Category: Struggling with Porn

Proactively Attacking Sex-Trafficking

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CPCS

Greek mythology tells the story of Hydra, a serpent-like monster with many heads. What was also unique about Hydra is if one of its heads were cut off, two more would grow back in its place. It seems like that’s the way it has become with sex-trafficking these days.

hydra
Courtesy of mojobob.com

After a tremendous public outcry, in 2018 Backpage.com was seized by federal authorities and the owners of the website were indicted on federal charges of facilitating prostitution and money laundering. It was a significant victory for those advocating against sex trafficking.

But this modern-day Hydra also has many heads. And as quickly as Backpage.com was put out of business there springs up Skip the Games, which portrays itself as a dating site but is nothing more than a front for promoting prostitution.

In recent months, a police task force in the Leigh Valley area of Pennsylvania has been cracking down on individuals who advertise on Skip the Games. Its efforts have netted numerous arrests, and that’s encouraging news. However, what police officials are discovering as they interview the women arrested is a vast majority of these ladies were forced into selling their bodies to strangers. Continue reading “Proactively Attacking Sex-Trafficking”

4 Things to Determine If You Can Trust Your Sex-Addicted Spouse

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CPCS

It is one of the most common questions a spouse will ask during a couples’ first counseling session when a sex addiction has been discovered. “How will I know when I will be able to trust him again”?

It’s a great question because at the core of the couples’ issues is the broke bond of trust. Sex-addicted partners:

  • Violate their commitment, to be honest, and faithful.
  • Drive a wedge in the relationship that feels like the size of the Grand Canyon.
  • Create a sense of hopelessness that leaves the other feeling numbed and confused.  Breaking Heart

Ask any partner who has been betrayed sexually and they will tell you, while the infidelity is like a punch in the gut, the worst part is the dishonesty and lying. While they hate being cheated upon they detest the lack of integrity their partner displays in their attempts to cover their tracks. That is why at some point, the focus on re-building trust is as critical as helping the sex-addicted partner manage the addiction itself.

So how can a betrayed partner start to become comfortable and regain a sense of confidence that their sex-addicted spouse is safe? Let’s examine four key factors to look for to determine if your spouse is becoming trustworthy.

  1. He is committed to his recovery

Of course, this is the one number key to not only learning to manage a sexual addiction but to begin the process of rebuilding a tattered relationship. A sex addict must demonstrate dedication to the game plan that has been created to assist them in breaking the bondage of secrecy and betrayal. I have seen partners who dive in and go beyond what is asked of them in recovery. I also have witnessed spouses who barely scratch the surface in doing the work that is required of them. When this happens, it is incredibly disheartening to the wounded spouse.

If your spouse is following a treatment regimen and sharing with you his progress, then have hope better days await both of you.

  1. He doesn’t shut you down when you vent

One of the first things I will tell a husband who has abused sex is that his wife has a barrel of rocks and she will be throwing them your way for the next 12-24 months. The ability for a woman to properly grieve the betrayal of the relationship is critical in order for there to be a chance for the relationship to move ahead.

But some men struggle when their grieving wives are throwing rocks. They become defensive and attempt to shut down the conversation. However, this is a grave mistake. When a woman is not given an opportunity to grieve she will continue to sit on those emotions and learn how to express them in other ways including perhaps being passive aggressive. As I tell men, when she grieves, she is healing. Let her grieve.

You can start to sense your spouse is getting better when they can sit with you in your pain. This demonstrates they understand the extent of your anguish and are committed to helping you get to a better emotional place.

  1. He starts to develop and engage in healthy communities

Clinical studies have demonstrated a critical key to recovering from sex addiction is participating in a healthy community. Yet, it’s the most significant pushback we receive from our sex addiction clients. In their intense shame and embarrassment, it would be easier to get them to agree to walk a tightrope across two New York City skyscrapers than attend a recovery group meeting. Men who refuse to participate in a support group are playing Russian roulette with their recovery. The lone wolf fails.

As the wounded spouse, if you see your husband is attending a support group; working with a sponsor and engaging in a men’s group, you should feel comfortable that he is learning how to step outside of his negative comfort zone. Establishing authentic relationships with others will help him maintain accountability, which for you and your relationship is a significant win.

  1. He demonstrates the ability to attach with you emotionally

A man struggling with sexual addiction is confused about intimacy. Somewhere along the line, they confused physical intimacy for emotional intimacy. They have an easier time connecting physical, and therefore their emphasis is on sexual relations.

When you find your spouse being able to identify and express emotions, or showing signs of being open and vulnerable, you know he is on the right track of recovery. Sexual addiction is an intimacy disorder, and the course of treatment is designed to broaden the addict’s view of healthy intimacy to include an emotional connection.

An addict who is committed to recovery; supports his wife’s grieving; engages in a healthy community and begins to identify and express deeper emotions is an individual who is on the right path for recovery.

 

 

4 Reasons Why Women Are Not Sex Objects

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CPCS

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of objectifying is as follows:  “to treat someone as an object rather than as a person.”

Now think for a moment if people started looking, referring and treating you like an object. How do you believe you would feel? Insulted? Demeaned? Dishonored? Befouled? Humiliated? Tarnish?  Women-Objectification

How about outright pissed? You know you would be. So why then is it cool for us men to look upon women as playthings created merely for our own gratification? This type of behavior rings with an air of superiority, which we have no right to claim.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 ESV

There is no mistaking men and women are different. However, they also are seen as equal in God’s eyes. And if the Creator sees them that way how can we not? There are many reasons why women should not be treated as sex objects. Let’s take a look at 4.

  1. She is a Princess of the King

We’re asking for trouble because we are messing with God’s daughters. Wow, how stupid are we? We are taking the King’s princesses and reducing them to nothing more than toys. How in the world could we never believe that is ok?

We are commanded to be respectful and loving of others – both men and women. However, there is nothing loving about objectifying more than half of the world’s population. We must elect to treat women in a Christ-like manner and provide them with the respect and dignity they deserve as children of God.

  1. She’s Entitled to be Feminine

One way men justify their objectification of women is based on how some dress. But there is nothing wrong with women expressing their femininity and wanting to feel pretty. They are entitled to experience those feelings without having to worry about men objectifying them. Instead, we should learn to admire and directly observe a woman’s beauty instead of lusting after it. They should not need to wrap their bodies in burlap because we lack control over our lust.

  1. She has a Brain

Women are not inanimate. They breathe, walk, talk and think. They have a brain. So, what gives men the impression women are playthings to use and discard? Over time women have demonstrated their equality on many levels. They serve in leadership roles in churches, universities, corporations, and heads of state in many countries. Yet, we prefer to view them as body parts instead of appreciating the whole person.

“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12:10

  1. She Deserves Better

Life is difficult. As men we face enormous pressures every day whether it’s stress with our jobs; distension in our families; conflicts within our church; the lack of me-time; or a battling lust. Well, women face similar concerns and worries. They often juggle multiple tasks as a housewife, mother, employee, friend, and daughter. And with each of these hats come challenges and obligations.

But nowhere on that list of duties is the role of sex object. They deserve better than that of men. If she can stand toe-to-toe with men and manage the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges that the world throws at her, shouldn’t she be treated with the utmost respect? The short answer is yes – because she deserves better. It is our obligation as men to view her through different lenses that don’t focus on her sexuality but instead on her personhood. To treat her as Christ treated all women.

Why Can’t You Stop Porn?

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CPCS

It’s a question I hear quite often from clients, “why can’t I stop looking at porn?”. And I tell them all the same thing. They have not learned to feel their emotions.

I realize that sounds a bit odd, but I assure you at the heart of a man addicted to porn is a man whose heart has trouble feeling. Our struggle with pornography is really the pursuit of emotional intimacy. The problem is most men don’t know that. In fact, they wouldn’t know emotional intimacy if it hit them in the face.  emotions

In my clinical practice, 9 out of 10 men who present with a pornography addiction also have an extremely low emotional IQ. What this means is three-fold:

  • They can tell you when they are angry, sad, happy or afraid. These are called secondary emotions. However, they struggle to identify their primary or true emotions. For example, what are you really feeling when you say you’re angry?
  • If they can identify what they are truly feeling (primary emotions), they can’t articulate them in a constructive manner. They struggle to share and be vulnerable with others.
  • But worse of all, they can’t determine what others are feeling beyond secondary emotions. They lack the ability to empathize and seek out additional information from others who are expressing their emotions. Instead, they want to shut down the individual, fix their problem, or runaway.

Beyond the sex/porn addiction, a man’s low emotional IQ it’s the single largest complain women have about the men in their lives. They are emotionally disconnected. We don’t allow ourselves to feel emotions. And as I tell my clients: “you need to feel to heal”.

If you want to manage your pornography addiction, make increasing your emotional IQ part of your recovery process.

War on Porn Steps Up

No Porn Sign

Age Verification to prevent children under the age of 18 from accessing online pornography is set for rollout in the UK. The House of Lords approved the final piece of legislation relating to guidance for the new UK Age Verification system this week (Dec. 11, 2018), with final sign-off from the House of Commons poised. Enforcement is anticipated to begin in early 2019. 

Here are some common questions and issues that are being raised. 

Continue reading “War on Porn Steps Up”

Pure Sex Radio Interview: The 9 Reasons Why Men Abuse Sex

The following is an interview I did for Pure Sex Radio, in which I reviewed the 9 Reasons Why Men Abuse Sex. I came up with these reasons during my work with men to help them manage their sexual and pornography addictions.  

Pure Sex is sponsored by BeBroken Ministries. BeBroken is dedicated to the healing of individuals and family dealing with sexual sin.  You can learn more about BeBroken Ministries at its website: https://2.bebroken.com

 w.podomatic.com/podcasts/puresexradio/episodes/2018-11-06T07_05_31-08_00

4 Steps to Manage Temptations

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSRRS, CCSAS, CPCS

As you know, we don’t cure sexual or pornography addictions, instead, we learn to manage them. To assist us, the following are 4 steps we should take when temptations hits.

Don’t React. Respond. 

This is a critical step. If you don’t get this one you will not be successful. Slow everything down. The key is to not rush off and act out but instead to sit with the emotions that have been activated by the triggering event. Find a place to be alone with your thoughts and feelings.

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Continue reading “4 Steps to Manage Temptations”

Help Her Heal: Walk into the Fire

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS

He is not doing enough,” exclaimed Susan speaking about her husband Artie who betrayed her with his numerous affairs and pornography use.

Her statement left me a little puzzled since I thought Artie had been doing well in his recovery. And from what I could see, Artie certainly had been doing everything that was asked of him. So, I asked Susan, “What do you need that he is not doing?”

“I don’t know,” she answered. “But he is not doing enough.”

fire-300x225 Then it hit me. “Are you saying he is not doing enough in his recovery or he is not doing enough to help your recovery,” I asked her.”

“It’s always about him,” she said as tears formed in her eyes. “What about me? When does he start to focus on how much I am hurting?”
Susan felt Artie was rushing her recovery and wanted her to “get over it” so they could return to their normal life. What Artie did not understand is they could not return to their former relationship. In Susan’s eyes that relationship didn’t work. And she was right. There was no going back. The only road to travel – if they were to remain together – was forward. Continue reading “Help Her Heal: Walk into the Fire”

Give Up For Lent

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CCSAS

Every year the conversation in our home surrounding what to sacrifice for Lent is pretty entertaining. Each individual throws out an idea, while other family members counter argue why they believe it is not a true sacrifice. It’s always the usual list including sweets, bread, or electronics. In reality, all are good ideas and serve the purpose of denying oneself over a period of 40 days.No Porn Sign

Last year I proposed men make a sacrifice that could have long-term and healthy outcomes for themselves and their relationships.

“Give up Lust for Lent.” Continue reading “Give Up For Lent”

How to Determine if You are a Sex Addict?

Sometimes it is difficult to determine if someone is dealing with a sexual addiction. A man who views pornography a couple times a year may be acting inappropriately and hurting intimacy between him and his wife, but it doesn’t mean he is a sex addict. sexual-addiction1

A sexual addiction is diagnosed when sexual activity has a negative impact and effect on other parts of a person’s life including relationships, finances, health, safety, employment, and/or relationship with God. 

The following is a brief assessment to help you get an initial read if you are indeed struggling with a sexual addiction. Check each one that applies to you.

Does your mind wander with sexual thoughts throughout the day?

Do you spend more than 4 hours a week viewing pornography or engaging in sexual chat/video rooms on the Internet? Continue reading “How to Determine if You are a Sex Addict?”