GYE Member Speaks: My Story Of Addiction With Forbidden Websites

By (name withheld)

I grew up in a Modern Orthodox home. During my childhood, I spent many hours in front of a television and watching movies which exposed me to a constant barrage of sensual images.

In high school, I was able to access movies of a very explicit nature, and I became obsessed with them. My mind was filled with thousands of indecent images (to put it mildly), and I was spending most of my time either watching or fantasizing about them.

My body may have been in shiur, in the beis medrash or davening, but my mind was not. From the outside, no one knew that anything was wrong. I was considered a model student. I have since learned that this is very common, perhaps even the norm rather than the exception, for lust addicts.

I reached the age of shidduchim and thought that getting married would solve my problem. I have found this to be a very common misconception. I married a fine Bais Yaakov girl, and for a short while, I was leading the normal life of an avreich. Again, this was short-lived. Slowly but surely, I was being drawn more and more to images and fantasies.

Not too long after our marriage, we got a computer with Internet. Needless to say, things got much worse. I now had access to endless images and videos. When I had the opportunity – I would often be in front of the screen. There were ups and downs. At times, I was able to focus on my learning and be clean for a couple of months, but invariably I would fall back. I was up and down like a yo-yo, and this went on for years.

I was progressively getting worse. I was taking bigger and bigger risks both at home and at work. I figured I would get caught eventually. There was no way I could hide forever. And indeed, after hiding for over 20 years, and for over a decade of marriage, one night, my wife caught me.

That moment, and the days that followed, were the most painful moments I have ever had to endure. My world came crashing down, as did my wife’s. 

Talking wasn’t always easy, but it was necessary for our relationship to recover from a major blow, and for me to recover from my addiction. She didn’t understand how I could have fooled her for so long. How could she be sure I wasn’t just fooling her again? I could not bear to lose her trust again.

Then I found

I found the materials to be very enlightening, and I shared my newfound knowledge with my wife. We both began to understand what I was dealing with at a much deeper level. It was a catalyst for new discussion and understanding between us.

It will always be my struggle, but GYE has been a guide for us and a place we can turn to for help. 

Contrary to popular belief, GYE is not an internet filter. It’s an online self-help platform, designed to equip people with the skills to handle setbacks, master their urges, and boost their motivation so that they can live a life of Kedushah.

Discover more about GYE’s novel approach here.

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