As addicts, we’re not in denial. We’re just selective about the reality we accept.
After we sexually act out, we attempt to distance ourselves emotionally from what we’ve just done. We justify our behaviors, telling ourselves, “If my spouse was nicer to me, I wouldn’t need to do this.” We minimize our behaviors, telling ourselves, “Nobody knows that I just spent six hours looking at and masturbating to pornography, and nobody got hurt by what I did, so it’s no big deal.” We rationalize our behaviors, telling ourselves, “Hooking up with people online for mutual masturbation isn’t really cheating because I don’t actually touch anyone and I don’t even use my real name.” This denial is the selective reality in which addictions thrive. To overcome this, we must examine and debunk the lies we tell ourselves (and others) to explain our sexual behaviors.
Task for Today
List five things you tell yourself after you act out. Then ask, “Are these things true, or merely lies I tell to justify my addiction?”