page contents

Highlights

  • Craig responds to questions from wives of sex and porn addicts
  • Do you feel that a sex addict, specifically porn, can stop on his own accord without any outside help at all aside from his wife?
  • Can you please explain that the way and amount they think about women is not normal or okay contrasted with how you and others think about them now and how normal men think about them?
  • Please explain why their spouse stopped wanting sex with them.
  • If they can masturbate without Viagra, but can’t have sex without Viagra, do they really have medical ED or is it porn-and-fantasy-induced ED?

Discovery or Disclosure

This one is for the ladies.
The partners.

Many of you know, we have a free support group on Facebook that’s staffed or moderated by our two female coaches, Sandi and Tara. Two incredible woman who, through their husband’s compulsive sexual behavior, problematic sexual behavior, sex addiction, porn affliction, intimacy disorder, sexual authenticity disorder, to me almost all of them better names than sex addiction and porn addiction, through that journey they had the opportunity to connect with me.
They needed help. They were struggling.
“How do I deal with him?”
I said, “How do you deal with him?”
“How do you create your own happiness?”
And, both of those women were receptive to that message, and in that journey, they dove deep inside themselves and created an incredible level of happiness for themselves. They started to own that piece and no longer were dependent upon their spouse for validation, affirmation. That’s nice. That’s really nice. That’s great.
They empowered themselves, and that I find is the biggest challenge in working with the partner community for many, many, many, many, many reasons, many, many, many reasons. So, we have an accountability, action-oriented, goal centric free group on Facebook for partners and for men. So, if any of you want in on that conversation then please email support@themindfulhabit.com, and be sure to mention you want in the addict group or the partner group. That’s the nature of being in this business.

Where do I start?
Let me say this before I jump in. I am generalizing here. What I say may not apply to you. Please do not take offense.
There’s so much pain.
How do I know?
I know what I put my wife through. I want to be clear on this. I did all these things that you are complaining your husbands about; lied, cheated, manipulated, gas lighted, tricked.
“Oh, I’m not doing that. Are you crazy? What is wrong with you? Are you serious? I mean, is this what you think’s going on?”
Yeah, that’s exactly what was going on. The partners don’t know.
It is so difficult to talk about accountability and owning your stuff in this population. Some of you have children together. Some of you may own a home together. Some of you may have known each other for many years.
That’s what I call legacy – a history of togetherness.
And, you go to sleep one night thinking your life may be, at best, okay, and then it often happens you wake up, you discover something.
Your sky isn’t blue. It’s now green. What?
Your reality has been shattered.
The person you thought was X is Y. Who you thought you knew, you didn’t.
But the truth is deep down inside you’ve always had suspicions that either something was amuck but beyond the suspicions here’s something that many of you knew.
Again, generalizing and aggregating that you were unhappy.
If you stop right now and close your eyes and reflect on pre-discovery, pre-disclosure, maybe you weren’t skipping through the meadow with rainbows and unicorns and glitter sparkling all over the place and everybody’s happy lovey-lovey, Little House on the Prairie.
You were very, very, very unhappy.

Answering Partner Questions
What I want to do today is answer some of the questions that you incredible, powerful women who are in pain right now have asked. Most people join this group at or around disclosure.
Disclosure is when you learn for the first time.
This is when you learn for the first time that your husband is either compulsively watching pornography or cheating.

First question – “Do you feel that a sex addict, specifically porn, can stop on his own accord without any outside help at all aside from his wife?” SS
Yes. Yes. In fact, when I was learning about the efficacy of 12 steps, I learned that many people stop on their own for alcohol and drugs and the same is true for porn. So, the answer to that question simply is yes. Yes. How many? Don’t know. The people call me. Can they stop on their own? Absolutely not. Alright.

Second question – “Can you please explain that the way and amount they think about women is not normal or okay contrasted with how you and others think about them now and how normal men think about them?” AWS
Normal men. Whew. Who the heck does that mean? Joking aside, it’s not okay to think like that. It objectifies humans, disrespects your spouse, makes you worse in bed, and makes you sexually want your wife less.

This is one of the reasons why I do not support, adhere to and frankly have evolved the disease-based model. Not doing ‘the thing’ has absolutely nothing to do with sexual authenticity.
A colleague of mine in the sex-positive community coined the phrase sexual authenticity disorder. He works with men exploring their kink who may have sexual interests that are different.
Different doesn’t make them bad.
Both of your sexual needs in the relationship are valid.
Please do not pornify all of your men’s’ desires.
The journey towards sexual authenticity, which is the journey that all of my men are on, forces them to reflect –
“What is my authentic sexuality?”
“How do I align that sexuality with my integrity, with my morals, with my spiritual belief?”
“Can you be a sex god, please your partner, and not objectify and oogle and every time you see a pair of tits?”
Of course you can!
Men, can you allow the fact that your energy will shift?
Ladies, our triggers are biologically hardwired. There is no place that we are not going ‘to notice.’ It’s what you do with that energy.
Well, he was looking down and then he looked up and he saw the woman and then what did he do? He put his head back down. He put his arm around me, whispered in my ear that he loved me.
That’s the reality that we’re looking for.
The choice is what you do with that energy?
Do you use that energy to move towards your partner, move towards love, to wake up, to not oogle and objectify?
So, this movement toward how “normal” men . . .
We’ve got an advertising industry that is using sex to sell us everything from deodorant to hamburgers to cars to things that have absolutely nothing to do with sex.
So, normal? I think we do live in a society.
Normal is objectifying.
Normal is oogling.
Normal is commoditizing the female body.
Holifying, meaning the female body is holes to be inserted for male pleasure. Right. There’s a certain component of that, a prominent component of that in our society today.
Ladies and gentleman, this is not about not doing something.
Not doing ‘the thing’ is going to get you to first base.
You’re only a third of the way there using the baseball analogy.
This crisis forces men to grow up. Forces men to mature their sexuality. Forces men to become the best version of themselves.
The good news is that you have a chance to turn this around, both of you, and it requires work from both of you. One of the biggest myths in this work is ‘let him get help.’
Wait a minute. There’s a whole bunch of reasons why the relationship went off the rails. This isn’t blame, but this is accountability and reality. I’ve worked with so many couples from all over the world and not once have I found a place where two people weren’t bringing their baggage, their stories, their dysfunction into the relationship.
That’s tough to say sometimes, but it’s true.
I’m all about moving people forward and that requires me to be honest with them and not to coddle. I’ve got to be gentle. I’ve got to be kind. I’ve got to be loving, empathetic and supportive, and my ladies know that I am. I’ve earned that credibility with them. But, it’s hard and it takes time, and it takes time.
That’s what will change with treatment; a being who becomes sexually authentic, whose sexuality expresses himself in a healthy way that lifts him up instead of brings him down, brings him down.

Third question – Please explain why their spouse stopped wanting sex with them. Allison
Because sex changed.
Maybe they stopped looking at her.
Maybe they only wanted to do it from behind, hit it and quit it.
Maybe they wanted to do kinky stuff.
Whatever it was it lacked intimacy and turned her off.
She probably couldn’t put her finger on it but something was wrong and missing.
Their spouse most likely changed over the years in a subconscious reaction to their lack of true intimacy, most likely gained weight, withdrew, loss of sexual appetite for them, suffered from depression or, worse, crawled deeper into a shell.
She did not know something was wrong, but she knew something was off, and she knew something was wrong with her. She knew that she wasn’t being the best version of herself.
If we want happiness we’ve got to create it for ourselves. It can’t be dependent upon others. Although others can enhance that happiness, when others take away from that happiness then we have to decide what type of boundary we want to create, what type of barrier do we want to create and sometimes that includes breech, termination, the ultimate boundary, relationship ends.
Allison’s question is such a good one because it plots the evolution.
I’ve come up with this little mantra that applies to me and maybe it applies to you. In my work, I so often encourage my clients to don’t think binary, and they ask me, “Craig, did he do it because of this reason, that reason and that reason?”
Don’t think yes or no; it’s probably all three.
So what you will find is, regardless of how dysfunctional and impactful your partner’s behavior was, it was absolutely not her fault.
Now, do we mean his egregious, disgusting, lying, cheating behavior?
Yeah, of course, that’s not.
You can’t own that.
You can’t shoulder that responsibility.
But if you ask the question this way I would completely disagree: “It is also imperative with this question to explain why the state of the relationship is absolutely not her fault in any way no matter what the situation was.”
I can’t agree with that statement, Allison.
Because in working with hundreds of couples all over the world, different demographics, different cultures, different religious backgrounds, at the end of the day you find two people bringing their own baggage, dysfunction, insecurities, irrationalities, projections, root cause, unmet needs, into the relationship.
I absolutely agree with this statement, you’re not responsible for him going screwing around and doing things that he said he wasn’t going to do.
But if you take the actions off the table and look at the relationship there is accountability for everyone, and that’s one of the most difficult things that I teach.
I know how you have suffered.
I know the pain, the void, the vulnerability, the loneliness, the shock, the trauma that you’re experiencing. I don’t want to do anything to take away from that. In fact, you need to actually go into that, bring awareness to that. Don’t stuff that stuff down. The sooner that comes up the better off you’re going to be.
One of the biggest problems of the addiction-based model is that it creates a one-up-one-down dynamic in the relationship.
The one-up is the spouse and the one-down is the addict.
That is one of the biggest myths in our work, that the spouse has no work to do and that they wouldn’t benefit profoundly with that work.
I’ve talked to many of you women. You women are strong; powerful; have overcome significant challenges in your lives that brought you to this place.
We’ve got to channel that power, that accountability, that energy into you creating the best you. And, here’s what happens. You start creating the best you, if you’re partner’s like, “I don’t need any help. I don’t have a problem,” you start becoming the best you, guess what happens? He either steps up or you want him gone, the other way around.
He’s going to start doing something or he’s not, and then you’ll have a pretty good idea of what your next step is.
Many people ask me, how do I confront him?
How do I show him the impact of the porn?
How do I show him how the compulsive sexual behavior is ruining his life and destroying our marriage?
If he doesn’t see that you’re never going to convince him of that.
Generalizing, again. Some of you may, but most of you won’t.
I recommend that partners focus on your happiness. Say, “I am not happy. You are not pleasing me sexually. Our interactions are marred by discord, anger, disrespect, and I just want you to know that that’s making me unhappy. And, the reality is partner, husband, boyfriend, fiancé, you’re not the man I thought you were. I don’t feel like you have a zest for life, that you’re aggressively pursuing success in your career, your finances, your health, your hobbies, certainly not your relationships, and certainly not your spirituality to the extent that’s relevant for you.”
Focus on the other areas of his life, the other areas where it’s obvious that he is underachieving, because I’ve never met a “sex addict” or a “porn addict” that wasn’t profoundly underachieving in all facets of their life.

Fourth question – “If they can masturbate without Viagra, but can’t have sex without Viagra, do they really have medical ED or is it porn-and-fantasy-induced ED?” AA
I am not a doctor. I cannot diagnose.
If you’re asking my opinion, the answer is, it’s the porn.
The porn is always the symptom, ladies.
The porn is never the root cause.
I have never worked with a client whose number one problem was sexually related. Their number one problem has never been their sex addiction or their porn addiction. Their number one problem is deep down inside they hate themselves.
They’re addicted to their thoughts.
They’re inauthentic.
They’re lesser versions of themselves.
They’re not living up to their potential.
There’s a part of them that they absolutely loathe that is not good enough and that manifests itself with the compulsive behavior.
The challenge is around intimacy.
If you can watch porn and masturbate without Viagra but can’t have sex without Viagra, that suggests an intimacy disorder; sexual authenticity disorder.
Removing the porn isn’t often going to solve the problem exclusively.
It may help.
I’ll close by sharing a three-layer model of safety:
At the bottom, physical safety, emotional safety.
Next is vulnerability, being vulnerable with your partner, physical vulnerability, emotional vulnerability.
On the top of that three-layer cake is intimacy; non-physical intimacy towards physical intimacy.
It is absolutely critical to restore that safety barrier, and in an intimate committed relationship that often means, for most of us, that we are aware of our sexual expression and it is moving towards each other and we are sharing that with each other. There aren’t any secrets around that with each other.
There’s an incredible opportunity in this crisis for each of you.
Partners, focus on you.
Create your own happiness.
Create a better relationship where safety, vulnerability, and intimacy are things that you talk about.
Openness
Connection
Sexual wants/desires/drives become part of your vocabulary, become part of the dance that you do as a couple.
Recognizing that while your needs may be different, one isn’t wrong.
I tell my guys their partners stop doing these things that they like because he turned into an asshole. He did not provide safety in the relationship. He didn’t make them feel loved, wanted, desired, sexy, please them, talk to them. So, she doesn’t like to do that anymore.
If you want to change your relationship, if you want to grow your relationship, then this is an incredible opportunity to do that because it’s the only thing that’s going to work.

Interview with a Mindful Porn Addict

Highlights Sex is not a topic of conversation in most modern homes, which leads to a great amount of guilt and shame around unhealthy sexuality Online porn can get its hooks in us and it’s hard to break free Mindfulness can help you regain control of your life and...

Perspective Learned by Holding My Son’s Lifeless Body

Summary Craig shares a deeply personal story when his 13 year-old son collapsed - lying lifeless in his body, Craig asked himself, “Where’s the gift?” And saw the gift was love - for the deep pain wouldn’t exist but for love. Listen how this traumatic event...

Am I Addicted or Do I Have A Relationship Problem?

Highlights What’s the difference between addiction and relationship problem? When does compulsive porn use become an addiction? Two examples help illustrate why the ‘porn addiction’ label is not helpful Am I Addicted or Do I Have A Relationship Problem? This is an...

Interview With a Young Christian Ex-Porn Addict

Highlights Craig interviews Joseph, a young Christian who is an ex-porn addict Joseph’s porn use started around age 12 and escalated during early teens Sex is often not a topic of conversation in the homes of young porn users Joseph found help and is creating a great...

Mindfulness Will Set You Free

Highlights What is the Mindful part of The Mindful Habit System? Mindfulness is essentially being in the present moment, on purpose, without judgement. Two kinds of mindfulness, in-the-moment and practice. A simple exercise of practicing mindfulness can increase your...

Know Your Top Unmet Needs “Cure” Your Sex Addiction

In this episode of “Sex Addictions and Porn Afflictions,” Craig Perra, certified professional coach and Founder of the “Mindful Habit System to End Compulsive Behavior,” Craig talks about the largest unmet need that causes people to struggle with addiction: love.

Christians and Porn Addiction: Interview with Porn Free Radio’s Matt Dobschuetz

In this episode of “Sex Addictions and Porn Afflictions,” Craig Perra, certified professional coach and Founder of the “Mindful Habit System to End Compulsive Behavior,” talks to Matt Dobschuetz, coach and host of Pornfree Radio, a weekly podcast for motivated Christian men who want to align their sexuality with their spiritual beliefs.

Goal Setting For Addicts In 2017

Life is full of challenges and in order to succeed we must embrace them. In this episode of “Sex Addictions and Porn Afflictions,” Craig Perra, certified professional coach and Founder of the “Mindful Habit System to End Compulsive Behavior, talks you through how to set realistic goals for your 6 major life areas.

Backpage Ends Escort Prostitution Page: Sobriety, Sanity & Success

HIGHLIGHTS Backpage has ended it's Protitution page Compulsive Sexual Behavior is a hobby By treating our addiction as a hobby, we can identify the positive aspects of our behavior Our negative behavior is a function of our unmet needs Creating new hobbies that help...