Text Size
Smaller
Bigger

How can I stop internet porn addiction before the wedding?

answered 07:10 PM EST, Sat May 05, 2012
-- filed under:
anonymous anonymous
I am engaged and the wedding is set for June. I am a virgin but I believe I have a problem with pornography. I look at porn on the internet every night and I cannot control myself once I start. Oftentimes I will end up looking at pornographic websites until the early morning hours. I feel compelled to do this.

I do not want to bring this habit into my marriage and I do not ever want my wife to be to know about it. I am very ashamed of myself. How do I stop myself so that she never needs to know about this part of me?

Penny Bell Says...

Penny Bell P. Bell
Master of Counselling, Grad Dip Counselling, Adv. Dip. Counselling & Family Therapy, MACA
Facebook LinkedIn.com

Often internet pornography addiction begins with adolescent curiosity but becomes eventually a panacea for all that is lacking in the person’s life.  In that way, it is like any other addiction – there to fill the gap, to medicate the pain, to comfort and to soothe.  Unfortunately, like all addictions, it has a tremendously powerful grip and a nasty downside – it’s hard to stop when you decide you want to.  The cost can be high – your health (up all night, for a beginning), your family, relationships, career and of course personal freedom can all fall by the wayside as the addiction takes precedence in your life.

Porn addiction is unique among others in that it also distorts your perception of love and romance.  Fantasy about the perfect partner in the perfect sexual adventure that you can control and fulfil at any time becomes the norm, so that the real life reality of a flawed human partner with their own will and desires (or lack of desire) in a comparitively clumsy sexual encounter which has to be approached sensitively and carefully becomes difficult, or even repugnant and unacceptable.

In order for you to recover from this addiction, several things must be put into place.  First of all you need to find support – a twelve step group, a therapist, and your pastor can help you through to sobriety.  As well, an accountability partner – a friend, your pastor – who will check in with you, by arrangement, as to how you’re doing with your sobriety plan.  Then, you need to develop an internet health plan, such as described in the book “In the shadows of the net – breaking free of compulsive online sexual behaviour” by Carnes, Delmonico and Griffin (2007, Hazelden).  Draw three circles, one inside the other.  The outer circle is the green zone, where you list internet behaviours that are always ok for you.  The next circle is the yellow zone – where it’s not ok when you’re tired, alone, angry or lonely.  The inner circle is the red zone – going online after 10pm or looking for sexual images.  Have this chart beside you whenever you use your computer and use it to be accountable to yourself.  Finally, be aware that once you have control over your addiction, relapse is hiding behind the door.  This can thrust you right back to where you began if you don’t have a “relapse plan” – which is simply to check in with the 12 step group, your pastor and your accountability partner.

The important part of all of the above is that you are one hundred percent committed to change and you have invested every part of yourself into behaviours that will bring that change.  If you just “go through the motions”, real change will evade you.  But if you put your heart and soul into it, you will find freedom from addiction.

You say you do not want your fiancé to know about “this part of me”.  Do you see your addiction as a behaviour that only a compartmentalised part of you carries out?  If you do, you have deceived yourself.  This addiction affects every part of you, and it will affect every part of your marriage.  Whether or not you disclose your internet porn addiction to your fiancé is up to you, but my suggestion is that if you do, she be invited to one of your therapy sessions, when you are ready, and you tell her in that environment where things can be explained to her.  Once a partner is aware, there is a danger of co-dependency on their part – vigilance and policing, which can be an exhausting preoccupation, so your fiancé may wish to stay in therapy as well to sort through that. 

If you do not disclose to your fiancé, and she somehow discovers that you are accessing cyber porn, I would suggest the same path, but it would of course be better if you tell her yourself.

I wish you all the best in your upcoming marriage, and I hope the above is helpful to you.

Email It Send this page Print It Print friendly page Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category

Page last updated May 07, 2012

Join Thousands of Readers

who receive our weekly recovery newsletter.

Penny Bell - Master of Counselling, Grad Dip Counselling, Adv. Dip. Counselling & Family Therapy, MACA
Counselor/Therapist
Christian Recovery: Featured Experts
All Experts

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.