For many years now I have been treating men who desire to restore their integrity and their marriages (and families). All of us struggle to be pure in heart. All of us have stress and family issues and all of us medicate. It could be alcohol, drugs, gambling, over-eating, shopping, working-the list goes on and on. Gaming and excessive time spent on various video venues are huge now. For some, unhealthy sexual practices are the “medication of choice.” All of these practices become intimacy issues for men.
While these various problems need specialized help, the process of recovery for all these issues is much the same. Many, if not most, men have several of these “medications” in their lives.
No one decides what they will use to “zone out” from the stresses of life (for some it is more about the mood-altering thrill). We just happen upon it. For many men I treat, it was the discovery of pornography at a young age that initially excited them and later became a habit they could not retire from on their own. For some it is womanizing-enjoying the attention of an attractive female and the thrill of flirting with and eventually sleeping with women other than the girlfriend or wife that gives them the short-term escape or thrill they are looking for. Obviously these behaviors prohibit and destroy the natural sweet intimacy between men and their wives. I commonly hear that men assume they will grow out of these habits, only to find that in some cases they cannot quit on their own. For those who have crossed that line, awareness is not enough and it is usually when their relationships are on the brink (“get help or we’re done”) that help is sought out. At this point men are typically already experiencing a marriage without intimacy, leading their wives to take a stand-it’s me or your habit.
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