Why Can't I Quit Porn?

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It is difficult watching men spend years struggling to get themselves free of pornography. They keep saying, … Why can't I quit porn but seem to find no answers. I remember going through my own challenges erasing porn from my life and the feelings of frustration and hopelessness each time I had a setback.

Today, as a Christian counselor, I get the opportunity to walk with men as they take up the battle against pornography and it's heartbreaking to hear their stories of endless attempts to get sober only to succumb to temptation over and over again.

"Why can't I quit porn?" said Larry. "I have tried everything that has been asked of me in the past: Internet security, support groups, accountability partners … you name it and I've done it. And don't get me wrong, they certainly help for a while, but it never fails as time goes on the same hurtful feelings start coming back and I find myself using once again. Sometimes I feel like I have done nothing but put a band-aid over my sexual addiction. It stops the acting out until it falls off."

As Larry spoke, I knew right away what he was struggling with in his quest to be porn free. He had never gotten to the root of his sexual addiction problem. At the heart of all addictions is emotional pain. Addictive behaviors are used in an attempt to conceal the hurt we feel by serving as a distraction. And they do an excellent job keeping our emotional pain in check — for a brief time. But once the "high" of our addiction has worn off, we find ourselves right back where we started. 

Now you may be saying to yourself, "I don't feel any emotional pain. I use pornography simply because I like it." This is not unusual. It tells me you have done an excellent job suppressing troubling emotions. In fact, you may have a difficult time in expressing any emotion beyond anger, happiness, or sadness. But lying at the core of you addiction is a rationale for why you abuse sex. Because that's exactly what you're doing — abusing sex.

The emotional pain that leads to sexual addictions can take on many different forms. Over the years I have identified numerous reasons men abuse sex, including: an overwhelming need for affirmation; a sense of entitlement; need for control; the hunger for attention; feelings of weakness; inability to emotionally engage; early sexual stimulation or abuse; and as a stress-buster. It is not uncommon for men to deal with two or more of these emotional troubles.

Behavior modification has its place in treating sexual addictions and is extremely valuable, but a key to freeing yourself from abusing sex is learning to identify and manage your emotional pain. And that requires getting to the root.

If you're tired of asking yourself why can't I quit porn and wondering how to get to the root, XXXchurch suggests investigating My Pilgrimage, a comprehensive program designed to help you dig to the roots of your addiction — and then unearth them. Check it out here.

Originally posted at xxxchurch.com