Anna's Story

Whole Hearted

I actually first heard of Naked Truth Project when the idea was birthed and started to come into being. What I didn’t realise at the time is that one day I would need their resources to help rescue me from drowning and, as a consequence, save my marriage.

In May 2018 my world imploded with a cataclysmic bang. My relationship with my husband was strained to say the least and his relationship with our children was even more so. I spent a few weeks fighting him to see that things were bad, and believing the lie from him that the problem was because of old hurts I had not dealt with, and then came the kicker.

Not only had pornography made its way back into our marriage, it turned out it had never really left; it had just hidden.

I was completely and utterly devastated, with no idea where to turn, when my husband suggested I could look at the brand new partner’s programme from Naked Truth, ‘Whole Hearted’. I resisted briefly, thinking it was him who had the problem and why did I need education around the subject when he just needed to sort himself out. I couldn’t have been more wrong and could never have predicted the journey that would follow, the tribe that I would grow around me, and the beauty that could grow from such devastation.

The Wholehearted Recovery Programme has quite literally thrown me a lifeline. At a time when I couldn’t even trust myself or my own feelings, I found a group of women who had been there, were there, have lived a similar and often more soul-destroying reality than me and who had survived. Their marriages sometimes survived and sometimes didn’t. The one thing that stood out in every story is that we were all there for each other and very quickly came to love each other fiercely.

Over the last year I have been on a roller coaster of breathtaking highs, and devastatingly dark lows as my husband and I have battled first against each other and then side by side against this addiction. I have learnt to call it what it is, after all who wants to admit they are married to an addict? I have become comfortable with terminology and open conversation around sexual relationships and desires that would previously have left me running for the hills blushing from head to toe. I have a whole new vocabulary that at first was like a foreign language and had to be explained and taught to me as such. I have an education about a topic that I never asked for or wanted.

But there is so much more than that. I have a support network that is so much more than anything I could have hoped and dreamed of, a group of people who ‘get it’ without long, detailed explanations.

I have friends all over the world, that I know I can call on and in a heartbeat they will be wrapping their arms around me, always virtually and sometimes even physically. These ladies have seen me at my worst, broken what felt like beyond repair, emotionally wrecked, hopeless, afraid and seriously questioning my faith. But through hard work, education, coaching, learning and support they have also seen me bloom. They have watched from the sidelines as I have learned to trust myself and believe in myself and my instincts again. They have cheered me on as I have found my voice and been strong enough to use it. They have witnessed a change in me and pointed it out when I couldn’t see it myself, but they have also seen my marriage and relationship transformed.

The Naked Truth Recovery team have created a beautiful thing, and I will be eternally grateful that they walked this journey before us. It might seem a strange thing to be thankful for, but without their journey, I would almost certainly have drowned in my own grief and devastation. I have made friends who will be friends for life and a support network that help me to stand tall, despite my surroundings.

I am privileged to stand on the shoulders of giants in this arena, and to do it with a beautiful tribe surrounding me who, despite all of our battle scars, still stand tall and united.

Rich's Story

Click to Kick.

After doing the Click to Kick course, I have not seen porn for six months - the longest time since I was a teenager. It has been a profound freedom, one that I have dreamed of, but doubted that it could ever become my reality.

Through two decades of addiction, I tried many routes, subscribing to video courses, reading books, confessing to others, receiving prayer, installing accountability software to try anything to be free. All this resulted in a temporary freedom that never lasted and I ended up back in the same old familiar prison cell of sin that I knew so well.

But everything has changed since I did the course.

It has impacted my relationship with God, as my prayer life and worship is not constantly consumed with prayers of repentance. Now I can move forward in my life. The relationships with my wife, my kids, my church are all so much better as I no longer have to mask my hypocrisy with deception.

I even like myself more, as I now have integrity; a precious commodity after years of compromise.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to do Click to Kick. Through it, Jesus has set me free and I feel full of hope for the future and passionate to help others escape this entrapment too.

Carla's Story

Whole Hearted

I have been with my husband for most of my life. We started dating in high school when he was 17 and I was 16. We went to college, moved out of state, went to grad school, started careers, we truly grew up to become adults together. After we had been married almost 10 years (together for 15) he was asked to move for his job, a big promotion. So I gave up my career and moved with him. During that time I found out that he was looking at porn on a regular basis and was very hurt. When he was then asked to move across the country to headquarters I said no, and that I would move back to resume my legal career as I didn't want porn to be part of my life. He swore to me that I meant more to him than porn and that he would stop.

We moved to California and took some communication seminars together, and found other help. I figured we had gotten together so young we needed help to figure ourselves out, so we did these things and even though I was still having depression I felt closer to my husband. He told me that "if either of us see someone else naked we will tell each other." I agreed on that compromise. At least there wouldn't be secrets and lies.

The years passed, we moved around with his successful career - in the states and overseas. I trusted him. Truly trusted him. Like some kind of religion, I trusted him. Sure, there were times I felt he was emotionally distant (even more than usual as he was not one to always talk about feelings) but I figured it was stress of the job. 

Once we reached some of our financial goals and figured out how we wanted to live, he quit work and we traveled for 10 months. It was great. I felt very connected most of the time.  Once, when he was on my computer he showed me some sex ad thing that came up. I didn't think much of it as it did not apply to me. That's how I felt for most of the time between 2002-2018, I knew stuff with porn and hook-up sites etc were going on, but it just didn't apply to me, so I ignored it.  

On May 18, 2018 my world came crashing out - not in, when I found out that it did apply to me.  After maybe four years of not looking at porn he had started back, albeit quite infrequently, when he was traveling for work. The thing that kills me about it is he says he can't remember when he started again. Something that could end our marriage was not even important enough to actually remember.  

After he quit work, those first 10 months were the honeymoon, we felt close, but once we got settled back in our home I guess the boredom of life with me set in and he would entertain himself and meet his own needs when I was out with a friend for lunch or even just out walking our dog. I felt the emotional distance and sexual disruption and tried to talk with him about it several times, but he wouldn't really talk about it. He preferred to keep his secret and have a bad marriage with me than give up his habit. I didn't search for evidence, but it just showed up on my synced phone when I was visiting a friend. Since then I know more about porn than I ever wanted. 

The hardest part during those first few months was discovering that my deep trust was based on an illusion. I felt like I was ‘losing my religion’ - that’s a saying from where I'm from and it felt true. I also felt that no one in the world would really understand. It seemed like most people know that people look at porn, but think it is no big deal. Once again, I felt alone in my grief. My body was hit hard by my not eating, and drinking a bit too much wine. My poor self. She suffered.  

I told a friend, then another, then a few more. Not all the details, but just about the hurt. I don't think most of them truly understood, but luckily for me they cared for me. I realised though that I couldn't just rely on them... no one wants to be negative and pitiful all the time. The most amazing thing happened though - one of my friends told me about Naked Truth Project and the Whole Hearted programme. I didn't join at first because I didn't like being told that this was my ‘journey’. I don't want to be on this stinking journey! But like it or not, I am. So I joined the Partner Programme for Whole Hearted and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  

Women in the programme understand. Some have gone through way worse than I have and some are in the same position, but we all support each other. 

The amazing ladies who coach and guide us: Cat, Fran and now Lisa are invaluable. I am nowhere near the end of this hideous journey, but now I feel like I am acquiring the tools and have the emotional support to try to move forward.

Will I move forward with or without my husband? That remains to be seen. But for now I am the bird sitting on the branch of my marriage. The branch may break due to its internal rot, I don't know. But I am busy making sure that I stay strong enough to fly away if that happens.

Ali's Story

Click to kick

I had struggled with pornography addiction for a very long time. I had tried many things and even searched many 'self-help' forums for help but all attempts failed. So when I saw that my Sheikh personally recommend this course, I thought it must be worth joining. I was apprehensive at first - I told myself that my problem is not that serious, that I don't need help from a group but this was a devilish whisper that I ignored (and rightfully so!). 

Click to Kick is certainly a group I very much underestimated. I expected it to be a very formal and uncomfortable experience (so much so that I considered dropping out before the sessions even started!) but was pleasantly surprised to find a relaxed environment in which one could express themselves and not be ashamed for it. I'd describe Click to Kick as an inclusive, friendly and cordial community. I felt this cordiality particularly when the mentors saw me for who I am and not as a shameful chap defined by his addiction.

I can honestly say that Click to Kick has made a huge impact on my life. They've helped me free myself from the clutches of pornography by teaching me techniques and making me feel safe, comfortable and respected whilst doing so.

I now recognise any urges very early and can act on this recognition using the materials provided by Click to Kick. They've not only helped me free myself from pornography addiction but also given me the tools for a more fulfilling life i.e. time management, emphasising 'me time' (including down time such as relaxation and up time such as physical exercise), etc. I feel like I am in control of my life, no longer acting on impulse. I also feel closer to God and my spiritual development has increased spectacularly.

For anyone who is reading this and is struggling, I can wholeheartedly recommend that you join Click to Kick. Give it a go, put in some effort and see your life change for the best. I wish I had heard about them long ago! It is a community of good hearted people who know what they're doing - the taboo subject of pornography (addiction) in our community prevents us from seeking help but I am very happy that I sought it out from Click to Kick.

Steph’s Story

Whole Hearted

I think if you’d have asked me when I was a teenager or in my early adulthood, I would’ve had a pretty unromantic view of romance to begin with. I didn’t want some prince to come and sweep me off my feet. I believed that love was possible with different people and that you made a choice with somebody that you had a connection with, to put the effort in and to make it work.

That’s what I did with my partner. I chose him because I respected him. He was a lot of things that I wasn’t; a lot of things that I aspired to be. And he brought things out in me that I loved, and I think that was the same the other way around. We lived a really exciting life. We travelled, we went all over the globe together and apart. And the relationship worked really well. We finally got married after years and years of being together.

It wasn’t really until my daughter was born several years after we got married, that the truth began to come out, because the secrets that he had carried around began to be bigger than he could control. They began to take a life of their own and they began to deeply affect his mental health and our relationship. That’s the difficult thing though, I can’t talk about his addiction without reference to his depression, which has been extreme at times. It can be very difficult to begin to unweave those threads.

I’d lived with his depression and his secret sexual life for several years by the time I found Whole Hearted. There were several points when I thought I couldn’t take any more. But when you’ve got children, those calculations change.

What I know from my own experience, and now from the other women in Whole Hearted, is that when you’re in a relationship with somebody with an addiction like this, they lie and they lie and they lie. And there’s two things that I think are really striking about the situation I’m in now. Firstly, that I trust my own intuition more than I trust my partner’s words. And that’s quite something, you know. I trust my own gut feelings, I trust my own dreams, I trust my own itchy skin more than I trust him stood before me, telling me something straight out of his mouth. And the other thing that I think is really important, is that my own husband is the least safe person in my whole life at the moment. He’s the person who has the most capacity to harm me, and is the most likely to do it. Even with my unromantic view of love, if you’d call it that, those are pretty bitter pills to swallow.

I’m still not sure where we’re going with our relationship, but we have a family, so there is absolutely no chance of just jumping ship. We’re trying to work out various things, and sometimes it looks hopeful and other times it looks less so. He’s still one of the people I respect the most and I can’t imagine my life without him.

Whole Hearted has given me a couple of things. Firstly, it’s given me a space to begin to articulate the problems that I have. When something is so clearly wrong in your relationship it can be incredibly hard to name it, to put words on it, and to describe it. Being in a community of women who are going through it and have various insights and the guidance of the coaches, has helped me massively to be able to name what’s happening to me. To be able to really specifically pull apart threads of what I’ve lived and dealt with. It’s also given me an immense ability to analyse what’s happening, and to understand myself and my partner. It’s helped me to work out what action is possible for me, because when I joined the group, I felt so powerless and I felt so hopeless that anything I could do could change the situation. I know now that there’s nothing I can do to change him, but there’s a lot of things I can do to change myself. And that’s been really powerful as well.

I think, without Whole Hearted, I would probably have succumbed to the kind of mental health problems that long-term abuse and hurt and betrayal can produce in a person.

I think I would be utterly hopeless. I think I would be utterly unable to articulate my own needs and desires. What I can say now is that I’m - and this is a bit of a cliche because lots of people say it, but it’s the truth - I’m hoping for the best, and planning for the worst. And I’m hoping there’s a day when my partner can really look me in the eye and really say sorry, understanding the damage that he has done to me. And if that time doesn’t come, I am not done with life yet, and I’m not done living, and I’m not done with love.

I’m so grateful to Cat and to everybody else involved in the group for being a safe place in a very stormy sea. And I have immense levels of respect for everything that they have achieved in such a small time, amongst the women that I have gotten to know in the group. I’m so grateful that they have helped me transform my own life when it felt so on the rocks.

Scott's Story

Click to Kick

Having been married for almost 20 years, my addiction to pornography almost destroyed my marriage and split my family. After some frank and uncomfortable conversations with my wife, I agreed that I had a problem and needed help to address it. Thankfully, as I sought help, our church signposted me to the Click to Kick programme run by Naked Truth Project. Having overcome the nervousness of speaking to a group of strangers over the internet about such a taboo subject, I took the plunge. The sessions with an encouraging facilitator and others with similar issues proved to be of great support as I took the initial steps to break free. Weekly discussions and “homework” provided easy to follow insight into issues including addiction, triggers, behaviours, reasons to quit.

Our group’s own support ‘chat’ group via WhatsApp provided immediate support in between weekly sessions. There was no judgment; just support and encouragement. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a case of getting out what you put in, but at the same time, the materials were simple to follow and understand. They also provided great reassurance at home as I was able to outline the topics being discussed to my wife to reassure and involve her in my recovery.

I found the course provided me with an understanding of the changes caused by addiction and tools to help me avoid the lure of pornography.

Through the exercises and discussions, I found myself re-evaluating my priorities and lack of balance in my life. It felt so much wider than addiction to pornography. Six months later I remain free from the lure of pornography and have come to faith, finally believing that Jesus can set people free from addiction. I would thoroughly recommend that anyone battling addiction to pornography to the course as part of a strategy to break free. There is hope.

Vicky's Story

Whole Hearted

I'd been in a dark place for half my life when I met him. I was 20, a recovering heroin addict less than a year out of a physically and psychologically abusive relationship. My formative years were spent bouncing from one toxic relationship to another, my family of origin beginning and perpetuating the cycle of my believed unworthiness.

The damage caused by being in a relationship with a porn addict, though, was something else. The pain was on another level and the consequences so far reaching. I completely lost myself. For more than a decade I was consumed by it, even defined by it.

Society told me it was me with the problem - his porn-use was normal; I was jealous, insecure, paranoid. I don’t know if I lost my voice or if it was taken from me. I was lied to, manipulated, neglected, rejected and abandoned in favour of the false promise of porn.

It took 13 years and a complete mental breakdown for me to reach out for help, ironically through the internet - the source of so much pain and anguish. That’s when the word addiction first came into play, and when I began to realise it wasn’t just me; that there were hundreds of women online sharing stories so painfully similar to mine, sharing my words and emotions, feeling what I felt.

By chance I found out about a lady who had just set up as a coach for partners of porn addicts having been through it herself. She made me feel safe and validated, she asked the right questions but I wasn’t responsive, my survival instinct was to cage up all the pain and darkness, to suppress it deep inside so I didn’t have to feel it. He was apparently in recovery, a changed man, and I allowed myself to push it away, to believe the illusion again. Life got in the way and my already weak commitment to healing was extinguished by justification, denial and fear.

For two and a half years I carried on, I thought things were okay. I thought I was okay! I know now that I was just a shadow of a person, barely going through the motions, almost robotic. I’d put a cage around all that hurt and fear and anguish, holding back all my real emotion - happiness and joy with it. Everything I thought I felt was just paper thin. I was merely existing, not living, not feeling alive and not even aware of it, I was so numb and detached.

Then the facade came crashing down again, like a painted film set revealing all the ugly wires and workings of reality.

For a week I was in total shock. How could I have been so stupid not to see he’d been wearing a mask all along, again! And then it hit me, ALL of it… fifteen years worth of betrayal and pain and loss, the cage breaking open and everything I had tried so hard not to feel flooding out like water from a broken dam, every old wound reopening and feeling as fresh and raw as the day it was first torn apart.

I’ve told him since then, that it feels like a physical pain, worse than your heart breaking, deeper. That’s when I knew I hadn’t dealt with anything, just patched over the holes but still all torn up inside. So I got in touch with Cat at Naked Truth and asked for help.

She told me about Whole Hearted, but I was terrified at the thought of sharing my feelings in a group; the negative internal dialogue borne of my life experience telling me “They won’t like you”, “They’ll think you’re stupid”, “You’ll make a fool of yourself”, “They’ll reject you”.

The reality is that I’ve never felt so supported in my life. I have been so vulnerable with this group of amazing women, as they have with me, and never once felt judged. I’ve laughed with them, I’ve cried with them, and I’ve bonded with them in ways that I haven’t in friendships before. I am safe to share anything, and their collective wisdom and validation have helped me to begin to trust in myself again.

Through Whole Hearted I’ve found the courage to walk through the pain in order to get to the other side and heal.

I have learned to use my voice and to be authentic to myself and my values. I have learned tools to deal with all the negative aspects of living with an addict that can also be applied with family, friends and acquaintances making for much healthier relationships. The group understand my feelings of guilt and fears as a mother like no-one else, in fact how all our relationships across the board are negatively affected, and I feel like I can face it all with their support.

I have always thought I wouldn’t change any of my past if I could go back… except this trauma - the losses were too great. Yet now I have gained so much that I would never have had without Whole Hearted. I have found true friends that I will cherish for life, I have found a strength I never thought possible, and a desire to be the best version of myself that I can be; to keep growing and to thrive, and to never again compromise my values. I’m beginning to feel that although through his addiction I lost the person I should have been, through Whole Hearted I’m finding a better one.

For the first time in a long time, I’m not alone. I have a safe place where I can truly be myself without a brave face or fear of judgement, totally unique in that everyone wants to see everyone else succeed and grow. I know I still have a long way to go to heal, but for the first time, I know whatever happens I will be okay.

Holly's Story

Click to Kick

I felt weird about writing this right away because I had a bit of a slip-up after Christmas, in the new year. I realised it was because I was super stressed out by some stuff that happened with my family and I was overdosing on Hallmark movies and romance!! Also, I think I started to be proud of how many months I had not used porn, and was so quick to tell people that I was free from it. I felt like it was like me checking it off my list of things goody-two-shoes Holly can say she did. “Look! She never drank, never smoked, never did drugs, hasn't had sex since her divorce, and she was able to stop looking at porn!”

So anyway, I told the girls in my Click to Kick group about my slip-up who were really encouraging and I haven't acted out since! I was so upset at first and didn't feel like I had the right to say I was "free". But the fact that I didn't spiral out of control, and got right back to where I was before, shows that it doesn't have the hold on me it once did.

What has changed in your life since completing Click to Kick?

I can watch TV and NOT have everything I see make me think of sex and then think about acting out. I don't feel shame or feel like I'm hiding something or feel like a hypocrite. I can have a sexual feeling or urge and not have to indulge in it, but can get my mind occupied elsewhere. I can see ahead what might be a trigger for me and stay away. (I learned that the stress of certain family members added to my triggers!) 

How has your relationship with God changed?

I feel like I appreciate Him more and am more thankful, because now when we sing songs about breaking chains, I can relate and know that it's true! This is the first "big thing" that I actually could SEE and REALISE that I needed freedom from! Now as I write this I can also see that God has been teaching me about other chains and lies that I need freedom from, and I can say YES it is possible! Thank you Jesus!

What is better in your life now?

I feel stronger in the Lord, if that makes sense. I felt shame when I messed up, but I was able to tell myself "His mercies are new every morning". I have my Click to Kick facilitator and the girls that I can message or email right away when I need to and that feels great. I don't have that nagging in the back of my head that I'm disgusting or whatever. I feel clean and now I know I can apply that to everything because of the blood of Jesus!!

How does it feel to be free?

Everything I just said! Thankful. And loved by God. And now I'm about to cry!