Former NFL player, movie actor, model, reality celebrity and fitness buff Terry Crews recently shared in a series of videos posted to Facebook and YouTube how he recovered from his addiction to pornography, which he said "really, really messed up my life." Crews, a self-professed Christian, even publicly admitted he had to go to rehab for his addiction, which consumed him and threatened his marriage.
Crews, who has posted faith-based messages on Twitter, such as "Happy to be saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost! God is good and has always been! Thanks to Him for EVERYTHING!" kept his porn habit secret from everyone, including his wife. He and singer Rebecca King Crews have been married since 1990, and have five children.
"Some people say, 'Hey, man ... you can't really be addicted to pornography.' But I'm gonna' tell you something: If day turns into night and you are still watching, you probably have got a problem. And that was me," said Crews.
"It changes the way you think about people. People become objects. People become body parts; they become things to be used rather than people to be loved."
Crews said the focus on pornography affected everything. "My wife was literally like, 'I don't know you anymore. I'm out of here.' I had to change," revealed the athlete, who said he quit viewing porn six or seven years ago.
He said his wife decided to stay with him because he was repentant and knew he was sorry, reported CNN.
Crews revealed his porn addiction publicly in 2014, but his new confessional videos brought heightened attention to his struggles. His first Facebook video attracted almost 3 million views and more than 10,000 comments.
"Thank you so much for this message, Terry. Your honesty humbles me," said one man on Facebook. "I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't do drugs. But I have wrestled for years -- YEARS -- with pornography. I am grateful today to say that I have a very specific sobriety date and I have stayed clean for some time now. I work at it every day and I do everything I can to remove its power and hold."
"Thanks for putting this out there and congratulations on finding recovery," said a female commenter. "This horrible plague killed my marriage. Glad you decided to fight. We need more voices bringing awareness. There is a silent war being fought and the casualties are families and relationships."
Crews posted more videos thanking fans for their support and trying to answer their questions.
"Women, you need to be fearless. You need to confront your man about this problem," he said in the second clip. "You cannot accept any pornography in your life."
In the third video, Crews described porn as "an intimacy killer."
"Every time I watched it, I was walled off. It was like another brick that came between me and my wife. And the truth is, everything you need for intimacy is in your (partner)."
His wife, Rebecca, initially refrained from mentioning Terry's situation in her social media, and ultimately spoke in the fifth video, which was posted March 6. She thanked everyone for their responses and letters, saying that Terry had no idea it would go viral when he shared his problems with pornography. "That means it touched a lot of you, and a lot of you are dealing with this issue," she reasoned.
She said it was time to clear up a few things about their situation. Saying she did not find out about Terry's addiction on social media, through rumors, or some weird place, it actually came to light through a "confrontation" they had.
"He did not reveal to me his problem, I think he thought I would be horrified about what he was doing in the dark," she said.
Rebecca's message to women about this compulsivity: "It's not your fault. Your looks, your status, your education, your nagging, your problems are not the reason your husband has a problem with porn. Many of us are struggling with porn in this day because it's so prevalent. It's so easy to get to, it practically chases you down on the Internet."
After finding some "not overtly adulterous but not professional" messages on Terry's phone, Rebecca told him there had to be "good, moral boundaries" set with work colleagues.
"As I began to pray and seek, and ask myself what is this horrible feeling in my stomach that I sense, I had it out with my husband over the course of four days," said Rebecca. "He was beginning to have his own 'Come to Jesus meeting' with himself about this issue, and something in him was saying 'You cannot live this way anymore.'"
She said when she screamed at him, "What don't I know about you, Terry Crews?" it was like I stabbed him in his heart." Then he admitted to her all the secrets he'd been keeping.
Libby Page thank Rebecca for pointing out that "we all break at some point. And how it manifests is anybody's guess. And the need for empathy. So well put. Thank you."
Patrick Saadhoff's response online was that, "You two are strong couple, let's hope a lot of people will see this, and let's hope they will fight for it and not divorce after a few struggles. That they fight for all its worth, I really thank Terry Crews and his wife for sharing. Its helps a lot, and it will give a lot more than they might imagine."
In recent years, Crews has been trying to lead more people through what he's recently referenced as being an adult, taking control and owning one's life. In his book Manhood released Jan. 1, 2014, he revealed to men how to face their inner demons, seek forgiveness and make your way in the world. Crews also helps women identify where their husband is coming from on a relatable level.