If you are a Christian, I will weave our mutual faith throughout your treatment. If you are of another faith or consider yourself agnostic, I will use the time tested pearls found in the 12 step program . Whatever your faith, the proven tools of Patrick Carnes Facing the Shadow will be the basis of our work together. The 12 step program says that in order to recover you must “grasp and develop a manner of living that demands rigorous honesty”. The Bible says, “If you walk in the light as He is in the Light you will have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son will cleanse you from all sin”.
Rigorous honesty, walking in the light – this is the only way you will be free from your addiction. For the Christian, your faith is based, not on you or your willpower, but on the grace of Jesus Christ. Your hope does not come by trying harder but by recognizing your need for a merciful Deliverer who is powerful enough to save you from yourself. The very first step in the 12 step model is “we admitted we were powerless over lust”.
The message is crystal clear. You cannot do this alone. Left to yourself, you will choose lust even though you know it harms your wife and your marriage. Your brain has been hijacked. Your very best thinking has nearly destroyed your relationship.
In order to recover it is crucial for you to accept that your thinking is deeply flawed. In fact, addiction is a type of insanity, in that you continue to do things that cause harm to you and to those you love. Your wife will ask you, “how can you say you love me when you continue to look at porn?”
Good question – How can you continue in a behavior that stabs her heart and still claim to care about her? Your porn use sends her a distinct and undeniable message that she does not matter, that you do not respect or value her, that your own sexual impulses take precedence over her heart.
Walking in the light or being rigorously honest is hard because it exposes the underlying roots of your addiction: your anger, your entitlement, your perfectionism, your isolation. In treatment you will see that your sexual acting out isn’t really the problem, it is your temporary solution to the real problem which is you. Sex addiction is an ‘intimacy disorder’ which means that you don’t know how to love and you’ve used illicit sex as a way of medicating the pain caused by your lack of true connection.
Thankfully, both the Bible and the 12 step model start from the premise that you are deeply flawed and that is good news, because any system that requires you to ‘pull yourself together’ is doomed to fail. The acceptance of powerlessness over destructive behaviors or of an inherent brokenness is the key to being able to admit who you are and admit that you need a Power greater than yourself to restore you to sanity.
You are not alone. Many people have found themselves at the beginning of this road and I have walked alongside them as they discover a life of freedom and peace. There is hope for you. Every person is a life worth saving, every marriage is a family worth healing. If you are ready for the journey, give me a call.