I see lots of people who are beginning to wake up to the damage that porn is causing in their lives. When people get to this point, it becomes obvious that they must find a way out of their addiction. In my work, I see any number of people who are convinced that porn is a bad thing for them; and, They want to stop using it. The problem is, for a person who is truly hooked on porn, it is almost impossible to “stay stopped!” for more than a few days or weeks.
For those who don’t have a porn problem, it is difficult to understand why someone can’t just stop doing something when they say they want to. Most of us believe that once we make our minds up that we can stop right away. This is not so with addicts. What is common among those I work with is they are able to quit for only a brief period of time. Then, to their dismay, they are drawn back into porn and become even more involved than before. Like a yo-yo dieter, this cycle of starting and stopping may go on for a number of years.
There is a price for all of this. The more people try and fail, the more miserable and frustrated they become. The truth is: that for most sexually addicted people, becoming free of porn is a tricky process that takes a period of time before one can be freed once and for all. While we may wish that a problem like porn addiction could be solved by resolve alone, my experience has shown that it doesn’t work that way. Is there anything to help a person become free of porn? The answer may surprise you: If a person truly wishes to get porn out of their life, the one thing they absolutely must be willing to do, find an appropriate accountability partner!
Get an accountability partner!
If you are really serious about quitting porn, you will need some outside help. If you are not ready to seek help, you will probably keep trying and failing on your own until you are ready for something different. In the beginning, most people feel they must try any number of things before resorting to accountability. Most are hopeful that they can keep the whole porn thing under wraps. It is only natural to want a private solution to a private problem. But, after trying numerous approaches, including counseling, and reading any number of books, most will find themselves fully engaged in their porn problem, even years later. When you are serious about quitting for good, you’ll need to do what generates the most success–willingly place yourself in an accountability program.
Finding an accountability partner isn’t rocket science. There is nothing fancy or costly about it. Just go to a trusted friend of the same gender, and tell them you need someone to hold you accountable for your actions. Though friends are great, you don’t have to be personal friends with the person who will be your accountability partner. Many people prefer someone they don’t know very well. It helps them to be more open and honest and worry less.
Suggestions for finding the right accountability partner.
They should be familiar with your problem and have overcome it themselves.
They should be absolutely trustworthy and able keep any secrets you may tell them.
They should be willing to ask you the tough questions: “Have you seen anything since I last talked to you that was the least bit immoral or pornographic?” “Have you practiced self-gratification since the last time we last spoke?” “What did you see or do today that may have triggered your thoughts today?” If your partner is squeamish about asking you these tough questions, they are not the right partner for you.
They should be a partner you that you would be willing to listen to and follow their advice.
They should be someone who wants to walk along side of you and not consider themselves better than you.
It should be someone who is not repulsed by the fact that you have a problem with porn or other sexual compulsions.
It should be someone who won’t condemn you for having a problem but who won’t minimize your problems either.
It should be a person who is willing to look at a report of each website you visit and talk to you about any inappropriate website you may have seen.
It should be a person that wants to talk with you daily, or when you feel tempted or triggered.
It should be a partner who will be willing to impose a mutually agreed upon consequence when you fail and who will encourage you when you succeed.
Where do you find an accountability partner?
It isn’t as hard as it may seem.
There are any number of online groups and ministries that offer this help. Feel free to visit my website listed at the end of this article.
Talk with your minister and ask for help.
Go to a local support group and enlist the help of a sponsor. Most likely, there are many helpful support groups in your area.
Talk with a trusted friend that you believe would be willing to help you.
People who use accountability succeed where others fail. Over time, your accountability partner will become a dear friend and a trusted advisor. There are many other things that can help you quit porn; but, an accountability partner is the first and most important step. If you are ready to stop porn for good, start putting accountability to work.