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After 15 Years, the Chains Were Lifted

Like most guys, I was introduced to pornography early, in my case 5th grade through a childhood friend. At that time, my reaction was, "So what?" Unfortunately, it did not stay that way.

While I continued to be exposed to porn through college, looking at such materials did not take hold of me until I was moved out of my parent's house after graduating. I now had no limits on how much and how often I could view pornography, and did not realize I was addicted until I tried to stop in response to becoming engaged to be married. I would make repeated trips to the dumpster, only to acquire new materials a week or so later. As my wedding date approached, I vowed not to take what I knew was wrong into my marriage and cried out to God one more time to take the desire away, Within 6 months of walking down the aisle, however, I was again stashing explicit videos in my home. After a year of this, my wife finally confronted me. She showed me the stash, and I responded the way I always did in such situations, I lied in order to lessen the impact, saying that this is a recent problem which was not true. She didn't buy it, and I started weekly counseling with an expert in the field.

Counseling was new experience for me: I was the nice guy who did the right thing and did not have any problems. I was not honest with the counselor, and continued my habit in secret for another 14 years, even visiting prostitutes (a line I swore I'd never cross) in addition to viewing porn. I was stuck: I could not tell my counselor, I could not face my wife, and I could not pray to God. When I did pray, I cried out to God to heal me, only to go back to porn a few days or weeks later. Finally, my wife discovered a business card and challenged me as to its origin. Again, I lied, completely eroding any trust she had left, and again, she called me on it. I had to tell her I had been unfaithful, and I wondered whether our marriage would survive. I hit an all time personal low: my life was warped, my marriage and my family seriously jeopardized, and my relationship with God bankrupted. Having little left to loose, I took the ultimate chance, and over the course of 3 days confessed everything to my wife, including events she did not suspect. This was my first step toward healing, as if one of those huge, heavy chains that secure large ships was lifted off my shoulders. For the first time in my adult life, I was free of those chains!

The next 1½ years have been very difficult for my wife and I, and while I have been porn free all that time I know I will never be free from sexual temptation. But now I wake up knowing that I hold no secrets from my wife, can claim God's promises, and am becoming the man He designed me to be. My wife has forgiven me, and we're slowly healing into the family our 3 children need. I am walking proof that there is hope and success to those who are willing to give it all up in order to regain what matters most.


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