Read an Edited Transcript of the Show:
Welcome to sex afflictions and porn addictions. I am your host Craig Perra from themindfulhabit.com. I am the founder of the Mindful Habit System, a step-by-step plan to freedom, to healthy sexuality, and a purpose driven life. And I’ve been helping men all over the world for the past seven plus years. I’ve worked with over 1000 men. And today I want to share with you a powerful step-by-step plan for if, when, more likely, you get caught by your partner for your secret sexual habits. And what I mean by that is that means the dam has ruptured. Your denials are dead. You’ve lost all credibility. The person that you love has exposed what might be your deepest, darkest secrets. And maybe, if you’re anything like I was, dripping with shame, actually bathing in it. Maybe you’re embarrassed. Maybe you’re hating the heck out of yourself, maybe depressed, sick to your stomach. Your wife now knows about your secret sexual secrets, and it’s time to do something about it. And that’s exactly what this podcast is. What to do about it when you are at that lowest point.
To help you, to help you be successful, I want to first help you understand her perspective. I’ve been working with partners all over the world as well. There your wife’s reality is shattered. I like to say it like this. Two plus two is four. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Fact. No one disagrees with that. My husband’s sexual energy was being directed towards me. Reality is turned up side down. In fact, there’s a name for that type of a profound betrayal. It’s called betrayal trauma. Her world has been turned upside down. She has internalized the lack of attention that you’ve given her. She feels ugly. She feels hurt. Her heart is broken. And she may be scared. Maybe not sure that the relationship will survive. And that is terrifying.
Now, quick note. You can avoid this horrible life-changing event by taking the bull by the horns and being honest. “Honey, I am not proud of the way that I’m expressing myself sexually. It’s impacting me as a man. It’s impacting me showing up with you. I’ve been lying about pornography. I’ve been lying about this. I’ve been lying about that. And I can’t do it anymore. And all I can say is that I promise I want to make it right.” Right. You can avoid all this by being honest. Now, most of you won’t do that so I want to help you take action that’s going to help you the most. This is for right after you got caught.
Now, your perspective. You have likely been compartmentalizing a part of your sexual expression since you were a child. In fact, porn and sex. Come on. It’s one of the first major lies we as boys learn to tell. This aspect of ourselves. This has grown in secret. And those secrets started a long, long, long, long, long, long, long time ago. And you’ve convinced yourself why you kept the secrets that you did, even if you knew that were wrong. You maybe convinced yourself that the lies you told were okay. Maybe you rationalized your decision to lie and keep secrets. And by the way, that lying and keeping secrets, in my experience, is responsible for the overwhelming majority of damage. The porn is obviously impactful. The lying is devastating. And maybe you convinced yourself that your secrets wouldn’t hurt the person you love, or you knew she’d be devastated. And for a variety of different reasons, you did it anyway. So the person you love is crushed, her heart is broken, and both of you are in a world of hurt. That’s the bad news.
Healing and repairing is not going to be easy, but if you do it right, this getting caught can literally be the catalyst for a profound awakening. And the good news is that this getting caught forces you to level up. It forces you to increase your self control. It forces you to learn the unhealthy needs that this compulsive sexual behavior was meeting. And it forces you to learn to meet those needs in a healthy, constructive way, if you want to be successful long-term. It forces you to prioritize your sexual health, that powerful evolutionary drive inside us as men which has been scientifically proven critical to mental health, physical health, and relationship health, has been off. That part of you has been growing in secret and in darkness. This forces you to learn to channel and direct your powerful sexual energy as a man. And guess what happens? Your life changes. That’s the upside. And I want to help you do that.
And there are a few things that you can do to make that happen. Number one, make her feel safe. And I’m going to give you some very specific instructions to help her do that. Remember, her reality is shattered. What she thought was real isn’t, and your choice to watch porn over her is heartbreaking. The more empathy that you can muster, the better off that you are going to be, and the better off you’re going to be able to help your partner, who you love, who you’re devastated that you hurt. And you want to make it right, you need empathy. And how can you make her feel safe? Don’t get defensive. She may yell. She may scream. You are going to feel weak. You’re going to feel small and insignificant. You will likely feel shame and disgust. Because of the questions that she is throwing out, you will feel like you’re being controlled. And even worse, you’re going to be projecting mother onto her.
Projecting mother is a very common phenomenon. She’s going to ask you lots of questions. Do your best to not lose control. Do your best to answer honestly. And here’s what you can do to help answer honestly. Now listen, let’s face it, we are almost pathological liars. If you’re in this club, your porn or your sex is only one aspect of your bad habits that are wreaking havoc on your life. That lying is devastating. So a couple of tips that you can do is take a breath between your answers. Take five breaths between your answers. Okay? Take notes, write it down. “Can I get back to you on that? I keep answering this question terribly, and I’m making it worse. I want to think about it. I want to be honest with you.”
My clients’ script, what are the top five questions that they’re going to get from their partners? And they’ve got answers for them, not because they’re trying to be manipulative, because they’re trying to speak from their heart. There’s no habits around speaking from their heart. There’s plenty of habits around getting defensive. There’s no habits to stand in your truth. But there’s habits to get angry. There’s habits to yell, there’s habits to get defensive. So you do it professionally, you do it at work. Think about it. “Wait, if I’m having this important conversation, I’ve got to really pay attention to what I want to say.” Use those skills that you have. Use those skills to help you not get defensive. And that’s going to help make her feel safe.
And something else that you can do to make her feel safe is delete anything that doesn’t make your relationship stronger. That could be contact information, that could be bookmarks, that could be apps, that could be porn saved on your device, that could be videos and text message. Get rid of it man. Get rid of it. Get rid of it. It is not serving you. And if there’s certain aspects of that life that you want to hold on to, ask yourself why. Really, really try to understand what your attachment is to that thing that you don’t want to delete. If your goal and your mission is to save your relationship, to restore honesty, to restore trust, and for you to use this crisis as that catalyst to create great in your life, get rid of it. Get rid of it.
Next. This is a tough one. Give her access to your devices. Hand it to her. Show her you respect her. Show her that you are trying to make it right. That she’s got nothing to be afraid of. She’s got nothing that you can be afraid of. Again, she feels unsafe. Her reality has been turned upside down. Upside down. And so if you can be proactive about trying to help her feel safe and feel grounded and feel connected and answer her questions and not get defensive, that is going to carry you a long, long, long way. Making her feel safe is critical if you want that relationship to grow. And here’s the thing about your relationship, this forces all everything out on the table. This forces you as a couple to have conversations that you were not having. This forces you to pay attention to your relationship. It likely has been ignored. We take it for granted. That’s what we do. But there’s no such thing as great without attention. And your relationship needs that attention. It is such an important part of your life. People with happy relationships live longer and resist disease better.
Think about that. Think about that. The next thing that I believe is critical if you want to be successful, is that you must use this opportunity to create explosive growth in your life. When someone is a sex addict or someone is a porn addict, that means they lack self-control. And it’s not just here, it’s in other areas of their lives too. Maybe they get angry. Maybe they overeat. They have low self-awareness. They’re getting their needs met reactively instead of proactively. Speaking of emotional awareness, they’re unable to stand in their truth. They’re not getting their needs met. They’re not being their best selves. They’re not creating healthy sexuality. They’re not creating sustainability. So, to heal from your sex addiction and porn addiction means that you have profoundly changed your life to heal that relationship.
Guys, this is such a punch to the relationship. It is an almost fatal blow. It is almost a fatal blow. And because it is almost a fatal blow, you must, you must make your relationship better. As bad as and as ugly as it feels right now, and that may sound like the most ridiculous thing that you heard listening to this podcast, and it may feel like an impossibility, that has to be your path. Because your relationship is such an important part of your life, it must be healthy. It must be happy. If you can’t create healthy and happy, then dare I say, consider separating. It’s so important. And so that’s the gift. The gift, as crazy as it sounds, that is the gift that you can use from this profound failure. Failure equals opportunity. Failure presents us with a path towards creating success. In fact, the road to success is paved with the bricks of failure.
There’s one more piece of advice that I’m going to give you. And, when I’m saying something that’s self-serving, I like to acknowledge that. And this one is the most self-serving piece of advice I’m giving you in this podcast. And that is to get help. Your blind spots brought you to this place. Your way brought you here. And I respectfully submit that you need the incredible, valuable advice of someone who’s helped many men. If you’re talking me, 1000s of men on their journey. You need to understand why you did what you did. You need to understand the needs that your unhealthy behavior is meeting so you can honor the golden rule of behavior modification. To break a habit, you have to make the right habit that meets the right need. To break a habit, you have to make the right habit that meets the right need. And my program is an aggressive push towards self-control, self-awareness, EQ, healthy sexuality, and sustainability. We provide long-term support too. And my group coaching program includes support for your wife to help her heal her betrayal trauma.
But if we are not a fit there are other options. Going to see a counselor, going to see a therapist, joining an online or local, online now because of COVID, a smart recovery meeting. That is science-based program that grew in response to the people who didn’t connect with 12 steps, or maybe need a different approach. You can also go to 12 Step Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. And of course, as I mentioned, my program. Your challenge and your job is to find out what works for you. Shop around, do your homework. Ask yourself, who do you connect with the most? That connection is one of the greatest predictor of results. And not everybody connects with me. I get that. I’m not for everybody. I’m a tough pill to swallow for some. Not every program is for everybody. Not every program is for everybody. Okay?
So if you are ready to use this crisis to change every facet of your life, to save your relationship, to make it better, to make it stronger, more connection, more intimacy, a healthy sex life, self-control, to be more mindful, to meet your needs in a healthy, constructive way, visit themindfulhabit.com. You can call the number on the website or on the group coaching page. Sign up for more information. And there you’ll be directed to a link to schedule an appointment with me.
Thank you for listening. And if you’re listening to this podcast and you made it this far, I am sorry that you are in such a low place. I have been there. And you need to know, brother, that you are not alone. There is a path forward, and that path forward is you living your best life, is you feeding the right wolf, and you embracing your power of choice. Why? Because the cure, the cure for your sex addiction, the cure for your porn addiction, is the aggressive pursuit of a great life. Recovery is a phase through which you must pass into healthy sexuality and a great life. See you next time, and thanks for listening.