Posts Tagged ‘masturbation’

Michael John Cusick is the author of “Surfing for God” which details his story and struggle with pornography and sexual addiction. He highlights the power of addiction within the chemicals of the brain based upon years of conditioning. His book highlights ways to breaks those patterns of behaviors to live a light fully in the freedom of Christ.

He is an expert on the addiction to pornography and the practical and spiritual steps necessary to break free from that bondage. He is the founder and President of “Restoring the Soul” ministries in Denver, Colorado as well as a lead counselor and spiritual director on staff.  He currently resides in Littleton, Colorado and enjoys his family and the outdoors.

For more information about his work, ministry, or intensives, please visit , or

For more information on the podcast or to get help please email us at

Originally posted at:
by thiswillnotdefineus

Often when you are diagnosed with a disease there are statistics that will tell you the survival rate. Those statistics can either give you hope or fill you with fear. Infidelity is not a diagnosable disease but recently I wondered:

Can you calculate the five-year survival rate for a couple after infidelity is discovered?

The first thing I discovered when I dove into my research is that there are no concrete statistics and information on infidelity. Infidelity is usually kept private. Many couples are just like my husband and I —anonymous. Infidelity is estimated to affect between 50—80% of marriages. Interesting enough, the statistics are almost even for men and women as the betrayer. I read a few different articles online and it’s very difficult to calculate how many marriages survive an affair. In most states, couples can have a no-fault divorce. In the state I live in, infidelity has no bearing on the divorce proceedings or child custody agreements. I only know that because I looked it up on my D-day. I wanted to know if I could take my children away from my husband if we decided to end our marriage. I look back now and realize how vindictive that thought is but I was hurt, lost and afraid. According to divorce records infidelity is stated as the cause of the end of marriage 17% of the time. Therapists surveyed have stated that infidelity is to blame for divorces as high as 80% of the time. The numbers are all over the place because infidelity is private. One also has to wonder if will couple site infidelity for their divorce if they try to make their marriage work and decide to end their marriage years later.

Many people go will never disclose infidelity occurred in their marriage. It is estimated that2/3 of spouses will never find out their spouse cheated. I also read that most cheaters will never cheat again. I’m not sure if I believe that statement but it debunks the statement “once a cheater always a cheater.” I question that people only have one affair because I think most people would lie to cover an undetected affair to make themselves look better in the eyes of their spouse and/or anyone else. Although, I’ve also read that when an affair is discovered and the betrayer repents and atones for their mistake then another affair is highly unlikely.

All of these statistics are just numbers. When I started reading about infidelity survival rates it was because someone asked me if I believed my husband and I would make it five years. My reaction was immediate and spontaneous – I said yes, absolutely. Yet, a few weeks later I’m sitting here realizing that the survival of our relationship is not a guarantee.

Infidelity is like a disease in marriage. The instant I discovered my husband’s betrayal I was confused, angry and hurt. I married my husband because I loved him. I believed we were destined for each other and that he would never hurt me. His affair stole my sense of security in our relationship. The person I trusted the most in this world lied, deceived and betrayed me and I was completely unprepared. I look back on this “journey” now and realize that in the beginning I believed that my husband loved me and our marriage could kick infidelity’s ass. I want to silently prove to Bat Shit that she meant nothing. Sex every day of the week signified his commitment to me. I wanted to erase the affair from our life.

Two years later, I have a new view of my marriage and myself. I recognize that I chose my husband and there are likely no stars aligned that pre-destined our relationship.  Our relationship has never been perfect but the innocence of my love for my husband pre-affair allowed me to only see the good. Sometimes I wonder if my unflawed view of him clouded my judgment. Maybe that’s how love begins; we cannot see our lover’s weaknesses or our relationship’s flaws. Perfection is unrealistic and unattainable. Two people cannot be perfect in life or for each other. Two years after my D-day I can appreciate the imperfections of my marriage. We are together because we choose to be here, fighting for the survival of our marriage together. Just like being diagnosed with a disease, you can choose to fight for your life or you can accept defeat. Infidelity is not a death sentence.

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As film genres go, pornography is the most divisive; few art forms elicit such ardently different feelings from critics and fans. Now a new study suggests that pornography may actually physically divide people too, namely those who are married.

Married people who start watching porn are twice as likely to be divorced in the following years as those who don’t. And women who start watching porn are three times as likely to split, according to a working paper presented at the American Sociological Association on Aug. 22. However, porn appears to have a less negative impact on marriage if couples watch it together.

The paper also finds that stopping porn-watching lowers the likelihood of divorce for women, though not for men.

While porn’s effects on relationships has been much discussed in academic literature, and even this magazine, this is the first study—if its findings hold up under peer review—that traces the effect on marital stability.

The authors used longitudinal data from the General Social Survey, which tracks, among other things, marital happiness, porn-consumption and marital status. It analyzed results from more than 2000 participants over three time periods, focusing in on participants whose porn-watching habits altered during that period. That is, the individuals did not watch pornography when first interviewed but had taken it up by the time of their second interview, or they did watch during their first interview but had given it up by the second.

The analysis found that 11% of people who started to watch porn between the first two time periods were divorced by the second time they were interviewed. This compares to 6% of people whose porn watching habits were unchanged, but who were like the new porn-fans in every other way. Among women who started watching porn solo, the proportion who divorced was 16%, or almost three times as much.

Conversely, female porn watchers who gave up the genre were only about as third as likely to be divorced as those who kept up the habit. Male abstainers’ chances of getting unhitched were not that different from guys who kept up the habit, although the authors caution that so few men give up porn that the sample size is too small to be reliable.

The findings also suggest that porn’s effect on marriage appears to be strongest among younger, less religious people who initially report higher levels marital happiness.

Could it be that people started watching porn because their marriages were already unhappy? “We don’t think it’s the relationship quality leading to the porn use and divorce,” says says lead author Samuel Perry, an assistant sociology professor at the University of Oklahoma, because this is data taken over time and not just a snapshot. “We are pretty confident about establishing the directional effects.”

Perry could not definitively explain why the impact was so much stronger on women than men, since that ran counter to previous scholarship on the issue. “That’s a bit surprising because everything else I’ve seen on porn use in relationships suggests that men’s marriages are more negatively affected by their porn use,” he says, “primarily because they’re using it more often for the purposes of masturbation rather than intimacy.”

Previous studies have found that porn has an accelerating effect on a deteriorating marriage: husbands in poor relationships tend to consume more sexually explicit material and consuming more sexually explicit material also leads to poorer relationships. Some sociologists have speculated that men turn to porn as a way of lifting their mood about their difficult home life and that the porn then becomes an easier route to sexual satisfaction than being with their partner, so they disinvest in the marriage.

It’s worth noting that Perry is also a member of the religious faculty at Oklahoma. Might his beliefs be coloring his attitude towards explicit sexual content? While he says he’s not trying to ban porn, “I certainly have moral beliefs about whether I’d want my kids to watch porn. Or my wife. But you counter that by subjecting your data to scrutiny, which I’ve done. I’ve sought to remain as neutral as possible.”

Perry’s findings also run counter to another recent paper out of the University of Western Ontario, which found that large fraction of people in a relationship who used porn reported that it had no ill-effects. In a survey of 430 people who were asked open-ended questions about their or their partner’s pornographic use, the most common response was that it had no negative impact.

“While a similar number of positive and negative perceived effects were identified, generally speaking, positive effects of pornography use were reported more frequently than negative consequences by participants,” says the study, which was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, “and there was a predominant tendency for participants to reject the view that pornography contributes to negative consequences.”

Some of the ways in which watching porn had a positive effect were that partners learned about their likes and dislikes, could talk more openly about sex and enhanced their intimacy. Women also said their partners’ porn use took some of the sexual burden off them. Negative effects were reported too, including the development of unrealistic expectations and feelings of jealousy. “All of these issues seem rather obvious in hindsight,” says the lead author Taylor Kohut, a postdoctoral fellow in psychology. “But here’s the thing, these perceived effects of pornography use are not really being studied in a serious way. They’re just not on the radar.”

While that study was of real people, and not just numbers, the sample size is small and was recruited by an ad that asked for people to talk about pornography and their relationship, which may mean that it drew a population more comfortable with their and their partner’s porn-watching habits in the first place, and therefore less likely to report negative effects.

Perry believes that in the context of relationship, rather than in secret and with masturbation, porn-watching may have a different effect. “My research suggests that the isolation and shame are a big part of the problem.”

This is a reminder that the early bird price of $135 will end right before midnight on August 31st.  Regular registration will begin at Midnight on September 1st.

Here is some information on the retreat.  I pray that the Lord uses this retreat to help men in their sexual purity journey.  The link to register for the retreat is at the bottom of this page.

Friday, November 11th – Sunday, November 13th.

Castimonia’s Paratus Retreat is sponsored by Armaturam, LLC and is a retreat for any man who struggles with any type of sexual purity.  Paratus, Latin for equipped.

If you are wondering about whether to attend this retreat, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you fully equipped for the spiritual battle that is raging around us right now?
  • Are you a man who strives for biblical sexual purity?
  • Are you a man who struggles with maintaining that sexual purity?
  • Do you want a circle of brothers helping you in your sexual purity journey?

Join us for a weekend dedicated to equipping adult men of all ages, all walks of life, and various levels of struggle with the tools necessary to wage this spiritual battle and emerge on the other side as the sexually pure men that God intended us to be.

At the retreat, we will discuss strategies for equipping ourselves with tactics necessary for battling the enemy. We will discover the true meaning of brotherhood and fellowship. The leaders of the retreat will set the example of vulnerability and accountability. We hope to pave the way for all men to be fully equipped to wage war against Satan’s tempting assaults and emerge VICTORIOUS.

Castimonia Retreat

The link above will take you to our host site  If the link doesn’t work, copy and paste this link below:

Register by following this link:

Originally posted at:
by Cindy at Affaircare

In Gary Chapman’s best-selling book, The Five Love Languages, he explains that people express and receive love in different ways. Dr. Chapman identifies these the five languages of love as: quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service and physical touch.

For people who have “acts of service” as their primary love language, helpful acts are seen as very powerful expressions of love and devotion. Actions like cooking a meal, setting a table, washing dishes, vacuuming, taking out the garbage, mowing the grass, etc. are all acts of service. If done with a positive spirit and without expecting something in return, they are indeed expressions of love.

Within every language, there are many dialects. If you have a significant other with acts of service as his/her primary love language, find out the specific things he/she would like by asking. If you are the person with that specific love language, let your spouse know which actions mean the most to you.

We asked people what acts(s) of service they think are most valued by a spouse are here are some of the responses:

  1. During the cold months, put a towel in the dryer while your spouse is showering so it’s all fluffy and warm when he/she gets out.
  2. Clean the kitchen or bathroom
  3. Men: Be a gentleman and walk on the “dangerous” side of the road so she feels protected.
  4. Fix things that the other can’t fix.
  5. Buy or make him/her lunch and bring it to him/her at work, even if (especially if) it’s out of your way.
  6. Cook a special meal that you know he/she likes.
  7. Fill up your gas tank without being asked.
  8. Drop your spouse at the door when it is raining.
  9. Men: Open car doors for your wife.
  10. Go to the grocery store and buy items you know he/she loves—without being asked


Here is the gist of the text that ended my life as I knew it:

“Call me right now! I can’t believe you lied to me AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!”

Yeah, that was it. It was on a Friday at 3:42 pm while I was at work.  I was in a meeting and felt my phone vibrate.  Sheer panic was a very appropriate descriptor of my emotions at that exact time.  Mix in a healthy dose of shame, disgust, self-loathing and add a bit of self-preservation.  How could I mitigate this?  And could I lie to cover it up? Only to protect her!

She wouldn’t be lied to again. She was in full anger and panic and close to a nervous breakdown.  I could feel it through the text. I rushed home to find her in shock and tears.  The shame was overwhelming.  I couldn’t breathe.  I wish I could say I was ready to “come clean” and tell her everything.  I wasn’t.  I wanted to lie and lessen it.  I wanted to say, “No that was just the woman you knew about trying to hurt you again.  Of course I didn’t contact her after I said I wouldn’t.”  I knew quickly I couldn’t do that.  The affair partner had already told me she was going to send her copies of my messages.

I was cornered. This is what bottom feels like. I didn’t have any more options for lying, even though my self-preservation tools had kicked in hard. She wanted me out. I went to a friend’s house. I was panicking, having trouble focusing, and still…..trying to find a way out.

She saw her counselor the next morning. She wouldn’t talk to me. Her counselor texted me with three non-negotiable requirements for even continuing a conversation together:

  1. Immediately meet with a counselor that she recommends
  2. Enroll in a 12 step program
  3. Full disclosure and polygraph with Dr. Milton Magness

Full disclosure. Polygraph. My thoughts were: “Oh God, please save me. How do I get around this? Can I manipulate this situation? I am sure I can change her mind. Can’t I?” I began praying. I wish I could say I began praying for her primarily. I didn’t. I began praying for me. I was terrified, anxious and panicked. “God, you don’t really want her to know all this, do you? I mean, all it will do is hurt her. I am just trying to protect her. I will change, with YOUR help!” Notice how I shifted it to God? How if He would just help me, I wouldn’t be in this mess. Ok, no need to panic. Agree to everything. You can handle this. It won’t be different than before. You can wear her down and things will be ok. Right? I am sure that is right. It’s worked before. I am smart enough to make this work. I will agree to it all and then just slow play it. I have a good excuse. I was just checking on that previous affair partner. I knew I had hurt her and just wanted to make sure she was ok. That was admirable of me! When I explain it to everyone, it will be ok and I won’t need to do any disclosing of things that are better left hidden. I am SURE that will work!

A member of Castimonia has graciously volunteered to post a real time “play-by-play” journey through his recovery via his private journal entries.  These posts will be made weekly and I pray it helps men in their journey through recovery.

Journal Through Recovery

This is my journey through recovery in real time, as it happens. I will give you insights and thoughts as they occur through every step of my experience.  Feedback and questions are welcome.  I make no claim of expertise or advanced knowledge.  I am on the same path that many have followed. I am seeking guidance, support, wisdom, and prayer just like any other addict.

Join me each week as I give an unfiltered account of my hopes, prayers, anxieties, fears, and hopefully some learnings as well. I will start practicing rigorous honesty here…….I am terrified about being so transparent with emotions.  As an addict, I am new at this whole intimacy thing.  I hope you find something here that, in the words of my counselor, reinforces a primary truth….you are not alone!