410 days of sexual sobriety and counting! What does that mean exactly? Well I’ll tell you – it means no sexual acting out in any form, no masturbation and no secret fantasy life! I never could have imagined it possible to go this long without engaging in one or all of these behaviors. It was my pattern since a youth to fall in some way and then get back up and vow not to let it happen again. But it would. Some times it was a matter of hours and some times I would go a month. But the dragon of secret sexual sin would always return and eventually I would be defeated once again.
The problem with this kind of life is that the falls and defeats get progressively worse, progressively darker. In my teens I mainly struggled with masturbation. In my 20s it was some type of porn in print form. In my 30s it was the Internet. And in my 40s it was connecting with real people – online at first, and then eventually in person. I was on a road of destruction – of my soul, my marriage, my family, my very life.
It took getting caught in the worst possible way and being faced with the end of my marriage to convince me that I couldn’t slay this dragon on my own. I wanted to do myself. I wanted to keep the shame a secret. What man wouldn’t? And what man doesn’t think they have the ability to stop on their own? I tried. I tried for 40 years. I couldn’t do it.
And yet before I was exposed I still held on to double-minded view that I could somehow eventually become strong enough to rid myself of my secret struggle without anyone having to know. At the same time I also believed it would probably be impossible to stop acting out forever and so when given the opportunity to sin – I would do so in a big way. Only to return to the shame and guilt portion of the sexual sin cycle. I ran that cycle like a hamster on a wheel year after year.