|No one's getting hurt:|
One in four marriages split up because of pornography.
After writing a post called Sexual Freedom, which was my beginning attempt to answer some questions on some hot sexual topics, I received a number of public and private replies that gave me the encouragement to write this post: How to avoid the temptation of pornography.
I will not spend time trying to convince anyone not to watch porn, but I will share this: 56% of divorces note that a spouse's watching of pornography was a major reason for divorce. Considering that generally half of all marriages end in divorce, this means that one in four marriages end because a partner’s addiction to pornography.
It's an understatement to say that this a big deal. For the guys (and women) out there who think their porn addiction will go away when they’re married because “they’ll be having sex all the time”, I’ve witnessed and read countless testimonies of married men who say this simply isn’t true (both that marriage will relieve your addiction and that you will have sex all the time). Marriage doesn’t change things. The only thing we can do is advice given by a married man himself about this issue in one of my favorite talks I’ve heard. He told us guys that before we get married, we need to “Get our shit together.”
After years of struggling with the temptation of pornography, I can say for the past year I no longer have an addiction. I'm not saying I'm above the temptation and that I've never fallen since, but I am saying that I have broken the habit that used to be weekly, even daily at times. To be more specific, if I was counting (and I don't) I could maybe count on two hands the amount of days I've visited a site in the past year.
How did I get over it? Well, like any addiction, I had to admit I had an issue and wasn't happy with the habit. Then in past years I've had used a combination of accountability, Web site blockers, and prayer. For now though, I want to mention a secret that's helped me greatly I feel hasn't been talked about yet.
|And one thing lead to another...|
|Great first read to win the battle.|
The longer we stare leads to the longer we play out a fantasy in our head which leads to eventually acting upon that fantasy.
Guard our eyes. What does that mean? Well, we can’t help the first glance when a woman walks in front of us and in our line of view are her tight pants. But we can control is the second glance at that same woman, or how long we let that first glance be. Every Man’s Battle calls it “bouncing the eyes.” We literally have to bounce our eyes after that first glance, bounce them as quickly as we can to something else.
Prime example, I frequently take the Metro train in Washington, D.C., meaning I walk up a lot of escalators. Women’s buttocks are at my eye level every day when they’re walking in front of me. It’s not her fault nor mine that this happens. Because I know what looking at a girl’s butt does to me, I literally look down on the steps every time I’m on an escalator. I can’t help the first glance, but I can help the second and how long I look. I bounce my eyes. I’ve been practicing this for years and it has helped tremendously.
Many readers, especially women, may think, “Wow, this guy Matt is pathetic.” I don’t think so because I believe that if we can’t win the little battles, how do we expect to win the bigger ones where it matters more? This goes for any addiction like binge drinking, over eating, or smoking. It begins small, doesn’t it? As for porn, I know how guys think. I call it the slippery slope. Let’s say we stare at something as harmless as an NFL cheerleader on TV bending over. All of a sudden, we’re more intrigued to later look up photos of cheerleaders online, also harmless, right? Look at enough photos, we’re probably ready to move on to watch a video of a cheerleader, playing out a fantasy in our head, and so forth. Replace cheerleader with anything else---model, actress, whatever, it’s the same slippery slope of “harmless” acts which lead us to somewhere that maybe we didn’t want to go. Give a mouse a cookie, and he won’t rest on just cookies.
|That cookie won't be enough...|
My point is that wouldn’t it all be easier if we avoided that first stare, that second glance? For me, it’s so much easier to resist the small temptation the first time than try to resist the temptation while I’m already online.
I bounce my eyes on TV, magazine racks, even Facebook. I can’t help that a lot of girls put up close-up photos of them in bathing suits online. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a difference of them posing with their friends, but I’ve noticed many girls like to post close-up shots of just them in their tops. What are guys suppose to look at? With these shots, I often hide their history on the News Feed so I don’t have to look at them again. It’s not their fault nor mine that they show up, but I can control how long I look or if I look a second time.
If you’re serious about stopping your pornography addiction, concentrating on the act is one way to go about it, but I tell you after years of struggling with this, taking the proactive approach of guarding my eyes, bouncing my eyes, which relieves me from the desire in the first place, has been so much easier and effective in avoiding the sites than trying to convince myself after a day or two of checking out butts and boobs that I’m not going to want to look at something more online.
I’ll rest on this point. There’s more to talk about, like other reasons we look at it (stress, boredom, curiosity), and how we can address those things. Also, I’ll touch on that the biggest sin of man isn’t chastity, but pride, and how that plays into this topic. Finally, I’ll get to the topic of getting up when we fall, how we need to be patient and gentle with ourselves.
Meanwhile, try the guarding and bouncing our eyes activity. Let me know how that works out. If anyone does it, and it doesn’t help, I owe you a burger and some fries. Remember the first stat at the beginning. One in four. Do we want to become a statistic? Let's together, erase it.