About the author, Joe Dallas

Joe Dallas

Joe Dallas is the Program Director of Genesis Counseling. He is also the author of several books, including, The Game Plan: The Men's 30-Day Strategy for Attaining Sexual Integrity. He is a pastoral counselor and a popular conference speaker. For more than three years Joe taught and conducted the nationally recognized Every Man’s Battle conference as the originating Program Director, and from 1991 to 1993, he served as the President of Exodus International. Joe and his wife Renee reside in Orange County, California, with their two sons.

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Your Brain on Porn

Parenting the Internet Generation Ebook Cover

Watching just 5 hours of porn has been proven to significantly change people's sexual beliefs and attitudes. Find out 5 distinct ways that porn warps your brain, as well as 5 biblical ways to renew your mind and find freedom.

11 thoughts on “In Case of Relapse

  1. Yes, ALWAYS tell your spouse. Don’t ever hide anything from them. This is the same as lying and deception is harder to heal from than the actual relapse itself with the wife.

    • No, don’t always tell your spouse.
      It is good if you can and should be the goal but get counseling to know how and when to address it. Now, if only talking relapse notification this should not even apply because that should have already been addressed and that plan of action in place. If you don’t have that plan of action you’ll need good wisdom to have best results.

  2. I slipped again and viewed Porn after 41 days of sobriety yesterday. For the past year or so, I have slipped maybe once every month or two. I am in great despair and anguish, because I hate what this is doing to me and to my family, and I hate porn with all of my heart, but it seems I cannot stop. It seems impossible to let go of the shame and despair. I am only prolonging reunion with my wife and daughter (legally separated) through my slips. God help me.

    I want to tell my wife but because of this separation we are taking a hiatus from communicating from each other so that we can both focus on our own healing. But part of me wants to cry out and beg for forgiveness from my wife who once again I have defiled by looking at pornography.

    Will I ever be able to be free of the slavery of this addiction?

    • Hi, Bob – I can hear the anguish in your typed words. But, do you hate it enough? Consider this tirade from a man who spoke at a men’s retreat. Which device is causing the issue? Get rid of it. Or get rid of them. Your wife might not be ready. Maybe telling her is more for you and not in consideration of her. Maybe find someone else. Even if you’re not Catholic, go to the sacrament of confession and cry out to the priest, if that’s more comfortable. Most Christians find that they struggle with an issue over and over. Phillip Yancey said, “Many Christians have one issue that haunts them and never goes silent.” I heard someone else say, “What you fight, fights you.” Both are proving exceedingly true in my own life, and it sounds like the same is true for you. Don’t let the thing that tailgates you, derail you. Pick yourself back up and start again. Fall down seven times but get up eight (Japanese proverb).

      God is for you, Bob. So am I.

    • Thank you Chris for your kind and helpful words. I am a Christian (but not Catholic), and I do have a confession father. I will read your article you linked.

      I am back to re-read the above article because I slipped again yesterday, after 59 days of sobriety. Thanks be to God, this slip did not go as far as last time. Progress, by God’s great grace, but slipping to me is still unacceptable, and a heavy sin against my Savior.

      That said, I still struggle with despair and shame, even after repenting to my confession father.

      I suppose I have fallen 263,487 times, and have gotten up 263,488 times…

      To go through the three steps outlined in the article:
      1. Notify. I did that successfully.
      2. Identify. I got lazy, and worst of all, over-confident in my OWN strength (of which I have none), and I gave in to a small temptation, which lead to another, and another…
      3. Move it. I am trying. But the self-loathing is very strong with me, and the anger at myself for once again impeding reconciliation with my family.

  3. I am just now reading this excellent article for the first time. As a partner of a sex addict and a sex addiction counselor, always tell your wife of a relapse if the goal is reconciliation. There may be rare exceptions to this, such as if your wife is in a high risk pregnancy (where you’d postpone confessing) or terminally ill. But in the majority of cases, confessing now is so much better than your wife finding out later. Even if she never finds out, a secret places a gulf of a barrier between the two of you, preventing real intimacy and setting you up for future sin. Secrets give the devil a foothold. Real intimacy in a relationship is about doing what is uncomfortable (or terrifying) now (rigorous honesty), in order to create a space that is more safe and comfortable later.

  4. Ella, You hit it spot on!!! Discernment and Discretion are so important. I particularly have been beaten down with the Club of Trickle Truth for 4 of the past almost 6 years. Had my husband told me everything ( sparing me nasty details of course), I wouldn’t be such as mess now and our marriage would’ve been better

    • When you get a fuller picture of reality, it’s good to reexamine your boundaries, taking into account what you now know. Here, here, and here are some articles that may help.

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