I’m Brian Becker. I’m 66 years old. I’ve been addicted to lust and pornography for almost 50 years. I accidently discovered porn when I was 12. I didn’t even know what it was, but the first time I saw it, I immediately felt like I’d been plugged into an electric circuit.
I had been struggling with a very angry father who frequently took his rage out on me with verbal tirades and sometimes physical abuse. In addition, my teenage sister had just died, tragically, and I was grieving from the loss and guilt of that situation.
What follows is an abbreviated version of the first few pages from “Tender Lions – Building the Vital Relationship Between Father and Son” the book that my son and I recently published.
“Where do people find the courage to live divided no more when they know they will be punished for it?” – Parker Palmer
My back is against the wall. I’m an emotional wreck. My family thinks I’m a pillar of the community. Perfect husband. Perfect dad. On the outside everything appears to be great. The reality is that I’m a fraud.
On the inside, I’m crumbling. I’ve told so many lies and made so many bad decisions over the last 20 years that I’m filled with remorse, regret, guilt and shame. I’m so embarrassed, that I have sworn I’d take my sick secrets to the grave. If people really knew what I was like…
Truth be told, I’m just sick of myself. On one hand, I know I have to change, and on the other, I’m petrified to do so. How can I get out of living this divided life?”
What you’ve just read is what my life was like twenty-five years ago.
I eventually got so sick of myself that I finally found a way to a good counselor and to recovery meetings for sex addicts. After a brief period of sobriety, I got honest with my wife and family about how far off track I’d gone. There’s no “soft landing” when having such a conversation. My wife was, rightfully so, hurt, enraged and wanted out of the marriage. My kids were angry, afraid and isolated. And it was all my fault.
And…then it got worse, because we went to counseling, and talked, and cried, and prayed, which caused all of the crap from my past and the implications of this (broken trust, lies, deception, etc.) to come to the surface. But we stayed at the table, and we continued to talk and pray and cry and go to counseling and recovery meetings…and then things started to get better.
Thanks to forgiveness, grace, recovery and lots of friends who surrounded us with support…I have a relationship with my wife of 40 years and two adult kids that ranges between healthy and thriving on any given day. I’m blessed to be where I am, and none of it would be possible without recovery. 25 years and counting.
Thanks for reading my story. I hope and pray that it might be of help to you or someone else who is in need. I’ve learned that it’s never too late to take the first step in the right direction.