One of the thoughts that may be sabotaging your efforts to recover from your unwanted sexual behaviors is the belief that marriage will solve these behaviors.
You may feel that your unwanted sexual behaviors aren’t really the problem and it’s just a way for you to cope with the loneliness you feel because you cannot get married, and that this is just a phase you’re going through.
Since you don’t have an outlet to express your desires right now, you believe that your unwanted behaviors are the ‘lesser of the two evils’ instead of committing zina with someone.
While these are genuine thoughts to have, what if the reason that you turned to these outlets had nothing to do with your sexual desires? What if buried with your desire to get married and to have a halal outlet for your desires, are other reasons that you turn to these outlets, other reasons that marriage could not solve, could not heal?
Here is a comment by a member in the Purify Your Gaze Community:
Brother L ,
“I also used the stereotypical justifications during the past years in that “its only pixels”, “I am not touching anyone”, “no one is being hurt”, ” I can give up when I want” , etc etc etc. And I always thought that this was just my hormones, a phase and it will all go away once I get married – I couldn’t have been more delusional about it. Alhamdulillah, after two years of being engaged I did get married and she is nothing short of amazing – alhamdulillah. But since then, for the last two years, I have relapsed a number of times (too many to count) and I found myself thinking that I must be one of the most ungrateful people – after all that Allah had done for me and given me a good spouse and everything else Alhamdulillah. But even then I never truly understood this to be an addiction.”
While marriage is a halal outlet for your desires, it is important to keep perspective that these behaviors have been in your life for such a long time. You have been using these behaviors to cope with the difficulties of life, even though it’s not the best way to cope.
Your behaviors are more than just about having sexual desires that you cannot control, that would be solved by marriage. There are underlying reasons that cause you to behave the way you do.
Your addictive ways allow you to avoid facing your problems, your emotions, and are an escape from reality.
Here is another comment made by a Purify Your Gaze Community member, about the reality of having an addiction and adding marriage into the equation:
“I don’t regret getting married. I regret the hurt, pain and suffering I have caused my wife through my addiction (an addiction I have which she is not even aware of). During our marriage I dropped out of uni, had a long period of unemployment, started missing out obligatory acts of worship, like many of you I missed deadlines, cancelled meetings, etc. Only Allah knows the pain and suffering I have caused my wife because of my failure to face my addiction. Recently I found myself blaming my wife for a lot of things. We had terrible arguments. I can only thank God for that video I watched by brother Zeyad because it came back to me. I realized I was blaming my wife for things only to cover up my MAJOR flaws, re-enforcing this false and deceptive “perfect” image I was making of myself. So I finally, with much difficulty, was able to get some money together to pay for this course. I have a reassuring feeling that it’s the best decision I have ever made.”
Right here, right now is a place for you to acknowledge with yourself the extent to which your unwanted sexual behaviors have affected your well-being, while also knowing that your actions will have consequences not only to yourself but also to the others that you care about.
I always advise my clients that marriage is a beautiful union between two whole, complete, emotionally mature individuals. Marriage brings its own sets of problems and challenges that need the coping skills to get through them.
What if you finally understood the underlying reasons behind your unwanted sexual behaviors and healed from them, as well as learned how to cope with the difficulties of life?
It is still very possible for you to experience that open and honest relationship with your spouse, where your heart is fully recovered and you are able to give them that love from a place of authenticity and integrity.
It begins with you making the decision of wanting to change your ways, of taking that first step of facing this issue head on. And from there the possibilities are endless.