Struggling with pornography addiction

Publicado: julio 26, 2012 en Sociedad, Testimonio

By “Jane Jones”

When my husband and I were married we were both morally chaste and sexually pure. The first few years of our marriage went as most probably do, a lot of discovery and realization that perhaps our expectations of married life were founded on unrealistic ideas from the media and social pressures. This caused some disappointment for my husband, and he began to have deep resentments about it. His frustrations ultimately led him to experiment with pornography, something to which he had previously had very little exposure. It was a gradual descent, but over the period of a few years his behavior became compulsive, and despite wanting to stop himself, he was overcome by feelings—both emotional and physical—that prevented him from doing so.

About one year ago I realized that this was a problem. The addiction to pornography, lust, and self-gratification affected me in many ways. My self-esteem was hurt; I felt inadequate. I felt betrayed by his behavior and by his lack of honesty regarding it. I was incredibly lonely, afraid to share our secret and seek support. I felt stupid for being blind to signs of his behavior. I lived in fear and anxiety about the future, and I took responsibility for his addiction and began making rules for him and trying to manage his choices.

After a few months of continued relapses and depression, we both began to seek help. We found a support group, one for addicts and one for family members. I joined an online forum for wives of pornography addicts. The 12-step program allowed me to turn this over to God, to trust in His love. With the help of my Savior I can forgive; I can have faith in his divine plan for me, and I can see my husband with Christ’s love.

It is easy for my husband to hide behind his spirituality. Many people assume that such good men are immune to temptation or addiction. At first it was embarrassing for me because I held him to such high standards. He still continues to feel ashamed. Gaining an understanding of addiction helped me tremendously. Many times I asked, “If he loves me, why does he do this?” But learning the science of addiction helped me to separate his behavior from his personal feelings about me. I will not go into detail on the subject, but there is significant research that can be found online.

Additionally, I have learned that my husband’s addiction is not my fault. I did not cause it. It was his choice and his agency. I cannot control him. I do not need to use my energy worrying about what he is doing each hour of the day. I can love him and, with the help of Jesus, I can forgive him. I have learned to turn my will over to the Lord; I have learned to accept that even if the worst case scenario were to take place, I would be okay. God will not abandon me should my husband choose to continue to relapse or perpetuate his addiction. Having said that, I have hope that the Savior can heal my husband as well, in His time and with my husband’s willingness.

Ultimately I have learned that no matter what the circumstances in my life may be, I am responsible for my own happiness, and peace from God is always available to me regardless of the choices of another individual. I can choose to control the one thing I have control over in this life, and that is the way I will respond to the trials that come my way. God may not remove difficulty from my path, but through Jesus Christ I can have the strength I need to endure such difficulty.

Because of this experience I have had opportunities that I would not have otherwise had. I have met some inspiring women who have helped me in my journey. I feel more prepared as a mother to educate and guide my children. I am more forgiving as a friend and wife, daughter, sister, mother. I have learned to be less judgmental of others, and that there is much silent suffering in the hearts of those around me. My heart is full of love and compassion for all. In short, I have learned a better way to live.

Interestingly, I have found that the more I reach out, the more aware I am of the prevalence of this problem, as people respond in fervor. I know there are other men out there ashamed and suffering in their addiction. I know many of them are married, and where the wives are privy to the problem I am sure they too are experiencing anguish.

I believe all addictions are progressive in nature, and I have met women whose husbands have ventured further down this road than my own. So I am anxious to offer help where I can, to lift the heads that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees, to fight in this war against evil. If you are struggling, if you feel alone, please reach out and get help. There is reason to hope.

“Jane Jones” is a pseudonym for the wife of a Lutheran pastor. We are withholding her identity at her request to avoid creating problems for her husband and family as they deal with this addiction, and we thank her for her candor. We believe this article will help many who struggle with sexual addictions or whose spouse is caught in this trap. Further information is available from hisstrugglemystruggle@gmail.com

The following websites offer resources for dealing with pornography addiction:

http://www.sa.org/ – The equivalent to Alcoholics Anonymous with a 12-step program modeled after the SA/AA format.

http://salifeline.org/ – A comprehensive website that includes helpful articles and resources for the addict, spouse of the addict, or parents of an addict.

http://www.fightthenewdrug.org/ – Their message is based on science and facts that explain why porn is harmful by educating people about the negative psychological and physical reactions it causes. No affiliation with any religious groups or political agendas.

http://lifestarnetwork.org/index.html -Website of a national recovery program.

http://www.pornharms.com/ (Additional site reference: http://pornharmsresearch.com/) – A focus on the harms of pornography, but lacking in recovery and solutions.

http://www.socialcostsofpornography. com/index.php – More about awareness, less about solutions.

http://www.lutherancore.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/July-2012-WEB.pdf

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