3 minute read

How I Finally Broke Free from My 30-Year Addiction to Porn

Last Updated: August 10, 2021

Dan Wobschall

Dan serves as the Director of Gateway to Freedom, a 3-day intensive for men, and also serves as a Sexual Integrity and Recovery Mentor. Gateway to Freedom is a ministry of Be Broken Ministries. Dan speaks nationally on Sexual Integrity Leadership team. Prior to his engagement in ministry, Dan spent 32 years in public safety. He & his wife Julie have been married for 34 years and live in Orlando, Florida.

The year 2004 began very bitter-sweetly. My addiction to pornography was no longer a secret. That first look at porn at age 12 and the 30 years of addiction that followed had imploded on me.

My wife had discovered what she suspected. I was visiting numerous porn sites and was having an online affair. Adult chat rooms were a common visiting place. All my self deception came crumbling down in a smoldering heap.

The painstaking process of healing this very broken marriage would take years to accomplish. Many people were used by God to see us through the long, difficult, yet growing and strengthening journey. We began with pastoral counseling, which lasted a few months and helped us head in the right direction. However, I was still unable to shake the addiction to pornography.

Was it better? Yes, but far from a thing of the past. I did stop the online affair and most of the chat room visitations. I continued to view pornography of every kind. In fact, the more stress I faced, the more of a powerful “fix” I needed. To this day when I think about the porn websites I’ve visited, I get nauseated.

My Recovery Took Time and Hard Work

Even though recovery began in 2004, I wish I could say it happened instantly. It was not over. I fell and stumbled far too frequently.

I began relating well to Paul, who wrote of a “thorn in his flesh,” a “messenger of Satan” who constantly caused him misery. I begged God to remove my thorn, but no deal. I learned to embrace what God told Paul. “My grace is sufficient” was the message. I’m no Apostle Paul, but I get the whole thorn concept.

At a conference in August 2008, I was introduced to Covenant Eyes. I immediately knew I needed to get the software loaded on my computers at home. As soon as I installed Covenant Eyes, I asked a friend to be my ally and began recovery.

I wish I could tell you I never slipped up even after this. In spite of using Covenant Eyes, my addiction was stronger than I was. It had taken deep root in my mind.

During those moments of failure, my ally did his job and called me out. For over four years, he was there for me. Godly friends and much prayer helped me finally experience freedom from porn.

The Blessings of Accountability

I keep Covenant Eyes on every computer and smartphone I own and use. If you use Covenant Eyes in the manner in which it’s designed, it will help you enormously. If you install it and don’t ask a trusted friend to be your ally, you are significantly reducing the effectiveness. You cannot fight this battle alone!

Without Covenant Eyes as a defensive weapon in my arsenal to fight my addiction to pornography, I’m not sure where I’d be today. God used it to help me defend myself.

The reports to your ally are a must! And knowing the software is watching my device activity 24/7 trained my mind to think of other, far more healthy places to go on the internet. In many cases, I just avoid it altogether and spend time with my wife and kids.

One unexpected side effect of having Covenant Eyes on my laptop happened a few years into recovery. One of our daughter’s boyfriends was over in my absence and visited some porn sites on my computer. Covenant Eyes caught and ended the activity when I was notified. It protects your family in your absence. Protect your children and install Covenant Eyes today!

Porn Has a Global Impact

In recent months, I have become aware of  the human trafficking industry which preys on children as young as six years old, with the average age being around 12 years old. Many of these children wind up being sold and prostituted.

The porn industry and sex trade support one another, and a great number of illegal child and adult porn films are made using these sex slaves. Adults and children alike are lured into the dark underground of human trafficking under false pretenses.

What’s even worse to me was the realization that my habits and addiction fed the industry. I prayed for God’s forgiveness through a rain of tears. I can’t help but wonder how many of those involved in this sickening trade were introduced to porn at a young age, as I was.

How many of them may have been steered away from it with a product like Covenant Eyes? With a filthy industry like that on the prowl, unfortunately Covenant Eyes has a long life expectancy. I for one am very grateful they are here.

  • Comments on: How I Finally Broke Free from My 30-Year Addiction to Porn
    1. Vern Knock on

      Thank you for this candid and frank testimony. It will help me in my continued, but winning battle.

      Reply
    2. Dan Wobschall on

      You are welcome Vern. It’s my hope, that by sharing the restoring work of Christ in my life, others will be given hope for victory. Praying for your victory Vern!

      Reply
    3. Maria on

      I commend you but you have to look at where this came from. Pastors and churches today do not teach God’s laws. Ee need to go back to obeying his laws. 80% of single Christians are having sexual intercourse, 40% of them have STDs, 60% of abortions are on Christians which equals over 650,000 Christian babies dying each year. And please don’t say it can’t be an instant recovery because some men can drop it at the dime when they realize there is a standard by which they have to live by. Churches need to start teaching God standards, about sin, not just Grace Grace Grace. I doubt you’ll post this comment because y’all want to keep it under the rug.

      Reply
      • Kristi philbrook on

        Amen I agree

      • Kim on

        I totally agree. Our churches today are not preaching the full gospel. The church that we went to for decades preached at the end of every sermon “we exist to make heaven more crowded.“ At first I loved that, this church Exploded in growth. Everyone felt welcome there which was beautiful, but I began to see that repentance and turning away from sin was never talked about. The message was Jesus loves you right where you’re at, which is true but only part of the gospel. No one was equipped to “go and sin no more “ There was never given a vision for holy living through the power of the Holy Spirit. My kids grew up hearing a message that I didn’t realize till later, which was sent does it matter, because God will forgive me.

      • chldminjbc on

        I have been struggling for 18 years. I am finally finding the freedom that I have always wanted because of Covenant Eyes. This is an addiction(just like with drugs). It does not come instantly(it might for some). I have been fighting for 18 years because I knew it was wrong and against what I believed, but it was a process. I have been to different counselors for help and told friends so they could help. It is a process that has grown be to be more like Him. He works ALL things for the good of those who love Him.

      • Dan on

        What’s a Christian baby?

      • Tom on

        Maria:

        Have you ever had someone close to you with an addiction? Addicts are absolutely responsible for their actions but, I believe, stopping on a dime is just like Nancy Reagan’s program was many years ago. And, unfortunately, Nancy’s program didn’t work very well.

        Tom

      • Dan V on

        I need to challenge you on this line of thinking, sister. No one is denying that God’s laws forbid sexual immorality of every kind–fornication, adultery, pornography, etc. But God’s word itself tells us that the law has no power to save, only to reveal our brokenness (e.g. Rom 7:10). Apart from the grace of God, every human heart has inherited the desire to rebel against God’s perfect law, and so simply reminding me that pornography is evil does nothing to change my rebellious nature.

        The issue is not knowing what is right and wrong, the issue is that sexual sin has unique power to enslave an individual because of the way it promises satisfaction of our deepest desires for intimacy. Of course, it never delivers intimacy, but only a dry, dusty shadow of it. But by that time, our bodies and brains have begun to be trained to seek intimacy in all the wrong places. Recovery is certainly possible, but it is not just a matter of knowing it’s wrong. It takes difficult, persistent action to rewire our brains and deny our body its cravings. I don’t doubt that for some people recovery comes in an instant, because God can choose to heal however he wants. But for many of us, recovery came (and is coming) through the kind of accountability and encouragement this site offers.

      • Marty Hayden on

        Maria, I’m certainly not aware of any long-term addict, especially a porn addict, who can just “flip a switch” and have it be over. God can work miracles yes, but studies show the brain needs to be rewired and that takes time.

      • Todd on

        You have no clue what you are talking about some men can drop it “at the dime” but when that happens it’s not an addiction. My question to you is when are you gonna drop your dime?
        He who claims to have no sin the truth is not in him.

      • Lorna on

        ‘Christians’ with this holier than thou attitude are the ones that make people stay in hiding, afraid to be real about what they’re struggling with and give the impression that we are all carbon copies of each other. I used to be like you – harsh treatment when others don’t meet expectations. Thank God for His grace. ‘If any man think he stand, take heed lest he fall…’

      • Jake on

        Maria, if you think that any man can just “drop it at the dime when they realize there is a standard”, you clearly don’t understand the nature of the addiction and the psychological/physiological effects it has on the male mind. No one who struggles with the addiction, understanding that it’s wrong, wants to continue to solicit porn… it’s a long process to escape, especially when the problem started at childhood before the brain fully developed.

      • Brandon Vernoy on

        As a Pastor I love your comment. Can you please refer me to where you are getting your statistics so that I may refer others to it? It would be greatly appreciated.
        Contrary to popular thought, a number of churches are still striving to preach the full gospel, but the outside noise has never been louder.
        The stats you provided could be of great benefit to the body.

        Blessings

        Thank you.

    4. vash on

      I also started at a very young age and still battling it after more than 15 years
      I work on IT so I could bypass filters, but I’m very hopeful about Covenant Eyes since it would feel like someone is watching over my back 24/7, and bypassing it would be very hard so the first instinct to relapse would be theatres.

      Reply
    5. Pastor Uchenna Okafo on

      The Bible says in John 1:12, as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God. True Salvation gives you Justification by faith but also grants us Regeneration. For this purpose the son of God was manifest to destroy the works of the devil. Salvation is a miracle that grants you grace to live in the divine nature above pornography and all kinds of sexual perversion. The testimony of a truly saved Christian is that old things are passed away, behold all things are become new. Refuse to accept anything short of what the blood of Jesus purchased at the cross – which is total and instantaneous freedom from sin not a gradual process, which is referred to as reformation not regeneration. His grace is sufficient.

      Reply
    6. Scott Radetski on

      We need more than resistance, road blocks, and monitoring. We need Christ, the Holy Spirit and God the Father. Victory is in connection with HIM and others who seek HIM, not in willpower alone. Victory is in daily communication with our Creator. Confession – speaking the truth in Love. We need each other, Covenant Eyes, Pure Desire Ministries, Kingdom Works and the Conquer Series, the Heart of Man, BraveHeart, Unwanted, and more. It’s not a competition – it’s the survival of the church. Christ will not leave HIS Bride at the Altar.

      We need to rally around the King of Kings and unite our voices in our cry to the Father. We need to light a fire in the hearts of men to turn from their wicked ways – face their pain and trust in HIM. The generational wounds are all around – in every church and in every home and family. The time is now to step into HIS Light and tear down the kingdom of darkness.

      Reply
    7. Eve on

      Grace, is God’s empowerment. ‘God’s empowerment’ also over sin. He did not expect us to do it ourselves. He paid a high price for our deliverance. There were two trees. One carried death. One carried life. You can fill an altar preaching from the knowledge of good and evil, but, unless we come from the tree of Life it will only last till the next emotion that is stronger. That the person of Christ, His Holy Spirit, touches and changes us. I think we should be very proud of our brothers and sisters that are moving our of snares, and who don’t quit! The righteous fall, but get up again! I am so glad you have got up again and again. May we all move to the actions of righteousness (means, as it should be) through the forgiveness of sin and Christs power to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Sin is not okay. The end of it is death. Yet we have a Saviour who is the tree of Life. Who never gives up on us and will not leave us where we are. I thank God that mercy is new every morning, for myself and all us who have Christ within us. What a great God we serve! Thank you for sharing your journey.

      Reply
      • Matthew J Good on

        Amen!!! Thank You Jesus!!!

    8. Tom on

      I admit I’m a bit frustrated by your post. Are you sure that a person only needs Covenant Eyes and an ally to get free? Didn’t you do more than that.

      Tom

      Reply
    9. noah chengo on

      shalom hope this message finds well porn is very dangerous and secretive killer of humanity please how can i be part and parcel of this process

      Reply
      • Amanda Powell on

        Hello Noah,

        You can signup for Covenant Eyes with the link provided https://www.covenanteyes.com/. Please let us know if we can help with anything else.

    10. Elijah Sunday Otohi on

      This is absolutely wonderful, I have been trying to brake away from porn for some years now but usually find it difficult to sustain. Thanks for the idea, I will give it a try.

      Reply
    11. Leah Williams on

      I’m a spouse of a recovering addict. I read Covenant Eyes Newsletters and enjoy them very much. They have brought understanding to my heart, even understanding for my struggle to comprehend the situation. Thank you Covenant Eyes. Your ministry is so relivent in this day and age. Just the other day, I had a conversation with a family member that teared up because of their porn use. Although it’s hard for us wives to understand, it is a sickness of the heart and mind. Only God can truely deliver the willing heart. However tools like Covenant Eyes can help to save some from themselves until they have built up internal strength for the battle. Porn pollutes the mind. Just like any pollution, without a miracle, it takes time and effort to clean up. Porn destroys families. It’s not about the act of porn use, it’s about destroying the family, a generation, our children. Someone who has been involved with porn for some time can not think correctly. Their strength has been stolen from them. They are a slave to the sin until set free.

      Reply
      • Matthew J Good on

        Leah,
        I completely agree with you! It Is a sickness of the heart and mind and does take Regeneration by the Holy Spirit thru Christ’s Perfect Blood!!! And it also takes intentional living – making 100s if not 1,000s of choices every day to surrender thoughts, fantasies, imaginations, memories, etc to Holy Spirit – a process of asking for Forgiveness, repentance and reformation!! I’m speaking from experience. Struggled and still struggling with porn and sex addiction for over half my life – started around age 8/9, and I’m 27 now. You do the math. It IS possible to finally break Free though! I use Covenant Eyes, have a sponsor and several accountability partners, go to Sex Addicts Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery groups, do counseling, faithfully attend and serve at my church, etc. – yet I still struggle with it!
        This is a War! 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 and Eph. 6:10-18, and several other verses talk about this war against sin, our flesh, the powers and kingdom of darkness including Satan himself, and this world! Kudos to all my Brothers And Sisters Fighting the Good Fight!! Much Love!

    12. Kevin Vandiver on

      I was introduced to [my father told me all the magazines were in the treasure chest and that I could look in there whenever I wanted to] porn magazines in 1971, I’m 57, [48 years] I’m tired. I sense hope at times, but then fail again and again. The only freedom I experienced from it was reading and digesting Proverbs 4, 5 and 6 everyday for six months. That was 2014, I’ve still struggled these last 5 years. Have felt the hypocrite, but I also know that my sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ, past, present & future . My eternal security cannot be taken away , I am always going to heaven, but the dichotomy I struggle with is in experiential truth, what a man sows he reaps, here and now and at times I’m miserable. I have to have hope in Jesus Christ that I can be totally free here on Earth; now. I’m empowered by Christ now by telling my story!

      Reply
    13. Tony on

      Hello Covenant Eyes, I have been battling porn addiction for over 15 years, I was first exposed to porn for when I was like 8 years old. The longest time I have stayed without viewing is probably 3 months.( in which I viewed porn casually) ever since that time my life has been a roller coaster of failure. I’m at a point in my life presently where it’s meaningless. All my dreams have been to a halt as I stop for a moment, then continue binging on it. I never used to think porn was a problem, until I tried to engage in sex with a woman, I don’t get aroused. Now I got PIED. Although when I abstain from porn, for a about a month or two, my erections are normal. So I’m helpless here as I’m in an underdeveloped country, don’t know who to share this with, as I’m ashamed of this. My stuttering also begins when I begin porn (I also fap) . But when I stop fap and porn, I regain my fluency. My addiction has made me unable to love a woman as I don’t have feelings, which I know I wasn’t like this. I don’t know if there is anybody that can help me with suggestions. I am pretty okay, in the looks department, and my life has been full of conondrums. I used to be all about my books, studied engineering in the university, porn also took a plunge in my studies and made me more introverted. I know if I can curb porn, the sky will be my limit. I don’t know what to do, I’m clueless.

      Reply
      • Moriah Dufrin on

        Hi Tony,

        Porn does have an impact on your body and brain—scientific studies have proved this! You are not alone in your struggles, and it can be difficult to overcome an addiction that quite literally rewires your brain.

        To start, pray! Ask God to help you and lead you through recovery. You cannot overcome addiction on your own. I also want to encourage you to turn to a friend for accountability. This can be a family member, leader, mentor, etc. Ask them to regularly check in on their progress. If you are using Covenant Eyes (if not, you should!), find an accountability partner who can receive your reports and walk alongside you with encouragement. It’s not going to be an overnight change. You will struggle; relapse is normal. But keep fighting the good fight. Recovery IS possible.
        Blessings,
        Moriah

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