The response to my recent post was urgent, even desperate:
I know someone who WANTS to break the cycle and for years and can’t find his freedom from temptation. So – yes – it’s time to break the cycle but how?
Does anyone have the answer for those who’ve been seeking for years? It’s always time – but HOW?
The answer to “how?” can be elusive. It comprises many parts. And it also contains some aspects that many people don’t like.
In order to fully answer the specific man referred to in this comment, i would need to know some details of his story. But aside from those details, there are a number of things i can say about how a man breaks free. These keys will also be helpful.
It starts with true urgency and desperation on the part of the man seeking freedom. Many times this is referred to as “hitting Rock Bottom.” Every addict must hit that place in order to become convinced that changing their behavior is actually a matter of life and death. That sounds so over-the-top to say, especially these days when we live in a culture that uses over-the-top language for things that are not truly the most important things in life. But until a man is convinced that his life depends on freedom from addiction to porn, he will still try to manage the behavior rather than attack it like the warrior he is intended to be.
But even once he is won over and sees his life in these new, drastic terms, there is still a serious question of how the process of change actually occurs. And it does involve work. Anyone who wants to negate the real effort required doesn’t understand the reality.
He must come clean to his wife (if he has one) or a handful of trusted men who are mature enough to handle this information. And he must commit himself to real accountability; telling the truth as brutal as it is, again and again and again in the company of other men who are committed to the same transparency. As he does this, he must make changes in his behavior. He must change the types of movies and television he watches. He may even need to stop watching TV and movies for a while. i did.
To truly break free from anything: a toxic relationship, a substance abuse addiction or a porn addiction, you will have to disrupt life as you have known it. After all, life as you have known it has included the addiction. It’s part of the rhythm and pattern of daily life. So that rhythm and pattern must be altered.
in my life, i stopped listening to the radio and watching TV; i disconnected my house from the internet so there was no way i could get on a porn site from my home computer; and i rearranged everything in my world as i made dealing with my addiction and breaking free the only priority.
In Part 2 i will talk about more specifics as to what elements must be present in a man’s life to truly break free.