By Clare BruceMonday 29 Feb 2016
Above: Actor Terry Crews and his wife, gospel artist Rebecca King-Crews. (Image: Facebook.)
Hollywood celebrity, Christian and former American Football player Terry Crews has begun broadcasting live Facebook videos, opening up about his former addiction to pornography.
The comic actor, famous for roles in White Chicks, The Expendables and police sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, began talking about the subject on February 12 in a series of videos titled Dirty Little Secret.
“Pornography really messed up my life in a lot of ways,” he said. “It became a thing where I didn’t tell anybody… It was my secret, nobody knew and that allowed it to grow.
“And it got bad.
“Some people deny it and say, “Hey man, you can’t really be addicted to pornography”. But if day turns into night and you’re still watching, you probably got a problem.”
“It affected everything. I didn’t tell my wife, didn’t tell my friends, nobody knew, but the internet allowed that little secret to just stay and grow.”
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How Pornography Destroyed Actor’s Respect For People
Pornography caused Terry Crews to begin viewing people as objects to serve his needs, he said.
“[It] changes the way you think about people,” he said. “People become objects and become body parts. They become things to be used rather than people to be loved. You start to use people. I had to change my thinking I had to change what I believed. Once I was aware of what it was doing for me it changed me and I knew I’ve got to stop this.”
Losing His Wife A Wake-Up Call
Terry’s wake-up call was when his wife, gospel artist Rebecca King-Crews, couldn’t stand his addiction any longer and separated from him.
“That changed me,” he said. “I had to change because I realised this thing is a major, major problem. I literally had to go to rehab for it.”
He said that he didn’t get help to get his wife back, but to help himself. They are now back together and have four children.
“It’s not enough to just ask for forgiveness, it’s always, always necessary to make amends, to do whatever you can to fix the problem.”
How Terry Crews Broke Free From Porn Addiction
Terry said secrecy kept the addiction going, but admitting his problem began broke its power. His next step to healing was then going into therapy, and learning to be aware of his emotions.
“When I went into therapy, I didn’t know what was going on, I didn’t know how to beat it, I couldn’t do it alone,” he said. “I was told that I needed to become more aware. Being aware is really just about knowing how you feel, knowing where you are in a particular moment.
“I had to realise when I was depressed. I had to realise when I was sad about something or when I was feeling lonely. Because those were the times I was more likely to use pornography.
“It’s just like eating; when you feel sad or lonely you grab food—and instead of food, for me, it would be pornography.”
“You Have To Get Rid Of Shame”
In his videos, Terry talks a lot about the power of shame and the need to become free of it.
“You can’t survive with shame,” he said. “Guilt says you did a bad thing. Sometimes it’s good to feel guilty because then you know you hurt somebody, but shame doesn’t say you did something, it says you are bad. When you think and believe you are bad, you say “forget it, I might as well use drugs, I might as well overeat, I might as well use porn, I might as well go do something crazy. What you have to change is that paradigm.”
“You have to believe that you are good, and once that hit me…it was one of those things that cracked that egg, that really changed everything for me in every way.
“I started to see myself as good and believe it in my heart. I didn’t want to be this way, I didn’t want to continue to do the things that hurt my wife and my family. So you have to get rid of shame.”
Advice For Women: You Can’t Change Your Man
Terry said many women have asked him how they can help their husband or boyfriend to break their addiction. He replies by saying only men can change themselves.
“If a man has this kind of addiction, what you have to do, women everywhere – be fearless,” he said. “Men manipulate women by the fear of “you’re going to be alone”. Women, you will be just fine. You need to be fearless and you need to confront your man about this problem”.
“You cannot accept anything that will make you feel denigrated. My wife didn’t accept it and it was a wakeup call that I needed. But as long as you accept it and as long as you fear him leaving, things won’t get better, he won’t change.
“It’s up to him; he has to do the work. He has to want the change, he has to want to make amends.”
“Stop Pitying Yourself”, Says Terry Crews
In his videos Terry calls on men to take responsibility, stop self-pitying, and stop blaming their wives.
“I’m calling on men to be more accountable,” he said. “There’s a lot of men out there blaming their wives for this. I’m here to tell you that as a man you have to take total responsibility for everything in your life – good and bad. That’s part of being a man.”
“That’s just one of the steps to beating pornography.
A Sense Of Entitlement Is Dangerous
He says men struggling with pornography must also let go of their sense of entitlement.
“I had the biggest sense of entitlement ever,” he said. “I felt like the world owed me something, I felt like my wife owed me sex … I felt that everybody owed me.
“When you have a sense of entitlement it’s extremely dangerous. You find ways to self-medicate, to act out with pornography, when you feel like your needs are not being met.
“Entitlement gives you self-pity and you feel sorry for yourself. And self-pity feels good. “Oh poor me, I never get the things I want”. The thing is, it’s always been your job to take care of yourself for your significant other.
“No one can ever meet all the needs of another human being; it just can’t happen. So inevitability when you fail it sets you up for this self-pity and entitlement. And you go and use pornography and feel justified and say “I needed this because I’m not getting this or that”.
Changing His Self-Centred Beliefs
One of the keys to breaking his addiction was changing his selfish beliefs, Terry says.
“I believed that I was more valuable than my wife as a human being, because I was a man,” he said. “When you believe that you are more valuable than another person you kind of feel like they owe you, and if they don’t do what you tell them, then you’re not good enough. And I was wrong.
“In fact the belief that I was more valuable than my wife actually made me half a man….You have to change your beliefs. If you do not change your beliefs, it is impossible to change your actions.
“Every man truly desires to be intimate. Every time you look at pornography is a desire for intimacy. But the problem is pornography is an intimacy killer.”
Confronting The Culture Of Male Chauvinism
Being a black man, Terry said he has been at rallies for equality, and realised the irony that even at these kind of events, women weren’t treated by some men as equals.
“In churches, in businesses, in Hollywood, you see women [being viewed] as objects, as less than, as things to be used,” he said.
He said many men viewed sex as their birthright.
“There are people telling you “you can’t live without sex”,” he said. “The truth is, you can. Sexual energy is something you can harness like electricity in the right way at the right time and it will bless you. But if you don’t it will electrocute your relationship.”
On A Mission To Help Pornography Addicts
Terry said he’s been free of his addiction for around 7 years, and he now sees it as his mission to help other people who are going through the same thing.
“Create a plan how you’re going to share with your wife,” he advised his viewers. “There’s a lot of recovery that has to happen. My wife had to go to therapy too to deal with the psychological things that come with it.
“I want to help people,” he said. “That is what I’m about. It’s my mission, it’s my life…I want to see you make it.”