Updated August 2021.
I’ve been a runner for most of the last 30+ years of my life.
Running is a very individual sport. There’s a constant internal dialogue that goes on in my head while running—a war between mind and body. Can I run faster? No. Yes. Maybe. Can I catch that guy in front of me? I don’t know—he looks faster. I bet he is. NO. I can beat him. Focus on his feet. Run toward his feet.
And, no matter how hot or difficult the run is, quitting is never an option. I always keep on running.
I ran my first marathon on a trail in Eastern Michigan, where my “never quit” mentality was put to the test.
The course was poorly marked, and the lead pack, which I was part of, took a wrong turn and ended up running an extra 2.2 miles. Now, a 26.6-mile race was about to become 28.8. It was brutal.
That was eight years ago, and I still have vivid memories of that entire race, wrestling with my thoughts, never allowing myself to quit.
I finished the race and collapsed. I could only crawl to the food table. I had absolutely nothing left.
For most things in life, never quitting is a good thing. I’ve always had a strong, strong drive to succeed. This poster hangs in my office at Covenant Eyes, with Philippians 3:13-14, which were some of the very first verses I ever read in a Bible:
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
But for all of my successes, during the first 10 years of marriage, I struggled with watching online porn. I knew it wasn’t good for me, but I thought I had done a pretty effective job hiding it from Andrea. I was wrong. Once I named it, she finally had a label for the distance between us.
For the first time in my life, it was time to become a quitter. For my marriage. For my three kids. For my heart. For my relationship with God.
Ten years later, I’m proud to say that I am a quitter. My recovery hasn’t been perfect. But as the enemy finds new gaps in my protections, I put up new defenses. Covenant Eyes is my constant. The software was part of my life long before I decided to join their mission as an employee.
There are many reasons for becoming a quitter. Five stand out:
- I quit because I want to stay married for decades. When one spouse regularly watches porn, the rate of divorce goes up.
- I quit because I want to love my wife well. My porn consumption was a wound to her heart. See #1.
- I quit because I want to tell my kids that I use the internet well. Let’s be honest – if what you’re watching online isn’t good for a 12-year-old, then it probably isn’t good for you either.
- I quit because I want to respect the dignity of all people. Do you really know who is being coerced, abused, trafficked, or drugged to perform? It’s not a risk I’m willing to take.
- I quit because I want my full attention on the things that matter. While hooked on porn, no matter who I was with or what I was doing, my brain constantly wanted more porn. It distracted me from the things that matter. Can you relate to that?
Do you want to become a quitter? Great. Join the over one million people who have used Covenant Eyes to quit.
Are you already a quitter? Great. Is there anyone who might benefit from knowing that you took a courageous step? Share your story. If you’re ever in Grand Rapids, look me up. Maybe we can go for a run and talk about it.
Thank you for your honesty! It’s not easy, I’m sure, to state you had a porn addiction. All the statements you gave for quitting are so true, but the most important one is a heart for Jesus. I think when that becomes the first & foremost reason to give up any addiction, God will restore your mind & give you the courage & strength necessary to become an overcomer. Congratulations! Blessings on your continued success & keep on running😀👍🙏
Kudos to all men who quit porn …the pain in my heart , the losses & ruins caused by my ex-husband’s porn -sex addiction will always be, because he failed to ‘quit’ like a man ..he just went onto feed his addiction with ‘harder’ drugs , which are serial cheating with other women ,pursuing young women , financially keeping a prostitute which he pretends to others , covering up , in defense, mentoring & helping these young women to have a better life ; yet he left his wife an empty shell & in poverty.
Melinda, I am so, so sorry for the pain you’ve been suffering. There are no words for the injustice. Holding you in my heart, Kay
Melinda, please accept my deepest sympathies to you. Recovery experts say simply or trying to quit is actually counterproductive. Human effort only leads to failure. But freedom is available to him in Christ. Conquer series has more details.
About your situation, I’m so sad, for you. Words cannot begin to make it right.
Good churches will support anyone in your situation. The best churches will have lots of support. Are you familiar with Celebrate Recovery?
I am so sorry Melinda! That is horrible and unacceptable treatment toward a spouse.
I had to leave my ex-husband because even when he became clean, he was still angry, verbally abusive, dependent on my income, and minimally involved with caring for our two children. He didn’t see what he was doing or take ownership of his mental health issues/actions. I literally had to show him what mental health issues he had, from a Mayo Clinic resource, and give him the ultimatum either you take care of PTSD, generalized anxiety, and social anxiety or I need to leave. He didn’t see it or seek additional help, so I left. Pornography is horrible and destructive to any relationship. I could not forgive him as his personality changed once he started viewing it and he never was the same husband I married afterwards. 😟. Hugs to everyone who has a spouse watching or addicted to porn.
It’s heartbreaking when a spouse cannot take responsibility for themselves. I’m so glad you were able to identify healthy boundaries and follow through. Thank you for sharing that it can be done! Kay
As someone whose husband still hasn’t truly “quit,”I’m at a loss. It doesn’t matter what I say or do, how much I pray, how much I beg him to stop— he doesn’t. It’s all covered in lies, but I know. We have two adopted daughters that need a loving and healthy home. I just don’t know what to do anymore to help him understand how much destruction this causes
I think that some men cannot understand what they are doing..until they begin to notice some of the negative effects on their own. I prayed, begged and pleaded with my husband for 15 yrs..to no avail. This went on until he realized that all he wanted to do at work was watch porn..instead of doing his job. It slowly began to sink in that he was risking his job. Also..he had erectile dysfunction caused by porn/masturbation..and was unable to function with me. At first he kept blaming his inability to perform on everything except porn..but I kept passing article after article about Porn ED his way..and finally he came around to believe that porn was causing his problem. Eventually..he began noticing other negative effects on his own. And finally..in desperation..he did quit.
Being a recovering porn addict myself I can attest of the myriad of benefits of quitting. From sexual performance to the mental benefits – it’s a massive shift! I haven’t watched porn or masturbated for months now but I still have a long way to go.
Once I accepted my habit as an addiction and started looking at it as a problem, I started to look for resources and luckily I came across this site (Covenant Eyes) and https://elevatedrecovery.org/ The latter has a great podcast which I know many men struggling with this addiction would relate to.
There is hope but first one needs to accept the fact that one has a problem.
I am one example of how it is truly possible for a young man to get sober from watching porn and staying sober.. by the grace of God later this year on sept 1st I will have been sober from watching porn for 4 years :) I struggled with that sin for 16 years.. from age 12 to 28. It was a hard struggle but thankfully Jesus came to break my chains :) and if anyone is wondering how I was able to stop and completely stay away from it, it was this: I heard something one day about porn being demonic. So I did a google search and an article popped up that said masturbating to porn is a demonic ritual. Also a YouTube video popped up that said masturbation is a satanic sex magic ritual.. and that people have become possessed from it. and all that. Creeped. Me. Out. It was enough for me to stop completely.. it was easy enough to stop when I realized the ramifications of not stopping. So anyone who reads this is free to use my testimony to help the young men or husbands in their church or elsewhere who you know struggle with it :) and you can even share it with your churches. You’re also free to use my name.
I am horribly sorry for all traumatic pains from pornography you’ve all experienced… I am Only 22 and I have a growing relationship with the Lord but I too struggle with this. God has continuously cleansed me from many things off my life and I humbly accept the fact that he always will. Though I am not married, God still deals with me about my future and what it’s going to require. He sometimes tells me about my wife and now I understand why I must quit for good. Truth be told I never thought it was ok, even though it may not seem like it… they don’t either. BUT PLEASE TELL THEM WHAT GOD KEEPS TELLING ME “ I LOVE YOU AND YOU ARE ALREADY FREE FROM YOUR PAST.. YOU CAN ONLY LIVE FREE WHEN YOU TRUST ME”