Posted by: gtcounseling | October 15, 2010

Acheiving Victory Over Sexual Addiction

Ms. Miller,
I am a 42 yr old married man with 6 children. I have been married to a wonderful woman for 18 yrs. At a very young age I was exposed to pornography and it has plagued my life for over 30 yrs. Several years ago, I began chatting about sexual fantasies via email with women while at work. My wife caught me on more than one occasion and I’ve begged for forgiveness and promised never to do it again. She being the wonderful Christian wife forgave me. I would then do fine for a while, reading my Bible and making an effort to avoid the temptation. Yet, I would find myself back at it months later and lying to her about it until she would catch me again. I finally crossed the line when I began chatting with a friend of hers, sharing ideas of things I would do to her. I finally stopped chatting with her and had not made any efforts to contact her.   However, I was not man enough to confess to my wife of my wrong doings and even when she asked if I had said anything about sex with her friend, I would say no I had not. Apparently her friend had been hinting around to her for several months and I continued to deny it. Well, it all came to a head about a week ago when my wife asked me again and I finally admitted it. Now, my wife wants to leave me and I truly understand her stance, as I’ve destroyed her inside and she cannot trust me. There is so much more to this and I know I need help. Can you help me?  Dirk

Hello Dirk,

You certainly have a very complex and painful situation going on and I’ll do my best to give you the wise counsel you seek. First, you are right in that you need help, whether your marriage stays intact or not. Sexual addiction is a tough nut to crack, though the good news is that it can be done. It will take hard work and committment on your part, and a multi-faceted approach.

The first thing I would recommend would be seeking out a good, trusted, male Christian counselor in your local area who is willing to work with you closely on the issue of your sexual abuse and the ‘much more’ that you didn’t mention. You’ll need to commit to working through your long-standing pornography addiction and the internet chatting addiction which is very real as well. The next level of help I recommend would be to meet with your Pastor and confide in him about your addiction and struggles, and to also ask him to meet with you regularly and help hold you accountable for getting the help you need. It would also benefit you to join a men’s bible study group and ministry for ongoing support and help from other men. Sexual addiction readily thrives as one of those ‘secret sins’ in mens lives because it is kept hidden from others out of embarrassment, fear, shame and more. It’s hold can only be broken when it’s brought to light and shared with others who can hold you accountable. The third level to work on is your internet and computer usage. You will need to put into place ‘nanny’ programs that don’t allow pornography site navigation, and also put other accountability measures in place such as only using the computer while in the same room as your spouse. This takes away the ability to feed the addiction. And, if your work computer is a temptation the same precautions should be taken there.

Once you get the help you need Dirk and the other pieces into place, with God’s help you should begin to see more real gains made in overcoming your sexual addiction and other problems. Honoring God and reading the bible are good things, but as you know from experience doing those things and ‘trying hard’ not to feed the addiction do not break this type of stronghold. Only putting God first, getting real and honest with yourself and having other men walk beside you to hold you accountable will break this bondage. I pray that God will give you the courage and strength to make the choices that you need to make to move forward Dirk.

Sincerely,

Carole L. Miller, LCSW-C

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