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Confessions of a Porn Addict Part 1

Islam Alive Feb 2017 Issue

Confessions of a Porn Addict PART 1

Men cheat on their wives, but they don’t want wives to cheat on them. Why? Because they know cheating is wrong. When a man cheats he cheats for sex, but when a woman cheats she cheats for love and affection. She cheats with a man that can potentially replace her husband. So Be Aware!

Before I begin, let me say that in this story of my descent into sin, I blame no one but myself.

I fell into the fitnah when I was in my early 20’s. I don’t want to go into the details, but soon after I was introduced to pornography, I was hooked on it. What fanned the flames of desire was access to the internet. When I was new to the sin, I would never have dared to buy a dirty mag from the local store out of a sense of shame and embarrassment. But the internet made everything accessible to me, and I could see what I wanted and when I wanted, all in the privacy of my own home. Another problem was that my family resisted when I suggested that I marry in my mid-20s.

My addiction began as something small, but step by step over 10 years, it has transformed into something which is at times uncontrollable. The first time I used a credit card on a porn site was after several years of being addicted to porn. It was like I’d crossed a threshold, stepped over an important line. And unfortunately, having crossed that line, I haven’t looked back and have used the card numerous times since. And that is how it is with this sin. You promise yourself for a long time that you won’t cross a certain line, but then you do, and it becomes easy to repeat that sin again. But having crossed that line only once advances you to the next level of sinfulness. So you’re first mistake is looking at a woman lustfully. Then it’s looking at free porn sites, then its looking at pay porn sites, and so on. My advice to those who are in the early steps of this sin is to never give into the temptation to “go to the next level.” If you admire pretty girls, that’s bad, but not as bad as searching for porn on the web. It’s a slippery slope that ends with you in a place where a Muslim shouldn’t be.

So why haven’t I sought help?

Dear reader, what haven’t I tried to give up this addiction? Reciting Qur’an, going to talks, activism, du’a, all of that and more. I’ve prayed those prayers in the middle of the night when I thought to myself, “man, I wish I could pray with that much khushoo’ in every salaah” and I made salaam and thought I’d never return to that sin, but then a week, or two weeks later, I was back at it.

But let this next event sum it up for you: me standing in Mecca asking Allah to help me stop committing this sin, asking Allah to kind of like flick off a switch and just bring it to a stop, because I am mentally fatigued by the daily battle inside me between my shameful desires and my Muslim conscience, and I just want it to stop but its proving too difficult right now.

Knowing that I am a practicing Muslim, knowing that there is a day in which I will have to stand in front of Allah and take the rap for these sins. It feels sickening trying to make tawba for this sin, because while asking Allah to forgive me, I felt within myself (and from knowledge of past relapses) that I haven’t really given it up and would fall into it again. That is difficult to come to terms with. Really difficult. And also the guilt that comes from leading a double-life and betraying one’s spouse. This is not how I wanted to be.

I’ve felt the potential to be a responsible member of this ummah fade over the years as I spent my hours and hours in front of the computer getting up to no good. Some say it’s due to a lack of imaan, and I agree that it is, but it’s more complex than that. During these years in which I have sinned I have also memorized 10 juz of the Qur’an: that didn’t come easily, nor without determination, and I am sure that is more than most people who are reading this. I don’t know if that makes me a “better” porn addict than the next porn addict.
Sisters, your husbands go to work and there are pretty women all around. Don’t let it be the case too often that he comes homes to find you wearing some lame tracksuit bottoms and a T-shirt – or worse your pyjamas.

What about taking another wife? I wouldn’t dismiss that as quickly as some do. What pornography offers is variety: Chinese, white, fat, thin, tall, short, all sorts. Perhaps having a second wife might satisfy a brother’s need for variety. Perhaps not – I can’t say for sure.

What else works? It’s a day to day struggle. One day it’s an ayah, another day it’s a hadith. Another day it’s a talk. Another day it’s because you met a good brother. Sometimes the boost in imaan from these things keeps you off the sin for a month, other times, only a few days.

The most helpful solution overall I found was going cold turkey with the internet: cutting it off completely. It severely restricted my access to pornography, and though the addiction didn’t stop completely, it was definitely a practical step in the right direction….
If you can make a quiet du’a for Allah to switch off my addiction just as quickly as the light goes off when you flick the switch I would be most grateful. The one thing that keeps the struggle within me alive: Say: “O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins” [39:53] One sin leads to another, and this addiction makes you sin in other ways. First and worst of all, is the lying and deceit. I never lied before, but after this addiction caught hold, lying became habitual as I concocted story after story to cover my tracks: why was I on the computer for so long last night? why do I need to take baths so often? And subhanallah, no one is as resourceful as one whose mind has been overcome by the need to satisfy his lusts. Sneaking away to be alone with the computer, altering the computer’s history so that no one could find which sites I had visited or which files I had downloaded. The secret email addresses I set up which no one knew but me. Saving files in deep directories where no one would think of finding them. It’s embarrassing when I think about it.

Over the years I’d made online contacts who had similar “interests” as me. One was a practicing brother, we spoke about mutual “interests” but also Islamic things, and soon we made repentance the same day as each other, then told each other about it. I deleted the porn saved on my PC and he tells me he did the same. By Allah’s Grace he is still doing well whereas, I have found it more difficult.

Someone mentioned the trauma that the wife goes through knowing of her husband’s sick habit, and I’m telling you that my wife knows about mine. First time she found the pics I completely denied everything, and she believed me. Then she caught me again and eventually I confessed. She was very upset but eventually accepted my apology. May Allah bless her, she offered to help, and to be there and to listen to me… but the thing is, how does one speak to his wife about this habit? what does one say? it would be humiliating, way too humiliating to sit there face to face and talk about this. No, I think I need to speak to someone who doesn’t know me. It would be a full disaster if I confided this habit to someone I knew and it leaked to the community. One of the greatest blessings upon me in this regard is that Allah gave my wife the patience not to expose me to my family or my friends.

From the Wife’s Perspective (Penned by my wife)

At first I only suspected some suspicious stuff on the computer but never realized the intensity of it until years later. My mind wouldn’t go beyond chat rooms. It made me angry especially because I had been very loyal to my husband, but I didn’t let the ‘suspicions’ take over my mind.
Sometimes I would get some disgusting popups on my computer and a friend of mine told me that it would only happen if someone actually downloads them. I didn’t believe her. I was so naive. I couldn’t even picture my husband watching any such thing. I had so much respect for him. I had married him for the sake of the deen. His friends had testified for his character. Then how could I even doubt him for a second. Then a day came in my life, I wish hadn’t come. I saw what I shouldn’t have seen. It made me sick. I felt like puking. I cried and wished I was dreaming but the reality was right there in front of my eyes. But my husband promised that he would stop. He would become more ‘spiritual’ and would take any and every precaution that I would ask him to… It lasted for some time but now I know it has started again…

 

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