19 thoughts on “My Story of Freedom from Pornography

  1. Hey Jon,

    Good job sharing your story! We need to hear more from guys who are coming to a point of brokenness, getting serious and getting their lives straight.

    Honesty
    Brokenness
    Taking inventory
    Finding a group
    Getting accountability

    now, sharing your story more publically

    Those are tremendous steps! Stay strong brother and keep sharing your story.

  2. Marshall,

    I can tell you straight up it wasn’t anything that I really had planned or was even looking for. Jesus and I are walking together on this one for sure.

    so, it turns out, after facing who I had become and finally seeing the truth of my addiction, there’s quite a few people like me. Some worse off, some no so much but so, so many dealing with some of the same core issues I have.

    My wife and I began praying and talking about how we might be a blessing to others facing similar struggles. We’re not out looking per se, but in the event God provides us with opportunity, we’re prepared. It’s been a blessing to for us to see God already moving in this and it encourages us all the more.

    The decision to post this was easier than I imagined. Having shared my story many times over the past 15 months, this just became a natural progression. I didn’t feel right anymore just hiding behind a belief that I would be rejected when the words God has given me have already made an impact. If people need to hear, I’m not going to stand in the way anymore.

    I see this simply as adding my brick to the Kingdom as others have done before me.

  3. Wow, if I only looked at the picture of your article and nothing else, I would’ve completely mistaken you as Jarrod Jones haha! What an uncanny resemblance! It would’ve been fitting too, because he’s a former porn addict (also authored ’13 Ways to Ruin Your Life’) just like many of us who provide feedback here.

    Nonetheless, praise the Lord for the complete 180 that He’s done on your life. While my past circumstances weren’t quite so expansive, I can totally relate to being a redeemed man. The battle never ends, but victory is possible through each one because of Christ’s finished work on the Calvary Tree. Considering my own freedom, it always makes me smile wide to read the honest, transparent stories of other men who were once trapped, but are no longer. Covenant Eyes is a huge blessing!

    When I read the specifics about your weight struggle, I thought back to the podcast that Luke had done not too long ago in which he shared a bit about his past and how various personal insecurities had a big hand in feeding his porn addiction. It would seem that insecurity is a significant factor in what drives men to the material, because it’s so easily mentally manipulated, and temporarily makes those ‘holes’ vanish. Very dangerous of course, and why the world needs more men like us who’ve developed a hatred for immorality. I will pray for yours :)

    I’m also thankful for your testimony because it has brought me more encouragement to continue working on my own in written form. At the beginning of last fall, I started my first book which will tell my story, which describes how I came to be trapped and what God’s grace did to rescue me. I’m really hoping to prepare it for a mid-late spring release so anyone who wants to read it can. It’s exciting!

    Oh, and as a gamer myself, I give mad props to your wife for trying out Wii Fit. I own all the game platforms of this generation, and while Wii Fit isn’t in my software library…I’ve heard some nice things about it. I hope she enjoys it!

  4. Brother John

    My but the similarities are uncanny…the way you describe the internal struggle, the glimpse of the man and his pain…the little boy who refused to or couldn’t grow up…truly an amazing account of what many or most of us have experienced to some level.

    My bottom was not like yours but it was close. After over 8 years of marriage during which I proved I was powerless over the lure of pornography and sexual impurity all the walls crashed in and the roof collapsed on the life of lies I had created, nurtured and lived in for so long.

    I have read a lot of material on this subject over the past 16+ months and, honestly, I have not found another article of any kind that describes the multitude of lives/masks/personas that we have cultivated and hid behind. That you can put into words the feeling of shame and guilt and the secrecy required…the mandated secrecy that leads to isolation that breaks any bonds we have…well done brother, well done.

    I congratulate you on your journey. God bless your wife and family.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing! My fiance has struggled with pornography for a very long time now. After our relationship almost came tumbling down because of both of our sexual addictions, we are finally getting back in touch with God, and he is slowly healing the wounds that came from it. We are due to be married by March of next year, after we seek some counseling for what we have gone through.

  6. Dan…it really is uncanny. I thought my world and life were over virtually the same amount of time ago. Spooky.

    I, too, took to reading. Reading anything I could get my hands on as quickly as I could. Arterburn/Stoeker, Carnes, Eldridge, Smedes…if it dealt with sexual and pornography addiction, I read it. I wasn’t fixed in any way but the benefit was finally, finally understanding I’m not alone. To have that one door opened was absolutely amazing. That was the initial seed that was planted that made me realize I might be able to talk to someone about how ridiculously screwed up I was.

    Thanks so much for the encouragement. To say I was hesitant in the beginning to share to this depth with a bunch of strangers is quite the understatement. Just wait until the video comes out…I’m going to be a wreck :)

    Beth…well done on turning around. I’m not a professional but in my own experience counseling was and still is a huge part of my recovery. It keeps it all in front of me were I can’t lose sight of where I’ve been. Never to cause guilt or shame but merely understanding.

    It won’t be easy but don’t be discouraged. Struggles bring perseverance; perseverance brings character; character brings hope…and hope does not disappoint (Rom5:4)

  7. Justin,

    I can’t say as what caused me to remember this but regardless, are you still making progress on your book?

    In Christ!

    Jon

  8. I heard of this website thu Family Life Today and decided to check it out. I found the personal stories most compelling as I consider how to understand and move forward in my marriage.

    You see my husband has informed me of his online pornography issue and from the way he talks there has been much going on that he never mentioned. I have to read between the lines. I forgave him without question the first time it came up, by the second time….well I’m not sure anymore. I’m not sure how serious this is.

    Who can I tell? What can I do? We are both Christians and strive to live our lives fully that way. I have always loved and admired my husband, but now I fear that there may be more going on than I ever imagined.

    Reading your story has opened my eyes to just how much depth goes behind this issue. Women are not like men, God made us different, so it’s hard for us to understand the male thought processes. You have helped to shine light in this area.

    Honesty is never a bad thing, believe it or not, you now have a ministry. :) Thank you.

    And any one’s ideas on exactly how to approach this issue with my husband would be great. I want to show him I love him, I respect him, I don’t want to make him look bad in any one’s eyes, but more than that I don’t want to lose my husband and have a broken family because I was too naive to move forward.

    In Christ,
    Confused Wife

  9. Confused Wife,

    What strength you show by not only posting on this website, but also by asking for help! I believe God will bless your desire to respect your husband in how you handle this, and your commitment to doing the right thing.

    I can totally relate to your confusion, and you start to question your instincts and how you feel about the trust that you thought you had with your husband.

    This is serious. Trust your instinct…and search out a Christian counselor for you to talk to, even if your husband refuses to go. I found it helpful to remember that we are in a battle…Satan is deceptive, manipulative and wants you to believe you are powerless to do anything about this issue.

    Start praying for God to shine his light into the darkest corners of your husband’s addiction. Pray that your husband will allow himself to be healed, and if you don’t already have one, find women you trust who love your husband unconditionally to share this with. You cannot bear this alone!

    Know that if you ignore this issue it will continue to rear its ugly head not only in your marriage but in your family’s lives down the road. This is considered a more powerful addiction than many drugs on the black market…and it’s free.

    My heart goes out to you!! If you need to connect more directly, feel free to contact me on facebook. :) You are an amazing, wonderful child of God.

    In prayer for you,
    Nicole

  10. Hey all,

    Wanted to alert you to another project I’ve been blessed to be a part of called “Scratching the Surface.” It’s a documentary dealing with the pervasive issues of pornography in our culture. They pulled together experts in porn and sex addiction, respected authors who have written on the topic and regular joe’s like me to tell our stories.

    I actually went to Covenent Eyes HQ and was filmed for my part in this. Had an awesome time meeting Luke and others on the Covenant Eyes team. I do have to say that meeting Michael Leahy, author of Porn Nation and being able to sit a chat with him was a highlight for me. Awesome people doing their part in the battle against porn.

    It’s peer edited so you can go and watch the raw footage of the interviews and then add your comments to tell the director what hit home or what was off base. Once all the raw data is reviewed, the director, Francois Driessen (FireTrigger Inc) will compile with what resonated with people.

    Check it out at http://scratchingthesurfacedoc.com.

    Keeping up the fight!!!
    Jon

  11. Thanks from the bottom of my heart! Please continue to pray for my boy and MANY out there that they can be delivered from the stronghold of porn! Claiming the name of Jesus! Jesus your name is power Jesus your name can break every strong hold Jesus your name is light

  12. WOW that’s all I have to say…. That brings me so much hope to overcome the same struggles before I get married!!! Thank You so Much!!!!

  13. HI Jon- My husband’s story and the story is very similar to your. I’m wondering if you and your wife were able to reconcile? Have you been able to stay away from porn. I want to work things out with my husband, but I feel like we’ve been down this road so many times and I don’t know if he’ll ever truly be honest with me and/or stop lying about his addictions. We have Covenant Eyes and he has an accountability partner, but I’m struggling with rebuilding trust. Please respond. Thank you.
    Worried in Michigan

    • @SJ,

      Thanks for reading and my heart goes out to you as you struggle through this. Allow me to ramble a bit to maybe shed a little light on some of the struggle you’re facing…

      You are truly at the most critical point in any relationship that’s been damaged by pornography. Speaking for myself, once that trust was broken, that was the single hardest aspect to gain traction in. Trust is something that can only be rebuilt by performance over time by someone who is committed to the process for the long term. I cannot emphasis that point enough…it can be a long term process and that needs to be acknowledged and accepted on both sides of the equation.

      As the one who broke the trust, I would string together a month of sobriety and expect my wife to be as excited as I was. I was naive to believe this and was taken aback by her apprehension and skepticism. It took us years to reach that point, how can a few measly weeks make it all better? For me, it was the understanding that my success needed to not be contingent upon anything other than myself and my recovery. If I sought help as a means to make my wife happy, I would never truly be healed and I was just doing it for her. I had to find help simply for me, understanding the harsh reality that things with my wife may not work out. Only then, focused on my healing, would I put myself in a place to find true freedom. Another way to think about it is how can I work on our marriage when I’m still struggling with my own demons? I’d spread myself too thin and do more damage than good.

      Again, speaking for myself, I sought the help of a licensed counselor and a support group. People who I would give the authority to look at me, hear me, sift through my pretty language and call me out. And call me out they did. As I would leave those sessions I would write it all down…and send what I was learning to my wife. Not because I wanted to use it as a means for reconciliation but just to somehow let her know that nothing I did was ever done as a means to hurt her or my family. Did it? Absolutely. Was that my driving force, absolutely not.

      Now, Covenant Eyes and accountability partners are great and useful and I recommend them all the time as a mandatory tool to stay on top of things, but these are only barriers to the cliff. They fall under the saying that locks keep honest people honest. If the root issues are not addressed, a lock will only keep a person out for so long before the desire will find a way to be satisfied. Another computer, a smartphone, magazines, videos…are ways around the locks we think are unbreakable…unless you kill the desire for those things.

      So there were questions I needed to ask myself and discuss with my counselor and accountability partners. Are my actions simply to appease my wife? Have I truly understood and acknowledged the hurt I caused her? Have I acknowledged that my actions are damaging to her as a person, especially as a woman? That my selfish actions are driving a wedge between the two of us? That my actions are single-handedly damaging our marriage? For crying out loud, why was I compelled to look at that stuff? Those are hard truths to accept, but they must be accepted and owned for recovery. If any part of me tried to pass blame to anyone or anything other than the choices I was making, I was going to fail in recovery.

      So where does this all bring me. My wife and I did reconcile and actually went on to renew our vows in 2010. My sobriety has remained intact with only a couple falls in the past 5 years. Unfortunately, in 2012 my wife decided that it would be best if we went our separate ways and we did end up getting a divorce. While my issues with porn were not the driving reason, the undercurrent of selfishness in my life surely was. My wife put it best when she said I had done a great job in cleaning my house, unfortunately, I left the house empty and didn’t back fill it with positive things. I wasn’t doing anything bad, but my life had become stale. Nothing in what I say is meant to distract you from the very real future of you and your husband finding a renewed trust and being better for it. I’ve ministered with enough guys and couples to know it can work and people can be blessed because of it. But it is tough and takes two very committed people to make it work.

      If you have any other questions I can speak to, do not hesitate to ask.

      I wish you all the best on this journey. My prayer for you is that God wrap you up in his protection and grant you a warrior’s spirit. You are a beautiful daughter in Christ and surely deserve to be treated as such.

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