habit of my mind and heart that first had to be broken if I was going to be set free from this addiction. I consciously had to fight the lies of porn with the truth to finally break my slavery to porn.

My wife’s love for me was the final motivation I needed to leave this habit once and for all.

One key ingredient in my victory over porn has been good friends. There were friends that I could trust, friends who I could share everything with, friends who continued to pray for me even after I committed the same act for the thousandth time. My final victory over lust and pornography came when I shared all of my struggles — both past and present — with my best friend, who is my wife. I also promised to tell her if I ever fell in this area again. I thought she would be devastated and angry, but even though my confession brought her deep sadness, she promised to stand by me and support me and pray for me. But in many ways the stranglehold of porn had already been broken in my life by the time I confessed to her, and my wife’s love for me was the final motivation I needed to leave this habit once and for all. I didn’t have to hide anymore, and I certainly didn’t want to continue being unfaithful to her anymore (even in my thought life).

Despite struggling with porn for decades, I am glad to be able to say today that I am free. I am convinced that porn promises all the pleasure in the world but delivers only misery. But this freedom didn’t come overnight, it happened gradually over a long process that lasted for more than 10 years.

Now that this struggle is over and I have freedom and joy, I want to invite you to begin your journey towards freedom. You don’t have to fight this battle alone. We have free and confidential mentors ready to listen and to stand by you. If you fill out your info below, you’ll hear back from someone on our team soon.

Author's Name changed for privacy.