These are some of the addictions that we find are prevalent in our world today. Of course the old standards are still at work; drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, vaping (newer on the scene), etc. These are certainly a problem, but the behavioral addictions are an even bigger problem.
Because, number one, they many times lead to the substance addictions. Secondly, they are life controlling, affecting every area of peoples lives, but they don’t know it. It’s “acceptable”, as it does not “appear” to be hurting anyone else, but of course, these addictions are equally as destructive as substances.
Let’s take pornography as an example for our focus today. Pornography is one of the most destructive addictions there is. It destroys love, genuine intimacy, commitment, marriages, it erodes and contaminates the heart, it’s abusive to women, (and men), and we excuse it as “something everyone does.”
In an excerpt from “Porn Kills Love: Fight the New Drug”, we see the pervasiveness of this epidemic:
“Porn looks like a newer, slicker version of love. Love 2.0. It’s like love, but easy, fast, and cheap.
In porn, finding a “partner” is effortless. He or she is always ready, willing, and longing for your attention. This partner has nothing else to do with their time but wait for the consumer, breathless and perpetually aroused. He or she is young, attractive, sexually adventurous, and anxious to please. This partner will never get bored or annoyed, never have an “off” day or need a listening ear. In fact, all he or she will ever want is wild, ecstatic orgasms that look real! And if this porn-partner ever fails to keep the consumer entertained, they can simply be exchanged with the click of a computer mouse.
Sure, it’s all fake, but advocates of porn say, “So what? What’s wrong with a little harmless fantasy?” The problem is, it’s not harmless. The problem is that internet pornography has a number of unique properties, such as limitless novelty, on-demand accessibility, and easy escalation to more extreme material, that can condition someone’s sexual arousal to aspects of pornography consumption that do not readily transition to real-life partners. As this happens, real life sex may not register as meeting expectations, and arousal declines.”
This leads to a multitude of issues in marriage concerning not only sexual intimacy, but emotional intimacy as well. When the pain and disillusionment of the effects of porn are at work, then the other addictions are more prone to happen layering over the original addiction; spending to fill the emptiness, food to fill the emptiness, affairs, workaholism, and more. This can easily lead to deep distancing and divorce left unchecked.
So what’s the answer? Bottom line is that it’s the emptiness inside that needs to be filled, and only God can do that. To find that there must be recognition that there is a problem, no matter what the addictive issue. Otherwise there is denial and blaming and justifying. All this to protect the emptiness, and the placebo that we are using to quench it. And then there’s “why am I doing this in the first place?” For example, I am insecure, Supine and believe my spouse will reject me, even though they married me. So I shy away from intimacy, then acquire guilt and shame, and gravitate to another way of getting my need met, which is not actually meeting the need… it’s a destructive force. The more I do it, the more guilt and shame layer over. And the addictive cycle is well underway.
If this is you in ANY form, reach out for help today. Reach out past the pride, fear, and anything else in the way. God wants to set you free. I have worked with many hundreds of people over the years, (including myself), with all types of addiction. Freedom is available but you cannot do it alone.
BH/ Contribution: fightthenewdrug.org