This isn’t about me. I have no horn to toot here. I just want you guys to see that quitting this mental and emotional monstrosity IS possible.
I’ve had a few people on this sub ask me about my story and how I quit watching porn. I’ve posted or commented bits and pieces before, but I thought Day 3,400 would be a good one to share the whole thing. This is going to be a long post.
I grew up in a strong Christian home. My parents weren’t completely blind to the dangers of the internet, so the only computer in the house was in the kitchen where anyone could walk in. I grew up in a very rural area (40 kids in my whole high school), and my folks still have no cell reception at the house.
My parents always taught me that porn was wrong, but they weren’t always the best about explaining the “whys” on topics they found uncomfortable.
I was exposed to sexual content through my friends at school and through movies, but nothing too explicit. I started masturbating at about age 12. At 14 I found a Victoria’s Secret ad my mom had thrown away and jacked off looking at a picture of a woman, intentionally sexualized, for the first time.
Due to the lack of internet access this was the status quo. I’d find a way to get the Victoria’s Secret ads, masturbate, and throw them away.
This changed when I went to college and had access to high speed internet for the first time with no accountability. I went off the porn deep end within a couple months.
For most of college I couldn’t sleep without watching porn and jacking off first.
I also got a girlfriend for the first time and lost my virginity. I hid my struggle with porn from her for a couple years. She was beautiful and adventurous, and I got to try a lot of the things I had watched other girls do. But eventually she wasn’t enough.
After a couple years I developed PIED issues. About the same time, I asked her to marry me. I think she was starting to suspect I had a porn problem, but we never talked about it.
I went home for the summer after I graduated from college. She lived across the country, so we were planning our wedding long distance. Being back at my folks meant that I had to cope without porn, but my thoughts didn’t change. I ended up cheating on my fiancée with a young woman whose family was renting from my folks.
I admitted to cheating and broke up with my fiancée because of how guilty I felt. I was also head over heels for this neighbor girl who was living with her parents because she was getting a divorce. I thought the timing was perfect for both of us, but found out after a few weeks that she was pretty much just using me as a rebound and had started sleeping with other guys.
By this point, I was living on my own with internet access again. Porn had as strong a hold on me as it ever had. I had lost my fiancée, and I decided I would never let that happen again. Some separation had allowed me to see other unhealthy aspects of that relationship, so I decided not to try and patch things up and move on.
I had met the woman who is now my wife in college. My first thought was, “Oh boy, this girl is way too nice and way too pretty for (fiancée) to be ok with me hanging out with her!” I must have made a great first impression because she doesn’t remember meeting me.
I ended up moving in just down the street from her. I would run past her house every day. Even though I was tired and almost home, I would try to run a little faster and straighter by her house just in case she saw me (she did).
I started going back to church, and re-met her there. This time she remembered me! We started hanging out together, but I was still battling porn.
I decided that if I wanted a relationship with this woman that the porn had to go. I took several steps to help me cut it out of my life.
- I prayed and read my Bible every day. Time with God was critical for my recovery.
- I got a mentor and met with him for coffee regularly.
- I learned to recognize my triggers and avoid them whenever possible. If I encountered one then I tried to run away. We don’t win this fight by willpower. We were designed to find sex appealing and give into it. Running is winning.
- I kept my devices in public areas, including my phone. I didn’t use a blocker, but that doesn’t mean they’re not good tools.
- If I felt the urge to watch porn then I would go do something else out of the house to redirect my brain. I’d go for a walk or go hang out with friends.
After several months of sobriety, I felt like I was a whole person again and could pursue a relationship with this woman without porn affecting us.
We’ve been together for almost ten years, married for seven, and have a beautiful two-year-old daughter. I wouldn’t trade a second of it for all the porn in the world!
LINK – Day 3,400 and my story