Tag: Sexual shame

Empathy for Her is Understanding ‘Why’

By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSRRS, CCSAS, CPCS

If I asked you why you abuse sex you would probably give me one of the following: answers:

“I have no idea”
“I wish I knew”
“I think it’s just who I am”
“It is the way God made me”
“I think I am simply perverted”
“I’m sick”
“I’m disgusting”
“I’m just a loser”
“I’m a bad man”
“I mentally disturbed”
“I am too self-absorbed”

In treating men struggling with sex/porn addiction I have heard all those comments and more when I asked the why question. Without a clear-cut rationale for why we will simply default to believing it’s a character flaw. In our minds, the obsessed focus on sex is the result of our overactive sexual energy.

“I am convinced I am hard-wired differently than other guys,” said Connor, who at one time was spending nearly $250 a week on live sex webcasts. “There is no other explanation for why I am consumed with sexual thoughts around the clock. I can never get enough.”

Connor is right, he is hard-wired to abuse sexbut not due to anything biological or physiological. Connor’s obsession for sex was developed because someone(s) hard-wired him by causing emotional pain. He learned to block out the emotional distress by distracting himself with sex. To straighten out his wiring, Connor, like all sex addicts, will need to discover the true root of his addiction.

Her Need for Empathy

I truly believe uncovering the origin of a sex/porn addiction is vital in recovery process. The key to unlocking the power of a sex/porn addiction is for men to discover why it manifested in the first place. The answer to the why question provides a level of freedom and relief that enables us to feel hopeful we can get the addiction under control.

 But this information is not only important for men dealing with sexual integrity issues, but it’s also valuable for their spouse or partner.      

Why? Because it helps both parties clearly understand the addiction is not only about “sex”. This insight helps to clear up the misconception they are simply dealing with “an out-of-control pervert” who will never stop acting out. It provides a sense of hope needed, not only to manage the addiction, but to keep the relationship together.

When a wife or partner understands the ‘why’, it opens the door for them to develop empathy, which is needed for a couple to reconnect. Empathy allows those betrayed to see the addict through a softer pair of eyes that are not as condemning and judgmental.

 “I was shocked to learn what Matt had been doing had nothing to do with sex,” said Rachel. “It was quite a relief to understand there actually was some rationale for the insane things he had been doing.”

Now don’t take Rachel’s comments wrong. It’s not that she was condoning Matt’s sexual addiction it was simply that she could now see why he had been acting out in such a destructive manner.

“Just because I now understand doesn’t mean I am ready to forgive,” she continued. “But I could see that day coming. Prior to this, I had no hope of ever forgiving him. It’s obvious he’s been dealing with a lot from his childhood that I never knew.”

When a woman develops empathy for her sex/porn-addicted partner she indicates an understanding of his problem. However, she is not, in any way, shape or form saying she is accepting of the behavior. She continues to despise it. By becoming empathic a woman can find a way to adjust her thinking to once again accept her partner if she sees he is taking steps to change.

Basically, she is saying “I understand why you do what you do. It all makes sense to me now. However, I still don’t like it, so what are you doing to fix it?”

IMPORTANT FACT: Discovering the reasons why a man abuses sex is not an excuse for his behavior. He had other options, including to seek help earlier. But he elected not to take them. He is still responsible for the pain he has caused to others.

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?”

So You Think Women Enjoy Being in Porn? Think Again.

Readers, the following first appeared on the website ThePornEffect.com. It is a letter written by a young woman who spent time in the pornography industry. For those men – and even some women – who think there is nothing wrong viewing pornography, you need to read this.

Dear Porn User,

I want you to know that I don’t write this with any hostility to you. Maybe you watch porn but don’t want to. Maybe you watch porn and don’t want to stop. Either way, thanks for reading.internetporn

I was a “porn star” for only six months but featured in over twenty films. I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and I’ve seen the reality of what the porn industry is really like. I think many people believe falsehoods about porn. Falsehoods which, if they knew them to be such, would probably try harder (or try at all) to stop watching porn. Continue reading “So You Think Women Enjoy Being in Porn? Think Again.”

Should I Tell My Spouse about Struggles with Sexual Purity?

Great article by Garrett Kell on being upfront and transparent with our wives about the struggle of sexual sin. This article originally appeared on the website “For The Church’. Read and take the advice to heart. One of the biggest issues facing couples in this situation is the husband lacks the courage to be honest and open. It is a BIG mistake and only leads to further pain and mistrust. 

Continue reading “Should I Tell My Spouse about Struggles with Sexual Purity?”

Can Sex Addiction Recovery Be Permanent?

By Eddie Capparucci, MA, LPC

Quite often I am asked by one of my clients who abuse sex “what is the time frame for being cured?”. They are a little taken aback when I respond “never”.  Their wives also are disappointed and worried when they hear this news.

However, it is not all bad news. Like any other addiction, the desire to abuse sex doesn’t evaporate into thin air after a man has done his work and followed a recovery program designed to achieve sexual integrity. And I do not need to tell you that sexual temptation loudly surrounds us. jesuswithyou

In fact, there is really little escape from the endless imagines and triggers that engross us on a daily basis. That is why the focus of recovery needs to be not simply on changing our behavior but instead changing our hearts. A critical component of that change is realizing we could become vulnerable if we let down our guard. Read what the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:12. Continue reading “Can Sex Addiction Recovery Be Permanent?”

Stop Adding to the Pain of Hurt Women

I am going to share a story of a brave woman named Madeleine Black who suffered through being raped, tortured and humiliated at the age of 13. Following her assault, the shame and self-loathing she felt led her to act out in a promiscuous manner as a teenager. Finally, she found love with a healthy man and peace when she learned to forgive.

I am sharing her story not only because it demonstrates the strength and courage of one woman, but also to illustrate how as men when we seek to engage in a casual sexual encounter with a willing woman who we found in a chat room or through a sex app, we are adding to the insult they had suffered earlier in their lives. We are stripping away from them another sliver of their limited self-worth. We are contributing to the self-loathing they experience by using their bodies for our own sexual pleasure. We are as guilty of hurting them as the individuals who originally caused them emotional, physical and sexual pain.  Continue reading “Stop Adding to the Pain of Hurt Women”

Couples and Porn Don’t Mix

By Eddie Capparucci, MA, LPC

An article in the popular magazine Women’s Health outlined three reasons why couples should watch pornography together. Obviously, the writers and editors of Women’s Health don’t have a lot of experience in seeing how couples who watch pornography together can quickly see the erosion of their relationships.  

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Photo by Dreamstime.com

Carla and Jonah started counseling after she found sexually-graphic text messages that he had been sending to women he met in chat rooms. He would later confess to her that he had been having online sexual encounters with three different women in which he would masturbate while reading the erotic text they exchanged back and forward.  Continue reading “Couples and Porn Don’t Mix”

Women Also Struggle with Porn

Although this site is intended to help men who are struggling with sexual integrity, I thought it was important for readers to understand women also can have trouble dealing with sexual integrity. The usage of pornography among women is growing rapidly and with it an increase in the number of women who are becoming addicted. Here is one woman’s story toward recovery.

To my dear friends, family members, random readers, church leaders, loved ones of addicts and addicts…

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Please know that my story is a very personal one.  I do not share my story lightly and I admit I do have fears that there will be negative repercussions both for me but especially for my family.   But, I trust in the Lord and I continually find safety in the words of King David: “The Lord is on my side, I will not fear what can man do unto me.”  It has slowly been revealed to me over the past couple of years that it is my mission in life to spread hope to those who currently feel the shame that I have felt; who are bound by the chains of the adversary as I was and who feel totally and completely lost as I once did.  To you I say; you are not aloneThere is hope.  To the rest of you, if you have negative things to say, please just don’t.  My target audience is to spread hope to those who can relate to what I have to share and awareness to those who have loved ones that may be struggling, or just to those who want to hear a great story of how the Savior rescues and heals the broken. Continue reading “Women Also Struggle with Porn”

Am I Being Faithful to My Wife?

I received this question from a reader recently.

Eddie, I have been happily married for 13 years and my wife and I have sex approximately once a week. I also masturbate (without pornography) about two times a week. Do you believe I have a sexual integrity issue? 

From: Wanting to Honor Her Continue reading “Am I Being Faithful to My Wife?”