Utah couple learned recovery from porn addiction is possible

Published: Friday, Sept. 24 2010 9:00 a.m. MDT

"Widespread pornography consumption appears to pose a serious challenge to public health and to personal and familial well-being," according to the executive report detailing the social costs of pornography. "With concerted action from legislators, the therapeutic community, educators, policymakers, and responsible corporate leaders, however, some of the negative effects of pornography consumption can be combated."

Steven and Rhyll agree.

The couple recently dedicated space in one of their commercial buildings to their foundation, S.A. Lifeline.

The Croshaws started the foundation to deliver "a message of hope that recovery from pornography addiction is possible."

In the space hangs a large print of the painting "Gently Up the Stream," by Linda Curley Christensen. The picture illustrates two people rowing separate canoes. Upstream from the rowers "is beautiful light and trees and it just looks so inviting," said Steven. Down stream, however, is a dark place with a large drop off, rapids and big rocks.

The print was a gift to the Croshaws from their son. The painting contains a message that still resonates with the entire family. Both Steven and Rhyll have to make an effort in recovery and each has an individual role.

"I am not paddling her canoe and she is not paddling mine," said Steven. Instead they are each moving in the same direction, side by side. To reach the beautiful place they seek, both have to keep moving forward, Steven explained.

For the couple, recovery is a place of humility and honesty, said Rhyll.

Sometimes she looks at the painting and thinks about the moment in the therapist's office five years ago when she couldn't define recovery.

The therapist had promised her then that she would recognize recovery when she saw it.

"To this day, I trust those words," she said.

e-mail: sarah@desnews.com

Talk about it

Jill C. Manning, a marriage and family therapist in Colorado who testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee on the harms of pornography in 2005, said she has discovered five common factors that are healing and helpful for women whose husbands view pornography. She summarizes the needs of these women with the acronym CAVED:

Connection. It is helpful for women to connect with resources and other people — including qualified, trained professionals —? who can help them navigate the crisis.

Advocacy. Women should find someone that can help them stand up and say, "This has got to stop," Manning said.

Validation. Women whose husbands compulsively view pornography need someone to validate their feelings of hurt, she added.

Education. Education, said Manning, can help women depersonalize the situation and see what recovery looks like. "It is so important that women get resources, get good information that can help them know where to go, what to do and that this is not their fault."

Direction. Women need a place to turn for help, including reading lists or support groups. "In our society, generally speaking, there is still this outdated thinking that pornography is harmless, a form a free speech that needs to be protected at all costs. And even though we have mounting research showing how harmful and destructive this material is, there are still too many who downplay and minimize what this material is and what it is doing." But we must talk about it, she added. Pornography, Manning said, is a dark, heavy subject. "It is not one of those subjects people wake up in the morning and want to think about, want to talk about."

Talk about it

Jill C. Manning, a marriage and family therapist in Colorado who testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee on the harms of pornography in 2005, said she has discovered five common factors that are healing and helpful for women whose husbands view pornography:

Connection. It is helpful for women to connect with resources and other people — including qualified, trained professionals —? who can help them navigate the crisis.

Advocacy. Women should find someone that can help them stand up and say, "This has got to stop," Manning said.

Validation. Women whose husbands compulsively view pornography need someone to validate their feelings of hurt, she added.

Education. Education, said Manning, can help women depersonalize the situation and see what recovery looks like. "It is so important that women get resources, get good information that can help them know where to go, what to do and that this is not their fault."

Direction. Women need a place to turn for help, including reading lists or support groups. Heady

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