What Is Behind My Compulsive Behavior?


About This Episode

In today’s Whiteboard Session, Steven Luff, a licensed MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) in the state of CA, co-author of Pure Eyes: a Man’s Guide to Sexual Integrity and creator of the X3Pure on-line recovery program, answers a question we get a lot: what’s behind my compulsive behavior and how do I stop it?

Steve uses the whiteboard to share a new and very useful framework in how to approach these two questions about the human condition. He says that when we don’t feel loved and accepted, the human response is usually a roller coaster of anxiety and depression, which can cause us to turn to resources that confirm our worthlessness (porn or lies or viewing your spouse and God as a jailer) or resources that confirm our worth (telling the truth, viewing your spouse and God as a loving friend, and unconditional community).

Ultimately the goal is to be okay with yourself and without the need to turn to substances of abuse to escape this dynamic.

Steve then shows how you can map out your own tools that will confirm your worth, help you manage your emotions, and help break the addiction cycle of compulsion.

Our Favorite Quotes From This Episode

  • We are biologically designed to be in community. We’re biologically designed to be a part of a family. It’s survival.
  • When we feel anxious, it’s because we don’t have control over the given circumstances. But we often become less anxious about life when we can trust that the other person is going to be there for us.
  • If depression is about hopelessness, then we are constantly, as human beings, responsible for our own ability to build a bridge to the future.
  • Anxiety and excitement are very closely tied together. Anxiety isn’t necessarily bad, but when you feel anxious, you have to be mindful of what am I trying to control.
  • If you’re living on the truth side, then you’re not going to turn to porn anyway because you don’t like the consequences of having to tell people the things that you do.
  • The fundamental truth of Christianity is that we are free and that Christ died for our sins and we are free to live our own lives and grow in our own ways.
  • Figure out who the hell you want to be and live that life.
  • Porn is trying to hide from this dynamic of really being alive and being an adult.
  • I would say it is any adult’s responsibility to find unconditional, loving community.
  • Anxiety isn’t necessarily bad. A little bit of anxiety means you’re living your life. It means that you are setting sail for your own individuated life with Jesus with you and you’re going out and you’re becoming your own fricken person.
  • No one’s your jailer. This is your life and whether you recognize it or not, you’re living your own life. So do you want it to be in this addiction cycle or do you want to gain the tools of becoming more individuated?
  • Isolation is you’re just going to stew in your own juices and end up jacking off to porn. Pretty much a guarantee. You need to be connected to people and you need to be talking about things to make sense out of how you’re feeling and what it means.


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