Porn Porn Porn!

I was asked by my lovely wife Linda to share some experiences about the issue of porn. For you who have read Linda’s blog about our marriage crises know I was hooked on pornography, and I must say to the point that I was addicted. Porn has been discussed and debated over the past years. Still, we seem to struggle to talk about it in a relaxed and healthy way. What started off by looking at nude pictures in a magazine while I was growing up is today a never-ending online market. There is always another link to click. The internet provides an endless online market. That is how widespread this is. One thing for sure is I have not found any benefits at all from watching pornography.

In my Journey, I was exposed to porn in an early age and didn’t think of it at that time as something damaging, even though I understood this was something I had to consume in the hidden. For me, it all changed with internet and access to this world through my computer. Back in 2002, and the internet was somewhat a new thing, and little did we know what significant impact the online market, internet and computers would have on our lives as we know today. This access leads me deeper and deeper into addiction it also introduced me to sex-chatting. It was During our marriage crises I realised my porn use had developed and I had become addicted. Three years prior our crisis I had become a born-again Christian, which led me to know in my spirit pornography wasn’t something God wanted for me, but my flesh was at that point stronger and also lacking knowledge of how damaging this was for me. Guilt and shame kept me silent, and therefore I struggled alone. It wasn’t until Linda found the pictures on our computer and I understood that mt marriage survival forced me to stop I realised I was addicted because it wasn’t that simple as just to stop. At first, as I said I fought hard in my flesh and prayed God to free me, but failed time after another.

It wasn’t until some years later I was entirely set free. For me, my freedom came from gaining an understanding of the full picture. By getting more knowledge and understanding about the effects of porn on my brain, what dopamine is and what creates bad habits, for example, I could see how everything about porn was negative and killed everything that was meant to be healthy fun lovely and beautiful about life and sex. My wife’s prayer and commitment to fight this with me has been vital in my liberty.

I repeat- There is NOTHING good about pornography!

Clearly, through my own experience, from the men I have coached and by reading as much as I can find about this area I can see there is nothing good about pornography. I was surprised how it clouded not only my sex life with Linda but also other relationships. God created us into relationships with others; God wants us to enjoy fellowship, family and friends. That is part of his divine plan for his children. Also, God created dopamines a chemical that is released in our bodies when we feel joy and pleasure. These dopamines are released when we meet other people, have dinner with friends and family, go out running and when we enjoy intimacy with our spouse. But when we consume pornography, we get a dopamine rush and a level of dopamine that is so high that the “normal life” seems boring. A nice dinner with your children and wife or a watching a game with a friend can make then make you feel empty and sad. A walk in nature doesn’t do you any good anymore. You need a higher fix, so your brain tells you to get that level of dopamine where you got it last. You end back to the screen and consume pornography, even though you know it doesn’t do you, your wife and family any good. That’s why we now can see how addictive it is. The high level of dopamine rush it gives you for a second steals the joy of being around people who love you. I haven’t met one man telling me that the best in life is watching porn. We are all painfully aware of and know about the empty feeling it leaves us.

I could make this blog 100 pages long of all the information I have read during the years on how pornography changes you, changes your brain, your view on life, damage your intimacy with your wife, the list can go on and on but here a few:

The incredible shrinking brain
Porn literally shrinks the brain, a 2014 study in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found. Men who regularly consumed porn had smaller brain volume and fewer connections in the striatum, a brain region tied to reward processing, compared with those who didn’t view porn.

Visual turnoff
Watching porn also seems to quiet a part of the brain that processes visual imagery, researchers reported this in 2012 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. It’s not clear why this happens, but researchers speculated that the brain diverts blood flow from the visual cortex in order to focus on more pressing things, like being turned on.

The more porn you watch, the more you need
Both having sex and watching porn causes dopamine, (the neurotransmitter responsible for reward and pleasure) to be released. But repeatedly causing this surge in dopamine – by regularly watching pornography – means the brain become desensitised to its effects. A study published in JAMA Psychiatry in 2014 found regularly viewing pornography seemed to dull the response to sexual stimulation over time, which will, in the end, ruin the excitement of being with your wife.

The question is not if you ever watched pornography because I’m guessing you have. The questions are if you have managed to stop (Praise God!) or are you still watching it on a regular basis? Where ever you are on your journey, I would not only encourage you but urge you to seek help to STOP. First and foremost for your future for your joy and happiness but also for your marriage and your children. Our children are now 18, 15 and soon 12. I started to talk about the damage of porn when our oldest was 11 and still are. Did I want to speak about it then? no, but I had to as they had been exposed to it through the internet. So are they boys who haven’t watched? Am sorry to say no, but they know how dangerous it is, they know how it will affect them negatively, and we can sit and talk about it without any shame or guilt. It is part of my job as a dad, and my fight is now for my children to give them the knowledge and the understanding so they can be entirely porn free. I want them to live a life in full joy by getting the dopamine kicks for the things God intended them to get it from like relationships, fellowship, enjoying life using our bodies as a living sacrifice.

Pornography is a big subject, and it is impossible to fill a blog with everything there is to say about this. But I will give you some of the keys I have found been important in my journey and in others who have used them in theirs

#1

I know your relationship with God is not the best if you struggle with this. But he is the Way Truth and Life. You will not be able to fight right without the power of God, he will lead guide, and it is because he bought your freedom you can be free. So pick up your Bible, start your conversation with him again- he can handle it all, he already knows, nothing is hidden from Him. Forgiveness from our sins are real, and it is where it starts!

#2

involve your wife in this struggle. This is not only affecting your life it is hers too. I have found out that women are good with this after they have calmed down and had a chance to let hurt and frustration out. You need her prayers, and you need to fight this together. If you need a third party to sort out the hurt and the wounds, man up and get the help you need. Do it for your marriage and family.

#3

One key to getting free is to change the bad habit into a good one.
When I was starting to fight my addiction, I started running, just to kill my boredom, not understanding at that point how much it helped me. But It has been proven that physical exercise is beneficial when it comes to fighting addiction. Buy a gym card, get a tennis partner or do as I did, buy a pair of trainers and get those legs running.

Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honour you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.
~ Proverbs 4:5-9

 

God bless you brother and remember this is a fight Jesus has already won!

Go and claim what is yours, or should I say run!

 

Johan Odén
Linda’s husband
www.five22leadership.co.uk

2 Comments
  • Blessed Mess
    Posted at 04:03h, 27 March Reply

    Thank you for sharing from your perspective too!! I’m hoping to get a chance to find a way for my husband to do this as well
    . I think it’s amazing that we started our blogs at the same time and they are about the same thing! I did mine to let people know they are not alone and God graciously reminds me – neither am I!!

    I would love to mention your blog in mine and link to it, if that would be ok with you?

    • Lifestyle of Heaven
      Posted at 17:45h, 27 March Reply

      Hi lovely,
      Yes God has his ways and we can only receive and enjoy what He prepares for those who love Him!
      You are in my prayers and I know God will finish what He started in your marriage too!
      You are more than welcome to link to my webpage, I have over this first month seen a few improvements I want to do, and related links is something I want to add too.

      Enjoy writing my new friend,
      Linda

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