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.
Last year I proposed men make a sacrifice that could have long-term and healthy outcomes for themselves and their relationships.
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.
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?
“I don’t know what you are so upset about. Every guy watches porn. It’s no big deal so why don’t you just leave it alone.”
I am blown away by the number of men I meet in my counseling practice who have uttered those words to their wives to justify their pornography addiction. In fact, many men believe watching pornography is as harmless as watching football. In their minds, since “every guy watches porn,” then it’s a harmless activity.
But they’re wrong.
Viewing pornography is far from harmless, especially to the emotional well-being of our wives. When we watch porn, we are sending extremely hurtful messages to our spouses.
While we may not intend to communicate self-worth eroding messages, nevertheless these messages are coming through loud and clear. Here are three of them.
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? Tarnished?
How about outright pissed? You know you would be! So why then is it considered cool or even natural for us men to look upon women as playthings created simply 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,
There is no mistaking that men and women are different. However, they also are seen as equal in God’s eyes. And if the Creator sees them that way, then how can we not? There are many reasons why women are not sex objects and should not be treated as such. Let’s take a look at four. Continue reading “4 Reasons Why Women Are Not Sex Objects”→
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.
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?”→
Do you have a secret? If so, you have come to understand the best way to keep it a secret is to guard it. You must keep it out of sight from others so that no one ever discovers it. And what better place to keep it hidden than in the dark.
The dark is a wonder place for secrets because it’s difficult for people to see through darkness. Jesus knew this.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” John 3:19-20
Pornography addicts hate the light because it’s impossible to act out when being exposed. They need the dark in order for their secret to remain hidden. It is in the dark that a pornography addiction can manifest itself and become deeper and more intense. It is in the dark that a pornography addiction can thrive and work to destroy the addict’s mind as well as relationships.
One of the first steps necessary to recovery is admitting we have a problem. And that requires taking our addiction out of the dark and exposing it to the light. You hate reading that don’t you? Come on admit it.
But if you want to be free of this 10-ton weight you are carrying you must expose it. We do that by finding a trusting friend or accountability partner. We join a support group in which we are surrounded by like-minded men who understand the struggles. We admit our sins to our wife or partner and ask for their support as we tackle what could be the biggest challenge we have ever faced.
Let’s go back to Jesus as he continues discussing the need to bring sin into the light. “But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” John 3:21 NLT
Doing what God wants. How different is that then simply indulging in our own selfish pleasures? Doing what God wants. Come out of the dark with your pornography addiction and start on the road of recovery today.
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.
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”→
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…
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 alone. There 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”→
This is just one example of what our children are exposed to everyday by the media. What is the message they are receiving about women? And you want to know why there is a sexual integrity issue in this country.Continue reading “Commercial Objectification”→
Another Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and men are busy trying to determine the best gift to give to the special women in their lives. The array of ways to show you care is endless: jewelry, chocolates, flowers, brief getaway, cards, dinner, etc. The holiday serves as a wonderful way to celebrate how much we love our partner.
But then comes the day after Valentine’s Day.
That’s the day when all of the hoopla is just a memory. We will fall back into our routines and busyness. And many men will fall back into their lust for pornography.
Perhaps they had given it up for a day to focus on their wife or girlfriend. But now it’s the day after Valentine’s Day and time to return to the ugly habit that dishonors and objectifies women. It’s time once again to engage in selfishness that willbreak hearts if they should discover what takes place behind closed doors.
Maybe instead of a traditional gift this year, you should give your loved one a gift that demonstrates how much you respect her as woman. Commit to beginning the process of working on treating your addiction and removing it from your marriage or relationship. Honor the special woman in our life – which includes your daughter(s) – by taking that brave step of admitting you have a problem and doing something about it.
This Valentine’s Day give her the commitment of bringing purity back into your relationship. If you don’t know how to go about that visit http://www.SexuallyPureMen.com and read what is involved in the process.
This year give her a Valentine’s Day gift that will change yours lives forever. Give her a gift that will make the day after Valentine’s Day the start of something beautiful and meaningful in your relationship.
Eddie Capparucci, MA, LPC is a licensed Christian counselor with a private practice in Marietta, GA. Feel free to re-post and share this article. You can read more of his thoughts at his blogs: