Advice for those Struggling with Pornography

We hope that the following will help those who are struggling with pornography, or who feel they have a "porn addiction".

First, it is important to remember how pornography might be affecting your relationships. You may not realise that the drip, drip effect of regularly accessing pornography can have a number of effects:

- pornography distorts reality 

- leads to being unsatisfied by real life partners 

- portrays people as prizes 

- devalues sex

- can promote sexual violence towards women. 

 

We suggest that you go through our Internet Use Self-Test

1. Do you regularly spend time looking for sexual stimulation on the Internet (pornography, sexual/romantic chat rooms, etc)? 

2. Have you tried to stop your involvement with Internet pornography, but have been unable? 

3. Does your involvement with Internet sex interfere with your physical well-being (eg being tired from staying up late viewing Internet pornography)? 

4. Have you masturbated while watching Internet pornography or immediately afterwards? 

5. Do you hide your involvement with cybersex from your spouse or others close to you? 

6. Are you preoccupied during the day with sexual fantasising based on images or experiences you have had on the Internet? 

7. Do you try to avoid social engagements, or try to leave such engagements early in order to spend more time involved in Internet sex? 

8. Have you logged on to Internet sex sites from your computer or mobile phone?  

9. Have you felt shame or depression following involvement with cybersex? 

10. Do you feel guilty in the sight of God because of your involvement with Internet pornography? 

11. Are you less involved with your spouse or close friends because of your involvement with cybersex? 

12. Have you lied to/sought to cover up from your spouse or others about your use of Internet pornography? 

13. Have your family or friends complained about the amount of time you spend online? 

14. Do you frequently become angry and irritable when asked by family or friends to decrease your involvement with the Internet? 

Interpretation: 

‘Yes' on 1-3 questions indicates you may have a problem. More than 3 positive answers indicates you may have a more serious problem with porn addiction. 

Adapted and used with the permission of Prodigals International 

 

Ten Things You Can Do 

1. Be honest and if you have not done it already, commit yourself to serious prayer about this matter. Repent, commit to change and ask God for forgiveness. Ask God to create in you a pure heart. 

2. Consider talking to someone you look up to spirituality who you sense will understand. 

3. Be accountable to a friend in the church on a regular and on-going basis. Check your progress against the Internet self-test and consider joining a support group.  

4. Share with your wife (or husband), if appropriate and ask her to support you in prayer. 

5. Delete all copies of pornography from your computer in the presence of a friend, and destroy any videos, DVDs, magazines etc. 

6. Install filtering and/or accountability software (eg. the Covenant Eyes programme, or Accountable2You) on all the computers you use – this is also available for some mobile phones. 

7. Use the computer at home when someone else is in the house and can see the screen.

8. Make a conscious decision not to be in the office early in the morning or late at night on your own. 

9. Live out your decision one day at a time.

10. Go, with your wife if appropriate, to a counsellor and work on bringing trust back to your relationship. 

 

What to say? 

If you are married, you face the dilemma of what do you tell your wife? This will be a very delicate decision for you personally. We recommend talking this over with the person you have confided in: they will hopefully know you and your wife and will be able to discuss the right approach. 

For some couples it might be appropriate for the husband to say nothing to his wife, as this revelation may be just too devastating. You will know if your relationship falls into this category. 

For others openness will be necessary - and it may help your wife understand some of your behaviour over recent months. Telling your wife will be a difficult thing to do. We suggest that you should talk to her when you are sure you want to change. To do so before may be more damaging to your wife and you. You must expect that your wife will be shocked and hurt, and possibly angry. You should acknowledge that you have hurt her deeply and that it will take time to repair the intimacy lost in your relationship, but, that you want to rebuild her trust in you. (See also the section on Help for Wives.) 

You may be in the position where your wife has found pornography stored on your computer and has already confronted you about your actions. In this situation you may have told her everything or you may have denied any involvement, but now wish to change your mind and talk to your wife. 

' All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. '

2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 (NLT)