“She felt like she had given me the most precious, delicate part of who she was, and I had thrown it in the trash.”
That’s Jonathan Daugherty speaking there, and the she he’s referring to is his wife. He’d just confessed to her that he was addicted to pornography and had had multiple affairs. The revelation left her devastated and curled up in a fetal position. The shame of his behavior left Jonathan suicidal.
Fallout like that is not unique. Our ministry hears regularly from individuals who believed their pornography use was harmless. It was hidden. It was secret.
But secrecy is part of what makes pornography so dangerous. Users sink deeper and deeper into that world but dismiss their growing obsession because “nobody knows.” Sooner or later, though, as with all addictions, users discover that what they first perceived as harmless now controls them. That’s when they start pursuing extramarital affairs, seeking out ever-more stimulating and disturbing forms of pornography, or recognize too late that their attitudes about sex with their spouse or their marriage have been corrupted.
Secrecy takes pornography users down a path riddled with darkness, shame, depression, and risky behavior. And there’s only one way to break the power of secret sin: confess it. Bring it out of the darkness and into the light.
“For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light” (Mark 4:22, ESV).
Confession is the door to freedom, but it can also be a stumbling block. Many men cling to their secrets because they don’t know how or where to share in order to begin the recovery process.
Jonathan Daugherty will be with us today and tomorrow on our radio program “Finding an Escape from Sexual Addiction” to discuss the dangers of living in secret and to help those who feel trapped in pornography to find their way out to recovery.
If this is a struggle for you, we have a team of caring Christian counselors who would be happy to have an initial consultation with you. Our number is 800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). Don’t keep your secret hidden any longer. Give us a call and let us be that initial friend you can talk to without shame or judgment.
Jonathan has captured the challenges of his addiction and the road to recovery he and his wife have walked together in his book “Secrets: A True Story of Addiction, Infidelity and Second Chances.” That and other helpful resources can be found in our online bookstore.