Robert Quit Pornography
When Robert* came to Grapevine Counseling Center he was trying to overcome his addiction to pornography. He shared his story that in high school and college, each of his girlfriends had either dumped him or cheated on him. Pornography had been there to soothe the pain, at least temporarily. Soon, however, it grew in to an addiction that fed off his stress, boredom and especially his feelings of failure. Eventually, Robert married a wonderful girl, but that did not solve his problems. Despite a great sex life, Robert found himself watching pornography every time he went on a business trip. Eventually, his wife found the pornography on his phone. The tears in his wife’s eyes crushed Robert. He had never felt more like a failure in his life.
Robert’s counselor listened intently and gave him feedback about the wounds in his past that seemed to be driving the addiction. Robert believed that his problem was pornography, but his counselor helped him broaden his perspective by seeing that his deeper struggle was his feeling of failure. Robert experienced transformation when he went through an imagery exercise with his counselor. In his mind, Robert confronted each of the girlfriends of his past and articulated what their actions had done to him. Through tears he told himself that he was not a loser, but a courageous man who had much to offer the world. In that moment Robert’s identity changed. He was no longer a failure, and as a result pornography never had the same hold on his life. With new sense of freedom, Robert re-engaged his pornography addiction with the help of his counselor.
Robert has not viewed pornography for two and a half years. He and his wife have reconciled and their marriage is stronger than ever. But the biggest change is that Robert has continued to live free of the shame and self-hatred he was carrying for over a decade.
*Names and Identifying information have been changed to protect client confidentiality.