Dear Readers of Light, Love, Hope:
I come before you today in raw truth speaking straight from my heart and soul regarding real issues that men have. I will be speaking openly about my struggles in hopes to help someone else out of the pit of darkness that I once was living in. It is my hope to help encourage others who wish to leave that pit and join me on my journey to becoming a Godly Man.
A few months ago, back in May to be exact, I admitted to my wife something that held me in bondage for years, and that is an addiction to pornography. This is something that I am not proud of and carry a tremendous amount of guilt and shame over as it was a sin and dishonored my wife. Shirley could have turned her back on me at that time when the truth came out, yet she made a decision to walk with me, to take my hand and help lead me out of the darkness into the light. With her help, support, love, and encouragement, along with God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness, I sit here today willing to share my real life struggle in hopes of helping someone else who may also be struggling and living a secret life of sin.
“For there is nothing hidden but it must be disclosed,
nothing kept secret except to be brought to light.”
This secret life has caused so much hurt, pain, and suffering to my wife and to my entire family. I can hardly face myself in the mirror when I realize how my wife has suffered over what I’ve done.
Oh my God! What have I done to my precious wife and kids?!
They do NOT deserve this!
It stirred up a tremendous amount of emotions in them, in me, and in my entire family when this all came out.
I know first hand that sin grows in the dark where no one can see, or so you tell yourself. If you have thought that you can hide something by being deceitful, it will come out in other ways. It’s wrong to think this way and to hide anything from your spouse, but even though I tried so hard to keep my secrets hidden, she knew something was going on. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but she feared the worst. Although I did not have a physical affair, viewing the pornography was most definitely wrong and hurt her thinking of me lusting after other women when I should have only had eyes for her.
I have learned of and felt over the years how this sin slowly eats away at your self esteem, self worth, you have no integrity, and it most certainly separates you from God while destroying any trust that your wife may have with you. It causes you to be handicapped emotionally and an intimacy disorder develops without you even realizing it until it has already happened. You have an aversion to the very thing that you desire most, and that is the closeness with your wife.
You want to be loved, respected, honored, validated, and most certainly a man of integrity, but it robs you of all of those things.
It objectifies and degrades women, and it has the potential of destroying your marriage. It steals your joy, your ability to communicate, and you are always on guard because you don’t want your secret sin to be found out.
For me, I have hidden this for well over 30 years, but when all of this started to boil over in May, I had no choice but to seek professional help to deal with all of this and try to save my marriage. It has been excruciating pealing back all of the layers to get to the sin and be honest that you weren’t who everyone thought that you were all of this time, including yourself. I have beat myself up, and I ran from the anguish that it caused in myself, in my wife, and my entire family as in I left the home twice when I was battling with myself. This was unfair to my whole family because then not only did they feel hurt from the sin being disclosed and revealed, but now they were forced to deal with all the emotions that were brought forth by my abandoning them after dumping all of this in their lap. By the grace of God, Shirley allowed me to come back home both times – oh thank you God – but I had to continue with counseling and stop the sin!
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:
I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly.”
The enemy is slick, and there are men that sit in your very churches that have this hidden sin also. Few would admit that they have an issue with lust and pornography, but the enemy will tempt and try everyone – men, women, saints, deacons, preachers, youth ministers, as well as executives in the work force in powerful positions that you’d think were men of integrity, yet they have been plagued with this. If you are struggling with this issue and have this stronghold in your life, the enemy – which is the devil – has made you a slave to this sin.
This is what is happening to you:
*You will have control issues.
*You will be covering up lies – not only deceiving yourself but others all around you.
*You have a false form of intimacy by viewing the pornography without the risk of rejection.
*You may feel or have even told yourself that you are unworthy of love.
*You are a slave to this sin.
If you are viewing pornography for any of the following reasons, please seek help:
*If you are viewing it while you are upset, and using it as a coping mechanism;
*If you are viewing it out of boredom;
*If you are viewing it when stressed;
*If you are viewing it because you’re angry;
*Or if you are viewing it because you’re incredibly shy and are fearful of trying to have any type of a relationship with a person for fear of rejection …
Then you are self medicating in a way – you are using this as your coping mechanism to soothe yourself.
Please know that help is available!
Some people don’t see what the big deal is – but it is a HUGE deal because lusting after other women hurts your wife deeply and chips away at her self esteem and self worth. My wife has endured too much pain all because of this stupid addiction to pornography. She is a true angel that continues to take my hand and lead me to the foot of the cross where I can fall on my face begging for forgiveness and asking God to take this burden from me and from my family. Although I beat myself up, there is no condemnation from God. He has forgiven me from my sins, and He is helping me to turn from my sin, turn from the lustful ways, and turn from the pornography addiction.
If you are struggling with this – no matter who you are – I want to encourage you to come clean with God, yourself, your wife and family or your future family if you are currently in a relationship.
Society today uses sex to sell everything … so it becomes more common to view this type of thing, but pretty soon, it has a hold on you that you can’t get out from under. You may start viewing this by stumbling upon magazines or videos as a teenage boy, just as I did, and then wind up 30 years later with your marriage in ruins and picking up the pieces of your wife’s broken heart after she has discovered your addiction.
Please … get help, whether you seek out a counselor that deals specifically with this issue, or whether you attend support group sessions, or even reading books on the topic to try to break free from this bondage – help is available, and you don’t have to continue this any more.
You owe it to yourself, to your wife, and to your family to STOP this!
To be a man, you have to own it – admit that you have a problem! Turn the flood lights on this deadly sin in your life that is threatening your marriage and let the cockroaches run!
You CAN be a man of integrity. You can break free from this sin. God will help you!
This is me being real with the world regarding real men, real issues as more men than you realize are struggling with this issue. I am in recovery – I sought help. I encourage you to do the same.
Dusty, Shirley’s husband
For it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.
But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light,
for everything that becomes visible is light.
For this reason it says, “Awake, Sleeper, and arise from the dead
and Christ will shine on you.”