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Brayde's Story - Porn, Affairs, and a Redeeming God

Uncategorized Aug 03, 2020

 

“It’s better to watch porn than to cheat.”

 

I do not believe I am the only man who heard those words as a kid. 

 

I was taught this from a young age. My dad used to look at playboys, while my mom got my brother and I ready for church (my dad is now a saved man who loves Jesus and his wife the right way). I remember the first pornographic video I found in a folder on the family desktop. I was ten years old.

 

That first scar is so deep that my psyche or the enemy starts to replay it in my head whenever I feel hurts of any kind.

 

I was watching porn at least once a day by age 12. The actors portrayed that anger was cured with raw, primal passion during sex. Sadness and heartbreak was cured with an orgasm. Giving yourself physically was transactional for deeds or a service. 

 

What started off as natural curiosity turned into my only coping mechanism for any uncomfortable emotions. It was never talked about in my home.

 

I was given playboys because it is “what boys do.” Pornography was encouraged and talked about by my friends. I felt shame and guilt but these feelings felt wrong because I was told porn was normal.

 

I walked away from Christ - right onto a path of self-sabotage.

 

Girls.

 

Alcohol.

 

Drugs.

 

And a spiraling porn addiction.

 

I once broke up with a girl because she said, “I love you.” However, it wasn’t so much of what she said, (since that would have been a step closer to sex), but rather because her breath smelt like her lunch.

 

I saw what looked like perfection on screen and expected it off screen.

 

I learned to manipulate. I knew what to say, what emotions to show, how to play people. My music interests changed all the time so that I could get with the girls that society deemed perfect. If my friends weren’t jealous, she wasn’t good enough.

 

I never learned to have emotional connections with anyone. Nobody got to see my heart. I didn’t even know that I was broken. I ended up relating the emotional quality of my relationship to the quantity of sex we had. The problem was, sex never fulfilled me. I always felt like there was more. That the reality on screen was what my sex life was supposed to look like. It was never enough and I started to believe that I wasn’t good enough to get myself to that level.

 

After high school, I had a girlfriend that would watch porn with me and then try new ‘exciting’ things. She ended up wanting threesomes and instead of holding to whatever values I had left, I brushed them aside for the short fix of physical bliss.It always came with the pain that I wasn’t good enough to make a woman happy.

 

I took this mindset into the relationship with my wife.

 

When I met her, I wanted a real relationship, but didn’t have a clue of how to do that. All I knew was that if I found a girl at church, my parents would approve. So that’s what I did.

 

We had sex early in our relationship. It was nothing like porn and didn’t measure up to the experiences I had had with others. I blamed her because I knew I was doing what the world told me was good for my sex life. I couldn’t talk about it though - not with her or anyone else. I truly loved her (and still do). I didn’t want to lose her, but felt so lonely. Porn no longer helped, but rather made me jealous of what I didn’t have.

 

I was conditioned to believe that women did certain things when they truly wanted a man - and I felt far from wanted. 

 

I ended up having three affairs. Each with their own motive and drive. I stuffed my skeletons in the overflowing closet.

 

My wife and I had a beautiful daughter and for the first time in over a decade I couldn’t watch porn. Now, I didn’t think of any woman but my wife and never cheated again.

 

My house was clean, but the closet was bursting at the seams.

 

It didn’t take long before old habits came back and drove my life. I couldn’t shake this longing for more. It reached a point that I opened up about the affairs and my addiction.

 

My wife was shattered. Porn had led me here.

 

I immediately reached out to a pastor at my parent’s church. Every day, I got up early to read the Bible in the bedroom I slept alone in. What Satan was using to destroy me, God took and showed me victory. I got brothers in Christ to check in on me and got device monitoring software. I now had accountability.

 

My heart had always existed with a large Jesus-shaped hole. I learned that the only relationship I needed was with my Heavenly Father. In the first few months after my confession, I quit drinking, smoking, drugs, porn, and swearing. I started to have grace for others - and even myself.

 

There were trying times afterwards. We had a miscarriage that could have crushed us, but now it only drew my wife and I closer to each other and to Christ. We learned to communicate and are continually improving with that. Our marriage is thriving.

 

I have been porn-free for eight months, but not without temptation. Pornography and lust could very well be the thorn in my side I pray will leave.

 

Hold onto the hope that we are never too lost or too sinful for the love of Christ to find us.

 

You can’t be bad enough for Christ Jesus to say, “The cross isn’t for you.”

 

He went to the cross for the joy that was set before Him. You and me are that joy.

 

It’s never too late. He is a redeemer and a stronghold, so step out and trust Him.

 

It isn’t always easy, but here is the good news:

Our battle has already been won.

 

God doesn’t expect his fish to be clean when He catches them, but instead cleans them after He has caught them.

 

Like in Exodus 17:11-12, we win the battle with arms up in worship, a heart surrendered, and friends to help carry our burdens when we are weak. 

 

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