I’m a committed Christian man. I know what I’m doing is wrong. Why can’t I stop by just reading my Bible or praying more?
Are you sure I don’t simply need more faithYours is a common story. Paul said, “the good that I would, I do not. The evil that I would not, that is what I do. What a wretched man am I.” (Rom. 7:18,24) We are double-minded and inheritors of original sin. As addicts, we are powerless without God’s help. We need to learn how to have more intimate fellowship with God and with others. It is not that we don’t have faith. we don’t know how to pursue a relationship with Christ in the most humble and willing ways. A part of all sex addicts doesn’t want to give up the addiction. We must really surrender and find true accountability. Our workshops offer the emotional and spiritual tools to start you on a healing journey of doing just that. – Mark Laaser, M.Div., Ph.D.
What should I tell others about the workshop? I sure don’t want to say I’m going to a conference on sexual addiction!
No, tell them that you’re going to a conference on sexual health and that your intention is to lead a life of sexual integrity. Give it a Promise keepers or proactive type of spin. Or just tell them that you’re going to a conference with men to help you be the kind of man you want to be. – Mark Laaser, M. Div., Ph.D.
My wife doesn’t know about my sexual acting out. Do I have to tell her? What about my children?
Eventually you will want to tell her. You won’t want to live another day without the true intimacy of really being known. You won’t want to wonder whether or not she would leave if she found out. You won’t want to tell her every detail of your acting out, but you will want her to know the general nature of it. It is important to find a truly humble and willing heart first. You should also be totally committed to your marriage and to sobriety from all sexual sins before you talk to her. You may need the help of a pastor or counselor to get honest with her. Your wife will also need lots of support. Don’t expect her to just forgive and forget. Rebuilding trust and finding true intimacy will be a lifetime journey. My workbook, Faithful and True, discusses truth telling in greater detail. My book, Talking to Your Kids About Sex, goes into detail about why it might be important to tell your own children about your story. My experience has been that just as you were lonely thinking that your sexual thoughts were unique to you and that you were awful for having them, your kids may be thinking the same way. Wouldn’t it be more helpful to them to know that they are not alone and not unique. Is it not better to let kids know that people struggle with problems and that there are healthy ways out? The greatest enemy of sexual health for your children is silence. – Mark Laaser, M.Div., Ph.D.
After the workshop, what then? Will I need more counseling?
You may need more counseling. The workshop will outline the process of healing that all addicts need. This will involve ongoing fellowship in support groups, accountability in healthy and supportive ways, and counseling if you have trauma in your life that is preventing you from making healthy decisions. We do identify many deep emotional and spiritual needs at the workshop. Counselors often tell us that their clients come back about one year further down the healing road. – Mark Laaser, M.Div., Ph.D.
I’m scared to admit this (and very ashamed), but my situation is different. I don’t act out with women. My sex partners are other men. The pornography I use involves men, not women. Will the participants at the workshop be comfortable with me there?
You are not alone. We find that about 10% of the men who come to our workshops are struggling with same-sex issues. There usually will be other men there who can relate to your story. We have never found that the men react negatively to these kinds of stories. Usually quite the opposite effect happens. We heal faster when we discover that we all need healthy fellowship with other men. We all have more things in common regardless of our sexual histories. We have also found that the Holy Spirit always brings people to our workshops who have stories that can be helpful to each other. We could tell you many stories of homosexual and heterosexual men who have become best friends, in totally healthy ways, at our workshops. – Greg Miller, M.Div., D.Min.