Dear muzmatch: How Do I Overcome My Porn Addiction?

muzmatch
9 September
Dear muzmatch,
I need help and honestly I’m too embarrassed to talk to anyone about this, so, I’m messaging you. Please keep me anon. I’m addicted to porn, I have been for seven years and I’ve been trying to stop but I haven't been successful. I thought once I’m married it would end but I’m married and I’m still doing this secretly. I feel so ashamed and can’t look my wife in the eyes. I just really don’t know what to do anymore. I’m sorry if this isn’t the kind of thing you guys deal with, I just don’t know where else to turn.


Found Love on muzmatch replies:

Salam, I am so sorry to hear about this. I want to start off by saying I am in no way a sex expert or religous figure, and that you should seek help from someone with more knowledge for sure. But I have researched this topic, and here is what I found:

1) This is a super common problem in our ummah.

It’s sad, but unfortunately true. You’re definitely not alone in your addiction. A lot of people in our ummah, both male and female, very religious and non religious, married and unmarried fall into the porn addiction trap. They know it’s a sin, but an addiction is always so difficult to break free from.

Why are so many people falling into this? For a lot it’s to do with the fact they're not married, and they don’t want to commit zinnah so they turn to porn and masturbation. But something that’s forgotten is that porn is zinnah of the eyes.  But as you’ve already mentioned, you are married and you still can’t stop. It might start off as once or twice. A habit you can control, but it’s so easy for it to become an addiction. So for you it’ll be important to address why you started, and how you became addicted.

2) You can’t beat this alone

Several blogs and people with the same issue have claimed that this is not something you can beat alone. Porn is something you can do in secret,  and this makes it easy to continue and allows the addiction to thrive. To recover, you need to end the secrecy. Telling someone the truth may be super scary, but it would be a huge weight being lifted off your shoulders.

You could start by joining online anonymous communities like purify your gaze, where you use a nickname to keep yourself anon and can join forums to discuss how to quit, as well as follow their lessons that help to quit. You do have to pay but they provide scholarships and offers for those in need.

This doesn’t work for everyone, some people prefer talking to someone they can trust and confide in, someone that will actually hold them accountable. Why not try to seek help from a friend? Imam? Or even  your spouse (of course this is more tricky than it seems)?

Photo by Kate Kalvach / Unsplash

3) Don’t make unrealistic goals like “This is my last time ever”

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how saying “this is the last time” is really never the last time. You’ve probably tried so many times to stop now, especially as it’s been 7 years. But one thing I read is to take each day as it comes, rather than saying you’re going to stop for a week or a month. Just try and get through 24 hours, and if you make it, then great, you can then choose whether you’re going to be sober for the next 24 hours. It’s a lot more realistic and easier to think of it that way then “that’s it I’m giving up forever”. Often going cold turkey doesn’t work for anything, not porn, diets, smoking etc.


4) Always remember Allah

This goes without saying. Keep remembering Allah. First thing you should do after watching porn is repent. And you shouldn't feel like “I’ve don’t this so many times, Allah (SWT) won’t forgive me now” Allah is the most forgiving, he’ll always forgive if you repent.

“Good people are those who when they have committed a shameful deed (fuhsha) or have harmed themselves, remember God and pray that their sins be forgiven- for who but God could forgive sins? – and do not knowingly persist in doing whatever wrong they may have done.”

(Qur’an 3:135)

Photo by Jeremy Yap / Unsplash

Another thing you could do is make lots of Dhikr. Saying “Subhan Allah wa Bihamdihi” throughout the day can help you focus more on Allah, and remind you of your faith thus lessening the appeal of porn.

And one final thing that cropped up a lot is increasing your good deeds, as those really do help you get closer to Allah. Instead of watching porn, use your time to volunteer at a masjid or local food shelter. Good deeds erase the bad, always remember that!

5) Put effort in your marriage

You’ve been blessed with a wife, mashallah, so you need to be thinking how this would impact her if she found out the truth. You should definitely try putting more effort in your relationship and making it stronger. If the issue is that you're not satisfied with marital intimacy, then this is something you need to discuss with your wife (in a gentle way of course). Suggest ways to improve this, tell her what your likes and dislikes are. Inshallah being around your wife more will give you less opportunity to be around porn.

6) Stay away from triggers

The last point is to avoid triggers, one brother actually got rid of his internet and smartphone to avoid watching porn. Our whole lives revolve around smartphones now, but if you really want to break free of your addiction, maybe you should cut it out and go back to the nokia brick phones where you can only make phone calls. And if you want to use your laptop, only use it around your wife and other people to avoid sinning.

Ugmonk
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Grovemade
Photo by Domenico Loia / Unsplash

I really hope this has helped you a bit, I know addictions are awful and so hard to break free of, but always remember that Allah is all forgiving, and that we can always seek forgiveness. If your problem is really bad you should consider speaking to someone professional such as an imam or a counsellor.

Best of luck with your journey

Found Love on muzmatch

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